Remembering Prince in Minneapolis ★ My Story

Before I turned on any media today I got in the car, my heart sunk and the words popped in my head; “Prince is Dead……… OMG, I just can’t believe it.” As a home-grown Minnesotan, whose stomping grounds used to be downtown Minneapolis, the reality left me feeling empty, then I turned on the radio to find every-singFirst_Ave_Remembering_Prince_Minneapolisle-station playing his music and talking about him. Later, I return home and turned on the

TV to see the “Let’s Go Crazy” song from the movie Purple Rain and BOOM, I briefly see myself on National TV.

In 1983 my friend Holly and I went to a casting call to try out for Purple Rain as extras. The line was long, they took our pictures and information. After a few months it was
out of sight, out of mind.

Then the call came one evening in November somewhere between 10-11
:30 P.M. asking if we could be downtown by 5:30 A.M. “Um……YES!” (No hesitation whatsoever.) So the next morning we arrived, exhausted because of the time spent freaking out about what to wear, how to fix our hair, getting our makeup just right, etc. We stood around much of the day at First Avenue between scene takes and Prince’s wardrobe changes. I chatt
ed with his body-guard Big Chick (Some called him Jake). He was more than 6 1/2 feet tall with white hair and he had a long beard. He could have been mistaken as a biker one might see as part of the Hell’s Angel club. Despite his intimidating appearance, he always took the time to chat when we saw him. Remembering Prince In Minneapolis - My Story

Back then in Minneapolis it was not unusual to run into Prince out on the town, body-guards in tow, or to see him hop into or emerge from a cool sports car with a beautiful woman, or
even attend impromptu concerts at First Avenue, The Fine Line, Glam Slam (later called “The Quest” nightclub.) He rarely spoke to anyone. Minnesotans respected his privacy and for the most part, knew not to approach him, unless, of course, we were feeling mischievous, like one night when I was with my cousin, Stacey, who had recently moved to Minneapolis from Omaha Nebraska. After a few cocktails I triple-dog-double-dared her to try to talk to him (knowing what would happen). Of course, she did, and he didn’t speak. Yes, I set her up and to this day we still laugh about it. But I digress.

Between takes and wardrobe changes, movie directors passed out free packs of cigarettes, te
lling everyone to smoke up the bar. We were front and center stage as he sang Let’s Get Crazy, Baby I’m a Star, I Would Die 4 U, Little Red Corvette, The Beautiful Ones, etc. Looking back now, it is so great to have such an intimate connection to that moment in history. Sometimes I hear the music and think; “wow, I was really, literally right there” it is kind of surreal. Feeling reflective, I went online today and watched those performances again and found myself in other crowd scene shots I hadn’t seen before. Technology sure has made it easier to find these kinds of things. Imagine trying to find information using fast-forward and rewind on VHS tapes. 😏

In 1984, Prince performed here on Christmas Eve and I went with my sisters, The Purple Skyline of Downtown Minneapolisit was my youngest sister’s first concert ever. My grandpa had rented out a YMCA that night for a family celebration, so we headed there after the show. I remember hearing someone say; “What kind of person has a concert on Christmas Eve?” followed by a sarcastic; “What kind people attend a concert on Christmas Eve?” 

Prince was a die-hard, born and raised Minnesotan. Looking back, now, if I were to put myself in his shoes, of course it makes sense. This is and always has been his home, he wanted to celebrate with his people, who he loved – us.

We listened to Prince and The Time (Now called The Original 7ven) before it was “C-O-O-L” to listen to them. Was that because we were all from Minneapolis? Most likely – it was the Minneapolis sound, keeping us front and center. 

Prince was a brilliant, creative, compassionate talented artist and fellow community member who cared about humanity. He profoundly changed the landscape of music and it will never be the same because of him. I’m grateful for the memories the old songs bring; smiles. friendships, laughter, tears, flirting, after parties, connection, dancing and more.

Prince’s untimely death is a reminder that we need to take care of ourselves when we are ill and that in this world obsessed with the glorification of “busy-ness,” life is short. In the distraction, we forget to slow down and pay attention to this moment.

Today my prayer is that more of us figure out how to “be here now,” fully present for others in fellowship and as servant leaders. May we discover all that comes along with remembering to be mindful and grateful for how blessed we are.

