The good news about money wrestling matches in relationships (+ summer camp)

Summer Camp For The Mind, an immersion in The Work via telesessions Monday through Friday, begins July 5th or July 6th (depending on the day and time that works best for you). We kick off on July 5th or July 6th with a 3-hour blitz Intro to Summer Camp.

During these two long intro sessions, everyone will hear about how to join our private slack forum, everyone receives guidance to fill out a Judge Your Neighbor worksheet, and we’ll begin to question stressful thoughts. These first two longer sessions are recorded so people who miss these Intros can catch up.

Summer Camp is offered by donation (see suggested range when you visit the summer camp page). To read about it and sign up by July 3rd, visit HERE. All details with how to attend the calls will be sent out by midnight July 3rd Pacific Time.

Meanwhile, last week I was contemplating the incredible journey on money, and how for me personally it all got extra weird and difficult and the MOST hard when a significant relationship came to an end.

We all know the pain and suffering involved in relationships when they undergo big changes.

People often feel unlovable, like something failed in the relationship, if it goes other than the way we prefer.

And recently through the beautiful work of several different inquirers I had the privilege of sitting with, I remembered how surprisingly strong stress is about MONEY in the middle of a relationship.

Or at the end of one.

Or, OK, at the beginning of one too.

Dating, going on trips, sharing expenses, paying the bills in the home (who’s doing it, who’s home is it), purchases, needs, bank accounts getting split, people dividing everything and going their separate ways, people freaking out if they think they won’t have enough money in the future.

Money touches us everywhere. It’s a part of relationship, it seems.

We trade it for things we desire, need, support, use.

And any moment there’s something uncomfortable with money going on….so good for inquiry.

Today, I focus on the troubles that can appear where the relationship is changing. Called break-up. Ending. Completion.


And the money. Wanting half the possessions or the equivalent. Breaking things into even piles.

Some people are so frightened of these images about money being scarce because of the changes in a relationship, they see themselves living on the street in the future pushing a shopping cart. The fear is so massive, they’ll choose to NOT leave a relationship, because the picture in the mind of no money is worse than the discomfort of the current relationship.

Which means….money is actually more important than the relationship itself, if you get into that fearful state. If it weren’t for the money, you’d might not like what’s going on, but you’d feel far more at ease.

It’s like “What’s happening in the relationship breaks my heart, but I can get through that, as long as I know I’ll have enough money.”

I saw this in myself. Almost divorced. Stayed with kids and worked part time at home for over a decade. No real career. No personal savings. No health insurance.

I remember sitting on my old brown leather couch from the 1960s that used to have a matching partner in the elegant living room of my childhood, wondering how it got to this, that my life was so dramatically downsized from anything I had once known.

From a huge grand and exquisite house built in 1924 in Seattle where I grew up. And now, sitting in a tiny cottage built in 1940 for vacations in the far north end of the city.

I felt so sorry for myself.

A voice kept coming in; “You have nothing. Nothing. Look at you. You should have planned. You should have gone to medical school like you briefly imagined. You’re pathetic.”

Over the following few years, I would walk in my neighborhood and almost cry sometimes looking at the massive homes on Lake Washington only 200 yards from where I lived, all lined up with docks, boats, manicured yards, and windows looking at Mount Rainier.

“I don’t have that. I have NOTHING.”

Let’s take a look.

You can do this if you believe you will have nothing LATER, even if you don’t have nothing yet. Those pictures of you having nothing in the future are so stressful, right?

Those pictures are so threatening, we react to them and feel frightened NOW, even though we actually do have enough to eat, water to drink, we have a roof, we even have a car or a bicycle, clothing, a flushing toilet, a toaster, table and chairs.

But anyway. Who cares about all that.

“I have nothing” by comparison to those other people, or that other person.

Is it true?

Now, I know the word “nothing” is dramatic. We can see we have something. Maybe even quite a lot. But this BY COMPARISON thing.

Ahhhh, there’s the rub.

So much less, that’s what I have. Sooooooo much less.

Is this absolutely true?


How do you react when you believe this is true that you have so much less money than “x” or “y” (picture those happy people, or your former mate doing fabulous things, or your neighbors laughing on their boat)?

My mind jumps around at who to blame. Him. Her. Family. Them. The government. Their business. That country. The law. This neighborhood. My ancestors.

Furious. Replaying what she did, what he did. Seeing me with LESS. Grrrrrrr.

Maybe you react with fighting words, anger, resentment. Harsh words. Or maybe you go the other way into apathy, despair, sinking non-action, curling up in a tight ball with shame or self-pity.

Flashing pictures of this rough future you’re going to have. Flashing pictures of not having enough in the past and how this will be repeated. Flashing pictures of scenes from movies, or friends you knew, who lost money.

A feeling of unworthiness about yourself. (Notice the word, also used when something can’t be traded for money).

So who would you be without the belief they have so much more than you, or you have nothing?

What if you really just couldn’t do the comparing for a moment? No reference for looking at two things and deciding you come out below the other, or with less.

Who would you really be, without believing in the danger of No Money? What if money didn’t mean survival, security, or peace?

Because, I notice it doesn’t guarantee any of those things. At all.

Without the belief, way back when I had almost no money sitting in my little cottage, I caught a glimpse of a quiet pulsing silence. It was just a moment in time, during a long life. That moment of little money was the same as any moment if there had been a lot of money. A couch, me sitting still, no hunger, no thirst, able to lie down wherever I was and rest if I needed to.

Noticing that to call the place I lived “mine” was not even true. Everything temporary. Everything changing. The fanciness of the furniture might be greater where I sit one day, or the rug on the floor….but this is the same body, living on planet earth. The environment constantly changes. Mind comes along for the ride, commenting on everything it sees.

Without the thought of comparison, I’m present with what’s happening right now. Noticing I’m fine.

Money is doing what it does. It comes, it goes. It moves in and out of my wallet. It’s busy living it’s life. And I’m here, completely and totally 100% fine. There is no threat, except in the pictures in my thinking. There is no threat, except my vision of what I think it means when something in the environment is “worth” a lot, or I can trade this pile of green paper for something else I think is important.

None of it really is, in the long run.

