Why Leaving Our Cell Phones Home Some Days is a Good Thing

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

“I imagine a world where we smile when we have low batteries, cause that will mean we’ll be one bar closer to humanity.”
– Prince EA, “Can We Autocorrect Humanity?”

The other day I left my house in a flurry, chasing a luxury which eludes me mostly (and many other women) –  a few hours for myself. Then I did something which is rare for this organized Mama – I left my cell phone home.

I panicked, y’all. You know the tense feeling that floods your gut, nearly overtaking you. Yep, there I sat, in rush hour traffic, praying for a red light so I could continue digging for my phone.

I remembered packing my Kindle, but soon discovered that battery was nearly dead, too. I know. I am an addict. Did I just type those words?

Finally, I made peace with the silence, and became present. No checking my apps or scanning for music. I simply sat, surrending to contemplation.

Funny thing happened along the drive to the salon… I noticed buildings previously ignored, rolled down my window and heard  the natural rhythmic movement of city life anew. Ideas for blog posts filtered in one after another – and all because I allowed my mind to rest.

Perhaps we should all leave our cell phones and mobile devices home more often; digital fatigue is real. And in many ways, friends, this push and pull to stay connected is changing us. Rest is becoming a mirage in a world obsessed with productivity and multitasking.

We fill our moments with checking emails and social media, jumping to answer text messages, and apologizing for late responses. Is it really that awful if we take a few days to reply to someone?

Spoken word artist Prince EA has a line from his song “Can we Auto Correct Humanity?” that comes to mind in this moment: “Did you know the average person spends four years of their life looking at a cell phone?”

Let’s take our years back now.

Reclaim Your Space

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: Photo Flavr
Photo Credit: Yoga blog on Tumblr

God has a sense of humor. I’m convinced! Here I am contemplating the notion of reclaiming space as a new Mom, with a full time career, graduate school and weekly blogging schedule. Who told me I should I even consider space? What? She gets a moment to herself?

Yet space is critical to personal growth, peace and joy. If we allow those around us to obliterate our physical, mental and spiritual space with their demands, eventually bitterness and resentment arise within us.

Saying no is liberating, particularly in an age of frequent communication from social media, email and text messages; everything, it seems, demands our full attention; instant responses to questions and concerns are not only desired, they are expected. “Didn’t you see my text from two minutes ago?” “Are you upset with me?” “I didn’t hear back?” Sound familiar?

Yes is infinitely easier because many of us are addicted to people pleasing, convinced our self worth is linked with other’s perceptions. How often do you check to see if someone liked your status on Facebook or is following you on Twitter? Increasingly, our culture fosters a constant need of approval from others. Yet small step by small step, day by day, we must reaffirm our worth by embracing the courage to say no.

Unplug it all from time to time! Turn off your cell phone, step away from the computer, and breath. Begin to become clear about your priorities. Does your family take precedence in this moment? Return your friend’s call after tending to your own household matters.

My recent conversation with a friend reiterated this lesson of self love. Reclaiming space is not selfish, it’s a necessary element to evolving into a whole and free human being. Our responsibilities no longer control us, we prioritize, and again begin by saying one word: NO.

Live In Color – Emelda
 

 

Blog Chat: Grammy-Nominated Singer Carolyn Malachi

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: www.carolynmalachi.com

When you ask most people how they are doing, they usually mumble ok, Carolyn Malachi will likely say amazing. Obviously, the great-granddaughter of jazz pianist John Malachi is not most people. Malachi possesses an ethereal grace; down to earth and warm, the Washington D.C. native and Grammy-nominated independent artist greets me on this frigid January day with a genuine hug and easy smile.

Her style is diverse, fusing Jazz, Hip Hop and Spoken Word into a veritable musical gumbo. From “Revenge of the Smart Chicks”(2008) to “Revenge of the Smart Chicks II”(2009) and “Lions, Fires & Squares” EP (2010), she remains committed to presenting her artistic truths. In 2011. Malachi received a Grammy award nomination for the single, Orion (“Lions, Tigers & Squares”) as Best Urban / Alternative Performance.

4.75"x4.75" 1 Panel CD Template
Microsoft featured Malachi’s motivational song and video “Beautiful Dreamer” in its Windows Media Guide. Her “Free Your Mind” video imbued with motivational gems (“You on that doubt, I got these dreams”) supports The School Fund’s efforts to provide education for the world’s poorest students. 
Check out the first Live In Color blog chat with this dynamic artist and humanitarian!Video and editing by Keystone Productions (follow on Twitter @ KeystoneProd) or on Facebook (Keystone Productions).