Happy Thanksgiving!

It is early morning and I am sitting on my couch in the living room wrapped under a cozy blanket while the rest of my household sleeps. I feel grounded and safe. I feel blessed that we enjoyed a delicious meal last night and gave gratitude for the many blessings in our lives – for family, friends, good health, our jobs, income, progress with our various project and most of all and being able to overcome and deal with the challenges which come our way.

I enjoy listening to the conversations around the table – any dinner time is a time to catch up on the thoughts and experiences of our lives and how we make sense of the world around us. One of our highlights during the evening was celebrating the 2nd birthday Maggie, Ohri’s dog. It was hilarious watching her reaction to the kids trying to get a birthday hat on her head! Maggie has become a part of our family and it is a pleasure to watch how her presence bonds all of us in our family.

My gratitude for life keeps on overflowing.

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” Eckhart Tolle

As I write this blog, the early morning light is awakening as the darkness vanishes. It is magical watching this slow and beautiful transition from night to day. Through the glass door, I can see the thousands of fallen leaves in the backyard and the beautiful fall foliage in the forest beyond edge of my backyard. Fall is here for sure making way for winter where soon those trees will be standing naked yet unshaken at the roots. Just as I enjoyed every single day of summer and savoured the greenery, I embrace fall and all of it’s offerings. For me, it is a beautiful season of reflection, building and creating from within. I love the fall colours, the crisp fresh air, apple pies for Sunday dinners and the feeling of Christmas being just around the corner. I know that as soon as Christmas is over, we will start preparing for Spring and I can’t wait to see my first tulips burst from the winter blues. Each season brings it’s priceless gifts and I am grateful to be alive on this earth, enjoying all what the earth offers to me. More importantly, I have found immense joy in remaining present in the moment, while my mind can also stretch into the future and look forward to the next season.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones. Here is one more quote to reflect on:

“The world has enough beautiful mountains and meadows, spectacular skies and serene lakes. It has enough lush forests, flowered fields, and sandy beaches. It has plenty of stars and the promise of a new sunrise and sunset every day. What the world needs more of is people to appreciate and enjoy it.” Michael Josephson



Happy Easter! Sometimes, it is only our faith which keeps us anchored in sanity.

Happy Easter!

Easter is a very reflective time for me.  I reflect on the life of Christ and the  many other great sages and spiritual masters who have enlightened us but they also endured much suffering.  They held on to their faith in their darkest moments.

What I have learnt is that suffering is a part of our life journey.  We cannot live a lifetime without suffering. Bob Marley, our famous Reggae  artist said, “Truth is everybody is going to hurt you: you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.” 

Our ability to put our suffering into perspective  is the key to getting us through those dark moments.  The following words which Christ uttered during his most difficult suffering on the cross, keeps me grounded  when I go through my personal challenges.

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Gospel of Luke 23:34

“Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Gospel of Luke 23:43

“Jesus said to his mother: “Woman, this is your son.”
Then he said to the disciple: “This is your mother.”
Gospel of John 19:26-27

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34

Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”
Gospel of Luke 23:46

Sometimes, our faith is all that keeps us anchored in sanity, regardless of our religion. I seek only to be more Christ-like, more Budha-like, more God-like.  At the end of it all, our behaviour towards each other is the truest reflection of the emotions which are held deep within us.  I pray, for you and I, that this emotion will always be love, in the  most sacred and purest form.

May you have a blessed Easter Celebration.




New Release: Soulful Encounters, 2nd Edition of Mags Magazine


Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another. George Eliot

Dear friends,

All of us have dreams but unless we take action, dreams remain to be just dreams.

The 2nd Edition of Mags Magazine is here after many months of hard work and it is indeed a beautiful dream come true.  What makes it more special, is that many of you who are reading this newsletter today, have been great supporters of my work in helping me to live my soul mission.  I am very grateful for this support.  Some of you have come as total strangers in my life but through kindness, love and soul connections, everyday moments have become soulful encounters to celebrate.

Soulful Encounters  is a very special edition which features inspiring people with a special feature on Gems of Kenya.  It even highlights an encounter with George Eliot, an 18th century writer and life lessons from four year old Sid St. Catherine!

