I was rejected

I wrote a long, friendly email. I sent it off. I expected a great response. A thumbs up. Instead….a no thank you. That won’t work for me.


Nothing like it.

We’re not talking failure. Or being forgotten. Or losing out.


The word comes from the Latin word re, which means “back”, and jacere which means “to throw”. Throw back.

Like something you caught and you think…..ew. Gross. Get rid of it.

When we reject something, we notice it, and actually wish it was gone, or that we need to make it go away if at all possible.

Experiencing rejection is tough.

Energy coming from something else or someone else directed towards me, saying “get outta here!”

He rejected me. She rejected me. They rejected me.

Are you actually rejected though?

Can you absolutely be sure?


Because I’m still existing. I live. I go about my daily life. They rejected me (I believe) but I’m still here, on planet earth. I can’t absolutely know I am rejected entirely, fundamentally, forever. I’m not even sure what that would look like….death? Banishment?

How do I react when I believe it’s possible to be rejected?


I’m very, very careful to never be rejected again. I’m cautious. I stay away from certain places, or people. I act non-rejectable. I get drawn to whatever people look like they are accepting, rather than rejecting.

I’m angry about rejection. I’m furious! I think righteously about that nasty person and what a nut-job they are. I defend myself. I’m the one who’s fine. THEY are the rejecting screw-ball. See what they’re like? I make a list of their faults. I reject them.

Who would I be without the belief they rejected me?

Wait, what?


No really. Without the belief they rejected you? There they are being themselves, doing whatever they did, saying whatever they said….but you have no thought about it. You don’t know it means REJECTION.

What would that be like?

I’d see a person over there who’s acting frightened, maybe confused. Doing the best they can.

I’m over here, steady on, breathing, even open, curious.

Turning the thought around: they did NOT reject me. How could this be just as true, or truer? Even if they said “no” to you.

Well, I’m sitting in my lovely chair in my living room, looking out at the night sky beyond the window, noticing the quiet, the string lights illuminating the room. Not rejected. Living. Here.

I see that person was afraid, too. The one who I believe rejected me.

Turning it around again: I rejected myself. I rejected THEM. 

Oh wow.

How did I reject myself in this situation? How did I reject them?

This is not an exercise of aggression and self-criticism. It’s for taking a look at what could also be true, and seeing this energy called “rejection” and relaxing with it, instead of fighting it.

How could I have rejected myself, in that situation, and rejected that other person?

I did rip that person to shreds in my mind, calling them “needy” and “rude” and “too sensitive”. I rejected myself by finding criticism in the way I interacted with that other person. I had thoughts like “I should have known they would be rude” when I couldn’t ever have known what they were feeling. I had thoughts about myself like “I’m an idiot” when I really was just trying the best I could.

This rejection thing I did to me, to them….just as much as I believed they did it to me.

The best way I know to find peace with this thought about being rejected, is to question it, and then live the turnaround “I am accepted”.

How is it you are acceptable? How is it you are supported, claimed, held, loved? Even in the midst of that person who is supposedly doing a rejecting thing.

I am accepted. 

Can you keep finding examples?

“You need our approval, is it true? Can you absolutely know that it’s true you need our approval? What happens to your life when you believe you need our approval? Do you become the person THEY want you to be? You lose touch with yourself! The person you become, you don’t like. No wonder we don’t like ourselves. The person we don’t like isn’t us, it’s our facade. It’s what you pretended to be, to get our approval! But no matter what facade you put up, often you don’t get our approval anyway, and you certainly don’t get yours.” ~ Byron Katie

Much love,


P.S. Seattle area inquirers: this coming Sunday meetup 4-6 pm at Goldilocks Cottage! Drop in, open group by donation. Let’s do The Work! For information visit HERE.

They’re giving me the Silent Treatment!

LIVE Facebook Friday (today!) at 11:30 am Pacific Time. The topic this time is why not to do The Work on YOURSELF….why look outside yourself to judgment (which we’re taught NEVER to do). I’ll share at the end about the upcoming Year of Inquiry program which is starting in a month.

