Create something special . . .

(Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre published Aug 10, 2013)

All men should strive to learn before they die, what they are running from, and to, and why.” – James Thurber

Who am I? This is one of the most perplexing and mysterious questions you can ask yourself. It’s my hunch most of us don’t know the answer…. why? Too often we do not spend enough time getting to know ourselves.

When we want an intimate relationship, we spend lots of time with the other. We talk openly and share secrets; we reveal fears and disappointments, dreams and desires. We allow ourselves to be seen… the perfect and the imperfect. The same is true with getting to know ourselves. It takes time. Regular talks. Honest exchanges of vulnerability and truth.

It’s the journey that woos me every morning at 4:30. I sit at my window, light a candle, and begin writing. I ask anything. Then, write what I hear. After a while, I transition from my left brain to my right brain, and my spirit becomes clear. It’s healing. It’s clarifying. It’s essential… if I want to find my answers. After all, the spirit knows everything about me! And yours knows everything about you. Aren’t you curious?

The conversations are helpful, but not always easy. The spirit doesn’t know “easy.” It knows the truth. Sometimes it’s a tough resolve. Other times, it’s simple. No matter the content, it goes down on paper. The words flow from the pen, my hands transcribing my mind directly, one thought at a time. So I can understand it. Understand me.

If you want to know more about who you are and were created to become, I suggest you give journaling a try. Begin with a half a page every day. Start slow and form commitment. You will as you feel the difference. The process makes room, audio room, for you to stand in the open air with the still, small, faithful voice of your spirit.

For more detailed instructions on how to journal, download How To Journal. Here’s the link. Let me know how it goes…


Create something special . . .

Gia Duke and I recently talked about The Right Brain Business Plan and why a Right-Brained approach to business matters! We discussed how to do it in order to stay tru* to who you are + what you’re here to do. Have a LISTEN.


Lori Koop

(Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre published Aug 3, 2013)

The challenge of work-life balance is without question one of the most significant struggles faced by modern man.” – Stephen Covey

Balance: it is a state of mind. It’s not about equal measures on a scale, like equal life and work. That’s physical balance. What we’re talking about here is emotional balance. Finding peace within your life and your business… at the same time.

I have a client who drives her kids back and forth between activities, and is happy to support them. However, when she is with the girls she feels guilty about not working on her new business. And when she is working, she feels guilty about not spending time with the girls. She’s torn between wanting to support her kids and their growth, and birthing a business she’s passionate about.

Subconsciously she thinks, “if only I could give 100% of her time to each, then I would certainly be successful.” And that is where her frustration comes from: unrealistic expectations. Nobody gets 200%. We each get an equal portion… 100% of our time to spend.

To find peace and restore balance, it is necessary to recalculate. Begin by drawing out a typical week and blocking in the areas of your day that are already committed to certain activities. Use different colored markers to represent the various themes, for example: the kids, meals, carpooling, exercise, housework, family time, etc. What is left uncolored is the time available for your new business. Or for whatever else you have in mind. By making it visual, the truth becomes clear.

Take a careful look. Are you surprised? This is reality. And this is the place to start to create peace. Maybe it will necessitate a change in expectation. Or perhaps, a change in time allocation. You get to choose. Follow what feels good.

(If peace is still hard to find, let’s talk. I have lots of tools. There’s no need to struggle.)


Create something special . . .

(Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre published July 27, 2013)

The only pressure I’m under is the pressure I’ve put on myself.” – Mark Messier

A client arrive frazzled and confused. She had embarked an entrepreneurial adventure and received rave reviews. Many new ideas had surfaced in her client meeting, and she was excited. Things were moving forward, and fast!

After a few days, she felt overwhelmed and stuck. She couldn’t even focus enough to file. There was a tempest brewing, and it wasn’t outside. The fury was within. Wind howling. Thoughts flying about. Nothing was grounded or certain. Fear. Yup, she was in “the storm.” This is when she came to see me.

