1 – What brought you to Boulder many years ago?
When I finished graduate school a friend of mine that I worked in the entertainment industry (as a make up artist) talked me into coming to work on “one more movie” (it turned into two). My husband to be came to visit me and we loved it so much we thought it would be a great place to start our family. It was!”
2 – Tell us a favorite Boulder Memory
Boulder Jewish Festival was new then. It was a rainy day and I was doing face painting. Devorah Telushkin and I got on the stage as the day was coming to a close and did a little song and dance in the rain. Also, I was into story telling at the time and was in a new Jewish Renewal Havurah and I have memories of some of the times there where I made life long friends. I loved teaching at Bonai Shalom, and of course my life long friendship with Chabad of Boulder!”
3 – You are writing a book about handling life’s hardships, any tips?
There are two big ways to influence the way we move through life: our perceptions and our actions. Taking action to change a situation, no matter how small that action may seem, will make a big impact or change over time (more here). Reframing our perceptions can also have a really positive impact (more on that here). Reframing can be something as simple as giving the benefit of the doubt which brings you more peace. The top, most powerful piece for getting to peace in hard times is gratitude. It might seem counter intuitive when we’re reacting to something difficult, but it is a game changer.
4 – Can you share some of your recent projects that you are involved in?
I teach at a wonderful seminary for girls in Israel called Sharei Binah. My most recent class, Women of the Bible, lead me to writing a book on the topic so Jewish Women can tap into the wisdom of the feminine Jewish archetype. It’s so powerful. Jewish women are not Disney princesses and for some reason I have found that legacy to be hidden from a lot of women. The impact of the Jewish woman is for all ages, from 3 years old to 130! You’re never too young or too old to make a difference.
I’m also working (ever so slowly) on a book about life with MS (multiple sclerosis). That’s for newly diagnosed or friends and family of those living with MS. I’ve learned a lot living with MS. I’ve had to walk the talk over and over again so I hope to share a piece of that journey to give strength and hope, and hopefully with laugh along the way.
Right now I’m most active in my Nurturing Women workshops and retreats. I also facilitate writers intensive retreats from time to time.
You can learn more about Laya by visiting her websites: www.AuntLaya.com and www.NurturingWomen.com. Click here for more information on the Boulder County Center for Judaism’s Lunch and Learn.