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Alternatives For Healing

An Interview with Louise Hay

by Edie Weinstein-Moser

The idea that mind and body are not separate has long been understood by people interested in transformation. A pioneer in the field of that somatic connection is the proudly octogenarian Louise Hay. Hard to imagine that the glowingly vibrant woman is now in the 8th decade of her life, as she joyfully exclaimed during a 20th anniversary celebration of her successful publishing company, Hay House. She told the audience in her newly released DVD, entitled: You Can Heal Your Life, that this is the best decade of her life so far. It seems that she believes it will keep getting better and better. The movie takes her landmark book by that title which came out 23 years ago and enhances it; offering clear cut examples of the ways in which our thoughts and feelings shape our perception of reality and the subsequent physiological response to them. She is surrounded by a galaxy of luminaries in the field of transformation: Wayne Dyer, Christiane Northrop, Esther and Jerry Hicks, Cheryl Richardson, Gregg Braden, Candace Pert, Mona Lisa Schultz and Doreen Virtue who contributed to the DVD.

The readers of Wisdom are in for a treat, as a group interview consisting of journalists from all around the country, was conducted recently. Our compiled questions and Louise’s spontaneous and illuminating answers follow. It was clearly a Louise love-fest.

Her deep throaty voice welcomed us on the conference call, laughingly reminding us that she likes to be on time.

Edie Weinstein-Moser: I watched the DVD last night and was blown away by how powerful it it is. Thank you for making it. I work as a psychiatric social worker and wonder how you would apply the principles in your movie with people whose beliefs are so firmly entrenched that they are their disease, diagnosis and history and that they are reluctant to shake loose from that?

Louise: You can’t. At least, I can’t. I’m not a sales person, I’m a teacher and I really want people who are open to the ideas. Until the person is open, you can’t make any changes in their lives. It’s challenging. I don’t know how you can do that. The one thing I would say would be very helpful is if you run an affirmation tape in a continuous loop so they have it as background sound, that can often make some shifts and changes. They can do it when they are sleeping, or even during the day. The subconscious mind hears it and the subconscious mind is alert and aware of what they are talking about, even if their conscious mind may not be.

Shivaraj: We’re curious as to who your mentors were when you first got started on your path and who are your current mentors that you turn to for inspiration?

Louise: There are so many, but one of the big ones I turned to in the early days of my life was an author named Florence Scovell Shinn who was very powerful in the 1920’s. She was very much like me. She was very declarative and knew what she was talking about. She had perfect faith in it. I studied her work quite a bit. She wrote a book called "The Game of Life and How To Play It". It made a lot of sense to me and it is still in print. Hay House has a version of it. Today, there are just so many. I just took a weekend workshop with Tom Stone who does energy work. It’s all the same thing, but we have different names for it. It’s a way of releasing patterns. Our old childhood stuff that’s stuck back there. I love Dr. Christiane Northrop. She’s fantastic, particularly for women. Wayne Dyer is a fabulous teacher. (Both are featured in the DVD). There are just so many people out there. I am continuously studying. One of the things I have decided is that the last week on the planet, I am going to be taking a new class. I’ll be there.

Carol Bedrosian: It was an awesome DVD. I wish the entire world could see it and be inspired. Both you and Gregg Braden talked about how you overcame the very things you talk about, healing your life through your thoughts. What do you find is the medical establishment’s response to this? Do you find that they are gravitating to this idea?

Louise: Gradually. There are a lot of people who have my little blue book "Heal Your Body" in their desk drawer for many years and would pull them out and check in it, but didn’t want their colleagues to know. Now it’s more and more. Still there is a large part of the medical establishment that thinks we’re crazy. That’s just the way it is.

Carol Bedrosian: Are there any hospitals or medical professionals you work with particularly? There is Dr. (Mehmet) Oz, for example. Does he gravitate toward it?

Louise: I don’t know him personally, but I don’t work with the medical establishment. I work with people who are very open to this and just want to know more, rather than trying to break through the barriers. As I said before, I am not a sales person. I am a teacher and there is a big difference.

Carol Bedrosian: So you don’t know of any hospitals or medical people who embrace it?

Louise: I know Dr. Christiane Northrop, yes definitely. She could probably give you the names of many people who are involved.

Melissa Leath: You were so gracious in your movie by giving us some very intimate, personal experience. This is the thing our readers can really relate to. I would like to go back to the early days when you were grappling with or maybe experimenting with the ideas that maybe affirmations could make a change in your life. Could you give some examples of how you might have fallen off your path and what you did to get back on it?

Louise: I did what most people do. I was very judgmental and very frightened. That was my normal pattern. I started to learn about affirmations and realized that if I wanted to change my life, I had to make changes, not only in what I said, but in my thinking. I would start out every day with great intentions and somewhere along the line, I would find out that I was either being judgmental or resentful or frightened. If I caught myself, I would pull myself back. Sometimes I wouldn’t even notice it and I’d start the next day with great intentions. I think all of us on the path will do that. We do the best we can, but the old patterns are strong. If you want to do an exercise plan...we are exercising mental muscles. How many repetitions are we going to do in a day? Are we going to do one push up and then forget about it? The more we practice, the easier it becomes and the more our life changes.

Rose Jenkins: If only we can find a way to help people who are clinging so tightly, to open up.

Louise: That is happening every day, we just don’t see all of it.

Rose Jenkins: More people are opening to these possibilities and you are out there with your light wand.

