Dreamweavers

"I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours" -Henry David Thoreau

Cosette “CoCo” Leary: Transcript

COCO: I learned that from my grandma. 

When I was 16, I was living with her in Long View, Washington. And her and I had the delightful deliciousness of gossiping….about other family members! And so we were doing that this particular day. We were washing dishes and laughing about everyone else in the family. But Grandma says to me that day she goes, Baby, momma gonna go sit in that chair, I’m getting tired. You finish up these dishes. Okay momma! She go sit in her chair, she has this big ol oversized chair she sat in. And I’m still gossiping about whoever we was talking about. “Yeah! And another thing! jajajaja.” Ain’t that right momma? 

And I’m laughin, but I noticed that I didn’t hear my grandma laughing. And I said momma, ain’t that —?

And I turned around, and what I saw, I was not prepared for at all.

My grandma was sitting in the chair and her hands were clenching on the arms of the chair, I mean, digging in. And she was crying so hard that her skin had turned red. And she was sweating from crying, it looked like someone had put oil and water and washed her whole face, it was shiny. And I said, MOMMA! And I ran over to her and I said, what is wrong? And she would try to tell me, but the emotion of her crying was so deep and hard that when she would try to have the words it would just come out like a sputter. Finally she got up enough energy or whatever the heck and she said, “I didn’t do half of what I wanted with my life.”  

Hearing someone you love, someone that’s a part of your history, your bloodline history, the older version of your bloodline say to you, “I didn’t do half of what I wanted with my life”, it does something to your soul.

[Intro]

COCO: My passion is empowering people. You know, helping people discover who they are deep down inside. 

I have this thing, a story to tell about when I was a little girl. In my roller skates. Ohhh baby, you started something now - light the match! God dangit. I was so empowered by my roller skates when I was a little girl. It was something about the roller skates. Oh my God. With every loop - swoosh! Whoosh! Of the lacing up of the rocket, that would be the roller skates. And when I got to the top loop and I’d tie the knot. And i put my foot down on the ground, it was like I could feel the throttle. And the power. And I’d kick off, and Boom! I’m gone to another galaxy! And boy, when it’d make that skrrrrt sound, when you go to make a turn, I was so dag gum powerful! The sidewalk was mine! 

The thing about it: I work to help people go back to that. Whatever their roller skates are, when they are 7 and a half years old. What was it at that point in time that you did, in your land of fun if you will—pun intended, because we’re talking about fun—and your land of fun, was it your roller skates? Was it your bike? Was it your skateboard? Was it your basketball? Was it your soccer ball? Was it your kite? Was it your freakin rubber band puzzles that you made? What was it, was it your ant farm? What was it that made you feel invincible when you were doing it? 

When you can get back to that, then you can bring that same feeling into your businesses, and you will explode.

HARRIS: because I can imagine people thinking, okay, when I was 7, I enjoyed building Legos. But I can’t build LEGOs. And I don’t wanna be an architect. So what does that mean? Or like, how does roller skates tie into what you’re doing now? 

COCO: It’s the feeling. 

HARRIS: BOOM! 

COCO: It’s the feeling, okay? It’s the feeling! Maybe you’re not building LEGOs right now, but what is something that you do as an adult now, that gives you that same feeling that you had when you were working with LEGOs when you were a child? When I was on my roller skates? It’s the feeling. What gives me that adrenaline push so much that I feel like the kid again, but this time, I’m the kid doing what I love doing, it’s empowering other people, and yeah, it’s giving me an R-O-I. 

HARRIS: Thank God. 

COCO: Hey! That’s the whole thing.

HARRIS: I’m happy to hear that. 

COCO: That’s the whole thing. Is that it is going to give you a return on your investment, but it’s gonna be something that other people are going to want to duplicate as well. They’re gonna want what you have. Why do you think people want you in the room with them? They want you to be in their presence. They wanna be around you. They love to hear you talk because there’s something in your core that is your Zoom. And you’re talking from your Zoom. 

HARRIS: Zoom? 

COCO: My roller skates were my ZOOM! 

Put them on and lace them suckers up! I put my foot on the ground, I push off and I ZOOOOM! And I owned the sidewalk. And the interesting thing is, as a kid, I wasn’t being paid for it. I just loved it. 

HARRIS: Right. 

COCO: So when people are working their businesses—and I’m not saying to people, don’t work your businesses, I’m not saying that—I’m saying, really look at who you are and find out if the business that you’re doing is really your superhero on the inside. If it’s not, GET ANOTHER BUSINESS. Just saying. 

HARRIS: Why? Life’s short, right? 

