Inspiration For Your Ears & Soul: From Author Elizabeth Gilbert on Fearless Creativity to Practicing Kindness

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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Illustration by Sherrill Knezel

Lots of juggling projects this week, so not as much time to read and listen to inspiring content, but I always manage to squeeze something into the mix.  I am so moved by courageous women who are leading organizations to uplift their communities, journalists who seek unapologetic truth, and writers unafraid to reveal their vulnerability.

Here is my weekly list:

Author Elizabeth Gilbert on pushing past fear, and cultivating creativity constantly – no matter what.

Women-led movements are redefining power all over the world.

Lovely photo essay from blogger / photographer Tammy Strobel.

On the importance of being kind to ourselves.

One writer’s journey to self love, and saying no to doing more and more (which seems to be practically imbedded in our DNA as women).

The beauty of John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme”.

An engaging conversation from Unraveling the Mind blog on Beyoncé, capitalism and activism.

 

 

What’s Surprising about Beyoncé’s Latest Album

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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Innovation: The act of starting something for the first time; introducing something new; founding, origination, initiation, creation, institution, or introduction.

We all thought Beyoncé and her team were on hiatus, and boom, overnight she brings us new music. Our weekly grind just became easier, huh? Her self-titled album has social media buzzing, with record downloads. Quite simply, its a hit; 400,000 copies sold in under 6 hours.

I’ll be honest. I had a complete attitude. Why? Well, my relationship with Beyoncé could easily be characterized as love/hate. While I identify and admire her sensuality and talent, sometimes I despise what feels inauthentic about her persona. Well, she broke down my walls, and I’m sure thousands of others with this album.

It’s her most raw piece of work. Powerful, impactful, soulful and mature. She is a wife and mother; this is unapologetic
grown-woman music. There is nothing gimmicky or mainstream. Beyoncé is raunchy, descriptive and X-rated. And, you know what, I love it!

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Footage from the video, Drunk In Love

I’m especially feelin’ these lines something serious:

“Then I fill the tub up halfway then ride it with my surfboard.

Surfboard, surfboard…

Graining on that wood, graining, graining on that wood.

I’m swerving on that, swerving, swerving on that big body Benz.

Serving all this, swerve, surfing all of this good, good.”

“Drunk in Love” is definitely the breakout single. I’m sure it is responsible for several hangovers and counter sex. It’s one of my favorites. Your girl is dealing with a headache from injuring herself after attempting to reenact the video.

Blow,” another vivid, sexually-charged song has a classic R&B vibe. Is it me, or is it clear she and her husband, music mogul Jay-Z have a healthy sex life. What’s the result for us? Steamy music with character. She alludes to mild discord in their relationship with  songs like “Jealous,” or the duet with Drake, “Mine.” What relationship is not complicated?

There are other standout tracks for me. The collaboration with Frank Ocean (“I Miss You“) is classic. While her dedication to baby daughter Blue is sweet; so many mothers can relate.

Earlier this year she released “I Been On,” revamped on the album as “Flawless,” where she proclaims herslef Queen of Pop; she tells all of us to “Bow down, bitches!” You all can take that bow; I’ll stand.

You make good music, Beyonce; you have me doing all different kinds of things with it. I play the introduction to “Flawless” featuring Nigerian author and feminist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for my 11-year-old twin girls every morning; the words are intelligent and inspirational.

They tell girls it is ok to be great:

We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller.

We say to girls you can have ambition, but not too much.

You should aim to be successful, but not too successful,

otherwise you will threaten the man.”

This brings me back to the definition of innovative: a new way. Why is Beyonce so successful? She is ever changing, and thinking of novel ways to perform. She aligns herself with smart, trustworthy people, who genuinely want her to succeed. If something goes wrong, she corrects it. She keeps us on our toes,  or now our surfboards.

Will we sing any of these songs 20 years from now? I’ll let time tell that story. Will I be in my fifties saying: “We woke up in the kitchen, wondering how this shit happened. Oh, baby!” I hope so! I want to write a personal thank you letter for this album.

Hopefully, over the next week you can find some time to listen. Let me know what you think.

beyonce-new-album-sales

 Live In Color! – Valencia

Black Women Rock Blonde Hair

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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Author and Performance Artist, Shannon-Eli Braxton

SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!

I’m dying my hair and I’m thinking about going blonde.

Wait! Are those BOOs I hear?!

OMG, are those protest signs I see? Did someone just call the Black Panther Party on me?! I can hear a loud chant,  “My sistah you are not white. Raise your self-esteem black woman. Just say no to blonde!”

OH NO! Someone in the crowd is saying that I made an appointment to bleach my skin. Someone else is saying that it’s all because I went to an all white school. Whaaaat, OMG?! Did you hear that?!? One man just shouted that I only date white girls and I think all black women are ugly!!!

SHUT UP! SHUT THE !@#% UP!

Nothing is wrong with my self esteem, and I love being black. I just want a new fresh look. For all those who think blonde hair is reserved for white women only, please scroll below. These children of African decent live in New Guinea, and I doubt they have ever used a box of Loreal.
Yup, it’s natural and now that I think about it, my hair turns a rusty red when I spend lots of time in the sun, too.

Plus, I can attest that blondes do have more fun. This won’t be my first time lightening my locs. Check back in a few weeks to approve or disapprove of my new look!

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Here are some of my favorite celebrities. Just more proof that blonde hair looks good on us too!

SuperModel, Naomi Campbell
SuperModel, Naomi Campbell
Actress, Keke Palmer
Actress, Keke Palmer
Model and Actress, Eva "Diva"
Model and Actress, Eva “Diva”
TV Producer, Talk Show Host, Singer and Actress, Tamar Braxton-Herbert
TV Producer, Talk Show Host, Singer and Actress, Tamar Braxton-Herbert
Songwriter and Singer, Chrisette Michele
Songwriter and Singer, Chrisette Michele
The Queen B, Beyonce Knowles-Carter
The Queen B, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter

 

Singer and Actress, The Victorious and (yes I'm bias) sexiest singer of all time, Toni  Braxton
Singer and Actress, The Victorious and (yes I’m bias) sexiest singer of all time, Ms. Toni Braxton

Live in COLOR! – Shannon