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Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles Paperback – September 18, 2012
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"So long, Carrie Bradshaw--there's a new role model for go-getting thirty-somethings. Gabrielle Bernstein is doling out inner peace and self-love for the postmodern spiritual set."
“Gabrielle is one of my most treasured soul sisters and a true ‘Spirit Junkie’ in the most fun and exhilarating ways imaginable! I read Gabby’s books for spiritual life lessons on how to love myself and others more deeply and with authentic honesty. Open your hearts to this beautiful goddess-diva and, most important, discover the one that lives inside you!”
“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
“For those ready to give up their addiction to suffering or who simply need to release the general malaise of a too-busy, too shallow way of life, Spirit Junkie is a soothing balm for the soul. Gabrielle Bernstein is a brilliant shining guide for all who seek to have more love, more light and more miracles in their life.”
—Arielle Ford, author of The Soulmate Secret
“In this mixture of humor, grief and how-to instructions on achieving enlightenment, Bernstein offers more than just autobiography or a user’s guide to meditation . . . A groovy blend of meditative and instructive writing.”--Kirkus
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Gabrielle Bernstein, a member of Oprah's Super Soul 100, has been labeled by the New York Times as the next-generation guru. A motivational speaker, life coach, and author, she is expanding the lexicon for the seekers of today and tomorrow. She gives talks and leads seminars throughout the country, is on the Forbes list of the 20 Best Branded Women, and has been featured in media outlets such as Oprah Radio, Marie Claire, Health, Self, CNN, NBC, CBS, FOX, and the Wall Street Journal. She is the author of Add More ~ing to Your Life and can be seen riding around the East Village on a unicycle. Or just look for her online at gabbyb.tv.
From the Hardcover edition.
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On the positive side, 3 stars because the advice about giving up fear, ego and anger, and practicing love and forgiveness is transformative when practiced over time. Thankfully, Ms Bernstein first gave up drugs and alcohol, or there wouldn't have been much point.
We have all heard about people in downward behavioral spirals. First bulimia, then cutting, then alcohol, then cocaine, then heroin, then homelessness. Not as often do we read about the upward spiral. Where people get their act together. It sounds like the first important step was Recovery meetings and then she just kept going. She got sober, started practicing some spiritual principles, and the Next Right Thing started to become obvious. Whatever we diligently seek, we shall surely find.
As expected, I couldn't relate very well to the author due to the "young and privileged NYC scene" vibe . Still, I had hoped there would be more meat and bones about the upward spiral. How long does all this take? Apparently it is a gradual thing and never "finished", but a few more specific pointers would be helpful. For example, we are told that she experiences many of her transcendent moments in nature and during exercise. Not surprising.
On the negative side, she went from promoting the party lifestyle, which I did not even realize was a way to make a living, to promoting herself as a spiritual guru. Who was bankrolling her (well-off parents it seems) and would any of it be interesting if she were plain, a little overweight and living in East Podunk?
ACM, from what I have read, is basically repackaged Christianity, with God and Christ replaced by the "Universe". The original author claimed to have received inspiration from Christ Himself.
The opposite of "~ing" is the ego (not the Freudian ego) which controls us with fear. The ego forces us to feel separate from everyone and everything and can have us believing we are better than others while at the same time having us believe that we are less-than or not good enough. We can only know true happiness and peace when we stop comparing ourselves to and competing with others.
Bernstein says that each time we gossip, feel jealous, or think nasty thoughts of others, we deepen our faith in fear. "If you choose to see a person's darkness, you strengthen your darkness within. If you choose to see their light, you shine from the inside out." Her solution to our problem of separateness is nothing new: pray, meditate, and write. She even offers her own version of AA's promises: "...you'll know a new way of being and a life beyond your wildest dreams. Fear will lift; anxiety, resentment, and attachment will slip away. You'll feel a presence greater than yourself leading you on a path toward true serenity and peace. You'll know that all your obstacles are opportunities, and you'll learn to lean on a power greater than yourself. Most important, you'll no longer feel the need to figure life out. You'll just be."
When you discover that success and status, the perfect romantic partner, or a hefty bank account won't make you happy, you can learn from "Spirit Junkie" that you already have everything you need to be content and at peace, and it's not outside of you. It's already in you. All you have to do is look.
David Allan Reeves
Author of "Running Away From Me"