Social anxiety, obstacles to love, and being with Byron Katie

I’m amazed at the frequency of doing The Work in my life as summer approaches and is about to become “official” the same day as the Breitenbush retreat begins (3 spots still available, by the way–love to have you). We will offer 24 CEs for Institute for The Work candidates as well as 26 CEUs for mental health professionals.

And then, another bright light of the summer….starting on Saturday, July 8th, we gather for Being With Byron Katie. I had fun sharing about it at New Spirit Journal here. (Read on for more).

Speaking of gathering together with others….I’ve been thinking recently about social anxiety.

Someone wrote to me about a month ago saying he wanted to attend a retreat, but had too much social anxiety and felt very worried.

Isn’t it funny how we like the idea of gathering to receive support, learning, insight or some kind of transformational shift….but the very gathering itself is a bit frightening.

I have to travel, greet others, speak about what’s going on for me, share or show my feelings. Ugh. Maybe I’ll stay home.

I’ve felt the very same way.

When I was in my twenties, I knew I needed to address my great anxiety about talking with other people, telling the truth, answering questions more honestly (it seemed like I never did, and always tried to be polite rather than clear). I knew I wanted less fear and more relaxation with HUMANS….yet intentionally moving to spend several days with them was daunting. The opposite of my normal strategy.

Go on a retreat? Um. No way.

Someone suggested I see a therapist who specialized in group therapy. I thought “I’ll go see her, but I’ll NEVER go to the group.”

Nine months later, fortunately for me, I was in the group.

And this was finally the beginning of the end of my extreme social anxiety.

But it wasn’t easy at first.

When I joined the group, I was familiar and trusting of my therapist. She was the group co-leader along with another male therapist, and she’s the one person I knew.

However, one person who felt safe and trustworthy did not make me comfortable in the group.

I was dumb struck. Literally. I said absolutely nothing, unless addressed, and then made it as short and simple and sweet as possible.

This went on week after week. I watched the others ask for time and attention in my group. I sized up the members. I assessed them and drew conclusions.

“She’s one of those needy types” or “Ah, he’s a Microsoft millionaire with intimacy problems” or “she’s so creative I don’t even know what she’s doing here” and on and on.

Then, one day SIX MONTHS LATER (my therapist was very patient and had given me lots of opportunity to warm up, which I never did) at the beginning of the group, my therapist said:

“Everyone, before we get started today, I have something I need to bring up. It’s about Grace.”


My heart started pounding. No! I hate the attention! Please don’t look at me!

I wanted to run out of the room, but felt also frozen solid at the same time, like a trapped animal.

This wonderful woman, who cared very much about me, then proceeded to say that I was withholding myself from the group. No one could know me if I didn’t speak. And, to add to this, it was quite controlling of me to NOT speak. I could remain unchanged, unchallenged, and not get into anything messy or have direct conversation with anyone. I was remaining in my little castle.

Gasp, quick in-breath.

She was right.

I actually did not want to remain in a private world or tower all by myself, but I had no idea how to get out of my anxious perspective of other people.

My social anxiety stemmed from believing I needed to protect myself, to never disturb anyone else, to be polite, relaxed, graceful (my name even said so), kind, and nice. And self-less, by the way. I needed to have no needs whatsoever, since this also might disturb someone.

Whew, it was a terribly difficult castle to hold up. There was no freedom, everything felt restrained, and no wonder I stuffed myself with food when the tension built up strong. I would eat all alone, by myself, not letting anyone else see me.

The therapist asked me to share something about myself, and to talk about what I was most afraid of, if I spoke out loud.

Shaking all over, and at the point of tears, I spoke some about my feelings of anxiety and worry about being accepted, and I answered her questions (which are now a fog, but they felt OK to answer, I do remember that).

It was nothing more than this. The therapy group went on, and other people brought up their own issues and discussions that had nothing to do with me. I survived the confrontation.

But it was never the same again.

It was better.

I felt truly seen, and invited to step forward and be seen, and like the group even wanted me to show up, instead of fading into the background all the time and sitting there in silence, just listening.

If you saw me a year later, and then two years later when I was ready to leave the group…you would have seen a bubbly, passionate, talkative, powerful young woman.

Over the course of those several years in the group therapy, I screamed, cried, re-enacted drama therapy scenes that were important to me from childhood, learned to confront people in the group honestly.

At one point, I was given an assignment based on sharing my concerns about receiving support, to call people in my group in between sessions during the week. When I first did it, I could barely dial the phone, I felt so shy. I had to call THREE people in my group every week and actually speak to them. It took awhile to get comfortable.

During that period of time, I stopped binge-eating and vomiting.

Was my social anxiety and eating related? You bet. And healing the anxiety with others began to heal my eating patterns as well.

During those years, for the very first time I attended a retreat with all the people in groups like mine. We spent entire weekends together, with everyone sleeping on the floor in sleeping bags in the same room! I was SHOCKED the first time our therapist pointed to the room where we’d be sleeping. All together in one room? What? Isn’t that a little too close?

It was actually heavenly. I was safe, surrounded by honest, caring people, and finding out that my story of humanity being mean and judgmental and rejecting…just was not true.

I’m still finding this out all the time, creating groups and retreats intentionally as a part of my joy and passion in the world.

And here’s a little secret. I still get nervous/anxious/excited before every single retreat or gathering, whether I’m the leader or the one attending. I even wear a shirt for the first day that won’t show armpit sweat. I sometimes might even say in jest to my husband “Why did I schedule this retreat? What was I thinking?” And we laugh.

Here’s the thing that’s entirely different: I can’t believe what I’m thinking is really true. My body might be reacting, I’m excited, I have heightened attention, I feel thrilled and curious, you could even call it nervous, but it doesn’t feel like I therefore shouldn’t do it.

I know I don’t have to believe my thoughts. I know they don’t hold up.

“I noticed that things happen with or without me, people approve of me or they don’t. It has nothing to do with me. This is really good news, since it leaves me responsible for my own happiness. It leaves me to do nothing but live my life as kindly and intelligently as I can.” ~ Byron Katie in I Need Your Love–Is That True?

Now, one of my favorite events of the summer is Being With Byron Katie Pacific Northwest. I mention it now, because it’s such a good event for freedom from any need to dialogue with others and yet be hanging out with lovely people.


Because we hold silence, while we’re in our group together. We listen to Katie via live streaming (she’s in Switzerland) and we watch together, but in between the 3-hour sessions with Katie, we remain in silence. We eat, get ready for bed, go out to walk, journal, read, wake up in silence.

For some people, it’s the first time they’ve ever stayed in silence all day, without speaking, but being near and around others.

Yet, what liberation to not speak, or be compelled to share, or need to make any conversation.

And oh the power of listening to Katie work with people, and their beautiful questions and concerns, and her answers and her sharing what she’s experienced. I especially love how Katie is not interested in delivering lessons or teaching to anyone. All she’s really interested in is asking questions, and being with people who want to question their suffering.

