Hey, everybody, how's it going? I'm Chase Jarvis. Welcome to another episode of Chase Jarvis Live here on Creative Live, specifically the 30 Days of Genius series. So 30 Days of Genius is where I sit down with creatives, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders and pull the stuff out of their brain that you wanna know most about to help you live your dreams and career hobby in life. If you're new to this series, you can go to CreativeLive.com slash 30, the number three zero, Days of Genius. And just click that blue button, and you'll get one of these interviews in your inbox every day to give you that lift that you're looking for. My guest today is someone I've been very, very, very excited, I came all the way to New York to sit down with her. She is the author of four books. She's an entrepreneur. I say spirit junkie as one of the things that describes her, but I think Oprah said it best. She is a new breed of spiritual thought leader. My guest today is none other than Gabby Bernstein.
Thank you so much. (bright music) (applause) Welcome to the show! Thank you so much for being here. And in New York, came all the way here to sit down with you. Thanks for being here.
Yeah, thanks for coming here.
I'm happy to do it.
Thanks for wearing your Buddha shirt. (laughs)
I did, I literally wore my Buddha short for you. I was like, what am I, ah, of course, my Buddha shirt. My wife, Kate, full credit, she's like, "you're gonna sit down with Gabby. "I got you a new shirt." Literally, I was like, she bought me three new shirts for my trip today.
Thank you for coming on the show. I'm just gonna cut right to the chase and say one of the reasons, there are many, but one of the reasons that I wanted you to be on the show and a part of this 30 Days of Genius series is because for me personally, one of the things that's unlocked my creativity has been spirituality. I'm just, full confession, I'm not a religious person. But about five years ago, I started meditating. And something strange happened, which is I felt like it was a catapult for me, creatively. And I'm wondering, you have had, you talked about some personal transformation before we started recording. I'm wondering if you can give the people at home a little bit of background and why you have chose to sort of lead this spiritual junkie, spirit junkie life, as you call it.
First of all, you said something strange happened when you started meditating. But it's actually, everything else is strange.
(laughs) That's the normal thing.
That's actually who we are meant to be in that creative, inspired way. And so it's when we return to a spiritual practice that we begin to remember that is our essence. We remember that creative side of ourselves. We remember that peace and that inspiration that we can download. And it's who we are, but we forget, right?
So it seems like, oh, this strange thing happened. But it's actually, everything else is strange.
Everything else is weird. And it gets weird when you get off track.
That is the sense that, not to kiss your ass or anything, but that's the sense that I felt when I started meditating. Like, ah, all that other stuff is noise. This is what matters. And one of the things, a characteristic of a lot of people that I've had on the show is, tend to be very driven, sort of success is a primary focus, hunger, hunger, hunger. And there's this underlying tone of I need to be more in balance, but the thing that got me here was all this hard work and grinding and crushing and all the words that we use culturally. And yet ultimately, the handful of people that I know who have decided to put that on pause for a second realize that the thing that they thought was their driver and got them where they are was actually an anchor. And when they started sort of embracing their spiritual side, they just, everything accelerated for them. So talk to me about that.
Yes, well, you kind of mentioned my back story a little bit and why I became a self-proclaimed spirit junkie. And I think that it's very much that. I think that when we have that perception, that drive and that force that is what's making things happen, that's when we often can hit a big bottom. And we live in that way, whether it's being forcefully driven or quite the opposite and you be totally in the opposite direction of fear and just debilitating ways of living, but we do, whichever direction we choose is really based on whatever happens in that core foundation of what happens to you as a child. And so-
We're gonna go back to my childhood, here?
We can, if you want.
We can if you want. It can feel dangerous, but I think at the same time, if we can learn how to restore that feeling of danger from that past and have a different perception of it, that's when we can start to feel and heal and live a very enlightened life.
Let's talk a little bit about your journey first cause I've already sort of talked about a lot of the other people on the show, but the reason that you're sitting in this chair and we've come all the way to New York is to hear about you. So give us your backstory. You used to be doing this, and now you're doing this. Talk about your personal journey.
So yeah, so I was brought up, actually, around a lot of spiritual teachings. So much like you, you said, "I have to confess, "I'm not religious," well, neither am I. I was brought up in a household that was Jewish, but really what I was most drawn to in my Jewish culture was really the spiritual elements, the song, the dance, the traditions.
The community, exactly.
Such great traditions.