Turning the thought around: I have more than they do. I have everything I need. I have enough–just the right amount, in fact, for supporting my own evolution. In my thinking, I have less than them. But only in my thinking.

How is this just as true, or truer?

Oh, it’s soooo much truer for me.

Examples: I love noticing how kind and sharing the human race is. I received furniture from the friend of a friend who was giving everything away. Beautiful little unique pieces of furniture, for my little cottage. I didn’t have so much space to clean. Vacuuming took 15 minutes. I could talk with my daughter as we both lay on our beds in our own rooms (small little hallway dividing us). I had a fridge full of delicious food all kept cold (unlike people 100 years ago).

I had incredible appreciation (notice the fine word, again also used in the financial world) for everything around me. For life, for silence. For Not Needing lots of stuff.

I could read for entertainment, instead of thinking I needed to go to Paris. I watched movies from the library. I wondered about the mind and my thinking–which was (and still is) the ultimate most fascinating thing of all, and the thing I was most wanting to relax.

My greatest desire, actually, was peace. Which is probably everyone’s greatest desire. If you asked me to trade all the money I ever had for peace, or keep all the money I ever had and leave peace out of it….I’d take peace.

I’m no dummy.

I want a free mind, a mind at ease. I wanted a mind ready to be in the presence of anything that showed up in this physical world. Including a moment of noticing someone else’s material wealth or my lack of it.

I wanted to notice the wealth I had of life, what was possible, not what was impossible.

I wanted to notice the thing that’s all-and-forever lasting, the thing that’s been with me every step of the way throughout my life, no matter how much money or success I’ve had (according to society).

THAT thing is priceless, shining like a diamond. The greatest treasure I could ever have.

I sit in the streets with the homeless.

My clothes stained with the wine 

From the vineyards the saints tend.

Light has painted all acts the same color.

So I sit around and laugh all day with my friends.

At night if I feel a divine loneliness

I tear the doors off Love’s mansion

And wrestle God onto the floor.

He becomes so pleased with Hafiz and says

‘Our hearts should do this more.’


My terror about money offered me the wrestling match or two or three of a lifetime.

Turns out, my heart met the heart of reality, in the middle of every match….and I realized everything was painted the same color.

It didn’t matter how much, what was more, what was lost, what was found, what was less when it came to money and possessions and safety.

Safety was somewhere other than money. I keep remembering this over and over again whenever I do The Work on money.

Every time I do The Work on money, life says “our hearts should do this more often!”

Thank you money for being such a “problem”. Ha ha!

It was actually only a thought about money that was the problem. Not money itself.

Just to make sure….just a moment ago while writing here, I checked in on money, support, security, wealth, richness, and success by asking “Is everything OK right now? Do I have enough money? Is there abundance all around, everywhere I see?”

Yep. Still true.

Much love,


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,


If you don’t get a job soon….are you sure about the worst that could happen?

One of the more frightening times in my life was when I had no money and had to find a job ASAP.

It felt like a major emergency.

I tried to sell my house (no takers, couldn’t sell it for even the amount I owed on it), I had been on 20 job interviews, I had borrowed $6000 from a family member, my credit card was at the highest level as I had used it for groceries, and I was late on a mortgage payment.

Things looked very bleak when it came to money and work.

When I asked people to share with me their top stressful thoughts a few weeks ago, I had quite a few sharing “I need to get a job”.

The urgency and fear around getting a job can escalate with our scary images of what will happen if I do NOT get a job. I’ll lose my house, my car, my possessions, my sanity. I’ll never recover from these losses. Other people might even suffer (if you have dependents).

As I did The Work at that time 8 years ago on my dreadful feelings of panic about not getting work, a dear friend and facilitator asked me a powerful question:

What’s the worst that could happen?

Not insanely-wild-imagination-worse-case-scenario…but very likely what could happen that’s really, really bad.

So for example, even if my mind might imagine I’d be dying of starvation on the street, owning nothing, my kids given away to relatives to be raised….I really deeply knew this simply would not ever happen. I know too many people who I love and adore and who also love me. I’d have places to stay most likely. I really couldn’t see myself dying of not having work or money. Not really.

But I could see a worst case scenario that I was indeed quite terrified could happen: I’d have to go live in my mother’s basement with my two kids.

I pictured having to wake up at 5 am to drive them miles if I wanted to keep them in the same schools with the friends they knew. I felt horrible imagining their lives being further disrupted (there was already a divorce, just finalized).

I pictured feeling burdened by living with my mom, that she and I would drive each other crazy. We’d fight over refrigerator space, or chores (like when I was 13). I was sure I’d be such a loser, I’d hate myself and had an image of never recovering, never really coming back from the divorce or the failure–even though I was only 44 and could live many more years possibly.

I had thoughts like “my life is almost over” and “I should have gone to medical school” and how my life so far had been a huge mistake, I should have seen it coming, blah blah blah.

That mind will kick into high gear with incredibly alarming voices, words, shouts, pictures, and the resulting feelings of panic.

I felt abandoned.

My primary intense thoughts: I need money, I need a job. This is horrible.

Let’s inquire.

Is it true?

YES! Can’t you see my bills?! (I thought at the time)?! How can you even ASK this question—of COURSE I need more money and I need a job in order to get it!


Can you absolutely know it’s true you need more money, and a job?

Yes. I felt so sure. I maybe had a tiny sliver of awareness that I would still be breathing without money or a job. I could see that I still had a car in my driveway, some food in my cupboards, and a beautiful rug on the floor.

Honestly, I could see in that very moment that it was not absolutely, 100% required I get a job immediately, or I would die on the spot. I was scaring myself with pictures of a slow decline and death, failing miserably and never recovering. But I had no idea what life would really look like, and I could see I was OK in that moment.

So no, I couldn’t absolutely know I needed a job and money NOW.

How did I react when I believed I needed money and a job NOW!?

My hands were bunched in two tight fists. My whole body was tense. I couldn’t sleep. I had to pace. I was sick to my stomach and not eating so well. I was frantic when I looked at job boards, and combed through online HR departments. I’d change and re-change my resume. I’d ask myself “what am I missing?” and wonder where else I could try to find work. I’d apply to everything that even slightly fit my qualifications.

