Inspiration for Your Ears & Soul: From Global Music to Sustainable Shopping & Mompreneurs 

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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Lianne La Havas performs at the North Sea Jazz Festival

 

The language of music is universal. Don’t you love that?

I spent lots of time listening to artists on NPR Tiny Desk series. One of my new favorites is Lianne La Havas! I get chills listening to her.

I also discovered Concha Buika from this amazing NPR Music Tiny Desk concert. She sings with such intensity and passion! Christine Salem is another new find; listen to her spirited performance here.

Esperanza Spalding is back with a unique sound and style. Loving her flow. Check out this performance at the White House of the jazz classic, “Sunny Side of the Street.”

What if we could purchase sustainable products? It’s a reality over at Buy Me Once where they are saying no to our throw-away culture.

Successful Mompreneur Lakesha Cole on creating a thriving online business in spite of challenges.

You can find lots of awesome content on The Trailblazers Podcast which highlights prominent entrepreneurs of color.

Productivity tips from Mompreneurs.

Ernestine Johnson’s empowering poetic remix of Beyonce’s Formation.

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/
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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? 

Blog Chat: Cultivating Self Love with Shan, The Free Gurl Club

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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Shan & Emelda, Live In Color Blog, The Free Gurl Club

Every other month, Shan and I are going to dish all things inspiration in our  blog chats. 

This month seemed fitting to explore love, especially  self love, as we are often taught, particularly women, to love everyone but ourselves. 

Shan and I are both on paths of healing, love and discovery. We are seeking to honor the light within ourselves, and want those same feelings to manifest for everyone, especially women.

Shan is the creator of The Free Gurl Club, an awesome online space dedicated to empowering women. She hosts a weekly show on YouTube and shares life affirming daily affirmations via Instagram

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Listen to today’s blog chat on Soundcloud. Tomorrow we’ll share on YouTube.

Audio editing by Keystone Productions

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Check out our show notes (including 3 core ways to cultivate self love – listed below first), followed by links to books and other resources we mention: 

1. Make healing yourself (from wounds, past experiences, etc.) a priority! This could be tied to your faith (for me it’s inextricably linked) and include daily and / or frequent time alone (5-10 min.) for reflection. Even if you its initially one minute alone, begin there!  

2.  Post positive self affirmations around your home and work space, or even on your phone. Say them aloud throughout the day.  These may include statements like “I am beautiful. I am worth the life I seek. I am created in the image of God and my life matters. Abundance and joy are my birthrights.” 

Check out this powerful daily affirmation from The Free Gurl Club:

   

3.  Say NO to what drains and depletes you as these people, places and / or choices are creating feelings of being overwhelmed. 

When we are overwhelmed,  we often self medicate in unhealthy ways – excessive drinking, working long hours, overeating, etc. 

  

Further Reading:

Salvation: Black People and Love by bell hooks 

Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant 

Imagine Being More Afraid of Freedom Than Slavery by Pamela Sneed 

Commanding Your Morning by Cindy Trimm

Adalmar Life by Nellie Russell (insightful blog) and piece on the importance of self care and healing. Nellie is one of my blogging besties!  

 

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightment by Eckhart Tolle  

The Audre Lorde quote I referenced on self care. You might also enjoy this blog post about Audre and her intellectual work.