Hello, I’m Grace Bell. I am here to facilitate people plagued by dischord, unhappiness or uneasy mental chatter to clearly identify their perceptions, and then to question their thinking…..and watch what happens to their lives.
The thoughts to investigate and question are the ones you’ve been thinking over and over again that get you discouraged, angry, despairing, or freaked out.
Almost everyone has them. But sometimes this commentary seems to take over our minds and affect our whole day (or our whole life)….and cause great unhappiness.
Are your troubling thoughts about money, your body, relationships, your family, your childhood, your job, the environment? What are you thinking that brings on the stress and pain, or makes you feel stuck?
Do you feel free with your thinking, or trapped?
I am here to support you in discovering that you can make friends with your thinking, with everything about you, with every part of yourself…even the parts you’d rather not have. When this happens, you make friends with life….and with that tricky issue you haven’t been able to resolve so far.
When you question your own thinking, you can change your life….you can feel freedom and love in any situation ultimately, instead of pain and suffering.
I am here to help you question your thinking, and change your world.
If you are are full of regret, annoyed, despairing, or bored with some aspect of your life….and you notice your mental activity is painful, gnarly, or a downer but you can’t stop it….
First, see if you can hear the chatter more clearly….then slow down, inquire, and discover a way to peace, no matter what has happened to you, what kind of person you are, or what you find troubling.
The Work of Byron Katie is the primary tool I use to take the adventure into the mind, and investigate. The Work offers a lazer-sharp, evolutionary way to dissolve stress, remember that all is well, achieve your dreams, and relax, no matter what your situation.
Here’s where you may be. But you don’t need to stay there. And you are not alone.
- Life is not going the way you want
- You are lonely, single, or unhappy in your love life
- You hate your body or something about it
- You’re discouraged with the way you eat, drink, smoke, use drugs or other addictive behavior
- You’re angry with your mate
- Your mother drives you crazy
- Your children make you sad
- You get afraid, annoyed, worried, frustrated, irritated, or depressed too often
- You don’t have enough (money, nice stuff, love, time, hope, happiness)
- You have too much suffering (grief, fear, nervousness, conflict)
It is possible for you to master your mind, and your own life in a strangely counter-intuitive way: by looking at your thoughts, clearly identifying them, and investigating them head-on. By giving up on mastery.
It is possible to question your mind, and discover the peace, love, silence and clarity that exists below the surface of any upsetting situation.
Common themes I work with people on include the following situations:
- I need more money, I can’t find a good career, I’m not happy with my professional life, I hate my job, my business is floundering
- My body is never good enough, thin enough, attractive enough, healthy enough
- I’m not the best parent—my children scare me, worry me, or drive me crazy
- I don’t have optimal relationships with my own family, my friends, or my co-workers
- I’m afraid of aging, sickness, injury and dying–I have cancer, or someone I know has it
- I’ve suffered a terrible loss or trauma, and I’ll never get over it
- My divorce ruined my life, I don’t do love relationships well, I’ll never find love again
- Being single is uncomfortable, I’d rather find a partner
- I’m not sure what life is for, I feel restless and unsettled
- My marriage isn’t as passionate/happy/thriving as I would like
- My own thinking is too negative, confusing, uncomfortable
- I keep engaging in addictive behavior—I eat too much, drink too much, use drugs, smoke, obsess about other people, spend, shop, gamble, go on the internet, etc, etc
- I want to lose weight and be in better physical condition yet I don’t do it
- People have hurt me, abandoned me, or attacked me and I don’t know what to do with my feelings of fear and pain about these incidents
- I’m too: anxious, nervous, worried, cautious, stifled, timid, shy, boring, dramatic, self-centered, hungry, unhappy, impatient, critical….the list goes on
- My spiritual life is empty, confusing, or disconnected
Many great teachers, like Socrates or Lao Tsu many centuries ago, or Carl Jung, Eckhart Tolle, Adyashanti, and Byron Katie more recently, speak of questioning our perceptions of the world. They all found that when humans sit with their thoughts and beliefs, and examine them for understanding, they are offered the keys to freedom and peace in life and a new loving experience of reality.
Sometimes we don’t even know how to put what we’re thinking into actual words. We know we feel bad, but not sure why. We know we feel uncomfortable, worried, angry, fretful and sad. We know we reach for food, alcohol, drugs, smoking…and that we feel unsettled…but why?
