We live in a world where “technologies of magic” are considered acceptable and even common. So many people have subscribed to the idea that changing your thoughts can change your destiny today: those people use affirmations, vision boards, self love and visualizations to solve their problems and make their dreams come true.
In 1987, when Louise Hay decided to self-publish a book about affirmations, You Can Heal Your Life, this was far from being the case. Many considered this a crazy idea, not knowing that the book would become a bestseller as well as one of the founding books of the self help movement.
In her latest interview, as a part of the Hay House World Summit, Louise talks about her personal journey and shares some advice on how the power of self love, expressed through affirmations, can help us solve any existing problem.
Can Self Love Really Solve All Our Problems?
According to Louise Hay, the answer is a resounding yes.
When people come to her for advice, most of the problems with which people approach her fall into five basic categories:
- Love and Relationships
Louise explains that, though in the past she had given people more specific advice relating to each problem, lately she has been finding that all of these issues can be improved simply by using the power of self love. The truth is that we can't make significant improvements to any of these areas in our lives if we don't LOVE OURSELVES.
In a way, there's nothing mystical about this concept. In fact, it's quite reasonable. Let's face it, if we can't have faith in ourselves, how can we expect the rest of the world to have faith in us or to react positively towards us? Even our own body will turn against us and experience problems resulting from stress if we constantly think negative thoughts.
However, loving and respecting ourselves can make a huge difference.
“If we change ourselves with love,” says Louise, “the changes will be positive.”
How Affirmations Work
“The simple part that most people don't understand is that every thought we think and every word we speak is creating our future,” says Louise. “It's as though our thoughts go out into the Universe, and are accepted and brought to us as experience.”
Although this seems like a New Age concept, Louise Hay believes that, in reality, people's thoughts have always defined their future.
“I think this has been around forever, but for some reason in the last 20 years the Universe has wanted it to go out among all the people that are ready for it,” Louise says.
The huge proliferation of self help books in the last two decades shows that there really are millions of people out there willing to learn how to take control of their destiny.
So How Exactly Do We Use Affirmations?
First of all, instead of continuously thinking without a filter, we need to stop once in a while and become aware of what kinds of thoughts we're thinking. We need to ask ourselves whether this is the kind of thought that we would like to define our life.
“Doing Affirmations” means making positive statements about your life. This should be done regularly. Louise recommends the times just before going to bed and just after getting up as the best times for affirmations.
You can write it down or say it while standing in front of a mirror.
“There's something very powerful about looking into your own eyes and accepting yourself, or noticing that you're rejecting yourself when you're saying something very positive about yourself,” she says.
You will see positive change with little things at first, such as getting a good parking space at the mall. Things will only get better from there.
Louise compares it to planting a seed. You may not see immediate results, but you know that under the right conditions the seed will grow and bring rewards.
How to Get Rid of Negative Affirmations
For example, someone might make “prosperity affirmations” three times a day, but their feelings of undeservedness are so strong that they make hundreds of “poverty affirmations” in the very same day.
You can do some simple exercises to find out more about hidden or subconscious thoughts that are holding you back. For example, take a large piece of paper and put “What I think about men,” or “What I think about women,” or “What I think about money” as the title. Let your thoughts flow in a stream of consciousness, and write down everything that comes to mind, whether it's good or bad.
Then you can look at what you've written and organize it into positive and negative thoughts.
Take the negative thoughts and turn them into positive affirmations. This way you can heal everything that was wrong with your beliefs and begin the process of change for the better.
“When you learn how it works, miracles happen,” says Louise, “What you think and what you believe will come true for you.”