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Conscious Living: Finding Joy in the Real World [Paperback]

PhD Hendricks Gay
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 21, 2009

In his bestselling book Conscious Living, pioneering therapist Gay Hendricks taught couples how to find balance and happiness in relationships.Now he gives us Conscious Living, a practical guide for the individual that brings new insights into a fundamental truth of daily truth of daily life. Five simple lessons of "conscious living", rooted in the ancient traditions of Stoicism and Taoism, help us overcome obstacles and fears and awaken our own creativity.

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Editorial Reviews


“Gay Hendricks is a master of intimate relationships.” (John Gray, author of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus)

About the Author

Gay Hendricks is the author and coauthor of more than twenty books that deal with personal growth, including the New York Times bestseller Five Wishes and Conscious Living.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1 Reprint edition (April 21, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062514873
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062514875
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #184,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
63 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Conscious Applause September 26, 2005
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Life is an ongoing, neverending process of self-improvement and enlightenment. While we can be given the best advice and offered the most valuable lessons over and over again, it takes a readiness in ourselves, an open heart and mind and a willing spirit, to be receptive to those lessons. And, to be truly effective, we need be not only ready... but conscious of the lesson learned and applied.

A good friend who has earned my respect with her ability to maneuver through her life with serenity and acceptance, even while learning the toughest lessons, recently recommended Hendricks' books to me. I value her advice, and so I approached the Hendricks' bookshelf with high expectations. I found many books on the shelf, written by both Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks, and with this volume as my introduction, I expect to be reading several more.

Hendricks has probably not told me anything in this book I don't already know. We must love ourselves before we can truly love another. Anger denied does not go away. Moving through life and its choices by default rather than thoughtful and considered decision is guaranteed to end in disaster. Choosing love partners by chemistry alone can only mean heartbreak. We get what we expect. Negativity in attitude and expectations magnetically draws to us more negativity. If your life is not what you want it to be, guess what, it's you who is at the wheel. Yes, I knew all of this.

I knew it, but I have too often failed to apply these sound, common sense lessons to my own life. I suppose there is something in all of us that feels the irresistible impulse to put our hand in the fire even when we have been told, over and over again, it will burn. Unfortunately, nothing is so effective a teacher as pain.
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69 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Level of Clarity April 11, 2000
Over the last few years, I have read an assortment of relationship books with loads of great strategies that combat a wide array of issues. When I encountered the book "Conscious Loving" by Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks, I was amazed by how different the book was. Gay and Kathlyn were communicating at a more fundamental level that bridged the gap between examples and strategies.
When "Conscious Living" came out, I eagerly pounced on it to see how much more I could piece together. On my first pass through the book, I was deeply moved by the quantity and depth of "aha, that's why" connections I was making with my life and my prior readings. This book did not disappoint me since it was working at the fundamental building block level that I first encountered with "Conscious Loving". After reading the book for the third time, I'm still in awe at how much clarity Gay brings to the journey of life. If I had to sum it up, I would have to say that I was left smiling at the profound beauty of life. I was also pleasantly surprised and deeply moved by the spiritual connections I made through reading the book.
The book follows a natural progression where Gay takes you from a great personal and historic introduction through the five required lessons followed by the inner shifts and outer moves that create a conscious life. The second half of the book deals with conscious solutions to some of the most crucial areas of real world life. I found the book to be chock-full of interesting examples and inspiring snippets of wisdom. One of my favorite snippets was "We argue for our limitations, and, sure enough, we get to keep them."
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Aha! Experience March 31, 2000
I have read several of Gay Hendricks books and each is a masterpiece. He surprises me every time by having so much to offer. Reading 'Conscious Living' is an enlightening experience. What touched me deeply is its simple profundity.
Its evident that Gay writes from a depth of authentic experience. He blends the sublime with the practical, the mystical with the earthy, the miraculous with the ordinary. I am confident that this book will become a landmark in the human evolution to embrace its own divinity in ways that are magical.
As I read it, I was in an inspired space to act out of integrity in ways that create enduring change towards greater inner joy & success in the outer world.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Wonder Of It All February 27, 2003
In his book "Conscious Living" Gay Hendricks masterfully takes the reader to a profound realization of the most basic lessons in living. With so many self help books available it is sometimes difficult to know where to focus one's attention and how to proceed along the path of self transformation. Gay Hendricks has an uncanny ability to light the way and often in a humorous and inspiring manner. His insights and practical applications do not leave the reader stranded in an intellectual quagmire with nothing solid to stand on. Instead, he offers solid information that will take, those of us inspired to do so, deep into the realities of our own existence. Gay repeatedly offers opportunities for the reader to commit to an empowered and exciting life where relationships can flourish, creativity abounds and self exploration becomes an adventure spawned by curiosity encased in wonder and vitality.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little too conscious perhaps February 24, 2011
By Eli
Gay Hendricks writes a wonderful book about overcoming the incidental stains of life to transform into something greater, and in doing so he learns to love himself and to become conscious.

