The mind is a powerful tool, especially when it comes to healing. As humans, all of us have experienced pain and trauma in some form or another in our lives. It’s what we do from that point on that will guide us through to a place of healing.
Gabby Bernstein, motivational speaker, spiritual leader, podcast host of “Dear Gabby,” and NY Times best-selling author, holds firm in her belief that everything happens for a reason.
“It’s our job to stay open to creative possibilities for growth and lessons,” explains Gabby. “As long as I continue to trust that I’m being spiritually guided, then even pain has a deep purpose.”
As an author, she’s penned nine books, including “The Universe Has Your Back,” “Super Attractor,” and her latest, “Happy Days, The Guided Path from Trauma to Profound Freedom and Inner Peace,”
set for release on February 22nd. This new book, like her others, is designed to help readers become the best version of themselves through different techniques in which Gabby herself puts into practice.
On a spiritual journey for most of her life, Gabby says it was her mother’s influence that led her on this path. “When I was a kid, she’d bring us along with her to visit Ashrams, or go to meditation classes,” says Gabby. “I was taught to meditate at a young age.”
Her own personal traumas have shaped and lead this powerful soul to where she is today. We sat down with Gabby for an intimate conversation regarding spiritual healing, and the ways in which we can safeguard our own mental health. To say we felt inspired afterward is truly an understatement.
As a young child, what vision did you have for yourself?
I always had an unconscious desire to be a spiritual teacher. I didn’t realize it at the time, but when I was in high school, I was already practicing what I would wind up doing as my career. I was the president of the regional Jewish youth group. Every month I’d lead a large group of Jewish teenagers in spiritual weekend retreats. Those weekends are what brought me the most joy as an adolescent. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was preparing to be a spiritual teacher.
You’ve been open in talking about hitting rock bottom. What happened that led you to change the course of your life?
I got sober 16 years ago. I’ve been on a sober path since 2005, and through my sober recovery I found my spiritual roots. Through putting down drinks and drugs and picking up my spiritual practice, I’ve come to understand that being sober isn’t just about drinking or using drugs. Being sober is about living a life of honesty and integrity, one in which I have a daily commitment to taking inventory of what’s going on in my life and how I show up for the world.
The greatest gift to have come to me on my sober path is that I know I’ll be where I say I’ll be. If I make a commitment, I will show up for it. What was so heartbreaking when I was using was that I would miss so much of my life. I wouldn’t show up. I’d lie, I’d avoid people. I’d miss brunch with my girlfriends because I’d be hungover. Today, as a sober woman, I will be where I say I’ll be.
Is this experience the reason you changed the trajectory of your career? Yup! Getting sober helped me return to my spiritual roots. In my early sobriety, it became clear to me that I had a bigger mission to serve and teach. Within the first year of my recovery, I began leading talks on the topic of spiritual growth. Within two years I totally transitioned out of PR and into being a self-help author and spiritual teacher.
What you’ll learn from “Happy Days”
Gabby shares some of the takeaways you’ll discover when you read her newest book.
- Why most people feel stuck in patterns that make them unhappy— and what to do about it.
- Nine transformational, yet untapped, techniques for serenity and genuine happiness from techniques for “reparenting” yourself to bodywork practices that can free the stuck energy of past trauma.
- The mindset shift that can do more for you than decades of personal work.
- How to go into the places that scare you and come away freer than ever before.
Can you give our readers a sneak peak of what they can expect from your new book, “Happy Days?”
This book is my gift to you. It will answer your questions about why you feel blocked, scared, anxious, depressed, or alone, and it will liberate you from the belief system that has kept you small for so long. By taking the path outlined in “Happy Days,” you will become the best version of yourself.
What is the biggest takeaway?
You are not alone in your suffering and there is a way out.
In conjunction with the book, you’re hosting a live event on February 26th.
Yes! I am excited for this one. It is my first full-day event in two years, and it’s going to be transformational.
You talk about moving through grief with grace. Can you elaborate?
This topic hits close to home at the moment. This past November, I had to terminate a pregnancy. I’d been pregnant for five months. Sadly, my placenta was not functioning properly, and the baby wasn’t getting what he needed to survive. This was one of the most traumatic events of my life.
I’ve had the chance to truly understand what grief means to me. For 16 years, I’ve been counseling people through loss and grief, and I’m proud to say that my spiritual advice and guidance is what I’m relying on most today.
Moving through grief with grace requires a strong spiritual foundation and faith in the Universe. For me, faith means that no matter what happens in life, I know there is light on the other side. I trust in the power of my thoughts, prayers, and beliefs, and I know that sometimes our plans are not the plan that is of the highest good for all.
You share your trauma and personal struggles; has it been scary to open yourself up in such a vulnerable way?
I’ll answer this with a paragraph from “Happy Days.”
‘Vulnerability was a funny thing for me. Despite how hard it was for me to be vulnerable in therapy or relationships, it was easy when I spoke in front of audiences or strangers. When I was leading a live talk was when I felt most connected to God. The moment I stepped onto the stage I aligned with the truest part of who I am, the love of who I am, the joy of being alive, and the genuine desire to help others establish their own spiritual connection. The stage was my safe place where I could stand spiritually naked in my authentic truth.”
Important Tools for Your Own Spiritual Toolbox
We asked Gabby to share her top choices for implementing your own spiritual practice.
- Methods for strengthening your faith (a faith of your own understating.) I am nondenominational in all my teachings.
- Daily prayer or intention setting.
- A daily, non-negotiable meditation practice.
- Practices for calming your nervous systems. In “Happy Days” I lay out countless methods for releasing stress and calming your energy.
In your teachings you focus on the “comeback rate.” What does that mean, and why should people put their focus here?
We don’t have to live in the light all the time. This is something I want to get real about right now because I get asked these kinds of questions a lot. Many people think that if you’re a spiritual teacher, that means you’re enlightened 24/7, that you live this happy-go-lucky life of perfect joy and serenity. And then they wonder what’s wrong with them that they don’t live this way. So let me be very clear: I do not live in the light all the time. I don’t expect you to either. I don’t care how often you pray or meditate. What I care about is your comeback rate. I care about how quickly you come back to love.
The truth is, we all get taken out. We get knocked out of alignment all the time! We all have egos, we stress out, we freak out, we judge, we make mistakes. It happens to you, it happens to me, it happens to everyone. The question is not, How do I live in the light all the time? Because that’s not possible. Instead, the question is, How can I come back to love and feel better fast?
So much of your time is spent helping other people. How do you safeguard your own mental health?
I make self-care a massive priority in my life. I’ve worked hard for decades and now I’m deeply committed to going slow, caring for myself, asking for help, and being unapologetic about my well-being. Meditation, prayer, exercise, sauna, healthy food, and healthy thoughts are my priorities.
For many people, it’s difficult to disconnect ourselves from outside distractions and just be present in the moment. How do you make this possible for yourself ?
I am a sauna junkie! The best way for me to disconnect is to exercise to loud music then hop in the sauna for mediation. I love the power of sweat, and I make it a priority to take the time to detox my mind and body. With each new day comes the chance for new opportunities.
What are you most grateful for and what are you looking forward to in 2022?
I’m most grateful for my husband and son, Oliver. And I’m looking forward to serving readers with my new book, “Happy Days, The Guided Path from Trauma to Profound Freedom and Inner Peace.
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