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

Five Instagram Pages That Will Inspire You!

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: Shutterstock
Photo Credit: Shutterstock
I came to the Instagram game a little late, but now it’s my favorite social media platform. People actually read the posts (at least the kinds of accounts I follow), and the interactions here feel authentic and genuine, no digital overload, i.e. Twitter.

Nope, Instagram or IG as we like to say (insert smile here), just flows without effort.  I believe the energy we project out into the world returns to us.  It’s one of the reasons I am so drawn to IG accounts with empowering messages. I mean how many selfies can one girl look at over and over again?  Self absorption gets old.

So every month, I’ll highlight five inspirational IG pages. Exploring the digital space is one of my past times.  It’s just like the real world in a way – lots of beauty waiting to be unearthed.

Oh, do let me know who inspires you, too, by commenting below.

@ifeelprettyinc. – Are you about your business – entrepreneur / creator / professional? You’ll definitely want to start following @ifeelprettyinc., a digital marketing and branding co. dedicated to helping the entrepreneur shine.

They bring it, everyday day. Get your morning shot of inspiration and encouragement, along with a mix of no-nonsense advice all designed to help you live more fully and awake. What more can we ask for?

@rufflesribbonsnbows – Ok, y’all, full disclosure, Chel, the owner of Ruffles Ribbons N’ Bows Boutique  is one of my best friends. I promise, I’m not biased (ok, maybe a little).

Seriously though, her page bursts with hope, beauty and girlish enthusiasm. She is a creator, and hand makes tutus and hair accessories for kiddos and grown ups.  Style and substance? Check! Awesome Mompreneur? Check!

@lifefuel365 – These days it feels like everyone wants to tout expertise, especially in the area of empowerment, but in actuality, not many are authentic.

Jimmy Jean is a certified personal coach, motivator and visionary who drops profound mental gems (“Old ways don’t create new seasons”), and then leans back so you can absorb it all. What he says matters and challenges your growth.

@wellreadblackgirl – In my pre-kid life, I read lots and lots of books. I am still an avid reader, but these days, being selective is the name of the game.

Enter Well-Read Black Girl, which highlights works by women of color. I either discover something new or am reminded of a favorite book I want to re-read. Great books are oxygen for the soul!

@life_love_and_lavender _blog – Mrs. Fiola writes a beautiful and honest blog about life, love and marriage. We hear lots about relationships in our culture, but not so much about the day-to-day journey. Her IG posts share the story with grace and authenticity.

Here you will find a vibrant digital gallery of personal photos, flowers, and simple yet poignant quotes from the blog such as: “Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.”