The best recipe when you hate your job

The other day someone wrote to me and asked: I’ve got multiple pages of writing on one very important and stressful topic.

Now what?

Great question.

Time to narrow things down a little. Time to really consider the beliefs rising within that feel so painful.

If you’re not sure, here’s what I like to do to get started:

First, I’ll make a list of interactions or moments with other people, incidents that happened, memories I have in my mind, that are all related to this topic of concern.

For example. Let’s say I’m worried I’m not doing a great job. (I had this thought the second day on staff at the School for The Work because I forgot to do something in my job description).

But let’s say it’s an overall stressful topic for you, when you think about work, employment, job, boss, your career. You’ve journaled on it. You’ve written about what you’d rather be doing. You’ve made a plan for yourself about how to change. You’re definitely troubled about the whole thing.

Now, make a list, as you look over your own journaling, of moments in time that were stressful when it comes to this topic. If you had a camera on these moments, and filmed the whole thing and saved them in your internal mental files, what memories would you say “prove” that this topic (in this case work) is stressful?

  • the moment at a staff meeting when my boss asked for a report and I didn’t have it, and she looked very disapproving
  • the moment one of my co-workers huffed with anger and said she had to do two jobs–hers, and mine!
  • the moment I received the assignment to create a database for new patients and update it weekly
  • the moment I’m in rush hour traffic taking 80 minutes to drive home, when it could take only 20 when not rush hour
  • the moment I had so little money left because of unemployment (before I got my job), I almost lost my house–I was sitting on my couch looking at my bank statement
Now I have some snapshots of moments I really dislike about working, and not working. My collection of what bothers me about the whole thing.


I start with one. There’s my scene from the troubling movie of my life. I see it vividly.


I then write a Judge Your Neighbor worksheet on that moment in time. Only that one. I start there. It narrows things down, puts it into a container the mind can handle.


Write all your troubles on the JYN. And then, of course (narrowing it down further to a small simple thought) we question what we’ve written on the JYN.


“She’s disappointed in me”. 
This thought is so different from “I hate my job”.


It drills into our overall blanket concepts and digs into why, how, where, studying the details of this experience of life we think of as “bad” or “wrong” or something we’d prefer not to encounter.


And wow.


When these specific concepts are taken to inquiry….


….how fascinating to discover they may not be as bad as we think.


Or just maybe, they may have had something to offer of deep importance.


Who would I be without my story of difficulty with working, employment, money-earning, bosses?


When I did this work in the past, I noticed I was freer, just one little bit at a time. I was more relaxed, I opened up to my boss, I had a difficult discussion with the co-worker I thought was always watching me like a hawk, I started enjoying the commute with my CDs to listen to on the way home, I noticed the gorgeous fountain in front of one of the buildings of the organization I worked for.


So much that was good about that job.


And more important, my attitude adjusted automatically, without me having to try, without me having to plan on how I would be quitting and what I could do to solve the problem.


Just a wee bit at a time–one thought at a time–taken to inquiry.


“What you’re thinking about them [or it] is the recipe for what you want.” ~ Byron Katie

Much love,


Does Your Happiness Depend On Getting A New Job?

The other day, a lovely inquirer sent me an email to ask if I would write a Grace Note about job loss.

As in….


If you’ve ever had the experience of unexpectedly losing work, the one or only way you relied on income, then you might panic.

Or….could it be your thinking is making you panic?

(Say yes).

Right now, in the Money teleclass, we’re looking at Everything Money. And it’s so closely connected to Everything Work, because you do your work, it seems, to obtain the paycheck.

Otherwise, you probably wouldn’t go to that job, right?

When you like your job, or you feel happy with the security it provides, you may feel very threatened when it drops out from under you in a way you didn’t plan.

First step….breathe very deeply.

And then, do The Work.

Here’s how you might approach your predicament, if you notice you’re waking up at night, anxiously checking job postings, or freaking out….

It’s a little counter-intuitive, as in opposite of what you might naturally do.

After you’ve breathed a few big deep breaths, and relaxed yourself as best you can….

….consider your Worst Case Scenario.

I know this is odd.

But what’s deeply helpful is to actually explore, rather than going insane on the inside and trying to avoid feeling too much, your greatest fear in this situation.

What are you picturing?

Are you thinking you’ll have to move? That you’ll lose all your worldly possessions? That you’ll be considered a failure? That you’ll starve to death? That you’ll be living under a bridge?

Be realistic now.

When I lost all my money, I had visions of absolute failure. When I really thought it through and took a look a my prospects, I knew my mom would take me in (she had already offered). I knew it would take a whole lot of crazy circumstances for me to ever become homeless. Too many friends, too many family members.

It made me sick to think I was about to lose my house to foreclosure (I didn’t actually wind up losing it, but I cut it close) and I felt like sucha loser.

The shame was immense. I wouldn’t have wanted any of those family members or friends to know….that was the real problem.

My embarrassment. My self-criticism and anger with me. My fury at feeling so alone and unsupported.

So who would I be without these self-defeating beliefs? Without these visions of me the victim? Me who wasted my education, who should have gone to medical school and planned a better career?

Who would I be without the belief that I was unsupported, and foolish? Who would I be without the belief that I needed money in order to be happy?

Noticing how much I still had.

Feeling the joy and excitement of change, new possibilities, inventing a new life, open.

Turning the thoughts around: you are supported, you are being invited to something new, you are smart, connected, a winner, you don’t need more money in order to be happy.

You will be fine if you lose your house, your possessions, your car.

More than fine, it could be an incredible, magical adventure.

That’s what happened to me.

I now have a house the most perfect size for cleaning, living in, sharing with my kids and husband, having people over….and it’s an 8th the size of my old house. I’ll have it paid off completely in less than a decade.

I love every piece of work I do (well, maybe some of the admin stuff irritates me from time to time, but its rare).

I own a car without any car payments.

The sky’s the limit with my income possibilities, it just keeps going up.

Every day I get to question my thinking, and study silence (my favorite).

See the benefits of whatever it is you’ve lost. They will be there, if you look.

See how it could be a good thing that you’ve landed where you are.


You may as well give some weight to the advantage of reality, rather than objecting to it.

In fact, the more you resist, the more you lose. Bummer, but it’s true.

“When you’ve become a total success in business and have more money than you could ever spend, what are you going to have? Happiness? Isn’t that why you wanted money? Let’s take a shortcut that can last a lifetime. Answer this question: Who would you be without the story ‘My future depends on making a lot of money’?Happier. More relaxed. With or without the money. You’d have everything you wanted money for in the first place.” ~ Byron Katie in Question Your Thinking, Change The World 

Who would you be, right now, without the belief you need a job, or money, to be happy?

Having a blast finding a new job?

Love, Grace