If you don’t know about how to watch a facebook live event, it’s a simple way to use a phone video camera to connect with everyone right on facebook. It’s completely LIVE, as in Real Time. The way you can participate and watch, while it’s happening, is on my facebook page: Head over to WorkWithGrace on Facebook. (Like the page while you’re there, it helps spread the word).

Year of Inquiry is a remarkable program where you get to question your stressful beliefs for an entire year, with an amazing group of people. We learn to “be” our honest selves, and question what we think is wrong with life, in any way whatsoever. Including ourselves.

As a preview to help with deepening our internal work, I’m offering my free masterclass immersion: TEN BARRIERS that BLOCK THE WORK on August 22nd at 8:30 am Pacific Time (like, for example, feeling horribly embarrassed and ashamed you’ve screwed up–that would be Barrier #8). The class is 2 hours long with a huge amount of information.

There will be a Q & A at the very end of the Immersion Class on 8/22 about the new Year of Inquiry starting September 5th. Register for the free immersion class right HERE. It will be recorded, so if you can’t attend, you’ll receive the link for the replay. Feel free to share this with anyone you know who may be interested.


Speaking of feeling ashamed that you’ve done something wrong….I noticed this appeared twice in recent group inquiries in Summer Camp for The Mind which is underway right now.

And then, it appeared again when working with a lovely inquirer only yesterday.

The situation: someone didn’t show up, someone said “no” in a harsh way, someone gave you the silent treatment.

You’re upset with them, even angry. And you’re also wondering if YOU are the kind of person who does something to deserve being stood up.

The mind moves into thoughts like “this always happens to me” or “I must be communicating poorly” or “I’m obviously an idiot” or “I make arrangements with the wrong kinds of people”.

You just get an overall feeling you’re wrong, bad, off, screwing up.

Even if you also blame that other person over there for not being responsible or reliable, there’s an attack on the self.

What I appreciate noticing about the Attack of The Self, is it comes out of a stressful thought about someone else. So, it’s a reaction to another stressful belief you’re assuming is true. If you were happily going about your business with absolutely no one else around, you wouldn’t feel this cutting self-criticism.

They’re giving me the silent treatment (no show, no response, no communication). 

It means lots of bad things, including this thing about me that I must be asking for it or creating it somehow.

But let’s take a look at the original thought, that this silent non-communicative experience is terrible….and that other person is giving it to me.

Is it true they’re giving you the silent treatment?


I’ve reached out. I’ve left messages. I’ve emailed. Nada.

Can you absolutely know it’s true?

Well….they could be frightened, or not know what to say, or be too angry to return my call. There’s that. It wouldn’t exactly be “giving” me the silent treatment on purpose, just for the heck of it. There’s a reason this silence is happening, and it may have something to do with them, not just me.

It might not be such a bad thing, compared to the alternative. It might not mean what I think it means.

How do you react when you believe they’re giving you the silent treatment?

Depressed. Self-condemning. Furious.

Going over the exchanges prior to the silence–what was said, or expected, in the past? Deciding that person is rude, obnoxious, screwed up. Ripping them to shreds in my mind.

Not enjoying the moment, that’s for sure.

So who would you be without this very stressful belief that they are giving you the silent treatment, and it’s awful? Without the thought it means something bad about you, or about anyone, or about life?


You mean the silent treatment could be fine, or not a problem, or not so big a deal?

Who would I be, what would I be, how would I sit with that moment of No Person showing up, No Phone call coming in, No Text, No Email, No Letter, No Knock On The Door? What would that be like, to not fret about this thing called Silent Treatment?

I’d notice the present moment. The room I’m surrounded by, the chair I’m sitting in, the brightness of the day, the great quiet of the moment. Except in my thoughts, everything is very sweet and quiet.

Without the thought, I’d be free, and peaceful, and curious about that person I’m wondering about from time to time.

I’d trust that not everyone is supposed to be in communication with me at every moment. It’s better that way. Pausing, sabbaticals, rest, total silence is highly desirable, honestly. Why not right now?

Turning the thought around: I am giving myself the silent treatment (no show, no response, no communication). 

