by lorikoop


Create something special . . .  www.LORiKOOP.com

(word 21)

In normal, everyday life, we walk in one big circle. Like an Andy Goldsworthy piece, the stepping stones peek from the water just enough to step. Round and round we go, each day with little change.

Unless we step out. Onto a rock we do not know. Beyond the circle.

Risk begins with desire.
Risk requires effort.
Risk is about hope, trust, belief.

Remember when you were a kid exploring, and you came upon a discovery. Maybe it was a honeysuckle bush, the remains of an old house, or fresh animal tracks. There was such fun in exploring the unknown.

As adults, our time is limited. Resources know a bottom. And actions come with a cost. Fear wants to keep us walking that round, tame predictable circle.

I’m sure you’ve heard “leap and the net will follow.” Or “build the plane while you’re flying it.” These require BIG risks and HUGE braveries.

Maybe you don’t possess that radical muscle yet, but you want out of the circle, to try possibility. Do baby steps. Take baby risks. Not huge, life threatening chances. But consistent, determined smaller ones that move you clearly in the right direction. Revisit the fun of exploration. Build that muscle. In time, you’ll be ready to jump.

Our word for this week, RISK.

Risk forming an ellipse. Or better yet, create your own organic, original shape.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


A candle pot giveaway by Monster Bites. These guys did a FABULOUS job! Such UPward thinking. Sing now has a new home.

We sing when we live authentically.



by lorikoop


Create something special . . .  www.LORiKOOP.com

(word 20)

Our word this week . . . sense.

Does it make sense? Do you really need all that fabric? Those “fat” clothes? The incomplete projects in the closet?

It’s spring. Time to consider the non-sense cluttering your space. Piles talk, you know. And they don’t say nice things.

When you remove the old conversations, you make room for the new. That’s what California brush fires do naturally. Remove the underbrush to expose the tender new shoots to light and growth.

Make a plan. Look at the pile. What are the steps needed to remove? Write them down in 15 min action steps. Action is easier when no thinking is required.

Decide on a deadline. This pile/project must be done by ________, 2010. After that, will it be donated or trashed? Ask a friend or family member to hold you accountable. Put it in writing. Have them sign. The plan stays with the pile. This is a non-negotiable commitment, to you. A gift you give yourself.

Show up. (remember the hope)

Do the work. (remember the hope)

Then enjoy what springs forth!

(This system will work to clear out mental projects too.)

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


Custom work has always been in the back of my mind. You have a special word, special name, special date you want pressed into clay? I’m almost ready for them.

(Imagine how much easier Christmas could be.)



by lorikoop


Create something special . . .  www.LORiKOOP.com

(word 19)

This week it’s time to FOCUS.

It’s not the easiest thing for creatives, but it is possible. The key is to have “a system”. A system is a set of automatic procedures to accomplish a task. You know, when you find the keys on the hook! It’s evidence of a system that’s working.

The to-do list is a system. It’s purpose is to remind us of things we have to do. And it works, if we use it and don’t abuse ourselves.

Feelings of overwhelm happen when there’s too many things on our list. AND when the most important actions are not taken. Ever said “I got nothing done today!” after a full day of running around. Feels crummy 🙁

Crummy is a red flag.

Time to look for the culprit.
Time to tweak (or create) the system.
Time to focus on priorities!

Because when you get these things done, you will feel accomplished and energized. Guaranteed!

How? Choose one action each day that would move you forward in your dream, your job or your business. Write it at the TOP of your list or highlight it in yellow. Underline it. Or put a shiny blue star beside it. However you’d like, set it apart. Make it look most important. When there is focus, it will get done.

KOOP RULE: it has to be doable in that day.
For example, if you want to “write an article for Bliss” and your day is super tight with must-dos, there’s no way. But, you could say “write the article outline” and be totally successful.