We get to participate just by listening. I often feel moved, and in awe, that what is offered on the screen from the retreat in Switzerland is brilliant, inspiring and transformative. People in our group are taking notes wildly, deeply affected, and the learning is palpable in the room. We get to write emails to the people in Switzerland, too, and Katie might respond to someone’s question right from our living room group.

I’m so grateful we can attend a retreat together that would normally cost thousands for travel, lodging, food, tuition. Thanks to technology, we’re there anyway.

And through our community together we’re able to maintain the same silence the people are keeping in Switzerland. If I were watching by myself at home, I simply wouldn’t.

I’ve tried it before. Something about being alone, I start emailing, working on projects, answering the phone, responding to my family. I don’t take the silence part seriously. I don’t let myself be with me and my own mind. But in this group, I do.

If you’d like to join this powerful event and spend four days (or you can come to the weekend only if you really can’t take off time from work) then I’d love to have you. We have a modest house in a fantastic location (Roanoke Park, Seattle) so your silent walks and exploring in between sessions can be done with magnificent views.

There are four bedrooms available for sleeping, email me if you want to reserve one (yes, you can share and split the cost with someone else).

To find out more, and to see the bedroom choices and fees, visit HERE.

And if you can relate to having social anxiety….perhaps spending time in this retreat full of inquiry about the stresses of the human condition will bring you to the turnaround:

Social comfort.

The joy of inhabiting space and time connected to other people.

“The only obstacle to loving other people is believing what you think, and you’ll come to see that that’s also the only obstacle to loving yourself.” ~ Byron Katie

Much love,


Something opens our wings….summer inquiry

Holy smokes, it’s only just over a month until a huge time of opportunity for inquiry gets underway, in TWO different formats. I’ll tell you about them (I highly recommend both) in a minute.

But first, I wanted to share something sort of funny about The Work with me.

Early in my practice of learning The Work, I knew I had great insight when doing it, even after attending the School for The Work.

But. It’s a little weird (though it turns out, not as uncommon as you think). I wouldn’t do it!

I’d think, can’t I just do it in my head? Or maybe quick out loud, while I’m driving? Do I really have to follow the steps and write things down?

I’ll get to it later.

Ugh, it’s so much….WORK.

And I’d find, over and over again, it was never deep and life-shifting until I took it slowly and followed the simple directions: Judge Your Neighbor, Write It Down, Ask Four Questions, Turn It Around.

There is nothing like actually doing The Work as a regular practice in your life to assure you clean your mental slate, reduce or dissolve your stressful thinking, and make inner shifts you may never have thought possible.

What do I mean by “doing” when it comes to The Work?

It sounds simple, but it’s definitely not easy.

People tell me all the time, they feel upset, or nervous, or bad….but they don’t really know why.

This process helps you know why, and then to question, or un-do that knowing.

Like pulling a very stubborn weed out by the roots.

I hope you’ll consider joining me for this summer season blitz of The Work. I’m available almost daily live via telesessions, and we join together with a group of awesome folks.

The good news? It’s all come-when-you-can and low fee season, and a time of fun and sharing and simplicity.

Kinda like summer.

The first event coming up for diving into the great ocean of inquiry is joining together with others to share a retreat called Being With Byron Katie for four whole days! We will be watching the event streamed live on a large flat screen in a lovely house in Seattle, and holding complete silence in between viewing sessions (which is the same as the in-person participants with Katie will be doing in Switzerland).

Yes, you can come for the weekend or one-day only (same low fee of $185) and watch what you miss via recording until September 30th for no extra.

Our silent event Being With Byron Katie begins on Saturday, July 8th at 9:00 am and ends Tuesday, July 11th around 9:00 pm. Find out all the details here, including information about how to reserve your overnight stay in Seattle (but commuters are entirely welcome) at our retreat site house, rented just for us. We’re starting to fill, so good to join us soon.

Some people travel from other states, or fly, to attend Being With Byron Katie in Seattle. ITW candidates can earn 24 credits for an in-person Katie event at the end (ask me how if you’re interested).

The morning following the Being With Byron Katie event, we’ll have an optional 90 minute session for Q & A for those with special questions, from 9-10:30 am on Wednesday July 12th as a part of the event. Several certified facilitators will be on hand to support you. Anyone is welcome if you’re registered for Being With Byron Katie. We’ll meet at the same house where we’re viewing the program.

Staying in The Silence

“I could never, ever, ever be quiet on my own in the same way this 4 day retreat offered me the structure of silence. I never did anything like this before, and it was amazing. I feel like I just got to be on a real retreat with Byron Katie, otherwise prohibitive for me financially. Thanks for making this possible. Can’t wait until next year.” ~ Participant 2016

Next….your chance to REALLY DO The Work as a regular practice:

Summer Camp for The Mind! 

I’m so excited people started signing up for Summer Camp before I even announced it this year.

Summer Camp for The Mind is a virtual group experience where people dial-in to the same conference line (audio only–you can be on your car or puttering around doing laundry if you’re in listen-only mode).

People volunteer to “go” and I give everyone turns who are interested in doing The Work with me out loud. Everyone listens as the volunteer does their work, doing THEIR own work through the listening. There’s some time for feedback and sharing and insight after every stressful thought questioned. Again, you can share, or listen-only.

This is a loose, simple format. Meaning, there are no requirements or expectations. Except to enter into self-inquiry and share the process with others. Show up when you want, leave when you need to.

It’s funny how people won’t even know one another, and may be from different continents, yet they meet, grow familiar with each other’s voices, and even stay in touch. Not long ago, someone shared with me they’ve been doing The Work with a Summer Camp for The Mind participant as a one-on-one facilitation partner since 2015 and not planning on stopping anytime soon.

Summer Camp for The Mind is also  a very inexpensive way to jump in to a more organized scheduled intention doing The Work. The fee is sliding scale range ($150-$500 suggested) and we meet almost daily from July 12-August 18 with a 3 hour mini-retreat to kick off Summer Camp. There are TWO options for the kick-off mini retreat Opening Day to Summer Camp. The first is Weds morning 8-11 am Pacific Time July 5th, the second option is Thursday afternoon July 5th 5:30-8:30 pm PT. Choose one, and come along for learning, listening and doing The Work together.

When you sign up for Summer Camp, come to one session, or all of them. It’s up to you.

I also strongly encourage anyone who is interested in Year of Inquiry, (and I know there are many this year since it’s now worth multiple credits in the Institute for The Work), to sign up for Summer Camp. The whole current Year of Inquiry (YOI) group is included in Summer Camp as a part of their final two summer months of YOI.

These participants are courageous, smart, and experienced. They’ve been in Year of Inquiry since last September, and maybe longer if they’re a regular YOI participant (some repeat annually). What a treat to join with them, along with all the inquirers, sharing this profound time together, to get this work done.

