Come to Breitenbush to inquire this early summer (+ interview with me and Todd)

Several years ago, I had the delightful privilege to meet Todd Smith, a Certified Facilitator of The Work. His story is moving and profound for how The Work transformed his thoughts about partnership, the death of his mother in a plane crash, and his relationship with career and money.

To watch my interview with Todd, click here.

I was so excited about the interview, by the way, I spoke 100 miles an hour without any introduction at the beginning, plus I have no idea what the caption is doing at the bottom of my screen that’s half cut off. But I bet you’ll love hearing about The Work and Todd’s experience of it.

Super inspiring.

I’m so happy he’ll be joining me at Breitenbush this year, for the 8th annual immersion in The Work for four days June 13-17. Call Breitenbush at 503-854-3320 for all the information and to register. (You can also read about it on my website here).

And speaking of inspiration….I have a little secret to confess.

People like Todd who have transformative internal journeys about the hardest situations in life like conflict, anxiety, scarcity and death….

….are my heros.

Even though I do The Work and have felt change I never thought possible for this anxious mind, I am a huge secret admirer of everyone who is willing to question, even just one of their thoughts, with sincerity.

I had such low trust in myself and my ability to relax, I could barely even “do” The Work after I read Loving What Is. It took me diving in to attending the School for The Work to “get” the true value of it.

The learning I receive continues to this day.

I have the incredible joy of facilitating people and witnessing being with people who see their problems in a new way.

They’re been worried, upset, angry, or sad and don’t know what to do. Sometimes for years and years.

And *ping*!

They catch some amazing insight as they answer the four questions.

I honestly feel when people show up to do The Work and I happen to be facilitating, I’m the luckiest person ever.

Because there are many difficult experiences. There are dreadful experiences. Tough things happen in life to humanity.

It’s really quite miraculous that people can identify these painful experiences, write about them on paper, and take them through inquiry….

….and come out more aware, freer, more peaceful.

“I discovered that when I believed my thoughts, I suffered, but that when I didn’t believe them, I didn’t suffer, and that this is true for every human being. Freedom is as simple as that. I found that suffering is optional. I found a joy within me that has never disappeared, not for a single moment. That joy is in everyone, always.” ~ Byron Katie

The truth is, this work would not be interesting, magnetic or compelling if we were following someone else’s ideas or instructions.

It’s not about having any guru, and that includes Byron Katie (and I’m sure she’d agree).

It’s about answering the questions in the most deep, contemplative, honest way you can. No wrong way. No right way. Only your own genuine answers.

Amazingly, these answers bring light-bulbs, ah-ha’s, and new ideas. It doesn’t have to be big and like a gigantic firework going off.

Only a little shift can make a huge difference. The course is changed. There’s a new path.

Who would you be without your thought about that tough thing that happened?

Just a wee bit accepting. Or just a lot mind-altered.

Both are better than the suffering that was happening without The Work.

Much love,

P.S. it looks like the half-day mini retreat this Sunday is full. The next one is April 22nd or email to get on the wait list.

When a relationship is over? Be still and let love discover you.

You know how the other day, I shared inquiry on the belief about wanting things to go a certain way in the future?

Funny how thoughts shift, and sometimes so quickly through asking these four questions.

Today, I noticed feeling so happy and excited for upcoming retreats. Such incredible people attending spring retreat here in Seattle it makes me clap my hands (yes, you can commute daily).

AND Todd Smith, a long-time experienced Facilitator of The Work will be joining me for the Breitenbush Retreatt his year.

But mostly, I feel so joyful today with all the sweet inquiry I’ve had the privilege to witness in telegroups and individual sessions with such courageous inquirers.

It takes courage and willingness to question your thoughts.

Or, OK. It takes courage and willingness to even ADMIT your thoughts, which is the very first step.

The other day, for example, I worked with an amazing person who really touched me.

She was so unhappy because a love relationship had gone south quite dramatically, and ended.

She was so sad, she could hardly contain her grief and rage all mixed together. Her thoughts kept turning to herself, and how she was the one who screwed up and if she hadn’t said x, y, z or threatened to break up with him three months ago, this terrible ending wouldn’t have occurred.

