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Hey, it’s Marie Forleo and you are watching MarieTV, the place to be to create a business and life you love. Now, if you ever get caught in this cycle of judgment, both judging other people and feeling judged by them, and you just want it to stop, my guest today is here to help.

Gabrielle Bernstein is the number one New York Times bestselling author of The Universe Has Your Back, as well as Miracles Now, May Cause Miracles, Add More ~Ing Your Life, and Spirit Junkie. She was featured on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday as a next generation thought leader, the New York Times named her as a new role model. Gabby leads talks and meditations for sold out audiences around the world. Her latest book, Judgment Detox, presents a step by step process to true healing and oneness.

Gabby Bernstein.

Marie Forleo.

It’s so good to have you here.

So good to be here.

We haven’t sat down and done an official episode in years.

I know.
And I’m so thrilled about this one. So this book, Judgement Detox, amazing. I loved it. You’re a beast, an animal in the best way. You crank these things out. This one is special. Not that your other books aren’t special. This one’s really special.

Yeah, thank you.

I want to dive in with how you open the book, because I loved it. Where you say that your fingers were trembling as you wrote the introduction because you thought, “Who am I to write a book about judgment? I judge all the time.” And you’re very transparent about the struggles that you have judging strangers on political views, judging the woman ahead of you from moving too slow – I do that all the time – judging people on social media for the comments they make, judging the way people parent, judging your husband for not responding the way you want him to respond – I don’t know anyone who has a significant other who doesn’t do that from time to time.


And then you ended with judging yourself all the time. So tell me about the inspiration and why, specifically because you do have these struggles, that you’re like, “You know what? I need to write a book about this.”

Well, first of all, it’s a pretty brave act to put my face on the cover of this book. Because everywhere I go, especially these days when I’m doing interviews for the book or coming to see people like you I’m like, you know, I better be careful what I say whenever I show up. Because I really have to walk my talk and I have to stand behind these principles.

I wrote this book because I was noticing the world really hitting bottom with separation, judgment, division. I wrote this book in 2016 during the election, so as we all know, the world was at this heightened divisive time, and it was not an accident that this was what was coming through me at that time. And it was really clear to me not just for the world but also for myself, because I could see very clearly how my small, minor, seemingly insignificant judgments were really holding me back and blocking me from my connection to a higher power, from my connection to the truth of who I am. And — but it is quite terrifying that this is what — my face is on that cover. So I have to stand behind it.

Yeah. It’s pretty fun though. And, you know, I just want to say, I mean, none of us are perfect. You’re not perfect, I’m not perfect. We’re all gonna judge. And we’ll get to that in a moment. Because the message — what I took away from this book was, it’s not about ridding yourself of all judgmental thoughts, because that’s virtually impossible. And some of our judgments, they serve us. They’re good. And we can talk about that, but it’s not to believe in your judgments or indulge in them. Is that right?

Yeah. And I think that there’s something that I shared throughout the book, which is that it’s not that we give up judgment altogether, it’s that we no longer believe in it. And that’s the miracle is that we don’t believe in it anymore. So ultimately we can — right now as a result of practicing these principles, writing this book, and living these six steps, I am in this practice now of really just showing up for life in a way where I see myself in a judgment and I witness it and I can immediately do something to pivot. So I can practice any one of the principles in the book. I can just choose silence, I can change the subject, I can say a prayer. And that pivot is what I’m most proud of. Not that I am completely clean of judgment, but it’s that I don’t believe in it anymore and I can get out of it fast.

It’s kind of like it’s the recovery time. Right?


It’s like…


Yeah, the comeback. How quickly you can make that comeback. For anyone wondering, how do you define judgment?

Judgment is a separation from oneness. So I — if you’re new to me, but obviously you’ve been a good friend of mine for a long time, you know that I teach spiritual principles. So I am in the belief system and I share the belief system that we all have a deep, grounded connection to kindness, oneness, compassion, love. That is the God within us. That is who we truly are. And any time we judge, we are separating from that oneness, we are separating from that truth within us.

And so it unconsciously feels very uncomfortable for us when we make that separation, when we split off. We don’t realize it. At first we may think we’re getting high off of it. Right? We’re gossiping. We’re in a situation where we feel like we want to, you know, not feel the pain that we have and the discomfort that we’re carrying, so we project it out onto somebody else through judgment. Ultimately at the end of the day we feel guilty because it’s not the truth of who we are.

