Be Gentle & Loving With Yourself Everyday

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Photo Credit: Emelda De Coteau

“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.” – Kurt Vonnegut

Becoming an adult often means we swallow pieces of ourselves, hide vulnerabilities under the guise of responsibilities. Frequent crying  is labeled juvenile, a personal weakness… Yet if ever there were a period to be gentle with ourselves, it is now, when the energy in the world tugs at us daily, assaulting our psyches.

As women and Moms we are relentless with self criticism. I wake up with a mile long to-do-list and silently berate myself when things fall by the way side. Often I struggle to even feel worthy of rest.

There is so much to do, I tell myself – homeschooling, blogging, planning meals and errands for the week. How can I possibly lay down, or go sit in a cafe  and read (one of my favorite past times)? And yet, each time I surrender to rest or doing something only for me, I feel renewed.

Why is it so tough for us to show compassion towards ourselves?  It’s a habit, y’all, and like everything which becomes part of our daily lives, we have to do it over and over again.

When you and I feel overwhelmed the next time, the weight of responsibilities suffocating us, we have to first begin to breathe. It instantly centers you, becoming your sole focus during that moment.

The hubby, Kes, says that to me whenever I become frantic. Take a deep breath, baby.  And then, because he’s perfect for me, he follows up with something hilarious: “I’m gonna start calling you ‘Mel & The Frantics’ cause you always in a panic.” Now I am laughing so hard I almost snort. If y’all could see his face, eyes wide with amusement, you would bowl over with laughter, too.

Audrey Hepburn, whom I admire for her kindness, humanitarian work, and gracious beauty said: “I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.”

All of us need those moments when joy erridicates worry. Sometimes, we have to look in the mirror and crack up at our own mess!

Releasing judgement, anxiety, and silencing all those “should voices” in our minds is another essential part of embracing gentleness. American culture is very much rooted in a kind of personal gratification based on what you do (work hard and then play). Yet there are days when we must relax without having done everything.

This is a tough on for me, y’all. I am goal / project / achievement-oriented-person. But the longer I foster self care and love in my spirit, the more I come to increased clarity, understanding gentleness means releasing fear, the fear of not measuring up.

You and I are enough. Our strength and beauty is not inextricably tied to productivity. We are more than our accomplishments. Gentleness, compassion, honesty and humor are the way forward, illuminating our day-to-day paths. Each one of us deserves a life overflowing with lasting gentleness and joy.

 

Are you gentle with yourself? If so, in what ways? If not, how can you start? 

Inspiration For Your Ears & Soul: From Maya Angelou Docu. to Loving Your Natural Hair, and Walking by Faith

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Photo via Pinterest

Challenges followed me this week, one after the other, but I remained determined to seek out inspiration.

Here’s the weekly list:

Cannot wait to see this documentary on the colorful & prolific writer Dr. Maya Angelou. Democracy Now’s background coverage of it is excellent.

My blogging friend Afrotastic Lady has a lovely online space. She regularly features posts from other writers and creatives. Check out this beautifully-layered piece by talented singer Jessi Hughes about loving your hair, and how this connects to faith and personal growth for her.

Jessi I. Hughes, Photo via Afrotastic Lady Blog

Every moment of every day, God’s grace wins! You tell em’ Matthew West! 

No matter what your situation looks like in the physical, It Ain’t Over, because God is in control! Close your eyes and take in this powerful message from Isreal Houghton featuring James Fortune and Jason Nelson.

These kids are my heroes! They stood up for a child with special needs being bullied. I could not stop crying; their courage is so utterly moving!

Angela Davis and her sister, Fania  talk about self-care and how it’s tied to our larger struggles for social justice.

Inspiration For Your Ears: From Enjoying Life to Overcoming Anxiety

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Photo Credit: Samantha Sophia
Photo Credit: Samantha Sophia

Ok, y’all, it’s so cold I barely want to leave my house! What I am loving these days is curling up on the couch (when Nai naps), and listening to inspirational content. Shan and I talked last week about self love and how important it is to feed yourself with encouraging words!

Here’s what I am loving this week: 

Jump and release anxiety! Awesome reminder from Shan of The Free Gurl Club about walking in your power and surrendering all to faith. I had the honor of sponsoring this show, too!

This week she urges us to enjoy life and embrace our unique truth. 

Shan of The Free Gurl Club

It’s Already Done by Big Daddy Weave is such a lovely ode to trusting God fully, allowing Him to guide our steps.

Cornel West dropping philosophical gems such as why the courageous among us examine ourselves.

Lucille Clifton’s poetic anthem for strong folks everywhere, “Won’t You Celebrate With Me.”

Alice Walker’s striking poem “Broken Things” on honoring beauty.