Total Pageviews

Sunday, December 24, 2006

'Tis the season

'Tis the season, only sometimes people don't feel like it. The fastest way to lift your spirits is to do something to lift the spirits of someone else.

For great inspiration, stories, need downloads, go see this website
  • if you go to the "free downloads" link, you can get ready made certificates and more that you can download, print and give
  • click on ecards and send a bit of inspiration
  • once you've clicked on any link, a new list will appear on the left side of the screen and you can read some very neat stories of things people have done

If you need a hug, ask for one.
If you have a hug to give, give it.

I wish you and yours a very sweet and bright holiday season.


Aunt Laya

photo by taliesin at, thank you!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

When life is hard

Right now is the darkest time of the year. Our daylight is the shortest (in the northern hemisphere) and night is the longest. Then, on top of that, if you have hard things going on in your life, it's hard to imagine the light at the end of the tunnel.

Today is a love note of encouragement. Life is not meant to be easy. Life is full of meaning and beauty, but easy is not part of the deal. We get that clue first thing. We start all cozy in the womb; as we grow, it starts to get pretty cramped in there until we don't really fit comfortably any more and we get squeezed out! It's not easy. Then, taking that first breath of air is a shocker too. We don't remember how hard all of that was. But it was hard. Okay, it's hard work to get born, and it's hard work to get through school, and it's hard work when we fall on our face, and it's hard, really hard, when we face loss in our lives.

Sometimes the best thing is to sit quietly, either by yourself or with someone who loves you, and just BE. You don't have to fix anything or each other, just be. Regenerate, recreate, grieve, rest, what ever you need to do. Your energy will move in cycles, just like the waves of the ocean moves with the tides.

Even when you are not actively "out in the world" doing things, being you and growing into yourself is enough.

Your soul is a flame that lights up the world. Really.

One of my favorite images of growing is of a crab. When that little shell fish needs to grow, it has to shed its hard protective shell and become very vulnerable. It will usually go and take refuge in some rocks until it grows a new, bigger shell to step out into the world once again.

If you're feeling vulnerable and tender, it's way okay to retreat for a time and take good care of you. If you need cyber {{{{{hugs}}}}} you've come to the right place because I have an unlimited supply of time-released {{{{{hugs}}}}} and you're welcome to take all you like.

With love and of course {{{{{hugs}}}}},
Aunt Laya

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Teen read contest! Check it out... is Proud To Present....
"31 Days of Giving"
A Holiday Spectacular Sweepstakes Event

Of course you'll find a copy of "You Don't Have to Learn Everything the Hard Way" as one of the prizes but you'll also find a "sneak preview" copy of the audio book among the many, many prizes being offered.
Be sure to read the contest rules.

Let me know if you win!

Aunt Laya

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

You've got the power!

What would you do if you were 100% responsible for your own life? What would you do differently? What would you do more of and what would you let go of? You can ask someone to coach you, read books, learn from other people's experiences, but the bottom line is that you get to create your life! Isn't that amazing? You've got the power!
"The best years of your life are the ones
in which you decide your problems are your own.
You do not blame them on your mother,
the ecology, or the president.
You realize that you control your own destiny."
--Albert Ellis
Aunt Laya

photo credit: Jane M Sawyer
Thank you!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Audio book in the works!

Are you a teen (or do you know one) who'd like to read or listen to this book --and get a signed copy as a gift-- and write a review? Please contact me through my website:


Aunt Laya

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Are you holding boundaries that work for you? Are people overstepping their boundaries with you? Are you overstepping other people's boundaries?

It's okay to push past where you feel comfortable when you're growing, when you will get positive results for yourself or a greater good. But some things are really clear and I'm here to tell you that when you need to say NO, gather yourself up--even if you don't think you can--and say NO where it needs to be said.

Pay attention to that inner voice that lives inside of you. If you’re saying “no” on the inside, say “no” on the outside.

Say “yes” to yourself and what you know is right for you. If you're not sure if it's right to say "no" or not, ASK someone who is trustworthy.

You can do it!

Aunt Laya

Friday, October 27, 2006

Do you feel helpless?

When you feel helpless and you feel like crying, that is a time to be very tender with yourself. Sometimes it's a time to be alone, and sometimes it's a time to reach out and ask for help.

Sometimes people feel helpless because someone has done something to hurt them, or sometimes we're just too hard on ourselves. Sometimes we're just in a down cycle, sometimes we're sick. There are lots of reasons.

Here's the main thing I want you to know:

You are not alone.
You are not alone.
You are not alone.
You can reach out and ask for help.
You can reach out and ask for a hug.

Ask for a hug.

It's okay to ask for help and hugs.

One thing I do when I feel overwhelmed is to pick just one small thing that I CAN do. Then I do it. Then I pick one more small thing. You can do that too.

Sometimes, you really just need to rest. No one can do it all and we all need to just be gentle sometimes. Be sure you've had enough good food to eat and water to drink. Or maybe you need chocolate? Or... hugs.