But my mother was not religious and Jewish, really at all. I mean, she's Jewish, but she wasn't practicing. So she was really spiritual. So she brought me in and out of ashrams and taught me to meditate when I was a kid. And then deeply taught me to meditate when I was in high school, and gave me the tool of meditation when I was finding myself in a lot of depression and not really understanding how to navigate some feelings from the past. And really just, like I was saying earlier, the trauma that we may experience as children is something that may be as simple as someone telling you you're not good enough or something as terrible as child abuse. Whatever that trauma is for a child, it dictates the path that you take on your life. And so we have these feelings of inadequacy. We have these feelings of discomfort. We have these feelings of not being good enough. We have these feelings of terror, in some cases. And we don't know what to do with them. So some of us, in my case it was like, "I'm going to achieve." That was the way I was gonna anesthetize the pain from my childhood. "I am going to achieve." And in that achieve, achieve, achieve mentality, I also went into very addictive patterns. And so by the time I was 21, I was highly achieving, running a PR business here in New York City, had never really had a job, just was like, I'm starting a company, and with my achieve mentality had no problem doing that. Got clients, built up a business. But at the same time, that was an addictive pattern that also led to other addictive patterns, relationship issues, and then worst of all drug and alcohol issues. And so by the time I was 25, I was, like, severely addicted to drugs. And so at that point, I had this higher awareness and this higher consciousness that there is a different way to live, and I think that we always, in any point in our life, have the opportunity to really choose to activate our free will. We could say, I'm gonna keep going down this road and potentially die, or I wanna redirect. And for me, no one really intervened. It wasn't like I had some big intervention. Because my life was still working. I was still running my business. I still had, my bills were being paid. But I was a high-functioning drug addict at 25. And I hit a huge bottom because ultimately, my higher self spoke louder, thankfully, and really reminded me that this is not who I really am and this is not the life I'm here to live.
Was there a fear that in giving that up that you would somehow give up the success and the achievement? Could you tie those things together?
Yeah, I can get to that part of the story, actually.
Okay, keep going, I interrupted, sorry.
No, it's a great question, because that does come up a little bit later. But I didn't actually give up the achieve, achieve, achieve thing.
Right, and I'm thankful for that. But it still is an addictive pattern, so we gotta be real about that, right? And for those over-achievers out there that are watching, I want to really address that because it is addiction. It is addiction. I mean, while it has served me well and it has served the world, at this moment in time, I'm having a whole other reframe around it. So I got, we're talking right now about 10 years, I got sober 10 and a half years ago when I was 25 years old.
Yeah, so I got clean at that time because I had that moment of, this is not who I'm here to be. And all the while that I was using drugs, I was reading self-help books and like running in and out of yoga classes trying to find a way. And I'm thankfully, I hit enough of a bottom to really hear what was next. And there's a beautiful quote that I share often which is Rumi says, "the wound is the place "where the light enters you." And that's moving to me because it's exactly what happened for me. It was that, and it continues to happen, cause as we continue to grow spiritually, unfortunately we do continue to uncover more wounds, ultimately.
Yeah, there's sort of an awareness, whether it's self awareness or cultural awareness, all those things, they tend, for me it's been a path of sort of exposing, the work is never done, I guess. As soon as you achieve one thing or hit a new level of awareness or spirituality or achievement or whatever your measure is, it's sort of like then that's what unlocks like, oh, so this is what the next level looks like, or when you're speaking a language, as soon as you realize you got those verbs, the past tense then there's this other kind of thing that is a new like, oh, man, I got a lot more work to do.
Right, and that can only happen with your commitment to growth, right? Cause if you just say, okay, I got this, I'm done, it's just cruise control now with what I've learned, then that next level of healing or that next level of learning can't be brought to you. But yeah, so I got sober at 25, and I had been speaking publicly prior to that, just about vocational topics and entrepreneurship because I was obsessed with my capacity to just achieve. And I wanted to talk about it, and I wanted to teach other people. And I went to a lot of colleges and universities, teaching kids, they were my age at the time, teaching people how to become an entrepreneur. So I love speaking, and so I started speaking very quickly about what was happening to me from a spiritual recovery standpoint. And so I started to put on talks at like the Soho House in New York and all these trendy places where I was showing up in heels and Rick Owens, giving talks on God, right, (laughing) and whatever that meant to me. And so I started to attract this really groovy audience of these trend-setting New York women. This was way before anybody was gluten free. Nobody was juicing their salad, right? Like, that did not exist. And it was like no one was meditating. Not no one, but no one of my generation was meditating or reading spiritual texts. I'm gonna really claim that I feel like I was definitely at the forefront of this incredible trend of wellness that has occurred in the last 10 years. And I'm very proud to have been at the forefront of that and helped to engage the world in that, this new generation, I don't want to say the world cause I have many teachers that have been doing this a long time.
Tens of thousands of years, sure.
So it's not like this is anything new. But it's just, I was doing it in a new way, in a new language, and in a new outfit. (laughs)
And culturally, like you said, there's certainly a zeitgeist. And that's one of the things that in having you on the show and a part of the series, I'm aiming to tap into. So let me ask another probing question. You said you started talking, sharing your thoughts and beliefs. Were you sharing your recovery story, or what were you sharing?
You know, I was sharing my spiritual recovery story, yes, I was very forthcoming from the beginning about the fact that I was sober and that I was proud to have put down the drink and the drugs, but that wasn't it. This wasn't a 12 step meeting. It was like, this is a how do I spiritually recover? And learning form the recovery program that I was in, learning from the spiritual texts that I had totally thrown myself into, and really establishing what all of those teachings meant to me personally, and then demystifying those principles and really presenting them in a way that was very easy for people to understand.
So let's go into the demystification path here. I'm banking, I just know from my own interactions with the people who pay attention to what I'm doing, Creative Live, I've talked about meditation. And anytime I talked about it on a podcast or give a keynote or I was just at Southby, and so many people are curious about my meditation practice. So I'm guessing that you can, why don't you try and put a bow on it, if you will, like what is happening, why now, why things like meditation, why spiritual awareness, what is it about the times? Is it the millennial generation that's coming up trying to self actualize? Why now and what is the the that we're talking about?