Haha! Yes. I’m locked in on the stories of being ignored, or shunned, or avoided, or abandoned. My mind is full of horror stories of sadness, disappointment, loss, rejection. I’m feeding myself these images. I’m believing they’re true. I’m not communicating any love, responsiveness. I’m not showing up for me.

Turning it around again: That person is NOT giving me the silent treatment.

How could this be just as true, or truer?

Well, I see how wonderful my life, and how full, in this very moment. No absence, no abandonment, unless I believe in it. I’m sitting in my favorite chair, in my gorgeous little cottage. I have friends and family to connect with who are super cool and very supportive.

Perhaps noise, or conversation, is not required in the moment.

It isn’t.

How do I know?

That’s what is happening. It’s reality.

Turning it around again: I am giving that other person the silent treatment.

I know this can feel untrue, given you have reached out and that other person is not responding.

How could it be just as true that YOU are being silent? What are you being silent about? What have you not shared? What have you withheld? Where have you not communicated, or shown up, or responded freely and honestly?


I have not said the truth to that person many times. I haven’t reached out when I’ve been upset. I haven’t said when I’m genuinely angry. I haven’t spoken up about my own preferences, I haven’t spoken up or asked questions when I’m curious or confused. I haven’t said what scares me, or what I’d prefer to change about our relationship.

I haven’t shared honestly.

Who’s the person who’s given the Silent Treatment?

Oh. That would be me.

To myself, to the other person.

“This is the end of the war inside you. I’m a lover of reality. How do I know I’m better off with what is? It’s what is.” ~ Byron Katie in Loving What Is

We’ve been taught we’re being given the Silent Treatment and that this is VERY BAD.

But that’s a very fearful story.

Without this story, you may notice the reality that whatever is happening is Reality’s way: Support. A break. Quiet. Time to do The Work.

Without my story of being stood up, forgotten, given silence (oh bad)….I love reality.

Much love,


P.S. Come see how the problem is not you….it’s only your stressful thinking. Join me in the Immersion Class on August 22nd 8:30 am Ten Barriers to The Work and How To Dissolve Them. Click HEREto register.

No one can deprive you of water. Or love.

Sibling rivalry.

We’ve all heard the term, we know what it is.

But ugh, when you feel it yourself….it’s very painful.

And it doesn’t have to be “sibling” to hurt. Rivalry in any form, between any two people or groups, can turn very sour, very heart-breaking.

People frequently feel this kind of angst with their former spouse, with a boss who fired them, with a friend who shocked them, with a partner who betrayed them.


But for me this past weekend, it was rivalry of the sibling kind.

I did or said something, or the whole family did or said something, or our mother did or said something…..and now one sibling has been radio silent for about a year.


The big extended family function that just happened.

How many times has an inquirer contacted me to do The Work when a wedding, funeral, graduation or other kind of ceremony is scheduled, and they anticipate seeing their rival?

It’s OK when they aren’t around, but being in their presence incites the pain all over again, and the fear.

At least, that’s what I noticed happened with me.

It was almost embarrassing, because I “thought” I had done The Work on this person. I had remembered so many moments from childhood I appreciated with her. I knew I loved her so very much–love was not the issue. I had become aware of how much I admired her. I accepted she needs a sabbatical. I left her alone.

But the lack of acknowledgement hurt. The silence.

It all appeared in an instant.

The family event is underway. People are cooking, tables are set. Big greetings and hugs are happening as people who haven’t seen on another for years connect. Ooohs and aaaahs and sounds of joy fly into the air. The big day has arrived.

And then, someone whispers that the relative in question just showed up. “She’s here!”

What do I do? A wave of nervousness runs through my stomach. I’ll be so very happy if she approaches. Anything, something.


During the entire day of festivities, conversations, then evening celebration. Nada.

The hurt comes waving through. Like a voice from a 5 year old child.

She hates me. 

Here’s my proof. No eye contact. No words. No connection attempted.

Super awkward.

Other siblings don’t seem to have the same trouble with it (I check in with two of them). They appear unruffled and Whatever about it.