Ask for help when you need help.
Take a deep breath; take a step back from what ever is upsetting you. Talk it over with someone you trust, someone you know is wise.

Remember, YOU are the song the morning brings.

And hugs,
Aunt Laya

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Rising, rising, rising

“There are glimpses of heaven to us in every act,
or thought, or word
that raises us
above ourselves.”
–Arthur P. Stanley

There are two main things I teach about life: the way you see things will influence the life you live and the things you do will create your life too. From these two places, action and perception, you create your reality. Of course there are forces at work that are out of our control, but what you choose to do and how you choose to be make the difference.

Sometimes I talk to people who really need to focus on themselves, taking care of themselves, nurturing themselves. Sometimes what people need is to get outside of themselves and reach out to others. Only you know the truth about what you need to do right now in your life. If you’re not sure and not sure how to listen to the insides of you yet, experiment.

Today’s experiment: Do something noble to make your corner of the world a bit brighter. Help yourself, help another, sing, spend time with someone who loves you, pray, dance, learn something new, draw, express gratitude.
Aunt Laya

Photo by Kevin Connors.
See more amazing photos at

Sunday, October 22, 2006

New moon

It's the new moon today.
This is a time of renewal.
You can turn yourself in any direction you want.

Think about what you want for yourself.
As you think about it, you are creating the possibility.

Be kind to yourself.
Be grateful to yourself for having the wit to start anew.
Be grateful to that which gave you the wit to start anew.

Remember, everything happens in its own right season. If you plant the seeds of what you want today, they will sprout in just the right time.

When you plant, sometimes things take root and make it and sometimes they don't. That's okay, plant anyway.

Keep breathing.

Aunt Laya

Friday, October 20, 2006

"What if you slept?
And what if, in your sleep, you dreamed?
And what if, in your dream,
you went to heaven
and there plucked a strange and beautiful flower?
And what if, when you awoke,
you had the flower in your hand?
Ah, what then?"
--Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Dear Reader,
Dream beautiful dreams. And know that the most beautiful of them can come from heaven, and that you can awake to find your dreams come true. May you find the strength to name your heart's desire, dream the dream, and pluck the flower that awaits you.
Aunt Laya

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

How do you eat an elephant?

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!

How do you get your house clean? Put one thing away at a time.

How do you get fit? One step at a time.

How do you get through the hard times? One breath at a time.

How do you accomplish anything that's important to you? You make up your mind and you take small steps each day that will move you in the direction that you want to go.

Pick a dream.
Make a plan.
Take a step.
Evaluate if you're headed in the right direction to reach your goal.
Take another step.

It is simple. Sometimes you have to battle a dragon or two (like your own ego, people's and your own judgements, falling on your face). That's okay, it makes the dream that much sweeter.

You can do this.

I'm working on getting a reprint of my book. I'm also working on an audio book. Sometimes it seems so overwhelming. It always seems to go slower than I think it should. I wrote the book one page at a time. I'm doing the reprint one task at a time. I still have to make dinner and clean the house. I still have to plan the next class I'm teaching. That's all okay because even if it takes me longer that I wanted, it will still get done. (And, I'll let you know when that happens!)

What are you working on? (Can I cheer for you?)

Quote for the day:
You don't have to see the whole staircase,
just take the first step."
--Martin Luther King

Aunt Laya

Monday, October 09, 2006

Laughing babies

Enjoy and delight!
Aunt Laya
Quote for the day:

Always do right.
This will gratify some people
and astonish the rest.
--Mark Twain

It is not always easy to do what is right, is it? But you can live with yourself if you know you did your best to do what is right. Here's one of my favorite quotes: "What's right is not always popular, what's popular is not always right."

Do what is right. Then give yourself and someone else a hug to celebrate it!

Aunt Laya

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Is the world out to get you?

Is the world out to get you?

Well, yes, in a way. Only maybe instead of thinking the world is out to get you down, how about if you think that the world is out to help you get better?

Think about this possibility:
Maybe all of life is about helping you:
Get going
Get grateful
Get ready
Get rested
Get grown
Get to be your best
Get new ideas
Quote for the day: "I've always been the opposite of a paranoid. I operate as if everyone is part of a plot to enhance my well-being." -- Stan Dale

Get the idea? (smile)

Aunt Laya

Sunday, September 03, 2006

What do you feed?

Some of the best advice I heard for a married couple is "The grass is greenest where you water it." It's true about what goes on inside of our own minds and emotions, we will flourish where we put our attention. Want more fear? Feed the fear. Want more joy? Celebrate all you can. Want more beauty? Look for the beauty in all that you see. Want more humor? You know what I mean.

Story for the day:
One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, “My son, the battle is between 2 wolves. One is Evil.
It is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,
"Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Blessing for the day:
May you see what is good within you and nourish it with love.

Advice for the day:
When you see the frailty within you, bless it for it is somehow there to serve you too, and then set it free.

