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Friday, December 24, 2010

It's there even if you can't see it

 An interesting thing happened one morning when I was picking figs for breakfast...

This summer I spent many mornings eating breakfast at my fig tree. Divine! The interesting thing about a fig tree, is that the figs don't all ripen at once. New fruits come out each day as the older fruits are ripening. When eating straight from the tree, the trick is to find them ripe enough, but not too ripe. 

One morning I saw the perfect fig. I knew it would be a taste of Heaven. I moved in close between the branches and leaves. As I got closer, it just disappeared! How could it be? I moved out again and saw it. So I knew that when I moved in closer, something blocked my view as it seemed to disappear.  What a metaphor for our goals and dreams in life.

You may know clearly what your goals and dreams are. You may be taking action in the direction of your goals and dreams. Then, as you think you are moving closer, all signs of actualizing it seem to disappear.

Take heart! 

Just because you don't see your goal as close as you thought you were to it, does not mean your heart's desire is not there. 

Try changing your perspective, move about (in thoughts or actions or both). You'll see it, maybe closer than you thought!

Aunt Laya
Photo by me one morning at breakfast. :-) 
With gratitude to the Creator of figs, cameras, and all of life!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Are you smiling yet??

I was feeling pretty crabby the other day.  I know very well that I have choices about my mood. I know that if we change our perception of something, or our actions, we can transform our lives. So there I was, doing the dishes and feeling crabby but knowing I didn't have to stay that way. I was talking to my daughter and suggested that we start dancing. She thought I was nuts. Not the first time I've been accused of that. When my husband got home, well, he married me, so we danced around the house for a minute. Just long enough to crack ourselves up and get back to life. 

The next morning we were talking and I said something that cracked him up and after decades, I remembered a song from a movie from when I was a kid. 

People, there are times when you need to grieve the hard stuff. There are times when you need to take action toward your dreams. And there are times--probably most all the time--when the attitude of gratitude will lift you up. You need to keep a sense of humor no matter what is happening. So, here's a little reminder that helped me the other day and I hope it will bring a smile to your face. The smile will bring you up. Maybe not literally like in this clip, but in your heart where it really matters most.

Aunt Laya

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Best Teen Gifts for Guys and Girls

Holiday Season Already??

Wow, it's that time of year again--the gift giving season. You always want to give and get gifts you'll like but it's not always so simple. I found this great list that was put together over at Radical Parenting so here's a link for you. It's a great and varied list. I'm not sure why my book isn't on the list, I guess they just assumed that people must have it already. J  

If you can't afford to buy this book and you want to read it, please email me and I will email you back with a link to download the book. Please don't be bashful. I'd rather you read it than not! <3 <3 <3
And here's a link to the great gift ideas for teens from the Radical Parenting. If you haven't been to their site before, look around; there is lots to read there too.

Aunt Laya

Monday, October 11, 2010

Quote for the hard times

If you're going through hell, 
keep going. 

~Winston Churchill

Thanks to Katy who I met on Facebook for the great quote!
Thanks to Imelenchon and for the photo. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Secret to Staying Positive

Write your questions, then post them where you'll see them!
Your brain is a brilliant resource! The trick is to engage your brain in a way that will give you the results you want! Like if you want to be happy you have to give your brain the right direction.

When you ask yourself a question, your mind will search for an answer. It's human nature. So if you flub up and then say (Heaven forbid!!) to yourself, "Why am I such an !d!0t?" Your mind will rush to answer that question--confirming and strengthening an idea that's not so good. But wait! This principle works for the good too! Ask yourself, "What small thing can I do to move in the direction of my dreams?" and your mind will give you some answers. Good news, right? Now we just have to figure out the best questions to ask so that we get the answers that will build us in ways that are positive. Here are some ideas that come to mind, and as always, I'd love to hear your ideas (leave a comment and help others who read this post).
  • What can I do that will support my health?
  • Who do I love?/Who loves me? (Try this as you're going to sleep and think of the names of people who love you/who you love starting with A all the way to Z)
  • What is my intuition telling me about ______?
  • Who do I need to forgive? (Then, do the forgiving, or at least "pretend" to forgive to start your own inner healing.)
  • What am I grateful for?
Here are the questions I have posted on my fridge:
  • How can I transform & elevate the meaning that I am giving to this action?
  • How can i do what I'm about to do in an elevated way?
  • Who will this benefit? (these questions are from a podcast by R. Zelig Pliskin)
  • What am I living for?
  • How am I going to get there? (these questions are from R. Noach Weinberg)
For a long time I just had some questions on a sticky note, but in a moment of inspiration, I got out some craft supplies and had some fun making a bright, bold paper so I'll ask myself these questions more often and with strong intention.

