We spoke to motivational speaker, life coach and author Gabrielle Bernstein about how she learned to be open to divine guidance and the miracles that life holds.
- Posted on Jan 25, 2018
Does the universe really send us messages? Gabrielle Bernstein is the author of May Cause Miracles, The Universe Has Your Back and the recently released Judgment Detox. In 2005, after a years-long battle with drug and alcohol addiction, she called out to the universe for help and got a message back loud and clear. In the time since, Gabrielle has dedicated her life to the study of miracles. She recently talked to Mysterious Ways about her spiritual awakening and the signs she’s received along the way....
Have you always been a spiritual seeker?
My family is Jewish, and I was brought up very spiritual. I think I was always searching for God without realizing it. But I turned my back on faith in my twenties. I was running a PR company in New York City, just burning out in all directions. I started looking for God in all the wrong places, looking outside myself for happiness. That led to drug and alcohol addiction, work addiction, love addiction. By the time I was 25, my life was a nightmare I couldn’t wake up from. I was depressed. My business was crumbling. I was partying every night until 5 a.m. and weighed less than 100 pounds. And then, on October 2, 2005, everything changed.
I completely hit rock bottom. I came home from a night of heavy partying and sat in my bedroom, trying to come down from whatever drugs I was on. I took out my journal and wrote, “I need a miracle. God, universe, whoever is out there, help me.” I fell asleep. The first thing I heard when I woke up in the morning was, “Get clean and you will live a life beyond your wildest dreams.” I’d heard whispers of that guiding inner voice in my life before, telling me there had to be a better way. Never like this, though. I had no choice but to listen. That one miracle led me down a completely new path. I entered a recovery program and promised myself I wouldn’t turn my back on the source of love that had saved me.
Does everyone hear their inner voice the way you did?
There’s a beauty in the bottom because, when you hit it, there’s no way to go but up. All logical solutions and ways to anesthetize your pain are gone. You’re more open to a spiritual awakening because nothing else is left. And you can hear your intuition loud and clear. But there are a lot of ways God communicates with us. Some people hear guidance through an audible sound. Or through people. Others get a feeling or an idea that comes in a dream. It doesn’t really matter how you hear God. The universe sends us messages, whether we notice them or not. What’s important is that you’re open to hearing God’s voice coming through.
How can you tell your inner voice from your ego?
Your inner voice is one of love and support. It’s free-flowing. There’s no agenda, no rush, no control. The voice of your ego, on the other hand, is controlling and can be a voice of attack, judgment and fear. Those are the things that can block your miracle mind-set.
What’s a miracle mind-set?
A miracle is a shift in perception, when we change our minds about the world we see. When you shift, say, from attack to forgiveness or from fear to love—those are miraculous moments. So when you’re aligned with God and listening to your intuition, you’re in a miracle mind-set. You’re forgiving, limitless, open, nonjudgmental, at peace.
Do you experience more miracles in that state?
Absolutely. Everyone has the capacity to experience miracles. But control blocks our miracle mind-set in a major way because we think our will is the way and we start to rely on our own strength. You try to control the outcome of a medical diagnosis or your love life, and you forget to rely on a higher power. The more aligned you are with God’s nature and the more you surrender, the more serenity you’ll experience. And the more mystical experiences you’ll have because you’ve taken away the things that block your peace. And when you start to live in that peace, you’ll see more miracles and receive more signs.
How do you know if God is really sending you a sign?
It will feel like a gift. There will be no question where it came from. It often catches you by surprise. One of the signs I always seem to get from the universe is an owl. When my husband and I moved to a new house, our broker gave me a housewarming gift. He said he’d seen it and thought I’d like it. I unwrapped it and almost fell over. It was a ceramic bowl with an owl print! I’d never told my broker about my thing with owls. It was a little sign letting me know I was in the right home, on the right path. I knew that because it wasn’t planned or something I was trying to force.
What’s the biggest surprise you’ve received from the universe?
So many. But one incident sticks out. Three years ago, my husband and I were trying to conceive. It was a difficult year. I wasn’t feeling great. I was lacking in faith and trying to make things happen on my timeline. I decided to take a yearlong break from it all. In January of last year, we started trying again. I began to notice those same controlling behaviors in myself coming back. I stopped, stepped back and asked for a sign.
Later that day, I was looking out the window at home and saw five big wild turkeys. I was just in awe of them. They were so beautiful. I’d never seen them before. And there was this whole bunch of them. Two hours later, while I was meditating, I felt my intuition telling me to Google wild turkeys. I got up, went to my desk and Googled, “What is the spiritual meaning of turkeys?” And the answer was fertility! I was just in awe. Here was this great, gorgeous reminder of the universe having my back.
How can you ask God for a sign?
We’re always in communication with the universe, and you’ll get signs if you ask. Listen for an answer. Ask the universe to be loud and clear so there’s no mistaking it. You can be specific about the sign you’d like to receive. Don’t force a message or outcome, though. It’s not a magic trick. We can sometimes get stuck in “I need my sign! I need my sign!” But not getting a sign is still a sign. We’re always being guided. Even when things are difficult and life doesn’t feel as if it’s flowing. That’s guidance too, saying, “It’s time to redirect.” The bigger goal is always to listen to your intuition. Trust that your inner wisdom and universal guidance are working through you.
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