That person needs to come closer, stay, commit, be with you….really?

A lovely young woman was on skype with me, looking so deeply forlorn and disappointed.

The man she called her boyfriend (although she confessed she wasn’t sure he would call her girlfriend) had left that morning, headed for the airport. Again.

He traveled to her city only for business. It was unknown when he would next be in town. They’d known each other as childhood friends and maybe first crushes, but never lived in the same place after leaving their childhood homes.

She already had her fingers crossed she’d see him again.

He had left saying “if you’re going to get so clingy….like I told you before….this is over.”

Yikes.

How is this going to go? I wondered.

Sometimes the person looks so devastated, and they’ve been doing what they’re doing for so long, it’s a curiosity to see how their inner work will go, as they question their thinking.

This young woman had been in this long-distance volatile on-off-on-off relationship for almost 6 years.

I helped her write a Judge Your Neighbor worksheet on the very moment he left her apartment, when he told her he didn’t want “clingy” and she felt shaky, terrified, and then obsessed for days about when to text, if to snapchat, checking facebook, looking through instagram.

Waiting.

He should be different than he is. He should commit to me. He should stay with me. He should make me a priority. He should want to marry me. He should move in with me.

But he doesn’t.

“Is it true?” I asked her.

I must admit I had visions of how tortured she was and how much easier it would be to stop. Even wondering how someone could be so needy, or demanding, and not be able (apparently) to move to any other relationship that was up close in the same town.

I wondered at humanity in that moment, creating so much suffering by arguing with reality.

And then I remembered how her voice was mine. To stop thinking I know how she’d be better without her thought.

Didn’t I once also have this belief, that someone I thought I loved should stay, commit, be different than they were?

Yikes again. I remember. Ugh. (Picture of the guy in my head who I thought should be doing it my way, when he wasn’t).

This lovely woman answered “yes” it’s true. “YES” it’s absolutely true. True, true, true, true.

He should stay with me.

How do you react when you believe he should stay, commit, move in, want to marry…..when he doesn’t?

She began to cry.

She felt desperate, abandoned.

I remembered myself how dreadful that feeling was, and how false it turned out to be. And also how I fought it and thought I shouldn’t feel it.

So many “should nots”.

I listened to her describe her feeling of seeing the absent space where his shoes had been, his coat had hung.

“Who would you be without this thought?” I asked. “In that same moment, if you couldn’t have the thought he should stay, when you’re noticing this empty apartment and the sound of traffic outside, and the hook where his coat hung?”

I love that The Work simply offers this question. It doesn’t answer the question. It doesn’t suggest you shouldn’t be thinking the thought you’re thinking.

It’s beautiful because then, I myself don’t give any answers. My job is to facilitate, to ask, and to listen.

Who would we be without our disturbance, our insisting that it be other than it is? Who would we be without our advice for other people?

Who would we be without our stories of “me”?

It’s such an incredible question, really. No right or wrong answer. Simply a question, waiting for us to use our imagination for something more expansive than what we currently envision. Checking to see if we’ve really got all our information straight.

The young woman took a deep breath, head hung down with her eyes closed. I could see on my skype screen behind her in the background the very door I imagined her companion had left through, with the pretty hooks lined up for coats.

Without the thought, she said…..”I’d be free.”

She described easy days when she worked, studied, hung out with friends. Days when she didn’t have the thought that he should be different, even if he was far way in another country.

But the key is wondering who you’d be without the belief in that very moment of remembering the stressful situation.

How about then? Who would you be right there without your belief?

“Yes…..so free. Letting him go. Happy to have spent some time with him. Moving to what’s next.”

Turning the story around: I should be different with myself. I should commit to me. I should stay with me. I should make me a priority. I should want to marry me. I should move in with me. I shouldn’t leave myself. 

Wow.

I remember discovering these turnarounds myself in the midst of a heavy, powerful sense of wanting it from the other.

I was treating myself at the time like I was a loser, as if coupleness was better than singleness, as if I couldn’t manage to take care of myself, as if my own company and silence itself was haunting.

(I was single, is it true? :)

Where was it written that love must come from only one person? Or from anything pre-defined at all?

Turned around again: He should NOT be different. He should NOT commit to me. He should NOT stay with me. He should NOT make me a priority. He should NOT want to marry me. He should NOT move in with me. He should leave me. 

Could these be just as true? Could there be benefits? Are you sure you’ve got the whole picture?

I know for myself, if I had gotten what I wanted, I would not have wanted it. I already had evidence. It was perfect the way it was. The distance was beyond important. It saved my life turning in a difficult direction.

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. ~ Rumi

Blessings on all those who believe someone should care more about them, come closer, commit, not leave.

May we all see that the attention and love we want is not within that other person. It is in the divine, in ourselves, in the very breath we breathe.

“If we get really honest, do we get married for love, or convenience? Life is designed for mates….is it true?” ~ Byron Katie

Much love,

Grace

P.S. Last minute shuffle–one spot open again now for this weekend Sunday afternoon mini-retreat Living Turnarounds Group from 2-6 pm.

He’ll suffer unless I feed him NOW (and the goofy thing I did when I believed it)

I had to chuckle the other day.

I was interviewed about The Work and Parenting and Jacqueline Green the wonderful host mentioned my story of nursing my firstborn child and how stressful it was for me one time.

Because I was nursing him in the car.

On the freeway.

While I was in the front seat, and he was in his carseat in the back directly behind me.

My husband was at the wheel.

Yes, I was actually hanging over the back of the seat, leaning over my baby with one breast out so he could nurse, stop crying, and go back to sleep.

Which he did.

I so wish I had The Work at the time.

I was filled with a reaction to his cries and that it meant I must rush wildly in emergency mode to respond to his needs, that we couldn’t wait to pull over.

Good lord.

I called it my crazy gymnastics move and I’m sure my then-husband thought I was completely mad.

Which I was, to be honest.

Mad with the belief that crying meant terrible suffering meant abandonment, and it was imperative that I put myself in actual physical danger. Not to mention it’s illegal to be without a seat belt, for good reasons. (Can you imagine if a cop had seen me and pulled us over?)

Who would I have been without that deeply stressful story?

A calm mother suggesting we need to take the next exit and stop a moment. Noticing all is very well indeed, it’s simply a baby crying, and I’m listening.

I remember doing The Work on this incident several years later, looking back on that situation.

With the thought my son’s crying meant “CALL 911 FEED THE BABY NOW” I felt almost panicked inside. It was interesting to sit with what I had been thinking. All those meanings I had put on that cry, and that moment.

