Why I'm Grateful For My Spiritual Upbringing
One of the most common questions I get is, “What was it like growing up with spiritual parents?” The best way to answer that question is to give an example of a situation I experienced a lot in my household while growing up with Wayne and Marcelene Dyer as my parents.
When I was a child, I would hear my friends tell their parents that they felt like they were getting sick, maybe coming down with the flu, for example. The parents of my friends would say something like, “Well, it's flu season and it’s going around, so you probably got a touch of the flu and you'll get better in a few days.” If I tried this with my parents, they would say something like, “Well Serena, if you believe you have the flu, you should ask yourself why you're aligning with illness in the first place. There's no such thing as a season for the flu, so don’t even let that thought into your mind.”
Another example would be whenever I told Dad that I didn’t think I could do or accomplish something; he would remind me of Thomas Troward’s wise words: “The law of flotation was not discovered by contemplating the sinking of things.” Just think for a second how weird your life would be if you had a father who said something like that!
That statement, which I heard too many times to count, is both insane and logical at the same time. What you think about expands, Dad would remind me, and I wasn’t going to get anything done by sitting around and contemplating my failure in advance. Just because something hadn’t been done before didn’t mean it was impossible. Thinking about failing before I would even begin something is just as crazy as buying into the notion that the flu has its own season and I was bound to get sick just because it was that time of year again!
I’ve constantly been reminded that my imagination is my greatest gift, and that I can use it to come up with anything I would like to be or anything I would like to create. People who develop our society's greatest innovations don't tell themselves, “That’s impossible,” or “That won’t work,” or “If that were a good idea, someone would have done it already.” Truly successful people ﬁnd success because they picture themselves having it. They imagine themselves living the life they want to create, and then they go out and create it.
The fundamental difference between being raised by spiritually progressive parents versus not-so-spiritually-inclined parents is that in a spiritual household, you're reminded over and over again that life doesn't happen to you; life responds to you. In other words, I was taught from a very young age that I am the master of my fate, the creator of my destiny, and every experience that occurs in my life happens because I aligned with it and signed up in this lifetime to experience it in order for my soul to grow and expand.
Although this has been challenging at times, being raised with the understanding that you must take responsibility for everything that happens in your life means allowing yourself the freedom to know that while you may not be able to control every single event that happens, you can always choose how you respond.
Some people would rather place the responsibility of where they are in their life on their parents, society, their culture, etc. For me, I feel empowered to know that where I am in my life is because of myself, and if I want to change it, it's up to me to do so as well.
When I was about 25 years old I went through an extremely challenging time. I quit law school and had no backup plan. I began to feel as if what I did was who I was, so when I was no longer doing anything, I felt that I was no longer worth anything. I felt worthless.
All of the brilliant parenting, spiritual teaching, and loving family I experienced as a child growing up couldn’t help me figure out how to get myself out of this “great depression” I was stuck in. Worse still, I felt responsible for it, I felt I aligned with it, and I felt that it was up to me and only me to dig my way out of it.
I began to realize that although I had no idea what kind of job I wanted or what type of career I thought I might pursue, I definitely knew how I wanted to feel. I began to focus a few minutes every morning and every evening on feeling what it would be like to wake up every morning and be excited about my day, and how it would feel to go to bed every night with a sense of inner peace. At that point, I certainly wasn't waking up feeling excited about my day or going to bed feeling inner peace, but I decided to give some of the spiritual lessons I'd heard as a child a chance.
At first, I could only glimpse what inner peace would feel like. I would get, for just a second, a sensation that some of the tightening in my chest was letting up a bit, and I would feel good, really good, for a few seconds. Slowly, as I was able to tap into how it would feel to be living from a sense of inner peace, I was able to experience the feeling for longer, and then longer still, until I got to a place where I was living from a space of gratitude and inner peace.
Without even realizing it, everything in my life changed when I began to focus on how I wanted to feel, without worrying or obsessing over what I was going to do. I realize now that by choosing to live from the space of feeling how I wanted, I began the journey of not dying with my music still in me.
Without my spiritual upbringing, and the lessons and wisdom my parents bestowed on me, I may not have been able to do this for myself. I may not have even realized that it was up to me in the first place.
Ready to learn more about what anxiety, brain health, and your diet all have in common? Register now for our FREE Functional Nutrition Webinar with Dr. Mark Hyman.