Don't Die with Your Music Still in You
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 contemplated these ideas throughout her life. "Don't die with your music still in you" has been the most important principle for Serena: to her, it means that you don't allow yourself to live any life other than the one you were born to live.
In this book, Serena sets out to explain what it was like to grow up with spiritual parents. She touches upon all ten of her dad's original secrets, imparting her own experiences with them and detailing how they have affected the way she approaches various situations in life. She shares stories, struggles, and triumphs-and Wayne, in turn, contributes his own perspective.
This unique father-daughter collaboration will warm the hearts of all parents . . . and inspire anyone who is looking to find the "music" inside themselves.
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.
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.
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, www.serenadyer.com
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.