My talk today is about transformation. Transformation through the power of yoga and affirmations and I will be reviewing Heal Your Body by Louise Hay.
I am going to take you back into my life ten years ago. I was heartbroken over a relationship, which ended because of a lot of deception that I couldn’t see. A few months later I meet a woman who was seeing a therapist and I thought it might be a good idea for me to see her therapist specifically to understand what I might not have been seeing in my past relationship. It was psychoanalysis – couch, staring at the ceiling and Sigmund Freud. During the sessions I cried a lot, the therapy felt really cold and I didn’t feel it was helping. My therapist moved away so I decided to go to a gestalt therapist but I didn’t find it that helpful for me either.
There is a moment during the psychoanalytic therapy, which stayed with me. I stated that I didn’t feel like I was good enough I remember she asked me who told me I wasn’t good enough and I said I wasn’t sure but probably society.
Soon after I had another heartbreak. I went to restorative yoga with a broken heart and that day I was the only one who showed up. My wonderful yoga teacher Lana Lontos gave me the most physically, emotionally and spiritually healing restorative class ever. I started going every week to allow myself to feel good through restorative yoga. I noticed my relationship to myself changed and I started to feel more and more tenderness towards myself. From then on I was interested in the mind and body connection.
I had an impulse to buy this book a couple of weeks before I started the Yoga Teacher Training so I love the synchronicity to be reviewing it.
Louise Hay is considered the Queen of Affirmations. Heal Your Body was her first book published in 1976 which she wrote at the age of 50 after a lifetime of pain and then personal transformation. Heal Your Body led to Louise Hay to start Hay House Publishing in 1984, which publishes authors such as Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Abraham Hicks, Gabrielle Bernstein and Robert Holden. Louise Hay went on to write You Can Heal Your Life in 1984 at the age of 58 and the book was adapted for a movie in 2007. I spent years listening to Hay House Radio while I painted. Topics range from Course of Miracles, energy healing, meditation, tarot cards, numerology, astrology, and holistic health. Not your average radio but it got me in touch with my intuition, which is the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.
I wish I remember the exact time when I introduced an affirmation into my Hatha Flow practice but I don’t. I believe I started it couple of years ago. My affirmation practice is simple. I decided that I would tell myself that I love myself every time my hand would go into Anjali Mundra. Like a backwards prayer to honour my practice and myself. This has been transformational because no matter what I do on my mat I love myself. I can do the most unbalanced tree ever but I still love myself. I can pain in my shoulder and I love myself. Someone sent me a difficult text before class and I love myself. Because the mat is a magic carpet ride I take what I learned on the mat into my life outside the mat. Someone breaks up with me and I love myself.
The day I receive the book, I was hosting my Mom and three aunts for the weekend. My Mom went through the book and was making fun of it to her sisters. “I had appendicitis and my appendix burst because of fear, fear of life, blocking the flow of good. LOL” I totally get my Mom’s point of view because reading the book that way make this book feel really strange.
I don’t believe that you have dis-ease because you don’t love yourself. Disease is part of life, dying is part of life. You can’t affirm your way to immortality at a physical level. It makes sense to question this book. At the same time when you set out on a healing journey could mental thought patterns contribute to wellness? Louise Hay lists problems, probable causes and new thought patterns which are on offer as a clue or not.
Louise Hay writes, “This little book doesn’t heal anyone but does awaken within you the ability to contribute to your own healing process. For us to become whole and healthy we must balance body, mind and spirit…No doctor or health practitioner can give us this unless we choose to take part in our healing process.”
“The point of power is in the present moment…It doesn’t matter how long we’ve had negative patterns, an illness, a rotten relationship, lack of finances or self-hatred. We can begin to make a change today.” Louise Hay notes that the mental thought patterns that cause the most dis-ease in the body is criticism, anger, resentment and guilt.”
“Take a little time to listen to the words you say. If you hear something three times, write it down. It has become a pattern for you. At the end of the week look at the list you’ve made and you’ll see how your words fit your experiences.”
Louise Hay is also the author of a book called Mirror Work and I just recently stated a mirror practice a few months ago. I look in the mirror and I tell myself “I love you, I honour you and I accept you”. It is really helpful because sometimes I can find myself with a mild body dysmorphic – like my little broken face capillary are very visible today. This affirmation will instantly to put me back into right mind.
My favourite part of the book is the closing meditation. The start of the closing meditations goes like this: “Deep at the center of my being, there is an infinite well of love. I now allow this love to flow to the surface. It fills my heart, my body, my mind, my consciousness, my very being, and radiates out from me in all directions and returns to me multiplied. The more love I use and give, the more I have to give: the supply is endless…and so it is”
Louise Hay died in 2017 at the age of 90 in her sleep. I will leave you with my favourite Louise Hay quote “In the infinity of life where I am, all is whole perfect and complete.”
OM shanti, shanti, shanti
Sasha Pierce is a Toronto based artist. In September her work will be exhibited by Richard Heller Gallery at Expo Chicago and she will be travelling for an artist residency at Herekeke, Questa, New Mexico. Recent exhibitions include: Richard Heller Gallery, Santa Monica (2019), Embassy of Canada, Tokyo (2018), Western Exhibitions, Chicago (2017) and Mixed Greens, New York (2015). Pierce was the recipient of the Ontario Arts Council Laura Ciruls Painting Award (2015) and was awarded honourable mention in the Eleventh Annual RBC Canadian Painting Competition (2009). Artist residencies include: Vermont Studio Center/Artist Fellowship and Digital Painting Atelier at OCAD University. Selected collections include: The Cleveland Clinic Art Collection, Canada Council Art Bank and Doris McCarthy Gallery, University of Toronto, Scarborough. Sasha Pierce is represented by Richard Heller Gallery, Santa Monica, California.
Sasha Pierce is also a shamanic healer and completed a one-year shamanic healing program with Medicine Circle, Daniel Leonard (2018) and Komyo Reiki Shoden with Qi Belly, Paul Lara (2016). Pierce is a yogini and is very close to finishing her 200hr Yoga Teacher Training at Octopus Garden will begin her 300hr Yoga Teacher Training in 2020 with YuMee Chung and Nicky Poole.