Send-Off To Money Class Participants

A sweet goodbye and “sendoff” during our 8th teleclass.

To sweet friends I carry with me, whether we’re together
on our teleclass, doing exercises together between classes,
meeting at a “Katie event”…or who knows where.

From Kenya, Japan, Florida, Seattle, New York, Minnesota…
performers, doctors, artists, actor, teacher, sister facilitator.

Someone said, as we were about to end the last call, how amazing
it is that we, as we’re doing The Work, can just come together in
a blink of an eye and become a community of mutual support.

And we can look, almost immediately, into the darkest corners
of our lives–that can turnaround into the brightest.

And what a relief to “compress” time.

It’s so wonderful we don’t need years of gradually getting to know
each other, taking tentative steps to see if it’s safe, before we can
open up to the most important things…

…troubling, hateful, scary, shameful, …exciting, precious, exhilarating!

And somehow, The Work provides a framework to shine the light
ANYWHERE…at anything…on anyone…at any time…no matter
how horrible or impossible or disgusting the situation or the
people in your life seems to be.

It’s great that the worst thing that can EVER happen is a thought.

And one other thing I love is The Work (amidst oceans of things
I love) is it’s NOT about following a “guru” who has “the” answers.

I’ve heard Byron Katie say so many times, that it’s NOT about
“her,” or “her” answers, or about doing what “she” does,
but about finding the answers to YOUR OWN questions.

And heaven forbid, it’s not about following ME or my answers!!!!

That’s why I love hearing about group members continuing to
work together long after the “official teleclass” is over.

So do your Work alone, with friends, at events, or join me
on one of my 3 upcoming teleclasses that start in the next 2 weeks.

They’re all 8-week courses, starting on Feb. 10 and 11 (see below).

Love to all,

Grace

“Grace, I love how you are so affirming of everyone’s process and are 
such an accepting/loving presence.”–Celia, teleclass participant

Extreme Relationship Thinking

I’ll never forget when my daughter was a little girl (she is now 14)
and I watched her do the thing we sometimes do when we’re not getting 100% connection and attention from a friend. When we’re not getting what we want!

She was REALLY angry. Another little girl was visiting and they were
playing with dolls. I suddenly heard my daughter’s voice yelling
“I’m NEVER GOING TO BE YOUR FRIEND AGAIN!”

I looked into the room to see her standing with her arms crossed giving
the evil eye to her playmate, the room full of stunned silence.

Oh the agony! The drama!

But I have found that us grown-ups have the same kind of voice on the
inside, the same one that when we’re hurt or when we think we’re not going
to get what we think we want, says “…NEVER!” or “…ALWAYS!”

When my marriage was ending seven years ago, I was extra fearful.
I wasn’t sure I could live on my own. I had a lot of stories about
relationships and what husbands and wives were supposed to act like.

I had lots of thoughts that had the words “never!” and “always!” in them.

Thoughts like “I’ll never love again”…”I’ll always be abandoned”…”I’ve
never been good at living alone”…”My children will always remember
this as horrible”…

When I was the most scared, my mind would fill up with all kinds of
horrifying scenarios. I’d imagine myself living on the street pushing
around a shopping cart. I would feel anger, resentment, terror, agonizing
grief.

Thank goodness for The Work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Was I really abandoned? Did this all really mean I did something wrong?

What would it be like if I didn’t believe that thought?!

What if it was possible that life was actually going exactly as it was going,
and I could be…..peaceful? Content? Ready for adventure?

I noticed I was breathing, I had shelter, food, a car, books, friends, three
awesome sisters, a great mom, a huge, loving extended family, fantastic
neighbors…and FINALLY time to myself that I had always wanted.

And there was more, and more, and more that I noticed.

I started realizing that change in an important relationship was only
change, not a gigantic disaster. It was even exciting!

If you’d like to join the journey to peace with an important person
in your life….your spouse, your mother, your son, your co-worker…

Come join the next teleclass:

Relationship Hell to Heaven: Fridays, Feb 10 – April 6, 2012
8 – 9:30 am Pacific Time

Much love and peace,

Grace

Sexuality Class #2

Wow again. I’m so grateful.

We just finished sexuality teleclass #2, and it such a blessing to have a
forum, a sanctuary, a safe haven with dear friends…

…to bring light into darkness and pain…as we question our thoughts.

Because no matter the topic–food, relationships, sex, money–whatever
we hide and are ashamed of, it’s always painful.

But it just seems that sex has more thoughts-per-square inch
than other topics…even though I know it’s not true.

