Louise Hay Built a Healing Empire, After She Healed Herself (1926–2017)

Louise Hay Built a Healing Empire, After She Healed Herself (1926–2017)

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Self-Help pioneer Louise Hay published her first book, Heal Your Body, in 1976 (at age 50) long before it was fashionable to discuss the connection between the mind and body. Today her publishing empire, Hay House, continues the mission of that first best-selling book, by promoting the work of notable healing practitioners as Dr. Wayne Dyer, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Doreen Virtue, and Caroline Myss.

This morning, at age 90, Ms. Hay passed peacefully in her sleep of natural causes.

“Louise was an incredible visionary and advocate. Everyone who had the privilege to meet her, either in person or through her words, felt her passion for serving others,” wrote Reid Tracy, her friend and the CEO of Hay House.

In 1970 in New York City, she began attending meetings at the Church of Religious Science and then entered a ministerial program. She became a popular speaker, and soon found herself counseling clients. This work quickly blossomed into a full-time career.

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She had already compiled a reference guide detailing the mental causes of physical ailments, which became the basis for “the little blue book,” when she was diagnosed with cancer.

She used the positive thought patterns that she believed would reverse illness and create health, and, as an alternative to surgery and drugs, developed an intensive program of affirmations, visualization, nutritional cleansing, and psychotherapy.

Within six months, she was completely healed of cancer.

In 1980, Louise began putting her workshop methods on paper. In 1984, her second book, You Can Heal Your Life, was published. In it, Louise explained how our beliefs and ideas about ourselves are often the cause of our emotional problems and physical maladies and how, by using certain tools, we can change our thinking and our lives for the better. You Can Heal Your Life became a New York Times bestseller and spent 16 weeks on the list. More than 50 million copies of You Can Heal Your Life have been sold throughout the world.

In 1985, Louise began her famous support group, “The Hayride,” with six men diagnosed with AIDS. By 1988, the group had grown to a weekly gathering of 800 people and had moved to an auditorium in West Hollywood. Once again, Louise had started a movement of love and support long before people began to wear red ribbons on their lapels.

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Considered to be a founder of the self-help movement, Louise was affectionately dubbed by those who knew her, “the closest thing to a living saint.”

In 1987, what began as a small venture in the living room of her home turned into Hay House, Inc.: a successful publishing company that has sold millions of books and products worldwide and now has offices in California, New York, London, Sydney, Johannesburg, and New Delhi.

“Meeting Louise changed the direction of my life,” said Mr. Tracy. “Her passion for serving others translated into everything she did. Simply by working alongside her, an analytical accountant like me transformed into someone who became aware of the power of affirmations and self-love. Being able to learn from her has been one of my life’s greatest blessings. The beauty of Louise was that you didn’t have to work alongside her to learn from her, you felt like you were there with her with every word you read or heard.”

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Louise was also very vocal in her belief that age was irrelevant to achieving one’s dreams. To that point, at 81, Louise released her first-ever film on her life and work, You Can Heal Your Life: The Movie.

Hay House will carry on Louise’s legacy and continue to publish products and online learning courses that align with her message of self-improvement and self-love.

Ms. Hay’s estate, as well as all future royalties, will be donated to The Hay Foundation, a nonprofit organization established by Louise that financially supports diverse organizations supplying food, shelter, counseling, hospice care, and funds to those in need. The service in honor of Louise L. Hay will be a private and intimate event. In lieu of flowers, we welcome your donations to the Hay Foundation.

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 –Image by Hay House, Inc

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