So… Wayne Dyer’s loss is
evoking more tears from me
than Mom’s, I say??
Why’s HE so special?
Akin to another questionable redhead*: guess I got some ‘splainin to do! Let me work on that…
To my view, Wayne opened the mainstream-market door to HUGE discussion and exploration of the human experience: in his early work, focusing on life through behavioural awareness; then in later work: spiritual awareness. Your Erroneous Zones, his first bestseller (and one of the top selling books in history) brought tools and insights to us everyday-Joes that were understandable, relateable – and most importantly: delivered results. “Therapy” was virtually the only known source of personal “help” – and not a very welcome one, prior to Wayne. His progressive work and tireless commitment took therapy out of the taboo closet and revealed it as a singular, more “pointed” element of a collective of personal growth tools. These tools included alternatives to our tunnel-vision and sheer terror-inducing option of psychiatry, to include: cognitive-behavioural psychology, counsellors, mentors, mastermind groups, spiritual teachings, and a lot of independent-study resources such as books, audio courses, and life-skills and motivational seminars. He helped us see these tools as simply “continuing ed”: a valuable and completely NORMAL exploration, education and guidance of everyday life – and undoubtedly, a faster route to your goals than learning every life lesson by living it first. Wayne helped debunk the stigma that asking for help was a sign of weakness, but rather: seeking inspiration outside of ourselves. He adjusted our definition of “mental health” from being about “sickness in the head”, to being about the wellness of our lives: continuously challenging our thoughts, attitudes, behaviours and skills to attain more of what we want with less stress, greater purpose, and more joy. That was absolutely NOT crazy! This busted open a whole social genre including “personal development”, “self-help” and eventually an entire new industry of life-coaching. As Wayne’s “credibility” increased, [which, let’s face it, was really peoples’ increasing comfort levels with their own vulnerability and conscious self-growth, i.e. ACKNOWLEDGING we don’t know sh#* !!] ‘pop psychology’ a.k.a. self-education became more and more socially acceptable. I’d go so far as to say Wayne’s work became a status-symbol: I’ve consistently heard through the years in a wide range of social circles: “Oh, you haven’t read the new Wayne Dyer?” Tsk tsk.
Still, why my tears, when I barely shed them for Mom? Full disclosure: grieving for my Mom was staged out over three years as her health slipped somewhat predictably, making it much more reasonable to digest; by the time she passed, it was securely more about her journey than mine. Wayne? BAM! Live on Monday, dead by Sunday. As much as my parents are life-long guides, reality is: their day-to-day presence (aside from their unconditional love) had receded, as parent-child relationships should, becoming naturally more independent of each other. Wayne, on the other hand, was active in my life pretty much every day in some way that either inspired or educated me. I hand-picked him – and his work, to be part of my new tribe: part of the people and resources truly offering the kind of support I need both to feel safe, and to grow more and more into “me”. I’ve had a standing date with Wayne’s Hay House Radio show every Monday, 1 pm for YEARS, blocking that timeframe religiously for paperwork, housework, and Dyer inspiration! His presence on that show was very “present”, and it was palpable. His books, blogs, quotes, webinars are a standard part of almost every day – be it for myself or to guide clients. I always knew he was absolutely personally accessible to me for my guidance and growth: right there at the end of a call-in phone line. I did take him up on that a few times. DEEP sigh. Not nearly enough.
Yes, I have other fabulous mentors, and you might think I’m kinda weird feeling like best buds with this famous – now infamous, man who hung with Tony Robbins, Oprah, Deepak and the Dalai Lama, lived an ocean away from me in Hawaii and made an appearance in Vancouver but once a year… and with whom I could only ever hope to be the caller that gets through to chat for four minutes on a radio show. Not even slightly an issue: I felt truly personally supported by my tribesman Wayne. And that, my friends, is the fundamental beauty of crafting your tribe and why it’s so important to do so. Surrounding yourself with support that comes from where you choose, how you choose, when you choose, in the form you choose gives such foundation that even when alone, you never feel alone. And really, that was exactly Wayne’s gift to us all: he was truly everyone’s very own personal tribesman-on-demand because he lived, breathed, listened, wrote, taught and served as a part of a boundary-less infinitely and intimately connected soul – in a human body!** His perspective is inclusive and expansive, most simply, supporting the concept of a universal “consciousness” that conveys we are more connected than not; and that singular, competitive lives to prove who’s best – shackled to “survival”, aren’t nearly as fun or beneficial to this planet as an altruistic team whose mission to support each other’s talents and joy profits us all exponentially: buoyed by thrival!
