Authors@Google: Gabrielle Bernstein - Spirit Junkie

Uploaded by AtGoogleTalks on 04.10.2011

>>Alex: So hi everyone, welcome to our Authors@Google series. Today we have Gabby Bernstein. She's
a, according to the New York Times Sunday Style section, she's our next generation guru,
a motivational speaker, a life coach and an author. Her new book is Spirit Junkie, which
you can get for a Google discount of $10 right over there and you can take it away Gabby.
>>Gabrielle Bernstein: Thanks Alex. Hi everybody. [audience murmurs response] Thank you so much
for coming out. I got word this afternoon that it is assessment time at Google, so hopefully
I can calm any nerves that might be happening during assessment time and help you raise
your own personal assessments today. [giggles] But thank you for coming out. Thank you for
showing up. I am out here on my book tour for this new
book, Spirit Junkie, which is my second book. My first book came out in 2010 and it's called
Add More -ing to Your Life -- A hip guide to happiness. Ing, i-n-g, stands for inner
guidance, not the other ING, [chuckles] but it's inner guidance, not the bank. And I've
been practicing and teaching principles for transforming your perceptions and creating
positive changes in your life and I've been teaching this work for the past six years.
And I came to write this second book as a result of many of my readers, my first book
came out and many of the -ing readers came to me and said, we love this book, it's so
prescriptive, it's really helping us, I love taking all this action in my life, but I wanna
know more about how you became the happiest person you know. How did you change your perceptions?
How did you overcome your fears? How did you get over addiction? How did you get over work
addiction, love addiction, drug addiction, all the different things that each of us in
some corner of our life deals with in some way? And so, I, I had to listen to that call
of my readers and I was inspired and guided to write this new book, Spirit Junkie, and
really put my story on paper and be very authentic about who I am and what my experiences have
been so that I could not only be a genuine messenger, but also be a guide for those who
were inspired by my story. So throughout each chapter in every book there is my own personal
anecdotes of how I've experienced my fear-based illusions and how I've transformed them and
within every chapter there's also beautiful guidance, there's tips, which I'm gonna give
you many of them today. And so it's not, it's not just a memoir, it's a memoir-style-guide
book is what I've written, so it gives you this opportunity to soak up someone else's
experience, be inspired by somebody else's story, but in the same moment, take on your
own experience of creating whether it be a spiritual relationship or you could call it
a relationship with your own internal guidance system, or activating your inspiration, or
creating more life flow. A big, a big thing that happens when people
come to my lectures or come to my groups or read my books, is that a common through line
with most of the people that come to me is that they're feeling as though at least one
corner of their life is not flowing naturally. They're feeling like, ok, I think things could
be dialed up a little bit more in my career area, or I have a great relationship to my
finances, but I'm a complete mess in my romantic relationships. Or there's some corner that
feels as though it could be more amplified, it could be more inspired, it could flow more
naturally. Or maybe it's every corner. Many people come to me and they say, across the
board things are tough, I'm in fear. And so all of my work is to help my readers and my
listeners and my audiences learn to shift their perceptions and create change in their
life. And so what I'll do today is I'll give you a little bit of a background about how
I became the happiest person I know, how I became a spirit junkie and then within that
story, I'm gonna give you some guidelines for you to start to do the same. And the purpose
of this book and my, my goal for this book was not to say, ok, here is my story, here
is how I did it, here is how you have to do it. But rather just to create a platform for
you to crack open, to have the willingness to make your own change and to help you create
a relationship, a spiritual relationship or a, an inspired relationship to your own inner
guidance system of your own understanding. So this isn't about you just saying, ok, I'm
gonna take her work and do it my way, it's about you opening up and creating your own
path through the guidance I'll give you. So throughout my experience of writing this
book, I really tell this story of how throughout my life, from adolescence to the present,
I have been hearing this knock on the door, this inspiration, this inner dialogue, this
voice within me that has said, be great, be wonderful, love yourself, have an incredible
life, you can do this, you can have what you desire, you can achieve a life beyond your
wildest dreams. And each of us has that loving voice within us. Each of us has that intuition,
I call it your ing, your inner guide, that loving presence within you that is like, yes,
you rock, you can do this. But at some point in time, most of us at a very young age, we
pick up this negative belief system. We pick up the beliefs of the world, we pick up the
fears of our parents, we pick up the fears of our, of the news, of the people on the
playground, of our teachers. At some point in time we pick up this one negative mad idea,
it becomes like a virus in our mind. And these different limiting beliefs come to each of
us in different ways. For some people it might be just something as simple as maybe your
parents didn't pay attention to you. So you feel 'I'm not good enough because when I was
six my parents didn't pay attention to me'. And this, it could be as simple as this. Or
it could be something much more traumatic that you know, all of us have different pain
experiences throughout our lives. But at some point in time, that negative belief system
is imprinted within our emotional being and we recreate that belief system. We replay
that negative thought pattern. We take that negative thought pattern and bring it into
our present moment and we project it on to the future. And it becomes like this spiral
and we become stuck. We stay cornered in these negative patterns. I'm sure most everyone
in this room in some area in your life feels as though you keep replaying the same crazy
crap over and over and over again. And just get honest with yourself right now. You don't
have to get honest in front of all of your coworkers, but get honest with yourself right
now and just be really clear with yourself of what are the areas where I'm replaying
all that stuff? Where am I saying to myself, I'm not good enough? In what ways am I replaying
that belief system that I picked up as a kid? It's something as simple as 'I'm not feeling
like I can have that career' or growing up with the experience of lack in your home and
then believing in lack and never feeling as though you can make more money. Or seeing
your divorced family and seeing that you know 'I can't have a powerful, loving relationship
because this is what I grew up around'. And so for me this was the case in many different
corners of my life. I was this adolescent girl having an existential crisis and I felt
as though I was really confused when most of my contemporaries were worried about the
prom and you know what they're having for lunch, I cared more about why I was here.
