Blog Chat: Cultivating Self Love with Shan, The Free Gurl Club

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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Shan & Emelda, Live In Color Blog, The Free Gurl Club

Every other month, Shan and I are going to dish all things inspiration in our  blog chats. 

This month seemed fitting to explore love, especially  self love, as we are often taught, particularly women, to love everyone but ourselves. 

Shan and I are both on paths of healing, love and discovery. We are seeking to honor the light within ourselves, and want those same feelings to manifest for everyone, especially women.

Shan is the creator of The Free Gurl Club, an awesome online space dedicated to empowering women. She hosts a weekly show on YouTube and shares life affirming daily affirmations via Instagram

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Listen to today’s blog chat on Soundcloud. Tomorrow we’ll share on YouTube.

Audio editing by Keystone Productions

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Check out our show notes (including 3 core ways to cultivate self love – listed below first), followed by links to books and other resources we mention: 

1. Make healing yourself (from wounds, past experiences, etc.) a priority! This could be tied to your faith (for me it’s inextricably linked) and include daily and / or frequent time alone (5-10 min.) for reflection. Even if you its initially one minute alone, begin there!  

2.  Post positive self affirmations around your home and work space, or even on your phone. Say them aloud throughout the day.  These may include statements like “I am beautiful. I am worth the life I seek. I am created in the image of God and my life matters. Abundance and joy are my birthrights.” 

Check out this powerful daily affirmation from The Free Gurl Club:

   

3.  Say NO to what drains and depletes you as these people, places and / or choices are creating feelings of being overwhelmed. 

When we are overwhelmed,  we often self medicate in unhealthy ways – excessive drinking, working long hours, overeating, etc. 

  

Further Reading:

Salvation: Black People and Love by bell hooks 

Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant 

Imagine Being More Afraid of Freedom Than Slavery by Pamela Sneed 

Commanding Your Morning by Cindy Trimm

Adalmar Life by Nellie Russell (insightful blog) and piece on the importance of self care and healing. Nellie is one of my blogging besties!  

 

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightment by Eckhart Tolle  

The Audre Lorde quote I referenced on self care. You might also enjoy this blog post about Audre and her intellectual work.

    

Inspiration For Your Ears: From Healing to Helping Others

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: Annie Spratt

It’s been a hectic week, so I have not listened to as much, but what I have heard has moved me immensely. 

Here’s my weekly list of inspiration for your ears: 

This Cindy Trimm healing prayer is utterly moving. She covers every possible illness, declaring freedom from fear and pain. 

T.D. Jakes’prolific sermon about being grounded in your faith… its an essential part of walking in your purpose. 

Documentaries open us to new worlds. Check out The Drop Box, which  follows South Korean Pastor Lee and his dedicated efforts to rescue abandoned children. Folks leave unwanted babies in his “drop box”, and he and his ministry team welcome and care for them. 

Animals hold a special place in my heart. When I came across this beautiful video about a program connecting inmates with abandoned dogs, I could barely contain the tears. When we come outside of ourselves, liberation is possible. 

Michael Franti makes music that speaks to you in profound ways. His song Same As It Ever Was (Start Today) about police brutality and inequality call on us to create the change we seek. “A revolution is a battle between the future and the past…, he sings. “…you and me can make that change.” 

Screenshot via Michael Franti music video, “Same As It Ever Was…”
 
 
Screenshot via Michael Franti’s music video, “Same As It Ever Was…”
 

Why Our Friendships Matter

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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20131011-215917.jpg
Actresses Kerry Washington and Cicely Tyson over brunch
Photo Credit: The New York Times

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
John 15:13

The other day I rushed to a local cafe to talk with a good girlfriend. For weeks, we tried to catch up; between the both of us we are juggling careers, families, and oh yes,  finding time for ourselves. So, when she texted me, I set aside the time.

As we neared the end of our chat, she said something seemingly innocuous but quite profound. “Let’s set another time to talk, and then get together.” With a sense of urgency, she nudged, “Let’s really do it.” “Yes.” I said, immediately connecting with her point. “Sunday works for me,” I said, and we hung up.

Somewhere amid the weightiness of obligations that become our lives, friendships begin to feel like a luxury. Some nights after putting Naima to sleep, I have chosen the comfort of my bed over returning a friend’s phone call.

My girlfriend’s comments the other day reminded me friendship takes work and commitment – especially at this moment in our lives when loosing ourselves in doing for others is easier.

The deep sense of connection we form with other kindred spirits is vital to our own health. According to a New York Times article, friends can extend our lives. The piece cited this interesting finding. “A 10-year Australian study found that older people with a large circle of friends were 22 percent less likely to die during the study period than those with fewer friends.”

Cicely Tyson and Kerry Washington made headlines recently when they talked over brunch for hours; these two friends, with decades between them, share numerous similarities such as initially pushing against the disapproval of parents to follow their desires to act. As the time together ended, Cicely gently urged Kerry to take care of herself. Her words demonstrating the depth of the two women’s bond.

Yes, friendships matter immensely, and despite obstacles we encounter with maintaining them, holding on is crucial. So, call your friends, cherish them, these relationships nurture us at our core, teaching love, growth and empathy.

Live In Color! – Emelda

Tell us about your friendships! Is it a struggle to hold on to some? How do you stay connected?