Today it ALL seemed to come up…

-desperate needing
-using sex for love
-using sex for stress management
-wanting people to like us (both women and men)
-thinking “we or they” are perverted (both men and women)
-first noticing our bodies as kids
-taking advantage of others and ourselves (both women and men)
-masturbation (both women and men)

So much per square inch…both pain and pleasure.

It’s so painful when our natural curiosity, fascination, impulses,
fun, and goodness are turned IN on ourselves as accusation,
shame, humiliation, hiding, and desperate pretending.

On the other hand, being in question #4 and then turning it around…

There’s gentleness, passion, hilarity, pleasure, love, goofiness (that’s me)
and laughing at ourselves…and having another playground to explore.

We even talked about our male and female “equipment” and letting it
have its life…

…like watching people just do what they do without judgment…
what IS… as if watching as aliens from another planet and just
seeing what this interesting species is all about.

It’s such a freeing perspective not to analyze every little breath we take
and criticize every thought and impulse…which is soooo exhausting!

And not very good foreplay, either!

It’s hard to have fun or passion with your THINKING
looking over your shoulder with a scowl…tapping it’s foot…
ready to rap your knuckles if you put an eyelash out of line.

So be gentle with yourself with everything sexual about you…your
shape, your smell, your thoughts, your desires, your “equipment!”

Sending love and acceptance and fun,

Grace

Say It! Say No!

I’ve been known to say that if I only did The Work
on my thoughts about saying “No”….enough lightbulbs
would go off to light up the whole city of Seattle in January!

That takes a LOT of lightbulbs….(have you heard about
how much sun Seattle gets in January? Let’s just say it’s the
opposite of tropical).

I used to think it was rude to say “No”.

If I said “No”, I needed to explain myself and give a really good excuse
for saying “No”—like “my grandmother is sick”.

If I said “No”, I needed to give something in exchange for
saying “No”, to soften the harshness of the mean, nasty word “No”.
Like, “I can’t buy that for you right now, but later we can watch
a movie together” (and I didn’t really want to watch
the movie either).

If I said “No”, I recognized that I was really afraid that some
person in my life, even that stranger who asked me for $10 on the
street, would get angry, resentful, hurt, sad, or frightened.

If that person felt any of those feelings, they would hurt me
or go away. They wouldn’t like me.

Oh the horror of someone not liking me!

It’s pretty funny, but I’m not kidding that it felt really, really, really painful
on the inside. I REALLY wanted people to like me, I wanted
their approval, and I thought that if they did, I would feel happy.

I still get moments like this, but I’ve got The Work now, so I can
question ANYTHING that feels uncomfortable. Like getting asked
for something, and then seeing that my answer is “No”.

That’s what I love about looking deeply at Relationships that are
important in my life. The people I see the most often, interract with
regularly, or who have been in my life the longest, these folks are
often the ones I notice I want to please.

I can’t wait to start again with looking at those other people….
my kids, colleagues, mother, grandfather, partner….and bring
what I think about them to the surface for inquiry.

I love shining the lightbulbs on all these crazy, mean, nasty,
frightening thoughts….and finding out how I really want to
answer when someone says “can you do something for me?”

“No!” is so much fun now. So is “Yes!” Wow, this is freedom!!

Come join a wonderful group to look at just the kind of thinking
that gets you feeling stuck, mad, or pissy…

Much love, fun, and lightbulb flashes,

Grace

Jiggling Mental Cellulite Dirty Laundry

Let’s take a deeper look at why people love that e-mail
and why I love my cellulite!

I think it’s because I’m taking my worst dirty laundry…
the thing that I absolutely shouldn’t expose…

…that is totally crazy to actually “air out” in the open…

…and instead, letting it rip.

It’s like when we’re just about to do The Work on something
with a partner, and get that sneaky little thought:

“Oh God, I don’t want to do THAT ONE.”

And an image pops up or flashes by of some shame or embarrassment.

But it’s not just an image of a “little” discomfort.

It’s that really DEEP, squirming, body-clenching, sweat-producing
flush of humiliation…even if it’s just for a millisecond and
you can shove it back down really fast.

Where you REALLY want to curl up in a ball and hide from
the world and from yourself (question #3, of course!).

And you actually toy with the idea of NOT doing that thought…
yet want to…yet don’t want to…but do…and we can confuse
ourselves right out of it.

But on the other side, there’s a wisdom within that can sense the
freedom of opening to the “worst” fears and hiding and embarrassment.

It’s just the slightest undercurrent of excitement because it’s so
radically crazy to actually DO IT!