Do you have any thoughts or memories related that you would like to share?

If so, please leave a comment below. Thanks for visiting my blog!

Why You Should Know About The World Economic Forum

Capitalism, in its current form, no longer fits the world around us. A global transformation is urgently needed and it must start with reinstating a global sense of social responsibility.”         -Klaus Schwab

World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2013This past week over 2500 of the most important business, political, religious, academic and other leaders in the world gathered for the annual World Economic Forum (WEF). The World Economic Forum is an international non-profit organization that addresses important issues, some of which include economic growth, environmental sustainability, financial systems, health, humanity, ecosystems, gender equality, social development and more.

I would be fascinated to attend this event someday and have put it on my bucket list of things to do before I die. In today’s business environment, it is more important than ever to be informed about issues that affect and influence economies, our environment, human rights, etc. I believe anyone who works in strategy or management would benefit by paying attention to the many issues being discussed at the World Economic Forum and use the rich research issues, reports and studies it produces.

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Day 19: Centering, Possibility and Discovery? Right Here.

When was the last time you did one of these? 

  • Looked up and remembered – with intention, to slow down
  • Sought out someone in need and took time to celebrate them, with them
  • Turned to a friend or family member and simply said: “Whats on your mind?”
  • Gave yourself permission to take a break and have a little fun
  • Bought a cup of coffee for someone in line behind you
  • Accidentally” dropped a $5 bill in front of a kid at the store and said; “Say, that’s not mine, looks like you dropped something there.”

Lift your head and scan the environment, what patterns do you see? Pay attention and listen, because we all need reminders that this life is about making connections. We never get anywhere without others and when we surround ourselves with a supportive community, they help bring us back to our center. It is the essence of positive karma.

I was recently told about a book by Thomas Crum called; “Three Deep Breaths: Finding Power and Purpose in a Stressed-Out Life.” I can’t wait to read it! The premise behind the book, as Crum states,  is as follows:

“Science has shown us that there are three “C’s” of a stress resistant immune system:

  1. A sense of CONTROL over your response to life events
  2. A sense of COMMITMENT to something beyond your ego (i.e., family, service, religion, or life philosophy).
  3. A sense of CHALLENGE and learning opportunity when confronted with a stressor.

The Three Deep Breaths technique is a mind-body process which allows us to achieve the three C’s while balancing our autonomic nervous system through the breath.

Breath # 1: The Centering Breath
Breath in the present moment, with balance and energy

Breath # 2: The Possibility Breath
Breath in the “me I want to be” with power and purpose

Breath # 3: The Discovery Breath
Breath in the mystery, let go of judgment

The Centering Breath gives us the calm and balance we need to respond appropriately rather than react negatively in stressful situations. The Possibility Breath reminds us of a purpose higher than our egos. And the Discovery Breath turns a stressful situation into a crucial learning opportunity.”

As another resource to stay grounded, I created a board  on Pinterest called “Meditation” Enjoy it and pay it forward by sharing it with someone who could use a lift today.

Please comment below. What are some interesting things you or those you do to refocus and feel centred?

Four things I am grateful for today

  1. Meditation
  2. Validation and support systems who remind me I am centered, strong and resilient
  3. That children are teachers who center me, remind me about possibilities and the wonder of discovery
  4. My optimism and ability to re-frame possibilities

NF Walk for a Cure @ Minnehaha Falls Sunday 07-29-12

Meet Jacqueline this Sunday July 29, 2012 along with the Children’s Tumor Foundation to raise funds and find a cure for Neurofibromatosis. A day filled with family fun, community service that will nourish your soul, and a walk @ Minnehaha Falls. Dance with the Radio Disney Road Crew, Play Laser Tag, Enjoy Face Painting and more! If you can help, please donate to Jacqueline’s Team Walk Away HERE!

I will let Jacqueline tell you her story below! Let’s help her feel empowered!

Spread the word and THANKS for your support!

  • 8:00 –    8:45 AM        Check-in / Registration
  • 8:45 –    9:00 AM        Opening Ceremony
  • 9:00 – 11:00 AM         1.5 Mile Walk

Location: Wabun Picnic Area, Minnehaha Park,4655 46th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN, 55406

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Day 9: Then is Now: Letting Go of Resentment

21 days to happiness: My story and 3 things I am thankful for: 

Years ago I attended personal growth and leadership seminars by Earnie Larsen, who used the analogy of “Who is driving your bus?” to illustrate how people hold on to resentments and that often, “then is now.” So let me give you an example of what he meant by that.

