Conscious Living Notes

Conscious Living: Finding Joy in the Real World: Hendricks, Gay ...

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My life changed dramatically from August 2019 to August 2020. This book helps explain why: I started to follow the principles in this book without even realizing it. Although I read this book in August 2020, it almost serves as a manual for someone wanting to change. Would highly recommend it if you have an open mind and want to create change in your life.


  • The only way to attract the love you want is to love and embrace your self.
  • “I am made of the same stuff as everything else in the world. I am the same as the oak leaf and the earthworm and the sky beyond. It is all one thing, and I am a part of it”
  • What is creativity? Creativity is next to love. It is simply endless experimentation without judgment or criticism. In a word: play. We are at play all the time, so is everything in the universe
  • Big 3 = Love, Creativity, Intention
  • When we are scared or sad, we try to distance ourselves from the experience rather than feel it, resonate with it, love it. We do not feel what we feel. We do not try to tell the truth about our feelings to others
  • Answer two questions: (1) How do I live at peace with myself? (2) How do I live in harmony with the people around me?
  • We are at our best when we are doing what we did as a kid.
  • Every aspect of reality is sacred.
  • Fear cannot be controlled. Since it is already there, it is too late to change it. Better to flow with it – to let it be – and put your energy into figuring out what you need to do.
  • Serenity Prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change those I can change, and the wisdom to know the difference.
  • The secret of happiness is knowing that there are some things you can control and some things you cannot.
  • Stoic Philosophy: live in harmony with the way things are.
  • In order to change things, you must first embrace them the way they are.

