Venice

2014 Premiere Issue

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IN HER SHOES Serena Dyer shares what it was like being raised by world-renowned motivational speaker and author Dr. Wayne Dyer. G rowing up in South Florida, many weekends and days off from school were spent at the Shore Club along Fort Laud- erdale beach, where my dad converted a condo into his office to work from. We would play shuffleboard at the pool, swim for hours and walk down to O'Donnell's, where some of my seven brothers and sisters and I would get apple juice and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. One particular Saturday, I was about 11 and was walking with my dad, Dr. Wayne Dyer, along the seashell-laden beach, and a cou- ple walked up to us, having recognized my dad from his books. They asked him what he thought of living in South Florida as they were thinking of moving down to get out of the Baltimore weather. They said they had children and wanted to know what the people and community were like down here. My dad said, "Well, what are the people like in Baltimore?" They responded by saying their neighbors were rude, people were generally miserable all the time and you just couldn't trust anyone in Baltimore these days. My dad replied, "Well, that's exactly what you will find here then, too." The couple nodded their head in agreement, thanked us for our time and con- tinued walking. A short while later, another couple approached us and basi- cally asked the exact same thing. They, too, said they were thinking of moving down to South Florida be- cause the winters were just so beautiful compared to Albany, where they lived, but they wanted to know what the community was like. My dad asked them what the com- munity was like in Albany. They re- sponded by saying the people were wonderful, part of their hesitation in moving was how great their community was and they felt that their neighborhood provided a re- ally warm and welcoming environment for their young children. Much to my surprise, my dad then told them, "That is exactly what you will find here." As we said goodbye, I was baffled by everything that had just taken place. I looked at my father and asked why one couple would find South Florida to be hostile and unfriendly and another would find it to be warm and welcoming. He explained to me—and I have never forgotten it—that what we experience in life and the way we perceive our lives are a reflection of who we are. Life isn't happen- ing to us, it is responding to us. He told me that when we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change. He added that it isn't just a clever play on words—it's a quantum truth. In quantum physics, when you observe subatomic particles, they be- have differently based on who is observing them. The way you per- ceive the world literally alters the way the world responds to you and what your experience in life is. 32 Venice Serena Dyer's upbringing was nothing if not unique. And she wouldn't have it any other way. The way you perceive the world literally alters the way the world responds to you and what your experience in life is.

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