Aunt Laya

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Magic of Music

I’ve heard it said that the Heavenly Realms are made up entirely of music! The ancient Temple of Jerusalem had music, instruments and song. Even in the ever popular Harry Potter series, the most powerful of wizards, Dumbledore, said, “Ah, music! ...A magic beyond all we do here!”

We know for sure that the vibration of music affects us. Watch any movie and the soundtrack is carefully composed so you can feel the emotion of the story. You know when something scary is about to happen (I’ve never see the movie Jaws, but I know the music that played just before the shark appeared). You know when someone has been victorious (Rocky, Superman, Star Wars). You can choose music to feel spiritual, sexual, angry, sad, joyful and more. It can bring you up or bring you down. Music can bring you a feeling of peace. There have been studies done about the effect of music on the mind. Music is, after all, mathematics, isn’t it?

All that said, my suggestion today is to be aware of the music you play as the soundtrack to your life. This is your life, your “movie”. You are the director and leading star in your movie and you have the power to choose the soundtrack of your own reality! Choose with purpose and care, both the lyrics and the beat. How do your musical choices help you or support you with the dance of your life?

Tip of the day: Make a list to describe what you want in life. Do you want to be productive, happy, peaceful, triumphant, adventuresome, energetic, or dramatic? Let your mind and heart go with this one. What’s important to you? What are your dreams? Now ask yourself: What’s the music that will help you with that? Ask someone you respect what they like to listen to for more ideas. Be sure that the music you bring into your life is in harmony with what you want for yourself and the people around you. (pun intended!)

Sometimes you can turn things around in a moment with a song!

Aunt Laya

Thank you for the clip art used today:

Friday, August 25, 2006


"I know the night is not the same as the day:
that all things are different, that the things of the night cannot be explained in the day, because they do not then exist, and the night can be a dreadful time for lonely people once their loneliness has started."
--Ernest Hemingway ("A Farewell to Arms")

You are not alone.

There are people who have survived what you are trying to survive and they want to help you through it to the other side. It's okay to ask for help.

Want to know where to turn? You can post here anonymously and I'll help you find resources. Or you can check out the links right here for more. People want you to ask for help. And if you don’t get what you need from one person, ask someone else, keep looking.

It's a funny thing how this world works sometimes. You can be feeling all lonely, and then someone who you don't even know is putting out love, like invisible arms reaching out to hold you. And that love is very real. Your heart can grab onto the love and find a safe place inside to heal.

Do not despair. You found this love note, you can find more. There are links on the right side of this page you can use right now. This, too, shall pass!

"The stars shine the brightest when the night sky is darkest."

You are not alone.

Aunt Laya

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Daily Motivation

"People often say that motivation doesn't last.
Well, neither does bathing -
that's why we recommend it daily."
Zig Ziglar
Author and Speaker

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Parents: Read this!

Here is something basic all parents should know. This is not a secret, but it's not talked about enough. All kids need to know how loved and special they are (your kids, grandkids, friends nieces, nephews, and parents too).

Tell your kids you love them.
Tell them they are wonderful, talented, smart, holy, and special.
Tell your kids you're glad they are your kids.
Tell your daughters that they are beautiful inside and out!

Here's another must do for parents:
No matter how busy you are in your life, no matter what else is going on:

Spend time with your kids. I repeat: Spend time with your kids.

Take walks with the dog. Go fishing. Bake together. Do volunteer work together. Read a book out loud together. BE together. One of my favorite parenting quotes is: “Kids spell love t-i-m-e.”

All kids want to hear how much their parents love and admire them. Even adult kids want to hear it from their parents. We never tire of the of love and acknowledgement we can get from our parents.

This is simple. You might need to let go of something, like playing that computer game for half an hour, miss an hour of TV, or don't take that phone call after school or at bedtime.

Dads: did you know that if you can do this one successfully with your daughter, that you'll save her mountains of heartache and increase her chances of finding a good man?

This is a big deal folks. Spend time with your kids. Let them know they are loved. Let them know you like them. Let them know you see how gifted they are. (All children are gifted in one way or another. This is truth.)

Now, what if you didn't get that as a kid or teen? Give it to your kid anyway and let it speak to the inside heart of you.

You can do this. Feel free to email this post. It is an essential piece to raising a happy, healthy, confident child who is secure in the knowledge that he or she is loved. And everybody deserves to know how very loved they are.

Tip of the week: Make a sign similar to the one in the photo and put it where you and your kids can see it every day. Pick any quote or thought that is meaningful to you. Have fun with the decorations or let your kids decorate it. This is not just for young kids; this is for teens and grownups too. It puts nourishing thoughts into your head.

Aunt Laya

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Rock your world

How can you rock your world? Helping someone else is a way to begin. It doesn't even have to be big.
*Smile at someone who could use a smile. A smile is a bigger deal that a lot of people give it credit for. A smile says, I notice you, you matter.
*Say something kind. Be real, but say it out loud. It can be as simple as "Hope your day is great," or even just plain, "Good morning" can make someone feel noticed.
*Asking a cashier, "How are you?" will often get a look of surprise. I know we don't have time to hear a whole lot, but knowing that someone cares enough to ask and listen to what ever answer they have to give can be so kind.