Can’t wait for this summer inquiry jam to begin. For more information head over here.

“For thousands of years we’ve been told not to judge–but let’s face it, we do it all the time. We all have judgments running in our heads. Through The Work we finally have permission to let those judgments speak out, or even scream out, on paper. We may find that even the most unpleasant thoughts can be met with unconditional love.” ~ Byron Katie

But even if you never sign up for a paid program doing The Work of Byron Katie…you can “do” The Work even today, right now.

Start by writing down your stressful thoughts. Get them down in writing.

Now, they can’t slip away from you speedy fast. You wrote them. So you can inquire.

If you can inquire, you have access to freedom.

If you have access to internal freedom, you have the possibility of a new perspective…and joy.

“Something opens our wings. Something makes boredom and hurt disappear. Someone fills the cup in front of us: We taste only sacredness.” ~ Rumi

I know whomever shows up at Being With Byron Katie or Summer Camp for The Mind (or both) are just the right people.

Thank you for joining me.

Much love,


My thirty year old stressful thought about Breitenbush

Speaking of getting clear.

Someone texted me today to ask if there was space at Breitenbush. Oh yes. A handful of spaces are still available. You can call 503-854-3320 to find out all about it. Call, the old school way, with a phone.

I know the weirdness, by the way, of deciding to come to a group or event in person.

Jeez, so much effort. You have to buy plane tickets or bus tickets or train tickets, figure out the ride from the airport to the actual place, which sometimes seems to take hours, walk here, go there, wait here.

Then, you’re not sure if you’ll be able to sleep well, or who your roommate is, or what the environment will be like….and at Breitenbush, especially….don’t they have clothing-optional soaking pools?

And then what will The Work actually be like? Will I get somewhere and make progress understanding my stressful internal life? Will it make a difference, or be worth it?

So many stressful thoughts about getting from Point A to Point B. And stressful thoughts about what the destination will be like, once we’re there.

Will it be comfortable??! Because otherwise….(stressful thought, stressful image).

I remember hearing about Breitenbush when I was in high school. I don’t remember who told me. But it was definitely some kind of hippie naked wild place. Um. OK. I’m not so sure about the conditions of society, but that sounds a little too too. Not for me.

When Evergreen State College (part of the Washington state university system) came to present at my high school, they wore army pants and half-hippie half-grunge T-shirts. They probably hang out at Breitenbush. I will never go to that weirdo school where you invent your own program.

(I graduated from there later).

I never went to Breitenbush or found out much more about it.

Many years later, I was invited to teach The Work at Breitenbush by my friend Susan Beekman, who was closely connected with people who started Breitenbush for many years and who I met at The School for The Work in 2005.

So off I went, to this crazy place with its reputation of wildness in my mind for 30 years….to help facilitate a 4 day workshop.

I was surprised.

The place was extremely quiet, organized, respectful, private….and as gentle as imaginable.

Upon entering the parking lot after several miles of carefully graded gravel road through the forest, a beautiful check-in building awaited me, and every arriving visitor.

When you check in, everyone gets to pile their possessions and luggage into a big sturdy wheelbarrow with huge wide smooth wheels. You load your things into this giant cart which seems to move forward with the slightest touch, and make your way to your nest.

Many people stay in the little cabins (I always do as a presenter). Soft sheets, warm blankets await in your room in a bag delivered before your arrival. You’ll make your own bed, turn on the big beautiful old-fashioned heater filled with hot springs water (if you need it) and put away things in the built-in tall cupboards. I’m always reminded of Laura Ingalls Wilder, imagining my little cabin being the size of the one her Pa built in the 1800s. There are no locking doors. No keys. Nothing ever gets stolen.

A small desk with a lamp, reading lights above the beds, and a huge porcelain sink is in every cabin to greet you. For bathing, most people head to the shared large bath houses (womens or mens), for always-hot showers from the springs.

The air smells like cedar and pine, the soft earth below the feet makes little noise as you walk. The trees are gigantic, the air so fresh and sweet. Every night, even in hot summer days, its cool and dark and silent.

No cells phones work here. No internet is flying through the airwaves. This is an electronic-free zone. People need to drive about 10 miles to get cell service.

It’s un-hook time.

And oh what a brilliant place for The Work of Byron Katie.

We begin the evening of Wednesday, June 21 which is solstice this year.

Just saying.

Time for a break in the pattern, an interrupt in the usual story-telling inside the mind. A dissolving of the nightmare, if that’s what you’ve been having.

We sit, we write, we investigate the suffering we may have experienced for many years. Some people return to Breitenbush every summer, year after year. Some are brand new and ready to learn and DO The Work in earnest.

Apparently, I had a stressful thought. About Breitenbush. They’re a bunch of wild naked woo-woos. As someone said to me once…”tree huggers”. (I personally love trees and country and forest, so that particular label never sounded bad).

But I didn’t even have time to question that thought once I arrived. It simply wasn’t true.

Everything was perfectly cared for. The lanes and walking pathways were raked and lined, the people kind and respectful, the food absolutely delicious and filling. There’s no coffee served, so you have to bring your own or go caffein-free. No alcohol and drugs anywhere on the grounds.

And guess what? No one is required to go naked in the hot springs (some people happily wear bathing suits). The boundary for where people go nude is limited and set aside just for soaking. There’s one pool that is for silence only–no talking by anyone, ever.

Anyone could be at Breitenbush and never go into the hot mineral pools, if you were too nervous or weirded out about nudity. You’d still love the place. It’s built for retreat. For luscious relaxation and natural beauty.

No wonder they wanted The Work there. It’s about un-raveling and un-doing painful conditioning and stressful stories that repeat themselves in troubling ways in our lives.

If you’re wanting summer time to settle way down, take time out, completely unplug, and join with others to soak in inquiry….

….bring it to Breitenbush. You’ll literally have the chance to leave it there. We do a very special exercise on the last day that can only be done at Breitenbush (it’s a surprise). Perhaps you’ll leave something there you never imagined, something you’ve wanted to set down for years.

People have flown from New York, Florida, Kentucky, taken the train from California and Mexico, driven from Vancouver BC and New Mexico. From all corners, the most lovely folks assemble to really sink into this incredible physical setting, and incredible way of enlightening ourselves by questioning our beliefs.

You may find, like I did about Breitenbush, that your impression of reality and of life was a little off.

Who would you be, who could you be, without your story?

“You are the effect of your story, that’s all. And this is hard to hear unless you inquire…..Come to know for yourself what’s true for you, not for me. My words are of no value to you. You’re the one you’ve been waiting for. Be married to yourself. You’re the one you’ve been waiting for all your life.” ~ Byron Katie in Loving What Is

Much love,


When believing lies leads to suffering

I was very touched recently. Several people in Year of Inquiry approached me with an offer that they’d like to start a scholarship fund for people who need financial help attending Year of Inquiry, especially the live retreats in Seattle.

