Gabrielle Bernstein wants you to think about framing. No, not so much the composition on your living room wall — more like how you frame the experiences of your past, present and future. And, as the author of May Cause Miracles believes, how you choose to see your experiences is a direct path to finding happiness.
Q: How did May Cause Miracles come to be?
A: I’ve been writing books on personal development and spirituality since 2009 and this one was just a response to what my readers were really needing — people who were looking for a guidebook and lesson plan and direction. So I compiled the work I’d applied to myself over the years and created a 40-day plan for people so they could have that repetitive action to create permanent change in their lives.
Q: So since this book focuses on ultimately finding happiness, how have you been able to find happiness in your life?
A: The key to finding happiness is really about learning to change your mind about your experiences. The way that I made a radical change in my own life is I chose to perceive things through another perspective and, through prayer and meditation, I’ve been able to open up to a really quick shift in any given situation and can use circumstances as opportunities to grown and learn. Even the most difficult situations, I can choose to see it as an opportunity to grow and strengthen my capacity to find happiness.
Q: It sounds like you’re just choosing to reframe experiences?
A: Yes. Reframing them, trusting that there’s a lesson in everything and being open to finding that lesson. It also involves some reflection and work by revisiting your past experiences and choosing to see those differently. When we let go of those past experiences is when we open up to a new perspective in the moment.
Q: So what is the connection between your book and happiness?
A: It’s really about giving people the tools to change their minds in any given situation. So if happiness is having the moment-to-moment opportunity to see things not through fear and negativity but positively, then this gives you the tools to do that. And while I think you can benefit from these practises immediately, in order to make them stick, you have to commit to them for a lifetime — it goes beyond the 40 days — making sure you stay committed to that path.
Q: How can our readers start right away on turning around how they see experiences and finding happiness?
A: Have the willingness to change your mind because that opens you up to tools to make change. You have to be willing to see things differently. You know you’re ready when you look at your life and think, “This isn’t working anymore.” That’s a sure sign you’re ready for change.