Saturday, November 17, 2012


For years, I’d heard of Louise Hay and her groundbreaking book, You Can Heal Your Life.   When I
first saw her in a TV interview, she proclaimed how easy, effortless, magical her philosophy is.
According to Hay, your thoughts can be your genie.   Cristina Aguilera’s song comes to mind: “I can make your wish come true/I’m a genie in a bottle. . . .” 

The premise is that we create our lives through our thoughts.

In the book, Hay writes of changing one’s thoughts.  Her philosophy is a kind of New Age positive  thinking.
Divided into four parts, the book details why it’s important to change one’s thoughts, as well as how to do so.  Part I introduces us to Hay’s philosophy—which involves a re-programming of our conscious and subconscious minds.  In Part II, she delineates how we can begin to change our thoughts (and thus our life circumstances).  This section cites and describes mental exercises—such as “Dissolving Resentment,” “Forgiveness,” “I am Willing to Change,” “I Love Myself . . . .”

One  important tool, she writes, is the mirror:  “I ask people to look in their eyes and say something positive about themselves every time they pass a mirror.  The most powerful way to do affirmations is to look in a mirror and say them outloud. . . .  Now, look in a mirror and say to yourself, ‘I am willing to change.’”

The gift edition of the book is stunningly beautiful: each page is replete with vibrant watercolors of flowers and seahorses and shells and stars and birds in magenta, royal blue, fuschia, lime green, and sunflower yellow. 

Amid this backdrop, Hay shares her revolutionary ideas: for instance, in Chapter 10, the way to change someone else is to change yourself.  If you keep attracting jerks into your life, look within and analyze why.  “Relationships are mirrors of ourselves.  What we attract always mirrors either qualities we have or beliefs we have about relationships.  This is true whether it is a boss, a co-worker, an employee, a friend, a lover, a spouse, or child. . . .   You could not attract them or have them in your life if the way they are didn’t somehow complement your own life.”

Hay says recovery begins with self-love.  The mirror exercise is a step toward self-love.  If you utter the words, “I love myself” several times a day--while holding a mirror—your mind will begin to believe this thought and behave accordingly.

Once you believe you’re worthy and lovable, you will begin to make better choices.  You will attract someone who regards you as worthy and lovable.  Heartache avoided.

After reading the relationships chapter, I realized how life-changing this philosophy is.  More often than not we want the other person to change.  Then--when we focus on the other person’s faults—situations escalate.   “Why does he always do that?”  “I can’t believe she said that!” “He’s always late!” “Why does he try to hurt me?”  And it may end in domestic violence.  Instead, says Hay, develop a little compassion and try to envision the other person’s “inner child” and speak to that child.  Resentment melts and the relationship is transformed.  Affirmations, prayer, and meditation help to further the process along. 

In Hay’s own life, for example, she decided to move to California.  Her landlord—a problem for other tenants—was a godsend to Hay.  He released her from the lease and bought her furniture.  All the while, she had affirmed that her relationship with the landlord was cordial and good.

Chapter 14 explicates how the body manifests our negative thoughts, expressing the psychological, physical, and mental stresses in our life as disease.  “The stomach,” she writes, “digests all the new ideas and experiences we have.  What or who can’t you stomach?  What gets you in your gut?”  I f you can answer those questions, that heartburn may begin to disappear.

The most astonishing chapter, for me, is the last chapter, in which Louise Hay writes of her life and childhood. 

She overcame many issues: a former teen runaway, Hay experienced domestic violence as a teenager and as an adult.  At a certain time in her life, she attracted abusive men.  But once she changed her thoughts, her life changed.  We must learn to reject what’s not good for us.  Now she fears nothing  (“All is well”), and recently—in her mid-seventies--she took lessons in “ballroom dancing.” 

You Can Heal Your Life  is remarkably inspirational, a phenomenal book that will evoke an intuitive wish for only good in your life.

--Yolanda A.  Reid


Copyright  ©  2012 by Y.A.  Reid

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