The year long program has two options; telesessions only (which include all the webinar presentations I offer every month) or the full, live program for those who come to fall and spring retreats.

Sometimes people sign up for telesessions only and hope they can come up with the funds for the in-person retreats. This scholarship help may be one way they can do it.

Even though YOI (Year of Inquiry) doesn’t start until September, I felt such a deep sense of gratitude and acknowledgement that people collectively think doing this work together as a practice is so powerful, they want to help others do it too.

Almost at the very same time of hearing of these generous participants’ desire to contribute to others, I also learned Year of Inquiry will offer credits to people interested in becoming a part of the Institute for The Work (ITW).

The Institute trains people in facilitating and doing The Work and those meeting all the extensive credits required inside ITW become Certified Facilitators.

Anyone enrolling and completing Year of Inquiry would receive the equivalent credits of a whole School for The Work plus 80 hours of partnering in The Work.

It may seem like a foreign language to you, if you’re not aware of Institute for The Work or you aren’t interested in certification….

….but I felt very moved by the endorsement.

It means people can begin to taste the practice of The Work by joining in with our little group, and if they’re really into it, can use Year of Inquiry as a diving board for further training.

But the most important thing about doing The Work and questioning thoughts, in the end?

It’s not the credit earned.

The thing I love most about gathering with others to wonder about concepts we hold, the beliefs we find troubling and stressful: I don’t have to do this work alone and rely on my own thinking to bring me clarity.

When alone, I’m not always aware of my biggest blind spots. I get tired, or bored, or the inner voice in my head gets to loud to hear myself think clearly.

Getting together with other people to do the four questions and find turnarounds is ingenious. It keeps the connection to inquiry alive. We’re in it together. Other people can do The Work when I’m too hopeless, or fatigued, to do it myself. I’m listening, and I still learn.

And we’re practicing together, over and over again.

You just do it. Like learning to ride a bike. You try, you fall, you swerve, you fall, you try again, you fall, you get on again, you start to pedal, glide, and relax.

And you keep going.

Maybe it’s like joining a gym. You’re not done, even if you’ve been a gym member at the same place for 15 years (like me). You just keep going, on rainy days especially. It becomes a way of life, a way of continuously practicing the movement you need to feel healthy.

I’m not sure where I’d be without having created Year of Inquiry, or the other shorter classes, programs, solo sessions and retreats I keep offering.

Everyone showing up is here to help me stay true to my favorite experiences in human life: awareness, transformation, contribution, service.

Now, if an entire Year of Inquiry is hard to imagine, there are shorter experiences you can join to hit the reset button or sink into a deep mental tune-up in your thinking.

One of the most beautiful ways, is to come to Breitenbush Hotsprings Conference Center in Oregon on June 21-25. Deep in a pristine old-growth forest, this is one of the most magnificent settings for investigating where you feel stuck.

Everyone stays in a beautiful warm cabin, or you can camp, stay in a tent platform, or reserve a dorm room in the lodge. Three meals a day are home-cooked, all vegetarian and exquisite. Get massage or body work, hike in the woods, visit the hot pools for a soak in the mineral waters. The air is fresh, the atmosphere quiet and profoundly peaceful, and the relaxation beyond measure.

Breitenbush has become a regular highlight of some peoples’ summers who return year after year to sit in their life-changing inquiry. We always have a whole handful of people who have been once or more to the School for The Work with Byron Katie in the past year.

But no matter where you live, what you’re able to do or join, how you’re able to travel or not travel….

….it appears my job is to continuously put Inquiry Practice on the calendar.

In just about every which way possible. Phone, computer link, donation-based monthly call, free meetups, in-person immersions, mini retreats, groups, videos, podcast, Grace Notes, recovery and eating peace process work, writing.

What I notice is, it’s not a requirement to question your thoughts in order to live.

But is it a requirement to question your thoughts in order to be peaceful, or joyful?

I don’t even know the answer to that question, at least not for anyone else.

For me, however, it appears that without investigating what’s running through my mind, if I’m just swallowing everything I’ve learned or been exposed to without curiosity….I’m living a very stressful life, full of suffering.

I’m almost putting salt in the wound, as they say. I’m practically giving fuel to my own suffering….repeating a conversation over in my head, assuming what someone else is thinking, imagining my demise whether sickness or death, feeling sharp, or bitter, or angry, or very sad.

What a nutty mind–so funny the way it keeps worrying about my survival, and getting anxious, or delivering “warning” messages.

But with The Work also running through my mind, heart and soul….

…I’ve got the best set of questions ever if my head replays that horror film from 1990.

Is it true? Can you absolutely KNOW it’s true? How do you react, what happens, when you believe what you think? Who would you be without this thought? What if you turned your belief around to the opposite?

Why am I experiencing so much pain? Because I’m believing a lie. If you’re lying in bed in the morning and you think ‘I want to get up, I should get up!’ and you then begin to experience fear and guilt…I invite you to just be there and try to make yourself NOT get up. It’s not possible. When it is time to get up, you get up. Not one second too early or too late. There are two ways to lie there, or get up, and one is in peace and the other is in stress.” ~ Byron Katie

If you want to move into this way of inquiry, without anyone telling you what to think whatsoever, and without any rules or regulations, or how you “should” be thinking or not thinking….

….step into this process called The Work. Your way. Your answers.

It couldn’t be anything but your own answers, if you want true peace.

Join me in this fascinating unknown mysterious adventure where we’re wondering what’s true and contemplating life and all it’s hardship and pain, and beauty.

Where we can question our stressful stories, and find, we just might be able to love what is, now.

Much love,


Summer Inquiry, Summer Love

Summer loving had me a blast….

If you recognize the famous first line from the musical Grease song, you might start singing it in your head.

I love summers in the Pacific Northwest. Fresh nights where you need a sweater, warm enough days for swimming in lakes and maybe a dip in the cold ocean or campfire on the wild beach.

And the time for a deeper immersion in self-inquiry with others, relaxing with the long light.

So many choices, so many ways, so much beautiful possibility!

Breitenbush Hot Springs Summer Retreat June 21-25, 2017 is only open for early bird rate for another 2.5 weeks. $395 until May 1st and very popular, the lodging sells out quickly (they set aside some of the best for us, but you need to book it soon). We are already filling.

I would love to have you join me in this gorgeous setting with no internet, no phone service (yes, astonishing), amazing fresh organic home cooked meals, deep forest hiking, soaking in hot springs at leisure outside of session hours, massage, and absolutely beautiful cabins.

And that’s not even the best in-session part. Together, as a part of this annual retreat, we’ll gather and walk through the inquiry journey, one simple step at a time, investigating our stressful thinking.

