Louise Hay and me

Louise Hay and me

a selection of books by Louise HayI often tell this story in workshops and thought it would be useful here  because it explains why I do what I do…

I first turned to Louise Hay’s book You can heal your life when I found myself in the wrong life.

I’d spent the first 40 years of my life doing everything that was expected of me – decent A levels, university, a safe job, then marriage, mortgage and children.

In so many ways I knew I was fortunate and ought to be happy,  yet deep down I felt I’d taken a wrong turning somewhere, betraying the bigger visions I’d had for my life when I was growing up. I’d always wanted to write books. I wanted to travel. And in some small way I wanted my life to make a difference.

I read that I had created my life

They say that when the student is ready the teacher appears and one day, browsing a bookshop, I spotted a book called You Can Heal Your Life. I wasn’t sure my life needed healing, but as soon as I opened the cover and read ‘most of us have foolish ideas about who we are and many, many rigid rules about how life ought to be lived’ I felt the book’s author, Louise Hay, was talking directly to me.

She seemed to be saying that I was responsible for creating the life I had. That everything I’d chosen to do was based on beliefs I had been taught. And that, as a grown-up I had a choice about whether to go on believing them or not. I could choose different thoughts. 

To me that simple idea was like fireworks going off in my head. For the first time in many years I felt powerful. If my thinking had created my life then I could choose to un-create it, and recreate something new that suited me better.

As I unpicked the parts of my life that weren’t working, and found the courage to choose new beliefs, a different future unfolded: I was offered the chance to write books, I trained to lead Heal Your Life® workshops, I moved to a new home from which I could more comfortably work, and I experienced a new sense of peace, faith and fulfillment.

I also read that no matter what the problem, love is the answer

The other foundation stone of Louise Hay’s simple philosophy is that loving and accepting ourselves is the key to change. Like most people, I’d spent most of my life to that point believing I wasn’t good enough. What I didn’t understand that was that my inner soundtrack of self criticism was never going to change a thing. Deciding to be a good friend to myself, and replace the harsh judgments with loving support and encouragement would get me much further.

It would also help me be a more loving presence in other people’s lives, be a better parent and partner, friend and colleague. So much of what we see in the world around us comes from our fear. I learned from Louise Hay that the answer to those fears that leave us feeling powerless, frustrated, angry and despairing, is love.

These ideas are simple but powerful

It’s because You Can Heal Your Life has had such a profound effect on my own life that, since 2006, I’ve been supporting others to make the changes they want for their lives, heal from past experiences, overcome challenges in their relationships, work, health, and many other areas. It’s a privilege to do it, and to learn from them too.

These days my Heal Your Life® work includes everything from coaching folk one-to-one and running workshops, to assisting with the training of other HYL teachers (next stop, California!), and mentoring those who have already trained. I’ve seen how these simple ideas can change the shape of people’s lives – and, above all, how they feel

Whoever first said ‘we teach what we need to learn’ couldn’t have put it better!