Book Reviews

Don't Die with Your Music Still in You

Wayne W. Dyer, Serena Dyer

Self Improvement, Empowerment, Family & Parenting, Relationships, Memoir


In 2001, Dr. Wayne Dyer wrote a book called 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace, based on the most important principles he wanted his children to live by. Serena Dyer, one of those children, has co... More

Feb 27, 2015 melissadanielle
I have to say, I was a bit skeptical about reading this book: Daddy wrote a book, I’m going to write one, too! But I’ve always been curious about the lives of the children of our favorite spiritual and thought leaders. What were their lives like? Were they expected to uphold the values their parents modeled for the rest of us or were they encouraged to find their own way? Did they harbor any juicy secrets?

Without reading the original, I was able to experience Serena’s take without being influenced by her father’s tone. I appreciated Serena’s honesty and willingness to share what it was like growing up with her father and his parenting style. With the current helicopter parenting and everybody wins! mentality dooming today’s USAmerican children towards a learned helplessness, it was refreshing to read that Serena was encouraged to take risks, make mistakes, and consciously create the life she wanted for herself.

While her writing style needs maturing, Don’t Die With Your Music Still In You is a quick read and accessible introduction to usher in the next generation of Dyer fans.
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Dec 18, 2014 Starseed28
Overall I liked this book very much. Serena Dyer is very down to earth and a great story teller. I wasn’t sure how this book was going to turn out, since it’s a book about a book. However I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of explanation that she went into. Although I have never read any of Wayne dyer’s books, I felt as though she did a wonderful job of explaining his ten secrets of success.

I loved that she shared personal stories about her take on the lessons and how she struggled to use those teachings. I think that the way she shared her lowest moments was very refreshing. I always thought that if you were given every opportunity to grow spiritually that it would happen faster. However I realized throughout the course of reading this book that even if you have a spiritual advantage, we are all still human.

Serena made the lessons very easy to understand and with her personal touch she took the secrets straight to my soul. Additionally, I enjoyed the way she talked about how she grew up and the way her family encouraged individuality. I hope to raise my children with similar philosophies.

Finally, I valued the commentaries at the end of each chapter. You can truly see the love that Wayne holds for Serena and feel how proud of her he is throughout the whole book.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.

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Dec 04, 2014 AndyB
Having been a reader of Dr. Wayne Dyer books' for a long time, I took an immediate interest in reading his daughter Serena's book. After all, her testimony should add a different perspective in the teachings of Dr. Dyer. How does the daughter of one of the most influential men in the world take his words to heart and to life?

Don't Die with Your Music Still in You in an inspirational book, a reading that I would recommend especially for young adults who need motivation and the courage to take a leap and find their purpose in life. Of course, that serves for every person regardless of age, as it's never too late to change course and channel into your inner core and realize what is your music.

Serena's chapters mirror one of her father's previous bestsellers, Ten Secrets for Success and Inner Peace, by giving her approach of how each of this steps helped her and her siblings while they were growing up with their spiritual parents. By telling stories, the chapters are illustrative and easy to follow, so anyone can relate and understand. The basic message is one that we all need to hear over and over again: find your passion, focus on the positive, and believe you can. Just don't die with your music still in you. The book is a refreshing take on how to achieve inner peace and success, with a positive point of view from someone that was living the message as she was growing up. Well done!

I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for review purposes.
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Oct 07, 2014 taslimjaffer
When I first heard that Serena Dyer wrote a book, I was intrigued to know what she had to say. After all, she is the daughter of Dr. Wayne Dyer – a man whose teachings I have admired for years. I wondered what it was like to be raised by someone like him. To be honest, I often wondered how hands-on he could have been with all 8 of his children when he was busy writing books and speaking internationally. As a mom of ‘just’ 3 (in comparison) I am conscious of the kinds of messages I’m passing down to my children, in between the daily activities, the hustle and bustle – what are the kids absorbing, what am I imparting on them unconsciously or consciously? So, I really wanted to know what kind of effect someone like Wayne Dyer has had on his offspring.

In a refreshing and conversational voice, Serena offers her experiences growing up with spiritual parents, systematically naming the principles that governed the Dyer home which her father wrote about in his 2001 book, 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace. These ‘secrets’ are essentially what he and his wife hoped their children would live by. So, of course, as a parent, I wanted to know: did these principles get passed down well (and how did they?!), and what impact did they have on her life now as an adult.

