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Interview With Gabrielle Bernstein, Author of "Spirit Junkie"

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Interview With Gabrielle Bernstein, Author of

Gabrielle Bernstein, author of Spirit Junkie

Photo of Gabby courtesy of bodyheart.org
The first time I saw Gabrielle Bernstein, she was leading one of her famous meditation workshops. She sat cross-legged on a wooden floor surrounded by about 80 women in their 20s (and me), all of us in rapt attention. She was enthusiastic, gregarious and utterly charming as she told us about how she transformed her life from a New York City party girl to a spiritual guru for hip Manhattan young women. I remember thinking that her message was similar to the messages within "The Secret," a book I was (secretly) reading at the time, but that Gabrielle had perfectly adapted it for a new -- and hipper -- demographic.

I also remember thinking, "This woman is going to be famous."

That was 2 years ago. Since then she's written two books and she leads workshops with 100s of participants. Gabrielle has been featured in the New York Times and Elle, which wrote, "So long, Carrie Bradshaw--there's a new role model for go-getting thirty-somethings. Gabrielle Bernstein is doling out inner peace and self-love for the postmodern spiritual set."

This summer, Gabby and I met again when we found ourselves sharing a house in the Hamptons. On the eve of the release of her new book, Spirit Junkie, A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles, Gabby sat down with me for an interview about spirituality, and her favorite beauty products.

Q: Gabby, this Website is all about beauty and I tend to focus on makeup, skin and hair -- all the stuff that makes you look good on the outside. But you and I both know beauty really comes from within.

Agreed. All the outer beauty stuff is awesome, but if you don't have your inner light on than your outer beauty isn't complete. I believe true beauty comes from within. There's nothing more beautiful than a woman who exudes self-confidence and self-love.

Q: In your new book, "Spirit Junkie," you talk a lot about how to shine from the inside.

Exactly. I've made it my life's work to help women find their inner glow. We cultivate our inner glow and shine from the inside out through positive self-talk, self-forgiveness and a steadfast journey towards self-love. It's a big job but it's totally worth it.

Q: So how can the average, sometimes negative person get, as you say so often, "their inner glow on"?

The first step to getting your inner glow on is to take an inventory of your thoughts. Pay attention to the unkind thoughts you tell yourself. These negative, fear-based thoughts are blocking your inner light. If you recognize these negative thoughts when they happen you can consciously choose a new perspective. For instance, if your negative chatter likes to repeat, "I hate my body and I'll never lose weight," begin a new conversation in your mind by saying, "Today I choose to love and respect my body with nourishing food and physical activity." This simple shift will turn on your light switch and unleash your inner glow.

Q: Every spiritual person I know is talking about changing negative thought patterns. This worked for friends of mine who successfully turned their attitudes about dating around. My friends used to approach dating from a somewhat negative place -- one I can relate to. They thought, "what's wrong with me?" and "why isn't love happening for me." Then they changed their approach. One friend made a list of attributes for her dream guy, worked on being happy in her single state and then boom ... she landed him.

Your friend shifted her energy. By changing her mind, she changed her energy. When her thoughts repeated, "what's wrong with me," she was stuck in low energy and a pattern of doubt. This was not attractive. Our thoughts inform our energy and our energy informs our outside experience. When your friend shifted her thoughts, she shifted her energy and changed her energetic relationship to men. Through her positive thoughts she activated her inner glow which is what attracted her man! This is a powerful example how our inner glow is equally, if not more important, than shiny hair and fierce lip gloss.

Q: Tell me about affirmations. Everyone I know is making them. One friend keeps hers on a yellow Post-It note in her car.

Affirmations are a powerful tool for shifting our thoughts and energy. The more we think a loving thought the more we tend to believe in it. Believing is the key component to working with affirmations. You can say all the affirmations you want but if you don't believe them a true shift won't occur. Our thoughts inform our energy and our energy informs our outside experience.

Q: That was fun. I could talk about spirituality and relationships forever, but I'm dying to know more about your favorite products. Let's start with skin care. You have gorgeous skin.

The conversation about beauty products is equally as fun! I believe we must treat our inner being equally as well as we treat our outer being. I dry brush before my daily epsom salt bath. After my bath I use Skin Trip coconut cream. I love this product! It makes me feel like I'm in Hawaii.

I wash my face with Dr. Alkaitis Organic Purifying Facial Cleanser and for my eyes I dab on YonKa Phyto-conour eye cream, which is great for puffiness and circles. I put SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic Serum on my face. Then the final step for my face is Yonka Advanced Optimizer cream. I do all this before applying makeup. I do the same routine before bed. Throughout the day I also use my Arganica essential oil for brightening up my eyes when I reapply my makeup. In addition, before I go to bed I always floss with Young Living dental floss which has Thieves essential oil on it. I also apply Kiehls cuticle cream to my fingers before bed each night. Works like a charm!

Q: Got any skincare secrets you'd care to share?

This tip might seem a little far out but it works wonders! Whenever I have a photo shoot, TV appearance or a lecture, I want to make sure my eyes aren't puffy. One of my greatest tricks for releasing puffiness around my eyes is the neti pot. I drop in some essential oils.

Q: What about your favorite makeup products?

I love Dior products. Especially their eyeshadow and lip gloss. I'm also a huge fan of Dr. Hauschka's Bronzer. It gives me a fab glow.

Q: You also have amazing hair. Your long, natural waves fit perfectly here at the beach. What are your favorite products and tips?

I am a Frederic Fekkai junkie. I love the Fekkai products for summer. I use the Fekkai Beach Waves spray for sunscreen and a super hot beachy look. When I wash my hair I use Kiehls Sunflower Color Preserving Shampoo and Conditioner.

Q: And finally, I know you LOVE your colorist and hairstylist. Care to reveal their top secret identities here on About.com?

My stylist Marshal from the Soho Fekkai salon saved my hair. He's a genius. I've never trusted anyone as much as I trust Marshal. He manages to keep my length while making my hair still feel super healthy. He styled my hair for the cover of my new book (Spirit Junkie, A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles) and it was waves forever! My colorist, Jamie, is amazing at the balayage technique. This is perfect for my hair. I never want to have a one process color so the bright highlights really do the trick. My makeup artist for my lectures and TV appearances, Rebecca Casciano, totally rocks. I always beg her to place individual lashes on me. I love them.

Gabrielle Bernstein is the author of Spirit Junkie, A Radical Road to Self-Love & Miracles. Learn more about Gabby and her books on her Website.

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