Gabrielle Bernstein Gives Ridiculous Advice


Hey. Remember that heatwave we had a few weeks back? Crazy, right? Made people a little bonkers, right? I guess bourgeois spiritual coaches were not immune.

One of Elena Brower’s “dearest friends” (check out some hot sexy verbal scissoring here), Bernstein is known for offering really weak pop-spirituality-lite for anyone who’s wanting nothing more than a little warm milky milky to make that big bad world go bye-bye, most of which is couched in a really unfortunate take on A Course in Miracles


…proving once again that, yes, all things that are potentially cool will be ruined by some version of this:


Anyway, this summer the “Zen in the City” writer had some stellar advice for NYers wanting to “beat the heat,” as they say. Read the article here. There was the standard WTF? advice of having an “in-door barbecue” and something about why you should still find a way to workout(?!). The real clincher, however, came in the form of some stock “I’m a good person” BS that I’m sure made a whole cadre of sad people jizz their sad little sad pants.

“The summer heat can make everyone a little cranky. Instead of losing your cool every time you step outside the house, make a commitment to stay positive. Set yourself up to win each morning before you walk out the door by affirming that you intend to have a good day no matter what. Look in the mirror on the way out and say, ‘it’s going to be a good day.’ This moment of positive intention will energize you from the onset of your day.”

Let’s take a look at what this little piece of soft-sage advice is actually saying:

  1. There is not only a difference, but a better/worse scenario between feeling “cranky” and feeling “positive.”
  2. The feelings you encounter throughout any given day are actually the field upon which a competition is waged.
  3. To be cranky is to lose the competition. To “stay positive” is to “win.”
  4. Having a good day “no matter what” is a good thing.
  5. Telling yourself it is going to be a good day, has an effect on the day actually being good. You won’t just feel good. Your day will actually be good.

Sigh. There are about 456 different angles with which to tare this piece of buffoonery a new asshole, but I don’t have it in me to write another “Open Letter” to people like this. The truth is, people who take this duck-and-weave approach to feeling bad are really missing out. FEELINGS ARE DOORWAYS, PEOPLE. They are signposts leading you right back into your own self-creation, if you’ll allow them to just be. But, if you really want to know my take on this form of spiritual bypass, you can look back at last week’s piece on Elena Brower’s punitive measures to stop getting angry at her kid.

If you wanna skip that and get the sound bite, it reads like this: Gabrielle Bernstein is booooooooooring.


  1. amphibi1yogini

    There should be a TV series (maybe “Spiritual Junkie” ?) – she is the real-life Dharma of that TV show, Dharma and Greg.

    A blurb about her:“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 post-modern spiritual set.”~Elle magazine Featured in the New York Times Sunday Styles section as “a new role model”, motivational speaker, life coach and author Gabrielle Bernstein is making her mark. Expanding the lexicon for the next generation spiritual seekers, […] In 2008 she launched her social networking site for young women to find mentors. HerFuture’s growing community exceeds 11,000 members. Gabrielle was just one year out of college, when she co-founded the Women’s Entrepreneurial Network, a non-profit professional organization that connects female entrepreneurs.”

  2. Holy cow, where do I start?
    First off, that Elena Brower/Gabby interview is so freakin’ embarassing! Have you ever had that experience where you were watching something so bad, that it made you feel really, super-uncomfortable? Like ducking under your seat because you felt so bad for the actors or singers or whatever? I nearly lost my breakfast when Elena practically implied that ACIM–>Marianne Williamson–>Gabby–>Elena as a lineage.

    Listen up Comrades, “Spirituality” is the new dot com industry. And just like Silicon Valley in the 1990s attracted very, very few winners and plenty of losers and shysters, this “new” spiritual movement, particularly from the Oprah set are doing the exact same thing and is attracting legions of Gabby-types and Gabbys-in-the-making. I’m noticing a horrible new trend with some of these new spiritual teachers. Affluent, formerly spoiled kids latching on to “spirituality” because it’s the new trend and milking it with re-hashed platitutes and gimmicky books, podcasts etc. but not really offering any new deep insight whatsoever.
    I’m sticking to Alan Watts and Aivanhov, thankyouverymuch.

    BTW, when is the Book of Urantia coming up to bat in the yogic sense?

  3. Zodiyack

    These “spiritual” teachers are just exploiting a powerful mix of confirmation bias and guilt. We remember things that confirm our beliefs and forget those that don’t. I am told to think positively, so anything positive is a result of this and anything negative is a result of not being positive enough.

  4. Wondering

    Who in their right mind would take any sort of spiritual advice from this woman?

