Candle Meditation

Posted by Yvette Gayle on

Is Candle Meditation For You?


Fire is irresistible to me. There is something so calming and tranquil about the flame and the aroma of a beautifully scented candle. It can transport your mind to a wonderful peaceful place.  Here’s some tips if you wish to try candle meditation.


  1. Visualize the flame as a source of love and light

Feel it radiating outward, penetrating dark corners of the room. This is a great metaphor for divine love and light that can penetrate the dark corners of your thoughts. Allow the light and love of the flame to fill the room, and fill every cell in your body.

  1. Visualize the flame burning away your impurities

Visualize it burning away thoughts of hate, fear, impatience, insecurity, greed, anger, anxiety, self-loathing, depression, jealousy, bitterness, guilt and resentment. Replace them with the love and light of the flame, and positive thoughts/emotions.

  1. Candle meditation is a present-awareness exercise

To further enhance your present-awareness, focus your gaze at the very tip of the flame, where flame turns to smoke. Notice that the color here is different than it is in the middle or the bottom of the flame. Notice that the slightest air movement will affect the flame in some way, just as your thoughts affect your environment.

Be aware of the scent of the candle; the movement of air in the room; the way the flame becomes wider, thinner, quieter or more active as outside forces (like your breath and the air in the room) affect it. 

  1. To connect with your infinite Self, contemplate the infinite nature of a flame 

When one flame lights another, and that flame lights another and so on, you can see that the flame is infinite.

Visualize the light and love of the flame and radiate it outward from your heart to everyone you know; to everyone you have ever met or will meet; and especially to everyone who has wronged you or whom you have wronged.

Visualize the light and love from your candle lighting the candles of every other person on the planet.

  1. Expand on this visualization exercise

Eyes open or eyes closed, visualize the flame lighting the way for people who need help emotionally, mentally, physically or spiritually. Visualize the flame lighting the hearts of people consumed by fear and hate. Visualize the flame lighting YOUR way to your destiny. Visualize the flame guiding you toward your higher purpose. Let your imagination run with this! You can use light in so many different ways.

Candle meditation can be used anytime to quiet your mind and de-stress. My new line of Small Indulgences (releasing in a couple weeks)  are perfect for candle meditation. I might suggest starting with Lotus Flower. Simply light the candle and give yourself a chance to focus on it; in just a few minutes you will be enjoying a quiet mind and profound inner peace!

Use this when your mind is too busy and you need to focus. Keep candles handy wherever they are appropriate and take a few minutes here and there to center yourself and bring your attention back to the present.



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Exploring Johannesburg

Posted by Yvette Gayle on

It's that time of year again where we pack up the kids and head to a new destination. This year we are spending 2 weeks in Johannesburg South Africa. And while we have passed through the city in the past, this trip will be about exploring the city in it's entirety. So look out Johannesburg - The Gayle's are on their way!




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Think Globally

Posted by Yvette Gayle on


“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” Nelson Mandela

When I was growing up, my mom loved to play the radio and my father loved to dance. Being the youngest of three and the only girl, I often had the privilege of riding my dad’s toes while he glided across the dance floor. In high school, my intro to hip-hop came via my two older brothers. It was Doug E. Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew’s “The Show” that had me meticulously writing down all the rhymes in order to rap them in the mirror. Even though mainstream media (which I knew nothing about at the time) thought the tune was comedic, it was the dopest thing I had ever heard.

In college I studied political science with the intent of becoming a judge, but it was a summer internship at Sony Music that changed the trajectory of my journey. I was fortunate enough to join the Columbia Records publicity department upon graduation. As an assistant, I cut my teeth on classic albums like Illmatic by Nas (1994), and The Score by The Fugees (1996) and worked with diverse artists in the R&B and jazz genres.

My first international breath was taken when I travelled with The Fugees to Haiti to put on a humanitarian concert, and shoot the cover of The Source Magazine (1996). It was here that I first grasped the concept that music is universal. It crosses borders, political divisions and can unite people across different continents. While in Port-au-Prince, Wyclef and I visited an orphanage where he played the guitar and the children were captivated by the music. This is where my heart first became committed to adoption. In 2011 my husband and I adopted our daughter Sitota from Ethiopia. She and my son Mekhi inspired me to launch my home fragrance company, The Sitota Collection, where my candle fragrances are reminiscent of my global travels. Retail in the States was harder for me to crack as a budding entrepreneur, however I was able to solidify my brand early on with retail in Nigeria.

During our travels to Africa in the early 2000s, my husband and I realized that there was a distinct business opportunity on the Continent. Interest was high and access to North American content was low. We set out to bridge that gap and make connections across the diaspora. We created a television series, “O Access,” that aired on DSTV for five years and became the number one entertainment show in South Africa. We curated shows that highlighted the biggest and the brightest artists in our culture. We brought festivals like T.D. Jakes’ Mega Festival to South Africa, curated music documentaries with MTV and VEVO, launched products and signed artists to major labels.