Don’t Die With Your Music Still in You did not disappoint. Serena’s endearing stories about her siblings and parents, her humour and her honesty made this an easy and inspiring read. Her father’s short responses at the end of each chapter were a nice touch, although I hope Serena knows, her writing can stand its own and her book is deserving of a spot on any personal development lover’s bookshelf.

As a mother, what did I get out of it? A lot! It is clear to me that despite Serena’s sometimes less than enthusiastic reactions to her parent’s teachings and her typical responses in adolescence to having ‘different’ parents, messages come through loud and clear and have a lasting impact. So, when you think they aren’t listening, or watching, or your children openly defy what you are telling them…something is being absorbed, and it could very well be lived out later in life.

I enjoyed the stories of Serena’s mother immensely. Being a woman and the primary caregiver, I wanted to know how Marcie ‘handled’ 7 children and 1 stepchild, and not only kept her cool, but contributed so much to the emotional and spiritual development of her children. The anecdotes surrounding this were educational for me and I appreciated the takeaways that I could practice.

If you ever wanted a sneak peek into Wayne Dyer’s home life from the eyes of one of his children, grab this book! As a parent, it was eye-opening and motivating without any added pressure of having to be perfect. In fact, this book gave me permission to be just who I am so that I can help my children be who they are.

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Sep 23, 2014 awakenandbegin
"When we hide who we really are in order to fit in or belong, we are suffocating our souls." Serena Dyer

Would you like to start leading a more meaningful life today, but sometimes struggle with balancing “real life” and following the seemingly complex spiritual principles out there? If so, Don't Die with Your Music Still in You: My Experience Growing Up with Spiritual Parents by Serena Dyer is for you!

Spiritual Technology

Don't Die with Your Music Still in You is Serena Dyer's recount of what it was like to grow up under the spiritual parenting of Marcelene and Wayne Dyer. Serena shares spiritual principles we read in Wayne Dyer's books from her own perspective.

If Serena's goal with this book was to take many of the spiritual teachings we have learned from her dad and relate them in a very practical way that we can incorporate into our lives immediately, she certainly succeeded! There is a light, easiness to reading her voice, and she breaks down the concept of living a life on purpose into its simplest components.

The main message I received from this book was to feel the feeling of what you want in your life as if you were already there. It can feel very confusing to do this, because what you want inside does not match what is outside (yet).

One part of the book that struck me was when Serena said that the Prayer of St. Francis is not merely a prayer; it is a technology. This instantly clicked for me that we can use this power of feeling the feelings of what we want to be just as we might use an app on our phones. This makes it so obvious for me; it is not some crazy, out there thought process to use the power of feeling where you want to be in life to get there. It is simply a matter of translating and transforming the interior, invisible world into the exterior, physical world. Results might not happen as instantly as the click of a button on a phone, but eventually, with enough patience and persistence, they will.

Growing Up Dyer

It was wonderful to read so many stories of what it was like to grow up in the Dyer household. Although I enjoyed every story, one of my favorites was about her mom hanging a sign on the bedroom door that said "Mom is meditating." To have eight kids, and still find time to meditate twice a day for 30 minutes (and teach the kids not to disturb) is a book idea in itself!

I absolutely love how she can, in the exact same section of the book, go from describing her experience of "the healing of the sick by immersion in holy waters" in Lourdes, something many of her readers may never experience, to talking about sometimes drinking too much and starting fights with her husband. Just when you might feel that her life experience is so dramatically different from yours because her dad is Wayne Dyer and she might have had different advantages, she brings your feet right back to the ground and reminds you that she is a real person, just like you, trying to figure out the best way to live life and be better. Which makes everything she is writing about that much more within reach. If she is a real person and she can manifest that which she desires into her life, and I am a real person, then so can I. She inspires hope.

I feel so connected to Serena's feelings about law school, as I had a similar experience with my professional education. While I didn't get physically ill as she did over going through with something that was not her true calling, I did not feel right about going to school and into a career that I did not feel passionate about. The difference between us is that I went through with it because I felt like I didn't have a choice. Except now I know that I do, and it all starts with my thoughts.

Living Life on Purpose

I wish this book had been around right after I graduated high school and was trying to decide what to do in life. I would recommend this book for people in their twenties trying to decide what to do, and anyone seeking to lead a more purposeful life.

