Although I recall seeing a book by the late Wayne Dyer in my mom’s library when I was a teenager, it was Carolyn who first introduced me to his writings years later, during a time of great difficulty in my life. Carolyn says he changed her life and is her foremost muse. I found Dyer’s wise, insightful, and encouraging words to be extremely helpful at the time and he has remained a powerful inspiration.
Dr. Wayne Dyer was an internationally renowned motivational speaker and self-help author, who published more than 40 books in the fields of self-development and spiritual growth, including 21 New York Times bestsellers.
Born in Detroit, Michigan in 1940, Dyer had a difficult childhood. He spent the first ten years of his life in an orphanage, and then in foster homes because his father left the family when he was a child. After graduating from high school, Dyer served 4 years in the U.S. Navy. Then, in 1970, he completed a doctorate in educational counseling at Wayne State University. His dissertation was titled: Group Counseling Leadership Training in Counselor Education.
Early in his career, Dyer worked as a guidance counselor with high school kids in Detroit. He went on to have a successful private therapy practice and then to teach counseling psychology at St. John’s University in New York City as an associate professor. Around this time, a literary agent approached Dyer and encouraged him to write a book about his ideas.
Dyer took his advice, and in 1976 he wrote Your Erroneous Zones. The book offers step-by-step advice on how to break patterns with negative thinking and take greater control of one’s life. Dyer began driving across the country by himself, selling copies of Your Erroneous Zones from the trunk of his car, and this was how he began his career as a self-help author and motivational speaker. The book became the bestselling book of the 1970s, and one of the bestselling books of all time, selling around 100 million copies to date.
Dyer went on to write 20 more bestselling books and he produced a number of television specials for PBS. His books Wisdom of the Ages, Manifest Your Destiny, There’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem, The Power of Intention, and others have been featured as National Public Television specials.
Dyer also created many of his own audio and video programs, and he appeared on thousands of television and radio shows, including the Oprah Winfrey Show, The Tonight Show, and virtually every major talk show at the time. Dyer’s feature film, The Shift, was released in 2009, and a film based on his life, My Greatest Teacher, was released in 2012.
Dyer discovered that there was a widespread need for the principles of self-discovery and personal growth, and he sought to bring these ideas to a wider audience. His early work was influenced by psychologists Albert Ellis and Abraham Maslow, and it focused on themes such as self-actualization and motivation. Yoga guru Swami Muktananda influenced his later work and he focused more on spirituality, collaborating with physician Deepak Chopra on a number of projects.
Dyer was also a generous philanthropist, whose charitable contributions included donating a million dollars to his alma mater, Wayne State University, and raising over $150 million for National Public Television through his PBS specials.
Dyer left our world in 2015. According to Dyer’s official website, “His main message was that every person has the potential to live an extraordinary life. What’s more, it’s possible for every person to manifest their deepest desires — if they honor their inner divinity and consciously choose to live from their Highest Self.”
Carolyn has been close with Marcelene, Dyer’s wife and the birth mother of their 7 children. Here’s what she had to say about Carolyn’s book Immortal Seeds: Bearing Gold from the Abyss:
“Carolyn Kleefeld, my beloved heroine, in Immortal Seeds, paints on the page opposite her words of love for David Campagna. These paint her world for me. This love pulses a rapture rare of design and rarer still of existing. Oh, how I long for this to play differently. Yet it is perfection in its telling.”
Some of the quotes that Wayne Dyer is remembered for include:
Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.
How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.
With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.
I am realistic – I expect miracles.
When the choice is to be right or to be kind, always make the choice that brings peace
Begin to see yourself as a soul with a body rather than a body with a soul.