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Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles Paperback – September 18, 2012
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How does a New York City publicist and party girl turn into a go to guide for the next generation? In her new book, Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles, Gabrielle Bernstein shares the story of how she transformed her life, offering her spiritual journey as a guidebook for overcoming fear, changing perceptions, and creating a life you’re psyched to wake up for. Bernstein has traded self-doubt and addiction for a new kind of high. In 2005 she became a student of A Course in Miracles and since then she has been guided to teach those spiritual principles to the next generation of seekers.
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.
I read a lot of self help books especially spiritual ones. I've came across some absolutely amazing books out there but this one ... I couldn't finish. The tone was entitled and honestly it felt ego driven which is the opposite of what it's suppose to be about. The lingo is just silly and it felt fake. I really wanted to love it but I didn't learn anything besides the fact that the author, Gabby was a very entitled selfish New Yorker and I think she really is obsessed with the NYC "scene". It felt like sex and the city to me. Not a spiritual journey in the least.
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"