My attitude, at that time, towards work was that it was a sucky thing you had to do for money. Money was required, and this world was set up poorly because of it. I didn’t even really WANT to work. I had never had a fun job.

My beliefs were that jobs were dull, you had to do what the boss says, and you get rewarded for your compliance with money and health care. SLAVE for money.

Heh heh.

If I was on a dating site, thinking a relationship was a required pain-in-the-ass but you need it to survive life, like the way I believed I was forced to work full time to survive in life….I’d be the worst partner ever. Desperate.

So who would I be without this terrible, disheartening, frightening story that I needed more money and definitely must have a job?

Kind of weird to wonder about NOT having this thought, when it appears you have a stack of bills, and debt, and you might even lose your house, right?

But let’s do it anyway.

It’s just an exercise in meditating on this very stressful belief about having to have a job, like I’m forced into something–I’m very small and tiny and needy, and life is big and dangerous and has the security–but only if you work and are willing to do things you don’t even care about doing.

Who would I be without that terrible attitude? Without the belief I’ve been abandoned? Without the belief that life is out to break me down into a pulp? That I’m on my way to losing it all?


Without that story?


I could see in that moment of no work, and the resentment chip on my shoulder (more like the size of a small boulder)….

….my mind was surrounded by a suffocating dark cloud when it came to thinking about work, jobs, house payments, bosses, office buildings.

So could I really go there, considering what it would be like without that story?

What if I just got here from another planet, and had no reference for jobs, working, interviews, resumes, applications, boredom at work, having to do what bosses tell you?

What if I had no history to compare to? What if I was in this position and it was a game, like landing here for the very first time, putting on a human suit, and seeing what I might conjure up when it comes to this whole money-job thing?

Oh…that’s what it would be like, without this dreadful thought I needed a job in order to survive!

I could take a deep breath, clap my hands together, and say “I’m in!”

I might think about working anywhere, without judgment. Maybe I’d ask way more people about work, and different people than I’d been asking. I could make an announcement in places I went every day, like the dance I attended each week and was trading work for my entrance fee. Or at the grocery store check out.

Maybe I’d send an email to everyone in my address book, and basically if it was a game where I had to move quickly, I might hit the streets and start asking everyone I ran into if they knew anyone who needed help. Perhaps I’d talk to the people at the bus stop, all of whom were headed at rush hour to jobs in downtown.

More and more ideas might pour into my mind, if my attitude was open, unafraid. Even if I didn’t get a job, I would know I went down doing my best….and that alone would feel good. It would make a great story.

She lived in the basement of her mother’s house, but only after going to 100 job interviews, handing out her resume to people walking the streets of downtown, asking for everyone’s attention at the local coffee shop and with a loud voice and a smile, saying I’m looking for work. 

Turns out….I never needed to all of those wild bold things, but without the belief I need a job and money like an emergency, terrified… mind got very creative. How fun to begin to brainstorm, just like all the engineers on the ground in Houston who were putting their minds together to bring Apollo 13 back to earth.

That’s who I was without my belief I need a job in order to survive. Excited. Confident. Ready to die trying. Willing.

Turning the thought around: I do NOT need a job or more money. A job needs me! (Turned out to be true). I already have a job, which is to question my fear in that situation, and live more joyfully. I choose to find a job and have fun acquiring money, not feel forced and like a victim about it.

If it had been my last day on earth….would I have wanted to be freaking out because I didn’t have a job?


I also imagined the beauty of the turnaround that I might go live with my mother. How could that be fantastic, like the best thing EVER?

I’d get to know my mom way more, in my 40s. She’d get to know these two grandchildren far better, my kids. We’d be getting to live in a 3-generation household. I’d downsize even more, and I love having few possessions and traveling light. I’d get to know a new neighborhood (where my mom lived) for daily walks. I’d do The Work on my mom and she’d do The Work on me, it could be brilliant for discovering and un-doing old beliefs about us both. I wouldn’t have a mortgage! I might find a job in that new neighborhood, maybe something I liked because I’d have more time to be selective.

If I don’t get a job soon, the WORST that could happen is having to move into my mom’s basement….turned around….the BEST that could happen is having to move into my mom’s basement!

Wow, that was starting to sound true!

When I got a job offer, only about a week later, I was practically disappointed I didn’t get to move in with my mom and take on that amazing adventure of being with her in a new and different way.

Can you find benefits for your worst fears coming true?

Can you feel the relief at not having the thought you Must Have a job yesterday? Can you find examples that you actually have a job right now….called questioning your suffering about work and money?

Who would you be without your story?

“My job is to delete myself. If there were a bumper sticker representing my life, it would say CTRL-ALT-DELETE: THEWORK.COM. That’s where I invite everyone to come join me. Join me and delete your own beautiful self. That’s the only place where we CAN meet. I call it love.” ~ Byron Katie in 1000 Names For Joy

Much love,


How do you know you really don’t need more money?

I love when people ask me to write about topics.

Someone recently asked if I could write about abundance, money and prosperity.

My favorite!

The thing is, it’s such a gigantic topic, fraught with peaks and valleys and swamps and dark forests, and wide open vistas….

….who knows where to begin?

Except, you do.

First, you can begin by writing down, almost in list form (in other words, you don’t need a lot of details), what you dislike about money, or what people do with it.

Then….get personal.

In relationship to ME, what do I find disturbing about money? Where don’t I feel prosperous? Where don’t I feel abundant, thriving, unfettered?

This can be in the past, or in the present (or even in the future, for that matter).

Then notice the simple, stressful thoughts arise:

  • I need more money


  • I should have more money
  • I want extra money
  • I want money enough to live here, go there, do this, buy that
  • he/she should give me money
  • I don’t want to work for money (or do x for money)
  • I HAVE TO do “x” because I need the money

It can feel like being in a prison camp.

That’s what a lovely inquirer shared with me recently, when it came to her job. She felt stuck, forced, and at her wit’s end. They wanted her to do certain things she hated doing. Ugh.

How do you react when you think you need the money, and it’s not here?

You do things you hate.

When I believed I needed more money, I felt such anxiety, I couldn’t sleep. I watched my bank account drain, without a job. I frantically applied for work, I went to interviews, I felt desperate.

