holistic health magazine





Interview with Louise Hay
Bestselling author of such books as You Can Heal Your Life, Empowering Women, and 101 Ways to Happiness

Louise Hay is an internationally renowned lecturer, founder of Hay House Publishing and a bestselling author of over a dozen books, including the classic You Can Heal Your Life. She is an inspiration to many in the Holistic Health movement.

with Dennis Hughes, Share Guide Publisher

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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 in existence?
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 do.

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 transitions.

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 seniors?
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 see?
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 engagements?
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 something.

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 the same.

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 life.
Louise: Most people still do. Most people work at jobs they don't like. I've certainly done that in my past.

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 other people.

For more information on Hay House Publishing and it's available titles, visit


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