I always had this deep desire to know what is the purpose? What is my purpose? Why am
I here at this time? And there was this, this 16-year old girl and this, this crazy mindset
of what's going on? And as many young people, I experienced a lot of depression. I felt
as though I was just stuck. I felt as though I was misunderstood. And so for me, I grew
up in the suburbs with this Yogi mom and a hippie dad and I turned to my mom for guidance.
I said to my mom, listen, I see you walk into your meditation shrine every day. I hear that
mantra coming through the door. I smell the incense pouring out through underneath the
door. What goes on in that room? I see you go in crazy and I see you walk out calm. What
goes on in that room? I want some of that. And so I said if I want what she has, I gotta
do what she does. And so as a 16-year old girl I turned to my mother and I said, show
me what you got. Give me that meditation practice. Teach me what you're doing. And so my mom
sat my ass down on a meditation pillow [laughs] and she taught me how to meditate. And so
at 16 years old I was desperate. I was willing. I had this deep desire to change. I needed
a solution. And so I allowed my mom's words to come through me, I allowed the mantra to
come through me and I began, at the time, what began my meditation practice. And so
I felt this amazing connection from the beginning stages of my practice. I started to feel that
within five minutes of sitting in stillness and deep breathing and practicing the mantra
that I could actually feel more calm. I witnessed my extremities begin to tingle. I felt like
I was connecting to a much greater energy than the energy that I was just dealing with
on my day to day life. I felt inspired ideas come forward. I felt, most importantly, peace.
I felt a sense of peace, a sense of oneness, a sense of being good enough, a sense of being
understood even though nobody else was around. And so this was a really neat time for me.
It was this beautiful seed that my mom had planted that would then become the catalyst
for many changes in the future. But, like most smart-ass adolescent girls, I thought
that there was a better way. I said, ok, that's cool, I got that now, but there's gotta be
a way better way than this. So I did what most kids do, which is, you know, I rolled
the joint and drank a 40. And I said ok this is, this is the other way. Right? It's something
out there is gonna make me happy. Something beyond me is gonna be my source of peace.
And so for several years, from 16 to about the age of 25, I was on a big search for that
outside source of happiness. I was looking for it in my credentials. I was looking for
it in my relationships. I was looking for it in a pair of shoes.
I was living in New York City when I graduated college and at 21 years old I started a public
relations business representing night clubs. And so I was out there feeling like, ok, now
I have arrived. I had this credential and it says president on my business card and
I'm 21-years old and I am hot shit. Sorry. Can I curse at Google? I'm not sure. [laughing]
I guess so, it's comfortable here. Should've asked that first, right Alex? So meanwhile
I'm sitting here thinking that I'm this great, this great thing because I've got these outside
credentials, I've got this fast-paced New York City lifestyle. I have it made. This
is working for me. Meanwhile, that search became this addiction. Looking for more happiness.
Once I would get that client, I needed more. When I had that relationship, I needed a different
relationship. And I constantly felt like I was this hamster in a wheel, searching and
searching and searching for happiness and inspiration outside of myself. One day at
a time I kept looking further and further and further. By the time I turned 25, I had
a really hardcore revelation that that was not where I was gonna find it. By this point
in my outward search I was emotionally, spiritually and physically bankrupt. I had, I had no real
friends. No strong inspiration. I had found myself really addicted to the New York City
party scene and feeling like that became my home and my lifestyle and that reflected in
some really nasty habits. I also would see myself just up at night doing God knows what.
But in the midst of all this there was still that inspired voice within me. There was that
loving voice, that power voice within me that said, there's something coming. There's something
greater. I'd be up at 3 a.m. at after-hours parties in New York City saying to God knows
who, "I'm gonna be a motivational speaker and a self-help book author." [chuckles] And
somehow I believed me, I really believed this. I intuitively, psychically, knew that there
was this thing coming even though it did not reflect in any form the life that I was living
at that time. And so by the time I turned 25 I thought to
myself, ok, this is not working. Life is not flowing. And that divine moment when I said
to myself, there has to be a better way. I had that moment of surrender. And so this
is the first lesson I'm gonna give you today which is that all you need to make any change
to your life is the deep surrender and the willingness to change. And so I had that.
It was October 2, 2005, at 3:00 in the morning. And I was sitting at home and I was coming
down from God knows what. I was you know late nights whatever it was all of the crazy crap
that I had been putting into my body, all of the terrible ways that I had been living
and I was writing in my journal and I wrote, "God, universe, whoever is out there, I need
a miracle." There has to be a better way. This was the moment that I fully surrendered.
This was the moment that I said, "Show me what you got." I woke up that morning and
I heard a really loud internal dialog. A really strong intuition. It said, "Get your life
clean and you will live beyond your wildest dreams." This loud voice was very authoritative
and very clear and I had no other choice but to listen to that guidance. And so from that
day, October 2, 2005, I have been listening to that voice. And one day at a time I have
been opening up that willingness to be guided to the teachers, the lessons, and all of the
universal guidance that we receive once we become willing to change. And opening my heart
one day at a time to make these shifts within my own life. And so it's that beautiful line
when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. And this is the case for me and I'm
sure it will be for many of you in your life. When once you make that willingness to change,
the book falls off the shelf. Or the teacher shows up in a form that you could have never
imagined. Or you hear something on the radio, or you meet a cab driver or some enlightened
conversation comes into your realm that all of a sudden is that shift that you needed
to make that change and create that catalyst that becomes your greatest accomplishment,
your greatest shift. And so that's all we need at first, is that slight willingness.