For this book, it made sense to incorporate Wayne Dyer's perspective at the end of every chapter. His take on each chapter was welcome and useful, however, I can see Serena's next book perhaps with less input from her dad.

I loved everything in this book, right down to the last line of the acknowledgements, which brought tears to my eyes. Pure love, inspiration, and joy are lifted right off the pages (or screen!). I am so grateful Serena wrote this book and has given me another favorite book to come back to anytime I need a reminder that living a meaningful life isn't so hard after all, and I absolutely can't wait for the next one!

I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.
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Sep 18, 2014 alpha_andy_omega
If you've been following the work of Dr. Wayne Dyer, you will love this book. His daughter Serena has written beautifully about what it was like to grow up with parents who have "weird" ideas. The stories from her childhood are insightful and interesting. For a young woman, she writes with great wisdom and clarity. Each chapter of the book echos Dr. Dyer's classic 10 Secrets to Success and Inner Peace. Very significant since that book was originally written for the benefit of his children. What I found most interesting in Don't Die with Your Music Still in You is the idea that those who believe that our thoughts effect our reality have to really be certain we're walking our talk, because there's going to be those times where things get tough and we really need to tune into our "weird" ideas. As a parent I found this book extremely helpful and inspiring, and I hope to see Serena write more in the future. I received this book for review purposes from Hay House, I was in no way financially compensated for my opinion, it is my own honest assessment of this product.
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Aug 27, 2014 Jeff Dodson
Serena Dyer is a daughter of world renowned spiritual author and speaker, Dr. Wayne Dyer.

In reading this book, I learned that Serena was by no means a perfect child. Growing up, she experienced many of the challenges and obstacles most children and teens contend with. She shares examples of being independent minded, stubborn, contending with failures and working hard at overcoming being quick to judge others.

One of the great gifts she was provided by her parents was to follow her own destiny rather than to fit in, to conform. In this ten chapter book Serena shares how she grew up and how she grappled with recognizing what her own destiny was to be and how to pursue it.

This is her first book and it is entitled “Don’t Die with Your Music Still in You.” From the outset, I must tell you that I found this book to be an easy read, informative and entertaining.

The book is composed of ten chapters. My thoughts and takeaways from each are incorporated here.

Don’t Die with Your Music Still in You
Serena writes,“it isn’t about what you do with your life. It is about how you lead your life. Live a life of purpose. Wow! Get right to it.

In this first chapter, I loved this quote of hers:
“When we hide who we really are in order to fit in or belong, we are suffocating are souls.”
This is the best description I have ever read of something I have occasionally felt on the inside
from time to time in my own life when I strayed far from what I was put here to do. The emphasis on the word suffocating in the quote is my own as the word she chose here so closely aligns with my own personal experience.

2. Have a Mind That Is Open to Everything and Attached to Nothing
In this chapter, Serena shares with us several stories about her early childhood. Some are humorous and served to illustrate just how independent minded and strong willed this young lady was. Serena talks about establishing alignment with her purpose. She learned that she was and is a communicator. She is very good at conversing with and speaking to others.

3. You Can’t Give Away What You Don’t Have
In other words, if you don’t have love and compassion on the inside, then you don’t have those attributes to give away and share with others.

4. Embrace Silence
In Chapter Four, Serena reflects upon how her mother served as a model of demonstrating listening and silence. Serena describes her mother as “an ocean of calm,” while she raised Serena and her seven other siblings. Serena shares how silence can be used as a powerful tool:
“When we are quiet and focus on our thoughts, we’re able to realize what kind of thinking patterns we have, and change the ones that aren’t working for us anymore.”

I love silence. Working in silence, or performing my hobbies in silence. Have done so ever since I was a kid. This chapter resonated for me also.

5. Give up Your Personal History
Serena begins Chapter Five with this quote: ‘Don’t look back, you’re not going that way.”
A variation of this quote I have found is: “You cannot march forward into your future facing and walking backward.”

Serena writes,that your personal history does not have to define who you are. Letting go of the past better allows you to embrace and live in the present.

6. You Can’t Solve a Problem with the Same Mind That Created It
Revising your self-talk. Serena asserts that, “ If you allow anything to stop you from pursuing your passion, you’re stopping your soul from expanding.” Another great quote about one’s mind set here is offered by Spanx founder, Sara Blakely who stated: “I think very early on in life we all learn what we’re good at and what we’re not good at, and we stay where it is safe.”

