The one thing harder than accepting this.

What absolutely thrilling excitement of the very best kind to sit with those who came to the webinar immersion class yesterday. Slides, concepts shared, my experience, people asking great questions.

Webinar Immersion: Ten Barriers That Can Keep The Work…From Working. It’s so much information. An entire 90 minutes of sharing what’s blocked my own work or hearing what’s made others hesitate, these ten “barriers” I’ve named. I talk about Year of Inquiry for all of you interested, at the very end. Listen to the recording HERE. And thank you, thank you, for being here.

And I had so much fun afterwards going live on Facebook. What a nut case. I actually crack myself up sometimes (OK I do that a lot–no one else is laughing, except me).

But here I am being excited about the upcoming (today!) Being With Byron Katie Retreat, plus all the people who were with me on the Ten Barriers webinar. Check out my video HERE.

I just love The Work, that’s all.

I love sharing The Work. I love seeing people get amazed at their own inquiry process. I love finding my own personal discoveries in the middle of hard times, painful experiences, loss, worry or fear.

It’s stunning, really.

I continuously get floored by the people I work with. They are so courageous and so brilliant. Wow.

I’m sure I actually need every single person who comes my way.

You all show me how to sit in The Work and find answers, and answer the questions.

When I receive payment for facilitating this work, it’s fairly remarkable. The exchange could be the other way around. I give THEM some kind of payment, or gift. Because the person sharing their inner thoughts, and then reading it and giving it up to inquiry, is brave, and clear, and so very inspiring to me.

They have no idea they’re bringing me freedom, by having us look at the story together. I get to explore and investigate this terrible, stressful, difficult situation….and THEY brought it to ME.

Sometimes the voice within says “wow, I wonder if there can be any peace in this situation they present?”

There always is peace. Every time.

Everyone shows me where.

So today, thank you ever so much for bringing your work to the free First Friday calls, for showing up with all your sharing and questions during the Ten Barriers webinar, for joining me to watch and participate in Being With Byron Katie.

There is still room if you can make it today (we’re in Seattle), to sit with us in retreat for 4 days and spend time in silence, and with Katie. Everyone there gets to watch anything you miss through Sept 30th.

And you know that relationship, that event, that situation, that issue, that problem?

You can inquire. It’s so possible to take a good look, and explore what’s true for you about what went down.

“There’s only one thing harder than accepting this, and that is not accepting it.” ~ Byron Katie

If I can help you in any way with inquiry (secretly it’s if you can help me in any way with inquiry) then please ask. I will share with honestly what it’s been like to stick with self-inquiry, even when I didn’t like it. I wasn’t sure what else to do, so no real alternative, honestly.

Question your thinking, change your world. Seriously.

Much love,


Real marriage = married to the truth (and TEN BARRIERS webinar TODAY)

It’s a big inquiry offering day. All free for anyone.

Let’s do The Work, together.

FIRST FRIDAY open simple inquiry jam for everyone and anyone. 7:45 – 9:00 am Pacific Time. Join HERE. You’ll see your options for connection when you visit this link about 20 minutes before the session begins.

Webinar Immersion Class: Ten Barriers That Can Keep The Work…From Working. To attend join me HERE. You’ll want to view this one on a device with a screen where you can watch the slides. Everyone receives a free download of a new short summary I put together listing the ten barriers. At the very end I’ll share and answer your questions about the Year of Inquiry, which is now accepting registrations for fall.

Five years ago exactly today, I got married for the second time.

It was such a fun, fabulous, stress-free, joyful occasion….I never knew a ceremonial event with many people gathered could be so playful and precious.

Here’s a never-before-seen (I think it’s true) photo that appeared in my computer files today. I’m sharing it with you today because it reminds me of knowing what it’s like to be without those thoughts.

There were so many glorious parts to the 4 day celebration, and the 2 hour ceremony itself: sharing by the community, poetry, quotes, songs, calling in the ancestors, intention, celebration of love in every form for everyone present (not just commitment between two), honoring of old traditions and family members, dancing, feasting.

For me, it was truly an experience of who I could personally be without my ancient stressful stories of “love”, “partnership”, “friends”, “family”, “supposed-to”, “have-to”, and “must”.

Thank you to The Work for giving me back such freedom. A kind I hadn’t remembered or known since I was a child talking to the fairies in the garden.

“When I make a commitment, it’s to my own truth, and there’s no higher or lower. ‘I love, honor, and obey you–and I may change my mind.’ I’m married only to God-reality. That’s where my commitment is. It can’t be to a particular person….Unless we marry the truth, there is no real marriage.” ~ Byron Katie

I have a very dear sweet man called a husband, a beautiful extended family, and so many friends and people to share this life with, including you.

Much love,


Eating Peace: Questioning this can change everything

Webinar Immersion Free Class: Ten Barriers That Block Self-Inquiry, and How To Dissolve Them. Join me today from Noon-2:00 pm for a powerful course, live. Bring your pen and paper and an open mind. This will really help you with compulsion and self-critical issues, and going deeper in The Work of Byron Katie. At the end, I’ll be sharing information about Year of Inquiry that begins in September.


Body image plays a big role in our eating and food patterns.

Not everything, but it sure had a big influence on me.

In fact, my own negative body image basically got eating off balance started in the first place.

I went on a diet at age 14, with my mom.

Later on, with increasing urges to suppress feelings and emotional experiences I didn’t like so much, food became more than just something to restrict in order to get the good body.

It was comfort, soothing, grounding, and calmed nerves, expressed anger, exhausted me, and put me to sleep (or kept me awake).

But that body image feeling so very serious, that started off a huge chunk of the stress that affected my experience of eating in the first place.

I love looking at body image very deeply now.

I still notice the stressful thoughts chirping in the background, but they are so much less serious.

I share one very powerful question here today, for looking at body images concerns….and how to work with the question to get to the heart of your thinking about the body and your looks:

What do you think it means…about you, about others, about the world?

It can’t be gained by interfering (+ Friday Immersion Webinar + BWBK)

Tomorrow: FIRST FRIDAY open free inquiry jam for everyone and anyone. 7:45 – 9:00 am Pacific Time. Join HERE. You’ll see your options for connection when you visit this link about 20 minutes before the session begins.

