He’s Asking Too Much–Is It True?

It’s only two months now until the Breitenbush Annual summer retreat immersion in The Work.

If you register by this Thursday, May 1st, it’s only $395 for tuition. You add lodging and meals based on your own preference.

To sign up call Breitenbush on the phone at 503-854-7174. The reservation desk is open, even if the campus is not, so listen carefully to their outgoing message and press the right buttons to get connected.

Speaking of ancient old-fashioned ways of making reservations….

….I’m in love with my new smart phone.

If a phone can do what this phone does (it talks to me when it can tell I’m moving in car, so I’m hands-free, wow)…

…then one would think that registering for ANYTHING should be easy.

The other day I took a six hour CEU (Certified Education Units) training for my certification in counseling in Washington state entitled “Mental Health Ethics in the Digital Age”.

As our brilliant lecturer began the program and asked everyone what devices they used and whether or not they had websites, the range of answers was enormous.

Someone shouted from the back of the room that she would NEVER sign up for facebook. Later on I taught her about Instagram and Snapchat, which I learned from my teens.

I thought she was going to have a heart attack. (We laughed!)

People get fired up about social media and doing things online, getting information stolen or interrupted or spied on. Many people are oriented towards face-to-face contact or talking on the phone rather than email or chat room.

It’s really interesting noticing a little stabbing judgy thoughts about people, new technology and devices and programs, and what they should or should not be doing.

A man wrote me recently asking to please send information to his P.O. Box about the Breitenbush retreat. No email or phone number.

I wondered what information, exactly? I have a ton of information already on my website, and on www.thework.com events, and on facebook events.

Can’t you get it there?

I must confess, I resisted.

Send a physical written letter thing? Jeez, what a lot of unnecessary work! In this day and age? He must be 100 years old!

(Gosh, could it be that sometimes, the information I list out there online might be a little hard to find, or confusing, or—gasp—incorrect?)

Well. It’s a little embarrassing to admit I didn’t want to write a postcard, but this is worthy of The Work.

Because everything is.

It’s kinda like the same as getting all worked up about traffic, or interruptions, or losing your dollars in the vending machine….

….is it true, that this question requires an inconvenient action? Is it true that giving a response is a hassle?


It took me less than five minutes to send a postcard today, to the requested address.

Is it true that I would know what that person’s motivation, age, situation or personality is like, who is making this request?

People who get enraged at traffic often think they know what the drivers are like: rude, unconscious, unsafe, distracted.

But can you know that this is true?

Can you be SURE that you know whatever you think you know about the questioner?

Not at all.

How do you react when you believe the thought that someone is asking you for something inconvenient, or something that is “making” you expend extra energy?

Well, heck, the way I react is I dismiss them. I think they’re irritants. I want to ignore them, get away from them.

Sometimes people feel this way at work. Someone asks them to complete something new, different, extra, unusual.

What a pain-in-the-ass!

Fume fume fume.

Maybe you do a poor job, just to make them sorry. So they never ask you again.

But who would you be if you couldn’t even have the thought that his request is a hassle? That her question was stupid? That their complaint is frightening? That she asks for too much?

“There isn’t any hell or heaven except for how we relate to our world. Hell is just resistance to life. When you want to say no to the situation you’re in, it’s fine to say no, but when you build up a big case to the point where you are so convinced that you would draw your sword and cut off someone’s head, that kind of resistance to life is hell.” ~ Pema Chodron

I may not have a sword….but my mind is shooting daggers. This is not really that different.

In fact, I see that if I can notice this internal stab, it’s a lot easier to soften, relax and surrender and take the most natural next step.

Like send a simple postcard to someone I never met.

Then, it never turns into war. I use my intuition, I respond.

Yes. No. Not right now. Maybe later. Pause. Wait. Yes.

I turn the thoughts around: Breitenbush should reserve only by phone and appear to be closed a lot, that man is not asking for too much, they aren’t hassling me, it is not difficult, I don’t know what they are thinking… 

I follow the simple directions.

It’s very efficient. And much easier.

Even fun.

Heck, now I’m thinking I could have written more. I could have printed out something from my website and sent it. Ha ha, it moved the way it did.


“When you think that someone or something other than yourself needs to change, you’re mentally out of your business.” ~ Byron Katie 

Much love,




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