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Thursday, December 24, 2009

How great is your mind?

“Great minds discuss ideas; 
Average minds discuss events; 
Small minds discuss people.” 
~Eleanor Roosevelt

Need some ideas to talk about? 

How about a list of questions to ask when you're with your friends and family?
  • What inspires you to be your best?
  • What do you do to get over disappointment?
  • What makes you feel successful?
  • If you could give the world a gift, what would it be?
  • Have you learned tools to manage anger? What are they?
  • Is there something you thought was impossible but then you accomplished it? What would you share with someone else who's struggling?
  • What is the last book you read and what did you love about it? Was there an idea that you would challenge? 
  • What is your favorite quote, and why?
  • Name one or two of the kindest things people have done for you.
  • What gives your life meaning?
 Expand your great mind!
(Please leave a comment below to add to the list.)

Aunt Laya 

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Confident. Not mousy, not cocky. Confident.

Confident. Not mousy, not cocky. Confident. 
 In Balance!!!
Walk through this life and know that you are precious; you have great value! Not more precious than anyone else, and not less precious than anyone else either.

Life is not about what you accomplish. It is not about how you look or who you're friends with. It is about who you are; you know the "human being," not the "human doing."

When people think too much of themselves 
or too little of themselves, 
it is the same ego problem. 
 Modesty or humility, means that you know who you are, both in your glory and in your simpleness. If you think you're terrible, ugly, shameful, useless, then you have an ego problem. If you think you are better, higher, or more valuable, you have an ego problem. The test here is to understand how very precious you are. And to see how precious other people are too.

I do not want people to sink into despair this holiday season. I want you to understand how loved and lovable you are. You may not see it now, but keep your eyes open and keep your heart open. If you don't feel lovable, are you loving others? Will you let in the love others have for you? Poor is not better than rich, pretty is not better than plain, and no one knows what is really going on in the heart of another. So you have choices. You can choose joy, you can reach out to ask for help, you can reach out to give support, you can wallow in self-pity, you can take one more step, you can find a safe place to rest for a while, you can ask for what you need or... what?

Be kind to others and give yourself the same gift: Be kind to yourself! This is called giving the benefit of the doubt. Do you need ideas about how to do this? Leave comments if you want ideas or if you have ideas to share. You can comment anonymously or email me through my website for privacy.

Blessing of the day: May you see the best in yourself and continue to grow in beautiful ways. May you find gratitude in each day. May you look for and find what is good in yourself and in others.

You can do this!
Aunt Laya

Thanks to and (taliesin) Mary R. Vogt for the photo.
(for more photos by Mary, have a look at my video 
where I used a whole bunch of her photos)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Gift for the Holidays?

This is still a good gift for yourself or for giving!

Aunt Laya

Feeling Sorry for Yourself?

Step into the change that you want for yourself.  
Be that which you want to bring into this world.
One man rising for himself becomes the inspiration for another man to change the face of his nation. This isn't about drama, this is about taking one step at a time to realize and become who you can be--whether you do it quietly for yourself or your family, or whether you do it in a big way. It all matters. You matter.  You can be who you are meant to be. One breath at a time, one step at a time, one day at a time. Tears, heart, dissappointments, failures, triumphs.

I hope the following story inspires you as it did me.
(If it's hard to see well on the blog, here's the link:

Aunt Laya

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Transformng Jealously

From a reader:
“When you are jealous of someone else, you don't have what they have, but you also don't have what you have.”

I have thought about this quote for some weeks now. I struggle with jealousy and I was wondering if you could illuminate on this idea of not having what you have...
I wish it was something I could internalize better.
Thank you and love the blog and the book!

Dear N, 
Thanks for writing, you're not the only one who struggles with this. Here are some more thoughts about jealousy and how to change your thoughts in a more useful and building direction. As always, take what ever parts of these thoughts that work for you and integrate at your own pace.  It doesn't have to happen all at once. That you have the will to grow means that you will grow in the ways you want to.
When someone occupies their thoughts with the desire to have what someone else has, they are so focused on their lack (perceived or even real)  that they can not see, feel, or think about all that they really do have.  

Let’s look at it with an example of a life situation that could come up:
A teenager is watching the way another kid dresses in the latest, trendy, very expensive clothing. She is jealous that she doesn’t have those same outfits. Her whole world is about lack. It’s a dismal point of view.

