Interview With Barbara Berger
Barbara Berger is the internationally acclaimed author of 15 self-empowerment books. American born, she has lived and worked in Denmark for most of her adult life. Her work combines the fields of psychology, spirituality, and the science of the mind. She currently gives workshops and coaches clients in the art of controlling the power of their own mind to create the life that they want.
Mary Nale and I first interviewed Barbara many years ago on “Sessions – Attune Magazine Radio” (Blog Talk Radio). What came through then, and what comes through now, is Barbara’s dedication to helping people lead a fulfilling life that they feel in charge of. Let’s see what Barbara has to say!
BC: Barbara, you have 15 self-empowerment books to your credit, including “The Road To Power-Fast Food For The Soul”, “Are You Happy Now?”, “Find And Follow Your Inner Compass”, “The Awakening Human Being”, and “The Spiritual Pathway”. What led you to place your professional focus on self-empowerment?
BB: Suffering! Ha ha! Isn’t that what drives us all? We all want to be happy, we all want to experience peace of mind and joy, we all want to experience a sense of ease and flow in our lives. We all want to find a way out of suffering… That is what has motivated me right from the beginning and since an early age I have been a seeker. All my work and my books are based on my search to find a way out of suffering. My quest has led me to explore many different pathways and approaches – mental, physical, metaphysical, psychological and spiritual. After leaving the US in the mid-60s in protest against the Vietnam War and settling in Scandinavia, I continued my quest in the 1970s with a passionate interest in the role of food in our mental and physical well-being. And then when I discovered in the early 1980s that health foods and diet were not enough to ensure true wellbeing, I began to study the science of the mind, the nature of consciousness, metaphysics, and finally traditional spirituality and psychology.
BC: How does the art of setting boundaries fit into your work?
BB: Well, I’ve also discovered in my quest that most of our problems are people problems! Most of our discomfort, confusion, and anguish arises in and because of our relationships with our partners, families, and friends. Which is something most of us have discovered. And as you know, I am a coach and a therapist so for many, many years now I have been talking to people from all around the world, listening to their problems and issues and challenges and trying to help them find practical and constructive ways of living together in harmony with the people in their lives. And this is where having what I call “healthy boundaries” is so important. Healthy boundaries are based on the principle that each one of us has a right to be here and to be who we are… but how does this play out in our interactions with other people? Is there a way to navigate wisely in a reality where everyone is different?
In my quest to find answers to this question, I discovered there is a lot of confusion about boundaries. As a result, I have also discovered that it is very helpful to be able to define and identify what healthy boundaries actually are. So to help people look at their own relationships, I have made a list of the most common boundary violations. You can see the list in my short article here: https://bestselfmedia.com/how-to-avoid-common-boundary-violations/
For those who are interested, there is a lot more about constructive communications, being assertive, and having healthy boundaries in my books “Are You Happy Now? 10 Ways to Live a Happy Life” (Chapter 3) and “Find and Follow Your Inner Compass” (Part Two).
BC: How important is self-care in attaining our ideal life?
BB: Very important. See my answer to this question below for my thoughts about this.
BC: How does your work help people fit into the real world?
BB: Most of the people I work with are people who are interested in spirituality, alternative lifestyles, healthy living, etc. They are all people who have a high level of integrity and are evolving rapidly, but at the same time, they are often very challenged in their daily lives and in their relationships. And often also when it comes to making money and their career paths. So I have found that my coaching and therapy is most effective when it is an “enlightened” combination of the spiritual and the psychological. And this is because when it comes to finding a way out of suffering, there are strengths and weaknesses to both a spiritual approach and a psychological/therapeutic approach.
