After nearly a decade of marriage, Gisele Bündchen admits there’s no real “secret” to her strong relationship with NFL star Tom Brady.
“I think it’s important to honor each other for who we are, and to not try to change the other. Just to fully accept each other,” the supermodel and author of Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life, 38, tells Arianna Huffington during an intimate interview for the upcoming episode of the Thrive Global podcast.
“I think it’s important to always keep the communication also loving and respectful and current,” Bündchen adds. “I’m not going to talk about something that happened, you know a year ago. We address it, and then we let it go. Because I think with acceptance comes freedom.”
Bündchen and Brady’s relationship has been tested in the public spotlight, like during 2015’s Deflategate scandal, when the pro quarterback was suspended while NFL officials investigated allegations that he cheated by playing with under-inflated footballs.
“When someone you love is happy, it makes you happy, or if they’re sad it makes you sad,” she shares. “You suffer with them and you have joy with them.”
Bündchen also expands upon many of the shocking revelations in her acclaimed memoir, explaining that she’s turned to meditation as a way to cope with her debilitating anxiety.
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“I started meditating in my early 20s, after having severe panic attacks…that’s one of the very important tools that helped me…it actually gave me a new life,” Bündchen explains. “When you start being loving with yourself, being loving with others, filling your mind with affirmations and loving thoughts, you create more of that in your life, and that becomes more of your reality.”
Quickly, she says, her meditation ritual became an integral part of her life.
“When you reach rock bottom, you have to figure out a way to get out of there. It gave me a new life, and an opportunity to become aware of a new world that I didn’t know existed, which was a world within myself,” Bündchen says.
Now every morning, Bündchen tries to wake up at 5:30 a.m., light a candle, sit in silence and meditate. “It’s really helpful if I just take a few moments to be quiet for 5, 10 minutes, and take a few deep breaths, and just go into that space,” she says. “And then when I come out of it, I just feel revitalized and ready to tackle so much more.”
As for her husband, Bündchen says she’s tried to get the football pro to try meditating too, but it doesn’t seem to be his thing.
“He has meditated, but I don’t think he’s as diligent as I am with meditation. For me, it came from something that has helped me heal from something that was so challenging in my life,” she explains. “Maybe because he hasn’t had the same need as me, maybe for him, it hasn’t become something so consistent.”
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