Then….also tomorrow, Friday July 7th from Noon-1:30 pm PT one of my favorite courses to offer: Ten Barriers To ‘Getting’ The Work, And How To Dissolve Them. A little different every time, and I will record it for all of you who can’t attend. To attend join me HERE. At the very end I’ll share and answer your questions about the Year of Inquiry, which is now accepting registrations for fall.

And if this wasn’t enough for our hungry inquiring minds, I absolutely loved the Opening Day to Summer Camp For The Mind yesterday morning. Tonight is the second option, Thursday Opening Day Summer Camp 7/6 at 5:30 pm. Three hours of a little mini-retreat for you virtually. This is audio only, you listen and write and listen and write and share if you’re drawn to give feedback or comment….or if you’re bravely up for doing The Work out loud.

I get amazed at how 3 hours goes by so fast. Such great questions from everyone, even from the very first steps of filling out the Judge Your Neighbor worksheet.

Sometimes at the very beginning of a mini-retreat, or stepping into a session of The Work, we have a few stressful thoughts. One of them can be….where do I even begin when it comes to The Work?

There’s so much to worry about, right?

Look at this list!

Kids, money, job, car, house, tasks, reading, gaining knowledge, creating, taxes, diet, cooking, laundry, vacuuming, aging parents, schooling, success, disease, disappointment, terror.

Yesterday, I had people start with a little quiet, to write in a short list what they felt most disturbed by in their lives. Not too long a list, not too short.

You do hopefully just the right amount of writing to open the door to what wants to be investigated, for you.

Maybe you write down the names of people who bug you. Or who you don’t feel forgiving towards. Or who you feel hurt you. Or other issues you’re bothered by in your life–like your body, a sickness, an unpleasant surprise.

Here’s a key that’s really helped me over time to get into my inner world and my own work: It almost doesn’t even matter what our situations are. The FEELINGS are the important key.

I feel bad about…..

I feel troubled about….

I feel sad, worried, angry, scared, furious about….

Anything uncomfortable is a moment worthy of inquiry. Either lightly disappointing, or absolutely terrifying.

Your feelings are the brilliant compass, or the fog horn, that tells you something’s up. Something needs your attention.

I didn’t used to feel this way, truth be told.

If I was uncomfortable, my first order of business internally was to figure out when I could get to safety, how I could distract or change my feeling, how to fix the situation, and how to feel better ASAP.

Look directly at the feelings and the situation?

No thanks. 

I never realized I could question my assumptions. Like, the biggest one being that the situation is an actual problem.

I always just assumed it was. Of course it’s a problem! I’m upset! That proves it is worthy of upseted-ness!

Ahhhh, my little grasshopper, says the wise part of ourselves from somewhere perhaps distant, or over the horizon….’Are you sure that if you feel uncomfortable or troubled, you have a problem?’

I was already out the door, knowing I had a problem on my hands. I was already eating something, or gossiping, or planning which movie I’d be going to, or smoking–because, I needed to take the edge off the feelings. FAST.

It was an emergency, after all.

That’s what feeling strongly felt like.

I had a core underlying belief (which is one of the ten barriers I’ll talk about in the webinar Friday by the way that sometimes blocked my inquiry): Do Not Feel.

It hurts. Don’t do it.

How do you react when you believe feeling in a big way is bad, difficult, to be avoided, terrifying?

I spend huge amounts of energy trying to have a great poker face. Even on the inside. I personally developed wild eating behaviors, called disordered eating (no kidding) because of believing I must never be angry or afraid.

So who would you be without this very stressful belief that feeling big feelings is bad?

Wait. You mean….Huh?

But it IS bad. I hate seeing grown people go on a rampage, or act rude, or cry in public, or start yelling. It’s so….scary! I don’t like it when kids do it, come to think of it!

What if you didn’t know it was scary though? What if it was like the weather….sometimes cold, sometimes hot, sometimes stormy, sometimes wild, sometimes very still, sometimes wet, sometimes windy?

And yes, sometimes weather is a bit frightening. Although, I must admit, the more I’ve gotten comfortable with my feelings, the more willing I am to be in any kind of weather, without severe disturbance. I’m not chasing tornadoes, I’m not even thinking of them. There aren’t any in my neighborhood.

Who would you really be, without your belief that feelings need to be shut down, avoided, crushed, obliterated, cut off, controlled?

I’d feel them.

They’d course through me, sometimes with huge heart-breaking waves, or fist-gripping punches.

Then they’d fade away.

I remember Eckhart Tolle speaking once about big feelings, as he watched two swans attack each other, fight, and then move away from each other. He noticed they both shook and shook, as they glided in opposite directions, as if the fighting was spasming through them and out of them. Then their bodies settled down and relaxed.

Maybe it could be the same for us.

Turning the thought around: It’s safe to have big feelings. It’s dangerous to NOT have them, or to suppress them. It’s good to feel.

How could this be truer?

Oh so easy for me to find, now.

It allows me to address the upset directly, to wonder what’s disturbing me, to explore the inner landscape, to be a part of the human race–someone with reactions and perceptions and a mind worthy of listening to and questioning.

My feelings were what saved my life–they were so distraught and getting so twisted up inside, I had to disconnect from the “normal” path, and get help. They brought me to inquiry.

Becoming more open and familiar and loving towards my own feelings made me someone who could sit with other people having their feelings, and not be afraid. I don’t even have to know what to say, or do. I can just be there.

“It is what you’re believing that is the cause of those feelings and emotions. It’s so important to get in touch with how you react when you think this thought. All of the sudden you have a gifting of emotions to wake you up.” ~ Byron Katie

Even if you’re not sure what you’re believing that led to your troubled feelings, you know at least you’re thinking something. Remembering something. Worried about something.

The feeling is the clue. And with The Work, you can discover what’s behind the curtain–that stressful belief, waiting to be investigated.

Join me tonight for Opening Day, and if you want to come on board the Peace Train, to find peace towards your feelings and your thinking….Summer Camp for The Mind is a great place to share inquiry. Find out all about it HERE). We meet for our shorter 90 minute sessions every week day from July 12 – August 18.

“True mastery can be gained
by letting things go their own way.
It can’t be gained by interfering.”

~ Tao Te Ching #48

This includes feelings running through the body. Letting them go their own way. Not fighting them, the way I did all the time.

Instead of interfering with force…..try The Work.