COCO: Yeah! Life is short, and there are so many people that are living in skins that are not connected to their bones. 

HARRIS: Oh my god. 

COCO: They’re living in skins that are not connected to their bones. A lot of people follow the money. And believe me, I love money like anybody else, but I’d rather make money doing what I absolutely love to do, then to just be doing what I need to do to make money. 

HARRIS: Right. Well, that feeling…because that feeling is like, it’s priceless.

COCO: It is! I mean because if you have that feeling, you can do…you can be the best of the best. Why do we worship people so much? Like the Oscars and everything. You know, I think of Samuel L. Jackson. I LOVE Samuel L. Jackson. And sometimes he can look like a mean person, to put it politely, you know in his characters and his face and everything, but what is it that we love about these people? You know what it is? It’s that in their glory of doing what they love doing—which in their case is acting; and you know, they’re great at it, they’re great at it because it’s their ZOOM—it’s their Zoom. And they knew all along it was their Zoom. And they’ll tell you - they can’t tell you how many parts they lost, how many people said no you’re not good enough for this part, no you don’t match this part, they kept Zooming. And then, one day, in the world of their Zoom, they blew up! And when they blew up, we got to see them. And then all of a sudden we fell in love with them. And then all of a sudden all the people that told them, that this part wasn’t for them, that they weren’t good enough for this or that, all of a sudden those people are like dang, how did we really overlook that person so much? They were in their Zoom. 

We worship people who are actively in their Zoom. We look at superstars, super athletes, super motivators, super everybody and we’re like, wow, they’re so cool! 

HARRIS: And I’ll also tell you, from my perspective as well, that it’s because they’re having fun. 

COCO: Woop there it is! Woop there it is! They’re having fun, they love what they’re doing! It’s fun! It’s their Zoom! 

HARRIS: Like, watch someone who’s just a masterful basketball player, masterful film maker, artist, you want to watch them do it because you want to watch them do it. They’re like, the world doesn’t exist, and you just want to like, eat that up! Like, I wanna be in the same room as that! 

COCO: That’s right! That’s right! That’s right! To the point where they brought out HBO - Home Box Office - you can have them in your living room! 

HARRIS: Thank God. So how do you find your zoom? I guess there’s two steps, right? It sounds like one—and sorry to answer for you!—because I guess there are two questions. One, what was it, at that age, you have to reconnect with that feeling. And then two, what is it now? What can you do now that gives you that same feeling? 

Because, I try not to ramble too much on these things, it’s about you!, because people buy feeling. They don’t buy the thing. They buy what’s behind it. And, whether they know it or not, whether they know it or not! When they’re buying it, that’s what they’re buying. And that’s why you come back to the same writers, the same fashion designers, because you know you’re getting them. You’re getting a piece of them! 

Ok, so back to my question. 

COCO: You are nailing it! You are freakin nailing it! 

HARRIS: You’re sending it - you’re making the wheels turn. You’re doing what you do, this is what you do. 

COCO: This is what I do. It is, it is. You’re buying the feeling. Because something in that person, that place and/or product is giving you that feeling that comes back to when you were a kid playing with LEGOs, or when you were a kid with roller skates, or whatever - there’s something in there that tastes similar to that. 

HARRIS: Yes. 

COCO: Now the interesting thing about it is, if there’s something in that that tastes similar to your childhood-like zoom, what would happen if you took THAT FEELING that you know seems to make you seem really good and you keep going back for more, and you realize that the feeling is really coming from the inside of you being pulled out by something that was resembles something that interests you in a passionate way so much that reminds you so much of that feeling, that means everything is inside of you. Basically when you’re purchasing that service, product, event or time, you’re purchasing yourself. 

So as adults we start to try and buy that feeling. Because we seem to forget that it’s on the inside already. 

COCO: But we forget that that feeling is on the inside of us, so we go and try and purchase it. 

We’re gonna purchase things—clothes, time shares, whatever the heck we’re doing—we’re gonna do things because of the emotional attachment we have to it. That emotional attachment or physical need makes it important. It gives it purposeful meaning. What we seem to forget is that all of that is coming from the inside of us. What are we really thirsty for? And if we think about what we’re thirsty for, and how good we feel when we get, say, a chance to quench our thirst, it’s the quenching of the thirst that is really the passion that we’re supposed to be building a business around. But instead we’re really, a lot of times, trying to purchase webinars, or how-tos, or whatever that’s already on the inside of us. Already our Zoom. 

So when you say people spend countless hours on their business, and they say they don’t hardly have any time because maybe they’re working it for, may I dare I say it?, the wrong reason. 