I thought he could be hurt, feel abandoned, and suffer from hunger. I thought I’d be a bad mother if I didn’t show him I cared, and was there.

But when I turned these thoughts around, I saw that I was the one who believed in abandonment and terror of hunger. I couldn’t go five minutes when I felt hungry without being scared or thinking I should remain hungry so I would be thinner (even if I hated it). It was so stressful to be hungry, I had lived with completely whacko eating since I was 18 (even earlier).

I was hearing my own cry for normal, calm response (especially with food) and taking care of myself in a sweet way, instead of believing I both should and should not be hungry at the very same time.

I also saw in the turnarounds that my baby was OK. He wasn’t having some big emotional panic, he was just being a baby and crying in that moment. It didn’t mean I was a bad mother that my baby cried.

Thank goodness for The Work.

It has helped me question similar thoughts about needing to respond to my kids (now 20 and 23) like it’s an EMERGENCY….when it actually isn’t.

I notice I can trust reality to do what it does.

Even the “worst” abandonment we can imagine–the parent that never comes, vanishes, even dies….

….I can even take this kind of trauma and agony to self-inquiry, to question the meanings I’ve placed on people coming and going, on people living and dying, on what kind of response is required for happiness, in any situation.

This takes a radically open mind, and nothing less than an open mind is creative enough to free you from the pain of arguing with what is. And as long as you think that you know what should and shouldn’t happen, you’re trying to manipulate God. This is a recipe for unhappiness.” ~ Byron Katie

Who are we as parents without our painful beliefs?

Willing, patient, OK with not knowing what to do, full of humor….happy.

If you want to see the interview I did today (the one with the nursing-in-the-car story) you can find it by signing up here and watching for free for the next 48 hours.

Much love,

Grace

P.S. If you want to read my nursing story I mention above, and much more about parenting and our thoughts….you can download it here.

A big invoice, a big realization (+ fb live tomorrow)

Despaired woman accounting looking into the camera in the living room

Speaking of turnarounds.

About two months ago I received an unexpected bill. For about ten times the amount I originally expected. GULP.

What??

I kind of coughed and said to myself, well OK. I guess this is required so we’ll just move forward if we’re seeing this house project through. Keep calm and carry on. Stiff upper lip!

(I love those English sayings; perfect expressions showing a stressful belief or two is running. Plus it’s basically my historical roots. Stiff upper lip = do not allow any quivering to show in your lip that may suggest sadness, crying, or breaking down with emotion in the slightest way)!

But then.

A new and different thought appeared.

I shouldn’t be paying this bill all by myself. Someone else should help me.

Gosh. Who would be helping me on my house project? There’s only one other person who lives at said house.

My husband.

(Poor man).

But he can’t afford to help with this bill. He should not be a teacher. He would make more if he had a different job. It’s all on me. Waaaaah. Poor me. I’m burdened.

It was about that mature, too.

How did I react when I believed I have to do everything (huff) when it comes to this bill?

Resentful. Seeing pictures of me being depended on, relied on. Not wanting the lead role, preferring the escape-artist role. Wanting to un-do my commitment to this project that created this bill in the first place.

Goodbye cruel world that demanded all that unexpected money from me!

Um. Yes. Kind of dramatic.

So who would I be without this very stressful belief, where I thought I was a Big Fat Victim doing it All Alone?

Without the beliefs my husband should help me financially with this bill, the bill shouldn’t even be this high, and I have to do this project all alone and drain my bank account?

First of all, I’d be noticing my bank account is not drained because of this bill.

Let’s just get that straight immediately.

Next, without the beliefs I can’t do it alone, but I have to, but I want help, and he should help me….

….I’m suddenly just….here.

Woman thinking about a bill. Seeing it’s not an emergency, it’s simply unexpected. Woman with questions about the bill. Woman not panicking and running screaming to husband (person closest to her).

My husband is so optimistic and kind, and yet I could tell my hissy fit took him aback a little. Maybe a bit sad that I suggested he needs a different job.

Sigh.

Without my belief that I’m alone in my purchases, I sit with the issues of money, choices, preferences, questions, bills, bank accounts, and notice how fast I go to fear when I see large numbers on bills.

Who would I be without the belief that money is what I need in this situation?

Oh. Right.

I’m calmer. Awake. Not grabbing the nearest person and pulling the underwater with me in my panic.

Turning the thoughts around:

I don’t have to do this alone, I’m choosing to pay this bill and trade money for a great project. No one has to help me. My bank account isn’t closing because of this bill. This is exciting, creative, thrilling. No need to pull the man I live with into the concern in a frightened way–I can talk with him calmly and ask his advice if I want.

This situation is safe.

The bill gets paid. A pen wrote some numbers on a piece of paper and it got mailed. Nothing else actually happened.

But even if you have a situation where it’s not possible to pay an apparent bill….notice the safety that’s still present in this moment. Free air to breath. Water to drink. Fed. Clothed. Alive.

It was my thinking that was alone, my thinking that needed more money/support, my thinking that paid for everything and my thinking that brought a big payment of suffering to me.

I didn’t need more money, I needed more inquiry.

Thank goodness for inquiry.

Because once I entered the world of questioning if my fearful thoughts were true, I saw it was an inside job, I felt no more demand or plea to my husband, and I had a few questions to ask from the company sending the bill.

There was a Living Turnaround: I wrote an email, the company responded almost immediately addressing every question, and I had a far greater understanding of the overall picture and future expectations for billings.

What a relief I gave myself.

I still felt the “yes” of this project and the joy of being a part of making something different that apparently requires money and payments and bills….and this flow is all very exciting. And safe.

It was my thinking that was ten times bigger than originally expected. It ballooned into a ginormous dark cloud of future not-enough-ness and resentment.

Over a piece of paper.

Haha!

 

If you want to come join me to do The Work on another common stressful belief, head over to my facebook page(WorkWithGrace) tomorrow morning, Saturday April 14th at 8:00 am PT. Hit reply to this email to share a thought you’d like to hear questioned. Let’s do The Work.

So Much love,

Grace

P.S. The 7th Great Parenting Show with Jacqueline Green (a fabulous inquirer in my Year of Inquiry program) is underway, and I got to tune in today and was fascinated with Dan Siegel and Brad Yates speaking about fear and cultivating presence and safety–helpful for all of us (including EFT). You can watch interviews for free over the ten days by signing up here.

With inquiry I didn’t stop the problems…they just stopped.

