Are you embracing the darkness?

For several weeks I had been watching the sunflower bud slowly enlarge then even more slowly it eventually broke into this delightful bloom. As I observed it, I noticed two things:

a) The bud was taking a long time to open

b) I could not rush the process. If I pried it open, I would destroy it.

When the bloom finally opened, I was delighted. It took my breath away. The wait was over… but every bit of that wait was worth it. Yes, the bud took a longer time compared to other flowers but a SUNFLOWER is a SUNFLOWER – bold, huge and beautiful!

When the bloom finally opened, I was delighted. It took my breath away. The wait was over… but every bit of that wait was worth it. Yes, the bud took a longer time compared to other flowers but a SUNFLOWER is a SUNFLOWER – bold, huge and beautiful!

I think of how easy it is for us to get frustrated when we feel stuck in a dark place or simply when we feel that we are not making as much progress as we would like to in our daily lives. When you go through such moments, think of the sunflower bud and how MUCH MORE you are than the sunflower! It is o.k if you need more time to heal, restore, create, think, plan, regain your perspective etc. The darkness can only work in our favour when we understand that it is simply a natural process to bring balance life. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Don’t be afraid of being in the dark… have faith that all things will work out for your highest good.

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All we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about.

“All we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about.” Charles Kingsley

My last thoughts before falling asleep last night were waking up in anticipation of picking ripe tomatoes from my garden and getting photographs of my pink clematis which is finally growing in the way that I imagined it would. Walking up this morning to do just that were rewarding and gratifying. Each tomato I picked brought a smile to my face. It has been a labour of love and I am reaping the harvest which I designed long before I touched the fruit.

This is my second harvest for the summer – looking forward to many more pickings! This is also the best vine of clematis so far!

And then I thought, what if every last thought became a reality? Can we program our lives like that? How amazing it would be if I could deliberately think of more things in anticipation of living them in reality….because I know that we can design the life we want to live, long before we live it!

“There are two ways to face the future. One way is with apprehension; the other is with anticipation.” Jim Rohn.

Which do you choose?



Any Value in Planning 2016 NOW?














‘Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning.’ Winston Churchill.

If  you know me well enough, you will know that in my personal life, I live in the moment, except when life seriously demands otherwise.   It works most of the time for me and I believe that it is because of a deeper and stronger alignment which I have with the universe. The universe, in some magical way, knows what I need, even before it comes out of my mouth.

However, while I love being spontaneous, I do wonder how much more successful and purpose driven I could be, if only I invested some more time in planning NOW. While there is much fun and high adrenaline in living in the NOW and being spontaneous,  it can also be  a stressful experience for others who want to support me and spend time with me.  When others don’t know what to expect, it leaves them feeling frustrated and not included. This is not my intention but I know that this is what happens.

Last year, when my partner invited me to plan our calendar of activities for the year, I felt that my body moved immediately into resistance mood.  I hate thinking so much in advance… a whole year! Thankfully he does not give up on me that easily!  This year he extended the planning invitation again and I was much more willing to go through the process.

It took us only 30 minutes to plan our major events and activities for 2016. Each planned activity is an intention which we put out in the universe. The manifestation of all of our dreams begins with a seed of intention and imagination. Now, I feel excited about the future because roles and responsibilities are divided; there are clearer lines for accountability and we will be able to measure our success. Our plan also leaves lots of space for being spontaneous!

For the first time in a decade, I even know exactly when I will be taking my holidays!  That is amazing!

Try this for yourself.  Write out all the months of the year on a piece of paper.  Ask yourself:

  1.  What would I like to achieve this year?

  2. When would I like to achieve it?

  3. Who do I need to help me?

  4. What will it feel like when I have achieved it?

Live your future Now by planning NOW… it may just save you time and energy!  In addition, it may create such a powerful intention that your soul will be singing all the way with you!

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Anticipation is the fuel which unlocks amazing possibilities to create an exciting future!

Since I first saw the picture of an amazing caramel pecan cheesecake about six weeks ago, which my friend Janet shared on her Facebook timeline, I have been thinking of it relentlessly.  I got all the ingredients  but with so many other competing Christmas goodies, my caramel pecan cheesecake got put on hold although I kept on  anticipating what it would taste like when I finally bit into it!

