HOW TO GO FROM TRAUMA TO FREEDOM AND INNER PEACE
Deep in the grips of drug addiction, Gabby Bernstein was sitting in her beaten-up white Toyota Corolla playing a cassette again and again and listening to a psychic saying to her, “You have two choices in this lifetime: You could stay addicted—and that’s not going to be good—or you can get clean and make a major impact on the world.”
In that moment, she couldn’t contemplate what it would be like to get out of bed later that day, let alone make a major impact on the world. But she kept listening.
Fast forward almost two decades, Gabby has written her ninth book, Happy Days, in which she guides readers down a path where they can go from trauma to profound freedom and inner peace.
In her own words, the book “will answer your questions about why you feel blocked, scared, anxious, depressed, or alone, and it will liberate you from the belief system that has kept you small for so long.”
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Trauma can happen to anyone
Gabby is not alone in having gone through trauma. Research shows that experiencing a mental state of extreme shock is not rare. About six out of every 10 men (or 60%) and five out of every 10 women (or 50%) experience at least one trauma in their lives.
Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms may include sadness, feeling nervous, anger, irritability, difficulty sleeping, nightmares, flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, trouble feeling positive emotions, and avoiding places, people, memories, or thoughts associated with the traumatic event.
If you or a loved one is suffering from trauma, you don’t want to miss today’s episode because I’m rejoined by Gabby, a dear friend of mine, #1 New York Times best-selling author, spiritual leader, motivational speaker, and the host of her weekly podcast, Dear Gabby.
Gabby has spoken to tens of thousands in sold-out venues throughout the world and has long been loved by her fans as a catalyst for fundamental inner change.
She was featured on Oprah’s SuperSoul Sunday as a “next-generation thought leader”, and The Oprah Winfrey Network selected her to be part of the SuperSoul 100, a group of trailblazers whose vision and work are bringing a higher level of consciousness to the world.
Gabby co-hosted the Guinness World Records’ largest guided meditation with Indian-born American author Deepak Chopra, and appears regularly as an expert on TODAY, Good Morning America, and other programs.
The list of her achievements feels endless, but there’s a line in her bio that has captured my heart and mind as it relates to the show, which reads: “For more than sixteen years, Gabby Bernstein has been transforming lives—INCLUDING HER OWN.”
I have great respect for Gabby and believe her work is transformational because she shows us those invisible doors that we all need to open in order to create the change that we seek in our lives.
She’s living proof that it’s possible to overcome the challenges of addiction, trauma, and depression and find hope again.
If she did it, you can too. But where to start?
The power of desire
Gabby, a wife and mother of one, told me that a strong desire and genuine willingness to change is the first step toward healing. “It can happen right now,” she says.
She reminds herself of the last lines of a poem by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Mary Oliver, which read: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Gabby believes asking this question can fill one’s heart with an intense desire to change for the better.
In her opinion, with desire comes bravery, and with bravery comes faith. “There’s no way I could have come from where I was to where I am today… without having that spiritual connection by my side,” she explained.
According to Gabby, fear is the reason why most people feel stuck in patterns that make them unhappy but acknowledges that true and lasting change takes time.
Our work, she says, is to continue the practice of reaching for better-feeling thoughts and emotions to move up the emotional scale as described by Abraham-Hicks.
“I don’t think that we wake up overnight without anxiety, but when we make a commitment to do this type of work and to look more closely to shine light on our past, to shine light on our wounds, to do therapeutic processes with the therapy that is right for us, to be on a spiritual path, to take care of our energetic system, we have so much grace along the way,” Gabby shared.
The role of hope
When I asked her about the role that hope plays in the healing process, she said hope is a vision for a better future and humans cultivate hope when they have the desire to see things differently.
“With that desire comes answers, and the universe is always responding to us,” Gabby told me during our wonderful conversation.
Take a listen to today’s episode if you’re eager to learn from Gabby how you can view the past with purpose rather than regret and transform your pain, whatever that may be, into freedom and strength.
To learn more about Gabby and her latest book, Happy Days, visit her website here. And don’t forget that there are happy days ahead. Enjoy!
Here are some highlights from today’s episode:
- [00:00] Intro
- [02:25] Who is Gabby Bernstein?
- [05:23] Gabby’s two choices
- [09:30] What’s the first step toward healing?
- [16:30] Different types of trauma: Small ‘t’ versus capital ‘T’
- [25:00] Waking up with anxiety
- [27:30] Why do most people feel stuck in patterns that make them unhappy? What’s Gabby’s prescription?