Much love,


P.S. I am so excited my hands are clapping because Saturday is Being With Byron Katie. Instead of a webinar or telesession, we’re gathering in person together to watch Katie for 4 days (or however long you can join us) to be in silence and The Work and watch the retreat via streaming. Still room for 2 more, just hit reply if you want to come. Amazing group of people. I can’t wait! If you are dying to attend and you can only do it with financial help, please let me know. Find out more or sign up right HERE.

Quitting the Doing Too Much….Again

Soooo much is happening this week.

Isn’t it supposed to be vacation here in the US?

Hmmm. Stressful thought: I have too much to do. There’s too much happening. My schedule is too full. Too too too.

We’ll talk about that in a minute.

Meanwhile, I apparently MUST tell you first (when I believe there’s so much to do, then checking it off the list becomes my reaction) that this coming Friday July 7th, I’ll be doing one of my favorite open webinars again: Ten Barriers That Can Keep The Work From Deepening.

Super helpful points for those of you that find your process in The Work confusing, stuck, or meh. Sign up HERE and watch your Inbox for the link to the program. We meet 7/7 from Noon-2:00 pm PT.

If you’ve been doing The Work, or trying to get started, this webinar may really help you cut through a little fog.

At the end of the robust 90 minute course (I’ll try to keep it to 75 mins but if you have great questions, it will go longer) you’ll have some clear exercises to continue with, and a downloadable handout especially made for this webinar immersion class that summarizes each barrier.

In the Friday Webinar, I’ll also explain the basics of Year of Inquiry, the program beginning September 2017. I’m stunned this year to find that people are already enrolling before Summer Camp For The Mind even has begun. (Summer Camp is great for people testing out telesessions to see if it’s right for you: you can still join HERE).

No one HAS to be a part of the live telesessions in YOI–there’s so much to gain from the two retreats, the monthly Intro webinars and listening to recordings plus our private place to share written work which is super cool–but you’ll get the feel of the live telesessions if you’re in Summer Camp and you can decide if they support your investigations in your stressful beliefs.

People can join SCFTM (Summer Camp for The Mind) until Tuesday, July 11th. Yes, we’ve got Opening Day today 7/5 OR Opening Day tomorrow 7/6 but both of these will be recorded (the only recordings all summer) and if you listen soon, you’ll be ready to join any daily call starting July 12th

Meanwhile, about the non-stop scheduling of webinars, telesessions, solo sessions, groups, meetings, emails, administration.

That “too much to do” thought.

Remember that one?

Holy Smokes.

It’s true.

Really, though? Can you be absolutely sure?


I’m still breathing, eating, pausing, spending time with my kids yesterday (it was my adorable son’s 23rd birthday).

How do you react when you think you have too much to do?

Resentful. Serious. Making lists. Checking things off. Worried.

Who would you be without your story of too much to do?

This can be about working, hosting an event, getting ready to travel, visiting the post office, cleaning.

Who would you really be without this thought?



I’d be stillness, simply here. Letting everything go, before bed. Not dreaming of the next thing, or the next, or the next day.

I do not have too much to do. My thinking has too much to do. Too much to do has me.

Could these be just as true? Or truer?

Yes. Oh yes.

So let’s stop, and rest, and be with this moment here. Not the one at the end of the doing.

Deep breath again.

“Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour.” ~ Walt Whitman

Much love,


The good news about money wrestling matches in relationships (+ summer camp)

Summer Camp For The Mind, an immersion in The Work via telesessions Monday through Friday, begins July 5th or July 6th (depending on the day and time that works best for you). We kick off on July 5th or July 6th with a 3-hour blitz Intro to Summer Camp.

During these two long intro sessions, everyone will hear about how to join our private slack forum, everyone receives guidance to fill out a Judge Your Neighbor worksheet, and we’ll begin to question stressful thoughts. These first two longer sessions are recorded so people who miss these Intros can catch up.

Summer Camp is offered by donation (see suggested range when you visit the summer camp page). To read about it and sign up by July 3rd, visit HERE. All details with how to attend the calls will be sent out by midnight July 3rd Pacific Time.

Meanwhile, last week I was contemplating the incredible journey on money, and how for me personally it all got extra weird and difficult and the MOST hard when a significant relationship came to an end.

We all know the pain and suffering involved in relationships when they undergo big changes.

People often feel unlovable, like something failed in the relationship, if it goes other than the way we prefer.

And recently through the beautiful work of several different inquirers I had the privilege of sitting with, I remembered how surprisingly strong stress is about MONEY in the middle of a relationship.

Or at the end of one.

Or, OK, at the beginning of one too.

Dating, going on trips, sharing expenses, paying the bills in the home (who’s doing it, who’s home is it), purchases, needs, bank accounts getting split, people dividing everything and going their separate ways, people freaking out if they think they won’t have enough money in the future.

Money touches us everywhere. It’s a part of relationship, it seems.

We trade it for things we desire, need, support, use.

And any moment there’s something uncomfortable with money going on….so good for inquiry.

Today, I focus on the troubles that can appear where the relationship is changing. Called break-up. Ending. Completion.


And the money. Wanting half the possessions or the equivalent. Breaking things into even piles.

Some people are so frightened of these images about money being scarce because of the changes in a relationship, they see themselves living on the street in the future pushing a shopping cart. The fear is so massive, they’ll choose to NOT leave a relationship, because the picture in the mind of no money is worse than the discomfort of the current relationship.

Which means….money is actually more important than the relationship itself, if you get into that fearful state. If it weren’t for the money, you’d might not like what’s going on, but you’d feel far more at ease.

It’s like “What’s happening in the relationship breaks my heart, but I can get through that, as long as I know I’ll have enough money.”

I saw this in myself. Almost divorced. Stayed with kids and worked part time at home for over a decade. No real career. No personal savings. No health insurance.

I remember sitting on my old brown leather couch from the 1960s that used to have a matching partner in the elegant living room of my childhood, wondering how it got to this, that my life was so dramatically downsized from anything I had once known.

From a huge grand and exquisite house built in 1924 in Seattle where I grew up. And now, sitting in a tiny cottage built in 1940 for vacations in the far north end of the city.

I felt so sorry for myself.

A voice kept coming in; “You have nothing. Nothing. Look at you. You should have planned. You should have gone to medical school like you briefly imagined. You’re pathetic.”

Over the following few years, I would walk in my neighborhood and almost cry sometimes looking at the massive homes on Lake Washington only 200 yards from where I lived, all lined up with docks, boats, manicured yards, and windows looking at Mount Rainier.

