Joie De Vivre, Living With A Ravenous Thirst For Life: “We forget that we are souls.” With Author Bracha Goetz and Dr. Marina Kostina

We forget that we are souls. We are souls clothed in bodies, but because our souls are invisible, we tend to forget that at our core, we are spiritual beings. That is our essence — who we really are — but we can ignore that. And in the United States, it is easy to forget about our souls and get drawn after temporary and artificial pleasures, as there are loads of options from which our eyes can choose. But the more time we spend becoming aware that we are souls that thrive on spiritual nourishment, the more lasting fulfillment and deep joy we can bring into our lives.

Do you ever wake up in the morning feeling unhappy, unfulfilled, unchallenged, and have nothing to look forward to? It doesn’t have to be that way. One idea that I always advise my clients is the concept of “Stop pushing the pain away and see it as the guide to your life purpose”

As a society, we are hardwired to sit on our tush in a comfortable lethargy. I invite you to start EXPERIENCING your life, rather than observing it, getting used to the uncomfortable and finding the deepest inspirations in your pain. We grow from the dark much more and faster than we do from the light and often our deepest gifts (and the source of our passion, pleasure and joy) are located where it hurts the most. Life purpose is a waltz between pain, pleasure, play

For me, all my trials and tribulations resulted in the most incredible outcome- finding my life purpose and aligning my entire life around it. Once I did that my business took off, my lifestyle changed and, most importantly, I started living a passionate, joyful life. I started TRULY trusting myself. While before I outsourced my reasons for happiness outside of myself to online courses that promised to give me love overnight or make me rich in a click of a button, to gurus that were telling me how to live my life and lead my business, to magical objects or juju, now I use these means as supplementary help, not as my guide as I have found my own internal compass that is never wrong and is ALWAYS working for me.


As a part of our series interviewing experts on how to live a “ravenous life” — a life filled with the passion, pleasure, playfulness and abundance that come naturally to those who dare to be authentic, I had the pleasure of interviewing Bracha Goetz. Bracha Goetz is not your typical Harvard grad, as she’s the author of 37 simply written spiritual picture books. Her books are designed to make life’s deepest concepts clear so each uniquely beautiful soul can shine. Bracha is also the author of the candid new memoir for adults, Searching for God in the Garbage, that chronicles Bracha’s path to discovering a life full of joy and meaning. All of her books are found here: http://www.amazon.com/author/spiritualkidsbooks-brachagoetz.



Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Once upon a time, I attended an exclusive garden party at Harvard with people from the Kennedy family and others who seemed to be the most up and coming powerful people around. I had been trying to get to that kind of an elite spot for years, but when I finally got all the way “up there,” it wasn’t all that interesting after all. And when it started raining on the party, it suddenly became clear that there had to be something even more powerful beyond this.

My career path involves sharing the clarity that I have been blessed to experience with both young and old so that people don’t have to waste time chasing after elusive mirages. Then they can also spend more time enjoying those things that bring the greatest and most lasting pleasure in life.

What does it mean for you to live “on purpose”? Can you explain? How can one achieve that?

I searched from age 12 to age 22, with increasing desperation, for the purpose to life. I experimented with involvement in different religions, drugs, relationships, social action, environmentalism, and secular education during my search. It didn’t make sense to me that life was purposeless, so I put a lot of curious energy into exploring what the purpose could possibly be. When I finally got to learn ancient wisdom from my very own heritage in depth, I began to actualize the wisdom by integrating it into both my body and my soul. To put it simply, we live on purpose when our bodies and souls are in sync. That is how we get to rejoice in life’s ultimate pleasures.

Do you have an example or story in your own life of how your pain helped to guide you to finding your life’s purpose?

While at Harvard as an undergraduate, I did groundbreaking research projects on women and eating disorders which were included in a textbook that was eventually used in women’s studies classes across the US. But while I was doing this, I was getting sicker from food addictions myself. After graduating, I went on to medical school where I was studying to become a psychiatrist, but all the intellectual understanding that I had, was not helping me get better. Years later I had an epiphany about this that is documented in the memoir. The ravenous hunger was relentless because no amount of food could ever fill the emptiness within. It was really a ravenous and vital quest for the sweetness of spiritual well-being that could fill the emptiness in my soul. But I didn’t know that back then.

You see, I believe that one important purpose of my life is to share that there is a spiritual basis to addictions, including food addictions, which are one of the most common and basic types of addictions. In other words, there is a far deeper reason for food addictions than just “emotional eating.” My thesis is that we tend to develop addictions to escape from the pain our hungry souls are experiencing, when they are starving for spiritual nourishment.

The United States is currently rated at #18 in the World Happiness Report. Can you share a few reasons why you think the ranking is so low?