That willingness that I had, that desire to change, that moment to shift was all I needed
to become the woman I am today. To live that life beyond my wildest dreams. And so when
I became ready, I opened up and I said, "Ok, I'm ready for change."
But what's beautiful and what is the main purpose of what I teach is that once you make
that decision to change, you do not have to do it by yourself. You cannot be expected
to make these changes on your own. All you need is that slight willingness. With that
willingness you open up and like I said your teacher will be guided to you like a magnet
way faster than you can imagine. And that teacher, I know that Thich Nhat Hanh was here
last week, did you, have many of you, I hope every one of you followed that man wherever
he was on this campus because that was one of my greatest teachers at that time. When
I opened up I read Peace is in Every Step. I would sit there in a subway station. I would
sit on the grass. I would sit wherever I was and I would just read Peace is in Every Step.
That was one of my greatest teachers and so Thich Nhat Hanh became my teacher in the form
of a book. Marianne Williamson, a great spiritual teacher,
became a beautiful guide for me. I would listen to her audio albums like a top-40 hit. And
Marianne teaches a metaphysical text called A Course in Miracles. And it became very clear
to me that the way that she was teaching the course was really something that would resonate
with me deeply. And that many spiritual teachers come to a path that is their guided path to
teach. And it became very, very obvious that I was to be a teacher of these messages. And
so I came to her about a year into my practice of studying the course through her interpretation.
And the Course in Miracles is a, is channeled material, it's metaphysics. It's not, it's
totally non-denominational, but it is the purpose and the message behind A Course in
Miracles is that we need to shift our perceptions to create miraculous change in our life. So
we need to take our fear-based projections and turn them into a more loving, more positive
perspective, so that we can change our thoughts and change our energy and therefore change
our life's experience. And so this is quite simple. Our, our thoughts affect our energy.
And our energy affects everything outside of us. And so what I learned as a student
of A Course in Miracles is that the outside world is a reflection of my internal state.
And A Course in Miracles teaches that projection is perception. So whatever you are projecting
on your internal movie screen, right, I'm not good enough, I'm not good enough, I can't
get that raise, I can't get that raise, I can't get a girlfriend, I can't get a girlfriend,
like you know I suck, I suck, I suck, I suck. Whatever it is. Whatever you're walking around
with, you are projecting onto your life. That internal projection makes perception. Your
internal movie screen is what you are perceiving to be your reality. And so I, I became extremely
conscious of what my internal movie screen was saying. I became extremely aware. That's
the second step I'm gonna give you. I will recap all of this for you, but it's very,
very important to recognize that one of the most powerful tools we have is to become the
witness to our thoughts. And so as a student of this messaging, I came to my teacher, Marianne
Williamson, I went to visit her at a lecture that she was hosting in New York and I raised
my hand in the audience and I said, "Ok, Marianne, how would you suggest I carry this message
to my generation?" And she looked at me and she psychically knew, she said, "Ok, this
is a, this is a job for you, I get this. This is what you're gonna do." And she said, the
book A Course in Miracles is written in three sections, and she said, "Read the text." And
the text is really where you begin to embark on that reconditioning. Where you learn all
the principles throughout the messages of how we choose our fear-based projections.
How we project those fears onto others. How we're unwilling to forgive. All of the different
ways that fear gets us in a headlock. That's what the text guides us to understand. And
then she said, "Do the workbook." This is 365 days of daily meditations, where you begin
to go through a daily practice of reconditioning your thoughts. From fear back to a positive
perspective. And then she said, "Read the teacher's manual. And then ask the universe
God, whatever you talk to, ask God how you, how he plans for you to carry this message
to your generation." And so I did just that. I became a student
of A Course in Miracles and I've been asking ever since, how can I carry these messages?
And most importantly the main message I got was just be the student, be the student, be
the student. As a teacher, my primary purpose is to be a student every day. And what I've
learned in the past six years as a teacher of spirituality, as a teacher of A Course
in Miracles, is that the world is my classroom and people are my assignments. So every single
moment offers me this divine opportunity to go deeper into fear or to strengthen my faith
in love and positivity and a higher level way of being. And so I'm gonna give you some
of the tools that I've been practicing as a spirit junkie in the past six years. I can
give you a greater understanding of how you can take these tools into your personal experiences
immediately. The neat thing that happens when you have that awakening and that moment of
'yes, I'm ready for change' and that teacher shows up and you've been given these tools
is that you can create quantum shifts in your life immediately. The moment that you choose
to shift your perception a miracle occurs. And the miracle is that you feel better. The
miracle is that you raise your energetic thought and therefore raise your energy and then the
world around you starts to vibrate at a different frequency.