This year, we will be printing 200 copies of Soulful Encounters – be one of the first to pre-order our special copy which I will autograph with a special message for you!

Click on the photo below to pre-order and remember you can also give one as a special gift to a special friend. Help me to spread the word and inspire more people to reach their own goals.


I want to express my gratitude  to my partner Wilson Jn Baptiste who is also the editor in chief for the many hours which he has dedicated towards this magazine. His faith in me and my ability to rise each time I want to give up, is priceless and I am grateful to him for being that light and strength for me. Our graphic designer Mila Gertsenchtein – your touch …is golden. Thank you for your endless hours of work. Our photographer, Nyamulola Chiboli Kambanji – thank you for your endless hours of photography and doing such a fabulous job with the cover photo. Kores Musuni thank you for the photos from Kenya – it has added much delight to the magazine. To my readers and reviewers – I cannot thank you all enough. Celene Gyles, Laura Traplin, Wendy R Pilgrim-Michael, Priscilla Lucien, Mengistab Tsegaye,  Rima Aristocrat, Doina Tibu, Ghebre Issac, Hani Rached, Myrner Schmitt, Trevor and Dale Stevenson, Emily Cattelan-Legace,Christina Sang,Jane Adam, Laurie Jaeger – your contribution towards this issue has been priceless.

Thanks to our sponsors: Willis College, Auto Paradise Repair, World Skills Employment Centre, Phresh, Piton Vacation Villa, Sea Spray Cruises and Nature Expeditions.
Lastly, I  want to thank my children: Jelan, Ohri, Dawn and Kim – thank you all for your support.

Take small actions today and steer your dreams!  YOU can do it.  YOU too can live your soul mission.








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Celebration Party – Inspiration 2015

Crowd 2

Inspiration 2015! was fun, energizing, inspiring and simply soul-fulfilling! As promised, Wilson and I hosted our guests with music, travel experiences, writing and dancing! We have so much to be grateful for and to celebrate with a group of enthusiastic people was rejuvenating for our souls. As always, the universe conspires the moment we set the intention and every single detail fell in place – from getting the venue, securing Nile Groove, my favourite band in Ottawa, to play live music; to have two amazing inspirational speakers – Lisa Anna Palmer and Hani Rached. We honoured our earth angel Nubia Cermano who also blessed us with singing and music and brought her friends along to share in the celebration.  We shared our traveling experience to Kenya… now we have a group of excited people who want to go on an adventure!

Why do we put effort and energy in building Mags Magazine?  We do it because we believe that each one of us have a mission in life to fulfill.  Mags Magazine provides the inspiration for us to leap out of our comfort zones and live our  future now by living our soul mission every single day.

Here is a look at what happened at Inspiration 2015 and the inspirational messages from our speakers and entertainers. 

WilsonWilson Jn. Baptiste, CEO of Gems of Saint Lucia and Gems of Africa and I shared of our travelling experience to Magical Kenya. The audience were completely engaged with the  presentation and the photos from Kenya. Many have already expressed a desire to travel to Kenya.

This year,  the 2nd edition of Mags Magazine,  will expand to add a travel section.  Look out for our spotlight on Kenya!

Inspiration tip #1:  ‘Travel brings love and power back to your life.” Rumi.  Plan a trip…go somewhere…

Inspiration tip #2: Don’t give up on the little, tiny inklings of inspiration that pull at your heart strings.  If your imagination sparked a dream, there is a great chance that life will provide you with the opportunities to build on your dream.

Hani and Magdalene - couch

Hani Rached, a rising entrepreneur shared his story of how he is building a successful  enterprise right here in Ottawa.  He  came to Canada in 1990 from Lebanon and by 20o4 he purchased the garage where he worked as a mechanic and by 2012, he expanded his business by purchasing a new and bigger property to house the garage.  he has increased his team to  six staff, which also includes a young lady who is mechanic!

Inspiration tip #3: “I don’t see my customers as numbers. Every customer is important and I pay attention to their needs. It is important in our profession that we communicate effectively with our customers and that they leave our garage feeling happy and satisfied.”  Hani Rached. (Below with his staff)Hani and team

Mags adn Lisa - bookLisa Anna Palmer inspired us to get outside of our comfort zone, face our fears and move towards our dreams.  She shared her own experience of having a great fear of public speaking but now she is able to speak to increasingly larger audiences.  She  thinks back to the time that she could not even speak at her own wedding!

