Thursday, May 8, 2014

Don't Die With Your Music Still in You: A Daughter's Response to Her Father's Wisdom--New Book Release Today, June 16, 2014!

Don't Die with Your Music Still in You: 
My Experience Growing Up with Spiritual
Parents by Serena J. Dyer and Dr. Wayne
W. Dyer is available in paperback
and Kindle (e-book) editions. [1]
Book Review by:
Sharon Powers.

     Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die. [Inigo advances on Rugen...] Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die. [Inigio advances and parries Rugen's attack...] Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die. [Count Rugen:] Stop saying that! [Rugen attacks, but Inigio parries Rugen and wounds him...] HELLO! MY NAME IS INIGO MONTOYA! YOU KILLED MY FATHER! PREPARE TO DIE! [Inigo corners Rugen and disarms him...Inigo says:] Offer me money. [Rugen:] Yes! [Inigio:] Power, too, promise me that. [Rugen:] All that I have and more. Please... [Inigio:] Offer me anything I ask for. [Rugen:] Anything you want...[2]

     In this scene from the movie, The Princess Bride, Inigio Montoya next says, "I want my father back, you son of a bitch!" and then he kills Rugen. But, in a real life imitation of that movie scene, without the blood, and definitely, funnier, my husband, son, and I, traveling on a photo trip to Yosemite, CA, stopped at a roadside Starbucks for drinks. My son was only asking for a frappaccino--not money, and not power (like Inigio did, just above) and he definitely didn't tell anyone they would die if they didn't get his drink correct! 

My darling son, John, whose wacky sense of humor
prompted him to buy a "meme" tee shirt with the
name of Inigo Montoya on it as a spoof on the
The Princess Bride. [2]

     The young woman who took the order never asked my son what his name was, but only wrote down on the cup, "Inigo Montoya," after quickly glancing at the "name tag" on his shirt. (The name tag is one of those silk-screened, printed, onto a "Think Geek" t-shirt (link). It says, "Hello. My name is: Inigio Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die."). When my son got his drink, he brought it back to show me and I laughed so hard everyone in Starbucks gawked at me--I, of course, took the picture and posted it to Facebook.

     What is a meme, and how does it relate to this blog post? Serena J. Dyer, in one part of her book, Don't Die with Your Music Still in You, talks about how sometimes we might do things without thinking about why we are doing it. In one definition of the word, "meme," memes are really  just a way of imitating and passing on ideas...or funny thoughts, just like the story of my son and his Inigo Montoya shirt. The internet is rife with "memes," and one website to which both my son and I subscribe is, ""--it is nothing but humorous memes.

One societal meme is that
exercise is "hard." [3]
     Serena explains that the difficulty comes when we accept certain culturally conditioned behaviors, like, "Healthy eating is difficult," or "life is hard," that might lead us to a type of behavior we actually don't not even trying to choose healthier food. In a chapter about changing your thinking, Serena tells a charming story about herself, a friend, and how her eyes were opened up to just how she had been culturally conditioned to accept certain attitudes about getting fit. Serena tells how her father, Wayne Dyer, taught her that recognizing memes, understanding them, and changing the use of cultural memes is part of changing the way she thought...she, in turn, teaches us that we can change the way we look at things, too. that end, let's take a look at the book.

This is the hardcover edition of
Dr. Wayne Dyer's, 10 Secrets for
Success and Inner Peace
     Serena informs us that her book basically follows her father's book, 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace, and that it is her response to, or her perspective on, learning those "10 Secrets," at her parents knees. Serena gives us, as readers of her book, the unique and intimate perspective on those "10 Secrets."

     Serena places the "10 Secrets," in chapters full of stories and anecdotes, at once personal and deeply intimate. At the end of each chapter, Wayne Dyer, her Dad, responds to what Serena has told us, providing his own perspective on raising Serena (and his other children).

