26 January 2015

My Holy Instant With Gabby Bernstein

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Photo cred: Emma Newby


I'm sitting in a room amongst hundreds of other women. A room lit by moonlight and the sparkle of an oversize ferris wheel that's a stone's throw away from the building we're in. Our eyes are ever so keenly placed upon the one and only Gabby Bernstein.

If I could collect that night in just a small number of words, I'd say: surreal, sacred, fierce, magnetic and for me, deeply healing.

Let me give you a seemingly irrelevant but ultimately essential back story.

It's about me and my mum.

My mum's a singer. She's a performer. She plays the guitar and she writes songs and her voice reminds me a little of Cher's.

When I was little, after she and my dad had separated, she became a karaoke singer and in the early days, before she started getting wedding gigs, she'd work at pubs. She'd hustle. She'd do what she had to do, I suppose. And with two small kids and a job that demanded that she worked nights, often she'd bring my brother and I along with her. ('She dragged us along' is the language I have used up until now)

I'd braid her hair at home and she would pile on her make up thick and then peel on her purple snakeskin pants and knee-high boots and then she would sing and the men would flirt and she seemed to like that and the bars would be filled with cigarette smoke and my ten year-old self just thought that the whole thing was simply disgraceful.

She would belt out high notes, and I would decide that she had a terrible voice.

She would perform, and I would judge here for always wanting to be the centre of attention.

She would turn on her charm around my friends, much to their delight, and I would hit my knees in private moments wishing more than anything that I had a loving mum, rather than a 'cool' one.

Needles to say, I've never tried karaoke. And I know that might sound ridiculous seeing as the whole thing's designed so that people can share in expression, and a few laughs, but there has simply been too much pain around it for me. I decided I'd never be the girl who would flirt openly within a group of people, either. Or wear snakeskin pants.

I'd say that, for the last two or three years, there's been a theme in my life, inspired my friend Nicole Rowan Holt.

"Healing the Mother Line"

I've been on a devoted mission to apply all of my spiritual tools to my relationship with mama. That's included:

  • A fair whack of Shadow Work - acknowledging that what has always hurt or angered me about her has and always will be me present within me, too)
  • Forgiveness, both via subtle conversation and private meditations
  • Energy work - I've had Reiki, crystal healings and kinesiology on this
  • Remorse: showing through my actions that I'm sorry for how I may have contributed to the pain that has quietly simmered between us since I was six years old.

The pain that saw me leave home at 16, out of necessity.

The pain that must have torn her apart having a self-proclaimed 'Daddy's Girl' as her daughter.

{Oh God. Here come the tears.}

Mum herself has been on a spiritual pilgrimage for the last year or so. Six months ago, she joined me at Pete Evans' The Paleo Way tour. She was 8kgs heavier, hungover, puffy and stressed out.

What unfurled over the coming months was so stupidly incredible that for the first time in my life, I started leaning into her for inspiration. I was, and still am, in awe of her. She turned her life and her health around...

So when she texted me one day, saying: 'Did you see Gabby Bernstein on Sunrise this morning?'

I replied – while jumping out of my skin – 'No, but I'm seeing her Wednesday night! Would you like to come? I'll buy you a ticket!'

She was so excited.

And I inwardly thought: If Pete Evans can change her life, imagine what Gab could ignite in her.

I could never have predicted that out of the two of us, it would be me receiving the most profound healing on the night.

So here we are, in this moonlit room, watching on as Gabby sets the room ablaze with her sass and luminosity... when the time comes for Q&A. When I notice that she's gestured in my direction, I turn to see who she's selected to be in the hot seat, only to witness my mum shoot up out of her chair like lightning.

And BAM, just like that, there it is. That colossal, deeply buried, old, all encompassing fear and shame.

My body went rigid as I remembered all the times I had squirmed at my mum taking the stage.

The primal part of me almost grabbed out for her hand to reef her back down into her seat, in an attempt to prevent myself from being embarrassed. But because I was stiff as a board, I didn't.

I'm pretty sure I stopped breathing, until she started talking...