We’re looking for success here. Success breeds success. Little things that add up to a world of change.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


Studio systems coming into focus.



by lorikoop


Create something special . . .  www.LORiKOOP.com

(word 18)

I do not pray for success.
I ask for faithfulness.
” Mother Teresa

Our word? ASK

I’m sure you’ve experienced the refining nature of life? We all have our unique stories. And the truth is we are always dealing with something. As sandpaper beautifies the surface of wood, circumstances work to refine us.

Circumstances beyond our control many times. In our personal life. Our business life. What circumstances are you facing? My friend Stacey Curnow, a great life coach, suggested we ask every circumstance “what are you here to teach me?”

More than the destination, it is about the character we choose to develop in the process. The compassion, the forgiveness, the unconditional love . . . oh, the list goes on.

In every struggle, there is a lesson, a golden thread being given. You may not see it “in the midst”, but it’s there. Walk through and eventually, it will appear. Take it and add it to your life’s tapestry.

The golden threads woven in. Gaze upon it sometimes. Drape it over your shoulders. Look in the mirror.

Look how beautiful you are.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


My “what if team” started this week… a Business Manager and a Studio Manager. I like those titles.

I felt this aching need . . . plus I couldn’t sleep! I think one of the main reasons artists “go under” is because they can’t deliver. What if Seth Godin‘s post brings in lots of zealous Linchpin and Tribes fans? We will be waiting.



by lorikoop


Create something special . . .  www.LORiKOOP.com


The UPWoRD for this week . . . RECYCLE

We are told to recycle. To keep the earth beautiful and functioning properly. As nature reveals signs of wear, we realize it’s a desperate plea.

I want to recycle, but breaking up boxes and maintaining compost takes precious time and effort. I can get lazy. But then I think about the California coast or my backyard flowers, and I reconnect. I want this beauty to continue. And it’s my efforts that contribute.

That’s the power of visualization.
When we “see” the benefits, we are motivated “to do”.

Do your thoughts recycle?

Is there a dream that you see over and over again? Is there something you continue to wish for? Something you would do/pursue with enough time, money and courage?

Close your eyes. Imagine you are actually doing it. What does it look like? Who is smiling? It’s been so persistent, is it your spirit’s desperate plea?

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


Make a plaquette with your own special word. Invite the family. It requires Sculpey, an oven and wire.

Roll the Sculpey clay flat with a rolling pin about 1/4″ thick. This is your canvas. Organic shapes are imperfectly perfect. A wheel pizza cutter works great for cutting clay.

What word recycles for you? That’s your word. If you have letter stamps, use them. Or use a pencil to write it in. Press in about halfway thru the thickness. Add designs and textures by pressing things into the surface. Interesting objects are all around. Experiment. Have fun! Then, put two holes at the top for the wire later. And sign and date the back.

Cook the Sculpey clay as the package says and when cool, add color. I painted black acrylic paint on mine, then immediately wiped it off with a non textured rag, like an old bed sheet. Paint remained in the crevices. Use whatever colors, wherever you want. For a weathered look, try applying layers of color and sanding it back when dry. PLAY!!

When your masterpiece is complete, dry overnight. Put wire, string or even tulle thru the holes to hang your piece. Wallah! A plaquette to inspire. Imperfectly perfect? Beautiful!

(The pic next week shows my Sculpey result.)



by lorikoop


Create something special . . .  www.LORiKOOP.com

(word 16)

UPWoRD of the week . . . DIFFERENCE

When it comes to age, we want the camera to reveal little difference. Also, with a map and a destination. But when it comes to internal growth, we want a lot!

Christine Kane’s Uplevel Your Business program and my mastermind groups have pushed me out of the hamster wheel and into upward. If you’re stuck, get help!

There are many classes, workshops and books on every “sticky” subject out there. Spend the afternoon in the bookstore.

Maybe it’s time to hire a coach for one-on-one attention. Find the right expert, and there’s no stopping you. A teacher, a therapist and a cheerleader all in one. There are life coaches and business coaches, even weight loss coaches. (Yes, others struggle too.) You name it, I bet there’s someone with valuable insight to help. Ask around, look online.

