A founder of the self-help movement, noted author and visionary Louise Hay transitioned on August 30, 2017, of natural causes at age 90. She passed peacefully in her sleep.
She published her first book, Heal Your Body, in 1976, long before it was fashionable to discuss the connection between the mind and body.
Hay started what would become her life’s work in New York City in 1970. She began attending meetings at the Church of Religious Science and then entered a ministerial program. She became a popular speaker at the church, and soon found herself counseling clients. This work 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, also known affectionately as “the little blue book.”
Hay was able to put her philosophies into practice when she was diagnosed with cancer. She considered the alternatives to surgery and drugs, and instead developed an intensive program of affirmations, visualization, nutritional cleansing and psychotherapy. Within six months, she was completely healed of cancer.
In 1980, she began putting her workshop methods on paper. In 1984, her second book, You Can Heal Your Life, was published. In it, Hay 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 was on the New York Times bestselling list for 16 weeks. More than 50 million copies of the book have been sold throughout the world.
In 1985, she 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. Hay had started a movement of love and support long before people began to wear red ribbons on their lapels.
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 Reid Tracy, president and CEO of Hay House Inc. “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.”
Hay House has published works by many notable authors in the self-help movement, including Dr. Wayne Dyer, Doreen Virtue, Dr. Christiane Northrup, and Esther and Jerry Hicks, among others.
Hay was very vocal in her belief that age was irrelevant to achieving one’s dreams. To that point, at 81, she 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.
Louise 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 was a private and intimate event. Donations to the Hay Foundation, www.hayfoundation.org, are being received in lieu of flowers.