'I'm here tonight because of my beautiful daughter,' was the first thing she said into the microphone. She reached down for my shoulder and pressed me into her as only a loving mother could, and in the words that followed, tears started to crack through her voice, and then, my eyes.

As mum continued talking, she became more and more spirited. More animated, more loud, more daring. She dropped a couple of F bombs. She started taking up more s p a c e in the room.

The energy coursing through my body during these moments is difficult for me to articulate. Every cell was trembling. Still clutching to mum's leg (mostly to show support for her but also to steady myself), I felt as that embarrassed, betrayed little girl inside of me who wanted to put an end all this nonsense struggled to her very death. I watched her wrangle. I let her. I kept breathing. I kept affirming : I love you mama. I accept you. And finally: I need a miracle.

Truth is, I think I'd already received it.

'I'll stop now, I'm embarrassing my daughter,' mum eventually says.

She had looked down and seen me rubbing my eyebrow and interpreted it the way I had always meant it in the past – a futile attempt at hiding.

But actually, I was wiping away a tear.


Gabby is a devout teacher of A Course In Miracles, a metaphysical text which teaches of the profound healing effects of forgiveness. It references a concept and reality called 'The Holy Instant' - a moment where an ancient hatred becomes a holy love.

Yes. That.

For the first time in the all the time I have been here in this lifetime. I could see clearly. I could perceive reality.

I am in a room with a woman who happens to come alive in the presence of people. I am in a room full of women who happen to come alive in the presence of my mother. She is expressing, the room is laughing. This is a light-filled and holy exchange of mama voicing – albeit in an animated and hilarious way – the pains of many women, today. And everyone here is fully embracing her for everything she is gracing them with: her vulnerability, her courage, her enthusiasm.

It has nothing to do with me. At all.

The way Gabby addressed mama at her book signing says it all:

Hey, Funny Lady!

All my childhood, adolescence, and early twenties, I have been hell bent on proving how different I am to mum.

Today, this makes me sad.

Maybe, instead, I can channel her wisdom and her confidence.

Maybe the moment I'm about to step on stage, I can imagine her in all her fabulousness – complete with snakeskin pants and smokey eyes – and invoke her into my being.

Maybe I can remind myself in moments that I would rather run away and bury my head back into my hermit's cave, that 'I am my mother's daughter', and remember that the work is most powerful and touching once shared.

Before I give this keyboard water damage from my tears that are flowing abundantly, I will say this:


I love you.

I am so sorry.

I am so sorry I never saw you through the eyes of love.

I see you now.

And I accept you and adore you completely.

You are enough, exactly as you are.

Forgive me,


Please, if this post touched you even a fraction of the amount it has moved me to write it, share it, below. Me and my Sassy Mama would really appreciate that.

PS: Gabby, if by some miracle you read this, thank you.

If you'd love some more resources on Healing The Mother Line, may I recommend:

How Your Ability to Receive (Love) Is Influenced By Your Relationship With Your Mother

Bringing Light - a powerful Wanderlust chat from Elena Brower, which features Shadow Work and family acceptance.


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    • 26 January 2015

      With all the love in the world to both of you. And praise miracles.

      Leanne x

    • 26 January 2015

      Wow. Tears.

      Such a beautiful post and I can relate so fully to the shame and judgement surrounding my own relationship with my mother.

      Thank you so, so very much for sharing this, Tara. It really touched me, and I am certain it will do the same for many others.

      Lots of healing and love to you.

    • Katie
      26 January 2015

      Magical moment Tara and Mama x

    • 26 January 2015

      oh Tara this is so unbelievably beautiful and as a woman sitting in that room with you both - I had tears in my eyes and laughter that released like healing waves when your Mum got up to speak. Her presence was refreshing and the fact that you got your holy instant is a miracle indeed. Thank you for your honesty and openness (as always) and for inspiring us to heal those old wounds xxx

    • 26 January 2015

      Oh Tara. This. Pure love.

    • 26 January 2015

      Thank you so much for this Tara Bliss. This honestly could have been my story VERBATIM. The tears were flowing steadily at the end, at the part where you began with "Mama.....". So beautiful. ❤️

    • 26 January 2015

      I have a photo shoot today and I've spent a good half hour trying to get my makeup just right. I now how big, beautiful black lines running down my cheeks. But totally worth it!

