Why Love Inspires Us

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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The light of our souls, my daughter, Naima De Coteau
Photo Credit: Emelda De Coteau

Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. I use the word “love” here not merely in the personal sense but as a state of being, or a state of grace – not in the infantile American sense of being made happy but in the tough and universal sense of quest and daring and growth.

– James Baldwin

We’re kicking off the months at Live In Color blog with one inspirational word, a guiding light to carry us through our days, especially during those moments when all feels dismal. Isn’t this the beauty of inspiration? It empowers us to see the world with fresh eyes.

Throughout February, we celebrate love. I know. I hear you groaning! Valentine’s Day is Friday, the stores are overrun with teddy bears, chocolate candy and flowers. Our focus on love though is no ode to these superficial sentiments wrapped in commercialization.

No. It’s about increasingly moving towards an authentic love, rooted in faith, family, and self confidence. It is taking time to celebrate the enormity of subtle moments we ignore: your child tugging at you, eyes reaching for affection and reassurance, a friend’s easy laughter over lunch, or significant other’s hand falling subtly against your skin, carrying both warmth and fidelity.

Those instances when you realize life, in all of its complexity and beauty, presents you with endless possibilities to see it anew. This is love which inspires, transforms and uplifts. We hope you will join us in this ongoing journey.

Your Turn
Please do share how love guides you this month, not merely as a word, but a principle within your life.

Live In Color! – Emelda

3 Women, 3 Different Lives, With 1 Cause

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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Valencia, Shannon and I (left to right)
Photo Credit: Keston De Coteau

Valencia (or V as I say), hair stylist and diva for days, is an energetic and loving mother of six beautiful children committed to success. V speaks her truth without apology or a second blink. She’s a pull yourself up by your stilettos kinda lady. Period.

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Beauty / Style Editor, Valencia Pearl
Photo Credit: Keston De Coteau

Shannon (or Shan as I call her) never met a pair of cowboy boots or timberlands she didn’t like; she writes and sings freedom music. Big ideas keep her up at night, and she relentlessly pursues them. Oh, and Shan has some famous big cousins, too. Have you seen Braxton Family Values?

Blog Co-Editor, Shannon-Eli Braxton
Photo Credit: Keston
De Coteau

My roots are spilt between Honduras, the South, and East Baltimore. They call me a workaholic and activist (my husband Kes says I want to save the world), but I am simply committed to the passion of purpose. Heart warrior, poet, standing tall in heels any day of the week (doesn’t every good fashionista?); faith and family nurture my soul.

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Blog Founder / Editor, Emelda De Coteau
Photo Credit: Keston De Coteau

3 women, 3 different lives, with 1 Cause. What’s that? Living life in color and on purpose, while inspiring and empowering you to do the same.

Well, last Sunday, despite frigid chilly November air and relentless winds, we tucked away our insecurities and fatigue. We headed to Baltimore’s Herring Run Park for our fall photo shoot, big girl shoes and all, y’all.  Glamour on an otherwise mundane Sunday afternoon. Check!

Shan and I spent the weekend obsessing about our hair, makeup, and clothes; as we drove over together in the car, we anxiously checked the mirror. Was every hair in place? Eye shadow defined?

Yet in the end, it all comes down to collaboration, those moments of magic when everything coalesces without effort or pretense. Keston (Keystone Productions) my husband and creative partner, shot these photos in under thirty minutes, while our children played, even throwing the leaves you see in these photographs.  This is part of what it means to live in color! You embrace the flow, and let go.

American media deceives us, convinces women jealousy and bickering are second nature. “Reality shows” portray us at one another’s throats for entertainment – particularly women of color. Over and over again, the message repeats: “Women don’t get along.”

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Valencia, Shannon and I
(left to right)
Photo Credit: Keston De Coteau

Well, ultimately, it’s up to us to shut out the noise. Refuse the boxes; their narrow definitions of femininity. We can and do get along, every day. Collaboration is beautiful and liberating! Valencia, Shannon and I dwell in possibility, as poet Emily Dickinson once wrote. Three women, three different lives, with one cause – living fully and color! Come along with us on this journey; you will soar.

Live In Color! – Emelda

Talk to Us
Do you believe the hype that women cannot get along? Why or why not?

 

Watch Your Words

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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“The tongue has the power of life and death…”
Proverbs 18:21

Words carry immense power. What you and I say to ourselves and others matters; it shapes our perceptions, and in turn realities.  Day by day, moment by moment, this principle becomes clearer in many ways.

Shannon (Live In Color blog co-editor) and I spoke recently about the weightiness of words. “You know Mel,” she said squarely, “we are word people. We really are.” When you are a lover of words, you are constantly wrestling with what you say, and taking in what others say.

Several years ago my husband and I sat in a crowded  auditorium, my niece’s excitement bubbled over; she pointed out her favorite Disney characters gliding across the ice. “Look Uncle Keston,” she exclaimed, grabbing hold of his hand. “Look!”

We smiled,  perhaps remembering how easily joy comes to us in childhood. And then, abruptly, another voice interrupted. “Shut up, you ugly little b*#%.” I turned around to see a young woman pulling at her toddler, hurling insults and laughing; Silently I wept for the little girl, her face, what I could make out of it in the dimness, filled with confusion and sadness. Her eyes seemed to whisper, “Why are you so angry?”

On days when I hear someone being particularly cruel, spewing vitriol and hatred, I am reminded of those incidents, and the lesson. Words impact us all. Forget that old-school rhyme:”Sticks and stones break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

Grasping the enormity of what one says is deeply connected to awareness, stillness, sitting with your words after you say them. We can hinder or heal, empower or eviscerate the spirit of another living being.  Choose to use them in service of love and respect.

Two Ways to Watch Your Words:

1. Empathize – Yes, it sounds like a no brainier, but empathy helps us see the world compassionately. How do you like someone to speak to you? Do you enjoy being cut off, your words and thoughts discounted? None of us does, so consider that when communicating with others. We begin to see others perspectives, and our word choice reflects it.

2. Speak Solutions – Like most of us dealing with frustrations, I am guilty of saying, “I’m so sick of…” or “I’m tired of…” in an effort to relieve the tension. Lately, I am turning these words around and focusing on what I want to expand.  So, if you are tired of a particular situation,  focus instead on your solution.

Live In COLOR! – Emelda

How do you watch your words? Is it a struggle for you? Share with us!