Tag Archives: meditation

Women, Men and Power

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I recently had the privilege of interviewing a woman I admire deeply. Elizabeth Lesser is the co-founder of the Omega Institute and the author of the best seller Broken Open. In our interview, Elizabeth and I dug into a topic that’s close to both our hearts and very potent right now: women, men and power. We talked about how we’re living in exciting times, as the paradigm between men and women in power is greatly shifting. Shaking up the status quo can cause strife and tension, but Elizabeth discusses this cultural change fearlessly and artfully. Her perspective is inspiring and eye opening. Read on to get Elizabeth’s take on what power means for men and women today.

Your event, Women and Power, has evolved this year into Women/Men: The Next Conversation. What guided you to transform the event and begin this new conversation?

We convened our first Women and Power conference more than a decade ago. When we first announced the conference…Women and Power…people actually advised against that title, thinking it would scare people off. The associations people made when thinking about powerful women seemed to bring up discomfort, even fear—in men AND women. But since then, we’ve seen a proliferation of women’s gatherings about women and power, books about women leaning in and taking charge. All over the world people seem to understand that after centuries of imbalance, it is time to bring women forward into the leadership realm and into all arenas of life—that women’s voices, values, and perspectives can help the human community thrive. Over the years, listening to some of the world’s most powerful, brave, and innovative women, we’ve come to the conclusion that power isn’t the problem—it’s the way humanity has defined power, the way power had been abused, and the way it has been denied to most and hoarded by a few. Women and Power has come to stand for changing the whole paradigm of what power and leadership mean.

Thousands of women have attended the Women and Power conferences, and I have noticed something in every audience. No matter how fiercely women are devoted to women’s rights, the mood at the conference has never been one of antipathy toward men. It’s not an against anyone message, but rather a for everyone message. An inclusive, big-hearted, forward thinking message. This year when we were putting together the conference, we asked ourselves, “What is the next threshold for Women and Power?” And we decided it’s time to bring men into the conversation—not only to enlist men as allies in women’s ongoing struggle for equality and voice, but also to explore how to make the world work for everyone. Because men long for the same kind of world that women do. And they have also been hurt and held back by the way power is defined and used. And ultimately, women and men cannot advance without each other as allies. We need to become inter-dependent. The speakers at this conference are examples of what it looks like to be allies, to be interdependent. They are pioneering women and men, representing different realms of work and influence and interests—from sports to economics to spirituality and art and social action.


What does interdependence between men and women look like to you?

It has been said that each human being’s growth moves in an arc from dependence, to independence, to interdependence. As kids we are dependent on parents and teachers and the community at large; then we turn into teenagers, and that’s a time for exploring independence, self-determination, and our own purpose and path; hopefully, when we become adults, and achieve a modicum of wisdom, we realize our inter-dependence—our connection to and responsibility for all other beings and the earth itself. This arc—from dependence to independence to interdependence—is the same for groups of people. Women as a group have been kept in a dependent state in cultures across the globe, for thousands of years, held back from freedom and self-determination. In the light of history, the women’s movement toward independence is still a new movement, and for many women in different parts of the world, the movement has barely begun. Gloria Steinem, one of the great minds of our times, said something once at an Omega conference that has stuck with me. She said, “We can’t get to interdependence until we have experienced independence. We can’t skip a stage. But nonetheless, interdependence truly is the stage for which we are all hoping and the stage for which men, too, are hoping. They get stuck in independence. We get stuck in dependence. We’re all waiting to get to a place where we can become interdependent with another human being without giving up ourselves. We are waiting to give birth to ourselves.” And that is what interdependence looks like between men and women: each person giving birth to his or her own most authentic self, and supporting the other in that birth process. And never forgetting our sisters who do not have the most basic human rights to pursue their path to independence. Never forgetting that an interdependent world depends on the freedom and rights of all people.

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I love something you shared with me: “The joy of the human realm is diversity.” How can we celebrate our diversity while creating more interdependence?