So you know, I don’t know. I just work from a real passionate core of bringing that deep inner person out for people. So that they don’t spend their whole life existing, so that they still have time to push a do-over button. You still have time to push a do over button.  

HARRIS: At any age. 

COCO: At any age. While you’re still breathing. 


***BEGINNING, CLIP 2***

HARRIS: How’d you find that this was your zoom, what you’re doing now? 

COCO: Because I was desperately looking for someone to do it for me. 

And when I realized I couldn’t find anyone to do that…you see, okay so now we’re gonna get into my story some. Coming from welfare—

HARRIS: Not some - lets get it all! 

COCO: Welfare check poverty, I could not find anyone to help me LIVE. All I could do was exist. And do you know what that existing was? Pray to God every month that that welfare check hits in the mail. Pray to God every month I could get a bus pass from social services. Pray to God around Christmas time I could get with St. Vincent-DePaul, Salvation Army, so I could get on the list so my kids could get some Christmas presents. 

HARRIS: And you had 4 kids? 

COCO: Four children, yep. Yes I do, yes. 

HARRIS: By yourself. 

COCO: By myself. M-hm. And we lived off a welfare check of over $742 per month for a family of five. And I kept looking for someone to please show me a blueprint! Give me a model! No one had one. No one had a model or a blueprint to show me how to thrive. To show me how to live out loud. To show me how to enjoy my life and how to feel like I was as good as anybody else. No one had that. 

Every time I asked a social worker or someone, they would kinda look at me a little funny and they would be like, “Oh my god…we…we don’t have no programs for what you’re talking about.” We don’t have no programs for what you’re talking about. 

HARRIS: What do you mean? 

COCO: I wanted to be able to cross out of poverty into middle class America. 

HARRIS: Oh…their program, it’s like, we know how to keep you fed. But we don’t know how to get you extra money to like go on trips and stuff. 

COCO: Or to even get you in a position where you have truly a livable wage—oh, let’s scratch that, don’t say livable wage—where you have a CAREER that will allow you to be able to go and get a mortgage for a house. So that you won’t always have to live off of Section 8 rental subsidies. 

We don’t have programs to give you what we have for ourselves.

HARRIS: So how did you do it? 

COCO: How did I do it…right, right…we got plenty of time! Exactly, we can go there, WE CAN GO THERE! Pull up an extra chair, we can go there! How did I do it…I got extremely desperate. Because I knew me and my kids were in an hourglass. Okay? And I knew every day that I got up, sands of time was shifting. We were shifting to the bottom of our hourglass. And there was, if we got, if we went through the little hole, with the last of the sand, the slippery emotional glass, we would never be able to climb back up. And I knew it - I knew it from the bottom of my heart. 

Oh my God. And I look at my kids, and I knew that all I could offer them, was drowning. I knew that’s all I was giving them, was drowning. I knew that I might as well tuck them up in bed, put something over, put some chloroform over their nose, and let them go in their sleep. Because I had nothing to give them. 

We couldn’t talk about college. How was I gonna pay for it? We couldn’t—I mean, we did—we talked about it—but in all reality, 

HARRIS: There was nothing you could contribute. 

COCO: There was nothing I could do. How am I gonna give them…because these kids are getting older year by year. How am I gonna prepare them to be adults? How am I gonna help them in this world that doesn’t even see us? 

HARRIS: Right. And you were working. 

COCO: Sometimes. Sometimes. But I never even—even when I was, I was being a teacher, day care, teacher assistant. I was never working anything beyond minimum wage. Whenever I did get a job. Working in a nursing home, or something. And they were never jobs that fed my soul. They were always jobs that seemed to remind me that I was “less than”. When I would work in the day care, I would see the kids get dropped off to me wearing the cutest little tu-tus, and the cutest little shoes, their parents had good jobs, you know?  They were administrators at hospitals, and all kind of stuff. And I was taking better care of their kids than I was of my own. And I would see these kids in cute little coats and everything and they were well—they were guaranteed to have story time. Cause I was gonna read the stories to them. They were guaranteed to be able to play with puzzles, because the day care was gonna provide wonderful puzzles for them. They were guaranteed to play in dress up, and to be whoever they wanted to be, because it was there. I couldn’t give that to my kids. 

So, the desperate-ness, I knew we were in an hour glass and I knew we were running out of time. And I knew I was the only person, I was the only oracle in my kids life. They looked to me for expectation, and guidance, and “what if?” And I knew I didn’t have answers to those. I was asking the people in my realm that I thought had the authority to give me answers and I was getting back, “we really don’t have anything to help you do that.”