So not only does she hate me, but other family members are more mature and relaxed and detached about this person. I must really have a problem. My mind is racing. I feel even worse.

I begin to do The Work. Again. But this time, a new and different thought, and from the point of view of an inner five year old.

The word “rivalry” comes from a Latin word for stream or brook (rivus). The root word “ri” is run or flow. Rivalry are two people who share the same stream of water. Or really, two people who compete for it.

Water is a necessity of life. The physical body will die without it.

I often notice, humans (including me) feel that love is a necessity of life. Acceptance, connection, intimacy. The sense that we’re supported, or wanted.

Interesting that this word “rivalry” focuses on the competition for one source, only one winner, people who are equals in their need to share the stream feeling threatened.

In the sense of Sibling Rivalry, the source of this flow is mother or father. Or both. The feeling within is somehow that I’m not going to get it, I’m left out, I’m lost, I’m potentially rejected. The parent isn’t going to give me what I need. What I need is scarce.

And then….the belief that the person competing with me wants me gone, out, shut off, silenced.

She hates me!

Is it true?

Yes. OK, no. I can’t know this is true. In fact, deep down I know we have a powerful connection.

How do I react when I think this thought that she hates me, is threatening me, can’t be bothered to make contact with me?

Awful. Frightened. I want to escape and get out of here. I want to be as far away from this as possible. She should stay on her end of the stream. Or find another stream.

Sometimes, people have reported to me that they feel absolutely horrible about themselves. Discarded like garbage. Unwanted (by lovers leaving them especially).

I noticed I had pictures flashing through my mind of her stony, mean face. I heard her saying nasty things (she didn’t actually say anything). I started thinking it’s perfectly fine not to have her in my life. I make mental lists of what I don’t like about her, trying to justify my position.

But who would I be without my very painful story of hate, of rivalry, of needing her love?


I almost couldn’t do it, yet the question hung in the air throughout my time at the big family celebration.

Who would I be without this “problem” on my mind?

Who would I be without this fearful story?

Watching life, people make kind and loving connections. Noticing she’s a part of the family, and her presence is welcome. So is mine. Watching us all share in the stream of life, imperfectly having our hard times or our caring times.

Everyone simply being human.

No one doing it wrong.

Seeing that it’s on my mind, then it isn’t on my mind. Watching me not reach out myself, feeling insecure, feeling like it’s BIG and OMINOUS, then watching me forget about it for an entire conversation with someone in the family, a niece, an aunt, a nephew, a cousin, an uncle, a second cousin once removed, the new partner of a cousin, a great uncle.

Feeling the hot sun, resting in the shade, watching a flock of birds overhead all making unusual bird sounds calling to one another.

Turning the thought around: she loves me, I hate myself, I hate her.

I study this energy I’m calling “hate” that I’ve thought is coming from her.

I notice I have no idea what it is, and I can’t say it’s coming from her either. This thing called “hate” feels very strong, centered in the heart, explosive, wild, mysterious, loving.

Wait….did you say loving?

Haha. Yes.

I see the energy of hate is an energy that says “you matter to me!”

Even if the way you think that person matters is negative, or that you need to get away from them, that they are your rival.

By definition, this rivalry I feel means I am sharing the river with this person. I can’t help it. Sharing is happening.

In this experience of apparently being in the presence of someone who is Other than me, I’m loving myself, I’m hating myself, I’m loving them, I’m hating them, I’m believing they are hating me, and loving me too.

All crashing together like a gigantic wave.

Part of the family events for the weekend included a river float trip. Everyone receiving their own inner tube and paddles, getting taken in a van up the river to float home over a 4 hour ride.

The river held the entire family. All the bodies, ages, emotions.

The river shared by almost 40 people, and 4000 more (truly) on a hot summer day in a gorgeous, cold, gentle river.

Eagles flying overhead, wild ducks and half-grown babies all following the mother, big trout flashing down below the surface, long brown carp hugging the bottom, fresh sweet water rolling along, big round rocks and boulders to swerve around under the surface.