Want to up the stakes? How about cooking a meal for someone who needs the help, or giving them a gift of a pizza. Ever think about taking care of some kids to give a mom a little time off for errands or a bath? Have you read the post on this blog about "love notes"? Read it and then go ahead and write someone you care for a love note.

Have you ever been a volunteer? Talk about life changing. I'd love to hear your story about volunteering and what you got out of it.

You can't give without receiving. Giving grows you. Giving rocks the world.

Guess what? Asking for help is important too. Sometimes giving will lift you up, but sometimes it's in the receiving that you can be lifted. It's okay to ask, and it's really okay to receive.

So, where do you fit in all this today? Do you have something to give? Are you the one in need? It's not always black and white. You can give and receive all in the same day or even the same moment.

Participate in life with the intention to do good things; it will rock your world.
And when you rock your world, it ripples out in ways we can not even imagine. It may even rock the heavens.

Aunt Laya

Friday, July 21, 2006

What are you reading this summer?

Well, obviously, if you haven't read my book, I recommend you check it out at my website: or you can just go get it at Amazon. This link will take you there:

Now, looking for variety? Looking for ideas? Check out There are all kinds of recommendations--and contests for free books too! (Well, wouldn't ya know it, MY book is in the contest too! Now, what a coincidence :-) )

I hope your summer is enlightening, inspiring, entertaining, and productive too. Find a cool place to take some time for yourself and read a good book.

Aunt Laya

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Taking a hold on your home

Everything that happens in our lives is a symbol for what's happening on the inside of us. So like, if your house is a mess, could it be that you feel like a mess on the inside? Sometimes it doesn't even matter if you figure out the "why" part of things but just dive into taking action in baby steps.

There are a lot of people who don't have a handle on their homes. They live in clutter or messes and they feel helpless. Sometimes people are so trapped in perfectionism that they feel like if they can't get it right, then they don't even start. There are others who mostly have it together but could use some support.

Here is one of the best discoveries I've found on the Internet:

Sign up to get Flylady's emails. Don't be overwhelmed with them, she sends out a lot. What ever you don't read, don't save for later, just delete, delete. Sometimes just reading the headlines will change your day. Follow the baby steps there one at a time. Take your time, just take action!

When I'm feeling overwhelmed, I don't look at a whole project, I look at what's the next little thing I can do.

I wrote my book after I heard a tape with motivational master Zig Ziglar say that her wrote a book by writing a page and a quarter a day! I thought, “I can do that!” And I did--a page a day. Then, in a way, the momentum of writing took on a life of its own.

If you can create success in one area of life, you can do it in another. One little bit at a time. And take good care of yourself along the way. You are SO worth it.

Okay folks, if you've been here before then you have a clue about me so what I'm going to say now won't surprise you. I also believe that you can change the world one smile at a time, one kind word at a time.

Let your heart and soul shine in the way that only you can!

Aunt Laya

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Jinx, private jinx!

What rules do you play by? Depends on the game, right? You know, if you want to play a game with other people, you all have to agree on the same rules to make the game work. Thing is, if someone is "playing games" in a way that is not so nice, guess what? You don't have to play!

My kids sometimes try to jinx me. Just in case you don't know, that's when two people say the same thing at the same time. One person says "jinx" and the other person can not speak until his name is said. At my house we just learned that there can also be a private jinx. That's when only the person who jinxed you can say your name to break the jinx. Guess what? I don't play! So the jinx doesn't work on me.

Next time someone is playing with you in a way that you don't like, walk away. You don't have to play.

When you do play, may you be blessed with times of laughter and sweet times with people you love and enjoy.

Aunt Laya

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

When life doesn’t work the way you want…

When life doesn’t work the way you want…

Guess what? Your world reflects exactly what you need to GROW. It’s the Master Plan. Are people too crabby around you? Maybe you needed a reminder to be nicer. Or maybe you need to be able to set boundaries. Or, could it be that you need to change where you go or the people you hang out with? Maybe you’re tired of me saying this already but here goes: There’s no one right answer.

Life is a puzzle, and it’s up to you to put the pieces of YOUR puzzle together. Sometimes other people can help you out with suggestions that are right on and work for you. Ultimately though, it’s up to you to make the pieces of the puzzle fit together. Guess what else? Sometimes there is more than one kind of puzzle. Lots of times there is more than one way to solve a puzzle. I play a game on the internet called Quiddler ( When I check the previous day’s puzzle solution, it isn’t usually the way I solved it—if I solved it at all! Sometimes I play Spider Solitaire on the computer. If I can’t finish a game, I start it over and play the same set of cards differently. Most of the time, I can win by doing things differently. If I am researching something online and don’t get the answer I want, I put different key words into my browser until I find the answer I’m looking for.