So I got really desperate. And I wrote a letter to a CEO of a big company, corporation. She’s a mega-millionaire. I read about her in a magazine. And it was a Working Mothers magazine, her name was Dina Dwyer-Owens, of the Dwyer Group. And I love her to death. In fact I’ll show you—me and her, the picture, on the cover of my phone, is me, her, and her executive secretary. My screen saver, there we are. That was back in 2004, and I was at her company. 

HARRIS: Wait - That’s you? 

COCO: That’s me. 

HARRIS: Oh, wow. You look so different. 

COCO: Ha! Poor! Poor as hell! Poor as hell! 

HARRIS: That’s great though, she’s on the left? 

COCO: Yeah, that’s her right there in the pink, and that’s her executive secretary Carol in the green and black. And they are the cover to my phone—screen saver, wall paper on my cell phone—with that picture, and I’m able to look at them all the time, I’m always in contact with them anyway. 

But I read about her while the children were napping. And I was working at a day care. And I was doing magazine cut out art - which is where you find a big ole picture of a Hidden Valley Ranch broccoli! And you rip that page out and you get to glue it to a bigger plate and make a collage and take it home to Mommy and Daddy. 

HARRIS: I did tons of broccoli pasting when I was in day care. 

COCO: So you KNOW I’m telling the truth! 

HARRIS: I know exactly what you’re talking about. 

COCO: Oh my God…so this particular day, these darlings were sleeping, and I’m doing magazine cut out art for their paper plate collages, because you know that takes quite the competencies, right? That’s critical thinking skills like you wouldn’t believe! Critical thinking for your ass, critical thinking! Get that paper up and glue it on that paper plate. 

I come across this magazine called Working Mothers magazine. And I thought Oh my God, I didn’t even know they had magazines for working moms. Even though I had a whatever kind of — werp, werp werp, job—I was still a working mom. I had kids I was a mom I was working. So the title of that magazine caught my attention, Working Mothers. And Dina, and two other women, were on the cover. It said, “Three Women Who Really Know how to Raise a Ruckus”. And I thought, boyyyyy I could raise some Holy Cow Manure right now! You don’t even know! You don’t even know! Like, ya’ll think you can raise a ruckus, let me tell you something right now. Let me tell you something — I sound like Bernie Mac — let me tell you something. 

So I open it and read all the articles of all 3 of them but Dina’s stood out the most because of what she said. She was telling the story of her and her family having dinner at an iHOP. And she said she was paying attention to the waitress. Hustling. ZOOOOM! Zoom! Zoom! Working hard for tips. She said she thought to herself, that woman’s feet must kill her at the end of her shift when she go home. She said when she got home, she couldn’t get the waitress out of her mind. She said and as she was putting on her pajamas, she thought to herself, “well if it’s that hard for her, what must it be like for women on welfare?” 

Shut the front door! 

HARRIS: You're like, are you talking to me? 

COCO: Dude, the Oracle has spoken! Hoohahahah! I’m like, WHAT. Oh my God, no I didn’t read that right. 

HARRIS: Cuttin that out, not for the plates. 

COCO: Oh I did a little bit better - let me tell you what I did. Not cutting it out for the plate, but Ima tell you what I do with that magazine: I read it again. I go, no I’m not reading this right. I think I read that line, that sentence, about 5 times because I could not believe someone had mentioned women on welfare, in a magazine, god dangit! 

So I did the most upmost, noble, logical thing that anybody would do: I stole that magazine. I don’t recommend this, Ima put a disclaimer, ya’ll. 

HARRIS: They had enough pictures of broccoli cut out! 

COCO: Yeah, I was done with broccoli! I was done with that! You hear me! I done seen women in welfare in print, I could give a god dang about broccoli or Hillshire Farms or anybody else up in them magazines. Macaroni and Cheese, I ain’t doing it! I’m taking this magazine home and I’m finding this lady. 

I took the magazine home, I dialed 411 and got the physical address to her company. And I wrote her a letter. 

HARRIS: Where were they? 

COCO: They were in Waco, Texas. 

HARRIS: And you were in Washington?

COCO: Yes, I was in Vancouver, Washington. 

HARRIS: Got it. 

COCO: And I knew that since she was such a big wig, you know, she running this mega company, the chances of her getting my letter could be kinda slim. Because I felt like someone else most likely went through her mail before the mail had got to her desk. 

But I was like, I’m desperate, I said, God, if there’s any way she could read this letter, please guide this letter to her hands. 

Well, from my mouth to God’s ears. About two weeks later I came home, and the light was blinking on my answering machine. I wasn’t even bothering with that mess. Cause I knew it wasn’t nobody but Clark Public Utilities telling me about how I owe them money. I know I owe you money! You think you’re the only one that knows that I owe you money?! Get in line! There’s about 15 other people I owe money to, too! And they been leaving messages before you. So I gotta do this in order. Right? So I’m not even pushing the stupid button, because that’s all they did was want money. 

