Self-help star Gabby Bernstein opens up about her spiritual practice

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Gabby Bernstein opens up about her spiritual practice. (Photo: Getty; designed by Quinn Lemmers)
Gabby Bernstein opens up about her spiritual practice. (Photo: Getty; designed by Quinn Lemmers)

The Unwind is Yahoo Life’s well-being series in which experts, influencers and celebrities share their approaches to wellness and mental health, from self-care rituals to setting healthy boundaries to the mantras that keep them afloat.

Gabby Bernstein is all about spirituality. The New York Times bestselling author of self-improvement books — including Super Attractor and Spirit Junkie — has dedicated her career to helping people feel their best and live in their purpose, and she practices what she preaches. 

“As a spiritual student, the idea of choosing to not look outside of yourself for your happiness and really make sure that you’re taking that sort of serenity and peace within yourself [is] the driving force of my personal journey," she tells Yahoo Life.

Bernstein has been nothing but candid about her personal journey, including her postpartum depression and path to sobriety, encouraging others to deeply probe their lives and values in pursuit of their own truths. In her Dear Media podcast Dear Gabby, launched during the pandemic, Bernstein brings her brand of self-care into a new format. 

Motivational speaker and author Gabby Bernstein on being 'spiritual first responder'

Self-help star Gabby Bernstein opens up about her spiritual practice

Spirituality coach and author Gabby Bernstein on meditation, motherhood and mantras

“It started off as a spiritual first responder on the internet,” Bernstein says of the show's genesis. “We were all super-struggling and I got on Instagram Live and started doing what I now call Dear Gabby. It became a community of people that would be there every single week at the exact same time.”

Bernstein’s goal with the podcast is one fans of hers will recognize: “The main intention was to help people feel less alone and to give people spiritual guidance and personal growth practices that they could apply instantly. The big goal for me is to help people really feel good and to be a place where there's positive, upbeat direction, where you can also tell the truth.”

Yahoo Life spoke with Bernstein about the podcast, her upcoming book and the daily practices that keep her feeling her best.

What's your your approach to to making sure that you're feeling good? How do you protect your mental health?

At the beginning of COVID I started doing a meditation practice for 40 minutes at noon. It's in my calendar, I don't skip it. I listen to binaural beats and bilateral music, which is a very powerful kind of meditation music that helps your brain process things without having to overthink them. Depending on what's going on with me at the time, I might journal about it for 15 minutes and then meditate for the rest of those 40 minutes. 

That has been one of the cornerstones of my spiritual practice this past year and has helped me stay grounded, stay well, stay healthy. Ultimately what it's doing is completely regulating my nervous system and keeping my adrenals at a great level and helping me stay consistent in whatever it is that I have to show up for. I would have to say this practice has been one of the greatest things I've implemented in the past year.  

That sounds like the perfect, midday reset.

That's when I start to tank. I'm a big morning worker, but at 12 o'clock I start to tank and I need to literally recharge the battery and start again. 

Do you have any kind of self-care practice that you do first thing in the morning, or is it get up and go?

I usually get up a little bit before my son, and sometimes I listen to that binaural music or I'll just lie in bed and rest. But I have a toddler so I don't have a major morning routine other than waking up my kid or being woken up by my kid. 

What's bringing you joy these days in your life?  

My son Oliver, who is 2 and a half. My work is just a great joy because I am privileged to have a team of people that I really admire. They're all in the same pursuit of helping a lot of people and having a lot of fun doing it — that's our company motto. I'm working on a new project and finishing a new book that's coming out in 2022. I'm in the final few strokes part of the writing process and it's been really, really fun for me. 

What can you tell us about the book?  

Well, the book is called Happy Days, but the subtitle — I wrote it yesterday — is currently "The Path from Trauma to Profound Peace and Freedom." So it is my trauma recovery story, my sobriety, my journey of getting on the path of healing PTSD and all of the practical and spiritual methods that I've used to get to that profound freedom and peace. It's big and it's also timely... My pub date is 2/22/22. I have to admit that I chose it. 

What in your life these days stresses you out, and how do you manage that?  

I'm stressed out by the state of the world. I'm worried about the world. That's real, that's the truth. I think that we've been living in this pandemic situation for so long that there's this undercurrent of uncertainty that you can't shake. I have a great spiritual foundation and I have a lot of safety in my life so that I can feel that certainty, but I have a lot of concerns for people that don't. I'm just worried about people. 

I'm also working through my own inner judgment around those who won't show up for others in the ways that we need to.  

Do you have a mantra?

I have a mantra that I've used for many years, and it's now my reality and I will continue to say it and keep it in its form and it's: "Everything is happening around me and I'm truly taken care of."

Are there people or places or things that you do that really provide you with inspiration?

I find a lot of inspiration from the people that I see bouncing back. My readers, my Dear Gabby listeners, when I see these people and their resilience I am inspired to keep doing what I'm doing. I seek inspiration often mainly through my meditation and when I'm writing and speaking; that's when I kind of feel the greatest hit of inspiration. I wrote a book that came out in March 2020, an Audible original called You Are the Guru. It was really just this book about how you can't make anyone your idol, that you are the guru that you have to look within yourself to find the answers.

Are there any wellness or spiritual trends that you think are totally overrated?  

I've always said that letting spirituality be trendy is better than drugs or partying. I think that if someone's finding their spirituality through gua sha or some kind of yoga practice or whatever it is, it doesn't matter. What matters is that they're feeling better. One trend that I do think is horrific, though, is there are some voices in the spiritual space that are really against the pandemic and putting out messages about anti-vaccination and anti-mask, and that is something I'd be happy to publicly say I do not think is right. 

What are you looking forward to?  

I am really looking forward to the launch of my new book. I am excited to get it out and to be able to see how it can support people. 

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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