Five Instagramers Who Inspire Me

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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 Pexel
 
It’s been a while since I blogged about who inspires me on Instagram. Nearly everday, it seems, I connect with people whose creativity, curiosity and vision challenge me to think about the world in new ways.  

Here are a few of my favs. Every month I’ll highlight five.

 If you’re on IG, pop on over to their pages. You’ll leave full of inspiration, and what better way to kick off 2016? 

@trentsdinnerandashow -Beautiful photographs of eclectic food, philosophy and stimulating conversation all in one  
place? Yep. When you follow Trent. His down-to-earth personality and warmth make you feel right at home. 

@queensbabies – Any Mom who consistently creates earns my admiration and respect! Her lovely gallery overflows with unique handmade creations like colorful cowls, and of course, two adorable kids with infectious smiles. 

@thefreegurlclub – Okay, so full disclosure, Shan, the founder of The Free Gurl club is one of my besties but it’s not why she made the list. 

Her awesome new page is an encouraging space for women with daily empowering affirmations. And The Free Gurl Club is also on YouTube, with weekly shows to keep the motivation going! 

@bettysblankets – Artful blankets, big doses of love (touching photos of grandkids and family, plus  fuzzy pet kiddos) and inspirational posts make following Betty a no brainer. 

@highhealedhearts – Domestic violence is a serious issue and High Healed Hearts, Inc. reminds us daily that we all have the power to stop it. I always feel uplifted reading and listening to survivors stories of overcoming abuse. It’s a magnificent tribute to loving and honoring life! 

My Word for 2016 is Breakthrough

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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 grew tremendously in the spirit this year, friends. Bible verses I casually read or heard my parents mention are now daily staples, posted on doors and various rooms around my house. 

Devotional time, once a sporadic practice, is now a lifeline and grounding force. Struggle does this to us. It urges connection with something greater than ourselves. I choose to seek God and faith.

2015 challenged us to expand in novel ways as we sought healing for our family, both spiritual and physical. You see, when you work side by side, with your child, helping them overcome speech delay and sleep issues, God teaches you, within each moment, about unconditional love, patience, and relentless endurance. Suddenly small stuff is inconsequential. Who cares about a traffic jam? 

You begin to live in a state of gratitude for blessings, both grand and small. Words become audible miracles. What others take for granted you celebrate. 

A few months ago we took our daughter to the Healing Room for prayer. Afterwards, we stood outside in the crisp autumn air, as she played. A young woman I never met walked up to me, her coca-brown face filled with joy. And I will never forget what she quickly shared: “I don’t know you. I don’t know your daughter, but I have been praying for you since you all arrived. I heard one word while I was praying: breakthrough. God is going to give your daughter and your entire family a breakthrough!”

Oh how my tears flowed. Wow. Breakthrough. I rolled the word over and over in my mind as I hugged my Mom excitedly. Oh friends, inmoments of doubt and despair I hold on to that word from God, delivered by a young woman I never met. 

Breakthrough. This is my word for 2016. Each year I select one. Well, this year, God reminded me to be guided by the spirit for this word.  My heart is full with gratitude and joy for what is to come. 

Ever chosen a word for the year? Excited about 2016? Tell me why! 

Gratitude For 2015

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Photo Credit: Mike Petrucci

How was your 2015? Was it the year of magnificent manifestation as so many leaders prophesized? With little effort, did all of your dreams come true? If so, please invite me to your house for an one-on-one mentoring program because my 2015 was not what I expected at all. Never in my life have I fought such a battle against my own mind.

While I wanted to be painting my new hometown red, I felt more like I was sentenced to a self-inflicted house arrest. The year started with me totaling my brand new dream car and in turn loosing my exciting brand new job. What I was left with was a crappy lawyer, a little government assistance, an emotionally taxing relationship and an opportunity to get clear about God’s purpose for me and my life.

2015, I officially label you “The Year Of Clarity.” Much of this year I spent talking to my “faithful five.” And each of my closest friends were struggling at my side. From the labor of planning and executing a national music tour, to being a black man trying to find employment in a white man’s arena; from managing a 3-year-old who has trouble staying asleep, to breaking up with a lover and long term career; we have gone to the war room y’all and prayed each other through the thick of the thick.

So what are we left we besides our ever growing strength? CLARITY! I am so excited to launch into 2016 with a brand new vision for my life that will serve you and God instead of serving my own ego. My friends are entering this new year with assurance that they are on the right path, a focus on entrepreneurship, holistic healing plans and registrations in programs to start fulfilling new careers.

So, how was your 2015? Was it “The Year of Clarity” for you?

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My name is Shannon Elizabeth Murphy Braxton. If I had to choose a title, I would say I am a PICKY MUSE. A poet, a singer, a storyteller and a person who gets VERY pissed off at ignorance and injustice. I hate the word career. “She is at the peak of her career.””How is this job going to help your career?” “Shannon, you need to choose a career.”

TO HELL WITH CAREERS!

I am a freedom fighter, a person who lightens the mood, and someone who refuses to stay silent about things that matter. I spent a year interviewing children about the struggles they face and being the assistant producer of Childhood Matters Radio Show.

I spent several more years as the personal trainer to some of the most fabulous people in the world. And most importantly, I’ve spent my life trying to make sense out of nonsense and heal myself and the people around me with the transformative energy of love.

If you ask me, to live a life in COLOR should be the one and only career. I am excited to share some of my inspiration, and a little bit of my humor with others who are on this journey of creating a fabulous, colorful life.

I am thrilled to welcome Shan back to the blog to contribute whenever her schedule permits! She wrote and collaborated with me for a little over a year. It’s awesome to work with your bestie / sis.  I’m sure you’ll enjoy her honest and heartfelt writing as much as I do.