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Friday, January 26, 2007

You are NOT a Fly!

Okay people. Pay attention here. Here's a little story for you.

A fly is flying around looking for a good time. Oh! What's that? He sees something very beautiful. It smells wonderful! Ahhh... the fly lands on it. But, alas! He has landed on very sticky fly paper. He can't move. He dies!

Another fly is flying around looking for some fun. What's this?! He sees something bright and attractive. It smells divine! He sees a dead fly there, but, no matter. He lands. And... alas! He can not move. He is stuck there. He dies.

A third fly, bored to tears, looking for something exciting passes by the scene. He sees the beautiful color, he smells the beautiful smell. HE SEES THE DEAD FLIES! No matter. He lands anyway, it could never happen to him, right? Wrong. He gets stuck, can't move, and dies.

Moral of the story: YOU ARE NOT A FLY! You have a brain! You do not need to learn EVERYTHING the hard way. You can learn from other people's experience, both the good stuff and mistakes to avoid. Now, it's true you have to learn some things the hard way. So as long as you grow and learn, that's okay, go on from there. But you do not have to reinvent the wheel.

You may not BE a fly, but you can, in your own way, take wing and let your spirit fly.

Blessing of the day: May see your own greatness and take wing to do the good only you can do in your own way in this world. And may you shine and be all that only you can be!

Aunt Laya
Please feel free to reprint this story just as it is and please include this:
(c) Laya Saul, 2007

Photo from by Scott M. Liddell

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Find your focus

The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.
--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
What is important to you, really important? Look in the direction you want to be headed and you'll find yourself heading in that direction.

Here's the twist: What's really important may not be something that anyone else will ever see or even know about! Maybe it's about overcoming depression, maybe it's about feeding the homeless, maybe it’s about living a happy life after a childhood of growing up with an alcoholic parent. Over coming challenge in a quiet, personal way, is brilliant, even if no one else ever knows! When you change something inside yourself, you are changing the world on the outside too. It could be that you have something very "out in the world" to accomplish. You know when someone is climbing up high people say "don't look down". Keep your focus. Look in the direction of your heart's desire. Keep on track with what's important in the deepest places of your heart.

Find people who inspire you.
Do not underestimate the beauty and purpose of you.
Find your focus. Stay on focus.

Aunt Laya
Photo from by Jadazie, thank you!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

How full is your glass?

There are two things that I seem to always come back to when I talk about change or growth or creating the life you want to live:

You may not be able to change a given situation in life but you can change your perspective about it. You can change the way you see a situation (or relationship). You can change the way you relate to a situation (or person). You can complain about what you don't have, or be grateful for what you do have. You know this one: You can see the glass as half empty, you can see the glass as half full, or you can see the glass as overflowing. Just make sure your glass is turned up so the blessings can get in there! How you think about things will change you; and when you change you, you change everyone around you just a teeny, tiny bit. To tell you the truth, I don't even know why this works, but it does. Experiment with this. You can go from self conscious to confident and change your fortune.

Or, you may be able to do something, some teeny, tiny little bit. You may be able to take some action, no matter how small it may seem, and change the course of history. Do not underestimate the power of your words and actions. Make one more phone call, send one more email, take one more class, do one more act of kindness, reach out one more time.

Are you ready for this? If your intention (I repeat intention) when you are shifting your perspective or taking action, is to uplift and nurture yourself and others, you'll add an even greater degree of power to it.

"Intention is when the mind, with great earnestness,
and of choice, fixes its view on any idea."

The teeny, tiny, itty, bitty little bit of change you create today, whether it's in the way you see things or the way you do things, will, over time, make a big difference in your life.

EXPERIMENT OF THE WEEK: Notice each time you have an opportunity to thank someone, then do it. (Even if you paid for a service, say "thank you.") Notice anything different?

Aunt Laya

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


"Success is not measured by your victories,
but by how you recover from your failures!"
--Vic Preisser

Fail well!
Dare to be average!

Take one more breath.
Take one more step in the direction of your dreams.

