by lorikoop


Create something special . . .  www.LORiKOOP.com

(word 28)

“If an object or expression can bring about, within us, a sense of serene melancholy and a spiritual longing, then that object is said to be wabi-sabi.” Wabi Sabi: The Japanese Art of Impermanence

When I began making ceramics two years ago, I knew exactly what I wanted to do… make ceramics that spoke. I needed to be authentic and real. Handmade imperfection, unglazed fired clay and irregular textured surfaces became the language.

The Japanese term “wabi sabi” was used several times to describe the work. It describes both an aesthetic and a philosophy.

Wabi is rustic, simple and quiet. It refers to understated, subtle beauty. The quiet beauty that waits patiently to be discovered. It also refers to the natural quirks and irregularities that come from the process of construction, from being human.

Sabi is serenity that comes with age. The beauty of patina, visible wear and repairs. It is about the natural cycle of life – growth, decay and death. The cracks, the marks of time, weather and use.

Together, wabi sabi is about process, and it involves continuous change, evolution. Nothing is perfect, nothing is complete, and nothing lasts.

In it, we slow down. Live simply.
Fill with gratitude. Unclutter.

Sounds good, huh?!!
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


Speaking of Japanese, I started to leave links to some Japanese pranks, but they were too raw. My daughter and I eventually came upon this video and couldn’t stop laughing. We were scheduled to go indoor skydiving this weekend so we knew about the flapping lips. But what we didn’t know… click here.

Wabi sabi? Certainly here nothing is perfect, nothing is complete, and nothing lasts.



by lorikoop


Create something special . . .  www.LORiKOOP.com

(word 27)

Our word for this week . . . STILL

WARNING: this post is not for the faithless. If the word “God” causes alarm, read no further. Today I just can’t help it.

Each week I approach a different word, a word determined by a random drawing done in January. My writing, a reflection of the moment. There is no real connection week to week except that it comes from one vessel, me. I write what I hear…

And so there are, in the midst of life, moments when the sun shines through. It clears the fog and brings to light the beauty of a day. The gift. The marvel of the clouds, the song of the birds, the artistry of the natural world.

All this has been created. It exists because of a powerful imagination. One far greater than ours. An idea beyond our reach. And yet we see the evidence. And we feel it every time we create. I call this genius God.

The mystery of it. The power that sits among us and in us and moves through us. The gift of inventing, choosing, loving. Each day we are invited to engage. To connect as we truly are. Unconditional love at its purest. The promise of the heavens.

We are even a wonder. Our journey a series of lessons learned not by being right but by being “wrong”. As we sit in the dark, God is there. In the midst of our thoughts, worry and regret, He reassures. He knows. He feels.

And outside, the sun faithfully rises, STILL. The sky celebrates the dawn. And His light makes all things grow.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love, gave a brilliant talk about nurturing creativity. Be inspired! Her closing remarks… so profound and beautiful. (20 minutes) Click here to listen.

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by lorikoop


Create something special . . .  www.LORiKOOP.com

(word 26)

VISION involves seeing . . . our word for the week.

We sat in the terminal two extra hours waiting for our plane to land. It was circling overhead until the tropical storm cleared.

Such is life. Frustrating at times. Dealing with things outside our control. Sometimes we are forced into a holding pattern with no choice but to wait.

Within every delay is an opportunity (or two). How often do you get this kind of time? Look around. What could use your attention?

Look inside. Take some time to reflect and review. Get back in touch with that still, small voice. Check your direction, your dreams. Adjust if necessary. Get that vision clear. Now’s the perfect time.

Look outside. My daughter and I reflected on our trip and all the memories gathered. She finally found the teen magazine she had been searching for. And the large, stable bathrooms were greatly appreciated. All because of the delay.

Then the storm passed, and we were up in the air. It was safe, and we were clear . . . in more ways than one.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


Final touches to the Seth Godin product line happening this week. Look for Etsy additions very soon.



by lorikoop


Create something special . . .  www.LORiKOOP.com

(word 25)

Children are masters of playful expression. William Fry, M.D., professor of psychiatry at Stanford University Medical School, says the average kindergarten student laughs 300 times a day. Adults, 17.

“We don’t stop laughing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop laughing.”

Our UPWoRD for this week is whimsy, and it involves whim, playful expression, and humor. Like my pottery.

Like our humanness.

Ice water spilled down the shirt.
Tripped into the mud puddle.
Used the hotel’s lotion as shampoo.

It’s imperfections that make us laugh.
Not perfection. So relax and be yourself. Life is so short!

On this July 4th, as you live loud, laugh loud. Sprinkle those cupcakes with plenty of whimsy. And don’t forget the sparklers!

Happy Independence Day ;0)

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


It’s funny how vacation changes things.



by lorikoop


Create something special . . .  www.LORiKOOP.com

(issue 24)

When I moved from New Jersey to Texas in high school, there was a lot to adjust to. One big difference, “the hug”. A little word with a lot to say, HUG.

In Jersey, you hugged only your family. In Texas, you hugged everyone. And everyone hugged you. Like it or not, that was “the way.”

Now, years later, that’s my way. Because the hug says it all. Something magical happens when hearts touch. Something passes beyond words.

A hug mends, it encourages, it comforts. It loves.
At any age.
For every age.
It whispers deep.

So hug like you mean it.
Both arms with pressure.
It’s a gift you deliver.
A message eternal.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


On vacation for two weeks . . . finishing National Jump Rope Competition in Galveston, Texas. Monday it’s inland to Houston for a family visit. A year’s catch up to do. Hope I get to jog.

ps. Back July 8.



by lorikoop


Create something special . . .  www.LORiKOOP.com

(issue 23)

Another week of growth. This week’s reflection comes direct. “It’s essential to CONNECT.

Yesterday an ah ha moment . . . I make SO many choices based on fear! Oh my gosh, I hadn’t realized!! But looking at history, I can now clearly see. I have done it all my life.

To avoid pain.

Again I want to run. So what if there are possibilities. Good possibilities. Maybe even the fulfillment of a “deepest desire”. It would risk so much!

An awakening.

With avoidance, I lose part of myself. (painful)
Dreams are lost in the name of protection. (painful)
Something has to be shut down for the sake of survival. (super painful)

When fear wins, I lose.

On the other hand, I can choose to say “yes!”
To connect with myself and follow that desire. To dare.

I feel joy, excitement, hope… fully alive.
I learn more about myself.
I am living the truth of who I am, who I want to become, guided by my deepest desires.

And I’m willing to feel if that’s what it costs.
Because I will survive.
Because there’s always more choices.
If something doesn’t work out, I can “try different”.
Each day is a gift in which I get to.

And in which you get to.
To live purpose and meaning.
To be happy.



by lorikoop


Create something special . . .  www.LORiKOOP.com

(word 22)

To AWAKEN is to wake up. As from a dead sleep.

On the outside, things look the same as yesterday. But on the inside, a revelation has arrived. A decision. A truth is now clear. Surprise!

“I will move back, near my parents. This relationship must end. I won’t do this job another day. I do want children. I must create. I will risk for love.”

There seems to be an order, an unfolding of things, in life. But why now? I guess it’s time.

Will we deal or will we distract? The choice is ours. Do we have the courage to respond? To enter the unknown?? Fear fills the door!

So, why?

Why do you want to live fully awake?

Or don’t you?

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


Christine Kane was part of my awakening with her UPLEVEL YOUR BUSINESS class. She’s a great alarm clock! She’s why I started UPWoRD.



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.