Old, Wrinkled, Sagging, Done–Hooray!

Many people have written to me about a Year of Inquiry (YOI) starting next month. One person asked if she could get a taste of what a group telesession was like, before deciding.

This got me thinking…

…next week is the very last week of Summer Camp for The Mind, where we’ve had 90 minute calls questioning our thoughts all summer.

If you’d really like to get a sense of how a telesession feels, our last three calls are Monday 4 pm 8/25, Tuesday 8 am 8/26, and Thursday 9:30 am 8/28. All Pacific Time.

Write me a personal email at grace@workwithgrace.com if you’d really like to join one of those sessions, and especially if you’re thinking about YOI. My gift to you.


Meanwhile, back on the ranch.

The ranch, in this case, being the body. Because that’s where the mind goes today.

The body, and the troubles with the body. Having to “deal” with the body.

Have you ever had a problem with the body?

First of all. About a week ago, someone offered me an espresso.

Well, maybe just this once. Yummy.

Five days later and at least four more espressos later, my hands are peeling, my face is dry, and I have a sick feeling in my stomach. Rats. Oh well.

Done with that….again. Now the skin has to heal up.

And speaking of skin.

I wanted to make a video. It was part of a very short, small project. It only had to be about a minute. I whipped out my cell phone…pretending I’m like all those smooth youtubers my kid watches…

…and when I watched the video…

…OMG. Seriously? I have that many wrinkles? I look like a dork, too, with my hair sticking up. Like I just got back from the gym.

Then there’s the surges of heat, where I feel suddenly completely warm, and sometimes slightly weird in my stomach. Kind of fascinating, but not exactly the best thing that ever happened in my life.

It’s called menopause.

My right second toe has some kind of knotted, weird, frozen joint thing going on. And let’s not mention that right torn and repaired hamstring from last year that still feels tight, numb and painful. Plus my right thumb kind of aching and not able to grab stuff tightly. (What’s with the right side? jeez)!

It’s a mess of imperfections and problems.

You may have your list, too.

That injury, the accident, the doctor’s visit, that thing that’s been hurting for a decade, the chronic ache that started when you were a teenager, the face, gray hair, sagging skin, the diagnosis.

It’s limited. There’s only so much time. This body will end.

What if you have stress, despair, fear, anger or concern about this state? That everything can only last awhile, and becomes more worn, used, old, or decaying over time?

Because everything does. Even a flower. Even a rock. Even a body.

Not long ago I did The Work with a woman who had been a big athlete in her life. Now, she had breast cancer. She was losing her hair with treatment. She felt ugly and like everyone could see, and everyone would know she was the diseased one.

They won’t like me, they’ll judge me, they’ll discard or move away from me, this shouldn’t be happening, I hate this disease.

Yesterday, I thought about her again. I could relate.

I hate this.

You can pick anything in the body. Small or large, light or traumatic.

I hate that this kind of thing happens, that things break down, that there is aging, change, sickness….I really do hate this.

Is it true?

Yes. It’s soooooooooo saaaaaaaad. Or frustrating.

Are you sure?

Yes. I got reading glasses some time ago and I think I have to go up to the next level. This is all the beginning of the end.

Death is approaching…even if it’s still 40 years away. My time is limited. I might have to cut my hair at some point, because who cares.

How do you react when you believe it’s sad that the body is limited, that it’s changing, or that its better to look young than old, or that sickness is horrible?

I don’t want to send the video with all those facial wrinkles. I don’t want to participate. I just want to read, learn, withdraw. I don’t want to hear anyone talk about me (it wouldn’t be good). I want to pretend I don’t have a body.

So who would you be without believing any of this? Without thinking this sucks, or that what’s going on is devastating? Without the thought that this is NOT LIKABLE?


That’s weird.

This could be likable?

I love this. It shouldn’t be different. 


“Why do you need to be straight in your posture? Is it true that you feel more open when you’re standing up? There’s no such thing as old age. There’s only an appearance. You look in the mirror, you tell the story of what you see, and you shut yourself down. What you see in the mirror is God. You tell the story of how its not, and how its wrong….And you don’t have to wait for old age, you’re living it now.” ~ Byron Katie

When I believe that I shouldn’t get sick, or old, or die…I’m against all signs that this could be happening, and stressed about those signs, and rejecting those signs.

But I can investigate right here, right now. Until it’s OK to have all these supposed ailments.

Suddenly, happiness. Smiling. I can feel so strongly what is not concerned at all, how very, very well everything is. Watching from out of these eyes, from what looks through them with absolute humming.

It’s truly awesome.

My thoughts were old, frail, aging, decaying, worn out, sick, limited, breaking down, falling apart, fuzzy, wrinkled, sagging.

Oh…that’s a good thing. I love that my thoughts and stories and nightmares and visions about bodies are breaking into a thousand pieces, dissolving and vanishing and becoming nothing.


“Nature is not a masochist. It’s loving.” ~ Byron Katie

“Refuse to think of yourself in terms of this or that. There is no other way out of misery, which you have created for yourself through blind acceptance without investigation. Suffering is a call for enquiry, all pain needs investigation. Don’t be too lazy to think.” ~ Nisargadatta

The adventure continues.

Much love, Grace

4 Replies to “Old, Wrinkled, Sagging, Done–Hooray!”

  1. What a great question–I probably should have a dedicated page on my site about the body! There is no one dedicated place for Katie’s writing on the body, however there is also wonderful writing on it in 1000 Names For Joy. Have you read this one? I highly recommend it. I am going to be re-doing some of the pages of my website this year and I will certainly have more information on the body alone! I offered a retreat at Breitenbush last year on the body and it was extremely helpful for in-depth inquiry. I’ll have more resources for you as I gather them together in one place. Thank you for reading! Much love–Grace

  2. Hi Grace –

    I am learning so much from you. So, after you do The Work, how do you react the next time you look in the mirror and see the wrinkles and messy hair, or, for me, it might be the next time the body experiences some of the symptoms associated with chronic illness? Do you no longer have resistance, in the form of of a story about what shouldn’t be? Are you matter-of-fact about what you would have complained about before? Do you feel ease?


  3. Hi,
    I have just started reading your notes and i am finding them great! They feel like a continuation of Byron Katie’s books. Thank you! :)

    Could you tell me where can i find more of BK doing The Work on Body related issues apart from BKs book Loving What Is and her youtube videos.

    Do you have some dedicated section for the same on your website?

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