PeaceTalk Episode 141: When my kids were younger, I was virtually obsessed with their well-being, especially when it came to them attending school(s). Regular school, homeschool, what was the “right” or “best” way? Thank goodness I was exposed to The Work when they were 7 and 10, and I could question my belief “I am responsible for their happiness and education”. Listen here:

http://peacetalk.libsyn.com/website

There’s something especially beautiful when we go through this process of self-inquiry, step by step, and then have a little light-bulb moment of surprise (or a huge in-breath and gasp).

We find a turnaround that brings a smile to our faces. A discovery. Even laughter.

Living our turnarounds is where a particularly beautiful transformation seems to happen when it comes to questioning stressful thinking, for all of us.

It’s the last step in The Work.

First, we take a stressful belief through the four questions, starting with asking if what we’re thinking is actually true?

Then, we study what it’s like, what we’ve been like, what we see happening, what we notice, and how we’ve reacted because we’ve believed this troubling thought.

But then, the fun really begins.

Who would we be without that thought?

Yes…without THAT thought. The one you’ve thought so many times. Like “she abandoned me” or “life is hard” or “they don’t love me” or “I need more_____”.

What if you didn’t think it?

This is an exercise using your imagination. You don’t have to automatically already BE the one who isn’t thinking it. That’s too difficult. If you’re thinking about pink elephants in the room, or the mean world out there….too late. You’re already thinking.

But you have such a genius imagination, so it’s only about wondering, creating, seeing who you WOULD be without your stressful belief?

Then, we find all the turnarounds we can. She didn’t listen to me? Turned around: I didn’t listen to myself. He didn’t love me? I didn’t love him. They didn’t accept me? I didn’t accept myself. He ruined my life? I ruined my own life. I don’t have enough money? I don’t have enough of myself.

If something “clicks” and feels curious, fascinating, or “wow”….

….then we might have hit a turnaround we know we want to live, to work with, to practice, to hold in our hearts.

We might ask ourselves the question “If we lived this turnaround we’ve found….what would it look like? What would it feel like? How would we talk, act, walk, be?”

Last Friday morning (Pacific Time) on the First Friday call….we filled out, slowly and methodically, a Judge Your Neighbor worksheet on a stressful situation.

I love how everyone has a completely and entirely different situation custom made for their own life, totally unique to their experience….and yet on the page we all write the same kinds of thoughts.

He wants me to…..She doesn’t think I can handle….They don’t like me when…..I hated that they…..

It’s actually wonderful that your thoughts come right out of you, without editing, and you get to write them down. They’re stuck there, on paper. They can’t move or wiggle away.

Good.

At the end of your inquiry work, you can feel what it’s like to be aware of a wider, different, grander perspective.

Who knows what can happen when you become aware of a different way of believing, thinking, noticing or being when it comes to your stressful relationship or situation?

Not long after I got off the First Friday call, a sweet inquirer wrote me a note.

She said that after her inquiry the previous First Friday on nobody caring about an important health concern in her life, she easily found someone who DID care. She got something handled that she said was the best it felt in 55 years.

She let go of needing to go to where she always had gone, and went somewhere new….after questioning the belief “they don’t care about me”. She found the turnarounds “I don’t care about myself” and “they DO care about me” and “I don’t care about them”.

It all came together to a living turnaround that carried her right into a new and satisfying solution.

WOW.

Hearing her turnaround, I felt so happy to be witnessing The Work.

That’s what I know to do: question what I’m thinking that feels off, or hurts…and discover the safety, clarity, happiness or joy I was missing.

The Work uncovers blind spots. Who knows what can happen then.

“The turnarounds are your prescription for health, peace, and happiness….

….Through these realizations, the doing changes. I was the same as you. I couldn’t change. I couldn’t stop hurting my children and myself. But as I realized what was true for me, with the questions alive inside me, the doing changed. The problems stopped. I didn’t stop them; they stopped. It’s just that simple.” ~ Byron Katie in Loving What Is

Much love,

Grace

P.S. I’ll be a part of a pretty incredible summit of speakers where the focus is parenting….but my part will be sharing about doing The Work. I’ll be sharing how questioning our thoughts about our kids, ourselves, our own parents can change our lives. To sign up for free, click here.

Parenting Relief: The Work (+ the Great Parenting Show)

Sign up for the parenting telecourse starting May 1st

Not all of us have children….but if you do, no matter what age they are….

….you may notice you’ve thought some stressful thoughts about them and their welfare, their lives, their personalities, their successes or failures, their safety, their feelings, their attitudes.

And even worse, you’ve probably had some stressful thoughts about YOU being a less-than-perfect mom or dad.

Or maybe a horrible one.

Ouch.

Deciding to have kids felt like one of the biggest, most profound decisions of my life. (We could question if it was a “decision” that “I” made).

Little did I know, I’d have so much agony and ecstasy in my relationship with them.

The first time I ever put my first born into his car seat and drove somewhere, I was stunned with the awareness that this little tiny human being was totally dependent.

On me. And my safe driving. YIKES!!

I actually thought “what have I done?” even though I was overjoyed at his birth.

My heart was so full, and I wanted also to protect him with a fierceness I had never experienced about anyone.

What I see now, that I didn’t quite see back then even after I had my second baby, was how having kids made me aware of my beliefs about the world, about reality, about life.

And they weren’t exactly peaceful.

The world could hurt them! The world could betray them! They could die (oh, right–they actually WOULD die one day)! They could feel heartbreak, abandonment, fear!

How could I have forgotten all the difficult and terrible possibilities that can happen in life?!

And then there’s ME! I’m so unskilled, I’ve made mistakes, I don’t know what I’m doing.

Jeez. So much could go wrong!!

Oh sure, I know the world could also support them, excite them, be thrilling and gorgeous and beautiful. The world could love them, bring out their genius, creativity, ideas.

But.

Ugh.

(Worry, worry, worry).

The best thing that ever happened for me, when it came to being a parent and relating to my children as they grew up?

Finding The Work of Byron Katie.

Because then, I could question my frantic believing, my irritation, my complaints, find my turnarounds, and notice new ways to be with these humans (and most importantly, with myself).

I sat in meditation with stressful thoughts like: he got hurt, she’s suffering in school, he needs his coat, she’ll fail if she doesn’t learn to read, he lost a friend, she’s not safe, he’s too shy, she won’t listen to me, he shouldn’t smoke, she shouldn’t yell, they don’t understand me, I need them to stay alive….and be totally happy and successful while doing it.

Who would we be, without the beliefs our kids should never, ever suffer, fail, be heart-broken, feel sad, get hurt, feel scared, or even die?

This doesn’t mean we don’t care.

It’s not about being passive or detached or weird. I notice I adore my children and care about everything they’re doing.

