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Unlock The Secret To Becoming The Best Version of Yourself With Author Gabby Bernstein!


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MIKE BAYER: Hey guys, welcome to Always Evolving. Before we get started, I just would love for you to do something, it’s super helpful, if you could rate this podcast. You can do it on Apple and some of the other platforms. Hopefully you give it a good rating, it really helps out with the algorithm. And also I have a free empowerment group every Tuesday, you just go to you get added to the email list. I have amazing, inspiring people who uh, lead you to live a better life and it’s free. Five PM Pacific time on Tuesdays. Also make sure to follow me on social media. It’s Coach Mike Bayer on all social media platforms. Now let’s get started. — I have a special guest who I’m really excited to have. I bought some of her products. She’s, I mean, if she was a magical creature, she would be a combination between a like, good sorceress and a pixie and just overall has a ton of heart. She’s wrote a ton of New York Times bestselling books, um, her name’s Gabrielle Bernstein so thanks for joining me.

GABBY BERNSTEIN: Oh, it’s so good to be with you. Thanks for that intro. (LAUGHS)

MIKE: Yeah, of course. Uh, you know, I have your super attractor cards…

GABBY: Oh, cool.

MIKE: …um, I actually took ’em to the beach in Miami and was uh, pulling some out just to get some inspiration and I, I listened to the audio for You Are the Guru, uh, and really loved it. Um, I actually finished it this morning…

GABBY: Yeah, yeah…

MIKE: …and I, and I love your honesty in it. Um…

GABBY: Mm hmm.

MIKE: …I, I can really appreciate what you talked about in terms of how, when we feel all alone or disconnected we seem to end up in a spot where we feel really depressed or anxious or alone…

GABBY: Mm hmm.

MIKE: And I think, um…is that something that you found the bigger your kind of personal brand has become that those feelings got magnified?

GABBY: No…no…


GABBY: …not, not for me but I think that no matter what changes are occurring in our lives we can be faced with magnified feelings for sure, no matter what those changes might be. But uh, for me I don’t believe that it was necessarily building a platform that, that has magnified my, my feelings, right? But I think my willingness to face my feelings allows them to be magnified. So when we show up for our inner life and we make a commitment to, to, as I often say, go there, we will be gifted with the, all that comes with that. And when I say “gifted” I often say that we have to be grateful for the feelings that are the most uncomfortable because they reveal to us what we still need to heal.

MIKE: Yeah, they sure do. I think um, you…how did you end up, I know it takes years of kind of like pursuing but in terms of you realizing this was really your passion and truth, were you always deeply interested and curious about spirituality?

GABBY: “Yes and…” (LAUGHS) So I was brought up visiting ashrams, I was brought up by a mother who was very into her own spiritual journey and her own spiritual growth and so I was brought to the ashrams and named by the gurus and taught to meditate at a very young age…only to turn my back on it when I went to college and started to develop my own belief system of how I was gonna be in the world. When I graduated college I wound up uh, getting really hooked into the nightlife scene in New York and thought I was really cool ’cause I was in the…

MIKE: Oh, you know…

GABBY: …PR business.

MIKE: …I, I used to bartend at the Roxy, did you ever go to the Roxy?

GABBY: Of course I went to the Roxy.

MIKE: I mean literally, uh, shirt off, all I sold was bottled water. (LAUGHS) You know?

GABBY: Roxy. Shirt off. That’s right. So I, I lived in that, that same scene that you’re very conscious of—it was a blessing for me because I hit big, big drug addiction bottom by the time I was 25. Uh, severely addicted to cocaine, alcohol, the whole, the whole thing. But in my sobriety, I’m actually coming up in a month on 15 years of recovery and so…

MIKE: Congratulations! I got 18 and a half.

GABBY: There you go! See, kindred spirit, here we are. So in my sober recovery, as you know, you get very spiritual, that’s the solution. It’s a spiritual solution. That spiritual solution was, was for me not something that was foreign to me because I had been gifted the seed having been planted as a child but really claiming it in my recovery. And through that commitment to my own spiritual growth, I very quickly began to teach and share my own personal experiences through my spiritual journey and my personal growth journey, which is what I continue to do today as it deepens and grows.

MIKE: Yeah, it seems like how, how soon after you got sober did you start to realize, “Wow, I really love teaching and uh, I really love sharing the message of what I’m learning”?

GABBY: Within months. It was fast.

MIKE: Mm hmm.

