The One Thing You Might Be Forgetting About That Could Help You Fulfill Your Life’s Purpose

Photo: Stocksnap/Julian Jagtenberg

Well+Good Wellness Council member and self-help phenomenon Gabrielle Bernstein gives amazing advice (light bath, anyone?), and in her newest book, The Universe Has Your Back: Transform Fear Into Faith (out today), her plainspoken, let's-make-miracles-happen approach is as potent as ever. In this excerpt, she talks about the idea of certainty: how it's affected her life personally, and how it just might be the under-the-radar key to making things happen. 

gabrielle-bernstein-universe-book-coverIn 2005, early in my sober recovery, I was busy reading all types of self-help books, watching Hay House DVDs, listening to spiritual podcasts, and soaking up all the guidance I could get my hands on. There was one DVD in particular I just loved. The DVD was called You Can Heal Your Life, and it featured many of the authors whose faces graced my bookshelves, including Louise Hay, Christiane Northrup, and the amazing Dr. Wayne Dyer. It was Wayne Dyer’s part of the film that I found most moving, and I would watch him on repeat. I fell madly in love with his profound one-liners, such as, “As you think, so shall you be” and “You see it when you believe it.” These became my mantras, and through Wayne’s guidance I began to place great emphasis on choosing the thoughts I desired to co-create my own reality.

Each day I took Wayne’s advice and willingly suspended my disbelief. I’d let go of all limitation and allow my mind to dream. I held visions of writing spiritual books in which I would express the incredible healing and growth I was experiencing. I saw myself as a speaker and teacher. I would create images of myself leading talks alongside these great teachers and offer guidance to audiences who, like me, longed for personal growth and healing.

I stayed true to my visions, strengthened my certainty, and trusted that the universe was supporting my work. My certainty gave me a sense of peace. I never felt the need to push my career ahead and instead trusted there was a plan. The universe responded well to my peace of mind.

Photo: Stocksnap/Frank McKenna
Photo: Stocksnap/Frank McKenna

In time my certainty turned into form, and my visions became my reality. In 2009 I signed my first book deal for Add More ~ing to Your Life: A Hip Guide to Happiness. As soon as I received a galley of the book I sent a copy to Wayne Dyer. I mailed the book to an address in Maui with no expectation of getting a response. Along with the book I enclosed a thank-you note to Wayne for helping me turn my visions into form. It felt amazing just knowing I had sent the book, regardless of whether he got it.

A few weeks later, I received a letter in the mail postmarked from Maui. I opened the envelope to find a handwritten note from Wayne Dyer! He thanked me for the book and encouraged me to continue moving forward with my career. I was blown away by his generosity and love. I couldn’t believe he took the time to respond to me.

Hard work, passion, and commitment can bring you all the support you need to fulfill your life’s purpose. Certainty of outcome, however, is the secret ingredient.

Several months later I attended a Hay House event in New York City where Wayne was the headline speaker. I was sitting in the front row, hanging on every word. Midway through his talk, Wayne grabbed a book from a table on the stage and started talking about a young new author who had published her first book. He said, “This young woman will be on this stage one day speaking to an audience this large. She will be a fantastic teacher, and I want you all to go out and buy her book.” He then said, “Gabrielle Bernstein, please stand up and say hi to the audience.”

I was shocked—I hadn’t realized that he was talking about me! I stood up and waved to the audience and thanked Wayne for his generosity. That moment was better than anything I’d dreamed about. Three more years passed, and in that time I published another three books. The visions I held of being a speaker, author, and spiritual teacher were coming into form. The more I enjoyed the process and focused on the service and joy behind my work, the more it was supported by the universe.

Photo: Stocksnap/Priscilla Westra
Photo: Stocksnap/Priscilla Westra

Then, one day in 2014 in New York City, I walked out onto the stage at the Javits Center to give a talk. Stepping onto the stage and looking out at that big audience, I realized this was the exact stage where Wayne had stood years before, foreshadowing this moment. My longtime vision had come into true form. “As you think, you shall be.”

Hard work, passion, and commitment can bring you all the support you need to fulfill your life’s purpose. Certainty of outcome, however, is the secret ingredient. When we are certain, we can relax into a sense of knowing and faith. My all-time favorite passage from A Course in Miracles is, “Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait and wait without anxiety.” This passage gives me a sense of power.

When you let yourself dream big dreams, and learn to rely on your inner wisdom, you will receive the gift of certainty.

We all long for certainty in our lives, but our world feels anything but certain. We have grown to believe in fear, powerlessness, and doubt. The messages in this book are meant to challenge these limiting beliefs and encourage you to take on a new perspective—one that lets you learn to trust fully in a path and a power greater than you. When you let yourself dream big dreams, and learn to rely on your inner wisdom, you will receive the gift of certainty.

Universal lesson: The path to certainty requires a profound desire to be free from fear.

My commitment to freedom from fear gave me the strength to embrace certainty in an uncertain world. The freedom I speak of is an inner peace that can come only from genuine faith in the universe. When we choose to believe in the faith of the world, we are afraid. But when we lean on the faith of the universe, peace becomes real.

Freedom and peace are frequently under attack, particularly when you feel powerless over a situation. In our lives, many situations arise that seem to be out of our control—the loss of a loved one, a frightening diagnosis, or news of a terrifying world event—and as a result, we lose faith.

We are programmed to have more faith in fear than certainty in love.

Even when everything is seemingly going great, we can lose faith. It’s common for me to hear stories of people who, thanks to their committed spiritual practice, have manifested awesome lives. And yet the presence of fear knocks them down. They tell themselves stories like, “This is too good to be true” or “It’s too good to last.” And just like that, certainty proves them right. But it’s okay. Understand that we are programmed to have more faith in fear than certainty in love.

Allowing the creative flow of love to move through us is the feeling we long for. Oftentimes, we look for that feeling in a drink, a romantic partner, or some kind of worldly success. Looking back at my addiction, it’s clear I was searching for that creative flow too, just in the wrong place. Once I got sober, I shifted my search inward to realign with the energy of love. My commitment to my inner life through prayer and meditation strengthened my faith and certainty in the love of the universe. I learned that I could simply step back and allow the creative force of love to work through me. This is when I truly began living.

And we have a few more Bernstein bits of wisdom—check out her method for shaking off anxiety and getting un-stuck, or let her lead you through a one-minute gratitude break.

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