Inspiration tip#4: You, too, can begin by taking it one step at a time.  Go ahead, venture beyond your comfort zone.  Leap towards your heart’s desires so that when you look back at your life you will be grateful that “I wish I could have” was replaced by “I am so glad that I did.” 

Lisa Anna Palmer is a contributing author to the collaborative Amazon bestseller “365 Ways to Connect with Your Soul,” with her entry entitled “Leap Towards Your Dreams!” Lisa is a Certified Passion Test® Facilitator, career and leadership coach, and workplace consultant. She is also the author of the upcoming book entitled, “Light a Fire in Their Hearts: A New Leader’s Guide to Igniting Employee Engagement.”

Nubia Cermano was honoured as Mags Magazine Earth Angel for 2015. 

Mags Magazine definition of Earth Angel: An Earth Angel is someone who uplifts another human being through a ‘miraculous intervention’ under circumstances which could not have been predicted. The miraculous intervention happens in response to someone else’s needs or difficculties which may not be known by the Earth Angel. They happen to be in the right place, at the right time and do the right things to lift the human spirt. When you look back at the experience, you will utter words like, ‘That was a miracle!’

Nubia earth angel - flowersWhen we launched Mags Magazine in 2014, our singer for that night was sick and could not perform. We were disappointed because we only had one performer. I called Nubia and without hesitation, she responded, ‘YES. I will, for sure. I will be there for you!’  She was our miraculous intervention that night. However she does much more that that in our community. Her work is her life and her life is her work, regardless of where she is.  She is an earth angel for many others. “Nubia, you have touched the lives of hundreds of newcomers to Canada by opening your heart and soul to them.  You have a great listening ear and the manner in which you embrace human beings, especially newcomers is remarkable. Your sense of humour, your ability to challenge them and to make each one feel strong as they re-build their lives in Canada is truly a gift to our building our community. I appreciate the manner in which you bring music and dance to the lives of newcomers and provide the space in which sadness can be danced away and music can infuse the soul. Today, as Mags Magazine select you as an Earth Angel, I want you to know that I / we value you and appreciate all that you have done in my life and in the lives of the hundreds of women and men in Ottawa.” Mags

Inspiration tip #5:  “Let us dance the sadness away instead of crying about it.” Nubia Cermano.  She can be found teaching dancing classes every Friday evening at the Catholic Centre for Immigrants.

Mags and Wilson with Band

Nile Groove:  I first met this diverse band in 2012 at a club in Ottawa.  I was fascinated with Roxanne’s voice and especially that they also performed a great blend of reggae and blues.  Back in  2012, I wanted to do a story on them to give them more publicity and support their work as rising musicians.  I was so elated when they committed to performing at Inspiration 2015. Nile Groove was founded in May 2012 by Salah Adem and Abraham Loboi. Following the creation of the band and its 6 piece band members, Nile Groove became a known original Reggae, R&B, and Funk local band playing in Ottawa’s nightlife live venues and festivals. After the release of their full-length debut album “Uncovered” in February 2015, Nile Groove became an internationally known indie band on the airwaves. Moving ahead, they are recording their new single and second studio album set to be released in 2016.

Roxanne – Born in Ottawa, Canada is Nile Groove’s singer-songwriter; Abraham Loboi – Born in Chukudum, South Sudan is Nile Groove’s bass player; Steve Patterson – Born in Sault Ste. Marie, Canada, is Nile Groove’s tenor saxophone player; Michael Grewal – Born in Ajax, Canada, is Nile Groove’s keyboardist; Daniel Grewal – Born in Wichita Falls, Texas is Nile Groove’s guitar player. Salah Adem – Born in Asmara, Eritrea is Nile Groove’s drummer and percussionist.

Inspiration tip #6:  “We love what we do.  Music is our life.  We love music.”  Salah Adem. What do you love to do?  How much are you willing to commit to it and do the work necessary to take you to excellence?