Your success is not measured by ceremonies or awards. It is not measured at all. Success is overcoming life's challenges, not all at once, but an inch at a time. Sometimes those inches add up and you seem to have a great breakthrough. You couldn't have had the breakthrough (and neither could any one else) without the inches in between. Success is also treasuring life's gifts. Often--like the lump of coal that, over time and with great pressure, becomes a diamond--we don't recognize the treasures so fast. Remember: "You see what you look for." So look for the gift in every challenge. Look for the sparkle in the eyes of another, and look for the sparkle in the eyes that look at you in the mirror.

You are amazing--*you light up this world*--without a doubt!
Aunt Laya

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Healing Sexual Abuse - a poem about healing

This is a poem written by someone who was sexually molested. It's important for people to know we are not alone in our life experiences. The young woman who wrote this gave me her permission to share it here. With gratitude for her open heart, here it is. Love, Aunt Laya


by Michal

I can't get up.
I sit and cry.
Let it out,
Let the tears flow.
It's natural,
It's part of healing.
Now is the time,
Now is when it must happen.
I can.
The words "I Can't" isn't acceptable.
Even though you think you can't,
Even though it's so tough that you want to give up.
The harder the push,
The easier it will be.
You need to,
You have to.
This needs to heal.
The wound is still open.
Any touch burns,
They are all a reminder of pain.
Release the anger,
Allow the feelings out.
It's been four years.
Time to allow it to heal.
With time and patience,
Hard work will close the hole.
It will only be a scar,
A mark.
No longer will I allow the pain to endure.
The painful memories stop here.
The abuse stops,
I will heal.
photo by cahilus, from, thank you!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Kind Words -- Cheering the Grumpy

Here is the most recent email I received from Partners in Kindness. You can subscribe to one of the most wonderful, healing lists I've seen, full of heart and soul! This post speaks for itself.

I hope you'll be inspired to do something kind. It will change your day no matter what else is going on.


Aunt Laya
Photo from thank you Kesh!

KIND WORDS--Cheering The Grumpy
"Gratitude will get you Everywhere"

The author wishes to remain anonymous
Edited by Shmuel Greenbaum
Printed with Permission of

I live in a high rise apartment building in a large city. One of the gentlemen who lives in my building is an angry person. He walks with his head down and never speaks to anyone. He grunts under his breath loud enough to be heard. People are afraid to talk to him.One day, I saw him with his leg in a cast. I asked him what happened. He only grunted an answer. For me, it was an opportunity to change his life a bit.

I purchased a bouquet of flowers and having sworn the doorman to secrecy, had him deliver the bouquet to our unhappy tenant's apartment. I signed the bouquet's card, "We wish you a speedy recovery" and signed it "All your neighbors at (our address)."My formerly grumpy neighbor now smiles at everyone he meets, since he doesn't know which of these people thought him special enough to send the bouquet. As unhappy as he was, he was still grateful for the get well gesture.It is fun for me to see him talking to all his neighbors, welcoming people into the building and being totally social with everyone. Not one of my neighbors understands what made the change, but I know and so does G-d. Now the readers of this e-mail know and I hope each of you helps to make this practice a full fledged "epidemic".

"Cheering The Grumpy"
From Kindness: Making a Difference in People's Lives: Formulas, stories, and insights
By Zelig Pliskin
Printed with Permission of Shaar Press