Sharing was happening, and competition was not required. A faster speed to the finish line was not desired, or required. Survival was not threatened. There was enough comfort, pleasure, peace, sunscreen. Excitement on a moment of rapids, food enjoyed from the tube with the cooler in it, water to drink, sights to see, a time of quiet with eyes closed, moving along without trying.

A great humanity was on this cool river together, including anyone and everyone’s supposed rivalry. Or lack of rivalry. (And by the way, I never saw the person who hates me the entire time–she was somewhere far behind me I’m not even sure where). All of us sharing the stream. Whether people were speaking to each other, or not, or knew one another, or were related, or strangers, or neighbors, or had something to say, or not.

Could it be possible to I’m moving along down the stream, and so is everyone else?


And suddenly, the feeling of living the turnaround turns a corner for the first time in a year, after many moments of inquiry and exploration and wonderings and investigation of fear, pain, disappointment, or anger and feeling misunderstood and unloved.

And I take out a pen and paper, ready to write a letter to this person I care about so much, of how I wind up “hating” myself and believing I am hated and thinking I’m cast out, with not enough peace to survive…..and how untrue that all is.

“This is an insane belief. People should stop judging people? What planet do you think you’re on? Make yourself at home here: When you come to planet Earth, you judge us and we judge you. That’s it. It a nice planet to live on, once you get the ground rules straight…..So I’ll strike a deal with you. When YOU stop judging THEM for judging you, then go talk to them about judgment. It may take awhile. No one can deprive me of my family–no one but me.” ~ Byron Katie in Loving What Is 

I like the “it may take awhile” part.

It takes the time it takes, and you may continuously and regularly get to practice.

Just keep going. Like the river itself. Flowing along to the sea.

Much love,


P.S. Two hour entirely free online immersion course TEN BARRIERS that BLOCK THE WORK on August 22nd at 8:30 am Pacific Time (like, for example, hating yourself for not being farther along). Love to have you with me there. Q & A at the end on the new Year of Inquiry starting September 5th. Register for the live class right HERE.

Trusting everyone, even the betrayers. Especially the betrayers.

Such fantastic moments are being shared by Summer Camp for The Mind inquirers. Powerful, stressful, intense moments with other humans, with the body, with a loved one, with a stranger, with a job.

I get sooooo inspired by everyone’s process, by hearing inquiry. It’s amazing how this work is so freeing and wise by simply listening to the answers of people who are DOING The Work.

OK, I’ll stop ranting and raving about how excited I am. Let’s look at a thought I was reminded of in someone’s inquiry:

He betrayed me.

You might use “she” or you might use “God” or you might use “it” (the body betrayed me, or ‘money’ betrayed me, or this job betrayed me).

The thing about betrayal is you feel tricked, fooled. Like you thought one thing, and then….

….the wonderful thing you expected didn’t happen, or something really BAD happened and it was a massive surprise.

The etymology of the word “betrayal” is from the Latin “to hand over” or “to unintentionally show true character”. Nothing so harsh in these words. But it later began to mean “to expose to the enemy” or “mislead, deceive, delude”.

Like being led in the wrong direction, made vulnerable to pain, or hurt.

This is an incredible thing to question, the deep belief that because someone “betrayed” me, I am exposed to hurt….and more hurt.

I made a short list of people who I believed betrayed me, in any way at all.

A very close friend, a sister, a romantic interest, a co-worker, the rose bush stump in our back yard that I stepped on at age seven.


I realized, I DID believe the definition given in the dictionary, the etymology of the word. I believed these people surprised me unexpectedly with exposure to pain, loss, hurt, rejection.

Is it true they plopped me or thrust me into a world of pain, loss, hurt or rejection?



Can I absolutely know this is true that the thing I’m looking at, the person, the incident….was a betrayal? Or permanently damaging? Or 100% hurt 24/7 for my entire life in all ways?


Even if I’m injured and I’ll never have the same body again….I notice without injury I’ll never have the same body again, too (it’s always changing and will eventually die). Even if I’m feeling hurt about what a person is doing or did, my life continues and who am I to say it’s worse, or “bad” because of the way it’s going?

