I had a massive hissy fit…and after The Work…I had a Living Turnaround

DO NOT INTERRUPT ME!! Have you ever had this thought with a vengeance? Living the Turnaround can be.....sweeter than sugar
DO NOT INTERRUPT ME!! Have you ever had this thought with a vengeance? Living the Turnaround can be…..sweeter than sugar

Oh rats.

The other day I screwed up big time.

If there was a camera in the room, or you were a fly on the wall, I’d be soooooo embarrassed.

I got angry with my 19 year old daughter.

I was on skype on my computer, working with a client. She entered the room, gesturing wildly, looming over me and obviously very frustrated. I couldn’t figure out what she was trying to ask. She grabbed a piece of paper and wrote things aggressively on it. She tapped the paper hard.

I squeezed my eyes shut, looked down at my computer keyboard, and kept going with my client.

She was still there five minutes later.

Still there.

I glanced up, her teeth clenched, eyes burning a hole into my head.

She was NOT getting the message that I should be left ALONE.

Thank goodness the client I was working with was audio only, not video. It was like a thing inside me went ballistic and exploded and I screamed at her. OK, it wasn’t really a scream, but it was like a vicious hiss without sound. I was mouthing the words.


Now I was gesturing wildly pointing my finger at the door. Flailing around like a nut case.


Inside it felt like World War III.

She left, and slammed the front door.

Later, as I walked through The Work with my reaction, focusing on that powerful moment, when I got to the turnarounds, I knew this was one of those pieces of work where action needs to happen.

The Living Turnaround.

I’m preparing curriculum on this very topic for the upcoming Breitenbush retreat, only two weeks away.

(By the way, there are four spots left at Breitenbush Hotsprings Annual Retreat June 22-26. This is the last year with the deeply experienced and supportive assistance of Susan Beekman, also Certified Facilitator, who has come with me every single year since we started offering this workshop together in 2011. I’ll probably be doing it in 2017, but she’s retiring).

Finding your own personal Living Turnarounds is very powerful, and sometimes tricky. It doesn’t come so easy.

Because it’s nice to do The Work and everything, and imagine dropping thoughts, changing uncomfortable ideas to exciting ideas, switching things into the positive from what was before feeling negative, watching stress release itself from your mind and heart.

But if it stays up in the head as an intellectual or purely cognitive exercise, without sinking down into the body and into our every move…

…then, well…it’s not really transformative.

Not that we can exactly control transformation (haha) because if we could, we’d all be completely and entirely transformed by now. All foibles and imperfections shaved off and smoothed down. Goals reached, accomplishments made, projects achieved, relationships resolved.

No tantrums and waving arms about in fury.

Sigh. Chuckle.

So how DO we live our turnarounds, or discover more specifically our “living turnarounds”?

Well lets just say as a wild example, you do The Work on the stressful belief “she should NOT f$%&ing interrupt me!!!”

Your turnarounds are the following (without the cussing):

  • she should interrupt me
  • I shouldn’t interrupt myself
  • I shouldn’t interrupt her
Even though you may have a new perspective on the idea that she shouldn’t interrupt you, and you allow reality to be as it is, it doesn’t mean you constantly have your fingers crossed that you hope she interrupts you even MORE than ever, and your living turnaround is to keep the interruption going.




That would be weird.


But you might find it very appealing to live the turnarounds “I shouldn’t interrupt myself” and “I shouldn’t interrupt her”.


You might sit and contemplate these, and find three ways you could act or be or feel like someone who supports these beliefs, who holds them as sacred, who is committed to these turnarounds as the greater truth.


You don’t like yourself when you interrupt. You want to understand your own internal incessant interruptions (anger, rage, fear, distraction) so you begin to see what it might look like to be someone who honors these turnarounds of NOT interrupting, and actually live them.


At least, this was the case for me.

If I lived the turnaround “I shouldn’t interrupt her” I asked myself what comes to mind?

I suddenly realized she didn’t know how on alert I felt, and a little nervous, because this was a brand new client I was working with, who wasn’t super familiar with The Work, who just got diagnosed with cancer.

I was thinking about my own cancer diagnosis. I was also aware this was a private call, and she didn’t know I had a client in the first place, and I felt embarrassed about having my kid walk into the room.

The Living Turnaround became very clear. Crystal clear.

