Sunday, January 24, 2016

Feeling The Fear And Doing It Anyway With Jennifer Pastiloff

I can't remember how I first learned of Jennifer Pastiloff.  I think I read one of her essays and thought, "Wow.  What an interesting woman.  I'd like to know more about her."

So I did what one does nowadays.  I followed her on Facebook and Instagram.  

Her posts resonated with me.  Her essays.  Other people's essays.  Her videos.  Her photos.  

Jennifer leads retreats and workshops all over the world.  And I thought, "If she ever comes to Vancouver I'd like to attend one of her events."

Well, guess what!  I found out in October that she was coming to Vancouver on January 23rd.  I was so excited and quickly signed up.

But as the date approached I began to doubt my decision.  My excitement turned to dread.  What was I thinking signing up for a yoga/writing workshop in the trendy Kitsilano neighbourhood of Vancouver?  

I began to have all sorts of preconceived ideas and fears.  I seriously considered backing out.  

Then I remembered the advice I often give my daughters.  Feel the fear and do it anyway.  So I went.

And not surprisingly, not one of my fears or worries was true.  Not one.

I thought I'd be 30 years older than most of the participants.  I wasn't.

I thought I'd weigh 100 pounds more than every woman in the room.  Nope.

I thought everyone would be decked out in their fabulous Lululemon yoga clothing and I'd look like a shlumpadinka  in my yoga pants from Costco.  Not true.  

Jennifer warned us that the three hours were going to feel like 3 minutes.  And she was right.

We laughed, we cried, we wrote, we hugged, we sang, we danced, we did a few downward dogs.  (Actually more than a few.  My arms and shoulders are sore today.)

It got real in that room real fast.  

It was an honour to be in the presence of so many incredible women and bear witness to their joy, their pain, their struggles, their accomplishments.  After each woman spoke I thought, "I'd like to be her friend."  We fell in love with each other for those three hours. 

Thank you, Jen Pastiloff, for coming to Vancouver and doing all that you do.  You are one hell of a woman.  I am so happy to have met you.

See you next year!

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