Room For 2 More Plus Raccoons

Would you like to come do The Work of Byron Katie tomorrow afternoon? You get to work on a problem, person or issue in your life that’s stressing you out. I’ll be there every step of the way from start to finish and help you find your own answers.

(No one has to share their work, by the way). Mental health counselors can receive 4 CEUs.

We’re meeting 1:30-5:30 pm in northeast Seattle in Goldilocks Cottage.

(You might get to meet a raccoon….keep reading to see why).

Room now for two more because of a cancellation last night. Hit reply to this email and I’ll send you all the details.


I was preparing for the mini retreat this weekend partly by picking Rainier cherries from the two luscious trees in the front yard of the cottage.

I thought I’d include them in our snacks and provisions for the inward journey.

Oh….and I also wanted to get as many off the tree as possible before that raccoon tried to eat them, again!

Greedy varmit! My cherries! Not yours!


Oh. Hi, didn’t see you there. I was busy having a hissy fit about a raccoon for a second.

Have you ever found yourself flippin’ out because you forgot something at home, or your kid left a mess on the kitchen counter, or your car broke down, or the traffic is thick?

That auto-pilot response…..OH DRAT…..and an shot of irritated energy zings out. Maybe you curse.

Or you say “rrrrrrr!” like a growl.

Well….self-inquiry can be amazing for very painful investigations into thought, but also this kind of small-potatoes investigation as well. The things that aren’t so troubling, and yet, you notice you’re building a case for how you’re a victim of circumstances, a victim of the situation.

Let’s call that a Raccoon Situation.

This past weekend, the days were sunny and beautiful during the Year of Inquiry retreat. We had the front door of the cottage propped open, as well as the two back French doors, so a light breeze could blow through the house. Birds were tweeting, people went by on their bicycles, and we were all gathered in a big circle in the pretty living room.

In the middle of someone’s sharing, I suddenly glimpsed a large dark shape moving. A big thick moving creature in one of the cherry trees in the front yard.

What??!! A raccoon out during the day?!

Arrrrrrgh! Get outta my tree! My cherries! Shoo! Scat!

Bang Bang!

I jumped up and clapped at the animal, which stared at me a second and sauntered slowly down the tree trunk and off across the street under a tall laurel bush.

A participant in the retreat said “oh, so cute!”

I think someone took a picture.

But I was thinking of building an electric shock fence around the base of my cherry trees, or sitting up that night with a stick ready to swat.

Not that I’d actually want to fight the raccoon but I wanted it gone and to never come back and never eat any of my cherries.


But I composed myself and we reassembled.

Now where were we….

The following day, again in circle during the afternoon session, again in the beauty of the thoughtful inquiry and people sharing very powerful personal work….

….I see the tree shaking and a movement reflected in the door glass.

I get up and lean out the front door and clap at it. GIT!

I had to laugh upon returning to my chair.

No one at the retreat complained a peep about my impulse to Get The Raccoon Out.

Someone even offered to spray it, if I had a hose.

But I was laughing because I could see the mind creating an instant story.

MY cherries, MY trees, MY yard! Enemy raccoon!

Who would I be without the belief I had to chase that thing away?

Who would I be without the belief it was taking something of MINE?

Who would you be without the thought that you’ve be done wrong, or something is in opposition to you—like traffic, or something spilling, or the customer service dude not getting your issue, or not being able to find your keys?

I know for me….I’m laughing.

Life is hi-la-rious! Raccoons show up!

“A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs. It’s jolted by every pebble on the road.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher 

If you find you get jolted by day-to-day activities….

….commuting, traffic, house chores, meetings, laundry, wildlife….

….who would you be without your tension?


Much love, Grace

P.S. A couple more spots only at Breitenbush Hot Springs in 3 weeks. We have the most spectacular time soaking in inquiry Weds through Sunday 6/24-6/28. Call 503-854-3320 with questions or to register. 26 CEUs for mental health counselors. 24 CEs for Byron Katie Facilitators.

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