Louise: I have to say that I had so much fun making this movie. I’m well aware that most women in the movie industry, at 35 are considered too old to be in films. They can’t get parts. Here I am at 81 and I’m making my first movie and having a ball doing it. We must be aware that we are never too old. I was a late bloomer. I didn’t start at this until I was 50 and here I am at 81, going very strong.

Bo Wise: Like everyone else I want to thank you for this movie. I think it is going to make a huge difference. My question has to do with people who are making their transition. My full time job is working with senior health care. I’m pretty sure that I will be getting a job offer from a wonderful hospice. How much have you worked with people in transition?

Louise: I don’t do it now, but in the 80’s, I did six and half years in the trenches, with AIDS in the early days. I did innumerable funerals and hospital visits and helping people leave the planet in the most comfortable way possible. I’m not part of that right now. I’ve been thinking recently that one of the things I really must do before I leave the planet is help people, teach people, how to die joyously, instead of in all this fear and pain. It’s not necessary. Exactly how I will do it, I’m not sure, but it is in the offing.

Michael Husbands: What’s the most essential part of your own daily practice?

Louise: My daily practices change from time to time. I don’t necessarily do the things I did ten or fifteen years ago. I am much more conscious of affirmations. I try to think in positive affirmations. It’s one thing to say positive affirmations, it’s another thing to think positively. When I have nothing else to do mentally, I will do little things like "I really love myself and all is well in my world." I’ll repeat that a few times, because that covers a lot. It smooths out the edges. I have another one I use a lot. If a problem comes up, I say, "All is well. Everything is working out for my highest good and out of this experience, only good will come and I am safe." I will babble that several times, so I get my own nerves out of the way and allow the Universe to find the solution to the problem.

Cheryl Arcodia: If there were one thing you could tell people to try to do that would help them on their journey, what would it be?

Louise: Look in the mirror and say: "I love you. I really, really love you." It is the most powerful statement we can make. We look in our own eyes and connect with that inner child. What that inner child wants is to be loved and to feel safe. When you do that, miracles happen in your life. All the pieces fall into place. Do at least 2-3 times a day.

Michael Husbands: People have addictive thoughts and even when we know about The Law of Attraction, we still keep thinking the same thoughts over and over. When we are in that kind of rut or if you are ever in that kind of rut, what do you do to get out of it?

Louise: The image that just came into my mind, is taking a glass of water and pouring it over one’s head. It would shock you into thinking you are doing the wrong thing. No, I haven’t done it to myself. Especially for those of us who know what’s good for us or best for our body, but don’t always do it, you just get back on track as quickly as you can. There’s nothing magical. It’s all simple and straightforward.

Michael Husbands: I’m going to try the water.

Rose Jenkins: It would be wonderful if we could invite all the world leaders into this ‘waterfall’ and cleanse them of all these patterns. Sometimes in my own practices, I do occasionally place them in a waterfall and cleanse them of their old patterns, but then the world intrudes. We do have to create a space around us. Storming the battlements is part of my character, but I do need to be more centered when I do that. This practice with the waterfall is certainly good and I will do that in my own life.

Louise: Great, I love a convert.

Melissa Leath: It was alluded to about the simplicity of this technique. I’ve found that I, like everyone else in this society, wants to complicate everything and not validate it unless it had a thousand points to follow. How do you address that and what kind of thoughts do you have about simplistic techniques?

Louise: The simplistic techniques always work the best, because that’s where life is. Life is supposed to be easy. Life is supposed to be smooth. We make these soap operas and dramas around us. They’re not necessary. Simple affirmations and understanding on a deep level that you are really a wonderful person and yet you may have learned some nonsense along the way. That doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person. It just means you have a few things to unlearn. We need to learn that we are wonderful, Divine, magnificent beings, doing the best we can.

Melissa Leath: As a spiritual counselor, I will tend to do the most simplistic words for them and kind of smack ‘em back to reality, but the ‘yes but’s’.....

Louise: You just have to point out what they are saying. You ask them "So, what do you want?" They give you a long list of what they don’t want. They don’t realize that they need to allow themselves to express what they want in life. It really is that simple. The Universe has to hear what you want. "I don’t want this job and I don’t want this relationship." We have to simply declare what we want and then say "I deserve it. I’m worthy of having it. I’m worthy of being loved." Many of us learned in childhood that we didn’t deserve anything good. We have to unlearn that.

Krysta Gibson: You give so much of yourself and have for so many years. How do you give back to yourself? How do you address the idea that if you don’t believe you are worthy, the affirmation won’t work?

Louise: Oh, somebody will always try to rain on your parade. I often say, "That may be true for you, but it’s not truth." They can think what they want. They have nothing to do with my truth. Don’t listen to them. One of the things I love doing is gardening. I grow a lot of vegetables, because I like to feed myself really good, healthy food. I have lovely friends. We break bread and I fulfill myself that way. I’m always studying and learning more. The more I learn, the more I can share. It’s a lovely cycle.

Edie Weinstein-Moser: I honor so deeply what you shared about the 80’s being the best decade of your life so far. How do you sustain that amidst people who say that when you get older, you shrivel up, you get ill?

Louise: I don’t relate to those people at all. Most of my friends are much younger than I am. That’s where the aliveness is.

Edie Weinstein-Moser: That sounds similar to the From Aging To Saging work that Rabbi Zalman Schacter does and that Ram Dass does. You are a phenomenal role model for people of all ages.

Louise: I have good energy for all the things I need to do. I’m walking the talk.

To order the DVD visit www.hayhouse.com


Edie Weinstein-Moser is a free-lance journalist, speaker, interfaith minister, massage and energy worker. Her website is www.liveinjoy.com




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