Healing with the Hendricks

By Steven Libowitz   |   September 27, 2018

Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks ran their publishing and self-help operation out of Montecito for years before relocating to the mountains of Ojai more than a decade ago. Since then, their empire has only expanded, with regular workshops both locally and around the globe, a bunch more books, and an expansion into online offerings.

All three are on the agenda right now, most notably the couple’s Creating Connection seminar, which takes place in their Ojai retreat center known as Healing in America. The workshop delves deep into the concept that we need connection as much as food and water, that we crave affiliating, belonging, and feeling valued as much as most of the nutrients we put in our bodies.

While deep connection can replace addiction and the need for drama, if people don’t experience nourishing connection and bonding early in life, they may resort to survival adaptations that often crystallize into painful patterns that spill over into adult life. This experiential Creating Connection seminar offers methods to feed healthy connection and resources to clear the barriers to feeling whole and resourceful. Participants learn to welcome and include all of themselves in life, work, and relationships, and play with the power of recognizing context and employing contextual intelligence to shift to a felt experience of belonging, resonating with others, and re-opening to contact and collaboration.(The context of the weekend itself is about as up-to-date as possible, examining posture and movement, dress code, standing in line, rooting for a team, and even ways we may participate in Facebook, Snapchat, and other social media.)

The workshop is designed for people who want to make the most powerful contributions in their families, communities, and the world. Participants should expect to walk away with some skills to continue expanding the contexts in which they play and to generate new connections of collaboration and co-creativity. The September 28-30 workshop costs $695, but you must have completed the Hendricks’s Evolutionary Playground or Essentials: Making The Big Leap in Life and Love seminars as a prerequisite. Which is how the Internet angle arrives, as the Essentials Online workshop, which cost $97, is available as an option to meet the requirement. 

To create the course, Kathlyn Hendricks consolidated the key processes from the three-day seminar so enrollees can dive right into the activities to improve well-being, relationships, and work. The Essentials is, of course, open to anyone whether you are interested in advanced work. Details online at https://hendricks.com/event/creating-connection/?instance_id=31 or call (800) 688-0772, extension 1.

Less expensive still is Gay Hendricks’s new book, The Joy of Genius, the sequel to his popular The Big Leap, which, in turn, was the core concepts the couple discussed when they spoke at Unity of Santa Barbara last year as part of the Santa Barbara Consciousness Network gathering. Hendricks’s post-age 50 look at how his time, attention, and energy were being directed away from a life on my “Genius Spiral”, which he describes as “that magical place where purpose and passion intersect – (where) everything clicks and automatically creates a domino effect where life is happening for my good and for the greater good of everyone around me.”

The book published online this past Tuesday, and in paperback on Monday, October 8. Those who order a copy early will also receive free access to his live seminar on Wednesday, October 24, when he will go step-by-step through the tools, the specific action steps, and practices to conquer negative thinking and habitual patterns keeping you from living full-time in your genius. Visit www.joyofgenius.com for details.

Dream on

Pacifica Graduate Institute’s Dream Tending workshops are taught by Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D., the chancellor and founding president of Pacifica Graduate Institute. Dr. Aizenstat has explored the potential of dreams through depth psychology and his own research for more than 35 years, coming up with methodologies that extend traditional dreamwork to the vision of an animated world where the living images in dreams are experienced as embodied and originating in the psyche of nature, as well as that of persons. He even wrote a book, Dream Tending, that describes new applications of dreamwork in relation to health and healing, nightmares, the World’s Dream, relationships, and the creative process.

The workshops have been growing in popularity in recent times, selling out three-day weekends and other seminars. The next offering is a single-day one called “The Healing Power of Dreams: The Craft of Dream Tending”. Slated for 10 am to 4 pm this Saturday, September 29, at Pacifica’s Ladera Lane campus, the event will have participants working with tools and methods from Dream Tending to learn how to access the power and potential alive in dreams, and engage untapped creativity and deep intelligence within. 

Specific approaches are offered to support psychological and physical well-being, including gaining the skills to remember and sustain our relationship with dreams, and perspectives to assist in attending to compulsions and addictions. Among the highlights are learning how to remember dreams and examine recurring dream themes, animate dream images, and form relationships with figures in dreams, experiencing ways of transforming nightmare images to serve a more constructive purpose, and discovering how living images impact and inform our moods, behaviors, and perceptions.

Admission is $45, and includes lunch. Call (805) 969-3626 or visit www.retreat.pacifica.edu. 

Pan in Politics?

Pacifica’s The Archetypal Pan in America offers a significant exploration into archetypal causes for the anxieties and ethical dilemmas currently facing the country. Examining the relationship of the increase in violent attacks perpetrated by homegrown shooters, radical Jihadists and rapists, and the rise in a type of hypermasculine leadership, the seminar also takes a look at the sharp increase in the reported serious mental disorders. Delving into the relationships between them is the theme for the 7 to 9 pm event on Friday, October 5, presented by Sukey Fontelieu, an LMT who has been on the faculty of Pacifica since 2000. Admission by donation. 

Grounding and Growth through Grief

Alexis Slutzky isa wilderness guide, mentor, community builder, council trainer, and counselor (licensed but not currently practicing MFT) who has been supporting youth and adults, individually and in groups, to restore relationships with the self, one another, and the natural world. One of those methods is through the ancient tradition of a Community Grief Ritual, a practice common in indigenous cultures where people gather to honor and share grief through ritual, beauty, nature, song, and community.

Slutzky’s commitment to hosting formal quarterly gatherings made last September went on hiatus during the Thomas Fire and Montecito debris flow disasters, though Slutzky’s “pop-up” gatherings at Yoga Soup and elsewhere – including some held during the smoky days of December – aided in real-time healing amid the challenging times. She returned the circles to Arroyo Hondo Preserve a few months ago, and has slated the next one, “Opening to Grace”, for this Saturday, September 29, from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm.

As before, the concept is to deepen connection to our hearts and open to the grace of life, with all its inherent loss and change. While grief is a natural and poignant part of our human experience, the emotion has become both exaggerated at a time with so much crisis and polarization, and ignored, via our culture largely being disconnected from the earth and our hearts. Slutzky says it’s important to learn to metabolize our grief so that our hearts stay open and supple, ready to respond to the needs and call of the times with compassion, wisdom, and presence.

Participants – there were about 35 at the last gathering – engage song, writing, movement, nature, sharing stories in small circles and together to bring our grief to the altar as a gift to the beyond. “(The circles) have been an incredibly rich experience,’ Slutzky said in an email, “as those who have come consistently help to hold a strong field, and others have had tremendous courage and trust to try something new. All of this has made these rituals a very healing experience for many. I am grateful for the call.”

Next up is a longer retreat for women-identified folks only on December 8-9 titled “Grief and Gratitude: A Homecoming”. For more information, visit www.wildbelonging.com or email Slutzky at alexisslutzky@gmail.com.

Slutzky will also be co-hosting “Council Training 2: Deepening the Practice of Council”, open to experienced council circle practitioners (preferably those who have completed Introduction to the Way of Council and have been facilitating Council for some time). The advanced training aims to deepen the practice of Council, addressing experiences with “the inspiring, and sometimes challenging, situations that arise.” Visit www.centerforcouncil.org/deepening-the-practice-of-council-10-6-18-aldersgate.html for information about the October 6-7 training.


You might also be interested in...