Welcome to The Work of Byron Katie with facilitator Grace.
Welcome to a way to handle the “downs” of life (let’s keep the “ups”–they’re usually pleasant). The Work is used for any kind of stress, whether it’s deeply traumatic and frightening, or low-grade and persistent.
If you feel anxious, sad, afraid, betrayed, shocked or troubled….The Work can assist you in finding clarity, peace, comfort or willingness to handle what life brings.
And I mean any situation. No trouble is too great, or too small, for The Work.
We know what it looks like to deal with life well:
Peace. A Sense of Humor. Great, effective communication with your kids, or spouse.
A feeling of CAN-DO when it comes to change or unexpected surprises, like when you lost your job, got divorced, or found out you had cancer.
We’d LOVE to have these favorable qualities come naturally in our lives. To feel calm, wise and free no matter WHAT happens.
But it’s NOT EASY. You may be finding it completely impossible. You’re experiencing dread, worry, irritation, resentment, or disappointment.
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 you’re still disappointed, discouraged by others, 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, drinking too much, or smoking regularly, or doing some other kind of escapist activity that brings you unhappiness?
We’ll wonder: “When will this end? Why can’t I get my life together and really feel….successful in ALL departments?”
And that’s not even taking into account the life-changing trauma we encounter: the suicide or death of a loved one, receiving a scary diagnosis, losing a job, theft, crime, war, family disruption, destruction, betrayal.
Feeling small, nervous and insecure feel horrible. Especially when it’s so persistent.
But there’s a way to work with our chaotic minds and hearts: Identify what you’re thinking when you feel bad, weak, or upset….and question it using The Work of Byron Katie.
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).
It worked. 100% of the time, when I did it.
Whereas before I had tried so much, and continued hunting, I now discovered a steady life-changing practice of peace.
It kept opening up new vistas for me. 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, weird, or destructive. Like overeating, drinking, being lonely, feeling terrified about 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”, that is how something comes to be, moves in the following order: 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 or how you’ve responded to events and situations.
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 found proof of danger, and then 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.
I make peace with what’s happened. What could be more important than this?
There is a solution to suffering, whether very slight mosquito-bite sized stress, or major life-changing stress. You can’t change the world….but 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, engaging in 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 over 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, and his death seemed horrible and I missed him. I couldn’t find any peace in religion, or from family. I had over 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 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 any stressors that have entered their lives. Conflict in relationships, worry about money, hearing terrible news, worrying about their children, feeling resentful of their upbringing and the way of their parents. I especially love supporting people to question their addictions, end overeating, over-drinking, smoking, compulsive working, compulsive behavior of any kind. It’s so painful and full of regret, and no one has to live that way.
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 a few times a week:
Wanting to do The Work with free regular 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).
Want to begin to do The Work RIGHT NOW? Click HERE to get the two worksheets you need to do The Work immediately 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.