I think we always needed meditation. I just think that we're so fried and our nervous systems are so screwed, to be brutally honest. And just even our brain activity, sitting here like this all day, I mean, it's so jarring to our nervous system, and it's so overwhelming. And the only way to survive these times is if you have a meditation practice. You can quote me on that.
Yeah, that's the only way to survive.
You will go mad if you don't.
Let's talk about that, okay, keep going down that path. And so the why now is because we're hitting our wits' end, basically. The culture's become so toxic. A, what is it about the culture that's toxic, and specifically, is it just meditation, or I'm guessing there's a whole host of things that you would, if you can prescribe,
Yeah, I'm gonna give a prescription.
Like, here, Chase, I'm gonna help you.
I'm gonna give a prescription today.
Yes, all right.
Well, first of all, I mean,
Should I put my feet up?
Put your feet up, seriously lay back,
Don't worry, you're good.
Where's my phone?
You know, let your phone stay on the floor right now.
Let's do that, right there.
That's part of the prescription. Drop that phone on the floor.
Down on the floor. Bad phone.
I was in an Uber on my way here, and we're listening to the radio, and it's like, there was an interview about all of the politicians saying all of the things they want to do to fight back ISIS and then sort of, I think it was a military expert saying, that is so much worse, that is making things so much worse. Because all of this, "we're gonna fight back," we're gonna do this, we're gonna detain, all these different ideas that are being thrown around for political sake are just fueling fire to that demon. And so that is the overarching issue, right? There is fear, chaos, and terror, which turns into terrorism. And whether that be in the literal form of ISIS or that be in the terrorism within your psyche, and so the more negativity that is thrown at it, the more flames are just thrown on that fire, right? More fuel on that fire. And so that sort of analogy of seeing how the politicians are just fueling the fire of the terrorists is the same way that we are as human beings, walking around just creating chaos with judgment attacks, separation, negativity on the internet, and just repurposing fear all day long, all day long. So we're all literally in this terrifying cycle of just chaos, negativity, fear, and the culmination of all of that drama, right?
Yeah, it's heavy, for real.
And it's extraordinarily heavy. And I'm glad we're talking about it here, because I mean, while this is the place to talk about Creative Live and creativity and inspiration, we gotta get real about what's blocking it all.
For sure, and I also revealed before we started recording that one of the biggest accelerants for me was sort of trying to put down the thing that I believed got me there, and it was this hustle, the voice inside your head that's getting you up at three a.m. Brene Brown is a friend, and she calls them gremlins. Arianna Huffington calls it that roommate that you hate, or something like that.
That's great. I love that.
Who's in your head at three or four a.m. when you get up to go to the bathroom that's saying you're not good enough, you're not worthy, shame, and all that kind of stuff. So let's agree so we don't have to talk about death and destruction for too much longer, it's real, but that voice that's in your head, let's just assume that it's cultural in nature and it's not our native state. Now, switch over to the prescription side.
Well, that's what you'd say, you're like, well, what do you wanna prescribe? I said love, right? So love casts out all that fear. And when we make a commitment to restore our own internal condition to a loving perspective, to choose to see through a lens of love, to choose to react through a lens of love, to choose to experience ourselves through a lens of love, and that's what a spiritual practice is. If we make that commitment, then what happens is a ripple effect. I mean, it's really quantum physics, right? Your energy begins to vibrate at a different level, and then that begins to affect the people that you encounter. And so you vibrating at a creative, inspired, loving lens is what has allowed millions of people to find this, Creative Live-
Let's go to a very tactical level, now, cause we're talking cultural, the thing that you're prescribing is love. Love is a very big concept. What does love and sort of spirituality look like in a very practical sense? We'll talk about it from, let's just use you as an example. Because you know you probably better than anybody else. What does it look like in the mornings, for example?
Okay, so I've written five books. The fifth book is coming out.
I said four coming out.
Four books, but the fifth is on the way. So five are written and almost in print. And I have dedicated my life to really demystifying and creating easy to manage content. So I could literally sit here for the next five hours and give you tools and tools and tools. Let's give it-
We'll send people to your site, actually, to do that.
Most importantly, let me just give you the most important ones. Let's talk about what it is that, first and foremost, what is it that we're doing when we're on a spiritual path? What we're doing is we're unlearning all the fear and the chaos. And we're remembering the love of who we are. And it's kinda what we were talking about when you and I first began, which that you said, oh, it's so weird, this crazy thing happened when I was meditating. I felt so inspired. No, you're actually just remembering that that's who you are. You think it's crazy because you've, we, I'll say we, we've all identified so closely with the chaos. We believe we are the chaos, we believe we are the trauma, we believe we are the stories from the past. And I'm not gonna lie, it's a lot of work to reorganize those belief systems. I don't want to use the word work. It's commitment and conviction. We can't look at it as work. We have to see it as a committed path. And it can't be something that you dabble in. And it can't be that I've got this casual meditation practice, like sometimes I pray. It's gotta be every day. And I say that, and while I may seem like this sweet woman, I am a fierce, fierce preacher of this principle, which is that it can't be something that we dip in and out of. Because in order to really reorganize and reframe and establish a new way of being, a new energy, a new belief system, a new consciousness, and a new purpose, we gotta stay committed to reorganizing all the stories that we chose to believe in the first place.
