I came late to the Louise Hay fan club. In fact, I clearly remember a conversation I had with someone 10 years ago or so, and when Louise’s name came up I asked, “Who is that?”

For those of you who don’t know, Louise was the founder of Hay House, an international publisher and promoter of self-help and spiritual books and other materials. Louise’s own books and teachings touched the lives of tens of millions of people around the world and her heart and spirit just made you want to smile. Smile, and listen and follow. She was a great lady and she passed away last week at the age of 90.

And while it seems impossible now that I hadn’t heard of Louise just ten short years ago, our paths did quickly cross as I got a bit further along on my own spiritual journey of asking questions and seeking answers. As I read her words and watched her videos I felt as if we were friends on some level – or we could have been. And while she and I did never meet in person I have met and directly worked with many of her protégées, and I don’t think there was a single one of them who didn’t mention her name at least several times during our interactions.

Louise  was a true visionary, a wise soul who taught us the secrets to all the universe are safely kept within each and every one of us. One of her favorite things to talk about was self-care and the practice of speaking aloud the words, “I love you” whenever you’re lucky enough to be standing or sitting in front of a mirror.

And one of the great things about Louise was that not only was she a gifted storyteller, teacher and leader, she also had a wicked sense of humor and an infectious laugh. I’m pretty sure she’s smiling down on all of us now, ready to give guidance and to sprinkle just a bit more humor and love into our lives.