Today’s post is part of FBG’s Back to Basics Week that features the best beginner fitness and beginner nutrition posts that help you to be a little healthier and—in theme with the week—a little smarter. This particular post hones in on the more mental side of health and wellness, and shows that real fitness comes from the inside out!
Last spring we stumbled upon motivational speaker and author Gabrielle Bernstein when we reviewed her book Add More ~ing To Your Life. We loved her ability to take all kinds of self-love hippity-dippity stuff (which actually can make you less stressed and happier—we swear!) and make it young, accessible and really fun.
So when we heard that Gabby was coming out with a second book, Spirit Junkies (which we reviewed today!), we were thrilled. And then we were offered the opportunity to chat with Gabby. Well, we just got so excited that it took 20 minutes on the meditation pillow to just calm down. (Seriously, her weekly vlogs are my Monday start-the-week-off-right remedy.) Read on for our recent chat with Gabby on everything from her workouts to how she went from drug-addict to happiness guru to how you can get some of Gabby’s “~ing” in your life, too!
Interview with Gabrielle Bernstein of Spirit Junkie
- FBG: In your new book Spirit Junkie you talk about how you hit a bottom and had to shut down your Sex in the City lifestyle. Why was that lifestyle no longer fulfilling to you?
- GB: By the time I was 23 or 24, that world was no longer glossy anymore. I was really, really disenchanted with the nightlife scene in New York. I had spent years looking for happiness “out there”—in a pair of shoes, a boyfriend, getting past the velvet rope at some fancy nightclub. I learned the hard way that none of that worked. By the time I turned 25, I hit a huge bottom and had to surrender to the fact that true happiness had to come from within. This was when I shut down my outward search, turned inward and surrendered to a life as a full-on Spirit Junkie.
- FBG: Did you have any inkling that you’d ever be a motivational speaker?
- GB: It’s funny. I was always very theatrical. I went to theater school in a conservatory program. So it was very comfortable being on a stage and presenting ideas. I was uncomfortable acting because I didn’t like being something that I wasn’t, but I knew that there was this need to present. Even when I was an adolescent, I was a natural leader and it was very, very thrilling for me to rally people around an inspired idea. When I was in my 20s, I was running a public relations business. I would still have this intuition that I was going to be a motivational speaker, a coach and an author. I had this psychic hit that that was the case. I would be at after hours partying, doing God knows what drugs and drinking and be just a mess, telling strangers I was going to be a motivational speaker. It was this voice inside of me that was like, “You’re going to do this,” but I didn’t know how.
- FBG: Your first book, Add More ~ing To Your Life, has helped many people (including us!) to be happier. Can you tell us more about what “~ing” actually is?
- GB: ~ing stands for inner guidance. It is the voice of our intuition and our inspiration. The loving voice that guides us to forgive, release resentment and choose loving thoughts and actions. We all have ~ing—we just forget to call on it. My book Add More ~ing To Your Life is designed to help readers bulldoze negative thoughts and reconnect with their inner guidance system.
- FBG: What is different about Spirit Junkie as compared to Add More ~ing To Your Life?
- GB: I often say that Add More ~ing To Your Life is like an appetizer. It makes you hungry to be even more spiritually fed. Spirit Junkie is the big meal that will totally fill you up! I love this book so much! Spirit Junkie is a memoir-style guidebook. This book is based on my story of how spirit has been intervening in my life from adolescence the present. I share how I spiritually recovered from drug addiction, love addiction, food addiction, work addiction…you name it. Through my own personal recovery story, I teach the reader how to do the same. This book offers a spiritual solution for all problems. My hope for this book is that it will be the conduit through which I share the beautiful lessons I’ve learned as a student and a teacher of spirituality.
- FBG: Tell us the most important lesson you’ve learned throughout your spiritual journey.
- GB: The most important lesson I’ve learned throughout my spiritual journey is that true happiness comes from a connection to spirit. This connection is unique for everyone. It’s our job to be willing and surrender so that we can cultivate a spiritual relationship of our own understanding. When you have spirit in your life you feel complete, whole and inspired. You know the Universe has your back.
- FBG: How does happiness and self-confidence affect your own fitness and health goals?
- GB: The more I’ve grown to love myself, the more kind I am to my body. I used to be a gym rat. In retrospect, I can see how excessively working out was another way of avoiding my feelings. I’ve learned through years spent establishing a loving relationship with myself that, for me, it’s best to have a balanced fitness routine that is gentle on my body.
- FBG: We know how you stay healthy mentally. How do you stay healthy physically?
- GB: I love working out on the trampoline. I do the Urban Rebounding exercise on my mini trampoline three to four days a week for a half hour. I love it! I throw some yoga in the mix, too.
- FBG: What’s a typical week like for you when it comes to working out and eating?
- GB: Because I work for myself, I am able to fit exercise into my day when my body is calling for it. So some days I exercise in the morning, whereas other days I don’t move until the evening. These days I just listen to what my body needs and take action from there.
- FBG: What’s the one thing our readers can do today to feel happier and healthier?
- GB: Mentally: Be willing to see positivity and love in all situations. When you feel the desire to attack, judge and act out with fear simply say, “I’m willing to see this differently.” Physically: Keep it simple. If you can make a commitment to move in some way every day, you will feel great! Whether it be a long walk, a powerful stretch or a hardcore workout, you’re serving your body. Spiritually: Meditate. If you’re a meditation newbie, you can check out my guided meditations at www.gabbyb.tv/meditate.
Good stuff, right? We love how she combines total happiness with the physical, mental and spiritual. Thanks for chatting with us, Gabby! —Jenn