If she were to notice what she does have, two things can happen. One is a sense of contentment and even gratitude. It could be that she lives in a wonderful home, has loving friends and family, and even has clothing that she likes, etc. The second thing is that she might allow herself to tap into her dreams or yearnings and become inspired.

If you feel jealous there is a chance to transform that feeling--intentionally change the thoughts--to thoughts of inspiration.  When you feel the feelings of jealousy rising up inside you, turn those feelings to admiration and let yourself be inspired to rise, accomplish, or create in your own life. 

Worth exploring: No one knows what anyone else is going through. The one with the fancy house may be in debt like crazy and about to loose his home to foreclosure. The guy with the college degree may be lonely. “Beautiful people” may be suffering from silent depression or an illness that is hidden from your view. No one can know the whole story behind what “appears” so wonderful. 

Everyone has been lovingly created and gifted. 
Everyone has challenges. 

Jealousy itself is a form of despair. It’s a darkness that is not even based in reality because no one knows what is really going on within the object of their jealousy.

Transforming jealousy into inspiration
If you see someone with something that you want, imagine that yours is coming soon, that seeing the thing you desire in someone else is a sign that yours is near. In other words, you do not desire the exact thing you’re seeing--the one that he has in his hands now, you desire the version that is available to you. This can be material things, meaning “stuff,” or qualities.

Maybe people are jealous of something that is not possible for them to have for what ever reason. This world is designed so that each one of us has gifts that we are born with and a potential that we can fulfill. The gifts you receive are going to be different. Each gift is precious and no one can know the true spiritual value of the gifts we are blessed with.

The remedy for jealousy is gratitude 
If you focus on your blessings this is an invitation to increased blessings. You can heal the feelings of jealousy by saying “thank you.” Thank you for another day of life, thank you for opening the door for me, thank you for letting me merge into your lane of traffic, thank you for being such a jerk so that I can grow, be forgiving, or set better boundaries. Thank you for thinking of me. Thank you for taking the time.

Thank you to N for inspiring this post, I hope it's helpful for you.

I always love to hear from readers!
Aunt Laya
With gratitude to and duilio for the photograph!

Monday, October 19, 2009

No Bull

*no bull*
Don't you just hate it when you're talking to someone, and they give you a line, and you know that what they just said was bull? Lot's of the time we know when someone is full of it.
Now we have some possible problems here:
1) You trick yourself into thinking or believing what you want to believe instead of the truth, and fall for the line
2) You are the one giving the line and for some reason you don't think other people have a "bull" meter for when you're not being honest
You actually think you've "pulled one over" on someone
the reality is
No matter how you play this one, you really tricked yourself! Yikes! That means you need to take responsibility for tapping into your own guts. It means that you have the power to discern whether what's happening or being said is true and good for you and other people or not.

Stop letting other people "pull the wool over your eyes" (that means stop letting people trick you with lies!). Stop doing it to yourself. 

Get real. This is a gift you can give yourself and the sooner you're honest with yourself, the sooner you'll live a life that is free from bull.

You can apply this to many different aspects of your life: relationships, buying and selling, business deals, or education to name some.

Honestly yours,
Aunt Laya

**No offense to the actual, furry animal. They're nice, helpful, vegetarians who don't hurt anyone. Nice bull. Mmmmmmmmmoooooooooooooo.

Friday, October 16, 2009

What gives your life meaning?

When you ask yourself the right questions, you'll get answers that will nourish you. (The opposite is true too: if you ask negative questions, your brain will rush to answer those too!)  So you are invited to take a quiet moment and ask yourself:
"So, what gives my life meaning?"

Think about the people you love, the things you enjoy, your gifts in life, what you have to give, and the things you do well. What makes you feel good about yourself?

Do you see how you touch people's lives in a loving and positive way? If this is a hard one for you, ask the people who love you what it is that you do well, or what are your best qualities.

A lot of people don't take the time to ask themselves this question, so this is a power tool for building a life that is satisfying and happier.

Remember, we're not supposed to get through life without pain. How can you give pain meaning? Ask yourself: "How can I use this pain (or challenge, or hard times, or illness, or hurt feelings) to grow?

Asking yourself these kinds of questions will help you move through the harder times in life.

Reminder of the day: You are loved and you are lovable. 
(((((Hugs))))) from me for sure!