Without these kinds of beliefs, though, about the worrisome things that could happen, I find a deep and profound freedom present about life, and the world, and how we’re all here temporarily….including our kids.

Without my stressful beliefs, I’m so much more relaxed and available instead of freaking out if they’re “late” or unhappy, or “failing”.

Without the old beliefs, there’s an out-breath.

What a relief.

Turning the thought around: So much could go right!!

How could this be just as true, or truer?

Do you notice how sweet it is to find the examples of everything that’s going “right”? This includes YOU, your own learning, the gifts you bring uniquely to the dance of parenting.

Turning the thought around again: my thinking could go wrong (not the world). 

So true! My awful-izing was always worse than what actually happened.

At least five years ago, I received a wonderful invitation by a woman by the name of Jacqueline Green. She had a radio program called the Great Parenting Show. She was curious about The Work. She wanted me to come on her show. It was one of my first radio interviews.

A few years passed, and she came to one of my retreats in Seattle. Then she took the parenting teleclass I offer every year or two. Then she had her clients, who were all moms focusing on becoming awesome parents, participate in an introductory class I offered on parenting and The Work.

She says she feels transformed by learning to question her thoughts. (She speaks of herself as going from parenting disaster to master).

This past year, Jacqueline and two of her staff have been enrolled in Year of Inquiry (YOI)! I don’t know how many people she’s sent to my retreats, or for solo sessions in parenting issues.

Jacqueline and her staff members are such wonderful YOI participants, amazing moms, dedicated to reflecting on the way they are with their children and all the people in their lives….and questioning the thoughts that scare, hurt, sadden, or anger them.

Super inspiring.

And now, Jacqueline’s invited me to join her for a special Complimentary Parenting Show where many experts will be interviewed and offering their sharing to the world for free.

On this season, you’ll join Jacqueline in her years of expertise as she sits down with many parenting-related experts including not only me but the following fascinating people. (I can’t wait to watch their interviews).

1. Dr. Ned Hallowell, psychiatrist and author of books that include Superparenting for ADD, Driven to Distraction, and The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness

2. Dr. Laura Markham, best-selling author of books that include the recently released Peaceful Parenting, Happy Kids Workbook, and Peaceful Parents, Happy Siblings

3. Dr. Daniel Siegel, psychiatrist and best-selling author of books including the The Whole-Brain Child, No-Drama Discipline, and Yes Brain

4. Patty Wipfler, founder of the HandinHandParenting organization and author of Listen,

5. Alison Armstrong, relationship expert, author of books including The Keys to the Kingdom,

6. Dr. Bruce Lipton, acclaimed biologist and author of books including The Biology of Belief

These experts and authors, and the other 14 including me, will be answering questions like how to help your child build a caring and self-disciplined brain, how to cultivate courage, and curiosity….and how to build emotional support you need for parenting.
I will of course be talking about The Work.
This is the 7th Great Parenting Show (GPS). I’m so honored to be a part of it. It starts in 5 days and runs until April 20th and it’s completely free of charge for anyone.
To sign up for the complimentary Great Parenting Show, please register here.

Much love,

Grace

The embarrassing thing someone wrote about Breitenbush and me

Someone the other day who lives in Seattle asked me….what’s Breiten-bosch? 

I forget that even if you live here in the Pacific northwest, you may have no idea what Breitenbush is, or where.

And, you may even have heard a few things you aren’t so sure about. Like Clothing-Optional mineral soaking pools.

OMG, I’ll talk about that in a minute. (Yikes)!

Breitenbush HotSprings Resort and Conference Center is a place located deep in the heart of the Oregon Cascades where underground thermal springs have surfaced and provided heated pools for decades.

Last year, someone said “I can’t believe how beautiful this place is, I thought it would be two hot tubs at the end of a dusty road, with some tree-huggers living in a tent.”

LOL.

Far from it.

Breitenbush is a place with a grand lodge, perfectly kept grounds including gardens of flowers and edibles, pathways and trails, a hard-working staff, and an entire catalogue of retreats, workshops and health-related programs for anyone who is a guest.

You can get a massage, take a yoga class, visit the meditation quiet-zone sanctuary, hike into the old growth emerald forest, and enjoy a cozy cabin with comfortable beds, built in cabinets, beautiful hot radiators, a desk and lamp and electricity, and a short trip to the men’s or women’s bathhouse to enjoy naturally heated showers.

And yes, it’s true. There are all-gender clothing-optional soaking pools in their own private areas for those who wish to take in the hot healing waters.

But no one has to go naked, or even go in the hot pools at all. Swimsuits are worn by many. Old-timers and their families tend not to.

You get to choose what’s comfortable for you on your time off during our workshop when the natural sauna or hot pools beckon. Not everyone comes for the waters.

If you’re not really a hot-tub person (I’m not) then we might find you down by the rushing river sitting in Adirondack chairs in the sun, or journaling on dark green moss in the forest.

And oh the meals. So delicious.

Mostly organic, all vegetarian and such a wonderful variety: salads, soups, hot dishes, rice, fruits. Anyone with special diets are accommodated (you tell them when you sign up). You’ll need to bring your own caffeine (lots of french presses and bottles of cream are in the community kitchen station). But you need not be ashamed if you do.

Why we really come to Breitenbush in June, is for the mental health that happens along with the physical health.

We’re there to do the powerful process of self-inquiry known as The Work. It renews mind, feeling, body and spirit.

Now, remember when I said “YIKES!” when mentioning clothing-optional soaking pools?

Once upon a time, there was a scary story for me about those clothing-optional pools.

Six years ago, someone composed a letter that got sent to a few administrative powers-that-be claiming that counseling-in-the-nude was happening at Breitenbush.

Who was the “counselor” doing this? Me.

Oh my.

This caused fear-and-terror, then a little sadness, and eventually a giggle.

Just in case your imagination runs wild at the idea of mental health counseling happening in the nude, please know that the pools are for your private, personal time at Breitenbush. They always have been.

The Work of Byron Katie isn’t really “counseling”…although this isn’t the issue. No counseling or non-counseling, no “work” or program is done at the pools.

The Work is a profound way to identify and then question for yourself what you believe, particularly about stressful experiences in your life. It’s open-ended, contemplative, and allows wondering to occur, beyond fear and stress.

Just like it was for me when I did The Work on someone accusing me wrongly of counseling people in the nude! 

Our work at Breitenbush doesn’t happen in the hot springs, unless it’s percolating within you quietly after our group sessions are over.

Our workshop retreat has its own beautiful space down near the rushing river…a truly lovely structure in-the-round that holds a large circle of people extremely well. We have our own private bathroom inside our round building and we gather in chairs or back jacks (you get to choose) with a comfortable carpeted floor, a white board, and a big projector for our movie night.

