Gay (right) and Katie Hendricks
Courtesy Photo

“Everything is dynamic,” a late, great friend of mine once opined. “There are no good kissers or bad kissers; you can be a good one with this person and a bad one with that [person].”

For those seeking to improve the dynamics in their life and actualize their authentic potential within their half of a dynamic ​— ​be it with a romantic partner, a coworker, a friend, or even just themselves ​— ​the Consciousness Network has invited Ojai’s relationship experts Gay and Katie Hendricks to speak on Friday, June 2, at Unity of Santa Barbara.

Renowned for their relating expertise and understanding of body intelligence, the couple has appeared on Oprah, 48 Hours, and more than 500 other TV and radio outlets, authoring more than 40 books together. They will offer their insights on how to improve communication dynamics in an authentic way, with an adjoining concert by yogic singer/songwriter Elisa Rose. Not just for couples, the event is geared toward “any individual … who wants to learn more about how to communicate, how to stay conscious in the line of fire when the stress is on, and how to keep your heart open even at times when your mind is closing,” said Gay.

Prior to their discussion, the evening will open at 6 p.m. with a Consciousness Expo, a free networking event where attendees can connect with numerous S.B. businesses focused on healthful and conscious lifestyles and mind-sets. “Our organization is about supporting people supporting the world in maximizing their well-being in life in all areas,” said Consciousness Network founder Forrest Leichtberg.

The Hendrickses, together 36 years strong, started their practice in the ’80s, when they would work with small groups of couples out of their Colorado home. Both were academic professors at the time but realized they shared between them a deep understanding of the intricacies of intimacy ​— ​one that could help others. The couples they aided “had an actual, experiential difference the way they looked at each other and experienced each other. We realized it was possible to have relationships that could be free of blame and criticism,” Katie said. The two began to question all kinds of mythologies about relationships, like the supposed need for compromise or relationship drama.

In their book Conscious Loving: The Journey to Co-Commitment and in their symposium, the Hendrickses will teach couples what they term “conscious appreciation.” “You actually think of things you appreciate about the other person and consciously bring those into conversation,” Gay said. “Another thing is listening consciously. If you can listen generously and with an open heart as well as an open mind, you begin to communicate on a whole different level.”

To be conscious, Katie said, is to be dynamic with the changing tides of the present, to “be available in the moment to what is actually going on. So many people learn their learned patterns, and they’re not aware. Consciousness is about awareness and choice.”

The Conscious Networking Event & Expo is Friday, June 2, at 6 p.m.; the speaker symposium and musical program start at 8 p.m. at Unity of S.B. (227 E. Arrellaga St.). Call 966-2239 or see


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