But I also did The Work. I relaxed in between panic-stricken moments. I did the best I could, and then remembered, over and over again, that this was going to go as it did….that I was not personally in charge.

What I WAS in charge of, was my thinking. I could panic about my bank account draining, or I could do The Work.

Who would you be without the thought you need more money?

Any kind of more money, whether a little, or a lot? Even just a little more for that thing you’ve always wanted? Or enough extra to attend the School or a program you’ve always longed for?

Who would you be without the belief you need more money to do that, money that isn’t here?

Are you sure?


You mean, if I think of something really amazing that I’d love to do, have, see, participate in….and it costs money….I do NOT need more money in order to do it?

Could that be just as true, or truer?

Isn’t that a little more fun, to imagine ways to find it, obtain it, move towards it? Do you have all the facts? Have you asked for support, or information? How could you get that money you believe you want, or need? And are you sure you even really need to do that thing? LOL.

Who would you be without your story that NOW you need more money to drop on your head, this instant (the mind gets so impatient, doesn’t it)?

What if you turned all your thoughts around, about money?

  • money needs more of me (come out, come out, and play says money!)
  • money should have more of me (have you been hiding something?)
  • money wants extra of me (yes, bring out your gifts!)
  • I already have money enough to live here, go there, do this, buy that and, I don’t need money to do any of those things
  • I should give myself money, and they shouldn’t give me any (unless they do). I should give THEM money (that sounds kind, I love giving)
  • I WANT to work for money, it’s exciting! Work is play, I’ll play for money, and I sure don’t want to lie on the floor all day doing nothing–I like activity
  • I don’t HAVE to do anything, because I don’t need the money I can choose.
The thing I notice? This is a choice. I’m not a victim here. I’ve always been OK, never lying on the street with nothing. It’s only always been in my mind that I’ve been a victim.
Not in reality.
I notice the turnaround is truer, so much truer: I have everything I need. My life is full of abundance, love, people, kindness, sharing, support, shelter and food and clothing, adventure in the mind.
Not having much money, or enough to do those other things….
….best experience ever. 
Being at peace and feeling the security and love in my own heart, right where I am, no matter where I am. It was unbelievable to not have any money. An incredible scary part of the adventure, and amazing to see where it went. No money was required. I lived.
Any extra money, is only a bonus of icing on the cake of life. I LOVE knowing I don’t need any more money. (And sometimes I forget and start imagining I do, but that’s OK little mind, it likes to make up stories).
“How do I know I don’t need money? It’s gone.” ~ Byron Katie

Much love,


An inquiry per day keeps the freak-out away!

Question daily. Discover the truth. (And ask for what you want)!

And now for some more mental spring cleaning.

Yesterday the Money Inquirers met for the last time to listen, share and inquire into troubling money situations.

These can seem almost infinite.

Everyone got to fill out a Judge Your Neighbor worksheet on a stressful moment with money, and then we heard three wonderfully different and common, powerful stressful situations with money.

1) I just got hired, ready to start my first day of training….and they email me to say oops, the previous employee is taking the position, sorry!

2) I’ve started a business, I have tons of training and experience, and I’m anxious about my hourly rate. I want it low to make it work for everyone. (But will people think it’s TOO LOW and not trust my expertise?)

3) My neighbor knows I’ve got money and don’t have to work at a job….but I resent her sending a donation envelope for her charity without ever getting to know me personally! She shouldn’t ask!

Aren’t these fantastic??!

Do they help you think about your own moments with money, and other people, and other people’s money or needs….or work, career, savings accounts, hopes and dreams?

The thing is, your money story can be so stressful you’re freaking out about it, and not even sleeping at night. And this goes for people who have a ton of money, or people who have very little.

So let’s take just one, through the process of inquiry.

Because an inquiry per day, keeps the freak-out away! (Kinda like an apple a day keeps the doctor away).

I’ve had every single one of these thoughts above….and many that these brave inquirers found on their fully written worksheets on their stressful situations.

Here’s the one that bubbled to the surface for me: he shouldn’t ask me for money.

Oh boy.

We were in a restaurant, and a whole bunch of people ordered different things, with separate checks for all. But my husband and I have been to that restaurant many times before, with the same awesome friends even, and we always combine our bill.

I ordered quite a bit more. He wasn’t eating a full meal.

Later, he asked if I could contribute for my share. He had kindly pulled out his card and paid the whole thing, including whatever I ordered.

I felt a little embarrassed for not thinking of it. And OK, I’ll admit it, a little disappointed. Like a little secret hope that this person, called husband, will pick up the tab.

Not long ago, a beautiful inquirer had a worksheet on HER partner, and how he asked for her to pay two-thirds of the grocery expenses since she had a kid from her previous marriage who was a 19 year old young man….who let’s face it, probably eats a whole lot.

These requests are completely fair, no question.

But this inquiry is for that little part that wants Someone Else to pick up the extra, or Not Mind about paying a little more. Someone Else shouldn’t care about that money. There should be a financial special benefit for sharing in partnership…..called they chip in more-than-whats-fair sometimes.

Yeah, that’s it…..Someone should want to treat me. He shouldn’t ask for money. She shouldn’t ask for money.

You can find your own situation where you’ve had this thought. Maybe it’s with a tattered person with a cardboard sign being a little aggressive on the corner.

Is it true?

Yes! Waaaaaah! I don’t like them asking! They really shouldn’t!


Can you absolutely know that it’s true?

No. Not at all. I’ve wanted independence, freedom, clarity, and not to have any expectations about financial support….but to find my own strength and connection with money, and my own answers.

Who would you be without this story of wanting Someone to Not Ask?

I’d notice them asking.

I’d consider their question, freely, openly.

If I have a “no” for the answer and it seems fair (like someone asking for charity for example) then I tell the truth…..”NO”.

Byron Katie, talking with an inquirer upset about her grown young adult son asking her for money: “Let’s role play. You be your son, and I’ll be you, OK?”

Inquirer: Mom, can you give me some money? I want to buy some killer sunglasses.

Katie: No.


Inquirer: But MOM! You’ve always given me money!

Katie: Honey, that’s absolutely true. I always have so far. And today, I’m not. I was lying in the past.

Inquirer: Dad gives me money, and more than you.

Katie: Isn’t that wonderful?