What I love about, actually, first of all, thank you for having a point of view and having a strong point of view. You're known for that. But also when I started meditating, I think this is, what helped me was just doing something instead of nothing every day. And they encourage a TM. For those of you who don't know, TM means transcendental meditation. They prescribe 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening. And at first, I went through the class, the training, if you will, and was like, wow.
I practice TM, too.
Yeah, okay, 20 minutes feels like a super long time. And I'll say, this morning, I only got 12 minutes.
That's great, it's fantastic. Everything.
Because that's how much time I had.
But it's brilliant that you did it.
Yeah, and the fact that I have to wake up at 6:15 in the morning and that
Even five minutes.
Yeah, literally, that's my point is that what you're preaching is not that you have to do 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening or do nothing because it's all or nothing.
You have to do something.
Yeah, and I think I'm preaching two different things. So one thing is that my belief system is to experience true change, you gotta commit and you gotta do the work, right? And I really wanna keep staying away from the word work. I wanna say you gotta be on the path. And I say that because how else are you gonna reorganize decades of crap? How else are you gonna relearn and remember something new? I mean, in some way, shape, or form, we've all experienced some kind of trauma. I'm actually diving very deep into the topic of trauma right now. And so we all have it in some way, whether it be horrific or just something simple like a teacher telling you you're stupid when you're seven, right? It affects us, and that oftentimes gets locked in our physical being.
So you carry that around in your body.
Absolutely, I mean, I've had TMJ for 30 years. And only now am I addressing traumas that I wasn't even aware of from when I was a kid, and it's now coming to a head that I know I will be able to release it through that healing, right? But the point isn't that we have to do it all overnight. It's a one day at a time gig. And it's a path, and it's a practice. So to your point, if today it's five minutes of meditation and tomorrow it's journaling in my notebook or if this afternoon it's a prayer, I love the 12 step motto, it works if you work it. So it's like, yes, keep it simple, but be consistent.
It's amazing how consistency ultimately wins. That's the thing. There's so many people, and you can look at it like creative energy or artists who came out and they're one hit wonders. We got all kinds of names for that. But I think the true artists are the ones that not just survive but thrive. It's very much about just doing something on a regular basis. It's because making something every day, the intention of setting out, this is a thing that I'm gonna create, because there is a creator in all of us, and even if it's just a picture and you're sharing it so that we know you're out there, and there's this self awareness that you develop that I am capable, I am powerful, and I have efficacy when I put something out into the world. That's a unique human activity.
Yeah, and I like what you're saying too, which is something that I've always taught, which is taking lots of little right actions. So if you want to begin a meditation practice, and someone's never meditated before, sit for five minutes this morning or this afternoon or whenever you're listening to this, and you have a mantra that was given to you because you've been practicing TM, but I can prescribe a mantra as a Kundalini meditation teacher, which, the mantra sat nam, which is truth identified, right? Recognizing the truth is your name, sat nam. Truth is your name. And just sitting in five minutes of stillness, repeating the mantra, sat nam, sat nam, sat nam, and just like TM, when your mind detours in that other direction,
And it does.
Return to the mantra. That's the simple, just to give somebody a tool now, how do you meditate? Start with a mantra. Sitting, repeating the mantra, you're gonna detour, you're gonna go into crazy.
Like oh my god, what's the grocery list?
The roommate that Arianna was talking about.
The crazy roommate or something. Was it crazy roommate? Obnoxious roommate.
Yeah, so she'll come. And then return to the mantra. So someone starts out with two minutes of that. You can find your pulse, like take four fingertips and place them on your pulse and find your pulse. And then you can repeat that mantra sat nam with the beat of your pulse. And that's actually one of the greatest beginner meditations, just to connect to your pulse, long deep breaths, repeating sat nam with that pulse. And so simple, simple little tools. And why do we meditate? We need to reorganize our energy. We need to reorganize our nervous system. We need to allow ourselves, because so many of us live in fight or flight, right? Whether it be from past experience or just waking up this morning to an alarm and then reading your Snapchat news. Whatever it is.
Yeah, I mean even the fact that, Arianna brought up the fact that it's called an alarm. I mean just contextually, that's exactly, there's all this sort of surreptitious shit underpinning all of what we live through every day. Alarm, you wake up, and what is an alarm? Alarm is like fight or flight mode, right?
They sound the alarm when you're getting attacked or when there's a fire in the building, alarm. And that's what we wake up to every day.
Yeah, I actually made an app called the spirit junkie alarm app. And so it's an alarm clock that when you set it, I actually worked with some musicians to create really beautiful tones so that you could wake up to something a little bit more comforting. And then when you wake up to that, what comes up on your phone is an affirmation. And so rather than waking up and going straight to your email or straight to CNN or straight to Huffington Post or whatever, no offense, Arianna, (laughing) we can go there later. But we can go to that affirmation. We can go, we can be woken up to that message, that through line of a clear point.
Beautiful. Let's talk about you. What does your morning look like? It's a little bit trendy now, I feel like I've been investigating and thinking about morning routines for probably a decade, ever since I realized that I tried to shift my personal perspective, I found that preparing for my day in a specific way gave me so much more, there's the word power, but efficacy.