I’ve known that voice that condemns the self. It’s dreadful.

But what if you paused before the beliefs come in about how rotten, stupid, and ugly you are?

Those thoughts only exist when you believe this situation shouldn’t have happened. It’s like we take out the whip and start beating ourselves with it mentally, for punishment of this crime of causing something to go wrong.

Are you sure a break-up or change or ending or move in another direction….IS wrong for you? For the other person? For the greater good?

Can you absolutely be sure it’s terrible?

Even if you say “yes” it’s a horrible thing….keep going with inquiry anyway.

How do you react when you believe the break-up, divorce, or getting fired is BAD BAD BAD?

Isn’t that when you begin to hate yourself, or think of yourself as unworthy?

Who would you be without this painful story?

I’m not saying a break-up isn’t shocking. It is sometimes. It’s unexpected, a surprise, and you may not have seen it coming. (And we could question that we should have).

“If we’re even one breath more or one breath less than anyone else, we’re not at home.” ~ Byron Katie

But what if the turnaround is just as true, or truer….that this ending, break-up, divorce, cut-off is good? Or interesting, fitting. Perhaps it has an important invitation.

When I was getting divorced, I sat with this turnaround for a very long time….many times, honestly. And I found examples of why it was good this had happened.

It brought me to know myself in a way previously impossible to reach. It gave the the beauty of becoming comfortable, and then ecstatic, with silence. It gave me so much time to meditate and read.

It gave me the power to question my thoughts like wildfire.

My thinking was the only thing that was painful. I got it.

“We do not need to go out and find love; rather, we need to be still and let love discover us.” ~ John O’Donohue

Much love,

P.S. a few more spots open for the next afternoon mini-retreat Sunday 3/18 from 2-6 pm. Register here.

Orchestrate your happiness. It’s not what you think.

Do you ever want the future to go a certain way?


It’s almost considered odd NOT to think the future should go a certain way.

We so think we KNOW what would work best, what success looks like, or surviving well. I might lose what I have, or I might not get something I want.

The other day, my mind had the belief when I woke up in the morning: It would be bad if no one came to my retreats this spring. I need to make announcements about them. I wish there was only one, not two (because there are too many seats to fill). They’re too close together.  

I started dreaming of the work I’d do that day before I was even out of bed; posting the events to the free city events page for the general public, submitting to local publications, contacting the workshop postings for mental health practitioners.

And then, I chuckled.

The brilliant question hung in the air like a sweet melody, before I even started in on the tasks I had in mind:

Can I know it’s true not enough people will come to retreat if there are two right in a row? Can I really know it’s better if they’re “full”?

Is this really a scary scenario for me, this picture of “not enough”? Really?

This thought could be a story I’ve told a zillion times in my mind.

Later, soon, in the future….there won’t be enough support, there won’t be enough company, there won’t be enough money, there won’t be enough excitement, there won’t be enough time, there won’t be enough love, there won’t be enough health, there won’t be enough life.

What a nervous wreck to think these thoughts so regularly. The potential for things to go “wrong” always parading around. The desire for things to go “right” (and I know what it looks like) always hanging in the air.

What do you envision as successful in your future? What do you want to make sure NEVER happens?

How do you react when you think there’s a possibility for success or failure, and you want it to go the way you prefer?

I get all narrow-minded on the success track. I believe I ‘have to’ do certain things to make it go in that direction. I believe I’m the one running the show here. I work with urgency, or with a push. I don’t have fun. I’m determined in an intense way. I’m nervous about it going the “bad” way.

Everything becomes Not Fun.

Sometimes, I procrastinate. I think about doing something and say I should be doing it, but it feels so pressured I also rebel against it all, and go to yoga. I listen to youtubes. I watch The Crown on Netflix.

I get pictures in my head of other people thinking I’m a dork when it comes to marketing anything. Inefficient. Lousy at it. The people expecting incoming calls at Breitenbush to be disappointed, because…..crickets.

Who would I be without this stressful story that it would be bad if the two retreats coming up weren’t full?

