Heroes for Healing is a group writing project created by Jenny Mannion that will feature over 30 spiritual teachers who have inspired and helped others, despite opposition and their work facing “criticism and nay-sayers”.
When I first heard of Jenny’s project, I immediately thought of one person. A woman who I see as the mother of the New Thought Movement. A woman who wrote a book that changed my life.
Louise L. Hay
“Every thought I think is creating my future”
Once dubbed “the closest thing to a living saint” by the Australian media, Louise L. Hay is one of the founding writers, healers and speakers in the modern self-help and spiritual movement.
Her first book, Heal Your Body, was published in 1976 and was revolutionary at the time for suggesting that our health could be affected by our long-term thoughts and emotions. Louise created this book as a reference guide so people could identify the mental causes of their illness and then heal themselves with the corresponding positive thought patterns and affirmations.
Heal Your Body was born from Louise’s years of experience offering spiritual counseling and workshops as a Church of Religious Science minister, and it went on to become an international best seller, translated into 25 languages around the world.
After years of a being a successful metaphysical speaker and workshop facilitator, Louise’s spiritual journey was put to the test when she was diagnosed with cancer. After considering surgery and drugs, Louise decided that she would try to heal herself, and so began an intensive program of affirmations, creative visualization, nutritional cleansing, and psychotherapy.
After six months, Louise’s doctors were amazed to discover she was cancer free.
Now even more convinced that she had an important healing philosophy to share with the world, Louise wrote You Can Heal Your Life. It was published in 1984 and shared Louise’s own story of how she overcame a broken marriage, and an impoverished, abusive childhood to heal her heart, her mind and then her body.
You Can Heal Your Life was one of the first modern self-help books to explain how our thoughts and feelings create our beliefs, and our beliefs influence not only our behavior and experiences, but our physiology as well.
If we change our thinking and heal our negative emotional patterns, we can create infinite wellness and happiness in our life. You Can Heal Your Life was a New York Times bestseller and has sold more than 35 million copies around the world.
Another of Louise Hay’s accomplishments was the founding of Hay House, which started as a small venture in her living room, and is now the leading publisher of millions of self-help and transformational books, audio and video worldwide. As of 2007, Hay House published over 300 books and 450 audios from 130 authors, including Wayne Dyer, Esther and Jerry Hicks and Doreen Virtue.
Louise has also established two not-for-profit organizations, The Hay Foundation and the Louise L. Hay Charitable Fund, which support charities dealing in such diverse issues as AIDS, battered women, disadvantaged youth, prison reform and international projects, such as Doctors Without Borders.
Still going strong at 81, Louise Hay recently released her first ever film, You Can Heal Your Life: The Movie, based on her life and work. To see the trailer, click on the video link below.
WHAT KELLY RIGBY HAS LEARNED FROM LOUISE HAY
Louise Hay is the closest thing I have to a guru. Her book, You Can Heal Your Life opened my eyes to a new way of being and gave a glimpse of who I could become. Quite simply, reading this book changed the course of my life forever.
I was only 20 when my mom gave me You Can Heal Your Life, and I had already managed to attract a relationship that was controlling, emotionally abusive and violent. On the outside I looked like an intelligent, driven young woman with her whole life ahead of her. On the inside I was a screaming, tormented child, raging against abandonment, lost innocence, and the shame of sexual abuse.
But as soon as I read Louise ‘s story, it was like the sun came out and all of a sudden I could see that every day didn’t have to be cloudy. There was blue sky out there. I realized I had to change myself before I could ever hope to have the life I dreamed of. I desperately wanted to be happy, but the world I lived in was full of pain, criticism and trying to be perfect, and hating myself because I was not.
I knew that cancer tended to run in one side of my family and alcoholism and mental disease was an issue in the other. I didn’t want a life that included any of these things, but the signs were already there that addiction and depression were waiting to become close friends of mine. I decided that I would remake myself and my life and I would transcend everything that had gone before.
For me the journey took many years, mostly because it isn’t easy to let go of the past. Events may fade from memory, but feelings of loss and rejection and betrayal tend to hang around and nest in your heart. They clog your arteries and sit heavy on your chest so you feel like you are drowning in the ugliness your life has been.
I had to choose to change and part of that was letting go of the past and the comfort of my pain. Yes, I had every reason to be angry at the world. I’d had shitty luck. I did deserve better, but Louise Hay made me see that the only one who was going to give me a better life was ME. I had to save myself.
I was lucky enough to meet and speak with Louise after a seminar in Sydney in 1995 and I will never forget the light that shone out of this woman. She was incandescent, like an angel. Which is fitting because…
what I learned from Louise Hay is I am also a living breathing angel who deserves unconditional love and acceptance. I am worthy of the best life has to offer, and I love myself exactly the way I am.
Do you know of Louise Hay? Have her books or lectures touched you? Who are the mentors or gurus who have changed your life?
Photo by P Laurent