I sat down for a Q+A with Gabby Bernstein, best-selling author, speaker, and spiritual teacher. Gabby gave me her tips on staying calm and focused under stress. But first, I asked her how she came to spirituality.
GABBY: I knew I detoured in my teens and 20’s, and veered away from the spiritual practices I was taught as a child. I tried to find my own way looking for answers outside myself. I was an entrepreneur, running my own PR business from 21-25, and I became addicted to the NYC night life. By the time I was 25, I was severely into drugs and alcohol. I had a food and work addiction too. Those addictions opened me up to reach for something deeper, to reconnect with my spiritual self.
HELENE: In the middle of a stressful day, how do you find your anchor—avoid being taken out by the small stuff?
GABBY: While we can’t avoid certain experiences, we can experience them differently. We live in a chaotic world and can’t hide from that. So the real question is, what are we going to do about it? A big part of my work is giving people the tools to be mindful and aware of how they’re affected by the world around them, and how they can anchor back into a more peaceful energy. Being at peace at all times is impossible—it’s about how quickly we come back to that anchor.
HELENE: How would you describe mindfulness?
GABBY: Being aware of how your thoughts and energy are affecting your life. With this awareness we can choose to see things differently—choose a meditation practice to realign our energy.
HELENE: For people who have never meditated and may be frightened by it, what practice would you recommend to start?
GABBY: “Peace Is in Your Pulse” is beautiful Kundalini meditation where you put your pointer finger and middle finger on your pulse. Once you find your pulse, recite the mantra “Sat Nam.” It means “truth identified.” Recite this mantra for 3 minutes as you feel your pulse come and go. You will reorganize your energy and get back to your anchor. Have an intention to set yourself free.