Diversity is the hallmark of life on Earth. Scientists call it biodiversity—a term used to describe the variety of life on Earth, including humans, animals, plants, their habitats and their genes. Life on earth depends on this diversity. Loss of species and habitats are actually dangerous for the continuation of life as we know it. Diversity is also the hallmark within species. Within the human species there is great diversity of ethnicity, race, gender, culture, politics, religion, beliefs and behaviors. Variations in the human experience will never go away—and they shouldn’t go away. We grow from our differences; we learn; we get bigger and better. The trick is to value both diversity and equality—to see difference as a banquet of possibility. Unfortunately, that is not how difference is normally seen. You can trace most of the horrors of humanity to our fear of difference and our attempt to either control or eradicate those who are not the same. Men and women have many similarities and many differences. Some of these differences have been conditioned into us; some are probably biological. Whatever their genesis, interdependence asks as to respect our different traits because we need what the other has and knows. We can round each other out, help each other become whole. We need each other to survive and thrive.

How does interdependence play out in your own marriage?

I’ve been married to my husband for 26 years. We both came into our marriage fresh from a divorce, both with kids, and wary of repeating past mistakes. In my case, the mistake went in the direction that Gloria Steinem alludes to in the above quote. In my first marriage I was stuck in dependence. I had grown up thinking it was my duty and role to take care of everyone, to always pay attention to everyone else’s feelings and needs, and to devalue my own strengths, ideas, and needs. During the process of getting divorced, I came to understand how my first marriage had suffered from my lack of self-confidence and by the roles we had both unconsciously assumed. When I got together with my second husband, I brought a different kind of awareness into the new relationship. My new husband brought his own awareness into the marriage—he realized he had been stuck in independence. He had been told by the culture that it was his role and his right to forge his path in life—his education, his career, his daily routines—without thinking much of others. He had not developed his compassion and empathy muscles, and he realized his marriage had suffered from that, and he had suffered from it as well. We both committed to developing our full selves, to come out of our cultural comfort zones, and to support each other in our movement toward wholeness. I don’t want to make it sound like a walk in the park! Growth is hard; old patterns are difficult to shed. It’s easier sometimes to stay stuck. But we have tried to help each other evolve. Difficult issues like money, parenting, work, home, communication styles, etc., can bring up the old patterns of behavior. The trick is to stay open, not go into blameful corners, and support each other to grow. The movement toward interdependence is an exciting process if both people in a relationship commit to it. And it can have a ripple effect in the world. You know the old saying, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me”? Well, let there be interdependence one earth, and let it begin within marriages, and families, and workplaces, and all the places where women and men can grow beyond stereotypes into wholeness.

You say, “I think we’re in a revival of the women’s movement.” Can you share more about that? What events, people and so on inspired that statement?

The women’s movement is in a revival for several reasons, one being the natural passing of time during which we have built on the hard work and inspired progress made by women who have gone before us. Our mothers and grandmothers paved the way for our generations to express our own longing for freedom and authenticity in ways appropriate to our times. Exciting things are happening at all levels for women, for families, for the workplace, for culture—here in the States and everywhere across the globe. A less happy reason that I see flaming the fires of an awakened women’s movement is the backlash, fear, and fundamentalism that threaten the rights we have gained. Recently—in just this one year alone—we’ve experienced the violent abductions of girls and women in Nigeria; the shaming, the violence against, and even the murder of women who speak up for basic rights and education around the world; the rise of religious fundamentalism everywhere; the loss of health and reproductive rights of women here in the U.S.

We are witnessing many shakeups of the “traditional” roles of men and women. You said, “We’re dealing with the old imprint of what we think it means to be a valid woman and a valid man.” How can we move past our conditioned beliefs?

One of the most powerful arenas I see the traditional roles being shaken up is parenting. We are seeing what I think is a revolutionary movement happening in families. For centuries the pinnacle of womanhood was defined by motherhood, whether or not a woman wanted children, was able to have children, or ended up being a particularly good mother. And the pinnacle of manhood was defined by work, career, bread-winning. Both women and men suffered from these narrow definitions. But things are changing. Women are defining themselves in the workplace, in the world at large, and in motherhood too. And men are also expanding out of the old constraints. My sons are in their thirties now. Two of them are fathers. They are engaged in every aspect of their children’s live. From the moment their babies were born, they were totally in. In joys and the drudgeries of parenting! The diaper changing, the sleepless nights, the decisions about every little aspect of childrearing, and in the ways in which they have arranged their work lives so that parenting—and bread-winning—is shared with their wives. It’s inspiring and hopeful and amazing to me. This is where interdependence starts and is modeled for future generations. And it’s not just mothering and fathering that are changing. The whole notion of family is changing. We have dedicated a section of our Women and Power conference this coming September to the changing nature of the family. One of our speakers is Zach Wahls, a young man from Iowa who was raised by two mothers, who forcefully defended at the Iowa statehouse the right for gays and lesbians to marry. His speech went viral and has been viewed millions of times online. As he said in his speech in Iowa, Zach believes that the meaning of family has to do with love and responsibility and care, none of which has anything to do with gender or sexuality.


