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Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles par [Bernstein, Gabrielle]
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Longueur : 289 pages Word Wise: Activé Composition améliorée: Activé
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Descriptions du produit



A Tiny Mad Idea

All shallow roots must be uprooted, because they are not deep enough to sustain you.


For most my life I felt like a fraud. I worked super hard to be perceived as cool. I did everything I could to keep up, fit in, and be accepted. I dressed a certain way, studied specific subjects, tried different hobbies. In high school I wore Doc Martens, wrapped a flannel shirt around my waist, and tried to be cute by wearing my field hockey skirt to school on game day. I did whatever I could to fit in, but none of it worked. I never felt as though I was part of the group.

I now realize that behind all my striving was a search for meaning and purpose. I was searching for a sense of self-worth in relationships ranging from friends to family to romances. My outside persona was a loquacious, white, middle-class Jewish girl growing up in the 'burbs with her divorced hippie parents. But I had no clue who I was on the inside.

To make matters worse, I felt like my thoughts were totally different from those of the average adolescent. It seemed as though my contemporaries were content to focus on sports, the latest hit movie, and dating. My mind was obsessed with other things. I constantly wondered why I was this person in this body with this family at this time. I'd think, Is this it? We're born, we get an education, we make some money, we get hitched, we have some kids, and then we die? Is that all there is to life? I was an adolescent girl caught in an existential crisis. My inner turmoil had me questioning everything I was trained to believe in.

The world around me taught the thinking of inequality, separateness, and competition, and better-than and less-than. I was led to value money, a romantic partner, and success as driving factors for true happiness. The world taught me to believe in archetypes like mean girls, hot guys, rich dads, poor kids, cool crowds, and losers who sat alone at lunch. I was supposed to believe this world was real, but deep down I didn't fully buy it. In my mind a battle raged between what I was taught to believe and a deep-rooted intuition that there was something more. My inner voice was screaming, Wake up, girl, there's a better way!

Throughout my formative years I experienced fleeting encounters with what I was seeking: a peaceful world beyond what I was taught to see. This began at age sixteen. By that time my inner turmoil had gotten so bad that I was in a constant state of anxiety. I feared just about everything. I was scared of being alone, getting too fat, not being cool enough. Some days I didn't even have a reason--I was just scared. This anxiety made me feel like a freak. My brother and friends seemed to be totally chilled-out, whereas I was in a constant state of panic. My hippie mom chose to remedy this anxiety with what she knew best: meditation. I was desperate to ease my incessant thoughts and get out of the scary world I'd created inside my mind, so I took her up on her offer to learn meditation. Once I agreed to give it a shot, my mom lit some incense and sat my ass down on a meditation pillow. She taught me to sit cross-legged with my palms facing upward so that I could receive the so-called "energy" around me. This was far outside my comfort zone, but I was distressed and willing to try anything.

Early on in my mediation practice, I confirmed that my intuition was right. There was a better way. I found that whenever I'd sit long enough, my mind would soften and my anxiety would disappear. Then one afternoon I was led to know much more. In the middle of my meditation I felt a rush of peace come over me. My limbs began to tingle and I felt surrounded by a sense of love. I felt at home for the first time. This experience reassured me that my intuition was spot-on. There was more to happiness than shopping malls, TV, and being popular. There was a source of energy that was greater than me, which I could access if I sat long enough in meditation. Even though I was still totally confused about my existence, this gave me something to hold on to. It gave me hope that there was indeed a better way to perceive the world.

Unfortunately, I couldn't share this experience with my high school contemporaries. I couldn't very well show up at school and say, "Hey, guys, I meditated last night and my body was taken over by a loving energy. It was totally cool." There was no way in hell they'd believe me. As far as they were concerned, what you see is what you get. It seemed to me that they believed in a world of separateness, fear, competition, and prom. Had I shared my existential philosophies with my friends, I'd have been exiled. I was weird enough already.

So instead I chose fear. I turned my back on the feeling of love and serenity brewing inside me and took what I thought was the path of least resistance. I detoured into fear and forgot about my encounter with love. I made the decision to go along with the crowd and believe life was tough. As I got older and grew into this mindset, I focused on the form I'd projected onto my life. I saw myself as so-and-so's girlfriend, as a theater student, as a young entrepreneur, as a party girl mentioned in the gossip rags and someone worth Googling. I portrayed myself as better than others, but on the inside I felt less than everyone. From the outside it looked as though I had successfully created a "cool" existence for myself. But I couldn't ignore the voice in the back of my mind nagging me to remember that there was a better way.

