A Toddler’s Guide to Manifesting

Some time ago John Adams was given a green balloon. He loved his balloon and kept it on his bed every night for safe keeping. He and I would bat it back and forth as a preliminary way to learn how to play catch. A helium-filled balloon is not going to move fast through the air, a slowly deflating one even less so. But its slow speed was just right for a three-year old learning how to catch a ball, or throw. We spent literally hours batting the deflating green balloon back and forth while sitting on his bed while he giggled ecstatically at his ability to catch his green, airborne, slo-mo ball.

When the green balloon finally deflated beyond repair he insisted on keeping it on his bed for several weeks thereafter. He openly wept several times over its inability to fly, or our inability to play with it anymore (although he refused to allow either of us to reinflate it). A long piece of ribbon with a deflated bulbous husk, he would pull it off the bed, twirl the ribbon, but the balloon didn’t refill. It would plop unsatisfying-ly onto the bed, and a frustrated toddler would well up, and a daddy would have to console the survivor that a new balloon could be found and order would be restored again to the galaxy.

A few weeks went by, and the green death was finally forgotten. Nancy and I seized the opportunity to discard the corpse. Then out of the blue – or wherever toddlers get their notions – John Adams looked at us one Sunday and stated that he wanted another balloon. He was earnest. We were going to church, but promised him we would try to find him one thereafter. We did the church thing, and then decided on a whim to go to IHO P for breakfast. Our young waitress, Jamie, was taken with the little guy, and they exchanged more than a few playful moments. He did his “bag of tricks” for her; she was enchanted, and headed off to do her work. She then returned quite abruptly and looked at us semi-seriously and said, “Don’t forget to get him his balloon on the way out.” In hindsight, I was less stunned than I should have been.


John Adams and I manifesting silliness.

Behind the front counter where we paid the check was a cache of variously colored balloons from a previous promotion. They were giving them away to children upon request, and John Adams was requesting. It took him only a moment to blurt out that his new friend was to be “Yellow, please!” The well-meaning host tried unsuccessfully to tie it several times to his wrist, but he likes to “hoed it,” so with Mommy’s guidance his new yellow friend made it safely to our car and home to his bed for batting practice where it presently, lovingly resides.

The late Dr. Wayne Dyer repeatedly said a few things about the art of manifesting. 1) You have to let go of the past. 2) You have to leave your ego and insecurities behind and know that you are worthy of abundance. 3) You have to have a “knowing” of what you want, and hold that vision without fear of failure. 4) You have to detach yourself from outcome. Many of these lessons resonated with me over the incident of the balloons. Only when John Adams had made peace with the loss of the green balloon was he ready to receive a new one. Like most toddlers, he doesn’t know what an ego is yet, but he knows he is the Center of the Universe and worthy of his heart’s desire. He knew exactly what he wanted and was prepared for its arrival in his world. And he didn’t know the manner of its arrival, but he knew it would show up. And show up it did.


Dr. Wayne Dyer’s book, Manifest Your Destiny

Dr. Dyer and his family reportedly used the art of manifesting with great success. I believe – in this instance at least – my son did too. I believe we’re all capable of bringing that which we desire into our lives through letting go of the past, ego-less love, detachment, and persistence of vision. So whatever green husk of hot air has blustered into your life today, know that it will deflate and, once released and forgotten, it can be replaced by something even better. Through the powers of a selfless knowing love, detachment, and persistence, peace can be restored to your galaxy too.

You just gotta believe.



When the Dead Awaken…and Teach! (The Continuing Legacy of Dr. Wayne Dyer)

Today, August 29, 2016, marks the one year anniversary of the passing of Dr. Wayne Dyer, the “Father of Motivation,” and my self-appointed guru for fourteen years. One year ago today, Wayne succumbed to a heart attack and crossed over. He was seventy-five years old, and the author of more than forty books in the fields of self-help, positive thinking, and spirituality. Though he had been diagnosed with leukemia in 2009, an autopsy completed shortly after his death revealed the impossible: no trace of leukemia found anywhere in his body. Wayne had claimed without supportive medical evidence for several years prior to his death that he was in “perfect health,” and that through his lifestyle and positive outlook he was clean of disease. The autopsy validated his oft-claimed assertion that “our thoughts create our reality.” In death he was still teaching, and those of us willing to listen were still hearing. It seems in the year since his death, his voice has still not gone silent.