I shouldn’t interrupt my love for my daughter, I shouldn’t interrupt my love for myself. I shouldn’t get so freaked out with trying to help the client, or feel overly-responsible to the client so that I can’t handle one small interruption. I shouldn’t interrupt myself with my attempt to be the perfect facilitator, who doesn’t have interruptions.

Trust the universe. Including an interrupting daughter.

I shouldn’t interrupt Reality, and try to make it go MY way.

I knew how to live the turnaround. I owed her an explanation, an apology, and to let her know when I have a client scheduled, if I know she’s coming home.

I hardly had to wait to find a good time to live the turnaround. It was already happening within, on the inside of myself. I no longer felt any of that rage and anger. I saw there was other work to do about clients with cancer….and my empathetic thoughts about them (this is for another Grace Note).

The next morning at 6:45 am, daughter called from her dad’s house to ask me something. After we got the basic logistical thing handled she was asking, I said “you know yesterday, when I was so incredibly furious with you? Well, I’m so sorry. Here’s what was going on for me in that moment…..”

I was super honest, vulnerable and very sincere. I left nothing out. I spoke of my nervousness before she ever came in.

At the end, I said “I love you so much”.

She said “I love you too, mom”.

And you know what? She didn’t interrupt me once.

“You can find the truth only when you go inside. Going outside for a solution, trying to convince her to see it your way, is war. Fear is blind and deaf.” ~ Byron Katie in 1000 Names For Joy

Much love,


She Shouldn’t Say That To Me!

Peace Talk Podcast this week is on ANXIETY. I’d love your comments or to read your reviews on itunes.

Haven’t listened yet? Google Grace Bell Podcast.

Peace Talk Podcast Made New and Noteworthy on Itunes!
Peace Talk Podcast Made New and Noteworthy on Itunes! 


So now that I’m done with the recent in-person retreat Eating Peace and getting registrations for the upcoming 3 month online program with the same title….

….I’m aware that next Monday, only five days away….

….a teleclass begins on PARENTING.

Did you hear the shark-lurking-in-the-water sound?


Oh man.

Beliefs about parenting, other people’s parenting, caring for young humans, caring about actually grown up kids, judging how our parents parented….

….is intense, to put it mildly.

I would say hands down, my kids provided the most worksheets on situations where I “lost” my temper than any other situations in my life for the past ten years.

Especially my amazing daughter.

The first time I wrote a worksheet on her, I was ashamed to read it to the person facilitating me.

How could a mother be so mean, babyish, angry, and vengeful?!

My rage was intense.

And this kid was only 8 years old at the time.

She shouldn’t talk back, she shouldn’t boss me, I need her to listen (code word for listen is do-what-I-say I later realized), I want her to respect me, she is rude, ungrateful, loud, irritating, ridiculous, outrageous.

It was weird how mad I could get.

She should clean up her room, wash her dishes.

Even now I will scan the room when I enter the house, see her boots and backpack lying on the chair, and immediately think….

….”WHAT?! She should put those away in her room!”

Like it’s such a shock.

Over and over again it seemed, I questioned and entered the incredible open world of who I would be without my thoughts about my children….

….so stressful, so ingrained, so deep.

So the other day, I told my daughter “you should listen to my new podcast—that’s your DAD doing the intro and outro you know—and it’s only five minutes kinda like your you-tuber friends….I’d like to know what you think!”

She took one look at the cover art, two babies (thank you to the photographer’s son, the laughing baby on the left, who gave the thumbs-up for using the photo).

She said “I hate babies” and marched out of the room.

Who would I be without the belief she should be more respectful, or listen to my genius work (ha) or even care?


I’d actually be laughing.

She’s funny! And spicy!

“How can you have rules and still stay out of your children’s business? Drop the rules and find out! You’ll find that your children, on their own, will live every rule you’ve ever taught them, and some of them you may not like. They are a perfect reflection of you. They turned out to be you…..Ultimately you don’t have any control over your children. You don’t have any control over anything. When you think you do, and you see that you don’t, the effect is depression.” ~ Byron Katie

I turn the thoughts around that I have about my kids, even today: she should NOT want to listen to me talk, she shouldn’t like babies, she shouldn’t clean up, I should clean up (especially my thoughts), he should lose things all the time, he should be late, she should love what she loves, I should quit being noisy in my head about their noise.

I am actually really glad she doesn’t like babies right now….she’s seventeen.

There are benefits.

