Doing The Work For A Year

End Your Suffering, Do The Work
“You either believe what you’re thinking, or you question it….there’s no other choice”. ~ Byron Katie “OK, I’ll take questioning it.” ~ Grace Bell

After many requests and inquiries about the dates, times and plans for Year of Inquiry (YOI) group for 2015-2016….

….plus someone recently saying“put me on the list for YOI this fall, I’m definitely in!”….

….I thought I’d let you know YOI is coming kinda early, so you can decide to apply once I open up the application process.

If you’re drawn to dive into this ongoing work with others in a deep, committed way, and you’ve found you don’t do The Work as regularly as you’d like, YOI may be for you.

 [stextbox id=”custom” caption=”Year of Inquiry Applications Open In July–Program Begins Sept 2015″][/stextbox]

YOI is a small group of inquirers from all over the world who meet together for a year, starting in September.

It’s not a training to learn exactly how to facilitate inquiry (although you will).

It’s not a certification or something you need to pass or graduate from (in fact, people re-enroll year after year).

This group consists of people dedicated and deeply intending to jostle their stressful beliefs loose from their conditioned ways of relating to people, to themselves, to life. To wonder about their troubling stories. To practice catching their stressful thoughts that can take off like a bullet, and begin to honestly slow down, slow down….

….and discover the awe of being what it’s like to not believe stressful thought.

Wow. It’s a such an incredible journey.

And not easy to do alone.

In fact for me, impossible.

I began self-inquiry using the Work of Byron Katie in 2003. I joke around (although it’s basically true) that I didn’t really actually DO The Work until I attended the School for The Work in 2005 and was surrounded by people questioning their beliefs every day for 9 days.

Then, I did The Work in earnest.

I got what it could be for me.

It was a new way of life, entirely. It became deeply compelling. Even a matter of life or death….a way to not move like a magnet towards negative drama, suspicious thinking, worry, anxiety, anger, terror.

It felt like I moved in and out of a sea of stressful thought daily. I began to see the nature of my mind. So worried all the time. So freaked out when “bad” stuff happened!

I was like a nervous ninny about life. I thought I needed to control myself….all the time, in practically every way.

Love, money, friends, health, family, partners…..oh my! So much could go wrong! So much imperfection in the world!

Back in 2005, I made a huge leap into peace when I discovered the value of questioning my stressful thoughts.

It wasn’t easy for me. I didn’t see any changes right off the bat. But fortunately, I knew to not focus on results. (I learned to not EVER do this, eventually).

Instead, I learned to be in this moment now, inquiring into what felt painful to think.

I knew I was hooked.

I also had a mind so fast, it would compulsively scream (on the inside) that being at peace was dangerous, or not possible, and that I should be on alert like a coiled spring!

I went on my first longer meditation retreat that same year, in 2005, and found myself so busy mentally during the immense silence, I couldn’t sleep well, I had vivid dreams, and I felt like I might go crazy.

Talk about drama.

A short while later, through beautiful unfolding circumstances, I became a facilitator of this work.

First and foremost, it felt like a gift of the deepest joy to ME.

Yes, it was selfish. But finally, in a good way.

Before I learned self-inquiry, I was selfish in a very self-critical way. I felt self-hatred, fear, rage and confusion about being here as a human. I was at war with reality, which included myself.

I constantly had questions: what is life for? why am I here? what’s going on? what should I do? how do I calm down? how can I become a better person?

I had done therapy, workshops, read a thousand books, been on a spiritual hunt for peace.

But finally, I had a way to inquire into my compulsive anxiety, my addiction to thinking and believing I was what I thought.

I have now practiced inquiry for these past ten years, with the support of all of you who show up in my life to share this amazing process of awakening and the discovery of peace.

It’s very simple really.

The mind likes complicated. It wants more, bigger, better, more …. endlessly.

But in YOI, we keep it simple, and through this simple structure in Year of Inquiry, we commit to answering the four questions, hearing other peoples’ answers, working under the umbrella of a new and often-stressful topic every month, and sharing in the enlightenment journey.

Together, we’re waking up to reality, one inquiry session at a time.

The way Year of Inquiry works is, first….

….you get to stay connected to inquiry for an entire year.

Year of Inquiry starts in September 2015 and ends in June 2016, with a virtual summer camp for July and August also included for every YOI member (Summer Camp For The Mind is an intensivedaily 5 weeks of inquiry set up to keep you deeply in the process–you can join any sessions you like).

All that’s required for regular participation in YOI is being able to dial in with your phone or with skype (it’s free) to a private teleconference line.

We have virtual inquiry sessions 3 times a week (at different hours) for 3 weeks every month (usually the first three).

You can sign up for telesessions only, if you live very far away like Indonesia, South Africa, Japan or Germany (we’ve had people from 7 countries and 10 states participate).

Or, you can sign up for the Full YOI Program and join me for a fall and a spring retreat, each 3 full days (Friday-Sunday) of exercises built to help identify stressful thoughts, personal cleansing inquiry, and sharing with like-minded people who learn the truth of who you are.

As one Year of Inquiry member wrote recently, in our 8th month of inquiring together:

Grace,

So, here’s what I’ve been noticing in the last few days.  I have stressful beliefs ALL OF THE TIME.  I had never even recognized it, but knew something might be off in the way I felt (emotionally or physically).  I’m really seeing my stressful beliefs and how I think things SHOULD go. I’m really understanding now that if I have a worksheet on someone or something…it is how I see everything.  

I wanted to express my gratitude. (YOI member).

Now here’s the thing.

There are no guarantees such as “you will feel glorious, you will be liberated, you will wake up” or any such claims about doing YOI.

But you know that already.

Like other inner journeys unique to you, you may find the arrow is shooting out in a certain direction, but no telling when or how it will land exactly.

I notice, I have no idea when or how this work “works” for anyone, or even for myself.

I just know it does. 

My life is absolutely nothing like it was when I began self-inquiry using this simple method introduced by Byron Katie (deep bow of gratitude for Katie, forever).

My inquiry has expanded into areas I never dreamed it would expand. This mind does its thing, and something within watches, chuckles, and rests at peace, joyfully.

The peace is here, and has been the entire time….

….I just never saw it before.

I cherish those who appear in Year of Inquiry, each and every one of you. You are a part of my path.

What a wonderful journey it is.

If you’re interested in reading more about YOI, have questions about the details and the fees (these vary depending on your level of participation)….

….you can click here to read more.

Stay tuned for the application process to come in July, along with early-bird payments for everyone who decides to join before August 1, 2015.

If you have any special questions you’d like to know now, please feel free to write me anytime. Just hit reply.

Much loveGrace

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