GABBY: It was real fast. (LAUGHS) I, uh, I came to, you know how they, they say this in, in the recovery meetings like, you know, some people come in and they’re just shouting it from the rooftops, like, “I’m sober!” And that was me. I was just so relieved to feel good, I felt I was so grateful that I could feel good, so it was, it was, I was that person that was just like, “Let me share my experience. Let me get on the stage. Let me talk about it” I mean, not everybody starts talking about it, but in my world I had already been speaking publicly for many years, for several years but, but on marketing and PR and concepts that, uh, that were interesting to me then, but it became clear to me that speaking about my personal growth journey was going to have a great impact and I was so young at the time, I was 25…

MIKE: Mm hmm.

GABBY: …so the, the message was really resonant with that younger demographic at the time that was my core audience was young women, New York City, LA, San Francisco, folks that were, women that were wanting to find a better sense of inner happiness rather than looking forward in their shoes or their nightlife scene or whatever it was. So, that’s where my career began, and it’s been 15 years so it’s been obviously developing as I grow and develop.

MIKE: And, the, it’s so, I get it, too, like coming from the darkness brings you to the light, right? And it’s…

GABBY: Oh it’s, yes…

MIKE: And uh, you know, for me, too, I became a counselor right away, did interventions. I’ve owned a treatment center for over 14 years. I actually haven’t, I started only, gosh, two years ago with doing anything in front of the camera. I always thought I was a behind-the-camera guy. I had no intention, never thought I was gonna do that and then all of a sudden Dr. Phil kind of was like, “Coach Mike…” and then all of a sudden I got thrown on TV and I’ve done like 40 episodes since. I look at people like you who I admire because you’ve been doing it a long time, you know. You’ve, have the art of speaking, the art of teaching, the art of writing. I mean, eight books, you’ve been doing this a long time. I mean, you have really been and, the other thing I admire about you—I’m just kind of riffing right now, right—but the other thing I admire about you is, which I love and I, and I try to be as well as, to march to my own beat. And…

GABBY: Yeah.

MIKE: …to do what’s authentic and what I love about your art is the vibe and the feeling. There’s no other vibe or feeling that I get when I listen to you, you know?

GABBY: Thank you, Mike. That’s a really beautiful compliment that I will receive with a lot of gratitude because for me I think this, the key to the resonance of my work with readers or audience members now and far into the future is my willingness to be vulnerable and authentic. I really believe that all the world wants from us is our authentic truth, but it’s so painful for people to be vulnerable, to be real. But the irony is the moment that we allow that truth to come through, that’s when we become free. That’s when we become uh, the best version of who we are.

MIKE: Talk to me, ’cause I love your creativity when I was listening to you, You Are the Guru, you’ll be talking about something and then you’ll riff into a meditation. Like I had my, uh, Tony who works with me on the video, I was like, you were saying a meditation, we were like, “Yes! Say it!” you know what I mean? And, how do you get inspired for all the different creative projects that you’re involved with?

GABBY: I think that one of the greatest blessings in my life, not, no greater than my husband and my son but pretty close, right up there, is this clear channel of inspiration that I have allowed to move through me. I believe that everybody has (STAMMERS) that channel, it’s like a faucet. When we turn it on (STAMMERS) it can stay on but we have to release all the limitations and belief systems to get, that are in the way of that inspired faucet of inspiration. With my work, the work that I do, I have had sort of the opposite problem that most people have which is sometimes I have too much content (LAUGHS) 

MIKE: Yeah.

GABBY: I have too many ideas, too many, too many messages, too many things I wanna write, to many things I wanna create and it’s not too many. It’s just I have to be wrangled at times, uh, I’ve learned how to let people tell me that, that I have, that I have to slow down (LAUGHS) but uh, yeah, I mean, I’ve authored, I’m writing my ninth book right now so I’ve authored nine books in 10 years. That doesn’t happen to someone who isn’t deeply inspired. A lot of what I teach actually is that when we develop a greater sense of our purpose and allow inspiration to move through us that that’s when we can really see life begin to unfold. (STAMMERS) The work I’ve done is always been super inspiring to me, so it’s been effortless and easy to move through but it’s even easier now as I have healed and recovered from work addiction because…

MIKE: Mm hmm.

GABBY: …as you know, you put down the drink and the drug and you pick everything else up. You pick up the love or your pick up the food or you pick up the—in my case, I picked up the work addiction to run, run, run, run, run, avoid, avoid, avoid and anesthetize feelings that I was, truly actually unaware of their root cause. So it was through my spiritual growth and personal growth and therapy and all the work I’ve done that I have been able to genuinely recover, like true, true recovery from work addiction. I do not in any way shape or form suffer from work addiction today. I do not suffer. (STAMMERS) Am I addicted? Any addictive patterns that plagued me are tr-truly not around.