Beginners and experienced journeyers are all invited and welcome. We start at the very beginning, with our own stressful relationships or worries, our frustrations and places we wish would change.

The Work is a process of inquiry that dissolves all the suffering in life. At least it has offered this to me. As I inquire, and stay with my exploration (so much easier to do in a group) I find the personal freedom I always used to long for and think was impossible.

To read more about Breitenbush, or if you have questions, please reply back to this email and I’ll personally answer. If you have special questions about the meals or lodging, or travel to Breitenbush, those questions are best answered by the good staff at Breitenbush. You can call them at 503-854-3320. This is also how you sign up. The old fashioned way over the phone.

And as if that much summer loving wasn’t enough….I’ll be facilitating Being With Byron Katie in Seattle July 8-11, a completely silent retreat where we watch Byron Katie speak and work with her audience streaming live from Switzerland (technically, it’s a 9 hour delay).

We get to send questions, photos, and share in the event all the way from our little spot in Seattle. Room for 20 maximum attendees, there are 4 bedrooms for weary travelers for a reduced fee. Our house is a modest older Seattle house in the midst of the beautiful Portage Bay neighborhood. Our retreat house will remain in silence for the entire time.

The fee for this 4 full day event? Only $185. Truly the most inexpensive event with Byron Katie you could ever attend. Worth 24 credits for Institute for The Work candidates with Byron Katie directly, as if you were attending live with Katie, for a small extra fee (still less than if you registered for it on your own).

And lastly, to continue your summer love….Summer Camp for The Mind Virtual Inquiry Jam.

July 5-August 18, 2017. Monday-Friday daily inquiry telecalls simply doing The Work with Grace. This is an annual daily dial-in where we all fill out a Judge Your Neighbor worksheet, and the first volunteer in the hot seat does The Work. As many people do The Work who are able–each session is 90 minutes. Q & A time included. Every day, the inquiry jam is at a different hour, so you can join when it works for your time zone and schedule. Come to one or all the calls. You get to pick. Summer Camp for The Mind is sliding scale, for everyone.

Hope you’ll join me in deepening your Love this summer, and being a part of the Peace Movement.

Much love,


Two weekend workshops + the peace of dropping your schemes

Two quick announcements for this wonderful welcoming spring weekend:

1) East West Bookstore The Work with Grace on Body, Eating, Compulsion 6407 – 12th Avenue NE in Seattle, Washington on Saturday 3-6 pm March 18 (that’s tomorrow) for only $25! Come learn the three biggest underlying beliefs people have that keep them battling with food, eating or their body image and weight….and how to address these very deep beliefs with The Work of Byron Katie.

Anyone is welcome who is interested in addressing mindset, thought, awareness and the psychology of eating or compulsion. This work will actually apply to anyone battling an addictive process, including other substances or behaviors. We’ll be going into the root of the compulsive experience, so please join if you’re curious about freedom from obsessive thinking that leads to compulsion of any kind.

What we will NOT be covering is diet, fitness, nutrition or exercise. This is working from the inside out.

Everyone will get to identify where they sabotage their own desires, efforts and “goals” for eating peacefully, and see what’s really happening in those moments that prevent eating peace.

You’ll then get to do The Work, questioning your negative or stressful beliefs, that lead you to move with confusion or frustration around eating or weight. Everyone will leave with the next steps, so you’ll know how to keep questioning and relaxing your thoughts in your daily life.

Beginners are welcome, but it’s great if you know what The Work of Byron Katie is, so look it up on youtube or at and it really helps to read the Little Book (condensed version of Loving What Is, the manual for doing The Work) by Byron Katie.

2) Living Turnarounds Private Group. Sunday, March 19th we’ll be meeting again from 3-6 pm. This group is limited to 8 participants and everyone should be familiar with The Work to at least an Advanced Beginner level. We get to deep dive into one powerful worksheet on a situation in our lives we want to learn from, take it to inquiry, and share in insights with others.

Always a profound opportunity to share, connect, hear from others, and collaborate in understanding how to take our personal work to out into our lives. We spend some beautiful time considering how we’ll live our turnarounds, if we need to make amends (including to ourselves) and understanding how we want to really feel in our bodies, in our lives, in our relationship in the one area we “work” for this mini-retreat.

Living Turnarounds Group meets at Goldilocks Cottage (Grace’s home) in northeast Seattle ($65). Please send a note to if you’ve never attended before and would like to join us. Room for 3 more people this month.

Much love,


Trying to Clean the Screen? Inquire, & the Projector Gets Clear Instead. And there’s dancing.

Upcoming events:
*Three hour Saturday afternoon meetup 3/18 at East West Books for only $25. Register here. I’ll share specifically how to do The Work on eating, weight, compulsive thoughts about food and your body.
*Living Turnarounds Group Sunday 2/26 3-6 pm (if you’re a beginner in The Work, email me first before registering).
question your thoughts, dance into a new reality

I’m about to go dancing. It’s what I do on Saturday mornings now if I’m not teaching a retreat somewhere out of town, and one of my absolute favorite things in my entire life.

