The Fox 2 News/Urban Farming Garden was first installed by Urban Farming in 2006, and since then, it has produced approximately 5 tons of food for Forgotten Harvest and Gleaners, food assistance programs. The Fox 2 News family has been generous and kind to Urban Farming, helping us to spread our messages of the Urban Farming Healthy Principles, events, and food donations.
This interview covers the topics of the importance of Growing Your Own Food, the critical need for Healthy Communication in our world right now, as well as my book, From The Root, A Memoir and Philosophy for Balance in Our World, and my contribution of a private lunch with Prince in Erica Heller’s new book, One Last Lunch (Abrams Books). Watch Now
Photo Credit: Teun Voeten, Wardrobe: Ralph Lauren, Location: Largest Urban Farming Community Garden in Detroit, in the Fall.
Max and Friends: This interview which occurs during the second half of Max Tucci’s, “Max and Friends,” is an upbeat, fun interview that delves into what Taja Sevelle has been doing with Urban Farming during the COVID-19 pandemic, helping families to grow their own food, as well as Taja’s advice for keeping our heads up during this time.
Max Tucci graciously donated, live on-air, to Urban Farming during the interview, to kick-off a fundraiser to help more families grow their own food! Thank you Max! Taja and Max also discuss Taja’s new music and her contribution of a lunch with Prince, in Erica Heller’s One Last Lunch (Abrams books). Listen Now
Taja and her husband, Les at a PRN Alumni Foundation Fundraiser Event, after Taja spoke about Prince and his philanthropic work. Capri Theater, Minneapolis, MN.
Check out Florence Fabricant’s NEW YORK TIMES review of One Last Lunch, by Erica Heller. Author and recording artist, Taja Sevelle has contributed a moving piece about a lunch with the iconic music artist, Prince, in Erica Heller’s One Last Lunch.
“One Last Lunch is a powerful, surprise-filled read that is as charming and funny as it is moving.” —Helen Mirren
Taja Sevelle’s lunch with Prince takes place in the Beverly Hills Hotel in California, and gives the reader a window into a heartwarming relationship between the two close friends.
Charming and uplifting, the fabled lunch is peppered with Taja’sselections of real-life shared moments with Prince, revealing humor, social awareness, and of course, menu proclivities.
One Last Lunch: A Final Meal with Those Who Meant So Much to Us (Abrams Press; May 12, 2020; U.S $25.00; Hardcover.) Available also on Amazon:
Who wouldn’t love the opportunity to sit down, break bread, and just talk? Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to ask those unasked questions, or share those unvoiced feelings? In One Last Lunch, Heller, an acclaimed memoirist herself, has asked friends and family of authors, artists, musicians, comedians, actors, and others, to recount one such fantastic repast. Kirk Douglas asks his father what he thought of him becoming an actor. Taja Sevelle asks Prince piercing questions. Sara Moulton dines with her friend Julia Child. Richard Lewis has lunch with Jonathan Winters. These richly imagined stories are endlessly revealing, about the subject, the writer, the passage of time, regret, gratitude, and the power of enduring love.
Conversations in the book include:
Daniel Bellow (son) and Saul Bellow
Carinthia West (friend, collaborator) and David Bowie
Lee Clow (collaborator, friend) and Steve Jobs
Elizabeth Mailer (daughter) and Norman Mailer
Taja Sevelle (protégé, close friend) and Prince
Rain Pryor (daughter) and Richard Pryor
Cameron West (acquaintance) and Robin Williams
Richard Lewis (close comedy pal) and Jonathan Winters
Erica Heller (daughter) and Joseph Heller (Author of Catch 22.)
Erica Heller is the author of the memoir Yossarian Slept Here; a novel, Splinters; and 300 Ways to Say No to a Man, a humor book illustrated by Seymour Chwast. She has contributed to the New York Observer, Huffington Post, and other publications.
I have encountered both positive and negative people in the contexts of my creativity and projects. I do my best to divorce myself from negativity and drama. Sometimes it is not easy. But I persistently draw boundaries with the spirit of love and forgiveness. I’ve learned that it’s helpful to determine whether my beliefs, or the beliefs of others, are coming from a place of fear or of love.
When the chips are down and the goal is big, it is imperative to stay away from fear-based influences. Allowing a “hater” or a naysayer around you can result in the destruction of a dream. Buzz kills, joy kills, and dream killers are all products of fear-based thinking. Many people who carry these attributes have sadness and pain within themselves. Perhaps their dreams didn’t pan out, or the thought of someone else’s success evokes jealousy. Keep a clear perspective of your own inner greatness and of the inner greatness that each of us carries.
If you notice that you have created a group of people around you that frames things always with the “glass half empty,” do your best to create a different group of people around you who focus on the “glass half full.” And it’s not just groups that are in your immediate circle- there are entire cities that have been cited as “unhappy cities.” Those cities can be fraught with imbalance, which reaps pain, struggle, anger, and…naysayers.