“I don’t have that. I have NOTHING.”

Let’s take a look.

You can do this if you believe you will have nothing LATER, even if you don’t have nothing yet. Those pictures of you having nothing in the future are so stressful, right?

Those pictures are so threatening, we react to them and feel frightened NOW, even though we actually do have enough to eat, water to drink, we have a roof, we even have a car or a bicycle, clothing, a flushing toilet, a toaster, table and chairs.

But anyway. Who cares about all that.

“I have nothing” by comparison to those other people, or that other person.

Is it true?

Now, I know the word “nothing” is dramatic. We can see we have something. Maybe even quite a lot. But this BY COMPARISON thing.

Ahhhh, there’s the rub.

So much less, that’s what I have. Sooooooo much less.

Is this absolutely true?


How do you react when you believe this is true that you have so much less money than “x” or “y” (picture those happy people, or your former mate doing fabulous things, or your neighbors laughing on their boat)?

My mind jumps around at who to blame. Him. Her. Family. Them. The government. Their business. That country. The law. This neighborhood. My ancestors.

Furious. Replaying what she did, what he did. Seeing me with LESS. Grrrrrrr.

Maybe you react with fighting words, anger, resentment. Harsh words. Or maybe you go the other way into apathy, despair, sinking non-action, curling up in a tight ball with shame or self-pity.

Flashing pictures of this rough future you’re going to have. Flashing pictures of not having enough in the past and how this will be repeated. Flashing pictures of scenes from movies, or friends you knew, who lost money.

A feeling of unworthiness about yourself. (Notice the word, also used when something can’t be traded for money).

So who would you be without the belief they have so much more than you, or you have nothing?

What if you really just couldn’t do the comparing for a moment? No reference for looking at two things and deciding you come out below the other, or with less.

Who would you really be, without believing in the danger of No Money? What if money didn’t mean survival, security, or peace?

Because, I notice it doesn’t guarantee any of those things. At all.

Without the belief, way back when I had almost no money sitting in my little cottage, I caught a glimpse of a quiet pulsing silence. It was just a moment in time, during a long life. That moment of little money was the same as any moment if there had been a lot of money. A couch, me sitting still, no hunger, no thirst, able to lie down wherever I was and rest if I needed to.

Noticing that to call the place I lived “mine” was not even true. Everything temporary. Everything changing. The fanciness of the furniture might be greater where I sit one day, or the rug on the floor….but this is the same body, living on planet earth. The environment constantly changes. Mind comes along for the ride, commenting on everything it sees.

Without the thought of comparison, I’m present with what’s happening right now. Noticing I’m fine.

Money is doing what it does. It comes, it goes. It moves in and out of my wallet. It’s busy living it’s life. And I’m here, completely and totally 100% fine. There is no threat, except in the pictures in my thinking. There is no threat, except my vision of what I think it means when something in the environment is “worth” a lot, or I can trade this pile of green paper for something else I think is important.

None of it really is, in the long run.

Turning the thought around: I have more than they do. I have everything I need. I have enough–just the right amount, in fact, for supporting my own evolution. In my thinking, I have less than them. But only in my thinking.

How is this just as true, or truer?

Oh, it’s soooo much truer for me.

Examples: I love noticing how kind and sharing the human race is. I received furniture from the friend of a friend who was giving everything away. Beautiful little unique pieces of furniture, for my little cottage. I didn’t have so much space to clean. Vacuuming took 15 minutes. I could talk with my daughter as we both lay on our beds in our own rooms (small little hallway dividing us). I had a fridge full of delicious food all kept cold (unlike people 100 years ago).

I had incredible appreciation (notice the fine word, again also used in the financial world) for everything around me. For life, for silence. For Not Needing lots of stuff.

I could read for entertainment, instead of thinking I needed to go to Paris. I watched movies from the library. I wondered about the mind and my thinking–which was (and still is) the ultimate most fascinating thing of all, and the thing I was most wanting to relax.

My greatest desire, actually, was peace. Which is probably everyone’s greatest desire. If you asked me to trade all the money I ever had for peace, or keep all the money I ever had and leave peace out of it….I’d take peace.

I’m no dummy.

I want a free mind, a mind at ease. I wanted a mind ready to be in the presence of anything that showed up in this physical world. Including a moment of noticing someone else’s material wealth or my lack of it.

I wanted to notice the wealth I had of life, what was possible, not what was impossible.

I wanted to notice the thing that’s all-and-forever lasting, the thing that’s been with me every step of the way throughout my life, no matter how much money or success I’ve had (according to society).

THAT thing is priceless, shining like a diamond. The greatest treasure I could ever have.

I sit in the streets with the homeless.

My clothes stained with the wine 

From the vineyards the saints tend.

Light has painted all acts the same color.

So I sit around and laugh all day with my friends.

At night if I feel a divine loneliness

I tear the doors off Love’s mansion

And wrestle God onto the floor.

He becomes so pleased with Hafiz and says

‘Our hearts should do this more.’


My terror about money offered me the wrestling match or two or three of a lifetime.

Turns out, my heart met the heart of reality, in the middle of every match….and I realized everything was painted the same color.

It didn’t matter how much, what was more, what was lost, what was found, what was less when it came to money and possessions and safety.

Safety was somewhere other than money. I keep remembering this over and over again whenever I do The Work on money.

Every time I do The Work on money, life says “our hearts should do this more often!”

Thank you money for being such a “problem”. Ha ha!

It was actually only a thought about money that was the problem. Not money itself.

Just to make sure….just a moment ago while writing here, I checked in on money, support, security, wealth, richness, and success by asking “Is everything OK right now? Do I have enough money? Is there abundance all around, everywhere I see?”

Yep. Still true.

Much love,


My Big Kahuna Barrier to self-inquiry

One of my favorite things about The Work is that you are your own guru, teacher and educator. You answer the four questions known as The Work or self-inquiry (or Inquiry Based Stress Reduction IBSR if you want to get fancy). You find your own turnarounds.

You’re working intimately with your mind on situations that have actually happened in your life–and you’ve got your sometimes vivid, sometimes foggy, painful memories of that situation.

The thing is….when I first started out in The Work….I kind of had mixed feelings about the whole ME being the teacher thing.

What??! I’m the teacher? I’m the guru? DANG IT. That can’t be right. This? (pointing to self). Seriously? Are you talkin’ to me?