This kind of dancing is almost not really “dancing” the way many of us think of as dancing, because it’s spontaneous movement, without words, to music of all kinds of genres and countries.
There are no step, no choreography, no requirements whatsoever, no need to dance with anyone. You can stop, you can sit on a yoga mat or a chair eyes closed or open, you can shake a shaker or tambourine, you can be entirely still. People of all ages attend, and I especially love all the people who come in their 60s, 70s, 80s.
What does this have to do with The Work?
Everything, I realized some time ago.
Here I am in this body, on planet earth, experiencing this particular lifetime. There’s a mind attached to this body, a brain, thoughts, feelings, responses to this reality.
And movement happens, it seems, out of this body. I lie down to sleep. I rise in the morning and get out of bed. I go to the kitchen and drink a glass of water. I notice thoughts, and notice the room, and notice sounds. I peel a banana and eat it, gorgeous.
Now, the body sits at a table and fingers are typing. Soon, this will stand up and gather a coat and others items to leave for the dancing. At least this is most likely. The mind doesn’t know exactly how it will go.
In the flow and river of what’s happening are thoughts, ideas, planning, wondering, and movement and stillness.
The way of it.
Not up to me. I am not in charge. I didn’t even invent this body, I don’t run the lungs, heart beat, temperature. I don’t invent the thoughts that appear, or the feelings that follow thoughts.
I used to think, when I stuffed myself with junk food, and watched my judgments become enraged, when I shoplifted that time on my bicycle in college, when I said mean things to people close to me, when I didn’t have enough money, when I didn’t win the race, when I didn’t dance very freely, when I was nervous about going on stage, when I had any uncomfortable feeling….
….I used to ALWAYS think it was My Fault.
Or, someone else’s.
What’s wrong with this person? (Me, Them).
Then I’d start to think about all the ways I could improve myself, or get away from that other person, or stop feeling “x”.
In the Year of Inquiry group the other day on our phone call, someone said as she’s navigating a major change in her life, very unplanned….
….What if this is the BEST that could happen?
As opposed to the WORST?
An amazing thing to realize, to feel and understand and be aware of….even just a drop.
It suddenly brings us back to right now, this moment, looking around as if to find the good news, the best, the interesting, the wondrous, the handle-able.
Are things so difficult as our thoughts sometimes make them out to be? Do we really need to worry? Is fear the motivator for change….or is accepting this stunning lack of need to change things the easier way?
As I found The Work in 2014 it was a slow dawn. First it was reading Loving What Is. Then a weekend workshop. Then making my way to the School for The Work in 2005 (a big leap there, with 9 days of inquiry). Then another school, and using the last drop of savings to attend it. Free to spend the money without fear. Even with fear.
No planning was done for how this went. I just knew what to do next. And next. And next.
And I noticed dancing right there at the School, during breaks, during one exercise. The joyful, spontaneous movement that didn’t need to be any certain way whatsoever except free, expressing itself.
So I found dance back at home where I lived, free-form dance, and I started going specifically to do what Byron Katie calls “living your turnaround”. An intention to move without worry, or criticism (well, there were a lot of inhibitions at first, for about a year, but I kept showing up and dancing who I would be without my thoughts).
And eventually, with my husband, I started a dance of this same interesting kind–open movement without plans, without requirements of any kind.
Being You in a group of other people all moving together.
This feels like where The Work brings us all. Being ourselves, connected to everyone and all that is, moving freely with joy and love, this body, music (or no music as we live our waking day moving from here to there, even from one room to another room). Just for a temporary time here on planet earth.
Who would you be without any thought whatsoever that something is required, or there’s someone to blame–someone’s fault–just for today? Who would I be without the belief there’s something off, or wrong, just for the next hour?
What if this is the BEST that could happen, and I could doubt my fears and angst about whether or not it’s gone wrong?
“Since the beginning of time, people have been trying to change the world so that they can be happy. This hasn’t ever worked, because it approaches the problem backward. What The Work gives us is a way to change the projector-mind—rather than the projected. It’s like when there’s a piece of lint on a projector’s lens. We think there’s a flaw on the screen, and we try to change this person and that person, whomever the flaw appears on next. But it’s futile to try to change the projected images. Once we realize where the lint is, we can clear the lens itself. This is the end of suffering, and the beginning of a little joy in paradise.” ~ Byron Katie
As one of my other favorite teachers (Adyashanti) invites people from time to time to try: Sit on a couch, and only get up when “it” gets up, not when you think you should, or shouldn’t, or when you have a thought about it.
Who would you be, how would you move, without your beliefs or your identity?
This morning, apparently, I’d be Dancing.
Much love,
P.S. Most Saturday mornings Free Form Dance Dance is at Northgate Community Center in Seattle. Doors open 10 am.

Lead yourself to peace (+Seattle group starts soon)

peace like a river: letting the four questions lead you… (like my Bonnechere River view in northern Ontario last week)

This morning 7:45 am Pacific Time, join from anywhere in the world for 75 minutes of The Work of Byron Katie. Use your phone or computer to connect. To join me, click here.

There’s nothing like doing The Work with other people, whether it’s one person, or a group, or an auditorium.

Long ago, when I went to the 9 day school for The Work (March 2005) I was a little startled at all the people milling about and entering the huge hotel conference room.

We were handed beautiful red roses, one for every person, a bag with a notebook and materials inside, a name tag that went around our necks, and ushered into a huge room filled with chairs.

Part of me also thought….oh good. There are so many people here, I won’t ever have to actually talk. I am definitely NOT taking the microphone.

I sat near the back.

Each day, I slowly moved forward in the seats until around Day 5 I sat in the very front row, in direct view of Byron Katie and the front stage and all that might occur in the front of the room.

Just this move was a big deal for me, I was so shy.

Many brave people asked questions, and I would think “I don’t have the guts to raise my hand and speak up….and I have no questions anyway.”

This didn’t last….I later raised my hand at another event, and shared, and read my worksheet out loud to the entire audience, and even did The Work on stage with Katie. But at that first school, I was super quiet.

I still learned a ton.

I learned so much, even without sharing, that my mind was literally blown open and I left a changed human being, from that point forward, never to go back to all my old ways of thinking. I also left grateful for every single person who spoke up, stood up, told the truth, asked questions, and did The Work with Katie out in the open, whether they were afraid, or not.

The power of other peoples’ work, and their sharing and raised hands, has made all the difference in my life. It kept me moving forward when my head was completely foggy and I had no idea where to go next with my own work.

Listening is deeply transformative.

And it sure is different than sitting in your own same-old thoughts you don’t seem to break away from or question when you’re on your own. I had such a hard time doing The Work in my own brain, and connecting with others sank it in deeper every time, without fail.

In just a few weeks, the Sunday monthly deep-divers group is beginning again, like last year. This is a three hour group, like a little mini retreat once a month, for people who want to dive deeply into the group and connect with others for support.

We’ll be focusing on living turnarounds. That is, making shifts and changes and wondering about what it really looks like to be without our stressful thoughts, one thought at a time. We’ll be taking what we find in The Work, and bringing it into action in our lives.

People can attend the Sunday Deep Divers group one at a time, or you can sign up for all 9 months all at once. This is a closed group, not a drop-in group, but it’s totally OK if you see you can’t attend them all (please let me know which ones you can).

Please see the exact dates of our groups and read about it here.

We had a brilliant time last year, such a sweet way to connect, get to know others, and stay in The Work….and on a Sunday afternoon, how cool is that? (Not a week day evening).

People come from fairly far to attend, and this group is limited to 14 participants. I’ll offer guidance for people to facilitate one another in between sessions (you can sign up for every time we meet) and you can be assigned a partner every month, or opt-out, based on what works in your schedule.

You can do The Work on what comes between you and a peaceful life. We’ll do some great exercises in inquiry, and learn and grow together. All materials and handouts are supplied.

If you register for the entire Deep Divers program, you get a significant discount, the equivalent of missing two sessions for no charge.

The commitment to every session is not required, you can check your calendar and see which groups you can’t make, and then pay per session ($65). However, if you are not available to register for the full program of 9 months, please let me know by hitting “reply” and I’ll put you on the list for those only able to attend on a part-time basis. I’ll be filling spots with people wanting the whole kit and kaboodle first.

The whole program is $450 for the year, through June 11, 2017.

Can’t wait to see you….our first group is Sunday, October 23rd 3-6 pm, and everyone is welcome, whether you’re a beginner or experienced and everything in between.

Check the dates here and I look forward to serving everyone who comes in this powerful process called questioning your painful thinking, and changing our lives.

