If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would it be? Well, you can imagine my excitement when I got to sit down for an exclusive interview to talk about happiness with my dream dinner party guest, Gabrielle Bernstein. For those unfamiliar with her work, Bernstein is a best-selling author, spiritual teacher, mother, and now podcast host. After hitting rock bottom in her early 20s, Bernstein found healing in metaphysical spiritual texts like A Course In Miracles written by Helen Schucman (which focuses on becoming fully aware of “the greatest miracle,” love’s presence in one’s life) and started sharing ideas on how to be a happier person with the world. What began with hosting intimate conversations with groups of 20 in her New York City apartment evolved into addressing tens of thousands in sold-out venues throughout the world.
Bernstein coined the branded term “spirit junkie,” which is also the name of her first book. The “spirit junkie” movement is in support of seekers studying modern age spirituality, meditation, and wellness to live a happier and more fulfilled life. This movement, which is also the legacy of public figures such as Dr. Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, and Marianne Williamson, encourages people to connect with their highest selves and ultimately inspires a ripple effect to elevate the consciousness of the world.
Bernstein’s methodologies include breath work practices, tapping, meditation, and straight talk coaching rooted in personal growth and spirituality. She was featured on Oprah’s SuperSoul Sunday as a “next-generation thought leader,” is a #1 New York Times best-selling author, and has penned a whopping nine books, including The Universe Has Your Back, Super Attractor, and her latest, Happy Days, coming out in February, 2022.
And then there’s me. Sitting on the other side of the Zoom screen about to admit my mentor into the virtual room. Seven years ago on my 23rd birthday, I splurged on a VIP ticket to sit in the front row at a Chicago spiritual center to listen to Bernstein on her “Miracles Now” lecture and book tour. At that time, I was working a corporate marketing job and wanted more than anything to travel and live a nourishing spiritual life, but I was anxious about truly showing up for it.
During the lecture, we practiced the “Ego Eradicator” Kundalini meditation, asked questions on how to shift into a healthier headspace, and normalized the existence of daily miracles. Recognizing miracles is a practice that facilitates a shift from a fear-based thought into one rooted in love. Since then, I have lived in Israel and India, traveled the world while growing a spiritual business, and am currently writing my first book. All of this was possible because Bernstein’s work offered me the tools to shift into a healthy headspace and inspired me to believe that anything is possible. This miracle mindset offered me the needed roadmap to show up for my deepest desires and dreams.
So what happens when someone has the opportunity to interview one of their heroes? Ahead, my enlightening sit-down with the woman who motivated me to make life-altering changes.
Tell me about your latest book, Happy Days!
Happy Days is the guided path from trauma to profound freedom and inner peace. It is the spiritual path for trauma recovery. It's unlike all of my other books. And it’s really raw, revealing, and really vulnerable. And it took a lot to write it, but it was something that had to be written. I know it's going to serve a lot of people.
What spiritual practice did you move through this morning?
I wake up in the morning, I do a 20-minute mantra-based meditation, transcendental meditation, and then I get my son out of bed. He's my second alarm. And he's my spiritual practice as well, because he is the power of presence, he gives you the power of presence at all times.
Once you are with your son in the morning, is there a specific practice you move into together?
I'm always really aware of co-regulating energetically. So, I really am fascinated by how the toddler brain works, and how your energy can help soothe them. I'm really excited the moment my kid is having a meltdown. I'm really respectful of his brain and all of its capabilities at this time and his ability to problem solve and not problem solve. It’s really beautiful to be able to be in that practice and use my energy to help soothe him, and witness him calm down when he's ready. And also be present with him when he's not.
What are three spiritual practices one can use to become happier?
Number one, a breath practice for stimulating the vagus nerve, relaxing, and getting you into the parasympathetic state: Inhale through the nose for two strokes and exhale out the mouth for one stroke. Grounding ourselves through breath is one of the most important practices we can have in our toolbox. This is great if you're feeling anxious, stressed, or just disconnected — it will bring you back to center.
Second, the ‘choose again’ method: Notice when you're in a negative thought and how it makes you feel. Then, forgive yourself for having that thought and choose again. Reach for the next best feeling or thought. That is a practice that I would say [helps one] to really feel more responsible for their own experiences and more empowered to change their experience of their experiences.
Third, seek solutions rather than problems. For example, if something goes wrong at work, how can we fix it versus dwelling on the issue? Or, if you’re struggling in a relationship, ask yourself, what can I learn from this? This is a practice of looking for solutions that you can find, the lessons that you can learn, and the value that you can gain from all situations that may be uncomfortable at first.
You’re known as a spiritual teacher, author and speaker, and in the last few years you have been more open about also being someone who can channel. During this last year, have you received any downloads that people need to hear?
The main messages that I receive are always about helping people get to their highest self. So I don't receive messages that are like, You're gonna meet your husband in three months. Sometimes I get a sense of something, but it's really always in the pursuit of bringing people to the next level and evolving people spiritually. My channeling is designed to help people recognize their own spiritual relationship and help them develop whatever steps they need to get to that place for themselves.
At the beginning of the pandemic, you started a live social media series called ‘Dear Gabby,’ and it has since evolved into a podcast. How is that going?
Our listenership continues to grow. And it's fun! It's something that was built out of service and passion and love and the desire to have fun. And that's the recipe for success. My hope is that it's a place that people can go to, to find valuable spiritual solutions and practical methods to start to change in their own ways.
Something I am seeing right now are people feeling under-stimulated, disconnected, and detached from their sense of purpose. How can someone realign to their purpose or essence energy?
Just have more fun. The reason ‘Dear Gabby ‘ is successful is because it literally was birthed out of fun, it was fun for the Instagrammers, it was fun for me. I was getting on every Wednesday for an hour putting on makeup, it was just joyful! And that is what will be the catalyst for anything creative to come through you. So in order to develop your creative force, you have to be dwelling in fun energy, and you have to lean towards what's [enjoyable] for you. And take the pressure off. When your only objective is to have fun, then how can you fail?
How does one listen to their inner voice and know it's their highest self and not a fear-based thought or trauma-based thought?
It's not about some objective or goal, it's about a presence or an inner knowing. It's the voice of your inspiration, or higher self when you're not activated by it and there is no trigger behind it or no agenda behind it. And it's clean, matter-of-fact, and supportive. Even if it's directing you ‘don't do that,’ it [should feel] very supportive and direct.
What is next for your business and you?
The launch of Happy Days! I'll be doing a live free virtual event experience for anybody that buys the book. I’m also preparing to turn my Miracle Membership into an app. It’s just gonna deliver the content in a really smooth and supportive way for the user.
What is the wisdom you want to share with everyone in the world?
You have the power to change the way you experience your life.
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