I was there then, I am there now.

Ten years ago, I performed at my first event with the legendary Wayne Dyer. He would be gone within only a few years, and I was there because my first published book had inspired what would be his last. 

I was so full of optimism on that blustery mountain afternoon… so full of hope, that with Wayne’s blessing and his publisher’s help, this For The Sender project would reach a wider audience and make a deeper impact. 

I never thought about sales. Really. Never. I worked hard to produce the best book I could (and accompanying album) every year for the next 3 years. I’d speak anywhere, perform anywhere, bring whatever light I could to wherever I could, but I was reluctant to exploit social media to sell myself. Didn’t sit right then, still doesn’t.

And this was the publisher’s main marketing tool, even 10 years ago… their authors’ own social media accounts. Mine were anemic, so they hired someone to build my following, almost entirely with follow-back tricks that ended up being even emptier than the medium itself. 

Anyway, my first book almost touched the New York Times bestseller list, and then fell off a cliff. I started wondering if I’d been looking at this creative life all wrong. Maybe I did need to focus on selling, because that was the most concrete way to get my message across. That’s how I’d know people were engaged… not through likes and comments, but hard numbers. 

I’d never been good at the Buy My Sh** pitch when I was touring as a musician, because I thought that if folks wanted to buy a CD or something, they would, and I wasn’t peddling used cars, anyway. I was putting pieces of myself out there, and aggressively asking people to buy part of my heart ran counter to my being.

I considered being more of a salesman for about a minute.

My publisher’s interest in me died with Wayne in 2015, and the final book in the series was lucky to even get printed. I found myself a long ways from that June afternoon in 2012, when I’d watched Wayne speak for the first time as someone he actually knew, who’s work he respected… and when I thought my most fulfilling chapter was only beginning.

I hadn’t thought about that day for ten years. Not until about an hour and a half ago, when a friend sent me a video of the entire talk. He didn’t know what that afternoon had meant to me, only that I knew Wayne.

I watched the full 90 minutes, just now, sometimes seeing myself as a tiny figure on the periphery of the crowd. Back then, the space kind of felt like a church. A different kind of church, not one where something outside ourselves was worshipped, but one where God, or spirit, or the soul, or whatever you want to call love, waited inside each of us, ready to be unleashed on a world desperately in need.

I was there then, I am there now.

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