Our sessions are mornings 10 am to lunch, a 2.5 hour lunch break (time for a hike, massage, or a soak), 2 hours before dinner, and we only meet until 9 pm latest so in the summer dusk you can relax, soak again, share time with others, or head to an early bed.

But oh that accusation about naked counseling. Ugh.

It really did mention my name specifically.

And even as I remember it, I can still find the thought arising “that person shouldn’t have written that letter.”

Falsely accused! Ridiculous paranoid and jealous person! She was wrong!

Is it true?

So easy for me to see it’s not true, now. But I remember what it felt like when I believed it.

How did I react when I believed the letter-writer shouldn’t have accused me of doing mental health counseling naked in the hot springs pools at Breitenbush?

Defensive. Frightened. Freaking out with the need to make sure everyone knew how WRONG this letter was. That it was some kind of bizarre misunderstanding. That the person who wrote it was a weirdo.

But who would I be, who am I now, without the belief that this person (I since found out who it was, but didn’t know at the time)….falsely accused me?

I notice how clear and safe it was to be “accused” because it was all revealed very smoothly, caused no harm to anyone at all, and showed me who wasn’t supposed to be my friend or colleague.

It also showed me how deeply uncomfortable some people are with nudity, and how OK that is. It showed me how when I joke around, I can be misinterpreted.

Without the belief she shouldn’t have written the letter, I notice how words were read on a piece of paper, a few required steps were taken to respond, and it was over. I learned sooooo much.

And I still find the turnarounds for how it’s truer that she should have written that letter:

I learned how my credentials and my master’s degree were of greater importance than I knew. I could offer CEUs to other mental health professionals (26 for every retreat). I was completely up-to-date on all requirements for my degree and service. I met a fabulous lawyer who was so good to give me really incredible advice.

I felt more confident than ever, after that whole ordeal (which maybe couldn’t be called an ordeal anymore) was over. I felt the power of standing up for myself confidently, without shame. Steady on.

That experience was better than any personal coaching I could have received for feeling confident about my business.

And now, the Breitenbush retreat will happen for the 8th time. This time I’ll be accompanied by the absolutely lovely Todd Smith, who is so kind and grounded in his own work. I love his experience he shares with the world, and his knowledge and love for self-inquiry.

If you sign up soon, the tuition is still at the “early bird” rate, and I’ve heard while cabins are going quick they’re holding a few for our group.

If you fly from afar, don’t worry about having to bring a lot of gear. They supply sheets, blankets, pillows, pillow cases, towels and wash cloth. Bring shampoo and soap and your toothpaste. The little store has any necessities you might forget. The weather is a bit unpredictable (isn’t this the case everywhere now) so a jacket plus summer shorts or sundress. We were really hot one year. We were really cold another.

And one thing: you’ll be off the grid, outside of cell phone service (!) and no wi-fi. This is a time to unplug from the outside world, and plug into your inner life. Many people like to bring their journals, but we’ll have all the materials you need for The Work.

Who would you be without your stressful stories?

For me, without my story of false-accusation, I’m filled with gratitude. I’m clear as a bell. I’m open. I’m understanding. I’m trusting reality. I know who shows up are the right people and I can’t wait to spend time with you, opening our minds and hearts to the friendliness of life.

Without my story of someone freaking out about naked counseling being done at Breitenbush….

….I have a special deep appreciation for all the lessons, all the support this place called Breitenbush has given me.

Even when letters or words get written than don’t seem so friendly on the first read-through.

Learn even more about Breitenbush (and get their phone number) right HERE. Join the inner peace movement.

Much love,

Grace

P.S. If you have a fearful thought about what someone did, said about you, or wrote about you….you can question it! It might not be as bad as you *think*! It may be giving you some awareness you didn’t realize you had.

Without the story that it’s better when your partner has money….who are you?

The other night I had a seizure. A thinking-feeling seizure.

For about an hour. Seriously.

You might think….wow, that’s a long time for an actual seizure.

Shouldn’t a seizure be only a few minutes? Or ten at the most? I mean, medically and all….

No. It was at least an hour. And OK, it was a thinking seizure, not a full-blown physical medical episode, and I see now how these kinds of seizures can go on for years, and years, without question.

But honestly….it was a thousand times shorter than the seizures I used to have.

Here’s what happened.

I listened to a dear friend who I adore (he really is wonderful, creative, and passionate) tell me about a predicament with his beloved partner.

I could see the scenes in my head.

Partner; overworked, crushed, losing job saying “Screw you Boss!” yet again, lying on couch in physical pain after being on feet for twelve hours.

My Friend; frustrated with partner for losing job, guilty for feeling angry (because–physical pain from working on feet for so many hours), terrified for need of money, ready to sell house.

On my way home in my car with my own husband and partner after the evening was over….

….Me; OMG I NEVER want this to happen to me! To us! You should earn more money and get a different job!

Marriages are liabilities! People get too dependent on each other!! Partners should happily love working hard and support their spouses! Committed couples should take care of each other financially! 

Yes, it was flailing all over the place yelling completely opposing ideas.

And don’t pick “duds” for your primary relationship, by the way. As in, the ones who don’t work hard or don’t have good luck or aren’t supportive or who are screwed up.

People shouldn’t ever be burdened by their partner, financially or otherwise! EVER!

NEVER! EVER! GASP!!

(Seizure)!

The story I was remembering and telling and picturing in my head was an ancient one. That it’s best if the person with whom you are in relationship, live with, share time with or do things with as companions should have money, be a good worker or earner, pay their fair share and never lose their job. Right? They’re motivated, ambitious, and they want to get more money. And give it to you sometimes.

It’s pretty embarrassing.

Later, my very kind husband who is incredibly non-reactive and patient, said after I apologized for basically telling him he should quit his teaching job with kids and earn more….

“Yes, it was like you heard there were dangerous purple cows loose, and you freaked out about purple cows breaking down our door.”

He’s so awesome.

So let’s take a look at this old and stressful fairy tale about obligation in relationship.

Is it true that you have some kind of advantage if you’re in a relationship with someone who has money? Or a disadvantage if you’re in relationship with someone who doesn’t?

Yes. Duh.

But can you be sure? Are you positive that money in a primary relationship/partnership will bring you happiness, security, relaxation, peace? Are you sure lack of money from the partner will bring you unhappiness?

No.

I once dated a man with loads of cash, tons of assets and investments. We did many things where the bills were wildly beyond my limits for contributing. I visited luxury, in his presence. It was fun, sort of. For about ten minutes.