I love she’s outspoken and strong. She refuses to say the Pledge of Allegiance in school, because she doesn’t agree with it.

She’s finding her way.

When I was her age, I was smiling all the time, trying to be nice, rebellious but never TOO angry or upset, and full of very conflicted feelings.

And developing a raging eating disorder.

My daughter is really quite happy with food.

That same night after the “I hate babies” comment, she came into my room before going to bed….

…..and gave me a big hug and kiss goodnight, and said “I love you, mom”.

What a cutie.

To join the 8 week teleclass where we’ll identify our most painful thoughts about our kid(s) and do The Work on them, starting on Monday at 10 am Pacific Time….click HERE.

You do The Work, and watch your kid change (or not). Give yourself some peace.

I’d love to have you with us!

Love, Grace

Do You Think You’re Supposed To Be Loving & Patient ALL The Time?

Eating Peace Online starts on February 22nd. This is my baby, born after years of study, healing, and training. I am now in service as a light worker to others who need help changing their relationship with eating, forever.

How to Be a Happy Parent starts Monday, February 23rd. Head over to my website to learn more or hit reply if you have questions. A cool bunch of moms are signing up–dads are welcome too!


Speaking of kids.

Last week my new podcast Peace Talk turned out to be about kids, or really, taking care of people…

…and what a hassle that can be! Jeez!

Are your kids driving you bonkers?
Are your kids driving you bonkers?

When I first began doing The Work, I investigated my thoughts on just about everybody else before my kids.

They were quite young when I found The Work.

I was so in love with them! I almost had a weird reaction to being a mom I hadn’t anticipated, which was “why didn’t someone tell me this would be so fantastic, ecstatic, and wondrous!?”

Of all the choices I had for careers, work, or creative projects….

….this was the BEST EVER.

I gave birth at home, it was pretty easy, I had super relaxed pregnancies. For once, something appeared to come very naturally to me. Being a mom.

And then.

One day we’re driving to the store, my two kids in car seats in the back seat.

Suddenly, a piercing scream and the youngest is grabbing her brother’s shirt and pulling, and he’s shouting at her to stop.

Something is thrown and it jets past my ear and I hear it hit the front windshield.

Nothing breaks, it was just a plastic apple from the doll house kitchen.


I screamed at the top of MY lungs shouting “STOP! NOW!” and it felt like my head would explode and fire was coming out of my ears.

My throat actually hurt afterwards.

What the ?

I couldn’t believe how big that scream was.

What was wrong with me? Was my patience faltering? Was I worse than I ever imagined when it comes to maturity and kindness when parenting? Was I a complete whack-job? Would I turn out to be Mommie-Dearest and screw up my kids?

Self-hate, self-hate, self-hate.

I would try hard never to have these kinds of “losing it” moments.


Well….in case you haven’t noticed…

…”trying hard” doesn’t exactly work as a solution to a difficult situation or a big feeling.

I needed to explore that moment very, very, very slowly….and do The Work.

It begins with writing a Judge Your Neighbor worksheet of course, getting all the thoughts, beliefs and concerns on paper, so you can see what it is you were feeling and thinking.

What I love about The Work is that you can let out all the ridiculous, completely babyish judgments and just let ’em rip on paper.

Even about your kids.

The ones who don’t deserve your criticism, because they aren’t conditioned yet, they aren’t evil bad people, they’re being little humans.

Yes, even those innocent children you get to judge, and take your judgments to inquiry.

What a relief!

You can start with kids, or if you don’t have any children who are driving you nuts, focus on someone else who makes you cray-cray.

They should quit bickering, she shouldn’t grab, he shouldn’t bite, they should go to bed, I need them to be quiet.

And don’t go flipping your concepts into turnarounds on yourself and aim it back at you, like you’re shooting a criticism gun at your own head—no—instead, notice what is revealed to you, watch what’s disturbing you really, see what your feelings are about, and relax.

When you get to the turnarounds, you might discover new ideas about how to be with your kids (or those other annoying people) in ways that make you laugh out loud, instead of screaming.

Your love for them may pour through, without you even trying.

“Who would you be without the belief that you’re supposed to love your children right now? You’d be free to love them or not, and to be a very good parent, whatever you’re feeling right now….Inquiry sets us free of trying to be anything we’re not.” ~ Byron Katie



P.S. everyone who signs up for the parenting class will receive a little book as a gift called “Byron Katie on Parents and Children”. I’ll mail it to you myself.