We discussed what was going on. How the initial excitement had turned into pressure. Pressure to please the retail buyers. Pressure to create all these new things. Pressure to know things she didn’t know yet. Distracted by the whirlwind, she had stopped doing photography — the part of her business she loved most.

We are funny creatures. We lift up pressure and put it on ourselves. Once we see what we are doing, we can remove it. That’s just what we did. She was invited to shift her thoughts to align with her TRU self; when she did, she immediately felt better. More peaceful. She planned to schedule regular photography sessions each week. From this place of passion and love, she would hear when her spirit suggested a new product. She would know when to expand, even how to expand, as she stayed connected.

Even bosses cannot stress us out unless we let them. It’s a matter of learning the tools that get us out from under the self-imposed weight. I teach these tools that work both in life and business. If you’re interested, book a complimentary session with me. I’m happy to share how you too can experience more peace.


Create something special . . .

(Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre published July 20, 2013)

The business of life can draw us into its whirlwind: work pressures often push us away from our TRU selves, and perfection may keep us reaching for the impossible. The methods we’ve learned for exercising our freedoms may not be helpful. Thankfully, we are still free! Free to choose the way we want to live.

Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.” – Hermann Hesse

Just 3 minutes with focus can get you there. Free of charge. 24/7. Without special equipment or drugs. To choose it, try this…

Find a quiet spot and close your eyes. Allow the world to become smaller and smaller as you listen to your breath. Breathe in to fill your belly, wide and full. Then breathe out — all the way out, pulling your belly button towards your spine. Continue to notice the movement of your body. Feel the sensations. Feel yourself filling with peace. Hold your breath at the top for 3 counts if you want. Then release… releasing stress and tension as you exhale. Hold for the same number of counts on the bottom. Repeat until calm returns.

Find your spirit, free of toxins and fear. It clears the air and brings new insights. Retreat to your sanctuary. Refill and refresh. You don’t have to be caught up in life’s whirlwind — you can choose a calmer path.


Create something special . . .

(Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre published July 13, 2013)

“Living TRU” involves being The Real You in everything you do, including business. Especially in business! Every business coach will tell you the key to entrepreneurial success is sales. And the key to sales? Differentiation. Your ability to stand out in a crowd.

So, how the heck do you “differentiate?” You BE YOUrself!

If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be. ~ Maya Angelou

…Nor will your customers. You are what you bring to the table. To be a successful entrepreneur, you must find what makes you distinctive and special. Then, use these things to set you apart from the rest of the bunch. You are the only YOU there is — that will make your business unique. There really is no competition. The problem is that many business owners do not recognize their TRU advantage, or understand how to use it.

TRU marketing allows the truth of who you are and what you believe to guide the conversation with your target audience, without fear of criticism. If you’re naturally bold, be bold in your marketing. If you’re silly, be silly. Even if you’re shy, be shy. We connect with people who are real. In that human place, we see we’re more alike than different. And trust results. When we trust people, we buy from them.

The other day a fellow BNI member shared with the group about his rebellious years. As I listened, my heart opened. He was himself fully, even in the face of judgment. He stood truthful, unapologetically. And there was instant compassion. Instant connection. Instant trust.

This is a new kind of marketing. It is far from being slick — it is about being human. And letting others into the intimate space that is YOU. It says I am willing to be myself first, and invites the other to be him/her self too. It’s risky putting your true self out there. It’s uncommon… maybe because it’s not as “professional.” But it’s real, and I believe it’s the way of the future. Because it creates connection.

It happens when we align with our values. When we are transparent. When we dare to be all of who we were created to be. We don’t need more normal. We need YOU!


Create something special . . .

(Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre published July 6, 2013)

On my office wall are the words “BE YOUrself.” My BIG message to the world. The mission of my life. Two little words to guide a lifetime of choices, for you and for me.

I knew it could be a challenging path to follow, but a colleague recently commented that it was scary. I had never considered that! He had grown up in a situation where there was intense pressure to conform: there was punishment for standing out, and praise for blending in. Every family teaches this to some degree. School certainly reinforces it. And at work, it is the team players that often get the biggest paychecks.