The anticipated treat

Somehow, everything aligned perfectly well for me to bake this cheesecake this morning much to the delight of my kids who have waited in anticipation of this cheesecake too!  Cheesecake takes a few hours to settle in the refrigerator before it can be eaten… so the very first question they asked was, “What time will we be able to have it?”  It is both funny and delightful to have my three grown-up young adults sitting around the dinner table, wishing that 7 O’clock would come sooner.  As soon as the clock hit 7, they all jumped up, thrilled that we were finally going to have that cake!  When I presented it on the table, Jelan immediately said, “It looks like we are in a restaurant!”  He took a photo of it and twitted it (my cheesecake!).  We all devoured it slowly, savouring the taste and having seconds even though we were painfully aware of the loads of calories it contained.  It tasted so delicious…I even think that the anticipation added more pleasure to the experience.

It was Nicholas Sparks, in Three Weeks With my Brother, who said, “Never forget that anticipation is an important part of life.  Work’s important, family’s important, but without excitement, you have nothing.  You’re cheating yourself if you refuse to enjoy what’s coming.”  And I completely agree with him!

How do you build anticipation in your life? Heighten your anticipation  levels by thinking of something so enjoyable that you/your loved ones would completely enjoy by stretching the time out so that there is not immediate gratification.  Let yourself long for it some more and let those around you look forward to this anticipated treat. Place little clues around each day… have  conversations around that thing… show photographs…. In my case, with the caramel pecan cheesecake, I am sure that I spoke about that cake every single day for six weeks. There is no way that the kids could have missed it – eventually it became something that they started looking forward to.
The power to anticipate is key for our survival – not just for silly things like a caramel pecan cheesecake but for us to also move our lives in the direction we yearn for.  If we can develop the skills to look a bit into the future by taking stock of our current situation, we can solve potential problems and put ourselves at an advantageous position.

TuneIn to the amazing power within you to anticipate your soul’s desires.  StepUp and take some small action daily to help you move eagerly towards your anticipated desire.  It can be as simple as caramel pecan cheesecake, to getting the guy or girl or your dream, to owning our own company, to renewing your marriage bliss, to uniting your family,  to owning an empire!  In your mind’s eyes, can you see yourself getting that anticipated treat?  Can you taste it? Can you almost touch it? The more real it is to your mind, the greater the chances are for it to become a reality. Anticipation is the fuel which unlocks amazing possibilities to create an exciting future!



The Holiday Dream! A great Christmas Initiative which will bless 500 people with over $25,000.00 of gift cards and gifts!

 This Christmas over 100 families (and by extension about 500 individuals) will be receiving $10,000.00 in gift cards plus over 500 toys and gifts.   This is part of the Holiday Dream Initiative of the Kingdom Culture Ministries (KCM) in Ottawa. KCM contributed the $10,000.00 in gift cards while the 500+ gifts and toys (a total of $15,000.00) were donated by Toy Mountain through Care & Share, another local charity. (See more info at the end of this article). KCM is a non-denominational ministry which has a vision to reach every sphere of influence with the message of the kingdom of God with salvation, miracles, healings, deliverance, and signs & wonders following.


KCM will be hosting their Annual Christmas Celebration on December 24th at 4 and 6p.m where gifts will be presented to recipients. There will be 10 draws for $50.00 gift cards plus every single child who attends will receive a Christmas gift!  If you are in Ottawa – it is certainly a place to consider going to for your Christmas celebration!

At the invitation of my friend Gemma, I attended the gift wrapping event this weekend (and brought my daughter to volunteer as well!). When we walked in, a large number of people were standing in line waiting for their turn to select the gift which they wanted. Inside the church auditorium, the carpet along one wall was lined with hundreds of gifts to choose from. A host welcomed the individual, took him/her to choose the gift and someone else wrapped it and put I it away with the recipient’s name on it – to be given to the individual on Christmas Eve Celebration.  Those who cannot make it that evening, took their gifts home.


