Be Gentle & Loving With Yourself Everyday

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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: Emelda De Coteau

“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.” – Kurt Vonnegut

Becoming an adult often means we swallow pieces of ourselves, hide vulnerabilities under the guise of responsibilities. Frequent crying  is labeled juvenile, a personal weakness… Yet if ever there were a period to be gentle with ourselves, it is now, when the energy in the world tugs at us daily, assaulting our psyches.

As women and Moms we are relentless with self criticism. I wake up with a mile long to-do-list and silently berate myself when things fall by the way side. Often I struggle to even feel worthy of rest.

There is so much to do, I tell myself – homeschooling, blogging, planning meals and errands for the week. How can I possibly lay down, or go sit in a cafe  and read (one of my favorite past times)? And yet, each time I surrender to rest or doing something only for me, I feel renewed.

Why is it so tough for us to show compassion towards ourselves?  It’s a habit, y’all, and like everything which becomes part of our daily lives, we have to do it over and over again.

When you and I feel overwhelmed the next time, the weight of responsibilities suffocating us, we have to first begin to breathe. It instantly centers you, becoming your sole focus during that moment.

The hubby, Kes, says that to me whenever I become frantic. Take a deep breath, baby.  And then, because he’s perfect for me, he follows up with something hilarious: “I’m gonna start calling you ‘Mel & The Frantics’ cause you always in a panic.” Now I am laughing so hard I almost snort. If y’all could see his face, eyes wide with amusement, you would bowl over with laughter, too.

Audrey Hepburn, whom I admire for her kindness, humanitarian work, and gracious beauty said: “I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.”

All of us need those moments when joy erridicates worry. Sometimes, we have to look in the mirror and crack up at our own mess!

Releasing judgement, anxiety, and silencing all those “should voices” in our minds is another essential part of embracing gentleness. American culture is very much rooted in a kind of personal gratification based on what you do (work hard and then play). Yet there are days when we must relax without having done everything.

This is a tough on for me, y’all. I am goal / project / achievement-oriented-person. But the longer I foster self care and love in my spirit, the more I come to increased clarity, understanding gentleness means releasing fear, the fear of not measuring up.

You and I are enough. Our strength and beauty is not inextricably tied to productivity. We are more than our accomplishments. Gentleness, compassion, honesty and humor are the way forward, illuminating our day-to-day paths. Each one of us deserves a life overflowing with lasting gentleness and joy.

 

Are you gentle with yourself? If so, in what ways? If not, how can you start? 

Cultivating Creativity

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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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“Every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain one when he grows up.”
– Pablo Picasso

Photo Credit: Brand Weavers blog
Photo Credit: Brand Weavers blog

I believe creativity, like laughter, is oxygen for the soul. It transforms mundane moments into extraordinary ones; without ideas, nothing in the universe expands. Ralph Waldo Emerson, noted thinker and writer said: “The ancestor to every action is a thought.”

Cultivate creativity fearlessly; think of yourself as a farmer tilling soil, anxiously awaiting the harvest. We all arrive bearing unique gifts. Therefore what separates those whose lives are imbued with creativity is not superiority, but a kind of fierce defiance and refusal to settle for the smallness of life.

When work or study swallows you whole, eviscerating the joy of writing a poem, painting landscapes, dancing whimsically, or conceptualizing an idea, step back, take a deep breath. The world, which once felt confining and rigid, now begins to open, your freedom is within reach.

Here are Three Ways to Cultivate Creative Expression:

1. Walk – Don’t just walk, observe the intrinsic beauty of nature, listen to the sound of cars hitting asphalt, a child’s innocuous laughter, in short get out of your own head. Allow your walk to become meditation, as Thich Naht Hanh teaches.

2. Release – Who says you must become Picasso? Creativity is about bringing your unique voice and vision to bear. Maybe your creativity involves putting together a business plan, or building relationships with those around you. Do not allow others to rigidly define creativity for you. Live artfully, as author and entrpreneur Sandra Magsamen says.

3. Completion – Have an idea for a creative project? Make small steps toward completion. Your confidence increases with each creative project you cross off the list, whether large (e.g. producing a film) or more modest (crocheting a sweater), and your desire to produce more projects increases. You realize you can do it!