Inquirer: You’re selfish!

Katie: I know! I finally realized I’m very, very selfish! I haven’t been telling the truth, I’ve been all twisted up about saying “no” and I’ve said “yes” instead. From now on, I want to be fully honest. I love you very much, and I’m not giving you any money.


My mind has an Ah-Ha moment listening to this conversation (all paraphrased by the way, by me).

I become aware that it’s beautiful, and normal, and REALITY to be selfish and to ask for what I want.

It doesn’t even have to be fair, or equal, or just.

Anyone’s allowed to ask for whatever they want to ask for.

Anyone’s also allowed to say “no” to anyone asking. And if I feel worried about saying “no” I can question why it’s scary, or what I think it means about me that’s painful.

Turning the thought around: He should ask me for money. She should ask for money. I shouldn’t ask ME for money (expecting me to say yes when I don’t mean it). I shouldn’t ask them for money. 

This doesn’t mean none of this should ever happen, it’s just seeing the advantages or examples of when they do.

If there really is no “should” or “shouldn’t” about what’s happening with money….who knows what is possible.

Now, here’s the actual truth of this situation with husband.

Several years ago when we met and into our dating (second marriage for both), I asked him if he would be willing to be the one to pay when we went to restaurants. I said I would pay him back, and pay for my part equally if he wanted it later, but I really would love him to pick up the tab and take out the credit card and be the one to have a wallet on him and make the actual payment on location.

I loved not having to remember to bring my purse. I loved someone else saying “I got it”. Maybe a little goofy, and old-fashioned. Or a lot.

But he agreed. This recent situation was one of the few times he said “I could use a contribution”. And honestly, he didn’t even ask me for exactly all of my portion of the bill.

So yeah.

Reality is kinder than my thoughts about it. Way.

“Everything turns out to be a gift–that’s the point. Everything that you saw as a handicap turns out to be the extreme opposite. But you can only know this by staying in your integrity, by going inside and finding out what your own truth is–not the world’s truth. And then it is all revealed to you. There isn’t anything you have to do. The only thing you’re responsible for is your own truth in the moment, and inquiry brings you to that.” ~ Byron Katie in 1000 Names For Joy

Much love,


Can you breathe in and out happily, while holding money?

Oh no! Stop. Is it true?

You would think.

After all the “work” I’ve done on Money.

Which includes most recently, this past month of January in Year of Inquiry AND a new class on inquiring about money underway….

….you would THINK I’d feel happy all the time about money and whatever it’s doing. Or un-flummoxed. Liberated. Care-free.

(Questioning that you should feel happy and care-free about anything, when you don’t, is REALLY powerful. But that’s another inquiry).

The check arrived in the mail yesterday afternoon Fed Ex with a tap on the door. I opened it to see only the cardboard large envelope lying on the front porch and the Fed Ex driver already jumping back up inside his truck.

Opening it, I realized the endless refinancing project, which just took six long months, has completed. In the smooth envelope was a check. A chunk of “cash out” as they call it while refinancing the cottage I live in with my very darling husband Jon. We applied for extra loan money to build a little house for my mother in her final years, in our back yard.

Permits have been researched, the plans begun, ideas shared, architect consulted. It’s a good idea. We don’t have quite enough, we’ll have to save some, but we’ve been excited and talking about this with the whole family for a long time.

And yet….in the car on the way to deposit the check in the bank, I began to have pictures of going backwards into debt.

My dream of paying off a whole house mortgage just got farther away. Thoughts were born like rabbits, in the course of a 20 minute drive, me holding the check in my hand.

I’ll be working for 30 years to pay off this mortgage now. I didn’t do this whole thing all by myself. That would have been a real success. I want to leave this little cottage to my kids debt-free, its my only asset. I’ll be working until I’m 80. I can’t rest. I’ll never have the joy of No House Loan. Why didn’t I pay more attention and focus on earning and paying off the mortgage long ago? 

This is terrible.

I went silent, clutching the check, sweat starting to form on my forehead.

My husband, who was happy and celebratory, wondered what was wrong and asked me a few questions (he’s very patient).

Inside my head “WHAT HAVE I DONE?! OMG!!!”

Fortunately, another voice also rose in the mind, saying “Are you sure this is bad news?”

Who would you be without these thoughts? Without this massively weighty and sad story?


Realizing a part of my mind is having a Buyers Remorse Hissy Fit.

Call the Fire Department! I’ve gotten a LOAN I have promised to pay back!

Deep breath.

Without the thought, I’d notice the quiet car as I gaze out the window from the passenger seat, the gentleness of the day and the air I’m breathing. I’d notice the red lights of other car tail lights sharing the road, leading the way in front of us. I’d hear the support of my husband’s voice.

I’d remember the very inquiry one of the adorable inquirers I heard and her voice as SHE did The Work only 2 days ago on the thought “I will ALWAYS need money” and the excitement I felt at the time noticing how always needing money could be as wonderful and light as always needing air.

It’s not like I’m thinking I’m responsible for the air every day, like I have to “work” for it OR ELSE….

….even though it is actually true that I need it to live, it appears.

Without the thought this has anything to do with me personally, and my survival. I’d be relaxed, comfortable, even joyful to share this moment with my husband who I’m for the first time officially sharing a house payment with since we got married almost 5 years ago.

Nothing. Is. Wrong.

Turning the thought around: This is a wonderful thing that is happening. I am going forward, not backwards, in sharing. I’m supporting myself and those around me. I am paying my financial debt and money is giving me joyful connection with family and being with my mom as she ages. I have no idea how long I’ll be working, or what the future will entail. And by the way, I LOVE my work. (Jeez, good point). It’s not exactly “working” it’s more like playing, loving, and being with the world in a way I never thought possible.


Isn’t that truer?


“People talk about self-realization, and this is it. Can you just breathe in and out happily? Who cares about enlightenment when you’re happy right now? Just enlighten yourself to this moment. Can you just do that? And then, eventually, it all collapses. The mind merges with the heart and comes to see that it’s not separate. It finds a home, and it rests in itself, as itself.” ~ Byron Katie in Loving What Is pg. 306 

Much love,


The urge to do the thing….and avoid inquiry. You’re not alone.