I saw it wasn’t true that it’s better if your spouse or companion has a lot of money. He was stressed, anxious, and unhappy. Even if he had been a deeply happy person, though (and sometimes, he WAS)….

….Money didn’t buy peace or trust or guarantees or support for us (for me). No way.

How do you react when you believe you need extra, or a buffer, a contribution, or someone to earn as much or more as a partner? And never lose their job?

Ugh.

I treat myself like what I do isn’t enough. I orient myself in the world of I-need-more or I-need-different. I secretly resent. I don’t trust that person’s own path. I envy other people in partnership with someone wealthy. I hyper-focus on money and financial assets. I think money means safety, or support, or love.

So who would I be without this very stressful fairy tale?

Without the belief that partners should make more, have more or give more money?

Without this thought, I feel so very excited. Relieved, and then beyond relief into joy. Aware of what is here supporting me. A chair, a floor. Air, water, creativity, life.

Without this entrenched and ancient story of money, and someone else’s money, supplying happiness or safety, I’m so free. I notice how happy and how safe I am right now. I notice how truly happy and kind my partner is, being himself, doing what he does.

I notice how everything necessary is here already, and nothing more is needed including luxuries. Those are fine, and entertaining, but certainly not required.

Turning the thought around: Being in a relationship is not a burden or a benefit (especially when it comes to money). I bring in what I do. So do they. We enjoy each other’s company. There is no advantage or disadvantage, if I am honest and clear every step of the way.

Wow. How could this be just as true, or truer?

Well, the other person has their own body, their own work and career, their own history, their own preferences. How can two people ever be….the same?

I love freedom. I love supporting the freedom of those I love, to have their own preferences and experiences and opinions.

It feels good, I notice, to participate in this thing called “work” in the world. To offer service. To give, to help out, to be creative in exchange for money or other benefits.

In fact, as I’ve done my own self-inquiry on “work” and “money” in life, I’ve gotten more and more excited and free when it comes to needing either one. It just feels natural to move into service. I never wanted to sit on the couch all day, anyway. I like working, learning, giving to others. Most of us do!

Turning it around again: Being in my own head, with all my stories about money and support and work and relationships, is a burden or a benefit.

Oh my. That’s truer.

When I think burdensome thoughts about partnership, when I have conditions or expectations, when I “need” money or support (and think I also need to give both)….

….then it never goes well.

It’s all about making deals. Tit for tat. Being fair. Giving and getting. Conditions. Wanting. Needing.

Yuck. It’s a lot of “work” to track all that.

What I notice about this inquiry, is I am free to be myself, to say “yes” and to say “no” with money, requests, needs, wants, hopes, expectations.

I just remembered when I was a young mother. I didn’t want to work, and I quit. I stayed home with my kids every day, happy not to be somewhere else I didn’t want to be. I felt a little upset about others wanting me to work, and earn more. (Oh boy, I remember how that felt–not so good).

And then I started wanting some adult time. I wanted to do something other than all-kids-all-the-time (I even homeschooled for awhile). I wanted balance. I wanted to use other skills.

Without having guilt, or rules, or terrors about who would suffer and what was “right” or “wrong” when it came to earning, or rebellious thoughts full of refusal to work….I got a part time job. It was fabulous. I worked with people in hospice. I was so grateful.

What freedom would you have, without your stories about what’s required or important in partnership, for you to be happy?

I’d be laughing about Purple Cow seizures with my loving, kind, brilliant partner. Unconditionally experiencing how supported we are, and how free.

Whether we have money, or not.

Much love,

Grace

Content to stay in the lowest, least creative position….with cancer

This past weekend, I got to attend retreat with a small group (18 total) in a remote cabin on the crazy, wild, wind-hail-swept Washington state coast. It was called “Sit in The Fire” with Roxann, Byron Katie’s daughter.

I loved sitting with Roxann and all the brilliant group. The sweetness of being NOT in the role of “facilitator” was profound.

I was asked many times what I was doing there or why I signed up as a participant. Seven other people present were already either in my current YOI (Year of Inquiry) program or in last year’s YOI program.

But here’s the deal: I am the most normal, regular, boring, average “thinking” person. I have thoughts that are irritated, nosey, judgmental, hilarious, painful. I have thoughts that have brought me to my knees with suffering. I’ve been scared with adrenaline pumping through my veins, and sad and pissed because someone betrayed me, or totally freaked out because I had no money and no job.

I know it’s kind of weird to say, but it means very little that I show up as facilitator in other contexts and environments and groups.

I’m about as shocked as you are that I’m debt-free, thriving in business, normal with eating and the same weight for many years, and so happy (whatever that is–LOL).

None of those things mean I’m not considering the deep inquiries of life that we all face: death, change, the unknown tomorrow, love, wondering, sharing, feeling, peace (or not peace).

In this past 3-day retreat, I got to sit with my ever-deepening inquiry on cancer: The death of my father from cancer, the death of my friends from cancer, the way cancer has touched me, my sisters, my mother, and other close friends.

I found the belief “cancer took my loved one too soon”.

Cancer was the demon, the dreaded invader. The one who ruined everything, threatens regularly, and will surely do it again.

In this particular retreat, the format allowed for people to do The Work one at a time….focusing deeply with all the group silently supporting, listening, watching, and being there to witness whomever was sharing in the middle.

How do you react when you believe cancer took your loved ones too soon, and kicked you personally, too?

I got to be that normal human being who has experienced and believed the thought of cancer bunches of times…and share the reaction to this thought.

It looked like sobbing.

It looked like collapsing into my own lap and hanging my arms down from my chair, and wailing with tears until the grief was emptied out of me like a river.

I’m not even sure what it looked like, to be honest.

I simply WAS grief, helplessness, childlike rage, missing my dad, the loneliness of missing, remembering, agonizing, shaking my fist at a God who would release cancer on my family and into the world. I was the tiny speck in the universe who didn’t matter. I was a victim, without apology.

I felt it until I was empty. (I love how Roxann asked “are you empty?”)

I remembered all the transactional analysis gestalt therapy I did before I knew of The Work. Beating pillows with a tennis racket, punching bags of anger, shrieking and crying, breaking plates, tearing up phone books to release rage, telling my story without shame.

I remembered how amazing Big Feelings are, and how Byron Katie shares that they must have their life.

Feelings are incredible, really. We even have salt water (tears) come flowing out of our eyes. It’s rinsing out the pain somehow, shaking out the body, energy moving.

And then, the magnificent question.

Roxann asked me, softly.

Who (or what) would you be without this cancer story?

