I Can’t Do That

One of the most sneaky, sad, depressing ways
my thinking has messed with my peace and freedom
is with this simple but powerful thought “I CAN’T DO THAT”.

It comes right after a really fantastic idea.

It comes right after a really frightening idea.

It comes right after I get a vision of something in the
future that might be possible, and it feels big and juicy
and like a wild dream.

The mind is such a pessimist! Here are some of the reasons
my thinking comes up with WHY I can’t do something:

–he will be very sad
–she won’t approve of me
–they will think I’m greedy
–people will get outrageously mad at me
–people will find me disgusting and uncool
–I’ll screw it up and regret I tried to do it

All very, very stressful beliefs, and all full of a good punch
that often results in “DON’T EVEN TRY IT”.

But what if you could do that. What if you knew you
really, really, really wanted to do it, you were drawn
to do it, something in you was saying “Go! Now!” or
you keep coming back to the idea over and over again.

Even if it’s just a little whiff of an idea, a soft breeze passing,
a tiny hint of a suggestion…”I CAN do that”. Why not see if it’s
just as true, or truer, that you can.

It’s not really that I can’t do something, most of the time.
I try, and I do it or I don’t do it…it may not even matter.

Come see what it’s like to live the turnarounds of these stressful
beliefs, share with others who may have had the same painful
beliefs, and question them using The Work together.

We have only one spot left for this weekend retreat on food, eating
and the body. And the teleclass with the same topic starts next
Tuesday!

I would love to have you join me on the journey to the freedom of
seeing if you can do it, without terrible stress and panic.

Love, Grace

Bare Naked Heart

Although it was scary at first (and still
is at times), doing The Work with others
and allowing them to see where I hide from
the world and myself, is one of the most liberating
things I’ve ever done…and continue to do….

…my heart…bare and naked!

So…here’s some of MY latest work.

Which I’m showing you here for a 2 reasons.

One is, to help dispel the myth that people who’ve
been “in” The Work for a long time are in some
way “different,” more “evolved,” or “superior.”

If anything, the longer you’ve been in The Work,
the thoughts you work on seem even MORE petty,
trivial, and ridiculous.

And I guess the 2nd reason is sort of the same.

To remind you that we’re all working on the same
thoughts and can learn from each other’s work.

I continue to marvel at how everyone’s work
in my classes…is MY work, too.

I’m also amazed at the courage, integrity, and
innocence of “us.”

My clients and class members inspire ME!

With that said, here’s my one liner. I’ll give
you the whole thing over the next couple days
in a thumbnail form (not all the scribbling, doodles,
and arrows in the margins of my notebook):

“He/She should stop hurting”

I look out into the world, I talk with the most
amazing, beautiful people, and sometimes I feel
sad that they are “hurting” or suffering; grieving,
smoking, drinking, overeating, hopeless, full of despair,
cheated, lost, desperate, suicidal, afraid…

They are sad, so I am sad.

Now that’s rather…funny really. Stay tuned for how
I work with this thought. And write me about your
experience of working it as well.

We’re all in this together.

Love, Grace

 

I’m Not Good Enough

I was thinking again about all your stressful beliefs you
all have sent in to me, and discovering a very common
belief “I’m not good enough”.

I hear Katie’s voice saying “Good enough for WHAT?!”

What an amazing question. I find that to try to answer it,
I’m dumbfounded (great word, eh?)

So let’s really look at this concept, which is so common and
has been around in the human race for…well, maybe since
the first cave man died from tripping over a cliff and his friend found him
on the river bed below and thought “I better not ever let this happen
to me, I need to be good enough”.

At least it feels like survival 101. I find when I’m thinking
“I’m not good enough” I start scheming on how to get better.
Or, go crawl in bed and avoid things, which is at least apparently
risk-free.

But who would I be if I didn’t have the idea that I’m not good enough?

First of all, I’d show up. I’d attend the big meeting, I’d raise my hand,
if I had the idea to go talk to that attractive person over there
I probably would do it. I’d sign up for a new class, I’d call many of my
friends and ask them if they know anyone hiring for jobs right now.
I’d sign up for OK Cupid free online dating service.

I’d call my mother. I’d finish my resume. I’d think of someone who I
know is super duper supportive and call them to talk. I’d ask someone
to facilitate me on my stressful beliefs.

I’m GOOD ENOUGH to be this person who is sitting here on the couch,
writing this email. I’m good enough to find out I might not know
everything…wow, I hardly have words to express it…
I think that I’m struck DUMB (dumb-founded, right?)

It literally means NOT TALKING.

