Photographed by Atisha Paulson.
Meditation is one of those things we all know we should be doing, really want to be doing, but probably aren't actually doing all that much. Or ever. Well, that one time, but then we fell asleep.
Gabrielle Bernstein gets it. Sure, she's a teacher and a speaker on the topic of meditation (and other spiritual and self-care practices), but she's also a busy woman in the real world, surrounded by the same distractions we all are. That's why her new book, Miracles Now, is just the thing we always wanted but never expected to get. Instead of the usual self-help tomes that sit on our bedside, guilting us into reading, Miracles Now gets straight to the good stuff with 108 exercises and tools you can do, right now.
Each lesson — some meditative, some a simple shift in thought — packs a small but mighty punch and enables you to make meaningful change in every moment. From the way you approach a cranky coworker to the way you address conflict with your significant other, and even how you handle a national tragedy, Miracles Now offers powerful exercises to apply, drawing on Bernstein's years of studying Kundalini and EFT, as well as spiritual text A Course In Miracles. What we love about this book is its accessibility, practicality, and share-ability (Gabrielle also harnessed the power of social media in a whole new way). Check out our interview, plus two of our favorite exercises from the book. Then, nab yourself a copy!
Photographed by Atisha Paulson.
The following two tips are excerpted from Bernstein's Miracles Now:
Resolve Inner Conflict
No matter how well things are going in your life, the ego still finds ways to create inner conflict. In fact, I’ve found that the happier I’ve become, the craftier my ego is. Everything can be going great in my life, and then in an instant, I can be taken down by some insane belief that spins me out of control.
A Course In Miracles teaches us, “I am never upset for the reason I think.” All inner conflict stems from fear-based illusions that the ego so artfully places into our psyche. These fearful illusions show up time and time again unless we choose to become the master of our own mind.
Yogi Bhajan said, “If you master your mind, you master the whole Universe.” Through Kundalini meditation we can be released of the ego’s stronghold and our attachment to the ego’s fearful beliefs. Spiritual commitment can resolve inner conflict.
Today’s technique is the powerful Kundalini meditation called “inner-conflict resolver.” This practice will help you soften your ego and melt away any sense of separation. This heart-opening experience will help you hold and maintain an experience of compassion.
Inner Conflict Resolver Meditation
Sit comfortably in a chair or cross-legged on the floor. Place your palms on your upper chest with your thumbs facing upward.
Breathe in your nose for five seconds. Breathe out your nose for five seconds. Hold your breath for 15 seconds.
Continue this cycle of breath for one minute (or as long as you wish).
Let your breath open your heart.
Let today’s Miracle Message remind you that you can choose to release inner conflict by following your spiritual path.
Photo: Courtesy of Gabrielle Bernstein.
Compare No More
Comparing is a nasty habit. When we compare ourselves to others we get hooked into the belief that we’re better than or less than someone else. Comparing creates animosity, resentment, jealousy, and competition. Living in this way can hurt your happiness and your sense of peace. How can you be peaceful when you’re constantly comparing yourself? It’s exhausting!
Beneath the desire to compare is a deep-rooted sense that we are not enough. When we feel an unconscious sense of lack, we project that lack onto others so we won’t feel so bad about ourselves. It’s a vicious cycle. For instance, maybe you’ve been single for a while and you often compare yourself to people who are in relationships. This act of comparing sends you into a tizzy, reinforcing all that you don’t have and convincing you that attached folks are better than you. Or, maybe you compare yourself to celebrities and notable figures. You always see yourself as less than, and in effect, you feel incomplete. Understanding this pattern is the first step toward transforming it.
Once you’re aware of your comparing habit, the next step is to take action toward changing your behavior. The moment you witness yourself comparing, pause and say (whether out loud or to yourself): “The light I see in them is a reflection of my inner light.” Even if you don’t believe this affirmation or you think it’s too New Agey, give it a shot. Each time you compare, recite the affirmation.
Choosing to perceive oneness in the moment can release you from the need to compare. In an instant, you can be set free. That is a miracle.
Practice this tool as often as possible and pay attention to your shifts. The shifts may be subtle at first, but you’ll feel relief right away. Set yourself free from the comparison cycle and be at peace with who you are.