But I’m running. I can’t do The Work right now. You have no idea how busy I am….Are you sure you have to Do The Thing and Not The Work?

I was so touched by the inquirers doing The Work on money this month, both in the Year of Inquiry group (it’s our topic all of January) and in the collection of people who showed up to participate, listen and contemplate money just yesterday in the 4 week Money and The Work class.

One important part of doing The Work on a big topic, or any really troubling reliably stressful topic in your life is…..

….drum roll please….

….DOING The Work.

In other words, sitting down, writing out the thoughts you’re experiencing in your mind no matter how childish and frightening, and then taking them through the inquiry process.

And it’s weird how hard it is all on your own for some of us, right?

Sitting on my own couch, or lying in bed, or moving about my living room, or going to the store to get groceries, doing laundry, working, being busy with life, picking up kids from school, putting together meals, talking to the son and daughter at college, preparing for the next workshop or retreat….

….there’s a commenter looking on, noticing what you’re doing.

And at the same time, there are voices saying to Get Busy, Keep Moving, You-Have-To-Do-That-Thing.

Do the thing! Do the thing! Do the thing!

Don’t sit down and wonder about a stressful thought. Get over it!

But has this worked?

Maybe for a temporary time. Maybe you get distracted pretty well, in fact…but then here it comes again. That dreaded stressful thought.

Those thoughts, for example, about money. Not enough. Might make a mistake. Can’t get what I need. I want more.

Today I suggest taking a moment to sit down. You can get up again if it’s torturous. But maybe you can also handle it? Maybe it’s OK to really see what it is you’re thinking about a difficult situation?

Start with the Judge Your Neighbor worksheet questions. That’s what everyone did in the money class. We found a situation where we were troubled with money, and focusing on money itself, wrote a worksheet, wrote out those thoughts.

NOW….you’ve got some good work cut out for you. Like someone sewing together some lovely pieces of cloth that don’t yet look so good, all cut out but not built yet, not made into a new suit of clothing, no fine threads, no tiny segments decorated, no real usefulness. Not yet.

But the good news is, you’ve got the Four Questions, and you only need to go through them, slowly, one at a time.

In the new money class I’ve invited everyone to do The Work this week on the thoughts they found. Whether you’re in the group class or not, why not do The Work on one thought every day from your worksheet?

Who knows what kind of new suit you’ll be wearing by the end of the week, with this kind of lazer focused investigating and “working”.

“For some of us, life is controlled by our thoughts about work and money. But if our thinking is clear, how could work or money be a problem? Our thinking is all we need to change. It’s all we CAN change. This is very good news.” ~ Byron Katie in Loving What Is

If you find it very difficult to sit with your own busy mind and question it, you’re not alone (I know the feeling! Oy!). Call the Help Line, find a facilitator, get a friend or family member to ask you the questions without giving any advice. Put on a timer and allow yourself to sit for whatever you think you can stand–you might surprise yourself.

Who would you be without your story?

Much love,


Money Problems, Thinking Problems (class starts tomorrow)

I’ve been deep immersed in Eating Peace retreat. We stay together all day, even for meals, so we’re either doing The Work, or eating together, sharing in circle together, or walking in silence, or connecting honestly to our own movement and bodies through dance (yes!), or watching Katie on video, from morning until bedtime.

I chuckled when someone said…”Wait, no break?”

I’m not sure how this happened, but because we eat together and it’s a very important part of the retreat, we’re mostly simply together.

Except for this small window before our last day, when I’m writing this and getting ready for the next thing.

Which is the Money Teleclass (Noon-1:30 pm Mondays starting tomorrow for 4 weeks). It’s by donation, so if you want to do The Work on money, join me.

Someone in the Eating Peace Retreat asked me this wonderful question: Have you ever tied together money and food thoughts and ideas?

Have I ever!

I always wanted more of both!

And while I thought more money was “good” and less food was “good”… was basically a stressful, tentative, nervous relationship with both.

Sitting with people in The Work for several days, sinking into the question “who would I be without this thought?” over and over….

….what a brilliant, beautiful, liberating exercise.

We’ll be wondering the same question about money during the teleclass.

My favorite place to start is at the beginning, with one stressful situation where money played a role. You’ll know where to begin.

“Abundance has nothing to do with money.  Money is not your business; truth is your business.  I am not going to get wealth on the other side of the truth; I am going to get something much more important than that, something so powerful that everything else looks like nothing.  But as long as I think it should look like money, I am cheating myself.” ~ Byron Katie

Much love,


P.S. I’d love to have you in the 4 week money class.

You’re the one you’ve been waiting for….not the house, not the money

Moving….if it’s sad, do The Work and move peacefully on the inside as well as out.

Money telecourse 4 Mondays starting January 23rd, noon-1:30 pm Pacific Time. Read about it here. Anyone welcome.

Speaking of money.

Last week a lively group of inquirers gathered for the monthly Living Turnarounds private group here in my cottage.

As people did their work, wondering about these experiences with others, noticing the reactions, imagining who they’d be without their thoughts….

….I remembered situations of my own.

The moment a lover is leaving, an uncomfortable request from a sister, a son getting lost in drugs, a grandson triggering frustration, worrying about our kid’s school, arguing with our spouse.

And money….losing it, wanting it, trying to get it, feeling furious about it.

Money is the topic of this month in Year of Inquiry, and I’m also doing a 4 week by-donation telecourse on Mondays starting on January 23rd Noon-1:30 Pacific Time.

Because money, it seems, is a huge biggie source of stress, pain, suffering, worry and fret.

I’ve met people with almost unlimited quantities of money, people who make money in business or real estate, people who inherit money, people who have very little money, people who lost money, or a house, or possessions they deeply loved because not enough money, people who live practically without any money at all.

What I see in reality, is there isn’t a direct tie between happiness and money, and unhappiness and lack of money.

But I’ve really thought it was true, in the past, that my happiness depended on having “enough” money (with “enough” being a little foggy or hard to pin down).

A memory.

I’m in my old house (one of them, I’ve lived in quite a few). It’s a beautiful house. It’s quite possibly my favorite house, besides my childhood home, (and my current cute adorable cottage) that I’ve ever lived in.