I was very impressed with the high level of organization, good energy, enthusiasm, willingness and excitement amongst the almost 100 volunteers who have been working on this initiative over the last three months.  Charity is a HUGE part of this KCM as they make it their mission to reach out to support the lives of the less fortunate, the homeless, those in need of prayers, healing and emotional support.  This year, the Holiday Dream was organized more strategically to ensure that the gifts were presented to people who are really in need of it.  After a thorough screening process, 100 applications were screened in but by extension of family members about 500 individuals will receive gifts.


“Many of the people who are being blessed with those gifts are not part of our regular congregation.   They come from all walks of life and we support them within the community all through the year.  At Christmas time, because it is the season of giving, we do this as an act of love.  We want people to know that Jesus is the gift of love.”  Shawn Gabie, co-founder of KCM.

Shawn and I spoke about the “working poor” and the fact that this group of people is actually widening in Canada.  He defined the “working poor” as those who are falling in between the cracks, those who are unemployed, under-employed, who live in dysfunctional families or who are on social assistance.

“For many people, Christmas is the best or worst time of the year.  The best for those who can afford to both give and receive but worst for those who cannot make ends meet, who don’t have the extra money at the end of the year to afford buying Christmas presents and also those who live in dysfunctional families who are pressured to “feel happy and cheerful” when their reality is not that.”  Shawn Gabie

KCM’s presence is rapidly growing within Ottawa and many see this ministry as a bridge between the teachings of the Ministry and responding to the practical needs of the people within the community.


“We are tired of living in Ottawa and not knowing who are neighbors are.” said Sandy Rasiciot, the Benevolence Supervisor who works under the supervision of Pastor Joe Mebrahtu. “We want our congregation to know that we work together – this is what building community is all about.” 

Sandy has been one of the key leaders in coordinating the Holiday Dream Initiative. I asked her about the level of effort it takes to make it a reality.

“It is about four months of preparation with over 100 volunteers giving about 3 – 4 hours daily, doing a variety of tasks from screening in applications, working on sponsorship, assessing family needs, working in various committees such as gift wrapping, hospitality, coordination between the ministry and families, managing correspondences…” she explained. “At Christmas time we do the Holiday Dream but we have initiatives going on all year round to help support individuals and families who are going through difficult times.”

Shawn shared with me that KCM gives back to the community 10% of all the funds that they receive which further allows them to work more into the community. KCM is supported by the congregation, local and international partners.


One of the stories I heard yesterday touched my heart. This Muslim woman walked in and donated $600.00 towards KCM.  For a mom with five kids, this is quite a substantial amount of money to donate to charity.  However she was very convinced that it was the right thing to do.

“Kingdom Culture Ministries have helped me all along the way – since I first came to Canada as a new immigrant five years ago. They are not only here for us at Christmas time. I am a Muslim – I come from a different faith but it does not matter. We are all human beings who have the same need.  KCM was here for me when I had my first son.  They provided so much emotional support for me. Last year, they brought me a new stove and refrigerator because the ones we had were none functional.”

I questioned her more about her $600.00 contribution.

“I want to give it to them.” she said. “Our family saved the money which we receive from the Child Tax Benefit and the interest from that savings accumulated to $600.00.  As a practicing Muslim, we cannot use the interest.  We have to give it back to charity or the community.  Therefore I have chosen to contribute back to KCM.”

Another donor, Rachelle Steele, initiated a challenge for her work place to donate to the Holiday Dream. She raised one Galaxy laptop and twenty five gift items for the Holiday Dream Initiative.


Excitement brimmed in the air. Volunteers eagerly directed people and a hospitality team (above) happily ensured that there was enough coffee, cookies, cupcakes and pizza to feed everyone who was participating.


Ian Wotherspoon is one of the volunteers who takes great pride in volunteering for the ministry for the last several years.

“God has blessed me.” he shared.  “In turn, I can bless others who cannot afford. It is all about giving.”


Natahsa Richmond, an elementary school teacher is another volunteer with the program.

“As a teacher, I see how Christmas affects children who don’t have as much.” she told me. “This is an opportunity for us to share love with each other.”


(Above:  Pastor Joe Mebrahtu, Shawn and Michele Gabie (Founders of KCM), Gemma Follini and Magdalene Cooman-Maxwell)

I asked Shawn to list five key elements that others (organizations and individuals) would have to consider to take on such an initiative within their own communities. His top five things were:

1) Establish a vision: why do you want to do it?