As I sat, feeling it, I felt the curiosity, the quizzical weirdness, the surprise, the openness of that question.

Who, what, where would I be?

What if my father died not too soon, but right on time? And my friend? And my other friend? What if my own cancer, and my sisters and mother’s, was just right?

Not “terriblehorriblenogoodverybad”?

Wow.

And to be witnessed in such a wondering. Who knows what can happen, to hold still in the presence of others and silence, exploring who I’d be without a huge story like “cancer”?

There we were, humans gathered in a circle as we have done for thousands of years. Noticing and being together.

It was so loving to be witnessed and facilitated, to facilitate myself internally within, to answer these questions about reality. To see reality clearly.

The Work is like saying “let’s take a look, shall we?” and exploring together, as people who each have incredibly unique perspectives and yet, here on the playing field as the Same.

No Final Answer. No “right” answer.

To even ask who we’d be…..results in peace.

Turning the thought around: Cancer has always come right on time. 

I’ll only be here so long, anyway. Everyone has a limited amount of life, and this situation is temporary. Cancer helps people slow down, say “I love you”, relax, enjoy the present. Cancer causes immediate retirement (like with my dad) and lots of time together with others (I saw my dad daily in my 20s when he was ill, and my friend Carl every other day almost for the entire summer–it’s possible we may have never been closer).

What does it take, to get us connected to true love, to life, to honesty, to being human?

For me, it looks like cancer. And it looks like joining things as a participant who does The Work right in front of everyone.

I’m still finding the examples.

It looks like finding everyone who does The Work in my presence the most amazing, brilliant person, full of such enormous wisdom.

And by the way, I’m so glad and grateful you are with me on this journey of exploring thoughts, painful ideas, having questions, being human. Thank you.

Much love,

Grace

P.S. Living Turnarounds Half-Day on April 22nd 2-6 pm in Seattle has 3 spaces left.

One spot open for commuters to Spring Cleaning Retreat in Seattle at a private gorgeous retreat house in Lake Forest Park neighborhood. AirBnb’s close by if you travel from out of town.

Again and again returning to the space between thoughts

Next Living Turnarounds Half-Day is April 22nd 2-6 pm in Seattle at Goldilocks Cottage. Sign up ahead of time to hold your spot–we were totally full last time.

Three spaces open for commuters to Spring Cleaning Retreat in Seattle at a private gorgeous retreat house. AirBnb’s close by if you travel from out of town.

Sometimes, people say they’d like to do The Work but they’re not sure where to begin.

What should I pick?

Here’s one of the best and most simple ways: a relationship that feels troubling from any time in your life. You might love and adore the person, they might not be in your life anymore, they may even have died, or you might see them every single day.

Son, daughter, mother, father, grandpa, grandma, aunt, uncle, sister, brother, boyfriend, girlfriend, whomever you’ve dated, boss, employee, co-worker, best friend.

Life has shown you moments of turmoil or discord with others.

That’s where you can go to begin The Work–seeing someone, anyone, at any time, who in their presence you felt disturbed.

Uncomfortable relating is a huge percentage of our stress.

Compulsive off-balance behavior often comes out of some kind of disruption with a person. My own tendency was always to eat compulsively out of anger, nervousness, sadness or excitement OFTEN resulting from my thoughts and beliefs about other people and what I thought they thought of me.

Even if you’ve done The Work before on someone in your life, maybe many times….

….there’s nothing wrong with repetition, practice, and doing it again.

Each time I sit down for The Work, it’s a new potential discovery. No expectations. Just starting now, with the feeling of Not Liking something that’s been said, done, offered, communicated.

Tomorrow I’m heading for a 3 day retreat with Roxann, Byron Katie’s daughter who’s had the great privilege of doing The Work for 25 years or so.

For an entire month, I’ve been thinking about who I want to do The Work on again in a new way, from the life I’m in now….and I see several familiar faces cross the field inside my mind.

That one bipolar alcoholic boyfriend, the best friend who did the crazy inexplicable betrayal that had to involve a lawyer, the good friend who snapped at me, the sister who cut me off, my former husband divorcing me.

The ones I believe caused trouble.

Even if I know it’s in the past, that it’s over, that it’s now an image or replaying movie….I found incredible turnarounds to “live” because of what went down between me and that person. Benefits. Change. Transformation.

But I kept seeing one person’s face in my mind.

Dad.

If I still tap into the voice of the little girl within (even though I was in fact an adult when he died–barely) I feel the tragedy. I respected him so much. I was so, so sad he died of cancer “too soon”.

Maybe one of the reasons I’ve thought about my dad lately so much, or considered him for my upcoming 3-day inquiry, is that one of my best friends died of cancer last September. He knew my dad. My dad, his dad, my mom and his mom all went to the same church throughout childhood.

My friend’s death was like a replay in many ways of my father’s death. Strangely coincidental. They both had similar personalities of true kindness and a deep abiding love for intellectual learning.

Last summer, when my friend was so ill, I hugged him in a long goodbye and we said “I love you” the way that had become wonderfully comfortable. I wasn’t sure I’d be seeing him again or not. I had a week-long program way in Northern Ontario I was attending (including the topic of death and dying, incidentally).

“I won’t die until you get back” he said to me as I left. We both chuckled with the heartbreak of it. We had many long conversations about death, his death, dying, how he felt about it, about our lives growing up in the same neighborhood and everything we’d ever gone through.

In Canada, I thought about him all the time. He was getting too weak to text, or talk. I went out and walked when my program wasn’t in session.

Along a quiet highway road running near a gorgeous smooth late-summer lake, I suddenly realized I had been on this road before.

When my dad was dying.

The exact same road in a remote place in Ontario, here I was almost 30 years later.

I hadn’t recognized the location at first, where I had taken a writer’s workshop on my honeymoon road trip. I knew that workshop was near this lake, but couldn’t remember exactly where.

Then walking on the very same road, I was there. With the flooding memories of what was happening in my life back then.

Someone I loved and respected and admired was dying.

And there was nothing I could do about it.

So today, I’m writing a Judge Your Neighbor worksheet on my father’s death, including my thoughts about cancer, abandonment, temporariness, suffering….not editing or moving into what I think I “know” about this worksheet and these false thoughts already.

I can look again.

I can walk in the same place again, thirty years later, without even having planned to walk there.

Don’t we look again anyway?

Isn’t it a wonder to notice the repetitive mind and give it care and attention like a little child who repeats the same things over and over, in innocence?

I lost my dad, I lost my friend….is it true?

