April 08, 2023
292: Our Experience at the Couples Retreat with Relationship Expert Katie Hendricks | Maya Acosta

Maya Acosta talks about her recent experience attending a couple's retreat led by relationship expert Katie Hendricks in Ojai, California. The podcast host shares how building healthy relationships is a key pillar of lifestyl...

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Maya Acosta talks about her recent experience attending a couple's retreat led by relationship expert Katie Hendricks in Ojai, California. The podcast host shares how building healthy relationships is a key pillar of lifestyle medicine and how relationships can affect one's health.

Here are three key points from the episode:

  • Learn about the Hendricks Institute and the foundation of its work.
  • Get insight into a couple's course in Ojai, CA.
  • Learn which Hendricks books Maya recommends if you are interested.



All the show notes for our episodes are located on our podcast website:

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Last week I shared that Dr. Riz and I were headed to a couple's retreat. In this episode, I share where we went, what we learned and why this work is important to us. Let's get started. Welcome back to another episode of the healthy lifestyle solutions podcast. My friends, I'm your host, Maya Acosta. First, I had a very busy week. And this Thursday episode is being released on a Saturday. So my apologies for not delivering on time. I have been in a transitional period as I change podcast editing teams. So my contract ended with one team in February and then I hired another team in March and I've been having to do a lot of my own editing and producing on my own, while at the same time I'm hand holding the new team so that they can learn my style, I can learn their communication style and all that good stuff. So on top of that, I've added a third episode to my week, as you know, Dr. resists doctor in the house segment, that's kind of a bonus episode that I'm adding on Mondays for all of you. So regardless, you can expect better things as I continue improving my show. I am going on my fifth year of podcasting, and I do not see myself taking a break. So please be patient with me as I get the right people on my team to support my show. I am so excited to share my experience attending a couple's course led by the fabulous Katie Hendricks. Katie is a renowned relationship expert, author and co founder of the Hendrix Institute. It offers transformational courses and programs to help individuals and couples deepen their connection and live more fulfilling lives. One of the pillars of lifestyle medicine is building healthy relationships. As you may already know, relationships can affect our health. So our goal is to just gain more tools that we can use in relationships overall. So recently, I attended the course this past weekend in Ojai, California. Now in case you've never heard of Ohio, because I myself had never heard of it until I went. Ojai is a small city in Ventura County, California. It is situated in Ojai Valley, surrounded by the Toba Topo mountains, and it's approximately about 20 miles in then from the Pacific Ocean. So we actually flew into LAX, rented a car and then drove up to Ohio. I would say it took us with traffic about two hours. But we took the Pacific Coast Highway so that we would have the scenic view and it was gorgeous. Many of you might remember that I lived in San Diego at one point, and I never went north of lax, so this was a new experience for me as well. The city Ojai is known for its beautiful scenery serene atmosphere in mild climate. It has a population of around 8000 people and covers an area of about 4.4 square miles. Ojai is also known for its vibrant artistic community, outdoor recreation opportunities and spiritual retreats so it made sense to have this Couples Retreat there. Ojai is also known for its unique downtown area, which features boutique shops, art galleries and local restaurants. So for us, this was a short vacation and yet a lovely experience. We made sure to take nature walks and took in the fresh air. Make sure to visit my blog and my social media because I'm going to be posting photos about our experience. In case you don't know the blog, it's healthy lifestyle solutions.org forward slash blog. And on Instagram, I'm healthy lifestyle solutions. We learned about the course from our life coach Michelle Yasuda. I've been working with Michelle for over two years now. She came on the show the first year I work with her to explain some of the concepts that are taught by the Hendrix, the Hendrix Institute, that's where much of her teachings come from. Since working with Michelle, I have noticed that I have less anxiety. I'm setting stronger boundaries, I'm finding my voice and I have improved my self esteem. And so because of the results that I've seen with Michelle, when she told us about the couple's course, I knew that I had to be there. Now Riz has his own coach that has the same teachings from the Hendrix Institute. So it's really nice for all of us to be speaking the same language. If you have been following me for a while, you would know that I previously shared that the isolation and the limitations of the pandemic brought up many unresolved issues childhood traumas and limiting beliefs that continue to get in the way of my happiness. So as we entered 2021 I sought out a counselor slash life coach. And sure enough, I found a video by Michelle and her husband Dean, and I immediately knew that I wanted to work with them.