A weight lifted.

I’d be happy. Today.

I’d notice the calendar has something on it in mid-May, and again in mid-June. I wouldn’t feel resistant to it, or concerned. It would be what it is.

I’d stop acting like I’m God the Dictator and I Know Everything. I’d let out a sigh (and a chuckle) of joy at how sure a thought flames up in a second about what needs to be avoided….but how I’ve also got the amazing and beautiful question “is it true?” (And it’s not even “mine”).

I’d feel the energy running through this very moment of aliveness. Hearing the dryer turn the clothes. See red sleeves near laptop keys. Gazing at wooden bowl next to a box of tissues. Hearing husband’s feet tap tap walking and opening a drawer.

This moment a poetry.

Every possible way the future goes….perfect.

Trusting what is. Letting life do it. Letting God do it (it is already). Noticing all the people already on the list for May. Feeling the happiness and peace whether events are full, or not full, or the worst turnout ever, or the best.

Noticing what is done today and very much enjoying the ride. I could die tomorrow, and what I did today to post information about these retreats would have still been interesting, even fun. Not annoying tasks.

Turning the thought around: It would be fantastic if no one came to my retreats this spring. I do not need to make announcements about them. I wish there was just the number there are (none in this moment as I am alone on my couch). There are not too many seats to fill. These retreats are perfectly spaced.

Turning the thoughts around again: It would be bad if I didn’t come to my own retreats this spring. If I didn’t approach my thinking with The Work. I need to announce my thinking, to expose it and share it with myself. There’s too much thinking to fill (yes, in my head). My thoughts are too close together. 

Good heavens. Is it my thinking that’s scary or the actual outcome I’m sure would be a disaster?

Only my thinking.

Can you find good reasons, interesting or helpful or advantageous reasons for it going the “wrong” way in the future, whatever it is you’re worried about?

Hmmm. If I have small retreat sizes, I can eliminate one next year. I can give lovely close attention and more time to each person who attends. I’ll have fewer supplies to put together. I’ll get to experience the joy that’s possible even if only ONE person is joining me in inquiry. If no one came at all, I’d get four days in silent inquiry with myself. I could further develop the curriculum. I’d relax knowing we have plenty of time for each exercise. I’d get to meditate.

“I invite you to look forward to an uncomfortable feeling, find clarity through investigation, and meet your own discomfort with understanding. Orchestrate your own happiness. Why wait for anything or anyone outside you to bring contentment and harmony?” ~ Byron Katie

What a beautiful retreat has arrived, after answering four questions. Like, right now.

Oh. Haha.

Who are you without the belief that something might not go right in the future?

Not believing your thoughts. Orchestrating your own happiness.

Feeling the harmony of what is.

In pursuit of knowledge,
every day something is added.
In the practice of the Tao,
every day something is dropped.
Less and less do you need to force things,
until finally you arrive at non-action.
When nothing is done,

nothing is left undone.

True mastery can be gained
by letting things go their own way.
It can’t be gained by interfering.
~ Tao Te Ching #48 (translated by Stephen Mitchell)

Much love,


P.S. Spring Retreat

P.P.S. Breitenbush Retreat

You have no need for the belief “I have to” to get something done (+ this weekend mini-retreat)!

Oh my gosh gosh, it happened. Another Peace Talk Podcast Episode 136 on the pesky and horrible thought (when you believe it) “I Have To…” Find it on itunes here.

This Sunday, February 25 in-person Living Turnarounds mini retreat! Welcome one and all. It doesn’t matter what kind of experience you have in The Work, all you need is an interest in questioning your stressful thinking.

We have a cozy cottage, comfy chairs, tea, and worksheets. We meet 2:00-6:00 pm in northeast Seattle. Please pre-register and find out more right here.

The dates for the rest of this year have been updated. Come to one, come to all, your choice. I tend to forget to announce these half day retreats until right before they happen. Ahem.

  • February 25, 2018
  • March 18, 2018
  • April 22, 2018
  • May 13, 2018
  • June 10, 2018

For me, there’s been nothing like sharing time in The Work with caring like-minded folks who also want to question their stressful beliefs together. I get so inspired.