Mastermind groups are amazing, too! They work, because the group brain is smarter than the lone brain. Organize to discuss and support common interests such as tweens, dreams or self employment. I’m in one that connects only across phone lines. Using this method, you can gather just the right people without physical restriction. It’s even free with this telephone conference service, click here.

My other mastermind group is local. Worksheet, questions and problems in hand, we gather each month to encourage, brainstorm and grow. Each member gets direct and equal attention from the group (use a timer). Google “mastermind” for more info.

Reach out. I tell you, it will make a difference! A difference in your life and in the lives you will touch.

ps. To experience the other “difference”, the one the camera records, see this beautiful family portrait series done over a span of 30 years.

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Seth Godin is one of the most influential business bloggers in the world. He’s an author, speaker and entrepreneur. He is calling his latest book, Linchpin : Are you indispensable?, his life’s work. It’s about doing your genius work, asking “what if?s”, and making a difference. Wow, I’m there!

We have connected, and I’m now designing a series of ceramics inspired by his words. Excitement is through the roof as I’m believing words “make a difference!” And so does he. Stay tuned! xo



by lorikoop


Create something special . . .  www.LORiKOOP.com

(word 15)

Heaven Can Wait. I LOVED that movie. The mystery, secret identities, angels. Or maybe it was Warren Beatty 🙂 In any case, it was my “favorite movie” for years!

It expressed a definite idea of heaven. As every religion does. So, what do you think of heaven?

You ask, you read, you imagine. Your head has ideas. Your heart has opinions. Finally, YOU are called in to decide.

You go by faith.

So, what do you think about the future?

You ask, you read, you imagine. Your head has ideas. Your heart has opinions. Finally YOU are called in to decide.

You go by faith.

In the end, it’s the best we’ve got. Trust your gut. Your intuition knows. Let it tell you when the food, the relationship, the job isn’t good for you. And conversely, when what you’re doing is just right.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

SHARING UPWoRD I got an email this week asking permission to translate UPWoRD into Spanish each week. How amazing. YES! (I’d love to post the link on the site.)

Send it out to anyone who could benefit. And “YES” to bloggers who want to copy snippets or the whole thing. Just include my name and a link to www.LORiKOOP.com. YES, continue to send it across countries, states and neighborhoods. The beauty of the internet is it costs only time.

Thank you!

{ 1 comment }


by lorikoop


Create something special . . .  www.LORiKOOP.com

(word 14)

Grab a friend. It’s time to go somewhere you’ve never been before. Physically. Near or far, it doesn’t matter. It’s time to have FUN!

It’s not always easy to have this kind of fun. At least not for me. It feels like “there’s just no time!” “It’s frivolous and unproductive.” “I can’t get my work done as it is!”

But my spirit, the smarter me inside, knows better. She says it’s good, even imperative, to take time off. A getaway refreshes the body, mind + soul. Why?

:>) It drains the to-do thoughts, making room for great ideas to appear. They’re there. They just need space to land.
:^) Laughter and just plain relaxing relieves stress. And also makes us nicer.
:^D It keeps the “risk muscle” in shape. Who knows what will happen? Excitement has center stage, not fear.
;^D Spending quality time with others builds a life supported by love. We need it by design!
$;^D The new scenery will open your eyes to the earth, its wonders, and the miracles. Gratitude transforms.

I used to work out, because I liked to. Now I work out, because I have to, to stay healthy. Same with fun. It’s got to be there. Put it on the calendar. Make it happen. Just see.

Invite a friend to explore a new trail or to accompany you to an art opening. Drive 30 minutes in any direction and see where you end up. Bring the camera. What a great blog post to share. Oh no, if it begins to feel like work, trash it. Here, there is no pressure. Be free! Try spontaneous!!

Only one KooP rule… you MUST sit down somewhere along the way, perhaps with a beverage, and take a long, deep breath. Remember, this is why you work so hard. Reap the benefits!