Wayne Dyer, Photo Credit: www.hayhouse.com

Wayne Dyer, Photo Credit: http://www.hayhouse.com

In June of this year, in Elevated Existence magazine, Tammy Mastroberte interviewed two of Wayne’s daughters – Saje and Serena – focusing on the family’s life since Wayne’s passing, their claim that he continues to speak through medium Karen Noe, and that his teaching is ongoing, if from the other side. Numerous anecdotes are recounted through the article, including the possibility of Wayne bi-locating while alive and in Australia, and a postmortem visit to daughter Saje in New York, to name just two. The article also reveals that he uncharacteristically insisted on paying in full daughter Saje’s last year of graduate school (ahead of his normal schedule), and that he felt driven to complete his autobiographical I Can See Clearly Now (his last published book while alive), indicating that he may have had some sense that his time on Earth was drawing to a close. In fact, the family now sees his last published book, Memories of Heaven – about children’s recollections of the other side – as something of a prescient extension of his sense of humor, given that it was published after he would have arrived there to verify the recollections. The family claims (in part through Noe) that Wayne has shifted his teaching of “I Am” to “We Are,” that he is available to anyone that calls upon him for guidance, and that he has summed up to them his philosophy of living somewhat simplistically as “always come from a place of love.”

Whatever the truth of the claims, the article is more than a welcome reminder of the profound teachings that this man offered the world starting with his landmark bestseller Your Erroneous Zones in 1975, and ending with the aforementioned Memories of Heaven. For myself, I know that I owe Wayne a debt that can never be repaid. I have written of my personal journey through Wayne’s work before in the posts “Dr. Wayne Dyer – In Memoriam,” and “Dr. Wayne Dyer – An Addendum,” as well as in an upcoming guest blog post for www.businessinrhyme.com to be released on September 12th called “The Healing Power of Haiku,” so there’s no need for me to dwell here on that debt; suffice it to say, without Dr. Wayne Dyer I don’t know if I would still be around to love my wife, my son, and the new outlook on life he gifted me by his beautiful words and timeless wisdom. Thanks are more than a little in order.

So to that end I want to close this post by recounting some of my favorite Wayne Wisdom, his 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace; enumerated in the book of the same name, and used as the template for Wayne’s third to last book, the co-written Don’t Die With Your Music Still in You, in which daughter Serena recounts what it was like to be a child growing up under the influence of such an “enlightened” father. The Second Secret holds deep significance for me as a musician, child of musicians, and artist in general, but I have tried to live by all of them in turn with varying degrees of success. For a life plan one could hardly do better.

 Dr. Wayne Dyer’s 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace

  1. Have a mind that is open to everything and attached to nothing.
  2. Don’t die with your music still in you.
  3. You can’t give away what you don’t have.
  4. Embrace silence.
  5. Give up your personal history.
  6. You can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it.
  7. There are no justified resentments.
  8. Treat yourself as if you already are what you’d like to be.
  9. Treasure your divinity.
  10. Wisdom is avoiding all thoughts which weaken you.

Thank you, Dr. Dyer, Wayne, for the last fifteen years; for the love, wisdom, outlook, and mentor-ship. You are neither gone nor forgotten.  Keep it coming. We’re listening. Namaste.



P.S. For those of you who want to explore Elevated Existence magazine, here is a link to their website: Elevated Existence


Dr. Wayne W. Dyer (1940 – 2015) Photo credit:: http://www.awaken.com


Tony Robbins – Are You My Guru?

About a week ago, in mid-July, Netflix unceremoniously dropped an original documentary into my Top Picks for You category. The film, Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru, is just shy of two hours and follows motivational speaker Tony Robbins through a six-day event called Date with Destiny that he and his huge staff host in various places around the world. Participants, for the low, low price of $5,000 for the week attend workshops, group sessions, and lectures given by Robbins himself as they attempt to transform their life from whatever place they currently find themselves in to a new and better place of strength, courage, fulfillment, peace, or what have you. Over the course of the documentary, a handful of attendees are focused on and given epilogues after the fact with mostly positive results reported. I put the documentary on one afternoon almost on a dare/whim and left it run out in the background of my day. I had had very little exposure to Tony Robbins in the past, save purchasing on the cheap through iTunes a series of The Edge audio books that I tired of somewhat quickly, as they felt more like infomercials promoting more expensive content. But this movie, even half-listening, felt more like the real deal, and I found myself getting occasionally wrapped up in Tony’s interventions and interviews. So I determined to sit down and focus on the whole thing straight through. And I’m glad I did.


Tony Robbins in a Date with Destiny event

Over the course of the two hours the film focuses on, among others, a suicidal young man, a woman in a dysfunctional relationship, another with “Daddy issues,” and another woman raised and abused in a sex cult. Each interaction/intervention with Tony Robbins proves tough to harsh, profane, emotionally super-charged, and ultimately, very strangely, loving in that “I’m kicking your ass for your own good” kind of way. Each segment is full of hugs, confrontations, and tears, and I found myself deeply moved by many moments in both viewings. I had never witnessed anything quite like Tony Robbins style of self-care: a hyper-steroid induced blend of Iyanla Vanzant, Caroline Myss, and Dr. Phil, but seemingly, almost inexplicably, grounded in the most loving and compassionate of philosophies.