Yeah. And I think a lot of people, especially if they’re with their friends or maybe even on social media, especially with friends, like you kind of use that judgment as a form of connection. Like you’re kind of trashing someone else.


You’re coming down on someone else or making fun of someone else, but you rarely walk away, I mean, you get that laugh for the moment. Right? It’s kind of like a cheap win.

You get a little oxytocin rush because you are feeling some false sense of connection.

Well, with the person that you’re…

Yup. But it’s — but then you leave feeling almost hungover.


And the more you do this work the more hungover you feel because you realize it. You know what’s up.

Yeah, well, you start to see it everywhere.


And how prevalent it is. You know, one of the things that you shared was judgment wouldn’t be present if you weren’t in some way calling out for love.


I thought that was really interesting. Tell me more about that.

Well, all attack is a call for love. So whenever we are in a place of attack, we’re also in a space of defensiveness because we are feeling some sense of inadequacy, some core wound, some trauma that we don’t want to address or that we’re terrified to face. And so we project it out onto somebody else so that we don’t have to feel it temporarily. That is a call for love. That’s a wound that needs to be healed.

Have you seen that, in terms of writing this book, practicing all of these ideas more diligently, has that been something that’s come to the surface for you? Like when you notice a judgment you’re like, “Oh, wow,” and you get to actually ask?

I walk around all day and I’m just like trigger, trigger, trigger, trigger. Like I am so conscious and aware of how wounded I am. And, listen, you know, it’s — the nice thing is, is that I’m not the victim of the world I see. I choose not to be a victim. I choose to use these principles to heal those wounds. I’ve got a whole step on how to heal those wounds, and my awareness of it is really the great — the greatest key to healing it … is being aware of your triggers. Because what happens is so many people walk around triggered all day long because we carry these deep-rooted wounds from childhood that we’ve carried with us forever. And we walk around and we’re triggered all day long, and we have no idea. So we just think that’s who we are. We just think that we’re just a pain in the ass or we’re just upset all the time.

Or we’re just controlling or domineering or whatever.

Controlling was a huge way that I managed my triggers, and now I can see it and I can release the control. It’s a miracle. It’s unbelievable.

No, I can see that for myself too, because control is one of my own mechanisms.

To stay safe.

To stay safe, to keep things in order, and to not revisit or re-feel things in the past that when I didn’t feel safe or secure made me, you know, just turn into a puddle and cry.

It’s brave of you to say that.

It’s the truth. I mean, I, you know, I watch it all the time and I do my best. I’m not always successful. I’m certainly not always successful. But I think, you know, with age hopefully comes a little bit of wisdom and humility. And I notice it everywhere. And to be able to use these tools … And what I love about this book, which is so wonderful, you know, we can go through some of the six steps, but I want you to buy the book because it’s so good. And you can get all of them in this interview would last forever and she wrote a whole book about it. But I love that it’s like going to a great buffet.


You know, you don’t have to use one tool all the time.


You can kind of have all of these in your tool kit and you can pick. Whether it’s meditation, whether it’s prayer, whether it’s EFT. You know, one of the steps to get yourself back in a place of presence where you can legitimately connect with people.

I wrote it in a way where all these steps are cumulative so you have an experience. And it’s designed in a way that I would love for someone to go through it in those six steps that they get to that point where they’re like, “okay.” Because forgiveness is the last step.


So I really — someone actually, I had an interview yesterday, and the woman said, “Listen, I’m so grateful that you made forgiveness the last step, because I needed all that heavy lifting before I could get to that point.”


But the thing is, it is a buffet. Because once you’ve done those six steps.

Then you have them.

Pick it up. Choose what you want. You pull from your toolbox, and you use it when you need it.

Yeah. So it’s about going through the process as you lay it out, and then once you have all that awareness and you’ve gone through it, then you can go back and use what you need in the moment.


So let’s talk about for anyone who might be listening who’s like, “I still don’t get it. Like I don’t buy it. I like my judgments. I wanna keep my judgments.” What do you think it really costs us in concrete terms?

Oh, what a good question. Well, first of all, if someone’s like, “I don’t want to give up my judgment,” then this isn’t their time. They just made it — because the first step is you’ve got to witness your judgment without judgment. You’ve gotta be willing, really.