What is it about gathering together that offers something different to our inquiry?

I’m not talking about only a half-day group like this one. But all the other pairings and support, too. Like having an ongoing facilitation buddy, attending a meet-up, going to an intro night on The Work, participating in a retreat or course, going to the 9 Day School with Byron Katie, joining the Institute for The Work.

I find, just like meditation, we ultimately do it on our own, yet if we’re together there’s a structure, a shared energy. I’ve never had the experience of silent sitting at home that I do while on meditation retreat when hours are dedicated to sitting in silence and contemplating the experience without needing to do the usual tasks involved in life.

Isn’t that strange, in a way, that it can be so different being with others do something you really do all by yourself?

Because everyone else is agreeing to do this together, I do it too. I stay. I’m in the chair. No question about getting up and leaving and doing something else to avoid what is, or argue with what is, or complain about what is. I’m staying until I’m truly open to what is.

There’s an interested paradox here, however.

The deepest and most desired transformation, it seems, is when we are on our own–no one else in sight–and we remain seated, stay present, question our thinking, discover awareness is possible without any input or outside guidance required.

Isn’t this what we all truly want? To be our own personal wise advisor? To not have to go anywhere to find peace?

To find out that the most interesting, exciting, loving, supportive, clear person I could ever be with….is me?

Then, whatever we do and wherever we are, whether in a strange unrecognizable place, or our own living room, or in a noisy crowded street, or with a group of friends….

….no matter where we are, we’re with the most beloved and beautiful friend.

One of the things I most love about The Work, is that my stressful, uncomfortable, troubling, nasty, mean, vicious or violent thoughts are the ones that help me hear my inner compassionate advisor.

They are the loud voices that lead me to the still small voice.

Who would have thought the stories and yelling and panic that caused my suffering are the ones that bring the deepest awareness and awakening?

Strange. But true.

And so much help along the way by gathering with other people (still true) and sharing this inquiry. Exploring together is such a gift. It says “you are not alone”. It inspires connection and insight. It’s a practice arena that shows if I can do it with others holding my hand, or accepting me, I can do it.

If I can do it with others, I can do it with myself.

So if you find yourself willing, interested and drawn to connecting to your most inner wise compassionate advisor and awakened one within (yes, that one is there, always) then join me for a half day retreat, or the longer spring retreat coming in May (four days of The Work heaven)!

I’d love to spend time with you sharing the inner world we usually don’t think of as share-worthy (LOL). What freedom to find we’re all on the same journey, discovering peace.

“If you don’t know that who you authentically are does not suffer and has no need for beliefs, you are practicing believing that the separate self is real and that suffering is inevitable.” ~ Cheri Huber

Spend some time with others practicing un-believing how separate you are.

I love how Byron Katie says you have only two choices: believe your thoughts, or question them. There’s no other option.

I’d rather question them.

Even if you live on the other side of the world from where I do–find a partner, connect with people, call the Help Line (it’s free), come to retreat somewhere, anywhere.

Practice questioning. It’s more fun than believing. At least it sure has been for me. (Understatement of the century).

Sign up for this month’s Living Turnarounds Half-Day Sunday 2/25 right HERE.

Much love,


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,


This is the only time you suffer. Amazing.

There’s a little more than a whole month before registration for Year of Inquiry closes (August 31). Summer Camp for The Mind is still underway, and quite a few people won’t officially sign up until Summer Camp ends on August 18th. Space is limited, but I’m not over half full yet, so for those of you nervous about it filling before August 31st, you’ve got time. (I’ll send out a message if it looks like YOI will fill before August 31).

Speaking of deadlines.

I was working with a lovely inquirer the other day who wanted to know if signing up for Year of Inquiry would help her finish a huge creative project.

Will it help me reach success?

Ha ha!

I have no idea about that.

She laughed, too.

She’s done The Work enough to know, this isn’t about trying to get somewhere down the road, into a future place where we’re successful, making money, happy, in a good relationship, forgiving towards everyone, living the dream (whatever that is) or enlightened.