Why is it important that a younger generation engage in this new conversation and attend this event?

This is your world—this is the world you will create. Younger women and men have the possibility of creating new ways of being together that can help all people—women, men and children, and the earth itself. I already see a new kind of partnership between young women and men. It’s so exciting. It’s worth talking about, making stronger, and celebrating. That’s part of what we’ll be doing at the conference.

How can people find out more about the event this September?
We invite everyone to Women/Men: The Next Conversation. Women and Men.
Bring your mates, friends, colleagues, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters. We have scholarships available too. Visit our website to learn more:

Call to register 800.944.1001 www.eOmega.org

How to be happy: The #1 Tool

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Throughout my journey of spiritual growth one message from A Course in Miracles that always resonated with me deeply: “Only the mind decides on what it would receive and give.” This point reminds me that in any given situation I have the choice to perceive love or to perceive fear. Through the daily practice of choosing love over fear, eventually love became an involuntary response. Of course, my fearful ego sneaks up on me often, but through perseverance the loving voice now speaks louder.

Living a miraculous life takes commitment. In every given moment we have a divine spiritual assignment in front of us: Choose love or choose fear. Therefore, bring this concept with you throughout your day. In the moments when you witness yourself choosing fear, attack, judgment, and separation, simply say: “I choose peace instead of this.” Make this your mantra and share it with the world.

When you choose love in any way you’re unconsciously connecting to your higher self, asking for love to reinterpret the situation. And yes, this affirmation is easy to apply when the issue isn’t that difficult to deal with. But when you’re hit with a heavy assignment, use this principle with even more conviction. Trust in its power and you’ll see results you couldn’t have imagined. A Course in Miracles says, “Miracles arise from conviction.”

Practice this principle in all situations and heighten your commitment to miracles. In an instant you will feel peace set in and you’ll intuitively know how to be happy. {Excerpt from my book, Miracles Now}

For more videos on this topic check out these past blogs:
You’re awesome own it!
The #1 Key to Manifesting
5 Ways to Awaken Your Hidden Power

Also, don’t forget to check out my Spirit Junkie Masterclass Training!

This September I’m launching the inaugural Spirit Junkie Master Class for trainers, teachers, coaches and healers. Learn from experts in personal growth and spirituality, establish key connections and enrich your own practice as you strengthen your brand. Get the details here.

The Power of Your Words

Consider this before you vent or complain: The words we say out loud carry energy and power — not just for other people, but for ourselves, too. Words are symbols that represent an energetic vibration, and when we use low-level words we have low-level experiences. You have the power to change your experiences by changing your lexicon. {Tweet} In this video I show you how to choose words that embody an energy that elevates and supports your life. In the comments below feel free to share how you commit to changing your words.

For another video on the power of your words, watch this video about which words carry the most power. I also recommend that you checkout Doreen Virtue’s book Angel Words.

How to Live in the Light

There is an invisible force of loving energy always working on our behalf. When we forget this beautiful truth, we get stuck in the pattern of fear — but we are far from doomed. A slight willingness to surrender our fear reawakens our connection to our inner guide. The metaphysical text A Course in Miracles teaches us that by surrendering our fear to our inner guide, we experience the Holy Instant, “when an ancient hatred becomes a holy love.” The Holy Instant occurs when we release the ego’s fear-based thought system and accept our inner guide’s loving thought system. In this video I teach how to invite the voice of love to be your guide and practice the Holy Instant.

Free Kundalini Yoga Video

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In this 90-minute free Kundalini yoga video I share the kriya for inner vitality and stamina. Yogi Bhajan taught that vitality is our birthright and the true essence of our spirit. Vitality isn’t something we can acquire; rather, it is a gift that lies within us. Vitality is expressed through our free-flowing energy. Use this Kundalini kriya to unlock your energy and bring forth your power.

Enter your name and email in the form below and you will immediately receive my free workshop.

Share this video with your friends. Tweet: I love this free Kundalini yoga class with @GabbyBernstein. Get the video here: http://ctt.ec/fUW6m+ #MiraclesNow

What it means to be a Spirit Junkie mom

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I’m not yet a mother, but my biological clock is ticking. (Confession: I’ve become that woman who asks strangers if I can hold their babies.) As I embark on the journey of contemplating motherhood, I’ve been reflecting about how grateful I am for my own mother.