- [32:50] Trauma treatment: Tools and resources
- [42:40] Using the Abraham-Hicks Emotional Guidance Scale
- [45:30] Cultivating the idea of hope
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Chase Jarvis: Hey, everybody, what's up? It's Chase, welcome to another episode of The Chase Jarvis Live Show here on CreativeLive, where I sit down with amazing humans, unpack their brains with the goal of helping you. And today's guest is Gabby Bernstein, now you may be familiar with Gabby's work, if you're not you're in for a treat, and if you are I know you're going to be fast forwarding through this intro to get to the meat.
I'm going to just do a super short intro here because Gabby's work is transformational. It works on those invisible doors that we all need to open in order to create the change that we seek in our lives. If you've ever wondered why you wake up with anxiety and how to manage it, if you've experienced some trauma that you're aware of, how do you start to take that on? Her new book here, which is called Happy Days:The Guided Path from Trauma to Profound Freedom and Inner Peace, is an amazing path that bread crumbs you with tools, with concepts and with direction for your life on how to get started. I'm going to stop talking and let you get into this episode. Yours truly and Gabby Bernstein, how to guide from trauma to a fulfilled life.
Chase Jarvis: Gabby Bernstein you're back, thank you so much for being with us today.
Gabby Bernstein: So good to be back with you. This is definitely one of my most exciting podcast, I'm rejoining. So happy to be with you.
Chase Jarvis: Thank you for your time and for your wisdom. As you just alluded to, we've had you on the show before, incredibly popular episode. It's not the least of the reasons we wanted to have you back, other than this new book you've got which is called Happy Days. I'm dying to get into that but before we do, for the three or five people who are listening and watching and might not be familiar with you or your work, I love to start out these episodes with asking you to just share a little bit about who you are, where you fit into this world, what you've been working on and how people might be familiar with your work.
Gabby Bernstein: Yeah. Well, I am a mom to a three year old and to a kitten. I am a- [crosstalk]
Chase Jarvis: Which, if that kitten scratches at the door- [crosstalk]
Gabby Bernstein: She's coming in, no, she's- [crosstalk]
Chase Jarvis: Okay, please do.
Gabby Bernstein: Not only that I'm going to go get her halfway through.
Chase Jarvis: Do it.
Gabby Bernstein:And I'm also a wife to my husband, Zach. I like to lead there just because I used to lead with my credentials, 'this is what I do', and I'm just so over all that now. Proud of the work that I do, but proud of the person that I am first. But as it relates to the work that I do for the sake of today, I am proud to say I'm the author of nine books, the ninth book now is Happy Days. Yeah, 42, I wrote nine books, I feel pretty good, getting a lot done in this lifetime. So nine books, Happy Days: The Guided Path from Trauma to Profound Freedom and Inner Peace is my latest book. And I have been a motivational speaker for 20 years, that's my art, speaking publicly. I am the host of a show called Dear Gabby, podcast called Dear Gabby, which is so fun to do. And I do a lot of other things in my life, love to cook, love to exercise, love to sauna- [crosstalk]
Chase Jarvis: I love the Gabby Cooking Show, I love the show.
Gabby Bernstein: I've been really on the down low for the Gabby Cooking Show, I got to bring it back in the biggest way. But yeah, and I love to take saunas, which is another thing that I'm addicted to and obsessed with. So that's a little bit about me.
Chase Jarvis: Well, I can't believe that many books, that's bonkers. We've known one another for a number of years and have a lot of similar friends, and yet every time a dear friend of mine puts new work out there in the world I try and devour it, pre-order the book and just check in. And in that process, in advance of our doing the show today, there was a line in your bio that captured my heart, but also my brain as it relates to the show. And that line is, 'for over 16 years Gabby Bernstein has been transforming lives, including her own'.
So that's where I wanted to start our conversation today, with this idea of transformation and specifically the difference between transforming as in individuals doing the work, you Gabby, versus sitting outside and prescribing. And to get one level more specific, what are the ways that you feel like you have transformed your life? You opened this most recent book, Happy Days, with the story of sitting in your car, so that might be a place to start. In what ways do you look at your own life as a transformation? And then we'll shift gears after you answer that question into, and what are the key ingredients for helping others transform theirs? But start with you first.
Gabby Bernstein: Yeah. I think about the girl that is in the car in the first chapter of this book, I don't want to give too much away because the stories are good. It's a good book.
Chase Jarvis: They're good. [crosstalk] They're page turners.
Gabby Bernstein: Really, it's a movie. Definitely. I said to my therapist, I'm like, "Who do you think is going to play you in the movie?" Because she's a big character here. But I'm in the car and I'm listening to this cassette tape, yes, I'm talking about almost 20 years ago, 17 years ago, I guess. And I'm sitting in this beat up white Toyota Corolla and I keep replaying this one message coming through from a psychic reading that I had had five or six months prior. And I'm hungover in the car and I haven't slept the night before, and I'm adhering to alternate side of the street parking rules, so I'm sitting there just waiting for the street cleaners to come so that I can go back into my apartment and crash.
