Miracles Now interview with New York Times bestselling author Gabrielle Bernstein.

Tell us about your new book, Miracles Now.

I love this book and I’m so psyched to share it with you. Miracles Now helps readers lessen stress and find peace—FAST! I handpicked 108 techniques to combat our most common problems—from addiction and anxiety to burnout and resentment. The exercises are inspired by some of my greatest spiritual teachings. Throughout the book, I offer up spirit-based principles, meditations and practical tools to help readers bust through blocks to live with more ease. I break down each technique Spirit Junkie style—with meditations, assessment questions and step-by-step guidance—while incorporating lessons from the metaphysical text A Course in Miracles and Kundalini yoga. This book is meant for the busy, stressed person who simply wants to feel better fast.

How is Miracles Now different from all of your other books?

Each of my books has a unique format but a shared intention, which is to offer readers tools for releasing all the blocks to their true happiness and peace. Miracles Now shares that core intention through 108 short exercises that can be done anywhere, any time. This book is less self-reflective and more action oriented. I want it to put people into practice immediately so they can experience Miracles Now!

What made you write this book? image

I write my books based on what I feel my readers need. I realized that so many people have packed schedules and lots to do, but they want to carve out a little time each day to create positive change and find peace in ways that are easy to follow and put into practice. In addition, I continuously witnessed my audience members and social media followers ask me for more practical tools to release their stress and boost their moods. People want to get to work and they want to feel better fast. This book is my response to that call.

The higher purpose of this book is to contribute to a greater global change. I believe that when more and more people begin to feel better, the positive collective energy supports the energy of the world. I believe that it is our collective energy that can save the world. This is the higher purpose for Miracles Now. I reinforce the book’s mission in its introduction:

Right now we’re in a special and powerful position, because the world is having a spiritual awakening. When energy speeds up there is no space for playing small, and nothing can remain hidden. At some point all lies are brought to the surface and truth comes forth no matter how hard we try to hide it. Cynics are filling the yoga studios and the spiritual choir is growing larger. There is a massive call for more lightworkers, and now is our time to rise up and bring more positivity to the world. When the masses begin to vibrate with an energy of love, the world will no longer be a container for war, violence and lies.

There are great Kundalini meditations throughout the book. Can you tell us more about them?

For this book I chose twelve of the most powerful Kundalini meditations for shifting your mood, changing your energy and reducing stress. I was mindful to include meditations that are easy for newcomers as I expect many of my readers may be new to meditation. A great meditation for beginners is what I’ve nicknamed Peace Is in Your Pulse. It improves your concentration and brings calm to even the most scattered mind.

Sit in Easy Pose (comfortably cross-legged on the floor) with a slight neck lock, which means your chin slightly down and your neck is straight.

Lightly close your eyes and focus on the space between your eyebrows (the third-eye point).

The mantra is Sat Nam (which means “truth identified”).

The hand position (mudra) is simple. Place the four fingers of your right hand on your left wrist and feel your pulse. The fingers are in a straight line, lightly pressed on the wrist so you can feel your pulse in each fingertip.

On each beat of your pulse, mentally hear the sound of Sat Nam.

This meditation is suggested for 11 minutes, but you can experience great benefits in just one minute. Practice it daily to develop your intuition and calm your mind.

imageWho is this book for?

This book is for anyone who wants to create positive change in their life. If you’re stressed out, anxious, fearful, stuck or simply ready to play bigger in your life, this book is for you.

If you have the slightest willingness to feel better, this book is for you.

It doesn’t matter where you are on your spiritual path. You can be a dedicated yogi with a 20-year practice, a hardcore cynic who thinks this stuff is woo-woo, or anywhere in between: No matter what, you’ll benefit a lot from these teachings. What’s most exciting about the book is that you can simply use one of the exercises on a daily basis and it WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE. I say that with conviction.

How should the reader use the book?

This book is fun and interactive. You can read it from start to finish and soak up the concepts, but there are other ways to approach it. I feel that book can also act like a tarot deck. You can set an intention for yourself and then open the book to any page. Mark my words: You will ALWAYS get the guidance you need most in that moment.

I think the best way to use this book is to surrender to the exercises. Let your intuition guide you through each page. When you land on exercise that excites you, DO IT. Practice it for 40 days and master it. Then share it! These tools are meant to be shared. The last lesson in the book is that you are the guru. Miracles Now  empowers you with life-changing tools that you can share with the world. When these tools become yours, they are yours to share.

What are the spiritual teachings that influenced the lessons in the book?

