EP: 220 Gay Hendricks on the Essence of Being


This week's episode has a special guest: Gay Hendricks. Gay Hendricks has been a leader in the fields of relationship transformation and bodymind transformation for more than 45 years. After earning his Ph.D. from Stanford in 1974, Gay served as Professor of Counseling Psychology at the University of Colorado for 21 years. He has written more than 40 books, including bestsellers such as Five Wishes, The Big Leap, Conscious Loving and Conscious Loving Ever After, (the last two co-authored with his co-author and mate for more than 35 years, Dr. Kathlyn Hendricks). He is also a mystery novelist, with a series of five books featuring the Tibetan-Buddhist private detective, Tenzing Norbu, as well as a new mystery series featuring a Victorian-era London detective, Sir Errol Hyde. His latest book, Conscious Luck, reveals eight ways to change your fortunes through the power of intention. Gay has appeared on more than 500 radio and television shows, including Oprah, CNN, CNBC, 48 HOURS and others. 


Nick and Kisma

Special Guest:

Gay Hendricks

Watch the video interview below...

1:44 Welcome Dr. Gay Hendricks to Illumination Podcast

I'm so excited to have Gay Hendricks as a guest today. We've studied and talked about his work. We covered his work in a four-part series at the beginning of last year, and we are just so incredibly excited to have him join us in this episode.


Welcome Dr. Gay Hendricks to Illumination Podcast. We're so happy you're here.


Thank you very much. It's a pleasure and an honor to meet both of you.

Dr. Gay Hendricks

2:16 Initial Awakening

We've been watching some of your interviews and there was one where you had shared something about your initial awakening, and I was wondering if you would share that event with our listeners because it was so compelling and gave me so much hope.


Absolutely. I wouldn't be here without that event having happened. 

When I was 24, I had managed to create a pretty painful life, because I not only weighed 320 pounds, but I wore big thick glasses. I was in a relationship that was really toxic and I couldn't figure out how to get out of it. I was also in a job that wasn't going real well, and I didn't feel like I was using any of my potential. 

So one day everything came to a head. I went out for a walk to try to get my head cleared after I'd had an argument with Linda, the woman I referred to. And by golly, I got it cleared big time.

What happened was I stepped on a place where the snow had covered the ice and my feet shot out from under me. And I went down on my back and I didn't knock myself out, but I call it an out of Hendrix experience because I had this experience that knocked me out of my senses for about two or three minutes. It knocked me out of my usual way of looking at the world. I laid there and I had this amazing thing happen for about two minutes where I got a look at who I really was. It was like I could see all the way down through the different levels of myself.

Dr. Gay Hendricks

5:36 Pure Consciousness

In that moment I suddenly became aware of this whole different set of levels of myself. But then the really magical thing that happened was that I realized that down underneath everything was this part of myself that I call pure consciousness. I'd never touched into it before, but it's the part that we all have of ourselves. And it gave me a new place to come home to. 

So I had this one moment before I got back up where I said “I'm going to do whatever it takes to feel that pure consciousness all the time”, because it was the first time I felt like I'd really come home in myself.

Dr. Gay Hendricks

That's an amazing story. 

Do you think everyone has this opportunity for that? The sense of feeling and seeing and being aware of that pure consciousness within us?


I actually do. 

The way I put it to my students now is the Universe is totally willing to tickle us with a feather to teach us, but if we're not paying attention, it'll then hit us over the head with a sledgehammer. 

Dr. Gay Hendricks

15:19 Essence

I wanted to circle back about this idea that I’ve heard you talk about a little bit. It's the essence, like the purest pure consciousness, and I'm curious to hear your perspective on that.


What I call essence is that pure part of ourselves that expresses who we really are. If you took that away, you wouldn't be you. I think that it's a gift that everybody has that kind of pure consciousness. 

The value of it that I've come to really appreciate is that it does give me a place to come home to that's underneath all the phenomena of my life. It's underneath the thoughts, it's underneath all my feelings. All of those things are very important, but for example, you have sad feelings or angry feelings or scared feelings, but underneath that is that vast ocean of pure consciousness.

And I think that in life, our kind of our spiritual job is to find that aspect of ourselves and open up to it and let ourselves be grounded and centered in it. 

Dr. Gay Hendricks

I love the word essence for it. The essence of that very unique, purest expression of yourself.

And I love the way that you talk about it's like that place to come home to because it's not a feeling. It's a state of being that we drop into and it just changes everything.


36:21 The Big Leap and The Genius Zone

So in your book The Big Leap, you mention the genius zone and I understand that you have a new book coming out where you're going to expand on this. Can you tell us a little bit more about this book? 


Basically it takes what's in The Big Leap and gives you a way of diving right down into your genius zone. So it's kind of like instead of flying the plane to your genius zone, it gives you a very nice parachute, a way to just go straight down and capture it.

There are some processes in the book that give you a real quick way of getting into that space and how to stay there once you're there. 

Dr. Gay Hendricks

Would you consider The Big Leap a prerequisite for it, or can people just dive right into The Genius Zone?


It would be great if they read The Big Leap first because it's kind of a sequel. 

Dr. Gay Hendricks

47:55 Five Wishes

Well we don't have guests a lot and when we do they're so special such as yourself. A question that I always like to ask is is there anything that's in your heart that you want to do before you leave the planet that you've not told anybody?


I can't really think of anything. I figured out early on what I wanted. 

In my book Five Wishes, I talk about the five things that I wanted to create in my life and I've created them more beyond my wildest dreams. So I have to say if the Universe needs me in the collective anytime soon I'm ready and willing to go. I'm having a great time while I'm here, but I've accomplished all my major goals and I'm just enjoying living more and more of them every day.

Dr. Gay Hendricks

I love that. That's the best. 


Well thank you so much for being here Dr. Gay Hendricks.



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