And I just keep listening this audio over and over and over, rewind the cassette, press play, rewind, press play. And the cassette audio is the voice of the psychic saying to me, "You have two choices in this lifetime. You could stay addicted and that's not going to be good. Or you can get clean and make a major impact on the world." And I keep repeating this audio over and over, and I keep rewinding it and listening to it and rewinding it and listening to it, because in that moment I can't contemplate what it would be like to make a major impact on the world. I can't even contemplate what it would take to get out of bed later that day, but I listen and I'm continuously returning to that prophecy that there is some other life for me.
And that was a very big point in my decision to not stay addicted, to not stay in the repetition of behavior that was going to kill me, and to choose a path that would indeed make a major impact on the world, but most importantly, make a major impact on my nervous system, on my psyche, on my ability to be a human in this lifetime. So this is a book about transformation. I have spent the last... Really, I say it took me 42 years to write this book, because it's a life story of transcending the traumas that we pick up along the way. And how do other people do that? That was the fall up question, right? How do other people do that?
Chase Jarvis: Yeah. Maybe we don't have to do all of the different steps, because your book serves that purpose, but where's a good place to start for you that was a recognition that you needed to get out of the party scene. That might be something else for someone else. So how do we identify..? What's the start for someone who's on a treadmill right now, or sitting in traffic, or on the subway listening to this. Because my hope is that there's probably a smaller distance for most people between where they are and where they want to be to get on this path. And so where ought they look to start?
Gabby Bernstein: That's a cool concept. There's no distance at all, it can happen right here right now, with you and me, while you're listening. It's all about your willingness, your willingness to choose a different path. You could literally be sitting here with us right now, having a quantum shift. Maybe you've never heard my voice before, but you're going to have a quantum shift with me right now because you're looking at your life and you're saying, "Well, it has to be better than this." Or, "There has to be a gentler way." Or, "I need a miracle." And that statement of any kind, "There has to be a better way," is enough to begin the journey. It's enough to have you keep listening, it's enough for you to pick up the book, it's enough for you to go listen to another podcast with chase. There's just invisible doors that will open for you when you become willing to change. So that's the first step and it starts right now.
Chase Jarvis: So here we are, we hooked are listeners. Like, "All right, I'm signing up for more." So we turn a few pages into Happy Days and the first chapter is about freedom, and are you open, are you willing to become free? And the second chapter is about bravery. Now it's not an accident that step one is the desire and step two is bravery, because this is not easy work. So when faced with the idea of doing hard work or staying on the couch, or maybe something less agra than that, just staying in the status quo, which is like a bad relationship. It's, is it bad enough for you to leave or at what point does it get bad enough for you to leave? Because when it's good it's okay. So help gear us up for, we're going to do the work, we're going to do this work with you, Gabby. What ought we expect?
Gabby Bernstein: Yeah. Well, there's something that you're mentioning that I think is interesting. I often look back on being a drug addict, and I was a cocaine addict so that's pretty rough. It's a rough one. And I can look back and be like, "I'm so glad I was a cocaine addict and not just a casual drinker." Because it brought me to my knees, which made it easier to be brave because there was no other choice. I mean, there was another choice which was death, frankly, but if I wanted to live there was no other choice. But for that person that's just on the couch, it could be even a little bit harder to tap into that bravery because you're like, "Well, it's okay, I'm not going to die from this. I'm not going to die on the couch."
So I just want to acknowledge that some of us that have the privilege of hitting a really hard bottom, it might even be easier to become brave enough to change. For those of you out there that are like, "Well, I'm in this relationship, it's just not really serving me," or "I'm this job and it's just taking me down," or "I'm in this old pattern and I just want to change it." I guess the question you'd have to ask yourself right now is, what are you going to do with this one life, I'm quoting Mary Oliver right now, but what are you going to do with this one precious life? And that's a brave question to ask. The bravery can be scary to contemplate like, "Oh, how can I face the dark corners of my past? How could I possibly go to the places that scare me? How could I feel into that feeling of inadequacy or being unlovable?" Or whatever it is that you may not even be able to have words for today.
But the bravery comes with the desire, like you said, we start with the desire and then we move into the bravery, and it also comes with the faith that there's a better way. And so throughout the book I think one of the greatest spiritual messages that's consistently infused throughout this book is that there is indeed a gentler, softer way. And while this is a book that touches on a lot of therapeutic practices, it's a spiritual book at heart because there's no way I could have come from where I was to where I am today and stand and sit in the seat right now of this grace without having that spiritual connection by my side. So right with bravery comes this faith that you can free fall and to trust also that, if you're reading that chapter or even if you're listening to us and you've continued to listen, that there's a part of you that is willing to jump, is willing to take that leap and to trust that there is grace on the other side.