So, go through the routine of feeding the kids, homework, bath, everybody bed, and finally late at night I pushed the button and it was not Clark Public Utilities. No. It was a woman named Carol Dugat, she’s in the green, and she had a southern drawl. And she says, “Cosette—my name is Carol Dugat. Dina got your letter! She wants to talk to you.” 

GOOD GOD! See now this cup of water has a purpose ya’ll! I done got thirsty. 

Ah yeah, that tastes good. Little parched, boy. Every time I talk about that right there I should say WHAT. 

I REWOUND that message. She says, “Dina wants to talk to you!” Good God. Hallejujah. Okay, um, okay. Okay, okay, okay. She read the letter. Okay, okay. Take down the phone number. 

I’m not realizing, that Texas is two hours ahead of us. So I’m calling, while they closed! 

HARRIS: You just picked up the phone and started dialing. 

COCO: So I keep leaving these voice messages, but finally I come home one day and the light is blinking and I pushed that sucker because shoot this time it could be the winning lottery numbers for all I know now. Anything is possible. Absolutely And it’s Carol again. And she goes, I think what’s happening is a time difference. She said, so Dina wants me to give you her e-mail address, and she wants to start talking, to start corresponding with you, you know, via e-mail. And I was like, okay. 

So me and Dina started e-mailing each other. And about two to two and a half months later Dina flew me out to Waco, Texas as an honorary member at her franchise board meeting. 

And that’s when I saw possibility. That poverty did not have to have me by the jugular. She began to teach me new ideas, how to go and acquire higher education. Higher learning. She said to me, you articulate extremely well. The first class I want you to take is a public speaking class. I said, what is articulate? She said, oh! It means that you express how you feel very clearly and thoughtfully when you speak to someone, people are able to understand what you’re trying to get across to them. I said, oh, you mean I talk good? She said yes, you talk good. And that was the beginning of how I started to change my life. 

You see, the desperation afforded me the courage to totally go out of a comfort zone. To totally rip my heart wide open and say, This is Me. Please, if you got any care in your mind and heart, pay attention to me. I am desperate. 

HARRIS: Is that what the letter said? 

COCO: Basically, m-hm. I was telling her, I’m a woman on welfare, I read about you in this magazine, I have four beautiful children but I don’t know what I’m gonna give them in life, I don’t even know what to give myself in life. You’re talking about this waitress, you’re talking about women on welfare, I need help, would you please help me? I remember saying that to her: I need help, would you please help me? 

That’s how I was able to turn the page. By chance, coincidence, or Divine Design, I came across a magazine, with an article, about a woman who had a compassionate enough heart to read my letter and then send for me. 

HARRIS: You asked for help. 

COCO: I asked for help. Yeah.  

***Beginning, clip 3*** 

HARRIS: And that was what I wanted to talk to you about as well: the importance of being real. We talked about fun before, and I don’t think the two are very far off. 

COCO: They’re not. 

HARRIS: Have you always been real? - Weird question. 

COCO: Ima say no. Ima say no. You mighta thought I was gonna say, YES, I always been real. No, because I was taught, within our society, status quo. Know your position. Do not be divergent. So I wasn’t always real. No, because I was taught that this is my social class that I’m in and these are social class norms. 

Being real means being open enough and being honest enough with yourself to know when, where you’re at, is not where you belong. And that you are gonna have to do something desperate, to get out of that.

You’re gonna have to shed that skin that is holding you hostage. So what does that mean? That means you are going to have to become real to yourself, to your desires, to your hopes, to your dreams, to your wants, to your NEEDS. And a lot of times, your hopes, your desires, your dreams, your wants and your needs are not gonna match where you’re standing. 

HARRIS: Not match your skin. 

COCO: You don’t match the skin that you’re in. You got borrowed skin. 

HARRIS: Right. We didn’t choose that skin. 

COCO: You didn’t choose that skin. That skin was put on you. 

HARRIS: Yeah, or you stepped into it, without knowing.

COCO: Somehow, without knowing. Somehow you got in the skin and the interesting thing about it is that you KNOW it’s not the skin that belongs to you because it doesn’t allow you to be real. 

HARRIS: OOOHHHH…it doesn’t fit! 

COCO: It doesn’t fit! 

HARRIS: I wanna do this but I can’t! 

COCO: I’m not really being me! 

