Acrylic on birch panel
4 x 6 inches
Barbara Muir © 2014Before I first read You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay, I know
I was already trying to be a positive person. But all artists/writers/people
get the blues, go through hard times, and doubt themselves.
Louise Hay popularized the idea that it is okay to love yourself.
And in fact taught that all decent, kind behaviour to others begins
with accepting and loving yourself.
This was a major shift in thinking. She wasn't proposing narcissism,
but trying to reform our natural tendency to self criticism. That
doesn't mean that signing on to her ideas, and believe me they
were like magic for me, ended all my self scrutiny and worry.
But she gave people tools for transforming a bad day, hard
experience, and crippling lack of confidence into something
brighter, stronger, more resilient.
I will always be grateful. A few years ago I did some small
portraits of some of my heroes to put up in a show I was in
here in Toronto. I didn't intend to sell the work, and did not.
They were for me -- as recognition of a fantastic experience
I'd had meditating about meeting some of my favourite people
while my husband was having an acupuncture session, and I
had to sit with him quietly. Naturally one of those portraits
was of Louise Hay. I would have loved to meet her.
Last week Louise Hay died, and it all came back to me. I wanted
to honour her here because I don't think this blog would have
happened, or that I would be an artist who's been featured in shows
in Europe and New York, without her influence. I think that the
happiness I enjoy with my family and friends, the wonderful people
I've met in my art and teaching career, and even my relatively good
health cycles back to the groundwork for joy in her teachings. And I
just want to say thank you Louise. Since you've been gone,
I keep hearing a quote from you. "In the infinity of life where
I am all is perfect, whole and complete." I love that and I
know that wherever you are that is true.