And to trust that in this book I will guide you, that I will really gently and compassionately be there as a source of love as you carry through the journey. And that's actually my biggest intention of this book, is for any human who recognizes the traumas in their life, traumas with a big T or traumas with a small t, we're all traumatized. Any human that wants to feel better, any human who wants to heal the past, that they come to this book and they feel the infusion of my self energy, my love energy coming through, to act as a conduit through which they can take this brave step towards recovery and towards healing. I want them to feel as though they have my presence and my guidance by their side.
Chase Jarvis: That is an amazing intention. And as someone who, just to tell you guys how much of a page turner this is, I'm reading this thing via PDF. And if you've ever read a book via a PDF, you've got to really want it. And it's excellent, I can feel your guidance and your presence. Let's touch on trauma. It's in the subhead and I think it is for good reasons the phrase, in part due to you and your work, in part due to I think the zeitgeist starting to understand the concept of trauma. And so you use the phrase throughout the book and here just a moment ago, capital T trauma, little T trauma, and that we all have it.
Now, for someone who this word might be new, or the concept might be new, or someone who might be experiencing some resistance right now. Like, "No, no, my childhood was fine. I got along with my parents and we were a cute, sweet little happy family." Just set the stage for trauma and maybe dabble in both capital T trauma and small t trauma, but let us know how we all have it please.
Gabby Bernstein: We all have it. You can't be alive right now without having experienced trauma. You can't be sitting in March 2022 and your government says, "Go home." And you're like, "What the fuck?" Without having some kind of PTSD, you just can't. The PTSD of living through a pandemic of fear, living through the divisiveness of these times, living through the horrific visions and images that we see on our daily screen. You can't live without experiencing trauma today.
Now the big T traumas versus the small t traumas really are based on how much our nervous system is affected, how repeated the experiences were, and most importantly to point out, how much recovery we had on the other side. So typically when we have trauma as a child, whether it be sexual abuse, or violence, or a really divisive divorce, or feelings of just not being cared for, neglect. Whether repeated or not, as a child we would not necessarily have the resources to regulate and follow up with that experience and heal from that experience. And so ultimately it becomes a neural loop in our brain and we stay in this consistent state of fight or flight, where we take the adult experiences in our life and we replay those childhood fears in every adult experience that triggers us. So simple things can reactivate those childhood traumas if they are unresolved.
Small t traumas, it's still the same thing. We can have an experience that causes a energetic disturbance and it can continue to replay and repurpose. The difference may be that it may just be easier to move through, it might be easier to undo, but it's still present. And every method in this book will address big T and small t trauma the same way.
Chase Jarvis: Let's go back to something you said a moment ago, it was like, you're presented with the awareness more clearly in the capital T trauma, as you were with say cocaine addiction, versus lightweight, ongoing, low grade stressors or partying a little bit too much. And so for the person who maybe doesn't have a lot of experience with capital T trauma, is it fair to say that the small t trauma might be as damaging or potentially as insidious because you're not aware of it?
And I guess I'm trying to get people right now who are... I believe that most people who are listening are aware of their own history and can point to things that have had a dramatic impact on them, you used the concept of affecting their nervous system. But I also believe there's a whole cross section of people who are still closed or resist the idea that doing work is not for them or they don't need it. And I'm trying to open those doors, so give me some tools to be more articulate here and/or just take the stage and help people who are listening who might not... Say, "Okay, cool. I like Gabby's work. I'm fine though, I'm good."
Gabby Bernstein: Yeah. Wherever you are in your journey, whether it be identifying a small t trauma or a big T trauma, we have to come back to the place that you're at right now. Because right now, whether you know about it or not, you can't really identify the problem unless you're willing to look at it. So I'm sorry, but I'm coming back to willingness. Or that you are safe enough to even recall it. Because in my case, in the book I talk about remembering childhood trauma that was dissociated. So you may think, "Oh, a small t trauma might be harder to recognize." Well, actually sometimes big T traumas are so hard to recognize because they've actually been disassociated from, we literally can forget because our soul departs, or we leave our body in the moment. Our brain has a beautiful capacity to dissociate so that we do not have to feel that suffering in that moment, because we may not survive. So in my case, I just checked out, but my body remembered every single day.
So I think that's the same, whether you are completely dissociated, whether you're in denial, whether you're anesthetizing that trauma, whether you're avoiding, whether you're totally aware of it but just unwilling to look at it. No matter where you are with whether it's a big T or a small t trauma, you have to recognize that it is wreaking havoc in your life. And it is affecting your nervous system, it's affecting your sleep, it's affecting your gut, it's affecting your skin, it's affecting your ability to problem solve. It's affecting your parenting style, it's affecting your sex life, it's affecting your relationships, it's affecting your decision making skills. Each of us have different ways that the trauma shows up, but it's a disturbance, it's an energetic disturbance, and it's an inability to be present. As as Peter Levine so beautifully says, "Trauma is the inability to be present."