      Such a beautiful post and I think everyone could relate in some way, to some person in their life! Big love xxx

    • 26 January 2015

      beautifully shared, thank you Tara x

    • Fran
      26 January 2015

      Weeping, relating, resonating. You have a way of saying things that I could never have put words to. So much beauty in this. THANK YOU xxx

    • Buffy
      26 January 2015

      Beautiful, just beautiful. The love between a Mum and daughter is so special but also can be challenging. I love that you are healing your relationship, life is short. Love and light to you and your Mum! Xxx

    • Krystal
      26 January 2015

      When we as daughters finally see and accept our mothers for who they truly are and not what we want them to be, it allows a deeper, more mature, more mutually enlightened relationship to form, where we are no longer just mother & daughter, but deep loving friends. We accept each other's faults and when we have daughters of our own, the specialness of our relationship with our mothers gets even stronger. When I become a mother I understood my mother so much more than ever before. I cherish her as a mother more now then I thought possible. Love to all the moms & daughters xox

    • 26 January 2015

      Continuing to be truly moved by this. One of your most magnificent, my love, if not THE most. Much love to you and your mama. xo

    • Darien
      26 January 2015

      I am deeply moved by this post. As a woman sitting in the audience on that night, my thought was 'how lucky Tara is to have her mum join her at an event like this. I wish my mum was here. '
      Little do you know what's happening on the inside.
      My mum died 4 months ago. Listening to Gabby cracked me open and I cried all the way home to Noosa that night.
      Thank you so much for this honesty. For sharing with your mum. I miss mine so much it physically hurts. With tears....thank you. X

      • Buffy
        26 January 2015

        Darien, my heart breaks for you. My Mum passed away 7 years ago so I completely understand when you say it physically hurts. Sometimes it still does for me too but most days I can smile about the time we did have together. I hope someday you get there too. Thinking of you, Buff. Xxx

    • 26 January 2015

      Tara, you are so beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing this, it means so much on so many levels....MWHA xo

    • Bree
      26 January 2015

      Thabkyou for sharing.. Very touching x

    • 26 January 2015

      Tears much?! We've nearly all of us wonderful women got 'Mum Stuff' I reckon - so beautiful to see you actively healing yours xxxx

    • 26 January 2015

      Absolutely beautiful and full of grace x

    • 26 January 2015

      Deeply, deeply touched my love! I have tears streaming down my face, reading this, as it resonates with my own mama-love journey of healing and forgiveness that I've been on the past 2 years.

      Thank you for openly and vulnerably sharing the inner working of many of our own experiences.

      Love you! x

    • 26 January 2015

      Thankyou for such a raw and beautiful post Tara. This fills my heart with love and appreciation for all mamas. xx

    • Amy Nelson
      26 January 2015

      Tara honey. I cannot tell you how healing and awakening this post is for me. You've helped shine a light on further healing I need to do with my gorgeous Mumma, that to be honest I'm not sure I was aware of before reading this post.

      Love you big babe xx

    • 26 January 2015

      This is so beautiful Tara- I can relate as I think most people can. I've noticed I have some tension in my relationship with my mom, and while I am beginning to feel it healing- its so inspiring to hear how incredible it was to see your mom through the eyes of pure love. I am excited to feel that miracle too.

    • Laura Wilson
      26 January 2015

      Just wow..... Like you I think I stopped breathing while reading your beautiful post. It's suprising how many people resonate. Having had a painful couple of years where my parents chose to cut my loose and out of their lives - this post has made me delve into my shadow and crack open parts of me that had never made sense. I have spent days looking in the mirror hating myself because I look like my mum.... I have spent years cringing at her ways. Which is so sad, because like your own mum she is also just love and this you have taught me is the place and the depth of where I will start to heal myself x x thank you thank you thank you thank you x

    • grace b
      26 January 2015

      All I can say is that scrolling through these comments I had the MOST intense feeling of deja vu. I can't explain it.

      I think this was exactly what I needed to read tonight.

