An Interview with Louise Hay and Cheryl Richardson
and An Overview of the new book You Can Create An Exceptional Life
with Hay House Moderator Richelle Zizian
Louise Hay, perhaps best known for her first book, Heal Your Body, was published in 1976; long before it was fashionable to discuss the connection between mind and body. Revised and expanded in 1988, this best-selling book introduced Louise’s concepts to people in 33 different countries and has been translated into 25 languages throughout the world.
Through Louise’s healing techniques and positive philosophy, millions have learned how to create more of what they want in their lives, including more wellness in their bodies, minds, and spirits. Louise is a metaphysical lecturer and teacher with more than 50 million books sold worldwide. For more than 30 years, she has helped people throughout the world discover and implement the full potential of their own creative powers for personal growth and self-healing.
She has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and many other TV and radio programs both in the U.S. and abroad. Louise now heads Hay House, a successful publishing company and she has teamed up with fellow Hay House author Cheryl Richardson to write You Can Create An Exceptional Life.
In addition to You Can Create An Exceptional Life with Louise Hay, Cheryl Richardson is the author of The New York Times bestselling books, Take Time for Your Life, Life Makeovers, Stand Up for Your Life, The Unmistakable Touch of Grace and The Art of Extreme Self Care. She was the first president of the International Coach Federation and holds one of their first Master Certified Coach credentials. Her work has been covered widely in the media and she was the team leader for the Lifestyle Makeover Series on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Q for Louise: Louise one of the things you really stress in the book is that the beginning of each day sets the tone for our lives that day. I’d love for you to go a little deeper into some of the things that we can do to really set a positive, ongoing tone for our lives.
LH: I think that the way we begin our day is really the way live our day and the way we live our lives; and that not enough of us are really aware of it. So the first question I ask people is: What is the first thing you say when you wake up in the morning? I have learned over the years that the nicest thing I can do is to just say to myself, “Good Morning Darling, I love you; we’re going to have a really great day today.” Then I turn and thank my bed for a wonderful night’s sleep. This sets a tone of joy and starts me looking forward to the day.
You know if people wake up and go, “Oh, where’s the coffee,” or “Oh, another day,” that does not set a good tone for the day. I think this plays a very important part in how many great days I have!
Q for Cheryl: In reading the book, I understood the passion that you both have for really helping people improve the quality of their lives. What do you most want the reader to get from this book?
CR: I want people to feel inspired and moved to incorporate the changes that we suggest. We have mapped out a plan for building new habits of positive thought into daily life and we want people to actually engage in the process. In addition, I’d love for everyone who reads the book to experience the same kind of intimate and emotionally inspiring side of Louise that I got to experience during our time together.
Q for Cheryl: There was a point in the book, where you asked Louise a question about dealing with difficult people. Can you speak to that for Truly Alive readers?
CR: I asked Louise, ‘How do you do deal with the things that happen in daily life that can be annoying or challenging? (For example, a difficult, mean-spirited email from someone or a critical comment from a friend?) Louise was quiet for a moment and then she looked at me with this sly little smile and she said, ‘Well that’s easy, I’m no longer curious about things that will upset me.’ Now when she said that, what I really got from that statement was that we have to learn to turn away from those situations, especially those situations in life that affect our emotional state and cause us to start thinking negative thoughts.
So if you find yourself at work where there is a lot of gossip or drama, the first question to ask yourself is: what am I doing to contribute to this situation and then what do I need to do to turn away from it?
Q for both: For people living in chronic pain, living with severe health challenges or those who are facing a life threatening diagnosis, what’s your advice on how to live an exceptional life if you’re dealing with on-going issues like these?
LH: No matter whether your life is pleasant or good; whether you are having big challenges or no challenges, your state of your mind has everything to do with how you will relate to your experiences. You can make them pleasant or you can make them unpleasant regardless of what’s going on. I think that the more unhappy you are, the more miserable you are, the more you’re going to suffer.
I think you can learn to have much more pleasant thoughts moving through your mind that will help ease any situation, and it takes making a conscious choice to do so. I know Cheryl has a lot to say about this.
