Lessons Learned From My Father, Dr. Wayne Dyer
In my book Don’t Die With Your Music Still in You, which I wrote with my father Wayne Dyer, we share our insights on family life with a spiritual bent. Using my father’s book 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace as a template, we describe the ways a spiritual focus can help children grow up feeling blessed and empowered:
1. Don’t Die with Your Music Still in You
Serena: There’s something I have heard my father say too many times to count: “You will never regret what you do in life; you will only regret what you don’t do.” Everything I have ever done has taught me something, whether it worked out or not. Sometimes the takeaway is simply knowing what I don’t want. Notice whether you are moving toward or away from what excites you. If you pay attention and let yourself be guided by your intuition, you won’t have to worry about dying with your music inside of you.
2. Have a Mind That Is Open to Everything and Attached to Nothing
Wayne: We become what we think about all day long—this is one of the greatest secrets that so many people are unaware of as they live out their life’s mission. What we think about is the business of our minds. If that inner invisibleness called our mind is closed to new ideas and infinite possibilities, it is equivalent to killing off the most important aspect of our very humanity. A mind that is open and unattached to any one particular way of being or living is like having an empty container that can allow new and endless possibilities to enter and be explored.
3. You Can’t Give Away What You Don’t Have
Serena: It may seem impossible now, but one day, we’ll all look back at the storms we have weathered and give a silent thank you. For many of us, it is the storms of our lives that have given us compassion, kindness, and gentleness that we otherwise may not have known—and that we can now give away to others, because they are inside of us.
4. Embrace Silence
Wayne: I have long known the wisdom inherent in the ancient aphorism, “It’s the silence between the notes that makes the music.” This is a truth that both my wife Marcelene and I attempted to convey to all of our children as we sought to make our home a temple of serenity and peace, amidst all of the activity of a large family. Everything emerges out of the silence.
5. Give Up Your Personal History
Serena: Our personal history is all the things in our background that keep us the same. If more of the same is not what we want, we have to let go of our history. When we do, we let go of all the beliefs we’ve had about ourselves—beliefs which may not even be true. In letting go of the past, you may ﬁnd that you’re able to be more alive in the present. If you don’t like where you are in life, then you must change your way of thinking.
6. You Can’t Solve a Problem with the Same Mind That Created It
Wayne: I would regularly remind the children that their concept of themselves is nothing more than all of the things that they believe to be true. And if what they believe to be true is helping them to create situations in which they are unhappy or even unhealthy, they are then challenged to change what they have unwaveringly held on to as an absolute truth. This is very difficult for most people to do, and this is why so many stay stuck, because they would rather be right than happy.
7. There Are No Justified Resentments
Serena: Growing up, there was a five letter word beginning with a “b” that we were not allowed to say or use. No, I’m not talking about bitch; the real bad word in our household was blame. Dad has a zero-tolerance policy for resentment. He simply wouldn’t allow any of us to place blame on anyone or anything other than ourselves. Freedom comes in forgiveness and letting go. When you free yourself of your past resentments, you release yourself of the worry of the future.
8. Treat Yourself as If You Already Are What You’d Like to Be
Wayne: The greatest gift that any of us are granted is the gift of our imagination. Every single thing that now exists was once imagined, and the corollary of this assertion is that everything that is ever going to exist in the future must first be imagined. In my role as a father and a teacher I felt it was incumbent upon me to help my children understand and apply the phenomenal implications of this basic notion. “If you want to accomplish anything, you must first be able to expect it of yourself.”
9. Treasure Your Divinity
Serena: When we were little, my brothers and sisters and I were taught by our parents that God resided within each of us; that our divinity was not something we needed to go out and look for. Instead, we would find it when we looked within.
10. Wisdom Is Avoiding All Thoughts That Weaken You
Wayne: All I wanted for my sons and daughters, and all of those who read my books and attended my lectures, was to realize that they could always choose a thought that would empower them, as opposed to ones that make them fragile and weak. This is one of the greatest lessons we can all use each and every day of our lives: wisdom is avoiding all thoughts which weaken you. Or as the children heard me say so many times, “Your life is a product of all of the choices that you have made, so choose well.”