Worried About Your Kids And Drugs? Start Here.

This coming Saturday afternoon 1:30-3:30 Pacific Time, Todd Smith and I will be doing a mental cleanse jam.

Todd puts these together and he’s the creator. He calls it a Taste of The Work, and it will be awesome. There’s a minimal fee. Come join us! Here’s the link to sign up on Todd’s website:

Click Here to Work With Grace and Todd


Meanwhile, back in the recesses of the mind….

…..not long ago a mom wrote to ask me to write about the fear of your kid getting into drugs.

Who would you be without worrying about your kid?

Soooooo powerful.

These kinds of thoughts about our kids going over the deep end into ANY kind of self-destructive behavior can keep us wide awake at night worrying.

And if you’re worrying…..I can’t recommend inquiry enough on this topic of parent-worry.

(By the way, I’ll be teaching the happy parenting teleclass again this year on Mondays starting February 23rd. We talk about this kind of fear big time).

So the first thing to do when you’re frightened about your kids doing drugs, taking risks, hanging out with people you don’t like….

….is to be willing to open your mind up to the possibility that your kid’s life is not yours to control.

You can’t control it anyway, right?

You already knew that….but in this particular relationship between parent and child, it’s good to first take a deep breath and simply acknowledge it very deeply. They’ve got their own path, their own life to live, their own lessons and pitfalls to go through.

Now, as you sit to write out some of your thoughts and see what scares you the most, this may seem like a really dorky question….

….but why do you want that kid to not get into drugs?

I know, I know….bizarre question.

No one wants their children to suffer, destroy themselves, hurt other people, or die.

But what is actually upsetting about it? Why not?

Write it down.

“I don’t want my kid to get into drugs because _______.”

Then ask the same question again. Why not?

I don’t want it because I don’t want my kid to get hurt. Why not?

I found an interesting place at the bottom of this inquiry. I noticed I wanted my kids to feel really good, do well, not get hurt, not escape into drugs or do harm….

….because then I would be happier, I was sure of it.

But who would you be without the belief that your kid’s life needs to go THAT way (no drugs) for YOU to be happy and stop worrying?

What if there’s something really vital, powerful, and magnificent to be learned and exposed through something going off balance, apparently, like drug use?

What if its an invitation of some kind?

Could there be anything good about a person getting into drugs?

Whew, I know that’s still so strange to consider. But drugs exist. They are part of reality.

Why would that be, do you think? If it’s a friendly universe, why would drug use be in it?

Maybe one reason drugs exist, is to get me to calm down and be more authentic and honest about drug use. I could speak about my fears to my kid and my family, and bring up my own escapist cravings that I had when I was a teenager (too scared to use drugs, but certainly used alcohol and food and cigarettes…two of which are drugs, lets be clear).

I might say to my kid “If you use drugs, I get scared I’ll lose you. I want you to be around so I’m happy!” and we could laugh.

I might ask with great genuine curiosity about my kid’s interest in drugs, open up to an equal, connected conversation about it.

Which is what I did, when I found out my son had smoked pot.

It was a really sweet, wonderful, kinda scary conversation. I was afraid he’d get mad at me bringing it up. But I knew to bring it up.

And I notice, he’s happy, mature, reliable, honest, willing to talk, loving, and alive.

Ha ha!

“I adore my children, and I adore my grandchildren, and their suffering is their business. I let them have their suffering. They can live, they can die, and I love them, that’s what I know. I love them enough to stay out of their business and be present.” ~ Byron Katie

Much love, Grace

P.S. Someone wrote asking if people who are NOT enrolled in the 3 month Eating Peace Program can register for the Eating Peace 3-day workshop. The answer is YES. I think four more spots still available.

The Clean Room Fights

Just the other day in Summer Camp, a mom read a worksheet on her screaming, upset six year old.

Some of my favorite worksheets for myself have been the ones I wrote on my kids, especially my daughter.

Sometimes, it would feel like this incredible child was my guru of all gurus, the teacher who was knocking to my knees.

Kids are so great that way.

They stick around, they live with you or are there a whole lot of the time on a regular basis. No getting away from it.

And you don’t want to, not at all.

Recently my 17 year old daughter was away on a trip with her dad and brother. I went into her room to find something….

….and saw the clothes all over the floor, the clothes on the bed from when she had been packing her suitcase, the piles of things on her desk, her wardrobe doors opened with stuff spilling out.

I spontaneously started cleaning it up. I had seen it before, it had been like this for months, my mind had some chatter stirred up about lack of cleaning and messiness and blah-blah-blah but I felt energy, action.

I love turning dirty-ness to clean-ness.

It was fun.

Now, that’s not the “difficult” part of the story.

Fast forward to her arrival back home, just the other day.

She marches in to my bedroom where I’ve been working. She is furious.

“Where is my wallet?!!! It was on the floor in the exact place I always put it–you moved it!!” Frustrated eyes looking at me.

Pause, breathe, hold it…no wait…no, don’t go there. Wait…oh no!

Yep. I did it.

Me: “Well, if you had cleaned up your room beFORE then I wouldn’t have HAD to do it and then YOU would know where your wallet was!”

Her: “You move things around every time and I HATE it!”

Me: “You are so disrespectful!! I cleaned your room up and you should appreciate it!!”

I said it pretty loud.

OK, it’s called yelling.

She started crying.

Instant softening of my body, a sort of collapse down, awareness that I have hurt my kid, that I snapped, was impatient, felt furious.

I quick sat up, opened my arms up to her, and said “I am so sorry I just got so mad at you. I was so happy doing that job, and I love the way it looks now, and I thought you would like it too instead of getting upset you can’t find something.”

Now a key underlying belief in this kind of exchange, once you do The Work on “she should appreciate what I’ve done for her” (not) is to look at this one, which can be very insidious and very painful:

I shouldn’t get angry.

Seems true, right?

I should be tolerant, patient, confident, loving, kind, powerful, clear and direct at all times with my kids. I should never be triggered and turn into a brat myself. I should be mature.

Is that true?

Well, yeah. Duh!

Can you absolutely know that it’s true?

No. There are, apparently, thousands and millions of parents who are not tolerant, patient, confident or grown up with their kids. Apparently on planet earth, mothers, including me, get angry and fed up sometimes.

How do you react when you believe you shouldn’t snap, throw your hands in the air, feel pushed to the limit, or get angry?

I feel very bad. Depressed. Quiet.

I see images of how my dad used to feel so upset with himself when he got angry and raised his voice, which was only about once a year, maybe. He would leave the house for hours. It was like he committed a major crime.

I feel frightened of how my kid sees me, how others might see me, I feel ashamed.

But who would you be without the belief that you shouldn’t get angry, and you feel bloody angry?!

Now that’s different. Without shame about actually feeling anger, or rage, I allow it to run through my body. I notice how much I care about this situation, about myself, about my daughter.

I actually feel excited.

This anger is alive, powerful, like a burning flame. It crashes through me and I notice how I’m absolutely madly in love with my daughter even when angry with her. I see how I don’t want to hurt her at all, and she doesn’t want to hurt me either.

I relax completely around her needing to like a clean room. I notice that I love clean rooms, but its not a requirement that anyone else, or that she, loves them.

I should get angry.

There’s a message in this passionate surge of feeling. It’s beautiful, striking, wild, big. I seem to care about this. A lot.

I should notice how much I love clean rooms, I can respect myself in this conversation, I can have great compassion for a moment when a wallet seems lost, I can ask what it’s like for her, we can brainstorm from here where the wallet might be, I do not need her appreciation, I need to appreciate myself, and appreciate her.

All in a burst it’s over. She suddenly remembers where her wallet is (not in her room) and goes to find it.

Even if I don’t like that I felt so at war, hostile, defensive or upset in that flash of a moment…I appreciate the presence of the swift, powerful energy of anger.

I’m still learning today, because it was present.

I notice I love the story of passion, energy, change, revolution.

“What is this inner revolution? To begin with, revolution is not static; it is alive, ongoing, and continuous. It cannot be grasped or made to fit into any conceptual model. Nor is there any path to this inner revolution, for it is neither predictable nor controllable and has a life all its own.” ~ Adyashanti

Feeling angry doesn’t mean you have to hurt, break, punch or harm anyone. It’s just a feeling.

You’re not wrong to have it.

And then from this point, you can see what else is true, and take the most balanced, jedi, powerful path with your passion. Maybe anger is love in disguise.

And we’re taking off the costume here, and seeing what’s real and what’s left.

Wow do I ever love that kid.

Much love, Grace