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


I would love to add your blog, shop or website link to the UPWoRD site. If you’d like to be included, please forward the URL link with a brief description so I can organize.
Sound like fun? 😀



by lorikoop


Create something special . . .  www.LORiKOOP.com

(word 13)

Once upon a time (week 1), we talked about our thought pond and all the variety of thoughts that live there. This week, we’re going fishing for those called “limiting beliefs”. Our thoughts are the number one factor limiting our success. NUMBER ONE. Not money. Not time. Not education. It’s about what we BELIEVE.

One comes to believe whatever one repeats to oneself sufficiently often, whether the statement be true or false. It comes to be dominating thought in one’s mind.” Robert Collier

A limiting belief starts something like this:
I can’t pursue my passion full time because . . .
I’ll never be able to buy a house because . . .
I’m too old to . . .

They’re the opposite of motivating. I’m pretty sure you know them. When you feel a sigh, when you want to quit, when tears well up, one has just swam by. Catch it. Make a list. These are the thoughts holding you back.

I took a fantastic class with Christine Kane called Uplevel Your Business where we looked at our limiting beliefs. A few I had were:
1. I don’t have enough ceramics education.
2. I’ll never make a decent income doing what I love.
3. If I don’t work around the clock, I’ll never be successful.

Then we created turnaround beliefs. We took each statement and found the real, motivating truth in it. A new belief we could embrace and one that would move us forward. Mine became:

1.> Inventive, fresh work comes from original thinking and free experimentation. My work is uniquely me.
2.> The most successful people financially are entrepreneurs. Clearly I am an entrepreneur! I dont’ want to do anything else.
3.> If I need to, I’ll get help to share the workload and manage responsibilities. There are an abundance of people looking for meaningful work.

My turnaround statements are true and motivating for me. When you turn yours around, make sure the statements are believable to you! Don’t do perfect you, extreme or utopian theory. Will you believe that? Keep them real and believable. If you need help, email me. I’m glad to help. Now, when a limiting thought arrives, I replace it with an UNlimiting belief. The truth I choose.

This kind of reworking, revising is part of growing. Visually, it becomes part of the continuous spiral upward. We don’t stop having thoughts, we just learn what we want to do with them. It’s a process, like everything else. You won’t be, can’t be, good at it in the beginning. It takes practice. Be as understanding with yourself as you are with kids.

Onward and upward. “Don’t let anyone tell you the sky is the limit, when there are footprints on the moon!”

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


My new hire did not work out. My better feeling thoughts… “I’m learning how to hire people, and it’s a process. Of course I’m a beginner. I’ve never done this before.” xo



by lorikoop


Create something special . . .  www.LORiKOOP.com

(word 12)

It’s Easter today, and the word for this week is PASSION. Another happy “accident”.

Dictionary.com says passion is a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for something. I’ll add it’s a heart force that one commits to. Could be your family, a career, an artful expression, a sport, or all of the above.

So, we pick up in the middle of the story . . . you’re on a passion path, truckin’ along. Guess what happens next? (Hint: it’s the same in every story.) Something steps in the way to try and stop you. It may happen today, tomorrow or next week. That part is unpredictable. But the attempt is inevitable. Like, the next move may require lots of hard earned money. Your thoughts may start screaming “this is impossible.” Or, the family may be asking for more of your time.

You have reached a roadblock. Now what do you do? How will you continue? or will you?? The key in such an encounter is to know your why!
Why are you on this road anyway?

There are reasons, and it’s more than money. Write them down, loud and clear. Keep them close. They could be needed at any time. These are your whys, and they will give you the strength to move the roadblocks to the side.

A friend is teaching in a tough middle school. What pulls her through the hard days is knowing she is making a difference. Another friend is afraid to step up into a bigger dream, because she doubts. She remembers her why: the vision of others using and enjoying her ceramics. And I know a guy who was asked to sacrifice His very life for the sake of others. I’m sure He had a clear why when He agreed to such a request.

Lean on your whys, then “hit the road”. There are lives to be brightened! Including your own.