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Authors: Gay Hendricks,Kathlyn Hendricks

Tags: #Family & Relationships, #Marriage & Long Term Relationships, #Self-Help, #Codependency, #Love & Romance, #Marriage

The Conscious Heart

BOOK: The Conscious Heart
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We have only one choice to make, now and always: to open ourselves to embrace truth and its constant companion, love; or to withdraw from truth and love, defining ourselves through contraction and resistance. This choice is placed before us relentlessly, with exquisite precision, in our close relationships
.…

There is no better place to practice all this than right where we are, every moment of every day: in a relationship with our own hearts and souls, and with the hearts and souls of people around us. This is why close relationship opens the conscious heart
.

—From the Introduction
“Gay and Kathlyn’s most vulnerable and powerful book yet. If you want a real loving relationship, study this book. It’s all here, and it works.”
—Kenny and Julia Loggins, co-authors of
The Unimaginable Life
“I consider Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks to be my teachers.”
—John Bradshaw
“Kathlyn and Gay Hendricks are masters in the art of intimate relationships.”
—John Gray, author of
Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
Other books by the authors
CONSCIOUS LOVING
By Gay Hendricks, Ph.D., and Kathlyn Hendricks, Ph.D.
AT THE SPEED OF LIFE
By Gay Hendricks, Ph.D., and Kathlyn Hendricks, Ph.D.
CONSCIOUS BREATHING
By Gay Hendricks, Ph.D.
THE CORPORATE MYSTIC
By Gay Hendricks, Ph.D., and Kate Ludeman, Ph.D.

THE CONSCIOUS HEART

A Bantam Book

PUBLISHING HISTORY

Bantam hardcover edition / September 1997
Bantam trade paperback edition / February 1999

Grateful acknowledgment is made for permission to reprint the following:
Excerpt from the
Tao Te Ching
by Lao Tzu. Translation copyright © 1990 by Victor H. Mair.
Reprinted by permission of Bantam Books, a division of Random House, Inc.

All rights reserved.
Copyright © 1997 by Kathlyn Hendricks and Gay Hendricks.

Author photo by Clint Weisman.

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 96-52282
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
For information address: Bantam Books.

eISBN: 978-0-307-57308-7

Bantam Books are published by Bantam Books, a division of Random House, Inc. Its trademark, consisting of the words “Bantam Books” and the portrayal of a rooster, is Registered in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and in other countries. Marca Registrada. Bantam Books, New York, New York.

v3.1

Contents

Cover
Other Books by This Author
Title Page
Copyright
Acknowledgments and Gratitude
A Personal Welcome

