Don’t worry about progress….you’re already living your way to your answers

What are your top three stressful situations you’ve either already been investigating with The Work, or you find it daunting to even start with The Work….OR….you’ve done The Work on it a whole bunch and you still don’t feel so great about it?

Is it a Relationship? Money? Body? Health? Parenting? Adult child? Traffic? Your mom? Your job? Boss? Co-worker? Cancer? Someone else’s death or illness? Love? Romance? Shame? Addiction? Roommate? Employment? The weather?

All of the above?


It’s OK to notice you feel NUTS when it comes to many situations, but one way to make it a little simpler for yourself it to identify your top three.

The reason I’m asking you?

I could write about it here in Grace Notes (I change names, gender, locations to protect the innocent)! I also love talking about whatever topic concerns us all on facebook live, and answer your questions

(In case you don’t know what Facebook Live is, it’s a way I can turn on my camera and be live on video on facebook and see all your comments and questions go by if you post right below the video WHILE I’m making it. I see your comments and shares on my screen! So amazing!)

So back to those top three most stressful situations that disturb you. I find there really are no new thoughts. None. If you think your situations are unique and especially rotten….someone else has experienced them. Maybe even me.

If you’ve had a situation you find repeats itself, over and over again, either because you’re remembering it constantly, or because it really does show up regularly and gets replayed with someone in your life….

….I’ve had this happen before, too.

I recall doing The Work many times on this one same person. He would do or say something, and here I was again, sitting down writing a worksheet furiously. Full of rage and calling him names on paper.

It was like nothing I could write would even come close to how upset I felt. Words, I was sure, weren’t strong enough for this. I had to DO something! It was TOO MUCH to handle!

Surely, with THIS jerk, questioning my thoughts wasn’t the answer. It had to be BIGGER than that!


People in Year of Inquiry were noticing this past week they could still have the very same kinds of thoughts as they did on their early First-Month worksheets they wrote last September.

It was powerful to talk about and find the troubling concepts about seeing these top-hit situations repeat themselves, like underlying core stressful beliefs that go with us everywhere.

And if you notice you have the same types of thoughts regularly, you might have additional stressful thoughts on top of these common ones that speak to you something like this:

You should be over it by now. You should be done with this dynamic. You should have changed. (You haven’t).

Is this true?

Are you absolutely sure?

How do you react when you believe you should be over one of these top three issues, that play over and over again like your favorite hit parade radio station?

I want to take a hammer to the radio and break it into bits! I feel so frustrated! I feel depressed, sad, hopeless. I want to give up on doing The Work. Goodbye cruel world!

But who would you be without the belief that your thoughts are not changing, you should be over it, you should be done with this particular repetitive thing, or that you haven’t changed a bit?

Oh. Wait. But.

Isn’t that why I’m doing The Work? Isn’t this all about becoming different, leaving my old beliefs behind, becoming a brand new person with a new mind?

Well….yes….and no, grasshopper.

Because while it IS a result of The Work, to find the beliefs you thought were true, aren’t, and be stunned at this realization. Or to begin laughing when you question something that’s terrified you for a year. Or to notice something that used to bug you like crazy, doesn’t one day.

But it’s not the “goal”.

The goal, if there is one, is to know the truth. For yourself.

And the truth is, sometimes you simply are not over it. Not yet. Not until you are.

Everyone has a mind. A brain that’s working to keep you safe and comfortable and run the body and log experiences into categories and make a note of the past so you can project into the future.

But it doesn’t have to run the entire show. Well, it can’t even if it tries.

And it’s OK if it repeats itself a few times (or a hundred thousand billion).

Turning your thoughts around about your Top Hit Stressful Beliefs:

You shouldn’t be over it by now. You should NOT be done with this dynamic. You should NOT have changed. (And maybe you have).

How could all this be just as true, or truer?



Well, it would truly be clear that I am entirely acceptable and accepted the way I am, by life itself, by reality. No brain transplant is required. Life doesn’t have to be different, including my “work” of self-inquiry….which maybe isn’t even “mine”. I could see I am capable of a peace beyond all belief, with just the mind and set of experiences I’ve had.

I’d realize and remember, once again, I am not in charge. Not of my own enlightenment, not of my brain, not of what is.


Live the Questions
I would like to beg you, dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves, as if they were locked rooms, or books written in a very foreign language. 
Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. 
And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Much love,


P.S. Really do hit reply and let me know your Top Three Stressful situations you noticing bring stress when you think of them. I’ll work them into my Grace Notes or FB Live. Grateful here, for your sharing.

10 Replies to “Don’t worry about progress….you’re already living your way to your answers”

  1. I am stupid (I should be more intelligent, smarter)
    I don’t want to live alone.
    I will never feel happy.

  2. Such a powerful set of thoughts, thank you so much for sharing. I remember having them all following divorce myself. I look forward to contemplating these and writing and exploring them. Much love, Grace

  3. Really powerful, thank you. These may be more connected than we all think! I love where my mind went as I read all three, and imagined me having a conversation or being in relationship with money. Thank you so much, and I look forward to writing about it. Much love, Grace

  4. Really such beautiful concepts to question. Love your work. Can’t wait to write about it, especially #1 here. I think it’s a very pervasive thought, very stressful for many. Much love, Grace

  5. My top 3: 1) My husband should pick up after himself. 2) My job should appreciate me more. 3) The people reviewing my application should be calling by now

  6. 1, I’ll die without finding peace.

    2. I’ve stopped eating healthily.

    3. My teachers find me inadequate.

  7. My top three stressful thoughts are:

    1. I should have a new partner by now (after two years of being alone after a very long marriage).
    2. I should by now love myself
    3. I will be alone for ever

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