Tag Archives: Louise Hay

You Can Heal Your Life – Louise L. Hay

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Whatever ails you, from a stubbed toe to a broken heart, gets space in Louise Hay’s classic You Can Heal Your Life. I had an ancient, yellowing copy of a paperback from an earlier printing that disappeared in some move or another. But the beautiful gift version Hay House printed caught my eye at a time when I was collecting ideas and remedies for life off-kilter and I added it to a shelf of Buddhism, nutrition, space clearing and other uplifting tomes. The dark days of December provided the impetus to crack its colorful cover and revisit the Hay brand of comfort and good cheer.

It’s a beautiful book, glossy pages, painted art illustrating sections, edging pages and filling in the background behind affirmations. And it is easy to navigate, from sections on resistance to change to lists of body parts and their ailments that offer Louise Hay’s philosophical interpretation of how the mind and the action create or cure the problem.

Hay’s ideas are not startling—more pragmatic and insightful. Break an index finger? The index finger represents ego and fear; the shift of mind is the reassurance: I am secure. Those heart problems might be a sign of lack of joy, long-standing emotional problems, a hardening of the heart. Allow joy to flow through your life to dissolve the blocks. Something as incidental as poison ivy could signify feeling defenseless and open to attack. Ease the itching by repeating: I am powerful, safe and secure. All is well. Hay doesn’t say to avoid the calamine lotion or necessary medical attention. She offers an empowering point of view to those who see an integration of body and spirit and want to heal both from the inside out.

There are chapters on relationships, work, prosperity, the body and other elements of life that can go off the rails. Throughout, there are positive affirmations you can adapt or repeat to restore the mental and emotional equanimity that speeds healing—whether the problem is lack of self-confidence, deep-seated anger or a mistaken interpretation of reality that embraces the negative. Louise Hay is all about gratitude, self-acceptance, clarity and going easy on yourself. If the world is beating you up, don’t join in the fray, she counsels. Tell yourself you are worth it and then begin to treat yourself like the valuable property you are.

“The thoughts we think and the words we speak create our experiences,” Hay writes. Her book is a prescription for creating positive experiences, a return to glowing health and a deeper understanding of what drives us off balance. The gift edition is a visually appealing get well card for whatever ails you. It might be a nice holiday present for yourself or an open-minded friend in these unhealthy, unfriendly times.  

You Can Heal Your Life  Louise L. Hay | Hay House   1999


Prosperity Pie – Sark

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 Sark burst into my chaotic life with Inspiration Sandwich, her initial effort in 1992 that matched handpainted, childlike art with scraps of stories and words of wisdom from her own experience and that of a few self-help gurus. A Sark book is full of unexpected moments: a clock that stretches time by repeating one hour over and over, exhortations to choose “succulence” over predictable and dry activities, observations about self-acceptance and tricks to stay open to new ideas. Painting the whole thing together are the line drawings and color washes that characterize her work as exuberant and playful.

Prosperity Pie: How to Relax about Money and Everything Else takes a tricky topic and makes it manageable. Sark shares her own money foibles and sprinkles the stories with thought balloons for you to fill in like a lighthearted workbook. She quotes Rumi—Be a lamp or a lifeboat or a ladder–in painted hand-printing and highlights the whole quote with oil pastel (or maybe crayon) streaks of red, yellow, blue, and green. She harks back to Louise Hay, the octogenarian publisher of Hay House who preaches self-approval and an attitude of openness to life. She talks about all the ways we deify money or turn it into an ogre. “If money was on the table, I was under it” reads one cartoon with a picture of a crouched woman under a small table. She gives chatty advice and lists plenty of other books about how to relax and accept abundance, offer our true work in exchange for abundance, shift our consciousness to encourage abundance.

Prosperity Pie cooks up a cheerful repast to counter the gloomy indigestible buffet of scarcity and bitterness of this wrecked economy. We can change our own world, Sark claims, and fix what’s around us at the same time. Can’t argue with that unless you are a determined pessimist. Try a slice of Sark’s pie to liven up a dull meal. It has all the flavor and cockeyed optimism of childhood to cheer you up and cheer you on to that dreamscape of possibility that just might turn out to be real.

Prosperity Pie : How to Relax About Money and Everything Else    Sark | Simon & Schuster  2002