The weekend couples course we recently attended was led by Katie Hendricks. Her husband Gay Hendricks is a renowned author, speaker and teacher in personal growth, relationships and transformation. Gay holds a PhD in counseling psychology from Stanford University and is a licensed therapist. He has been a professor of Counseling Psychology at the University of Colorado and is the co founder of the Hendrix Institute, an organization dedicated to teaching people how to live more conscious and fulfilling lives. Gay Hendricks has authored over 40 books including The Big Leap and conscious loving. His books have been translated into more than 20 languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide. Gay is also known for his work and body center therapy and his development of the Hendricks Institute's body centered therapy. Much of what Michelle coaches me on is releasing the tension and stress I hold in my body when I go into that fight or flight instinct that kicks in. So according to gay, we often get stuck in old patterns and reactive behaviors, because we operate from the lower more primitive parts of our brains. And this can lead to feelings of anxiety, fear and disconnection in our relationships. However, by accessing the frontal cortex, we can tap into our higher level thinking and make conscious choices that align with our deepest desires and values. So how do we access the frontal cortex when we want to go into fight or flee? Well, this involves developing self awareness and mindfulness and learning to regulate emotions and thoughts. Our weekend course included working with our partners and also alongside other couples, there were 30 couples that attended the course, I have always believed that group work can be very effective. And I was right. There was something special about being able to address issues with other couples who have similar stories. I was amazed to see younger couples attending the course as well. Yesterday, I went over to my local half price bookstores and I found two books by Gay Hendricks, I had to have a copy of The Big Leap, and of course, the zone of genius. Now, Michelle, my coach typically teaches me the ideas and the strategies in these books. But this past weekend taught me that I want to dive deeper into the Hendricks teachings. The big leap was published in 2009, and offered a powerful framework for understanding and overcoming the fears and limiting beliefs that hold us back from achieving our full potential. The book's central concept is what Hendricks calls the upper limit problem. And this refers to the internal barriers that we create for ourselves that prevent us from reaching higher levels of success and happiness. Hendricks argues that we all have an inherent capacity for greatness, but often sabotage ourselves by getting stuck in our comfort zones, and self imposed limitations. The concept of an upper limit is crucial to his teachings on personal growth and success. We clearly can see how the upper limit can cause disharmony and relationships. So the upper limit is often rooted in our fears, doubts and limiting beliefs such as, I'm not good enough, I don't deserve success, or it's not safe to be too happy. And these beliefs can be based on past experiences cultural conditioning, or childhood programming, and they can be challenging to identify and overcome. In a relationship we often reach our upper limit after a significant time of experiencing happiness and bliss. We suddenly feel the need to fight or to bring that beautiful energy down. Hendricks suggests that by becoming aware of our upper limit and limiting beliefs that underline it, we can begin to break through it and achieve greater levels of success and fulfillment in our lives. This involves identifying and challenging our limiting beliefs, developing a growth mindset and cultivating greater self awareness and self compassion. Hendricks offers practical tools and exercises for identifying and overcoming the upper limit in his book, The Big Leap. One of the communication tools we were taught involves Moving away from blame talk towards conscious Hard Talk, we move away from blaming. While taking personal responsibility for our own actions and creations, we learn to ask for what we want. Hendrix also introduces a concept of the zone of genius which refers to the activities that we are uniquely gifted at and passionate about. According to Hendrix, when operating in our zone of genius, we are fully engaged, time seems to fly by and we experience a deep sense of fulfillment and purpose. Hendricks also argues that people never fully tap into their zone of genius because it gets stuck in their comfort zones and are held back by limiting beliefs and fears. However, by identifying our zone of genius and committing to spending more time in it, we can experience greater joy and fulfillment and success. Now, if you really want to learn more about the zone of genius, I recommend