To JUMP!

It’s the thrill of no-hands on the roller coaster’s straight down climax!

Woooosssshhhhh!

So…is it fear or excitement…that peeking between your fingers in the movie?

It’s worth a closer look.

Wishing you the exhilaration of going for some of those
really juicy, horribly squirmy ones.

Like my wonderfully precious, out-in-the-open, hideous cellulite.

Love and jiggles,

Grace

Going Nuts Like Marlon Brando

Have you noticed how the topics of business and money can
really drive you nuts? ESPECIALLY if you run your own
business, work for yourself (what a difficult boss!) or have
a pile of bills to pay….and a bank account that looks, well,
emptier than you’d like?

Money coming in and money going out produces all kinds
of anxiety. Then if you’re also the boss….oh boy, look out.

When you’re running a business, you can have thoughts like:

  • I need to put my nose to the grindstone
  • I’ll stop working so hard when I have a nice cushion
  • Crack the whip! The people who work for me need to straighten up and fly right!
  • There is never, never, never enough time
  • If I don’t get better at running my business, I’ll FAIL
  • I’m such a procrastinator
  • Those other professionals are so much more successful
  • I coulda been a contender! (Remember Marlon Brando in On The Waterfront?)

It doesn’t make logical sense, and it doesn’t look like a business
plan, but I have found that Doing The Work is the VERY BEST thing
I have ever done to change my experience of money, work,
employment, and being an independent earner.

Three years ago only, I hit bottom financially, literally, with only a few hundred
dollars left and almost losing my house because I had no money to pay for it,
no job, and only a few clients….but I had the Work and a lot of creative ideas.

Fortunately, I hired a fantastic facilitator to help me inquire into
my thoughts about money, business, and employment. I spent a portion of
my very last dollars to hire her for ten sessions….and made it out alive.

Yes, it feels that serious…..like a matter of life or death.

Money, paying, spending, earning can feel like if it doesn’t go the
way you hope, YOU COULD DIE!

The great news is….you could LIVE! I sure have, and so far, you have
too if you’re reading this.

I’ve questioned all the most absolutely terrifying thoughts about money
and losing it or owing it or needing it….and wow, has the inside of me changed.

Now I am a Contender!

I’m happily, joyfully in the middle of a wonderful experience called
running a business, where I get to facilitate people wanting to question
their painful thinking alongside me….and even though I became fine with
losing my house (seriously, I knew it was OK)…I didn’t.

I’d love to have you along this fabulous journey with Money & Your
Biz! We start on Fridays, February 10 – April 6, 12:15 – 1:45 pm
Pacific time.

Much love,

Grace

Odd Number Sexuality Group

Just a quick note about the new “wonderful sexuality” class
that started Thursday morning.

(And it’s OK if your sexuality, sex life, partner…doesn’t seem so
“wonderful” at the moment-that’s what the classes are all
about…inquiring into the “un-wonderfulness” we all experience).

We’ve got an odd number and I’d like to be able to pair
everyone up for the exercises where we work together during the week.

And…I know there were a number of people who were “on the
fence” about schedules, time zones, and whether they could fit
it in with work and family.

So if you wanted to join us, but something came up, we have one
spot available since it’s an odd number right now…and I’d love
to have you in this amazing group.

It doesn’t matter if you’re new to The Work or a “seasoned
veteran,” as we have a number of people (5 countries represented)
who are in facilitator training and also folks who are just getting the
hang of the 4 questions. There are also some first timers to my
teleclasses and some who’ve been in several.

It’s actually GREAT to have the diversity, as we all think
eachother’s thoughts and learn from each other.

I can’t think of how many times I’ve heard Katie tell everyone
to start at the beginning (even people 10 years in The Work)
…as if we’re brand new, babes in the woods, with no ideas
or preconceived notions about what’s “supposed” to happen.

So everyone’s welcome.

Because we’re always NEW anyway. We’re NEW with every
inquiry we do…every time we ask that simple question,
“Is it true?” and wait for the answer.

The mind shifts…so our vision shifts…so the world shifts
and it’s always kinder.

Give me a call if you’re interested. You’ll pay for
the 7 classes that are left and I’ll talk to you for about 15
minutes to get you “caught up.”

We’re not recording the class so that everyone feels safe
and free to get to the deepest things they want to question.

But that doesn’t mean you have to “spill your guts,” either.

You’re always free to share whatever you feel is right for you.

Also, from my notes, I’m also putting together a short synopsis of the
class (NO NAMES…NO SPECIFICS…NO REVEALING DETAILS)
so that everyone has a reference and record of some of the concepts
we explored during the class, since there is no recording.

