Monday Motivation Moment: Nothing Moves Until You Do 

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 key to transforming all those what ifs floating around in your mind is both simple, and for many of us, difficult – taking action. Technology makes it easy to collect all this knowledge and sit on it. How many e-books, webinars, videos and online seminars have you attended? If you’re like me, a ton!

But at some point, y’all, if we want change, as desperately as we say, movement is essential. Without it, absolutely nothing gets done. Even faith is interconnected  with steps we take toward transforming our circumstances. 

Almost four years ago, I sat across from a woman I admire greatly, as I lamented  my current situation, sighs and all, she locked eyes with me and asked a question which transformed it all – “Do you have a plan? Because ‘being sick of it’ won’t change a thing.” I heard her, definitively, in that moment. As I walked back to the office in silence, I held on to an unshakable joy.

Over dinner my husband and I mapped out a clear plan. Within hours I transcended this block of seeming impossibility by taking action.

And you can, too. I believe in your potential. Refuse to leave this world adrift in a sea of what ifs, content to wonder, satisfied with being just close enough to your dreams, but not quite living them. You’re too brilliant to bury yourself at 25, 30 or 40 in mediocrity.

Four Steps to Help You Transform Frustration Into Movement:

Clarity: Develop a clear understanding exactly what you want to change. Is it a job, improved relationships, more skills in one area? Great! Understanding this fully is essential to your plan.

Focus: Now that you are clear, develo a laser focus on what you want to change. Eliminate distractions as much as possible. Give up that hour of TV to spend time in deep thought. This is where I pray and meditate, and ask God for direction.

Map It Out: Sit down with your journal, iPad or Kindle and break it down –
Goal (s) (changes you want to see)

Strategies (action steps needed to make the change possible) – Give yourself a time table to work with – 30 days, 60 days or 90 days.

Do Your Thang!: Every step is getting you closer to your goal so take consistent action towards your larger goal or goals daily.

P.S.

I just downloaded this amazing book by Mark Batterson, If: Trading Your If Only Regrets for God’s What If Possibilities, thanks to a recommendation from my Instagram friend, writer / clarity coach Tiffany Huff!

And it’s full of gems. One of my favorite quotes so far:

If you woke up this morning with more health than illness—you are more blessed than the millions who will not survive this week. If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation—you are better off than five hundred million people in the world.

If you can attend a church meeting, or not attend one, without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death—you are more blessed than three billion people in the world. If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep—you are richer thhan 75 percent of this world.

If you have money in the bank or in your wallet, or spare change in a dish someplace—you rank among the top 8 percent of the world’s wealthy. If you can read this book—you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all. So count your blessings and remind everyone else how blessed we all are!

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/
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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!

 

Obstacles, Opportunities in Disguise

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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It’s 9 a.m. and you are racing to work again, pantyhose running, the mind reels with mounting responsibilities, you feel confined, trapped. Breathe, step back and think about this: our obstacles and problems, from the mundane to complex, are opportunities in disguise.

Last week when I interviewed Pebbles Armwood, fellow blogger and mental fitness advocate she said something which resonated: “perception is reality.” Wow. Talk about an aha moment, and apt reminder about the power of attitude.

Carolyn Malachi, one of my favorite artists insists on her song, “Free Your Mind”: “Wherever you are, your mind put you there.” This is no easy lesson; it means you and I must begin the work of turning our issues backwards, and accept responsibility.

Are you frequently late? How could this be altered by practicing mindfulness, leaving ahead of time so that agitation and stress do not overtake you? Do you long to attend school, but feel there is little time to do so? Take one class, and begin looking for periods during the day when study time would work.

Turn your problems into solutions, your obstacles into opportunities. Here are two ways to begin:

1. Change your perceptions – You are not a hapless victim. Look at yourself differently; use affirmations, prayer and mediation.

2. Shift the Focus – My husband always reminds me to shift the focus. Instead of saying “this is impossible” and concentrating on the “problem”, actively look for a solution, shift your focus.

Think of a problem or obstacle. How can you turn it into an opportunity?