Who would I be without the story of betrayal, or hurt?

Right now. Here in this moment. What if I forgot, or couldn’t think “HE BETRAYED ME” in any way whatsoever.

Without the thought, I look around the room and out the french doors of the cottage, and see a wild bunny nibbling on something in the grass. I hear the washing machine start to spin. I see an invisible silent breeze flutter through the cherry tree leaves. I hear a small airplane overhead. I have infinite possibilities of pictures in my head about the world….imagination. Events I remember, wonderings about things to come.

Holding it all in HERE, Now.

No way to conclude in any kind of finality “I was hurt” when I thought I was.

What if I turned the thought around?

He healed me. He did not betray me. 

Can I find examples?

I have found them for every single one of the incidents, experiences, situations, events that I considered betrayals. Good things came from them all:

  • I was cast free from the current trajectory of my life in relationship, and got to completely reset the course. I got to learn about relationship with me, and make that the primary love of my life. Ahhhhhh. Isn’t that what I MOST wanted?
  • My business grew and improved to heights I didn’t imagine were possible. I found out legally I could be of service in ways I didn’t realize. I felt more confident and clear.
  • I was given the perfect opportunity to question my thinking at an extremely deep level, which is all I ever really truly wanted. Enlightenment about life and the world, and to see the safety and support around me.
  • I never forgot that beautiful little backyard where my family lived for only a year where my foot collided with a trimmed rose bush, and I was in bed for a week with the mumps. The awareness of temporarily being here on planet earth, in a body that can be “hurt”. Seeing this clearly at age seven, feeling gratitude for watching the abilities to walk come, and go, and come again.
  • Noticing that with absolutely no money to my name (or very, very little) I survived. Very well, actually. Without money being required for happiness. What an incredible lesson to learn.
Turning it around again:


I betrayed him, them, her. I betrayed myself.
Wow. I’m afraid I DID betray them, it, him, her. I raged at them in my mind. I opposed them, criticized them, tore them apart internally, withdrew, dismissed them. Stayed mad. Talked to other people about them or it. Talked piteously about myself and how I was done wrong.


I betrayed myself by taking the situation so personally, so seriously. By not opening my heart and mind up to relaxing, and choosing NOT to fight with the circumstances. I felt guilty. I said mean things to myself. I considered myself worthy of being betrayed and looked for my fault and how I asked for it. I saw myself as a tiny nothing, treated badly….a victim.


What I know about the betrayal moments now, are that they all brought on massive learning, and a willingness to surrender, accept, trust. They broke my heart….and a broken heart can be broken wide open, and expand three sizes just like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Or three hundred.


Would I take any of those betrayal moments away?




Because if I did, if I could, I’m pretty sure I’d be missing something. Something great and vast and mysterious and unexplainable.


Now we wouldn’t want that, would we.


“I trust everyone. I trust everyone to do what they do, and I’m never disappointed. And since I trust people, I know to let them find their own way.” ~ Byron Katie in 1000 Names For Joy

Much love,


P.S. Year of Inquiry is officially taking registrations for 2017-2018. Read all about it HERE. It’s the most wonderful adventure. ITW candidates can earn credit work an entire School for The Work plus 80 credits more.

Real marriage = married to the truth (and TEN BARRIERS webinar TODAY)

It’s a big inquiry offering day. All free for anyone.

Let’s do The Work, together.

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

Webinar Immersion Class: Ten Barriers That Can Keep The Work…From Working. To attend join me HERE. You’ll want to view this one on a device with a screen where you can watch the slides. Everyone receives a free download of a new short summary I put together listing the ten barriers. At the very end I’ll share and answer your questions about the Year of Inquiry, which is now accepting registrations for fall.

Five years ago exactly today, I got married for the second time.

It was such a fun, fabulous, stress-free, joyful occasion….I never knew a ceremonial event with many people gathered could be so playful and precious.

Here’s a never-before-seen (I think it’s true) photo that appeared in my computer files today. I’m sharing it with you today because it reminds me of knowing what it’s like to be without those thoughts.