PART ONE
THE PATH OF THE CONSCIOUS HEART

Introduction
Plum-Blossom Courage

One
How We Found the Conscious Heart of Our Own Relationship

Two
The Master Commitment That Opens the Conscious Heart

Three
Seven Soul-Commitments That Allow the Conscious Heart to Thrive

Four
How to Keep from Sabotaging Your Commitments

Five
Moving Through Seven Waves of Intimacy, Navigating with Seven Soul-Choices

PART TWO
SEX, MONEY, AND THE CONSCIOUS HEART

Introduction
Sex and Money Are Springboards to Essence

Six
Breakup or Breakthrough: How We Confronted a Sexual Crisis

Seven
Consciously Creating Abundance: Dealing with Money Issues

PART THREE
THE CONSCIOUS HEART IN ACTION

Introduction
Twenty-one Lessons on the Path

1 / Finding Balance

2 / Cultivating Curiosity

3 / When a Troublesome Pattern Repeats

4 / When You Don’t Feel Loved

5 / Creating Space for Essence

6 / The Essence of Play

7 / Expressing Gratitude

8 / Blending a Family

9 / Deepening Your Connection with Essence and Creativity

10 / Respect

11 / When Roles and Rhythms Change

12 / Dealing with a Life Transition: Menopause

13 / Sexual Energy as an Evolutionary Force

14 / Stretching Your Relationship

15 / Dealing with a Betrayal

16 / Finding Stillness in the Midst of Busy-ness

17 / Dealing with Illness and Aging

18 / Removing Projections

19 / Synchronicity: Making Friends with the Universe

20 / Healing Old Traumas

21 / Moving from Persona-Sex to Essence-Sex

PART FOUR
THE ESSENTIAL PRACTICES

Introduction
Six Exercises in Transformation

1 / Conscious Listening

2 / Making Soul-Commitments

3 / The Essence-Meditations

4 / Balancing Power

5 / Ending Control Struggles

6 / Developing Appreciation

About the Authors

T
HE
T
ABLECLOTH
T
RICK

Love says
let’s get down
in the pit of your fears
and wrestle
hip to hip.
Let’s swing
the maypole of lust
through your butterflies and
free their belly dust.
Love says
let’s pry
your dirty fingernails
from the antic box
where howls and yelps
flutter and scratch.
Let’s pull the thread
that unravels
your naked source.
Love says
let’s slide
through the rollercoaster
of your heart
upsidedown
and run our toes
through the muck.
Let’s bowl
in your mind
and scatter the knobby pins
of your fort.
Love says
let’s do the tablecloth trick.
Let’s pull
out the smooth assumptions
you squat over and see what’s left.
Love says
let’s tickle,
let’s scuffle,
let’s go eyelash to eyelash
and see who blinks first.
Love says
I want
everything.
I’ll devour you to
the last earlobe.
Then,
we’ll play.
KATHLYN HENDRICKS

Acknowledgments and Gratitude

W
e are grateful to the couples and individuals who have worked with us in therapy and workshops over the past twenty years. They are the laboratory of the human heart out of which our work has developed. Their contribution to the work is immense: Through them we have discovered what is most essential in relationships and in human transformation. We are also grateful to the several hundred graduates of our professional training programs for helping us refine the practical application of our work.

We feel deep gratitude to friends and family who have been with us on our incredible journey: Alex Merrin, Mary Manin Morrissey, Amanda Hendricks, Chris and Helen Hendricks, Mike and Lou Hendricks, Bonnie Raitt, Pamela Polland and Bill Ernst, Julia and Kenny Loggins, Polly and Bob Swift, Rod and Sandy Wells, Steve Sisgold, David Hubbard, Gary Zukav and Linda Francis. There are many others, too numerous to name, but you know who you are, and we thank you in our hearts.

After our children left for college in the mid-eighties, we decided to use our newfound freedom to take our work more into the public forum. Thanks to the many people who were there with helping hands:

• Oprah Winfrey, a great spirit, who first gave us a large national audience
• Bob Berkowitz
• Sally Jessy Raphael
• John Bradshaw
• Deepak Chopra

We are blessed with the finest literary agent in the land, Sandy Dijkstra, and an editor, Toni Burbank, who is not only masterful in her work but also an extraordinary human being. To both of them our gratitude is absolute.

A Personal Welcome

W
elcome to the path of the conscious heart. This path invites you to create your relationships by design instead of by default. It shows you a set of stepping-stones that will carry you to the rich and magnificent feeling we call
essence
. Essence is your deeply felt sense of who you truly are, accompanied by a feeling of unity, clarity, and love. Essence is known in your mind and experienced in your body. It is always just a breath away and can be yours in every moment. Once you have embraced essence in yourself—through the practices we call the path of the conscious heart—you have a place to come home to in yourself. Then you can invite another person into your home, if you desire loving partnership.

Nothing can reveal essence like a close relationship, and nothing can obscure it more thoroughly. The unconscious heart would have us reject essence and cling to our old wounds and defenses. To open the conscious heart and embrace this essence-feeling, you have to master a handful of skills and attitudes that are wonderfully simple yet that require benign vigilance of the highest order. Life gives you repeated opportunities to make choices that lead you closer to or farther away from your essence. In every moment you are choosing either to embrace essence or to shun it. In our own relationship we came to recognize the choices that took us toward essence, such as appreciating each other or genuinely wondering. Other choices, such as insisting on being right,
buried essence in the unconscious heart. We then had to patiently work to reopen the conscious heart for minutes, hours, and sometimes days.

We continue to be our own best customers in these practices. Every day we find ways to refine and deepen the practice of supporting and revealing essence in each other and in ourselves. The effort has been most worthwhile.

BOOK: The Conscious Heart
2.83Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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