Byron Katie suggests: “Anything you want to ask a teacher, ask yourself. And wait for the answer in silence.”

But. (Let’s be honest).

That’s actually the problem here!

My ways don’t seem to work so well. I’ve done it wrong. I have huge flaws. It seems like something’s missing! There must be some mistake.

Can’t you see? I am NOT the teacher. I’m a dork!

(And I know the Voice in the head to some of us is pretty mean. It calls you names far worse than “dork”).

The thing is, this orientation towards ourselves can be so loud, so rude, so dismissive, and so fretful….

….you don’t feel like you can answer these questions about reality and the world and your life, with any kind of confidence or clarity. The despair has already set in. Maybe you worry that if you DID answer the questions, they’d be the WRONG answers.

At least, that’s how I felt about my own answers. Tentative. Nervous. Very lacking in trust.

I was totally convinced I was LOOKING for answers, not that I HAD answers already. Stop telling me I have answers! I don’t!

Here’s the good news: all these ideas about you missing something, about you not being the teacher? They are only more thoughts, upon thoughts, upon thoughts. And very worthy of inquiry.

The energy of attack you have towards yourself, you’ve also had about other people, or life encounters that were scary. It’s a fairly natural human reaction to loss, surprise, shock, or believing you lack love to Go To War with something. Anything. The self is usually the best target of all (it seems). We don’t really want to hurt other people. So we turn it on us.

I keep noticing, everyone is truly a real softie inside for the most part (OK, always). We really don’t want anyone to suffer. We wish we ourselves didn’t suffer.

So what do we do with The Work if we feel like we can’t answer the questions, or trust our answers, or we feel super confused, and we’re just so dang sure we can’t be the One, or the teacher?

Start with….naturally….The Work.

Is it true you can’t answer the four questions and get anywhere, or be your own teacher? Are you sure your answers aren’t the complete package, the full monty, the best way?



It FEELS like there’s something missing here, but I can’t know it’s absolutely true.

How do you react when you think the thought that you can’t really be your own personal guru, or answer-giver?

I circle the globe looking for other teachers. Better teachers. Other people who know a lot more than me, or seem to. I get nervous about who I can or can’t trust. I’m full of longing. I think the answer is in Rishikesh. Not here. I listen to hours of talks on youtube.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Because there really isn’t. Amazing wisdom resides in this world. And some of it’s on the internet.

How do I react?

I DO NOT DO THE WORK. Not all by myself.

I keep saying “whatever’s here can’t be it”. I think it’s not enough. I’m not smart enough, good enough, wise enough, patient enough, slow enough, fit enough, relaxed enough.

But who would you be without your story that you aren’t the teacher you’ve been waiting for?



You mean….

I’m not even sure who I’d be. OK though. I’ll try to answer.

Without the belief….I’d feel curious. Kind of weird. Unknown. I’d notice the space I’m in, the present moment. I’d notice the mind very busy with thought, and also a pulsing aliveness here. I’d find it funny that I have no answers, but feel like that’s also OK somehow. I’d notice I’m here.

Turning the thought around: I am my own teacher. I’m the One I’ve been waiting for.

How could this be just as true, or truer?

I’m the only one who has been here for every single moment of my life, in addition to some part of “reality” or “life” or “creation” which has also been here all of my life (call it God if you like).

I’m the only one who knows the in’s and out’s of the way I move through life.

I’m the one who remembers the situations the way I remember them, whether painful or joyful. They get locked in my mental files just THAT way, even if others were there to observe it differently.

Even when I’ve been the meanest to myself you can imagine, with really violent thinking, I haven’t eliminated myself. Something has stuck here even when thoughts were cray cray. I’m still here!

I’m the one who’s been drawn to all these amazing experiences and fascinating characters who are fellow travelers here on earth. All the wonderful teachers, the programs (like the school and other beautiful retreats and gatherings). I said Yes. Even without getting why.

Except for my thoughts, life is pretty astonishing, unusual, full of magnificent variety, and totally weird.

Holy Wow.

I am that.

Someone wrote a book with that title….and it could be entirely and completely just as true or truer that you are.

If you’re not so sure about doing The Work or if questioning your thoughts can bring freedom, and a joy you never expected….

….join me for a really powerful webinar coming soon where I go into depth about what it is that keeps self-inquiry from working.

When you register, you’ll get a list of ten barriers I’ve found that all point to the very same Big Kahuna barrier of Not Believing I’m The One I’ve Been Waiting For.

Perhaps all these ten barriers are just ways we remain ignorant, or entrenched in our idea that This Can’t Be It.

I find it’s been helpful to see all these little ways the mind will sabotage, sneak around, trick, or try to stay in a fearful place about life and What Is.

And although I’ve taught the webinar before, every single time I show up and share the slides, the barriers, the exercises, something changes and is new. It’s never the same, based on the questions that come and who attends.

Join me Friday, July 7th for a live webinar: Ten Barriers That Make The Work Difficult, Meh, or Unconvincing….And How To Deepen Your Self-Inquiry Instead.

I’ll also answer questions at the end about the upcoming Year of Inquiry, a small group immersion in The Work from September 2017 through June 2018 with Summer Camp for The Mind for July and August 2018 also….a full and entire year with a small group of devoted inquirers, all doing The Work together.

Everyone who completes the Full Year of Inquiry Program can receive credit for a 9 day School for The Work plus 80 additional credits in training towards Certification in The Work.

Many (maybe most) people join are not pursuing accreditation. Because it’s simply about being in The Work, remembering to question what you’re thinking that hurts.

This program is about YOU. You being your own teacher. Your Year of Inquiry, your school of yourself. You really are the guru or teacher of your own life, and sharing it with us all is a gift.

If you’d like to learn more, besides the Big Kahuna barrier of believing you are not enough and NOT your own teacher, then sign up for the upcoming 90 minute free webinar I on this topic of barriers that prevent us from questioning our thinking, and loving what is.

When you register, I’ll be including a summary handout of the ten barriers.

Sign up for the Webinar: Ten Barriers to Doing The Work right HERE.

We meet online Friday, July 7th Noon – 1:30 pm. At the end of the webinar, I’ll include information on Year of Inquiry plus Q & A, so bring your questions!

“You are the one you’ve been looking for.” ~ Byron Katie




Eating Peace: Everywhere You Go The Relaxation Diet….Lie Down (Watch the Weight Come Off)

Last week I was traveling and facilitating a retreat (in Oregon at Breitenbush Hotsprings Conference Center).