2) Step out and make connections:  what other organizations are already engaged in similar efforts?  Who can you partner with? How can you engage your community, build relationships and utilize and leverage resources?

3) Rally support from others who share the same values:  you will be surprised at how people would be willing to jump in to help make a difference

4) Create an environment where the values is NORMAL and it is sustainable: leadership must see the value of reaching out to the community as a normal everyday practice in order to step out and bring the community together in a dynamic way. How can we create an influence on others through our daily actions?

5) Offer everything in an unconditional way.  “NO strings attached.” God’s love is unconditional.  Be genuine.  At the end it is an ultimate win-win.

About Kingdom Culture Ministries


Holiday Dream Christmas Eve Service

Dec 24, 2013 – Ottawa, ON
Time: 4pm & 6pm

(Every child who attends the services will be given a toy!  There will be 10 draws for $50.00 gift cards at each of the services!)

Address: 8A-2016 Ogilvie Rd

About Care&Share:

 About Toy Mountain:

TuneIn to how you can support great community initiatives around you!  StepUp and become an instrument of positive change to bring happiness and joy to the lives of others.  YOU have so much talent, so much love, so much to give to others.



This TuneIn and StepUp blog is written by Magdalene Cooman-Maxwell.  She is from St.Lucia and currently lives in Ottawa, Canada.  She  blogs ONLY for things which will bring inspiration and help make our lives better.  You can follow her blog or share it with others to continue the flow of good thoughts  and actions into the world.  Contact:

Looking for a job? A promotion? A new direction? Starting a business? Here is one quick way to prepare yourself…


“What we think determines what happens to us, so if we want to change our lives, we need to stretch our minds.” — Wayne Dye

“Why do you dress up so much?” I asked Bernadette.  We were both young teachers many, many years ago and I could not understand why she was always dressed a couple of notches above everyone else.  After all we were simply teachers.

“I dress for the job I want.  Not the one I have.”  She responded curtly.  I never forgot that statement. I witnessed Bernadette thrive and move up the career ladder very quickly and I could not help but connect the dots between dressing for the job you have vs the one you want.  Within a couple of years, Bernadette was working in the highest office on the island as the Aide de Camp to the Governor General of St. Lucia.

Bernadette and Nelson Mandela

A few weeks ago, I sent a quick e-mail to her to see if she remembered that conversation all the way back then and surprisingly she did.

“Wow, yes I totally remember that and I ended up with a job  that I could never have imagined back then, at Government  house in the highest office in the land, thanks be to God, but proof that the theory actually worked. I still teach my students that how you present yourself, not where you are from, is  not only representative of how you value the skin you are in, but also the fact that you value others enough to take time to think about how you present yourself to them. With that, I don’t mean designer clothes or handbags, I mean clean and tidy.   Not showing your boxers or thong or bra. Yes,  I do have that conversation with university students believe it or not, being clean and well presented is important.  I am sure that I,  like you learnt that from my grandmother who was not rich but principled and had high morals and thought that life should be lived with a specific set of rules –  one being never walk around dirty or dishevelled, it says a lot about you. LOL.  Oh how I loved those days. I suppose  in a world where unfortunately appearance is everything,  how you look does matter but that is for a whole different Convo!”

Bernadette is now a Senior Lecturer at Leeds Metropolitan University and is doing fabulous work in the U.K.  Apart from lecturing, she is also a lead singer with a band.

I too have used that advice in my life.  I remember when I first came to Canada, I wanted a job that would get me out of professional clothes to do something different where I could be in jeans and  a more relaxed mood most of the time.  As soon as I formed that mental image, that is exactly what happened.  I got a job where I could do most of the work from home.  A year later, I had a vision for a different type of work which required more professional dressing.  As soon as I shifted the image in my mind and started acting the part,  the new job popped on the horizon.

As an employment coach, I give that piece of advice to hundreds of people.  When you are job searching or trying to find another job, mentally prepare yourself by dressing for the job you want.  Not the one you have.  Your mind is a powerful tool…if you are clear about an image…it will make that image become a part of your reality. Make that image your every day reality.  By dressing up for the role everyday, you are conditioning your mind.

“Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives.”Sidney Madwed

TuneIn to the way which you present yourself to the world.  Is it doing justice to your vision?  Are you presenting yourself in the way which is of highest integrity to yourself and those around you?  StepUp and take charge by creating a mental image of how you want to look.

Do you have as story to share?  We would love to hear from you.



Have The Courage To Ask For What You Desire – Every Small Request Can Be Manifested


Have you ever thought of something and it manifests right away – even when it was a fleeting wish and there was no real possibility for it to happen? I love those magic moments of divine synchronicity.

“I wish a taxi would come along” I thought wishfully. It was bitterly cold and I had underestimated the walking distance to get to my destination. At that very moment a taxi turned around the corner and stopped right at my feet. Someone got out of the taxi and I jumped in. A feeling of deep gratitude settled over me. I thanked God and the universe over and over and over for always taking such amazing care of me. It sounds too good to be true – but this type of situation is a common reality for me which is hard to explain.

It affirms the infinite possibilities that exist and the mystical realm of life that is unexplainable and in some cases completely illogical. My first real experience of manifesting something big in my life happened when I was thirteen. At that age, I started to test God’s power since “God knew all things and could do all things!” So, I gave God two challenges. One was to get a camera for me for my 13th birthday and the other was to travel to England before I was 18. Both looked impossible because we came from a poor family and I could not see any logical way that I would have those two things. I barely had books to go to school or shoes to walk with, so to think of a camera was like living in dreamland. And as for England – well, I did not have a faint idea of how that would be done.

Both of my requests were heard.

On the evening of my 13th birthday, as I walked along to road to buy bread from the local bakery – a usual routine, I met a doctor who volunteered in the local hospital. We had met each other a few times before. She stopped on her bicycle and we chatted. I told her that it was my birthday and right away she said “Why don’t you come up to the hospital? I have a gift for you!” Low and behold, she gave me a camera! I stood there shocked! (I can still remember the feeling!). God really heard me! No one else knew of my secret wish – it was only between God and I! For an entire year, I took photos in abundance. I loved my camera and best of all, after Dr. Michele completed her volunteering and went back to the USA, she developed all my films and posted the photos to me.

This event in my life was a MAJOR affirmation that I could ask for anything I wanted. God and the universe would hear me. Before my 18th birthday I continued to experience big and small miracles. The next challenge was met in another unexplainable way. At 17, I was attending Teacher’s Training College in St.Lucia. One day as I walked in the corridor, my English teacher, Mr. Allan Weeks, stopped me and asked, “How would you like to go to England?”
“What?” I asked, completely baffled. “Why would I go to England?” I asked.
“I am producing a play and you are the perfect match for the part. The play will be produced in England.”
Six months later, I was in England performing at the Commonwealth Institute with a great group of actors/actresses from St.Lucia. It was six months before my 18th birthday!

I have experienced so many, many manifestations of my thoughts and I like to call them “miracles”. They are all unexplainable and I am convinced that there is a formula unique to each of us that make things happen faster or slower. I believe that the formula is a combination of the mind and soul merging together. I have experienced manifestations / miracles at the speed of light – immediately from thought to manifestation. I have also experienced manifestations over a longer period and when I look back I can only thank the universe that what I asked for before did not happen earlier. When we trust in the great wisdom of the universe, we know that all things will happen as it should.

One thing I know without any uncertainty is that we need to ASK for what we want and don’t worry about when it will happen. Although we have to work towards what we want, I believe that if we are clear, then the universe arranges things in front of us to help our desires manifest. When we are not clear, it is hard to us to grab the opportunities, no matter how obvious they may be. Sometimes we ask for something and feel frustrated when it does not happen. It is not our job to worry about timing. The important thing is to ask and let it go. In time, all things work out for the best. The more we have that trust, more we invite miracles to happen in our lives.

TuneIn today to those things you secretly desire. Have the courage to ask for what you want, need or desire. Write them in a journal and keep checking with yourself now and then. As small miracles start manifesting in your life you will automatically StepUp to attract more and more of what you need to live an amazing life. Above all, keep on expressing gratitude each day, throughout the day, for all what you are blessed with. Abundance begins with a seed of gratitude.