At Africa Creative Agency, we urge the industry to not look at Africa as a continent that is simply in need but as a continent that can bring you greater exposure and incredible returns on your investment. By all means I still believe humanitarian efforts are very important. In 2012, I was working with 50 Cent when he partnered with the United Nations World Food Program and donated sales from his Street King Energy drink to feed hungry children. We also helped to build a school in the Democratic Republic of Congo and many of those children have gone on to go to universities in North America. I’m super proud of that initiative. But Africa is also the continent where we can expand our brands and do profitable business. The times are certainly changing and over the past five years we’ve seen more and more success stories in Africa. We try to connect individuals to collaborate, partner and expand their business. Whether it was bringing NE-YO to Kenya to connect on a partnership with Coke Studios or consulting Time Warner Inc. and Essence magazine to bring the Essence Music Festival to Durban, South Africa, we encourage the industry to look beyond our borders and not only “Think Globally,” but specifically “Think Africa.”

I realize that this is a work in progress. There are a lot of people who still view Africa as a poor, starving Third World country and that is largely because of the media’s images and how the continent is portrayed. Some feel the media should take the lead in changing this perception but I feel that it’s our responsibility to change our own thinking.

In March of this year Kevin Hart brought his “What Now” tour to South Africa and made history by having the largest comedy show turn out in the country. He was totally surprised by the reception he received. “I travel the world and I tell jokes and I’ve gotten to the point where I feel that anyone anywhere can appreciate my style of comedy,“ he said, “but today [in South Africa] blew me away.” More than ever, the time is now to expand our thinking, expand our brands and take advantage of the global opportunities that will help our culture grow, prosper and remain rich.

It’s time to play big. Think Globally; Think Africa.

Yvette Davis Gayle is a veteran entertainment publicist and currently serves as Vice President of Publicity at Interscope Geffen A&M Records. She is also Executive Vice President of Communications for Africa Creative Agency and founder of The Sitota Collection. She’s a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children. Gayle’s essay, “Think Globally,” is part of the Living Legends Foundation’s series on “The State of Black Music and Beyond.”


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Posted by Yvette Gayle on

 Do you realize that washing your face is one of the most important rituals you can have? I know I’m all too guilty to arrive home late in the evening and not successfully remove all of my makeup. As much as we try to minimize the oil we put on our face, you may be surprised to hear about the OIL CLEANSING METHOD. Oil actually helps to lubricate, heal, moisturize and protect your skin. Contrary to popular belief oil does not cause acne. Bacteria, dirt and hormones are the main culprits.

Many times we splurge on all these expensive facial products that strip the oil from our skin, thinking we are doing the right thing. This often times causes our body to produce more oil. And this over production causes our pores to get clogged and trapped with dirt and bacteria. 

So here is some information that I have learned about this particular skin care and cleansing method. The basic concept is that the oil used to massage your skin will dissolve the oil that had hardened with impurities and are now trapped in your pores. The steam will open your pores and allow the oil to be easily removed.

Oils like Castor, Jojoba, Grapeseed, Evening Prim-Rose and Avocado Oil have so many wonderful benefits for your skin. 

I must admit that I am intrigued by all the research I’ve been doing about skin care these days and  I have to say I’m truly excited about all that I’m learning. 

Here’s to sharing more after I complete my skin care course. 

Now go treat the skin you’re in!


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Posted by Yvette Gayle on

Keep Calm And Light A Candle: Our Favorite New Home Essential



Take a trip with us. It’s not going to take long and you won’t have to spend more than $50. Our new obsession has motivated the explorer in us.

Los Angeles-based candle company, The Sitota Collection is a perfect blend of luxury and affordability offering four signature scents inspired by places throughout the world. “My world is a global landscape,” said Yvette Davis Gayle, founder of the company.

As a music executive who help launch the careers of Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent and Keri Hilson, this endeavor is one filled with passion. “I create luxury products to recall my most precious memories. My luxurious candle fragrances highlight my very personal experiences, including a remarkable journey that led me to my daughter Sitota.”

The company is named after her adopted daughter Sitota, meaning “gift” in Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia. What make the candles the perfect gift is the extreme detail put into each one. Made from recyclable glass, soy wax and lead-free wicks, the hand-poured candles are infused with essential oils and premium fragrances.

Our favorite scent is “Havana” that blends tobacco, leather, amber and musk. But you may fancy “Coco Noir,” “Blue Nile,” or “Aigyptos.

Shop the complete collection (and fall in love) by going here.

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