Which reminds me: The definition of “insanity” is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. If something in your life isn’t working, try doing things differently.

Exercise for the day: Go to one of my favorite game sites and play a game that makes your brain stretch in new ways. has a game called “Set” (plus others) and has a game called, well, Blokus. Then have a look at some place in your life that you’d like different results and try something different.

Come visit me again! I have more to say on this another time.
Aunt Laya

Sunday, June 04, 2006

My magic wand’s not working!

Got pain?

There’s not an easy answer for how to deal with pain. It’s one of those times when I wish my magic wand would work the way I want so I could make everything okay. But since it doesn’t maybe I can help you look for ways to navigate the waters of this challenge. This isn’t all there is to it, but it’s a place to start.

First lesson:
If you’re alive, you get pain. It’s simply the way this world is wired. And there’s nothing anyone of us can do to change it.

Second lesson:
It WILL pass! It will pass. This too shall pass. Keep the faith, it really will pass. Keep reading.

Third lesson:
Use pain to grow (grow emotionally, in health, mentally, spiritually). Life’s not easy; it’s not meant to be. You really can use what’s happening as a spring board to move you forward. (You know, like when you jump off a diving board: You take a running start and jump in!) When you are going through something painful in life, it’s a time to tap into your personal power, connect when you need to, make changes where you need to, and heal (which takes time and tender loving care). Our pain teaches us; it has value.

Fourth lesson:
Where you are is not where you’ll wind up. Sometimes life puts you “on trial.” You are tested, molded, sharpened, and polished. When you feel low it might be hard to remember... but things will change and you will grow. You will come through this and life will cycle into joyful times. You don’t have to rush this part. Sometimes you can make a choice about the way you see things to make changes. Sometimes there are things that just need to be grieved. It’s different for every situation, so there’s no formula, but if you give yourself the time and set up the support you need for any situation, things will change for you.

Fifth lesson:
Take care of yourself. Love yourself enough to nurture yourself and accept the love that the people who care about you have to give. Healing is being in touch with the place inside that hurts and allowing love and comfort in to that place.

Sometimes there’s nothing you can do about a situation that’s causing you pain—it might all be outside of you. On the other hand, most of the time there are things you can do about the way you deal with the situation, even if they seem small at first. One thing is to change the way you think about things. When you change the way you think about things, it changes the way you feel about things. Sometimes you can DO something different to change the way you feel or think (sometimes called “fake it ‘til you make it”). And you can also change what you DO about any situation. You can change your attitude and if need be, you can change your address. Or you can grieve if you need to grieve. It depends on the kind of pain and the source of it. You have to decide what fits for you and when.
Sometimes, it’s more about how you are with yourself than what you do. No matter what, be kind to yourself (and be kind to others). Ask for help when you need to. It’s okay to ask for help.
Remember, you are not alone.

Aunt Laya

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Believe in yourself!

"You are a good person, that is the truth about you. It's good to remember that good people make mistakes. When you find you have made a mistake, do what you can to correct, repair, or heal and go on from there. You are not your mistakes. you are something wonderful, a masterpiece of the Creator." --Laya Saul

(From "You Don't Have to Learn Everything the Hard Way--What I Wish Someone Had Told Me")

Aunt Laya

Friday, May 19, 2006

Write a "love note"

Short simple activity for the day (what ever day you're reading this!): Love notes are one of my favorite things to send out into the world. It only takes a minute (we're talking note here, not a long letter). You can write a love note to anyone: parents, children, grandparents, friends, friends you've been out of touch with for a while, someone going through a hard time, someone who did you a favor...

A love note doesn't have to be mushy. It can even be a simple thank you note to someone that helped you out or touched you in some way.

Love notes in five easy steps:
1. Get a paper
2. Get a pen or pencil
3. Focus your heart's intention
4. Write something simple (see examples below)
5. Give it away to the person you wrote it for

Examples of what you can write:
  • I love you so much
  • I really appreciate having you in my life
  • You're such a great friend
  • I'm so proud of you
  • You're doing great
  • Here's a little hug for you, with love
  • Thank you for being you
  • You're the best
You get the idea. If you're still stuck, let me know.
You can do this.
On your mark...
Get set...

Aunt Laya
P.S. An unexpected piece of candy with a kind word can work too.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Gossip anyone?

Who hasn't been stung by the sharp words of another? Worse than that, who hasn't said words that pierce the heart of another? How you talk, or do not talk, about others impacts every relationship you have, even your relationship with yourself.

When you gossip, you say more about yourself than you do about anyone else!

If I could only pass on one tip to improve people's lives, this might just be the one. Gossip is not a fun way to pass the time. It is not kind. It is not harmless.
  • When you talk about someone else you can harm them. Also, you do not allow for the growth and improvement of the person being talked about.
  • You hurt yourself and the listener too. Gossip is an ugly thing.
  • Understand that if something about another person is true, it is still gossip. Even if you would say it to the person directly, it is still gossip.

