Book Review: Gabrielle Bernstein’s “Spirit Junkie”
Fierce, fabulous, & funny spiritual sage and girl guru Gabrielle Bernstein has a new mantra for the modern generation: “Make shift happen!” Her latest book, Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Discovering Self-Love and Miracles, is all about making miracles- and making love- to yourself. In times when we all want something to believe in, Gabrielle gives us something to believe in: ourselves.
“A decade ago, young women like Ms. Bernstein might have been expected to chase the lifestyle of high heels and pink drinks…But now there is a new role model for New York’s former Carrie Bradshaws…well versed in self-help and New Age spirituality…Ms. Bernstein is one of a circle of such figures, influenced less by the oeuvre of Candace Bushnell than that of Marianne Williamson.” —The New York Times
Once upon a time, I thought there was no hope for my generation. Nothing short of a miracle could have convinced me otherwise. And I wasn’t holding my breath for that miracle, either. Miracles were things people talked about, but had never seen; much like Big Foot, the chupacabra, and the ghost of Elvis. They weren’t things that really happened, and they certainly didn’t happen to me. They were reserved for sensational headlines like “Miraculous Birth: 90 Year Old Man Gives Birth To a Two Headed Kitten”, and the Christmas classic Miracle on 34th Street; which needless to say was about Santa Claus, another mythical marvel.
To me, a spiritual journey was a trip to the mall, on the search for my latest “sole mate”; another pair of stilettos.
They say that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Enter Gabrielle Bernstein, who I accidentally stumbled across via Facebook- on the page of a reality TV star, no less. By this time, I was all ready beginning to move away from societal pursuits and towards living an inspired, authentic life, so Gabrielle’s philosophy of Add More ~Ing To Your Life: A Hip Guide To Happiness was intriguing to me. And just like that, I was high. I was a junkie. A spirit junkie.
Gabrielle’s teachings are a modern day adaptation of the text A Course in Miracles. As a person with a degree in psychology and a graduate degree in social work, I considered myself well versed in the mysteries of the mind and the factors that govern human behavior. I shunned self help books and laughed at the idea of self love. I lived in fear, but I didn’t know it, because I didn’t have the
understanding innerstanding to see that.
The concepts and exercises Gabrielle introduces in both books are scientifically sound. Mantras and affirmations used in conjunction with meditation and physical activity have been proven to have tremendous health benefits, both mentally and physically. Neurologically, rewiring your brain is possible, and Gabrielle shows you how in an easy to understand way that’s totally fun. You won’t even realize you’re working with yourself on yourself; it’s much more like playing…it’s a joyful, happy, fun experience. It’s like having a gab session with your best girlfriend, if she was something like a tiny Buddha.
The pesky little ego (negative self talk/doubts/disbelief) is always popping up, like that arcade game “Wack-a-Mole”. Choosing love over fear and getting your ~ing on is a never end~ing process. Like any good relationship, a relationship with your self takes work. Spirit Junkie is the perfect antidote; a refreshing reminder to continue choosing love over fear, and keep up the good work.
As for me? Remember that miracle needed to change the world I was talking about? Ultimately, I have ended up holding my breath for that miracle. I never turned blue in the face, either. Instead I learned to control my breathing, one of the most basic involuntary functions we have. That in itself is a miracle, because a miracle, as Gabby teaches, is a shift in perception. And who would have ever thought we can control our most basic seemingly involuntary functions, like breathing?
Miracles do happen. Every day. Whether or not we label them miracles, or realize they are miracles, they are there. They start with us, and they spread out; like the gentle rippling of water when a rock is a skipped across its surface. And when we realize that we live in a world where miracles happen every day, we can expect them.
Like Albert Einstein said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
Disclaimer: I received a digital edition of this book for free from the publisher. This in no way affected my review; this review is my own opinion.