Ernesto is the soul behind www.manifestees.com, where the motto is “Awaken Your Spirit, Express Your Soul.”

Tell us about a deep soul connection that you’ve experienced. My mother-in-law was a caretaker for a sweet elderly holocaust survivor named Margot. (Margot escaped death when a Nazi officer searching her home, saw her hiding. For some miraculous reason the soldier motioned for her to keep quiet, and moved on.) Although we knew of each other and on rare occasionally said hello, we never really interacted or had a deep conversation (now I wish I had). One thing I distinctly remember about her is that she always looked through squinting eyes, I guess to see better.

One day I received a call from my mother-in-law asking me to rush over because Margot (now in her late 90s) had fallen off the bed and neither my mother-in-law or her sister could lift her back onto her bed. I rushed over, all the while worrying about not being able to lift her or hurting her in the process. When I arrived I quickly went over to her, kneeled and gently lifted her up into my arms. To my surprise, I did not feel her weight at all! It was as if I was pretending to lift someone.

The very moment I stood up with her, I saw the most amazing thing! There was Margot looking straight at me, silently and peacefully. She was glowing. Her eyes, opened wide, looked so very beautiful and bright. They were a gorgeous indigo blue. Actually, I call it “indiglow” because it was as if there was light emanating from them.

I felt her soul connect with mine, and thought to myself, wow what a beautiful soul. The moment really took my breath away. I will remember it as long as I live. She passed away a few days after.

What is one of the most soul-opening moments of your life? This is a tough one because there are so many, but one pivotal soul-opening moment occurred while on a business trip in Vegas. A group of colleagues and I were having a few after-dinner drinks and discussing business (and I so dislike talking business after business is done). Somehow the conversation changed to one about spirituality, the Universe, our existence, God and so on. It was very interesting listening to all the different takes on how or why the Universe influences our lives, some all too familiar, and some very interesting new concepts.

About a week later, to my surprise, I received a couple of books from one of my colleagues with whom I had engaged in deep conversation: Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsh and Das Energy by Andy Williams. The first book more so than the second changed my world around. It completely, single-handedly took my belief system and turned it on its head.

From that moment on, my universe has opened up immensely. So many soul-opening moments have come since then, so many new senses brought to life. I almost feel as if my eyes were bound and suddenly the blindfold was lifted. Imagine if you will holding your breath underwater for a while and then suddenly rising to the surface for air. That sweet, sweet feeling of inhaling to your lungs capacity… yeah, that’s how it feels to have a soul-opening experience.

The old saying is so right: “WHEN THE STUDENT IS READY, THE TEACHER WILL APPEAR.”

When do you feel your most soulful? Through the years, I have become more soulfully conscious and really try to be in the moment as often as I can. Stopping for a moment to see, hear, smell, taste, or feel what I am doing is enough to engage the soul.

With life as busy and fast as it is today, it is way too easy to forget the connection we have with everything, the places we visit, the people we connect with, our surroundings, the inanimate objects we utilize day to day. This very IPad I am communicating with is charged with my energy. I would dare say at times it becomes an extension of my thoughts through which I express my soul. I could read a book, see a movie, or hear a song, and they all have the potential to move my soul. This is true for all of us.

More personally specific, I feel soulful when my wife and I sit down to our morning ritual of coffee and chat. This time is very special to me because as we share our thoughts, many times I can feel her soul. Sometimes our chats are so intense the very clouds outside our picture window take the form of our subject.

Another very soulful time is when I am driving. My mind just opens up and my soul is fed. Many, many of my “AHA!” moments have come to me while behind the wheel on a long drive.

Where in the world have you felt the most in touch with your own soul? I traveled a lot for my previous job, and have had the privilege of experiencing many places. I feel the most in touch with my soul in my home. There is no comparing that embracing feeling I get when I have been away on a long trip and finally make it back to my haven where love abounds. My home is a fortress. In my home I regenerate, re-energize, and refresh my soul.