Aunt Laya

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

How to Have More Joy in Life

Keep an open mind as you read this first sentence:
Joy is a choice! (keep reading...)

You can go to a movie that's sad and even though you were not sad when the movie started, you can find yourself crying--and you know the characters are not even real! You can listen to a comedian and laugh even though you weren't thinking about anything funny before that. Just like when the weather can be cold and you can put on warm boots and a warm coat, and feel cozy, or you can turn the heat on in your house and make the whole place warm--you can change the weather of your emotions.

I know this sounds very simple and that's ok, like I've said before, simple does not mean easy. You can choose the way you want to spend your emotional time, the same way you get to choose how you want to spend the days of your life. You get to choose the people you spend time around. You get to choose how seriously you take the comments from people around you. You get to choose to stay in a room where people are fighting or if you want to walk out of that room, or even if you want to engage in the conversation at all--or not!

We all just seem to forget we have free choice. We forget, or no one ever pointed it out, we even have the power in our lives to change our minds or step into something new altogether.

Questions to ask yourself: What kind of life do I want to build? What small step can I take today to feel good about myself and my life? How can I give this day meaning? How can I serve others today? What did I do right today? What can I think about that will put me in a truly happy state?

You can do this. Step by step.
Aunt Laya

Thank you to and Grafixar for the great photo Grafixar

Friday, September 18, 2009

When I changed the template of this blog for a new look, somehow the link to my book was lost. :-(
So, until I figure out how to get a bit more high tech, here's a link as a post. :-)

Aunt Laya

Monday, September 07, 2009

Inspiring Videos!!!

This is a series of five videos that I found to be so touching and inspiring. Grab your tissues. The videos speak for themselves.






Aunt Laya

Fat-talk Free Week

Why not make it a "fat-talk" free life? I think this is a great idea.

Aunt Laya

Thursday, August 20, 2009

At what price beauty?

I've been talking about this for YEARS! Having worked as a make-up artist and hair stylist, I can tell you that presentation is everything. Here is a one minute demonstration of how the beauty industry and media have shaped (or warped) our perceptions about what is beauty. We've even done it to our food, preferring to buy a 'perfect' fruit or veggie instead of the small, yummy, often misshapen way they grow naturally.

Of course we want to take care of ourselves and look our best. So what will make you look your best and be the most attractive you can be?
  • Attitude! Confidence is one of the most attractive factors you can have.
  • A sincere and kind smile is brilliant and very magnetic.
  • Good health equals vitality which is a beautiful thing.
  • Living your heart's desires, moving in the direction of your dreams gives meaning and joy to life and a sparkle in your eyes. Very attractive.

There are people in the world who will be judgmental no matter what you do. So the choice is yours to make. You get to choose where you want to put the power and you get to choose what you want to make important.

Bottom line: Everyone is created with a different flavor, beauty, and shine. If you don't see it within yourself or another, keep looking. (You'll see what you look for!)

Aunt Laya

Monday, August 17, 2009

Train Your Brain!

Train Your Brain!

How did you learn how to ride a bike? By riding a bike.

How did you learn how to read? By reading.

How can you make your focus in life more positive? By being more positive!

How can you can you be happier? By making the decision to do the things that will build happiness. (Live your dream, attitude of gratitude, do the things that give your life meaning and purpose!)

Train your brain (your thoughts!). Have a plan. Then, when you find you're living the way you want to be living, even in small ways, celebrate with gratitude. If you're not living the way you want to be living, look for the good and the good will increase. Don't take my word for it, experiment for yourself.

You see what you look for!

There is a Chassidic story that's told of a guy who goes to a Wise Man, a sage, for a blessing. He brings a note to the wise man explaining his terrible situation.

The Wise Man looks at the note and says, "How very blessed you are! How wonderful!"

The man looks at the Wise Man and is very puzzled. "But, that note has my troubles written there. Why would you congratulate me so?" he asked

The Wise Man responded: Let's have a look at your note together:
"Dear Wise One," the note began.
"Do you know that many people have no one to consult with regarding the important matters of their lives? That you have someone to come to is a blessing in itself!"

Continuing the Wise Man read, "My wife sent me to you today..."
"You are a married man! How wonderful! Do you know how many people there are single that have not found their mate?"

Continuing: "because my oldest daughter is going to get married..."
"You have a daughter! But more than one since this is about your oldest! How many couples are in the world that long for a child and you have children! And you daughter has found her soul mate! What a wonderful thing when there are so many lonely young people."

