Following the successful launch of her now New York Times bestselling book, “May Cause Miracles: A 40-Day Guidebook of subtle shifts for Radical Change and Unlimited Happiness,” Gabrielle Bernstein is teaching a six-week course – each week dedicated to a new section of the book.
Gathering at the Integral Yoga Institute in New York City, more than 150 people came to hear about Week 1: Becoming Miracle-Minded – and another 200 joined in via teleconference and live streaming online.
“This is a guidebook of subtle sifts, and the operative word is subtle – we are not here to just blow your minds overnight,” she said to the audience. “This is about showing up for a journey, about making a life commitment – a moment to moment commitment – to choose better thoughts, choose a higher perspective and test drive new ideas.”
It’s in the subtle moments when we will feel our energy shift, feel a connection, or maybe just feel less angry and resentful, that the miracle occurs,” Bernstein explained to the audience. When we add these moments up, we begin to experience a miraculous life.
The new book is based on the principles of “A Course in Miracles,” and the goal is to shift our focus from ego to spirit, or fear to love. Each week builds upon the previous one, and moves through self-love and self-forgiveness, to applying these principles to body image, relationships and finances.
“Each week has repetitive principles and that was done on purpose. The repetition is so these principles become your reality and become your intuitive reaction,” Bernstein said, explaining each week includes first witnessing our thoughts, choices and behavior, then being willing to see things differently, and applying both gratitude and forgiveness.
“The book is an undercover guide to getting you into the practice of talking to the universe, or God, spirit, the angels, energy, or whatever language you use,” she said.
Witnessing, Willingness and New Choices
The first week of the book is what Bernstein called the “nuts and bolts,” or the foundation of the 40-day process. It introduces the concepts of witnessing, willingness and choosing differently.
“Day one of every week is going to be a specific principle, and you will begin the practice of witnessing,” she said. “I guide you to witness what you are fearful of, and you start to recognize the choices you have made. Feeling happiness or anger – these are choices we make.”
For example, it’s our choice to focus on our lack of money or to focus on abundance, and every thought we have can take us toward fear or toward love – but it’s up to us, she said.
“The point is to be willing to look at the fear. This step is crucial. It’s like the alcoholic that gets sober. If you are not willing to witness your behavior, you are not going to be able to get clean,” she told the audience.
Day two takes readers from witnessing to willingness – simply being willing to see things differently. “You may think, ‘I have no idea how I’m going to get over this ex-boyfriend,’ or ‘I don’t know how I’m going to make the money,’ but with willingness, you are already halfway there,” said Bernstein.
Each day also introduces a new affirmation that readers can take with them to practice throughout the day. Bernstein recommends programming the affirmation into our telephones or computer calendars, with alerts that come up throughout the day as reminders to stop and focus on the practice. After reading a “morning reflection” passage each day, there is a new affirmation. In the evening there is usually a short exercise and/ or meditation to end the day.
Day three moves readers out of the willingness and into actually choosing to see things differently. It’s about beginning to choose a loving perspective and say “no” to fear. An affirmation we can use in any situation on a daily basis is, “I choose to see this differently,” Bernstein shared.
“The ego may say, ‘how dare you perceive that this situation can be better,’ but take it right back to, ‘I witness my fears come in,’ and ‘I’m willing to see it differently,’ and then ‘I choose to see if differently,’” she explained. “The words ‘I choose,’ are a gentle reminder that you have the power to choose differently.”
Day five is about opening up to the possibility of forgiveness, and week one starts with forgiving ourselves for choosing fear in the past – and then making a commitment to choose love instead.
“Forgiveness erases all the crap,” she said. “It just clears it out, undoes the negativity and restarts you — and the first person we need to work on is ourselves. “Be open to putting yourself at the top of your list, because we are really hard on ourselves. We go to these dark places, and it’s a default, but when we have these principles, it’s like going to the gym – we create new muscles. You don’t have to get everything in one night. Take it one day at a time, and you will raise your self-worth.”
Day six guides readers to awaken to the miracle mindset of love, using the affirmation “I believe in miracles.” This is about stepping outside of our comfort zone and accepting a new way of living, and it’s about becoming aware of all the ways we are blocking love by focusing on our fear.
By Day seven, Bernstein guides us to reflect on the work done in the past week, and to end the day by reading the next chapter, which in this case is “Week 2: A New Self-Perception.”
“Look at your notes from the week prior, put stars next to what you did, circle the affirmations that really helped you, and look at what you have been going through,” she said. “Witness your amazing shifts, and then prepare for the week to come. Maybe even write down an intention for the new week.”
Additionally, in doing this work, Bernstein recommends setting up a meditation space where the morning and evening passages can be read, and the exercises can be done. This can be a meditation space already in existence, creating a new one, or even keeping our journal and the book beside the bed and doing the work first thing in the morning and the last thing before going to sleep.
“Don’t look at the news the moment you get up in the morning,” she added. “Try not to do it until you get to work. Be kind, gently and caring to yourself. Though this process can be beautiful and transformational, it is a mental cleanse, and it can be heavy.”
Next week, Bernstein will discuss Week 2, which will allow us to surrender our fearful thoughts and choices to a higher power, or what she calls the “inner guide” or “ing” to assist us in the healing process.
For more on Bernstein, her books and her work, visit www.gabby.tv.