In so much of what Tony Robbins said I could hear my own self-appointed guru, the late Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, saying to these people, albeit in a far more in your face and deliberately vulgarized way.

            You are a part of God

            You are worthy of love

            You are the story you tell yourself you are

Wayne’s way was one of patience, quiet, gentleness, introspection, and meditation on poetry and seminal texts. Tony’s is loud, jarring, abrupt, profane, immediate, and definitely “not in your head.” But both at their core seem to advocate for positive change, personal responsibility, God realization, and an acceptance and embracing of love, both from self and others, that we often feel we are unworthy of receiving. Like two radio stations that play Pop music, Wayne’s focus was on power ballads, while Tony’s plays upbeat dance and techno, but both men seem tuned into the same frequency, Source, themes, and intentions.

The one-year anniversary of Wayne Dyer’s death is fast approaching. He died of a heart attack in his sleep on August 29th of 2015. My heart has maintained a gaping void since then that has yet to be filled by the passing of a man who I studied and read voraciously for sixteen years, heard speak in person three times, and credit his teachings with salvaging my own imploding life in the early 2000s. The facts that I just finished reading Memories of Heaven, Wayne’s last posthumously published book, and that two of Wayne’s daughters claimed in a recent online interview that Wayne continues to guide their lives from beyond, are both comforting and helpful in maintaining my love and interest in my late guru’s work. But I’m just not sure that after sixteen years of meditative study and dedication that it’s not time to turn up the volume, get tough on my life, and join the dance party. So I’ve been asking myself for a week now, and I would at least ask you to consider asking the same question:

Tony Robbins: Are You My New Guru? 

I think I know my answer. What about you?

Watch the movie on Netflix, if you can, and share your thoughts with me.




Dr. Wayne Dyer – An Addendum

A few weeks ago I blogged about the death of spiritual guru, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, and of his importance to my life. Without his influence on me via his PBS special back in 2001, my life would be vastly different. I cannot stress enough how much his work and example have altered me for the better. And after August 29, 2015, I fully expected that his direct influence on our lives had come to an end. That said, since his death there have been no less than four significant developments in the man’s legacy that are worthy of attention.

Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

The first came from the family in the form of an autopsy report. Wayne had been diagnosed with leukemia back in 2009. Rather than accept the all too seemingly natural course of a debilitating cancer, he opted for a highly controversial treatment – psychic surgery performed remotely by the Brazilian mystic, John of God. Wayne recounted his experience with the procedure numerous times, acknowledged his own skepticism and gradual conversion to belief, and ultimately claimed that he had been cured by the suspect treatment. The autopsy report miraculously bore him out. Cause of death was a heart attack – there was no trace of cancer found in his body at the time of death.

The second notable occurrence was recounted in a letter from Hay House president, Reid Tracy. In a prepared statement released to Facebook, Reid made his readers aware that August 30 was actually Wayne’s day of greatest significance. On August 30, 1974 Wayne, after years of searching, discovered his father’s grave on the grounds of a private hotel and, after hours of emotional release, forgave his father and determined to send him love thereafter. Within two weeks he wrote his groundbreaking bestseller, Your Erroneous Zones, and his life was forever changed. Wayne considered the confrontation and subsequent resolution with his father to be the turning point in his life. Dying in the middle of the night, between August 29 and August 30, Wayne died on the anniversary of his reunion and reconciliation with his father; his special day forever memorialized by his own passing.

The third event was the publication, also to Facebook, of a photo taken by daughter Serena after the spreading of Wayne’s ashes off the shores of Maui. As the sun hits the water in the photo, Wayne’s face is clearly visible amidst the ripples. The family has taken it as a sign of Wayne’s peace and happiness with his passing. The rest of his admirers are just astounded that this man continues to send examples of his teachings from the beyond.

Wayne's Face in the Water

Wayne’s Face in the Water

Lastly, Wayne’s final published book I Can See Clearly Now was a personal memoir of episodes from his own life and lessons that he drew from each episode. It would have seemed to be a fitting tribute and end to a legacy of more than 40 books. However, Amazon is already taking orders for the next to be published Wayne Dyer book – a collaboration with Dee Garnes of children’s recollections of the beyond called Memories of Heaven. It would seem that even though Wayne has passed he still has more to say. How appropriate that his next/last? book will be focused on the afterlife. Did he go there to collect more information for forthcoming installments? Will he be channeled like Abraham through Esther Hicks? Will his children carry on his legacy with guidance from him in some as of yet undetermined way? If there’s one thing fourteen years of putting my faith in the guidance of Wayne Dyer has taught me, it’s that we probably haven’t heard the last of him, even in death.

