In 1995, I was 28 years old, and living in Marietta, Georgia. It was one of many transitional times in my life. A year prior, I had left my secure corporate job as a Financial Analyst, purchased a huge house for myself and my dogs, bought a convertible, and started a business that was intended to fulfill my goal of becoming a millionaire before I was 30. One spring day of that year, I drove to a nearby church to hear a talk by Dr. Wayne Dyer. The topic was his most recent book at the time, Your Sacred Self. Back in the early 1990’s, I had read Dr. Dyer’s, Real Magic, and was certain that his insights from his new book would provide the added knowledge that I needed to fulfill my goal.
I arrived early to the sold-out event, sat in the third row, and soon became transfixed. I remember many aspects of this encounter with Wayne Dyer. I remember that he was barefoot. I remember how he introduced Your Sacred Self, by citing this poem by Laura Burns:
As children bring their broken toys
With tears for us to mend,
I brought my broken dreams to God
Because He was my Friend.
But instead of leaving Him
In peace to work alone,
I hung around and tried to help
With ways that were my own.
At last I snatched them back and cried
“How can You be so slow?”
“My child,” He said,” what could I do?
You never let them go.”
After the lecture, I stood in line and waited for Dr. Dyer to sign my copy of Your Sacred Self. When it was my turn, I handed him my book. Just as I remember that Dr. Dyer was not wearing shoes, I also remember seeing the clarity of his eyes. I looked at him and I asked, “What motivated you to write this book, Dr. Dyer?” His immediate response, was, “I wrote it for you, call me Wayne.”
I did not reach my goal to be a millionaire by age 30. Instead, by the time I reached age 45, I was heading down a familiar path with hands clenched tight on the images of the same broken toys. But there was something else that I seemed to hold onto. And that was the message that Wayne had inscribed into my book: “Dear Mitch, I wrote this book for you. Wayne.” It was kind of spooky, because although I am sure he asked, I don’t remember telling him my name.
When Wayne died in August, 2015, I turned to YouTube and reacquainted myself with his seemingly effortless wisdom. Twists, Turns, and Yellow Brick Roads had already mostly been written, so I was no longer seeking inspiration for my writing. Yet, many late nights into the early morning while my family was sleeping, I was consciously drawn to YouTube to hear Wayne’s voice. I had always wanted to say thank you for writing his book for me.
But I never really got the chance. While watching Wayne’s lectures and interviews on my computer, I also never again saw the same clarity in his eyes that I witnessed twenty years earlier. Instead I saw with different eyes and discovered the true author of my own book. I saw a human being – a fallible, mortal spirit who sought in the confession of trifle words, merely one sacred path to uncommon, real magic.