And so if you're someone out there and you're like, "I don't really think I have trauma and I don't really want to think about this or talk about this." Then buy the book for your friend or go read one of my other books on manifesting, that's fine. You've got to be willing to look no matter how big or small it is, if you want to read this book right now. I'm not saying you have to, you could go through your whole life totally just like, "I don't want to deal. And I'm going to stay on the couch and I'm going to drink. And I'm date messed up relationships and whatever, or just coast." That's fine, do whatever you want. This is a book, if you want to go big and you want to recover and you want to come out the other side... If you want to wake up without anxiety every day this is your book.
Chase Jarvis: That was a powerful line too, I think that may have been from the intro, but just this idea of waking up anxiety free. It's a very common... When I take questions from this community, either on the podcast or any at a live event, the idea of waking up with anxiety. You talked about the images that proliferate on our news and a very unsettling time that we're experiencing right now, pandemic, political, economic, lots of reasons to feel anxiety. This idea that everybody not, not everybody, but it feels like everybody, this is a very, very popular question. So this concept of waking up, if we use this as an expression of freedom, or helping deal with our traumas. When in your recovery process did you begin to awake anxiety free? What do people have to look forward to?
Gabby Bernstein: For me, it was... Well, I don't want anybody to be disappointed by this, but it was about three years ago, two and a half years ago.
Chase Jarvis: Seven books in?
Gabby Bernstein: Exactly, it was eight books in. But listen, I don't think that we wake up overnight without anxiety, but when we make a commitment to do this type of work and to look more closely, to shine light on our past, to shine light on our wounds, to do therapeutic processes with a therapy that is right for us, to be on a spiritual path, to take care of our energetic system, we have so much grace along the way. So while I didn't wake up one day and it was gone, yes, that has been what's going on last few years, I don't have anxiety every day. I don't have anxiety, I don't have fear, I live with a lot of faith.
But along the way I experienced countless miracle moments of up leveling, and many experiences that were even re traumatizing but were perfect because they were part of the path. So when you can look at your life and say, "Oh, I can see why all that happened. Or I'm grateful that fucked up experience happened to me because I'm now where I am today. Or because I learned that transformational lesson that has brought me closer to God or closer to my partner," whatever it might be, then you really are living this life, then you are really squeezing all the juice out of it, because you are truly committed to seeing through the lens of love. Seeing that if you are in the pursuit of grace, if you are in the pursuit of inner freedom and that's your goal, then no matter what happens along the way, you're good. [crosstalk]
Chase Jarvis: It's the process not the end product sort of thing.
Gabby Bernstein: Yeah. I share in this book, yeah, I got clean and sober 16 years ago, but how much more did I share in this book of what happened after that? Remembering the trauma of total suicidal depression from postpartum depression, just a lot of tough stuff that I had to face. But I look back today and say, "Whoa, thank God all that happened." I don't want it to happen again, but thank God all that happened.
Chase Jarvis: Why do so many of us feel stuck in patterns that make us unhappy? What's the neurology there, what's Gabby's explication for why most people feel stuck in patterns that make them unhappy? And what's your prescription?
Gabby Bernstein: Well, it's fear. Because the pattern is a fear response, the pattern is a way of numbing that fear, the pattern is... I'm trained in Internal Family Systems therapy and I have a way of explaining this that I think would be really helpful. So we have these protector parts of ourselves, you called them patterns, I'll call them protector parts. So it could be picking up the girl, the part of you that picks up the drink, the part of you that sleeps in way past when you should, the part of you that stays in the bad relationships, the patterns as you refer to them. And those protectors, those protective patterns, those protectors are perfectly placed to avoid ever having to face the impermissible feelings of fear, the exiled feelings of fear from our childhood, the exiled childhood parts.
And so those protectors are on high alert at all times, they're ready to rumble. They are going to swoop right in the second that fear part starts to get triggered, boop, there comes the protector. I'm going to control the shit out of everything, I'm going to fight back, I'm going to pick up a drink, I'm going to yell, I'm going to whatever it is, I'm going to sleep, I'm going to check out. Those protectors are in place and they have been in a repeated extreme role for what could be decades and decades and decades for many of us.
And the repetition of their behavior becomes a neural loop, it becomes a pattern in our brain. And the undoing of that pattern must happen by focusing on those parts, by befriending those parts. By helping those parts recognize another form of safety, by establishing enough love self energy, as we say in IFS, so that we can become the leader of our system. So that we can really be the witness of those protector parts and that our higher self, our resourced self can bring them back to safety, can help them step down and help them get out of their extreme roles. But the thing is those patterns or protectors, whatever you want to call them, they're not bad. They have a very valuable, important role. They've kept us safe for a very long time. The cocaine addict Gabby was not a bad part, she did the best she could. The controller Gabby, she's no longer in her extreme role, but you know what? She wrote nine books in eleven years. Okay, there was some good that came out of her.
