Learn to live and love consciously in workshop

by Angela Jeffs

Katie (Kathlyn) Hendricks sounds as clear as a bell on a three-way line between California, to which she has just returned from Colorado, and Japan. “I was in Boulder, Colo., facilitating a workshop not dissimilar to the three-day foundation training in conscious living and loving that is being arranged for me in Tokyo for Nov. 11 to 13.”

Japan-based organizer Skip Swanson — who has been studying with Katie and her husband, Gay Hendricks, for near on a decade — is now a training sponsor. It was he who spent the necessary 500 yen and pressed the right buttons to make the call between the three of us possible. Such a wondrous thing, technology!

Katie and Gay Hendricks are North America’s most trusted relationship experts. They are known as the therapists’ therapists because so many of today’s top relationship experts have studied and worked with them.

Thirty years ago they were both trained psychologists and educators, but then they met one another and everything changed.

Gay had spent the first 24 years of his life perfecting his genius — that is, his genius at manifesting disaster. Deciding to rewrite his script in order to attract women who loved him instead of abandoning him, and invent a new healthy body to allow him to live longer, he has been manifesting success ever since.

“Our paths crossed many times in unusual ways before we finally got together,” says Katie. “Twenty-six years ago I attended his workshop at my graduate school, and we instantly made a deep connection.”

Katie, who was born in Los Angeles but because her father was with General Motors spent ages 2-12 in the Midwest, has a Ph.D. in transpersonal psychology. Gay earned his Ph.D. in counseling psychology at Stanford.

They live now in Ojai, Calif., where Gay writes, conducts business and directs the Spiritual Cinema Circle, a monthly movie club that distributes films with heart and soul. Katie’s passion for facilitation takes her all over the world leading seminars.

“We began this work with our own relationship, asking, ‘What do we need to learn to live in cocreativity instead of conflict?’ Like every couple, we encountered problems, and we wanted to function harmoniously rather than in power struggles.”

Though they wrote their first book in 1983, it was “Conscious Loving,” published in 1990, that made their names well known. “We wrote about our intention to create a new kind of relationship. Not up and down, but stable and proactive. We asked readers what they thought it’d take to have relationships running on positive energy.”

Katie uses an analogy in reply. “If you want to learn how to swim, you can watch other people and form opinions. But really you need to get into the water. Making a commitment allows you to move toward the goal. Commitment is not a rule, but rather a place to come home to. People can take small reliable steps and still get where and what they want.”

Over the three days in Tokyo next month, using an experience-based approach, she will help couples and individuals see that relationships thrive when people are being authentic with one another. She says every human being longs to be able to be themselves while being connected to another person.

“Individuals in relationships need to ask themselves, ‘If I’m not in conflict, what might I be doing — and accomplishing — with that energy?’ Arguing solves nothing. We teach (people) how to speak to one another without blame, to focus and take responsibility without thinking of it as a burden. Our work’s about shifting power struggles into a sense of wonder.”

Katie wonders how Tokyo will receive her work. Fascinated by Japan’s history and culture, she knows that unity and community are all-important. But how relationships work is another matter: “I’m very curious. I know they’re different on the surface, but can they be so different underneath? People we have met around the world have the same feelings and concerns.”

The workshop is designed so that therapists and body workers, professional coaches and teachers, and anyone in the service industry can benefit. But Katie also wants to attract couples and individuals stuck in patterns of counterproductive patterns of behavior.

“Whether you want to find a new relationship with your partner, find a new partner or simply to improve communication with yourself and others, the benefits will be enormous.” The seminar includes many tools to increase individual well-being, using natural, easy processes such as breathing.

Most of the Hendricks’ work is concerned with bridging awareness and creating a bold new inner knowledge. Log onto their Web site and hear them explain on audio.

Buy printed books — like “Lasting Love: The 5 Secrets of Growing a Vital, Conscious Relationship.” Or e-books: “The Relationship Solution” — a six-CD program of creating conscious relationships, for example.

Anyone can log on for free to Gay’s “Manifestation Course: 10 Principles and Practices that Create Love, Abundance and Vibrant Wellbeing.” Then join Hendricks’ Online University of Conscious Living, which provides self-paced cyber-courses for self-motivated learners in areas like self-esteem, quitting smoking and parenting.

The corporate world may like to take a look at “The Corporate Mystic” (“The Catalyst”), a groundbreaking book, also translated into Japanese, about the skills needed to take business into the 21st century.

Katie says that in general the corporate world requires staffers to squash their feelings and not to think about themselves. But this is not the way to get the best out of people.

“We need to listen to ourselves, be more intuitive. I always have a plan in approaching any problem, but then I often wing it in the circumstances of the moment. We all need to be open to dynamic balance.”