Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

What You Need To Be A Spiritual Cowgirl Guru

Spirituality. It's so important, y'all. But it's really, really boring. It's all, like, chanting and sitting down for a long time thinking, and, you know, beliefs and stuff. Where's the wow factor? Where's the personality? Where are the goddamn cowboy hats and angel wings?

They're here, in the NY Times in yet another dose of itching powder disguised as a Sunday Styles article.

You could call Gabrielle Bernstein, who no longer eats red meat or drinks, a life coach, meditation guide or New Age therapist. But the clients who pay $180 for four weekly sessions are more likely to call her guru.

A decade ago, young women like Ms. Bernstein might have been expected to chase the lifestyle of high-heels and pink drinks at rooftop bars of the meatpacking district. But now there is a new role model for New York’s former Carrie Bradshaws — young women who are vegetarian, well versed in self-help and New Age spirituality, and who are finding a way to make a living preaching to eager audiences, mostly female.


But how did they find that way, and, more importantly, how can you get throngs of eager, gullible saddies to buy your bullshit? Below a checklist to attaining "new guru" status.

What You Need To Be A Spiritual Guru:

1.  Yards of orange bunting, and lots and lots of floor pillows.

Illustration for article titled What You Need To Be A Spiritual Cowgirl Guru

You wanna create a real basment-level-at-Anthropologie feel. See, orange is the color of thoughts (just go with it), and sitting in chairs really disrupts the thought-flow. Or something. Just make it up.

2. A Catchphrase. This can be literally anything, as long as it's painfully vague. For example:

“Hang out in the light,” Bernstein told the women, all in their 20s and early 30s, quoting from her forthcoming book, “Add More -ing to Your Life.”

"Be in energy." "Put some —augh in your timespace." "Chill out in the glow." "Maximize your firebreath." See? Anything.

3. A really potent vision board. (Or a dehydrated pea where your brain should be. Same difference.)

And yet, there is something worth noting about Ms. Bernstein’s vision board, a large bulletin board that runs nearly the length of her living room. It includes news clippings, journal entries and photographs that represent her and her clients’ wishes for the future.

“There is an amazing man out there for me,” someone has written. There is a postcard of Dora the Explorer. And there is a cut-out banner of the Sunday Styles section of The New York Times.

“I’ve been manifesting this story,” she explained.

Wow. The NY Times sure is lucky they caught up with Ms. Bernstein before she transformed into Dora The Explorer through the power of her own mindwaves.


4. Props! (And a flagrant disregard for traffic.)

Illustration for article titled What You Need To Be A Spiritual Cowgirl Guru

The props have to show your moxie. They have to convey that you're not your mother's spiritual guru! Angel wings, wetsuits, skateboards, unicycles, sequined eye-patches, pogo sticks, suits of armor, feather headdresses, silver-spraypainted rollerblades, t-shirts that say "You Go, Gurufriend!" in rhinestones, and portable trapezes are all acceptable.

5. The ability to write entire paragraphs without actually saying anything.

For example:

I love my life. Today I see my world through shimmering golden lenses. Lenses, that filter my vision with love, inform my thoughts, fuel my emotions and support my vibrations. Today I choose love over fear in all situations. I feel abundant, happy and free.


Ignite your inner self. Breathe in the glow, and breathe out the fear then stomp it into the ground. Feel the radiance come alive. Feel the energy. 3am eternal. KLF is gonna rock you. You can do this! You can be a spiritual cowgirl guru!