“You can’t have anything. You can’t have any truth. Inquiry takes all that away. The only thing that exists for me is the thought that just arose….So again and again, we return to the space between thoughts.” ~ Byron Katie

Much love,

Grace

P.S. Facebook LIVE today 10 am Pacific Time. Let’s do The Work starting with how to find and hold that one moment, that situation, and begin our work.

Peace doesn’t require two people. But sharing with others helps us see how to live it.

I’m sitting as the sun sets on the weekend, watching the yellow-then-rose colored sky over the fence and tall laurel hedge across the street at the neighbor’s house.

I am touched so deeply by the sincerity and willingness of the people who recently filled this little cottage living room to question their thoughts.

Some were brand new to The Work. They had never written out a Judge Your Neighbor worksheet before.

Some were School for The Work graduates who have been questioning their thoughts for years.

It doesn’t matter really.

There is always a curiosity when a group gathers for a retreat–whether a 4-hour retreat like today, or a 4-day retreat–a joyful excitement (and perhaps surge of nerves).

As people came in, it was very quiet. A few simple greetings, several people unfamiliar with this place needing to ask where the bathroom is, where the tea mugs are. Others have been here before.

What will happen this afternoon?

What will be discovered?

What is possible here, as I wonder about my thinking, my ideas, my concepts, my beliefs, my suffering?

What could shift, as I consider just one troubling relationship, and clarify some of my thoughts about it?

The very first step, where we actually write down our stressful beliefs, can sometimes be so awkward….

….but also the biggest relief in the world.

We can cuss, rage, vent, wail….on paper. We give words to our feelings of loss, abandonment, fear, grief.

After everyone was here and settled in, I asked the Judge-Your-Neighbor questions slowly (with some description of exploring how to sit with and answer these questions). Everyone got a clip board and a pen—which are all the supplies you need besides your mind, to do The Work.

I’m always so amazed, although I shouldn’t be–because I did it myself despite my secrecy and huge urge to protect myself–at how willing people are to write their honest answers down to the JYN questions.

Who angers, confuses or disappoints you, and WHY?

A child can answer the question “who bugs you, and WHY?” probably more easily than an adult.

Sometimes when people start The Work, they’ll say they anger, confuse or disappoint themselves…but yesterday I already said at the very beginning of our mini-retreat not to write about themselves.

Who were you with, when you felt bad about yourself?

Turn your attention outward. See what those other people are doing, saying, feeling, thinking….that you find disturbing.

I love the quiet of the room when people are writing and their pens are tap-tapping on paper. They’re focused. They’re exposing ideas they think they should not have in the first place.

They’re so beautiful, writing away with passion and gusto.

And then, to hear someone jump in and volunteer to be the first to “go”–the first person ready to “do” The Work who has never been to this group before. I am so inspired.

Wow, how brave she is.

At least, this is my thought as a fairly extreme introvert.

How courageous to speak immediately, to read one’s entire worksheet, to put these thoughts into the room for all the ears to hear.

The thoughts that hurt so much were shared during our afternoon together: she left me, he lacks insight, they are bored with me, he raised his voice at me, she should work with me on a compromise, I want them to stop, his outbursts are getting worse, I want hope that something will change.

The Work, as you know so well, is four questions and finding turnarounds to these concepts that incite riots of feeling within.

I hear Katie’s voice saying “trust the work”.

This is about each one of us answering all the questions to the best of our abilities, in this present moment, with no expectations of the outcome.

In our mini-retreat, after sitting with two different participant’s worksheets, everyone got to pull one thought from their Judge Your Neighbor worksheet from #4: the prompt which says “In order to be happy, I need x to ______.”

We heard each person’s #4. I need him to say _____, I need her to act _____, I need them to be ______.

Everyone got to sit in this very active meditation of answering the four questions, out loud, about this need they had written down.

You can do it right now.

What is one thing you are sure would make you happy, if you got it–and you don’t have it now? Picture it coming from the outside world. A person saying “x”, a person giving you “y”, a person being like “z”. Something else coming to you, like money, or that item.

Is it true you need that in order to be happy?

Give your honest answer.

Can you be absolutely sure? Is it absolutely positively true you need that in order to be happy? Are you sure happiness is NOT possible unless it happens, in the difficult situation you’re aware of (even if it was a long time ago)?

How do you react when you think you need it, and it’s not showing up?

Oh lord. Disappointed. Waiting. Wishing. Worrying.

Who would you be without this troubling thought that you need “x” in order to be happy (seeing the mental video of what you think you need)?

I’d see what was happening right here, more honestly.

I’d notice I’m sitting in a family of people, some of whom I don’t know their life details, and yet they feel like fellow travelers on an exquisite journey.

I somehow wound up here, in a half-day retreat with other people wondering about the validity of their thinking, and willing to question it. People willing and interested in exploring.

I’d see how happiness is possible, or even here right now, whether I get “x” or not.

I love turning my thoughts around.

It never means I have to quit believing my original thought….I might notice I still worry it’s true, but I’m giving some substance and energy to this other opposite thought.

Everyone got to turn around their need in our group yesterday: I need ME to do that thing, say that thing, be that way WITH MYSELF. Especially in the presence of that other person.

Wow.

That’s true.

It’s the only thing I can really do anything about: myself.

And we looked at these needs closely. Everyone had the opportunity to contemplate and discover and find genuine ways they might live their turnarounds with themselves. 

For the one who believed she needed hope for change, she saw how she could give herself “hope” or a spark of encouragement. For the one who believed someone lacks insight, she could see how she lacked insight, and then notice how very insightful she is, and feel the power of trust.

For the one who thought they were bored with her, she found how she was bored with herself, so she could find  how she might feel the entertainment of what’s inside, and relax in other peoples’ presence.

If we lived a true turnaround to what we find when we do The Work….what might it look like?

Most importantly, what would it FEEL like?

You don’t even have to know what you’d do.

These words are all what people came up with as their anchor words for living their turnarounds this month, their awareness of something simple, condensed into one word, something unforgettable: Trust, Self-Compassion, Generosity, Allow, Relax, Worthiness, Creativity, Love. 

What I noticed was each one of these inquirers was the most adorable, perfect example of their turnaround.

“Peace doesn’t require two people; it requires only one. It has to be you. The problem begins and ends there.” ~ Byron Katie

You can be an example of a quality you thought you needed from outside yourself, too. You could imagine noticing how you have this quality already, or the capacity to feel it.

Living our turnarounds is so much fun.

And who knows….it may change the world.

Much love,

Grace

P.S. Spring Cleaning Retreat has 3 spots open May 16-20 in Seattle. Come find your turnarounds with us.

P.P.S. Next Living Turnarounds Half-Day is April 22nd.