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An inspirational memoir about how Jennifer Pastiloff's years of waitressing taught her to seek out unexpected beauty, how deafness taught her to listen fiercely, how being vulnerable allowed her to find love, and how imperfections can lead to a life full of wild happiness.

Centered around the touchstone stories Jen tells in her popular workshops, On Being Human is the story of how a starved person grew into the exuberant woman she was meant to be all along by battling the demons within and winning.

Jen did not intend to become a yoga teacher, but when she was given the opportunity to host her own retreats, she left her thirteen-year waitressing job and said “yes,” despite crippling fears of her inexperience and her own potential. After years of feeling depressed, anxious, and hopeless, in a life that seemed to have no escape, she healed her own heart by caring for others. She has learned to fiercely listen despite being nearly deaf, to banish shame attached to a body mass index, and to rebuild a family after the debilitating loss of her father when she was eight. Through her journey, Jen conveys the experience most of us are missing in our lives: being heard and being told, “I got you.”

Exuberant, triumphantly messy, and brave, On Being Human is a celebration of happiness and self-realization over darkness and doubt. Her complicated yet imperfectly perfect life path is an inspiration to live outside the box and to reject the all-too-common belief of “I am not enough.” Jen will help readers find, accept, and embrace their own vulnerability, bravery, and humanness.

Jennifer Pastiloff travels the world with her unique workshop On Being Human, a hybrid of yoga-related movement, writing, sharing aloud, letting the snot fly, and the occasional dance party. She has been featured on Good Morning America, New York Magazine, Health Magazine, CBS News, and others for her unique style of teaching, which she has taught to thousands of women in sold-out workshops all over the world. Jen is also the guest speaker at Canyon Ranch and Miraval Resorts, and she leads Writing and The Body workshops with author Lidia Yuknavitch, as well as retreats with Emily Rapp Black. Founder of the online magazine The Manifest Station, when Jen is not traveling she is based in Los Angeles with her husband and son and a cup of coffee, but her heart is still in Philadelphia, where she was born.

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Praise for On Being Human

 

 
Listen to me: you’re going to think Jen Pastiloff is your BFF after you read this book because when you’re done reading it you will feel known. No one is better qualified to write a book called On Being Human than this particular human. Having long struggled to accept her own imperfections and struggles, Jen manages to bring these to the page with a humor, heart and generosity that makes room for all of us to be a little kinder to ourselves.
— Elizabeth Crane, author of Turf and The History of Great Things
Dear Jen, From you I have learned to alchemize fear with love, to redistribute love through compassion, to enter a room with others.
— Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Chronology of Water, and the novels The Small Backs of Children, Dora: A Headcase, and The Book of Joan
This darkly funny, deeply personal and powerful memoir will speak to anyone who has ever felt outcast: from their bodies, their minds, the world. A must read for human beings.
— Emily Rapp Black, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Still Point of The Turning World and Poster Child: A Memoir
This book is a beacon of hope from someone who’s been VERY far away from that beacon but managed to find her way back.
— Patton Oswalt
Forget everything you know about memoir. Of course this is about the comet that is Jen Pastiloff and how she grew up struggling with deafness, depression, and a wrecked body image to go on and crack open the world’s heart with yoga/writing retreats, a website named The Manifest-Station, and pure love—but honestly, it’s really the memoir of all of us, every single one of us who ever felt I’m not enough, I’m not loved, I’m falling apart, I don’t’ belong here. I was reading this moving memoir while crying, scribbling down sentences and holding onto them like life lines. I’ve got you, Jen says, but the true message of this radiant memoir is nothing short that revolutionary love: we’ve got each other.
— Caroline Leavitt, New York Times Bestselling author of Pictures of You and Is This Tomorrow