Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Irish flags are waving. Green shamrocks are all around. Bagpipes are tuning. Men strut around in plaid kilts carrying a pint in their hand. Wee ones run around with green beads flicking. Lucky ‘gold’ coins adorn the tables. The Irish spirit and sounds fill the air! It’s a cacophony of noise. But hey, it’s St. Patrick’s Day. The official parade kickoff ceremony is beginning, in a pub, of course.
The sounds of voices chatting in our local pub, applause, laughter, a speech from time to time. I brush aside Danny Boy’s hair. He told me he was to be the Lord Mayor of this year’s parade. As I was prepping him for his big moment… I notice more than a few sets of eyes on me. Daniel is Skyping with his parents and sisters in Florida. I wave. They are grinning at me like Cheshire cats.
Gradually, I tune into the words a lovely Irish woman is saying…apparently she is introducing someone…Hmmmm….
This person graduated from MSU? And a Dance student? Communications major? Her family lineage goes back to County Roscommon in the Emerald Isle? Wow! I could totally hang out with this lass! We’re virtual clones. As I process the similarities between this girl and myself…. I pause… and look at Danny Boy. He has that same Cheshire cat grin I can still see on the ‘Skypers’. And my son has the video going, pointing at me. Hadn’t noticed that before. Wait! They are talking about me?
I thought Danny Boy was to be the “Lord Mayor” this year. Confused and bewildered, I hear applause. People are helping Danny push me toward the stage. They are crowning me the 2014 Irish Queen? What?! As I try to catch my breath, I am wrapped in a beautiful vest and shawl adorned with unique pins. And a real crown is placed on my head! More applause. Now they want me to talk? OMG! I babble on about being in shock, I kick up my legs a little for a pretend jig. I pull out an Irish Toast I had prepared for my hubby, since I thought this was HIS day.
I one day woke to a stormy night, twas not a single star.
Morning brought a rainbow clear, I followed it afar.
There I found to my delight, a prize beyond all measure;
Aye, no pot of gold, but YOU my dear, the REAL TREASURE.
I am honored and embarrassed by the attention, yet I enjoy it too! I am told that I am the 36th Irish Queen. Each beautiful soul, virtually every previous Queen, women with stories and hearts full of love, come up and proudly point out the pins on their identical hunter green shawl. I’m invited to tea at high noon and a bunch of other things. It’s all a blur, quite frankly. If there is a local royalty even for a second, I can feel it. I also sense an intense desire building to learn more about the Irish Queens who went before. I must follow-up on that.
Then the Irish music kicks in. The parade begins its slow but happy journey. Hey! I get to ride in a car even! And the chauffer? My own Lord of the Leprechauns… my hubby… O’ Danny Boy. Caseman (my favorite second-oldest son) will ride in the passenger seat while little Miss McKenzie sits on my lap to help wave along the parade route. The Irish Teen (Brady, my favorite oldest son) waves, then disappears into the crowd to find his best lads and lassies. ;-) The day is sunny but c-c-c-c-c-cold, really cold. Feels like it might snow! No big deal…I know there will be plenty of Irish Music, a pint or two of Guinness and an Irish jig coming up shortly. I’m warming up already!
I see friends on the route waving their Irish flags. Casey jumps out to run alongside (Yes, Dan stopped first.) Brady and his friends join in. The frosty breeze nips at my nose. What a true Irish Blessing, however frigid. After a fabulous spin around downtown Traverse City, more than a few “queenly waves” — McKenzie seemed like a natural at the task — and much dancing, we arrive at the destination where the celebration begins in earnest. Adorned in my queen’s garb passed down from queen to queen, I accept the pint handed to me — as any Irish Queen most certainly should— and make my way to the dance floor.
Teaching Celtic dance is a passion of mine, so I might as well… aye? ‘Tis time for a wee little Jig or two…”Your Majesty!” ;-)
As a thank you for sharing this memory with me, I’ll leave you with a little limerick:
So the tiara may tilt sideways at times
It may not always shimmer,
But what lies within the Irish Soul is what really counts,
It’s a light that is sure to glimmer.