As a student and teacher of A Course in Miracles and Kundalini yoga and meditation, it has become my mission to translate these life-changing spiritual truths for all seekers. A Course in Miracles is a metaphysical self-taught curriculum based on the principle that when we choose love over fear we experience miraculous change. The Course emphasizes the practice of turning our fears over to the care of our inner guide and places strong emphasis on forgiveness. The Courseteaches us that through the experience of forgiveness we will know true peace.

Kundalini is the yoga of awareness, which focuses on enhancing one’s intuition and strengthening the energy field. Kundalini aims to draw forth the creative potential of an individual to have strong values, be truthful and focus on compassion and consciousness.

It is a great honor to share the principles of both A Course in Miracles and Kundalini throughout this book. These tools helps the reader release everything that blocks their connection to their inner power. When you practice these techniques, fear melts away, inspiration springs up, and a sense of peace sets in. Most importantly, you build a relationship to the power within you — and this power connection is essential. The power I speak of is your connection to love. The more we tune into our own frequency of love, the more love will spread. When love is the trend there is no room for violence and war. Trust me when I say: Your practice is crucial in the awakening of the world. Each person’s energy matters.

In the book you use social media in a really cool way. Can you share about this? image

I love this part! I boiled down each lesson into a 140-character description — or Miracle Message — which can be tweeted, pinned on Pinterest, posted on Facebook, or shared on Instagram. Each Miracle Message ends with the hashtag #MiraclesNow so readers can connect, share miracles and spread inspiration. And e-book readers can share right from their devices.

If any readers want to share the instagram/Pinterest quotes from the book they can download them here.

How can we become a Miracle-Worker?

The moment you invite miracles into your own life you become a miracle worker. It’s as though you accept a spiritual invitation to live a life beyond the fear and doubt that you once knew. Stay committed to your desire to live in love and strengthen your faith in miracles. Then share your story with those who are in need. Your miraculous story has the power to save lives.

Share with us your journey and how it led to where you are now.

In my early twenties I ran a nightlife PR firm in NYC. On the outside everything looked great, but on the inside I was a mess. I was seeking happiness, security and self-worth outside of myself. I regularly stayed up till 5 or 6 a.m. partying, and thanks to cocaine I weighed about 98 pounds. My friends had tried an intervention, but it didn’t work. Then, one night, I finally let it go. I wrote in my journal, “I need help. God, Universe, whoever is out there … I surrender.” The next morning, October 2, 2005, I woke up to a loud inner voice that said, “Get clean and you’ll have everything you want.” I knew I had no other choice than to listen.

I am happy it happened the way it did. I found God in my own way. I got clean. My conscious surrender was when I asked for help in my journal. I received an answer right away, and I have been sober since that day. I was desperately looking for happiness, and I was seeking everything good—peace and happiness—outside of myself.

For the past eight years I’ve been on a powerful journey inward, expanding my intuition and shifting my perceptions of the world. Through my own personal journey I have been guided to teach others to do the same.

What can people attending your London workshop on 1stNovember expect?

I’m so excited for this workshop on my birthday! I’ll be sharing amazing techniques and tools that will help you overcome fear and live in the light. We will invite peace in through guided Kundalini meditations, and there will be a live Q&A discussion to work through the blocks preventing you from living your authentic truth. You can see a video message from me talking more about the workshop here.

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Love.

I have collected love stories for as long as I can remember. Everyone you meet has a fresh tale to tell.

Only one thing I have found to be certain, there is no such thing as the perfect relationship. Why? It’s simple, we are all fallible.

There are those who make it look easy, and sometimes it is. But, there are always moments of uncertainty. The perfect house, the perfect car, beautiful children, nothing is ever as perfect as it looks. And nor could it be.

There are those who are trapped, doomed to make the same mistakes over and over again. Often out of fear, they spend precious moments fooling themselves.

I am not enough. This must be normal. We only argue because we’re so passionate. He does really love me, despite the way he treats me. I won’t ever find anyone else. I am scared to be alone.

Sound familiar? We all know such stories. Maybe we are one.

So, how do you know you are with the right person?

Passion surely can’t be sustainable without real substance behind it. With so much emphasis on “true love”, “soul mates” and “The One”, it is no wonder so many of us hold on to unrealistic expectations which blind us from what we actually have. Complicated, isn’t it.

I have made too many mistakes to tell. Always out of fear. Rejection and lack of self worth have dragged me down to the depths of doom. My graveyard of fuck ups is full to bursting.

I have been so desperate to avoid mistakes I have only gone on to make new ones. I have drooled over social media, idolising those with seemingly perfect lives. I have failed in so many ways that it made it almost impossible to see the truth.