So looking at the patterns, if you want to call them patterns, the bad patterns, let's call them protectors for the sake of this IFS conversation, and let's just call those protectors by their name. They're protecting us from something that we are not yet ready to face and when we become safe enough to face those parts and become willing to do the work, then we establish enough safety to start to allow those protectors to step aside or to step down or to be less extreme. Did that make sense?
Chase Jarvis: That was wicked, amazing.
Gabby Bernstein: Oh, good.
Chase Jarvis: That's part of what I'm seeking to do with the show and have been for now a dozen years, trying to unpack the concept of a willingness to do work on ourselves. If you talked about early on, desire, identifying these things, and that this willingness is no longer taboo to acknowledge a part of you that was a protector because that part of you developed in order to keep you safe. And this idea that we all have trauma capital T, small t, and you are not responsible for that trauma, whether it was child abuse or rejection or neglect, or any of the long list of traumas that we all have experienced. You're not responsible for that, but it as adult that you can take responsibility for your own healing. And in fact it is an incredible journey, and one that you have documented in all of your books so profoundly and vulnerably. And for that, I thank you. That is your superpower, your ability to be vulnerable, to talk about loving Gabby the cocaine addict. So thank you for that.
I need to keep pulling on this thread though, because in the book we realize that you've done work on a bunch... you just mentioned IFS, there's talk therapy, there's... So what are the tools for someone whose interest we may have peaked here? Like, "Okay, cool. I'm down to do some work." In a world where seemingly we have more tools than ever before access to those is obviously all over the spectrum, based on socioeconomic status, based on willingness, based on family custom, cultural awareness. Talk about the range of things that you've used, and maybe give some advice on how to ferret those out. Because in a sea of choices, it's like... I hate those restaurants and there's eleven pages. Just give me a one sheeter. And so what's our one sheeter to get started on this oh so valuable internal work that you've written about?
Gabby Bernstein: I wrote this book to vulnerably share my experience of transforming from trauma and becoming free so that other people could recognize themself in my story, no matter how different it is, because there's similarities in all of us. And then also to give someone the sense of they're not alone and that they have this guide by their side, as I said earlier. But then the next intention is to introduce my readers to the spiritual therapeutic processes. And I start with spiritual because every therapeutic process that I write up in this book is a spiritual practice. It was God given to the people who brought them forth. And they're also very rooted in spiritual faith, in my opinion, in my interpretation of them. Though they're widely used in the clinical space they're very spiritual practices.
So I share through my recovery journey what my experience was of returning to the body, through somatic experiencing therapy or befriending all of my parts and connecting to self through Internal Family Systems therapy, and getting out of the fight flight state through EMDR, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. I talk in this book about just so many even spiritual and meditative practices that are designed to help you self-soothe. I share a chapter- [crosstalk]
Chase Jarvis: Tapping and releasing- [crosstalk] Yeah, I'm at that right now. That's a really interesting way, that's that chapter on connecting to your body.
Gabby Bernstein: Yes. The body chapter is really profound and helping you recognize that your psyche and your body are not separate, that it all is interconnected. And the end of the book I even go as far as teaching some of the parenting methods that I've learned from Dr. Dan Siegel and applying them to ourselves, in a chapter I called the Re parenting chapter. Bringing these methods- [crosstalk]
Chase Jarvis: Peppa pig plays a role- [crosstalk]
Gabby Bernstein: Exactly. Yes. Yeah, there you go, babe. It's so nice to have these beautiful readers that really care. My hope is that, while I've had the financial abundance to have the privilege to practice these principles with experts, while I've had the privilege of being in the field of personal growth and having the best people on speed dial, I want to acknowledge that and call that out because someone listening is like, "Screw you, Gabby. How could I afford to do this therapy and this one and this one and have all..?" So a big goal of this book is to, one, give you tools that you can play right now, methods that you can safely attune to and use on any given day to start to regulate your nervous system and calm yourself down.
And to also, throughout the book and in the resources that I offer with this book, to really show you that there are real human angels out there doing this kind of at very affordable rates, and in some cases for free. And in some cases just trainings that you can get from me for free, or whatever it is that you are guided to, that there is help. And also that investing in that help, like sure would I have loved to have spent all the money I've spent on therapy on handbags or something? Yeah, probably, but- [crosstalk]
Chase Jarvis: Different kind of therapy.