– Pamela Murphy McCormick
A large, golden Oscar stands guard stage left. And I am mesmerized with celebrities. Meryl Streep is in my view (THE one and ONLY Meryl frickin Streep). I see her profile over Reese Witherspoon’s shoulder. George Clooney is presenting. I gaze into his eyes, wondering what he and his wife talk about over dinner. He sure is dreamy…Isn’t he?
Wait! Speaking of McDreamy, there is Patrick Dempsey. Hmmmm, he exudes dignity and utter “hotness.” Kind of like Bon Jovi. Sigh.
A tap on my shoulder wakes me from my daydream. I look up… ummm Helloooo. Ben Affleck. I smile wondering what HE wants. Wait. He’s motioning to me to get on stage. Everyone is looking at me. I’m sorry. What? I won? I won? (Holy Sh&%!) I WON!!
Hugh Jackman (in all of his hot handsome-ish) stands up, shoots me a smile and escorts me to the stage, where I miss a step and fall into his arms. He twirls me around as if it was all part of the “act” and carries me on stage! I fan kick out of his arms almost ripping my dress and lean into his chest with a flick of my leg and quick smile. Clooney joins in the act and regally extends his hand out and spins me into his other hand holding the golden guy. I grab the statue with a giggle, whisper a thank you in his ear and bop a curtsy to the Hollywood men who got me on stage, as my new pal “Hughie” takes his phone out for a group “selfie.” (OMG!!! Where is Ellen?)
I take a moment to grasp Oscar…and stare at all of his GOLDEN presence.
“Well … Hellooooo hollywood. How’d ya like that …entrance? (as I giggle). Thanks Hughie and Georgie!” (I wink as audience laughs). The send-off music begins….already.
Good Lord, you are SO good. Thank you God! Thanks to ones who said I could do this and the ones who felt I couldn’t, but didn’t say anything…THIS is for you. Life is all about pushing and pulling, rising and of course falling, losing and WINNING!! Today I feel a little like a winner (as I gaze at Oscar with a big sigh). We DID it! To my support system, my lifeline, the ones that give me purpose….my husband, my groom, the guy from the airplane, an amazing man who easily makes me smile, and my heart melt, to my precious children (pieces of my soul) who hold my heart in a way no one can. In the words of Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire, “You complete me.”
To the rest of my family who cheer me on through good times and bad, to my girlfriends…my strength, my “soul”diers, they put the ‘La la la’ in laughter. Together we can charge through anything. To my online #smgirlfriends and #30secondmoms, a group of AMAZING and talented women who inspire me to new heights.
(Music gets louder)
Wait! I couldn’t leave without thanking my new group of DANCE friends from the recent charity event…Here’s to you, SWINGSHIFT and the STARS! Together we danced, we cried, we twirled through adversity and we pirouetted to CELEBRATE the power of an amazing community with incredible generosity. To my charity dance partner, whom I met randomly on a stage 6 months ago….you are a kind and generous man, with a God-giving heart that enhance your work, your friends, your family. Together we changed lives performing on the dance floor at City Opera House. I am thankful to be able to call you a friend for life…. and I love that I’ll never look at a cement mixer the same again! I hold up a photo. Look! An upside down ‘Ms. Pam!’
To my “pretend” men…. Donny Osmond and Justin Timberlake. Yep. Now wouldn’t that be an interesting duet! J (I giggle). Donny, after meeting you in Vegas and watching you win the mirror ball trophy, you inspired me to “try new things,” and face my fears. Marie may be “a little bit country” but you, Donny O, are the “rock to my roll!” And JT! My man! Hashtag (motion the symbol with my fingers) #Yourholyhotness! Yep. I’m a happily married mom of 3 but damn you can make me smile. You had me at “bringing sexy back” You had me at SNL. You had me each concert. You had me at ‘nsync! Okay, you really have Jessica…yada yada… but you entertain my soul to its core and make me want to DANCE!!! Thank you.
To Jimmy Fallon… (Jimmy jumps up.) Hey, (He blows kisses my way) you are the president of late night!! You make us all laugh, sing, play games, dance… the world needs more of YOU. Seriously. You have the BEST job. I can’t get enough. Hashtag #YoureAKeeper #CanIHaveaJobonYourShow. Thank you! And to Ellen Degeneres, for what YOU have done for daytime! Hashtag #DanceParty! The Oscar stage will never be the same without your famous selfie (that I and a few gazillion of your other fans retweeted, of course) and the pizza guy, (pause) wow that sounds really good right now.