Listening to gossip is the other side of the coin and is damaging too. (tips on avoiding listening to gossip to come…)

Quote for the day: "Believe nothing against another but on good authority; nor report what may hurt another, unless it be a greater hurt to conceal it." --William Penn

Experiment: Pick one person in your life, a parent, sibling, spouse, child, friend, boss, co-worker or fellow student, and stop talking about or listening to gossip about that person. To make this really work, stick with this over time. How does your relationship change? How do your feelings about yourself change? This is not an easy experiment but it will change your world in unimaginable ways. It may be one of the greatest gifts you give yourself.

Aunt Laya

Exerpts from today's post come from the book "You Don't Have to Learn Everything the Hard Way" reprinted by permission of the author, me! Also, with gratitude for the use of this photo to my friend Mario at Soap Vision, where they have the coolest soaps ever.

Monday, May 08, 2006

What’s the difference?

Are you into world peace? How can you make a difference? Start in on your own doorstep.

Exercise for the day: When you are with someone who usually makes you feel impatient, be patient. (Keep breathing.)

Be patient with yourself too.

Aunt Laya

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

You ARE what you DO!

There is a story of a king who longed to marry a very beautiful and beloved princess. His advisors told him she'd never have him; he was far too ruthless and cunning. Ah, but he had a plan. He put on a mask that could fool the princess and he acted wise and compassionate, generous and kind--a way that would cause the princess to love and marry the king. And so she did.

After years of marriage to the princess, one of the king's old advisors threatened the king that he would reveal the truth about him unless he paid a handsome sum of riches. The king would not stand for being blackmailed, so he decided to tell his wife, the queen, the truth. Before he went to her, he took off the mask. Lo, there was no difference between the fa├žade and what lay beneath! He had become that which he pretended to be all those years.

Question: What are the character traits that you want for yourself?

Act as if and it will be so!

Aunt Laya

Monday, May 01, 2006

Check out the Truth

because you matter!

If you want to have a little fun go see

If you want to know the truth go to

Be well.


Aunt Laya

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Ever had a meltdown?!


Ever have one of these? Yes? You must be a normal person then. It's a big drag to get to that place. One of the ways you can prevent it is by shifting your expectations. Another way you can help yourself is to ASK FOR HELP. It's okay to ask for help, it really is. Another way is to let go of your idea of how something should go. Can you take yourself a "time out?" Can you add something to make the scene funny for you?

Remember in the Harry Potter story when the students were taught to take the thing that's the scariest for them and make it funny? Guess what? That's a technique in a form of therapy called NLP and it really works.

Put that in your "toolbox" of coping skills and take it out when ever you need it.

Aunt Laya

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Who or what do you blame?

The traffic? Your mother? Your age? Your school? The president? The weather? The town you live in? Your religion? God?

If you didn't blame anyone else, how would you do your life differently?

What's one small thing you can do that will help you be who you want to be? Or one small thing that will help you realize a dream?

It's all in your hands.

Aunt Laya

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The fruits of your growth

An apple tree blossoms in spring. It's a big investment. The tree must have enough rain, sun, and water. If the conditions are right, the blossoms will turn into sweet, crisp apples. But the process will take months. The tree must grow at its own pace; the fruits ripen in their own time. You just can’t push or pull those blossoms to grow faster.

It's like that for each one of us. You need to invest in yourself and trust that with your efforts, you will blossom. And the blossoms will turn into wonderful fruit! It doesn't happen all at once but it does happen. And if for some reason, a season doesn't turn out like you want, that's okay... Every year is another season of spring! Be patient (with yourself and others), the flowers will bear fruit.

Thought for the day: You are not a tree, you can get up and move if you’re in a place where conditions are not safe or healthy for you.

Aunt Laya

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Not JUST a test

Most things that bug you are a test. Not JUST a test, but a test to help you grow. If life is a game, how do you get to the next level? Tag! You're it!

(see previous post)

Aunt Laya

Tag! You're it!

"I've always been the opposite of a paranoid. I operate as if everyone is part of a plot to enhance my well-being." -- Stan Dale

What if EVERYTHING that happens to you is designed to improve you? What if the things that look like obstacles are about giving you a boost? What if whacking your head on an open cupboard door is about waking you up to your own thoughts? What if you could find something funny about things that usually get you bummed?

When I was actively studying karate, I learned a great lesson from a friend who was a black belt. He taught me to think of sparring as a game of tag. If your opponent gets in a hit, he did you a favor by showing you where you were open. If you get mad, you lose your clarity and balance, but if you say “thanks” you get stronger and more aware. It doesn't mean you leave yourself open for getting hit on purpose! It means when you do get hit you allow it to help you improve and get better.

You can see all of life as this “game of tag”. Have a sense of humor. It’s all about growing into the best you ever. You can do this!

Aunt Laya

Monday, April 10, 2006

Say Cheese! ;-)

You can change the world with your smile!

