Hay House founder Louise Hay, best-selling author, speaker, and teacher on the topic of positive thought and in the world of self-improvement, died last week at age 90. Now, in a time when chronic busyness and anxiety are nearly de rigueur, and uncertainty looms in each new political headline, the legacy she leaves behind is more important than ever.
As a life coach, trauma therapist, and the director of the healing arts program at a yoga and healing center, I’ve used what I’ve learned from Louise Hay both to transform my life and to help others to transform theirs – to find love, heal pain, make more money, let go of fear, and overall be really, truly happy.
The techniques Hay shared, which revolve around mindset and positive thought, were a means to an end: unconditional love and compassion for oneself and others. In her passing, it is important that those of us who have been touched by her work, especially those of us who work as coaches, healers, or similar, continue to share that message, especially now. We have been passed a mighty torch and must continue to help others discover the power within, the impact of their thoughts and beliefs, and the magnificence of unconditional love. And, for good reason, too: studies have linked positive thinking to numerous benefits such as avoiding premature death, increased pain tolerance, and better immune response.
Continuing to share Hay’s message, indeed, will help us overcome times so politically unique, even the President’s behavior is being considered clinically triggering. A time when studies reveal social stigmas are preventing firefighters from getting the help they need for PTSD and other trauma and mental health related issues; when suicide rates amongst these communities show to be troublingly high. A time when we have clashes between hate groups and protestors resulting in deaths, like in Charlottesville. A time in which the dreams and livelihood of 800,000 young people can be rescinded on a whim.
And, a time, unfortunately, in which positivity and talk of love is so easily dismissed as nonsense, even 30 years after Hay began sharing her message that resonated with so many, a message that catapulted her immense success and best-selling author status. To be fair, Louise Hay’s work, the talk of loving yourself, blessing others with love, and thinking positively may sound a bit “woo-woo.” But, she was both teaching and masterful with the power and effects of positive thought, and the facts and achievements of her life speak for themselves: having published her first book on the topic in 1976, more than two decades before Martin Seligman is widely considered to have fathered positive psychology in 1998.
Her overall message was one of unconditional love & compassion, a message everyone can stand behind, and is shared by the likes of Martin Luther King, JR. and Mother Theresa. At this time, and at this time of her passing, we must continue to share this message, to keep that torch alive, for truly it is the only thing that will help us create the world so many of us seek to live in.
Everything happening around us right now is an opportunity to put Louise’s teachings to good use, to learn more from them and ourselves in the process, and share those lessons with others. Answer the call Louise Hay made with her passing. Take what she’s shared and bring it forward. Change your thoughts, forgive, let go, love yourself, and love each other.