Gabrielle Bernstein enchanted Victorians on Monday, December 7, by bringing her flavour of spirit junkie inspiration — and her secrets of happiness — to the Island.
The modern-day spiritual guru has been named “a next-generation thought leader” by Oprah Winfrey, and appears regularly as an expert on The Dr. Oz Show. On Monday night, however, she was as real as your quirky best friend, and as intimate as your eccentric sister.
Bernstein opened up the night with a story about her “yoga breakdown” that captured the hearts in the Victoria Conference Centre’s nearly sold-out seats. She spoke from a place of honesty, as a woman who makes it through the anxiety and stress of modern-day living, a daughter who struggles with judging her parents and a wife whose partner is as much her teacher as he is her business partner. She tackled issues from the “crazy-making” voices of self-doubt to celebrity gossip and gun control laws. Yet intimacy took on a new meaning when Bernstein wrapped up her talk by asking Victorians to come on down and “tell me what’s up” with true-person struggles of life and spirituality. The confessions came fast and furious, from people living with addiction to those who remained clean thanks to Bernstein’s influence, and those who wondered how to ignite their creativity, or make a better contribution to the world. Through the tales, audience members wept as Bernstein opened their eyes to the power they already held in their lives.
Bernstein first came to Victoria in 2013, thanks to the support of the Victoria Yoga Conference alongside bestselling Canadian author and motivational speaker Danielle LaPorte. Brought to town again by yoUnlimited, this time around she was toting her title as Lululemon Global Ambassador, as well as promoting her newest book, Miracles Now.
In addition to her other books, May Cause Miracles, Add More ~ing to Your Life and Spirit Junkie, Bernstein is also a certified Kundalini yoga and meditation teacher and earned acclaim for her dedication to empowering people to take charge of their own wellbeing. Monday night was a visible example to this, as Bernstein went through the steps of what it takes to harness true happiness — steps like coming to terms with how we sabotage happiness when it finally does have the chance to show up. Bernstein believes personal happiness is a choice and has dedicated her latest book and video blog to the subject. As a “spiritual activist,” she recently teamed up with Deepak Chopra to co-host the Guinness Book of World Records largest group meditation.
Monday evening may not have won any world records, but few dry eyes were left in the audience after Bernstein finished the evening with a kundalini yoga meditation for bringing actualization to each audience member’s greatest wish. With powerful chanting and a conference centre full of radiant beings, the energy was palpable. People rose to a standing ovation to cheer on Bernstein’s messages and her powerful takeaways.
So what about those secrets to happiness? Her books reveal all. As Bernstein says, when you’re ready to receive that message the path will guide you there.
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