Nubia and musician 3 Nubia and more friends Nubia and Mags stand Nubia 5 Nubia - Inspriation 2015 Roxanne and Salah Raffle odette raffle 5 raffle 4 raffle 3 Raffle 2 Raffle 1 raffle - starfish prize Nubias son and fiance Nubia's neice Nubia with same friend Nubia with guitarist Nubia with Alama Nubia earth Angel Nubia and musician singing Singing 4 Singing 3 Shaunette Shaunette and Odette Roxanne Nile groove Mags stand Mags stand with Fouzia Mags and Wilson - Mags stand mags and Lisa - couch Mags and group Mags and friends and Wilson Mags adn Lisa - book Magical Kenya Magdalene magdalene and nubia Magdalene 2 Lisa Lisa reading Lisa and Magdalene Lisa and Magdalene 2 Jelan Jelan and Mom Jamaila Head table Hani's staff (girl) Hani Hani with book Hani inspriation 2015 Hani and Wilson and staff Hani and team Hani and team 1 Hani and Magdalene Hani and Lisa Hani 1 Guitarist group photo


Two engaged gentlemen


Two gentlemen and one lady

Charles and Fouzia 2

As we move forward in 2016, Wilson and I would like to wish you all an Amazing 2016.  Leap out of your comfort zone, grab a hold of your dreams and make your life your legacy.

Follow this blog, like us on FB and keep on adding inspiration to our world!

Live your future NOW.



Thanks to all of our sponsors for Inspiration 2016!

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Nature Expeditions

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Moving from being an author on a vision board to being a REAL author!

I learned about vision boards when I was sixteen and have developed several vision boards since then. For some magical reason, everything which I have ever placed on a vision board has become real for me over the years.

Sorting through some old computer files, I came across this last vision board which was electronically created in June 2010. At that time, I was trying to set a new set a new vision for my life and also integrate the teaching of vision boards to an amazing group of people who were also on their soul search.

Vision Board

Until today, I had not looked at that vision board. However, I was pleasantly surprised to note that 90% of the things on that vision board are now my living reality.

  1. In June 2010 when I designed it, I drove a really old car which gave me more trouble than you can possibly imagine. On my vision board, I stuck a picture of a brand new car and wished with all my heart that I would drive a brand new car which would not break down with me. Believe it or not, I got my first brand new car in October 2010 and then I traded it in for a 2nd brand new car in October 2014. Unbelievable how magic happens in the universe!
  2. Humility: Being humble and being rooted in prayer continues to be an important part of my life and I cannot express enough how much prayer keeps me grounded in ensuring that I use my talent for the greater good of this planet.
  3. Being an author: This was the most interesting one. For every single vision board which I have created, I have always included being an author. I started by being an author of my blog but now I am also authoring an e-magazine!

Mags Magazine Logo

  1. I want to live an extraordinary life: I do believe that I am an ordinary person who lives an extra ordinary life with an abundance of opportunities to meet new people, explore new places, use my creativity to excel etc. I absolutely love the excitement in my life!
  2. Creative Genius: Creativity keep bursting from me all the time to solve problems and to develop new ideas. Genius – is a bit of an exaggeration perhaps but nonetheless it is all fun thinking of myself as a creative genius.:)
  3. Being a speaker: Between June 2010 to now, I have spoken at numerous events. I love to talk! I once said to my boss, “I want a job where I can just talk to people.” I do that 80% of my job. How great is that!
  4. FUN: My life is fun. Every day gives new possibilities for fun and laughter. I see comedy in most situations because I chose not to take life too seriously.
  5. Connecting with people all around the world: I do this almost every day. Through my blog and my work, my knowledge of the world have expanded.
  6. Other pictures show money, love, partnership and family. All of these are beautiful and amazing and I feel 100% blessed.
  7. I am happy.  There is a joy and happiness that I feel in my soul now.  I feel that I am arriving at this place in my life where my soul feels that it is able to greet me peacefully.

As I am about to launch my first e-magazine, “Live Your Future Now,” which is truly a product of this blog, I can’t help but reflect on the quote:

 “Great thoughts come from the heart.Luc de Clapiers

 I know for a fact, that what the mind can conceptualize can happen in reality.  I also know that if you can dream it, you have what it takes to also make it happen.  And best of all, I know that dreams manifest when you are completely in alignment with your own thoughts.

