My Birth Story and Reflections on My First Year of Motherhood

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I am patient, knowing that whatever is of the highest good is coming to me | Super Attractor card deckIn three days I will celebrate my son Oliver’s first birthday. This milestone gives me a beautiful opportunity reflect on the past year.

Delivering my son was the best day of my life. I call it my Beyoncé birth! My water broke two days before I was scheduled to be induced. I remember lying in bed with my big belly on December 17th, reading over the manuscript for my new book, Super Attractor. I was planning to deliver it to my publisher on the 18th, before my scheduled induction.

My doctor had spent hours convincing me to deliver my baby at 40 weeks because of my age. I resisted his suggestions at first, but in the end I surrendered the plan to the Universe. Reading the manuscript again made me feel so good, helping me release my fear and return to my faith in the Universe.

After an hour of reading, I stood up to get a drink… and that’s when my water broke! I yelled down to my husband that it was time to go. We grabbed the hospital bag and took off. Our baby was on his way!

We calmly drove to the hospital that night, filled with excited anticipation but also a great sense of peace. For months I’d held a vision of the labor I wanted to have. I saw myself free from fear, moving through each surge with ease and peacefully delivering my child. I held this vision and surrendered it to the Universe.

Gabby Bernstein Instagram photo from the hospital where she gave birth | Gabby Bernstein birth storyThe next morning I went into labor. I live in a country town with a small, regional hospital. As I had envisioned, I was the only person laboring in the maternity ward. I had two amazing doulas, six loving nurses, a caring obstetrician, and my incredible husband there to support me.

Outside my hospital window I could see the blue December sky and rolling hills. I played mantra music, lit votive candles and sang the word “Ahh” as I moved through each surge. “Ahh,” the universal sound for God, was what instinctively came through me. Every hour I’d meditate with my doulas, listening to mantras and gazing at images I’d pinned up: one of a baby in perfect delivery position, and one of a flower representing full dilation.

My spiritual practices were essential to my labor experience. They made such a difference for me that I recorded birthing affirmations for Spirit Junkie mamas. You can download the birthing affirmations free here.

My meditations, affirmations and visualizations guided me through 14 hours of labor. Early on December 19th, my son came into the world with grace and ease. When the doctor gently set him on my chest, I looked at my baby and said, “I know you.” It was as if we’d been together for many lifetimes. This was the best day of my life and my greatest manifestation.

Gabby Bernstein holding her newborn son's hand | Gabby Bernstein birth storyThe Universe always has a plan far better than ours. The three years I spent trying to conceive gave me the gift of surrender. I focused on feeling good and strengthened my faith so I could deliver my son in the perfect time.

Looking back, I can see how there was no better time for me to become a mother. Each day I return to these practices, reminding myself that anything is possible when I’m aligned with my Super Attractor power. I know the greatest lesson I can teach my own child is that when he’s aligned with the power of love he will live a miraculous life.

I had to live that lesson this year. After the high of delivering my son wore off, I was struck with the most challenging experience of my life. If you’ve been following my work you know that I struggled majorly in the first half of the year. In the spring I was diagnosed with postpartum depression and anxiety.

This was the scariest and darkest moment of my life. My diagnosis came after months of excruciating insomnia, agoraphobia, panic attacks and obsessive-compulsive behaviors. At first I thought I was just a stressed-out new mom — but it was much more than that. (If you identify with these symptoms or are struggling in other ways, reach out to Postpartum International. And if you live near NYC, I also love The Motherhood Center. If you’re in a crisis, don’t hesitate to call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.)

Gabby Bernstein on a walk with her baby, looking at a white church in the countryside | Gabby Bernstein birth storyDuring this time I prayed daily, and once I surrendered I could ask for help. My inner guidance system led me to call a friend who is a psychiatrist in New York. Within hours he had me on the phone with a reproductive psychiatrist who gave me my clear diagnosis and started me on my healing path.

Once again, this required spiritual surrender. At first I resisted the idea of taking medication, but I accepted that I’d tried every single alternative and nothing was working. I talked very openly with my new doctor and I began taking prescribed medication.

The medication I took rescued me in the depths of my suffering. It’s what helped me sleep after months of insomnia and feel more like myself. Because of that I was able to truly show up for the rest of my recovery.

One gift this experience gave me was a new perspective on mental health treatment. I’m committed to erasing the lingering shame and stigma around asking for help and doing what it takes to feel better. I’ve also given voice to unspoken shame, opening up about my postpartum anxiety and depression  in The New York Times at the same time I was celebrating 14 years of sober recovery.

Gabby Bernstein pushing her baby in a stroller and looking out over rolling hills | Gabby Bernstein birth storyToday I can live to testify that, as Rumi says, “The wound is the place where the light enters you.” The massive bottom I was in was the catalyst for my greatest transformation. Sometimes we have to fall apart to be reborn, and this year was a rebirthing for me. Experiencing mental illness stripped me of all my ego’s outward perceptions of myself. This was the miracle.

Through my recovery I’ve grown to be more centered, grounded and in-the-moment than ever before. I cherish the smallest moments and I have a newfound respect for my nervous system and overall well-being.

In Super Attractor I talk about how appreciation can reframe even our most difficult times…

Appreciation dissolves all blocks to the presence of my Super Attractor power | Gabby BernsteinWe spend a lot of time focusing on what we’re experiencing rather than how we’re experiencing it. We forget that we can change our experience of anything simply by shifting our point of focus. Any situation can be experienced with more love when we choose to see it through lens of appreciation. Even the tough times can be seen through this lens.