Amazed and in awe by all that I’m good enough for. You are too!

What are you good enough for? I bet there’s a lot…everything you’ve done
so far, everything you’ve felt, everything you’ve lived has been good
enough. You’re here right now, perfectly YOU, including all your
stressy beliefs.

WOW! You guys are awesome!

And when you don’t think so, come join a class. The support is fabulous,
and you discover how you aren’t alone.

Love, Grace

Mission Possible

I LOVED reading all the “thoughts” you sent to me, your most
stressful thoughts of 2011.
Some were really brutally crushing…it’s the way of it. The mind
isn’t exactly friendly. In fact, would chop your head off if it could,
what a bully
Those thoughts about ourselves, being unlovable, unworthy,
undeserving, slow, ugly, needy, broken, fragile, trapped…
Thinking they might ever change, or ease up, seems even more
unlikely than the wildest stunts on Mission IM-possible.
So here’s your first assignment, should you choose to accept it:
Take out a One-Belief-At-A-Time worksheet and fill in
at the top “I’ll never find true peace.”
It’s one of the thoughts people sent in.
Then go through the questions. Or better yet, have someone facilitate you!
Having a guide ask you the questions when it comes to your
painful belief is one of the most loving things you can do for yourself.
You’ve got a helper there to keep you on track.
Otherwise the mind can self-destruct in 5 seconds.
Not really! But the mind can definitely get caught in a loop hole and
forget what the question is, what the thought is, or where you
parked your car.
It is possible to feel PEACE just by answering the questions
offered by The Work.
Do it now and let me know how it goes.
Meanwhile, more on your thoughts still to come–I love them all.
I’m treating them like babies, “like little children”, as Katie says.
They’ve been around for a reason, they are innocent, and
sitting with them and asking “is it true?” is the place to begin.
Much love,
Grace
If some of your meannest thoughts are about food, eating or
your body, come join us next weekend in Seattle, or on the phone
starting Jan. 17th.
I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d ever be free of my
food, eating, and body self-torture. But I am
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.

How To Not Have A Motive?

Byron Katie has a really interesting idea she repeats, that when
we do The Work with a motive (like, I’ll question my thinking using
The Work, and then I’ll have a happy life) that something happens
that may not allow the mind to really let go.

A super-common question goes something like this:
——
“I’ve heard Katie say to do The Work
for ‘the love of truth’… and sometimes she says ‘for the love of peace’…

…but how do I NOT have a motive when I’m
in a lot of PAIN?  Sometimes I KNOW I have a motive.

I just don’t want to suffer anymore, but then I criticize myself for doing
The Work with a motive!
—–

I know this one…intimately. And I’d be willing to bet that EVERYONE who’s
done The Work has had it go through their minds.

So the first thing it to be gentle with yourself…

It’s OK to do The Work WITH a motive, WITHOUT a motive…
or even with HALF a motive.

It reminds me of a New Year’s Cleanse.

Katie was working with someone who said they were “bipolar,” and they were feeling bad about using medications. They thought if they were doing The Work
“properly,” they shouldn’t need medications at all.

And Katie said something like…”So God is everything…except medications?”

So sometimes we do The Work as a “medication,” and sometime with a LOT of motive and sometimes with a little…it’s all OK.

Something brings us to The Work, to deeply looking at ourselves, and if we start
first with a motive, that’s where we start….and then perhaps the edge is taken off
and we can go deeper.

And one last idea for “having a motive.”

Sometimes it can help to step back and come from a place of curiosity.
Almost like you’re a 5-year old picking up something off the sidewalk and
wondering what it is.

It can be like that with thoughts.

Just wonderingly…innocently and curiously and gently looking at the thought and wondering if it’s true.

And 5-year olds are amazingly curious!

Again…be gentle with yourself the best you can and let The Work DO you….
…easy…gently…kindly.

As Katie says, “Just do The Work and notice what happens.”

Love,

Grace

My Goofy Part

I was talking to a friend the other day about
the “non-spiritual” things we all do.

OK…the things I do.

The “supposedly” non-spiritual things.

I told him how I get laughing with my sisters
so hard that we’re rolling around on the floor.

And I mentioned how I’m so gullible that
people pull pranks on me and I don’t even
“get it”  at the part where I’m supposed to get it.

I also forgot my cell phone in L.A. at the
Cleanse and had to have it FedEx’ed back
to Seattle so I can run my life. Did you know
they have radio stations you can turn on in the
car when you’re not talking with someone on
your bluetooth? But I digress.

So what IS “spiritual” anyway?

It’s a great thing to question with The Work.