MIKE: Mmm…

GABBY: I’ve never been, I’ve never been more healthy than I am today. There’s a lot of, there’s a lot of backstory as to how I’ve gotten to where I am now but, but (STAMMERS) it is, I don’t know, I’m talking in circles ’cause I like to riff with you, so this is kind of fun, thank you, but…

MIKE: Yeah, no, I, I was thinking…sorry to jump in on that, but like, when you were talking about how you have always done homeopathy and then you took the direction to get on meds, like look, I’ve been on so many meds throughout my life, right? And there’s so many stigmas around so many different ways of getting help, um, and that’s, at different times in our life we have to kind of surrender to different things that work to help us in our recovery, right?

GABBY: Well listen—I, here I was, right, it was a year ago, I was, maybe over a year ago now, I was six months postpartum and suicidal. I had suicidal postpartum depression and anxiety and insomnia. I, it was the most horrific experience of my life and now sitting here I can look back and say it was the best moment for transformational growth It was the moment when I was given a gift because as someone who is a trauma su-childhood trauma survivor, uh, addiction survivor, all that I have, have had to uh, mana-when you have trauma from your childhood, when you have lived through addiction, you have a lot of suffering that you then have to manage and the manager part of us it, can, can be very uh, in my case was, was a person who was living in a state of hypervigilance. Living that way was destroying my relationships, it was destroying my, my ability to really, really be grounded and present in the moment to really be free from the traumas from my past and it was also stifling my ability to go much further in my therapeutic healing because when you’re constantly living in a hypervigilant state—fight or flight, fight or flight, fight or flight—it’s very, very terrifying to contemplate getting to a place of safety because that safety sounds like surrender, sounds like stillness when you are in a hypervigilant managing role trying to keep everything at bay, it’s very hard to become safe or still enough to go deeper into your own recovery. So…

MIKE: Mm hmm.

GABBY: …getting on, uh, antidepressants after having been diagnosed with postpartum depression was a at first this scary thing because here I was, I was a self-help book author, I’m a meditation teacher, I’ve been for years part of the stigma telling people they didn’t need meds or whatever, you know, I was never saying to anyone that they didn’t need meds but I’d always say to people, “Well why don’t you try meditation?” and, you know, it’s like, when you’re having a biochemical—can I curse on your show? ’Cause I wanna curse right now…

MIKE: FUCK yeah.

GABBY: Yeah, FUCK yeah—so when you’re having a biochemical condition, when you’re suffering from mental illness and someone says to you, “Meditate it away,” you know, “just meditate.” It’s like, you sit there and you wanna say, “Fuck. You.” And I didn’t understand that and my own experience with mental illness this past year has been the greatest gift I could have given, been given, or 2019 it was. It was a tremendous gift to me to understand, to, in my heart and soul what it means to be experiencing mental illness at the lowest low and the gift of what the, the psychiatric medications can provide when you are in that type of state. The other thing that I had to decide though, is ’cause I’m a, I’m someone who’s devoted to personal growth, so I wasn’t gonna just take a pill and just say “Okay, like, I’m good now,” which, by the way wouldn’t work because you can a pill, you can numb out but you’re not really ever recovered until you do the deeper, deeper real work. But I made a commitment to my, myself and to my therapist and my psychiatrist and to my readers and to my son and to my husband that I’m going to take this medication to get back to a safer baseline so that I can have the safety to do the deeper work that I was incapable of doing when I was in that state of hyper vigilance. So for the past nine months or so I have had the privilege of having a level, a new baseline of safety that I have never been able to have that has given me the freedom of doing three therapy sessions a week. I practice EFT, I practice, I practice EMDR, I practice somatic experiencing, I practice IFS therapy and I brag about this not because, well one, I wanna recognize and acknowledge not everybody has the privilege of not being able to afford that much therapy, so that’s why I wanna write a book about all this to help more people, or I am writing a book about it, but I use my privilege to get well and now I feel fucking awesome, man.

MIKE: That’s, I’m really, I’m really happy for you and, and it’s um, I got the chills as you were talking about some of that, it’s so relatable and…you know we, we um, and it almost ties back to You Are the Guru in a lot of ways. Like I’ve gone through similar moments of my recovery where I’ve, I’ve felt suicidal and um, like, I’m the CEO of a treatment center, I have the biggest stars working with me, I’m traveling the world and I’m just empty, I can’t figure a way out, I can’t even, like, sit still long enough, I can’t sleep right and the fact that you made a decision to do and follow direction…

GABBY: Yeah.