In brief, I’ve discovered the following. On the one hand, there are people who follow traditional spiritual teachings based on the old wisdom teachings and daily spiritual practice such as meditation. These people often make great strides in their understanding of the nature of reality and in raising their level of consciousness. But despite their spiritual growth, many continue to have great difficulties when it comes to taking care of themselves and dealing with the challenges of everyday life in the modern world. Often because they haven’t learned basic people skills like how to set limits, communicate skillfully and be assertive. And then, on the other hand, there are the people who go the therapeutic/psychological route to learn to deal with suffering and the difficulties they meet in daily life (in terms of family, relationships, work, etc.). In their case, they often make great strides in dealing with the problems of everyday life but fail to find real, lasting satisfaction and a way out of suffering because the therapeutic approach does not take into consideration and deal with the basic existential nature of this thing called life. And without a deeper understanding of the eternal verities and the nature of existence, most psychological and therapeutic solutions (though effective in the short term) cannot provide real, long-term satisfaction when it comes to the great questions in life – and in the final analysis true liberation from suffering.
So this is why I believe in an enlightened combination of these two approaches – the spiritual/metaphysical and the therapeutic/psychological.
BC: In “Find And Follow Your Inner Compass” you talk about how to make good decisions, and how to navigate life. Can you talk a bit about that?
BB: Another one of the big challenges people are facing today is how to make wise decisions and navigate through life when we are being bombarded constantly from morning to evening with information and advice from all sides thanks to social media, etc. Because of this massive input, people are finding it more and more difficult to get in touch with the guidance, wisdom, and knowledge that lies within. So this book is an attempt to help people understand what’s going on and learn how to tune into their internal guidance system.
I know this is possible because I’ve discovered that every person alive has an Inner Compass! And by this, I mean that every person alive has his or her own unique, personal, internal guidance system – which is working at all times and which is each individual’s direct connection to the Great Universal Intelligence that created each one of us and all of Life. So I wrote this book to explain how we can find, understand and use this internal guidance system – which I call the “Inner Compass”– to live happier, more fulfilling, exciting and wonderful lives.
In the book, I explain that the key to using our Inner Compass is to understand the true significance of our emotions because our emotions are the way in which our Inner Compass guides us and gives us information. So in the book, I explain the mechanism in detail. And why our emotions are so important and such significant indicators of whether or not we are in alignment with who we really are and the Great Universal Intelligence that has created all of us.
BC: I recently finished reading your latest book, “The Road To Power-Fast Food For The Soul”. This is an updated version of a book that was originally published in 1995/1996. How did this update come about, and how does it fit in with the rest of your work?
BB: The thing about this book is that it never goes out of date because the message of the book is timeless and so important. In brief, “The Road to Power” is a book about how we can take our power back by understanding the way our minds work and by learning to use the amazing power of our minds to create better, happier and more fulfilling lives for ourselves right here and now. People just love this book because it’s so practical – every chapter is packed with concrete advice and exercises which people can start using and practicing right this very minute. It’s been so amazing and heart-warming how many people from all around the world (the book is published in 30 languages) have told me and are still telling me that this is the book which changed their lives. So if you’re looking for a quick pick-me-up and an easy to use reminder of how to take your power back right now – you will probably love this book.
BC: Barbara, do you have any last words that you would like to share?
BB: Yes – In my experience, nothing is more exciting than self-empowerment. Nothing is more thrilling, fun, or more rewarding than finding out that yes, we can do it for ourselves. That we – yes you and I – are truly the masters of our fate and that we can change our destiny by working with our minds and by doing the inner work. How do I know that working with our minds and doing inner work can change your life? I know because it has changed mine! But don’t believe me – try it for yourself and see what happens! Blessings to you wherever you are!
BC: I want to thank Barbara for taking the time to do this interview. Below is Barbara’s contact information, as well as a sample of some of the audio interviews and YouTube interviews that she has done. I also want to note that Barbara offers a free e-book, “The Mental Laws – Understanding How The Mind Works” on her site, http://beamteam.com/index_en.html.
About “The Road to Power-Fast Food for the Soul” (radio):
Same interview on YouTube:
About “Find and Follow Your Inner Compass – Instant Guidance in an Age of Information Overload”
About my life and “The Awakening Human Being” on Buddha at the Gas Pump:
Other good radio shows:
© January 2019 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.