In week 2 of the “May Cause Miracles” live seminar, bestselling author Gabrielle Bernstein led the group in a meditation to start off the discussion. Based on Kundalini yoga, she explained this method was a good “inner conflict resolver,” and nice to balance out the prana or energy of the body.
“When you are in conflict in your mind, in conflict with yourself, or created stories about yourself that don’t serve you, your energy is in conflict and off balance,” she shared. “Also, your life is then in conflict and in an unbalanced state.”
Meditation helps us to create balance and bring us back to a state of peaceful energy, and week 2 of the 40-day journey found in the book is focused our examining our perception of ourselves. She asked the audience to place their palms facing the torso at the level just above the breast – fingers together and thumbs facing up – and to shut their eyes or keep them slightly open.
“Breath in – 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – where the stomach extends, and then breath out to the same count where the stomach contracts,” she instructed. “Then hold your breath for a count of 15, and start breathing in again for another round. If you can’t hold your breath for 15, do it as long as you can, and then start breathing in again.”
The audience did a few rounds of this, and Bernstein advised taking this meditation into our practice this week to help with self-soothing and resolving inner conflict.
The second week of “May Cause Miracles,” looks at the way we attack ourselves with our thoughts and intentions, and how our self-perception can create illusions about the world we live in. Everything around us is a reflection of our own belief systems. In order to change the story we tell ourselves, we need to look at the story and recognize what we have been perpetuating, Bernstein explained.
“For me, from age zero to 25, the story was, ‘I need to be heard. I’m not good enough. I’m incomplete without a romantic partner. I’m not good enough unless I’m an entrepreneur and really successful. I don’t need any help.’ In this I was selfish, and it led me to drug addiction. But that story also cracked me open because I was able to look at it and recognize it, and realize I could choose a new story,” she said.
In the book is a prayer from “A Course in Miracles,” which she read out loud:
I am responsible for what I see.
I choose the feelings I experience and
I decide upon the good I would achieve.
And everything that happens to me
I ask for, and receive as I have asked.
“Can you see how you participated in your life’s experiences?” she asked the audience. “We say, ‘it’s his fault,’ or ‘it’s my mom’s fault.’ Get over that. It’s not about anyone else this week. Yes, people put stuff on us, but it’s because we choose to let them – we choose to engage. We have to take responsibility.”
Even if something happened to us as a child, we have the choice today to continue to live the story or to rewrite it, Bernstein told the audience. “Be a loving elder sister or brother to that inner child and choose to rewrite the story,” she said.
The affirmation for the first day of the week is, “I am responsible for what I see.” This invites us to see how we have been unkind to ourselves, and to uncover the negative story we created about our life and ourselves. It’s about recognizing how we have been abusing ourselves without judgment. Since this week can be heavy for some, Bernstein encourages readers to incorporate acts of self-care throughout the process.
“Acts of self-care were not my priority for a long time. It was about producing, creating and getting the message out, and as a result I was cutting off so many opportunities,” she shared. “It’s very easy for us to get into achieve mode and forget about self-care. Clean up your diet, take a bath with essential oil and sea salt, dance by yourself in your apartment, eat slower – there are so many ways to be kind to yourself that don’t cost anything.”
Gratitude and Forgiveness
By Day 11 of the 40-day practice, we are invited to welcome in gratitude with the affirmation, “I am grateful for this moment.” If we can’t find anything to be grateful about, we can simply be grateful for the work we are doing with the course, said Bernstein.
“Every day I wake up, and I’m grateful for my spiritual practice,” she noted. “When you get really deep into it, you realize that nothing else matters.”
On Day 11, she introduces an affirmation that she encourages everyone to use from this day on when they find themselves thinking fear-based or negative thoughts. The affirmation is “I forgive myself for having this thought. I choose love instead.”
This shifts us into a new focus, and retrains our mind to choose love instead of fear. Slowly we begin to change our feelings about ourselves and about the world around us – and this is reflected in what we see and experience.
“Our feelings about ourselves are reflected back to us,” Bernstein noted. “If I support myself, and think the universe supports me, oh my God the support is unbelievable,” Bernstein said. “The dollar sign or the love is way bigger than you can expect. That comes with a lot of self-love and a serious spiritual practice. It’s not because you have done something special – it’s that you are vibrating with the cosmos.”
This is what meditation and yoga does for us – it helps us tap into that energy, she noted. But we need to be a match for it, and we need to vibrate with the cosmos so we can help the rest of the world.
For more on Bernstein, her books and her work, visit www.gabby.tv.