My Word for 2016 is Breakthrough

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 grew tremendously in the spirit this year, friends. Bible verses I casually read or heard my parents mention are now daily staples, posted on doors and various rooms around my house. 

Devotional time, once a sporadic practice, is now a lifeline and grounding force. Struggle does this to us. It urges connection with something greater than ourselves. I choose to seek God and faith.

2015 challenged us to expand in novel ways as we sought healing for our family, both spiritual and physical. You see, when you work side by side, with your child, helping them overcome speech delay and sleep issues, God teaches you, within each moment, about unconditional love, patience, and relentless endurance. Suddenly small stuff is inconsequential. Who cares about a traffic jam? 

You begin to live in a state of gratitude for blessings, both grand and small. Words become audible miracles. What others take for granted you celebrate. 

A few months ago we took our daughter to the Healing Room for prayer. Afterwards, we stood outside in the crisp autumn air, as she played. A young woman I never met walked up to me, her coca-brown face filled with joy. And I will never forget what she quickly shared: “I don’t know you. I don’t know your daughter, but I have been praying for you since you all arrived. I heard one word while I was praying: breakthrough. God is going to give your daughter and your entire family a breakthrough!”

Oh how my tears flowed. Wow. Breakthrough. I rolled the word over and over in my mind as I hugged my Mom excitedly. Oh friends, inmoments of doubt and despair I hold on to that word from God, delivered by a young woman I never met. 

Breakthrough. This is my word for 2016. Each year I select one. Well, this year, God reminded me to be guided by the spirit for this word.  My heart is full with gratitude and joy for what is to come. 

Ever chosen a word for the year? Excited about 2016? Tell me why! 

Gratitude For 2015

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Photo Credit: Mike Petrucci

How was your 2015? Was it the year of magnificent manifestation as so many leaders prophesized? With little effort, did all of your dreams come true? If so, please invite me to your house for an one-on-one mentoring program because my 2015 was not what I expected at all. Never in my life have I fought such a battle against my own mind.

While I wanted to be painting my new hometown red, I felt more like I was sentenced to a self-inflicted house arrest. The year started with me totaling my brand new dream car and in turn loosing my exciting brand new job. What I was left with was a crappy lawyer, a little government assistance, an emotionally taxing relationship and an opportunity to get clear about God’s purpose for me and my life.

2015, I officially label you “The Year Of Clarity.” Much of this year I spent talking to my “faithful five.” And each of my closest friends were struggling at my side. From the labor of planning and executing a national music tour, to being a black man trying to find employment in a white man’s arena; from managing a 3-year-old who has trouble staying asleep, to breaking up with a lover and long term career; we have gone to the war room y’all and prayed each other through the thick of the thick.

So what are we left we besides our ever growing strength? CLARITY! I am so excited to launch into 2016 with a brand new vision for my life that will serve you and God instead of serving my own ego. My friends are entering this new year with assurance that they are on the right path, a focus on entrepreneurship, holistic healing plans and registrations in programs to start fulfilling new careers.

So, how was your 2015? Was it “The Year of Clarity” for you?

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My name is Shannon Elizabeth Murphy Braxton. If I had to choose a title, I would say I am a PICKY MUSE. A poet, a singer, a storyteller and a person who gets VERY pissed off at ignorance and injustice. I hate the word career. “She is at the peak of her career.””How is this job going to help your career?” “Shannon, you need to choose a career.”

TO HELL WITH CAREERS!

I am a freedom fighter, a person who lightens the mood, and someone who refuses to stay silent about things that matter. I spent a year interviewing children about the struggles they face and being the assistant producer of Childhood Matters Radio Show.

I spent several more years as the personal trainer to some of the most fabulous people in the world. And most importantly, I’ve spent my life trying to make sense out of nonsense and heal myself and the people around me with the transformative energy of love.

If you ask me, to live a life in COLOR should be the one and only career. I am excited to share some of my inspiration, and a little bit of my humor with others who are on this journey of creating a fabulous, colorful life.

I am thrilled to welcome Shan back to the blog to contribute whenever her schedule permits! She wrote and collaborated with me for a little over a year. It’s awesome to work with your bestie / sis.  I’m sure you’ll enjoy her honest and heartfelt writing as much as I do.

Your Easy Holiday Hair Style Guide!

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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So you have received either the anticipated or dreaded invitation to dine with your boyfriends’ family, that annual holiday company shindig, or you and the girls are determined to bring glitz and glitter to a New Year’s Eve party. Wherever you are headed, I’m sure, like me, your first question is simple: “What am I going to do with my hair?”

Well, hold tight, beauties. We will lead you down the yellow brick road of fabulous! Your holiday hair guide is here, complete with photos and easy steps you can do at home.

Hair styled by Valencia Pearl
Hair styled by Valencia Pearl
Photo Courtesy of Panache Photography

Romantic spirals set the mood for an evening of smooth talk, pointed toes, flirtatious giggles and mistletoe. Give your flat, straight, and smooth tresses a splash of curls. This look can easily be achieved with a wand curler or rod set. Spiral curls will pair beautifully with a pant suit, or gown for high-end events.

Hair styled by Valencia Pearl  Photo courtesy of Panache Photography
Hair styled by Valencia Pearl
Photo courtesy of Panache Photography

All hail the bun! Simple, classic, beautiful, sleek, effortless, and definitely an elegant compliment to your holiday dress, or sequenced blouse. It can either be worn with or without a bang, and is perfect for both the day at the office, or later at happy hour. Pair this style with a red lip, and rhinestone studs or diamonds, and you have made your mark in the book of holiday perfection.

Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus
Photo credit: Pascal Le Sergretain / Getty Images

Spice life up a bit, and shock everyone with a new cut and color. Make it an occasion few   will forget. Going short does not limit glamour and versatility. Short tresses are easy to maintain, and may give you more flexibility traveling from party to pub crawls. It compliments any holiday ensemble! Oh. Don’t be shy when you beat your face! Add some lashes, smoke those eyes and use bold color on your lips. Work it!

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Hair styled by Valencia Pearl
Photo courtesy of Panache Photography

Rock old Hollywood glamour!  Waves were beauty staples in the 1920’s; flappers wore them to announce their femininity, beauty and strength. Fast forward to 2013, and it still sends the same message. Soft waves are an ideal choice for festive evenings.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Jennifer Lopez
Photo credit: Getty Images

Deep side parts, and hair set to one side, bring red carpet Hollywood pizzazz to your local holiday dinner. As stunning as this hair creation is its not difficult to achieve. Part your hair deep on one side, curl each section, smooth those edges with a styling aid, and bring the hair all up to one side. Finally, secure it with pins to complete the look.

Photo Source: Instagram
Photo Source: Instagram

You know I did not forget about my gorgeous naturals!! The holidays are a special time in style and beauty. Why should you all miss out? Add sparkle to your locs with an ornate headband, create an amazing up do, or try a semi-permanent color. The possibilities are endless!

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What’s your favorite holiday style? Are you going to try some of these looks?