What Inspires Me To Create on Live In Color Blog

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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Me and our daughter Nai

I miss sharing in this space with you all. There are moments though, when we need time away to bring us back. We must sit with ourselves and rediscover what ignites the soul. I certainly do not ever want this blog to feel like a job. Creativity is my oxygen; it sustains me, nourishes me in a way I cannot explain fully…

Photo Credit: Frank McKenna

As a little girl, I fell madly in love with words (poetry, books  and songwriting) and visual art (painting, sketching, and later photography). Often my younger brother Dave and I acted out plays we wrote, perched in our treehouse.

We were constructing new worlds with ever growing imaginations. Growing up in Baltimore meant surviving, but our parents always ensured we embraced possibilities. We understood there were experiences beyond our neighborhood.

Photo from my photo series – Baltimore: Sorrow, Promise & Hope | Emelda De Coteau, Live In Color blog

Photo from my photo series – Baltimore: Sorrow, Promise & Hope | Emelda De Coteau, Live In Color blog
Perhaps it’s why creativity never left me, even years later, when I found myself in the 9-5 grind. I felt deeply that actively creating held liberation. Inspiration for me abounds, sitting within the sounds of nature, hearing laughter from our little one, Nai, artistic culture, and the endurance of the human spirit.

Photo Credit: Emelda De Coteau
Live In Color Blog
On a brisk Saturday morning in January of 2010, I started Live In Color blog, and, like my life, it’s taken shape and grown over the years. Initially I simply sought to inspire others and share my spiritual journey.

I now feel called to not only blog, but cultivate a community which empowers women in three core areas: faith, activism and inspiration / motivation. I want you to not only exist, but live in color!

P.S.

Wednesday I’ll share where else you can read my words online…

What inspires you to create? Tell me in the comments below! 

Inspiration For Your Ears & Soul: New Music from Corrine Bailey Rae to Women & Girls Following Their Hearts

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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Corrine Bailey Rae (photo via her Twitter page)
Corrine Bailey Rae (photo via her Twitter page)
Corrine Bailey Rae took a 6-year-break from music, but she’s back with a hot single I can’t stop rocking, “Been To The Moon (music video)” (full album is expected to drop March 13).
We tell girls they can accomplish anything, and then expect them to deny adventure in adulthood.  Caroline Paul’s new book, while written for tweens, can speak to all of us – stop playing it safe and start living. ▶️ Read Maria Popova’s excellent review of it here.

She worried about being a “disabled” Mom until a woman spoke a sentence she never forgot (featured on the amazing website The Mighty).

Great tips for women on setting personal and professional boundaries for ourselves.

We can dwell on what we don’t have, or we can proclaim our blessings! Nina Simone reminds us all with some powerful words – “Let me tell you what I got… my brain, my smile, my heart, my soul…”

Gregory Porter’s voice is utterly divine! I love this stirring song about a pivotal point in American history – 1960s.  And his classic piece, “Be Good,” is worth playing again and again (the music video was shot in my hometown of Baltimore).

Making Time For You, Inspired Reading: The Fringe Hours

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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Photo Credit: The Mom Creative Blog

 

“One always has time enough, if one  will apply it well.”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Are you like me? Do your days move at warp speed, and by the time you catch your breath it’s midnight? Adulthood can feel like one long string of obligations, especially for women.Beginning in childhood, society says put yourself last. As kids, how many of us played with dolls that cried or needed their diapers changed? Before we knew ourselves, we learned to care for others – starting with the toys.

Even in the 21st century, with more women in leadership roles, our culture continues to revere a kind of femininity rooted in service and selflessness. Yet moments spent alone pursuing those passions that nourish our souls rejuvenates us. We become better mothers, wives, friends, siblings and professionals. Why? Because there is time to see us fully – not only the roles we fill. I know, you’re thinking, who has time to write poetry, paint, or hit the gym for yoga class? I’m running a household and managing business obligations.

Well, the truth is you and I have more time than we realize. While reading one of my favorite blogs, (in) courage me, I discovered a new book, The Fringe Hours by Jessica N. Turner, mom, blogger, crafter and marketing professional. I wanted to know more. Where are these hours? How can I discover and maximize them?

Fringe hours are small pockets in our days – early mornings before the house is chaotic, lunch breaks, nap times (for stay-at-home / work-from-home Moms), or evenings after the kids fall asleep. These are opportunities to transform mundane moments into periods of creation and growth.

How do we get there though? Well unlike other books tackling time management, Turner doesn’t start out by giving us a system to implement. She urges digging deeper with some critical questions: What stops us from putting personal time at the top of our lists? Do obligations to everyone else feel more important? It is vital to examine these self-imposed blocks.

The late writer James Baldwin wisely said, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” Balance, then, is at the core of fostering time for ourselves. I hear you mumbling. Who ever achieves this? Well, one of the lessons I am beginning to learn is balance changes all the time, its constant shifting and negotiating, but without it, life swallows us. Here balance is defined in a way rarely heard: “emotional stability (how does what we are doing make us feel) + a satisfying arrangement of elements.”

Essentially, is the calendar full of draining responsibilities, or have you found a way to make self care a priority in the midst of it all?  Oh, yes. Its one area of constant push and pull for me (and I am sure lots of you, too); giving ourselves permission to enjoy me time minus the guilt.

There are clear areas of focus on the road to a more fulfilling life, Turner insists: “Understanding self-care habits and identifying your passions and available time are just the first steps to living a life that prioritizes you and your needs. Once you commit to this lifestyle, embracing additional practices such as prioritization and accepting help can make a huge difference in your well being.”

“Busy people get things done.”
Trudy Leocadio (my very wise Mom)

This is a book full of actions, daily steps we can begin taking to discover fringe hours (track your days for one week) and maximize them (learning to say no, and being prepared to use unexpected time, i.e. long waits at the doctor’s office by keeping your journal, iPad, etc. on hand). Each chapter concludes with a few sentences of motivation to elevate our spirits and assure us others join us in the journey. There are gems of wisdom like this:

“You can organize your time in such a way that prioritizes yourself. Sometimes this means saying no or skipping dishes. Creating boundaries with our time and in our relationships is an important and healthy way to live a life that models self-care.”

I urge you not to stifle your gifts because you wear so many hats. We all deserve a full life, one where creativity, joy and freedom flourish. Getting to this place takes some work, and once we are there, it’s about maintaining boundaries, and consistently reminding ourselves that we matter immensely. But it’s worth all the struggle and organization. God did not create us to blend in to the world, but rather to ignite it with our light and purpose. Your legacy matters. Start building it, minute by minute, today.

Connect with the video series of The Fringe Hours on YouTube.

Originally published in Beautifully Said Magazine, the September issue.