Have you ever stopped to see if you believe your depressing thoughts?

Live on facebook was sweet on Feb 14th. I received many wonderful terrible thoughts about relationships to question (thank you all who sent them).

The chosen Valentine’s Day thought? What I have, should be different. Different relationship. Coupled, not single. Other person, not the one I have. Different relationship status.

Different is better. THIS isn’t good.

To see how the inquiry turned out, head over to the facebook page right here.

And for those of you patiently waiting for the website to work again, it now does (don’t use www): https://workwithgrace.com.

Finally, I did it. Peace Talk Podcast has been revived after a quiet spell.

The first topic of inquiry after this time of silence?

Gaps in communication, death, dying, endings. Except, sometimes, revivals.

You just never know how something’s going to unfold. You never do really know, do you?

Who would we be without the story that it’s better to know what’s going to happen? Or even that we can? Or that we need to make a plan, and follow it?

Not that there’s anything wrong with plans and schedules. Let’s not get crazy….knowing what time it is and agreeing to some basics makes life simple.

The bus leaves at 7:05, so get there at 6:55. You still may not leave, there still may be no bus, but oh so sweet if everything comes together and there is one. It’s fun, rather wondrous, people sharing needs and services, efficient.

Who would be be without our stories that it has to go the way we want, in order to be happy?

In a big ongoing adventure! And most importantly, feeling super curious, and having fun. Maybe having more fun than if it went the way you planned.

You can listen to the new episode 135 of Peace Talk on itunes right here. Look for the latest new episode also on google play, soundcloud, I Heart Radio and several other audio services.

Thanks for listening, for being here with me in The Work in all these ways, for coming along for this ride of questioning thoughts and unraveling the unnecessary pain.

“Do you believe what you think? Often, within pain or depression, there are thoughts you’ve had for so long and held so close that you don’t even know they are there. And you’ve never stopped to see if you even believe them.” ~ Byron Katie

Much love,

Grace

Do you have a haunted house? You can be your own exorcist with The Work!

It’s funny how we have thoughts, and instantly believe them without question–at least that’s how my mind has worked.

You can spook yourself instantly, by believing.

Have you noticed?

It doesn’t take Halloween ghosties and goblins to scare you. Your own inner Haunted House, the one that holds your painful thoughts, can do the job on any day or night.

But if you don’t really want to haunt yourself with your thinking anymore, you can study anything you fear more closely.

One of my favorite things to study, hands down, is a stressful thought. By sitting with it for awhile, you can explore why, how, where you might have learned it or “bought” it or started carrying it around with you…..where you began to believe it to be true.

The best question for exploring a fearful thought in depth is to ask the following: What do I think this belief means? What does it mean about me? About the world? About someone else or a group of people? What does it mean about my future? Or my past?

In other words, what meaning am I placing on that thought.

The other day, I heard Byron Katie refer to the “meaning” we put on a thought, or a concept, or a story as being like a post-it note.

You grasp the story title, or the meaning, or the whole general feeling of that situation you dislike, and it’s as if you wrote it on a bright green post-it note, or a bright neon yellow post-it note, or maybe a pink one….

….and that’s your label of that situation.

No questioning it. Just assuming it to be true!

For example, you may have had the thought about a partner, just like I have: “he’s boring”. 

There he is watching TV in the den. (Or you can pick your moment that proves that person IS boring).

You’ve got a blue post-it note that has written on it “BORING PARTNER”. Your heart sinks. You wish there was someone around to have a stimulating intellectual conversation with. You want more entertainment in this moment here, right now. Maybe you even feel sorry for yourself because this is yet another boring partner in a string of them. Or you criticize yourself for always being critical.

The whole story is a bit sad, and blue (hence the blue post-it note).

Self-inquiry to the rescue! And let’s use these exploratory questions to dig a little deeper.

What do you think it means, your partner is over there being boring, watching TV? What does it mean about him, about you, about life?

If my partner is boringly watching TV, it means:

  • I must seek excitement elsewhere
  • I am not close to my partner
  • our interests should be the same, but they aren’t
  • he loves something I dislike (TV) so we are incompatible
  • he doesn’t care about using his time well
  • he doesn’t care about being creative
  • he’s addicted to the screen
You may have other different thoughts that come to mind. But the fun thing is, no matter what they are….you can question every one of them, one at a time.

 

Is this story true?

 

You can also ask what you think each one of these new additional concepts means and keep adding to your list of stressful or fearful beliefs.

 

What does it mean that we’re incompatible, for example? Oh no! It means we should break up! Which means we’re getting divorced! Which means I’ll be alone! Which means I need to work harder than I’m already working so I have enough money! Which means I need to find a new partner!

 

(Talk about Haunted Houses….jeez)!

 

See how the mind strings together an image of seeing someone I love watching TV, and it turns into needing to find a new partner?

 

That mind. Silly Rabbit.

 

Always running around in wild directions so speedy quick, dashing into the future or the past chaotically.

 

Who would I be without my story “Boring Partner” and everything I think it means?

 

I’d be laughing.

 

I’d be carrying on with my activity. I’d be noticing Man Enjoying Himself. I’d be free to be with myself and notice the splendor of the moment. Me moving with the flow, dancing with the world which in only a flash of a moment had a man-watching-TV in it.

 

Noticing I move back out of the room with TV, drawn to another place joyfully. Noticing a relaxed body, a part of the mind totally open to whatever happens next with wherever this is going.

 

What a ride! And a stress-free one!

 

I don’t know about you, but when I have a haunted thought….I’d rather question it than scream.

 

Or OK, you can go ahead and scream for the fun of it first, but then….take your belief through inquiry.

 

Best way to exorcise your fearful thoughts ever.

Much love,

Grace

They should stop fighting

Yikes. Those two are fighting again!?!

Have you ever witnessed two people arguing with each other, and you wind up feeling super uncomfortable, sad, disappointed, frustrated, furious, or even scared?

Two siblings are fighting over a toy. A couple you know is arguing again over which music to play during the party. Your mom and dad are yelling at each other about who’s responsible for the broken dish. Your grandpa and your dad (hmm, sounds familiar somehow) are furious with each other about where the money went. The two political candidates are interrupting each other constantly.

They shouldn’t be fighting. Hands over ears. It’s driving me nuts. (I remember having this thought once when my kids were little).

Someone I was working with recently knows a guy and his mother-in-law who constantly bicker. At a family reunion, they yelled in the kitchen. One threatened to leave the event. For good.

