Meet Jennifer Pastiloff

Jen Pastiloff travels the world with her unique workshop, "The Manifestation Workshop: On Being Human," a hybrid of yoga, writing, sharing out loud, and the occasional dance party. It's an experience that has been described as unpredictable, heart-mending and sometimes messy - just like life. Jen has been featured on Good Morning America, New York Magazine, CBS News and more for her unique style of teaching, which she has taught to thousands of women in sold-out workshops all over the world. She studied poetry and writing at NYU and Bucknell University.

More information can be found at http://jenniferpastiloff.com/ and more information on her workshops can be found at http://themanifeststation.net/. She is the founder of the online magazine The Manifest-Station (manifestationyoga.com) and “Girl Power: You Are Enough!” Jen leads annual retreats to Italy and California as well as many other places. When she is not traveling she is based in Los Angeles. She is not sure why she is speaking in 3rd person here. She loves wine and coffee and books. A lot.

Q2: When were you first open about your depression (anxiety, suicide attempt, etc.)?

Jen: I have a pretty big online and real-life following and a couple years ago I decided to take a risk and share openly about it and about being on meds. I never looked back. I never hid that I struggled with depression and anxiety but I never shared it with thousands and thousands of people. One of the best things I did.

Q3: Has your writing helped your recovery?

Jen: Sometimes. Truthfully, not always. Sometimes when I am really depressed I can't write, or rather, I don't write.

Q4: What do you hope Shades of Blue readers learn from reading the essays contained within its pages?

Jen: That they are not alone. That you can look successful and happy and "perfect" from the outside while dying on the inside. That struggling with mental health issues is nothing to be ashamed of.

Q5: Where can people find you on social media?

Jen: @jenpastiloff

Jen is one of our fabulous readers for "An Evening of Stories and Cake" featuring Depressed Cake Shop on November 19th in Los Angeles - celebrating the launch of Shades of Blue! Tickets on sale now!