However, I hid from that voice. I denied its truth. I chose to let fear take the wheel and navigate my life without a road map. This choice led me to some super scary dead ends, which included a slew of addictions--drug addiction being one of them--and unhealthy, drama-filled relationships. Luckily, I got lost enough times to surrender to that inner voice, listen, and pick up the map. That map was A Course in Miracles, and it became my guide back home.

Today I have the map in my back pocket and I'm psyched to share it with you. I know you must be longing for a guide. Maybe you're going through a breakup, coping with a job loss, or mourning a death. Maybe you're recovering from a form of addiction, you hate your body, or, like me, you're having some kind of existential crisis. Whatever it is I know it's not easy, and that in some way or another fear's running the show. Let's face it: you wound up in the self-help section of the bookstore, right? But that's cool. Your willingness to enhance your life is what guided you to me. Where you are is totally normal. This is where most of our minds end up sooner or later. That's because, early on in life, most of us separate from love and choose fear instead. We might have fleeting moments of inspiration and truth. We feel love through a song lyric or an image or after a warm embrace. We sense love, but we don't believe in it. We save our faith for fear. But ultimately, there is a quiet voice in each of us that longs for something better. That voice inside you is what led you to this book. Some way, somehow, your inner voice of love spoke louder than fear and said, Maybe there's a better way. And you listened.

Nice one! I'm proud of you. You did the best you could to get to this point. So let's get the ball rolling! I'm here to guide you to a whole new way to perceive the world. As I mentioned before, A Course in Miracles will be our map. Like most maps, the Course can be hard to understand at first glance. Therefore, it's crucial that you keep an open mind. I know this New Age stuff might be a little funky for you, but hang tight. All I ask is that you stay open to the suggestions. At times you may completely disagree with what I'm teaching. In fact, I'm sure you will. Most of what you'll learn in this book is the opposite of what you've been conditioned to believe. But that's cool. New ideas are what you need. Clearly your old ways haven't been working. I'm here to teach you that life doesn't have to be tough, that you don't need to feel alone, and that miracles are your birthright. So be willing to see things differently and you'll be led to all the happiness and serenity that you desire. I know this is a pretty ballsy statement, but I'll straight-up testify to it. As it says in the Course, "There is a way of living in the world that is not here, although it seems to be. You do not change appearance, though you smile more frequently. Your forehead is serene; your eyes are quiet." Sounds totally awesome, right? Well, it is.

In this chapter I'll start us off on our journey by introducing the key principles of the Course, which identify fear as an illusion and a shift in perception as a miracle. For the most part, I'll be sticking to the Course's language, but from time to time I'll Gabbify some stuff. I'll begin by reminding you of the state of mind we were born with, which I'll refer to as "love." Here, I'll take you back in time to the peace you once knew as an innocent child. Then I'll identify the key reasons you're no longer grooving in that way. I'll guide you to understand what the Course teaches is a major reason that we sink into unhappiness, which, simply put, is a separation from our inner state of joy. Then, I'll wrap up the chapter with an exercise designed to help you identify the negative thought patterns you've created in your mind. Taking inventory of those patterns is the first move toward shifting them. Our journey will begin with "love." What better way to start!

Born in Love

The love I'll speak of throughout the book is not to be confused with romantic love. The Course defines love as "the right-minded emotion of peace and joy." This kind of love is not something we offer to some people and deny others--this is one love that embodies everything and everyone. When we're in a state of love we see everyone as equal and we feel at ease all the time. This state is fearless and faithful.

Love is where we all begin. When we are born, all we know is love. Our ~ing is on! (If you haven't read my last book, Add More ~ing to Your Life, allow me to translate: ~ing is your inner guide, which is the voice of intuition, inspiration, and love. Throughout the book I'll refer to love, spirit, and ~ing interchangeably.) Our thoughts are aligned with love and our minds are peaceful. Our loving mind believes that all people are equal and that we are part of something larger than ourselves. We believe that we are supported and connected to everything everywhere. We believe that only love is real. We believe in miracles.