You must know the story about the toll booth guy who was feeing so sad and invisible until one day he was greeted with a great smile. He felt so good that he passed it to the next driver, who passed it along, who passed it along…

There’s a children’s picture book called “I like your buttons” which has the same kind of message. A child tells her teacher that she likes the buttons on her blouse. The teacher passes the compliment on until it reaches the little girls father—who then brings the little girl a kitten because he’s feeling so happy.

Don’t underestimate the power of your smile.

Experiment for the day: Smile sincerely or give a sincere compliment to several people during your day. Try this with lots of people (like someone who helps you at the store, a waiter, someone at the bank, etc.), and also with people who you are close to (like your parents or kids, close friends, even neighbors). Let the kindness go like a helium balloon you’d release into the sky. How do YOU feel at the end of the day?

Aunt Laya

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Start Over

"Start over" means that even if you made a mistake or made a choice that didn't have the outcome you wanted, you can start over. Right now. Just start over. And you can start over any moment that you need to. You still have to deal with the consequences of a not-so-great decision or action or whatever. So? So, that's okay, deal with it, move on, and take the next step. You’re a little bit wiser and you know what you want a little more clearly.

This is a photo of a blossoming walnut tree. It's starting over after a dormant winter of bare branches. It will take the whole summer for the walnuts to grow and ripen until they are ready to eat near the fall.

Blessing of the day: Start over where you need to and enjoy the miracles that surprise you along the way.

Aunt Laya

Do you believe in miracles?

The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common. --Ralph Waldo Emerson

Where I live there are signs of spring everywhere. The walnut and fig (photo) trees I can see are giving birth to tiny bits of green life through bear, brown branches. Just have a look at each new moon, which starts fresh as a tiny sliver each month and renews itself into a full celebration of time and opportunity.

If “you see what you look for” and you look for miracles, then what are the miracles you notice? Where is the opportunity to renew—or recreate—in your life, right now?

The miracles of nature do not seem miraculous because they are so common. If no one had ever seen a flower, even a dandelion would be the most startling event in the world. --Author unknown

Blessing for the day: May your eyes be open to the small miracles of each day and may your heart be open to the big ones.

Love, Aunt Laya

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

True colors

Have you ever spent any time watching peacocks? They are so beautiful and so majestic. But they get a bum rap. When someone is walking around all conceited, people sometimes use the expression, “he’s strutting like a peacock.” I think peacocks are very modest birds though. They are beautiful to be sure. The males are programmed to attract the females for mating but it’s not about ego.

Ego is about people having inflated feelings of superiority. On the other hand, ego can go out of balance the other way when people feel inferior or not good enough. Being in balance is not feeling superior or inferior. Everybody has areas of talent and areas of weakness. How do you value the rose over the orchid or the daisy over the daffodil? The peacock is bluer than an elephant, and elephant is stronger than a fox, a fox is craftier than a frog, and frog jumps farther than an oyster (who doesn’t jump at all), which produces pearls from its challenges.

The ballerina dances and pays the shoemaker for her shoes. The shoemaker needs the truck driver to deliver supplies. The truck driver buys his food from the farmer, who buys his clothes… we humans rely on each other for entertainment, food, shelter, clothes, beauty, strength, comfort.

Truth of the day: Who ever you are, what ever you do, you are a gift to this world!
Blessing of the day: Shine your true colors in the way that only you can do.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Do you want to know a secret?

Your secret is your prisoner; if you reveal it, you will become its prisoner.
(Mivchar HaPenimim 29:6)

I recently saw this quote on another blog.

The next time I went blog-hopping, I found this:
The (not G rated) art blog where people send in post cards sharing their secret. There can be healing when people know that everyone else has a secret, private place with thoughts they don't want to share with anyone else. PostSecret blog is the place where people can keep their secret "prisoner" and let it out all at the same time.

Another reason I wanted to post the link to PostSecret is because there is link to Hope Line ( for people who are thinking about trying to end their pain through suicide. Maybe if people know what other people are holding inside they won't feel as alone. Maybe if people will call 1-800-Suicide (784-2433) they will also know that they are not alone. There are real ways to step out of pain, and there are guides to help you find the way.

Sometimes it's a good thing to share a secret. When my friend told me she had cancer, I could do more for her. Sometimes it's not good to share a secret. Like the quote above, things can come back to hurt you. There are safe places to share secrets and get help. There are lots of wonderful resources. There are lots of people in this world who want to be there for someone in need.

In searching for places that I could connect, share links, network for my own book (which I hope can be a friend to people), I was in awe after just an hour of looking around at just how many wonderful websites there are that reach out to teens and everyone.

Advice for the day: If you need a hand, reach out and ask for help. There will be someone there reaching back.

Blessing for the day: May you always feel the warmth from the Spark of Creation that lives within you.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Er-a-Er-a-Errrr! Wake Up!