My mom is a true Spirit Junkie. If you’ve read my books you know my mother is the reason I am a spiritual teacher today. When I was a child my mom taught me to meditate, had me named by gurus and she brought me to all the grooviest ashrams and spiritual centers. By planting the spiritual seed in me at a young age she gave me the ability to navigate through tough times when I got older. My mother taught me how to establish a spiritual relationship of my own understanding. For this I am forever grateful.

In honor of my mother, your mother and all future mothers, I decided to explore what it means to be a Spirit Junkie mom. I interviewed three of my dear friends who have fearlessly guided their children down their own Spirit Junkie paths.

I hope their guidance serves you as much as it has helped me. Enjoy the interview.

G: My dear sisters, what does it meant to be a Spirit Junkie mom?

Macha (life coach and mentor on my site Herfuture.com): “Being a Spirit Junkie mom means staying connected to the inner light that helps me to show up and be the mom I intend to be. Wholehearted, authentic, calm, joyful and energetically present.”

Sarah, the producer of the film Happy Healthy Child: “One of my favorite quotes from an expert in the Happy Healthy Child series is, ‘Our children don’t learn from us being perfect. Our children learn from us striving to be aware and conscious and holding an ideal which we are reaching for.’ That’s what being a Spirit Junkie mom is all about … striving to be our best self.”

Latham, author of Mama Glow: “Being a Spirit Junkie Mom is all about tapping into your innate power. It’s using that wisdom you were born with- the glow power within to help guide and inform you parental choices. Everyone has advice to share- but only you know your child inside and out because you were once “one” whole sharing the sacred space of your womb with that being. So your child is so much of you. My son is a reflection of all that’s good within me and shines a light on areas where I need to grow. As a Spirit Junkie mom you are always looking to grow into your best self.”

G: What’s one tip you can share to be a more mindful mom?

Macha: “My favorite tip is that I take the time to connect with Max and Remy energetically a few times each day. I’ll sit in my car at a red light and mentally send them love and light. I do this so that our energy is aligned and I check in on a soul level. My interaction with them is very involved, running around and doing things with them and for them physically. This soul check-in helps me to be connected to them in a more profound way. It changes everything.”

Sarah: “I think the best practical tip for being a mindful mom is to wake up every day before your family and center yourself, even if it is only three minutes before your kids get up. As a mother, it is your responsibility and your greatest opportunity to hold the space for the entire family. If you don’t feel good, your children won’t, either. They are deeply attuned and connected to you on every level. So the best way to take care of them is to take a moment in the morning to take care of you. Meditate, stretch, do some yoga, connect with your higher self, your guides, a higher power. Focus on everything you have to be grateful for in your life. If you take this time — whether an hour or a minute — I promise you will notice that the sailing is much smoother and even when the seas are rough, you won’t be as easily thrown overboard!”

Latham:
“Stop Multi-tasking and Start Uni-staking: When with our children it’s important that they feel recognized in their potency; that they feel heard. When we are texting and emailing, or on social media while spending time with them we miss out on creating memories. Focus on the moment- if your child is reading you a book, sit there and marvel at his or her ability. Build in a period of phone fasting- where you shut off all devices, so you can be present with them.”

G: How has teaching meditation to your kids served them?

Macha: “As a result of meditation and prayer my children are compassionate, loving and awake. They care for others and they are confident and good-natured with a healthy sense of gratitude. They adapt well, they play well and they are tolerant and kind. They have an understanding that I can’t quite put into words but brings tears to my eyes. People say my children are angels. I agree and know that it’s a result of co-parenting with the Holy Spirit. Mother Mary and Kuan Yin are totally my super nannies and Jesus is my manny.”

Sarah: “Most of the time when I meditate my kids just hang out around me. They can feel the energy and they like to be close. They’ll lie in front of me. They’ll lie in the bed next to me. They’ll lie across my lap. But often they will join in, and when they do they blow me away. The level of discipline and presence and power that I witness in them humbles me as their mom. I feel blessed to know that someday my children will be out in the world on their own and they will have this tool to help them always find their center, their inner wisdom, their truth.”