Wishing you love, peace, acceptance, some belly laughs, and
at least one person to drive you crazy…so you go sane :)

Grace

Fantastic BFF Friends

I was talking to a friend yesterday morning…about friends.

About being a friend, having friends, being friends with yourself,
best friends, BFFs, new friends, old friends, and how the world keeps
getting friendlier, the longer you do The Work.

There’s nothing like having a friend–who you can tell everything to.

Sometimes it’s almost “magical” when you open up to another
person…you can hear YOU reflected back by a loving mirror.

It’s also strange how the world can seem so scary, unfriendly,
confusing, and even terrifying…when you feel “friendless,”
alone, and seem to have nowhere to turn.

On February 10, my next teleclass starts. It’s about relationships
of every kind and the thoughts that turn them into battlegrounds,
cemeteries, and ghost towns…instead of safe harbors, greenhouses,
and fertile places to grow.

It all starts with your OWN thinking, even if you’re surrounded
by people and family and friends at every turn…

…and even if you don’t have a friend in the world, which
seems ABSOLUTELY TRUE when we’re believing our thoughts.

And it’s about what I said earlier:

“…how the world keeps getting friendlier, the longer you do The Work.”

When you’re in emotional pain, a statement like that seems like
utter nonsense…even insulting…and absolutely ridiculous when
you’re in the grip of a broken, bruised, or struggling relationship…

…and love seems like some far off, cruel, or bittersweet dream
that only plays on the radio or those super-sad CDs.

The class is called:

Turning Relationship-HELL into Heaven.
Do you want someone to forgive you? Do you wonder who’s fault it is?
Are ancient grudges destroying your family? Have you left a trail of
“serial” relationship behind you?  Do you think people are just plain mean?
Are co-workers driving you nuts (or your boss, lover, mother, or kids)?
Do you fight and make up (a lot)? Do you just give up and think “why bother?”
Do you feel like you’d finally be happy if people understood you?
Do you think you deserve better, but secretly think you’ll be alone forever?

Do you feel devastated because someone close has gone away?

These thoughts and feelings are not enemies, they’re actually friends
who open door to healing, lasting peace, and relationship contentment.

I know about broken relationships after coming back from
the Byron Katie School six years ago, only to hear my husband
say he was moving out! “What?”

Boy…did that throw all the thoughts I’ve mentioned, right
in my face!

And that “magical” thing I mentioned? I “found” it by questioning
my thinking about my former husband (who’s now a dear friend),
sisters, mom, kids, friends, partner…and about myself.

It wasn’t overnight, by any means. But by gently and consistently
doing The Work, I now find friends everywhere…from a stranger
on the corner, to my ever-deepening relationships with
my partner, kids, clients, family…you name it!

I hope you’ll join me at the class, with a group of friends,
and that you’ll continue to find your freedom by questioning
your thoughts.

Much love, Grace

Alumni in New Sexuality Teleclass

Two quick fun things about Thursday’s new sexuality class.

One is my no-secret secret. The other is that 2 of the members
are “alumni”…meaning, they’ve been in other classes of mine.

I love, love, love, love that…because we’re already friends,
and we just go deeper and deeper…together.

Friends who we can tell ANYTHING about ourselves…
the “worst” things about us (Question 3: fears, discomfort, shame)…

…and the best (Question 4) the natural comfort with our bodies, the
curiosity, the pleasure of touch, excitement, passion, attraction, and peace.

The no-secret secret is that sometimes people in my classes think
THEY are getting a lot out of the class and I’M doing the
facilitating as my “job.”

But it’s the most wonderful thing in the world for ME, too.

I do my own work with everyone, as they’re doing theirs. And
having a variety of people means we can find those places
in ourselves we might not have thought of before.

For me, it’s like being given minute-by-minute gifts…for hours
every day…of more and more freedom and peace.

Like Byron Katie says: “Just when you think
your life can’t get any better…it DOES.”

So I’m grateful for all the people in my classes (I’m also flattered
my returning “alumni” want to do more with me!)

Here are more topics that come up, besides the ones from yesterday’s e-mail:

  • needing, pleasing, wanting…desperately and endlessly (then hating yourself for being a “doormat”)
  • thinking sex will “fill” you…though it never truly does
  • giving and giving without receiving what you need
  • wondering if there shouldn’t be something more to sex
  • feeling embarrassed about your body: too fat, skinny, weird shape (of embarrassing parts), clumsiness, smells, secretions
  • trying to get (well-deserved) approval but not believing it when you do
  • can’t stop thinking about your body image so it’s interfering with sex and actually “being there” with your partner (this was a BIG one for me, I preferred sex in the dark before inquiry)

Groups are great, because you get to hear that everybody’s got
the same crazy jumble and tumble of thoughts that you do…
…and the relief when you reveal something horrible and no
one even thinks it’s a big deal-except YOU!