Wouldn’t the world be a much better place if all the grumpy people would be transformed into kind, loving, and cheerful human beings? Those individuals would gain immensely along with all of the potential victims of their negativity. Imagine telling a grumpy person, "Cheer up," or, "Stop being so grumpy." Will this suddenly change them? Will they stop being grumpy and cheer up? If it were that simple, we’d live in a cheerful world. A group of volunteers would go from person to person and change them. It’s obvious that cheering up a grouch is an art and a skill.There is no magic formula that will work in all instances. But the most effective approach is when you have sincere love for other people. When you care deeply about someone and have sincere compassion you are likely to have a positive effect. Even the grumpiness of people can melt when in the presence of the radiant sunshine of a sincerely loving person.Don’t rebuke a grumpy person. It won’t work. Don’t angrily tell him to change. It won’t work. Enter his world. Understand him. Why is he the way he is? What pain in his life caused him to be this way?If you try to cheer up a grumpy person and what you try to do doesn’t work, don’t blame him. Take this as a message that you need a different approach.If you act too friendly and cheerful when interacting with a person who is consistently grumpy, you are likely to annoy him. One approach is to mirror his grumpy state and then change your state in a way that he follows you as you access a better state. Mirror but don’t mimic his facial expression and posture. Mirror his tone of voice, but don’t say anything that will be counterproductive. Then little by little allow yourself to relax and little by little access a slightly cheerful state. If he follows your example, you will put him in a better state.One of my students related this story to me:I once met a cheerful person who seemed to me that he must have grown up with this attribute."You probably were always a happy person," I commented to him.With a big smile, he replied, "I’m afraid not. I was a difficult child. I complained a lot and was frequently miserable. As a young adult I was highly irritable. People usually got on my nerves. One day, however, I met someone who had a major impact on my life. This person said something humorous and made me smile."You have a great smile," he said to me. "You should see how different you look when you smile from the way you look without that smile. Look at the difference in a mirror. Start with smiling. Speak cheerfully to each person you meet. Experiment for an entire month.""So far my experiment has lasted over ten years and I think I’ll keep it up for at least another ten years."
Sponsor Kind Words for only $36! Donations are accepted in any currency. They are tax-deductible in the United States and may be tax-deductible in other countries.For more information contact Shmuel Greenbaum Info@TraditionOfKindness.Org
If you or your school would like to translate our e-mails into other languages, send an e-mail to:
Kind Words is a free weekly e-mail distributed by Partners In Kindness.Although the content of these e-mails contains copyrighted material, Partners in Kindness allows users who register at our website to reprint them in print, on a website, or on an e-mail distribution list at no cost. If you have permission to reprint this e-mail, please ensure that you reprint the entire e-mail (including this notice). Kindness is like music, art, sports or any other discipline -- it can only be mastered with practice, training, and lots and lots of encouragement. That is what is trying to promote.

The archive for Kind Words e-mails is located at:
For further information, please visit our Website

Friday, January 05, 2007

Healing Sexual Abuse

"There is nothing we cannot live down, rise above, and overcome."

--Ella Wheeler Wilcox

If you or someone you know has been sexually abused either as a child or as an adult, I'm here to tell you that healing is possible! If you have never been sexually abused, please read what I have to say anyway. If you are a teen reading this, please follow the link and learn about the five stages of abuse and the warning signs of an abusive relationship.

When ever you want, you can go to my website and click on the chapter from my book about sexual abuse. Or you can go straight to the chapter right now with this link:

There are a lot of resources right here on the Internet for you, for your healing. I'll post some of those later on.

Sometimes people ask me, "How can I heal? I'll never be able to forget what happened." That's true, you'll always know what happened to you. Like a wound to your physical body though, it can stop hurting so much and the scar will fade with time. You'll always know what happened to you, but you'll also be able to create a rich life without pain coloring so much of your life. Sometimes the healing process itself is hard. Remember, it's a process, it's not something that happens all at once. Take your time. Be tender with yourself. You are not alone. You are never alone, even if it feels like it sometimes.

I'm loving you up as you take the journey toward healing,

Aunt Laya
Photo by Alex (o0o0xmods0o0o) at -- Thank you!

Monday, January 01, 2007

A new twist for New Year Resolutions

What is really important to you? Do you want to start something new? Do you want to stop doing something you don't want to do? Instead of trying to make this goal or dream come true with brute strength, try this: one small step, then another small step. Remember the tortoise and the hare? That little guy just took one step at a time—all at his own pace, and he made it across the finish line. First!

The idea here is to live the life you want for yourself. What is the dream or goal you’re reaching for? Now think of what it will take for you to get that. If you dream of exotic travel, have you called a travel agent? Just take the first step and find out what it would cost you. Then you know how much money to save. Then you can decide how you want to do that. Or you can get creative about bartering (trading services, work for goods or service for goods etc.), or a job with an airline or travel agency. What if you want to get fit? A 15 minute walk two times a week, is that something you could do? A bottle of water instead of a soda once a day isn’t as hard as thinking about a starvation diet (which anyways is not a good idea). If you want a college degree, sign up for one class and show up for it!

If you’ve been reading this blog or my book, you know by now that I encourage people to ask and get help when needed. We are all in this life together. We all do better, feel better, and accomplish more when we work together.

What are your dreams? What is one, teeny, tiny step you can take right now? At the very least, write it down because even the act of writing a dream gives it power. You’ve got that power. Take one small step right now!

You can do this!
Aunt Laya