Emilie Ventujol the designer behind the elegant Danish children’s wear, Pierrot la Lune and I connected intimately recently about her spiritual beliefs. I have known and worked with Emilie for many seasons now, and during this time the elements of work acquaintance and friend merged. I found myself enquiring about her spiritual beliefs on a quest to deepen my own life experience. From a few things Emilie shared here and there I became aware that meditation was a part of the beautiful underpinning to her brand, but more than that, it seemed to guide her life in a really positive way. As I set out on my own path with regular dedicated meditation this year, I became increasingly curious about Emilie’s meditation, and a few questions turned into an interview. I am grateful to Emilie for sharing this personal account of her private world and her spirituality, and the goodness that comes with the life she lives.
Could you please tell me a little about your spiritual beliefs.
I am brought up in a family where spirituality is discussed more than politics. For me spirituality is actually not something I believe in, its something I feel and know exists in me, around me and in others. Its something about being aware of an inner Being – the real me so to speak. I just read it so clearly the other day. “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience – rather we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” And that pretty much covers how I live and think.
I know I incarnated to change and to evolve spiritually and this is something I take more serious than anything else in my life.
Meditation is a big part of this, do you do a certain type of meditation?
I practice Heartfulness Meditation – The Sahaj Marg approach. Its Raja Yoga, meaning its a yoga where we use the mind as our main tool to get into a state where we are more in tune with our heart. I sit with eyes closed and focus on ‘Light in the heart’. Its super simple and super powerful at the same time. In the evening I practise something called ‘Cleaning’ its a more active state of mind, where I focus on removing old impressions from the energy body.
The Sahaj Marg practice is based on a philosophy of the human being having a soul and a body but also a Subtle body (energy body) and it is this energy body we can work with and refine during meditation. So it is really all about vibrations, like an instrument in tune or not. The ideal is to make our subtle body in tune with the vibration of our soul.
How long have you been meditating?
I started practising Heartfulness meditation, the Sahaj Marg approach, when I was 17 years old and now I am 39, so 22 years all in all.
How long do you meditate for on an average day?
I meditate around an hour in the morning, preferably before waking up my children. So it’s the first thing I do after brushing my teeth and washing my face. Then I practice my evening ‘Cleaning’ for half an hour before dinner or after putting the children to bed.
How does this help your life? Were there things you did prior to a life with meditation that you do not do now, was meditation a cure for things in your life?
It’s difficult for me to answer because I am brought up in a family where almost everyone meditates daily, so its a bit like eating and sleeping for me, it’s just a part of life, a necessary part. I can compare periods where I have practiced less with periods where I practice meditation regularly. The time spent on meditation pays back manifold in terms of less emotions like fear, anger and sadness. It gives me more energy than sleep does so I invest very consciously in meditating in order to gain time in the end. As a mother of two kids and running my own company I can’t allow myself to waste much time. When people ask me how I find the time for meditation I always answer: I don’t have the time to not do it.
You have just been away on a spiritual retreat, can you tell me about that? Where was the retreat, how long did it last, what did you do there?
Yes I just returned from India, where I have my production of children clothes and always try to combine work with at least two days of retreat in an ashram there. This time I was able to spend five days for meditation and it was really needed and appreciated. First I went to Tiruppur, South India, where we were 40.000 people from all over the world gathered for a 3 days seminar. We had 3 meditations daily and listened to talks and ate simple food together.
It was a very intense experience to meditate so many people together, it creates a fantastic atmosphere and a very light vibration in the inner system and around you.
After this seminar I went to an ashram in Hyderabad, more north. Here it was more like a real retreat as there were very few people gathered. It may have been some of the best days ever in my life. It’s difficult to put words on something like this. Its like the inner system gets washed and cared for and after 2 days you feel literally transformed in your inner Being. I wish for all humans to try this at least once in their life. So much love and purity can be found in a place where people come for spiritual transformation.
I believe atmosphere is being created by thoughts so a place where people come for meditation is somehow lighter in vibration as people think less here. It has to be felt. It’s a bit like a clear spring day after a rainy day. No fog, clear and transparent.