Latham: “My son uses meditation and tapping before his gigs. He is a DJ and before spinning at Madison Square Garden for 30k people I once found him sitting on a chair with his eyes closed and taking deep breaths and tapping after his meditation. Meditation has taught my son a lot about patience and how to listen to what’s happening within. It helps him to better understand his emotions and I believe it’s the key to life transitions- as kids grow older- they need meditation- it brings them back to their core. It anchors them like when they were in the womb.”

In honor of Mother’s Day bring these tips into your own life. Whether you’re a parent or not, make the commitment to bring more spirit into the lives of children.

I bow to all the Spirit Junkie moms out there and I truly honor your commitment to teaching children to live in the light. I welcome you all to share your own Spirit Junkie mom tips in the comments below. I need them! Wink, wink:)

Resources for Spirit Junkie moms:

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HHC Fan Final

How to Protect Your Energy

Ever feel really drained after spending time with someone? Almost like they stole your energy? If you’ve had this type of encounter it’s likely you’ve come across an energy vampire. These folks are people who often without realizing it, have the capacity to take your positive energy and leave a negative energy imprint on you.

I know this must sound super trippy but it’s really important to understand. Everyone is energy and as we flow through life we can easily pick up what other people are puttin out! And it’s also easy for others to lift our good vibes.

In this video I interview my dear friend, Rebecca Rosen, a psychic medium and author of the new book Awaken the Spirit Within. Watch this interview and learn how to protect your own energy.

Meditation to Prevent Freaking Out

Are you the type of person who needs to break down before you break through? For many years that was the case for me. Before I had Kundalini meditations and a greater connection to my energy, I had some epic freak- outs. Though I had many tools for managing my thoughts, I didn’t have great guidance on how to bust through the really tough times and save myself from a freak-out.

One of the best ways to prevent a freak-out is to change your energy through your breath. Every 90 to 120 breaths the dominance changes from one nostril to another. A powerful way to shift your state of mind is to actively change the dominant nostril using this Kundalini meditation. In this exercise you’re guided to notice which nostril is dominant when you’re freaking out and then switch to the other nostril. When you switch the dominance from one nostril to the other you switch the dominance from one hemisphere of the brain to the other, which will enable you to look at things from a different perspective.

If you are irritated, angry, or in a funky state, practice this Kundalini meditation that’s featured in Miracles Now. In just a few minutes you will be a different person.

In this video I breakdown the Kundalini meditation to prevent freaking out. If you’re reading Miracles Now and want further guidance on the meditations, great news: I created a video series where I break down each Kundalini meditation for you so you can do each one with confidence — even if you’re totally new to Kundalini! Check out the video course here.

Meditation to Prevent Freaking Out

Pose: Sit comfortably in Easy Pose with your spine straight.

Hands: Interlace your fingers with your right thumb on top. Place your hands at the center of your diaphragm, lightly touching your body. (As seen in the picture here.)

Eyes: Gently close your eyes.

Breath: Concentrate on your breath, bringing awareness to the tips of your nostrils. Notice which nostril is dominant right now. It may take a few moments to clarify the dominant nostril. Once you are aware of the dominant nostril, focus your attention on switching sides. Keep your shoulders down and relaxed. You can have pressure in your hands but none in your shoulders.

Continue changing the dominant nostril breath back and forth as long as you like.

Use this meditation whenever you need to prevent a freak-out. It’s also a great one to teach young children. This easy practice will be a powerful tool for them to carry into their future.

If you dig it Tweet it:

Tweet: In the midst of a meltdown, breathe through the discomfort and you’ll come out the other side. #MiraclesNow http://ctt.ec/1c3NV+

{This blog is an excerpt from Miracles Now}

If you’re ready to take your meditation practice to the next level, check out the Miracles Now meditation video program.

Miracles Now!

I’m super psyched to share that tomorrow my new book, Miracles Now, officially launches in the U.S. For nearly a decade, I’ve been passionate about helping people bust through the blocks to a peaceful, powerful and present life. This book is the ultimate collection of my 108 favorite life-changing techniques. You can open it to any page to discover an easy-to-follow method that will rock your world.

These tools are meant for you to practice, master and share. In this video I welcome you to join me on the Miracles Now journey and help yourself and others wake up to their inner light.

If you’re as psyched about the book as I am, then I invite you to spread the word. Feel free to share the love by tweeting this post: Tweet: I’m so psyched that @GabbyBernstein’s new book #MiraclesNow is officially out! Grab a copy here http://ctt.ec/rU2f7+