      Such a powerful post!

    • 26 January 2015

      Oh my! Tara, you have me filled with so many emotions right now. I am so blessed that I found you when I did, as your own mama-healing has been so pivotal in my own, as you know.
      Thank you for capturing such a beautiful moment and allowing us to share in it xx

    • 26 January 2015

      This is so incredibly amazing that I am just lost for words. So I'll just say: thank you!

    • Crystal
      26 January 2015

      This is beautiful Tara and definitely hit home for me! You are a gem! xxx

    • 26 January 2015

      Just beautiful Tara. What is it with mum's and daughters?! In a different way, I can totally relate. What a special night to share with your mumma. xx

    • Kd
      26 January 2015

      Wow. Beautiful. Your honesty and rawness is inspirational x

    • Sal
      26 January 2015

      I'm crying Tara. That was a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing. So glad you have worked through this with your Ma. Much love x

    • Ash
      26 January 2015

      Thank you. This is so beautiful. We're very blessed to read your vulnerable words full of only love. It's a true honour. Love you, and lots of love to you and your mamma xx

    • Phoebe
      26 January 2015

      Tara that was so touching it spoke to me In so many ways and inspired me to take the steps to heal my relationship with my mama just beautiful thank you gorgeous

    • Lisa
      26 January 2015

      Sending you, your Mum (and my Mum) so much love ❤

    • 26 January 2015

      You're not the only one sobbing babe. Me too! This was is so beautiful. I've had a very similar experience with my Dad, and wholeheartedly resonate. Love you to both xxx

    • 26 January 2015

      So. Much. Love.

    • 26 January 2015

      Moved, beyond words. Far out Tara!! (That's all I can come up with right now) xx

    • 26 January 2015

      Stunning. Proudly raw and beautiful. True love x

    • Angela
      26 January 2015

      Please don't ever stop writing. Your amazing. You pull out and evoke emotions and deeply buried hurts and limiting beliefs in so many women. You are changing my life quite literally. I have worked through your blog from the beginning up to now and what a game changer. I have journals of notes scribbled down from posts and your vlogs. The most encouraging and show stopper for me up until today was your "coulda woulda shoulda maybe might have, but you didnt and here you are"....vlog. so good. But today's post hits right where it hurts, deep down, so much denial and judgement inside towards the mama that did the best she thought she could at the time. Holy moly Tara, im going to knuckle down and work through this and hopefully release it before it tumbles over onto my own children xox

    • Bec
      26 January 2015

      Thank you so much for posting this Tara. So beauiful!! It brought tears for me too xx

    • Tess
      27 January 2015

      This is beautiful... I have felt the same cringing eeeek-ness with my Dad, so I'm so happy for you that you've felt that release and relief with the the Holy Instant; 'a moment where an ancient hatred becomes a holy love'. I love that!!

    • 27 January 2015

      So so beautiful Tara xoxo

    • 27 January 2015

      Your best writing is always your most personal, and this post completely blew me away and left me trying not to cry at my work computer. Incredible x

    • Rebecca
      27 January 2015

      Tara you gorgeous soul that was as Rachel MacDonald said your MOST magnificent yet!!! Hit home with me big time....thank you! X

    • brigitta dau
      27 January 2015

      Moved to tears! You are both brave women and I think that you were able to find this truly remarkable level of love and true acceptance of your Mom...as more than your mom, a woman...is courageous, and true vulnerability with willingness to let go and let God. I LOVE that you found this with your mom! xo

    • Kirsty
      27 January 2015

      God, so brave! And forgiving and inspiring and vulnerable! Thank you for sharing as I too am challenged by all the things I shrink from that my mum does. In my case judges, comments, passive aggressive, ouch! That's me in all of those too. But then I look at my daughter and almost cry with overwhelm at the love a mother has and realise that my mum loves me that fiercely too it just is expressed differently. I need to be more gentle with her as I wish my daughter will be with me one day when she perhaps 'shrinks' because of my forgetfulness, crazy dress sense, of Scottish accent, etc...
      Add I a few tears too... Beautiful x

    • KATY
      28 January 2015

      I love this TARA so great and I am trying really hard to work in this myself thank you all your great advice its. Lovely piece of writing and I love getting your emails :)

    • Danielle
      28 January 2015

      Tara, what a beautiful piece of writing. I adore the way your soul views this world and it makes me realise we all have a lot to learn from each other, different experiences to share. Thank you.