I believe while in meditation you can have insights, and feel strong connections to other souls that you are aligned with, it can expose truths that someone or something feels right for you. Can you expand on this idea from your personal experience?
Yes for sure! I don’t think of family like we normally tend to do. Of course I have my family but I also have a bunch of people to whom I am not related in blood but feel as strong a relation as if they were my own family. I call it soul family. I believe all humans are brothers and sisters and I pray every evening at nine o clock for this thought to develop in all humans. It’s a prayer called Universal Prayer and the concept is that it creates what we call “Egregore”, if everybody does it at nine o clock in the various time zones, then the 24 hours are covered. For me this is the most conscious social work one can do, I strongly believe it would change the world very fast if more people joined in on this. Thoughts are our most potent and powerful tool to change the world.
Back to the question, yes I have insights in meditation. The more and more that I think less about a certain issue, the faster I take a decision. The intuition knows everything and when I let go of my idea, the mind, the thinking, the answers always comes to me in meditation. A good example is the brand name of my children clothes. It came in meditation and afterwards I found out it was what my husband used to be called as a child. A very simple little story but with a profound truth hidden behind it. It showed me that my company comes from the right place in my heart, it was already there before I knew about it we can say.
When it comes to whether I have to be around a person or not, I generally like to be around most people. If they are making me insecure I take it as a challenge to stay more centered. But maybe some people need to be avoided and this is something I am pretty fast in feeling. Again back to energy body / subtle body, its like two things can happen in the energy body. Either it contracts or it expands. So in all matters in life I tend to check like this. Does it contract? Leave it. Does is expand? Go for it.
Do you feel a sense that meditation adds power to a peaceful collective conscious?
Absolutely. Some people think meditation is selfish in a world with hunger and war. But as mentioned above I sincerely see meditation as the best social service one can offer the planet. With all the knowledge and science on the power of thought this should be common sense in 2015. I believe it should be taught in schools, it should be practised in all churches, mosques and synagogues. It should be practiced in Wall-street as well as in Ashrams, in hospitals as well as banks. It’s for all and everybody, no matter what religion or what nation we belong to. One day will come where this is manifested in reality, let it please be in my children’s lifetime!
Do you find meditation helps your creativity?
No doubt. I have to create a lot being a designer and having my own company. The more I can clean my subtle body / energy body, the less I feel disturbed from fears. The less fear the more free thinking. It’s easy and simple. A free mind is essential as an entrepreneur. Further I am a very passionate person when it comes to design and aesthetics. This passion needs to be directed always towards something that I believe I can sell. This is something meditation is regulating, I become more realistic and able to cut out the essential from the less essential ideas.
Some periods I observe the meditation has the other effect, I lose interest completely in my work and in the design and the colours. It used to scare me a bit but I have learnt to understand that it is more like the system is being set back to status quo once in a while. Its fantastic especially working in fashion where we always are searching for the latest trend and the upcoming colours and so on. I love to wipe it all out in my mind and start from scratch. It gives me the opportunity to maintain authentic and genuine creativity.
Do you reach a point of internal quiet through meditation, or do you find your mind is on a journey of self discovery?
I do reach points of internal peace in meditation but somehow these points changes all the time. One of my spiritual teachers once wrote a book with the title “Towards infinity” It pretty much answers this question. Always swimming towards the point inside where eternal peace is still swimming…
Do your children meditate?
In the Heartfulness meditation, the Sahaj Marg approach, children can start their practise when they are 15 years old. So mine are still too young. But I do the Heartfulness relaxation exercise with them a few times a week. My daughter in particular loves this. It makes her very relaxed and I know this prepares their energy bodies for meditation later in their life. My son is nine years old and he is already counting down the years for him to start his practise when he is 15. Children know all the stuff we adults have to read about to understand. They are so intuitive and in tune with higher vibrations. Its fantastic what we can learn from them in all matters in life. Also about spiritual and heart-full living.
Thank you Emilie,