Let Go.

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It’s got me wondering, this whole business of “letting go”.
I’m hearing it everywhere:
On the street someone whispers it into their cell phone,
Girl, you have to let it go. He’s horrible to you. You deserve better. Move on. Let go!

The yoga teacher insists upon it: Inhale, and with the next exhale,
Let it go, relax your shoulders, melt your heart toward the mat.
The books, the endless books on the “art of letting go”.

I use it as a theme for my yoga classes, in fact. Quite often.

It got me wondering what it is exactly that I am letting go of?
I imagine fighting with my sister as a kid, she has what’s mine and I want it back.
Let it go! Before I seize it and hit her on the head with it.

I fantasize about swinging from a rope and letting go, falling without landing.
I see myself working at the restaurant I worked at for 13 years straight, carrying a stack of plates before I just drop them, let them go crashing on the floor.

Something I yearned to do every time I worked. Every time I held a dirty plate.
Before I walk out the door forever, letting that job go.

I am afraid that if I let whatever it is go I might come unglued.

What if this thing is what is holding me together?
Maybe my heart has hardened around it like a shell
And it will crack in half if I try and extract the thing at it’s center?

So, how can I let it go if I don’t know what it is?
I ask my Mai, Vietnamese manicurist extraordinaire .
She tells me to lie back on the couch covered with an old blue towel.
I look tired she says and tells me to sleep. She will paint my nails while I lie.

You work hard, everyday. Like me, 24 years in same spot.
Mahvelous Nail. I make my sons go to school school school
so they don’t have work hard like parent.


I pick a shiny mauve for my feet, pale for my fingers.
They are getting longer and stronger ( I must be letting go of something?)

Everyday let go of something.
Make room for new.
She cracks open a few peanuts, reflects on the shell.
Peanuts are my favorite.
When I’m not busy, I sit back, take my time, relax and eat my peanut.

Mai has let go of a country filled with war, but sometimes if you look close enough you can see it
In her fingernails, in the yellow ridges.
Worry lines on her hands instead of her face.
Sometimes I call my granddaughter because I miss her but she won’t talk.
She says “ I too busy. I love you Noi Noi but I too busy.”
Too busy? She’s four year old. What’s  she busy doing?


I’m holding on to some things
Because I am afraid if I let them go,
I will not remember them anymore.

If I try hard enough as I lie on Mai’s fake leather couch
letting my nails dry I can remember the last story my father ever read to me. I have to squint my eyes tight and start humming the beginning of “ You are my Sunshine”
before a glimpse of his beard, then a line of the story, then an arm- and that’s it.
That’s all I have to let go of.

I was anorexic for many many years and even though I knew it in my heart, in my bones, in my mind; I did not want to let it go. It was my identity, it was who I was. It was me. I was it.

Recently I have started leading workshops all over called ” What Are You Manifesting In Your Life?” which have been successful. I encourage people through meditations, yoga and sharing my story to create the life they want for themselves.

I was stuck for years. Literally a walking dead person, depressed, anorexic, lost, trying half-heartedly to be an actress while working at the same restaurant ( The Newsroom Cafe in West Hollywood) for 13 years until I let go. I let go of all these notions I had of myself that simply were not true. I let go of my eating disorder. I let go of feelings of unworthiness. I let go of the idea that I wanted to be an actress, because in reality: I didn’t. I let go of the idea that I couldn’t have what I wanted or that I would never be in a healthy loving relationship because maybe I did not deserve it. There was a lot to let go of. It’s still a practice. Just like yoga. The day they call it yoga Perfect instead of yoga Practice, I quit.

Wayne Dyer says that you can manifest anything that you put your attention on. So I ask my students, ” What are you putting your attention on.?” I ask myself this too.

I asked myself that a few years ago for the first time and  realized that I was putting my attention on lack and on what I didn’t have, what I had not yet accomplished. When I shifted what I put my attention on, my life started to look very different. Unrecognizable. I began to let go of old ideas of myself and truly transform into the person I am daily working on being now. Instead of bringing hot sauce and silverware to table 32 I am bringing free yoga to kids withs special needs. Instead of being in an abusive relationship I am married to an amazing man. Instead of starving myself, I eat healthy and do not deprive myself of anything.

Today I read a quote by my beloved Wayne Dyer. “‎I forgive myself, and then I move on.” You can sit there forever, lamenting about how bad you’ve been, feeling guilty until you die, and not one tiny slice of that guilt will do anything to change a single thing in the past.

I loved my father more than humanly possible. He died when I was 8 years old. Right before he died, we had an argument because he had promised he would quit smoking and hadn’t ( he smoked 4 packs a day of Kools). So I flushed a pack of cigarettes down the toilet. He got upset with me and I yelled ” I HATE YOU!”

The last words I ever spoke to him.

( Those that know me in real life now know why I love saying ” I love you”).

Can you imagine the guilt I have walked around with my entire life? I could write about if for pages and pages but suffice it to say I have forgiven myself and let it go. So no, I am not a bad person. I let it go. I give it back. I decline the offer to carry that badge any longer. I refuse to carry it with me anymore. I am a divine being. I am a teacher. I am a writer. I am a healer. I was a little girl who was upset with her dad because she knew smoking was bad for him. That’s all. I release the idea that I am a bad person. That he died because I yelled ” I hate you” or that he believed it. I forgive myself and let it go.

I ask you: What can you let go of? What can you forgive yourself for? What can you let go of to become who you always knew you’d be? Who you really are ? Your highest self? What can you let go of to manifest what you want in your life?


Next Manifestation Workshop is in NYC at Pure Yoga West Saturday April 2nd 2-4 pm and then Santa Monica at the Yoga Collective Sat April 30th 5-8 pm with wine tastings after.