    • 28 January 2015

      Sweet Tara,

      You have a way with words that are as equally powerful as they are beautiful.
      This was one of my favourite articles you've written so far and I could feel your emotion through the words.

      Much you said has resonated with me and will hopefully be the catalyst to my own healing journey with my Mum.

      Sending both you and your Mama extra healing vibes and I can't wait to hear more about your relationship blossoming and unfolding.

      Much love x

    • 28 January 2015

      Wow. Just wow. This was so powerful and beautifully written. I do hope Gabby reads this. Much love to you and your Mama xxx

    • Anthea
      28 January 2015

      Holy instant indeed.
      Holy wow...
      I'm sitting in a psychologist waiting room as I read this, (having my monthly check in for being a single mama with two gorgeous kids on the Autism spectrum) I also have major mama issues, (and she is my only living parent left.)
      I'm in tears girl.
      This hit home.
      I've also been on a path of unravelling and working through it all for a few years now - but reading this was what I needed in this right here right now. You just lifted a veil to seeing this situation a new way.
      Thank you, blessed thank you beauty-full xxx

    • laura f
      28 January 2015

      Omg Tara!
      what an emotional post!!! Had me absolutely balling. I have often felt similarfeelings toward my mother. Not understood the choices she made and vowed to never be like her..and dispelling anger and resentment her way from afar.

      As I am getting older I see her for more of why she made the choices she did and find solace in the fact that her intentions were always putting her kids first and doing what she had to do to survive.

      I am still battling with this but being more aware helps a ton.

      Thanks again for sharing

    • 28 January 2015

      Oh love. Holy wow. There are tears streaming down my face and a tingling in my heart. As someone who has some serious murk to push through with my mom, this post feels like it was written for me, for my spirit. I know I have some work to do...but I know that with that inner work, I'll blossom through the murk and the muck, like a lotus flower. I see you now, as that lotus, opening up, full of love.<3 thank you for sharing this moment. <3

    • Vanessa
      28 January 2015

      Wow! I finally got around to reading this entry and it could not of come at a more profound moment- talk about synchronicity!

      I actually had my mum visiting me last week and have struggled for years as an only child to love her. There is such a fine line between anger, love and hurt. As an adult now, I realise that she was hurt by her mother who never loved her and I struggle so often to remember that she was very sick and sometimes still is.

      I watched my mum for ten years be a zombie- bombed out on prescription drugs for bi-polar after a stint in hospital and that period broke me in every way possible.

      I finally found her a decent GP who re-evaluated her and she is now a million times better, but it's still hard for me. There are so many times I long for a 'normal' mother- not the pot-smoking, mentally ill one that I got. I know that she loves me more than anything, but hurt and memories linger.

      thank you for this post Tara- it means a lot and I really had not heard much about Gabby Bernstein until now and I will look into her course in miracles. My mum is quite spiritual- she actually used to be a clairvoyant be gore getting really sick, hopefully I can point her in Gabby's direction too x

    • 28 January 2015

      Tara, I have no words but T H A N K Y O U...

      I am doing Gabby's 6 week May Cause Miracles course and today (day 27) focusses on the Holy Instant. Your newsletter linking to this post came out at the perfect time. All my love to you and your mum ~ so much I can learn from you both. Amanda xxx

    • Caroline
      28 January 2015

      Your words are pure magic Tara.

    • 28 January 2015

      Tara, honey, this is just beautiful and has moved me to tears.....like so many before me, I'm sure.
      Thanks for your rawness, honesty and courage which, no doubt you know, where it comes from.
      Thanks so much for sharing your very personal, profound and powerful moment, with such heart.
      Touched. To the core.
      G x

    • 28 January 2015

      Wow. I'm so moved by this post Tara. You are such a beacon of inspiration, wisdom and light. Don't ever stop. Big virtual hugs x x

    • 28 January 2015

      Beautiful Tara. Beautiful. x

    • Grace
      28 January 2015

      Tara thanks for sharing with us.

