The Thrive Questionnaire//

Singers and Songwriters, Patti Henley and Brenda Lee Eager, on How They Disconnect From their Phones

Plus their secret life hacks.

When you have the opportunity to ask some of the most interesting people in the world about their lives, sometimes the most fascinating answers come from the simplest questions. The Thrive Questionnaire is an ongoing series that gives an intimate look inside the lives of some of the world’s most successful people.

Thrive Global: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?
Brenda Lee Eager: The first thing I do in the morning, is give thanks, meditate, and pray.
Patti Henley: The first thing I do in the morning is pray, and have quiet time. I start each day with gratitude. I thank God for everything I have, as well as those things I desire.

TG: What gives you energy?
BLE: What gives me energy is exercise and affirmations. They erase negative thoughts that might have crept in during the night.
PH: I get my energy through deep breathing, a little stretching , and connecting with nature. I step into my yard and look at the trees, and sky, and feel the earth under my feet. Most times bare feet .

TG: What’s your secret life hack?
BLE: My secret life hack is knowing how to control my ego. When it tries to rule me, I tell it to get in the backseat of the car, I’m driving this baby. And of course my elixir that I drink every morning, my lemon turmeric, blackstrap molasses.
PH: My secret life hack is music. Music has always been a great distraction, and comforter. I find myself humming, and after while, it does something to my brain, and body.It can actually change my emotional state from anxiety to calmness. From stationary to high energy. Also my “Soul Sister” Brenda Lee Eager and I share a ritual, she calls it elixir I call it tonic. Tumeric, apple cider vinegar, ginger, black pepper, lemon, and raw honey, for alleviation of inflammation and aids digestion.

TG: Name a book that changed your life.
BLE: The book that changed my life over 30 years ago is, The Game of Life, and how to play it. By Florence Scovel Shinn.
PH: The book that changed my life is The Value in the Valley, by lyana Vanzant. And Working With the Law, by Raymond Holliwell.

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
BLE: I have a decent relationship with my phone. I rule it it, it does not rule me. I intentionally leave it downstairs when I go upstairs to bed I want to rest during my rest!
PH: My phone does sit by my bedside. But it sleeps when I sleep. Sometimes I use it to wake me in the morning if I have a wake up call earlier than my usual 6:00 am natural wake up.

TG: How do you deal with email?
BLE: I use email to advertise my business, and keep in touch with friends and family. I go through my email once or twice a day, and try not to let it pile up. Alleviating emails, alleviates stress.
PH: Email has turned into a useful tool. I’m able to receive information about gigs, and other people’s performances. I can send out mass invitations to friends and family for concerts, and events I’m involved in. I blind myself to ads and extraneous junk.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
BLE: If I find 15 minutes out of my day, I do nothing, absolutely nothing. I become still.
PH: When I unexpectedly find 15 minutes in my day, what I do with it? Nothing….. I do nothing. I just sit.. Smell the roses. Sometimes literally.

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
BLE: The last time I felt burned-out, was about a year ago. I put my one-woman play up directed it. I advertised it, acted and sang in it. I wrote the songs “oh my God”… spent all the money I had. I worked day or night….and only a handful of people came. I just went home feeling tired, burned-out, frustrated. I cried my eyes out. But a couple of days later, I was ready for the next adventure, and ready to laugh again. I love to laugh!
PH: The last time I felt burned-out was balancing the holidays with career obligations. I end up being exhausted. It’s taken me some time to learn to say no, and not be the one that’s always hosting, and heading the Brigade. I’m making better choices, and choose to be rested when it’s time to perform. I’ve learned that I really don’t miss anything. I’m discovering how to release control, and enjoy someone else being at the helm.

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
BLE: I don’t know if I’ve ever felt that I have failed. I have fallen many times. But always felt that the presence of spirit within Me, and my stubborn faith push me each time to get up and try again. The presence itself, speaks loudly in my heart. And a lot of times I just go to the piano, or take a blank sheet of paper, and start to write a song. Music always helps me to overcome anything. It heals. It’s the best medicine for me.
PH: I literally cannot remember the last time I perceived something I did as a failure. I pretty much have been living in the zone of “okay that must have happened to get out of the way of the true and perfect solution”. I must be close…. I talk to myself, and I affirm, that there is something bigger and better waiting for me. Even though I can’t see it. Even though it looks ugly , and I feel less than.

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
BLE: The quote that I love is from my old friend Marvin Gaye, who said to me “Brenda Lee, it is the duty of the artist to uplift the consciousness of the people” And I find the greatest joy in that.
PH: The quote that has impressed me, and inspired me the most is, “Our lives begin to end, the day we become silent about the things that matter”… Martin Luther King Jr. That’s not only just about things that pertain to civil rights. But also things of a personal nature. The avoidance of a situation or condition. When you hear that still small voice whispering in your ear, and you ignore it and remain silent. It matters, because the choices we make affect our lives, and are the cause, of what we experience.

Patti Henley and Brenda Lee Eager are two of the most talented singer/songwriters from the golden age of rock/soul and R&B – who wrote songs and performed with such artists as Prince, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Graham Nash and Ray Charles. The upcoming documentary by award-winning filmmaker Peter von Puttkamer “Soul Sisters” tells the story of their lives: beginning as teenagers in Chicago working for Martin Luther King/Jesse Jackson’s Operation Breadbasket, singing as the Piperettes. Selected by Jackson, alongside fellow singers Sue Conway and Lois Scott to be the “Voice of the Movement” the documentary shows how their music help spread messages of racial and job equality and helped to get the first African American mayors in America elected. Their important work continues today in the school system, bringing the positive values of the “Operation Breadbasket” civil rights movement to move and empower young people.


Brenda and Patti will be appearing at the National Action Network Convention in New York
on Friday, April 20th- preforming their songs and excerpts from their musical/play “We Were There”..in honour of Jesse Jackson
who is receiving an award. Other speakers include Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Nancy Pelosi and Cory Booker.
See link: https://nationalactionnetwork.net/

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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