Love is the person who believes in you no matter what. It’s in the blink of eyes that says more than any words could. It puts a bucket in front of you when you are sick, and a smile on your face with the worst jokes.

Love isn’t always obvious. Sometimes it creeps up on you in unexpected ways. It makes you realise how much more you have to learn. That you are selfish, and shallow at times, but it still holds you when you are at your worst.

Love is the glimmer in the darkest moments. The missing piece of you. It is not materialistic. It is compromise and communication. It is facing your fears together. It dwindles and it reignites. It is the connection you have been longing for. It is everyday life at its most mundane and the moments you will always treasure.

Love is different for us all.

What is it to you?

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An Education

Expect the unexpected, isn’t that what they say?

Before I left to come travelling I was at breaking point. Work had worn me down more than ever before. I had kept myself so busy with the routine of life I had lost perspective on what was really important. I buried my head in the sand in order not to face certain truths.

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Sometimes we outgrow our goals and misplace our priorities, it’s just not so easy to see it until you step back. Sometimes we realise only too late.

I wanted the cliché. To come away and find myself. I was mistaken. I didn’t need to find what was right in front of me, I just needed the mirrors that this time away has put before me.image

I have seen so many incredible things so far on this trip, too many to put into words. Everyday I have been reminded how fucking big and beautiful this world is. The one consistent thing is people. Everywhere we go they all have phones, even up in the highest mountains. From the biggest chauvinist pig (ever) to the kindest couple filled with excitement for the arrival of their first child, and everyone in betweeimagen. People are all the same wherever you go. Amazing.

It makes you appreciate those around you that much more. Past, present and future.

I thought I was really strong but now I realise I was just faking. No one is as strong as I have been perceived. The truth is we do our best, sometimes we get it wrong. The important thing is to accept the consequences of our actions, and as a wise and beautiful friend keeps reminding me, ask yourself this:

What have I learnt from this? What has it taught me?

The lessons I have learnt so far have been:

Life is an experience, and the experience is a lesson. What we take away from it is up to us.
I didn’t need to come half way around the world for an adventure, I am living it everyday.
I have made decisions for the wrong reasons.image
I really did break my own heart.
I needed time and space to reassess my goals and priorities.
Sometimes you’re so desperate for a wee you can go behind a bus, in the middle of the motorway, piss on yourself and not care. Degrading? Yes.
You can give the perception that all is well when the reality is the exact opposite.
Work should never consume you as much as it has me.
When you have had a really shit 24 hours the most basic of rooms is a palace.
The kindness of strangers will never cease to amaze me.
Real gratitude rocks you to the core.
Authenticity isn’t always easy. We often forget who we are, don’t accept who we are, and neglect to be true to who we are.

May tomorrow teach me more, yesterday always stay with me, and today… Today I will just take as it comes.

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Come What May

This month Magpies and Ladders celebrates its first birthday. Had someone told me just a few years ago that I would have a successful blog, which thousands of you have visited in the first year, I would never have believed you. I am truly grateful for all the support I have received, it has taken my breath away.

When I started writing this time last year I had no idea what I was doing. Having successfully navigated through the technical challenges I held my breath and wrote about the first thing that came up. I had no idea where it would lead I just knew I had to go for it. Isn’t that what life is all about, letting go and taking a leap of faith. Surely doing something is better than doing nothing at all.

We quote inspiring statements, secretly dreaming of the things we wish we could do and the lives we want to live. We so often make excuses. There’s no time. No money. It’s too scary. But, what are we really waiting for? Circumstances will always conspire against us in one way or another. Maybe there is never enough time or money. However, if we really believe that then do we not become victims of our own making?

Life really is what we make it. I see it everyday. Incredible people are not just chasing their dreams but living them. Why can’t you too? Things don’t necessarily turn out how we expect and life frequently changes its path for us all. Imagine for a second that you were living everyday doing what makes you happy. Nice, huh? What can you do today to start to make that happen? Imagine all the barriers melting away along with your fears. You can do anything you want.

Seven years ago I planned a trip to South East Asia. I had everything mapped out. It never happened. Life changed direction. I was still ill. It was not my time. Today I am flying out to Vietnam to spend a month travelling with a best friend throughout the country and Cambodia. It really is a dream come true. I never let go. I knew that seven years ago was not the right time but that I would get there one day. Now is my time.

Through the extreme highs and devastating lows of my life I have never given up on my dreams. From a First Class Honours degree to a job I love, and from seeing the world to a happy home. And, here I am today writing this and preparing for a new adventure. I am adamant that it is my belief in life being what we make it that has got me here today. I believe that all of us can live the lives we dream of.