They really shouldn’t be fighting!

Is it true?

Yes. Come on people. Let’s be civil! You don’t have to fight! Jeez!

Can you absolutely know it’s true, though, that they shouldn’t be at each other like that?

Hmmm. It feels true. It was very alarming for the entire group, for the other people in the room, for the kids, for the neighbors.

It seems absolutely true. This is a deep one. People really shouldn’t fight. Wars happen….people get killed.

How do you react when you believe they shouldn’t fight, when….they’re fighting?

Oh man.

I start to get furious myself. When my kids were little, they were in the back seat of the car, and I screamed so loud all of the sudden they gulped and went silent.

I feel frightened.

I think “those people are wrong! They should Grow Up!” I get very judgey. I might take sides. One of them is a problem. The other should never react. I discuss strategies for helping everyone with the outcome called Project Stop Fighting. I’m on a mission.

But who would you be without this story?

Oh. Wait. You mean, it’s OK that they’re fighting? Because people are getting hurt and….

Just pause. It doesn’t mean, without the thought, that you love war and you’re letting it happen, or that it will never end unless you believe this thought. You aren’t condoning the fight.

It’s just wondering what it’s like without the belief they shouldn’t be when they are.

Deep breath.

People fight sometimes. Humans get hot-headed. We tend to feel passionate about our position, or what’s right and what’s wrong. It does seem to be the way of it. And there are many ways to address that fighting feeling. Communicating with some openness, and willingness. Sharing honestly. Expressing our needs and wants. Saying what we fear. Doing The Work.

Who would we be without the belief those other people shouldn’t fight?

Noticing they are, and not fighting myself.

Turning the thought around: They should be fighting, I shouldn’t be fighting THEIR fighting. 

They are feeling threatened, and some kind of opposition. They don’t know another way to protect, defend, find resolve, be OK with what is. They’re raising their voice in order to be heard, to say what they need to say. Animals do it, too. Why would I argue with reality, with nature?

Fighting also helps people draw lines, create boundaries when they feel frightened. It may not be the easiest way, or kindest way, but it’s what they know best.

And oh man oh man, I definitely shouldn’t be fighting. I get all riled up, tense, angry, and join in the energy to blow the whole fight up. Violently. It doesn’t feel so good.

I should be peaceful, and when I’m not, I can question my thoughts about fighting.

“I saw that the world is what it is in this moment and that in this moment people couldn’t possibly be more loving than they are. Where reality is concerned, there is no ‘what should be.’ There is only what is, just the way it is, right now. The truth is prior to every story. And every story, prior to investigation, prevents us from seeing what’s true.” ~ Byron Katie

Much love,

Grace

True freedom: feeling the answer to this question

A friend of mine and I were talking closely.

These are the kinds of conversations I love, and seem to have on a regular basis–not just with clients questioning thought, but with others journeying on the path of life as well.

“What if you got your arms and legs cut off, would you still be you?”

Of course!

I’d be me, maybe a little traumatized, but I’d be “me”. I might be someone who had gone through a huge transformation, never to be the same again.

But still with all my memories, my childhood, my personality, the Enneagram 5 and INFP on the Myers Briggs personality test. I’d recall the times I could walk and hold a pencil and even what those felt like probably.

“So if you got your head cut off….how ’bout that? Would you still be you?”

LOL.

Except, this is a fantastic question.

I mean….?

We usually believe that without our minds, we aren’t ourselves. If someone loses all their memories, or has brain damage, or is in a coma, they aren’t themselves anymore. Right?

But are we our minds? Our thoughts? Our memories?

Woah.

This is related to the fascinating and contemplative fourth question in The Work of Byron Katie: Who would you be without your story? Who would you be without your stressful thought? Who, or what, would you BE without all that energy focusing on danger, worry, sadness, upset?

Who would you be now in this moment, if you couldn’t reference the past or the future, or make comparisons, or judge something as Good or Bad?

It’s almost like the mind itself, which is the one pondering that question apparently, says…..I don’t know. 

What else could it say?

Who would I be without a head?

I don’t know.

Kind of hilarious, though, to consider.

I can imagine two ways I might contemplate this question. One is without life. As if my head has been cut off (original question). In that case, I certainly no longer exist as that individual life. There was a me, if anyone remembers it, but whatever “I” am is one big I-don’t-know. A mystery no one ever knows, until we die.

The other option is with life. That is, I am still functioning as a living entity, and human body that’s called “alive” but I have no believable mind. No thoughts, sight, hearing, smell or taste. Heart is still pumping. Life force or body intact. Just no “head” in the sense of the head being the center of thinking energy.

Without the head in full operation, or the brain doing what it seems to do, I notice what’s left is feeling. Touch. Sensation. Aliveness, all by itself.

An openness is left. I don’t believe it is a certain way, without question.

I notice things are OK in this moment, with this deepest sensation of feeling, sensing the pulse of life, not knowing for sure about what anything means.

Why is this so appealing?

You can only find out by trying it. Sitting still and feeling, and noticing what’s here if you didn’t have a busy, stressed-out, upset mind?

“We suffer because we overlook the fact that, at heart, we are all right.” 
Douglas E. HardingOn Having No Head

“This is true freedom: a mind that is no longer deceived by itself.” ~ Byron Katie

That one thing you’ve been so bothered by today? Take a moment to wonder who you’d be without your thoughts and beliefs about it.

Just a moment of deep breath. Being.

Much love,
Grace

 

Exclude nothing, welcome it. The astonishing practice of The Work.

Have you ever experienced the feeling like you know The Work of Byron Katie is transformative, you’ve tried it, you’ve done it, you’ve been in workshops on The Work, you’ve sat with Katie in person, you’ve even gone to The School for The Work….

….and yet, something isn’t jarring loose? Something keeps on keepin’ on, it keeps repeating itself, you keep feeling bad about the same thing, you don’t really get how to address your particular relationship(s) or issue?

It can’t be so simple, can it? You can’t just “question your thinking” and change your life, can you?

Yet we’re drawn, constantly, to inquire once we’ve been bit by the bug of the power of self-inquiry. To wonder about if what we’re thinking is actually true is amazing!

What if everything I’ve ever been terrified of isn’t actually true?

Wow. Exciting.

But even though I’ve known and deeply experienced and been fundamentally changed and impressed by The Work, I haven’t always felt the power of it.

know how to do The Work, but….(we have our reasons we don’t do it, or we think it won’t work….)