So no, I wasn’t always real. I did not become real until life came to me and said, It’s time to get real. And that was when I realized I was running out of room in that skin. I was outgrowing it, and it was gonna be tattered and torn; it was gonna be looking pitiful on me, I wasn’t gonna fit it anymore, it wasn’t gonna be comfortable, and I was gonna have to shed all of those things in that skin in order to be real. 

I became real when I decided to accept me, and live for me, and not for what people say I should be, or could be, or would be, or ought to be, or that I AM?! Because that’s what’s everyone else’s interpretation because they were seeing me in the wrong skin. 

HARRIS: That’s their interpretation. 

And it’s so easy to pay attention to that. And there’s some value because some people give it to you real. Some people, I think they can see past the skin. Not many, but I think some people can. 

COCO: Dina, who flew me out as an honorary board member guest, she saw my real skin. She read it in the letter, and she was compassionate enough to recognize it and say, she’s in the wrong skin. 

HARRIS: And you were brave enough to show it. 

COCO: Yep. 

HARRIS: That’s the biggest thing. 

COCO: Yep. That is the biggest thing. I often say to people, the world is so big, no one is gonna know you until you introduce yourself to it. You got to stand up and say, THIS IS ME. Take it or leave it! This is me! This is me! This is me over here! This is the M-E! This is M-E! Get it, get it, BOUNCE BOUNCE, it’s the m-e! You know, you have to go ahead and tell the world, this is me. And then be courageous enough to follow up with that.

One of, you know how people used to say, what is playing on your iPhone, or whatever? You wanna know what is always on mine? EMINEM! Lose yourself! Oh my God, that’s my anthem, that’s my song, from his movie 8 Mile. If you listen to that, you know, the intro, he’s talkin about, you know, if you had that one opportunity, you know, that once, would you go after it or would you just let it slip through your hands? 

We are our opportunity. We are our one opportunity. And despite what anyone has said to any of us, if they said you weren’t pretty enough, you weren’t handsome enough, you weren’t skinny enough, you weren’t thick enough, you weren’t smart enough…whatever people said, and then whatever we told ourselves, it’s time to get out of that old skin. Because the real you is every bit of what you and what the world has said you are not. But it’s inside the old skin and you’ve got to take it off to stand up and be yourself. 

Be yourself.

HARRIS: Because yeah, we talked about the postcards before this interview. 

COCO: Yes! Exactly! 

HARRIS: And they all say, be yourself. Right? Be the difference. Yet it seems to not be as easy as it sounds, because everyone says it, yet seems like a lot of people are still wearing the skin. 

COCO: They are, because it’s not easy. It’s very hard. 

HARRIS: It’s gotta be impossible. How do you rip off your own skin?

COCO: You put yourself first. You put yourself first. You decide to yourself that you are gonna do whatever it takes to fulfill your dream. To get back to YOUR Zoom. To be that person that you are on the inside, despite what is on the outside of you. And it takes an enormous amount of courage. 

I mean, the amount of courage it took for me to do it, I knew I was on the bottom of the barrel. I mean I’m supporting myself and my four kids off a $742 welfare check. Tax payer money coming into my mailbox so that we can eke out an existence. I knew that society saw me as not an asset, but a burden. The courage it took to take $20 from my light bill and go to Ross Department Store and buy a suit, for $19.99, you know? And put that suit on, and throw some hair conditioner and water in my hair for these curly curls, and walk up to someone and say that I’m more than the resume, and I NEED to talk to you. 

And that’s exactly what I did. 

Yes, the postcard will say, “Be the Red Flower in a field of gray flowers”, and people will say, people will say all kind of things, because people like to say things that make people feel good, people like to read things that make them feel good, but taking the actual action is a fear factor. 

There are so many people that have been over-achievers. And people marvel at their accomplishments. A lot of times they are over-achievers because they are trying to prove something to themselves so much, they are trying to find where they fit in. They are trying to FIND where they can be established and good in their own skin. And they just keep going after it, keep going after it, and it goes back to what we were talking about originally: where’s the fun in that? Where’s the fun in any of this? But people, we are inducted into a society that says, you need to have this, this and this, in order to be posh enough to be savvy. 

For me I knew I wasn’t savvy at the time of my economic circumstances. I was poor. And there was no savviness in that. But I knew I had to have enough courage to go and introduce myself to the world and ASK FOR HELP. ASK FOR HELP. And yes, it will take some critical thinking on your part, or anybody’s own individual part, because you have to know what you want, and NEED, and then you have to take what you want and need and find the areas and resources to go and get that. Whether that’s reading about somebody in a magazine and writing them, whether it’s listening to someone’s blog and reaching out to them on a subject that they talked about that resonated with you, whatever it is that’s putting yourself first, enough to put yourself out there. 

