In 2020 I released an Audible Original about how to live a spiritual life by tapping into your own inner wisdom. It was called You Are the Guru. The audiobook came out right after I received the heartbreaking news …
Yet again, one of my so-called gurus had been exposed. This person had committed horrific crimes.
I was devastated.
Though I’d acknowledged this experience on social media, I’d never felt comfortable talking about it publicly … until today’s episode of the Dear Gabby Podcast.
For this Big Talk, I sat down with Rainn Wilson and Reza Aslan … and the floodgates opened.
spiritual straight talk
These guys are deeply committed to their own spiritual and religious faiths. And in their calm, steady presence, I felt comfortable opening up about the shame of making someone my “guru” … only to have them fail me.
We had the most beautiful conversation about witnessing faith in action and infusing spirituality into everything you do.
We also had a few good laughs …
joy is the through-line
This Big Talk covers so much ground…
in this episode you’ll hear about:
- Using joy as a through-line to integrate every part of your life—even if you’re on a slightly scary Uber ride. I’ll share how I turned an uncomfortable moment into an opportunity for joy.
- Demystifying what it means to be a person of faith. As Reza said, “Living a spiritual life is an active choice—there’s nothing magical about it. Being a person of faith is a decision that you make.”
- The power of humility. Here’s what Rainn said about humbling ourselves to pray: “Prayer is an ability to say I need help. And there is a beautiful, bountiful, power coursing through this Universe that can help me along my journey—if I attune to it.”
- How to approach therapy as a spiritual practice. (I LOVE what Rainn had to say about this!)
- Why service to others is integral to spiritual growth. “You can’t just sit in your walled garden and become more spiritual staring at a tree or a crystal with some incense burning,” Rainn said. True spirituality also means “Serving others, connecting with others and trying to make the world a better place.”
healing the spirit
We also touched on addiction and the trauma that underlies so much of it. Even socially acceptable addictions, like workaholism, are often rooted in trauma.
I know this intimately.
Another big moment of this episode is when I open up to Rainn and Reza about my past as a workaholic. Because I was terrified—of my body, of my life, of everything! I was unable to sit in stillness. I would work, work, work to anesthetize the pain.
when we are willing to look at the root causes of our addictions, we can become free
And that’s how I have freed myself from all the addictive patterns in my life … and learned to be at peace by just being myself.
^^Rainn, Reza, and I dug into that concept on Dear Gabby.
I also explore it in my book, Happy Days: The Guided Path from Trauma to Profound Freedom and Inner Peace.
In the book, I share my own personal story of overcoming trauma. I go into detail about the 9 tools I used to heal. These include some of the practices that we discuss on today’s Dear Gabby, such as Internal Family Systems therapy.
As Rainn said in this Big Talk, “What we call therapy is a spiritual practice as well.”
I deeply resonate with that.
spirit is in everything
I believe that Spirit is in everything. It’s in books; it’s in a yoga studio; it’s in kittens and kids. You can find spirit in a therapist, or in a medical prescription, or through a 12-step program.
>>>But most of all, Spirit is in you. It’s in your thoughts, your actions, and everything you do—whether you’re at an ashram or on an Uber ride.
Remember, You Are the Guru. You can make faith an active choice and pursue a spiritual connection of your own understanding.
You can decide how to see the world and how to show up in it.
And you can develop a spiritual foundation that’s so strong, it will always be there for you like a giant pillow …. ready to catch you if you fall.
Living a spiritual life means staying in spirit and leaning into faith, no matter what happening around us.gabby
I hope this episode of Dear Gabby inspires you to infuse more spirituality—and more joy— into everything you do! I can’t wait for you to listen.
Oh, and if you want to hear what the word “guru” translates to, click here. This is so cool!
get more gabby
- Rainn Wilson is an actor (you might know him as Dwight Schrute from The Office), a comedian, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy. He’s also the cohost of the Metaphysical Milkshake podcast.
- Reza Aslan is also a host of Metaphysical Milkshake! He’s an Emmy-nominated producer, a scholar of religions, a commentator, a professor, and the author of three books, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth.
- If you feel you need additional support, please consult this list of safety, recovery and mental health resources. I’m proud of you for your commitment to self-care.
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This podcast is intended to educate, inspire, and support you on your personal journey towards inner peace. I am not a psychologist or a medical doctor and do not offer any professional health or medical advice. If you are suffering from any psychological or medical conditions, please seek help from a qualified health professional.