      I loved this article and especially this pearl of wisdom, "I am so sorry I never saw you through the eyes of love." ox

    • 28 January 2015

      Oh Tara, you write so well! I loved this post and truly appreciated it. We are all trying to navigate our own stuff with our mummas! And then we become mummas and that 'stuff' shines like a blinding, u comfortable spotlight in your face when you catch yourself doing the same. Much love and kindness to you and yours!

    • Louise George - Bodhi Babes
      28 January 2015

      OMG! I am bawling!
      Thank you for sharing your beautiful journey with us.
      I saw Gabby in London last yr and was transported right into that room with you as you described it. You and your Mum are so beautiful... how wonderful that you're so different and can learn so much from each other. I don't know what else to say apart from thank you!
      With love and gratitude,
      Louise xx

    • Melissa
      29 January 2015

      Keeping it real! Thank you. None of us are perfect. But only seeing others with a loving heart will enable us to embrace their imperfections. Thank you Tara for sharing xx

    • Vanessa
      29 January 2015

      Amazing xx

    • Danielle
      29 January 2015

      Thank you for sharing this. It has given me the courage to look at forgiveness and acceptance for the people in my past (and for myself). Much love xoxox

    • 29 January 2015

      Oh Woman! As always, every syllable of this resonates with me in every teeny tiny cell of my body! Spot on! Thank you so much for always being so real and raw, inspirational and magical xx I can relate to this on many levels. It is much similar to beliefs and attitudes I have devised in my own head about my mum xx

    • Ruth
      29 January 2015

      Just beautiful love filled writing Tara x x

    • 30 January 2015


      (that's pretty much all I've got after reading that!)

      LOVE YOU

    • 30 January 2015

      Moved to tears x o x

    • Casey
      5 February 2015

      Absolutely beautiful, Tara. I think my keyboard now has water damage too. The realness of this post is breathtaking. I have a few people in my life that could hugely benefit from reading these words as well, really looking forward to sharing this with them. So much love! xo

    • Katie
      18 February 2015

      Love this Tara. Could completely relate to the way my perception of my mum has changed over the years. Once there was embarrassment, now there is nothing but pure respect and love. We are all so different - even mums and daughters! But we can learn from our differences. And love each other for them. Thanks Ta xxx

    • 21 February 2015

      Oof! Right in the feels!
      I put this one off for a while knowing it would be a powerful message that I needed to hear. While I in no way wish to reconnect with my mother, I do need to heal my negative emotions to make space in my life for the good :) been wrestling this for a long while, it is time.
      Thanks babe xx

    • 1 March 2015


      I witnessed this moment. I saw your body and your expression as your Mum jumped up (I was lucky enough to sit next to her!) and I saw you transform in this moment. It was so beautiful to watch and I'm sorry I didn't express it when I was with you face-to-face. You are a beautiful brave soul for sharing this and I love you dearly. PS. Your mum ROCKS! Mandy xxxx

      • 2 March 2015

        Love you so much beautiful Mandy xo

    • Jodie
      4 March 2015

      Thank you Tara. It's very brave to put yourself out there and I'm sure your Mama is proud and moved by the revelations you have shared. I read this while watching my 4 year old sing lullabies to her doll Princess Butterfly looking up to make sure I was watching, and I could not help but wonder at our relationship and what will happen when I am no longer the centre of her universe. The bond between a mother and daughter is important on both sides. If we falter I hope she will have her miracle and know the love I feel for her. I'm sure your mama feels the same way. xxx

    • Emma
      5 March 2015

      i was there in that room too. I am so glad you realised how wonderful your mum is. Because she is funny, she is energetic and she is your mum. The only one you will have (in this lifetime). And she loved you from the minute you were conceived like only a mother can. And she will always love you. You bought a tear to my eye reading this. Wishing you both much love and bonding xx

    • Hope
      26 June 2015

      I definitely felt the love coursing through. It reached me too. Thanks for sharing!

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