Laila Ghattas is an artist, Gestalt therapist and Reiki practitioner.
She is a writer, public speaker, group facilitator and the founder of Aziza Healing Adventures.
She has 26 years experience in the Healing Arts.
Each winter over the last decade Laila has immersed herself in the spiritual tapestry of Balinese Hinduism. The wisdom and insight gleaned from ancient traditions is infused into all her work.
Laila expertly and uniquely combines creative self-expression with Gestalt Therapy in programs designed to:deepen self awareness, inspire personal insight and improve the life of those who participate.
Laila facilitates international healing retreats and workshops for women, couples, groups, conferences and corporations.
Laila has a private practice in Toronto where she offers personal growth and Usui Reiki sessions, and private self-discovery workshops which inspire a new way of living and the happiness that follows.
Laila Ghattas studied at York University for her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Arts, concurrently graduating with a Bachelor of Education, Special Education Part One and Ontario Teachers Certificate.
A graduate of the Gestalt Institute of Toronto, Laila holds an undergraduate certificate in Gestalt Theory and Methodology and a postgraduate certificate in Gestalt Therapy.
She completed her Expressive Arts Certificate at Sir Sanford Fleming College.
Laila completed Reiki 1st & 2nd degree in the Usui System of Natural Healing with Reiki Master Anita Levin in Toronto.
Laila has been practicing in the Healing Arts since 1988.
A Midlife surprise
For over a decade I had my clothes tailored for me in Bali while I was there offering personal growth retreats. As the years passed I experimented with different fabrics and as menopause brought about changes to my body shape, I adjusted styles. For most of my adult life I was haunted by feelings of frumpy.
Having my clothes made for me solved the problem of fit. I started to feel really good as I developed my own style. It was a while later I realized my esteem was growing and although not a small woman, I felt attractive in my outfit. Frumpy left the building along with my ill fitting wardrobe.
Following the encouragement from a business coach, I launched a clothing business in 2014 that focused on helping women feel better in their clothes, and hopefully that would lead to more comfort in their own skin. It was a way to evolve my healing vocation.
What I was not prepared for was the non stop self-deprecating remarks women made as they tried on clothes in my showroom. I ended up coaching them each and every time offering gentler language to use when referring to themselves and their body parts. It was disturbing how chronic the problem was, how universal regardless of age, social, financial or marital status, no matter what size, weight, or height.
Every woman who came to try on my collection put herself down, found something to dwell on that made her miserable or self-conscious.
In 2015 I had to face the relentless grief of my empty house after my beloved pet companions died within months of each other. They were my family as any pet lover understands. During those 4 most difficult months of my life, as I allowed the grief to move through me each day, as I honoured my sadness and lack of motivation, as I sat in the garden and reflected on what HOME now means to me, something started to take real shape inside me.
Each day I chose to be gentle with myself, kind, loving, patient, whatever it took to get through this period of mourning. I didn’t push myself to tackle any of the long list of things waiting for attention. When I had energy, I got stuff done, when I needed to sit and cry, I stopped and wept out my sadness.
Then a miracle happened.
I woke up one morning in July and could feel the last of the grief evaporating, moving away like a mist in a breeze. I felt my happiness return in a grounded quiet steady arrival. I also felt the presence of the spirit of my companions, they were back and present in a way I could access and enjoy. Some of you reading this will understand this experience. I wasn’t sad anymore.
The love I had spent 18 years focusing externally on my companions was turned fully towards my self in my grief. Over 4 months, slowly, each hour, each day, each week after week, my self-directed compassion and kindness put me back on my feet.
A year before I had begun to consider a new way of branding myself that felt more accessible than Gestalt Therapist. It was a laborious process and I had put it away during my grief. But the next day after my joy was available again to feel, the idea of Happiness Specialist came to me. My heart sang with recognition.
It’s ironic this clarity should follow my darkest time. What qualifies me as a Happiness Specialist? Well, all the things most people feel need to get done or accomplished or have in their lives before they are able to feel joy are NOT in place in my life. And yet, joy is my default.
Sure I move to and from happiness as daily stresses and surprised come and go, however, any shift away is notable and I am motivated to attend whatever is amiss with respect, and restore my equilibrium.
At the time of this process relationship status was single, without children, as an entrepreneur finances remain unpredictable. New pet companions were not sought out to ease the pain. My body size had not shifted to “ideal.”
Most people believe they require having one or most of relationship/ financial /children /weight loss conditions in place before they can feel happy.
I’ve learned to love myself AS IS. It’s extraordinary to me that the passing of my sweet companions brought me to an unwavering self-love.
Happiness Specialist reflects the lack of conditions on my state of being.
In the year that followed, while engaged with women trying on my new clothing collection, witnessing such meanness, hearing words like ‘disgusting’ to describe a part of their body, and shame of the jiggle under their arms, who resisted the natural aging process, I was inspired to focus on bringing an awareness of a gentler way of being.
Embracing the power of language, new self-talk suggestions became an integral aspect of the clothing client experience. My healing vocation was following me into this new fashion venture.
Most recently I’ve developed a program that offers a new mirror and in some cases a replacement for a mirror; By honestly openly looking at the misconceptions that drive such judgements that you’d never serve up to a beloved friend.
Can you imagine saying to your children, or your friends, I’ll love you, accept you, feel compassion for you only after you’ve lost weight, firmed up, removed those wrinkles, etc.? The conditions women place on their road to self-acceptance doesn’t have any healthy or redeeming qualities. You actually keep yourself hostage in a poor self-image that serves no purpose.
Supporting you to become your own friend, your own best friend, being your own Champion through thick or thin, this vision is what fires my intention through private client sessions, public workshops, keynotes, as well as Laila Goddess wardrobe collections.
My intention is to offer an alternative for you to move into self-acceptance NOW. To be OK with yourself NOW.
It’s what I’ve learned and believe me it’s the best feeling not to be resisting where I stand and how I look.
It’s actually working. Women who have participated in my programs and others who are wearing the flattering cuts of my collections are seeing signs of self-esteem sprouting.
It’s your lens that needs changing, your perspective, your expectations.
I’m here ready and willing, and with a lifetime of experience on the road that leads to self love, as well as being a professional in the holistic healing field since 1989, to give you a helping hand.