A few years ago I became a “Spirit Junkie,” taking up a daily meditation and making a commitment to journey inwards. My whole life changed! On this journey I also became a student of A Course in Miracles, the foundational text for my friend Gabrielle Bernstein’s new book, Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles. Unlike Gabby, I did not go down this path because of an addiction to drugs or alcohol, or an addiction to finding love in a romantic partner. For me it was about searching for inner peace, releasing my fears, and a deep desire to discover my true purpose. Like Gabby, what called me to become a Spirit Junkie was a loud inner voice (~ing as she calls it). From a young age I felt like I was meant for something big, a world changing purpose, and I wanted to be guided to discovering what that was.
I first came across Gabby nearly two years ago when I interviewed her for her first book, Add More ~ing to Your Life. I felt an instant connection to her and I’m so excited for her and all she has accomplished over the last couple years. Today I’m talking to her once again about happiness, work, and life as a Spirit Junkie.
Natalie: What’s the big difference between Spirit Junkie and Add More ~ing To Your Life?
Gabby: 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! (fyi: I have chills as I respond to this question…) 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.
Natalie: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned throughout your spiritual journey?
Gabby: I’ve learned 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.
Natalie: You tweet and post that you’re “the happiest person you know.” That’s pretty bold!
Gabby: As you’ll read in Spirit Junkie, I wasn’t always a self-proclaimed happy person. I was quite the opposite. But because of my steadfast journey inward I’ve connected to true inner peace. I maintain this peace and happiness through a daily spiritual practice. I often say that there isn’t a spiritual part of my life – it’s just MY SPIRITUAL LIFE. My happiness maintanance comes in the form of daily prayer and meditation – a moment-to-moment practice of forgiveness and a daily inventory of my actions. I have also chosen a life of sobriety, which truly keeps me straight and connected to spirit. I no longer need drugs or alcohol to make me feel good. I just feel it…
Natalie: What inspired you to start on your current path as a teacher of A Course in Miracles?
Gabby: My own personal transformation is what inspired me to teach. I have worked hard to shift my perceptions from fear to love and therefore know how to access true happiness. Undergoing this miraculous shift became the catalyst for me to teach what I had learned. How dare I not share my experience with the world. In addition, I believe that to teach is to learn. The more I teach others how to embrace happiness the more happy I become.
Natalie: I like to talk about “working happy” and I think a lot of us, at one point or another, have struggled with what you call work addiction. Can you share how you overcame an addiction to work and what working life is like for you now?
Gabby: I often meet many people addicted to work because they find their self-worth in their career. This was the case for me. When you tie your worth to your work you’re likely to get stuck in an addictive patterns and lose your life balance. The key tool to overcoming this addictive behavior is to become conscious of the pattern. It’s likely that you never considered overworking a problem because it’s “productive.” Therefore it’s important to witness your behavior and consciously choose to change. In addition, it’s helpful to establish inspiring hobbies outside of your career. These activities will provide you with a new sense of self beyond the workplace.
For more about Gabrielle Bernstein’s work you can visit www.gabbyb.tv and don’t forget to head to Amazon and pick up a copy of Spirit Junkie.