Hmmmm…What are the odds I could invite Ellen, Jimmy, JT and Donny O over for game night! What a blast that would be!!! Hashtag #MyFantasy Speaking of fantasy, someday I hope to be IN an opening number somewhere with the “wickedly talented” Neil Patrick Harris. Hashtag #DrDoogieCanBoogie. #AdelleGazemhasnothingonyou (giggle).
(music is really loud)
Sorry, got sidetracked… Oh! Oh! Wrap it up, she says. Gracias. Merci. Thank you EVERYONE for helping me believe in the possibilities when fear tries to take over. Keep dreaming, keep imagining, keep that inner child going…THAT is where the GOOD stuff happens in this thing called LIFE!!! (As I dance off stage I fist pump Neil Patrick Harris as he takes the mic.) “A cement mixer?” he says. “Go get’em Pammy, ROCK it out, sistah!”
I blow a kiss his way….
As we round out another year full of triumph, defeat and a multitude of blessings (some in disguise) I bid you adieu. I thank you for yet another chance to experience life and all it has to offer. I thank you for humility. I thank you for strength and endurance. I thank you for a sense of humor.
We have danced together; we have cried together, we have covered our eyes in fear and opened our eyes to miracles. We held hands tight in a number of disappointing moments, yet we overcame and raised our hands up to celebrate!
We were heartbroken in loss, but hugged in sorrow. We opened our eyes again to love and to the little moments that mean more now than they ever will. We celebrated the life of loved ones no longer on this earth, yet we miss the sounds of their voice, their words of encouragement and laughter that could fill a room. We relearned the power of prayer, the power of spirit that lives on in each of us. We met angels on this earth and those in the heavens. We sang and yes we DANCED some more.
New hopes, new friends, new experiences also filled the woven patchwork of 2014. Together we changed our lives and others. We opened our eyes to possibilities and to the power of community. We opened our hearts again to LOVE that has been there all along and love that can be renewed.
2014: A year of change. A year of humility. A year of blessings. A year of sorrow. A year of LOVE. A year of DANCE. A year that I can never get back but will carry in my heart forever. God Bless you 2014. I will carry your lessons into 2015. I will pray again. I will hope again. I will BELIEVE in possibilities again in 2015 And YES, I will DANCE through LIFE again. Please, please new year, just catch me if I fall. Together we can RISE UP and celebrate the moments that have yet to unfold…
Can you hear it? No, not the “voice in your head”silly. The Music!!
It’s always there within your reach. Everyone has a song or tune that speaks to them, touches their souls and inspires their inner well-being.
So… what’s your “signature tune?”
You know the one, the song that — no matter what — you will sing out loud in your car or shower; the one to which you will always get up and DANCE!
A playback button pushed or keyboard clicked will start the music that may be the one thing needed to create new ideas and chase those troubles away. So turn it up! Crank the volume and DANCE.
Okay, full disclosure. I am Dance Teacher, so music is an important part of the job, but I’m also a Wife, Mom, Writer and Editor so I’m tossing an eclectic mix of “personalities” into the world. It can get a little stressful at times, but I have always been one for multitasking. Music & Dance have been and always will be my default solutions to my challenges.
Thus my motto: “When in Doubt…Dance it out!”
To me, MUSIC and DANCE combined is actually the solution to nearly anything.
– Let’s say you have a slideshow of important graphics/sales forecasting, or photos from your recent vacation. Watch it for one minute. Now add MUSIC and watch it again; any difference?
– You are on a road trip to your next sales meeting, in a convertible (because it sounds fun), top down. Yes, the sound of the wind whipping through your hair is nice, but turn up a favorite tune? It is SO much better.
– You have been wracking your brain with an overwhelming problem to solve. Play a little music, and you may just find the answer. It’s the standard ‘walk away from a challenge; take a breath to get a fresh view’ technique with a little zing to make you sing.
Consider a myriad of everyday events made better by music and dance:
-The movie trailer with the voice overs, but without dramatic music? No Way!