Continuing: "and we don't have at thing in the house."
The Wise Man said: "You have a house! How wonderful when there are so many that are homeless."

Be grateful... be very, very grateful.

Aunt Laya

Thank you to and jkt_de for the great blue brain photo!

Friday, August 14, 2009

(Re) Inventing yourself

Who are you really?

Mostly, the way I get to see a movie is if one of my kids brings one home from the library or if someone brings a disc over for me to see. It was a big week for movies at my house and I just saw Don Juan DiMarco and Houseitter. Both of them had a theme with a character who creatively takes on a personality to create a new reality for themselves. What's interesting about both movies is that the "stable character" learns from the other to free themselves into a more joyful life.

We all know a bit about this. Dress up formally and you feel one way, wear your jammies and feel another way. So if this is true, then what if you can invent yourself to become the person you strive to be--on purpose? What if you can take off the mask of what others expect you to be and step into who you want to be in your heart of hearts?

Experiment of the day: What if you were a kid and could dress up as anything you wanted? Think about the character you might dress as. As you imagine, ask yourself: "What traits about that character do I desire?" For example: Super hero (saves the day, helps people) or Princess (walks with dignity and beauty). Now, if you dare, do something you might not ordinarily do with that character in mind. Don't worry, I'm not telling you to dress up or act weird. This is something you can do that no one has to know about or even notice. Just pick some small thing you can do that will make you feel more like that hero or princess or whatever. Act with the integrity of what you admire.

This exercise is like peeling layers off an essential part of you that might have been stifled. It's a chance to release an aspect of yourself that wants more meaning. You can let yourself enjoy and take delight with this experiment!

I know a guy who leaves coins in the return slots of candy machines for kids to find. I know someone else who started an organization to feed hungry families. I know a kid who volunteers at the dentist's office because she loves that stuff. I wish I was like a fairy godmother and since the magic wand I have doesn't really do anything, I write this blog to see if I can bless people a little bit. What do you dream? What small act can you do to step into your dreams?

Aunt Laya

Thank you to and Anita Patterson for the great photo!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


When you are jealous of someone else, you don't have what they have, but you also don't have what you have.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


This quote seen at the bottom of an email...

"Disappointments are inevitable

However misery is an option"

Choose well!

Aunt Laya

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I'm SO angry!!!

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal
with the intent of throwing it at someone else;
you are the one who gets burned.

First thing is to understand that anger is ALWAYS about ego. That's hard to take in if you're in the heat of anger. If you can, try this on for size: what ever it is that is making you mad isn't really the issue, it's the way you react to any given situation that matters. You can argue this one, but I'm not sure anger will ever really help resolve any situation.

I used to study martial arts. I learned that if you're sparring and you get mad at your opponent, you can no longer spar with a clear mind. So one of my teachers taught me to think of sparring as a game of tag. If your opponent hits you, he taught you where you are open so you can become a better martial artist.

People who fly into a rage
always make a bad landing.
Will Rogers

In life, when something makes you angry, you have a chance to learn about yourself and grow.

OK, all that said, it's important to understand that feelings are feelings. If you get angry, it's a wake-up call, but don't just stuff the feelings and pretend they aren't there. You have a situation to deal with, not to ignore. The anger is a red flag that says "pay attention." That might mean creating better boundaries, it might mean getting out of a situation that's not healthy, it might mean a heart-to-heart talk with someone you care deeply about. It could mean any number of things. AND, if you act out in anger, you are very likely to regret it so it's important to stop and think before you act.

Two things a man should never be angry at:
what he can help, and what he cannot help.
Thomas Fuller

Think about this:
  • Underneath anger is hurt. If you weren't hurting, you wouldn't be angry.
  • Underneath hurt is caring. If you didn't care, you wouldn't feel hurt about it.
  • Underneath it all is the loving essence of who you are at your core, your spirit.
If you can tap into the deeper layers, you can get past the destruction of the anger faster.

For more ideas about how to take control of your life in a positive way you can read these earlier posts from this blog.

Blessing of the day: May you find the best thoughts and remedies to bring you the sweetest peace of mind.

Aunt Laya

Monday, July 06, 2009

What do you want?

What do you want? What is really important to you? What do you want more than anything else in the world? What is it? You have to name it to claim it!!! Do you want to quit smoking? Do you want to get a degree or certificate? Do you want to be fit? Do you have financial goals?