Is getting in a fight with your spouse, or
significant other, any less spiritual than
meditating or having loving thoughts about
God or a friend or some lofty aspirations?

How do we know?

What exactly does “spiritual” even mean?

The whole idea of “spiritual” can be a stumbling
block to being spiritual…whatever that is.

Just something to think about…and question.

Wishing you a belly laugh, and a bad pun,
and burping in an inappropriate place.

In other words…

A deeply spiritual experience.

Love,

Grace

Father of Psych

The guy who’s often called the father of
modern psychology, William James, is
quoted as saying:

“There is nothing so fatiguing as the eternal
nagging of an uncompleted task.”

But WE know it’s really about the eternal
nagging of an “un-inquired thought.”

By that I mean a thought that keeps knocking…
and knocking…and knocking on the door of
our awareness….

…politely trying to get our attention at first…

But cranking it from a gentle knock and a whisper…
to a thump and a loud cough…to a louder, “Hey!,”
to a scream and kicking the door down if we continue
to ignore it.

It’s like the Ever Ready Bunny that keeps going…
and going…and going…

Of course, I think a wonderful and safe place to
“open the door,” acknowledge the knocking,
and inquire into the thought and the pain, is
to sit yourself down and do The Work.

You can do this soon,
in my teleclasses, one-on-one sessions,
and Seattle weekend retreats.

The upcoming weekend Seattle workshop on food,
eating, weight issues (the same agony I went through),
is 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.

It starts on Friday night, Jan. 13 and only has 3 spots left.

The teleclass on the same topic starts on Jan. 17,
and is limited to 10 people…so let me know as
soon as possible if you’re interested (same link).

For some reason (I think it’s New Year’s resolutions),
the January classes fill up faster, and I expect to
have a waiting list.

Be better than well.

Love,

Grace

Top Ten Stressful Thoughts From 2011

I’m reflecting over and over again
about what I heard and witnessed at
the 2011-2012 Cleanse
with Byron Katie, in Los Angeles.

Being there made me grateful… again
and again and again and again and again.

And again,
And again!

Because I never dreamed that being happy,
and calm, and clear and just peacefully enjoying
an ordinary life…was in any way possible.

Not back in my “past life” when I was SO unhappy,
and SO confused, and SO twisted up inside about food and
relationships and sexuality…and just
about everything under the sun.

And now I’m not (most of the time :)

I do still get stressed about things. I want you
to know that. But it’s nothing like the “old days.”

Not even close.

Now, it’s like I’ve turned down the volume knob on
pain and suffering so I can hardly hear it. Sometimes
it gets louder, but I know what to do…The Work.

Anyway…

Here’s something I thought would be fun.

Because the last few days it’s been EVERYWHERE!

Everyone’s on the New Year’s bandwagon
with predictions, reminiscences, and
oodles of “Top 10” lists.

So I’m asking for YOUR top 3 stressful
thoughts from 2011.

I’ll post some of them over the next few weeks
and let you know which seem to be the TOP ones.

I WON’T USE NAMES, of course.

Send them any way you want…as a list,
with your story, anything that feels right.

Send them to: gracebell@comcast.net

I WON’T use names!!!

And thanks in advance.

It’ll be fun.

Love,

Grace

P.S. My start-the-New-Year-right classes
are just a few days away. Check ’em out on
the home page of my website:
www.workwithgrace.com

Fresh From The Cleanse With Byron Katie

I’ve just come from being “live” at the
2011-2012 Cleanse with Byron Katie, in Los Angeles,
with a BIG gang of old friends and new friends.

So I’m keeping it short…

First, that last email caused a wild stir of explosive
laughter, anger, and everything in between.

I so appreciate everyone who wrote in!

If you had a strong reaction, I’d love to hear from you.

Now back at my desk and ready to welcome in 2012,
I’m as busy as a long-tailed
cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

Busy as a moth in a mitten.

Busy as box of kittens.

And yet, I’m still at peace which is soooo
amazing to me…despite leaving Seattle
at 4 A.M. to come to L.A., and handling
my business and family and the usual things
that pop up just before you leave.

I’m not at peace every second.

But I never would have believed this much peace
was possible a few years back, before I got deep
into The Work and gradually quit trying so hard.

Now I know that REAL busyness is a busy MIND
that’s trying to fix you, defend itself,  “win,”
prove it’s right, and control the world.

It’s impossible and exhausting–though the mind
keeps on trying.

So getting “more” done in 2012 can even happen
in the midst of what others would see as chaos…

if the mind is peaceful…like the blue sky and gentle
ocean breeze in the eye of a hurricane.