CR: I have tremendous empathy for people who are faced with any kind of a chronic problem. Sometimes when we’re in this situation, it’s as though our mind has us believe that if we ruminate about the pain we’ll find a way out. But, if you focus on what makes you feel miserable, it will only intensify the physical pain. If you were feeling nauseous and I asked you to focus on the nausea, really focus on how horrible it feels to be sick to your stomach, I can pretty much guarantee you’d get even more nauseous. And if we stayed with it, you’d probably throw up.
We know that on the other hand, if you were feeling nauseous and I invited you to start thinking peaceful, calming thoughts, to love your stomach, to sit back and breathe and imagine life as beautiful, you’d actually start to feel better. We know that our thinking absolutely affects the physical body.
To go further, we now know from brain science that neuro-pathways are created based on what we say to ourselves and what we do over and over and over again. So if you think about chronic pain,it’s an invitation to feel the pain and chronically not feel good in the body.
We need to create new, better-serving neuro-pathways. The use of affirmations can be very powerful in changing our perspectives and the affirmations in the back of the book are designed to do just that. One in particular is, “I forgive myself for allowing my ____ (whatever it is- anger, resentment, frustration, etc.) to harm my body.” This is a powerful statement for someone dealing with a physical issue. If I were somebody dealing with chronic pain, I would see it as a challenge to manage my mind; even knowing that the effect of my thoughts is not only affecting my experience, but it is absolutely affecting the state of my health. And it’s worth the undertaking. I would be writing affirmations everyday. I would be printing them out and hanging them up around me so that I see them everywhere. I would buy some dry eraser markers and would write them on windows and mirrors around me (which Louise and I actually do!).
By using affirmations and by surrounding ourselves with people who are positive and will support us in holding thoughts about what we want to experience (and not what we don’t) we’ll naturally start to shift our experience. So chronic pain or other challenges are invitations; gifts that challenge us to learn how to manage the mind. When you do that, all areas of your life are transformed, not just your body.
Q for Louise: The book has some great examples about magnetizing things to you. Can you elaborate on this?
LH: We are all “magnetizing” things to us all of the time, whether we know it or not. Every thought we think and every word we speak is an affirmation of what we believe about life and it’s the same with magnetism.
Magnetizing things to ourselves is a natural process, but what are we magnetizing towards ourselves, is what we’re giving out. So if we give out thoughts of grouchiness and complaining, etc., we’ll find more to complain about. If we send out love and affirm ‘life loves me’, (that’s something by the way that I say to myself over and over during the day) then we are drawing experiences to ourselves that prove it’s true.
Q for either: How did the book (and its conversational style) come about?
CR: The idea for Louise and I to write a book together came from Reid Tracy, CEO of Hay House. We were teaching a Speak, Write and Promote, How to Become a Mover and Shaker Workshop for aspiring authors when he said to me, “I’m wondering what you think about the idea of writing a book with Louise Hay.” I was honored, Louise said yes, and off we went. There was no outline or plan. From the first meeting, the conversational style just flowed and we decided to allow Life to dictate the message of the book. (We hope Truly Alive readers thoroughly enjoy it!)
Q for Cheryl: Can you speak to the wisdom of not knowing and yet taking a step?
CR: Taking a step without knowing the end result is the only way we develop faith and not only this, it’s a practice that connects us with a power greater than ourselves. It’s a practice that really helps us to know beyond a shadow of a doubt in the very depths of our being that Life loves us and that Life only has our best interest at heart. When we think good thoughts and choose the actions that make us feel good, Life provides us with all the evidence we need that we are loved and cared for.
For more information about Louise, Hay, please visit: www.LouiseHay.com® and www.HealYourLife.com®, or Louise’s Facebook page: www.Facebook.com/LouiseLHay. For more information about Cheryl Richardson, please visit: www.CherylRichardson.com. Also check out Cheryl’s radio talk show — Coach on Call — on the Internet at www.HayHouseRadio.com. The show airs live on Mondays at 5pm ET (2pm PT) and is replayed throughout the week. You can also find her Facebook Fan Page: www.facebook.com/cherylrichardson and follow her on Twitter under her username “coachoncall.” Visit website: www.CherylRichardson.com.