The grooves and habits we’re in are perhaps deep, and practiced for many years (since childhood)!

Over the past ten years I’ve worked on my own thoughts about the following topics, and worked with so many people who were suffering about the very same situations.

  • Doing The Work on someone who really angers you, where you felt resentment or even rage for being betrayed, ignored, hurt.
  • Doing The Work on money, or loss of your job, or feeling anxious about your survival because of the volatility of money or your career.
  • Doing The Work on addictions, like going to the fridge for more, more, more when you’re clearly not hungry, or drinking to where you don’t remember what you said, or smoking cigarettes when you thought you already quit.
  • Doing The Work on love, sexuality, couples, marriage or divorce
  • Doing The Work on getting cancer, hurting yourself physically, aging, or not being attractive enough.
  • Doing The Work on the pain of being alive, on mother, father, sister, brother….on everything we learned or experienced when we were tiny things.

If you wonder about hitches or blocks about doing The Work, like thinking it’s not as big a deal as it seems, or it’s just not so light and easy, you may enjoy listening to the live immersion webinar today.

Come join me for an investigation of what typically blocks us when it comes to this profound and transformational self-inquiry.

We start today, Tuesday, August 22nd at 8:30 am PT: Ten Barriers to The Work and How To Dissolve Them. (2 hours) Click HERE to register. Bring a pen and paper.

At the very end, and I mean truly after 90 minutes of only focusing on barriers to The Work and wonderful exercises to help crack them….I’ll talk about Year of Inquiry for those interested in the one year program starting soon (live calls start the week of Sept 15).

But if you aren’t drawn or can’t attend this live webinar….don’t worry.

I’m here with you in The Work. No one needs a webinar to do The Work. The Work is something you can do, free of charge, by answering four questions and finding turnarounds.

All you need to do is identify one particularly stressful thought today. Write it down.

Then hold it up against the four questions. Keep repeating it over again, as you wonder about every question, and every answer. Then find your turnarounds….all the opposites to your stressful belief.

If you have a special and particularly difficult stressful thought, hit reply and let me know what it is and if you’ve worked it before. I’ll write about it in a Grace Note soon.

“When the mind begins inquiry as a practice, it learns as a student of itself that everything is for it. Everything adds to it, enlightens it, nourishes it, reveals it. Nothing is or ever was against it. This is a mind that has grown beyond opposites. It’s no longer split. It keeps opening, because it’s living out of a fearless, undefended state, and it’s eager for knowledge. It realizes that it’s everything, so it learns to exclude nothing, to welcome it all.” ~ Byron Katie in A Mind At Home With Itself

Let’s do The Work. Because nothing could be so wonderful as to not be against what happens.

Much love,

Grace

No one can deprive you of water. Or love.

Sibling rivalry.

We’ve all heard the term, we know what it is.

But ugh, when you feel it yourself….it’s very painful.

And it doesn’t have to be “sibling” to hurt. Rivalry in any form, between any two people or groups, can turn very sour, very heart-breaking.

People frequently feel this kind of angst with their former spouse, with a boss who fired them, with a friend who shocked them, with a partner who betrayed them.

Rivalry.

But for me this past weekend, it was rivalry of the sibling kind.

I did or said something, or the whole family did or said something, or our mother did or said something…..and now one sibling has been radio silent for about a year.

Until.

The big extended family function that just happened.

How many times has an inquirer contacted me to do The Work when a wedding, funeral, graduation or other kind of ceremony is scheduled, and they anticipate seeing their rival?

It’s OK when they aren’t around, but being in their presence incites the pain all over again, and the fear.

At least, that’s what I noticed happened with me.

It was almost embarrassing, because I “thought” I had done The Work on this person. I had remembered so many moments from childhood I appreciated with her. I knew I loved her so very much–love was not the issue. I had become aware of how much I admired her. I accepted she needs a sabbatical. I left her alone.

But the lack of acknowledgement hurt. The silence.

It all appeared in an instant.

The family event is underway. People are cooking, tables are set. Big greetings and hugs are happening as people who haven’t seen on another for years connect. Ooohs and aaaahs and sounds of joy fly into the air. The big day has arrived.

And then, someone whispers that the relative in question just showed up. “She’s here!”

What do I do? A wave of nervousness runs through my stomach. I’ll be so very happy if she approaches. Anything, something.

Nothing.

During the entire day of festivities, conversations, then evening celebration. Nada.

The hurt comes waving through. Like a voice from a 5 year old child.

She hates me. 

Here’s my proof. No eye contact. No words. No connection attempted.

Super awkward.

Other siblings don’t seem to have the same trouble with it (I check in with two of them). They appear unruffled and Whatever about it.

So not only does she hate me, but other family members are more mature and relaxed and detached about this person. I must really have a problem. My mind is racing. I feel even worse.

I begin to do The Work. Again. But this time, a new and different thought, and from the point of view of an inner five year old.

The word “rivalry” comes from a Latin word for stream or brook (rivus). The root word “ri” is run or flow. Rivalry are two people who share the same stream of water. Or really, two people who compete for it.

Water is a necessity of life. The physical body will die without it.

I often notice, humans (including me) feel that love is a necessity of life. Acceptance, connection, intimacy. The sense that we’re supported, or wanted.

Interesting that this word “rivalry” focuses on the competition for one source, only one winner, people who are equals in their need to share the stream feeling threatened.

In the sense of Sibling Rivalry, the source of this flow is mother or father. Or both. The feeling within is somehow that I’m not going to get it, I’m left out, I’m lost, I’m potentially rejected. The parent isn’t going to give me what I need. What I need is scarce.

And then….the belief that the person competing with me wants me gone, out, shut off, silenced.

She hates me!

Is it true?

Yes. OK, no. I can’t know this is true. In fact, deep down I know we have a powerful connection.

How do I react when I think this thought that she hates me, is threatening me, can’t be bothered to make contact with me?

Awful. Frightened. I want to escape and get out of here. I want to be as far away from this as possible. She should stay on her end of the stream. Or find another stream.

Sometimes, people have reported to me that they feel absolutely horrible about themselves. Discarded like garbage. Unwanted (by lovers leaving them especially).

I noticed I had pictures flashing through my mind of her stony, mean face. I heard her saying nasty things (she didn’t actually say anything). I started thinking it’s perfectly fine not to have her in my life. I make mental lists of what I don’t like about her, trying to justify my position.

But who would I be without my very painful story of hate, of rivalry, of needing her love?

Wow.