When you have a burning desire and you are courageous enough to admit that to yourself, if you are courageous enough to admit it to yourself, then you just need to take the steps and you can achieve it. Let's get real. It must be something realistic. Don't anyone email me that you want to win the lottery or set up a farm on the moon.

Something I learned that was very empowering: You can have anything you want. You can't have everything, but you can have anything. So, what is most important to you?


Once you know what your goal is, you can figure out--for yourself--how will you know when you reached your goal? Like if you want to be a non-smoker, how long will it be without a cigarette until you'll feel like you can call yourself a non-smoker? If you want to find a life mate, it's bit trickier because someone else is invovled in that, so create a criteria of "preparing" to meet a life mate. Then your goal will be about what you can do for yourself. Ask yourself: How will I know I have successfully accomplished this goal?


What are the small steps you might need to take to accomplish this thing that is so important to you? For the person who wants to quit smoking it might be to call a doctor for an appointment to get a patch. It might be to make an appointment for a session of EFT (emotional freedom technique). Another might be to set up an emotional support system. If the goal is to get a degree, the baby steps might include calling the school to set up an appointment to register, arragnging a work schedule, getting a scholarship, buying school supplies, etc.


Be sure to set up a reward system all along the way. Enjoy the jourey by allowing celebration of the milestones along the way. Maybe you can think of some wonderful way you can celebrate the small successes and the end goal as well.

Remember that getting to your goal is a process, it doesn't happen all at once. It's not supposed to happen all at once. And guess what? It doesn't always have to feel easy. Break things down to smaller steps. Remember the old saying: by the yard it's hard, by the inch it's a cinch.

Another thing is to have a good support system. Only talk about your goal with a one or two or three people who you are close with and who will support you. Don't blab to people who will put you down or tell you why you can't have the things you want in life. Reserve your energy for taking the steps that are important to you!

You CAN do this. You really can!
Feel free to leave comments about the things you do to reach your goals successfully.
Or email me about your successes.

Aunt Laya

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Now what do I do?

You do not have to reinvent the wheel. There are people who can help you grow in the directions you want to grow. There are life coaches, basketball coaches, editors, business mentors, advisers, and what ever else you can think of. This is not just about career advancement.

You have something you bring to this life and it is something unique that only you can bring. It may not make a big splash, but it will--for sure!--send ripples out that change the world in real ways.

If you need support to sing the song you are here to sing, ask! And don't wait to sing your song, be it parenthood, gardening, nursing, performing, cleaning, teaching, friendship, building, doctoring, learning, even blogging! My life has been touched by children, bus drivers, taxi drivers, airport security, the smile of someone on the street, the receptionist at the dentist's office, and so many more.

Give a hand. Take a hand.

Aunt Laya

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

When will this end?

Sometimes people want to know when the challenges will end. The answer, not always so great to hear, is that they don't. Oh, you'll get a break from this challenge (and you may even be able to make some changes that bring that break sooner if you make the right choices). And, you should know, life is all about the challenges. In fact, your challenges are uniquely designed just for you--to shape you and grow you! This is better than a GPS that tells you how to get from one place to another, only life is more mysterious about it. You are given challenges so you can grow.

Now you have a choice to make. You can sit and whine about your challenges. You can cry the blues if you want to. Or, you can look for what your life's purpose is and live it to the fullest even in spite of your challenges. You can face your challenges and rise. You can face your challenges and get stronger by solving the puzzle of what to do about things. You get to create the life you want to live.
You get to choose. That is your power, the power of choice. Choose your attitude. Choose your next steps. You can ask for help if you need or want to; you don't have to go it alone. (Divine help (prayer is a great thing, just start talking), help from friends, try a seminar, or even a book.)

Hang in there when things feel challenging. Like all of life, there is a pulse. Energy comes in waves so there are times for resting and times for working, times for grieving and times for celebrating. For sure you'll have more challenges in life as the months and years unfold before you. And for sure, if you pay attention, you'll see the many blessings too. You might just even see the blessings in the challenges if you pay close attention.

Aunt Laya
I took this photo. So, thanks to the people who designed digital. :-)

Monday, April 06, 2009


For small pearls of wisdom, and sometimes quotes from others, follow me on Twitter!

Click here or cut and paste this to your browser: to find me at Twitter.

