Phew. Mental chatter. Negative inner talk. Difficult feelings. Rehashing what went wrong.
Do you find yourself thinking about situations or people (and you are one of them) in your life with frustration, angst, or disappointment?
Sometimes, it really seems the mind is a bad neighborhood. We'd rather not go in there alone. Or at all.
And yet....here comes another stressful thought.
Why can't I relax and enjoy the moment? Where's the peace I so long for? The humor? Or the joy?
We'd LOVE to have these qualities come naturally into our lives. It'd be nice to feel super cool, spiritual and free no matter WHAT happens. We've heard the quotes and teachings of how we're supposed to be, think or approach our lives....
....But it's NOT EASY.
You've tried a ton of stuff, too, and you've learned a lot. You've been involved in therapy, healing methods, learning groups, self-development. You've gone through the programs.
So where do you go if your'e still disappointed, snapping at your partner, not as close as you'd like to be to your children or friends, frustrated with your job situation, waking up in the middle of the night fretting, overeating regularly, or doing some other kind of escapist activity that brings you unhappiness?
When will this end? Why can't I get my life together and really feel....successful in ALL departments?
Feeling small, nervous, guilty, or like a failure sucks. Especially when it's so persistent.
There's a solution.
Identify what you're thinking when you feel bad, weak, or upset....and question it using The Work of Byron Katie. This is a way to work with the root cause of many problems: understand the process of negative thinking, the mind itself. We've even learned about this before; that mindfulness is a peace practice we could use, and yet still find it elusive in our daily lives.
This is HOW to do that.
The Work is a stunningly simple method of self-inquiry, so simple it's hard to believe how well it works and how much it ignites positive change, and clarity, in people's lives.
My own life is a good example.
After receiving my master's degree in 1997 in Applied Behavioral Science....I learned The Work of Byron Katie in 2003. I had done est, group therapy, individual therapy (with 12 different therapists), support groups, 12 steps, Course in Miracles, Context Trainings, Landmark Forums, bible study, sacred text study, self-defense training, raw food diet, colonics, and a bunch more I dabbled in but didn't stick with.
For some weird reason, whether the simplicity, the way of life, or the invitation to my own answers and No Guru, The Work turned my world, my speedy mind, upside down (in a good way).
Whereas before I had tried so much, and continued hunting, I found a practice I kept using regularly. It kept opening up new vistas for me, like a wonderful journey. I learned how to dig down into the way I saw the world, other people, my life, myself, difficult events....and to question the experience of fear by answering four questions and finding turnarounds.
When any of us question our fears with the lazer sharp and simple inquiry process known as The Work, who knows what can happen?
It may be unknown, bumpy, and unexpected....but it's no longer necessary to "react" to life with caution, defense, or attack. We are no longer "at war" with people and circumstances, with reality.
When we question our fears, It's no longer necessary to take action that's off balance, or weird, or destructive. Like overeating, drinking, being lonely, not having any money, or ripping someone to shreds verbally or internally.....or any other form of personal suffering.
So....here's the way The Work works. It begins in the mind.
Theories and research into emotional intelligence, brain development, and in the field of education show us what's commonly known as the "order of creation":
Think - Feel - Act - Have
In other words, the way you think produces a feeling in any given situation, which produces an action (or inaction), which winds up a result. You have what you have because of what you think.
If I think the world is a dangerous place, I feel frightened of going outside, I stay inside my house and eat or watch TV, and the result is I'm isolated and unhappy. If I question my belief that the world is a dangerous place by truly identifying situations where I have felt this to be true, and examine these experiences in a very thorough way using The Work (without faking it or trying to think positively, by the way), I may feel excited or curious rather than terrified...my actions change--I leave the house to meet people, take classes, look around. I no longer feel isolated, I have friends, my life is rich and fulfilling.
There is a solution to suffering, whether very slight mosquito-bite sized stress, or major life-changing stress. You can't change the world....you can question your thoughts about it, and discover new possibilities that never occurred to you before.
- Uncover the hidden beliefs running in the background of your mind, the ones that make you feel lousy, scared and sick, the ones that make you act in ways that result in failure, guilt or disappointment. Because they're hidden....it can help to be facilitated in this step. (They aren't really hidden, not impossibly, and you are the finder--we just speed by so quickly, we don't stop to see them clearly enough to question them).
- Apply self-inquiry and do The Work of Byron Katie on these exposed troubling beliefs. This is a deep, transformative practice and way of life.
- Create a new map for living your turnarounds...living in an entirely different way, without stressing, ruminating, eating, drinking or engaging in other addictions, feeling anxious or depressive or constantly irritated with life. This is like where rubber meets the road. You're doing it, it becomes natural. You're a new "you" without getting a lobotomy.
I used to be a nervous wreck. I had an eating disorder for a decade. I was incredibly introverted. I had a less-than-intimate love life, and a lonely marriage which ended in divorce. I got a cancer diagnosis. My dad died very young, death seemed horrible and I missed him. I couldn't find any peace in religion, or from family. I had twenty jobs before the age of 30, and no clear career.
Ugh. The world seemed as unstable as I was!
But through my pursuit of peace, I was eventually led to becoming deeply intimate with my own mind, my thoughts and feelings, my attitude towards life as a great investigation.
There are many modalities of brilliant therapeutic tools. The Work of Byron Katie is one of them, and offers a very clear roadmap to peace. I found when I did The Work, my thinking became clearer and relaxed, and low and behold, the world became clearer and relaxed.
As I practiced self-inquiry.....my life began to change, all on it's own. I made the changes I always wanted to make, without pushing tensely or trying so hard. Or perhaps it would be better said.....things appeared to change, not "I" made changes. It felt like a miracle.
Now, I facilitate this method of dissolving suffering. I work with people to address their addictions, end overeating, overweight, bulimia or anorexia, end angst over relationships, end money scarcity and lack, end the agony of feeling fearful and like a failure in every single area of life. I offer retreats all over the world, teach telecourses and programs for people in every time zone to connect and inquire, and can come to you if you have enough peeps interested in gathering to question their thinking and change their lives (write to me and ask).
Peace is not only possible for anyone and everyone....it's accessible to you. All it takes is some "work" (your inquiry) and "grace" (the gift of insight and joy) will be added to your every move.
To learn more about working with Grace, click HERE.
Read The Work for Breakfast:
Wanting to do The Work with daily support? Click right here to Join the Grace Notes family of readers by signing up for posts about addressing your life with self-inquiry (you can unsubscribe at any time). Click HERE to get the two worksheets you need to do The Work right now on your own.
Year of Inquiry: Practicing Together for a Year in The Work of Byron Katie Immersion
Find out all about Year of Inquiry, an amazing group (always) of people who connect by phone or skype from anywhere in the world to get their work done, together. Go to the Work With Me page and scroll down to see other shorter offerings.
Eating Peace: When you react or adapt to the world by compulsively eating
Everyone has a right to freedom and peace when eating. Even you. No matter how far down the road of suffering or self-hatred you've been, eating peace is possible for you. Click HERE to learn more.