It’s a weird paradoxical thing, because those who will embark on a one year program together will apparently share many months and time watching webinars, posting and sharing insights or questions on our private secret forum, calling in to do The Work together, trading sessions one-on-one in The Work with each other, and joining together for retreats (those who can travel to Seattle area).

It’s a deep, regular return to self-inquiry, with others, with ourselves.

There’ll be a whole lotta inquiry going on.

The paradoxical thing about it is….when I hear of others doing inquiry over time, when I notice my own practice over time, I actually DO see change. Sometimes significant, astonishing change.

For myself, the “success” I feel in a creative way is enormous. When I have an idea or vision to invent or put together something, or a thought about including or moving towards something, it feels as if things move that way very easily. So although I have no idea about goals and striving and milestones….life sure does seem simpler and easier and quite amazing with inquiry at the wheel.

What I’d recommend first, if you have ideas about what you’ll achieve with anything, including Year of Inquiry, is to question anything stressful that appears to get between you and moving towards that lovely thing you’re envisioning.

Who knows what can happen.

Most important about Year of Inquiry is that it provides a structure for a way of life that includes The Work. Regularly. With other people. Sharing. Questioning your stress and suffering.

What could be better than this kind of intimacy?

All I know is, as I practice The Work, my thinking becomes lighter, and so does life. Things I thought were drastic and awful….just don’t seem that way anymore.

“The only time you suffer is when you believe a thought that argues with reality. You are the cause of your own suffering–but only all of it.” ~ Byron Katie in 1000 Names For Joy

Now don’t take that personally. YOU are not the bad seed, the ONE who is a blight on living. It’s actually very, very good news that your thinking is the cause of all your suffering.

Because then, all I need for the greatest “success” is to question what I think is not success.

Who would I be without my story?


Starting another Year of Inquiry. LOL!

Much love,


It can’t be gained by interfering (+ Friday Immersion Webinar + BWBK)

Tomorrow: FIRST FRIDAY open free inquiry jam for everyone and anyone. 7:45 – 9:00 am Pacific Time. Join HERE. You’ll see your options for connection when you visit this link about 20 minutes before the session begins.

Then….also tomorrow, Friday July 7th from Noon-1:30 pm PT one of my favorite courses to offer: Ten Barriers To ‘Getting’ The Work, And How To Dissolve Them. A little different every time, and I will record it for all of you who can’t attend. To attend join me HERE. At the very end I’ll share and answer your questions about the Year of Inquiry, which is now accepting registrations for fall.

And if this wasn’t enough for our hungry inquiring minds, I absolutely loved the Opening Day to Summer Camp For The Mind yesterday morning. Tonight is the second option, Thursday Opening Day Summer Camp 7/6 at 5:30 pm. Three hours of a little mini-retreat for you virtually. This is audio only, you listen and write and listen and write and share if you’re drawn to give feedback or comment….or if you’re bravely up for doing The Work out loud.

I get amazed at how 3 hours goes by so fast. Such great questions from everyone, even from the very first steps of filling out the Judge Your Neighbor worksheet.

Sometimes at the very beginning of a mini-retreat, or stepping into a session of The Work, we have a few stressful thoughts. One of them can be….where do I even begin when it comes to The Work?

There’s so much to worry about, right?

Look at this list!

Kids, money, job, car, house, tasks, reading, gaining knowledge, creating, taxes, diet, cooking, laundry, vacuuming, aging parents, schooling, success, disease, disappointment, terror.

Yesterday, I had people start with a little quiet, to write in a short list what they felt most disturbed by in their lives. Not too long a list, not too short.

You do hopefully just the right amount of writing to open the door to what wants to be investigated, for you.

Maybe you write down the names of people who bug you. Or who you don’t feel forgiving towards. Or who you feel hurt you. Or other issues you’re bothered by in your life–like your body, a sickness, an unpleasant surprise.

Here’s a key that’s really helped me over time to get into my inner world and my own work: It almost doesn’t even matter what our situations are. The FEELINGS are the important key.

I feel bad about…..

I feel troubled about….