Five Lessons of Conscious Living

  1. Seek your true self.
  2. Let go of the uncontrollable.
  3. We are all made up of the same thing.
  4. Life is fullest when we’re most true to ourselves.
  5. Life reaches its full potential when we bring forth our creative desires and the treasures which we have been blessed with and act on them in the world.
  • Put space between you and your thoughts.
  • You are already a spiritual being.
  • Beautiful line: “I had spent so much of my life having opinions and defending my point of view: now I realized that they were all exactly the same, just places where I glued my foot to the floor and limited my ability to dance.”
  • You are supported by so many different people. We do not often pause to acknowledge the person who makes your sandwich, the person responsible for the tire on our cars, or the person responsible for making the cup of coffee… but when we do notice them, when we do become grateful for them, life becomes better. We feel more connected to ourselves and the world around us.
  • Identify the fear in negative emotions.
  • He asked… “What is the purpose of my life?” He found his answer: to expand in love and creativity every day and to assist those who are interested to expand in their ability to be more loving and creative.
  • Knowing purpose gave him instant checkpoint for evaluating any action
  • To find your purpose, ask yourself questions like:
    • What do I most love to do?
    • What could engage me so deeply I’d never want to retire?
    • What am I really about?
    • What would be a purpose so grand that it could express itself through everything I do, from shoveling snow to making love to sitting on a bus?
  • Fear is beyond our control. So if we cannot control it, the only sane alternative is to relax into the pure acceptance of it.
  • “You are a distinct portion of the essence of God, and contain part of God in yourself.”
  • We choose how gently we get our lessons by how open we are to learning. Life teaches us with a sledgehammer if we refuse to pay attention.
  • We are shaped more by our choices than by our genes or past history.
  • At the bottom of our problems is something we’re afraid to face. In order to face our problems…
    • Look for a feeling you are not facing
    • Look anyplace you are not facing the truth
    • Look at agreements you are not keeping
  • We are either committed 100% or not committed at all.
  • If you think you are your past, you give power of your choice to do anything outside your control. The past has already happened and you cannot do anything about it. What is real is this moment, and you have the ultimate choice when you’re in it.
  • “There are fools who dance and fools who watch the dance. If I must be a fool, let me be a dancing fool.”
  • You are faced with the same question dozens of times throughout the day: do I tell the truth or not?
  • When we open our mouths to communicate something of emotional significance, we speak with one of two intentions:  the intention to be (1) right or (2) in harmony.
  • Start a conversation with, “Isn’t it great how easy our lives become once we take responsibility for them?”
  • 85% of our messages to children are negative – “Don’t!” “Stop!” “How could you?” When we shift to love, our messages come through much deeper.
  • Paradox of self esteem: We can only give to others effectively when we love ourselves deeply. We can only love ourselves deeply only when we contribute to others fully. It’s like breathing: if you breathe all the way in, you can breathe all the way out.
  • Ask yourself: “Can I love myself unconditionally? If I can love myself, I open the possibility of loving others the same way. If I cannot love myself, there is no possibility of loving others.”
  • “Love is the antidote to fear. Fear pulls us into contraction but love allows us to expand again. When we don’t know how to love ourselves, we live in that state of contraction permanently. Fear is not only a fist around stomachs; it grips out hearts as well. Loving ourselves is the only way out of the grip of fear.”
  • “When I stopped lying to myself and other people, the music started again inside of me.”
  • If you wake up in the morning and you do not feel good about yourself, look for where you are out of integrity. Look for where you’re not being honest with yourself or someone else. Look for agreements you haven’t kept. Fix these however you can and notice the positive feelings return to yourself.
  • When you were a child, you learned a personality to get your needs met. To survive and prosper in a family, you adopted the social masks that worked in that particular time and place.
  • Many of our self-esteem problems are not about us personally.
  • Each time we take an action, we strengthen the motivating force behind the action. For example, it is easier to work out the 20th time than the first.
  • Each time you go through a big transition in your life, you break through into the unknown. You are outside your normal box. When these expansions happen, self-esteem issues come to the surface. Part of you wants to break through into the unknown, into a higher version of yourself. Part of you wants to stay in the comfort zone, the zone of the known.
  • “Fear is excitement without the breath” –Fritz Perls
  • The ultimate healing move is to love your fear conditionally.
  • You can love yourself for hating yourself.
  • If you are expressing your creative potential, you get to feel good about yourself. If you are not, you don’t. “If you bring forth what is within you, what is within you will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what is within you will destroy you.” (!!)
  • People working to express their creativity feel good about themselves whether they are rich or poor.
  • Do some creative work every day to keep the pipes oiled
  • Throughout a two hour lunch, Picasso’s hands were never idle. He doodled, sketched, and drew. Keep creativity flowing, don’t worry about the outcome. 
  • Put serious focus into a few projects
  • Questions to ask yourself:
    • “What are the top four or five goals in your life?”
    • From a future perspective, “Is this what I really wished I had done?”
  • If you really want to feel intimate with someone, say something authentic about your feelings when you feel them – speak the truth of fear and anger as well as hurt.
  • “Polite” / PC culture makes so many people sad because we have been brainwashed to overlook the obvious signs of feelings, to pretend they are not there.
  • Questions to ask when you’re not feeling good:
    • Where am I out of integrity?
    • What feelings am I denying?
    • What truths am I hiding?
  • To be “in alignment” means feeling and handling our fear, expressing the creativity that is within us
  • You’ve got to go all in if you wish to succeed because without total commitment, you are fooling yourself.
  • You are already getting what you’re committed to.
  • When the room lights are off, how much inner light is still on?
  • Be a Leveler – someone who knows that having a good time and helping others have a good time is what life’s all about. Levelers choose love over creating melodramas based on fear.
  • You’re either in one of two camps: “What Can I Get?” or “What Can I Do To Help?”
  • Trying to get other people to love us – when we don’t think we’re loveable – is like a dog chasing its own tail.
  • Don’t know how to love yourself? Love yourself for not knowing exactly how to love yourself.
  • If you are authentic with yourself, you’ll stay in a naturally good mood as you walk around the world. If you tell the authentic truth, you’ll have clear relationships with others. If you don’t, things will get out of control quickly.
  • Under all major messes is a truth that didn’t get told, a truth that would have taken about 10 seconds to tell.
  • If you lead with appreciation – actually start conversations off with appreciations throughout the day – you’ll create a field of positive energy around you wherever you go.
  • On listening: Breathe while other people are speaking. Pause briefly after they finish before you rush in with your point of view. People like it when you give them an informal summary of what they’ve just said.
    • “If I understand what you’re saying, you…”
    • “Let me see if I’ve got what you mean…”
  • Simple rule to follow: do what you say you’re going to do. Don’t do what you say you’re not going to do.
  • Say something authentic every hour
  • Speak an appreciation once an hour
  • “When you reach out to touch another person, you are touching the whole universe. You are the universe touching itself. The universe is a whole, and it also has individual parts. Although we may think of ourselves as individual parts, we are always in relationship to the wholeness of ourselves, others, and the world around us.”
  • When we think of “the world,” we are really just thinking of our relationships
  • The only hope for genuine growth comes from taking responsibility for everything we’ve previously claimed victimhood for.
  • We create the exact situations we complain about most
  • Gay’s belief: monogamy is the only path that works. Everything else is complicated and requires so much time to process. Impossible to be in integrity with all parties involved. Little energy after for creativity.
  • We lose sexual interest in people whom we lie. As long as we speak the truth, we are contributing to a healthy sexual environment as well as a healthy environment in general
  • There is only one intention that brings ultimate sexual fulfillment: to celebrate the essence of your partner and yourself through lovemaking
  • William James (founder of Psychology) believes his greatest discovery: one can change the outer circumstances of one’s life by changing one’s thoughts
  • When we are expanding our consciousness in love and awareness and gratitude, our goals seem to manifest quickly, as if by magic (explains why so many synchronicities happened in San Diego from Sept-Dec 2019)
  • Few minutes of visualization every day better than once a week for an hour (same as exercise and meditation)
  • The moment you love things the way they are, they are not the way they were any longer. Now they’ve been bathed in love
  • If we are equal with all that is, we support the universe and the universe supports us. When we relax into the support that is happening all around us, we can be carried faster to our destination

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