Louise Hay was born on October 8, 1926 in Los Angeles, California. Hay's early life was far from promising, her mother married Louise's violent stepfather and at the age of five she was raped by one of her neighbours.
Hay's dropped out of high school, at the age of fifteen, without any qualifications having become pregnant.
She put her newborn baby girl up for adoption on Hay's sixteenth birthday and moved to Chicago taking on any dead-end job that she could find.
Hay remained in Chicago for the next eight years, then in 1950 moved to New York, where she changed her name and started in the fashion industry as a model. She became very successful at this and in 1954 married Andrew Hay, and English businessman.
Sadly after fourteen years the marriage collapsed when Andrew left her for another woman.
At a low point in her life she came across the First Church of Religious Science where she attended meetings and began training in the Ministerial Program.
Her training introduced her to the subjects of metaphysics and positive thinking and to authors such as Florence Scovel Shinn and the Religious Science founder Ernest Holmes.
It was not long before she became a popular speaker at the church and began counseling many of the congregation, eventually turning this into her full time career.
Over the next couple of years she began compiling a list of all the mental causes for physical illness and the positive thought patterns for curing the illness and returning to good health.
This list was later used in 1976 as the basis for a pamphlet called Heal Your Body. To help promote this pamphlet she travelled from state to state, lecturing and giving talks and workshops on how to love and heal ourselves.
By the late seventies Hay discovered she had cervical cancer, and putt the cause down to her unresolved resentment over her childhood rape. She refused medical treatment and considered the alternatives to surgery and drugs, deciding on a course of affirmations, visualisations, forgiveness, nutritional cleansing and psychotherapy. Within a year she claims she was free of the cancer!
Hay moved back to California in 1980 and began putting her workshops ideas into the shape of a book, which in 1984 was published as You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L. Hay. The book explains how your beliefs about yourself can cause emotional and physical problems and details how to change your thinking and your life for the better.
You Can Heal Your Life remained on the New York bestseller list for the next twenty eight years selling over thirty million copies in thirty countries around the world.
In addition to publishing, Louise Hay also founded a charitable organisation called 'Hay Foundation' in 1985. The Foundation supports many causes such as Aids, battered women and other disadvantaged people in society.
Louise Hay also writes a monthly column, 'Dear Louise', which appears in publications in Canada, Australia, Spain and Argentina.
Some source material researched from Wikipedia with thanks.
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