It’s big, but not pretentious at all. Built in the 1960s and thoroughly updated from top to bottom. It’s elegant, tucked away with an astonishing 40 year old bamboo wall along a secluded deck, surrounded by old growth cedar trees beyond that. Too dark, some might say. But inside the layout is lovely, with skylights, a big master bedroom with a gorgeous wooden ceiling, two lovely additional bedrooms all looking into lush ferns and forest, a big full basement that can serve as an entire brightly lit apartment.

Large floor to ceiling windows fill the living room space, and the 1960s stone fireplace and mantle. All the doors and closets and windows are stunningly high quality.

I lost that home.

Here comes the thought again.

Like a splinter. All the memories race through. I remember feeling anxious about the monthly payment, worrying about the failed septic tank, fearing a future massively expensive sewer hook-up requirement, terrified of not being able to pay. It’s too much, it’s too much.

Thoughts racing back then, like “we would be better off with something more modest” and other more painful thoughts like “we don’t actually deserve this house”.

As if it shows we’re better off than we actually are. It’s too much, it’s too much.

Images of deciding, with then-husband, to sell it before we get stuck with a big bill. We will sell it and walk away and no longer be terrified of large expenses or big monthly mortgage payments. We’ll be relieved! It will be worth the pain!

Someone comes along who wants to buy this house, never even put it on the market, and things move quickly….

….“Wait. Nevermind! I didn’t mean it! We don’t really want to sell!” I want to cry. But I’m embarrassed to change my mind. I push through. I must be tough. It’s the “right” thing to do.

I didn’t lose it. I gave it away. I walked away from something wonderful, because I was too afraid.

Ugh. This is even MORE stressful.

I made a mistake.

Let’s do The Work!

Is it true, that I made a mistake in selling that beautiful house?

Yes, yes, yes. It was so amazing to find it. There were magical coincidences upon moving in. A car we bought turned out to be owned by a woman who grew up in that house, whose father built that house with his own hands. A famous local mountain climber.

Wow….we own his house? We didn’t even know it when we bought it! This is incredible! We are so lucky! What serendipity!

Pictures of the parties in that house move through my mind. The guests we invited to stay, the meetings–I was not ashamed to volunteer my house to have them in, the strangers we welcomed, the Christmas Eve annual breakfasts for tons of friends and family.

I made such a mistake. A horrible mistake. Surely that’s true?

Can I absolutely know this?


I can’t know more than reality or God or all the mysterious forces involved. I can’t know it didn’t support the people who bought the house, my kids, the divorce in the future that happened only two years later, the collapse of everything that led to all that brought me to here where I am now.

How do I react when I believe “I made a mistake”.

It’s a crushing thought, when you believe it.

People believe they’ve lost relationships, family members, their country, money, jewelry, photos, precious mementos, jobs, houses, cars, reputations, their whole lives as they knew it….

….and they feel devastated.

I felt the flare up, after that very powerful afternoon when all the inquirers came over to do their precious work, as in my mind I remembered again that house.

Never will I get it back.

If only I had been more confident, more aware. If only I had had The Work at the time. I got the book Loving What Is when living in that house. Why couldn’t I have sat down and “done” The Work? Why did it seem too hard to follow? Too confusing and too complicated?

I feel desperate when I believe I made a mistake. Crushed by my own decisions. I did it. Responsible.

So who would I be without this vicious, difficult, despairing thought that I made a mistake? Without the belief I could have done it differently? Or that I want a do-over?

If I couldn’t have this story at all….what would it be like?

Without the thought that I made a mistake with money and gave up on staying in my own home?

I’d relax.

I’d settle down and let the silence of this moment hold me close.

I’d notice I have a cute little place to live, and that house I once lived in rarely comes to mind. I’d appreciate the visions and memories of being so young and agile, and willing to move about and walk away.

I’d enjoy that ultimately my desire is to be peaceful, and this life, like that house, is not “mine” in any permanent way.

I’d remember suddenly all the people I love, many of whom I had not seen in years, contributed to me getting back on my feet again only about 4-5 years later. I had solid evidence of the kindness of the world….and I would have missed this, without that previous experience.

I’d be aware of the incredible freedom of having very few things, of owning little, of starting one’s life all over again from scratch.

I’d remember, without the thought that I made a mistake, the moment quite a few years ago now, when I facilitated a lovely young woman who had lost her house she inherited and decorated with yellow curtains, and her pain and misery of self-inflicted anger. I’d remember how she came to me to question her deeply painful thought, and she helped me by honestly sharing her story.

Turning the thought around:

I did not make a mistake. I made a correction. “I” did not make any mistake. It was done for me, supporting me in an incredible adventure to self-inquiry and truth.

“Just keep on coming home to yourself. You are the one you’ve been waiting for.” ~ Byron Katie

I’m not waiting for a house to come back, or enough money, or the right job, or the perfect partner, or the great success story.

Only to question what I believe is true, when it hurts….

….and open up to a different world, without stories of loss and mistakes repeated over and over again like an alarm that won’t switch off.

Finally, my favorite and most astonishing part of all, when it comes to The Work. This other kind of turnaround:

I am willing to make the same kind of “mistake” again. To lose my house. To make what appears to be a “bad” decision. To think of myself as too small and unworthy. To choose to lower stress, remain out of debt, respect money, do what I think’s best even if I don’t know for sure, even if it means heartache.

Why not. It could happen. (Roseanne, Rosanna Danna).

But even more than being willing, how could I look forward to it!?!

Why is it a good thing I don’t live in that house now, and I made that correction which involved leaving it?

Sometimes, this takes some important concentration to begin. But here it comes, I can see the examples:

I don’t have to clean a big house, or vacuum all that carpet. There are no enormous expenses with a very tiny house like the one I live in now. When my kids are home, or family or friends are over, we’re all together in this little cottage, because there’s no other place to go. There was no suffering about who got that pretty house in the divorce. The people who moved in were thrilled.

Nothing changed in my location, I live so close by. It was very tucked away and isolated and dark, now I’m out in the bright open street facing south. Visitors to the old house had to park several blocks away and walk. I would have never lived here where I live now, and found this place where I can live all the rest of the days of my life into old lady age without ever moving or “downsizing” again.

I’ve had fabulous neighbors I would never have met.

