In the summer of 2007, Iwanski and I went to the Upper Peninsula (and then the mainland) of Michigan for our week-long summer vacation. It was an absolutely beautiful, extremely relaxing vacation. I remember sitting there on a deck chair on the beach, drinking a "mike-arita" and watching seagulls and ducks frolicking on the shores of Lake Huron.
I couldn’t remember ever being so happy and relaxed in my whole life.
And I really, REALLY didn’t want to go back to work that following Monday.
And it wasn’t even that I didn’t like my job, exactly. It was just that I somehow felt like I was missing out on something…and I didn’t even know what that something was.
So that following Monday, on a whim, I visited a local Waldenbooks during lunch and went right to the Self Help/Spirituality section. After perusing all the shelves, I came upon a book by Dr. Wayne Dyer. Hmm, Dr. Wayne Dyer, I thought. I know I’ve heard of him before. And then I remembered a few months earlier, when I had seen Dr. Dyer speaking on PBS about “The Power of Intention.” I remembered that the concepts he was discussing were fascinating to me, but I had only seen a portion of the program. So I thought, I wonder if I should buy one of his books.
Just then, a woman—a complete stranger—came up to me and said, “Isn’t he great? I just love Dr. Dyer.” I said, “Actually, I’ve never read anything by him,” and she said, “Oh, you totally should. ‘The Power of Intention’ is a really great book. I think you’ll really like it.”
Impulsively, I said, “I’m just looking for something that gives me—some spiritual meaning, or something.”
She smiled and said, “I think this book will help you.”
So I bought “The Power of Intention.” And my life would never be the same. For some reason, Dr. Dyer’s words really spoke to me, and filled me with so much peace and love. Since then, I’ve read almost all of his books and listened to his CD’s and his internet radio show, and he is absolutely my favorite spiritual teacher. His books have truly inspired me in so many ways. (Iwanski jokes that someday I’m going to run off with Dr. Dyer.)
So this past December, when I was at work and got an e-mail saying that Dr. Dyer would be coming to Chicago in January for an advanced screening of his new movie “Ambition to Meaning: Finding Your Life’s Purpose,” I nearly jumped up and down with excitement. I called Iwanski right away, squealing into the phone, “Dr. Dyer’s coming to Chicago!” And I quickly purchased two tickets to the event.
So last night was the event. My best girlfriend Diane drove down from Green Bay and went with me.
And it was amazing. The theater was filled with so much positive energy from people like Diane and me, who were all there to learn how to become more peaceful, loving people and to make the world a better place.
As the program began, the announcer got on the microphone and said that everyone in attendance would be given a free gift—a copy of the movie on DVD. The audience erupted into applause, and Diane gave me a big hug. “I feel like I’m on Oprah!” she said excitedly, and I heard the word “Oprah” ripple several times across the audience. I laughed, caught up in the excitement. And then there he was, Dr. Wayne Dyer, standing on stage five feet in front of us, talking about the movie, and about the importance of getting rid of ego and of living a life of service to others.
And the movie itself was just so beautiful and inspirational. For both Diane and me, there were a lot of “a-ha!” moments, and I cried at least a few times. (I saw afterward that I wasn’t the only one with tears in my eyes.) Then after the movie, the director (Michael Goorjian) and Dr. Dyer did a Q & A with the audience, and the comments and questions from people—and the answers that were given—were so inspirational, as well.
One woman stood up and said, “This movie was a very emotional experience for me,” (I saw a lot of heads nodding in agreement), and then she started crying. “Because I’m trying to start up my own nonprofit for women who have been sexually abused, and sometimes it just seems so hard.” But then she went on to say, “This movie has helped me realize so many things, including the fact that I already have everything I need, and that everything is happening as it should be happening, according to how it should happen. And I know that I need to let go more, and let God.”
The audience broke into applause for her. It was just so beautiful. I can’t even explain what it felt like to be there.
And then, wonder of wonders, I actually got to meet Dr. Dyer!—if only for a brief moment. But I did get his autograph, and most importantly, I got to thank him for the impact he’s had on my life. I had to speak fast, since there were so many people waiting to talk to him, so I just simply said, “Thank you, Dr. Dyer. Your words have meant so much to me.” He looked at me, smiled, and said, “I’m so glad. You’re welcome.”
It was just a truly magical evening, one that I will never forget as long as I live.
And one last thing—if you get the chance, go see this movie when it comes out in theaters or on DVD—I promise you won’t regret it! Once again, it’s called “Ambition to Meaning: Finding Your Life’s Purpose.” It is mostly fictional, with some non-fiction woven into it, and it stars some pretty well-known actors, including Portia de Rossi (you know, Ellen DeGeneres’s wife). It is just so inspirational.
Oh, and also, Dr. Dyer is good friends with Ellen and Portia, and they asked if he would perform their marriage ceremony—which, of course, he did.
And that’s just another reason I like Dr. Dyer.