And the feeling of
It's your true power.
What does it look like for you?
So I wake up to my spirit junkie alarm, and I look at the affirmation, so I remind myself of something I'd written months ago. Like, oh, that's good! (laughing) It's funny because sometimes I speak to myself in the most perfect ways. And so I'll look at my alarm. Then I actually do close my eyes and I do a 20 minute meditation sitting up in bed. So I think sometimes just not getting out of bed is sort of the simplest way. If my husband's still sleeping, I'll go out, I live in a loft, and so I'll go up to my loft and I'll go right into my meditation. That's before I eat, before I drink. I will have brushed my teeth first, though.
I do the same thing. Brush my teeth, and then.
And then go meditate, yeah. I think it's important to do it first. Because if you don't, then you're already into the crazy. And so first thing, do that meditation. And then from there I can begin my day. I also say some prayers each morning, just really turning over my day.
Just gratitude stuff?
I really surrender my day to a power greater than me. And for me, that means an energy force beyond my own. It means a power of love that I know that is within me and around me and that it's available to me, but I have to ask for it.
Powerful, okay. And then what is, is there food, and do you take a walk, or do you avoid your email? Talk a little bit more about that.
No, I have a green smoothie, often, in the morning or something. I take a ton of supplements. I'm a real supplement junkie. So I will pound my supplements in the morning. (laughing) And then it kinda depends on the day and where I am. But I'm proud to say that I've just begun to create more freedom. Because for a long time, I had a limiting belief, if I don't do it, nobody else will. And so I just went on a hiring spree and started hiring tons of people to help me. (laughing) And that's awesome, and it's great to help people, help you. And so, and help your mission. And so I feel like I've created a little bit more space. So sometimes I'll do a little Tracy Anderson workout in the morning, or I like to do everything online. I live half the time in New York City and half the time in the country, up on a mountain. And so when I'm in the country, I will be in nature at some point in the day, whether it be taking a walk down my driveway, which is a mile long.
And back, which is two miles. Or if it's just going for a hike in the woods or something like that. So being in nature has changed my life. My house was really one of the greatest blessings that was given to me. I was trying to manifest an apartment in New York City, and the universe had a better plan for me. We wound up buying a house in the country.
Well, let's talk about that connection to nature. One of the things that so many creatives or people who have that entrepreneurial spirit, they come to New York or San Francisco, LA, Seattle, places where like-minded people are aggregating and where there's money and influence and opportunity. And photographers are like, "I'm moving to New York." And many people who are part of this series has said they dropped everything and moved to New York. And it helped make things happen. But let's talk for a second about the flip side of that.
I've dropped everything, moved to the country, and it helped make everything happen. (laughing) No.
But there's this connection. And that's one of the things that I feel when meditating, or actually, to say feel it when meditating is probably wrong, but just immediately after that there's sort of this connectedness that you, I look at another person or another, like across the room, and it all feels like a single, unified thing. And earth, putting your feet on the ground or being outside and smelling nature and what doesn't smell like the sidewalks of New York City, I've always felt that is a powerful thing. Is there something there? What's the there there?
Well, I mean, it's space, right? So it's being in a clear, energetic space. And that's what nature really provides us. Because when we walk around these streets, while it can be very engaging and inspiring and artful and all that, it's jarring.
Sounds like some of that toxicity that you were talking about.
Totally. Literal toxins in the air and then the energetic toxins of just picking up what everybody else is throwing down. And that space, that expansiveness, and even just the literal clear air.
One of the things that you've talking about, I've watched a lot of your videos online. You talk also a lot about the daily practice but also that we're real, we're human, we're fallible. We sort of fall off the wagon. And one of the things that I've noticed in my friends, there's this judgment, like, oh, I'm a bad person. I can't stick with this practice. So I think it's very real to know the people who are trying to start this thing that it's not like an overnight thing and doesn't have to be. So how do we avoid, if we're saying we need to do this everyday, and then we're realizing that we're human, what's the self talk that we need to have?
Well, that's what I was saying, that I think that there's two sides to my preacher conviction. Because one side of it is that I'm in that place of conviction, the only way that we can reorganize is through this. And I do believe that, 100%. But I also don't want it to become a reason for you to judge yourself. Because that just, again, throws fuel to that fire that's going on all day long. And so that's where the simplicity of a practice comes in to keeping it simple, making a commitment to do one thing every day. I mean, right now people are watching these videos. Make the commitment to watch one of these videos for the next 30 days. That can change your, that can literally change the neural pathways of your brain cause you're repeating new behavior every single day. And so that repetition of new behavior is what creates that long-term change. And so I am much more interested in someone that's done something for one minute a day than someone that's gone to an 11-day silent retreat and then just went off and drank for a month and then came back and did the 20 days of this. You know what I mean?
It's the consistency that really blows my mind. And so that consistency actually just really stems from willingness. And so I think the most important quality of a spiritual student is someone who is willing to grow.
