She emerged as a spiritual leader when in the 1980s she began leading support groups for people living with H.I.V. or AIDS. During this period people with AIDS had been abandoned & even condemned by traditional religion, the medical world offered no hope for them, the general population was in fear & ignorance. “David Kessler, who wrote “On Grief and Grieving” with Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, recalls “There were few welcome mats anywhere. And to say she had a welcome mat would be an understatement.” Her “Hay Rides” grew from a few people comforting each other in her living room to hundreds of men in a large hall in West Hollywood. She grew famous for her work with AIDS patients and was invited to appear on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and “Donahue” in the same week, in March 1988. “You Can Heal Your Life” immediately landed on the New York Times best-seller list. More than 35 million copies are now in print around the world. (1)
Her early life was one of poverty & violence. Her stepfather was violent & abusive. When she was around 5, she was raped by a neighbor. At 15 she became pregnant, dropped out of high school & gave her baby up for adoption. ‘Louise ran away from home and ended up in New York City, where she became a model and married a prosperous businessman. Although it appeared that her life had turned around, it was not until the marriage ended 14 years later when her husband left her for another woman that her healing really began.’ (2) She attended the Church of Religious Science where she learned about the power of transformative thought. She became a practitioner, began counseling people & speaking which led to her writing.
‘Today at 81, she lives modestly, considering her wealth. Her daily existence now is a model of earth-conscious serenity: she paints and cooks and gardens, and she commutes between her downtown condo and her weekend home in a gas-stingy Smart car. She has had boyfriends since her divorce, but there’s nobody special now, and that suits her fine. There are things she lacks — she has no immediate family, and she never had another child. But she doesn’t dwell on what’s missing and glides through her days on a cushion of positive affirmations. The cancer is gone; the ugly times are banished. Souls are reincarnated, so death is not to be feared. Once she was in pain; now she is not. She is a role model, proof that the aches do not have to last.’ (1) The Hay Foundation and the Louise L. Hay Charitable Fund are two non-profit organizations established by Louise that support many diverse organizations, including those dealing with AIDS, battered women, and other challenged individuals in our society. (2)
Louise Hay - Hay House - Publishing - Books - Authors - You Can Heal Your Life - New Age - New York. www.nytimes.com
How the publisher Louise Hay unified psychics, mindhealers, angel therapists and positive thinkers of all varieties into a self-help spirituality empire.