Recently dubbed "the closest thing to a living saint" by the Australian media, Louise L. Hay is also known as one of the founders of the self-help movement. Her first book, Heal Your Body, was published in 1976, long before it was fashionable to discuss the connection between mind and body. Revised and expanded in 1988, this best-selling book introduced her concepts to people in 30 different countries and 23 different languages. Through her healing techniques and positive philosophy, millions have learned how to create more of what they want in their lives, including more wellness in their bodies, minds and spirits.
Hay's personal philosophy was forged in her tormented upbringing -- an unstable, impoverished childhood and teen years marked by abuse. She ran away from home and ended up in New York City, where she became a model and married a prosperous businessman. Although it appeared that her life had turned around, it was not until the marriage ended 14 years later that her healing really began.
Hay started what would become her life's work in New York City in 1970, when she attended meetings at the Church of Religious Science and began training in the ministerial program. She became a popular speaker at the church and soon found herself counseling clients, which quickly blossomed into a full-time career. After several years, she compiled a reference guide detailing the mental causes of physical ailments and developed positive thought patterns for reversing illness and creating health. This compilation was the basis for Heal Your Body, known affectionately as "the little blue book." She began traveling throughout the United States, lecturing and facilitating workshops on loving ourselves and healing our lives.
Hay put her philosophies to the test when she was diagnosed with cancer. She developed an intensive program of affirmations, visualization, nutritional cleansing and psychotherapy. Within six months, she was completely healed of cancer.
In 1980, Hay moved back to her native southern California. It was here that she began putting her workshop methods on paper, and in 1984, You Can Heal Your Life was published. In it, Hay explains how our beliefs and ideas about ourselves often cause 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 reached the New York Times bestseller list and remained on it for 12 consecutive weeks. Over three million copies of You Can Heal Your Life have been sold in 30 countries throughout the world.
In 1985, Hay began her famous support group, The Hayride, with six men diagnosed with AIDS. By 1988, the group had grown into a weekly gathering of 800 people and had moved to an auditorium in Santa Monica. Once again, Hay had started a movement of love and support, long before people began to wear red ribbons in their lapels. It was during this time that she wrote The AIDS Book: Creating a Positive Approach, based on her experiences with this powerful group.
Hay now heads Hay House, a successful publishing company that began as a small venture in the living room of her home and has turned into a prosperous corporation, selling more than ten million books and tapes. Hay House authors include such self-help movement notables as Wayne Dyer, Barbara De Angelis, Joan Borysenko and Stuart Wilde, among others. Hay also established The Hay Foundation and the Louise L. Hay Charitable Fund, non-profit organizations that support many diverse organizations, including those dealing with AIDS, battered women and other disadvantaged individuals in our society.
Hay's healing message has been the subject of many newspapers and magazine articles. She has appeared on television around the world, and her monthly column, Dear Louise, appears in over 50 publications in the United States, Canada, Australia, Spain and Argentina.
Life! Reflections on Your Journey, was published in 1995, followed by the audiocassette program, Empowering Women. Hay's most recent releases include Heal Your Body A-Z, Power Thoughts for Teens, Meditations to Heal Your Life and Inner Wisdom: Meditations for the Heart and Soul. You Can Heal Your Life: Companion Guide will be published in January 2002 is.
Currently, Hay is devoting time to women's issues and enjoying her garden at her home in San Diego, California.