You gotta put yourself first enough to be willing to put yourself out there, and know that you deserve the time, the effort. It’s like you said, someone’s gonna know it’s not an easy thing to do, it’s not. And I’m not gonna sit up here on this blog and be like, YES! And for $19.95, you get my book right now I’ll throw in an extra this like we said earlier, a flashlight! No! No! It’s not easy because you are pulling out of the skin that was put on you. You’re ripping out of that, and that is not gonna be easy, because that skin is thick! It is hard! You’ve hidden behind it. You know, your wounds are on it, your scars are on it. 

HARRIS: And though it’s uncomfortable, you at least know how to move around in it. And you don’t know what the new skin is gonna look like. You’re not, like, you don’t know how that looks. 

COCO: Nope. You don’t. You don’t know how that looks. Shoot, it might look like Spandex! You know! You don’t know what that look like! 

HARRIS: Maybe. Maybe it is. Maybe it is spandex. 

COCO: Maybe it is. And Maybe it’s spandex so you can be stretchable! Who knows? 

But we really deserve to live a life according to our personal design. And that does take courage, and that does take a lot of work. But the thing about it, we’re worth the work. And we owe ourselves the courage. Because you can just about bet your bottom dollar—again, back to all the people that we seem to admire so much for their talents, and their gifts, and their attributes, and their sensationalism—they all kept ripping away at the skin that didn’t match them until they grew all the way out of it and GOT what they wanted, what they needed. 

And now we see them, in life and a lot of things. And they write books, they make movies, they do music, all kind of things. But if you go and talk to them, and ask who were you, before we knew your name, they can give you some very interesting stories of eating pork and beans out of a can on the regular, let me tell ya! But they kept doing it. You just have to keep doing it, you have to keep knowing that at the end of the day, you are your best marketing tool. You are YOU, and you have a better skin underneath the skin that has been placed on you. 

You gotta come out of that skin. And I’m not gonna tell you it’s gonna feel good all the time, it’s not. But I will tell you one thing: as you continue on, and you be so true to what is really good for you and what is really good for your life, the things that we will pay for, you know, to feel that temporary moment, when you start building that around your core and your Zoom and who you are on the inside, after awhile, you become comfortable in that skin, and you become better. 

And believe it or not—wait for it—you become INVINCIBLE!!! muhahahahah! 

You are worth the work.

***Beginning clip 4*** 

I know, I was just talking to someone a couple days ago. This particular person has worked 40 years in the medical field and has great expertise. And she’s much older now, kids are grown and all that, and I said to her, because she had to—her position where she was workin, they discontinued that type of care, so she was out of a job. I said to her, I said have you ever thought of taking all those years of medical experience that you have, and going abroad? You know? Go to Haiti or go to Singapore or go to India, or whatever, and take that knowledge and those skills and all of that triage-ness that you have inside of your hands and use it in a different environment. 

You would be in demand. You would meet people from around the world. You would walk through fields of grass that you wouldn’t have even imagined. You may even be able to look at an elephant up close. Whatever, you got it in the palm of your hand, and she said, I can’t do that. And I said why? She said well, I got my kids, and my grandkids, the house.  And I just leaned back in my chair, I didn’t say anymore. It’s a mindset. Cause you see, you’re gonna have those kids no matter what. Nothing—you being across the globe is not gonna change that you still momma. But the difference is, you would be able to come back with awesome gifts for your grandkids, recipes they wouldn’t believe, pictures and stories, you might even be able to convince them to come out for two weeks. You will live out loud. 

But we seem too often, back to our original topics that you and me were talking about, trapped in our status quo. We don’t, we won’t do that because if we do that, that means we have to give up this. 

HARRIS: And there’s no ROI. 

COCO: Yeah. But the thing about it, like I said, when you punch your final time clock, and you’re in a really beautiful casket and everything else, you’re not gonna be able to say, wait wait wait wait wait! Before you close that casket lid, I know how to go have an adventure now! And hop out. And if you do you’re gonna be the richest person on the planet because people now are gonna ask “how you come back from the dead, just before we put you in the ground?” They be like, oh my God. 

HARRIS: That’s my next interview guest. 

COCO: Right? Exactly, exactly, okay? Heyyy! And let me be around, because I need to see what they did! So I just, I don’t know. I guess, everything that I’m saying, that we’re talking about, me and you today, goes back to that zoom. And what are we willing to do for our personal zoom? What are you really willing to do for you? For you. 

We have labels where moms, dads, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, best friends, husband, wives, best partners, you know, we’re all—but who are you? 

