Gloria Estefan Wants to Get Inside Your Head

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4. Jungian Psychology

I studied psychology; that was one of my majors in college. I used to be a Freudian early on, but now I’m a Jungian all the way. His core belief is the collective unconscious, and that ties in really well with quantum physics, and all of the sciences.

I wanted to be a psychiatrist — I got accepted to the clinical psychology school at University of Miami. At that point, I had met Emilio and joined the band [Miami Sound Machine] for fun. I had also been accepted to the Sorbonne in France. But then the band happened, and I fell in love with my husband, and my life took a different turn. To tell an immigrant mother that you’re going to be a singer is not high on the list of priorities! You always have to have a job. But the human mind and how we communicate is fascinating to me. Even the way I approach my songwriting — I write songs but I think about what impact they’re going to have on the listener, because I know that music got me through some of the toughest times in my life.

5. “Breaking Bad”

I’m a TV head, and there’s such good television being made! I’m a binge-watcher extraordinaire. When I originally watched “Breaking Bad,” it appealed to me because it has such a psychological element. You really see how, slowly, the ego transforms someone.

6. Continental Rummy and Rummikub

As a kid I would play Continental with my sister endlessly. We took care of my dad, who was ill, so that was my saving grace. Then in the past few years, my assistant Heather taught me Rummikub. We have a running tally of backgammon and Rummikub that we’ve been keeping for years, since she travels with me. We’ve played hundreds of games. My assistant’s whupping my butt.

7. Philosophic Texts

I also studied philosophy, and I try to read something every day. “The Kybalion,” which is about Greek Hermetic philosophy, is one that I really gravitate toward. They say that this book finds you when it’s supposed to. Also “Seth Speaks,” and “Many Lives, Many Masters,” by Brian Weiss, which was sent to me after my accident [in 1990, Estefan suffered severe spinal injuries in a tour bus accident]. It’s like recognition, when you read something and go, “Wait a minute, this is what I already believe. I don’t know why I believe it, but I do.” I was raised in an all-girl Catholic school, but I’m not dogmatic. I have an issue with dogma: it’s man-made and I don’t like it. But I am very spiritual. Whenever I see any book about different ways of thinking, I like to continue to learn and explore those things.

8. Nochebuena

Nochebuena is Christmas Eve. That celebration, for Cubans, is probably the biggest one of the year. It’s always with family and it always involves a lot of food, usually with music and dancing. We’ll just break into dance — we don’t need a dance floor or a band. I’ve danced with my dogs in the kitchen. This year, even if we have to sit out there with masks, we’re going to do it. In the yard, six feet apart! But we’ve got to have it.

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