We forget that we are souls. We are souls clothed in bodies, but because our souls are invisible, we tend to forget that at our core, we are spiritual beings. That is our essence — who we really are — but we can ignore that. And in the United States, it is easy to forget about our souls and get drawn after temporary and artificial pleasures, as there are loads of options from which our eyes can choose. But the more time we spend becoming aware that we are souls that thrive on spiritual nourishment, the more lasting fulfillment and deep joy we can bring into our lives.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I try to write the kind of books that I would have wanted to read when I was a young child so that each uniquely beautiful soul can shine from very early on in life. And now, with the publication of my memoir, I am grateful that I am also able to help adults’ souls to shine more brightly too.

What are your 6 strategies to help you face your day with exuberance, “Joie De Vivre” and a “ravenous thirst for life”? Can you please give a story or example for each?

  1. When we first awaken, ancient Jewish wisdom guides us to express gratitude that we, as souls, were given another day of life to enjoy this world. It’s a wonderful way to begin each day.
  2. Spending even a few precious moments being in nature helps a soul to shine with exuberance. Savoring moments by pausing to look at the world with wonder again is delightful. And even when sitting at a desk indoors, just taking the time to become more aware of one’s breath by breathing more slowly can enhance one’s sense of wonder.
  3. No matter how lonely a person may be feeling, one can always find someone even lonelier. When we reach out and brighten someone else’s day, we know how it brightens our own life too. There are people in assisted living residences and nursing homes that never get any visitors. There are children who love having books read to them in shelters and preschools. There are abandoned animals that enjoy company too.
  4. Movement can be very helpful and so can music. Together, they form a joyful way to dance through life. Involving our bodies in joyous movement also somehow helps our soul power to rev up too.
  5. Ingesting healthful things assists in keeping positive energy flowing in a natural way. And when we ingest more that is natural and healthy into our bodies, we tend to want to put more good stuff into our souls as well.
  6. Ending our day with gratitude is a wonderful practice. Counting even just a few of the gifts in our life before we go to sleep at night creates a calm and lovely feeling. But throughout the day, it is a joy to do it too. There is even a blessing I learned to say after going to the bathroom, expressing gratitude that our bodies are working well. It helps us to not take things like that for granted quite as much.

Developing an attitude of gratitude definitely fills us with “Joie De Vivre.” And since we can’t feel misery and gratitude at the same moment, we get to pick which one we want to experience any given moment.

Do you have any favorite books, podcasts, or resources that most inspired you to live with a thirst for life?

It was Rabbi Noach Weinberg’s teachings that opened my mind up tremendously. And his writing and classes can be found online. I remember when I first heard him explain that the purpose of life is to experience the greatest pleasure possible. What an expansive concept! What a joyful and liberating way to look at life! It’s surprising to hear that because it sounds hedonistic at first, but the greatest pleasure possible comes from nourishing our souls so that they can shine with their full radiance, illuminating our world.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” that relates to having a Joie De Vivre? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

It’s my pleasure! Here is one of the most practical takeaways from Searching for God in the Garbage that I love to share because it has become an enlightening habit ingrained in my life. The next time you are in the midst of overeating, try asking yourself this one simple question, “Is it my body that is hungry or my soul?”

With the newfound awareness that question immediately brings to the surface, you can then start thinking about calling or texting someone lonely, stepping outside to breathe in some nature, getting up and stretching to music you love, focusing on the blessings in your life — or doing whatever it is that fills your hungry soul. Why does this work immediately? Because when we are overeating, it is our souls that are in need of more pleasure in life, not our stomachs. Suddenly that bottomless bag of potato chips stops calling your name so persistently, and you are free to bring the far greater pleasure that is genuinely needed into your life!

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

This is my new project! Spreading this game-changing, yet very simple message: what we are meant to do is enjoy life as much as possible! And each of us is blessed with the soul power to experience, savor, and spread that joy.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

I want this message to be shared everywhere, especially where it is needed most — with prisoners, with addicts, with nursing home residents, with patients in hospitals, with all those children who have been abused and neglected, with everyone whose soul has been covered with so much garbage that they barely know it’s still there. But it is still there. And what’s miraculous, is that our souls remain as pure — and as resilient — as ever. It’s there, patiently or maybe not so patiently, waiting to shine. And all we have to do is ignite that tiny spark with joy.

About The Author:

Dr. Marina Kostina is a life and business fulfillment coach. She uses research and energy work to help professional women find their purpose and turn it into a profitable business. Dr. Kostina incorporates innovative marketing strategies and the creation of engaging, lucrative online courses to scale their businesses. As a result they enjoy what she describes as a “ravenous life” — a life filled with the passion, pleasure, playfulness and abundance that come naturally to those who dare to be authentic. Her book “Find the G-Spot of Your Soul” is available January 2018. Download a free gift from Dr. Kostina- an MP3 Meditation Album “Find The G –Spot Of Your Soul” and get unstuck.