Happy Spring!


Aunt Laya

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

How long should you try?

"How long do you give a baby to learn to walk
before you tell him to give it up?"
~Jim Rohn

I talk about baby steps all the time. Take things a little bit at a time. The thing is, it's not just about taking small steps, it's about taking the steps in the first place. What ever it is that you want to improve or build or learn or have in your life, you can create amazing results only if you work on your attitude and actions.

Fuel yourself with information. Keep growing! Keep going in the direction of your dreams.

Aunt Laya

Thank you to and puravida for the wonderful photo.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Tool for Life - Reframing

"If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!"

I just saw this quote and of course it made me smile. But then I realized this is the perfect example for a life tool. This tool is a skill you can develop for keeping your mindset positive. It is called "Reframing". You can use this tool for the way you relate to your own life and also how you relate to others.

You get to decide how you want to frame your life and your perceptions. Kind of like when you take a photograph. You choose what to focus on. In life, you decide what to focus on! You decide who is in the picture and who is out. You decide what you want to photograph--you decide what to put energy into, and how you want to do that.

Then once you have taken your photo--or once something has already happened in your life--you decide how you want to view it in your mind. To open up your thoughts on this one, take a minute to understand how a frame on a picture really makes a difference:

If you have never taken anything to a frame shop, now would be a good time to head on out to one just to have a look at how the process works. or check out these websites to see what I mean:
Look here to see ideas of the way things can look in different frames and how many different kinds of frames and matts you can choose from.
Look here to see more framing ideas and notice the way the environment you place your picture in is also like a frame.

So how do you apply this in your life? Let's say you set the goal of hiking up a mountain. At the end of the day, you didn't make it to the top of the mountain. Now you get to choose the way you want to frame the day.
You could say to yourself: Wow, what a great day, I saw wonderful sites, climbed higher than I ever have before, and had a nice time.
You could say to yourself: What a failure, I never even got to the top of the mountain.

What attitude will serve you the best? What attitude will help you enjoy the life you are living?

Here's another way you can use reframing: A child says "I hate you" to his parent. The parent can say to himself "Oh, I'm a failure as a parent!" OR "This kid is tired and needs a nap." OR "What can I do to help my child understand this situation?" In this situation you can use reframing to give another person the benefit of the doubt. You can do that if you're the kid too. Say your parents yell at you "for no reason". It could be that they are actually having a bad day! Poor, poor parents. They are doing the best they can.

And, you're allowed to give your own self the benefit of the doubt too! You are doing the best you can. When you make a mistake (or your parents or your kids or anyone) know that you (and they) are doing the best you can.

Bottom line: You can choose the thoughts and perspective that you want. I hope you'll choose well in ways that will help you grow and find peace.

You can do this!

Aunt Laya

Thank you to and Procrastinator for the great image!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

How to say "I'm sorry"

There are a lot of things you might need to say "sorry" about. When you bump into someone or knock something off the table by accident, "sorry" comes a bit easier.

But what if you did something that hurt someone else? What if what you did hurt them physically, emotionally or mentally?

It takes courage to apologize!

It takes a lot of courage to say you are sorry about something. Courage is feeling the fear and doing what is right any way. Even when it feels scary, you can do the right thing.

If you just say "sorry" with out meaning it, it is meaningless. You must mean it.

When you have hurt someone and you are sorry, you have to be clear that you will do your best not repeat what you did. We all make mistakes and for sure we're all going to say stupid things that will hurt others even when we didn't mean to. We have to do the best we can and go from there.

What if what you did or said was not so simple?

If what you did was severe and you need help to stop behavior that hurts other people -- and hurting yourself hurts other people--ask for help. Ask for help until you get the help you need. What ever shame you might feel when you do something hurtful can be healed. First you need to bring light to the dark places. Dark places are shame, pain, hurt--your own and others. Sweeping the pain under the rug doesn't heal it or make it go away. Time will help heal, but not until you clean the wounds. The first step is to feel and say you are sorry. You can say "I'm sorry and I want to ask for your forgiveness." You can say it, you can write it in a note. Just mean it.

Do not expect forgiveness. Lots of things are forgivable. Some things are not so easily forgiven. Sometimes saying sorry fixes things in a relationship. Sometimes the relationship ends for what ever reason. It's still good to say sorry even if you will never see the person again.