I almost couldn’t do it, yet the question hung in the air throughout my time at the big family celebration.

Who would I be without this “problem” on my mind?

Who would I be without this fearful story?

Watching life, people make kind and loving connections. Noticing she’s a part of the family, and her presence is welcome. So is mine. Watching us all share in the stream of life, imperfectly having our hard times or our caring times.

Everyone simply being human.

No one doing it wrong.

Seeing that it’s on my mind, then it isn’t on my mind. Watching me not reach out myself, feeling insecure, feeling like it’s BIG and OMINOUS, then watching me forget about it for an entire conversation with someone in the family, a niece, an aunt, a nephew, a cousin, an uncle, a second cousin once removed, the new partner of a cousin, a great uncle.

Feeling the hot sun, resting in the shade, watching a flock of birds overhead all making unusual bird sounds calling to one another.

Turning the thought around: she loves me, I hate myself, I hate her.

I study this energy I’m calling “hate” that I’ve thought is coming from her.

I notice I have no idea what it is, and I can’t say it’s coming from her either. This thing called “hate” feels very strong, centered in the heart, explosive, wild, mysterious, loving.

Wait….did you say loving?

Haha. Yes.

I see the energy of hate is an energy that says “you matter to me!”

Even if the way you think that person matters is negative, or that you need to get away from them, that they are your rival.

By definition, this rivalry I feel means I am sharing the river with this person. I can’t help it. Sharing is happening.

In this experience of apparently being in the presence of someone who is Other than me, I’m loving myself, I’m hating myself, I’m loving them, I’m hating them, I’m believing they are hating me, and loving me too.

All crashing together like a gigantic wave.

Part of the family events for the weekend included a river float trip. Everyone receiving their own inner tube and paddles, getting taken in a van up the river to float home over a 4 hour ride.

The river held the entire family. All the bodies, ages, emotions.

The river shared by almost 40 people, and 4000 more (truly) on a hot summer day in a gorgeous, cold, gentle river.

Eagles flying overhead, wild ducks and half-grown babies all following the mother, big trout flashing down below the surface, long brown carp hugging the bottom, fresh sweet water rolling along, big round rocks and boulders to swerve around under the surface.

Sharing was happening, and competition was not required. A faster speed to the finish line was not desired, or required. Survival was not threatened. There was enough comfort, pleasure, peace, sunscreen. Excitement on a moment of rapids, food enjoyed from the tube with the cooler in it, water to drink, sights to see, a time of quiet with eyes closed, moving along without trying.

A great humanity was on this cool river together, including anyone and everyone’s supposed rivalry. Or lack of rivalry. (And by the way, I never saw the person who hates me the entire time–she was somewhere far behind me I’m not even sure where). All of us sharing the stream. Whether people were speaking to each other, or not, or knew one another, or were related, or strangers, or neighbors, or had something to say, or not.

Could it be possible to I’m moving along down the stream, and so is everyone else?

Yes.

And suddenly, the feeling of living the turnaround turns a corner for the first time in a year, after many moments of inquiry and exploration and wonderings and investigation of fear, pain, disappointment, or anger and feeling misunderstood and unloved.

And I take out a pen and paper, ready to write a letter to this person I care about so much, of how I wind up “hating” myself and believing I am hated and thinking I’m cast out, with not enough peace to survive…..and how untrue that all is.

“This is an insane belief. People should stop judging people? What planet do you think you’re on? Make yourself at home here: When you come to planet Earth, you judge us and we judge you. That’s it. It a nice planet to live on, once you get the ground rules straight…..So I’ll strike a deal with you. When YOU stop judging THEM for judging you, then go talk to them about judgment. It may take awhile. No one can deprive me of my family–no one but me.” ~ Byron Katie in Loving What Is 

I like the “it may take awhile” part.

It takes the time it takes, and you may continuously and regularly get to practice.

Just keep going. Like the river itself. Flowing along to the sea.

Much love,

Grace

P.S. Two hour entirely free online immersion course TEN BARRIERS that BLOCK THE WORK on August 22nd at 8:30 am Pacific Time (like, for example, hating yourself for not being farther along). Love to have you with me there. Q & A at the end on the new Year of Inquiry starting September 5th. Register for the live class right HERE.

The one thing harder than accepting this.

What absolutely thrilling excitement of the very best kind to sit with those who came to the webinar immersion class yesterday. Slides, concepts shared, my experience, people asking great questions.

Webinar Immersion: Ten Barriers That Can Keep The Work…From Working. It’s so much information. An entire 90 minutes of sharing what’s blocked my own work or hearing what’s made others hesitate, these ten “barriers” I’ve named. I talk about Year of Inquiry for all of you interested, at the very end. Listen to the recording HERE. And thank you, thank you, for being here.

And I had so much fun afterwards going live on Facebook. What a nut case. I actually crack myself up sometimes (OK I do that a lot–no one else is laughing, except me).

But here I am being excited about the upcoming (today!) Being With Byron Katie Retreat, plus all the people who were with me on the Ten Barriers webinar. Check out my video HERE.

I just love The Work, that’s all.

I love sharing The Work. I love seeing people get amazed at their own inquiry process. I love finding my own personal discoveries in the middle of hard times, painful experiences, loss, worry or fear.

It’s stunning, really.

I continuously get floored by the people I work with. They are so courageous and so brilliant. Wow.

I’m sure I actually need every single person who comes my way.

You all show me how to sit in The Work and find answers, and answer the questions.

When I receive payment for facilitating this work, it’s fairly remarkable. The exchange could be the other way around. I give THEM some kind of payment, or gift. Because the person sharing their inner thoughts, and then reading it and giving it up to inquiry, is brave, and clear, and so very inspiring to me.

They have no idea they’re bringing me freedom, by having us look at the story together. I get to explore and investigate this terrible, stressful, difficult situation….and THEY brought it to ME.

Sometimes the voice within says “wow, I wonder if there can be any peace in this situation they present?”

There always is peace. Every time.

Everyone shows me where.

So today, thank you ever so much for bringing your work to the free First Friday calls, for showing up with all your sharing and questions during the Ten Barriers webinar, for joining me to watch and participate in Being With Byron Katie.

There is still room if you can make it today (we’re in Seattle), to sit with us in retreat for 4 days and spend time in silence, and with Katie. Everyone there gets to watch anything you miss through Sept 30th.

And you know that relationship, that event, that situation, that issue, that problem?

You can inquire. It’s so possible to take a good look, and explore what’s true for you about what went down.

