13: What Does It Mean to be Human? | Jen

This is the first episode I’ve released since I took my break!  And I thought it only fitting that it was a conversation with my mentor, New York Times bestselling author of On Being Human, Jen Pastiloff, the woman who inspired me and pushed me and fueled my spirit with what I needed to start this podcast.  I’ll get to back to this, but first, regarding the “pause” I took…Anytime there is a big change in my life — good or bad — I’m notorious for attempting to create a sense of normalcy by doing what I’ve always done; to my own detriment and those around me. I stake my worth on what I can get done, what I can check off my list. And the outcome is never good.

I had recorded these really beautiful episodes with all of these fascinating people and I worked hard to get them ready to go out before my son was born.  And I couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t make a maternity leave plan, finalize the work I needed to for my actual job and prep for a baby all while producing this podcast.  Correction – I could have, but we all would have lost, most of all…my son as these were precious weeks I would never get back.

We don’t pause enough.  We are depleted and we are tired because we are trying to do it all – all of the time.  That isn’t sustainable.  We weren’t meant for that. A pause doesn’t have to be weeks. Let’s be honest, most of us don’t have that luxury.  But, maybe it is five minutes: just enough space to breathe; to collect yourself; to get some perspective. Pause.  Breathe.  Come back.  What is yours will wait for you.  What is right will wait for you.  That thing you really want to do, it’ll be there for you.

Now, back to Jen Pastiloff, the queen of living real and listening hard.  Finding Jen was one of those serendipitous things, reaching out to her for coaching was a rare moment that I didn’t overthink, I just did it.  I’d just finished On Being Human and thought she’d be the perfect person to help me draw more of myself out.  I was at a point where, life was good.  I’d worked myself into a good mental space after my infertility journey, I had a good job, we were traveling a lot…I had hobbies.  But, ultimately, I wasn’t contributing to the world in the way that I wanted; I wasn’t being as authentic as I wanted; I wasn’t putting effort into my growth as a person the way I wanted. This was creating a chasm that made me restless and uncomfortable and sometimes feel like a fraud.

Jen’s “why not you?” attitude is a breath of fresh air.  And it is so simple.  Why not you?  What is it you want to do that you are talking yourself out of?  Why not you?  Why are you waiting for someone else to do it?  Why are you encouraging someone else to do it?  Why not you?

We talk about fairing the pandemic, the bullshit stories we tell ourselves, what real motherfucking life looks like, how we get in our own way and ultimately…what it means to be human.  And as we ramble through this fucking strange, hard, absurd, beautiful year…hopefully, that is what we can keep top of mind…our humanity; after all that is what will keep us connected.

I will be forever grateful for and forever changed by my chance meeting with Jen Pastiloff in this lifetime.

You must follow her on Instagram.  And catch up with Jen and Alicia Easter’s new podcast “What are you bringing?”

Enjoy the episode.

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