Thanks to everyone who made the Launch of Soulful Encounters Successful and Memorable!

 

There are moments in life which are captured in our memories forever.  As Rosa Parks said:  “Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others.”

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The launch of Soulful Encounters, on May 25th, along with my birthday celebration is a memory that will live in my mind forever because I know for sure, that I am contributing to the works of many great souls who have graced the surface of this earth, long before I was born.  I am equally certain, that the memories which are created in the souls who are being touched by our work, will in turn, continue to play their part in creating more soulful encounters in this lifetime, to grace the planet with more love and care, as we all thrive to live with both PASSION and PURPOSE.

I want to thank everyone for their wonderful contributions towards the launching of the Magazine – whether this came through sponsorship, purchasing a magazine, sending messages to wish us a successful launch, sharing or liking on social media, making a telephone call or turning up at the launch. I want to specially thank Wilson for uncovering the box of dreams and giving me the support which I needed to bring life to these long, buried dreams. Our contributors to the Magazine, our graphic designer Mila Gerstentien and photographers Nyamulola Kambanji and Kores Musuni were critical to the Magazine production.  Each adventure has forced us to step out of our comfort zones.  Some moments have not been easy but I would not exchange the experience for anything else.

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When we started on this journey Magsthree years ago, I had no idea where it would lead, who we would meet or what the results would be.  What I knew then, was that I was being placed in a soul space which needed expansion and the voice in my head kept on saying: “Don’t die with your passion inside of you.” Talking about the soul is not something which is an everyday conversation, yet, SOUL is my everyday experience with life and with people.  I have spent many sleepless nights wondering how I could create a simple way to help others understand the journey of the soul and to also make the connection between the every day ordinary, routines and the SOUL.  I have thought long and hard about how I can help others take meaning from their day to day encounters and to be more aware of the blessings that are exchanged – whether it is a positive or negative soul encounter. I believe that as we make these connections and see that our paths are connected to a force which is so much greater than ourselves, then our fears are also released and we are able to commit and embrace our unique path with greater grace, gratitude and acceptance.  As we receive more and more testimonials about Soulful Encounters and the events which we have held, I am convince that we are on the right path.

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Each of our speakers  shared soulful encounters in their lives and I am truly grateful that they allowed us to have a glimpse of how their experiences have shaped their lives today.  It was inspiring to listen to how Laura is using her gifts as a psychic to help others; how Rima got fired from Willis College in one moment and the next moment, she was the owner of the College.

MengsWe were all deeply engaged with Mengis’s story as he walked us through his life journey and how he got freed from prison and walked through a jungle with a total stranger for eight hours. His journey to Canada is a true testimonial  of the journey of the soul across many continents.

Trevor speaking

We were inspired by Trevor’s deep love for Dale and how this translates into their everyday existence and shows up in their coaching others to live great lives.  He recited his poem, CLOUD 9, which is  featured in Soulful Encounters.

Emily speaking

Emily touched all of our hears as she spoke about her relationship with Roger, how they met and the small and big things which he does every day to make her feel loved and safe in their relationship. She surprised him by giving him an AWARD for being the  BEST HUSBAND.

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Very moving and touching was the personal story of  Margeret from Uganda who spoke about putting back the pieces of her life post Idi Amin.  Her desire to LIVE and not be DEAD is a true testimonial to how she LIVES her life and encourages others to do the same.  Her shared experiences of UGANDA is on our list of travelling destinations!

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Thanks to Soophia for bringing greetings from the High Commissioner of Kenya and her own testimonial to the inspiration from Mags Magazine.

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Thanks to  my long standing friend Angela for speaking from her heart about our soulful relationship over the years.  Our encounter from 13 years ago, as two total strangers, have become a beautiful and soulful relationship.

13256334_1608419406153099_1025084674582389575_n[1]Thanks to my friend  Lisa Anna Palmer who never ceases to amaze me for her energy and support towards my work and who best to talk about helping us all to LIVE our PASSIONS! Her donation of a book ‘365 Ways to Connect to your Soul’ was won by the son of Ranjith Mathews who has been extremely supportive of my work and publishing in Social Media.

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I discovered things about each person that I never knew before and it reaffirmed to me, the power of our stories beyond our everyday job titles and responsibilities.  There is something deeper: something is at the core of our being. I went home thinking, “This was such a powerful experience to connect so many experiences and countries in one evening, through stories and soul energy.”  Our voices and experiences matter. Our stories matter.  Understanding the part which we have to play in our life journey matters and being able to share these with the world matter.  I feel really honoured and blessed to have shared that experience with everyone.

I want to say a special thank you to my colleagues, Gemma, Fouzia, Chinelo, Peggy and Aparna, who are wonderful friends as well and who came out to support and volunteer their time at the event. Thanks to Ross and my children Jelan and Dawn for also volunteering.  Their support was priceless.  Thanks to Ranjith for his work in photographing and social media that evening as well as Zoran for his vidography.