It’s so amazing when the BIG terrors and deep-dark stuff
isn’t even a blip on someone else’s radar–IT’S JUST A THOUGHT!

Much love and fun and peace with your sexuality,

Grace

Hideous Cellulite Humiliation

Think of your “worst nightmare.”

One of mine was having people see, be disgusted by,
know the truth about, or laugh at my jiggling thigh cellulite.

And if I really capture the worst..
…and go deep…right to the heart of the worst imaginable,
internally-squirming, cold-sweat humiliation….

Or as Byron Katie sometimes says, “What’s your worst nightmare?”
The real “knife-in-the-heart” reaction?

When it comes to my body, it would be standing on stage,
either in a bikini or maybe even naked, with all the people
I know in the audience, thinking “eewwwww, I had no idea,
she is in terrible shape, how disgusting!”

I’d be standing facing away from them, at a slight angle under bright
lights so the backs of my thighs, where the wavy bumps
and rolls, would absolutely STAND OUT for everyone to see.

The audience would be feeling terrible for me, extreme pity. Murmurs
of horror and shame.

And I’d have nowhere to run or escape, and no way to erase this
image of my body from their minds, ever.

Whew! That’s really what it was like for me.

You have to have some amazingly powerful images and thoughts to
be as self-hating as I was.

So how did I react when I believed the thought that my thighs were
disgusting? This is question #3 of course in The Work.

I wanted to DIE…get away, squirm, cover my hideously ugly thighs, think
about changing my diet, exercise more. I had images of men turning away in
disgust and women being disappointed, saying, “Yuck!” when they saw
me, and feel devastatingly discouraged. I wished I had a different body,
and I felt a LOT of internal pain.

That’s why one of my most favorite quotes in the world is:

“Where you stumble, there lies your treasure” by Joseph Campbell.

I turned the spot light on this pain, even though I chided myself for being
ridiculous, superficial, and caring about looks waaaay too much.

And now, I don’t feel the same way in the slightest about my body
anymore.

But if someone had told me this was possible, I would have thought they
were false, pie-in-the-sky, bullshit-preaching, positive-thinking liars.

Though secretly, behind the anger and fear, I would have desperately
wanted to believe it was possible…

But now, I actually LIVE in the fourth question of The Work, “Who
would you be WITHOUT that thought that my thighs look disgusting?”
Without the thought that cellulite is ugly.

I can actually look in the mirror, at the cellulite that’s STILL THERE,
and feel completely at peace and happy without a twinge of
self-hate or embarrassment or revulsion. I decided it looked like Texas
Hill Country…beautiful rolling hills. I wouldn’t say “those hills need
to be flat and smooth for them to be beautiful”. Hilarious!

This is what we were dealing with this past weekend in my hometown
Seattle, Washington, USA.

And I feel grateful, with such a connection to the courageous 14 folks
who were here with me, doing their own precious work on their
painful moments with food, body image, body shapes, and eating.

And I hope that by reading this, if you’re struggling with your
own thoughts…at any level…even if it’s just 2 extra pounds that
you think “shouldn’t” be there on your thighs or face or stomach…

…that it brings you a little more acceptance and peace, and
awareness of how you’re believing something about what you see,
when you criticize your body, that isn’t actually true for you.

Much love,

Grace

P.S. My food teleclass starts tomorrow on Tuesday to work with more
folks with these same kinds of thoughts and feelings. At the moment,
there’s one last spot available…and there’s even a GUY in the class!

Lot’s of guys think this is only “what women go through”!

If it’s full when you sign up, I’ll let you know right away
and I’ll put you right on the waiting list for the next
one which will be in a couple months on Saturdays.

It’s called:

Horrible Food-Wonderful Food!

Healing the Love/Hate Relationship with
Eating, Food, & Our Bodies-that Leads
to Weight Gain & Loss, Anorexia, Bulimia,
Exercise Addiction, Binge Eating,
Dangerous Diets and Depression.

Also starting on Thursday:

Our Wonderful SEXUALITY!
Untangling the Passion, Attraction, Love,
Fear, Body Image, Confusion, Tenderness…
and Joyful Intimacy!   Starts Jan. 19