After focusing on the “self” for two weeks, the third week of the book, “May Cause Miracles: A 40-Day Guidebook of Subtle Shifts for Radical Change and Unlimited Happiness,” by Gabrielle Bernstein focuses on the body – specifically body image and physical healing. In it, Bernstein reveals how to change the perception of the body in regards to the way it looks, functions and acts in the world.
In the live seminar for Week 3, Bernstein explained we all have the spiritual power to protect and heal ourselves, but the ego often gets in the way.
“The ego tells us our body is more important or less important than the other body because it’s a certain weight or dresses a certain way,” she said. “There is nothing wrong with enjoying the body, dressing fun, taking care of yourself and enjoying exercise,” but when the body is used to try and get something on the outside, such as status or attention, this is the ego operating, she explained.
Many of us have projected false pretenses on the body, abusing it with alcohol, drugs, sex and food. We believe we are the body, and if we don’t like what we see, we start to believe we’re not good enough.
“We think, ‘I was chubby when I was little. I was too skinny. I didn’t have boobs. I wasn’t the cool girl. I was the cool girl and now I’m not.’ We attack the body to numb it out – to anesthetize the discomfort,” Bernstein said, explaining she used to be an overeater, which was a reaction to her inner turmoil.
It’s through the practices of “A Course in Miracles,” which is the basis for the work in her book, that we can begin to change. In week 3, we once again begin to get honest with ourselves, and witness the patterns of behavior pertaining to our body, and then move on to the willingness to change.
“In the ‘Course,’ there is no body. We are a spirit. The body is the learning device, and we are having these experiences in the body so we can remember we are just love, and we are equal,” Bernstein shared with the audience. “We are all on a mission to remember love, and this is a very different way of being with the body.”
The third day of this week welcomes in the affirmation, “I am not a body. I am free,” to reinforce this mindset.
The purpose of this chapter is to open up to looking at the body in a new way – using the miracle mind and not the ego mind. The miracle mind looks at the body as the vehicle for sharing love with the world, Bernstein said.
“You start to realize, ‘I am here to be an extension of transformation and to be a loving person,’” she said. “You start to respect your body in a whole other way because it’s here for a whole other purpose. Through your healing you can help heal [others].”
In addition to body image, she addresses physical healing – including those dealing with chronic illness – explaining it all starts by healing the mind and welcoming in your higher self, or what Bernstein calls the “inner guide” or “ing.” In the book she states: “When you apply the thought system that your mind can aid in healing your body, you can experience many miracles. It’s not that the physical condition just disappears (though it often does), but that you’re guided to exactly who and what you need for healing to take place.”
It is the fear-based mind that creates illness in the body, so the first place to start with healing is the mind, Bernstein told the audience. By turning our body over to our “ing” we can surrender the experience to spirit.
The second day of the week asks readers to take this affirmation with them:
“I turn my perception of my body over to the care of my inner guide. Show me what you’ve got…”
“Even with a chronic condition, as you start to live with a miracle mindset, you learn how to coexist with the condition,” she said.
As with the other weeks, gratitude and forgiveness play a role, with a focus on the body. Not only being grateful for it, but also realizing forgiveness can restore our perception of the body.
“Having gratitude toward your body is one of the most important things in the whole world,” Bernstein said. “Then it’s about forgiveness and restoring our perceptions of the body to the right-minded perception.”
Read our coverage of “May Cause Miracles Live Seminar Week 2.”
Read our coverage of “May Cause Miracles Live Seminar Week 1.”
For more on Bernstein, her books and her work, visit www.gabby.tv.