Ever wondered what all the fuss is about when it comes to doing The Work of Byron Katie?
Even when I had powerful insights questioning my stressful thinking, I sometimes got really stuck.
Sometimes, it felt like The Work wasn’t “working”! I’d consider the same person for the thousandth time and how much they bugged me, or have the very same fear about money, or my child, or my body appear in my thoughts once more.
Quite awhile ago, I began to notice some of the same patterns of resistance to self-inquiry in other people too, as I facilitated them or had great discussions with them about their investigations into suffering.
Studying the resistance to self-inquiry, an immersion class was created: Ten Common Barriers That Keep The Work From Working…and How to Dissolve Them.
It’s packed full of information, several exercises that may help you deepen your experience of inquiry and The Work, and the four primary ingredients I’ve found that keep us clear, and practicing.
At the end of the very robust class chock full of information, I’ll share about one of my favorite and most thorough programs: Year of Inquiry (which starts in September). It’s for those interested in a structured program in the practice and training of The Work of Byron Katie.
But even if you would never sign up for a program that lasted an entire year….this immersion 2-hour course should give you some inspiration and ideas about exploring your own inner world, and enjoying the transformation that often results.
We’ll meet Tuesday, August 22nd 8:30 am Pacific Time. To register, sign up HERE.
Speaking of resistance.
Not long ago, I was at a summer gathering outdoors. People were dressed in shorts, tank tops, sun dresses, and bathing suits.
And an old familiar thought suddenly appeared.
I saw someone I know to be the same age as I am, with gorgeously streaking gray and blonde hair (no hair color going on over there), a tall, thin, muscular-looking body, cool shorts, and the perfect matching tank top.
As I looked, I thought “she is so beautiful, and has remained in such perfect shape.”
I asked her about hip pain, or back problems. Nope. I asked her if she still exercising a lot. Oh yes! Yoga, pilates, cross-country skiing in winter, long walks and long bike rides.
The thought that suddenly appeared was…..I don’t look like that, or do such extensive activity. My body is sagging. My skin is drooping. I do not have leg muscles that still look fabulous like those muscles over there.
Body comparison is a magnificent topic, and not uncommon, for doing The Work.
It feels like an old worn-down groove of thinking, those comparing thoughts: This body must perform, look wonderful, carry me without pain, stay healthy, appear age-less (or slowly aging), not wrinkle or sag, be strong.
Perhaps you have the thought your body should weigh “x” or look like “y” when it doesn’t.
That other way is better. Not this way that I am.
One powerful question you can use to dig a little deeper into this comparison stress, is to wonder what it means that you look the way you do, and that other person looks like that?
What does it mean about you, that your body is the way it is?
For me, my body the way it is right now compared to this friend’s body, was a reminder of what I can’t do anymore, and maybe ever, again. I no longer can ride for miles on my bike, I can’t even seem to skip a day of yoga without back pain, I don’t have tight skin, and my muscles definitely do not show up distinctly like they once did.
It means I’m on the downhill slope of a life in a body. It’s eventually going to die.
Which is no small thought.
Sometimes, the concern people have about the disappointment of their body is that they will not be loved, they will be rejected, they won’t be admired, they’ll be ignored.
It always means something stressful, when you feel a clench about looking at someone else’s body and finding your own lacking, or even ugly.
I can’t experience pleasure, I’m not good enough, I’m rejected, I have no support, people don’t care about me, I have nothing to offer, my life is over.
But who would you be without these stressful stories of the body?
Who would I be in that moment with my friend, without believing my body was worse, her body was better, something was wrong or unfair or hard about the situation, in any way?
I’d be noticing how much appreciation I have for this incredible body I’ve been inhabiting for all these years.
I’d be laughing at the mind and it’s urge to decide something’s wrong, or unacceptable, or ugly—when it can’t possibly know it’s true.
I’d be noticing that sagging seems to be the way of it.
So do I think I know better than God, or reality?
I’d be laughing at my own arrogance, but with a lightness–not with self-criticism or harshness. Seeing I do the best I can, I inquire.
Turning the thought around: I can experience pleasure, I AM good enough, my thoughts are rejecting me (not other people, not the world), I have support, people care about me, I have everything to offer. This body must do exactly what it’s doing, this body must look the way it does (it’s already wonderful), my thinking must not carry me with pain, decline, appear to be aging, wrinkle or sag, my thinking must no be weak.
These are all so incredibly true.
My body is just simply being itself, doing it’s job, living it’s full life (which is potentially half over) and I really don’t know where this is all going.
“No one knows what’s good and what’s bad. No one knows what death is. Maybe it’s not a something; maybe it’s not even a nothing. It’s the pure unknown, and I love that. We imagine that death is a state of being or a state of nothingness, and we frighten ourselves with our own concepts. I’m a lover of what is: I love sickness and health, coming and going, life and death. I see life and death as equal. Reality is good; so death must be good, whatever it is, if it’s anything at all.” ~ Byron Katie
Who would I really be without my story of what the body is doing, as I stand in the presence of this tall, muscular, thin friend of mine?
Filled with gratitude for this temporary time here on planet earth, apparently in this magical body, appreciating that other body over there (and many more) and knowing nothing, nothing, nothing at all.
P.S. Being strangely a bit more organized than usual (because I’m almost 3 weeks ahead of schedule), you’re invited to attend this 2 hour online immersion course on August 22nd at 8:30 am Pacific Time. Love to have you with me there. Register for the live class right HERE.