-The sports event without the musical interludes, or cheers…Not even…
– The climactic scene in a thriller video without drums beating or ominous music… I don’t think so.
-A bride walking down the aisle in total silence… weird.
-The world famous university marching band entering the field quietly… Holy mackerel!
Dance is all about steps. Heck so is life, family and business. So listen to a favorite singer or band and begin moving forward, one step at a time. If you are the more adventurous type, you could even add a leap or spin… oooooh!
Make some noise! Get some ideas! Build your Business! Have fun with your family!
Dance. It. Out.
As a former product development specialist, I had to be creative in designing, researching and developing new products for our industry. (When the words ‘product’, ‘specialist’ and ‘development’ are in your job title, creativity is a must.) I was also in charge of presenting these products to our National Sales Force. It was my job to present them with the tools and “gifts” needed to help them sell more. I often thought of myself as a product cheerleader. I needed to focus their attention on the new product, make it personal, and exciting to them. Once they were charged up then I had to give the information they needed to do their job, which is to get their customers equally excited, and ready to issue purchase orders.
I used an acronym, as I often do, to present/sell the product at our National Sales Meeting in Naples, Fl. (Okay, so the use of letters is not unique. But for remembering, sometimes simpler is better.) The acronym “G.I.F.T.S.” offers tips not only for a memorable sales presentation in front of a large audience, it works well in smaller settings too. The tips can also be used when writing a piece for your target audience or giving a personal gift to a family member or friend. The goal…to have a satisfied customer backed up with some product passion.
Here is what works for me:
Get Personal. I tapped into their emotions, and set goals.
Interact. I listened to the needs of each region and their representatives, while investing the time needed to get the job done. (Or listen to thoughts of your audience, readers or family members).
Face time. Be expressive. That is my normal mode so this one is easy for me. Get up on the stage. Act out a scenario. Sing. Dance. Present the facts in a way they did not expect. Focus on the most important fact first with an appropriate lead in to get their attention. (This can easily be expressed in the written word as well).
Tell a Story. Make them laugh. A mind at play is always creative and receptive to new ideas. (“Play” is Profitable).
Surprise! I always kept them guessing as to what I’ll do next. The element of surprise in a presentation always grabs attention. (Even the nay-sayers perk up).
So whether you are planning a large presentation, writing a new piece or even presenting a unique home-made movie to your families…use your own “gifts” to make it a truly memorable one.
Celebrate your gifts…
Share your gifts…
Can you hear the applause? Can you feel the gratitude expressed?
That’s for YOU and a job well done.
Each person has their OWN definition of what THEY love, or whom they love, but the basis of all these lies within. This definition comes from the heart, that core of your existence that can spark emotions from others.
In a similar vein, there is or should be a unique essence that defines YOU or YOUR Business.
What is your Passion? What is your business Passion?
One of my passions is teaching students of all ages the art of dance. I show them how to embrace the JOY of dance and movement. Teaching technique is obviously very important, as is a business development plan to keep a steady flow of new students. But, in my opinion, even the finest technician or well-designed plan will not succeed without passion. Without passion in dance, there wouldn’t be a connection with your audience. Without passion in your business, the connection with your customers will fall flat…
Fortunately, writing is also a passion for me. I enjoy making correlations between teaching dance and real world experiences. I demonstrate how we can all learn about ourselves through expression in the arts, business, sports, or whatever legally fuels our desires. I of course am passionate about making dance an experience and inspiring others. However, I also enjoy helping others express their own true words by editing while retaining the “inner fire” of their own words. I find JOY in all of these things. One could say I’m a naturally “passionate” person.
Are you passionate?
Why is Passion so important in your life, family and business?
1. Passion stirs the emotion and creates opportunity.
2. Passion is ambitious.
3. Passion communicates.
4. Passion promotes enthusiasm.
5. Passion sells.
I believe that everyone, including you, possesses POWER for PASSION, as long as they tap into their inner heart strings and listen.
Ba boom, Ba boom…. Your heart is beating… faster, faster…
Listen to the rhythm of your heart. Seize the OPPORTUNITY. Get on the dance floor.
Find YOUR Passion. Use it as “fuel” for your business, your family, your life and YOU will find SUCCESS.
“As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.” – Amy Poehler