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Excerpted from Conscious Living by Gay Hendricks. Copyright 1999 by Gay Hendricks. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, 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.
 


"Many of us begin the journey so that we can find a way through the frequently awful life situations we find ourselves in."

Gay Hendricks, Conscious Living, Part 3

I like chocolate; everybody else in my family hated it. I'm the lone mystic in a family of hardheaded skeptics.

I write books about relationship, psychology, and spirituality; no one in my family has ever read one of them or even acknowledged gift copies I sent.

My brother often goes to Scotland and France on one sort of spirit quest: he tours the great distilleries and vintners in search of the perfect sip. My spirit quest has taken me to monasteries in India, Tibet, and Nepal, to grand cathedrals, humble caves, and epic shamanic journeys in the outback of Mexico. Even thinking of whiskey gives me an inner cringe; I may be one of the few people this side of Utah who's never been drunk or even managed to finish a whole beer.

You get the picture. Even after I had published a dozen books and was a tenured professor at a major university, my mother would still ask me occasionally if I ever planned to get a real job. Finally, an appearance on Oprah seemed to convince members of my family that I wasn't in a fly-by-night profession after all!

Many of us begin the journey so that we can find a way through the frequently awful life situations we find ourselves in. That was certainly true for me. Part of my quest was inspired by a search for survival tools to use on myself. As I looked around while I was growing up, almost no one seemed happy. Most everyone wore downward-pulling mouths and deep worry grooves on their foreheads. Addictions were rampant.

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