Interview With Barbara Berger

Interview With Barbara Berger

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):

http://prn.fm/energy-stew-learn-use-mind-become-powerful-life/

Same interview on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-vmmyN5tQ8&t=683s

About “Find and Follow Your Inner Compass – Instant Guidance in an Age of Information Overload”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=7&v=gvqmOt5LCzQ

About my life and “The Awakening Human Being” on Buddha at the Gas Pump:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojd_HeRD33c

Other good radio shows:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/attunemagazineradio/2014/10/13/sessions-barbara-berger-listening-to-our-inner-guidance

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/attunemagazineradio/2014/05/26/sessions-the-secret-of-good-relationships-with-barbara-berger

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/attunemagazineradio/2014/02/12/the-adventures-of-pebble-beach-barbara-berger-on-sessions

© January 2019 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

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Review: Living a Spiritual Life in a Material World

Living A Spiritual Life in A Material World –
Four Keys to Fulfillment and Balance

Author: Anna Gatmon, PhD
She Writes Press
2017
ISBN #978-1-63152-256-7

Living A Spiritual Life cover

“The goal is not

to lose oneself in

the Divine Consciousness.

The goal is to let the

Divine Consciousness

penetrate into matter

and transform it.”

~ The Mother

It is probably the hardest thing that any of us can do – trying to live a spiritual life in a material world. I admire Gatmon for all that she has accomplished in her life – overcoming a dysfunctional childhood, accepting the offer to become a model and live in Paris, traveling internationally as a model, marrying and raising two children, becoming a transformative counselor, and being willing to share her insights through this book.

The voice that comes through in this book is one that strongly reminds me of people like German philosopher/spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle, Indian physican/spiritualist Deepak Chopra, Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist), and Mexican author don Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements). What all of these individuals have in common is that they present us with ways of living our lives that bring our spiritual life into alignment with our daily life.

The system that Gatmon presents us with is that of the Four Keys to Fulfillment and Balance. These keys are: (1) Expansive Presence: The Key to Sacred Awareness, (2) Attentive Listening: The Key to Inner Wisdom,  (3) Inspired Action: The Key to Manifesting, and (4) Faith-Filled Knowing: The Key to Ongoing Co-Creation.  In following these four practices in our daily lives, we bring our own spirituality into the material world.

The Four Keys are meant to help us improve our intuitive decision making, empowering us to become our own spiritual guide. The aim is to allow us to live a spiritually meaningful life while remaining connected to our daily lives in the material/physical world. Some of the benefits of what we learn in “Living A Spiritual Life in A Material World” include:

  • Get out of a dispirited mood within minutes
  • Shift from feeling alone in the world to feeling that you are cared for and guided by a loving Universe
  • Enhance your impact on daily situations
  • Develop your intuitive decision-making skills
  • Gain practical tools for manifesting your true and authentic self
  • Feel passionately engaged in expressing your unique divine purpose
  • Find a greater sense of harmony, intimacy, and connection with people
  • Lead an overall healthier physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual life.
  • Make a conscious choice to actively seek out the Divine and the Sacred on a daily basis and you can truly alleviate your suffering and find happiness.

Each chapter includes commentary on the energy model being discussed, as well as how to place this action in our daily lives. For example, the chapter on Expansive Presence includes thoughts on expansive sensations, expansive emotions, and expansive thoughts. Gateways to expansion that Gatmon discusses are breathing, experiencing gratitude, expanding through language, and engaging in authentic self-expression. At the end of each chapter is a summary of the principles discussed in that chapter.

The narrative flows well, and includes stories from Gatmon’s personal life, as well as insights and testimonials from her doctoral research. I cannot say it better than Gatmon says it herself in her epilogue: “Practicing gratitude and conscious breathing, engaging in authentic expression, and spending time in nature are some of the ways you can expand your consciousness and enter into union with  this spiritual existence. In this state of mind, you can listen attentively and decipher subtle, intuitive information that can guide your choices and actions. All that remains for you to do is to act upon this guidance with inspiration and determination, allowing the spiritual reality to penetrate and transform your ordinary, mundane life. As you do that, your faith will deepen and you will find that you have become a channel for wisdom to come through transforming your world and the people whom you touch.”

