When I first met Yogi Emmanuelle, he was working part-time at a shop in my neighbourhood. It was probably at least 15 years ago. Like many students it was exciting to hear how their studies were going and what direction they were taking in life. I would continue to bump into him at various events in the city –everything from Fashion Week to Lole’s White Tour. There was always something him. He had this positive energy that radiated from him. A gentle soul. I wouldn’t say a carefree soul because he cares. A lot.

I kept in contact with him throughout the years and through social media as well. Watching him flourish in  his passions of yoga, mediation, reiki and healing has been fascinating. His Facebook page still makes me smile whenever I check in. He would show himself practicing yoga or meditation and viewers could follow along no matter where they were and at any time of day. He’s also shown a side of letting go…free flow moments that reminded me to be brave and just do what feels right in the moment.  Emmanuelle has often indirectly offered spiritual guidance when I needed it the most and often, when I didn’t realize I needed it.

We went to lunch one day and chatted for a few hours. He read my “cards” right inside the restaurant drawing attention from nearby diners and wait staff. I’ll never forget the main card he pulled that day. It was one that symbolized the nurturer. Made sense as I’m a mother. But he also, as he explained, the nurturer is also someone who has a duty to teach and lead. We realized that tied-in to what I love most about writing. That is, digging for interesting information and sharing stories and experiences.

I knew Emmanuelle lead various workshops and meditation groups across the city. He did them in yoga studios, conferences and public parks. I asked if he would lead a meditation group in my home. I mentioned that this would be a beautiful experience for my mommy friends, many of whom are open to different experiences. But there aren’t very many mediation spaces uptown. We hit capacity within an hour of putting the idea out to the universe. It was an experience full of joy, hope and letting go of negativity. I promised others that I would do it again only I’ll find a larger space. Maybe for my  birthday next month? Hmmmm.

In the meantime,  there’s a lot going on in the world and many of us are feeling and experiencing a very different environment. It’s confusing and sometimes it’s hard to focus on ourselves and our well-being. We’re also busy worrying about making others happy and leaving ourselves last on the “take care of” list. Ladies, love and nature yourself first. We’ve heard that before yet we still need that reminder.

I had a chance to ask him more…

So, why is it so common to leave ourselves last on that “take care of” list?

I think it’s because we have been conditioned to think that we have to please others before ourselves, and that if we do please ourselves we are selfish. And that being selfish is wrong. And I also feel that because of the role that society has given women, she does everything for the home, and the family, yet, at the end of the day, she has no time for herself. But all of that is changing. Women are waking up and understanding their power.

What are some common challenges you hear from women who come to you for guidance?

A lot of women come to me looking for partners or ask me how they can manifest the perfect love of their life. I always say to them that in order for you to find the perfect lover, you must love yourself unconditionally. Having the perfect relationship in life is a sign from the universe that you have loved yourself enough that you are able to attract the next level of love in your life. Some women I came across are also stepping into their power, they are learning to rise, to heal, and to not fall victim to their own negative stories anymore. It really is a beautiful thing to see a woman evolve like this. Women or the divine feminine are the energy that are changing our planet.

What simple steps can we take each day to nurture our own selves?

Take a few hours of every morning to connect within yourself, whether through writing, meditating, or yoga. This practice will center your being and will create a clear connection with your inner guidance. Sometimes our mind, or ego, is the biggest sourceof distraction in our lives. Once we tame it by connecting to our spirit, we become the complete person that we are meant to become.

We spoke about decluttering when we last met. It’s not easy to do and it’s an overwhelming task. Any tips?

The state of our home has a strong connection with the state of our mind. If you have a clear home, you will then have a clear mind. I therefore make it a habit to purge, giveaway, and organize my things almost daily. You don’t have to spend a whole day onde-clutterinng, you can do it incrementally, or whenever you feel inspired to do so. Ask friends or family to help and make it fun! This is a wonderful practice that will help to bring balance into your life

The news is getting us down. Our world seems to be moving back in time. How are you staying positive?

Turn off your TV, stop reading the new paper, and spend more of your time on healing yourself, having fun, and doing amazing things for your planet. The news is designed to keep us informed about the negative things that are happening around us. You will never find uplifting, positive, or healing energy emanating from this.

Our world is changing, a lot of positive things are happening, and people are waking up, but the media will never show you that. You have the power within you to shift your focus of attention from the negative to the positive. I like to focus my energy on building, creating, and amplifying beautiful and healing energies. I recommend to all of my clientsnot to give over their precious energy and attention to things that are not worthy of their power.

You do Card readings and you’ve done a few for me. What should people know about these readings?

I don’t use the traditional Tarot card, I find that it holds a different type of energy. I use the Ascended Masters Oracle Cards & Osho Zen Tarot Cards. The intention is to bring clarification, balance, and inspiration to my clients. They usually show parts of themselves to you that you need to focus your energy upon, what to expect in the near future, and what you can do to therefore bring more joy into one’s life. A lot of people have fear when it comes to card readings, but those who break out of such fear and ultimately choose to get one commonly find that it is profoundly helpful to one’s overall spiritual well-being

You do some beautiful meditation sessions that I’ve been a part of as well. What are some of the benefits of meditation?

Short term practice of meditation will bring you peace, clarity, and bliss. The more you practice meditation, the more you will become tuned into your soul’s power and purpose, your service to the world, and the the reason why you exist in this time space continuum. You are then able to transcend the material world, and show yourself that you are spirit first, even before you came into this physical bodyou are spirit first before you came into this physical body.

I love how you share these experiences also online with Facebook Live. What have you learned from using this platform?

I am very grateful for all the social media platforms because it makes it easier for me to share my message and inspire others. It also has helped me to release all of my blockages when it comes to speaking and sharing my divine, authentic truth.

What’s your mantra?

This is one of my favourite mantras: Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu.What this mantra means translates to: “May all beings be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and that freedom for all”

Can you pull a tarot card for me now and tell me about it?

OK, so I pulled “The Burden” card. This card represents that you are carrying a lot of baggage from your past. You are focused more on taking things in, instead of letting things go. This ties in with the decluttering question. Maybe it is time for you to experience Reiki so that you can start healing and letting go of your past so you can evolve into your truest and most Divine and authentic you.

Thanks Yogi Emmanuelle! Okay, that Burden card is accurate.

To learn more visit www.yogiemmanuelle.com