HARRIS: And all the things that tell you otherwise—mortgage, kids, doesn’t make sense, who am I gonna know, um, what am I gonna do?, it’s all old skin. 

COCO: It’s old skin. And the fact that you have to ask yourself all those questions is telling you it’s old skin. 

HARRIS: Now I think I see how you get through old skin. You gotta move through it. I don’t think it comes off—intent is great; and thinking, and doing some reflecting on it and kind of seeing first that I actually am not wearing the skin that I actually want to wear, that I truly, well, but you really shed it, I think, through action. 

COCO: There it is. Boom baby! You done nailed it! 

HARRIS: Bah!!

COCO: Get it now! Through action, there it is! 

Through action. 

HARRIS: Two eggs and a stick of butter!

COCO: There it is, boy! You can make a pound cake right there! Pound it, right there! Boom! Stick of butter, and egg. 

And it is, you’re right. It’s taking the action. 

HARRIS: Yeah. I had a, I was on a walk one day, a thought came up: that, we’re here to have fun. We’re here to play. And like, I don’t know if there’s much beyond that. Like, I think like, that’s it. Like, talk about the purpose of life, like why are we here, who are we, and I think we’re here to just have fun. And if we’re not having fun we gotta figure out a way. For a mother of 4, making $742 a month, we gotta find a way to have some fun. And it’s not gonna be with that check. 

COCO: Not at all! That check is not gonna cover the fun. Okay? It’s not gonna cover the fun. 

HARRIS: There’s one more question I wanted to ask, because um, it’s relevant to me, right now, and hopefully it is to someone else, it was that story you sent me. The one you e-mailed. The newspaper article. And you said, “Don’t look for a job. Look for who you are.” How do you discover that? 

COCO: You discover who you are by what you want the most. And everybody knows what they want the most. And most of the time, what you want is the permission and the tools to use your talents. And most people want to be able to use their talents to make a living. But how you do that? How do you use your talents to make a living? And people often get caught up in that more so than just using their talents to make a living. 

Again I’m not gonna sit up here and say it’s easy, you gotta have a strategic plan. I’ve heard people say, well you don’t have to have a plan, the Universe and everything else will bring it to you. I say, have a plan. Because especially if you’re starting from the rock bottom part of your life, realize that you need to eat, okay? We need to eat. Sometime we get thirsty. And we prefer to have a roof over our head than a leaky tree. Okay? So there are some things that we need to have in place for our comfort or semi-comfortable existence. Okay? So once you’ve covered your comfortable or semi-comfortable existence, and that may be with your JOB, okay, that you have right now, a JOB, understand that you need to carve out elements and ways and time that, besides having your job that are meeting your basic needs, that you are building your talent that will earn you the same amount of money that you’re getting from your job, that gives you your basic needs. 

Once your talent gives you the same amount of paycheck that you bring home from that job on a continuum—and I try and tell people, do it for at least 6-9 months, where you’ve got, you know, you’ve got a targeted audience that’s wanting your services, programs, or products or whatever. And once you get to that 9-month mark especially, and you see that you have clients, customers and whatnot, and you have a viable, something that they want, let go of the job and live out loud the rest of your life with your talents. 

That’s what I do. That’s what I do. I work at night in a rehabilitation center, is that necessarily my talent? No. But by working at night, I make the money to feed myself, keep a roof over my head, have the occasional drink of water when I want it. And, it gives me the day time to live through my talents. 

I’ve done it so long now that now I am beginning to command a return on my investment, that with working in a 2-3 hour span on my talents, I will make MORE than I will make in a MONTH, at my job at night. 

It didn’t happen overnight, but I knew I was worth the work. Again it’s not easy, but you can be smart about it. 

And you can realize you’re worth the work, you’re gonna have to put in the work, when you’re starting out, but keep seeing your light at the end of the tunnel. 

And go and find other people that are like-minded like you that are already out of the tunnel. Again we talked about emulating other people- you don’t necessarily have to do that. But start to put yourself in environments that are ABOUT your talents. That will keep your momentum going, you will have dialogue with other people, you will have peers in that environment to offset working at Winky-Dinky burger! Winky dinky! We’ll be working at Winky Dinky for awhile. But while we’re working there, let’s be working over here and everlasting. 

I am not the oracle that says and knows everything. No. None of us are. All I live for is to empower other people to find who they really are, up under their skins, and live that life out loud. 

And guess what? The most exciting part about that is that while I’m imparting and giving knowledge, they’re giving me so much knowledge back it is a win-win. And I’m falling in love with people who are falling in love with themselves, and I’m making friendships out of business. It doesn’t get much better for me than that.  

               © 2016 Harris Newman - Portland, OR