It is this awareness which inspires Ann Marie Ganness as she continues along her journey of spiritual realization and self-reliance. How does one keep going and not lose faith? A major influence in Ann Marie's life has been best-selling author Dr. Wayne Dyer. Eighteen Lessons from Wayne contains some of her most profound insights linked to the teachings and philosophies of the man known as the father of motivation.
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EIGHTEEN LESSONS FROM Wayne
Reflections on the Teachings of Dr. Wayne Dyer
By ANN MARIE GANNESS
Balboa PressCopyright © 2014 Ann Marie Ganness
All rights reserved.
We Are All Connected
As I continue along this journey, I have asked myself repeatedly, "Is this what I have been called to do?" The answer is always yes. Despite the insecurities about whether my insights will resonate with others, I truly believe that my purpose is to spread messages of hope. It is with this knowing deep within that I have chosen to go in my current direction.
I know and fully accept that absolutely nothing happens by accident. It is as a result of our own manifestation, consciously or unconsciously. People say that nothing happens before its time, and the lesson of "I am that I am" was delivered to me at the time it was supposed to.
May 13, 2013, was the night I saw the movie The Moses Code for the first time. While I was watching it, I felt the hair at the back of my neck stand on end. For the past few months I had been embracing wholeheartedly the concept of everyone being connected, of us being part of God and vice versa. The Moses Code attempts to explain the concept of "I am that I am." According to the Bible, those words were told to Moses by God when Moses questioned God about his ability to lead the Israelites to "a land flowing with milk and honey." Exodus 3:13–15 (NKJV) says,
And Moses said to God, Behold, when I come to the children of Israel, and shall say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you; and they shall say to me, what is his name? what shall I say to them? And God said to Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shall you say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you. And God said moreover to Moses, Thus shall you say to the children of Israel, the LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial to all generations.
I first became aware of the existence of The Moses Code through the teachings of Dr. Dyer. I was introduced to I Am Meditations, a CD that he did with James Twyman. I was looking at a video of one of his talks when he gave away the CD, and I thought to myself, Oh, I want that. I also went onto YouTube and was able to find some of the meditations. Since then I had been doing the meditations, and every time I listen to them, I feel the power of God moving within me. I imagine the scene when Moses stood in front of that burning bush and God said to him, "I am that I am," and he said, "Thus, you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I am has sent me to you.'" I have also come across those words, "I am," repeatedly while I have read the Bible in recent months. Then one day I discovered the film The Moses Code on YouTube. How it happened really does give validity to the concept that when we focus on something, it will make itself visible in our lives.
The morning of the day I saw the film for the first time was a challenging one for me. My mother had to visit her doctor to get the results of some blood tests she had done a few days before. She was scared, and my father and I were worried. I wasn't able to go with her to the appointment since I had a work deadline I had to meet. She wasn't looking her best, which added to my concern. On the morning of the doctor's visit I awoke and immediately said a silent prayer while I was still in bed. She and my father left for the doctor's appointment, and I tried not to worry too much. Instead I called on God to watch over both my parents and to just "make everything okay." I was working from home that day, so I decided to do the "I am" meditation.
As I once again went to that familiar place that I call "my Moses realm," I felt at peace, and I knew that she would be just fine. I envisioned her and my father being at my book launch, and I thought about us going out to dinner and grocery shopping like we usually do. While I was meditating, I felt that complete oneness with everything around me. I understood that all-encompassing power of the divine. I felt my soul connect with the universal energy. It scared me, but at the same time the feeling of fulfillment and joy was almost indescribable.
My mother's appointment was at 1:00 p.m., so an hour later I called my dad. He answered the phone with a cheery "yaoh," which was our little happy code for, "HI, how are you?" My heart jumped with joy because I knew right away the news was good. He didn't have to say anything else. I just knew.
I asked, "So how did it go, and where's Mom?"
"Oh, we're on our way to get lunch. Everything is perfect. Even the doctor was shocked."
This was like music to my ears. I asked him to put my mom on the phone, and her first words were, "I was so scared, but now I am relieved. Thank God." It turned out the test results were excellent. Her sugar level was where it should be. Her cholesterol was good as well, and her kidneys were functioning perfectly. She told me that her doctor was amazed and asked her what she had been doing to get these excellent results. I looked up at the ceiling and thanked God, and I thanked him again over and over even as I was talking to my parents on the phone.
As I hung up, I realized that I wasn't surprised. This just reinforced my belief in the incredible nurturing, life-saving power that could be ours if we only believed and understood how this mystery of attracting and manifesting worked. It's about connecting in a deep and meaningful way with our source and understanding the power of those words, "I am that I am."
Later that night while I was browsing on YouTube, I came across the film The Moses Code. The dots were connecting. It all made so much sense. I was already living The Moses Code, and a large part of that, I believe, had to do with me realizing my destiny. Author Michael Bernard Beckwith said something during the film that made me sit up in wonderment because it summed up everything I was feeling. Michael said, "Everyone has to come to grips with the fact that there is something calling all of us and we are presently not the person to deliver that destiny. We grow into it as we say yes to it. There is an old statement that says, 'God does not call the qualified God qualifies the called.' So when we answer that call, the presence qualifies you."