Yesterday I was out in the city to dance and meet friends for a birthday dinner.

We all move about, in and out of our houses. Food is out there, at home, on tables, and often easily acquired–especially for those in first world countries like me. Super abundance of food options and eating is all around.

When you’ve had an internal war with eating, your body image, or food itself….it often doesn’t feel good to be out away from home, and your safe refrigerator and pantry.

But who would you be without the belief you need to worry, you have to control the environment or the food, you must be anxious about you and food in any situation?

It doesn’t mean you don’t take good care of yourself and move towards what you need or away from what hurts when it comes to food and eating.

This is about finding truly, deeply what you need.

For me, it was always relaxation. Trust. Peace. Resting with what is. It doesn’t mean I’m passive and never speaking up for what I prefer or desire, or not acknowledging I’m hungry, or full.

When I relax fully, I’m actually free to ask for anything.

Here’s one of my favorite meditations or ideas to carry with me wherever I go. It’s called “Lie Down”.

Do it for real, on the floor or couch, or do it on the inside.

And see what happens with your fearful dilemmas about eating, not eating, foods, ingredients, body, fat, thin, weight.

Being With Byron Katie

Have you ever wanted to spend an official retreat in The Work with Byron Katie, the founder, herself?

Not everyone who learns of The Work are able to fly to another continent, sign up for the 9 Day School, or make all the arrangements and use resources to get themselves to an event with Katie, who has been teaching and sharing The Work for over 30 years and is now in her 70s.

Two years ago, for the first time, Katie offered a four day retreat live via streaming video. She’s in Switzerland, we’re located wherever we are with internet connection and a way to view a screen.

It’s pretty remarkable technology that allows such a thing these days.

And the fees are astronomically lower than attending a live event, getting yourself there with airplane tickets, trains or automobiles and paying for lodging and meals. Not to mention the tuition.

Signing up for watching something via the internet for hours on your own doesn’t always appeal to everyone. You still appear to need to take the time out to sit to watch, have quiet down time, and not be cluttered with your usual tasks like laundry or responding to your kids.

However, we’re making this really powerful and easy in Seattle, by collecting as a group to watch together.

It’s the next best thing to “live”.

People have been asking me a ton of questions about this upcoming streamed event with Byron Katie, and how to participate in Seattle, the fees, what the rooms are like if you need a place to sleep (we have them) and what to expect.

Here’s the low down:

Q: Do I have to attend all four days July 8-11th?

A: No. You can come to only one day to watch with us all, if that’s what works best with your schedule. You would have access then, until September 30th, to all the recordings….through a special log-in with our group account (no extra fee) to watch what you miss on your own time with your own computer. You would still submit the same flat fee ($185) as everyone else to participate for fewer sessions live with us, but have access to every recording just like everyone else. You won’t miss a thing.

Q: Why would I watch this with others, if I can watch it all on my own at home?

A: The power of gathering in the group for four days is quite astonishing for keeping silence, which is what the participants in Switzerland who are attending the retreat in person will be doing. Being supported by the energy of the group, and truly disconnecting from your daily routine and people you live with so you sink into the silence between every streamed session is a remarkable experience. When everyone is committed to the silence together, it’s a truly transformative energy. Plus, I don’t know about you, but do you actually keep silence when left to your own devices? This also means no social media scrolling or other technical distractions. Bring your journal. Be with you.

Q: Won’t I spend more money, if I come to Seattle to watch?

A: The fee for participation in our group event here in Seattle is $55 US less than you’d spend if you registered and paid for this event on your own. And, the fee you pay gives you access to all the recordings (on a sign-up schedule) through September 30th, 2017 which is the same length of time as if you registered for full access to the program on your own.

Q: What about lodging?

A: If you live far away and want to book a room in our private retreat house (the owner doesn’t live there) the rooms are set up as very modestly priced so those staying just chip in extra for sleeping over, far lower than typical Seattle housing rates on gorgeous Capital Hill (our location). The master bedroom with king bed is $80 per night, a queen room upstairs on the main level is $65 per night, and two large queen rooms downstairs (sharing a bathroom) are $55 per night. Share them, or ask me if you need to pay less in order to be able to participate easily. The peace and quiet of remaining onsite creates an incredible opportunity for you to truly relax into silence, uninterrupted, with others holding the very same energy. You’ll make meals and move about your time there, all in silence. There’s plenty of space for cooking, filling the fridge with your food, and venturing off to find good meals or walks in the parks nearby.

Q: What does my fee support?

A: The fee is based on planning for 12 participants, with each of the four rooms also reserved separately, to “break even” for all expenses including the registration as a group to view the event, the entire house rental in this highly popular neighborhood, plus supplies and promotional expenses.

Q: How many people are already coming?

A: We’ve got seven people, and two staying onsite so far. Anyone wanting the master bedroom is in luck as it’s still open (with it’s own private bathroom). It’s easiest and most relaxed if you take a room all 5 nights, checking in on Friday, July 7th any time after 4 pm, and checking out Wednesday, July 12th by noon. We’ll start early Saturday morning July 8th and end late-ish on Tuesday, July 11th.

Q: What is the exact schedule?

A: We gather at 9:00 am on Saturday, July 8th. Grace Bell (that’s me) will offer an Orientation to keeping silence, share what she knows about the neighborhood (which is fabulous and teaming with beauty of old Seattle near Roanoke Park, my stomping grounds growing up). I’ll also cover how to do your own work during the program and answer your questions before we begin. Everyone will get the chance to speak of their needs to others in our group before we begin.

  • Saturday July 8th after our own Orientation at 9:00 am, we’ll then view the opening Welcome in Switzerland with the staff there from 10:00-11:30 am, our first full session with Katie from 1:00-4:00 pm, and the second session with Katie from 6:30-9:30 pm.
  • Sunday July 9th Morning Silent Walk 9:00 am (optional), Session One 10:00 am-1:00 pm, Session Two 4:00-7:00 pm
  • Monday July 10th Session One 10:00 am-1:00 pm, Afternoon Silent Walk (optional) 3:00 pm, Session Two 4:00-7:00 pm
  • Tuesday July 11th Session One 9:00 am-Noon, Session Two 2:30-5:30 pm, Closing Session 7:00-9:30 We will view the closing session in Switzerland (ending approx 8:30 pm) then end our own silent session with a powerful brief closing sharing circle with everyone.
(All exact times are subject to change slightly based on adjustments from Switzerland schedule shifts).