So think about it for a second, those of you who have coworkers who walk in, this place
is pretty happy, people. I'm not really too concerned about what's going on here. You
guys are well taken care of, you're well fed. It's sunny outside. But you have those days
when you come into the office and you come in with a really bad attitude, right? Let's
just say you got in late or something's happening at home and you come in and you've got a bad
attitude. When you come in with that bad attitude, I'm assuming that you lower the energy of
those around you. People start to get a little bit negative back to you. Maybe those e-mails
are not coming in as quickly as you want. Maybe you're not figuring out the things that
you need. You're not given the energetic support that you need to show up for this big job
which you all have at your highest capacity. So your low-level thoughts are affecting your
low-level energy and therefore affecting your experience in the job, or your experience
on a date, or your experience in the gym. Whatever it is, however you are functioning
with low-level thoughts, you are affecting low-level energy and therefore affecting your
life's experience. So all of the things that I'm gonna begin to teach you are about how
you can raise your thoughts, have more faith in a higher-level way of thinking and therefore
have, more important, a higher-level way of being, a more enlightened experience, a more
inspired experience. Another part of what this work does is that when we start to shift
our perceptions, when we start to see things with a better perspective, when we start to
see our experiences as obstacles turning into opportunities, or a resentment as a divine
assignment to forgive more or a moment of lack as an opportunity to focus on what we're
grateful for rather than focus on what we don't have. When we start to make these shifts
within our life, what begins to happen is that we begin to have more faith in that way
of being. And so the neat thing that occurs, and this has been my experience the past six
years of practicing the life of a spirit junkie, is that now my choices, my moment to moment
choices, are choosing more of a positive perspective. When there's traffic my first thought is,
ok, I welcome the traffic to go, I start to think about the way, or if I'm supposed to
be late, maybe I'm meant to be there late. Maybe there's something greater coming. Or
if something doesn't happen the exact way that I believe it should happen, I know and
my first thought is, there's something way greater coming. So this is just the types
of miracles that occur and the ways that your mind begins to shift when you start to practice
these principles in your every corner of your life.
And so one of the really neat things that happened for me is that I started to find
really divine guidance throughout my life's experience. And I'll give you one example
of how that guidance starts to come in. When you invite spirit and inspiration into your
life and you start to crack open and start to perceive your ways in a little bit of a
more positive perspective, you start to see a lot of synchronicity show up. And so what
happens is is that synchronicity is always available to us at all times. But our fear-based
thoughts block that synchronicity. We cut off communication with our internal GPS. That
loving voice is always there, it's always working, it's always saying, go to that room,
forgive your boss, they didn't mean to be that way, or choose to see this differently,
or yes, you can have that job. Your loving voice is always ready to bring you that loving
perspective. But the negative voice within us, that chatter of all of that fear-based
beliefs, cuts that communication off. It just cuts it off at the knees. And that communication,
when it's cut off, [claps hands lightly] blocks the synchronistic flow that we are all allowed
and ready to receive at all times. So that synchronicity of wanting that new job and
that perfect employer being sitting next to you on the bus, if you're in a low-level thought,
your energy is lowered, you won't be smiling and that employer can't talk to you. So you're
cutting off the communication. You're cutting off the guidance. So once I opened up to that
guidance, I started to see the synchronicity show up in every form. And often that that
synchronicity, particularly early on, will come in the form of your teachers and your
guides. And so for me I started to witness how I opened up to make these changes in my
life and I was really ready to at this point in my life I had been sober for awhile, I
put down all of the substances. I had started to recover from my work addiction. And I was
recovering from my issues with food stuff. But I was still hung up in my romantic relationships.
It was a really trippy corner of my life. And so I, I turned to my inner guidance system
and I started to surrender again, much like I did on October 2. I said I am willing to
see things differently, I am ready to change. I need another miracle. And so I started to
pray for this miracle and affirmed my desire to change. And so I started to get this guidance
from the universe. And one of my neighbors suggested that I meet this woman named Rha
Goddess. He said there's this really groovy woman, she's out there, she's doing great
work with women, much like what you're doing, you should totally meet her. So I said, ok
that sounds cool. A week later my friend and I are having lunch and she says, "You need
to meet my friend Rha Goddess." I said, "Oh, this is the second time I've heard this, I
guess I should meet this lady." I e-mailed this Rha Goddess, I'm like, 'hey Rha Goddess,
I guess we're supposed to meet and I, I put it out there and she's like, listen, I'd love
to meet. I'm out of the country for most of March, maybe we can meet when I get back'.
I said to her, well, I'm actually leaving the country in March, too, I'm going to visit
this medium in Brazil for a spiritual quest. She said, "Oh, I'm gonna be visiting this
same medium in Brazil the same week that you're there." I said, "Ok, maybe I'll see you in
Brazil, ok." So I go off to Brazil, I don't meet Rha. A week, that, that, on my flight
back from Brazil I'm sitting next to a woman who had been there as well and she says to
me, "Oh, you live in New York. It sounds like you're doing neat work. You should totally
meet this woman. Take this card." Rha Goddess. A week later I'm in New Orleans for Eve Ensler's
V-Day. And I'm looking at the lineup of different speakers and I see 12 noon Rosario Dawson,
and we've got Jane Fonda and then at 2:00 p.m., Rha Goddess. So it became very clear
to me that this woman was going to be some kind of powerful influence in my life in some
form. And so I took the universal memo and I finally found my friend and I said 'ok Rha,
let's meet, let's take some time just to get together. Clearly we are being pushed into
each other's lives, the synchronicity is way too wild. Show me what you got. Let's hang
out.' So we meet up and as I mentioned I was going through a lot of my own personal traumas
at this time. I was, I was coaching, I was teaching, but I was teaching young women how
to release fear in their romantic relationships, but meanwhile I felt like a fraud because
I was feeling completely fearful in that way. And my willingness to change guided me. So
I go and I meet with Rha and I say, listen you know I would love to talk about business
to business, what are you doing? And she begins to tell me instead of talking about business,
she starts telling me about how she called in her romantic partner and her husband and
she started to beam about how she got over all of her fear-based illusions and came to
a place where she was a much more loving perspective and had this amazing relationship with her
husband and was so proud of the work she had done around her romance. And so I said to
her, "Awesome, I want that, that's what I want." And I knew that she had coached people,
so I said, "Do you still coach people?" And she said I only coach a handful of people
a year and they're people that I want to take to the next level. I coach people just like
you. And I said, "Tell me where to sign the check. Where do I sign up?" And she then became
my guide, became my teacher. That slight willingness opened that door for me to be led to the woman
who would be the change maker, who would be the container for me to do all the transformational
work that I needed to do to kick this one fear that had been holding me back, had me
in a headlock for 28 years, and through the work I did with Rha, I was able to release
those chains and now today live in a very free-flowing, incredible way. But this is
just a beautiful example of how when you do become willing, when you invite that spiritual
intervention, when you invite that guidance around you, when you open up the dialog for
that communication, then you can allow that synchronicity to pour into your life and guide
you to the right people, guide you to the right book, guide you to the right lecture,
guide you to the right bookstore, wherever you need to be to be led to your greatest
teacher who will be the catalyst for your change.