I feel sad, worried, angry, scared, furious about….

Anything uncomfortable is a moment worthy of inquiry. Either lightly disappointing, or absolutely terrifying.

Your feelings are the brilliant compass, or the fog horn, that tells you something’s up. Something needs your attention.

I didn’t used to feel this way, truth be told.

If I was uncomfortable, my first order of business internally was to figure out when I could get to safety, how I could distract or change my feeling, how to fix the situation, and how to feel better ASAP.

Look directly at the feelings and the situation?

No thanks. 

I never realized I could question my assumptions. Like, the biggest one being that the situation is an actual problem.

I always just assumed it was. Of course it’s a problem! I’m upset! That proves it is worthy of upseted-ness!

Ahhhh, my little grasshopper, says the wise part of ourselves from somewhere perhaps distant, or over the horizon….’Are you sure that if you feel uncomfortable or troubled, you have a problem?’

I was already out the door, knowing I had a problem on my hands. I was already eating something, or gossiping, or planning which movie I’d be going to, or smoking–because, I needed to take the edge off the feelings. FAST.

It was an emergency, after all.

That’s what feeling strongly felt like.

I had a core underlying belief (which is one of the ten barriers I’ll talk about in the webinar Friday by the way that sometimes blocked my inquiry): Do Not Feel.

It hurts. Don’t do it.

How do you react when you believe feeling in a big way is bad, difficult, to be avoided, terrifying?

I spend huge amounts of energy trying to have a great poker face. Even on the inside. I personally developed wild eating behaviors, called disordered eating (no kidding) because of believing I must never be angry or afraid.

So who would you be without this very stressful belief that feeling big feelings is bad?

Wait. You mean….Huh?

But it IS bad. I hate seeing grown people go on a rampage, or act rude, or cry in public, or start yelling. It’s so….scary! I don’t like it when kids do it, come to think of it!

What if you didn’t know it was scary though? What if it was like the weather….sometimes cold, sometimes hot, sometimes stormy, sometimes wild, sometimes very still, sometimes wet, sometimes windy?

And yes, sometimes weather is a bit frightening. Although, I must admit, the more I’ve gotten comfortable with my feelings, the more willing I am to be in any kind of weather, without severe disturbance. I’m not chasing tornadoes, I’m not even thinking of them. There aren’t any in my neighborhood.

Who would you really be, without your belief that feelings need to be shut down, avoided, crushed, obliterated, cut off, controlled?

I’d feel them.

They’d course through me, sometimes with huge heart-breaking waves, or fist-gripping punches.

Then they’d fade away.

I remember Eckhart Tolle speaking once about big feelings, as he watched two swans attack each other, fight, and then move away from each other. He noticed they both shook and shook, as they glided in opposite directions, as if the fighting was spasming through them and out of them. Then their bodies settled down and relaxed.

Maybe it could be the same for us.

Turning the thought around: It’s safe to have big feelings. It’s dangerous to NOT have them, or to suppress them. It’s good to feel.

How could this be truer?

Oh so easy for me to find, now.

It allows me to address the upset directly, to wonder what’s disturbing me, to explore the inner landscape, to be a part of the human race–someone with reactions and perceptions and a mind worthy of listening to and questioning.

My feelings were what saved my life–they were so distraught and getting so twisted up inside, I had to disconnect from the “normal” path, and get help. They brought me to inquiry.

Becoming more open and familiar and loving towards my own feelings made me someone who could sit with other people having their feelings, and not be afraid. I don’t even have to know what to say, or do. I can just be there.

“It is what you’re believing that is the cause of those feelings and emotions. It’s so important to get in touch with how you react when you think this thought. All of the sudden you have a gifting of emotions to wake you up.” ~ Byron Katie

Even if you’re not sure what you’re believing that led to your troubled feelings, you know at least you’re thinking something. Remembering something. Worried about something.

The feeling is the clue. And with The Work, you can discover what’s behind the curtain–that stressful belief, waiting to be investigated.