“There’s only one thing harder than accepting this, and that is not accepting it.” ~ Byron Katie

If I can help you in any way with inquiry (secretly it’s if you can help me in any way with inquiry) then please ask. I will share with honestly what it’s been like to stick with self-inquiry, even when I didn’t like it. I wasn’t sure what else to do, so no real alternative, honestly.

Question your thinking, change your world. Seriously.

Much love,

Grace

My Big Kahuna Barrier to self-inquiry

One of my favorite things about The Work is that you are your own guru, teacher and educator. You answer the four questions known as The Work or self-inquiry (or Inquiry Based Stress Reduction IBSR if you want to get fancy). You find your own turnarounds.

You’re working intimately with your mind on situations that have actually happened in your life–and you’ve got your sometimes vivid, sometimes foggy, painful memories of that situation.

The thing is….when I first started out in The Work….I kind of had mixed feelings about the whole ME being the teacher thing.

What??! I’m the teacher? I’m the guru? DANG IT. That can’t be right. This? (pointing to self). Seriously? Are you talkin’ to me?

Byron Katie suggests: “Anything you want to ask a teacher, ask yourself. And wait for the answer in silence.”

But. (Let’s be honest).

That’s actually the problem here!

My ways don’t seem to work so well. I’ve done it wrong. I have huge flaws. It seems like something’s missing! There must be some mistake.

Can’t you see? I am NOT the teacher. I’m a dork!

(And I know the Voice in the head to some of us is pretty mean. It calls you names far worse than “dork”).

The thing is, this orientation towards ourselves can be so loud, so rude, so dismissive, and so fretful….

….you don’t feel like you can answer these questions about reality and the world and your life, with any kind of confidence or clarity. The despair has already set in. Maybe you worry that if you DID answer the questions, they’d be the WRONG answers.

At least, that’s how I felt about my own answers. Tentative. Nervous. Very lacking in trust.

I was totally convinced I was LOOKING for answers, not that I HAD answers already. Stop telling me I have answers! I don’t!

Here’s the good news: all these ideas about you missing something, about you not being the teacher? They are only more thoughts, upon thoughts, upon thoughts. And very worthy of inquiry.

The energy of attack you have towards yourself, you’ve also had about other people, or life encounters that were scary. It’s a fairly natural human reaction to loss, surprise, shock, or believing you lack love to Go To War with something. Anything. The self is usually the best target of all (it seems). We don’t really want to hurt other people. So we turn it on us.

I keep noticing, everyone is truly a real softie inside for the most part (OK, always). We really don’t want anyone to suffer. We wish we ourselves didn’t suffer.

So what do we do with The Work if we feel like we can’t answer the questions, or trust our answers, or we feel super confused, and we’re just so dang sure we can’t be the One, or the teacher?

Start with….naturally….The Work.

Is it true you can’t answer the four questions and get anywhere, or be your own teacher? Are you sure your answers aren’t the complete package, the full monty, the best way?

Hmmm.

Ummm.

It FEELS like there’s something missing here, but I can’t know it’s absolutely true.

How do you react when you think the thought that you can’t really be your own personal guru, or answer-giver?

I circle the globe looking for other teachers. Better teachers. Other people who know a lot more than me, or seem to. I get nervous about who I can or can’t trust. I’m full of longing. I think the answer is in Rishikesh. Not here. I listen to hours of talks on youtube.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Because there really isn’t. Amazing wisdom resides in this world. And some of it’s on the internet.

How do I react?

I DO NOT DO THE WORK. Not all by myself.

I keep saying “whatever’s here can’t be it”. I think it’s not enough. I’m not smart enough, good enough, wise enough, patient enough, slow enough, fit enough, relaxed enough.

But who would you be without your story that you aren’t the teacher you’ve been waiting for?

Gulp.

Wait.

You mean….

I’m not even sure who I’d be. OK though. I’ll try to answer.

Without the belief….I’d feel curious. Kind of weird. Unknown. I’d notice the space I’m in, the present moment. I’d notice the mind very busy with thought, and also a pulsing aliveness here. I’d find it funny that I have no answers, but feel like that’s also OK somehow. I’d notice I’m here.

Turning the thought around: I am my own teacher. I’m the One I’ve been waiting for.

How could this be just as true, or truer?

I’m the only one who has been here for every single moment of my life, in addition to some part of “reality” or “life” or “creation” which has also been here all of my life (call it God if you like).

I’m the only one who knows the in’s and out’s of the way I move through life.

I’m the one who remembers the situations the way I remember them, whether painful or joyful. They get locked in my mental files just THAT way, even if others were there to observe it differently.

Even when I’ve been the meanest to myself you can imagine, with really violent thinking, I haven’t eliminated myself. Something has stuck here even when thoughts were cray cray. I’m still here!

I’m the one who’s been drawn to all these amazing experiences and fascinating characters who are fellow travelers here on earth. All the wonderful teachers, the programs (like the school and other beautiful retreats and gatherings). I said Yes. Even without getting why.

Except for my thoughts, life is pretty astonishing, unusual, full of magnificent variety, and totally weird.

Holy Wow.

I am that.

Someone wrote a book with that title….and it could be entirely and completely just as true or truer that you are.

If you’re not so sure about doing The Work or if questioning your thoughts can bring freedom, and a joy you never expected….

….join me for a really powerful webinar coming soon where I go into depth about what it is that keeps self-inquiry from working.

When you register, you’ll get a list of ten barriers I’ve found that all point to the very same Big Kahuna barrier of Not Believing I’m The One I’ve Been Waiting For.

Perhaps all these ten barriers are just ways we remain ignorant, or entrenched in our idea that This Can’t Be It.

I find it’s been helpful to see all these little ways the mind will sabotage, sneak around, trick, or try to stay in a fearful place about life and What Is.

And although I’ve taught the webinar before, every single time I show up and share the slides, the barriers, the exercises, something changes and is new. It’s never the same, based on the questions that come and who attends.

Join me Friday, July 7th for a live webinar: Ten Barriers That Make The Work Difficult, Meh, or Unconvincing….And How To Deepen Your Self-Inquiry Instead.

I’ll also answer questions at the end about the upcoming Year of Inquiry, a small group immersion in The Work from September 2017 through June 2018 with Summer Camp for The Mind for July and August 2018 also….a full and entire year with a small group of devoted inquirers, all doing The Work together.