When Johnny was 7 years old, his parents were constantly at odds and one day, while they were fighting, he began screaming at them to stop, started sobbing and ran outside. No one came to console him, apologize or explain the argument was not about him.

It broke a part of his spirit and sample messages he could have carried from that might be “love hurts, nobody listens to me anyway, I will never allow others to be that much in control again,” etc.

Now, what if we put that seven-year old’s outdated lie in charge of driving his life (aka bus) for 50 years? Who is behind the wheel? That is an awful lot of years of pain and false data from which he establishes his viewpoint. The reality is, his parents were probably young and just trying to figure things out themselves, but that was not what he took from the experience.

Examples like this play out every day at home and at work. As leaders,we manage people with various backgrounds and social styles. Perhaps if we keep stories like the one above in mind, it can help us incorporate emotional intelligence and compassion into our professional environments in ways that are healthy. Intent, usually comes from the right place and situations are not always as they seem at first glance.

Hanging on to resentment is a painful form of abuse that prevents us from having self-compassion, but all too often, we may not even realize we are clinging to a given injustice. That resistance gets us emotionally jammed and a majority of people do not have any idea how to get unstuck.

One solution? “And acceptance is the answer to all of my problems today.”  Someone once told me there are four stages that shine in the face of love. They are:

  1. Allowing
  2. Acceptance
  3. Approval
  4. Appreciation

These four things are at the core of who we are when we are born. What if we made it our goal to live these principles in every aspect of our lives daily as a way to get back to our core being? Including loving all of our resentments and saying yes, accepting the things we can’t control. What if this was your personal growth homework? What have you got to lose? Try it for a few days and let me know how it works for you. Who is driving your bus today?

Three things I am grateful for today:

  1. The process of allowing, acceptance, approval and appreciation.
  2. The idea that “If you don’t give yourself any options, you don’t have any choices.” There is always another way, we get to seek the counsel of others to help us with that.
  3. That I have learned how to give myself permission to let go of old resentments and lies

Join Me! Optimism: 21 Days Toward Shifting Our Paradigms

I love TEDtalks videos and Shawn Achor knows what he is talking about here.
  • 90% of happiness is determined not by the world around us but by the way our brain processes the world
  • 75% of job success is based on optimism, social support and ability to see stress as a challenges instead of a threat

Becoming positive NOW works and research proves we can rewire our brains to think differently, so who wants to join me in a mission to re-train our brain to become more optimistic?

Here is our plan: For 21 days, journal about one positive experience and write down 3 positive things we are grateful for, each day.

This video was posted by Guy Kawasaki over at Google+ just in time and I am thankful today. How does society’s definition of success, set us up for failure? What is your definition of success and how has it changed over the years?

I look forward to getting to learn a little more about one another.

Curing Neurofibromatosis (a tumor disorder), for this Three Year Old

Meet my little friend Jacqueline. Isn’t she adorable? She has a genetic tumor disorder called neurofibromatosis (also referred to as “NF”) and was recently diagnosed with myopic glioma, tumors that grow inside the brain. Jacqueline also has a tumor on her tongue and on the back of her head. Her mother, JoAnne Pastel, has been a dear friend of mine for many years and together we co-created Bur Bur and Friends®, a cast of characters who educate kids about differences and healthy living. JoAnne and I have co-authored 4 children’s books and Jacqueline  inspired creation of a new character we call Nina.

Jacqueline is sweet and funny and intelligent and beautiful. She lights up a room when she walks in the door and her infectious laugh is delightful. She is like a daughter to me and we are on a race to create awareness about this disorder and to find a cure!

I am humbly asking for your help to donate and/or share Jacqueline’s story so we can create awareness about neurofibromatosis. The link below leads to more information and includes an account by JoAnne from a mom’s point of view. Today is Give to the Max Day in Minnesota. It is a movement to encourage charitable giving. Thank you for your support.

http://givemn.razoo.com/story/Give-To-The-Max-Day-Support-Families-Affected-By-Nf

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