Hello PP tribe from Seattle!! So great to meet so many of you at my workshops. You guys seriously keep me going. Can you feel me hugging you through the screen? I know it’s awkward but it’s the best I can do. You feelin’ my arms around you? 🙂

So, I was in London in February leading one of my Manifestation Workshops (I am doing another one in London Oct 10 but sign up early as this one sells out fast.)

I had just gotten on the tube at Leicester Square with my in-laws who live in London. There was a woman sitting across from me who looked like she’d been crying. After the train starting moving, I realized she had indeed been crying.

And still was.

She looked sadder than I have ever seen someone look and I couldn’t help but think if I had a flower or something, anything really, to give her, I would.

I dug into my bag for something to give her to make her smile. All I could find was a tiny pencil someone had just given me as a gift. It had a big heart eraser at the top, a kid’s pencil. I believe the woman who gave it to me said her kids made it. I leaned across the aisle and handed the crying lady the miniature heart pencil.

I said, “Here.”

She said, “Thank you,” and it was like a million thanks yous. Like the best million thank yous I have ever heard—and then she started crying more.

Maybe it’s like when you’re sad and someone hugs you and you just wail in her arms. You’ve avoided her arms up until then because you knew what they would do to you. They would open you up and make you sob like a baby. Like “here is someone.” “Here is someone in the world who cares.”

My mother-in-law was fascinated. She came over to sit next to me. ‘What did you give to that lady?”

I said “Nothing,” because how could I explain I gave her a toy pencil that had just been given to me?

It was the kind of beauty that struck me immediately as the kind that was beautiful but also sad. Beautiful in that this woman was having her singular experience of pain on the train and although none of us knew what that was—we all understood it. We all have been there at some point, but almost no one was willing to make eye contact with the Very Sad Lady except me.

We had our exchange almost wordlessly. I gave her my kid heart pencil and she locked eyes with me as if to memorize the moment.

I am a storyteller, true, but I am guessing her heart was broken in the very worst way. She clung to her purse with the faded straps in a very protective way and the storyteller in me wondered if that was all she had left.

Anyway, I am hoping the woman who gave me the kid heart pencil will be okay with me giving it away to the Very Sad Lady. Maybe she’d be thrilled I put it t o “use.” And then that Very Sad Lady, maybe she will stop crying and go home and write a story with that pencil. A story of why she was crying, of who made her cry, of what broke inside of her there at Leicester Square?

So many times beauty and sadness are interchangeable. @JenPastiloff (Click to Tweet!)

Here. Take this. Here. A tiny pencil with which you can draw your life. Given to you from a stranger on the tube. Better than a flower really. You can go home and create—and erase.


Love you guys, my beloved PP tribe!! xoxox

I have 3 spaces left for my Mother’s Day retreat next month in Ojai, Calif. If you sign up and mention Christy Turlington’s Every Mother Counts I will donate the proceeds to her charity!!

Join Jen in Tuscany!!

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.

Image courtesy of Joe Longo.