Sometimes, we can become our own naysayer. The old saying “Misery loves company” provides insight into this condition. Complaining about problems with friends or fellow downers is a recipe for continued problems.
For more on this subject, check out my new book available on Amazon–From The Root, A Memoir and A Philosophy for Balance in Our World, pp 70.
I hope this helps!
My goal is to contribute to #HealingOurWorldFromTheRoot
Join us! Do what you can today to nurture yourself and to nurture others. A smile, a kind word, keep your thoughts in an uplifted place, eat well today, do some stretching and something to work out your body…all of these things each day really help to Heal Our World From The Root!
When I consider all the brutal and graceful incidents that have created the overall story of humankind, I cannot ignore the effect all that brutality has had on our collective emotional state. These roots have led us to have many unhealthy, inaccurate thoughts and beliefs about ourselves and one another. Just like plants that can develop what is called “root rot” (which kills the plant), we can create the same condition for ourselves and our societies. Unhealthy thought processes are bred on any ground where we are not showing love to ourselves and others. Incidentally, Prince’s charity was called Love 4 One Another. He knew the critical importance of that simple title and profound act…
…As an artist, I have a distinct need to learn and absorb as much as I can about myself and others. The more I learn, the more deeply I can feel, which leads to more meaningful content in my songs as well as deeper emotion in my vocal delivery. It also leads to a more meaningful understanding of self and others. —From The Root, A Memoir and A Philosophy for Balance in Our World, pp 65
When we have a deeper, empathetic understanding of ourselves and others, we naturally begin to heal. This is the first step towards Healing Our World From The Root.
What steps can you take to begin healing painful experiences and emotions in your life? What steps are you ready to take to begin healing broken relationships in your life?
When I have healed broken relationships, the results had similarities and differences. What do I mean by that? Well, some relationships were restored completely. Some were restored partially. Some were never restored, but the peace within me was restored, and I was still able to forgive and find love for the other person, even though I may never “hang out” with them again.
The main similarity came from the peace that I acquired within—that was the constant—the factor that always resulted from the healing…From The Root.
Okay, please hang in there with me, as I plan to blog for the next few weeks about the importance of healthy thinking. In my opinion, Healthy Thinking is one of the pillars of a strong foundation for an abundant and balanced life. It required focused discipline for me in the beginning. I had to create new habits for myself. The results gave me a great “return on my investment” of time, effort, energy, and personal responsibility. It changed my life, for the better!
The Mayo Clinic suggests paying attention to your thought life in order to change patterns of long-held thoughts and beliefs that may be inaccurate, fear-based, and self-defeating.12 Royce Morales, Founder of “Perfect Life Awakening,” is a personal development teacher. Her method involves tracing habitual thoughts and beliefs that may hinder us, back to earlier years when these beliefs began. She literally teaches us how to trace these patterns back to their root. By understanding where our beliefs about ourselves came from, we can heal and “re-program” patterns that have become subconscious and rote. When we set out to develop new patterns of thinking and living, we face the challenge of employing self-discipline and personal responsibility. Without them, most victories would never happen. Success rarely comes without working diligently….working smart.
Taking responsibility for one’s habits is not always easy. Some people suggest limiting the amount of news you watch, since many news stations tend to focus on disturbing stories rather than uplifting information. I also suggest putting together a personal routine and sticking to it to the best of your ability. For instance, if you plan to exercise for an hour in the morning and you suddenly don’t have the time, it’s helpful to exercise even for a just few minutes that morning in order to keep the routine going. It’s also helpful to put motivational quotations on your walls, and to keep a journal of your progress and your journey. -From The Root, A Memoir and A Philosophy for Balance in Our World, pp 61 Available on Amazon:
Thoughts are electrostatic and magnetic energy. When you shift your thought, you shift the vibration, or the movement of electrons around you. When you shift your rate of vibration via your thoughts, you attract the “like” vibration, and like a magnet, more “like” vibrations come your way. The science of psychoneuroimmunology explores the relationship between the mind, the nervous system and the immune system. Sure, it’s a larger than average word. I don’t know who makes the words up, but it breaks down quite easily: psycho (relating to the mind) neuro (relating to the nerves or nervous system), immun (relating to the immune system) and ology (relating to a subject of study or a branch of knowledge).
Psychoneuroimmunology is important because, as Dr. Bernie S. Siegel says, “Your life is stored in your body.” He emphasizes the importance of listening to one’s inner wisdom, and the wisdom of the outer world as well, through meditative methods.2 The reason? Because what we are thinking, what we are taking in from our outer world and how we are processing it, all has a constant impact on the health of our physical bodies and our mental health. Can’t you feel it in your body when you have an angry thought? How does it feel to you? How does it feel in comparison to a joyful thought? This is a simple example of how thoughts matter.