Everyone who completes the Full Year of Inquiry Program can receive credit for a 9 day School for The Work plus 80 additional credits in training towards Certification in The Work.

Many (maybe most) people join are not pursuing accreditation. Because it’s simply about being in The Work, remembering to question what you’re thinking that hurts.

This program is about YOU. You being your own teacher. Your Year of Inquiry, your school of yourself. You really are the guru or teacher of your own life, and sharing it with us all is a gift.

If you’d like to learn more, besides the Big Kahuna barrier of believing you are not enough and NOT your own teacher, then sign up for the upcoming 90 minute free webinar I on this topic of barriers that prevent us from questioning our thinking, and loving what is.

When you register, I’ll be including a summary handout of the ten barriers.

Sign up for the Webinar: Ten Barriers to Doing The Work right HERE. https://workwithgrace.lpages.co/webinarswithgrace/

We meet online Friday, July 7th Noon – 1:30 pm. At the end of the webinar, I’ll include information on Year of Inquiry plus Q & A, so bring your questions!

“You are the one you’ve been looking for.” ~ Byron Katie

 

 

 

Being With Byron Katie

Have you ever wanted to spend an official retreat in The Work with Byron Katie, the founder, herself?

Not everyone who learns of The Work are able to fly to another continent, sign up for the 9 Day School, or make all the arrangements and use resources to get themselves to an event with Katie, who has been teaching and sharing The Work for over 30 years and is now in her 70s.

Two years ago, for the first time, Katie offered a four day retreat live via streaming video. She’s in Switzerland, we’re located wherever we are with internet connection and a way to view a screen.

It’s pretty remarkable technology that allows such a thing these days.

And the fees are astronomically lower than attending a live event, getting yourself there with airplane tickets, trains or automobiles and paying for lodging and meals. Not to mention the tuition.

Signing up for watching something via the internet for hours on your own doesn’t always appeal to everyone. You still appear to need to take the time out to sit to watch, have quiet down time, and not be cluttered with your usual tasks like laundry or responding to your kids.

However, we’re making this really powerful and easy in Seattle, by collecting as a group to watch together.

It’s the next best thing to “live”.

People have been asking me a ton of questions about this upcoming streamed event with Byron Katie, and how to participate in Seattle, the fees, what the rooms are like if you need a place to sleep (we have them) and what to expect.

Here’s the low down:

Q: Do I have to attend all four days July 8-11th?

A: No. You can come to only one day to watch with us all, if that’s what works best with your schedule. You would have access then, until September 30th, to all the recordings….through a special log-in with our group account (no extra fee) to watch what you miss on your own time with your own computer. You would still submit the same flat fee ($185) as everyone else to participate for fewer sessions live with us, but have access to every recording just like everyone else. You won’t miss a thing.

Q: Why would I watch this with others, if I can watch it all on my own at home?

A: The power of gathering in the group for four days is quite astonishing for keeping silence, which is what the participants in Switzerland who are attending the retreat in person will be doing. Being supported by the energy of the group, and truly disconnecting from your daily routine and people you live with so you sink into the silence between every streamed session is a remarkable experience. When everyone is committed to the silence together, it’s a truly transformative energy. Plus, I don’t know about you, but do you actually keep silence when left to your own devices? This also means no social media scrolling or other technical distractions. Bring your journal. Be with you.

Q: Won’t I spend more money, if I come to Seattle to watch?

A: The fee for participation in our group event here in Seattle is $55 US less than you’d spend if you registered and paid for this event on your own. And, the fee you pay gives you access to all the recordings (on a sign-up schedule) through September 30th, 2017 which is the same length of time as if you registered for full access to the program on your own.

Q: What about lodging?

A: If you live far away and want to book a room in our private retreat house (the owner doesn’t live there) the rooms are set up as very modestly priced so those staying just chip in extra for sleeping over, far lower than typical Seattle housing rates on gorgeous Capital Hill (our location). The master bedroom with king bed is $80 per night, a queen room upstairs on the main level is $65 per night, and two large queen rooms downstairs (sharing a bathroom) are $55 per night. Share them, or ask me if you need to pay less in order to be able to participate easily. The peace and quiet of remaining onsite creates an incredible opportunity for you to truly relax into silence, uninterrupted, with others holding the very same energy. You’ll make meals and move about your time there, all in silence. There’s plenty of space for cooking, filling the fridge with your food, and venturing off to find good meals or walks in the parks nearby.

Q: What does my fee support?

A: The fee is based on planning for 12 participants, with each of the four rooms also reserved separately, to “break even” for all expenses including the registration as a group to view the event, the entire house rental in this highly popular neighborhood, plus supplies and promotional expenses.

Q: How many people are already coming?

A: We’ve got seven people, and two staying onsite so far. Anyone wanting the master bedroom is in luck as it’s still open (with it’s own private bathroom). It’s easiest and most relaxed if you take a room all 5 nights, checking in on Friday, July 7th any time after 4 pm, and checking out Wednesday, July 12th by noon. We’ll start early Saturday morning July 8th and end late-ish on Tuesday, July 11th.

Q: What is the exact schedule?

A: We gather at 9:00 am on Saturday, July 8th. Grace Bell (that’s me) will offer an Orientation to keeping silence, share what she knows about the neighborhood (which is fabulous and teaming with beauty of old Seattle near Roanoke Park, my stomping grounds growing up). I’ll also cover how to do your own work during the program and answer your questions before we begin. Everyone will get the chance to speak of their needs to others in our group before we begin.

  • Saturday July 8th after our own Orientation at 9:00 am, we’ll then view the opening Welcome in Switzerland with the staff there from 10:00-11:30 am, our first full session with Katie from 1:00-4:00 pm, and the second session with Katie from 6:30-9:30 pm.
  • Sunday July 9th Morning Silent Walk 9:00 am (optional), Session One 10:00 am-1:00 pm, Session Two 4:00-7:00 pm
  • Monday July 10th Session One 10:00 am-1:00 pm, Afternoon Silent Walk (optional) 3:00 pm, Session Two 4:00-7:00 pm
  • Tuesday July 11th Session One 9:00 am-Noon, Session Two 2:30-5:30 pm, Closing Session 7:00-9:30 We will view the closing session in Switzerland (ending approx 8:30 pm) then end our own silent session with a powerful brief closing sharing circle with everyone.
(All exact times are subject to change slightly based on adjustments from Switzerland schedule shifts).

Q: If I’m not staying overnight, what’s open to me in the retreat house?

