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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Advice for a Tree

This question came in as a comment for an earlier post:

Dear Aunt Laya,
I need some advice, because I can't seem to find anyone who can tell me how to solve my problem. I can't get myself to go to class everyday! I skip and come up with all sorts of excuses, though the real reason is that I feel like a loser in class. My class consists of students with sky-high GPAs, and I am the only odd one there. Although I work harder than them in terms of written work, I cannot think like them and generate questions like how they do. In my school, we are graded on our participation and knowledge and not how much work we produce. I always get out-beaten and never feels good. My grades are failing, I only have one year before I graduate and I can't help feeling hopeless and useless all the time. I never hated school this much. I would really appreciate some advice.

Dying Tree.
Dear Tree,
Sometimes trees appear to be dying but they are not. It is fall and time for the leaves to die and fall off, but the tree isn't really dying, its just in a cycle of renewal. The tree stands strong and beautiful in the winter as the next phase is preparing itself. There is a beauty in this cycle of life too but you have to look for it to see it. Then in the spring new buds will form and suddenly seem to burst forth in an explosion of growth.

DO NOT DESPAIR! I learned that despair is when someone is full of self pity and then there is no room for joy to come in. Now may be a good time for you to redefine what success is to you. It's not the same for everyone, you know? If you have only one year left to graduate, keep showing up and get through this. It doesn't have to be on the same terms as everyone else. Just because the instructor is not judging you in a framework that is fair to you, you don't have to measure your success in the same way. Don't let discouragement get the better of you. Hang in there, "this too shall pass".

Have you defined your dreams? Do you know what is important to you? School is a tool and a stepping stone. Finish what you started and then use the open doors to head toward your heart's desire. That means you are true to you (not some teacher's version of what you "should" be, what your Creator intended for you to be in all your shining true self).

You really can do this!

Love and (((hugs))),
Aunt Laya

Thank you to Robb and for the beautiful photo!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Thank You

Did you get a card in the mail with a love note or a check? Who carried it to you? Who drove it and got it ready for the person who delivered it? Who made the card? Who brought the card to the store so it could be purchased and sent to you? Who designed the card? Who made the pen used to address the card?

Get what I mean? Behind every thing you enjoy, big or small, many, many hands were involved in making that thing happen.

Take a minute to think about this. Like my posts? Who at blogger set up this free service and made it simple enough for even me to post? :-) Who programed these computers? Who designed the computer and who made the parts to put it together? Who made the car that the person who sold the computer used to get to work? Who is feeding all these people, growing vegetables and fruit and grains? (not to mention the food that you eat!)

We are none of us alone in this world, we are all taking care of each other in small and big ways. Don't forget to take a minute to thank the bus driver that gets you safely where you're going. Don't forget to thank the guy you see picking up trash for keeping the neighborhood clean.

Say thank you with a smile, with a wink, with a handshake or a hug. Say thank you with a flower or a note. But do say it, it's a great lift to be thankful (even after Thanksgiving!)

Then turn it in on yourself. Notice what you like about you and be grateful for all you are and all you can do. Be grateful for the hidden potential that you have yet to discover about yourself.

I'm grateful for you, for reading these notes, for the emails you send, and for inspiring me to keep on doing what I do, writing and talking.

Aunt Laya

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pain is a Gift!

What?!? Pain is a gift? Yes! You wouldn't want to do life without it. Why?

What if people didn't feel the burn of a hot pan? We'd get so damaged we couldn't function. When we feel the burn of something hot, we let go... so we don't get hurt more!!! Get it?

When you feel pain, it's a signal for change.

Ask yourself:
What is this pain trying to tell or teach me?
What can I do to make a change that will heal?
Do I need to change my thoughts?
Do I need to change my environment?
Do I need to change my actions?
Do I need to change my perceptions?

Growing pains happen. Use them to make you stronger, kinder, wiser, healthier.

Use everything to your advantage!
Aunt Laya
Thanks again to and also fattymattybrewing for the great photo

Monday, December 15, 2008


OK, there is a lot about the hard times that is being talked about. Hard times with money, work, terrorism, and they are all real issues that need to be addressed. But that doesn't mean that we can't have good times too. So how do you create a good time? Declare it. Call some friends or sit with family and make a party to celebrate life, to celebrate friendship, to celebrate what you DO have. You can even make a little celebration all by yourself. If you are feeling alone, then there is someone else who is alone and just waiting for your call and invitation. (Be brave and make the call! Or make three calls until you have the company you want.)

You can give your celebration a theme: birthday, un-birthday, Christmas, Hanuka, Kwanzaa, Solstice, or summer in December and make a picnic on the floor in your living room. Get a few props: candles, music, yummy treats, or art supplies. Get creative.

Shake yourself up. Inspire yourself. Give yourself a lift and maybe life someone else's spirits along the way. Last week I went to the mall and had some fun giving out chocolates to some nice people who helped me. Look for things to celebrate and you'll find them.

I celebrate you!
Aunt Laya

Thank you to and Clarita for the great photo