Thursday, April 24, 2014

NEW: Guest Blog Series!! Starting today with Leslie Stein

I am excited to be starting a new guest blog series, both here and over on the Bella Forza blog too! I have invited individuals, whom I think have great things to say, to share their wisdom and experience here, with us! My goal is to spread optimism, encouragement, empowerment, and hopefully some laughs...after all, life IS beautiful!
First up is the fabulous Leslie Stein. We met on-line when we both participated in the Boudoir Body Challenge, organized by another fabulous lady - Stacie Frazier. I was immediately drawn to Leslie's down-to-earth, passionate, and optimistic attitude toward life and I'm thrilled to have her kicking off this new endeavour!
Leslie wrote this guest blog just for us (love you, Leslie!) and I hope you enjoy her 'voice' as much as I do!
Life is beautiful!  
...and now over to you, Leslie...

Heroes & Villains
It’s been coming up a lot lately...the fact that I am pretty much a superhero. I’re impressed. Or wait...maybe you’re not. Maybe you think it’s silly for an average girl to see herself as a superhero. But I do. I am a superhero and not afraid to claim it!
In my own life. In others’ lives. In the work I do.
But I don’t do it just for the cape (yes, really...I have a badass cape! I also have a magic wand. Tools of the trade. Don’t be jealous.). I do it to bring out the superpowers in those around me.
I inspire people to transform through the facilitation, training & speaking I do inside corporations and the personal growth work I do with individuals via coaching & life adventure retreats. All of it is in service of one thing...helping people become their own superheroes.
I’d like to say it’s purely altruistic. But it’s not. My motivations are kind of selfish here. It get’s lonely being the only one in a cape. I want a world full of happy, connected individuals who loooove what they do (and who they are!!) so I have people to play with. My very own justice league!!
And so...I create spaces where people metaphorically go into phone booths, rip off the masks they wear (in the form of roles + responsibilities at home, work, & in their communities), and become the superheroes they’ve always been deep down inside.
Fortunately or unfortunately, not everyone is ready to let go of their masks and become a hero. So it’s also been coming up a lot lately that I am a villain. Disrupting the status quo. Saying things some wish were left unsaid. Disappointing people. Not living up to their expectations. Having the audacity to call myself a hero.
How dare I, right?!
Wrong. Me not claiming my awesome doesn’t make the world a better place. In fact, it makes it a sadder place where people think it’s ok to hide their talents. To stifle their dreams. To play small. All for the sake of what...not making other people uncomfortable?! Holy horse manure, Batman!
Guess what. Life happens in the uncomfortable moments. In those times when you challenge the status quo & it actually CHANGES! On those occasions you step up & say, “That’s right, I’m a badass. I got this!”
You can make magic happen. You can bring out the best in others. You can change the world. When you are willing to dream. When you are willing to risk. When you are willing to fail. When you are willing to
And so perhaps the real path to becoming a superhero is to realize that along the way you must also be willing to play the part of a villain in someone else’s story. Because when you have the audacity to dream, risk, fail, and be YOU...someone’s not gonna like it.
But maybe...just maybe...that is the first step on their path to becoming a hero too. And you made it possible.
For more information on how you can work with Leslie to uncover your special superpowers & learn how to use them in creating the life you’ve always wanted, visit or e-mail her at

Sunday, April 20, 2014

...and they said, "Welcome to IRIS!"

I am really excited to announce that I was invited to become a member of The IRIS Photographic Society of Alberta and that I accepted!
Some lovely irises gifted by Kerry for the 'new members meeting'...she thought them fitting, as did I!
IRIS, which is an acronym for Inspiring Respect through Images and Stories, aims to promote connection and respect between our communities, segments of our population, cities, cultures, and even countries, depending on the project.  The mandate is to use our passion for photography (all IRIS members, of which there are now 11, have a love of photography) as the platform to engage conversation between people and groups of people, to foster a heightened level of understanding of one another, and to provide some photography tips and tricks along the way to anyone interested!

An example of a recent project was when IRIS members conducted a workshop at an Edmonton seniors' centre, putting cameras in the hands of a few of the residents.  The workshop was then followed up with an exhibition of those residents' cool is that!

I am incredibly honoured to now be part of this group, a group who have been humbly and generously endeavouring to make our world a little better since inception a year and a half ago, and I am fundamentally moved that I now have the opportunity to participate in deciding on projects and then executing them (we decided on some wonderful initiatives this past week at our meeting...stay tuned!).  

As a non-profit, IRIS relies on a few revenue generating projects each year and also on donations from people and organizations who believe in what we are trying to achieve.  If you are interested in supporting IRIS please visit: and click the 'donate' button on the right side!

Over the past few years I have been afforded really amazing opportunities and, on each occasion, I've wondered, "have they got the right 'Lori'?"...alas, I am learning that this is how we grow:  by being a little scared, by reaching, by stepping outside of our comfort zones, AND by choosing to be in the midst of people we admire and respect, people who desire to help in building a more compassionate world.

Life - and opportunities to make a difference - are beautiful!