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NabilaA  special thank you to Nabila Islam who volunteered countless hours of work in pulling together the technical aspects of the production.  She did great a great job, especially with the introduction to each of our speakers.

Through this blog, I want to publicly thank everyone and acknowledge their support in helping me to live my life mission… and I hope that by doing so… I am also helping each one to live their life mission as well.

The Magazine is a new product and I also want to ask for your feedback on how we could improve for future events; on how we can continue to market the Magazine so that it reaches the right audiences and how we can continue to build on what we have started.  I am learning to ASK for what I need and this is for my personal growth as I step out to embrace both my soul work and being an entrepreneur at the same time.

The photo below was taken just a couple of minutes after they stopped the show half-way to sing the first round of Happy Birthday to me and Rima made it so special with this huge bouquet of flowers and a gift.  To simply have all three of those great speakers on the stage with me, was the a wonderful gift in itself. Magdalene, Rima, Laura, Mengis, Wilson

From left to right:  Rima Aristocrat, CEO and President of Willis College; Mengistab Tsegaye, Executive Director of World Skills Employment Centre, Emily Cattelan-Legace, one of our featured speakers on love; Laura Traplin, Medium and Psychic in Ottawa; myself and Wilson Jn. Baptiste, CEO of Gems of Saint Lucia.

Friends below:  Lisa and her husband Andrew with Ranjith Mathews; Gemma and Ranjith’s son; my friend Barb with Angela, Rima and Laura; my friends Mussie, Mercy and Josephine with her other friend.

Thanks to my friend Leonetta who travelled from New York to be there for the launch!  This was a very special treat.  with monica

My writing journey to making myself more visible, started in 2011 after my mom’s death.  My motivation for indulging as much as I did was to ensure that when I died, everyone who knew me, could say that I lived my passion to the fullest.  My top passion in life is writing and since I made that decision, many other pieces in my life has fallen in place.  Lao Tzu said that the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step and truly, that is a fundamental truth in life.  Since that decision, we have traveled many miles across countries and cities, written many articles, published two Magazines, held five inspirational events in Ottawa and met people whom I would not have otherwise met on this journey.

So… here’s wishing all of us ALL WONDERFUL BLESSINGS as we embrace our soul journey and LIVE OUR BEST LIVES.

Thanks to our wonderful SPONSORS and Mr. Felix Grande for featuring me on CHUO before the Launch of Soulful Encounters.

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Thanks to Hani Rached from Auto Paradise for being one of our sponsors, Rima Aristocrat, Willis College; Mengistab Tsegaye, World Skills Employment Centre; Myrna Schmitt from  Piton Villa;  Paul and Sherrine Clifford from  Cast Away Tour in Saint Lucia!

Love,

Magdalene

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A great partnership effort which brought smiles to the faces of children in St. Lucia. Children received bicycles and toys!

Christmas 2013,  St. Lucian children from across the island received bicycles, thanks to the great partnership efforts between Wilson Jn. Baptiste, Founder of The Gems of St. Lucia, Taj Weekes, the newly appointed UNICEF Champion for Children, his children’s charity, They Often Cry Outreach (TOCO) and JetBlue Airways. JetBlue transported the bicycles to St. Lucia and the Annual Children’s Christmas Party was hosted  by Helen Television System and Rise St. Lucia.

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Wilson Jn. Baptiste  and Taj Weekes are St. Lucians living in New York who constantly find small and big ways to reach out to the community. Both are excited to be able to work on this project together although they have each done separate projects in the past. In 2010 Wilson initiated his first toy drive in New York for St. Lucia. He sourced toys for the Annual Christmas Party for Helen Television System and was able to partner with Pastor Gilford T Monrose, President Mt. Zion Church of God (7th Day Adventist) who donated a suitcase of toys. After this first toy drive, Wilson went back to school to study for his Master’s Degree in Tourism Management. His studies kept him busy until now.

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Wilson is happy that less fortunate children recieved bicycles this year. He believes that this initiative is a strong example of a strategic partnership which demonstrates the magic that can happen when like-minded people and institutions come together on a mission to help one of the most vulnerable groups – children, especially at this festive time of year.

“The image of a bright smile on a child’s face, who thought that he/she would not be receiving a gift this Christmas; the sigh of relief, on a parents’ face, who thought that he/she would have to make the difficult choice between a toy and ham this Christmas. This year is of particular significance due to the news of adverse economic conditions which the island is currently experiencing. I want to make a difference in the life of a child and a family. If each of us contributes a little to the initiative then we can bring happiness to many people.”

