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Dennis Hughes: Tell us about Hay House
Publishing and how you got started and reached out to serve the world.
Louise Hay: It's a miracle! I've always
wanted to help people improve the quality of their lives. Gradually, as
I started to print my own books and then do other authors' books, it
slowly became a publishing company. It's grown quite a bit since the
early days--we have worldwide distribution now. But still everything we
publish is part of helping people improve the quality of their lives.
And that feels like a nice thing to do with my life.
Dennis: How long has Hay House been
Louise: Since 1980. It was
incorporated in 1985.
Dennis: I have the new edition of You
Can Heal Your Life, which is beautiful. It's really striking;
every page is in color.
Louise: It's bringing in a whole new
audience, which is wonderful. People who never picked it up before,
picked it up because now it's beautiful. And they do get an opportunity
to improve the quality of their lives.
Dennis: Wasn't it your first book?
Louise: No. The first book was Heal
Your Body, a little tiny twelve page pamphlet in 1976. You Can
Heal Your Life came out in 1984.
Dennis: And it made a big splash.
Louise: Yes, it did. It's like life
said "We want this to go out". You know, from the moment I put my foot
on the spiritual pathway it's like I've had no control over my life. I
just do what presents itself. And life has decided what it wants me to
Dennis: With service in mind.
Louise: Yes indeed.
Dennis: It seems especially important
now, when we live in a time of such transition.
Louise: We always live in a time of
transition, Dennis! I don't think since time began that we haven't had
Dennis: That's true, we can't really
say our time is more important than another. Louise, in your work do
you teach people? Do you have a school?
Louise: No, not anymore. I used to do
that. I haven't even done workshops since 1990. I do some lecturing.
But you know, I'm over 70 now and I'm not out there dashing around the
world like I did at one point. I have the publishing firm and I do more
behind the scenes work now than I do out front.
Dennis: So your main thrust now is
reaching people through the printed word?
Louise: Well, that's one avenue. l
also love supporting authors. When I find raw talent and I see
possibilities, I like to give them a good boost and see what they can
do with it.
Dennis: I'm wondering what you see
coming down the road in terms of career opportunities.
Louise: I see tremendous growth
coming in holistic health. There's one area that I would love to see
addressed. They have assisted living now and retirement communities and
all of them are geared towards poor health. I get a lot of brochures
from these places because they think I'm going to want to come and live
with them. And all of this stuff is set up for when you get really
sick, we will be there to help you to the grave. And I think it would
be wonderful if somebody would start some holistic retirement
communities where people could really live out the rest of their days
in vibrant health. I think it would be very popular, but someone has to
do the first one. It could be a national chain.
Dennis: I've actually had that in
mind. My grandfather was in the convalescent home business. He had a
number of them in Los Angeles and he won many awards for above average
care. I worked with him before going to college. But it was far from
holistic health care. Yoga, T'ai Chi and meditation should be included
for senior citizens.
Louise: Absolutely. And food! If you
go to any of those places the food is so appalling, it hastens you to
the assisted part of living. If you don't eat right and you don't know
how to take care of your body, you're not going to have the energy to
do anything wonderful. And you know, there's nothing wrong with playing
golf, but my God, are you going to spend the rest of your life playing
golf? That must get incredibly boring! Why not kickboxing?
Dennis: Really? Kickboxing for
Louise: Just because you're a senior
doesn't mean that you can't do all sorts of things.
Dennis: Like aerobic activities?
Louise: Yes, aerobic stuff. Not that
you'd have to, but make it available, and then people are encouraged to
try it. On my 73rd birthday I took up kickboxing. I said to myself, why
not, let's try it. I'm not sure yet that I'm going to stick with it.
Dennis: Besides holistic doctors and
nurses at a holistic retirement community, would else would you like to
Louise: Chiropractic, acupuncture,
homeopathy…all the healing modalities. And a holistic medical doctor on
staff, instead of a medical staff and an occasional holistic
practitioner. We should swing it the other way around.
Dennis: As the baby boom generation
ages, there's a huge number of people approaching retirement age, so I
assume that the older boomers will get this going. Then by the time I
get there it will already be happening.
Louise: You wouldn't lose money on it.
Dennis: Right, because it's a large
population, and all of us who care about natural foods aren't going to
want to give it up and switch to jello!
Louise: No way. I really love my
organic garden. I'm semi-retired; I go in once a week. I have a
full-time secretary, and I call the lady who runs the company every
morning, so I'm really in touch with things.
Dennis: So you keep the pulse of the
company, but it runs without you?
Louise: Yes. I'm interested in the
creative part, not shipping or things like that.
Dennis: Yogananda, my main teacher,
gave me the idea of creating things that last longer than we do. His
books are still published, fifty years after his passing. Hay House
will obviously keep on going into the future. And I'm developing Share
Guide so that it will go on beyond me. It's a combination of
spiritual vision and practical business skills.
Louise: I agree wholeheartedly. And
it's important to be a good steward of our own little personal home
environment--and our land, if we have any. We need to do our recycling.
I'm an avid organic gardener. Not a lettuce leaf or leaf from a tree
leaves my property. Everything goes back into the earth. I grow my own
food, so I know I'm eating well. Everybody wants to know why my plants
are so abundantly lush. It's because I feed the soil. If we feed the
soil of our own soul than we live an abundant and lush life, too.
Dennis: Are you going to do speaking
Louise: Some, but last year we
started Hay House Australia and it's done very well so we're going to
the Australian Book Fair to make our presence known there. And I'll do
a little speaking but not like last year when I went with Deepak Chopra
and Wayne Dyer. In Sydney we had nine thousand people there. That was
Dennis: There's one thing I want to
compliment you on, Louise. I know that earlier in life things didn't
flow for you so well…family life, core issues. And at some point you
decided to grab yourself by the shoulders and say "This is what I want
for myself and I'm going to achieve it."
Louise: You know they say when the
student is ready the teacher appears. That's what happened. From the
moment I set my foot on the spiritual pathway my life has never been
Dennis: Yes, it seems like once you
got going in that direction things have flowed much better. And I think
that's a key in terms of holistic education--to really Follow Your
Heart. I think the spirit flows out of that. Who wants to do something
you don't love for a career, that would be a lousy way to spend your
Louise: Most people still do. Most
people work at jobs they don't like. I've certainly done that in my
Dennis: But it's really important, if
you're going to spend so much time at it, to do something that you like
and something that can be of service. I really respect what you're
doing, as a successful entrepeneur in the holistic health field. You
are a great inspiration. We really can make a difference in the world.
I had a rough upbringing, and it took a lot to turn it around and
become happy with myself, but then I could reach out and serve more.
Louise: I think that all of the best
teachers reallys had rough upbringings. It helps you to understand
For more information on Hay House Publishing
and it's available titles, visit www.hayhouse.com
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