"Don't die with your music still in you."
-Dr. Wayne W. Dyer (1940-2015)
I wrote this blog post in my journal on September 4th, 2015
If you are familiar with Dr. Brene Brown, you know she talks about having a "vulnerability hangover," which is pretty much the regret you feel when you feel you've shared too much, and boy did I ever have one! Obviously as it's lasted 10 months. My last post, on November 7th, 2014, left me feeling more vulnerable, raw, and exposed then I was comfortable with. In that post I had written that I understood that there might be people that will judge me but that I wasn't going to be one of those people. The after affects of publishing that post, coupled with experiences I've had with people in my environment over the past 10 or so months, have shed light on the fact that I do still judge it and the reason I do is because I have not felt the fullness of the guilt and shame that hover around that part of my story. I am navigating through bringing compassion to it, through feeling that guilt and shame and forgiving myself so that I can continue to grow forward.
But still, that "vulnerability hangover" left me feeling like I didn't want to show my face again. Since my last post I have penned numerous posts in my head, made a list of things I wanted to write about, and even wrote some of those things down on paper. None of those things were strong enough to get me to show up again, as much as I wanted to, until now.
On the morning of August 31st, I learned that one of my favorite spiritual teachers, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, had died over the weekend in his sleep. Never have I been so deeply impacted by the death of a public figure. I was choked up on Monday as the news sank in. And while I understand death to be a transition, a birth back into non-physical, my heart is heavy and saddened by the loss of his physical presence.
Dr. Wayne Dyer was one of the first spiritual/motivational teachers I had exposure to. His teachings, how he walked his path, the love that filled his voice when he spoke, had a very profound effect on me and my life. Although I never had the opportunity to meet him or see him speak in person, I admired him, respected him, looked up to him and wanted to be my own version of what he taught, what he stood for, and who he was. To take all that inspired me about him and bring them into my own unique gifts, talents and abilities.
In the fall of 2007, while teetering between using and not using, I decided to go off of all of my medications (an antidepressant, an antianxiety, and a medication to help with opiate addiction) cold turkey, without the guidance of my doctor. I think it goes without saying but I am going to say it anyway, I do NOT recommend doing this. For the record, "not using" is not the same as sobriety. While the medication prescribed to me for opiate addiction did, at times, help me to not use, I did not change anything internally, I did not do any healing work, therefore, the medication had become a crutch.
The withdrawal process of not being on the medication was not a fun time. Due to my mental preparation it was not as bad as it could have been but that does not mean it was good. There were restless nights, a lot of them, I couldn't get comfortable, I wasn't sleeping well at all, and I became very depressed. Enter Dr. Dyer. I don't even know where the book came from but I am so thankful that I had it and that I decided to read it. I also don't remember which book it was but I do remember he talked about having had addictions. I remember stopping when I read that. I don't remember my first exposure to him but I knew of him, he was a spiritual and motivational teacher, he had had addictions and look at him now. At that point I didn't know I was a healer, I didn't know that part of my purpose here was to help people on their healing journeys, but still, it gave me hope in a way that I can't accurately put into words. Addiction can be a hopeless cycle of self loathing and self destruction and while I'm not sure I believed yet that it was possible for me to have a better life, I tucked that seed of hope deep into my inner ground and left it there for safekeeping.
Like I said, restless and sometimes sleepless nights were part of the withdrawal process from the medication. At times it was impossible to get comfortable as my body sweat out the chemicals, and peaceful sleep was hard to come by. During this time I also had one of his books on CD, Inspiration Your Ultimate Calling, and decided to start listening to it. I am so grateful that I did. Not only would I listen to it over and over throughout the day but I would also listen to it at night while I tried to find rest. At that time I didn't have the vocabulary but I now know that what I felt while listening was his message resonating as truth with me. As I said, in my mind I didn't quite believe that what he was saying was possible for me, but I did know he was speaking truth. His voice was soothing and filled with love and it brought me comfort during a time when comfort was hard to come by. He became my companion during those dark days, as I listened to his voice, and little by little it is what helped me to start coming out of my depression. It would be approximately a year and a half later before I would truly start my journey of sobriety and healing, but his words and teachings planted seeds in me that waited until just the right time to sprout and I never forgot the comfort he brought me.
I've continued to be inspired by his life and work over the years. His quotes are written in my journals and on tiny pieces of paper on my desk, I've read his books, watched his movie The Shift, and listened to his radio show and have been touched by his teachings in so many ways. It is amazing to me the affect one human being, living his purpose on purpose, sharing his message and life, following the callings of his Soul, can have on someone. And this loving, inspiring teacher affected so many.
Upon the news of his passing one of my favorite quotes of his popped into my head and hasn't left, "Don't die with your music still in you." I have always loved that quote. Wayne died having played all of his music for all the world to hear. And if affects me so deeply because I don't want to die with my music still in me.
Wednesday morning, September 2nd, I was thinking about this blog post and what I wanted to say. I was in my garage pacing around and talking out loud to myself and the Universe, as I often do, and I was wondering what it would have been like if he had died with his music still in him, if he hadn't had that freeing moment of forgiving his father, if he hadn't followed the call of his Soul, how myself and so many others would have missed out on his light.
It led me to thinking about how I have been holding back, how my music is still inside of me wanting so much to come out. When I get to the end of my time here, I want to be able to say that I died with my music out in the world and that I didn't allow fear to keep it locked inside of me. I want to be able to say that the world was a little better because I was here. I want the effect he's had on my life, and will continue to have, as well as the affect his death has had on me to mean something. I want my life to mean something. I want to be able to say that I spoke my truth, shared my light, shared my experience and the wisdom I've gained. I want to be able to say that I helped people to heal. That I brought beauty, healing, empowerment and inspiration to the lives of others. That I made a difference. That I helped people remember their wholeness. That I dove into their wounds with them and helped them to feel and navigate their way out.
Now remember, I am standing in the open doorway of my garage looking out into the beauty that is my yard as I'm saying this. Tears are in my eyes as I'm speaking from this deep heart space within me. As I wipe the tears out of the outer corners of my eyes I say, "Because I believe that lives can be reclaimed, I believe that empowerment can be reclaimed, I believe that wounds can be healed and that we can do beautiful things in this world." As the last word comes out of my mouth, a hummingbird flies around the corner and hovers right in front of my face for a couple of seconds, looking right at me, so close I could reach out and touch it, and then flies away.
And I laughed while simultaneously being choked up with emotion because that was a sign for me, from the Universe. And I open heartedly received that message with such gratitude. And out of my mouth came, "I am worthy," as a realization not an affirmation.
On Hay House Radio, David Kessler had said that Wayne Dyer's sudden leaving was "a wake up call to us all." And I believe that. Thank you Dr. Wayne Dyer for shining your light into my life, for bringing me comfort and inspiration. Thank you for being love, reminding us that we are all Divine Love, and for being a beautiful example of living a conscious human life. My love goes out to his family, friends and the numerous people whose lives he has touched. May I use your inspiring example to be a vessel for love, inspiration, and healing so that I die with my music fully out in the world.