I might have continued ever-thinking that houses are required for happiness.

Who would you be without your terribly painful thought that something or someone got away, and you lost it, or made the mistake that caused it to happen?

Perhaps feeling the abundance of what is permanent….which isn’t a thing or a person or a place or a condition. Excited for the taste of having nothing from this earth stay with me forever, which is where we’re all going eventually anyway.

Questioning that thought that I made a mistake, and lost something?


Much love,


P.S. If you notice a stressful thought or two or eight-hundred about money, join the 4 week money class.

I should be different… that true, given the story I’m believing?

I should be different when it comes to “x”. What if this isn’t true, for some important reason?

It’s weird how agonizing thoughts that conflict with one another can be sometimes.

On the one hand, I know it would be great to lift weights again. It’s been a few years. You’re supposed to lift weights when you get older, right? Build calcium or something?

On the other hand, how boring can you get…..lifting weights, ugh.

I remember being in a decision dilemma about my old job.

On the one hand, I’ve got great health care benefits, awesome co-workers and boss, nice environment (there’s a fountain named Grace on the campus, how sweet is that?) and a solid paycheck every two weeks.

On the other hand, I commute every day sometimes for an hour, I don’t have enough time for my other pursuits including my business, the actual work is kind of boring.

You could go this way.

Or you could go that way.

You’re free to make the decision. You’re completely and utterly free to do as you wish.

Or…..are you?

What if you feel uncomfortable or stuck, but for some weird reason, you do NOT make a move, or make a change?

What if you’re believing an underlying stressful story, and you’re not even brightly aware of the story?

(What if all you do is attack yourself viciously….why can’t you fix this, or move on, or stop thinking about it, wake up, get a grip, CHANGE?! Jeez! Fume, fume, fume.)

But what if there are a few things to explore and dig into under the surface, things you may find a little uncomfortable to address or even “see” in the first place, that all contribute to this stuck-ness you’re experiencing?

What if there was something that yelling at yourself was hiding?

For example….eating too much.

(I know, my favorite topic, what can I say….I was a nut case for years with eating).

You know you should lose weight, you know it doesn’t serve you to binge-eat, you know you need to stop starving yourself to death and then overeating, you know you need to quit the junk food at night….

….and you might even do The Work on some of the thoughts that appear, such as “I should lose weight” or “I need to eat that food” or “I should go outside and exercise” or “I’m a loser” and find the turnarounds and notice, nothing changes.

Not that there’s anything wrong with doing The Work on those powerful and stressful beliefs.

However….your mind may be brilliantly distracting you with these first thoughts that appear. The ways to FIX this situation. It’s off the to races on what you need to do, say, think, feel in order to change this (especially the “do” part), without really looking deeply at what’s actually going on for you.

So of course, when you fall into this “FIX IT NOW” way of viewing your problem, when you have urgency and fear about your situation or condition, the weird thing is often when there are underlying beliefs that oppose the surface beliefs…..not much may change.

Fear kind of has a way of blocking things from sight. Clever energy, fear.

I speak for myself.

Some time ago, as I’ve mentioned before, I had a raging eating disorder.

Can you imagine how many times I said “I am going to stop this” (starving, overeating, binge-eating)? Yes. about a million.

It was not until someone very wise got to know me, and cared about me, and suggested I might be adapting to something completely different that had nothing to do with food and eating….that I began to consider what it was like to be close with people.

What was I afraid of, that overrode the desire to stop the insane cycle of eating the way I did?

What was the worst that could happen, if I DID stop binge-eating?

You might ask yourself a similar question, even if you don’t have an eating issue: What’s the WORST that could happen if I quit my job, do what I want to do, leave home, start a business, go to the gym, write every day, lose weight, quit drinking coffee?

But those things are all soooooo wonderful. I should do them, it will be good for me, I’ll succeed.

Are you absolutely sure?

Long ago, I discovered that I was actually nauseated to confront someone in my group therapy and tell the truth and speak directly to them about what I wasn’t comfortable with. If someone confronts me, I still feel anxious initially, even now.

If someone says what they don’t like, and I’ve done it, I feel terrified of disappointing them. I feel frightened they’ll attack me, or slink away and never talk with me again.

I was so very committed to NOT BEING A DISRUPTIVE or MEAN or UNLIKABLE or REJECTABLE person, I would do anything, including not actually have friends and eat in secret instead.

Anything to avoid being dismissed or disliked. Anything to get rid of anger and rage (overeating really helped, and vomiting too). Anything to slip under the radar of the judgments of others (namely, mom, dad, grandparents). Anything to stay as safe as possible, in an unsafe, judging world.

Including risk my life by stuffing myself with food and forcing myself to vomit or exercise like a maniac.

You might not have such an extreme case of avoidant beliefs, but if you have something you keep repeating, or don’t act upon, or don’t do even though you know you’d feel happier (you think) or some way you procrastinate, hurt yourself, avoid action….

….there may be a very important frightening story you’d kinda sorta rather not look at, if you please.

But looking will make all the difference.

Not long ago, I realized I have been carrying the thought around “if I stop and slow down, it could be dangerous (money loss, failure, boredom, lack of creativity, fading into oblivion). So I really need to keep up this pace and work all the time. No extra meditations. No reading for pleasure. No netflix. No movies. Morning coffee required.

Who would I be without that story?

“Your suffering may be caused by a thought that interprets what happened, rather than the thought you wrote down….When your statement is about something you think you don’t want, read it and imagine the worst outcome that reality could hand you. Imagine your worst fears lived out on paper. Be thorough. Take it to the limit.” ~ Byron Katie in Loving What Is 

This work is not always easy. I notice, there’s sometimes initial resistance and refusal inside me to want to look.

It’s like…..NOOOOOOOOO.

And then, when there’s no other alternative (there isn’t, unless I prefer to suffer)…..The Work.

Much love,


P.S. One spot just opened up in the Eating Peace Retreat–a cancellation. If eating, food or your body image is one of your dilemmas, we’re going in to find out what we’re believing, and what’s really true. Join me January 19-22 in Seattle. To find out more, visit here.


P.P.S. If money is a problem, I’m doing a 4 week money class by donation. To read about it and to sign up, visit here.