Q: If I’m not staying overnight, what’s open to me in the retreat house?

A: The whole place, except for the private bedrooms, is for us all. This is a vacation house rented to visitors to Seattle, and highly popular (it’s rented for the entire summer every single day, and we’re lucky to have it). Professional cleaning staff care for it between every customer. You’ll have access to storing anything you want to bring for your comfort including food, cooking your meals in the lovely kitchen, comfy clothing. You can take a midday shower in the upper or downstairs bathrooms even if you’re not remaining onsite for the nights.

Q: What will the viewing area be like?

A: The reason I selected this house first and foremost is because the living room is equipped with a huge big-screen TV set up high above the fireplace. Excellent and comfortable chairs will be available for everyone, and a very large couch. We’ll have it set up for us all theater style and people can easily come and go, listen, and be in the room with great sound and excellent viewing.

Q: What if I have simple questions and logistics, or questions about The Work, I’m moved by the content of the retreat, or stirred up by what I hear? How can I communicate?

A: Anyone can pass me a note in the silence and I will be available during any break to meet with you and support you in your work and your questions if you’d like to talk. Everyone will receive handouts at the retreat and there will be plenty of worksheets supplied for anyone to use (Judge Your Neighbor worksheets and One Belief At A Time worksheets). You can also email or text me at absolutely any time during the course of the retreat, and I’ll respond.

A white board will be prominently located with pens for people to write messages, post questions, and share answers. While the orientation of the retreat is to remain in silence, sometimes there are needs to communicate and I’m very happy to receive your written words and be there in service to you.

Our group in Seattle is also invited to send emails to the retreat staff in Switzerland, share photos and questions, and Katie may respond to your message. Our photos may be shared with everyone viewing the retreat. If you’re good at taking pics or short videos….let me know!

Q: What is available to do during the breaks, and where do I get meals? Should I keep the silence if I’m interacting with people out in the world?

A: This is entirely up to you, and, I encourage you to adopt the commitment, as the participants in Switzerland, which is to maintain complete silence the entire time. Everyone will have name tags on which you can write “IN SILENCE” to wear out into the world. There is an incredible array of city restaurants, grocery stores, like Trader Jo’s, a local beautiful little grocery store within walking distance, and tons of places you can get a lovely meal to-go, or an elegant meal, and sit and watch the world in silence. You can bring a note for the person waiting your table, to let them know you’re in silence to communicate your order. You can also bring all your own food supplies and cook in our kitchen in silence.

And, it’s perfectly OK to break silence when you leave the retreat house. There is no wrong way to do this. It’s an experiment in being with yourself, without words, in the hustle and bustle of life….and to relax in the beauty of inquiry.

Q: Can I earn credit if I’m in the Institute for The Work?

A: Yes! You can earn 24 credits for hours directly with Byron Katie as if you were spending time with her in person. There will be a small fee for your credit registration (still paying less than if you signed up independently for the whole thing). You can earn 12 credits with me if you need those kinds of credits inside ITW for no additional fee.

What an amazing way to be in The Work, to participate in this most restful way, requiring nothing, and to allow the process of the live retreat to unfold for us as it’s unfolding in Switzerland.

I hope you’ll join me. (Five more spots open for participation, and three rooms still available for over-nighters).

Sign up HERE.

If you want lodging, please let me know right away by hitting reply to this email. You’ll submit payment for your room separately.

We hope everything is provided for you to support your peace. That’s true about this event, and true about all of life. Come connect and find your answers.

“Anything you want to ask a teacher, ask yourself. And wait for the answer in silence.” ~ Byron Katie

Much love,


It shouldn’t have happened. Seriously. I was soooo overheated.

As always, being at Breitenbush annually in the height of the bright summer days is not only the sweetest fresh air, gorgeous giant pines, flowers, babbling river, cozy cabins, and a true complete break from regular daily life….

….but also a time of such joy and gratitude as I sit with people who have never done The Work, along with quite a few who have, and hear the insights pop throughout the room.

The more time in the work, as we spend our hours together, the deeper the insights seem to move.

It occurred to me once again, that one profoundly painful ghostly underlying belief appears in almost everyone’s Judge Your Neighbor worksheet, including my own…even if we haven’t written it down.

This one belief appears in every objection we’ve ever had. Whether we almost died in a car accident, a true love left us, or someone was rude.

It shouldn’t have happened that way.

When anyone writes a JYN, we’re remembering a painful moment in the past, or imagining being in a painful moment in the future.

I’m hurting. I’m scared. I’m sad. I’m worried about the way it went, and worried it will happen again.

Actions, ideas, ways to solve the problem spring out of this deeply painful thought that I believe it shouldn’t have happened….

….whether the thought is about death, sickness or shock….

….or the annoying long-term partner who won’t stop that irritating behavior….

….it simply would be better if it hadn’t happened.

Let’s do The Work together today: Find an incident you believe shouldn’t have happened. Just one. That’s the simplicity of The Work. You don’t have to question everything you’ve ever thought shouldn’t have happened.

Just that first one that came to mind just now.

Picture that person, being like that. Or that event you’d rather not think about too often.

I picture immediately someone I knew. The way she swore really scared me. She seemed so mean, I wanted to hide under the bed because of her critical and bossy manner.

So is it true it shouldn’t have happened? Is it true she shouldn’t have acted like that, used those words, been so cruel and angry?


It was so frightening! I can’t handle it! (Wave arms around, tell the whole story, express how awful it was–at least this was my first answer to the question “is it true?”)

Now, I’m not suggesting it’s not incredibly powerful to share what you experienced, in order to understand it or receive help and support in exploring what happened. Many people have benefitted profoundly through a therapeutic meeting one-to-one where one important facet of the meeting is to tell the story of what happened clearly, openly.

It can be especially meaningful if the person telling the story has never shared it before. Secrets don’t fester and grow when they are shared. Secrets can be revealed, and come out of the darkness when they are spoken.

But to take it to the next step….to look with open eyes, with questions, finding your own answers….this is The Work.

So is it absolutely, 100% true for all time, with no shadow of a doubt that the person in question, the incident that went down, shouldn’t have happened?