Many great traditions suggest that when we believe our painful thoughts, without question, we suffer. And as Byron Katie says, this is true “only 100% of the time”.
Good questions can help you focus, open and shift your painful belief-systems. With this step-by-step process, you can start with the uncomfortable feeling…then identify what you’re believing that is running you….then investigate your thoughts. Through this investigation alone, you will see things differently, your perception of the world can change (sometimes dramatically) and you’ll have a new lease on life.
Great questions are like stair steps to freedom. You have new and different answers, but they come from within—so they were actually there all along.
I am interested in breaking out of human stressful patterns, in finding out what is true, and supporting myself and everyone around me, including you, to loosen the grip of fear or worry and open to love.
I’m here to say, as a living example: You can turn every troubling issue in your life into a pearl. Yes, even the issue that’s been upsetting you for years!
Joseph Campbell, a famous author and teacher of human development, said “where you stumble, there lies your treasure”.
This means that the relationships, issues, events, and experiences you don’t feel good about in your life—your stumbling blocks—are the very places where jewels, beauty, discovery, and awareness lie.
Even if you’ve stumbled into a deep hole and you can’t seem to get out.
You may have many troubling issues. And they don’t feel good. They don’t feel like treasures. It feels like you’ll never get over it all. You’ll never really be satisfied with some aspects of your life. You always think you need more therapy, some sort of special program, like there’s something missing. And you’ve done a lot of inner personal work, and read a lot of self-help books.
When you think about what you are troubled by in your life, you feel sad or very discouraged, or angry. Maybe you notice trouble with difficult clients or co-workers, an ongoing hard time with your mom or dad, son or daughter, job dissatisfaction, lack of money, someone leaving you, or dying, perhaps a very tough relationship with your body, your relationship to food or any kind of addictive process. Maybe you feel lonely, lost, and unproductive. Or you can’t rest, you are so driven to succeed.
All of the above. That was me. My life was like a roller coaster ride, and I did not like the ride. Happy, sad, afraid, comfortable, worried, relieved, depressed, joyful. Up and down like a ping-pong ball. Great uncertainty about my purpose in life. Huge angst about whether or not my family members and friends were OK. Wanting to be a good, contributing member of the world. Not feeling truly successful and comfortable in my own skin. Upset with myself because of my eating, drinking, smoking, or lack of taking care of my own health. Too sensitive. Too much anxiety.
Getting to the heart of the stress, identifying what you are thinking and believing in that moment where you feel unhappy is the first step. Once you have your stressful beliefs identified, you can bring them to self-inquiry, The Work of Byron Katie, and open yourself to answering the most deep, personal, life-changing questions.
You may be asking yourself “But where do I even begin? I have so many places I feel concern about! How do I get to the HEART of it?”
Good news. You only need one painful issue to address to begin the process of permanent change and awareness…..you only need one uncomfortable door to walk through to get to the other side of stress and to discover a deep, sweet joy and acceptance that has always been a part of you.
Every harsh, sad, or anxious relationship offers the chance for freedom through inquiry, investigation, and understanding of that very relationship and how you work with it, how you think about it, how you feel it and experience it. You have all the knowledge, information and material you need…but it’s hard to sort it out with such a full, wild mind that thinks 60,000 thoughts per day and is constantly reacting to everything.
That’s where working with a facilitator comes in handy……or is critical for success. It supports you getting the job done: answering the questions. Not getting off track into all the dilemmas, analysis, imagining the future, regretting the past, spinning the stories.
I am a trained and certified facilitator of The Work and have done it since 2003. I have also earned my Master’s degree in Applied Behavioral Science. I have given great emphasis to recovery from my own addictions, most importantly obsession with food and eating. I am interested in how people wake up, and assisting that process for myself and others in every way possible.
Thousands of people use The Work as a practice, for healing any relationship that creates stressful problems in their lives. People say this method cuts to the chase. It does not require years and years of talking and analyzing. Sometimes people find freedom immediately by doing The Work, when they have never found it previously in years of seeking.
I am here to help those who want to question and change their repetitive, stressful life experiences, their relationship to their reality. By starting the investigation on only one of the situations that causes you stress, perhaps that really difficult one (the worst one), you may change your entire world. All it takes is identifying one painful belief or concept, and taking it to inquiry, and the process of dissolving stress begins.