you purchase that book as well because it really takes you into four areas that you can discover what you're good at, but you can hand off to someone else. And then it takes you to the level of what is your zone of genius and how you can spend more time there. As I said earlier, this couple's course was led by Katy Hendricks. She has authored and co authored numerous books including conscious loving, lasting love, and the conscious heart. Her work has been featured in many media outlets, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, and she has been a keynote speaker at conferences and events worldwide. Katie is known for her unique approach to counseling which emphasizes the connection between the body and the mind. Like I said it earlier. She believes that by becoming more aware of our physical sensations and emotions, we can tap into a deeper level of wisdom and insight that can help us overcome our challenges and live more fulfilling lives. Through the course couples can learn to communicate more effectively resolve conflict with compassion and understanding and cultivate more profound intimacy and connection. They also learn to identify and overcome the subconscious patterns and beliefs that may hold them back from experiencing a genuinely fulfilling and conscious relationship. The in person couples course provides a more immersive and intensive experience than the online course. It allows couples to connect more deeply with each other and the teachings of the Hendricks. The retreats typically span several days and include various activities such as group sessions, individual coaching, experiential exercises and guided meditations, the focus is creating a safe and supportive environment where couples can explore and deepen their connection. And what I appreciate most about Katie is how generous she is with her time. So she would teach a certain concept and all sorts of hands would raise would come up and she would take the time to address each individual's concerns and answer their questions. So in many times, it did feel like individual counseling. Like I said, our retreat was held in Ojai, California, where the Hendricks now beside many of the coaches who go through the Hendrix Institute are also trained in Ojai. I've asked my coach Michelle Yasuda, to return to the podcast to discuss this work. I loved this couple's retreat and I hope to attend every year. This was a special time for Riz and I to connect, to spend time in nature and to explore new ways of communicating. Again, one of the pillars of lifestyle medicine is building healthy relationships. I feel like everything we learned this past weekend can be applied in business and in all sorts of relationships. So if you're interested in learning more about the Hendrix just go to their website Hendrix and that's with that Ric K. S. Okay, so hendrix.com You can also check out their books on audible.com. I'm currently listening to The Big Leap, even though I have the hardcopy I when I enjoy a book, I enjoy referencing it and taking quotes from there. So the hardcopy is important to me. So that's it, my friends, that was our experience in Ojai, California. I hope that I inspired you a little bit to look into their work. They're not sponsored. So that episode, however, I have found this like I said, I've been working with Michelle for two years now. And now I went to the actual teachers for a retreat and came back feeling really grounded. Have a wonderful weekend. If you celebrate Easter, May you enjoy the holiday. And I will catch you on Monday for another episode of Doctor in the house with Dr. Risks. As always my friends I want to thank you For being a listener

Maya AcostaProfile Photo

Maya Acosta

Maya Acosta is a health and wellness educator, podcaster, and content creator from Dallas, Texas, advocating for whole-food, plant-based living. As co-leader of the Plant-Based DFW Pod, she educates the public on healthy living through various initiatives such as lectures, potlucks, and walks with the doc. Maya hosts the Healthy Lifestyle Solutions podcast and is a member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine's Women's Health Interest Group. She promotes female health and covers pregnancy, thyroid issues, menopause, and more.

Maya serves as a Pod Action Committee member for PlantPure Communities, creating courses to teach other leaders how to share their messages and support their communities online. Her dedication to health outreach is evident through her involvement in various initiatives such as lectures, potlucks, documentary screenings, and walks with the doc. As a content creator, Maya covers events and makes cooking videos for social media and YouTube.

Maya's passion for helping women take control of their health has become her "ikigai," meaning her life purpose. Maya's dedication to promoting a healthy lifestyle and empowering women to take control of their health is truly inspiring.