I can’t know it for sure. Not in the situation I’m remembering. And do I actually have all the data? Could that even be possible? Do I know what the final outcome will be, or what it created or offered me that it went that way? Could I know that I wouldn’t mess up some weird piece of the puzzle if I took out that incident or that person entirely from my life? And can I simply notice, it was painful, and now it’s over?

I can’t know it shouldn’t have happened. It doesn’t mean I have to like that it did.

How do I react when I believe something shouldn’t have happened?

I crunch up inside against the memory. I try to think about other things. I say positive affirmations. I chant and work on myself to “get over” that person. I get super grumpy. I say “screw them!” even though I haven’t seen them in ten years (LOL). I blame that person for ruining my life, or trying to.

Sunday, on my way home from Breitenbush, it was 98 degrees Fahrenheit outside. Very unusually hot. I have no air conditioner in my car, and it never occurs to me to need it because I live in a cool climate (once a year, it wafts through my mind and then I forget about it all over again).

I was melting.

I drove by a large car sales lot about four hours from my home, and the thought entered my mind I could get off the freeway and buy a car with air conditioning RIGHT NOW. My mind was so speedy quick, I already had pictures of that plan not working because I would need to leave my car there, unload all the luggage, including boxes of retreat-facilitating materials, and put everything in my new car, and then I’d have to come back and get the old one and drive four whole hours AGAIN just to retrieve it. A whole future image, all thought up, in about 2 seconds. Bam.

Mind dishing up solutions to the problem, speedy quick. Brilliant, busy mind. When it thinks something is true, it will really try to go for EVERY possible solution.

Trouble is, it hurts if a) none of the solutions really solve the problem and b) you can only be happy if the problem is solved.

Even if a solution CAN solve the problem, you aren’t happy until you execute the solution. Which leaves “unhappy” time as required while you wait.

But who would you be without the thought “this shouldn’t be happening” or “it shouldn’t ever have happened”?

Who would you be without the belief she shouldn’t have been that way? He shouldn’t have said that? It shouldn’t have occurred? It shouldn’t be this freakin’ hot?

Sometimes, where there’s a particularly painful event, or personality you’ve had to deal with….

….you just stare at it blankly for a minute, when you consider that fourth question.

Let yourself take it slowly.

What would it be like, without that thought?

I notice first, I’m coming back into this present moment. I’m here now, listening to trucks and men’s happy shouting voices outside since a neighbor is building a new house. Noticing the overcast sky, and the cool breeze of today. Not overheated in the body.

Noticing the mind was OK all along, whether the car was a baking sauna yesterday, or not.

Without the belief it shouldn’t have happened, I feel more relaxed somehow. Not so tight and restricted and focused on solving that problem. Not obsessed with What Was.

Without the belief, I don’t feel condemning, of either that other person or of myself. I’m more in a Don’t Know place. Feeling the quiet of this moment, here, now.

Without the belief “it shouldn’t have happened” I notice the sadness of things like that happening sometimes in this world without the heaviness, with compassion for us all.

Turning this underlying belief around: it should have happened. 

This is not about finding examples of how it should have happened because you deserved it, or someone else did, with all the pain and agony that involves. This is about seeing how it should have happened, because it did.

And did anything at all come of it, that you found helpful….even the tiniest thing?

That hot melting physically uncomfortable ride should have happened, because it made me think again about finding an electric air-conditioned car, that suits my support of lowering the environmental impact of my driving. It made me take it so seriously, I believe I may be researching this soon.

That person should have acted that way, because it showed me how not to act. It showed me who to move away from and how to say “no” in a clear way. It showed me what I’ve been afraid of, that may not be so scary after all (she’s just a human being, with a lot of fearful thoughts actually). It showed me where I assumed I was unworthy, and invited me to question this form of suffering instead of believing it.

That should have happened, because I am a human being living in the same conditions of temporary life on planet earth as any other human being. It should have happened because it affected my life so deeply, it’s a part of my spiritual path and growth to make peace with it. Otherwise, I’d probably be watching TV.

How amazing to discover reasons that are honest, genuine reasons I actually believe for why it should have happened.

Can you find them, for your situation?

“Any time you argue with what was, what is, or what will be, you limit your ability to experience the vastness of who you are. There’s no way around it. It doesn’t matter what happened, or how cruel someone was, or how unfair something was. It may have been all of those things, and the pain may be very deep and real, but when we have a mental resistance, when we say something should or should not have happened, we’re arguing with what did happen or what is happening. When we argue with life, we lose every single time–and suffering wins.” ~ Adyashanti from Falling Into Grace

I see the present moment as sometimes including my thoughts about a past moment I objected to. If I say “yes” to that moment, including the thoughts of the past….it’s called The Work.

Loving what is….including my belief “it shouldn’t have happened”.

What a sweet belief, that resisted What Is, that the mind thought would help me survive, and not feel pain.

Turning the thought around again: My thinking shouldn’t have happened…instead of the event, person, condition, or incident.

Yes, that thinking was very fretful, full of boiling anxiety, resentment, rage, despair. So focused on how “it” shouldn’t have happened.

The thing, person, event, incident, situation actually ended, or moved forward, or morphed and changed, or grew into something different. It’s over. My thinking is the thing that continued and ruminated or obsessed or re-considered it over and over again.

And, I love how my thinking also moves me into noticing how the way I see it is not true, how it can answer the simple questions, how it can ponder and relax….and end the repetitive suffering.

I love how my thinking can journey into new answers, new possibilities, variety, gathering ideas, joy in the midst of sorrow, humor.

All as a result of the little question “can you absolutely know it’s true that it shouldn’t have happened?”

Turns out, it happened, but I don’t have to suffer over it.

This is true for cars without air conditioning in very hot weather, or your dear friend getting cancer, or parents being abusive, or your partner leaving you, or the kitchen drawer getting stuck every time you try to open it.

Who are you right now, without your story?

Accepting what is. Broken drawer, partner not in the room, mean parents, very ill friend, hot.

Noticing what happens next, with complete acceptance of what is.

Much love,


P.S. Two events happening soon, that support your inquiry:

1) Being With Byron Katie Joining in live event happening in Switzerland via streaming video all the way to Seattle. Four bedrooms for those who want to sleep overnight. We’ll participate right alongside the folks who are in Switzerland with Katie.

2) Sliding Scale pay what you can. Summer Camp For The Mind begins July 5 – August 18.