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Taj Weekes is a world-renowned musician, singer and songwriter. He is involved in several initiatives in St. Lucia through his U.S. based not for profit organization, TOCO. TOCO is dedicated to improving the lives of Caribbean children through sports, health and enrichment programs. In 2011, he launched the TOCO Annual Holiday Toy Drive. Each toy drive has a theme that promotes exercise and healthy living. In 2011, he donated 600 soccer uniforms and soccer balls. In 2012 he donated scooters and helmets and now in 2013, it is bicycles.

St. Lucia has the highest rate of diabetes in the world,” Taj said. “As part of my mission, I would like to see the children of St. Lucia become more active and riding a bicycle is one of the activities that they can engage in and also have fun with.”

For Taj, this initiative is also deeply spiritually rooted as he has made it big in the music industry but he is very much grounded in his core values.

“We are our brother’s keepers. To whom much is given, much is expected. I can help and I will do whatever is in my power to help the children of St. Lucia. After all, how many more things do I need? I can’t drive 5 cars, I don’t need 5 cars… but I can make a contribution at home.”

JetBlue Airways has regular flights to St. Lucia and was happy to partner with Wilson and Taj on this project.

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“Our mission is to Inspire Humanity both in the air and on the ground. We live, work and volunteer in the communities we serve. We are excited to work with The Gems of St. Lucia to bring 150 bikes to less fortunate children. Youth initiatives are a core pillar of corporate social responsibility program. Our crew members are dedicated to causes that support and encourage children and education. Our crew members are excited to deliver these bikes just in time for the Children’s Annual Christmas Party,” said Janid Ortiz, JetBlue’s manager of regional marketing.

In St. Lucia, Helen Television System and Rise St. Lucia are elated  about the partnership efforts as well.

“ This represents the 3rd such collaboration with Taj Weekes and the TOCO foundation. This year, in addition to handing out bicycles to less fortunate kids at an open air free Xmas party, schools such as the Dame Pearlette Primary School, the Grande Riviere Primary, the St. Lucia Crisis Centre and Faces of Cancer foundation will all receive bikes for their “Kids after school programs”, which caters for less fortunate kids.”  said Valarie Albert, HTS, St. Lucia.

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Away from home, it is heartening to see the commitment of persons like Taj and Wilson to give to the children in St. Lucia. Having established a partnership with fellow philanthropic organizations such as Rise St. Lucia and Helen Television System, their message to the public is simple:  a small gesture can go a long way. Take time out to hug a child…take time out to smile to a child….take time out to let the least fortunate know that things will get better.

The children of St. Lucia and children globally deserve more than toys for Christmas. They must be assisted throughout the year. As a result, the team which produced the results for the toy drive for 2013, will not end its contribution after Christmas. Plans are already underway to determine areas of assistance for the children of St. Lucia and globally, using the team’s expertise and resources. More partners are invited to assist and contribute to the cause of the children.

They would like to thank everyone who has been a part of this initiative: JetBlue, Helen Television Service, Rise St. Lucia, Radio One Hundred, Valerie Albert, Dr. Stephen King, and Jaqueline Bird.

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TuneIn to the needs of those who are less fortunate than you during this Christmas season. What can you do to make someone’s day brighter? StepUp and take one small action step. You have it within your power to make a positive difference in your corner of the world! We should all strive to leave this world in a better shape than we found it for the sake of the next generation. This shape should take the form of a cleaner environment, peace and a world that can sustain its resources.

About The Gems of St. Lucia:

The Gems of St. Lucia identifies tourism products which have the attributes of providing warm, highly personalized, quality service and accommodation in an intimate and alluring setting. The focus is on comfort, beauty and a true sense of relaxation. We fill a gap during the slow season in the hospitality sector in St. Lucia, and more precisely, in the hotel sector by engaging with international markets to promote St. Lucia as a prestige destination of choice. We achieve this through the creation of global marketing consulting teams which involves St. Lucians and friends of St. Lucia.

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Contact:
gemsofstlucia@gmail.com
 Tel: 646-678-6154
 www.gemsofsaintlucia.com

About TOCO:

They Often Cry Outreach (TOCO) is a 501(c)(3), U.S. based, not-for profit organization co-founded by St. Lucian musician Taj Weekes and attorney Shirley J. Menard. TOCO’s mission is to raise awareness and address the issues that affect Caribbean youth through comprehensive projects and initiatives on every island in the Caribbean. TOCO’s projects range from after school sports programs, a diabetes awareness initiative, a domestic violence awareness campaign, and artistic programs. TOCO is dedicated to improving the lives of Caribbean youth through sports, health and enrichment programs

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Contact:
They Often Cry Outreach (TOCO)
27 Edgewood Place
Great Neck, New York 11024
1-917-488-5982
info@theyoftencryoutreach.org

JetBlue Airways:

JetBlue Inspring Humanity since 2000

http://www.jetblue.com/flying-on-jetblue/

http://www.jetblue.com/corporate-social-responsibility/

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:  Tuneinandstepup@gmail.com