And so my hope for you today, my goal for you today, was to open up your mind to start
to see the corners of your life where things aren't flowing naturally. To take a little
magnifying glass and say, "Things could be more clear here. I could be happier in this
area of my life. I could have more flow over here. I'd like to see things differently here."
And start to open up and become willing to make that change. And so much like myself
I want to be very clear this, this shift does not require a lot of work out there. It requires
a commitment in here. It requires a daily intention. The world around us gives us plenty
of opportunities to think and feel crazy fear. Right? All we have to do is just turn on the
news. All we have to do is sometimes show up to the office and then that fear just comes
down upon us. Not here at Google, but in other offices. It's not so fearful here, it's pretty
groovy. People are riding bikes and you know, doing whatever. But, but in general we have
a lot of chaos that we need to, we wake up in the morning and it's like we got to put
on our armor because walking out the door is gonna give us another opportunity to have
fear in front of us. And so we have a lot of work to do to overcome these fear-based
projections. And so the first step for each of you is just to become willing to see things
differently. And so much like myself, I hope for all of you to become conscious and aware
of the ways in which your limiting beliefs, your fear-based projections, your negative
thoughts are holding you back. How are they keeping you small? How are they keeping you
stuck? How are they lowering your energy? How is your negative energy affecting your
life's experience? Right? How are you when you show up on that date and you're like,
"I hate going on dates. I suck at dates." Right? Is that really attractive? Not really,
right? [giggles] I don't think that's very attractive. Or, you know, you show up and
you're trying to get your review and you're going in for your review and you're like,
oh my God, oh my God, I suck, I suck. You're not supporting your employer wanting to raise
you up, right? You need to raise yourself up if you want the world to reflect that back
to you. Remembering that the outside world is a reflection of our internal state and
if we want to have the world support us, we have to support ourselves. And so we have
to support ourselves with our thoughts first and foremost. So I hope for each of you to
take a little brief moment of this story of my experience of how I chose that other way,
I lived in that way of fear and projection and then I chose to see things differently.
Now one of the greatest tools I've been using throughout my practice is the practice of
meditation and prayer. Now prayer can be for you something as simple as setting an intention.
It could be your little alarm clock on your Android that comes up in the morning and says,
I choose to have a good day today. I choose to see things in a positive perspective. Whatever
it may be, just setting a positive intention daily is a massive part of this practice.
Meditation. How many of you practiced meditation with Thich Nhat Hanh? Did you guys get a chance
to do that? I'm so happy, I'm so jealous. So hopefully you learned something from him.
Maybe you can take something from him. But throughout my book every chapter has a guided
meditation. I created a meditation album to accompany this book. So having a guided meditation
practice often when you're, if you're a meditation newbie and you've never meditated before,
find a guide, whether it be me, go on to iTunes and just Google guided meditation. I'll come
up, other teachers will come up, Thich Nhat Hanh will come up, Jack Kornfield will come
up, Sharon Salzburg, all these beautiful teachers. Let these teachers just lead you. Allow that
guidance to open up your right brain, which is your creative capacity. The part of each
of you that's gonna have the inspired ideas that will keep the interweb moving, right?
We need you people to be inspired. And to have that loving voice just present in your
life. And that when we sit in stillness for five minutes a day, I'm gonna prescribe to
each of you five minutes a day for the next thirty days. Just give yourself five minutes
of stillness. You live in a beautiful environment. You can probably go to your backyard, sit
outside somewhere, sit on campus somewhere here for five minutes, sit in the sun, listen
to your favorite song, listen to a guided meditation, listen to Thich Nhat Hanh, listen
to the voice of a teacher that guides you and just allow yourself to tune in to your
power energy. Activate that loving presence within you. And all it needs, all that this
requires, is five minutes of stillness. And so give yourself that. Give yourself that
moment of 'I choose to see things differently'. Maybe you do set your alarm in the morning
that says I choose to see things differently. And just allow yourself to awake into another
perspective. And then also just most importantly, start to focus on the good stuff as many people
like to say in this business. Focus on what is enlightening to you. Focus on what you
do have. Focus on all of the resources in front of you. Whenever you get into a mindset
of lack, say I have the most awesome job on the planet, which you all have a great job,
right? I have beautiful employees, I have great lunch, whatever it is. Just focus on
the amazing things. And what happens when gratitude is our attitude is that we raise
the energy again and that energy raises our life's experience. So start to pay attention
and focus on the good stuff. And be conscious in every moment of your day when those limiting
beliefs come in, when those negative thoughts show up and be very aware to not judge your
fear-based thoughts with more fear. Be very gentle with yourself when you begin this process
of paying attention to your thoughts, because at first you might be like, oh, my God, I
only think fear all the time. This is a mess. I can't get over this. I'll never ever get
over this, right? But rather than doing that, just start to pay attention of, just witness,
as Eckhart Tolle says, he says, "Be the witness to the thinker." So just witness the thoughts
very gently. Be kind and forgiving to yourself. I like to say practice the f-word, the forgiveness.