The willingness, the openness, being able to receive, yeah. Talk to me about your beliefs tying creativity to the work that you do. Does creativity come out of that, or does it allow you to be more open? I talk about two different groups, the people who want to be more creative or entrepreneurial, and I talk about that group as sort of the zero to one. They don't self identify as creative, but they want to be, they're sort of creative curious, if you will. And there's the group that has already started on that path, and that's sort of the one to 10, 10 being someone who's very either creatively or entrepreneurially evolved, and they're living their dreams. And someone who's at a one is like, okay, I'm just starting to figure this out. I got a little mojo going. And so for the zero to one folks, how does your awareness and spirituality help you get from zero to one? And then for the other group, how about one to 10? Maybe they're the same thing.
It's the same thing. So it's like being on a spiritual path, so a spirit, inspired is in spirit, so being on a spiritual path means that we are engaging in spirit daily. And that is what is inspiring. And so really, what does it mean to be a spiritual person? It means that you're stepping back and receiving. And clearing whatever that channel that you believe in, whether it's the artist, the photographer, the writer, in my case, my art is I'm a speaker. You may have thought I was an author. Really I'm a speaker. That is my art. And so when I am most inspired, when I am a true channel for inspiration is when I am publicly speaking. And that's my art, right? So what I would never, I can't put anything before my spiritual practice because if you put anything before that, you'll lose it. You'll lose whatever you're putting before it. And so wherever you are in the creative spectrum, having a meditation practice, having a mindfulness practice, and choosing to think with higher thoughts or reframing your belief systems or following a self help book or a spiritual teacher, consistently, will only clear all the blocks to the presence of the power within you. So I think that people think, oh, I've got to go do something to feel powerful and connected and loved, right? No, you have to just release the blocks to the presence of what's already there.
That's also, I think that's a powerful idea because you said earlier, let's not use the word work. That's one of the things that to me is a game changer is realizing that the creativity, the stillness, this awareness, all this is actually present. It's not something that you have to go fetch water and then you get this thing. The fetching water is actually looking at what's piled up in front of this part of you and just pushing it aside and making a sort of opening to it.
I often say that it's not how we do, it's how we be, right? So it's not all the things I can do for my husband that make him madly in love with me. It's how I can be with him, right? The more present I can be with him makes him fall madly in love with me again and again and again. Not what I've done today, right? And that's the same for how we show up to any area of our life. It's not what we've done or what we've said. It's how we be. And so how do we come into that place of presence again and again and again? It's releasing the blocks, releasing the blocks to the presence. It's not getting the presence. You already have the presence. You just gotta clear all the crap that is in the way. All the stories, all the chaos, and in many cases it's stuff we don't even know or remember. And that's where the deep, deep work comes in.
To engage in the deep, deep work, so you have a master class that you have built. It's very popular, very successful. Congratulations on that, by the way.
What's involved in that? Break it down for me.
What I started to find, and this is probably happening for you too, when you see people waking up to their calling, right? I started to find that many of my readers and my audience members or people that come to my talks for years, were kind of, well, not kind of, were having a spiritual awakening. And in the experience of having their own spiritual awakening, they were hearing a call, which happens to all of us. It happens to every one of us. When we change, we feel called to help create more change. And so when I started to witness all these people sort of being, "I wanna be a life coach," or "I wanna be a blogger that's sharing "inspirational content," or "I wanna be "a nutrition coach," or "I wanna make "my therapy practice more spiritual," I felt like I had a high level of responsibility to give them the tools that I've been using to, once again, demystify the principles, to be respectful of the energy of others, and to make sure that my message was carried and that I was not shying away from the words and the wisdom that I needed to share. And that's probably the biggest piece of this training, is really giving people the confidence to own their voice as a spiritual teacher or a healer or a leader or a change maker, an influencer, whatever they wanna call it, whatever the words they use, and to really trust that their story matters. And it's through their story that they'll heal others. And so that's been, the primary intention is to create teachers, is to empower people who have had an experience of awakening to wake up even more so they can wake up others.
A big theme, if you will, for people who have sat opposite me on this show is this intuition, whether it's this flashlight idea that it's always inside of you, you have to shine the light on it, I don't know what the right metaphor is, you're way better-
That was a good one.
That was all right. But talk to me about intuition. The best things that have ever happened to me were often done in the face of a lot of naysayers. Even my desire to pursue a career as a professional artist, as a photographer, early on, it was met with a bunch of resistance. Resistance inside of me, resistance from the world, like oh my gosh, there's a reason they call them starving artists, because you're not gonna make any money, you're not gonna, like, what is that? That's not film, and that's not something that's respected by society. There's so many people out there that are trapped in that cycle of what other people want for them. And what's really powerful inside you is this intuition. And I knew that that was my particular calling. What advice would you give to people that are in conflict around that stuff?
So intuition is, again, just like we were saying before, what's up for us, it's who we are. And we block our intuition with the thoughts of what the world tells us to do, what's logical, thoughts like how can I be an artist because I'm not gonna have any money, or whatever those stories are that we've been trained to believe in. And so the way that we really uncover and unearth that presence of our intuition, it sounds like a broken record, but it's the truth, is through a daily sat nam, through a daily practice. And so it's a daily practice of reprogramming those thoughts, a daily practice of stilling your mind, a daily practice of intention setting, prayer, whatever you want to call it, and being in constant contact with the voice of your highest self. The voice of your intuition comes from the voice of your highest self versus the voice of your ego, which is that fear voice that says that's too good to be true. You can know the difference between your intuition and your ego because your ego has an agenda. Your ego is like, no, it's this way or that way, or it's got judgment, it's got separation and doubt, right? There's doubt and attack. The voice of your intuition-
Creatives doubting? Oh, never.
