Back in 2011, I sat with two friends, who like me, were on a dedicated spiritual path as we watched a movie, called The Shift. For two hours, we were mesmerized by a story woven through the lives of a group of people who come together at the lovely, wind and wave swept Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, California, seemingly for many different reasons, but for a single purpose: transformation. The central focus was the teachings offered by Wayne Dyer, whose life and work shifted dramatically when he merged psychological and spiritual concepts, despite the conventional wisdom at the time that those types of books wouldn't sell. He disproved that in spades.
Honoring Wayne Dyer's Life
Millions of people were so deeply affected by Wayne Dyer's transition that occurred on August 30, 2015. He was one of the grandfathers of the spiritual movement. His vast array of books include Your Erroneous Zones, Excuses Begone!, Wishes Fulfilled, I Can See Clearly Now, You'll See It When You Believe It and his most recent, Memories of Heaven. Each once carries with it the message that we are powerful co-creators with a Universal Life Force Energy for the past 16 years, Wayne has been appearing at the Mishka Productions events including their signature conference Celebrate Your Life since 2002. Wayne loved speaking live at events and Celebrate Your Life was no exception.
Sadly, Wayne's dance on this Earth was too short, by human standards, but perhaps, by Divine Design, just right. That is one shift that many of us struggle to embrace. He was slated to speak at this year's Celebrate Your Life conference taking place in Phoenix, Arizona on November 6-9, 2015. Wayne's contemporaries Marianne Williamson, Bruce Lipton, Michael Beckwith, Rickie Byars Beckwith, Gregg Braden, Darren Weissman, Barry Goldstein, Arielle Ford, Iyanla Vanzant, Jean Houston, don Miguel Ruiz, Dan Millman, Denise Linn, Chris Grosso, Anita Moorjani, Colette Baron-Reid, John Holland and Joan Borysenko will be among the treasure trove of speakers. Wayne loved to teach and be on stage live in front of audiences. He was extraordinarily passionate about helping people change their lives in the most positive and excellent way. During the Celebrate Your Life conference, authors Neale Donald Walsch, Marianne Williamson, Bruce Lipton and Anita Moorjani will each take their personal favorite book of Wayne's and teach his concepts. This is a way to not only honor his work, but to keep Wayne's teachings very much alive and in the hearts and minds of everyone in attendance. Anita Moorjani selected Wishes Fulfilled to teach from, Neale will present Excuses Begone, The 10 Secrets to Success and Inner Peace will be taught by Bruce Lipton and Marianne Williamson will share the teachings from The Power of Intention.
Each of these spiritual visionaries had their own personal connection with Wayne and feel strongly that Wayne would want nothing less than have his teachings continue to be a part of Celebrate Your Life. Liz Dawn, president of Mishka Productions and co-creator of Celebrate Your Life shared with me, "Wayne was an icon in this community. I will miss him greatly, however, he told me once that he strongly believed that 'no one dies before their time', this helps in knowing that he is at peace." In addition to the honoring for Wayne, there will be over 25 new thought leaders gathering at Celebrate Your Life to present workshops and keynote lectures on their specific area of expertise. It is a wonderful opportunity for the people to gather from all over the world to learn, explore new ways of thinking and being in the world, to expand our hearts and minds, to learn and grow in ways we did not think possible, and to bid farewell to an amazing teacher, friend and colleague, Dr. Wayne Dyer.
Last night, I viewed The Shift again. This time, I was with a dozen or so others who were there to acknowledge Wayne as well and what they had learned from him. The initial set of observations came from my first go-around with the movie. Afterward, I will share what came through as I watched it with four years additional experience of living the messages Wayne presented with such unwavering clarity.
A film crew arrives there to interview Wayne Dyer who had chosen to use the center as a writing retreat, while he penned his next book. The project director; a cynical, but curious young man is facing his greatest challenge...how to maintain purpose and focus, without being caught up in ambition. He and his colleagues are intrigued by what Wayne has to share, particularly since these are new concepts for them. It was fascinating for me to observe, having been a student of metaphysics and transformation for more than 30 years, to consider what it would be like to encounter these concepts for the first time in my life, now.
Another dynamic occurs between a monetarily wealthy, but emotionally and spiritually impoverished couple who show up at Asilomar for a conference sponsored by a non-profit organization that serves homeless people. The husband is a pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps developer who is only attending to make himself look like a good guy since he is facing challenges with his image as someone who puts profits before people and the environment. The wife is bored and entertains herself with shopping.
The third grouping is a family with wife, husband and two beautiful and active little boys who keep Mom and Dad hopping. Dad is kinda laid back and Mom is hovering and 'interfering'; micromanaging nearly everything they do. In the midst of being a devoted mother and nurturing her children, she has given up one of her self-nourishing activities.