Being sorry when you've done something to hurt someone else is a good thing. It signals when we are on track or off course with who we need and want to be in the world. It's a first step at least.

In some situations, sorry isn't enough. Sometimes there are other actions a person needs to take to fix what was damaged. Sorry is a great place to start.

When you do something to help yourself or someone else heal the hurt places, you are bringing light into the world in a real way. That's a big deal.

You can do this.

Aunt Laya

Thank you to ariadna and for the great photo.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

HopeLine from the Heart--Suicide preention

If you are a regular at my blog, you know I am a Postsecret fan. Frank Warren, the man who is behind the project is a big supporter of Hope Line Suicide prevention program. The notes and links below are from the Postsecret MySpace page.

Aunt Laya


You may know of Reese's important work with HopeLine, but behind the scenes Reese has helped me many times with PostSecret and some of the community members who contact me directly.

Occationaly I get desperate emails from people that I am not equipt to respond to. In the past, I have forwarded these to Reese who is much better qualified to offer help. For the first time, here is one of those caring examples:

From: Rebecca
Sent: Tuesday, July 01, 2008 3:49 AM
To: frank warren
Subject: To Frank, 1-800-suicide,


My name is Rebecca and I'm 16 years old. I live in Las Vegas, Nevada with both of my parents and my older sister.

When I was growing up I never felt genuinely happy, I was often teased at school by class mates and physically abused at home. My dad was/is a drunk and my mom worked/s full time. When I was 10 I tried to commit suicide, a friend of mine had intervened and my parents stood idle, blind to the fact that I was extremely unhappy.

Lately I have had the urge to hurt myself, and I have given in. I don't know whats compelling me to do it, it doesn't make me feel better; it just takes my mind off of suicide. I have wanted to call the HopeLine for some time now, but I can't find the courage to do it... A month or two back I had confessed to a friend that I wanted to commit suicide and how my dad abused me when I was younger. He told me everything would be alright and if I need anything call him. He referred me to the hotline hoping it might save my life; and right now I need saving.

I'm too scared to call 1(800)SUICIDE; I'm too scared that calling and talking about it isn't going to be enough to help me. I'm scared that if I call nobody will pick up.

I hope to one day have the courage to call and move forward with my life.

From: Reese Butler
To: Rebecca
Subject: To Frank, 1-800-suicide,

Dear Rebecca,

I promise you if you call us we will pick up. Please call 877-YOUTHLINE 968-8454 to reach a teen peer counselor. If you call between noon and 9PM at night you will reach a teen. It should ring to Phoenix Teen Lifeline. You can look them up online to see what they are all about. They are very cool and can help you understand what you are dealing with in a hopefully more productive way. Mainly just be there as a shoulder to lean on.

If you wish to chat online you can do so at at

Or any of these web sites:

I also suggest reading the book Suicide the Forever Decision. It is
great read, (not boring) and very relevant.

You can download it for free at

If you are looking for email support you can find support at

Let me know if these links are of no help. I have many more.

Lastly I do care that you live, and find happiness. Please do not do
anything to harm yourself. There are many who care. Please call us.

Best always,

Reese Butler

President and Founder
Kristin Brooks Hope Center
National Hopeline Network 1-800-SUICIDE 784-2433
202-536-3206 fax
615 7th Street NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

From: Reese Butler
To: Rebecca
Subject: To Frank, 1-800-suicide,

Dear Rebecca,

I hope you are well or better. I never heard back from you so I do not know if you used the resources I sent and what the outcome was. I come across your picture and letter every once in a while and think of you. I wish there was more I could do but want you to know there are people who care unconditionally and will help if you will reach out.

Please drop me a note and let me know what is going on.

Best always,

Reese Butler
President and Founder
Kristin Brooks Hope Center
National Hopeline Network 1-800-SUICIDE 784-2433
202-536-3206 fax
1250 24th Street NW
Suite 300
Washington, D.C. 20037

From: Rebecca
To: Reese Butler
Subject: To Frank, 1-800-suicide,


I'm sorry I never got back to you. I've been keeping busy, trying not to have too much free time to let my mind wonder. It's great to know someone thinks about me now and then. I'm doing better, I've found a friend I can talk to when I'm feeling under the weather and I do the same for him. I still haven't called the hotline, I can't seem to find the guts to. I did however read that book you were talking about. It really made me think about my life and how fortunate I am. I realized I do have a future and I'm in control of that. Still on the long road to recovery, I'm confident I can make it through this.