Look out the release of the e-magazine but there will also be a launch here in Ottawa on December 11th, 2014. Here is more information about the launch:


We have an amazing line up of speakers and it will be a wonderful and inspiring evening! If you have been a reader and supporter of this blog, I want to also thank you so very much for your support and encouragement.  As a global community, we can truly support each other in realizing our dreams.

Remember to show your support by following the blog and liking us on FB.



Congratulations to Mayank Sharma and the Asian Leadership Network, TD Canada for winning “Business Award”…

Mayank Sharma and the Asian Leadership Network (ALN),  an affinity group of TD-MBNA Canada, was the recipient of the Business Award from the Immigrant Women Services Ottawa as part of their 25th Anniversary Celebrations on March 6th, 2014.  IWSO awarded several other people with awards for  outstanding community service which has a positive impact on the lives of women.

(Mayank, centre, with his colleagues Chris and Kevin)


Mayank is an internationally trained professional from India who migrated to Ottawa in 2003, when he first made contact with World Skills. He accessed several of World Skills  pre-employment services such as resume writing and interview coaching and secured a job with TD Canada, as a customer representative.  His career accelerated quite rapidly – today he is a Business Integration Process Consultant/Analyst. As soon as he got established in his career, he returned to World Skills in 2010  to explore how he could give back to the organization which helped him get started.  By that time, he was chair of the Asian Leadership Network and worked collaboratively  World Skills to develop a Corporate Mentorship Program which was piloted in 201o and has run since then at TD Canada.  He is passionate about supporting newcomers in economic  integration. Over the last four years, through the TD-World Skills Mentorship Program we have been able to address several of the barriers which newcomers face and have achieved the following: 

  • a guide for mentorship, which  is a model to develop more corporate mentorship programs
  • 31 internationally trained individuals have benefited directly from being mentees to this program and 60% of them have been able to secure employment through the expanded networks and resume and interview coaching
  • 120 additional newcomers have benefited from training provided by the staff of TD for resume writing and interview techniques.
  • 70 TD staff are engaged as mentors, interview coaches and supports for newcomers, including supporting newcomers at a resume clinic at World Skills every Wednesday afternoon.
  • support for other initiatives such as the “Alternative Career Event” which is an annual event hosted by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Hire Immigrants Ottawa and World Skills, to support internationally trained individuals to explore alternative careers in Canada

(Staff from World Skills attending the IWSO gala to cheer Mayank and ALN. From left to right Fouzia, Gemma, Atoosa, Magdalene and Lali)


In addition to working directly with World Skills, ALN also  supports  another bridge training program for accounting and IT professionals at In-Tac, another Immigrant Serving organization in Ottawa. Over the last two years, ALN has also generously provided 10 hampers valued at over $300 to 10 new Canadian families at Christmas time. They have initiated and participated in various activities in the community to do spring cleanup, planting trees, various cultural events to raise awareness of different cultures and leadership seminars to assist our members (who are mostly new immigrants to Canada and working for TD)

(With Lucya Spencer, centre, the  Executive Director of IWSO; Mengis Tesegaye, Executive Director at World Skills, 2nd from the right, and World Skills and TD staff)


Mayank is  also a member of the Indo Canadian Chamber of Commerce and have been part of forum’s to assist people who are looking to do business with people from different backgrounds (specially India). Overall, his objective is to assist people in the community who are looking for help and to develop them as leaders in the community.


Newcomers to Canada  face several challenges in economic integration, mainly  lack of professional networks and access to employment.  As the Director of Employer Engagement with World Skills, I am working diligently to create partnerships with employers to support newcomer integration.  We are looking to expand the Corporate Mentorship Programs and create greater opportunities for newcomers to network with professionals in their fields.

If you are a newcomer to Ottawa and need help in accessing employment, please contact our office at 613 2330453 x 0.

If you are an employer who is looking to hire, do contact  us because we have a pool of highly qualified internationally trained professionals  who are looking to add value to your organization/company.

If you are a professional, we also have opportunities for you to network and support our internationally trained individuals.

Do contact me:  Magdalene@ottawa-worldskills.org

TuneIn to the needs of people who are internationally trained and who can bring unique, global perspectives to add to your business. StepUp and make a difference in creating positive changes to the lives of those around you.