So, what are the questions you ask yourself, or your kids, or your spouse, or employees, or...?

Aunt Laya

Monday, August 09, 2010


The very word conjures up such a variety of thoughts and emotions. I used to think that any woman who would get involved as a prostitute must either have been terribly abused or a drug addict. Only I have another understanding that I feel must be shared with you, dear readers. 

Perhaps you know that there is a slave trade that is alive and well in the world today. And a huge portion of that slave trade, called "trafficking," consists of girls who are kidnapped--misled and stolen. This is a grievous pain for all of humanity. I want to encourage you to become aware of this problem for a number of reasons.

Here is a place to begin to understand the issue: Watch the videos and explore the site to find ways you can make a difference.

I believe that every simple, heartfelt prayer makes a difference. Perhaps you'll share this post and open awareness of this issue to your circle of people, your "tribe."  Perhaps you'll shop here: where jewelry is made by women who have been rescued.

Above all, if you happen to pass by a red light district, if you happen to see prostitutes on a street corner, do not judge her. Say a prayer for her well being and her rescue. It is hard to conceive of the millions who are battered slaves, but if you can bless the one, maybe participate in her well being through A21, we will make a difference.

Like the snowflake that alone weigh nothing but when they are all together can break the branch of a tree, we can stand together for what is righteous and just. 

Please tweet this and share in any way you can. We really can make a difference.

Aunt Laya

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How to Deal with Suffering in Life, Part 1

Dear Aunt Laya,
…reading your words brought much needed comfort to my heart and soul.  Thank You. I have one question:  Why does a person have to suffer so much in this life?…I have had to deal with so much suffering, much.  Why?  I stay happy.  I live in joy.  I give unconditionally to others.  I do my very best each and every day.  Yet awful things still happen.  Hoping you can send some much needed light into this question for me.

Many blessings for all you are doing to help others,


Dearest Reader,

Thank you so much for writing me, it means the world to me to know that the words from my heart have touched you in a way that brings you comfort.

The question you ask, “Why does a person have to suffer so much in this life?” has been asked for millennium. Before I even begin to share my simple understanding, know that there is no one answer, and I could never answer this deep question fully. My hope is that maybe some piece of my answer will bring some portion of peace and hope to help us get through the harder trials in life.

So, to touch into this most difficult question begins the simplest answer, the least satisfying of all (that no man or woman will ever fully grasp): There is a bigger picture and we cannot know from our limited human perspective what that is!

Each of us is a soul, created for a Divine mission and purpose. We do not have access to the “whole picture” of the soul, its journey, or why she is here in this earthly experience. From a broader, Heavenly perspective, there is purpose and meaning to each and every breath we take. We think we can understand some of it, but then, we have the hardest of times, loss, change, or upheaval and it can feel like life is crashing in on us.

An oyster is a small shellfish. One grain of sand enters the shell. We know how annoying a small pebble that slipped into our shoe can feel; now imagine that this delicate fish is subjected to sharp pain against its small, tender flesh. The nature of an oyster is such that when it feels that rough grain of sand, it secretes a substance to coat the offending source of pain. It coats and coats and coats until the surface is smooth: a pearl is created. From pain and hurt, is created a beautiful gem: the pearl.

This life, though full of pleasures and delights to be sure, is also full of pains and disappointments. We live in illusion of what we think life “should” be, then we are disillusioned and disappointed as we see that life does not fit our perspective.

Yet, everything, 
everything that we experience has meaning and purpose. Every life experience holds rich gifts for us to cash in on if we stay awake and aware, or conscious, to what we are experiencing. Each trial or pain comes with a gift of its own—an insight, deeper compassion or understanding or wisdom, and it is our job to find the pearl and treasure it.

It is at this point that our personal power comes in. We may not be able to control what happens around us, and most likely we cannot for much that goes on in and around our lives. We may, however, control the
 way in which we see things and the actions and reactions we choose as a response.

This is what builds us, and this is how we build ourselves.

Over the coming weeks, (and in this ezine and blog) I’ll be writing more about this. In the meantime, keep shining!

Aunt Laya
With gratitude to kconnors and for the beautiful photo

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Staying connected

Welcome to all the mom's from Ellen's Online Parenting Retreat. If you're here to sign up for my e-newsletter please just click here and I'll be happy to stay in touch with you! And if you're a regular and you didn't know about the e-newsletter (or ezine), it would be great to connect with you that way too!