7. There Are No Justified Resentments
Serena shares how she learned this from her father. Anger does not serve you. It only keeps you in the same place that you want to get away from. Taking back control of your life. Blame yourself for your mistakes but not others. Own your own choices and the consequences that follow them.

8. Treat Yourself As If You Already Are What You’d Like to Be
Believe it first then you will see it. Serena quotes Pablo Picasso here who said: “Everything you can imagine is real.” She devotes time in this chapter speaking about visualization and cultivating the emotional feelings that would arise from achieving higher goals and accomplishments.

9. Treasure Your Divinity
A quote from Louise Hay begins this chapter: “You have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”

Serena writes that, “Treasuring your divinity simply means accepting all parts of yourself as having come from pure, Divine love.”

In chapter nine, Serena shares her experience of choosing to be immersed in the holy water spring at Lourdes. This occurred while she accompanied her father, Wayne, on a trip that took in three of the most spiritual places in Europe. She describes the event as follows: “ I left the baths rejoicing, crying, laughing; I was ecstatic. I probably looked like a lunatic on the street, but I didn’t care. I felt great.” Become what you seek.

10. Wisdom is Avoiding All Thoughts That Weaken You
I loved the quote that begins this chapter which is, “You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.”

In this final chapter, Serena shares the principles that are set forth in the book, Power vs. Force, by author David Hawkins, M.D. , Ph. D. This is one that her father shared with her when she was young. Power allows you to live and operate at your best without effort. By contrast, Force requires movement and burns up energy. Peak athletes focus on performing at their highest capacity and using their own inner strength to excel. Power thoughts thus strengthen us while those of force weaken us.

Overall, I found this to be a great first book by a new author who offers a unique personal perspective of what she learned growing up for herself in addition to a peak inside the family of one of our greatest and most popular spiritual teachers and public speaker.

Serena Dyer has her own website,

Jeff Dodson
August 27th 2014

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinions expressed in this review are unbiased and reflect my honest judgment of the product.

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Aug 05, 2014 timlarison
When I was first given the opportunity to read and review “Don’t Die with Your Music Still in You: My Experience Growing Up with Spiritual Parents” I resisted. “Serena Dyer probably just got to write and publish this book because of her famous father,” I thought. Yet being a fan of Wayne Dyer’s work I was intrigued enough to give the book a try. I am glad I did. I was to discover Serena Dyer has a vulnerability and grace uniquely her own. While Wayne Dyer adds his thoughts at the end of each chapter, this is primarily a Serena Dyer book, and a good one at that.

I enjoyed Serena’s behind the scenes stories of what it was like to grow up in the Dyer household. Rather than living on a perpetual spiritual high, I learned that the Dyers had their own challenges to work through. The separation of Wayne from Serena’s Mom Marcelene, for example, was a biggie. “It was a really difficult time for the whole family,” Serena writes, “yet I also think it was a pivotal time in my life.” The Dyers come across as very human through Serena’s family stories. “My dad was distraught and had a very difficult time just functioning on a day-to-day basis during that fateful summer,” Serena recalls, “He had always been so strong and positive that his pain was jarring. He was such a powerful figure in my mind, but that summer I realized he was also vulnerable and human.”

Serena’s insights on living and her admiration for her Mom and Dad come through in each chapter. “Spirituality isn’t about being positive and memorizing great quotes. Spirituality is honoring the truth that is within me so that I can grow and expand and improve,” she believes.

Like her father, Serena has the gift of relating life lessons through easy to read stories. I was entertained and inspired by Don’t Die with Your Music Still in You, and I think you will be, too.
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Jul 29, 2014 ClorisKylie
Ten Secrets for Success and Inner Peace by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer is one of my top favorite books; concise, yet full of wisdom. That’s why I was so excited when I heard that Serena Dyer, Dr. Dyer’s daughter and one of my radio show guests, had written a book based on the ten secrets in Dr. Dyer’s book.

Why read a book about a book? Because every author offers a unique perspective that enriches the original message. This is what Dr. Dyer did when he wrote his interpretation of the Tao Te Ching: Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao. In Serena’s case, she offers the perspective of a daughter who was raised following the principles in Ten Secrets for Success and Inner Peace.

