When was the last time you couldn’t put down a book?

For me it was reading Gabrielle Bernstein’s latest work, aptly titled Spirit Junkie.  The book chronicles Gabrielle’s personal journey from spiritually confused party girl to radically transformed believer in the power of love over fear.  And it’s all set against the backdrop of the iconic text, A Course in Miracles.
First, a warning. This book is not for everyone. Hip and edgy, it’s most definitely not your parent’s self help book. This is a book for forward-thinking women seeking a fresh way to navigate the “new normal” of this unique (and economically painful) environment we find ourselves in. But if you are feeling exhausted from a life that seems like a non-stop treadmill of work and emotionally hollow commitments, I have a hunch you will love this book as much as I did.
Now, what on earth does this post and Gabby’s book have to do with my normal subject matter of personal finance?
Surprisingly, everything.  Increasingly I am realizing how much of our personal finance troubles (excessive student loans and credit card debt, underwater mortgages, stagnant or shrinking retirement accounts) are occurring at the same time so many are feeling spiritually empty.
It may well take a “miracle” to pull our country out of our current financial malaise. I’ll talk more about this in future posts.  But for now, I want to leave you with a few questions Gabby was kind enough to answer for us on her relationship between spirituality and money.

(1)  You’ve concurred so much (food, love, drug, work addiction).  As your spiritual journey progressed, how did your relationship with / attitude towards money evolve? 

My self-worth directly informs my net-worth. As I’ve grown spiritually I understand that outside abundance is a reflection of your inner abundance. I welcome abundance in every form. 

(2)  You often tweet that you are the “happiest person you know.”  These days so many people are struggling with the economy and their personal finances.  How do you stay upbeat around those potentially gloomy subjects?

Each moment of our life we can choose what to focus on. We can choose to see lack, doubt, fear. Or we can choose to view our world with a more creative perspective by holding visions of hope, faith and opportunity. From the moment I began my first business in 2001 I chose to see obstacles as opportunities and practice turning fear into a more faithful perspective. This is very hard work, especially with the recession and fear on the news. But the more we work to perceive our world with love the more love is what we’ll see.  

(3)  You’ve been so successful at such a young age.  What has been the best money move you’ve made so far as your career has taken off?

The best money move I’ve made is learning to negotiate. Today I LOVE to negotiate and ask for more. This was once a major issue for me. I spent years leaving tons of money on the table. Today I know my worth. 

For more Gabby you can follow her on Twitter at @GabbyBernstein, follow her on Facebook by clicking here, and watch the book trailer for Spirit Junkie.