And really allow yourself to be really present with that forgiveness practice of really being
kind to yourself, being gentle with your thoughts, saying, well, of course I had that negative
thought. I've been thinking that thought for 30 years, but you know today I'm gonna choose
to see things differently. And be very very kind when you embark on this process.
And then a major tool that I want to leave you with is that you can begin to practice
the f-word in all of your affairs and start practicing forgiveness as often as you can.
When we carry a resentment towards someone it's like drinking poison. We are the one
who carries around that negative belief system. We are the one who just keeps harboring that
negativity. And we take that negative fear-based experience and we bring it into the present
moment and we project it onto all the, all the other relationships that we have. That
employer who fired us at some point we bring that into the new job. We create the opportunity
to be fired again. That relationship that was negative, we bring that into the new romantic
relationship and we create more chaos in every corner there. So be conscious of how your
resentments are holding you back and become clear and ready and willing to let them go.
And so the practice of forgiveness can be very scary for people and so there's three
simple steps I'll leave you with. And one of them is to become willing to forgive, witnessing
who you need to forgive and be willing to forgive. The second step is to become conscious
of your side of the street. How have you been participating in your negative resentment?
Maybe you're participation is that you've been unwilling to forgive. Maybe your participation
is that you had some negative stuff that you did, too. But be very conscious to clean up
your side of the street. Forgive yourself for whatever you did, but be aware of your
part. And then the third step is to surrender and be willing to forgive daily. All you have
to do in this third part is just to say to yourself every morning, every night, 'I choose
to release you, I choose to forgive you'. Whether it be yourself, whether it be another
person, whether it be an institution, whoever you or whatever you are willing to let go
of. Say 'I choose to forgive you, I choose to release you'. And practice that mantra.
Whenever that fear-based projection comes up, just set that intention one more time.
'I choose to forgive you, I choose to release you'. And that moment when you make that decision,
the moment that you affirm your desire to forgive, you awaken that inner guidance system.
You reconnect with that voice and you can be guided once again to the teachers, the
assignments and all the things that you need to allow that forgiveness process to occur.
And you don't have to figure it out anymore, you just have to be willing and surrender
it and allow the universe to show you what she's got, ok? So that's, that, these are
just some different tips throughout the book that I've given you now, just to give you
a broad overview of the different ways that I have been practicing the life of a spirit
junkie in changing my own perceptions. And so today I do live a life beyond my wildest
dreams. Today my job is to come and hang out at Google on an afternoon on Friday and be
with people like yourself and carry these messages. Today I live an inspired life. Today
I feel intuitive guidance all the time. All of my hang ups have melted away. All of the
things that I feel I need I know they're coming or greater. And I allow this work to just
grow and expand naturally because I live inspired. And so I hope for each of you to find a way
throughout your life's experience to awaken your -ing, your inner guidance system, and
start to practice the spirit junkie way. And start to welcome your own perceptual shifts
one moment at a time. So before we take some questions, I'm just
gonna wrap up with, I like to, at the end of all my book lectures, just read the last
page and a half of the book, to just give you sort of an insight as what happens once
you start to live as spirit junkie. So here we go. [pause] "Constant contact with spirit
got me here. When it came time to conclude this book, I found myself putting it off.
I wanted to savor the last chapter, take my time, and allow the words to pour through
me. And I did just that. I waited. I revisited all the chapters leading up to this point.
Reflecting on the pages of this book I was astounded to find that I didn't even realize
what I had created. There were stories and sentences that seemed as though they'd come
from a higher source. I kept thinking, 'I don't remember writing this.' This experience
was a sure sign that I had done good. I'd truly allowed spirit to enter into the process
and guide me. Clearly I hadn't over thought the contents of the book, but rather allowed
the work to flow creatively from my inside out. This book is an extension of my spirit
and all the inner guidance that I choose to work with. By listening to this guidance I've
enjoyed every second of the writing process. I've healed more, learned more and loved more.
I've deepened my relationship with spirit throughout the collaborative effort to create
this book for you. Throughout my process of creating this work, I felt a presence by my
side. Often a rush of energy would pour through my hands. Inspired ideas would come to me
in the middle of the night. Human guidance was always present and new assignments led
to authentic content. Each moment of the process has been guided and I hope you felt the presence
of a power greater than me pour off each page. Each word, thought and sentence is infused
with spirit's love. Together let's say thank you. We thank the infinite loving universe
and the beautiful spirit that flows through each of us. We thank spirit for your guidance,
your inspiration, your lessons and your support. We thank you for reminding us to have faith
in love. With endless love and gratitude, I send you off with the spiritual connection
of your own understanding. A connection that will be yours to grow and share with the world,
an everlasting companion on your miraculous journey in word. May you release your fear,
have faith in spirit, expect miracles and always listen to your inner guide." So I will
leave you with that. I will take any questions if anyone has them related to anything. I
wonder, any questions? Looking at you. Do you have a question?
>>Gabrielle Bernstein: Somebody's gotta have some kind of question. I know you're in your
office. Yes?
>>male #1: [inaudible]
>>Gabrielle Bernstein: What was that?
>>male #1: How much we have achieved [inaudible]
>>Gabrielle Bernstein: Through meditation, yes.