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anonymous Mar 22, 2012 9:36pm

thank you 😉

anonymous Mar 1, 2012 10:11am

Lovely. Thank you.

anonymous Mar 1, 2012 7:42am

[…] Let Go. | elephant journal. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

anonymous Feb 15, 2012 7:02am

[…] Like Rumi says, let the wound be the place where the Light enters you…not the place where hard, dark scars are formed. Let go of so many old ideas that you’ve formed to protect yourself, or thoughts that insist they’re right. Because you could be really wrong. Shine the light of knowledge into your heart, open the curtains, fluff the cushions, blow the dust away, and let. it. go. […]

anonymous Jul 15, 2011 7:46pm

That's okay Bob. It seems the only feedback allowed on this site is mindless but kissing. This article is awful. The writing is absolutely atrocious, and you know it.

    Bob Weisenberg Jul 15, 2011 8:16pm

    Hi, Terry. Couldn't disagree more. But criticizing the writing is fine, not the person, as you did in your previous comment, now deleted. At worst, as you can see from the comments and 517 Facebook "likes", the opinion is mixed.

    But even if so many people did not love this article, even if it did not speak to them personally, even if 100% of the people didn't like it, we still don't go for personal attacks on the person.

    Sorry we don't agree on this.

    Bob W. Yoga Editor
    Like Elephant Yoga on Facebook
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Bob Weisenberg Jul 12, 2011 2:51pm

Terry. I deleted your last comment because it was a personal attack on the author. If you would like to discuss this with me further, I welcome you to contact me via personal message on my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/bobweisenberg .

anonymous May 14, 2011 8:34pm

[…] Throughout the ups and downs, my teacher training brought a stability, focus and comfort that made me wonder how I ever survived without my yoga weekends. I look back at who I was at the beginning of training and I’m amazed to realize how I’ve already carried the lessons learned on the mat into my everyday world. Here is just a sampling of what I’ve learned: I’ve learned that letting it be is far easier than letting it go. […]

anonymous Mar 22, 2011 10:46pm

[…] […]

anonymous Mar 21, 2011 9:06am

[…] Let Go. […]

anonymous Mar 14, 2011 10:41pm

[…] art came from those years at that café. So much poetry in the faces I saw, daily. In the dishes. In the years passed there. Just as any time I have had my heart broken or lost someone, the pain is great but the poetry […]

anonymous Mar 14, 2011 8:54am

[…] Let Go. […]

anonymous Mar 13, 2011 9:57pm

[…] When I was a kid, my parents ( before my father died) used to introduce me as ” the writer”. This embarrassed me for some reason. So much so, that I grew up and decided to be an actress? Well, I am back. The writer. […]

anonymous Mar 7, 2011 7:50am

[…] Let Go. […]

anonymous Feb 27, 2011 12:07pm

[…] Let Go. […]

anonymous Feb 25, 2011 3:05pm

This piece brings tears to my eyes and is a warm reminder of all that I need to let go of. Thank you for sharing.

Bob Weisenberg Feb 25, 2011 6:35am

Great article. Jennifer. Great to see you back here.

Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

Bob W.
Yoga Editor

anonymous Feb 24, 2011 6:19pm

Away from hates and pities to the kind Of workable concern that makes of humans Something a thousand-fold beyond a human.
You are Brilliant and Courageous!

    anonymous Feb 25, 2011 10:02am

    wow. what a comment!! Thank you Joe. Thank you.

anonymous Feb 24, 2011 5:15pm

Wow! That was amazing. Thank you for sharing.

    anonymous Feb 25, 2011 10:03am

    Thank you Lynn for reading and for tweeting it!

anonymous Feb 24, 2011 2:33pm

Very insightful. Really struck a chord and resonated with my current struggles.

anonymous Feb 24, 2011 2:30pm

Wow very powerful article. Thank you!

anonymous Feb 24, 2011 2:16pm

Everytime I find myself drifting -there you are and so is the peace I manifested in yoga studio in Philly.

    anonymous Feb 25, 2011 10:34am

    I cannot wait to see you soon my love ..

anonymous Feb 24, 2011 1:33pm

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Alicia Easter and jennifer pastiloff, Red Fox. Red Fox said: Letting Go To Manifest What You Want http://bit.ly/f41ICL […]

anonymous Feb 24, 2011 1:13pm

Wow, this was really beautiful. Brought tears to my eyes. Thank you.

anonymous Feb 25, 2011 10:01am

Diane, thank you so much. I am so moved by what you said. I feel as if Blaise is my own child ( my neohew) and he has PWS so I know what you mean. Thank you for taking time to read and comment my dear xoox love jen

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Jennifer Pastiloff

“Thank you Jennifer, for shining your light on mine.” ~ Christy Turlington. / Jennifer Pastiloff, as featured on Good Morning America, is a lover of life, laughter, poetry, yoga, Modern Family (and a really good glass of wine.)
She is the creator of Manifestation Yoga®, which is all about causing serious breakthroughs in your life without being too serious. Her rule of “If you fall you must laugh ” is strictly enforced in her yoga classes. / Jennifer teaches this inspirational style of yoga all over but her home base is in Los Angeles. She travels the world teaching workshops and leading retreats. When Jen’s nephew Blaise was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Prader Wille Syndrome (PWS), it prompted her to start GAME Yoga. Gifts And Miracles Everyday: Free Yoga for Kids w/ Special Needs. / Jen is in the process of writing a book about how to manifest your life, one laugh at a time. She is partially deaf and wears hearing aids. / Jennifer spent 13 years working in the same restaurant and believes that everyone should have a job in the service industry at least once in their life. (It’s good for the soul, she says.) / Learn more about her at jenniferpastiloff.com. Her blog is Manifestation Yoga. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter.