Next Living Turnarounds Half-Day is April 22nd 2-6 pm in Seattle at Goldilocks Cottage. Sign up ahead of time to hold your spot–we were totally full last time.
Three spaces open for commuters to Spring Cleaning Retreat in Seattle at a private gorgeous retreat house. AirBnb’s close by if you travel from out of town.
Sometimes, people say they’d like to do The Work but they’re not sure where to begin.
What should I pick?
Here’s one of the best and most simple ways: a relationship that feels troubling from any time in your life. You might love and adore the person, they might not be in your life anymore, they may even have died, or you might see them every single day.
Son, daughter, mother, father, grandpa, grandma, aunt, uncle, sister, brother, boyfriend, girlfriend, whomever you’ve dated, boss, employee, co-worker, best friend.
Life has shown you moments of turmoil or discord with others.
That’s where you can go to begin The Work–seeing someone, anyone, at any time, who in their presence you felt disturbed.
Uncomfortable relating is a huge percentage of our stress.
Compulsive off-balance behavior often comes out of some kind of disruption with a person. My own tendency was always to eat compulsively out of anger, nervousness, sadness or excitement OFTEN resulting from my thoughts and beliefs about other people and what I thought they thought of me.
Even if you’ve done The Work before on someone in your life, maybe many times….
….there’s nothing wrong with repetition, practice, and doing it again.
Each time I sit down for The Work, it’s a new potential discovery. No expectations. Just starting now, with the feeling of Not Liking something that’s been said, done, offered, communicated.
Tomorrow I’m heading for a 3 day retreat with Roxann, Byron Katie’s daughter who’s had the great privilege of doing The Work for 25 years or so.
For an entire month, I’ve been thinking about who I want to do The Work on again in a new way, from the life I’m in now….and I see several familiar faces cross the field inside my mind.
That one bipolar alcoholic boyfriend, the best friend who did the crazy inexplicable betrayal that had to involve a lawyer, the good friend who snapped at me, the sister who cut me off, my former husband divorcing me.
The ones I believe caused trouble.
Even if I know it’s in the past, that it’s over, that it’s now an image or replaying movie….I found incredible turnarounds to “live” because of what went down between me and that person. Benefits. Change. Transformation.
But I kept seeing one person’s face in my mind.
If I still tap into the voice of the little girl within (even though I was in fact an adult when he died–barely) I feel the tragedy. I respected him so much. I was so, so sad he died of cancer “too soon”.
Maybe one of the reasons I’ve thought about my dad lately so much, or considered him for my upcoming 3-day inquiry, is that one of my best friends died of cancer last September. He knew my dad. My dad, his dad, my mom and his mom all went to the same church throughout childhood.
My friend’s death was like a replay in many ways of my father’s death. Strangely coincidental. They both had similar personalities of true kindness and a deep abiding love for intellectual learning.
Last summer, when my friend was so ill, I hugged him in a long goodbye and we said “I love you” the way that had become wonderfully comfortable. I wasn’t sure I’d be seeing him again or not. I had a week-long program way in Northern Ontario I was attending (including the topic of death and dying, incidentally).
“I won’t die until you get back” he said to me as I left. We both chuckled with the heartbreak of it. We had many long conversations about death, his death, dying, how he felt about it, about our lives growing up in the same neighborhood and everything we’d ever gone through.
In Canada, I thought about him all the time. He was getting too weak to text, or talk. I went out and walked when my program wasn’t in session.
Along a quiet highway road running near a gorgeous smooth late-summer lake, I suddenly realized I had been on this road before.
When my dad was dying.
The exact same road in a remote place in Ontario, here I was almost 30 years later.
I hadn’t recognized the location at first, where I had taken a writer’s workshop on my honeymoon road trip. I knew that workshop was near this lake, but couldn’t remember exactly where.
Then walking on the very same road, I was there. With the flooding memories of what was happening in my life back then.
Someone I loved and respected and admired was dying.
And there was nothing I could do about it.
So today, I’m writing a Judge Your Neighbor worksheet on my father’s death, including my thoughts about cancer, abandonment, temporariness, suffering….not editing or moving into what I think I “know” about this worksheet and these false thoughts already.
I can look again.
I can walk in the same place again, thirty years later, without even having planned to walk there.
Don’t we look again anyway?
Isn’t it a wonder to notice the repetitive mind and give it care and attention like a little child who repeats the same things over and over, in innocence?
I lost my dad, I lost my friend….is it true?
“You can’t have anything. You can’t have any truth. Inquiry takes all that away. The only thing that exists for me is the thought that just arose….So again and again, we return to the space between thoughts.” ~ Byron Katie
P.S. Facebook LIVE today 10 am Pacific Time. Let’s do The Work starting with how to find and hold that one moment, that situation, and begin our work.