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! 

Why My Word for 2017 is Rest 

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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I fight sadness with busyness. There, I admitted it to you and myself. Somehow hurt seems to evaporate for me, even if only momentarily, under a mountain of to-do lists and phone alerts, that is until the pain catches up to me. And it always does…

No one talks about rest. Everyone I know is hustling, striving, pushing to arrive at the next level. I am not saying ambition is bad, but when it slowly robs you of peace, surrending to moments of stillness heals – even a few minutes alone each day, practicing deep breathing, slows the pace of frantic days.

For the past few years I chose a word to guide me annually. As my relationship with God grows, I now pray for direction in this regard; last year I heard breakthrough. In 2017, I hear REST.

Sounds rather dull, huh? Not quite as epic as breakthrough, and yet it is subtle in its depth. Rest not from a standpoint of passiveness, but standing within my faith, accepting the radical love of Christ, and the flow of grace I experience while reading the Bible, couched in verses like Psalm 46:5: “God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.”

If you know me, you understand I am a doer, often juggling multiple projects. Rest? What’s that? I want to do it all and solve problems.

I carry the weight of my own struggles,  along with a deep commitment to social justice. I cannot afford to become still. And yet God is saying draw closer, rest in me, take your eyes off the problems and confess my promises. Each day, I am learning to listen intentionally, as I meditate on this powerful verse:

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:27

Do you have a word for this year? How did you come to it – through prayer, mediation, journaling, etc.? I want to hear all about it in the comments below!

The Revolution Starts When You Turn Off Your Phone 

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: Greg Rakozy Graphic created by Live In Color Blog

I did it, y’all. I stood in line for nearly twenty minutes, surrounded by the chaotic noise in a Chipotle on Saturday night, and I refused to scan my phone – no emailing, IG posts, tweeting or Facebook. Nope. I chose mind REST. I am escaping the land of overwhelm and productivity one bar at a time. Who’s with me?!?!

Is it easy? Heck NO! I felt myself fidget nervously, but then I looked at folks around me, heads buried in the captivating luminosity of their iPhones and Androids, and thought, if I don’t continue this mindful practice, I’m loosing thousands of hours of life to a device. Who has that kind of time?

Waking Up    

“A conditioned mind is not free because it can never go beyond its own borders, beyond the barriers it has built around itself; that is obvious. And it is very difficult for such a mind to free itself from its conditioning and go beyond, because this conditioning is imposed upon it, not only by society, but by itself. You like your conditioning because you dare not go beyond.

You are frightened of what your father and mother would say, of what society and the priest would say; therefore you help to create the barriers which hold you. This is the prison in which most of us are caught, and that is why your parents are always telling you – as you in turn will tell your children – to do this and not do that.”
– Jiddu Krishnamurti

A few months ago, my Dad hung out with us, and we were eating. He looked over at me, sort of befuddled, as I sat, chewing bites of food, pausing to post on Instagram and said: “Do you ever put that thing down?”

I brushed it off, mumbling something about a deadline but his sentence took root in my spirit,  becoming the catalyst for a kind of subtle inner revolution. No viral videos or Twitter hashtag announcing this cause, just a girl who is stepping into mindfulness anew.

How did I become a woman who jerks away from silence, choosing, instead to run headfirst into a suffocating busyness? Me. The little girl who dramatically announced to her family that she needed “quiet time to write.” Where is she in this era of constant communication, but dwindling connection? I am bringing her back to life, one mindful moment at a time.