This book wanders through Hendricks' life with many tales of human triumph, but they are all personal; they belong to Hendricks, and he does little to offer practical ways for others to take on his concepts. It's all, "'I' did this" and "'I' did that" as if one should be him in order to become themselves. Does anyone get the irony of that?

Let me put it another way; Hendricks delivers a message to people who are scrambling for hope, who are addicted to walking along with the sheep, but because Hendricks is very likely not "conscious" of this (probably because he has become too conscious of himself), his ideas will likely cause more harm than health through the unsuspecting reader actually believing they are discovering themselves, when in fact, they are discovering how to become Gay Hendricks.

Hendricks states early in his book something to do with his connection to the whole, that we are all one in this universe, or something of that nature. Sadly though, he then disappears into his own little wonderful world (where nothing ever seems to go wrong anymore) and then fraudulently declares it to be available to every one else.

Life isn't like that, at least not for most of us, and conscious living is not about self-gain or self-improvement as Hendricks subtly suggests.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Gay's books are always right on
Published 2 months ago by Life Is The Perfect System
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great Book
Published 2 months ago by Olga
3.0 out of 5 stars Not many practical, everyday ways to apply.
Not many practical, everyday ways to apply.
Published 3 months ago by KPB
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
marked up more than I expected
Published 4 months ago by Steven G Krohn
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book!
Published 5 months ago by Tammy L Tanner
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful, brilliant handbook for life - the most important book...
I can't say enough about Gay Hendricks and his epic work. If you do one thing for yourself and the world - read it, annotate it, commit it to memory and then give it to the people... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Julia Allison
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good stuff.
Published 6 months ago by DocDenver
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best and useful book I've ever read
Simply the best and useful book I've ever read. There is nothing compare to the deeply and clear of these words. absolutely amazing book.
Published 8 months ago by Salo
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
Just a great book. Genuine insights about life and living it consciously. A touch new-agey at times but life is a touch new-agey. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Gregg Bell
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK VERY GOOD
Enjoyed the enlightenment very much.
Am going to have to go back and reread it again

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Published 13 months ago by LjFenn
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More About the Author

Gay Hendricks has served for more than thirty years as one of the major contributors to the fields of relationship transformation and body-mind therapies. Throughout his career, Dr. Hendricks has coached more than eight hundred executives, including the top management at firms such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, and KLM. Along with his wife, Dr. Kathlyn Hendricks, he has coauthored many books including Conscious Loving, The Corporate Mystic, and his latest, the New York Times bestseller Five Wishes, which has been translated into seventeen languages. Dr. Hendricks received his Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Stanford University. After a twenty-one-year career as a professor at the University of Colorado, he founded the Hendricks Institute, which offers seminars in North America, Asia, and Europe. He is also a founder of The Spiritual Cinema Circle. In recent years his passion has been writing a new series of mystery novels featuring the Tibetan Buddhist private detective, Tenzing Norbu. Ten's first adventure was The First Rule Of Ten, followed by The Second Rule Of Ten and more to come.

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Conscious Living: Finding Joy in the Real World
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