Join me tonight for Opening Day, and if you want to come on board the Peace Train, to find peace towards your feelings and your thinking….Summer Camp for The Mind is a great place to share inquiry. Find out all about it HERE). We meet for our shorter 90 minute sessions every week day from July 12 – August 18.

“True mastery can be gained
by letting things go their own way.
It can’t be gained by interfering.”

~ Tao Te Ching #48

This includes feelings running through the body. Letting them go their own way. Not fighting them, the way I did all the time.

Instead of interfering with force…..try The Work.

Much love,


P.S. I am so excited my hands are clapping because Saturday is Being With Byron Katie. Instead of a webinar or telesession, we’re gathering in person together to watch Katie for 4 days (or however long you can join us) to be in silence and The Work and watch the retreat via streaming. Still room for 2 more, just hit reply if you want to come. Amazing group of people. I can’t wait! If you are dying to attend and you can only do it with financial help, please let me know. Find out more or sign up right HERE.

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?



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?



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.

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




I thought I had a problem….I was confused

Wow, sometimes this mind can grab onto something like a dog clamping down on a bone, unwilling and unable to let go.

You’ve probably noticed.

When did my mind crunch down with gusto and start going in for the problem-solving intensity and worry?

Day Before Yesterday.

I realized not one single person, so far, who is signed up to watch Being With Byron Katie here in Seattle July 8-11 was opting to stay overnight at the retreat site.

I had this uh-oh feeling.

People don’t want to stay at this house. It’s too central, too urban, too city. I made a mistake! I should have had a more elegant-country-retreat house in mind! Why did being in the middle of the city appeal to me? Ohhhh Nooooo!!

My old standard favorite home to occupy for retreats and events, way in the north end and more suburban, is being torn down. As in Not Available for any retreats, ever again.

I liked THAT house.

Other people like that house, too. It’s spacious, comfortable, inexpensive, relaxed, lots of parking. I don’t want THAT house to go away.

I don’t want change on this particular issue!

People feel this way all the time about things other than houses they rent. Change is disturbing…. job loss, spouse loss or divorce, illness, possessions, children growing up, parents aging.

Last March, when I first learned my favorite retreat rental house was being torn down, I quick went crazy online looking for our new alternative for Being With Byron Katie. Combing through listings, emailing owners if they had a big screen television with good viewing room for a group.

Several times, as I almost thought I’d gotten a good house, it was rented within hours right out from under me. Houses were going like hotcakes! Everyone wants to be in Seattle in the summer! Holy smokes!

So when I found a fabulous location like Capitol Hill for our Being With Katie retreat that wasn’t so crazy expensive as everything else, I rented it sight unseen.

Now, why was I worried about no one staying there? Money. Dang it. Money again. Heh heh.

This is a “break-even” event where everyone’s registration actually contributes to the cost of putting it on.

Even people who attend for only a 3 hour session, or one day only, get access to the recordings for the whole event (until the end of September). So, it’s just a flat fee and everyone coming and going without words, taking in the event, keeping silence, then watching what they miss later if they want to.

And some people, I assumed, would stay in the bedrooms of this house overnight and chip in extra based on the rental fees, and cover their rooms.

I dropped by to look at the house in between guests, when it was being cleaned.

The inside is great. Very quiet. Lovely hard wood floors, beautiful kitchen, four nice bedrooms. But one side of the house runs along Harvard Avenue, which is busy and has freeway noise. The owners had me enter from the alley, which has a lovely quiet, secret spot feel.

But not a spread out, green vacation, lush landscape orientation, surrounded by wilderness.

Someone wrote and asked if she could bring her tent. Gulp.

There’s no yard for a tent. This is not for camping.

If no one opts to stay overnight….I’m paying a big chunk of money for four empty bedrooms. Yikes. No longer break-even. A loss of over a thousand dollars. Holy Moly.

This house is in an urban area in the middle of Seattle, literally. The homes are mostly stately mansions, gorgeous old Capitol Hill houses, lining beautifully landscaped sidewalks with small front yards and steps to the front door guarded by stone lions.

Nearby only one block away is Roanoke Park, which I remember playing in 40 years ago. In other words, there’s been no new development around this original Seattle hill for decades. Except maybe some remodeling of these magnificent homes.