Never. (laughing) But the voice of your intuition may not necessarily sound logical at times. It might not always sound logical.
What's an example?
Oh my god, I have so many.
Is it the apartment in New York? You said you wanted to have an apartment in New York.
Totally, I mean, we were searching and hunting for an apartment in New York City to build a family and have a home. And every single day it was going against my intuition. It just felt wrong. It felt like a struggle.
Maybe you're supposed to want to be in New York cause that's where everything's happening.
Exactly, or I didn't know where else I was supposed to be. And then it was when, actually, we spent nine months, god bless my broker. She's pounding the pavement trying to find this dream apartment in New York City during the worst time to look ever, it was the craziest market ever. And finally my husband and I came home, and his mantra was, "this is unfun, this is unfun, "this is unfun." I was like, "yeah, this really sucks." And so I said to him, "let's pray, let's pray." And so we just said a prayer at dinner, and I just said, let's open up to creative solutions. And within an hour, I started to engage in a conversation with him about how we always thought that we would have a home in the city and have a home in the country. And that was a balance that we really longed for. And I said, "well, why don't we just do the opposite. "Why don't we rent in the city "and look what's available to buy in the county." It was just sort of this inspired idea, but that inspired idea of intuition could only come through when I said that prayer. I teach a metaphysical text, and it says that prayer is the medium of miracles. And so through prayer, we can reorganize. Through prayer, we can say intention.
Yeah, prayer is a loaded word.
Intention-setting, redirecting, choosing love, right, reorganizing your thoughts. When you can intend to see with the lens of love, which is our word today, you can reorganize. Everything gets changed. So a prayer or an intention can be, and this is perfect for you because did you hear what the prayer was? I'm seeking creative solutions, right? I mean, hello, look where we are. Let that be your mantra. If you just say that to yourself once a day, your spiritual path has begun. And I'm seeking creative solutions. And that is why I have a magical home in the country and a great rental in the city. (laughs)
Well then you did a great job. I think that's the perfect solution.
Saved myself a lot of money.
Right, yeah, you saved millions in the process. So let's go to you a little bit. What is something about you that most people don't know, that if they found out, they would be surprised?
I'm still struggling. Yeah, I still suffer.
That is very courageous of you to share.
I'm proud to say it because I think the reason I'm a good teacher is because I'm willing to share my suffering.
I mentioned earlier, Brene Brown, good friend, really helped me understand a lot about vulnerability. And it helped me as a artist, it helped me as a husband, as a friend. And just in acknowledging, wow, this is hard, this is painful, and I'm classic, but if you spend too much time thinking about the shitty stuff, there's work to be done, I'm very much a fixer. But just to be able to sit down sometimes and just say, wow, this is hard, or in your case, you just said, "I'm suffering." Is there power in that?
Oh my god, so much power. (laughing)
When she laughs at me when I ask a question, you know it's absurd.
No, that's not absurd at all. I think people actually think that acknowledging your suffering is powerlessness. And in fact, it's where your true power lies, it's just acknowledging that one, everyone suffers. We're all suffering. Being alive and being in the human form at this time is just suffering, right? But that doesn't have to be a daily suffer, that there's light at the end of that. And so witnessing the struggle, and this is a lot of what Eckhart Tolle says, witness the thinker, and in that witnessing of that struggle, witnessing that chaos, that's when that freedom begins to set in. And so our work is not to dwell in the victim of being the sufferer. Our goal is to say, I see it, I'm in it. And I'm gonna say, every single day, what can I do to transform this?
That was magic. Another sort of one liner is a lot of people talk about, what would you tell your, here you are, what would you tell your 18-year-old self or your 25, 20-year-old self, whatever, what would you tell your yesterday self? So advice you would give to Gabby Bernstein of yesterday?
You are safe.
You're safe, why safe?
I think in my case, I made a deeper commitment this year to clear more and know more.
Does that feel unsafe?
It's scary, yeah. But at the same time, it's that higher self that is absolutely, the only reason I'm able to know more and heal more is because of how much great work I've done to create a foundation that is safe.
Beautiful. One of the things that I see in people who are inspired by the show or tuning in to get some wisdom is that they don't know what their creative calling is. You said, "my art is speaking." How did you know what your art was?
So I was asked to speak at FIT, I think, was the first talk I ever gave. I was asked to speak at an entrepreneurial class.
What is FIT?
The Fashion Institute of Technology. And I think I was at my office, I was 21, my office was like across the street. And one of my interns was in the marketing class. And she said, "oh, can you come and speak to my class?" And I went, and I was wearing red cowboy boots and a blazer and jeans and just a dirty t-shirt underneath, and I was like a 21-year-old kid. And these kids were probably 18, you know? So they're me.
Oh wise one, come speak to us.
Yeah, exactly. And I just started sharing my entrepreneurial story, which at the time was my inspirational story. I didn't have the depth of who I am today. That was what it was. And so I started to share my story. And it didn't matter what I was saying, and cursing in this classroom and saying "like" and playing with my hair, I was so alive and lit up in being a vocal messenger for a empowering, inspiring story. And that day I realized this is my purpose. This is my calling. And even though I was still dabbling in drugs and alcohol and partying, whatever, I knew that I had found my calling. And so we all have different unique, creative ways of expressing ourselves. For you it was behind the camera and now it's this. And for many people it's writing. So for me, it's kind of writing, but it's really speaking because that is how I believe I am meant to be used as a messenger and as a vehicle.