This is your very own personal wake up call. What are you avoiding? What are you procrastinating about? Get honest here.
  • Do you need to make a phone call? (Call during lunch and it will be short.)
  • Have you taken any action toward a dream? A baby step will do.
  • Do you need a nap? Power naps are “in.” Or take a gentle nap.
  • Have you said “I love you” to someone who needs to hear it?
  • When was the last time you said “thank you” with eye contact?
  • Where do you need to change your perspective?
  • What are you looking for in life?
  • Are you being true to you?
  • Who are you spending your precious time with?

I don’t know who said this first, but I love the message:
“When you get a wake up call, answer the phone,
and when opportunity knocks, answer the door.”

You have an opportunity RIGHT NOW to take one small action that will make a difference. Just one small thing. Minor tweaking over time has a huge impact! Consider me your very own personal cheering section.
  • Read one page of that important book
  • Give one dollar to someone that feeds hungry people
  • Do one load of laundry
  • Contact one business lead
  • Say one sincere prayer
  • Brush away one tear
  • Ease one heart—your heart counts!

You can do this!

Aunt Laya

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Feel inspired. Think inspired. Act inspired.

I hope you'll take a minute to check out this video clip about an autistic young man. (Cut and paste if you need to, it's worth it!)

Why am I posting this? The star of the video is incredible. His team mates and his school mates are also amazingly wonderful to express such enthusiasm, love, and acceptance.

How do you inspire others? Where do you find inspiration?

Aunt Laya

Monday, March 20, 2006

What are you planting this spring?

I've been trying to plant flowers in my yard. Here's a little of what I'm learning:
  • Sometimes a plant takes, sometimes it doesn't, keep planting anyway. {Sometimes you fall on your face. That's OK, everyone does, get up again!}
  • Make sure you know the right season for planting what you want. If you miss a season, it will come around again. {Everything has its season including relationships, personal growth, work, and learning.}
  • Make sure you give the plant the right amount of shade and sun--where you plant something matters. {Put yourself in the right environment! Be around good and healthy people, read and watch and listen to things that will nourish you.}
  • Sometimes the dog will dig up what you plant. That's OK, be patient, the dog will out grow it or you can plant somewhere else. {Things don't always work out the way we plan them. That's OK, try again, wait until you mature, or try a different way.}

Quote for the day: "I will waste not even a precious second today in anger or hate or jealousy or selfishness. I know that the seeds I sow I will harvest, because every action, good or bad, is always followed by an equal reaction. I will plant only good seeds this day."
--Og Mandino1923-1996, Author and Speaker

What are seeds of good? Kindness, gratitude, charity, joy, rest...

Sunday, March 19, 2006

A photo of me

Here I am with my kitty on a damp morning in February, 2006. I wanted to get a photo next to my profile but at least I got this online.
Quick thought for the day: Give yourself a break, and give someone else the benefit of the doubt.
Cheers, Aunt Laya

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Your Five Closest Friends

In classes about success and business I’ve heard it taught that your income will be an average of your five closest friends. I guess it’s meant to teach that if you want to be rich, you should hang out with rich people. There’s truth in that. Networking is a powerful thing. There’s another saying from old time actress Mae West, “I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor. Believe me, rich is better.” I have to say, if I have a choice, I’d rather have money than not. You can do more with money than without. So what I’m about to say isn’t against having money. It’s about choosing what’s most important to you in life.

What if…?
What if it’s true that you are a reflection of your five closest friends? What do your friends reflect about you? In my life, I choose my friends for their integrity, their desire to be kind and do good in the world, the way they accept people for who they are, and their thirst for learning. Each of these characteristics fits one or more of my closest friends. Many wise people have taught that to live a truly fulfilling life, how you relate to others is what really matters. (Like no one on their death bed ever wished for a bigger car!) What you give away (a smile, a charitable donation, a kind word, a helpful act) is the truest reflection of the truest and most lasting wealth.

Blessing for the day: May see what has the highest value in your life and treasure it, create more of it, and then bless others with it.

Aunt Laya

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Take just one step at a time

Wow, I did it. I started my blog! I’m glad you’re here. This is the place where I’ll tell you what I’m thinking about, what’s inspiring me, and what’s changing me. This is the place to come when you want a bit of encouragement.

This world is not the easiest place to be. One thing for sure is that you don’t get out of this world without tears and pain. But there’s a secret I want to share with you straight off. If you only have tears, you’re not done. You can’t judge your life by the hard times. It’s kind of like looking at a building that’s not finished and hating it because it doesn’t have carpet. Well, it’s not done yet! If you’re looking at a rose bush, it might start out like a small bunch of thorny stems, all brown and dormant. With time though, the thing WILL blossom. So if you’re having hard times, you have to know that it’s not the whole picture.

Advice for the day: Develop or share your sense of humor. Find a good joke and share it. (I’d love to see the clean ones!) I’ll share the laugh out loud ones here during the month of March.

Bye for now,
Aunt Laya
(pronounced like Princess Leia in Star Wars)