Thank you so much for being there and recognizing me. I really appreciate everything you've done for me.


From: Reese Butler ..
To: Rebecca
Subject: To Frank, 1-800-suicide,

No worries. I am just glad things are better for you and you have a support system.

The teen peer line is a great resource when your friends are not around. As they are teens too and deal with the same issues you do they can relate better than doctors or parents sometimes . 877-YOUTHLINE (968-8454)

I am glad also you read the book. Now you should be able to take the course and the test that goes along with it and become a certified gatekeeper and be in a position to help others. Interested?

Best always,

From: Rebecca
To: Reese Butler
Subject: To Frank, 1-800-suicide,

I am very interested in helping others. I would love the opportunity to share my story and reach out to people in need. I would love to help in any way possible.



Monday, February 09, 2009

How do you heal a broken heart?

When your heart is broken,
how can you heal?
How do you heal a broken heart?

Know that you can heal a broken heart. Others have healed a broken heart and you can too. It may not be easy, it may not be fast, but healing can happen. This you need to know.
Next, you have to be willing to heal. You don't have to know how, you just have to go inside to the deepest depths and say to yourself, "I am willing to heal." Through the pain and sadness, through the grief and shattered feelings, you simply have to acknowledge that you are willing to heal.
Understand that healing is a process. It does not happen all at once. There is no guarantee about how long this process will take, it's different for everyone. There are days that are harder and days that are easier. Sometimes you think you're doing fine and suddenly sad feelings sneak up on you again. That's part of the process. Hang in there! The good days will come again and they'll come more and more often.
Time does heal. It may not seem like it when you're in pain, but know that time really does bring healing. Again, there is no guarantee about how long the process will take, but time is one of the elements of healing a broken heart. It's kind of like healing in the body, a cut will also heal with time. You don't put a bandage on a cut and expect to wake up the next morning and the cut is gone. So be patient with yourself, your emotions, and your heart.
Be honest with yourself about why you were wounded, why your heart was broken. This is the mental part of the process. Be truthful about this part even though it may not be fun. You don't have to say this out loud to any one. Were you expecting something the other person wasn't able to give you? Lots of broken hearts are when people have expectations of a relationship that the other person can not or doesn't even want to fulfill. If you can really evaluate what went wrong, you can learn about yourself so you can set up a healthier relationship next time. Learn something about yourself from each experience.
Acknowledge the gifts you take from the relationship. I don't mean goodies, I mean the gifts of life experience. Did you see that you have the capacity to love? Did you learn something about boundaries? Did you learn about communication? Did you learn something about how to be with other people? There is something you have to be grateful about, name that.
Be tender with yourself. What does that mean? Be kind to you. Make sure that you think thoughts that are kind (saying you are a jerk or a loser is NOT being kind to you or anyone else and do not belong in your thoughts or vocabulary). Open your heart to yourself the same way you would open your heart to a friend in pain. I find that a lot of people have never learned how to be gentle with themselves. This is a skill worth developing! You'll be a nicer person to other people when you learn how to be good to yourself. This is about balancing your thoughts and emotions.
Do not rush into another relationship. When you go into a relationship from a place of wholeness you will be wiser in your choice of who to date. If you do not heal, you are likely to make the same mistake over and over again until you learn the lesson. Take the time for yourself so you can have and be the best for yourself. This is a great time to get into something so you can express yourself creatively. Maybe writing, music, art, knitting, sports, what ever feels creative and fulfilling to you.
You do not have to do this alone. You can talk with a friend or a counselor. Ask for help when you need help. No one is expected to do life alone. If you don't feel like you have someone to talk things through with, don't sit around feeling sorry for yourself, ask around. Take care of yourself enough to ask for help when you need help. There are some wonderful people with open hearts who would be honored to be your friend or counselor.
Time, tenderness, talking it through. Once your heart is broken, you will never be the same. That's okay! All of life builds us and shapes us. Take each experience to deepen the truth of who you are: You are a wonderful, loving person who lights up this world. Take a rest as you heal. Keep shining.

Aunt Laya

with gratitude to and bekahboo42 for the beautiful photo

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Need some hope?

It is in the darkest of night that the stars shine brightest.

Aunt Laya

With gratitude to Morguefile and kahanaboy for the beautiful photo!