Louise Hay had a huge impact on my life.
I had a few little tears when I found out she died last week, at age 90.
But mostly I thought about what a magnificent woman she was, and what an incredible influence she has had on me, and so many millions of other people.
And by positively influencing me, she has allowed me to be a better parent, partner, family member, friend and therapist.
She was one of the main role models in my life, and she really influenced the type of counsellor I evolved into.
Louise Hay felt like my "Spiritual Mother", a person whose advice I could always count on.
My mum was also a counsellor and she gave me Louise Hay's book "You Can Heal Your Life" when I was in my twenties, during the early days of my career as a Social Worker.
I can remember being fascinated by how accurate the information was about what symptoms and pain or illness in the body represented, and the links to underlying emotional causes.
It made so much sense to me.
This book was more interesting and meaningful to me than anything I had studied in my degree.
Whenever I had a pain in my body or an illness of any type, my Mum used to say to me "What would Louise Hay say?".
I would consult "You Can Heal Your Life", and more often than not, I would be astounded by how the explanation fit what was going on for me in my life at that time.
What am I resisting or not dealing with? What am I afraid of or not letting go of?
I would wonder "how does Louise know that about me?".
I have continued to consult Louise throughout my adult life.
If the answer given in the book doesn't resonate immediately, I sit with it for a while and reflect upon it.
Usually I come to see that the explanation offered is true for me in some way.
When you read something written by Louise, you feel as if you are reading a letter from a friend.
Like she is speaking directly to you.
Like she knows you like your mum does.
You feel like she really cares about you and wants you to feel better.
When I first started reading Louise's books, it was back in the days of books only.
There was no internet.
Just me in my bedroom with that book.
Her voice, speaking to me in my head.
She spoke directly to my unconscious mind, and to my heart.
She helped me understand the important links between the mind, the body and the spirit.
Her message was and still is incredibly powerful.
She was an absolute pioneer of positive psychology.
Now with neuroscience and new technology, we have all of this "evidence" that our emotions affect our health at a cellular level.
And we understand that most disease has an underlying emotional basis.
But Louise knew it and wrote about it before there were any scientists supporting these theories.
She enabled self-help to become part of our popular culture.
And she would have experienced a lot of people treating her like she was strange before she became immensely popular, wrote numerous best selling books, and built a hugely successful publishing company.
I am so grateful to her for teaching me that your body and your unconscious mind are actually your friends.
That they are never working against you, but always working for you.
They do this firstly by sending you messages in the form of your emotions.
Your emotions play a crucial role in ensuring your needs are met.
And if you ignore your emotions, (as many people are taught to do from childhood) the messages are then sent in the form of a physical manifestation, such as pain or illness.
Physical symptoms are our tangible evidence of what is going on in our unconscious mind and body.
But even then, your symptoms are intended as a guide to where you need to look to help yourself. Our bodies are so incredibly intelligent.
Your mind and body are always trying to help you get back to health and well being, and they hold all the clues and solutions.
But it is up to you to follow the trails of the breadcrumbs on your path.
Louise helped me to understand my own path, and to help other's with their paths too.
It's really so empowering to know we have this power to heal ourselves.
Because if you don't believe you have any power to heal yourself, then you wont take responsibility for yourself and do what you need to do.
You will just be relying on doctors and other health professionals.
Which is expensive, and can be disempowering.
But if you do need that, then Louise's work can blend with the traditional medical model beautifully.
Louise inspired me to do writing, as I was so in awe of her capacity to help people through her writing.
I always wanted to help people, and I was blown away by how much she was able to help me through her books, her CDs, her meditations, her affirmation cards.
I have them all!
My bathroom mirror cupboard and bedside table have always had little affirmation cards attached, reminding me not to take things personally, or to value my creativity.
Whatever I was working on at the time.
My mirror still has the words "LIFE LOVES ME" written in lipstick, which comes from Louise's "Mirror Work".
When my mum died, Louise my "spiritual mum" was there for me in a way that no one else could be.
After a couple of years of sadness, emotional eating and binge drinking, I had put on lots of weight.
I felt fat and frumpy. I was unfit and unhappy with myself.
I decided to stop drinking alcohol, and to find my way back to myself, back to health.
I discovered on Spotify Louise had "Meditations for Loving Yourself to Great Health".
And I listened to that through my earphones over and over as I lay in bed at night.
Her voice is so warm and soothing. I always felt safe and comforted by listening to her, and it really encouraged me to continue to make more healthy choices every day.
Her meditation would send me into a beautiful sleep.
"Don't worry if you fall asleep" she says in one of her meditations, "as my message will work it's way into the cracks of your unconscious".
And I believe it did.
I slowly and steadily lost over twelve kilograms, and got myself into the best shape of health and fitness I have ever experienced in my life.
I have kept most of that weight off, and most of those healthy changes are still in place.
Louise lives on in my unconscious, like my mum does.
And her message is firmly embedded in my body.
Self love is all that there is, and that's what good health is all about.