Don’t Die With Your Music Still In You: My Experience Growing Up with Spiritual Parents is a book I couldn’t put down because of three main reasons:

First, the book’s structure allows Serena to respond to the teachings her father laid out in his book, but Dr. Dyer also adds his reaction at the end of each chapter. The two perspectives helped me internalize the core messages in the book.

Second, the many stories included in Don’t Die With Your Music Still In You made Serena’s reflections much more powerful. Bestselling author Cheryl Richardson taught me that the best way to teach something is by telling a story, and Serena proved she is a master storyteller.

Third, the writing exudes authenticity. It can be difficult to admit that we have flaws and fall prey to the ego from time to time, especially when we have been raised by spiritual parents such as Marcelene and Wayne Dyer. However, Serena is brave to admit that she has made mistakes in the past and sometimes moves away from the state of pure love she wishes to reach.

I believe we’re all a work in progress, and what matters is to become aware of those times when we remove ourselves from who we really are (love and joy) and not only learn from the experience, but quickly shift direction.

The ten chapters in the book follow the structure of Ten Secrets for Success and Inner Peace:

Have a mind that is open to everything and attached to nothing. Serena says that in her home, “nothing was taboo (…) We talked about ghosts, time travel, outer space, and other dimensions.”

Become inspired to explore different ideas, different places, and listen to people from different backgrounds than yours. You’ll enrich your life experience and have fun in the process.

You can’t give away what you don’t have. We can’t react with anger, criticism or hatred if love takes up most of the space in our heart, and conversely, we can’t give love away if we’re filled with negative emotions.

In Serena’s family, “gossip and negative talk weren’t encouraged.” You can choose not only to raise your children this way, but to become aware of what you give away and decide whether it matches the kind of person you want to be.

Embrace silence. Serena’s mother experienced a miraculously pain-free delivery when she had her first child, in large part because of her dedication to silent meditation.

Try spending more time in silence, alone. Silence will become a welcome oasis in your life rather than something awkward or scary.

Give up your personal history. “If we’re still living in our past experiences, we aren’t getting the lessons they are meant to teach us,” Serena writes.

Even though letting go of the past can be difficult to do, especially when we’ve been hurt deeply, it’s our only way to freedom.

Decide to release your past hurts starting today.

You can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it. A couple of days ago, I was trying to figure out how to share my message with more people on social media, but couldn’t find an answer.

I eventually realized I needed to stop focusing on what I might have been doing wrong. I stepped away from the problem, and when I saw it with different eyes, I found the solution.

As Serena writes, “The problem is not really the problem, as confusing as that sounds, the problem is the way we think about the problem.”

Dare to break your old patterns of thinking to overcome challenges.

There are no justified resentments. “Blame” was a word that the Dyer children were never allowed to use. The reason is simple: Taking responsibility for whatever shows up in our life is the only way to assume control for what happens next.

Refuse to wait for circumstances to change or for someone to behave differently to reach the state of joy you know you deserve.

Treat yourself as if you already are what you’d like to be. This is one of the most powerful tenets that guides me. How does this principle work? It’s a matter of energy alignment.

If you train your subconscious mind to see itself as already possessing what you want, you will think and behave in ways that will allow you to get what you want.

As Dr. Dyer always says and Serena reinstates, we don’t get what we want, we get what we are.

Who do you want to become? Align your thoughts and actions with your desires.

Treasure your divinity. This book reminds us that a spark of God is inside each one of us, and if we are constantly aware of this, we’ll tend to think and act in ways that reflect the divine love within us.

Serena introduces the analogy of God as the ocean, and each one of us as a cup of water from that ocean.

Become one with the ocean of God to treasure and experience your magnificence in its full splendor.

Wisdom is avoiding all thoughts that weaken you. This chapter talks about the importance of avoiding thoughts that produce negative emotions, and refers to the muscle testing studies done by Dr. David Hawkins.

Your body will tell you whether you’re aligned with a positive or negative thought. Surge of energy? Continue focusing on the thought. Tightness in the stomach? Time to divert your attention to something different.

I left the most significant message for last:

Don’t die with your music still in you. This book reminded me to follow my calling regardless of what those around me say or do.

Do what inspires you! As Serena writes, “making the choice not to die with our music inside of us can be gut-wrenchingly hard, but it’s so worth it.”

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.
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