Come what may, your life is the life you choose. Enjoy it!

 

 

Let’s talk… Stop Fighting Food with Isabel Foxen Duke

I have always had an unhealthy relationship with food. Binge eating and bulimia plagued me throughout my teens and later in life. Slimming pills. Fasting. Weight Watchers. Lighter Life. You name it, I have tried it. I received treatment for an eating disorder in my early twenties. Whenever my mental state spiralled bad habits would creep back.

While I have been okay for a while now, I still struggle at times. Emotional Eating is not my friend. Feeling down, hello ice-cream! Feeling good, a reward of pizza. I am shit at planning my meals. Logically I know what I should be eating, when I should be eating and how I should be eating. Reality tells a different story.

Last week I was introduced to Stop Fighting Food with the gorgeous and inspiring Isabel Foxen Duke. I watched her first video immediately. Everything she said resonated with me. I for one can not take being held hostage by the food crazies any more! Let me ask you this…

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Meet Isabel Foxen Duke.

How has your own personal journey influenced your work?

My work has been almost entirely influenced by my personal journey, in addition to the personal journeys of my clients. I struggled with food — both “undereating,” “overeating,” and all the mental tyranny that goes with those things for many years, before finding my way out. While I’ve learned from many, many teachers over the years, I do not share information that has not made a personal difference in my life and my relationship with food — I feel it would be dishonest to do so.

How does your work help others?

I give women a way out of the crazy. The degree to which women are ruled by food (again, both undereating and overeating, and constantly trying to “manage” food) is totally epidemic. Most people don’t realize how debilitating it really is for the average woman. The “food noise” in the US and increasingly around the world is completely overwhelming, and overwhelm doesn’t help anyone make healthful choices around food. In fact it does the opposite – it keeps most women in a constant swing back and forth between under and over-eating.verticalskinny_2

‘Stop Fighting Food’, what’s it all about?

Stop Fighting Food is a free video training series that I developed to give women concrete skills and ideas that can help them break out of this “diet-binge cycle” or simply the “feeling-crazy-around-food cycle,” which can exist in a lot of forms and encompasses much more than simply eating too much or too little. Stop Fighting Food offers a new way of thinking about food, which ultimately increases a woman’s chances of actually making healthy choices (rather than simply “knowing what they are” but feeling incapable of “sticking to them”), and gives women very concrete steps to end all the mental clutter around food that really can drive us totally mad. Stop Fighting Food is about women finally making peace with food, rather than trying to fight it constantly…and ultimately lose every battle.

Tell us about your Master Class?

My Master Class is a more advanced level group coaching program for those who are committed to mastering the principles of Stop Fighting Food. You’ll have to sign up for the free video training series here if you want more information about that :)

What are your thoughts on conventional diets?

My thoughts are that they’re unsustainable at best, they generally teach us to ignore our body’s hunger signals which can cause a lot of mental and physical health problems for women in the long and short-term, and they almost always lead to binge-eating eventually.

And, the food fear of social situations?

It’s unfortunate that women feel so constrained by their relationship with food that they can’t fully enjoy their life and the blessings in it. Everyone should be able to enjoy holidays, birthdays, and going out with friends without constant stress and worry about what they can or can not eat there. Those are the moments that make life worth living! Let’s not spend one more day missing those joys, because we don’t trust ourselves not to inhale the buffet.

What is your key message?

I want women to realize that obsessing about food in order to achieve a big happy life isn’t getting them anywhere – it’s not moving them towards freedom, happiness, successful relationships, and ultimately, it’s not necessarily making them thin either. Diet mentality only creates volatility with food, not sustainable “control.” If we want to be able to make healthful choices sustainably, we’re going to have to start thinking about food differently — rather than continue to do the same things over and over again expecting different results.

What does Holistic living mean to you?

Holistic living is about living a life that is full, and rich and enjoyable whilst also honoring your body. Neither your mind nor your body should rule over the other with an iron fist. They are partners, and our choices should honor the needs of each, or both will be negatively affected.

What is your message to cynics, sceptics, and the intrigued?

Notice where your bias lies. Most people hold steadfastly to diets even though they know diets have never worked for more than 98% of the population for any sustainable period of time. It’s pretty-widely accepted in the medical community that diets lead to binge-eating, yet doctors and nutritionists will still prescribe diets as “treatment” for obesity. Why is this? We live in an aggressive diet-culture, largely influenced by commerce, that bombards us with opposite messages all day long. It’s incredibly difficult for all of us to extricate ourselves from cultural bias, even in the face of facts.

For more information about my philosophy and how I help women “end the crazy” around food, I highly recommend checking out my free video training series here.

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