My last retreat to Mexico is popping into my mind as the greatest one for me. It is tied with Good Morning America filming my birthday karaoke class and my nephew Blaise being in my arms as my friend Annabel gave a speech at my wedding. Also tied with New Year’s Day at my friends’ house in London as we sang and donned hats for a hat party and didn’t move from the kitchen all day.
Today’s DMC is really just meant to be a collage. A collage of your favorite memories. Below, write down what your favorite memories are. The top 3 even. I cannot wait to see them all. Together. Floating on the same page.
Having lost my dad at such a young age, I have been fairly obsessed with the idea of memory for a long time. In fact, here are a few lines from a poem I wrote 8 years ago:
We never know where we will find our history,
where we will discover what has formed us,
What we will find while farming tomatoes.
Exhuming beauty from the soil, excavating remains.
The unearthing of things long forgotten.
The source of the blue-green jade used by the Olmec remains a mystery,
As most things of beauty often will.
You carve from clay-
The pounding of it, the pulverizing,
This creation and inevitable destruction of matter.
You are a sculptor.
This process as inevitable as any ritual-
Like watching women pound acorns with oblong rocks.
Holes the size of nickels created by the repetition,
The repeated impact of stone against stone.
I think of you sculpting red clay into things of mythic beauty-
Then letting it dry and crushing it into the earth, to be reshaped.
The repetition of this, the rebuilding.
This natural desire towards achievement.
What turns into memory?
I find it interesting which memories stick in our minds. Which memories morph so they no longer represent what actually happened but what we need to remember it as so. Which things do not even make it to memory status. Why should some memory be so lucky and others fall into a dark corner of the mind, into an abyss of thought and sound and things that happened to us when we were babies?
The way some memories stay strong is by sharing them. By retelling them. The fact is, you can never ever go back into the past, but you can tap into that magic again by sharing and letting yourself feel what it felt like the first time. Maybe the memory makes you feel even better, in fact?
I can’t wait to read your favorite memories below.
I am fascinated by how one moment we are living in it and the next it is living in our minds. Forever.
I think one of the great ways of keeping memories alive is by sharing them. Also, by pictures (hence my obsession also with photographs.)
Lastly, I will leave you with an excerpt from Brandi Mayo, an amazing girl who attended my beloved Mexico retreat. She wrote a letter to the attendees in an effort to not have our magic fade. To keep the memory alive, as they say.
You will see why, in fact, it is my favorite memory:
1) I am incredibly blessed. Specifically, I am incredibly blessed that I get to take Jen’s classes and am reminded that the magic of what conspired in Xinalani was real. Over the past two weeks I have found myself on this incredible emotional roller coaster of highs and lows replaying the week over and over again wondering if the “magic” was real – wondering how I integrate that “magic” into “real life” where most people walk around with a solid metal jacket of fear and judgment. Every time I take Jen’s class, I am taken back to that safe place, where I allowed myself to be silly – to not take myself so seriously – something for which I am very adept. Having that safe place in my own backyard, every time I take Jen’s class I leave with that same feeling of lightness I felt in Xinalani, and a huge smile on my face. As I walk back to my apartment or grab a starbuck I find myself smiling at everyone, and I have come to notice that smile is so incredibly powerful. I see it transform stranger’s faces as I look them in the eye and give them a huge smile for no apparent reason. I see that solid metal jacket of fear and judgment start to melt away. That is how the magic is integrated.
2) The magic was and is real! When I have told my friends and family, I have started the story by explaining that a group of 13 “nearly-complete strangers” came together and left fear and judgment at the door. I’m coming to believe this is the “magic” ingredient of what conspired at Xinalani. We all met each other at the Corner of Fearlessness and Love, and just as Jen explained in a recent blog post, the only way we could have “fallen in love” with each other, could only have happened by falling in love with ourselves first. I truly believe that happened because we each faced our own personal fears in the face.
Please feel free to go into detail and be poetic and grand and silly and personal. It’s what makes us human. This sharing of our stories. This showing the world the things that makes us come alive.
The things and people that make us smile.
GO! Share your favorite memory/memories below.JENNIFER PASTILOFF www.jenniferpastiloff.com www.manifestationyoga.com @manifestyogajen