     Serena titled the book, Don't Die with Your Music Still in You: A Daughter's Response to Her Father's Wisdom; it is also the title of the first chapter in her book. She relates that "not dying with your music still in you," is all about how you lead your life, not about what you "do" with your life. She explains that while she was once "irked," about the concept of life being a "journey," now she feels good that she is able to live her life and be on her journey without ever having to change who or what she is for anyone else. In this book, Serena takes us with her on her journey as she grows up in the Dyer household, providing us with insights and amusing stories about her life with a famous father she calls, "Dad."

Why should we care about this book? Especially to people who have already read, 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace, why would anyone want to read a book, ostensibly, based upon a book they have already read? Even Serena clearly states that she has basically followed her father's book in organizing her own story about life with her famous father.

Children have unique perspectives
on living in a family. They see things
differently than adults! [6]
     We should care, first, because even if the basic information from the book, 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace, is present, it is most definitely, NOT the same book. What we get, here, is a very personal perspective on the way a young woman was raised by parents deeply involved in writing and public speaking--one involving and practicing motivation and self-help.

     Serena tells us that she likes to tell stories, and that comes through, here. She tells us stories, ones in which she shares with us deeply embarrassing moments of self-revelation and times of her deepest joys, she shares with us stories of friendships made, stories about daily life in the Dyer household, and stories about moments of weakness and triumph. Serena fashions each of her stories so as to illustrate how she learned, first hand, each of her father's 10 Secrets...and, what she is still working on.

     Second, neither is Dr. Wayne Dyer's contribution to the book a rehash of his 10 Secrets book. In each chapter, after Serena has presented her take on the chapter's topic, he responds to Serena's exposition. Wayne responds as a parent would, rather than the world famous public speaker and author. We get to see a deep love for family in the intimate moments that make up the book. We get to see Wayne Dyer as Serena sees him, as Dad.

     Third, the material presented clearly shows this family living an authentic life. For example, we already know about Wayne Dyer from his books and his extensive public speaking that he wanted to live a life of self-reliance. So, we know that it is important to him that he teaches his children this important concept. Another indicator of living an authentic life is seen in how Dr. Dyer expresses is his profound respect for his children in encouraging them each to live in a way that they will not come to the end of their life with their music still in them. Moreover, in the pages of the book, we get to observe Wayne Dyer teach his children about the danger of following someone else's mental picture (also, societal memes) of who they should be and what they should do with their lives.

     So why should we care about this book? Why should we read it? I think it is important that we can see Serena and Wayne (and the family) living an authentic life, not one in which it is do as I say, not as I do. We get to see the personal side of the family members, not just the public faces. This is important because we see that as hard as they try to put into practice the 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace, they still must struggle from time to time with problems--they are human--like us...

Living an authentic life is what Serene Dyer and
Dr. Wayne Dyer try to align with every day. [8]
     ...and yet, their courage to reveal themselves to the world--to let others see not only what they do well, but weaknesses and failures--is a hallmark of living an authentic life. We also know that it is important because we come to understand that in their struggle, there is something with which we can identify. They "get" us. They "understand" us. And here is where it gets really important: one of the critical things we learn from reading this book is that in spite of the struggle, it is possible to take the tools given to us and make our own lives better. We can take our failures, weaknesses, and losses and parley them into something that will give us a rewarding life. A way to journey towards a life where we will not die with our music still in us.

     I liked the overall structure of the book; in fact it reminded me very much of the way Deepak Chopra and his brother Sanjiv Chopra co-authored their book,  Brotherhood: Dharma, Destiny, and The American Dream. In spite of liking the structure, I thought the opening pages of the Dyer book were a bit draggy. I think the opening pages (the Introduction) should have taken advantage of Serena's wonderful story-telling abilities.

This darling little graphic shows us the artist's
concept of the music we all have within us. [9]
     For example, she could have started out with someone, Oprah, for example, asking Serena about what it was like growing up with Wayne Dyer for her father. She could have related a short story about gossiping with her girlfriends (about someone) and how embarrassed she was when caught, and wanting to crawl under the carpet and hide; then, she could have related that it was one of the important lessons she learned in life and how proud she is to have the father she has. This little story would come at the beginning of the Introduction and add to its interest, immensely. Really, any appropriate mini-story would have worked.

