Why My Word for 2017 is Rest 

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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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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!

Let Go of What You Do, and Discover Who You Are 

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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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I started yesterday in a panic, y’all. Why? Life-threatening emergency? Did someone close to me die? Nope. My good girlfriend Michelle over at Surviving a Creative Life texted. My blog was down. Did I know? What?!! Down? No! I texted back, barely able to type, my hands overcome by crippling panic.

Crap, I yelled! I forgot to pay my web hosting company. Ugh! All their reminders were buried in mountainous email heaps I could no longer tame. As I anxiously dug through my purse, searching for the credit card, I felt naked, like someone robbed me.  At this point, near tears, I texted a few other close friends, still wounded and praying all my work would remain in tact.

I read the words of that last email – “some data might not be restored.” The phrase, a thinly-veiled threat, sauntered in and out of my mind, until finally, I quieted those thoughts.  All the years of work, I muttered to myself, nursing sudden despondence.

Let Go, Evolve

Interestingly enough, my bestie Shan (The Free Gurl Club), and I were just talking about the lesson of non-attachment (she tragically lost a favorite pair of sunglasses this week), and the capriciousness of relying on the Internet as the sole platform for your work. We discussed the book ideas sitting in our minds, and how essential it is to go beyond online.

As I waited the few hours for website restoration, I began to consider something revolutionary in Western culture. I am NOT a profession –  writer, blogger and whatever other “career box” is assigned to me based on education and work history. In a society which worships work and productivity, many of us never discover who we are outside the confines of other’s perceptions.

…feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we’d rather collapse and back away. They’re like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we are.

Pema Chödrön

Self worth is not measured by blog traffic, catchy graphics or social media followers. If the Internet disintegrated tomorrow, I would remain, an evolving and loving human being who wants to inspire others. It is my heart which matters, my soul, my walk with Christ which endures. I hear you, God. I think I have the lesson now.

Freedom is Yours

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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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One’s spirit can soar, unbound, within the confines of prison walls, or sadly sink, burdened and oppressed in a luxurious mansion. Freedom is a choice; its yours if you embrace it, courageously and fully. Otherwise, the silent acquiescence of stifled dreams slowly eats at our souls.

There are moments when the lesson becomes lucid, denial of truth, however arduous, becomes impossible to face. As I write this blog post, I release an albatross from my neck, and instead usher in promise where self doubt took root.

In this moment, close your eyes and envision yourself transcending the most arduous obstacle.

Would you abandon damaged relationships, concern about others perceptions, or your own myopic view of yourself? Unpack it all mentally, and then make the decision to be free.

Here are some suggestions to jump start your journey:

1. Prayer & Mediation – Take a few moments each day, turn off the television and radio. Seek God’s guidance through prayer.

It’s simple. Try saying: “Show me the way, God. Help me to walk into freedom by leaving behind my damaging realtionship, etc.”

Find a quiet place. Sit alone, breath in and out. Nothing constructive emerges from confusion. Before you plan those next steps towards freedom, you require an unencumbered mind.

Image Source: http://www.poeticaperture.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/vision-board-piece4.jpg
Image Source: http://www.poeticaperture.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/vision-board-piece4.jpg

 

2. Vision BoardDr. Wayne Dyer talks and writes about shifting the focus towards the life we would like. This is the purpose of a vision board, its an authentic visual representation of your dreams and goals.

Get busy! Head to your local store for a cork board, poster or any other material and begin posting what you would like to see in your life.

Include all of the important elements – relationships (spiritual, familial, romantic, etc.) Is it a new business / career, or home? Tack it up where you can see it everyday.

 

3. Write it Down, The Next Steps – Move from visualizing your future to insuring it takes place by writing out your goals – 1yr., 5yrs., 10 yrs. For instance, list the goal and then the steps needed to manifest these new phases of your life.

For Further Reading:
Your Sacred Self: Making The Decision to be Free Dr. Wayne Dyer
Share your progress & feedback below. How are you becoming free?