Yes, there are plenty of places we are asked to follow the pack. Required, even. While it is often safest to follow, it is sometimes necessary — and often empowering — to lead. To be courageous and stand right out there, as Ourselves. To use our uniqueness and passion for the reason it was given. To forge a road that is as individual as we are. This is true in business and in our lives. It’s one-of-a-kind-ness that make us like no other. Ever. It is what will help us make that difference!

As you have those essential self conversations, you discover your preferences, your passions and your pathway. It does take courage to stand up to peer pressure, to think for yourself, to do “what you want” instead of “what others want you to do.” It requires self confidence and determination. A connection to self that makes being YOUrself the most satisfying option. And, after awhile, it becomes the only option. Because it is the only place of peace.

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. ~ E. E. Cummings


Create something special . . .

(Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre published June 29, 2013)

Dance: the movement of the body in response to music… and so much more. A translation of sound to feeling, and to the present. A tangible expression of an intangible world. Personal, unique, precious. A mystical process calling the unknown to be known. Asking us to reveal who we are with utmost honesty. Through dance, we are invited to uncover, discover, and recover our true selves.

We hear the beat and react innately. The rhythm, the lyrics, the tone speak to our soul. Is it true? We can listen and learn things we didn’t know before. We find answers to questions we weren’t asking. Are we open to listening? Will we allow ourselves the freedom of unbridled movement? What is our body telling us about our spirit? Are we available? We are certainly longing to know about ourselves, though we may not always be aware that we are searching in the first place.

Everyone is invited, but not everyone is willing. To be fully alive requires vulnerability: “Do I even know how to dance? What if people laugh? What if I trip?” Such is the dare of the dance!

Your dance can’t be wrong. It was written for you. It was written in you. It’s not something you create — it is something you allow. It moves through you, speaking its passion. A meaning hidden until now. The dreams and desires of the spirit. The path that is right for you. These answers to unasked questions were waiting for the right time, for the right heart. The Real You revealing.

Say yes. Let it be so. You were born to dance.


CLARITY : The Facts

by lorikoop

in Clarity

Create something special . . .

(Delivered July 28, 2013)

“The challenge of work-life balance is without question one of the most significant struggles faced by modern man.”

~ Stephen Covey

Balance. It’s not about equal measures as with a scale. But rather, about emotional balance… finding peace in both your personal and business lives at the same time.

Have you ever felt guilty when you’re working and not with the kids, and then guilty when you’re with the kids and not working? Either way you lose.

I think deep down we imagine giving 100% to our business and 100% to our family. The problem is we don’t have 200%. We all get the same amount… 100% of a 24 hour day. That total is what we have to divvy up.

To see clearly, draw out a typical week and block in the areas of your day that are already committed to certain activities. With different colored markers, represent the various themes of time usage, for example: the kids, meals, carpooling, exercise, housework, family time, etc.

What is left uncolored is the time available for your new business. Or for whatever else you have in mind. Visuals make things really clear. Count up the hours. This is really what you have to work with.

Best to start with the facts. Instead of a painful story.

. . . . . . . .

Coming TRU*

Our “story” is what we make up based on the facts, our perceptions of the truth. And it’s what gives them emotional energy. Stories that feel good… well, why change them? It’s the ones that don’t empower us that I suggest we revise.

Go back to the facts. The facts are neutral. Look at what you’re telling yourself about them. If you want to feel better, look for a different story. Feel it in your body. You’re looking for the one that brings peace. And restores balance. business card.
It happened by accident.
And it was perfect!
It involves seeing clearly.


Create something special . . .

(Delivered July 14, 2013)

“When the student is ready,
the teacher will appear.”

The teacher… sure it could be a person.
Or it could be a lost client.
A troubled relationship.
Or an overdrawn account.

Are you ready?

Look at what’s on your plate,
and at those in the air.
How do they feel?

Could they too be your teachers
Your lessons
And where you could find more freedom?

. . . . . . . .

Coming TRU*

In every situation, stressful or fun, there are valuable lessons.
Benefits to take-away.

Find three each time.

Keep ’em.
Use them.