Louise Hay: “You Can Heal Your Life”

Louise Hay: “You Can Heal Your Life”
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You really can. Having an optimistic attitude in every situation in your life attracts positive changes and increases achievement. Positive thinking employs a state of mind that continues to seek, find and execute ways to win, or find a desirable outcome, regardless of the circumstances. It opposes negativity, defeatism and hopelessness.

A positive mental attitude is developed by constant reinforcement of your goals, positive values and beliefs. Learning to control your emotions is a key part to developing and maintaining positive mental attitude so as to expel the negative thoughts and feelings that could influence your actions and behavior. One technique for positive reinforcement is with the use of “self-talk” in a form of affirmation.

Affirmations refer primarily to the practice of positive thinking-fostering a belief that “a positive mental attitude supported by affirmations will achieve success in anything.” More specifically an affirmation is a carefully formatted statement that should be repeated to one’s self and written down frequently. For an affirmation to be effective, it needs to be present tense, positive, personal and specific.

It works! We can give you many examples, and the life of Louise Hay is just one of them.

Louise Hay (born October 8, 1926) is an American motivational author, and the founder of Hay House, a publishing company. She has authored several New Thought self-help books, and is best known for her 1984 book, You Can Heal Your Life.


Hay recounted her life story in an interview with Mark Oppenheimer of the New York Times in May 2008. In it Hay stated that she was born in Los Angeles to a poor mother who remarried Louise’s violent stepfather. She recounted that when she was about 5, she was raped by a neighbor. At 15 she dropped out of high school without a diploma, became pregnant and, on her 16th birthday, gave up her newborn baby girl to be adopted. She then recalled she moved to Chicago, where she worked in low paying jobs. In 1950 she moved on again to New York. She explained that at this point she changed her name and began a career as a fashion model. She was successful at this, working for Bill Blass, Oleg Cassini and Pauline Trigère. In 1954 she married the English businessman Andrew Hay, but went on to tell how, after 14 years of marriage, she was devastated when he left her for another woman.

Hay said that about this time she found the First Church of Religious Science on 48th Street, that taught her the transformative power of thought. Hay revealed that here she studied the New Thought works of authors like Florence Scovel Shinn, who claimed that positive thinking could change people’s material circumstances, and the Religious Science founder Ernest Holmes, who taught that the body could be healed through positive thinking.

By Hay’s account in the early 1970s she became a Religious Science practitioner. In this role she led people in spoken affirmations, which she believes will cure their illnesses, and became popular as a workshop leader.

She also recalled how she had studied Transcendental Meditation with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at the Maharishi International University in Fairfield, Iowa.

Hay described how in 1977 or 1978 she found she had cervical cancer, and how she came to the conclusion that by holding on to her resentment for her childhood abuse and rape she had contributed to its onset. She reported how she had refused conventional medical treatment, and began a regime of forgiveness, coupled with therapy, nutrition, reflexology and occasional enemas. She claimed in the interview that she rid herself of the cancer by this method, but declared that there is no doctor left alive who can confirm this story, while swearing to its truth.

In 1976, Hay wrote her first book Heal Your Body, which began as a small pamphlet, containing a list of different bodily ailments and their “probable” metaphysical causes. This pamphlet was later enlarged and extended into her book You Can Heal Your Life, published in 1984. As of February 2008, it was second on the New York Times miscellaneous paperback best sellers list.

Around the same time she began leading support groups for people living with H.I.V. or AIDS which she called “Hay Rides”. These grew from a few people in her living room to hundreds of men in a large hall in West Hollywood. Her work with AIDS patients drew fame and she was invited to appear on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and “Donahue” in the same week, in March 1988. Following this, You Can Heal Your Life immediately landed on the New York Times best-seller list. More than 35 million copies are now in print around the world in over 30 languages and it also has been made into a movie. You Can Heal Your Life is also included in the book 50 Self-Help Classics for being significant in its field. Some of these statistics are open to question however.

Louise Hay writes on page 225 of her book (December 2008 printing) that the book has “. . .sold more than thirty five million copies”. Given this it has been announced in 2011 than You Can Heal your Life book had reached 40 million sales

Affirmations from Louise Hay

There are so many great affirmations from Louise Hay to choose from just to name a few:

  • “I love myself, therefore, I behave in a loving way to all people for I know that which I give out returns to me multiplied.”
  • “I only attract loving people in my world for they are a mirror of what I am.”
  • “I am open and receptive to all the good and abundance in the Universe.”
  • “Today is a delightful day. Money comes to me in expected and unexpected ways.”
  • “I lovingly do everything I can to assist my body in maintaining perfect health.”


In 1984, Louise Hay established Hay House Publishing Firm. It took few years before Hay House had its roots grounded. In 1988 Reid Tracy joined the company as an accountant. The business flourished and attracted several writers. Now Hay House is the primary publisher of books and audio books by Deepak Chopra and Doreen Virtue, as well as many books by Wayne Dyer. Hay House also publishes the teachings of Abraham, channeled through Esther Hicks. Along with many others, Hay House Inc. is accounting for over 130 authors.

In addition to running her publishing company, Hay runs a charitable organization called the Hay Foundation, which she founded in 1985.

In 2008, a movie about Louise Hay’s life was released, titled You Can Heal Your Life. In Louise’s own words from the movie’s official website: “This movie is the story of my life, my teachings, and how I’ve applied the principles of my teachings to my own life.” The movie also features Gregg Braden, Wayne Dyer, Gay Hendricks, Esther & Jerry Hicks, and Doreen Virtue; it was directed by Emmy Award winning Director Michael Goorjian. In the same year Louise Hay had been presented with Minerva Award at The Women’s Conference. In September 2011, Louise Hay and Cheryl Richardson released their book “You Can Create an Exceptional Life”.


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