    One more minor criticism. I would have loved to hear how Serena got into working with the groups against human trafficking of children. Perhaps she could have tied it into, putting to use, one of the tools she learned from her mom and dad--for example, asking, "How may I serve?" Even a few short paragraphs or a couple of pages would have been nice. I'd like to ask her if she had something like that on her "Vision Board."

     Recommendations: Most of the book I would consider as a G rated book, suitable for any age person capable of reading. However, in a couple of places the authors deal with serious issues of rape and violent physical assault that might not be appropriate for very young or very sensitive readers.

     For these readers only, I would suggest broaching these topics with an appropriate health professional. To all other readers, especially young adults, I would deem this book as not only appropriate, but essential to personal growth.

Rating: 4.25 Stars out of 5 Stars. [11]
    Rating: My rating of this book was very easy. The rating I give is 4.25 stars out of 5. It is a wonderful, informative, well-written (with the noted exceptions), and entertaining book--deserving of a good rating. I found it to be inspiring and uplifting in the very best sense of those words. I congratulate Serena Dyer on the great job she has done with her first foray into book writing. 

"A Little Piece of God."
For Serena J. Dyer. [10]

     Serena, you are to be congratulated on the manner in which you addressed sensitive issues in your book. Additionally, striking a balance in writing about family is very important--to tell the truth, but to do it in a manner that hurts no one. I am proud of you as a woman who can show such love to your siblings and parents. What a good example you set for all of us. I can see why your father is justifiably proud of you!

     I, personally, would love to see another book from you, perhaps on the work you do with human trafficking of children. You do a great job with your stories, and even if you don't write another book, keep using that skill somewhere in your life. Your determination to continue your journey and to not die with your music still in you is inspirational--your work gives me hope that I, too, can continue my journey and express my "music" before my life is done. Thank you for touching my heart and lifting my spirit.

     Thank you all for joining me this week for the review of the memoir/self-help book by Serena J. Dyer and Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, Don't Die With Your Music Still in You: A Daughter's Response to Her Father's Wisdom. This book will be released June 16, 2014--be sure to pre-order your copy now from your local book purveyor.

     Join me again, next week when I will be picking up another book for review. Remember that reading is good for you mind, and helps to keep your thinking agile and helps you to keep your mind open to new ideas and ways of seeing things.


    At 11:00 a.m. this morning, Tuesday, May 20, 2014, I was notified by Google Plus that one of the authors of this wonderful new book, Don't Die With Your Music Still in You: A Daughter's Response to Her Father's Wisdom, Serena Dyer, shared this blog post. Thank you, Serena. You are so gracious. You really touched my heart with your kind words and appreciation. I loved your book, as I indicated in the blog post. My best wishes to you for success on your (and your father's) book.


Until next time...
"The choices we make dictate the life we lead. To thine
own self be true." --William Shakespeare. [12]
...many happy pages of reading!

My love to you all!

Sharon Powers.

[1] "Don't Die With Your Music Still in You: A Daughter's Response to Her Father's Wisdom." Retrieved 04-30-14.
[2] "The Princess Bride." [Scene: Dining Room] Retrieved 05-06-14.
[3] "Exercise is Hard...Carry Me." Retrieved 05-07-14.
[4] "10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace." Retrieved 05-07-14.
[5] "Why Should We Care?" Retrieved 05-07-14.
[6] "Are You a Big Picture Thinker or Detail-Oriented?" Retrieved 05-07-14.
[7] "True Sayings Hold On God Knows What He is Doing." Retrieved 05-07-14.
[8] "Journey of the Wild Heart...." Retrieved 05-07-14.
[9] "There is Music In You." Retrieved 05-07-14.
[10] "The Magical Serena Dyer: The Manifestation Q&A Series." Retrieved 05-07-14.
[11] "Our Review: The Fault in Our Stars." Retrieved 05-07-14.
[12] "28 White Roses Pictures For Free Download." funstock. Retrieved 04-29-14.

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