The house we’re taking over for four days is actually modest in the midst of all the ornate display of old Seattle. It appealed to me deeply because I love the surrounding walks, the gorgeous views, the architecture. And it’s basically walking distance from the house where I grew up and my parents lived for 28 years.

Not far away (only 5 blocks or so) is a winding inner-city wooded park road called Interlaken Boulevard. I learned to drive on that road, and walked and biked it many times with friends.

Maybe my childhood stomping ground blinded me. (Inner squeal…MONEY!)

So I raised the worrisome “issue” with my husband. I’ll lose money. No one will stay. It’s not good enough. This is a disappointment.

And guess what he said?

“Is it true?”

At first it was a little chuckle. Then, we began to laugh.

Oh! Right!

Who would you be without your story of loss, change, worry?

Who would you be without your belief that you want the old one, you want it to stay the same, you want the same spouse, job, body, skill, etc, and not have any of it cost too much, by the way?

This wasn’t even that big a deal in the grand scheme of things. In fact, a midget sized worry, to be honest.

So what would it really be like to be someone who is not concerned with what is happening, to be someone who remembers they don’t know what the future will bring?

My husband and I began to find examples of how fabulous it would be if absolutely no one wanted to spend the night at the retreat house.

1) We could go sleep there and have it all to ourselves, taking walks all over Capitol Hill in the July summer nights.

2) We could rent out our cottage while we stayed at the Capitol Hill one to some excited people who didn’t think they could find a Seattle spot at this late date in the summer, and make some of the money back.

3) We could sit up late on the viewpoint just up the road from this house on the way to Volunteer Park and watch the full moon come up, then walk “home”.

What turnaround examples can you find for a life change you didn’t expect, or prefer?

How could it be OK, interesting, an advantage…even a wonderful thing that it’s going the way it goes?

And, I notice right here, right now…I have no idea really what will happen. I could have the opposite problem of too many people wanting to sleep in the retreat house, in which case….silent slumber party!!

To join us at Being With Byron Katie, read about it and sign up HERE:

To ask about staying onsite, email and I’ll tell you all about the room options.

You are the wisdom you’re seeking, and inquiry is a way to make that wisdom available whenever you want. My experience is that there’s no one with more or with less wisdom. We all have it equally. That’s the freedom I enjoy. If you think that you have a problem, you’re confused.” ~ Byron Katie in 1000 Names For Joy

If you’d like to take a look at some common barriers to doing The Work, this is one of my favorite topics of all time.

(After working with many people and asking them about their deepest concerns, I’ve identified these ten barriers or blocks to “getting” The Work).

Register for the Masterclass HERE. We’ll meet Friday at 8:00 am Pacific Time. Yes, I will record it and yes, I will also offer it again live very soon.


Much love,


Masterclass: Getting Unstuck in The Work + Year of Inquiry Information

I’m getting so very excited for Year of Inquiry starting in September!

The Year of Inquiry program has been given the incredible honor of being the equivalent of one School for The Work (+ 80 hours of partner pairing) inside the Institute for The Work which certifies people in The Work of Byron Katie.

This means, for anyone interested in full certification, upon completion of the Year of Inquiry program, you can become a part of the Institute for The Work with your first school plus 80 credits already done.

But the most important reason people participate in Year of Inquiry?

To stay steady in The Work and connect with other people committed to the same deep work in inner exploration of the mind, questioning stressful thinking, and transforming inaction, suffering and despair in our lives.

To get ready for YOI…I’ll be offering a free webinar Masterclass: Ten Barriers to Doing The Work, and How To Dissolve Them. The masterclass stands alone, and, at the end I’ll explain all about the Year of Inquiry program and answer your questions.

While I will offer this masterclass again this summer, the first one is this coming Friday morning June 16th 8:00 am Pacific Time.

Set aside at least 90 minutes, bring a pen and paper (the entire class WILL be recorded) and join me for a powerful journey in self-inquiry.

Register for the Masterclass HERE.

“I did The Work, because I was in a hurry.” ~ Byron Katie

Much love,