“After my life changed in 1986, I spent a lot of time in the desert near my home, just listening to myself. Stories arose inside me that had been troubling mankind forever. Sooner or later, I witnessed every concept, it seemed, and I discovered that even though I was alone in the desert, the whole world was with me. And it sounded like this: ‘I want,’ ‘I need,’ ‘they should,’ ‘they shouldn’t,’ ‘I’m angry because,’ ‘I’m sad,’ ‘I’ll never,’ ‘I don’t want to.’ These phrases, which repeated themselves over and over in my mind, became the basis for the Judge Your Neighbor Worksheet…..You’ll put each written statement, one by one, up against the four questions and let each of them lead you to the truth.” ~ Byron Katie in Loving What Is

Much love,


P.S. Local Year of Inquiry members attend for no extra fee.

Are you playing the game “pass it on”?

fooretreatOld memories. Scenes from childhood. Flashes of color, sound, movements. Feelings.

We all have these kinds of memories. Even if you’re one of those folks who says “I can’t rememberanything from my childhood.”

You still might have pictures floating through your mind’s eye of mother, father, grandma, great grandfather, first grade classroom, best friend, doll house, TV show, sister, brother, cousin, chicken pox, Narnia, pet.

But it’s true, the mind can’t really remember exactly what happened, or even see it with crystal clarity.

How do we work with foggy old scenes and memories? And why would we want to in the first place?

Well….no one has to go back in time that far, especially if you just don’t have a clear picture anyway….

….but one thing I noticed while doing The Work for awhile was I got a feeling within when thinking about family, or places I lived, or the walk to school.

Sometimes very pleasant, sometimes nostalgic, sometimes….


Now, we know with The Work, the first step is to identify a moment in time, a situation filed in the mind, where something happened that was unpleasant, uncomfortable, or really distressing.

This invitation isn’t new with The Work.

There’s wisdom in revealing, unearthing, seeing, looking directly at the things that frighten us. Humans have done it for decades, maybe centuries, as we’ve examined suffering, love, and peace, and life’s meaning. There’s even power in telling a story, and having it heard by others (especially without trying to solve it).

The awesome thing about The Work is….looking at the story in such a deep way, you’re able to question your assumptions.

Why is this so powerful?

Because sometimes, those assumptions are not true.

Yes, the event happened. Yes, those people said those mean words. Yes, it was so unbelievably difficult, your heart broke into a million pieces. Yes, you felt loss.

But THEN what happened?

What I noticed is, I’d make conclusions about the Whole of Life because of what my dad said, or how my mom acted.

I didn’t stop to question the truth-for-all-time.

Guess what happens when you assume that the way reality exists around you MEANS the WHOLE world is like this?

You suffer.

At least I sure did.

Wow, better be careful out there. You can hurt grown up men’s feelings really easily. Grown up men are kind, loving, sad and depressed. They seem really sweet when they wear wire-rimmed glasses and read lots of books. Tread lightly around men, though, they could easily be sad and needy.

Wow, better be careful out there. You can hurt grown up women’s feelings really easily. Grown up women are caring, involved, give orders, don’t take no for an answer, and have high and very intense standards. Make sure you pay attention to what they want, and give it to them. Otherwise, they’ll write you off, or get very angry.

Just a couple of examples.

It seemed like my mind could generalize like nobody’s business.

I was swimming in the influence of the people immediately around me, and then started having contact with others of course, and adding to the files of “What Life Contains”.

Without any questioning, you can go on being careful forever.

When I lived like that, I always had to find my little hidey hole, like a tiny crab, and put up a few walls around me so I was safe.

It was a lot of work.

It resulted in lots of anxiety if anything appeared in my reality that was unusual. It resulted in lots of running away from people who scared me, or not saying “no” or “yes” clearly to others or myself. It resulted in lots of compulsive behavior like overeating and isolating. It resulted in lots of trying to find answers for how to feel peaceful in life.

Now, don’t get me wrong.

The honest truth is there is no Always Peaceful All The Time on the human level for most of us. Right?

If a big loud bang happened right now, my eyes would suddenly jump from my laptop, I’d go open the front door and look outside, my heart might race, my mind would wonder what was going on?

If I was on the deck of the Titanic and it was going down, I’d probably be trying to find something to float on.

But who would I be without the belief that what I’ve experienced in this story of life….

….means “be careful” or “this is forever sad” or “I can’t get over it” or “death” or “all is lost permanently” or “this is the way it is and it’s horrible” or “Emergency!!!!!”?

Who would I be without my story, without the story of my history?
What if I went back to my old original founding stories, and imagined that whatever has happened, anything at all (but especially anything frightening), is not totally intolerable, or a warning of what is to be avoided, or what could be worse?
Who would I be without one thought from the past, just one thought at a time?
I notice it doesn’t mean I SHOULD be without any thoughts (this would be another interpretation or assumption that would be somewhat disappointing)….
….it just means I’m not entirely overrun by my mind, and “thinking”, and the sad or scary story I am so sure is true.
I’m free to Not Know.
What if what happened with the people around me when I was really little, with a mind gathering information and making comparisons, and filing Safety Rules….
….was not such a sad, terrible, difficult, horrible story?
What if I could turn it around, with this brilliant thinking mind, and use my imagination to see benefits, or support, or love, or silence, or that I’m still alive?
I have found questioning these ancient stories, some of them go back to ways of being that existed before my family. My mother’s parents, my father’s parents, and their parents before them….
….all kept saying “watch out” and “be careful” and “life is horrible”….
….”pass it on”.
What if I could stop passing it on, by questioning these stories?
It doesn’t have to be so big, either.
Just one thought at a time.
“No one told me there was a way out, short of death. I thought you had to die of this body to get out of this….Think about the torture your mind has been sometimes, and there’s no way out. These people who kill themselves, they have no other way of dealing with it. And for me, when I had no other way of dealing with it, it looked like an act of mercy…And I came to see through questioning my mind that there’s a whole other way out. So I really stayed with it, and I found my way out.” ~ Byron Katie in Who Would You Be Without Your Story
If you want to question your stories, especially about the past, we’ll be doing it in October right where I live and work in northeast Seattle in Goldilocks Cottage (named by my friends when I moved in).
It may be easier than you think.
Four days. Learn more about it here.
Much love,Grace

Batten down the hatches! Suffering could happen!

The ultimate preparation for story weather….four questions known as The Work

As September 1st rolls into clear view this week I’m immersed in preparing an Orientation for all the new Year of Inquiry participants.

September always feels like the start of something new. End of summer, beginning of more indoor time.

I grew up going to school every single September of my whole childhood, and young adulthood.

It gets in your bones. A conditioned feeling of preparing. Movement into growing darkness. Movement into the internal life. More quiet, scholarly work. Get the harvest in, hibernation is coming.

Winter on the distant horizon.

Batten down the hatches!

People in my family said “batten down the hatches” like so many historical shipping phrases, even though no one worked at sea or was a part of sea life for generations.