MIKE: …and not be an ego around “I should…” yeah, I say the “Should Police” like, “I shouldn’t have to be on meds,” “I shouldn’t have to ask for help,” “I’m the author—I wrote all these books,” did you—like, I just, am curious—did you try, like, because I think a lot of people struggle with this, right? And I know a lot of my audience struggles with depression and anxiety. Like, it’s…our empowerment group that we have on Tuesdays, it is that, right? And, and not feeling enough and, do you, um, at, were you, because you meditate and because you believe in it, can you walk me through what that was like, when you were really depressed and you were just trying to self-regulate…

GABBY: Yeah.

MIKE: …and what the battle was?

GABBY: Yes. Thank you for this question; such a big one. It took me four months of full-blown insomnia, zero sleep, zero—maybe an hour here, maybe an hour there—every single night. Four months of that while breastfeeding, while trying to get back to work, while preparing for a book launch, all of this compounded and uh, suicidal thoughts, uh, but it took me four months to allow myself to be humble enough to receive a diagnosis because I was resisting it at all costs. I was resisting the diagnosis. I was resisting the concept of being on an antidepressant and actually didn’t even—it wasn’t even an option. The antidepressant was not even an option until I hit the lowest, lowest bottom. It took me four months. And that’s why I speak so publicly about the postpartum experience because I personally know countless women in my field that have sort of let the wellness world shame them into not getting the right therapeutic care, okay?

MIKE: Hmm…

GABBY: And it’s an issue, and so, you know, this was not something that my, my thyroid was going to fix, you know? This was not something that my, uh, my melatonin was going to adjust. This was not something that, that overdosing on vitamins, right? Like it was just wasn’t gonna work. More importantly my spiritual tools were no longer working. When I was finally hitting bottom it was when my therapist actually intervened and called and said, “Get Zach…” my husband, “…get Zach on the phone right now, and on speaker phone she said, “Your tools are no longer working. You are having a biochemical condition. You need to be medicated—this is life or death.” That was—and in that moment I was already, I had already hit my knees. So I was ready to say, “Okay.” And then I, I just, I literally remember going to the psychiatrist within five minutes of talking to her she diagnosed me. She’s like, “Yeah, you have the most classic postpartum depression/anxiety” uh, “Here’s your prescription…” I never filled the prescription. I went to the, the, I was brought up homeopathic, as you said, so I didn’t know anything about meds and here I was going on an antidepressant and even just standing in the CVS where I, getting ready to get my meds, I just started to feel this, like, overwhelming sense of relief.

MIKE: Mmm…

GABBY: Just knowing that there was a solution beyond my own will and my own way. And we know that as sober people, that when we make our recovery our will, we really limit ourselves from the capacity to receive spiritual guidance, good orderly direction, God’s direction. So God worked through that medication but more importantly God, God had a plan that was way better than mine. God was like, “Let’s give this little lady some shitty postpartum depression so that she will hit her knees, so that she can get medicated, so that she can get to a safer baseline, so that she can get to true place of recovery through her therapy, so that she can live to tell and help people heal.

MIKE: And, and so that she can live to heal to save lives because…

GABBY: That’s exactly right.

MIKE: …because that is the experience of so many people, especially during COVID, you know,, whether it’s uh, like I’m, back to, just to back up a little bit, when you were in that state of mind, right, you were starting to get into it, were you, when you say that your tools weren’t working, would you sit there and do like a 30 minute meditation and then afterwards, what was that like? It, was it just blurry or you couldn’t even get yourself to even do it?

GABBY: Well, let’s just put it this way—it is God that got me through it. So the reason I didn’t walk in front of traffic, the reason I didn’t literally kill myself is because I had prayer, because I had a higher power of my own understanding because I did believe that I was being guided even when I was at the lowest low. So daily prayer, daily meditations, I, but I was doing, but all the things that I was doing whether it was walking for an hour, exercising for another hour after that, uh, you know, meditating for hours, doing emotional freedom technique, taking EMDR sessions, doing IFS therapy, going back to EMDR the next day, you know, doing SC, whatever it was I was doing, doing, doing, doing, doing…it didn’t work. It wasn’t working.

MIKE: Yeah and I, I’m smiling because we all know what that’s like, right? Like, I’m smiling because you’re on the other side of it, but it’s also like, “Been there!” where you’re like trying everything possible…

GABBY: Yeah.

MIKE: …just because you’re almost having a shell of an experience with life and you’re detaching from everything.

GABBY: My brain was deeply depleted of serotonin. I was having…

MIKE: Yeah.

