Inspired Reading – Simplicity: Essays by The Minimalists

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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Between home schooling our 3-year-old daughter, plus the gazillion other things I do all day, reading books, at times, seems like a distant fantasy. You know, one of those glorious activities in my pre-kid life.

Well I am stubborn. I couldn’t abandon my life-long love of words for Elmo and Abby, so I became more realistic. Instead of lengthy novels, I absorb blogs, articles and essays.

During an online reading binge last year I discovered The Minimalists blog. It’s written by  two young guys who walked away from six figure jobs, because they knew life consisted of more than climbing a corporate ladder.

Their blog posts are beautifully  layered essays, odes to a simple life built on the appreciation of people and experiences, not vapid status symbols.

Minimalism has many definitions and looks different for various people, but I think of it as not only ridding yourself of excess stuff, but those stifling emotional weights. It’s understanding what matters and why.

I’ve just started diving into their book, Simplicity: Essays. Many of these pieces were published on the blog; some appear in this collection with revisions.

It’s not a lengthy read; you can skip around, choosing what resonates most with you. There are varied lessons here, overall though, minimalism helps us understand the fullness of living in the moment, and honoring our voices over the chaotic noise.

Choose to do less and be more, the minimalists seem to say in their own way. And we all have that choice, the question is how do we manage this power?

Here are a few of my favorite passages:

“The white picket fence. The large suburban home. The big screen TVs glowing in multiple rooms…. The corner office.

In exchange for…

The daily grind. The nose to the grindstone…. The cubical farms… The arbitrary goals… The unyielding tiredness.

You can keep your American Dream. Give us back our time, our freedom, our lives.”

– UnAmerican Dream

“Questioning the meaning we give to our stuff is the basis of minimalism. By paring down and getting rid of life’s excesses, we can focus on what’s important.”

  • Questioning Stuff

“This life is short, but it contains everything. There is inherent beauty in simplicity. Choose your path wisely; often the simple route is the most beautiful path to follow.”

  • Simplicity, An Unpublished Essay

“Without growth, and without a deliberate effort to help others, we are simply slaves to cultural expectations, ensnared by the trappings of money and power and status and perceived success.

Minimalism is a tool that allowed us to simplify our lives so we could focus on what’s important. We were able to strip away the excess stuff and focus on living meaningful lives… You deserve to live a meaningful life, too.”

  • Grow Yourself, Not Your Stuff

So Refreshing – Jewelry with a Message

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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20130712-082847.jpg
Photo Credit: The Life Divine

I believe in surrounding yourself with motivation – quotes, scripture verses, images and books – for personal growth. There are countless creative souls who are producing pieces from the heart, jewelry with motivational message. How cool is it to wear words of wisdom on your wrists or neck?

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Photo Credit: The Life Divine

The Life Divine, an online retailer I recently discovered, sells oodles of bracelets, necklaces and rings in sterling silver, along with inspirational gifts.  They run a store in Martha’s Vineyard, too, Sanctuary Martha’s Vineyard.

Photo Credit: Dayspring
Photo Credit: Dayspring

Dayspring, another cool online store which sells inspirational Christian jewelry features the work of designer Lisa Leonard; each of her pieces is connected to the depth of her own faith.  There is a quiet grace and subtly here.

So wear your inspiration close, all while sharing it with the world!

Live In Color – Emelda #FashionFriday

Photo credit: Dayspring
Photo credit: Dayspring
Photo credit: Dayspring

 

The Power of Dreams

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: www.etsy.com

Motivational quotes have become my touchstones, along with prayer. They guide me along the journey, constant reminders that life holds a plethora of meanings, and my current reality does not define me.

Henry Thoreau said something that I keep tacked on my refrigerator, and look at from time to time: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” While this all sounds empowering, your pragmatic side may wonder (like mine), how can one break this down concretely, and really live this principle, essentially, embody it?

Well, we must move beyond those barriers erected which prevent us from living our dreams, our truth. In my case, I decided that this morning, I would not allow anyone or anything to prevent me from updating this blog, or writing and reading because these activities are my oxygen. They fuel me mentally, and when I deny myself this outlet, I suffer.

We often think of dreams as having an expiration date, but they do not. Instead dreams are cues, reminders that if we settle for what we do not want, life remains mundane and uninspired.

Each day, I am beginning to push back that inner voice, and sometimes accompanying depression, which says, it’s over for you, give up. There is power in dreams, in awakening to the beauty of our individual gifts and talents, so dream and then act. The world is waiting for us.