Is there a piece of art, or what's a piece of art or a piece of inspiration that's moved you recently?
Oh, what a nice question. I think that the backdrop of nature that's outside the window, the windows, my home is like windows, the windows of my home, is what's most inspiring to me. Cause what happens around six o'clock right now, cause daylight savings just happened, it's around seven o'clock, so the sun sets over here, but I have this whole view of the woods. I'm on top of a mountain. Bread Mountain is where I live. And it's overlooking this beautiful, these greens. And I see the sun, sort of that golden sun start to come up as the sun is setting over here, but the golden light comes up here. And it's the hippest art you've ever seen. (laughing) And no Instagram could possibly capture what's happening at my house at that time.
There's a reason they call it magic hour.
The magic hour.
What am I not asking that I should for the people who are on the other end of this interview, listening or watching right now?
You're asking so many good questions.
I'm pretty good. (laughs)
You're pretty talented, man, I don't know if there's anything that you've left out.
There's gotta be something. You've done a million of these things, and surely I'm, I'm a student of you and your work.
Well, we're talking to creatives, right, so let's talk about the benefits of what a spiritual practice will bring to being creative, right? So I'm the cheerleader for meditation.
Preach! Go, sister.
So when we talk about a spiritual practice, just to reiterate, there's books and books and books you could read on these topics, but the simplicity is prayer, you can call it intention here, and meditation. One prayer I've given everybody today is the prayer of "I choose to see creative possibilities," looking for creative possibilities. And then the meditation practice, we can use our sat nam mantra. Just so that they know, okay, "how do I begin my practice?" Just that in itself can set you up. But what are the benefits? So you clear the space to receive. A lot of people think that-
Inspiration is in spirit, like you said earlier.
We walk around looking for inspiration.
Or people are getting high to get inspired, or they're doing crazy things to get inspired when true inspiration can come in that step back and receive, right? So some of the greatest artists are meditators. The Beatles were like, TM was their thing. And so being able to almost step away from the crazy and be receptive is what is what allows that creative process to unfold.
A huge benefit.
Another thing I think is a little practical and spiritual at the same time, but just that sort of F it, let's go mentality. I'm a student of Kundalini yoga and meditation. Yogi Bhajan, who is the Kundalini master, had a beautiful sutra, which is "when the time is on you, start, "and the pressure will be off." And so what does that mean to me, is that just do it, right? You're feeling like, "I don't know where to start, "I don't know how to begin." Just do it. I love how you say go do something creative with love today, go take a photo, go do this. Just be in the action. And that clears space for the creativity to unfold. And so, cause we have millions of reasons for blocking. And some of the other benefits is that you can stay in that consistent energy of creativity, and you can tap into it whenever you want. I think people get confused by this, but I can say with conviction, as a speaker, when I tune in before a talk, which means prayer, meditation, clearing the energy-
Get in the zone, yeah.
Not drinking caffeine, whatever it is that I have to do to just be in that field, I can always get in. I will never not get in. And so yes, there'll be distractions, or some audiences won't be the same, but I can always land in that zone. And that knowing of how to find that inspiration anywhere, anytime, becomes available to you.
That's part of it, most people don't understand the difference between someone who takes pictures or is a director or is just any creative professional where you actually, that creativity on demand, and as a professional, no one cares. If you stayed out late last night or if you're getting well paid to solve huge creative problems for someone that you've agreed to work with, they don't care. It's like a professional golfer, if you have a bad day, you stay out late, you shank in the woods off the first tee and 10 million people are watching, they don't care that you got in a fight with your best friend last night. Because it's basically, it's always on. And that act of having that at your disposal was really, really unlocked. I'm confirming what your point is here. It was really unlocked for me when I started practicing. There were times, I would always go there, but it was often through sort of judgment and beating myself up and just, "you will push through, "you're gonna make this happen." And it was a painful way.
There's nothing creative about that, right?
For sure, and as soon as I sort of got out of my own way, then this stuff started flowing effortlessly, that I was able to hit a new level. So absolutely, I can guarantee that that is a benefit of what you're suggesting. Wow, list of benefits. We've already gone an hour (laughs) which I would like to handcuff you to this chair and keep you for another half hour, but I know your time is valuable. So I want to say thank you. Let's talk about where people can find you.
That's all right there.
And you're at Gabby Bernstein.
Everywhere, I'm Gabby Bernstein.
And how about the new Snapchat, oh my god.
I'm into it.
It's so freakish, it's so fun and playful.
It's playful, and I like it cause the creativity that it brings is just because you can be sloppy, you can be you. You don't have to be perfect.
Yes, and it's just daily, it's lightweight. It's in the moment. I do love that too, dangerous. Thank you so much for being on the show.
Thank you. Thank you.
I see why Oprah is very, like, Gabby Bernstein is the new spiritual leader. I'm grateful for your time today, and I know the folks at home are gonna go check you out. So have a great day. Bye, everybody. Thank you for tuning in. Check her out. (bright music)