I had never, ever been anywhere else in the world that has recreated this feeling for me—that is, until last summer when we took a family vacation to Bora Bora! Instantly my soul fell in love with this true paradise. There is so much natural beauty and ancient energy in this place, that one’s soul is instantly enveloped. The mystical Mount Otumano majestically rising up from the sea personifies creation. Truly a spiritual experience. This was the only place we did not want to leave.

Who is one of the most soulful people you’ve ever known? I once had the fortune of meeting Dr. Wayne Dyer. I found him to be more soulful than I thought he’d be. Oprah is very soulful for sure.

Believe it or not, Bruce Lee was a very soulful man. Most people know him as a great martial artist and actor, but few know him as the great philosopher that he was. Bruce was very deep in his thinking, at times borrowing from and giving his own twist to the Tao Te Ching. “Be water my friend” is one of his mist famous quotes. Water is formless, but can adapt to any shape. You put water in a cup, and it becomes the cup. Put it in a vase, and it becomes the vase. 

My favorite Bruce Lee quote is “DON’T THINK! FEEEEEEEEEEL.” I like to live by this philosophy. I try to follow what I feel, instead of what I think. Thinking too much gets you into trouble. We as humans tend to overthink things, and overcomplicate things in the process. I believe we are all gifted with an internal guidance system, intuition, extra sensory, instinct, or whatever you want to call it. It’s really all we need to survive and thrive.

People who pay attention to their feelings are the most soulful people you’ll meet.

What qualities do you feel a soulful relationship has? I feel a “soulful” relationship is one that “sees” the other soul, that is, one that inherently knows the other and can feel its energy, while being accepting, understanding, and compassionate. A soul in a relationship gives of itself, without losing its own essence. Each enhances the other, completing the circle in a relationship.

What do you feel your soul’s purpose is? At the moment I believe my soul’s purpose is to grow and learn all that it can about itself, and about the worlds it dwells in (the physical and the nonphysical). I strongly believe my soul’s purpose is to express love, to give and share of itself, and to reach for the light and to be that light as well. To exist for the greater good.

Ultimately I believe the soul is a living manifestation of the creator, so my ultimate purpose is to create. This is something we all do every day.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us? Last year, I had the honor of meeting Aron Ralston, who is an extraordinary gentleman with an amazing soul. His is truly an fascinating story and a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the conviction of the soul, but also proves the power of thought, words and manifestation. Aron is widely known for having survived a canyoneering accident in southeastern Utah, during which he was forced to amputate his own right arm with a dull multitool in order to free himself from a dislodged boulder, which had trapped him there for five days and seven hours. Even after he had escaped, he still had to climb down a 65-foot sheer cliff face to reach safety. In the movie 127 Hours, actor James Franco plays out the real-life ordeal of the adventurous outdoorsman who was literally caught between a rock and a hard place. 

Aron told me he was always a seeker of adventure and as a child loved watching adventure movies and old cliff-hanger movies. He would imagine being the hero and visualized himself being in their predicament. He thrilled at the thought of being faced with challenge and adversity. How would he get out of their peril? How would he conquer or escape?

I told him, “Aron, you know you got exactly what you asked for.” He laughed and replied, “I know, you’re right.”

I believe that we are souls with bodies, and not bodies with souls. I believe a body is a vehicle to the soul, and we should take care of it. Keep it clean and tuned up, etc.—I mean, who wants to drive around in a broken-down clunker, right?

I also believe that we are far greater and more powerful than we can ever imagine. We have been given the power to create our world as we choose. This has been proven throughout the ages. Everything that exists in this world started out as a thought, a dream, a word. Nothing is impossible when you believe in yourself and follow your dreams and desires. You can manifest anything! I have been witness to this awesome power time and again.

I consider myself an eternal optimist and always try to spread positivity where ever I go, motivating anyone I can. I have built a website to help me do this and created a mantra that says:

AWAKEN YOUR SPIRIT, EXPRESS YOUR SOUL

Please visit www.manifestees.com for some really positive ways to “express your soul.”

Thank you for reading this inspiring interview! ~Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships (in paperbackebook, and audio), the upcoming books 52 Prescriptions for Happiness and The Soulmate Lover, and creators of Mantras for Making Love and Overcoming Jealousy