Inspiration For Your Ears & Soul: Poet Saul Wiliams, Nina Simone, Dr. King & Creating Lasting Change 

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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Poet Saul Williams

I like artists that question what we are told is normal, folks pushing against the status quo.  As we near the birthday of Dr. King, I am thinking even deeper about the righteousness of rebellion:

Saul Williams’ performance on NPR Tiny Desk Concert is raw and arresting in innumerable ways.

I listen to Dr. King’s speech at the Riverside church quite a bit. He calls us all into radical action and love.

The beauty of the incomparable Nina Simone, unapologetic in her truth:

One woman’s letter to her boyfriend about the privilege of his skin and their love: “How did you become the man I love? You bake; I write. You’re gregarious; I’m reticent. You’re North; I’m South. You’re white; I’m brown. You’re local; I’m global. But we meet in vulnerability. You soften my edges. You are honest and kind.”

One group in New Orleans is liberating women from the prison industrial complex.

My girlfriend Kayla shared the Interview piece where Beyoncé has a heartfelt Q&A with Solange. It’s beautiful, and provides such insight into her rich creative life.

Music is universal. Don’t you love that? Alsarah & The Nubatones from the Sudan sing with such intense feeling. Another amazing performance on NPR Tiny desk concert series.

Inspiration For Your Ears & Soul: From Emeli Sande to Online Communities for Women Creatives and Entrepreneurs

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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Emeli Sandé, singer / songwriter

We are living in times of intense emotions – fear, hatred, passion and growing divisions. One of the ways I practice self care is by reading and listening to everything from podcasts to music as a way to both uplift and nurture my soul.

Here is my latest round up of those pieces which bring joy and inspiration:

Emeli Sandé’s music is full of such overwhelming beauty, it nearly aches to listen. Her latest album, “Long Live the Angels,” touches me in ways I cannot explain. “Selah” and “Breathing Underwater” meet me where I am in this moment.

More than ever, we need hope. Our country is torn apart by divisions. This heartfelt song, “Free The Dream,” performed by Kathryn Riggins & Cecilia Duarte, reminds us there is beauty in cultivating a diverse community.

Drawing inspiration from the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, César Chávez  and the  Native American community’s commitment to “live in peace and harmony with the land, “Free the Dream” reminds us all to continue working for a just world. Check out the Free the Dream website to learn more.

Looking for an amazing community to connect with other women entrepreneurs? Check out Pretty Entrepreneur, “a network for passionate, focused, resilient, and dope women who will never stop creating their own opportunity,” founded by my good friend Kayla of I Feel Pretty Inc. I join other amazing women who are representing the brand and uplifting the message of empowerment on the blog. Get your Pretty Entrpreneur gear here.

Love these mindset hacks from Nicaila Matthews, the amazing host of Side Hustle Pro, a podcast for the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the U.S. –  women of color.

Last month, I co-founded an online community for women creatives, #WomenCreativesChat, with my blogging friend Monica (afrotasticlady blog), and I am loving connecting with so many amazing souls each day. Join us!

Why My Word for 2017 is Rest 

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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I fight sadness with busyness. There, I admitted it to you and myself. Somehow hurt seems to evaporate for me, even if only momentarily, under a mountain of to-do lists and phone alerts, that is until the pain catches up to me. And it always does…

No one talks about rest. Everyone I know is hustling, striving, pushing to arrive at the next level. I am not saying ambition is bad, but when it slowly robs you of peace, surrending to moments of stillness heals – even a few minutes alone each day, practicing deep breathing, slows the pace of frantic days.

For the past few years I chose a word to guide me annually. As my relationship with God grows, I now pray for direction in this regard; last year I heard breakthrough. In 2017, I hear REST.

Sounds rather dull, huh? Not quite as epic as breakthrough, and yet it is subtle in its depth. Rest not from a standpoint of passiveness, but standing within my faith, accepting the radical love of Christ, and the flow of grace I experience while reading the Bible, couched in verses like Psalm 46:5: “God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.”

If you know me, you understand I am a doer, often juggling multiple projects. Rest? What’s that? I want to do it all and solve problems.

I carry the weight of my own struggles,  along with a deep commitment to social justice. I cannot afford to become still. And yet God is saying draw closer, rest in me, take your eyes off the problems and confess my promises. Each day, I am learning to listen intentionally, as I meditate on this powerful verse:

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:27

Do you have a word for this year? How did you come to it – through prayer, mediation, journaling, etc.? I want to hear all about it in the comments below!