Or it may be sitting reading the morning
paper (or your browser) with a cup of tea.

How do you KNOW that’s NOT getting
a lot done?

It’s all in the mind.

Much love to you…

And wishing you peace
if your mind starts racing,

Grace

Remember: My upcoming classes for 2012
are right around the corner. The home
page of my website is:
www.workwithgrace.com

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, Depression.
Seattle Weekend Food Retreat, Jan. 13;
Food Teleclass, Jan. 17

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

Why Relationships are HELL (When
They’re Supposed to be Heaven)
To get off the relationship roller coaster,
ask yourself: Do you wonder who’s fault it is?
Do you want someone to forgive you?
Are ancient grudges destroying your family?
Do you fight and make up (a lot)?
Are You Right…and They’re Wrong?
8-week teleclass starts: Feb. 10

MONEY & Running Your Biz:
Where’s the Freedom When You’re Working
for Yourself? Underneath Your Beliefs About
Self-Discipline, Lazy Employees, Free Time,
Procrastination, Overwhelm, Being a Failure,
Confidence, and What it Means to be Successful!
8 Week Teleclass Starts Feb. 11

“I have nothing but good to say about your class,
thank you so much.  As I told you at the beginning
when I was just thinking about taking the class, I didn’t
even know what the stressful concepts WERE, let alone
questioning them. Your “homework” assigments totally
cleared that up for me. I’m still amazed at how your
questions cut through the illusions and got me to begin
to see what the thinking is that’s causing my suffering.
The journaling was exceptionally helpful.  Plus knowing
you’ve been exactly where I’ve been has been very
comforting and powerful.”—B, Midwest US

Breakfast Cereal Killer

Recently a guy in my one of my teleclasses mentioned
the Showtime hit, “Dexter.”

Apparently, Dexter is a serial killer who only kills “bad”
guys…so the audience finds themselves rooting for him.

Which, of course, makes me think of the “serial killing”
we do in our minds…especially around the subject of
food…but in other areas, too…money, sex, body image.

For some reason, we try not to direct our most vicious
thoughts toward others…at least we try not to let such
“nasty” stuff pop up into our awareness.

But when it comes to ourselves, the attacks aren’t just
every now and then…or once a week like a TV show.

The things we do to ourselves, in our minds, make Dexter
seem like a saint. We annihilate ourselves with a ferocity
and mercilessness we’d NEVER inflict on anyone else.

If we don’t do something “right,” we just get meaner
with ourselves…innocently believing it will help.

The greatest gift I can help you find…is treating yourself
with infinite care and exquisite gentleness and patience.

Which melts even our most icy, hard-hearted places…and then
extends outward to those around us as naturally and without
effort as opening your eyes in the morning…or enjoying
the warm kiss of the sun peeking out from behind a cloud,
or a delectable bite and fragrance of our favorite childhood food.

It’s the greatest gift I’ve ever been given after all those
years of trying to fix myself and be better and be worthy.

Natural…effortless…”being” lived.

To glimpse the gratefulness of this reality is available to all
of us and expands with questioning our minds…

…little-by-little into a life without suffering.

…which is our birthright.

Love,

Grace

P.S. An amazing woman in my “business” teleclass recently
said she was looking to join a group and just happened to
find me on the Byron Katie website.

She said it didn’t matter what group, she knew that
working on her thinking in ANY area, would spill over
into every other.

And that’s what happened. Suddenly, working on
her business became the perfect thing to do.

So take a look at what’s coming up next. My
in-person Seattle workshop about food, weight, body image,
(and trying to make sense of all that) is the Friday
evening and weekend of January 13.

It’s followed up by my 8-week telegroup on the same
subject on Jan. 17. This telegroup is open to you whether
you attend to in-person workshop or not.

Then 2 days later, the 8-week “Sexuality” telegroup
starts on Jan. 19th. It’s called:

Our Wonderful SEXUALITY: Untangling the Passion, Attraction,
Love, Fear, Confusion, Tenderness, and Joyful Intimacy

Dates, times and cost are all at my website (which I’m working
on so be a little patient if there are a few glitches).

The homepage link is: www.workwithgrace.com

P.P.S. I encourage you to forward this e-mail to a friend
or family member…someone who’s suffering…someone who
you think might enjoy hearing from me…or just someone you’d like to
join you on your journey…who you’d like to share in
this amazing adventure. Thanks so much.

“Thank you so much for another great class today. I’m just getting so much out of every week’s class and all the Work it’s inspiring in between”—-Jennifer, Ontario