The hatches are the openings to the sky. The crew covered them tightly with wooden “battens” and canvas when a storm was coming. Preparing for rough seas ahead.

Which is a bit dramatic, perhaps, about the movement into autumn, here in the northern hemisphere where I live.

And yet, I used to truly feel this way internally about silence, darkness, quiet, emptiness, space.

Going within meant remembering. It meant Alone. Lonely. Sad. Despairing. Lost. Afraid. Untethered.

I almost wasn’t aware I had this dread, either.

Until I sat down to meditate, or had too open a schedule without a to-do list.

Then, when I was alone and silent, instead of “peace and quiet” it felt like the volume went UP on anxiety, sadness, grief.

I’d want to see a movie, read a good book or “accomplish” something….or in the past: eat, drink, smoke, physically move (exercise), listen to self-improvement audios.

So yesterday, I guess it was no surprise really at the end of summer on an overcast day with tiny raindrops….

….Gosh. It seems like a really good day to start cleaning out the shed, organizing things to take to the dump, make a stack of For Sale items and Giveaways. Put on gloves and haul, stack, throw away, go through 15 year old files. Watch videos briefly on how to move the shed once it’s emptied.

Get ready.

I was alone and doing this almost all day. Phone in the house, computer lying idle. Physical movement, thoughts dancing through.

It does feel good to “do” a job. It still often feels initially better than sitting in silence and stillness.

At least, according to my mind, which comes up with all kinds of reasons why moving slower and sitting quietly is bad.

In quiet sitting, I might feel worried, troubled, afraid, or bored.

Which is probably why I love The Work so very much.

There’s something to “do” with all those thoughts, with that thinking energy. With the feelings of wanting to “batten down the hatches.”

The Work asks, like a little innocent kid…..

….Hey you! Over there! Yes, you! The one running so fast and so busy and working so hard and “doing” lots of stuff!? YOU! 

What are you doing over there, preparing for a big storm? What storm do you think is coming? Why do you think so? Where did you ever get that idea? What are you so worried about?

I love that The Work invites you to actually look at the storm, rather than simply assume it’s coming.

The Work asks “is it true?”

You get to sit in meditation and wonder about your answer, and maybe not answer quite so fast.

And instead of being aware of a huge storm, you can look at one rain squall at a time, and look with a clear pair of safety glasses at that one situation only. That one conversation, that one upset, that one argument, that one moment with that person who scared you, tormented you, disappointed you.

Last night, after my satisfying day of doing (especially according to the one who likes to see accomplishments)….

…..I sat quietly and pondered the Year of Inquiry group, everyone about to start inquiring together on our journeys within.

One person had withdrawn during the day via email, and another one joined.

I updated my list.

I then closed my eyes and held still, feeling the deep appreciation for this moment exactly as it is, without a single need to improve, or take away, or fix, or add, or change anything.

Feeling so grateful for all those preparing to join me, with a joy that inquiry will be in our pockets as a special tool for the entire fall, winter, spring, and then in Summer Camp for The Mind (always included for Year of Inquiry friends).

I love that if I feel upset, whether a drop or a huge brewing storm or a downpour of upset….

….I have four questions, and finding turnarounds.

And I have people to do it with once, twice or three times a week….

….for all the months ahead, through holidays and travels and cold weather and political change and relationship worries and the movement of life.

Even if you’re not doing something as big of a commitment as Year of Inquiry, there are ways to “do” The Work and get it done, as Byron Katie says.

Call the Helpline, get a fabulous partner to connect with regularly. Set time aside to sit and write out your work, if you’re able and willing.

If you’re thinking of joining Year of Inquiry, I’m creating an Orientation presentation that’s brand new (first time I’ve done it).

This Orientation will help people know exactly how to dial in no matter where they live, access the recordings of our calls, prepare for partnering (which is optional), share on our private forum, and enter their own inner world with the best “batten” I could ever imagine having….

….The Work.

The Work is a ‘batten’ to “batten down the hatches” of overwhelming, wild, freaked out, grief-riddled storms.

The Work addresses all the storms experienced in the PAST, the ones I already lived through that made such lasting impressions on me.

And low and behold, when these become less frightening, less dark, light spring rains, or even the sunniest weather I could ever have imagined with crystal clear blue skies….

….then there’s no fear of the future, or winter, anymore.

“The Work is merely four questions; it’s not even a thing. It has no motive, no strings. It’s nothing without your answers. These four questions will join any program you’ve got and enhance it. Any religion you have–they’ll enhance it. If you have no religion, they will bring you joy. And they’ll burn up anything that isn’t true for you. They’ll burn through to the reality that has always been waiting.” ~ Byron Katie in Loving What Is.

If you’re ready for companionship and joining fellow inquirers to help you stay in The Work and “get it done” then come join us in a Year of Inquiry. Three time zones allow you to connect at least once a week, for 3 weeks every month. You’ll then choose if you’d like to be paired with someone in the group (highly recommended) for a month at a time, getting the support of others and sharing in such a deep way, people make life-long friends.

When I left the School for The Work in 2005, I noticed I just did not do The Work that often.

It didn’t fit into the category of “doing”. It was more like sitting still in silence, meditating. Good for me like eating raw broccoli perhaps, but I couldn’t see the immediate results, and it was a little nerve-wracking and awkward all by myself, and felt “hard”.

I would have signed up for a Year of Inquiry in a heartbeat. It’s half the fee of the school itself, and offers structure to stay in The Work for an entire year.

And this year, we’ll be doing a monthly intro session to our topic to do Q & A, share best practices of The Work, hear quotes from Loving What Is, and the retreats (for those who choose to attend) are now 4 days long instead of 3.

Everyone in YOI has access to my phone to text, or my email to write, in case of “emergency” if you go into stormy weather. I am here for all members of YOI when you need it, along with the official solo session everyone gets during the year for some in-depth work (people doing the full YOI including retreats receive at least two solo sessions).

I consider everyone who joins YOI to be my personal teachers, those who are like my fellow students of life. You bring me inquiry in a way I would never do it if left to my own.

If left to my own devices, I’d be cleaning out sheds and battening down hatches with wood and canvas, not four questions.

If left to my own devices, the storms would always be on their way, looming in the distance because I never remembered to ask the question….

….is it true?

“Anger, fear, sadness, discomfort, pain–they should not be allowed in….I believe they are dangerous to my well-being. And so I spend my life running away from them….Much of our suffering comes from deeply unaccepted feelings of helplessness, powerlessness, weakness, insecurity, and uncertainty in the face of this moment.” ~ Jeff Foster in The Deepest Acceptance

Put down the hammer, nails, canvas, battens, and visions of dark clouds in the future (or past).

We’ve got some work to do. Called….answering four questions.

Much love,


P.S. Learn about Year of Inquiry here.