I was asked to write something for the media regarding the passing of my dear mentor Louise Hay. Their headline made me tear up because in all honesty she was an incredible mother figure to me. She helped birth within me a new paradigm of spiritual understanding and decades later officiated and gave me away in marriage to my husband Ty Andrews.  Below is my attempt to encapsulate the boundless nature of an icon. There are countless stories to match the countless works of good she personally shared with me and publicly with the world. I’m positive that as time goes on, those stories of transformation will never cease to be.  ~~

OP-ED column

By Rev. Dr. David Ault, Spiritual Living Center of Atlanta

Photo of Louise Hay with David Ault

A fancy title for her might be Cognitive Reframe Specialist, but to me she was simply Lulu – teacher, surrogate mother, connector, author, publisher – a woman on a relentless mission to help others embrace greater self love.

She leaned in when others leaned away. She ran towards when others retreated.

The mid-1980s weekly gathering, called the Hay Ride, an affectionate title attributed to her, was heralded as the first spiritual support group of its kind formulated to meet the needs of those challenged by AIDS. The meeting got its start with a pleading phone call to Louise from a diagnosed man. Louise invited him and a few of his friends to sit in her living room to explore ways to comfort one another in the emotionally paralyzing beginnings of the epidemic. By the next week the group had tripled in size and, like the disease that prompted it all, the meeting never stopped growing. She became a willing beacon of hope in one of the greatest stigmatized health crisis of modern times.

As a Religious Science minister, Louise was a pioneering model of spiritual activism, taking the principles of healing and forgiveness beyond the walls of convention directly to those who needed it. She used mental science principles to foster her own healing from cancer and defied ageism, beginning her humbling publishing aspirations in her mid 50’s. Today, the empire of Hay House Publishing continues providing inspiration to millions worldwide.

It wasn’t enough for her to uncover and document mental equivalents. She modeled living equivalents on how to be, how to do and how to have the life we were destined to have by using affirmations, prayer and conscious self care with devoted consistency.

Louise faithfully practiced what she preached and could not pass a mirror without winking and remarking to her own reflection, “Hey good lookin’!” Her simple mirror work revolutionized an entire generation in looking at their reflections with veritable care and beginning the steps towards wholehearted self-loving.

While touring alongside her in the 1980’s as part of the New Thought musical trio Alliance, I was gifted a motherly presence who imbued compassion, the right amount of thought reprimanding and a continual stream of sage advice – all which fashioned and shaped me into navigating obstacles with an open mind and making serving others my north star. She often said, “Honor the entirety of your journey. Don’t wish any of it away. Use it for the betterment of the world.”