  5. Greenpoint

    she (they) define what it means to exist in a vapid state…

    • You know, I didn’t wanna say … that Dharma Finkelstein TV character has more depth …
      But, you see … this is what happens when you’re riding a trend, have an extreme gift for self-promotion, and you’ve a great publicist

  6. Natalie

    Glad to see you are back writing in fine form. I think for me the saddest part is this ” one size fits all ” approach to ” feeling better “. Like there is really a magic pill or potion, well, maybe but usually those come with a warning! The inner journey requires stamina, strength and the ability to just be, with the parts of ourselves that are wounded, imperfect and not shining as brightly as we had hoped, when we encounter them. Marketing for instant insight is one thing, self-discovery and self-knowledge another.

    • amphibi1yogini

      Well, I disagree to a little extent … there is something to be said for the power of self-talk…
      The arts of practicing deep breathing and pranayama are underrated …
      The main problem I have with the Elena Browers and the Gabrielle Bernsteins is, why, really, do I have to follow their directions?

      So, what makes THEM so special …?

      • gross

        nothing. they have really good self-promo so they are who we “hear”. also, i have never actually listened and would DEF not follow anything either of them said. they are both probably more wounded & desperate than most of the people who do listen to them.

  7. 1+2+1+1

    Curious question to anyone interested: Pulling from the most oft-mentioned yogalebrities on this site, if you HAD to take daily class with Sadie Nardini, Elena Brower, Dana Flynn or Kelly Morris, who would you choose and why?

    • Oooo… this is a GREAT question! Can we turn it into a post?

      • 1+2+1+1

        By all means. It’s your party, so you get to spike the punch whichever way you like.

      • Thaddeus

        Also…in the same vein…who would win in a “fight” between the above mentioned…the possible match-ups are endless…kind of in an epic rap battle of history sort of way.

    • amphibi1yogini

      Suppose you guys would think I’d pick Sadie, what with my more “core” orientation and the pilates I put into my own home self practice (and that I obviously show an obsession with her), but you’d be wrong … I actually deign to take from a teacher who is now being influenced by Dana Flynn … it trickles down onto my Aurorae Synergy mat at home …

      Gaaaah!! Can’t keep those yogalebrities out of my influences (or influencers)!

    • Zodiyack

      Sadie. She has worked hard to overcome a situation that left her paralyzed early in life. We can quibble about the marketing, but she is truly the most inspirational of the bunch.

    • silki

      I am disappointed that Ms Stiles didn’t make the cut. I was looking for happiness. Always. Joy. Freedom. Maybe even a little liberty, too.

      “At the center of it all [yoga?] is happiness. The aim with every class I lead, every book I write, and every blog I post is to help people connect to themselves, where they always find joy and freedom.”

      – Ms Stiles in the Aug 7: 10 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About Yoga (And How To Make It Right For You)

  8. Pez

    She might have been paraphrasing a sing a long to The Book of Mormon’s Turn It Off..quite a catchy tune:-) haha

  9. the moment already came

    Oof. That’s like asking whether I want to stand in line at the DMV or Social Security.

    Kelly Morris. I like more slap and less tickle.

  10. jorge

    only happy things, please. pet my face.

  11. jorge

    psshh, heat wave…. round these parts hitting 100 every day mid may-mid september. a lil cranky sounds nice actually compared to heat stroke and hallucinations.

  12. Yoga_Dude

    “The summer heat can make everyone a little cranky. Instead of losing your cool every time you step outside the house, make a commitment to stay positive.”

    Until you can sell that shit on the south and west sides of Chicago, I ain’t buying.

  13. novecho

    Think she stole it from Richard Simmons, “Sweatin to the Oldies”

    • Greenpoint

      I made it to around 1:30 mark…kept waiting for her to spontaneously combust…

      It does happen you know…

  14. Alias Shmalias

    This video might be even better because of the abundant euphemisms.
    Some stranger than others.
    Kundalini White = stone-washed gray
    Panties = pants
    Rockin’ out = awkwardly perching on a couch with no arms
    Real World Today = for the 1%, and not real at all
    Check in with you guys = manipulate you to buy our products
    Powerful = obvious
    Cool kids = scary ladies with pained smiles
    And don’t get me started on the word “miracle” and how offensive it is in this context for people living in, you know, the actual “real world today.”
    Also, beware, everyone: “the Kundalini is all over the place” up in here.
    I guess Kundalini = bullsh**
    I agree with Earth Energy Reader; it made my heart race out of embarrassment.

  15. I’m With ” the moment already came ” and Yoga_Dude, Cracking Up!!!!!! OMG!!!!!!

    So They Actually Pay People To Write This Kinda S-H-I-T and There Are People Who Actually Read It, EWE!!!!! Talk About A Veil, OMG!! HaHa

    Hummmmmmm, So Goes It In The Scene

  16. P.S. Missed You, Happy You Are Back ♡

  17. Rocko

    She’s hot! I’d like to have that zen mouth wrapped around my; well never mind.

  18. novecho

    your kundalini??

  19. Lalalala

    Nice gang signs at the sign-off.

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