GABBY: …a condition that is extremely common that goes undiagnosed for so many women. I can so bravely speak about what it means to live through mental illness now. It was the, it’s horrific. If somebody said to you, you know, I really can say this now and I couldn’t then but if somebody said to me, “Gabby, you’re having a heart condition, you need to take blood thinners” I’d be like, “Give me the blood thinners!” like of course, why would I even contemplate it? “These are the side effects…” “Who cares? Give me the blood thinners!” But when it comes to mental illness, it’s just, there’s just so much of a stigma. Now, I understand and you and I can both speak very much to the over-prescription of drugs and the opioid epidemic that people are on medication and they’re not being guided properly. I mean, there’s SO many people throughout this world that are just being, that are just medicated but they don’t have the right psychiatric care to help them get and help them get off and help them find the right medication for them and the right therapeutic dose. I mean, it’s a disaster. Like this is the truth, that, that the system is messed up. But that doesn’t mean that there’s a time and a place for medication when it is necessary.

MIKE: Mmm. Yeah I, I think there’s a difference between need and want.

GABBY: Mm hmm.

MIKE: And, and a difference between need and you still do the work. It’s like, you know, they, as you know in recovery they’re like, you know, “God’s not going to get you out of bed and get a job. You’ve gotta take action.” So it’s…

GABBY: That’s right.

MIKE: …you can’t just take the medication and expect everything to be fixed, so I, I think it’s amazing, I think it’s extremely relatable. I love um, The Work That You Create and, and I love You Are the Guru, which is on audible. Uh, I listened to the entire thing. I listened to it because A, I respect you, and respect your work—that’s A and B—and C, I know what it’s like when uh, you know, people come on different podcasts and such and they’ve never listened to the body of work…

GABBY: Yeah.

MIKE: …and they’re not really into the work and I’m very into what you do, what you say, I didn’t know you were in recovery, um, I didn’t gather that from You Are the Guru or the cards but…


MIKE: …it makes sense now and um, what, what do you want someone to take away from listening to the Audible You Are the Guru? What, what do you think the big takeaway is?

GABBY: It’s funny, Mike, you know, I, I wrote that Audible original, it’s sort of a short book really, I wrote it, I sent, I pressed “send” to submit the manuscript to Audible the first week of March. The subtitle of this book is 6 Messages to Move Through Difficult Time with More Certainty and, and grace and faith and that’s the message, the core message of the book is how to move through uncertain times. I, I just smiled when I sent that. I said, “Oh my God, God is so good I, I had no idea we were about to be hit with a pandemic. No one knew but my higher power knew that these were messages that need to come through at this time. So…it’s so timely, it’s so necessary. What’s beautiful about it is it’s relatively free for people so if you’re an Audible+ member you can access it for free. If you’re just gonna try the free trial. You can get it for free. You can pay for it, I don’t care, just get it, right? Just let yourself receive the messages. And the six messages are really timely messages that we have to live by right now if we’re gonna survive these uncertain experiences that we’re moving through.

MIKE: Mm hmm.

GABBY: They’re timely, they’re relevant, they’re actionable, they’re-even just saying the mir-these messages out loud, can have…

MIKE: I, you know, you know the part that I love about it and it was at the beginning was when you, and it resonated with me was “Give love when you look at someone else whether it’s a stranger, whether you’re in line, whether you’re talking to someone” because when you’re in love you’re not in fear, you’re not in anxiety. When you’re in love you’re in the moment and…

GABBY: Right.

MIKE: …it just, it clicked for me, uh, where I flew back from Miami yesterday and I’m like, “Oh, the flight attendant. I’m gonna give love.” Just that vibe, that energy and it makes such a difference.

GABBY: It really does. It really, really does. Yes. I couldn’t agree more. I like…

MIKE: Yeah.

GABBY: …and, too, it’s like when you’re in love you can’t be in anxiety at the same time.

MIKE: Right. It’s like when you’re empowered you can’t be a victim at the same time.

GABBY: Correct, man.

MIKE: Well listen, I really appreciate you coming on Always Evolving, um, and thank you for sharing your message with our audience and with me and I’m grateful for having you.

GABBY: I wanna say you should keep doing these interviews because you’re really great at it. It’s so nice to just have a conversation with somebody and see where it goes. I think you’re doing a beautiful job here, thank you. (LAUGHS)

MIKE: (LAUGHS) Well thank you. — Thank you Gabby for coming on Always Evolving. For more info on this amazing spiritual leader check out Thanks for tuning into Always Evolving and keep it magical! — Subscribe, download and we’ll be having more podcasts out every week with incredible people so I’ll talk to you guys soon.