by S. Alison Chabonais
A renowned leader of the self-help movement from its early days, Louise Hay is celebrated worldwide for teaching—by personal example and through her bestselling book, You Can Heal Your Life—how each of us can transform our mind, body and spirit by changing the way we think. Her positive philosophy has sparked an industry and her Hay House publishing group.
Nourishing mind and body, loving life, learning and growing, giving back and moving ahead—these comprise Hay’s program for creating health, happiness and longevity. At age 88, she continues to travel for business and pleasure, embracing vital, joy-filled days with a thankful smile. Her new book, Loving Yourself to Great Health, co-authored with Ahlea Khadro and Heather Dane, explains how she’s taking all she knows to the next level.
Why does first applying love and forgiveness to yourself make a happy, healthy and long life possible?
Loving yourself is the foundation for living the life you want. A healthy and happy life is rooted in self-love, and forgiveness is an act of self-love. It all comes down to how you think and treat yourself. What we give out we get back, so it all starts with us. Remember, no matter what the problem is, there is only one answer: loving yourself. Start with small steps and be gentle. If you start there, magical things will happen.
How do you manage to engage in a stream of loving affirmations 24/7?
Practice, practice, practice! Slowly, bit-by-bit, start each day with a loving act towards yourself. Loving affirmations and worrying about things take up the same amount of time; you still get the same things done along the way, but worrying creates stress, while affirmations will brighten your life. It can be exhausting if you fight the shift and make it difficult. If you make kindness to yourself and others a simple part of everyday life, it isn’t exhausting at all.
What are some key elements to crafting a life experience that supports and nourishes ageless being?
Choose thoughts that bring love into your life and laugh a lot. Say yes to life and the magic it brings. I trust that life will bring me exactly what I need, and part of that is realizing that I don’t need to know everything, because life brings me people like Ahlea and Heather.
A third of our life is spent eating, and it’s essential that we know the best way to do this. Start your day with water and an act of self-love. Eat real food; seasonal, organic, natural foods are a positive affirmation to your body. Poop every day, figuratively and literally. Learn to listen to your body and its wisdom. Choose exercise that you love and that makes you feel good.
Also, go on a media diet. Filter out from your consciousness any messages that say you are not good enough or that separate you from the beautiful and lovable person you are. Surround yourself with like-minded people that share good news and love to laugh.
The core belief founding your lifework is that every thought we have is creating our future. Is scientific research now supporting that?
When I began teaching people about affirmations there wasn’t any science to support it, but we knew it worked, and now studies verify that. I particularly love Bruce Lipton’s scientific research showing that we are not controlled by our genes, because the genetic blueprint can be altered through positive changes in our beliefs.
I hear reports every day of how people are healing their lives by changing their thoughts by cultivating self-love and personal affirmations. They are seeing healing of autoimmune diseases, obesity, addictions, post-traumatic stress and many other so-called incurable illnesses. It’s amazing what happens when you are kind and loving to yourself.
What is your secret to aging gracefully through the years?
It’s simple. It’s about getting your thoughts and food right and having fun along the way. If you are thinking positive thoughts, but feeding yourself processed, unnatural or sugary foods, you are sending yourself mixed messages. Feed yourself nourishing foods and think loving thoughts. Anytime you don’t know what else to do, focus on love. Loving yourself makes you feel good, and good health comes from feeling good.
S. Alison Chabonais is the national content editor for Natural Awakenings magazines.