When you choose a perspective of appreciation you can find great growth opportunities instead of remaining the victim of your experience. For example, when I think back about hitting bottom with my drug and alcohol addiction in 2005, I have nothing but appreciation.

My deep gratitude for my recovery is what has kept me clean and sober for so many years. I appreciate my addiction because it was the catalyst for the spiritual path that I am on today. I don’t judge myself for being a recovering alcoholic and addict. I celebrate it!

Through appreciation I’ve been able to turn what could have been a shameful time in my life into a miracle. I look back on my bottom and thank the Universe for all the divine lessons and clear direction on my path. Most importantly, I appreciate my addiction because through my recovery I’ve been able to help others get sober too.

My greatest reflection of all is that the foundational spiritual path I’ve been on throughout my life was what saved my life. My faith in the Universe, my reliance on spirit and my ability to surrender are what guided my healing path.

I release time and let the Universe show me what to do | Super Attractor card deck | Gabby BernsteinBecoming a mother has also changed me. Now, months into my recovery, I can truly cherish every moment with my son. The week he was born I got a text from my friend Dr. Shefali Tsabary, author of The Conscious Parent. She said, “Your son is your new guru.” She was right! This child has taught me so much. He’s inspired me to go deeper on my healing path so that I can heal my nervous system, release stagnant energy and become more free. In the energy of my freedom I give him space to thrive.

Oliver has proven to be my greatest spiritual teacher, giving me a new sense of presence, patience and most of all an opportunity to deepen my faith in the Universe. He is my greatest desire made manifest. I know that the birth of this soul is a reflection of my willingness to be guided and my trust in a plan beyond my own.

My son has also taught me to release my need to control more than ever before. When you have a child, you must accept that you can’t control anything. Of course, it’s not only true in childbirth… it’s true all the time. You can’t control your circumstances, but you can decide how you’ll show up for them. Being on a spiritual path helps you recognize the difference.

As I say in Super Attractor…

I’ve chosen to perceive hard life experiences as spiritual assignments for growth and healing. I’ve accepted that nothing happens by accident. And I know that as long as I remember I’m a Super Attractor, I will be able to accept difficult experiences as opportunities to fine-tune my inner power and get closer to consciousness. The tough stuff offers me a chance to shine the crystal that is me.

Being a Super Attractor doesn’t mean everything is perfect — but it does mean that I show up for life with faith, no matter what. Claiming my Super Attractor power has helped me to move through rough times with much more grace, honesty and compassion than I otherwise would.

Gabby Bernstein sitting on a curb in Houston | Gabby Bernstein birth storyOur willingness to surrender to the Universe is what allows an invisible guidance to take over. When we surrender, we realign with faith, and in that alignment we are shown where to go and what to do. We can relax and trust in the unfolding.

Thanks to my own surrender, I was able to recover with a lot of grace and compassion. Not only did I give birth to my son, but I also gave birth to my seventh book! Going on tour with my family I love that I get to travel with my husband. Zach is always capturing random moments and turning them into art. It’s a blessing to have a partner who believes in me. Our shared mission is to help a lot of people and have a lot of fun.

I’m deeply grateful that this year I was able to travel around and meet Super Attractors all over North America. I’m so excited to continue the tour in 2020 in Australia! Teaching the book’s methods to you and bringing them to life onstage is a beautiful gift. Thank you for coming out, for waiting in line, for asking such thoughtful questions.

One of my favorite parts of my job is answering questions at my live events. I let go and trust in the answers that come through. I’m also blown away by the vulnerability and authenticity that the audience members bring forth. It’s brave to speak up in front of thousands of strangers and share your truth. It’s in those truthful moments that the group receives a collective healing. In the presence of authenticity we are given permission to get honest.

And whether you came out for my book tour or not, THANK YOU for reading Super Attractor, giving the book to your friends, practicing the methods, sharing your miracles on social media and reclaiming your own Super Attractor power!

Be proud of your commitment to these practices and celebrate your internal shifts. May this New Year offer you many miracles. And may your spiritual practice clear space for the Universe to midwife your dreams.

Believing in spiritual guidance gives me certainty and the freedom to keep dreaming, even when I can't yet see the result | Super Attractor card deck | Gabby BernsteinAs I reflect on 2019, I can say proudly that all the struggles I experienced mentally and physically were part of a bigger plan. The Universe had a plan to crack me open more so that I could get closer to freedom. I have come to accept my dark moments as opportunities to heal more, love more and show up in the world in a more powerful and authentic way.

Take some time before New Year’s to reflect on your 2019. Give yourself the chance to celebrate the tough stuff as the catalyst for your growth. You wouldn’t be reading this blog post right now if you weren’t willing to grow. Something cracked you open so that you could be here reading this today.

Super Attractor by Gabby BernsteinWhen you reframe your difficult times, you become free. Obstacles are opportunities, rejection is protection and struggles can lead to freedom. Trust that the love of the Universe is in every experience, and when you tune in to it you can see it with faith rather than fear.

On the back cover of Super Attractor, I share a passage that I hope inspires you to commit more deeply to your spiritual practice:

You can decide today to recalibrate your energy and commit to love and joy. In an instant you can choose a world beyond your fear…. When you embark on a spiritual path, a shift occurs whether you’re conscious of it or not. And if you stick to the path and stay committed to your practices, one day you wake up and you’re new.

Celebrate 2019 as a journey to becoming new. Welcome 2020 already reborn, transformed and ready to receive great gifts from the Universe.

With love,
Gabby

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