>>male #1: [inaudible]
>>Gabrielle Bernstein: I love this question. Thank you for this question. So, yes, there
is a dramatic shift that occurs when you have a meditation practice. I one day at a time
began to expand that practice. And it's much like going to the gym. So it's like when you
first start working out, you feel, you're sore and it's uncomfortable and you kind of
hate going, but the more you go the more it becomes second nature, the more you enjoy
the practice, the more it becomes part of who you are. And so that was my experience
with meditation. And so one day at a time, I grew this practice which was 5 minutes,
10 minutes, 20 minutes. Eventually I would get to a place where I could sit for an hour
and just be in stillness and what would happen for me was that I would lose track of time.
Time became irrelevant and I would open up that right brain and I could create images
in my mind. I could start to have inspired ideas come forward, sort of psychic projections
in many cases, knowing, seeing things like if I was working on a project I would hear
a strong intuition that would say, role model, or say word or something would come through
in my writing. And these conscious moments of divine inspiration became my greatest,
my next right action in my career or became a relationship I needed to be guided into.
So what happened was I opened up this creative capacity to experience that guidance and most
importantly, I began to experience tremendous flow within my life. I started to feel at
ease. So today because of my practice I wake up with a tremendous amount of ease. I wake
up and I feel good. And in those moments when I feel out of center and off kilter, I know
how to tune back in. So for five minutes I can just go sit in stillness and breathe,
set some positive intentions and be back in that centered state. So it's really what happens
when you have a meditation practice is that you learn how to recalibrate your energy in
any moment and knowing that this is your greatest tool, your body, your being, your energy,
your spirit is your greatest asset and through meditation you can begin to learn how to tune,
that dial that up, like tune into the frequency of a loving presence on a moment to moment
basis. So the best gift that any of you could give yourselves in this world is the practice
of meditation. May you find it, I hope you do. Anybody else? I knew, I had a feeling
that you guys might be a little quiet and introspective, but that's ok. So, so listen,
if there are any more questions, I would love to take them. Yes, Christine.
>>Christine: [inaudible] So I actually know Gabby, we're friends, but I have to ask this
question because I know that you were like the book launch and you were traveling around
and you have a lot of stress in your life right now and I'm [inaudible] would be a lot
of stress trying to juggle lots of things, so I'm just curious like what you're doing
right now to keep your energy level up and you know be able to do all the things that
you're doing, [inaudible] all the things that your doing besides just meditation that any
one of us could, you know, bring into our lives.
>>Gabrielle Bernstein: Great question. Yeah. So what am I doing to manage my stress levels
right now? You know in general in any area of your life but especially being on a book
tour and traveling a lot or whatever. And for each of you having high-powered jobs,
all the things you have to deal with, manage. For me there's, there's several different
way that I stay in tune, like I mentioned, where I stay calibrated into a loving frequency.
The first way obviously is through my meditation practice. The second way is through that conscious
contact with my inner guidance system. So it's consciously speaking, maybe it's an internal
dialog, maybe sometimes it's saying it out loud, maybe sometimes setting an intention
by writing it in, in a notebook. But consciously setting the moment to moment intention to
stay centered. To be in the moment. To be ok with whatever is right in front of me.
If I start thinking about all of the cities that I have to visit in the next ten days
or in the next three weeks, I will go nuts. But focusing on what it is, what's my next
right action today? What is right in front of me? I'm really focusing into the present
moment. And being in that present moment allows me to just be cool. I'm here at Google. I
mean this is awesome. I can't be here with you guys worrying about where I'm gonna be
next weekend. Then I cannot be present with you. Then that stress level does get raised.
Then I am not my authentic truth, I am not my highest service and I'm not being me. So
focusing on the moment to moment situations. And then most importantly practicing forgiveness
in all of the areas of my life. Because if I start getting resentful at others then I
lower my energy, I get sick, I cannot support what I need to do. So when I get pissed off
because the airplane isn't on time or I get mad because I'm not getting the feedback that
I need to from my publicist or whatever it is, I practice the f-word. So I will say you
know that gentle moment of I choose to forgive you, I choose to release you and let go of
whatever it is that I need to just let go of because I cannot focus on that negative
stuff if I want to live and be this beautiful container to do this work. And each of you
have massive, massive jobs and you must keep your channel, your instrument clear so that
you can hold that work, feel good, be balanced and have a vibrant life at the same time.
So those are some of the tools I use.
>>Christine: And stop, drop and meditate.
>>Gabrielle Bernstein: Yes, yes, yes, that's a good one. So, so I have this moment where
I stop, drop and meditate. If I have these moments where I'm feeling like I'm all over
the place and my message to myself is stop, drop and meditate. And it's you know just
go wherever you are, sometimes I'll go into a bathroom and I'll just shut the stall and
I'll say, "I choose to release this" and I'll breathe for five minutes or five breaths,
five deep breaths. A powerful meditation is just breathing into your feelings. Just identifying
wherever you might be holding on to any discomfort. Join me in that right now. Everybody shut
your eyes for a minute. Shut your eyes. You wanted to meditate, let's meditate, ready?
Ok, so shut your eyes and sit up straight. Uncross your legs. Put your palms facing upward.
And just take a deep breath in your nose and breathe out your mouth. And just identify
any area in your body where you might be holding on to any discomfort or anxiety and gently
breathe into that space. Allow yourself to be present with whatever is coming up for
you. And on the exhale, release. Continue this cycle of breath, of breathing deeply
in to that space in your body where you might be holding on to any discomfort, expand your
feelings. Allow yourself to be present with that emotion and on the exhale have a beautiful
sigh of relief. Just let it go. Take a deeper breath in, just expanding, feeling and allowing
yourself to be present in that experience. And on the exhale, release it even deeper.
