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Publisher's Summary

An inspirational memoir about how Jennifer Pastiloff's years of waitressing taught her to seek out unexpected beauty, how hearing loss 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 13-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 listeners find, accept, and embrace their own vulnerability, bravery, and humanness. 

On Being Human is beautiful and tender, profound and absorbing. I never wanted to put it down. In writing with such clarity and honesty about her jagged path to becoming, Jennifer Pastiloff has told the story of not only herself, but so many of us. I was consoled by this book and also inspired. On every page I felt the presence and the power of Pastiloff’s brave and gigantic heart. This is a book friends will tell friends they have to read for years to come. It’s an important, enthralling debut.” (Cheryl Strayed)

©2019 Jennifer Pastiloff (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“In this candid memoir, Manifest-Station blogger Pastiloff transforms from a troubled restaurant server at a celebrity haunt in Santa Monica, Calif., into a yoga teacher and maven for self-discovery.... Readers feeling stuck in their lives will devour this inspiring story of a woman finding her way.” (Publishers Weekly)

In On Being Human, Jennifer Pastiloff shares the story of how she left her 13-year waitressing job to become a yoga teacher, despite her fears about her inexperience. These days, she's a widely regarded and beloved speaker, and in her memoir, she tracks her inspirational journey from a life of depression, anxiety, and hopelessness to one of contentment, gratitude, and bravery.” (Bustle)

“I devoured On Being Human in one sitting - nodding, laughing and connecting from the first word to the last. Jen Pastiloff is a brave and vulnerable leader whose book will help people take a deep breath, recognize themselves, and understand each other. What more can we ask of a book?” (Glennon Doyle, author of number-one New York Times best-seller Love Warrior and founder of Together Rising) 

“Jen Pastiloff is the only human ray of sunshine who could ever make me earnestly consider incorporating unpalatable things like ‘manifesting joy’ and ‘listening’ (UGH) into my life. This book is a treasure.” (Samantha Irby, author of We Are Never Meeting in Real Life and Meaty

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What listeners say about On Being Human

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What a beautiful memoir.

My heart is cracked open. What a memoir! Ugh I want to hug Jen. I love that she is the voice of the book. I feel such a connection. So authentic on being human. You have open the road to be honest and authentic. Thank you! Thank you for being a walking thank you and not being an asshole! I will cherish your book close to my heart. Amazing job Jen!

4 people found this helpful

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I Got You

Everyone needs to read/hear this book. I’ve been dealing with my I.A. For more than half of my life and this book has inspired me to let go of my past that has hurt me and continue to put as much good in to the world while I’m still kickin. Jen, thank you for sharing your story. I’m thankful your book popped up in my feed on Instagram. xoxo

2 people found this helpful

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can I give 0 stars?

this book was highly recommended but I couldn't get past the first half. boo. I would like a refund.

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You won't regret reading this, I promise!

Loved the truth and realness of this book.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Wow!

1 person found this helpful

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So real and relatable

Loved loved loved this book! So many takeaways- I should have taken notes. I’ll have to re-listen to write down all the juicy bits. Jen puts a funny name to specific things we do- like the bullshit story we’ve been telling ourselves- our inner asshole. Her humor and funny labels help me to be more aware and make changes. This book is the perfect combination of storytelling and self-help. Thank you Jen!!

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Easy to relate to human struggles and how to overcome what life throws at every human

So many lessons and nuggets of life wisdom sprinkled throughout this memoir. From the loss of a parent, living with years of self destruction, having invisible disabilities, to the beautiful creation of workshops that change lives and so much more. Inspired to always keep going, even if not always strong. Time for some rockstar and karaoke yoga in our lives✨

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Great book

I loved this book! I would definitely read it again and again. It awakes the side of you that says “you are enough!”

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  • 08-10-21

Why is this popular ?

I really wanted to like this book. The author comes off as self absorbed which really killed the book for me. If you’re looking for a relatable self discovery book this is not it .

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loved the message of truly listening to eachother

Loved this book and the message behind it. The author is so funny and charming and real! I could relate to her so much, and appreciated her perspective On Being Human.

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Just a silly memoir

I though the book was about teaching you to listen with your entire body, 75% into the book and she’s still babbling on like an angsty teenager- eating disorder, boys, alcohol blah blah blah
Looking for a little more depth. Also she blatantly mocks traditions/teaching of yoga
Severely disappointed in content of book. (Yawn)