One of the books that I recently read that has had a profound impact on my own personal journey was Dr. Wayne Dyer’s I Can See Clearly Now.
I had never really known much about Dr. Dyer other than he was that bald guy:) on PBS talking about self help stuff. Of course I never really listened because I always told myself, “when X happens, all will be fine.”
As with everything in my life, I don’t know why I picked up this book, but it came into my life at exactly the right time. I had been really struggling with my work stress and I couldn’t really understand why if I had created the perfect job and life for myself, I was still struggling.
I was stressed a lot. I was worried all the time. And I just couldn’t seem to get my thoughts under control. My own internal wiring it seems was formed many, many years ago and it was often the same story…fear, anxiety and an inability to shut my brain off from thoughts that were making me crazy day and night.
Night was actually the worst. For during the day, I was active and busy and could channel my anxiety into action. At night, when I slept, all the shit I was suppressing would come into my dreams and haunt me.
And again, it was all so irrational. Life was good. I had security. I had a loving family. I had great friends. All of my dreams had basically come true. So what the fuck was I so damn stressed about?! And why the hell couldn’t I figure out how to overcome this?
I ran. I did yoga. I meditated. I spent hours and hours in nature and the outdoors. All the things that should make me less anxious.
But I told myself stories. I created movies in my head. And none of them were real. None actually ever happened. But they were the stories I told myself forever…”How am I going to accomplish X when I don’t have Y.” “What if X happens?” “I can’t believe this person would do this to me” and on and on.
As I mentioned in my first intro blog, this is the actual stuff that made me “successful” in the first place. I remember reading a famous business book Only The Paranoid Survive: How to Exploit the Crisis Points That Challenge Every Company. It’s how I always thought and operated in business and life and so it worked before so why change now?!?!
Cause I was fucking miserable inside, that’s why!
Why was I stressed? Why was I anxious? Why was I not in control of my own narrative?
I had food on the table, a roof over my head and a loving and healthy family.
So why was my mind causing me such anxiety so much of the time?!?
So along comes this book by Dr. Dyer and it literally changed my life. Really.
It’s a really emotional, thoughtful and insightful book about Dr. Dyer looking back on his life and seeing that every struggle he had was actually perfect. That every hardship, every failure, everything he ever went through (including and especially things like him being sent to an orphanage buy his mother and being abandoned by his father at birth) was truly perfect. Because it made him who he was, led to him to his true destiny and higher purpose.
He talks at length about surrendering to the Universe and accepting that there is a grand design to everything. He describes how forgiveness is the most powerful act we can give ourselves and others. And most importantly to me, how when we control our thoughts, everything in our entire world changes.
So many words of wisdom in the book, but I will share a few in case you don’t get a chance to read it…
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
“Live so as to be detached from the outcome. Do it all because it resonates with your highest self and responds to your beseeching inner voice-not because of rewards that might come your way.”
“Only we are responsible for the way we feel and we have in us the capacity to change the way we view the events in our lives.”
“Never again will I blame someone for any emotional upset that I experience. Blame is gone from my life.”
“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at anytime.” Marcus Aurelius.
“It’s amazing what happens when you let go of the past and don’t focus on the future; but you surrender the present to the Universe.”
“On making decisions ask yourself, ‘Am I doing this from fear or love? When you are in fear there is no room for love, and when you are in love, there is no room for fear’.”
“Fear knocked on the door, and love answered, and no one was there.” (I don’t think this is his quote actually but he references it.)
“Only the insecure strive for security.”
“Follow your heart, stay aligned with the source of your being-LOVE-and let the Universe take care of the details.”
“Own your own narrative!” (that was a big one for me)
“Assume you are already that which you seek and your assumption though false, if sustained, will harden into fact.” Neville Goddard
“While we may not be able to control all that happens to us, we can control what happens inside us.” Benjamin Franklin
Such great stuff. And so much more in the book. I really recommend it whether you are religious or not, spiritual or not, it’s a great read about how controlling your mind really is the single most important key to sustained happiness. So much information about the power of the Law of Attraction which I also really believe in.
WHAT I LEARNED…
For me, this book was an extraordinary gift. It came along at of course the perfect time. I started to really understand that I alone was responsible for making myself crazy. That my internal narrative was what had to change. That the answers to my challenges were always right in front of me, but I just could’t see it.
I kept searching for events to change, or people to change or situations to be different but I was looking at all the wrong things and looking at them incorrectly.
It was all in my brain. My narrative. The stories I told myself (which by the way, never ever actually happen!). So what if I told myself other types of stories? Or better yet, what if I told myself NO FRIGGEN STORIES and I simply let go.
I was always a pretty positive person by nature and was blessed to have the “happy gene”. I never really cared much for the material things, nor did I give a crap about what others thought of me. I lived, I loved, I danced 🙂 and I worked really hard at everything I did.
But I fell victim to listening to these stories and movies I would play out in my own mind. Stories I created. I was the lead actor and the director of these movies and I would create new ones every single day — like I think most of us do.
So what if I just saw everything as perfect and the way it was supposed to be. And I just surrendered to being kind and loving and a source of good. (BTW, Tony Robbins tells essentially the same narrative and for an amazing, extraordinary documentary watch I Am Not Your Guru).
I stopped playing out scenes in my head that didn’t actually exist.
I began to see every new struggle and challenge as an opportunity to help me grow.
I had much greater empathy for others, seeing that they had their own narrative, journeys and struggles that were not mine, but theirs.
I began to see my crazy childhood as a gift.
I started to welcome each challenge and be grateful for them. I saw them as gifts.
I started to understand that if I change my own narrative, then the outcome would change.
I began to look deeper inside for the answers I was seeking and not in some external outcome.
It all started to make sense..
And I did some crazy things too like thanking people who I had felt wronged me in the past. I let go of all anxiety when dealing with people that I used to be stressed about. I opened my eyes so much more to everything that was happening to me on a daily basis and was excited about each moment because I knew everything and every moment was a gift and had a purpose.
In my next blog I will talk about another book I read that beautifully built on what I learned from Dr. Dyer’s book and took my journey of owning and controlling my thoughts to a whole new level. I found the tools and tactics to really find my way towards a much more mindful and peaceful existence. Until then…