And so that’s cool. Like, hold onto it as long as you want to. The book will still be there when you’re ready. So I don’t want to push people into this, because I know that people, you know, feel very addicted to judgment. It is a severe addiction. But what is it gonna cost us? Let’s really go there. Maybe they’ll — maybe I’ll change their mind right now.

It’s gonna cost you connection. It’s gonna cost you your manifesting power, because when we are in alignment with that oneness, with that connection to the truth of who we are, with that connection to a presence of kindness, compassion, love, joy, inspiration, we become a magnet for — this is what happens. You create this studio. It’s all the inspiration. It’s you being a through line for all that source energy to come through you.

When we are in a space of judgment or attack or division, we cut off that connection. And so I know every single person watching MarieTV wants to do big things in the world. They want to wake up, they want to be big, they want to make an impact. If you’re judging, you’re cutting off your faucet.

I like it.

You can’t, you know … so I hope that makes everybody say, okay. I’m ready.

Okay. So now for the people we’ve made our case. If they’re gonna jump in, they’re gonna jump in. So we’ve talked about like there’s meditation, there’s EFT, there’s six steps. And one of the most powerful pieces for me was on forgiveness. Can you share the story of Scarlett Lewis, the mom of the children killed at Sandy Hook? I was so moved by that and by her story and the power of forgiveness. I think everybody needs to hear it.

So I met Scarlett at a Hay House event backstage, and she was giving a talk right after – this was, I don’t know, maybe only a few months after Sandy Hook. And she lost her son. And here she was, she was immediately putting this message into practice going out and speaking about her desire to forgive and her commitment to really heal the core wound of what happened there.

And in recognition that she not only had to forgive the — Adam Lanza, the attacker, but she also had to forgive his mother. And so this story I added in the book at this time because I wanted to give a power of example for my readers to say “if she can do this, you can do this.” And there’s so many divine examples of forgiveness that we hear, and I really like to call on those examples so that we can remember that if someone can go through such a horrific experience of losing their child and choose to forgive the murderer and the mother, then we can do anything. And so that was the main reason that that story was in there. And I’m so deeply proud of her and the work that she’s doing in the book that she wrote, and for being a voice of forgiveness in such a profound way.

It’s incredible. And some of the stories that I’ve come across like Scarlett, I haven’t experienced trauma anywhere near what some of these folks go through, and I, in my own life, hold them up as a possibility. Like, “wow. If they can do it. I got no business complaining about anything.”

Because when we don’t forgive, we are the secret murderer. It’s like we’re taking that gun and putting it up against our own head, because we’re every day reliving that traumatic event. Every day we’re re-engaging with the anger and the resentment and the attack. And the beautiful thing about forgiveness, and this is the nicest part about the book, is that it’s a very passive practice.

People think, “well, I don’t want to forgive. I don’t know how to forgive. How could I do this?” There’s three steps to forgiveness in this chapter, in this final chapter of the book. And it’s all about how we have to, one, be willing to forgive. We have to decide, “I don’t want to be that secret murderer. I don’t want to be attacking this person, myself, reliving this story daily.” And then the next one is to really choose again. Really say, “you know, I’m gonna offer this up. I’m gonna choose to see peace instead of this. I’m gonna choose to see forgiveness instead of this.” And then the third step is not up to us. The third step is asking humbly to invite a presence beyond our own to show us our inner wisdom, our inner guidance system, the universe, whatever you refer to, to show us how we would forgive.

Can we talk a little bit more about step two? Because I can — one of the gifts I’ve had after doing this show for over seven years now is I can hear the audience as I’m having conversation.


And I can hear some folks hearing that going, “Okay, I was on board for step one. I’m willing,” right? “So I have this willingness.” But step two, the how. Can we talk a little bit more about if they’re finding that stuck point?

Yeah. And to clarify, these are the three steps to forgiveness that are in the last step of the book.


So the pathway to forgiveness, so it’s really not that much is required of you. It’s required of you is your willingness to let go, and then your choice. Choose again. Choose to see peace instead. That could be a prayer, that could be an affirmation. “I choose to turn this over. I am choosing to let this go. I’m choosing forgiveness.” It’s affirming that choice.

And then the final step is allowing. Allowing and really expecting that there is a full swell of energy that is within you and around you gonna guide you to whatever it is that you need to forgive. And so you may not know how this is gonna happen, but you’ll get that phone call from that person or you’ll run into somebody on the street or you’ll hear a song that just brings you to tears and lets you just — allows you to let it go. Or have a dream that will help you clear whatever you needed to clear. So when you — it’s really — these are practices of opening up your subconscious to receive healing, ultimately.