A: The whole place, except for the private bedrooms, is for us all. This is a vacation house rented to visitors to Seattle, and highly popular (it’s rented for the entire summer every single day, and we’re lucky to have it). Professional cleaning staff care for it between every customer. You’ll have access to storing anything you want to bring for your comfort including food, cooking your meals in the lovely kitchen, comfy clothing. You can take a midday shower in the upper or downstairs bathrooms even if you’re not remaining onsite for the nights.

Q: What will the viewing area be like?

A: The reason I selected this house first and foremost is because the living room is equipped with a huge big-screen TV set up high above the fireplace. Excellent and comfortable chairs will be available for everyone, and a very large couch. We’ll have it set up for us all theater style and people can easily come and go, listen, and be in the room with great sound and excellent viewing.

Q: What if I have simple questions and logistics, or questions about The Work, I’m moved by the content of the retreat, or stirred up by what I hear? How can I communicate?

A: Anyone can pass me a note in the silence and I will be available during any break to meet with you and support you in your work and your questions if you’d like to talk. Everyone will receive handouts at the retreat and there will be plenty of worksheets supplied for anyone to use (Judge Your Neighbor worksheets and One Belief At A Time worksheets). You can also email or text me at absolutely any time during the course of the retreat, and I’ll respond.

A white board will be prominently located with pens for people to write messages, post questions, and share answers. While the orientation of the retreat is to remain in silence, sometimes there are needs to communicate and I’m very happy to receive your written words and be there in service to you.

Our group in Seattle is also invited to send emails to the retreat staff in Switzerland, share photos and questions, and Katie may respond to your message. Our photos may be shared with everyone viewing the retreat. If you’re good at taking pics or short videos….let me know!

Q: What is available to do during the breaks, and where do I get meals? Should I keep the silence if I’m interacting with people out in the world?

A: This is entirely up to you, and, I encourage you to adopt the commitment, as the participants in Switzerland, which is to maintain complete silence the entire time. Everyone will have name tags on which you can write “IN SILENCE” to wear out into the world. There is an incredible array of city restaurants, grocery stores, like Trader Jo’s, a local beautiful little grocery store within walking distance, and tons of places you can get a lovely meal to-go, or an elegant meal, and sit and watch the world in silence. You can bring a note for the person waiting your table, to let them know you’re in silence to communicate your order. You can also bring all your own food supplies and cook in our kitchen in silence.

And, it’s perfectly OK to break silence when you leave the retreat house. There is no wrong way to do this. It’s an experiment in being with yourself, without words, in the hustle and bustle of life….and to relax in the beauty of inquiry.

Q: Can I earn credit if I’m in the Institute for The Work?

A: Yes! You can earn 24 credits for hours directly with Byron Katie as if you were spending time with her in person. There will be a small fee for your credit registration (still paying less than if you signed up independently for the whole thing). You can earn 12 credits with me if you need those kinds of credits inside ITW for no additional fee.

What an amazing way to be in The Work, to participate in this most restful way, requiring nothing, and to allow the process of the live retreat to unfold for us as it’s unfolding in Switzerland.

I hope you’ll join me. (Five more spots open for participation, and three rooms still available for over-nighters).

Sign up HERE.

If you want lodging, please let me know right away by hitting reply to this email. You’ll submit payment for your room separately.

We hope everything is provided for you to support your peace. That’s true about this event, and true about all of life. Come connect and find your answers.

“Anything you want to ask a teacher, ask yourself. And wait for the answer in silence.” ~ Byron Katie

Much love,

Grace

What if the Worst Thing…Is the Best Thing that could have happened?

You were lured, manipulated, hooked, seduced…..What happens when you believe this is possible? A scary story. But remember, it’s a story.

The first Friday inquiry jam, where people can connect via phone or internet from anywhere in the world, was so powerful just a few days ago (mark your calendar for First Friday of April 7:45 am PT, we’ll do it again).

We began as always with everyone filling out their own Judge Your Neighbor worksheet on a stressful situation, some exchange or moment in time where something happened unpleasant. Something disturbed us. Something felt off, or scary, or sad.

Someone raised their hand (you get to push *2 and I see the alert on my computer). This lovely inquirer said she has so many moments where she felt anxious or upset….where should she begin?

Great question.

I’ve had a few of those people or moments in my life (OK, more than a few) where it felt like the same “problem” was reoccurring over and over. Or the same dilemma, or same uncomfortable conversation.

The best thing I know to do is to really freeze frame only one of those moments in time, and hold very still with it as you write down your judgments about that situation, without one single ounce of editing yourself. Be childish, critical, petty, ridiculous.

What moment should you choose, you ask?

Why, the one where you felt the most fear, intensity, sadness, rage, fury, irritation, or hurt. That one. Where the scene of the crime was The Worst.

I found, if I go back to that one, and write everything I believe that’s stressful down, about that one moment….

….then the following or other moments that “weren’t so bad by comparison” will also fall into place. (And if they don’t, you can still do The Work on them).

This movement into The Worst moment takes some courage sometimes. Because you might remember a moment that’s really, really painful. It can stir you up.

So take a very deep breath, and remember first that you’re past that moment, now. You’re safe in your chair, as you write down the thoughts. Even if the event happened yesterday, you’ve got a little break. You can give yourself this quiet space for a moment.

Not long ago I had an old flame who reappeared in my life after many years away. The relationship had spanned maybe four months grand total when it happened in real life, but I actually thought of that relationship while watching the movie LaLa Land.

Oh no, not him again. Really?

So much work on that person, a long time ago. I thought it was all squared away. But just running into him at a coffee shop made me feel sort of nauseated, and nervous. I felt jumpy, like I needed to get out of there and like I also wanted to connect and find out all about his life.

Intrigue. Mystery. Drama.

Danger Danger! (Did you hear the back-up sound of loud beeping and the red lights flashing? That’s a huge truck. Heading backwards. Meaning, the driver probably doesn’t know you’re standing right there in the middle of the alley. MOVE!!!!!)

I went home feeling kind of shaken and sad, remembering the feeling of almost being run over. Seeing pictures of being very frightened many times in that relationship, feeling nervous and pushed and chaotically excited (like when you’re on a roller coaster) and confused and never relaxed.

And then annoyed. Because I received an email from him asking to get together like it would be the easiest and most normal thing to do in the world. Not a hey, would you want to get together to have a truly honest talk about your perspective of what happened in that very tumultuous, difficult, awful time back then….but an invitation to go to a show and hang out.

What?