When I was first exposed to this lesson from the Course, it was hard for me to remember a time from my past when love fully ran the show. Even as a young child I felt anxious and skittish, and as if something were off-kilter. When I had that fleeting encounter with love during my early meditation days, I knew for sure that the presence of love was missing as a constant in my life. In that fleeting moment during my meditation, I felt it and it was real. Although I was unable to capture it and pin it down at the time, I was able to hang on to its memory for some sense of serenity.

A Tiny Mad Idea

So we are born into love, and then pretty soon thereafter fear is introduced. We begin to pick up the fear around us and are led to deny love. One tiny mad idea can hijack our loving mindset, and as the Course says, "we forgot to laugh." This tiny mad idea could have arrived as early as infancy. Maybe Mom was anxious or Dad yelled a lot. As innocent babies we pick up fear from the outside world. All it takes is one tiny mad idea to make us detour into fear. A thought like "I'm not smart enough," or "Daddy doesn't like me, because he left," or "I'm not pretty enough" can separate us from love. The moment we take this tiny mad idea seriously, we get caught in a nightmare and forget to wake up.

With one fearful thought we lose love and are thereby separated from our ~ing. This is what the Course calls "dissociation," which it basically defines as "a decision to forget." We chose to forget that we were equally as loveable and worthy as everyone and everything everywhere. Instead we chose to believe in fear and to perceive ourselves as separate in all ways. In some cases we believe we are better than others and special, whereas in other instances we believe we aren't good enough and are lesser-than. This thinking is destructive and unproductive: it leads us nowhere fast.

The tiny mad idea that totally seized my ~ing arrived when I was eight years old and landed a national TV commercial. This was monumental, not because I was proud of my acting or excited about being on TV, but because it was the first time I remember my father ever noticing me. It's not that my father was a mean man or a bad parent; it's just that I don't remember having much of a connection with him when I was young. Then, once I got a taste of what his attention felt like, it became like a drug that I couldn't get enough of. From that point forward, I was on the chase for more. I became a love junkie.

Though I didn't realize it, that experience began to reprogram my mind. It taught me that outward success equals "Daddy loves me," and that I wasn't good enough without his attention. So I continued to do whatever it took to be noticed. That was when I detoured into fear. This one tiny mad idea became my root issue, and a whacked-out emotional blueprint was set down to be built upon for the next twenty years of my life. I lost my faith in love and fell for the fear instead.

Revue de presse

"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."  
—Elle Magazine

“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!” 
—Eliza Dushku

“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.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 4943 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 289 pages
  • Editeur : Harmony (13 septembre 2011)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B004J4XGG8
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.8 étoiles sur 5 4 commentaires client
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°78.766 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Un livre sur le développement personnel qui est très bien écrit, il nous apprend a relativiser et a se rendre compte que notre vie est belle et qu'elle peut l'etre encore plus !
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I found the book refreshing. I particularly enjoyed her writing style while giving depth of understanding while remaining fluid and easy readable.
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Par José Manuel le 13 février 2013
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This was a gift for my daughter who finds herself a junkie!
She seemed to appreciate and keeps reading it.
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Thank you for guiding me to this book ... Whoever you are ,-)
I'm now expecting miracles and so happy!
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) HASH(0x9ad5906c) étoiles sur 5 264 commentaires
194 internautes sur 204 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9ab01168) étoiles sur 5 Thought-provoking and Peace-inducing 21 août 2011
Par Freudian Slips - Publié sur
Format: Relié Commentaire d‘un membre du Club des Testeurs ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
When I selected this book for reviewing, I was not familiar with the author (despite the book cover's statement that Forbes identified her as one of the 20 "best branded women"). The title and cover art made me think this was going to be a lighthearted book by someone who experimented with a variety of new-age spiritual activities. I thought it was going to be funny, possibly a satirical look at all the ways we try to find enlightenment in this life.

It is not. It is a fairly serious (despite some casual language and occasionally funny stories) exploration of her journey through A Course in Miracles. Through the 12 chapters, she takes the reader through the basic principles of the Course focusing particularly on fear and anxiety, the need to relinquish being "special" or labeling others as "special", and lots of work with what she calls the "F" word: forgiveness.