The thing is, doing The Work may be simple, but it is not always easy. Many people long for someone to guide them through the darkness, through all the images, memories, ideas, and fast-paced thinking produced by the Mind. It’s hard to stay on track.
I know how to stay the course. I know it’s worth it.
It’s all an inside job, and the miraculous can happen, without you having to do anything….except answer the questions.
Inquiry….then freedom, realization. Watching the entire world change. Addictions drop away, peace enters your relationships, the events or things that used to hurt or disturb you….stop bothering you at all.
So where DO you stumble most often? Is it with your relationship with one individual person, or with food, money, your job, your body, cancer, your children, your desires?
Sometimes as we move through life it feels like we’re stumbling over the same bump in the road, repeating the same patterns.
Sometimes, every time we think of one traumatic event in the past, every time we re-feel the feelings or terror or rage, without inquiry, we experience pain; sadness, disgust, irritation, anger, grief, shame, self-hate, guilt, criticism all over again.
When I first started doing The Work, I thought “why on earth would I ever need to hire someone to facilitate me through four simple questions? I can do it by myself!”
Yes, everyone can do it on their own. You can keep the questions with you, you can memorize them, you can answer them at key moments when stress arises. You are of course the only one who can actually answer the questions. However…..the more determined I was to do The Work by myself, the more I resisted it, got confused, forgot what I was actually questioning, felt too sad and discouraged, and felt like throwing it out with the bath-water.
Me asking myself questions and being my own facilitator was too much like a gerbil spinning around on its little exercise wheel inside a glass cage. Or like Hitler having a conversation with the devil. Anxiety blocked my answers, it felt like being in a maze.
“I should have done it differently, she shouldn’t have said that, I can’t do it right, he lied to me, they ruined my life, I’m not good enough, I’ll never be really happy…”
Stumbling happens. When we’ve done it many times, for years, we get pretty used to our own thinking. It may feel like we don’t spend much time walking steadily, without wobbling, gracefully.
We stumble in our troubled and frustrating relationships with food, smoking, drinking, any addiction, with our experience of divorce, conversations with our mothers and fathers, interactions with our kids and parenting, anxieties about how much money would be enough.
We stumble when we have cancer, when our friends get sick, with death, earthquakes, losing everything. We stumble when we feel frustration with our neighbor, a co-worker, our employees, our boss.
We stumble with our lovers and spouses, or because we feel so alone and don’t have a lover. We stumble with self-criticism, procrastination, failure, or seeing ourselves as unworthy or not good enough.
Life appears to offer a lot of challenges.
And how exactly could these troubling situations be the places where great treasures await?
In these experiences, we get to see where we need a little peace. Or a lot. We notice we are not exactly trusting, loving, free or joyful. These situations are the ones we allow to move us out of peace and into unhappiness. We get obsessive. We get nervous.
You are actually an amazing person. You are unique. Your inherent, true nature is to be loving, peaceful, creative and kind. You don’t really ever want to hurt other people. Including yourself. But something happens within you that takes you away from your true, genuine, authentic nature.
You get pissy, upset, angry, terrified, irritable. You get mean or silent, or too nicey-nice and people-pleasing. You have secrets, you stuff your face when you’re by yourself at night. You try not to get too close to people. You don’t take risks. You get mad and cut people off, you get critical and pick a fight. You feel against the way life unfolds. You don’t like it.
Uncomfortable, stressful feelings only arise when you’re believing difficult, painful thoughts. We all do it….and I know you can work with your thoughts in this new way and experience peace.
Freedom is not trying to avoid the rough patches, scheme to get away from those mean people, or cover up all your most painful emotions. Freedom is feeling fearless, that what is happening in your internal life is worth exploring.
If you can identify your concepts clearly (and anyone can) and then stay and investigate them to learn what is really true for you, you could watch your entire life transform.
Yes, a vast treasure lies right where you trip……. I can show you how to find it, even if you’ve fallen flat on your face and you think you can’t ever get up again, or you don’t want to try.
Inquiry is the beginning of the end of stress. What kind of life could you have if you no longer worried about any of the places you stumble?
I’ll help you find out.
CLICK HERE TO GO TO SOLO SESSIONS PAGE AND SIGN UP FOR A SESSION (write me at email@example.com to schedule it at a time that works best for you).