Quote for the day:
"The greatest problem of communication 
is the illusion that it has been accomplished."
~George Bernard Shaw
Aunt Laya

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Online Parenting Retreat for Moms

I'm really excited to share that later this month I'm presenting at an online event for moms. And you can attend any or all of the workshops for free, or, you can sign up and receive a whole bunch of bonuses, recordings of every single workshop (and transcripts if reading is easier) and chances to to win spa products!

Not only am I presenting one of the workshops, I plan on attending, the list of speakers and topics is awesome! I'd love to hear from you if you will be at my workshop (not all the presenters are up on the website yet, so if you don't see me, don't worry).  
My workshop will be Thursday night, May 27 at 11 PM EST
But you don't have to leave home to connect. It's all online. Please be sure to write down the information about my workshop and make sure you "translate" the time into your correct time zone so you can be there with me live!

Here's my workshop info:
“Transforming Tough Times into Triumph“
~Real tools you can use right now~
Your Host: Laya Saul, author of the award winning, inspirational book,
“You Don’t Have to Learn Everything the Hard Way”
“If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” Everyone has challenges in life but just because things feel hard now doesn’t mean you are stuck. “Aunt” Laya will show you how to get unstuck and move into healing, comfort, and joy. This workshop is not theory; it is practical information and useful tools you can start using right now!

  • Learn the two keys to the power of transformation
  • Easy to use tools to shift from bummed to brilliant
  • Simple “how to” to use mind, body, and emotions to lift your spirits
I hope to "see" you there!
Aunt Laya

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Life on Fire

Did you see the movie Avatar? 

Remember the scene where the main character, Jake Sully, goes from his paralyzed, wheelchair-bound body, into a healthy, strong Navi body and walks for the first time? Remember the overwhelming joy he showed as he moved his legs, stood up, stumbled, walked and then ran? 

What if we felt that kind of joy every single morning when we wake up?  Like, "Whoa, look at this body I'm in... I can see, I can smell, I can move, I can taste..."  Even as we stumble about, a flood of gratitude and delight every morning at another day--the miracle of life--the gift of life--the gift of more time. Even when facing trials and tribulations, it's a gift to be able to take the challenge.

Living up to your potential is not about "accomplishing". Being the best you is not about being perfect. Success in life is not measured by what you produce. Think about the people you love the most in your life. You don't love them based on how much money they  make, how much they weigh, what grades they got in school or if they even went to school!

What are the qualities of the people you love the most? Are they kind? Generous? Gentle? Strong? What if you let yourself take an inventory of the positive qualities you have? What if, when you wake up each morning, you allow yourself to see what is right and good in your life? Then, even just a little bit at a time, beyond pain, beyond fear, and beyond doubt, let those gifts lift you. 

Experiment with this simple yet powerful mental shift and let me know how it goes.

Thanks to Clarita via

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

When the Past Haunts You

Someone asked this question, we all have to deal with the past so here's my response...

Why does the past always have to come back and make you suffer in the present? Is the past always going to be coming back to you? Does your past always haunt you for the rest of your life? Will your past ever stay in the past?

Sweet Girl,
These are such big questions. There are several layers to all of this.

First of all, all of life has purpose and meaning. Sometimes we get the wrong idea that we’re supposed to live happily ever after. We are supposed to enjoy the gift of life, but it’s not like in the movies—like you solve one challenge and then you’re free to have fun. We do get fun, but we’ll always have the next test too. It’s just part of what makes up this crazy and wonderful life. We’re supposed to grow, and the tests we come up against actually shape us to be better and better. The issue is the way we meet the tests. But then, you knew this, right? ☺

There are different ways the past comes into the present. If it is through the memory of past events, you can change your thinking to leave the past in the past. There are different ways to do this—it could be that time heals it or it could be that you learn how to release memories that don’t serve you.

If you find that the past is repeating, then you have a whole other challenge to find out what is going on: what do you need to learn? Here’s a little example: let’s say someone puts a raw egg on the table and it rolls off, falls on the floor, and then breaks. If she keeps putting another egg in the same place, it will always roll off. She has to learn that she either needs to put the egg in something that won’t roll, or put the egg somewhere else. Lessons will keep repeating until we change. We have to change the way we react to things.

The thing about bad memories of the past is that you can actually change the way you relate to them. You can send the images that haunt you in your mind’s eye away when they come up, or you can take the you that is in that memory and make that younger part of you safe right now. Do not under estimate the power of imagination.