Despite my initial surprise at the serious tone of the book (not suggested by the title or cover art) I found myself pulled into her stories and observations. I am not a student of the Course, so much of her information was new to me, and I found it very engaging and interesting. I found myself resisting some of the concepts, but I suspect that is a normal reaction to new material which makes you rethink how you have previously perceived situations. Perhaps more important-- I also found myself relaxing as I read the book, and becoming more at peace with myself and with some people in my life. The book helped me to look at my own tendency to be a "victim" (which I would have denied prior to reading it) and helped me develop ways to get out of that role.

I recommend this book if you are interested in learning more about A Course in Miracles (the actual Course book is rather long-- this is a much quicker way to learn the main points) or are interested in learning more about the important role of forgiveness in your life.
95 internautes sur 102 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9ab01d8c) étoiles sur 5 Great spiritual memoir and guide by a Gen-Y woman but useful for all generations 27 août 2011
Par Susan Schenck - Publié sur
Format: Relié Commentaire d‘un membre du Club des Testeurs ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
This is a great spiritual memoir and guide by a Gen-Y version of Marianne Williamson, goddess of The Course of Miracles. If you are a baby boomer like me, you have to get past some of the gen-y jargon (and the slang from us boomers, such as cool, tripping and dig it...). The author also uses cutsie titles such as "The F Word" for the chapter on forgiveness, and cute words like "-ing" for "internal guide." But get past the language (or maybe you like it!) and it has great advice.

Her teachings are all paraphrases of and her own experience from what she calls "the Course"--and she integrates personal stories throughout the book, such as relationship breakups, forgiving others, getting off drugs, and more. She explains how the Course of Miracles book, and applying its principals, rescued her from a life of overeating, drugs, failed relationships, judging others, and low self-esteem.

My favorite, without doubt, is the chapter on the ego's illusion of someone being special, in particular teachers or romantic partners. In fact, the book drags at first, picking up at this chapter (chapter three, on p. 53). If only I had had her wisdom when I was so young! It would have saved me decades of grief, low self-esteem, etc.

This chapter is expanded upon in a later one, chapter 9, when Gabrielle finally finds the love of her life, the Divine Romance with Spirit. She realizes that she no longer needs a romantic partner in a man for feeling love, security and inspiration. "I had fallen in love with spirit...I now knew that love was not a one-time feeling I could access from a boyfriend. Love is in everything...Love was not something to be acquired; it was something I always had." She explains that she craved time alone to meditate, listen to music, write or draw, and found herself leaving parties early to do so!

Her passionate love affair with the Self is inspiring. It leads to meditations in which she sees sparks (and sometimes without meditating), a life filled with synchronicity and answered prayers, automatic handwriting, writing inspired books, confidence, love and joy.

But I also love the chapter on asking for help. The author claims that since asking for guidance every single morning, she has incredible synchronicity in her life. "By consciously asking my -ing for help, I experienced tons of synchronicity." I am inspired by this young woman's enthusiasm to ask for help more often--not just when I feel I need it; but everyday, and even several times a day.

The book is filled with great quotes, originals of the author, such as: "In fact, we only have one problem: that our mind chooses fear over love."... "The problem isn't the ego; the problem is your BELIEF in the ego."... "Outing the ego is empowering because we are reminded that it's a projection in our mind rather than our reality." Also, there are exercises and meditations throughout the book, as well as link for downloadable, audio meditations with her voice.

It's an inspiring adjunct to the Course of Miracles, written in such a way that young people can easily relate--and also useful for middle-aged people like myself who have been around the spiritual block but can always use some inspiration.

Susan Schenck, author of The Live Food Factor: The Comprehensive Guide to the Ultimate Diet for Body, Mind, Spirit & Planet
Beyond Broccoli, Creating a Biologically Balanced Diet When a Vegetarian Diet Doesn't Work
60 internautes sur 65 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9ab01f60) étoiles sur 5 This book will be great for a specific target audience. 26 septembre 2011
Par Wellness Warrior - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Quick Intro:
From my perspective as the reader, the author's main intention is to: 1). Share more about her life with her readers. I get the sense that after the release of her `how to' first book, people wanted more insight into who she is and what events lead up to where she is now. 2). Share the teachings from "A Course in Miracles (ACM)" (there will be more on this later) and 3). Help her readers to identify where they are blocked in their lives, how to meditate on these blocks, and how they can reconnect with both their inner spirit and tap into the guiding force of the Universe.

