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Excerpted from The Conscious Heart by Kathlyn Hendricks, Ph.D. and Gay Hendricks, Ph.D. Copyright 1997 by Kathlyn Hendricks, Ph.D. and Gay Hendricks, Ph.D. Excerpted by permission of Bantam Books, a division of Random House, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.  HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.

"As we began to inquire into it, we saw that most people were focusing on the wrong kind of commitment."

Kathlyn Hendricks and Gay Hendricks, 
The Conscious Heart, Part 1

Seven Soul-Commitments That Allow the Conscious Heart to Thrive

Any time not spent on love is wasted. 

In the first two years of our own relationship, we spent much time finding out what true commitment was all about. We had no models to follow. Our parents had married into traditional relationship that emphasized duty and hard work. They had lived through the hardships of the Depression and the war and had firsthand familiarity with scarcity and sacrifice. Both our families lost lands and businesses in the political and economic upheavals of those times. Afterward they valued stability and lifetime commitment. As of this writing, Kathlyn's parents are approaching their fifty-first wedding anniversary. As we were growing up, it was difficult to see how a lifetime commitment could work except by denying feelings, settling into unquestioned roles, or sliding into sleepwalking.

As we began to inquire into it, we saw that most people were focusing on the wrong kind of commitment. They were making outcome commitments rather than process commitments. An example of an outcome commitment is: "I will stick by you through thick and thin until death do us part." It focuses on the outcome, on the goal rather than the journey, ignoring the fact that outcomes can't be controlled. In a process commitment two people make an agreement about how they will travel together, not about where they are going. Process commitments focus on things that are absolutely within their control, such as telling the truth, keeping agreements, and listening nonjudgmentally.

By making soul-level commitments to seven specific processes--each of which is completely within your control--you take ownership of a reliable map of the path. Then reaching the destination becomes a real possibility.

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