And you know what? That’s just fine with me. I need all the help I can get.

Much love, Wayne.



Memories of Heaven

Memories of Heaven

Dr. Wayne Dyer: In Memoriam

Dr. Wayne Dyer was fond of referring to his life as a parenthesis in eternity. The parenthesis opens and we are born; it closes and we die. It seems only fitting that fourteen years ago I started writing haiku as a kind of therapy, a response to seeing Wayne Dyer’s special There’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem on PBS, trying to pull myself back from a very dark place. And now on the eve of publishing my second book of poetry, a book that is very much inspired by the influence he has had on my life, his parenthesis has closed. On August 29, 2015, sometime in the middle of the night in his sleep, Dr. Wayne Walter Dyer left his body.

It’s personally hard for me to imagine a world without Wayne. He has been unquestionably the major spiritual influence on my life for the last fourteen years. I have read every book he has published since the mid-nineties, watched all his PBS specials, listened to his taped conversations, seen his movies, and been in his presence at least three times. I’d never met the man, but that was more a product of star-struck insecurity at meeting your admired, rather than never having had the opportunity. I could’ve met him. I should’ve. I didn’t, and now the moment has passed. One more regret, one more lesson. As Maya Angelou says, “When you know better, you do better.” But sometimes we don’t.

Wayne speaking at I Can Do It in Atlanta, 2012

Wayne speaking at I Can Do It in Atlanta, 2012

On September 3, 2001, one year to the day on the anniversary of my father’s death, I started working at a Catholic school outside of Philadelphia. I was good at my job, I built the program, my students liked me and I them, and I was miserable inside. I knew being a high school teacher wasn’t my calling, but I’d taken the job out of financial necessity. Over the first few weeks of employment I sunk into the most abject despair. I would call my mother in Reading, PA and tell her that I was praying that I wouldn’t wake up the next morning. I felt trapped, alone, lost, and, frankly, suicidal. And again I feel the need to reiterate it wasn’t the job or the students; it was me being out of sync with my calling as an artist. And it was destroying me from within.

At some point that fall, Dr. Wayne Dyer’s special There’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem aired on PBS and I happened to catch a piece of it one evening. His simple anecdotes regarding self-reliance, following one’s calling, trusting one’s intuition, and loving the universe without reserve captivated me over the next few days of the pledge break. Within the week I had bought his book and was reading it in study hall. And then a thought struck me – I was artistically unfulfilled, but I could do something about it even in study hall, in a small way. I started writing haiku during study hall, about my feelings, my passions, my frustrations, and little by little the pressure that had built up started to subside. Here is the first haiku I wrote dated November 11, 2001:

If I ruled the world…
But wait! Life is perception.
Where did I go wrong?

I believe firmly that had I not discovered Wayne, and not started writing as a result, that the depression would’ve consumed me. Whether it would’ve been suicide or just the stress of willing oneself to die overcoming me, the result would’ve been the same: I would be dead. So you see, over the last fourteen years when I’ve quipped to friends that Wayne Dyer saved my life I really wasn’t kidding. I really believe he saved me, just by being himself. Given all that I have now – my beautiful wife and son, a terminal degree, wonderful in-laws, and a supportive community of church and theatre friends – it’s a debt I can never repay.

That said, now that Wayne has passed on the real work can begin. There will be no more new books, movies, lectures and the like, but what is now possible is serious study into the life and philosophy of a man whom I hold dear. Over the years I’ve exposed myself to his work, but there’s always been something new to distract from what has come before. That time is now gone. But what’s left is an exhaustive body of work that outlines living one’s best life. I have not mastered manifesting. I have not lived the Tao. I have not affirmed “I Am God” with a belief and authority that transcends doubt. I have not forgiven. I have not spoken the language of butterflies. I have not gotten all of my music out. In each case and in so many more Wayne left us with a road map for living our best, most loving life. At 44, in a high stress career, I have a long way to go before I can sit on the beaches of Maui, picking mangoes by my pool, enjoying the fruits of a life well-lived. But at least he’s left me a light in the darkness, a body of work to draw strength and knowledge from, and a beautiful example of a man and a life to strive for and live up to. And for that I am forever grateful.

Dr. Wayne W. Dyer 1940-2015

Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Thank you, Wayne, for being there when I needed you most, for lighting the way, and for saving my life.

May you now be at peace among the other ascended masters. Namaste.