I highly recommend this as a tool of personal empowerment.

© Bonnie Cehovet May 2017

We Are Here – Love Never Dies

We Are Here –
Love Never Dies

Author: Jane Smith Bernhardt
Burnham Press
2009
ISBN #978-0-615-34131-6

Jane Smith Bernhardt is a professional portrait artist, author and performer. In her work, her focus is on using creativity as a vehicle for human transformation. She is a graduate of the Guild For Spiritual Guidance, and has spent years in training in spiritual guidance, meditation and energy healing.

Within a very short time period Bernhardt lost her father, her children’s father, and her step-mother. Prior to her father’s death, they had spent a great deal of time one spiritual studies, including the works of Dr. Raymond Moody (“Life After Life”), Yogananda, Thomas Merton and Thich Nhat Hanh. Jane’s first thought on her father’s passing was that he went in his sleep, in a peaceful manner.

On the plane from where she lived on the east coast to her father’s home in California, Jane began to receive communications from her father. He assured her that he was in a good place, and that he was happy. His concern was that he never intended to leave his wife, Angelika (Jane’s step-mother) alone. He asked Jane to be there for Angelika.

Jane’s relationship with her step-mother has, at best, been an awkward one. Yet, she knows that she and her sisters need to be there for her. And she, Jane, will be the one to pass on communications from her father, Angelika’s husband of forty years. Angelika looks forward to the communications, and this forges a bond between her and Jane.

The book is written in the manner of a journal, with her father’s communications, Angelika’s responses, and Jane’s thoughts. One of her first thoughts was that she would only receive the one communication, the one she got while on the plane. Her father assured her that he would be able to continue communicating, which was the case.

A sample of the communications from Jane’s father right after he crossed over:

“Don’t worry about anything, Jane. I mean that. It’s harder to speak to you now. I’m kind of further along with this thing. It’s so beautiful … I really get caught up in it. I’m learning such wonderful things. It’s pur flight, and I’m becoming part of it … so wors are harder now. But I’m sending energy to Angelika, and they assure me that she won’t be alone. You know, we’re still together … that’s the amazing part.”

“Angelika, honey, you’ll be here soon. Don’t worry about it. It’ll be fine. I know that. And now you won’t be alone either. You’re never alone! That’s what I was starting to feel before I left … it was all so peaceful. The shifting is really pretty easy. You just let go. And they take care of the rest. I mean it. It’s just the way I hoped that it would be … only better.”

“Jane: I have assurance here that you’ll really be taken care of. All you need to do is focus on this work … and what great work it is! I’ll help too.”The communication continues on this way for some time. The Jane’s children’s father suffers an aneurysm, and is hospitalized in a coma. The messages that she receives from him are about his concern for his botched relationships with her and two of their three children – one of which is Jane’s from her first marriage. (He and Jane were married for eighteen years. After their divorce he remarried and started a second family.) He is in a coma for four weeks, after which he is conscious, and able to talk to his children. He mends his relationships, and then suffers another sever brain hemorrhage, which is fatal.

Right after her children’s father crosses over, Jane receives word that Angelika has peacefully crossed over.

Jane goes on with her work. While the messages from her father spoke of confirming the afterlife, hope, and angelic guides, the messages from her children’s father had been about the importance of forgiveness. At the end of the book, Jane states that the lasting lesson for her in all of this was that spiritual help is available to any of us at any time. There is a host of unseen spiritual helpers surrounding us, waiting to be called on.

The messages in this book are meant for all of us – it crosses the boundaries of culture, nationality and race, and binds us together as children of Spirit. It is a book of encouragement and reassurance, that there is an afterlife, that we can communicate with our loved ones, that thee is a reason for this life, and that we do have choice.

From her foreword: “Imagine that all things are possible in Love.”

© April 2010 Bonnie Cehovet