I finally got it! God is qualifying me even as I write like he is doing with so many people reading this book. You don't have to be perfect to answer your call. You just need to understand and believe in your purpose. You need to work at it little by little every day, step by step, hour by hour, or minute by minute. Rest assured that it is a work in progress. We are being qualified by God, all we need to do is say, "Yes, I am ready!" The day I understood the concept of "I am" was the day I fully and completely surrendered to my calling.
I will wake up each morning and say before I face the day, "I am that I am." Before I go to bed at night, I will remember the power that is with me every minute every step of the way. It is such a liberating feeling to know that we are connected to everyone and everything and that this connection gives us the ability to attract our hearts' desires. It also soothes our doubts and fears and brings us comfort in times of heartache and disappointment. The knowledge that we are all connected because we are all of God has to be one of the most empowering realizations we can take with us throughout our lives. I will look up at the sky, feel the grass under my feet, hear the birds sing, smell the roses, and see unconditional love in a baby's eyes, all the while remembering there is a thread connecting me and you with everything universal, a thread called God.CHAPTER 2
The Soul Never Dies
I looked at his tiny body lying in the coffin and thought to myself, I'll never see him again. He's gone forever. The date was March 29, 1979. I was four years old, and my brother Andy, whom I loved and adored, had died. He was only fifteen months old, a little angel who came into lives for a short while but then went back to God. This was my first experience with death, with coming face-to-face with the knowledge that sometimes the people we love the most will leave us. How does a five-year-old process this? Does someone this age even have the ability to understand death?
I tried to melt into the sea of mourners around the coffin because I couldn't bear anymore to look at him in his brown suit, lying in the tiny coffin, not moving. The funeral was at my grandparents' home, and according to Hindu tradition, the body of the deceased must first be brought to the house before it was buried or cremated. As the pundit chanted the Hindu prayers, I remember feeling like I couldn't breathe. There were so many people. Where did they come from? It was the first time I ever saw my father cry, and my mother's wailing cut through me like a knife. I wanted Andy to wake up so badly. I wanted us to play together, and I needed to climb over the rails into his crib just one more time and comfort him when he cried. Why won't he wake up? I wondered. Then I heard someone ask, "Where is Ann Marie?"
The person who responded said, "I don't know, but she'll be okay. She doesn't know what death is."
To this day I remember that conversation. My little heart wanted to burst, and I felt so angry! How dare that person say that I didn't know what death was! My darling brother was gone forever, and yes, I knew that he had died. I knew that I would never again hear his laughter or his voice calling out to my dad and saying, "Dada." I couldn't take it anymore and edged my way out of the crowd and ran to the back of the house. There was no one there, and I curled up in a corner and cried. I don't remember who it was. Eventually someone came looking for me, and I hastily dried the tears because I was embarrassed to be seen crying. I remember thinking, Mommy and Daddy can't see me crying because they will cry more.
A week earlier Andy started vomiting, and within a few hours the diarrhea set in. After we rushed him to the doctor the day after he had developed the symptoms, my parents worst fears were confirmed. Their little baby boy had gastroenteritis, an infection of the stomach and bowel. In that year there was an outbreak of the disease in Trinidad, and children were especially vulnerable. Andy was admitted to hospital the day after he was diagnosed but we never would have thought that he was ill enough to die. Two days later my parents walked into the hospital ward to visit him and were told by the doctor, "I'm sorry. Your son didn't make it." My parents had a difficult time coping, and to this day thirty-four years later I know they still think about him. What would he have turned out to be? What would he have looked like as an adult? I imagine that he would have been tall and handsome and maybe an attorney.
The night he died I also became ill and started vomiting, The diarrhea followed, and I, too, was rushed to hospital while my parents tried to cope with the loss of their son and plan a funeral. In between the bouts of vomiting and diarrhea, all I could think about what that I would never see my darling brother again.
Thirty four years later I finally understand. He had served his purpose. In the fifteen months he was on this earth, he brought my family closer than we had ever been. He also had a role to play in my life, and he was helping to set the stage for my own spiritual growth. It was only when I understood and accepted that every living creature has a soul that is part of one universal energy that I finally let go of my grief. I live with the knowledge that Andy is around me and I can connect with him whenever I want to.
Do you believe in guardian angels? I do because I know Andy is one of mine. I feel him around me every day, and I feel his presence by my side, especially during those dark periods. Like that night someone tried to break into my home with the intention of killing my parents and me. God was there in our presence as was Andy, surrounding us with a shield that no evil could penetrate. My grandmother Rosie, my mother's mother, is also one of my guardian angels. I can't explain this feeling. I just know. She died when I was fourteen, and she was only fifty-six. But I have never stopped sensing her presence around me.