And now, external to his human form, according to Wayne’s theory of perpetual consciousness, I have the same access to him as always: quite a leap. And I think this may be the exact vein from which my true loss emanates: my projected excitement and expectations for what mortal-Wayne was going to bring to my future. I coveted how Wayne’s life evolved because he took me on some kind of stimulating ride right along with him: I foresaw my future with unceasing thought-provocation from a respected and worthy provocateur. I didn’t always buy-in to all he brought forth, but paraphrasing his last book title: I absolutely CAN see clearer now. That ride – until I connect to his new “form”, has idled. And I don’t readily see my new chauffeur. Tribesman down. Loss. Big loss.
Irony too. “Go for it now. The future is promised to no one” is a die-hard Dyer philosophy: one that’s been reinforced philosophically and anecdotally to me “every Monday for YEARS”:
“While eating your appetizer, don’t be concerned with dessert. Don’t let the elusive present moment get used up by thoughts that aren’t in the here and now.
You do indeed have a past, but not now!
And, yes, you have a future, but not now!
You can consume your now with thoughts of “then” and “maybe,” but that will keep you from the inner peace you could experience– NOW.”
So… to summarize then… my soul-deep pain for the man I admire, respect and from whom I greatly crafted my own life philosophy… who so inspired and stimulated me enough that I dedicated most of my Mondays to his wisdom for YEARS: this loss and grief is biting me in the ass essentially — because I’m clearly not TRULY believing one of his big life lessons about not living in the future? Hmmmmm.
OMG… HIS NEW FORM ROCKS!! I think I finally see it.
My new fave Dyerism: “I am realistic. I expect miracles.”
* Lucille Ball!! lol note: I knew that goofy pic of of me would come in handy again: yup, that’s me above in all my petal-power glory!
**Statement alludes to: “Begin to see yourself as a soul with a body rather than a body with a soul. We are not human beings in search of a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings emersed in a human experience. Your body is nothing more than the garage where you temporarily park your soul.” – Wayne Dyer
Self Help Whores?
As much as Wayne Dyer helped to open up a multi-billion dollar industry encouraging personal development, he was equally adamant about “using it, not abusing it”. There is a point where self-help can be the problem itself: a sophisticated, self-righteous enabling & avoidance technique – if not an outright addiction! He was as much a watchdog as a hound-dog in this industry, and has inspired up-and-coming coaches and personal development professionals to stay diligent.
New “self-help tool” a la Dyer, is life-coach Jacob Sokol (pic below), an extremely energetic, relateable and effective coach (soon to be published author!) who focuses on the GEN XYZ’s, but who I too – a boomer, love to listen to and learn from! [Fair warning: Jacob uses very blunt vocabulary – but in good context, I think!] Through his company Sensophy, Jacob has taken strong hold of the torch:
Sensophy. That means Feeling + Wisdom. Here’s why that’s important:
Just knowing information won’t do a damn thing for you. We live in the age of information overload. What you really want is transformation. And that comes from taking the wisdom, putting it into action and feeling the results. -Jacob
Jacob’s true focus is: “How do we move from *information to transformation?!”. He offers us direction through his blog, podcasts, coaching biz, and a series of edu-taining youtube videos, including this one with Jason Goldberg: Self-Help Whores. This entertaining vid has a focus on stalled entrepreneurs, but the info is quite appropos to anyone wondering why they’re not moving forward in their lives. Here’s the intro from Jacob’s site, video following (clean language!):
Do you feel like you’re stuck in a job and want to make a change but just don’t know what the next step is? So many of us find ourselves in that position. Some find blogs like this and dive headfirst into the personal development world. You might find yourself developing a self-help book addiction, spending hours reading blogs online and consuming more wisdom than ever before. So now what? You still stuck in that job?
Yeah, it sucks. Our friend Jason Goldberg has some wisdom to share that might just help you move away from your book addiction and into entrepreneurship (or whatever the dream looks like for you).
Watch this video to learn:
- Why reading a ton of self-help books is not gonna solve all your problems
- How to release your information addiction and finally make some changes
- How Jason went from whoring around on Amazon to quitting his job (and then quitting his start-up) to do meaningful work
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