Updated: Dec 3, 2019
"We are not responsible for what our eyes are seeing. We are responsible for how we perceive what our eyes are seeing."
-My favourite quote from Gabrielle Bernstein's The Universe Has Your Back: Transform Fear to Faith.
I've been studying personal and spiritual development since 2006 and naturally there are some teachers I resonate with and some that I don't.
My whole quest with this work has always been about discovering the most accurate truth about who we are, why we're here, and how we create our reality as human beings.
I've always strived to understand the beautiful and mysterious marriage between science and spirituality and how it powerfully relates to every part of our lives.
Last week I finished Gabby's fifth book, The Universe Has Your Back. This is the first time I've interacted with any of her work and overall I loved it. Not so much because the book has the potential to be a powerful tool for transformation (it does for the right person), but more so because of what Gabby stands for as a teacher and a leader in our industry.
I feel I can relate very closely to Gabby's mission: To help people of all walks of life achieve high levels of genuine happiness and success in every area. To assist people in healing their darkest shadows so that they can live more moments filled with love and light instead of fear and suffering.
Ultimately, Gabby is doing all this because it's her highest calling to help make the world a better place to live.
As I read the book I was constantly thinking, I hear and see you, sister...
That's why I wanted to write this article. Because I believe in her and her mission.
For example, throughout the book she shares stories of her own past struggles with alcohol, drugs and natural mental/emotional limitations that every human goes through as they walk a path of conscious growth.
With vulnerability and humility, she clearly explains what it takes for the average person to develop a healthy connection to their spirituality in our current chaotic world, offering a plethora of exercises and practices along the way.
An Example of My Own Spiritual Disillusionment
One of my first interactions with a modern day spiritual teacher was in 2007 when I read Eckhart Tolle's book The Power of Now. That book changed my life in a profoundly positive way and was initially a large part of my inspiration to want to become a spiritual teacher myself.
However, my immature mind made the mistake in believing that in order to be a successful spiritual teacher, I had to be just like Eckhart.
Misunderstanding the core of his teachings, I thought I had to abandon my sense of self and humanness to essentially transform into what I thought it meant to be an "enlightened being."
This happens to many people pursuing a spiritual path. I spent much of my 20's putting teachers like Eckhart on a pedestal, mentally and emotionally disconnecting from my natural tendencies and desires because I judged them to not be in alignment with what I believed it meant to "be spiritual."
This ended up making me even more confused and sad because I wasn't being my authentic self. I was being a projected version of what I thought I needed to be in order to be happy and successful.
All good spiritual teachers, like Gabby and Eckhart, encourage doing the opposite. They remind us that the doorway to living a fulfilling spiritual life isn't through trying to be "spiritual." It comes through being deeply vulnerable with the core of who you are, warts and all, while learning to fully accept and embrace whatever you find.
Concurrently, it is through the practice of deep inner acceptance where we will find the power and potency to change our personal circumstances as well.
This is easier said than done of course. It's a process and the reason they call it a "spiritual journey."
All powerful teachings alike conclude that judgment and resistance of all kinds are ultimately the antithesis of living a peaceful, joyful and abundant life.
Believing that you need to be, do and have something before you can be happy is the gateway too suffering. It is the core motivator and function of the ego-mind.
Why Gabby is a Great Modern Day Spiritual Teacher
Gabby is a wonderful teacher for many reasons but mainly because she has done the work necessary to transcend much of her own pain and suffering without coming across as a Guru with a capital "G.".
She's young, beautiful and smart, but more importantly she's down to earth, raw and real, making her very relatable and approachable for the modern day person who wants to develop a deeper connection to their spirituality.
Amongst other things, she reminds us that not only is it okay to be imperfect, it's necessary to embrace your imperfections in order to be deeply happy while also creating a rich and abundant life for yourself.
The universe has your back.
I personally recommend all of Gabby's work. I look forward to reading her next book as well!
Until next time,
Live Your Best Life!