Somehow, I’m thinking we weren’t in the same relationship. He had his idea of what it was like. I had mine.

And here came the stressful thoughts: He should see how crazy-time the interactions were between us in the long-distant past. He should wake up. He should quit acting like an addict….someone who blacks-out the bad times and screams it-was-the-best-thing-ever about the good times. He should stop being so grabby. Desperate. He should stop thinking that relationship was fun. Or desirable. It wasn’t.

Oh man.

Dang it.

I have to do The Work on this? Again? After all these years? Seriously?

But I knew not to start in with the criticism of myself about it all.

Because self-criticism, guilt, or shame is a cover-up and a dark alley you can easily get stuck in (if you’re like me) and fogs out deeper understanding of the actual situation. It’s like a distraction to a different shiny object, a very painful shiny object. But a distraction nevertheless.

“Until you can see the enemy as a friend, your Work is not done. This doesn’t mean that you have to invite your enemy to dinner. Friendship is an internal experience. You may never see the person again, you may even divorce him or her, but as you think about the person, are you feeling stress or peace?” ~ Byron Katie

OK. Fine.

So here’s where the invitation comes in to go back to a very troubling moment, The Worst troubling moment, rather than this recent coincidental meeting which stirred things up.

I sat down, closed my eyes, and opened up to revisiting the difficult details, and seeing what still lived within my mind about it.

I was shocked.

Judge Your Neighbor worksheet:

  • I am enraged with him because he sucked me into his life, and lied about the dark truth, mental illness, alcoholism and neediness behind his fake captivating personality.
  • I want him to apologize, instead of saying he did nothing wrong.
  • He should grow up, get professional help, do The Work, understand how much he terrified me.
  • In order to be happy, I need him to confess he almost ruined my life because of his selfish and false desires, because of his desperation for attention and love.
  • He is an addict, a liar, sick, dangerous, stalker, angry, disgusting.
  • I don’t ever want to fall prey to a love con game again. I don’t ever want to be involved with someone who attempts suicide and is mentally ill.

OK then.

Sigh.

Just your run-of-the-mill everyday worksheet on a light chance encounter at a coffee shop. (Not).

The wonderful thing is now, I can take every single one of these concepts through the four questions and turnarounds. It doesn’t matter if it takes several months, or if I really go for it and do one a day. (I’m not the all-in-one-sitting type. Too much effort, too much to digest all at once. But nothing wrong with it if you DO like doing a whole worksheet in one sitting. Go for it!)

If you have a person you’ve thought of as needing to be rescued from themselves or their own thinking, or someone who manipulated or overwhelmed you….then join me now.

Let’s do The Work!

Starting from the top. Picture that person who drew you in, demanded a response, forced you to react, made you feel “x”. You’re a victim of their behavior. They neeeeeeeeeed you. They don’t let up. They’re high maintenance.

I’ve had sales pitches that felt this way. Organizations. Groups. Programs. Religions.

He sucked me into his life.

Is it true?

Yes. I was just innocently being me, standing there, and….

Answer the question.

He sucked you in, can you ABSOLUTELY KNOW this is true?

No.

I saw no vacuum cleaner. No one had a knife. All that happened is conversations, time spent together, then time ending together, honestly.

No one forced me to do it.

How do you react when you believe you were sucked in, to anything?

Angry! Furious! Fist shaking! They did it to me! I was an innocent bystander! Mad at myself for not saying “no” 1000 times sooner!

So who would you be without this very painful story that you got sucked in?

You could apply the very same thought to a compulsive addictive behavior. The food compulsion sucked you in. The drugs, the alcohol, those people. You didn’t know what hit you.

Who would I be without the belief this guy sucked me in to his agony, mental illness, his need for rescuing, his sick world?

Oh. Hmmm.

I’d notice I’m separate from him. Very. I have a world that doesn’t intersect much with this other person’s world. This is one small encounter, out of my whole life. I am not “sucked” into anything terrible.

Without the thought, I feel safer, calmer, relaxed. I’m back in my own business, feet solidly on the ground, feeling the earth and noticing how in that situation, I knew when to no longer engage.

There was no emergency.

Without the thought, I’m noticing how nothing truly terrible happened. No one died. I even went to work, went about my own life. The worst that happened, honestly, were my thoughts. No gigantic octopi descended upon me, I definitely wasn’t “sucked”.

Turning the thought around: he didn’t suck me in. I sucked him in. I sucked myself in.

Oh. Wow. Yikes.

How could these turnarounds be just as true, or truer?

I sucked him in, by telling him of my worries about life (which weren’t really true) and my love dreams (which were unrealistic) and by answering every question he asked, and by writing long involved emails to him early on. I sucked him in by asking him tons of questions about his childhood.

I sucked myself in by believing I could help, even when things began to get revealed and the true (not fake) stories started getting uncovered. I sucked myself in with worry, anxiety and feeling torn. I sucked myself in by closing my eyes to some weird behavior and pretending it was OK with me. I sucked myself in by not speaking up, or telling my own inner truth.

I even sucked myself in by swinging from bubbly attraction, to disgust, rather than feeling the solid awareness of a centered, sane, kind approach to seeing the truth. I sucked myself in to my own story of what I hoped would happen….and then sucked myself in to extreme and deep disappointment that it didn’t. I forgot my own clarity, and strength.

I sucked myself in to his agony, mental illness, his need for rescuing, his sick world…I sucked myself into my own agony, my own mental illness, my need to rescue, my sick world of believing in sick worlds.

“You are alive only in your own imagination as the thing you think you are. The story we have of ourselves is so seductive….Don’t be waiting for “next”. There is no “next”. It is enough that you are here. The more you are able to bring your attention to that which is, you will find your silence, your peace. You will discover your inherent harmony, your natural joy.” ~ Mooji

I sucked myself into a dramatic vortex of believing there was a hook. A dangerous hook, in this world. Called another human with a “big” needy personality. Who was a fish that bit the hook? That would be me.

Only, that’s not what really happened.

He did not suck me in to anything. He delivered me. He set me free from believing in emergencies, from thinking it would be awful to say “no”. From tantalizing, enmeshed relationship where I believe I’m far more important than necessary. He showed me that even when someone attempts suicide, they can live, and so can I. He showed me how wonderful my own company is, how peaceful and quiet, all by myself. How glorious.

I told a story.

And it’s completely over right now.

I see what is. Thank you.

“The thing about the past? It’s over.” ~ Byron Katie

Much love,

Grace