Take another deep, deep, deep breath in, just honor, allow, accept whatever you are experiencing
in this moment and take one last deep breath and then release and when you're ready, open
your eyes to the room. You feel a little bit better anybody? A little lighter? Yeah, I'm
getting yeses, yes. That was 60 seconds. Right? Sixty seconds. I just tuned a lot of you up,
right? You guided yourself. And so that power of just feeling your feelings, just being
present with whatever is coming through you. Just allowing yourself to open up that way
of being, to open up your heart and just be present with whatever you're feeling. A really,
a really important message of being a spirit junkie is that, is not that we have to be
happy all the time. Part of being really happy is being ok with our unhappiness, being ok
with our difficult feelings, being accepting and comfortable being uncomfortable sometimes.
And that's part of being a happy person is just allowing your emotions to be this beautiful
rainbow of emotions, allow them to come in, allow them to shift and constantly work to
recalibrate back to that place of happiness. And this is a practice that takes time and
it takes commitment. And so I hope for you all, I hope for you all to just really awaken.
Yes, one more question, good.
>>male #2: I realize [inaudible] ask a writer this question,
>>Gabrielle Bernstein: Cool.
>>male #2: but in your, you know, journey here as far as what part do you find actually
write pen to paper plays and is it mandatory you know for meditation and [inaudible]
>>Gabrielle Bernstein: Yep.
>>male #2: being present but will we find it's required work to put pen to paper?
>>Gabrielle Bernstein: Yeah, yeah, so great question. So is it required to put pen to
paper as having a spiritual practice? Yes. So in my first book, Add More -ing to Your
Life, I had three steps in thirty days for every chapter. So the ing equation is rethinking,
moving and receiving times 30 days equals changing. Ok? So the rethinking was the positive
thoughts and the moving was physical activity, so combining those two, followed by meditation.
Every meditation I followed with what I called an -ing write, an inspired writing exercise,
it's just free writing. Just stream of conscious writing. One of the most powerful tools you
can do when you begin to awaken this presence of your inner guidance system is to just stream
of conscious writing exercises. Just get a notebook. A clean beautiful notebook, and
allow your pen to flow. Allow that inspired voice to come forward. Sometimes you hear
it, but the best way to connect often can be to just write it out. So yes, if you do
start your meditation practice, I would strongly suggest that you have a notebook by your side
and when you come out of that meditation, just give yourself five to ten minutes of
stream of conscious writing exercises and so much will come forward. Thoughts that you
may not have ever let come through. Don't just jump out of your meditation and pick
up your Android, ok? Come out of your meditation and write for ten minutes and just let it
marinate and let that inspired movement come through you naturally and put it on the page
and know that that is beautiful direction. So that's a great, great point. Thank you
for bringing that up. Yeah? Cool, yes.
>>male #3: Earlier you mentioned about using meditation to recondition your thought. Can
you give an example for that? How to do it?
>>Gabrielle Bernstein: Sure, sure. So how do we use meditation to recondition our thoughts?
So what happens when we meditate is that we, we tune in to that creative part of our brain,
we tune in to that and a more relaxed state occurs, right? So interestingly enough what
happens is is that we start to raise that feeling vibration, but even if that negative
thought continues to come in, the best thing to do when you sit with that thought is to
not try to push it away. Just allow it to be present in your meditation. Allow it to
come in. Allow it to leave. Allow it to come back. Allow it to leave. We start to get into
this place of like trying to push the negative thought away and change the thought proactively,
we create more negativity around it. It's kind of like, you know, fighting with a barking
dog. It's like you gotta just let the dog freak out, right? So the, the, the process
of sitting in stillness, that chatter of voice in your mind will show up. It will be so loud,
it will be so present, it will be, it will want to come in. You'll feel a little good
then it'll come really, really loud. And so the main thing I suggest for you is just to
let it be with you. Just let that voice be part of the experience. The same way you might
be listening to the sounds in the room, you can listen to the sound of that negative voice
and just allowing it to be with you the same way you allow that uncomfortable feeling to
be with you allows it to come in and allows it to go. But when you try to push against
it, it's like pushing against the stream. You can't, you'll get bulldozed over, ok?
So just allow it to be with you. And what you'll start to recognize is when you start
to deepen that connection and that communication to your loving voice, you will have less faith
in that fearful voice. And that is how the transformation occurs. So you'll have less
faith in that voice. Now in my guided meditation albums, I also guide you to new perceptions.
So I'll say, ok, imagine yourself in a loving place. I'll take you on a journey through
your mind so that you have that guidance. And that's a lovely way too, because sometimes
your inner guide is not strong enough yet to lead the way, so you can have a loving
guide lead you down a beautiful path and help you create this inspired vision that will
help you transform those thoughts. Yes. Any other questions? [pause] Ok. So I'm gonna
hang out at Google. I'm gonna stick around. If anyone has questions for me, feel free
to come up and we can chat. And if anybody buys a book, I'm happy to sign it for you.
Alex, anything else? Do you wanna ask anything? You good?
>>Alex: Ok.
>>Gabrielle Bernstein: It was a real pleasure to be with you guys, thank you so very much.
Thanks for showing up for yourselves today. Thanks for showing up for your spirit junkie
mentality and I hope you all take even, if you take one thing I mentioned today. If you
take one exercise, one message, I can guarantee miraculous shifts. If you apply one shift,
one thought, expect miracles. Thank you very much.