Gabby Bernstein: Exactly. But I wouldn't change... that investment is the greatest investment of my life. It's the greatest financial investment of my life.
Chase Jarvis: Let's talk about that as a concept of investment, because I do believe that that resonates, having had hundreds of guests on the show and spoken to maybe hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people. And the idea, when I say, "Would you like to invest in yourself?" I have yet to have anybody say, "Nah, I'm good." I think there's a genuine desire to do work. When you think about the resources that go into that, you talked about, "I would have loved to have had that money to spend on handbags." Yeah, so there's money, there's the time that it takes to read books and listen to podcasts. It's easy to look at everything it takes, but what role does... The heartache and the pain that process uncovers, that's what I think people don't want. I'm like, "I'm willing to throw down some money. I can join Gabby's inner circle for free or for a monthly stipend, or I can do all these things." But how much of this perpetual people say yes but don't do it, is because it's going to hurt.
Gabby Bernstein: Oh, it's all of it. So coming back to the parts of us, the parts of us that sign up but don't follow through are protectors. It's like, "Nah, I don't really want to... I want it, but I don't want to go... No." Once it gets too- [crosstalk]
Chase Jarvis: Want with a small w, right?
Gabby Bernstein: Exactly. If it gets too squirrely, if it gets too scary, it's like, "I'm out, I'm out." You have to trust your systems willingness and steadiness. And there's times in life when we are... When I remembered my experience of being abused as a child, when I remembered that in therapy, actually I remembered that in a dream and then it came out in my therapy session. I asked my therapist, I said, "Why did it take me 36 years to remember?" Or however long, it happened when I was young so I was 36 when I remembered. "Why did it take 30 something years to remember this?" And she said, "Well, because you're safe enough now to remember. Your system is safe enough now." I'd had decade of therapy behind me, I had her support, I had my husband in that attached connection, and so it was the safety in my system that was able to go there. So we don't go there until we're ready to.
So trust your system, don't force it. And all throughout the book, you know this, you've read it, all throughout the book I say over and over, "Come back to this chapter if it's activating, do not do this now if this is too much for you. Remember this in 10 years if it's...", whatever it is, because some of it is just not right right now. I spent decades just performing for my therapists. Straight up, like, "Let me tell you all the great things are going on in my life." And they would just sit there, literally, like when am I going to break through? And then the breakthrough was like a busting through, so it's not for nothing. If you feel like you're just going through the motions that's enough right now. Even the small steps are enough right now.
Chase Jarvis: Yeah. I have a concept of no effort is ever wasted. Like you said, you needed to hit rock bottom in order to have it present itself as a problem that needed to be solved. If indeed that's true, no effort is ever wasted, were there any signs that you're getting close? Because I think most people, we want an easy fix. And what you're hearing from this podcast right now, this is not going to be easy and it's not going to be quick. So is that the right way for us to think about it?
Gabby Bernstein: Well, let's look at it like this. It's a lot more difficult to sit in your discomfort and live in your discomfort and live in the perpetual patterns of chaos that we create, that's much more difficult. So what I mentioned earlier, the grace along the way, you're not going to wake up tomorrow without anxiety. Maybe you will, you could have a quantum shift, you absolutely could. But you will wake up tomorrow, maybe after listening to this podcast and downloading the audio book later and listening to the first chapter, you may wake up and be hopeful, or you may be curious. That feels better than then stuck.
So each step along the way leads us up that ladder of that emotional scale, as Abraham Hicks [inaudible] talks about. The emotional scale of just getting out of that depression and getting out of the hopelessness into a better vibration, a better belief about our possibilities. And so while, yeah, you may not be perfect overnight, each step that you take towards your own personal growth is a step towards a better vibration, a better feeling. And so you will feel relief along the way.
Chase Jarvis: Personal question here, which of these steps was hardest for you?
Gabby Bernstein: Hmm. The period between- [crosstalk]
Chase Jarvis: And hardest... I always hate when I get asked what's the most, the best, your favorite? [crosstalk]
Gabby Bernstein: No, no, I can really answer this. Yeah.
Chase Jarvis: Okay, good.
Gabby Bernstein: Because there's really so much tough stuff along the way, but my drug addiction and alcoholism was thing compared to remembering trauma, nothing, it was cake. Remembering childhood sexual abuse at the age of 36 sent me back into it, I was walking around re traumatized, having flashbacks and dreams. And that went on for a few years, it really went on hardcore for at least a year. And then I did a lot of EMDR, which is really soothing to the system. When you have a recollection like that I would really recommend EMDR for trauma. But that was the toughest, the absolute toughest time. My gastro issues just were at a all time high because my body was just so inflamed from the memories. I had gastritis and then SIBO, and it was just constant, I was a hundred pounds. It was just a really horrific time in my life.