Where I connected with the book:
I've read many books on topics similar to "Spirit Junkie". Like Gabby, my mom is incredibly oriented towards a spiritual life. It was a common conversation while I grew up and because of it and my own personal interest, I've read tons of books about topics related to spirituality, self-growth, and meditation. I appreciate that Gabby has advanced from working on her own self-growth as an individual to wanting to share this message to as many people as possible. She writes quite a bit about her past and her false lack of authenticity. I appreciate that she identifies the Ego early on in the book and bravely shares with her readers when she was living from a place of fear and ego versus a space of love, compassion, and authenticity. She has some wonderful moments throughout her book when the reader is able to connect with her message, her life, and even refer to her website where she has guided meditations that weave into the meditations written in her book. Its an easy book to read, filled with a fun `easy breezy' carefree vibe written in a style that connects with a young `in-the-know' audience.

Where I didn't connect with the book:
Early on in the book, Gabby has two big messages, or sections that distanced me from her as an author. These same messages also made me question if there is anything I would grasp from the book that would make a lasting difference with me as the reader. "Spirit Junkie" is for the most part based upon the guidance of ACM. I've owned a copy of this text for about 10 years and occasionally open it up every now and then to read a lesson from it. Gabby quotes and follows her self-taught training of this text throughout her book, and I get that this is her intention. I would have liked her to give more of a background about how ACM came to be. Because so much of "Spirit Junkie" is based upon this text, it seems odd to me that she would not give her reader more of a background on what exactly ACM is. To me, this just made me question Gabby's credibility as a leader in this field.

It is also difficult for me to relate to Gabby's life. She writes about hitting rock bottom and pretty much being in `crisis mode' for much of her adolescence and young adult life. It almost seems like this book is meant for the type of reader who has reached similar levels of fear, desperation, and dysfunctionality (which is totally fine, its just not where I've been). Because the first half of the book is retelling her story, it was difficult for me to stay engaged with the material. I found myself going several days without opening the book and becoming somewhat bored as I was reading. I wish this wasn't the case because I get the amazing message that she's attempting to spread with her writing.

In a nutshell:
If you're a woman between the ages of 20-40 and still new to reading about spiritual and personal growth topics, you may really like this book and connect deeply with it. However, if you're well read on topics like spirituality and self-growth or feel like you're ready for something more advanced or substantive, this may not be the book for you.
50 internautes sur 56 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9ab0223c) étoiles sur 5 Really wanted to like it... but... 7 février 2012
Par Princess Bookworm - Publié sur
Format: Relié Commentaire d‘un membre du Club des Testeurs ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
I really wanted to like Spirit Junkie--I normally love radical self improvement books. However, this one was filled with silly lingo and slang. For example: "~ing" was supposed to mean "inner guide". Each time I came across "~ing", I had to pause, come up with Gabby's definition of "~ing" (inner guide), then go back, re-read the sentence with the words inner guide placed back in. This really stopped the flow that I normally enjoy when I read books. I wanted to beg Gabrielle, "Just write inner guide! Stop the coy madness!"

Because of this flow problem, I simply didn't want to continue reading the book. I hated having to remember definitions of silly terms, which, if spelled out in plain english, I wouldn't have had that problem.

Her fictional words and uber-hip lingo were such a downfall that I stopped reading Spirit Junkie after a few chapters and moved on to the next book in my queue.
46 internautes sur 52 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9ab01f6c) étoiles sur 5 Regurgitated obviousness for superficial, easily-led women 29 septembre 2012
Par R. Moore - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle
I've never felt compelled to write a book review until now.

I've been gifted a number of self-help books in my twenty something years of depression and disaster on this planet, and in most of them I can find at least SOMETHING that appeals to me or at least leaves me with something to think about.

The writing is bad, the book itself is puny, and the author has nothing new or insightful to say. Recommending blind positivity and faith is dangerous to people who may have real substance abuse or mental problems. While more purely conceptual books like the one by Esther Hicks or books that prescribe concrete exercises to free emotional and creative blocks like The Artist's Way have helped me greatly at different points, this one gave me no insight and felt very cult-y. But somehow it's popular because the girl who wrote it knows how to sell and present herself.

Bottom line: the author comes across as fake and not even very solid in her own recovery. Spend your ten bucks elsewhere.
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