Yo, PP tribe! I am sharing these words by Vicki Bumpus below, because they mean so very much to me. Do you remember the post on here about Rosie Alma? She was my reader, whom I went to visit in the hospital after she’d had a failed double lung transplant in Atlanta. Shortly after I met her, she died. After her death, she was published right here on this very site.
The things is, I almost didn’t meet her. She posted on my Facebook page that she was in the hospital after having had a lung transplant and could I come visit her while I was in Atlanta. Naturally, a million excuses came up as to why that would be hard. (I was only there for the weekend. I didn’t have a car. I was busy leading a workshop.) Blah blah blah.
But I went. And it changed my life.
After her death, I met her mother Vicki Dwyer Cuticchia Bumpus. She’s the one in the flowered dress above. The others are her brother and sister, and my own sister, Rachel.
This is what Vicki had to say:
So, who knew, I am a veteran of two Jennifer Pastiloff Manifestation Yoga Workshops on “Being Human!”
I caution against thinking for a minute that I know the first thing about yoga. That would be a huge mistake. And I have just now begun exploring what it means to genuinely “Be Human.” My catalyst has been unfathomable loss and a desperation to make sense of it. I have attended, or more accurately fully engaged, in both workshops with a very grateful heart. Truth be known, this was way beyond my comfort zone, yet quite surprisingly, an experience that provided so much comfort.
Last August, I returned to Atlanta for my first “Being Human” workshop absolutely scared shitless. The prospect of being in Atlanta, in and of itself, was foreboding never mind the workshop. This was the place where we had helped Rosie wage her battle for life for six gut-wrenching months. This is where she lost it.
Where we all lost her.
Pain permeates there.
So much hope lost in this place. I hadn’t been back since.
I went to my first workshop because I felt compelled to go. Rosie would have, if she could have. She adored Jen. She followed her, she learned from her. Their hearts connected when Jen visited her. I had to go for my sweet girl. So armed with my willing, but equally scared accomplices – my loving eldest daughter Bridget and my brave-hearted son, Josh – we steeled ourselves and we went. And the tightly capped pressure valve began to blow with the eruptions of ugly face – morphing tears, and unexpected emotion both in sharing our own stories and listening to the stories of so many other wounded hearts. We were taken by surprise and lifted by our shared experience among absolute strangers. One cannot imagine the kindness, the gentleness, the love, the sharing of things so hurtful and powerful unless you’ve been in that room. Those who began as strangers over the course of a mere two hours became each others confidant, cheerleader, safety net.
That beauty only happened because each of us brought a genuinely open heart and because Jen innately created a safe nurturing space for all.
A chance at “Being Human” came again this past weekend. This time I felt compelled to return for “me.” Not for Rosie, for me.
That’s not to say that she was not tucked closely in my heart. I wasn’t scared. I wasn’t apprehensive about returning to Atlanta or the raw emotions that I now knew would be in that room.
I guess that’s growth, healing.
Jen readily shares that her workshop will involve yoga, writing, dancing, singing, sharing, crying, and laughing; the entire gamut. Well, I know very little about yoga, not a writer either in training or in my dreams, have no rhythm (which might explain my large family – ha), and cannot hold a note to save my life. Add to this that I am probably one of the more mature women (read older) in the room and one of those carrying the most weight. None of that, absolutely, none of that mattered! Judgment was absent. Love, front and center. I promise you this – I did yoga, I wrote, I danced, and I sang. I shared. I laughed. I cried.
No One Cared. But… Everyone Cared.
Thank you to you, dear Jen, for creating an environment of trust and love out of which the extraordinary can grow. Thank you so much Mandy for the beautifully inspiring physical space. Thank you to all of you amazing humans who came willing to share, connect, and gently hold each others hearts.
Are you willing to hold someone’s heart today, Positively Positive Tribe? @JenPastiloff
(Click to Tweet!)
Post below if you are. I am holding yours. Closely.
Love you guys. xo jen (And yes, I am back in Atlanta Aug 8.) Next up is Philly, NJ, Dallas, Seattle, Chicago, London and more!
See you at my Tuscany retreat! This is my very favorite retreat in the world. Sign up soon because both (summer and fall) only have a few spots each left. I am so excited that so many of you are coming! It’s a beautiful experience. Life changing!! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. All info here.
Jen leads retreats that are a combo of yoga/writing and for ALL levels. Read this post to understand. Check out manifestationyoga.com for all retreat listings and workshops to attend one in a city near you (NJ, Seattle, Dallas, Miami, Chicago, Atlanta, Vancouver, NYC & London are next). She leads an annual invite only retreat to Tuscany. She is the founder of the popular The Manifest-Station website. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter. You can also find her at BeautyHunting.com.