Yeah. I think that’s really important for people to hear. I know especially for someone like me who’s very linear who also wants to know, well, “I want to know the steps.” Like, “tell me the exact steps. Tell me the how.” I think for many of us who tend to lean on perhaps our brain rather than sink down into the heart and say, “Oh, I’m going to trust. Or I’m gonna have faith even though I don’t know the steps.” I think it’s really important for people to hear how that could actually happen even if, paradoxically, you don’t know the how.

Yeah. And your step really is just your willingness and your choice. That’s it. And that is a step, that’s a bold move to say “I’m willing and I choose again.”

And I would say for anyone listening, one thing just to add on to this, is possibly even to find more stories about forgiveness.


I know for me in my life, any time I start to kind of battle against, “well, I don’t know if this is possible.” Looking out to find other people who have done something similar and you start to stack enough of that evidence and you’re like, “Okay, maybe I can borrow some of their strength.”


Maybe I can borrow some of their grace. And, you know, hope to include myself in that.

Spiritual proof is what I like to call it.

I love it. I love it. Some spiritual proof. So I want to close on something that you wrote that’s so powerful and true that we all suffer, we all feel unworthy, and abandoned, but identifying sameness in one another allows us to shift our focus from separation back to love. And we all share the capacity to choose love over fear. Is there anything else that you want us to know in that vein?

I like that you’re closing on that, because I think that when we watch MarieTV or we open a book like this, we think we’re alone on that journey. We think “oh, you know, I’m — I need to get all these tools. I have to fix my life. And no one else — everybody else is good.” Right?

They got it all together.

And we’re judging. Right? We’re scrolling through Instagram thinking, “She’s good. She’s good. I suck. I suck. I suck” Right? And so we are all suffering. Everyone is suffering. You cannot be alive right now if you are not experiencing some kind of suffering. And we all have the same problem, which is we’ve detoured into fear and we’ve chosen that separation, but we all have the same solution, which is that we can choose again. And whenever you follow someone like yourself or you read a book like this, you are choosing again. You’re making a statement that you are willing to see beyond the terrors of the world, you’re willing to see beyond the traumas of your past, and you’re willing to see through the lens of love. And that’s the gift that we all have. So I feel like that was the perfect place to close.

Yes. And I’ll add another little button. The other thing, it’s not about being perfect in this practice.


No perfectionism. I think especially for the women in our audience. Not everybody, I know, I’m making this big, broad generalization. But perfectionism is something that I think runs rampant. And women can so beat themselves up for not doing it right.

I see it a lot. People start judging even their spiritual practice.


So, you know, if you are going to embark on these steps, don’t judge your judgment. Don’t judge your practice. And you’re going to be — you’re going to be really tempted to judge yourself when you begin to look at your judgments, because you’re gonna look at your judgments and go, “Holy crap. How could I be this way?” We’re all the same.

I’m a horrible person.

We’re all the same. I mean, that’s why I open the book that way saying “I judge, and this is who I am. It’s the truth. But hopefully you’ll begin to feel a lot of peace as a result of going through those steps.”

And a lot more connected to yourself and to other people. Yeah. Gabby, thank you so much. I adore you. I love you. Thank you for the work that you do in the world. You are such a gift.

I love you. Thank you.

Now Gabby and I would love to hear from you. Out of everything we talked about today, what’s the single biggest insight that you can take away and, most importantly, how can you put it into action right now? Leave a comment below and let us know.

Now, as always, the best conversations happen over at, so head on over there and leave a comment now. And once you’re there, be sure to sign up and become an MF Insider. You’ll get instant access to an audio I created called How To Get Anything You Want, plus you’ll get some exclusive content, special giveaways, and personal updates from me that I just don’t share anywhere else. Stay on your game and keep going for your dreams, because the world needs that very special gift that only you have. Thank you so much for watching and I’ll catch you next time on MarieTV.

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Well, all attack is a call for love. So whenever we are in a place of attack, we’re also in a space of defensiveness because we are feeling some sense of inadequacy, some core wound, some trauma that we don’t want to address or that we’re terrified to face. And so we project it out onto somebody else so that we don’t have to feel it temporarily. That is a call for love. That’s a wound that needs to be healed.

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