Posted On Aug 17, 2016
Inspirational author and motivational speaker Gabrielle Bernstein pointsthewaytoinnerpeace.
BY LINDA CHILDERS
With her flowing blonde hair and contagious smile, Gabrielle Bernstein radiates an enviable kind of confidence that speaks to her lifelong efforts to master self-discovery and experience spiritual growth. At 33, the New York native has become the go-to guru for women on similar quests. The author of three books—Add More Ing to Your Life, Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles, and May Cause Miracles—Bernstein encourages readers to tap into their spirit and find happiness. Oprah Winfrey invited Bernstein to appear on her Super Soul Sunday show; as a motivational speaker, she reaches thousands through her Hay House Radio show, speaking gigs, social media, and website (herfuture.com).
Her fourth book, Miracles Now (Hay House), offers a “CliffsNotes” version of tools designed to help women overcome stress, fear, resentment, jealousy, and more. These life lessons are all ones that Bernstein has encountered herself.
A former publicist and ex-party girl, Bernstein’s life once looked very different than it does today. “In my twenties, I ran my own public relations business and hit the party scene most nights,” she says. “I was desperately seeking happiness and self-worth in the form of a boyfriend, or getting past the velvet rope at a new nightclub. I learned the hard way that didn’t work.”
At 25, Bernstein hit rock bottom. Acknowledging that she had an addiction to work, partying, and alcohol, she sought to rebuild her life. She studied Marianne Williamson’s A Course in Miracles—an influential metaphysical text on the relinquishing of fear in all areas of life—and began a kundalini yoga practice and meditation. “I realized there were many other women grappling with issues such as anxiety and stress,” she says.
At the urging of friends, Bernstein began offering small group workshops in her apartment, where she guided women through teachings from A Course in Miracles, combined with lessons from her own life.
Before long, word got around that these workshops allowed their attendees to wrap their heads around the concept of self-acceptance. “The principles I teach to women help them move through any pain that’s holding them back, making more space for a rich life,” Bernstein says. “They learn tools to enhance every aspect of life—relationships, work, money, and health.”
She left public relations, and began offering workshops and lectures on the mindful approach to life. Realizing that most women don’t have time for an hour of yoga or 30 minutes of meditation each day, Bernstein simplified her practices. In Miracles Now, she offers 108 tools, broken down into easy techniques. As with all of her books, Bernstein writes in a casual, down-to- earth tone—like a good friend who can always be counted on for sage advice.
Feeling stressed? Bernstein illustrates the practice of the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), otherwise known as tapping lightly on specific areas of your body (including chin, collarbone, and eyebrow) to reduce anxiety, fears, and nagging issues. Sense your inner critic is taking over your life? Bernstein guides readers through the process of changing negative patterns into positive perceptions. A big part of Bernstein’s success can be attributed to the fact that she’s both business and media savvy. Not only do her books illustrate how to perform “backpack meditations” that can be used anywhere at any time to combat stresses, she also offers step-by-step videos on the website gabbyb.tv.
By harnessing the power of the Internet, Bernstein has amassed over 87,000 Twitter followers, and a huge fan base for her YouTube channel. She regularly travels the country to facilitate popular group workshops, holds an annual retreat, and is about to begin training sessions for therapists and yogis who want to incorporate her techniques into their own practices.
While Bernstein has often been called “the self-help guru for the millennial generation,” she believes her message transcends all ages. “Many high-achieving women take stock of their lives only to discover that somewhere along the line, their life turned out differently than they thought it would,” Bernstein says. “They want to be successful, but they also want to be happy. My goal is to help them lead a more joyful life.”
FINDING HAPPINESS WITH
Advice from her new book, Miracles Now
Practice the “F” word (forgiveness) “Let go of resentments and become conscious of who you need to forgive, including yourself,” Bernstein says. “Forgiveness is a choice we make by looking at our unforgiving thoughts and judgments, letting go of the victim role, and being willing to forgive. It’s important to understand and accept that forgiveness isn’t for your attacker, it’s for you.”
Clean up your side of the street “If you want to live a miraculous life, you must be willing to look at your behavior and take responsibility for the life you’ve created up until now,” Bernstein says. She suggests making a list of your top 10 biggest fears and then next to each fear, writing down the reason you believe the fear to be true. “Get honest,” Bernstein says. “As you look at your fears head-on, you’ll begin to see how much of what you fear is just false evidence.”
Celebrate your small successes “Most people, including me, spend a lot of time focusing on what we do wrong,” Bernstein says. “What if we chose to focus on what we do right? The moment we begin to celebrate ourselves and focus on our successes is the moment we begin living.” Bernstein suggests getting a notebook and listing all of your positive attributes. “Let this become an involuntary practice to help you focus on the many positives rather than the negatives,” she says.
Move through the blocks “Whenever I’m experiencing writer’s block or feeling overwhelmed by the hundreds of emails I receive, I hop on the mini-trampoline in my office,” Bernstein says. “The human body needs to move, so bounce, jump, dance. Do whatever it takes to move the tension from your body and release the blocks within your mind.”