But even in that horrific experience, I actually felt some hopefulness because I had some answers now. I could look and say, "Oh, well, that is why I was a drug addict. That is why I live with so much fear. That is why I'm so controlling. That is why I became a workaholic. That is why, why, why, why, why." The answers to the question 'why' were now there. So it was horrific and difficult, but it was also relieving.
Chase Jarvis: Yeah. The human brain will often need 'whys', we need the answer, we need a rationale to go on. And this discovery of this... That's one of the reasons I... Becoming aware of a problem is the first step in managing it, I feel like. You used the word just a second ago that I want to linger on, and it's an idea that I would like to close the show with today. You used the word hope. What role did hope play in your personal journey? And what role do you think hope will play to the listener who has decided today to take the first step or maybe the 800th step, but to keep going? What role does hope play and how do we cultivate this idea of hope? The book is called Happy Days, right? That's just a hopeful title in and of itself. So talk to me about hope for a moment.
Gabby Bernstein: Hope is a vision for a better future. And we cultivate hope when we have the desire to see things differently, because with that desire comes answers. The universe is always responding to us, whether it's coming back with a yes for something we don't want, or a yes for something we do want. And when we start to say in our own ways, through prayer, through intention, through thoughts, through just showing up and listening to a podcast like this, those are messages to the spiritual presence within us and around us that says, "Yeah, I'm ready to go. I'm ready to change. I'm ready to..." And when we make that kind of statement energetically or literally we open up these invisible doors for hope to step in. Because that vision of a different future, that acceptance that things could be better, that slight, as they say in the 12 steps, 'the mustard seed of hope' is enough. The slightest, slightest bit of hope is enough because as it keeps you curious, it keeps you aligned with a God of your own understanding, a spiritual connection of your own, keeps you coming back.
Chase Jarvis: If you were free from fear, who would you have the freedom to be? That is the question that your book I think does an excellent job of helping us come to our own answers. Congrats again, Happy Days:The Guided Path from Trauma to Profound Freedom and Inner Peace. What number is it? Nine? Eleven? Twenty six?
Gabby Bernstein: Nine, I'll come back at ten, we'll have a party at ten.
Chase Jarvis: That's right.
Gabby Bernstein: We'll be in person then for ten, we'll be in person.
Chase Jarvis: God, please make it so, please make so. Thank you so much and congratulations. This community is really good at supporting authors, buying their book during pub week. It's a thing that we know and practice together as a community so I highly encourage it again, I read a 106 page PDF.
Gabby Bernstein: I'm getting a hard cover out to you to right this minute. First of all, I just want to acknowledge you in front of all of your listeners that, I go on a lot of podcasts and not everybody reads the book. And it's so meaningful and it makes for such a beautiful conversation when somebody has experienced the content. Particularly with a book like this that is so vulnerable and took so much of my heart and soul to put out. I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to respect the work and to show up the way you did today, it makes for a really lovely conversation. I just adore you, thank you.
Chase Jarvis: Thank you so much. I will graciously accept and also say, I enjoy your work deeply, it's so well timed. As we were chatting before we started recording, it seems like the awareness of the trauma that we all have experienced, I think you used that word 10 years ago, it doesn't land. And now we have new profound examples with the pandemic and shifting of culture. I'm sure it was no small undertaking, so thank you for doing the work and putting that work out there for us to consume and share.
Where else would you steer people? Obviously, check out if you can get it from a local bookstore, great, otherwise Amazon or any of the other onlines will be able to deliver Happy Days: The Guided Path from Trauma to Profound Freedom and Inner Peace, comes out in February '22. So if you're listening to this you're going to be listening to this mid-February, but at any time you can hop in and grab it. Where though would you steer people outside..? I know you have a bunch of programs through your own platforms, give us a 90 second tour of where you'd steer people to outside of just your newest book.
Gabby Bernstein: The best place where I can be a resource for people right now, if you're like, "Oh, I can't get that therapist. Or I don't know, I just want to dabble. I need a little bit of help," is on my podcast Dear Gabby. On Dear Gabby I workshop people and they come on and I just riff and take them through different topics and different stuff that's up. And it's where I can use the tools that I have applied in my own life that I've created, that I've learned, and really support others. And so you'll recognize yourself in my audience and the folks that come through, and it's a beautiful place to get that free counsel and guidance. And so I would probably just say go listen to Dear Gabby right now, and just let me love you up.
Chase Jarvis: Sweet. Subscribe. Thank you so much, Gabby, good to catch up. Congrats on the book and on so many of your other successes. Thanks again for being on the show. You're always welcome, every time you've got new work out we'd love to have you. So thanks again, and thank you to everybody else out there in the universe, I hope you have an incredible week and signing off until our next time together. Gabby and I bid you adieu.
Gabby Bernstein: Thanks, man.
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