I remember a time after I had signed my record deal with Sony 550. Prince and I were discussing spiritual concepts and comparing notes on some of the books we had both read. We began to talk about the importance of choosing words carefully and the effect that certain words have on us. He and I had also similarly immersed ourselves in spiritual teachings.
-From The Root, A Memoir and A Philosophy for Balance in Our World, Pp 47 and 48
Can you be a personal detective and spy on your own thoughts? Can you see how your moods and habits are affected by your thoughts?
Can you see how your thoughts affect and shape your life?
And finally… what will you do with the answers to your questions? Are you motivated to propel your thoughts towards SOLUTIONS, rather than the problems in your life?
In my experience, every time I focus on the solutions and the goal, rather than getting bogged down in the problem, I create more joy and excellent results in my life. Give it a shot- try it out for a good amount of time. See how it works for you.
Individuals, communities, municipalities, states, and nations have historical influences that have shaped our present reality. When we slap bandages on wounds and keep moving, we never heal our roots, or pull up the roots of the weeds that impede our progress. Our collective mending includes healing ourselves first, from the root. Starting with individual healing, our broader communities are healed as well, and this restoration leads to healthier nations and a soothed global family. What applies to the individual applies to the whole and where we choose to apply our time, energy, and resources determines our direction. There are currently trillions of dollars that are wasted annually that can be recaptured and reallocated to better serve our world. The manner in which we manage our resources affects the quality of our mental and physical health, as well as our global relationships.
Here is one solution to recapturing and reallocating wasted capital, and for balance in our communities, that I put forth in my new book, From The Root, pp 76:
Invest in school and workplace programs, and media and entertainment platforms that focus on Healthy Communication in our communities. Human Infrastructure Municipal bonds (HI Bonds™, which I will elaborate on in the next chapter), can be created with the specific goal of Healthy Communication in mind. This will help to reduce the conflict and crime rates and their associated costs. The public and private sectors can formulate a strategy for the return on investment. This action will build the healthy, safe, and secure human infrastructures for our communities. Corporate incentive to invest: investment of this type will help to reduce or eliminate many or all of the employee-employer misunderstandings. And, additional investment incentives include: reducing bullying, divorce, suicide, depression, and acts of violence, and creating more peace in our societies—which according to the Institute for the Economics of Peace, will save trillions of dollars of wasted capital.
It’s worth the read! It helped me to see the roots of where our pain emanates. I cite it in my book, to illustrate that the majority of us have come from roots of pain and heartbreak. When we can see that, we can begin to have more empathy for all of our fellow humans.
Don’t forget that there is good news all around us! For instance, this site streams healthy, uplifting news and information all day: Healthwire.fm
After my record deal with Sony was over, I was depressed for quite some time. In order to pull myself out of it, I had to learn how to change my thoughts and the stream of information that I was allowing into my life. I changed the channel to uplifting programming. I listened to music that made me feel good. I took a stand in my own life to engulf myself and surround myself with all things that were supportive, nourishing, and inspirational for my body, mind, and spirit. I chose people, programs, music, thoughts, ideas, and conversations that elevated me.
I have noticed that there is a feeling around the world today of hopelessness, fatigue, and a need for change. The act of bringing balance to our global family starts with taking a serious look at the causes and effects of our thoughts and actions. Are they leading us into dwindling extinction, or toward abundant, honorable life? Global poise depends on us as the architects of the future. It depends on the proactive measures that we take to create a world that embraces our interdependent relationships and endows them with empathy, love, and compassion. Humans long for equality and freedom; they long to feel their spirits shine. Deep in its soul, humankind has a desire to weave a tapestry of rare beauty. I know that we will bring this global tapestry to life in a magnificent way. I know that we will ‘change le monde’—change the world…From The Root. And I would venture to say that somewhere, deep in your heart and soul, you know it too. – From The Root, A Memoir and A Philosophy for Balance in Our World, pp 13.
Let’s turn the channel to all things that elevate us. All things that represent a world that is supportive of EVERYONE. All things that are supportive of life and love. If we see programs that brandish people arguing and screaming at each other, or stabbing each other in the back to get ahead, let us TURN THE CHANNEL. This will send a signal to networks to provide our human family with humane programming that feeds our amazing minds with fortifying, elevating ideas and stories. Find the motivational stories- they are out there!
And share your stories of how you turned the channel and took a stand for your own quality of life. You will inspire us with your story!
Cyrus Webb interviewed Taja about her book, From The Root, on November 26, 2019 on his podcast “Let’s Have a Conversation” . It’s not too late to listen! #tajasevelle #healourworld #fromtheroot @cyruswebb #conversationsLIVE