Louise Hay

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Louise's current path started later in life. "I was in my 50s when I heard someone say, 'If you change your thinking, you can change your life,'" she says. She says she started her study with a book called The Game of Life and How to Play It by Florence Scovel Shinn, first published in the 1920s. "I used to use that as a bible," she says.

While teaching workshops in the 1980s, Louise says she was pleased with how she was helping others. "But if I could put this workshop on paper, I could help many more people," she says. "Little did I know how many more. I took six months and wrote a book. Life took it off."

After 24 years and an astounding 95th printing, Louise's book You Can Heal Your Life has been turned into a movie.

Louise says that whatever you put into the universe—be it good or bad—will come back to you. "It's almost as though the universe is listening to everything you say and everything you think and saying, 'Oh, that's what they want.' But most of the time we're talking very negatively about ourselves," she says. "How can the universe bring you anything good if that's the way you're talking? That's why I like to teach people to love themselves, just to love and adore who you are."

In one of her lessons, Louise instructs students to look in the mirror and address themselves. "Say, 'Louise, I love you. I really, really love you.' When you can do that, your life is really going to flow," she says. "So get this thing: I love life, and life loves me. I love myself, I love this, and I am grateful for everything."