Two other cool elements in the film: Louise Hay has a cameo; one quick scene, and the other is someone I thought of as a 'behind the scenes angel' who turned out to be a surprising entity at Asilomar.
The concepts that Wayne explains throughout the movie, serve as fodder for amazing changes in consciousness and action for these people. Some of the most poignant:
1. The illusion is that our value as human beings is based on what we have, what we do and how other people view us. Take a look at your own life and ask yourself if you have found that to be so. If you believe that your possessions, achievements and the ways in which you are perceived by others define you, then it seems to me that you will be at the whim of externals. The truth is that happiness, success and a full, rich life are inside jobs.
2. Wayne asks a question of one of the film crew...about how he knows that a slice of apple pie is indeed apple pie. His profound answer is that it came from the pie. In that same way, Wayne explains that we are like that from which we came. We come from our Source....Divinity, so we must be Divine as well and as such, will be supported by that same loving energy.
3. He muses about the idea that for the first 9 months from conception to birth, all of our needs are provided for and we have no thought or worry about it. Why, he wonders, do we then angst about it once we are born? Because we 'interfere'. What if we knew for sure, that despite appearances at times, that continues to be true? I have found myself (or rather, lost myself) tumbling into what I call 'spiritual amnesia' when I forget that God/Goddess/All That Is has my back (front, sides, top and bottom too) Once I am reminded of that, my life flows with more grace than I had ever imagined.
4. Wayne refers to shifts as quantum moments that have these qualities in common, regardless of the form they take:
They are vivid. They are surprising. They feel good. They are enduring.
As I fondly gaze at the quantum moments in my own life when I have surpassed the limiting beliefs and fear thoughts, I feel a sense of pure delight, a wowie-zowie sense of wonder. They often come in unexpected wrapping; not always pretty. Sometimes they show up as disappointments or disapproval. I have the responsibility and choice to unwrap them and see what is really underneath. Recently, I discovered a precious gift hidden beneath the illusion of 'uh-oh, now what?' As I contemplated this particular situation, I was able to shift from feeling like a bad little girl who had done something wrong, to a mature woman who wasn't going to allow this situation to cause self-doubt. I was once again reminded that people operate by their own values and what feels right for them. I bless this person and situation for being a teacher for me. What a high quality quantum moment that was!
5. You don't attract what you want. You attract what you are. Sure, making a list of the experiences, items, people, relationships, qualities you desire is one step toward calling them into your life. A piece that people often miss is that in order to bring them to manna-festation, it is important to embody those in your own life. I don't subscribe to the idea that opposites attract. I KNOW that like attracts like and birds of a feather flock together. If I want to bring more love into my life, I need to be a love shower (show-er and shower, both) and sprinkle it out into the world.
What if you knew, as Wayne shares at the end of the film that you are only a thought away from changing your life? The shift can occur in an instant. Is this the one?
The first thing that came through immediately, were the two words that Wayne repeated a few times, before he slid his feet into black Birkenstocks as he arose from his bed. They were simple and what might be considered a potent prayer, "Thank you." This has been my morning ritual for as long as I can recall. Thank you for this day, whatever it brings. Thank you for the love. Thank you for my life.
He took out notepad and pen and began to pour his thoughts out on paper. If memory serves, this was the way Wayne wrote all of his books.
Throughout the film, he offered delicious tidbits of information that slowly and gradually were absorbed by the film crew and the other guests, even though he had direct contact with only a few of them. He didn't flood anyone with ideas. Instead, he gently presented them and allowed the listeners to take in what served them and leave the rest behind.
When confronted by the skeptical director that all of this transformation was easy for him, Wayne spoke poignantly about his own struggles with ego and alcoholism, as well as his drive for worldly success that lead him to confront his beliefs and experience what I call his 'holy shift moment'.
What was fun to observe was the transformation that took place as the crew came to understand that living a spiritually infused life isn't about the rituals of prayer and meditation, but rather seeing it as part and parcel of everyday existence. There is no spiritual and non-spiritual life. It is all the same.
As I watched the movie to its conclusion, I was moved by the statements Wayne made at the end when he stood on the beach and offered the idea that each of us has within the ability to make a difference moment to moment in our lives. It was as if he got the cosmic message and was foretelling the experience that those who knew and loved him, even if by just reading his books would have, once he passed. It was the only time I cried throughout watching the film this time around. The rest I took in with a serene smile and a calm acceptance that this is how I live my days.
As his oft quoted wisdom beckoned, Wayne didn't 'die with his music still in him.' He sang and played it out with passion and enthusiasm. Keep singing, Wayne!
I look forward to hearing what 'heartsongs' will emerge for you at Celebrate Your Life. I'll be singing along.