For most of my life I felt cheated that my brother and my grandmother had been taken from me too soon. This has changed though, and I finally found peace when I changed the lenses. I wasn't cheated at all. I was blessed! Imagine having your brother and your grandmother as angels. It makes me smile every time I think about it. This awareness also helped me resolve my relationship with my half brothers and sisters. I used to feel guilt about getting close to them emotionally. Now I accept that they are as much a part of me and vice versa as Andy was.
I'm also no longer afraid to die because I am comforted in knowing that the soul really does live forever. The energy that is the soul just passes to another energetic field, whether you believe in nirvana or heaven, whatever your definition of that realm of eternity. How about holding on to that thought that this part of us, the soul, will live forever? Andy's spirit is next to me as I write, and I believe he wants me to tell you that if you have lost a child, parent, or someone you love, they never truly leave us. You see, the soul never dies.CHAPTER 3
Remember Who Walks beside You Every Step of the Way
My first actual connection to the power of the divine must have happened when I was about sixteen years old. I was in high school and struggling with issues not uncommon for teenagers. I was overweight and felt like I wasn't as bright as some of the other girls in my class. There were only girls at my school, and discipline was intense. Girls were expected to be ladylike, accomplished, and good homemakers and many of the lessons I learnt then helped me immensely later in life.
However, those days were bittersweet—schoolgirl crushes on guys who wouldn't look twice in my direction, trying to fit in among girls who were insanely intelligent, many of them attractive and perky. Every day I went home to parents, who were struggling to make it in life and who very often had to scrape together change so that I could have money for school the next day.
I'm not quite sure how I stumbled upon the book The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. It may have been in the school library. I remember picking up that tattered book for the first time and reading the title with interest. I had never read a motivational book before. In fact, I had no idea they even existed. This book, however, would change my life forever. I was introduced at fifteen to the theory that we could attract whatever we wanted into our lives through positive thinking. I knew nothing about energy and vibrational theory. I simply accepted that if I focused on whatever I wanted, it would appear or happen. I gave no thought to how it would happen or why, and I convinced myself beyond a shadow of a doubt that positive thinking would never fail.
Oh, if only adults could adopt this childish blind faith in what could be or what is. Instead we are tainted by disappointment and heartache. The result is a limited belief and one that very often requires some kind of proof to win us over. Whenever I doubt, I try to go back to that time when I trusted in the power of my existence, when I didn't question or analyze too much but instead just accepted that my wishes and prayers were already being answered.
I can still recall the immense hope I suddenly felt when I began reading The Power of Positive Thinking. I had since childhood trusted and believed in God, but I had never actually realized that I could play a role in what could happen in my life. The combination of my Christian and Hindu upbringing was invaluable to me, but my understanding earlier in my life was that there was a God in the sky who dished out favors as he saw fit. Norman Vincent Peale completely shifted the axis of my belief. For a teenager who had big dreams but wasn't sure how on earth to go after them, this book gave me the sustenance I needed.
Excerpted from EIGHTEEN LESSONS FROM Wayne by ANN MARIE GANNESS. Copyright © 2014 Ann Marie Ganness. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
ContentsPrologue - Love and Freedom, xi,
Lesson 1: We Are All Connected, 1,
Lesson 2: The Soul Never Dies, 6,
Lesson 3: Remember Who Walks beside You Every Step of the Way, 9,
Lesson 4: I Have within Me the Ability to Heal Myself, 14,
Lesson 5: Anything and Everything Is Possible, 19,
Lesson 6: We Are Strong and Can Survive Anything!, 25,
Lesson 7: Go After What You Want Even If It Seems Impossible!, 31,
Lesson 8: Trust Your Intuition. It Never Fails!, 37,
Lesson 9: God Talks to Us in Our Moments of Desperation, 43,
Lesson 10: It Always Gets Better. Just Hold on!, 47,
Lesson 11: Our Dreams Hold the Answers, 51,
Lesson 12: Keep on Believing in Miracles!, 56,
Lesson 13: Nothing Lasts Forever. Your Day Will Come!, 62,
Lesson 14: It Is So Very Important to Live in Appreciation and Be Grateful, 66,
Lesson 15: The Road May Be Difficult, but St. Francis Did It, 70,
Lesson 16: There Is Something Called Unconditional Love, 75,
Lesson 17: We Are All Messengers of God, 80,
Lesson 18: Don't Ever Give Up!, 84,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This motivational and inspirational book is written by an articulate Writer and Storyteller. It would resonate strongly with anyone on a spiritual path and holding to a faith based practice. Ann Marie Ganness takes you through turning points in her life journey with an honest reflection and shares how she used her personal faith based compass of Christianity and Hinduism, guided by the spiritual wisdom of Wayne Dyer to navigate and create personal inspiration and a deeper appreciation of her life.
This author expresses the wisdom of the ages through her life experiences. This book is truly a gift to the Universe. I am grateful for the opportunity to have received such a beautiful gift