Be gentle with yourself and be sure you are surrounding yourself with kindness and strong boundaries. This too shall pass as you grow in life experience. We all fall on our faces and then we just have to get up one more time. I know you’ll rise! Big, big hugs!

Aunt Laya

Monday, March 08, 2010

Freedom to Choose

This is an **amazing** video about a program called "Freedom to Choose" that was brought to a maximum security prison for women by the University of Santa Monica. The story speaks for itself. I hope you'll be as inspired as I am. 
or copy and past this link
Aunt Laya

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Butterfly Effect: You Matter

Have you heard of the "Butterfly Effect"? It's a theory, or a law of nature, that suggests if a butterfly flaps its wings in one part of the world, that a tornado could come of it in another part of the world. That means, you have no idea what small thing you'll do will change the face of history. You matter, and everything you do matters! I enjoyed this (three part) video and hope you do too.
Aunt Laya

Thursday, February 11, 2010

More of the good in life

You've got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between

You've got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum
Have faith or pandemonium's
Liable to walk upon the scene

To illustrate my last remark
Jonah in the whale, Noah in the ark
What did they do just when everything looked so dark?

(Man, they said "We'd better accentuate the positive")
("Eliminate the negative")
("And latch on to the affirmative")
Don't mess with Mister In-Between (No!)
Don't mess with Mister In-Between

(Ya got to spread joy up to the maximum)
(Bring gloom down to the minimum)
(Have faith or pandemonium's)
(Liable to walk upon the scene)

You got to ac (yes, yes) -cent-tchu-ate the positive
Eliminate (yes, yes) the negative
And latch (yes, yes) on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between
No, don't mess with Mister In-Between
Aunt Laya

Monday, February 01, 2010

No Shame

You may know that I am a fan of PostSecret
This was one of the secrets this week and it really speaks to me.   

We are all going to fall on our faces and make mistakes. 
You can't be in this world an not make a mistake.

But did you know that you can also mend? 
You don't have to mend perfectly, just mend a little corner of the world. 
Pick up a piece of trash. 
Feed someone who is hungry. 
Give someone a job if you can. 
Give ten minutes to help someone. 
Speak kindly of your own self. 

Instead of being defensive, respond with kindness when you know someone else is hurting.

One of the things that struck me about the movie Shindler's List was at the end when Oscar Shindler cried because he realized he could have sold his gold pin to save one more life. I decided I want to get to the end of my life as best I can doing the most good that I can. I don't want to cry at the end for what I could have done but didn't.

We're only supposed to do our part. 

Is there something that comes to mind for you that is the right thing to do?
No regrets.
Aunt Laya

Thursday, January 28, 2010

It's OK to ask for HELP

Everyone, but everyone, in this life has challenges. There is no life without hardship. No matter how "perfect" you think someone is, they have hardship.

It's true that some people seem to have it harder than others--no question. But it's also true that no matter how hard you have it, someone else has survived what you're going through and is waiting for to help you through.  
Really, that's true!

If you feel like the pain in your life just never seems to end, ask for help. You can get through to the other side of the pain and shine in ways you can't even imagine right now.

There are a bunch of places listed in the resources section of my website here that you can call or visit online.

You are never alone
Please reach out if you need help. 
Your shining, precious soul matters in this world.

With love and blessings and prayers for your complete well being,
Aunt Laya

Monday, January 11, 2010

Heck Yeah!

Heck Yeah!!!

In this age of flash and dash, how do you make the decision about what to let in, what to do, what to choose, and what to let go? I just learned a great way to do the measuring inside yourself. When you come across something, anything in life, and inside of you (your guts, heart, mind, thoughts, intuition) says "Heck Yeah!" that's a good sign. Go for it. I'm not talking about the little voice that says "eat that extra piece of cake" I'm talking about the part of you that runs deep and the part of you that rises high. 
If you don't get a "Heck Yeah!" 
then that means it's a "Heck No!" 

When you do what's right for you, it means  you can do more of what you need and really, truly want to be doing. This is all measured from your values; we're not talking about ego.

We all sometimes operate from a place of fear. Sometimes you don't want to leave what is familiar or certain. It's scary. So be certain you're listening deeply inside yourself to make sure you're not rationalizing ("rational lies"). Go for what lights you up because then you'll be really singing the song and dancing the dance you're here in this world for.

There is no need to play small here folks. Go for the gold in life. Go for the "Heck Yeah!"

Experiment and explore this and see what happens.
Aunt Laya