There were so many glorious parts to the 4 day celebration, and the 2 hour ceremony itself: sharing by the community, poetry, quotes, songs, calling in the ancestors, intention, celebration of love in every form for everyone present (not just commitment between two), honoring of old traditions and family members, dancing, feasting.

For me, it was truly an experience of who I could personally be without my ancient stressful stories of “love”, “partnership”, “friends”, “family”, “supposed-to”, “have-to”, and “must”.

Thank you to The Work for giving me back such freedom. A kind I hadn’t remembered or known since I was a child talking to the fairies in the garden.

“When I make a commitment, it’s to my own truth, and there’s no higher or lower. ‘I love, honor, and obey you–and I may change my mind.’ I’m married only to God-reality. That’s where my commitment is. It can’t be to a particular person….Unless we marry the truth, there is no real marriage.” ~ Byron Katie

I have a very dear sweet man called a husband, a beautiful extended family, and so many friends and people to share this life with, including you.

Much love,


I’ve Been Left

He left me.

She left me.

They left me.

The suffering as a result of this belief is enormous.

People holding this thought in their experience of a relationship feel devastated, sometimes suicidal….and then on top of the dark feelings of abandonment, they criticize themselves for being losers and caring so much.

But let’s take a look at this thought, that can seem like a fact to some who think of it as true-true-true, and question it with The Work.

That person left you…Is it true?

Yes! They packed up their stuff and walked out the door. I don’t see them in this house anymore. Gone. It’s been 7 hours and 13 days since you took your love away.

Or fifteen years.

After we think “is is true?” instead of pausing with our answer, we might have images of that person blossoming before us, wondering about them, replaying the scenes that were so torturous in the past. We might explain to a listener all about the entire story of what happened. We might see them driving away on their motorcycle while running down the street behind them, and they never looked back.

People share with me the details of what’s happening in the lives of their “ex” partners. Marrying again. Non-communicative. Or maybe occasionally pinging them on facebook with an update.

But first, can I just answer that question…is it true they left?

Yes. Didn’t I just say how many days and hours it’s been?

Can you absolutely know it’s true they left?

Because I couldn’t know it was absolutely for-all-time true.

They were in my head daily, sometimes hourly. Every time I went past that one coffee house, I thought of them. Every time I heard that song, I felt melancholy.

There was a physical leaving, but not in any way was there an emotional or mental “leaving”. And I would also imagine getting back together in the future, which was always possible, right? I couldn’t know it was absolutely fundamentally true that this person left me forever.

Plus, and this is critically important to note, they didn’t die, they didn’t vanish off the face of the earth, and there were so many conversations and connections and bumps and difficulties between us, can you really know for absolute certain that person left YOU, like it was all about YOU?

No. I personally can’t at all. They had their own stuff going on that made a move important in their life. But if you answer “yes, it’s absolutely true” that’s perfectly OK and not the wrong answer.

How do you react when you think the thought “that person left me”?

Gut-wrenching sadness, or furious rage. They were wrong, wrong, wrong. I treated my daily life like a burden to “get through” and the new people I met like people to be suspicious of. I didn’t go out much.

So who would you be without your belief that you were left? Like, it was personal?

This is not airy fairy sweet gooey positive thinking fake sugar.

This is real use of the creative brilliance of mind and it’s imagination. The mind forgot the other side in this duality of every coin having an opposite. It focused on fear, lack, hurt, pain, and zero possibilities of a happy future.

Thank you mind for trying to keep me safe and sound, and unhurt. But you’re a bit limited, my friend, you say to your mind.

Because without the belief someone left me….I’m suddenly looking around my environment, my day, my quiet house….and noticing the peace of silence.

I’m aware of all the moments when I was supposedly “married” that I spent going to work alone, driving my own personal car all by myself, at the grocery store by myself, talking to a friend on the phone, sweeping the floor in my living room with children playing around me, thinking in my own head.

Did someone “leave” me at all those moments?

Yes, there was no body in the room sometimes. And it wouldn’t have occurred to me to be upset if my husband went to the garage to work on a project. In fact, I’d be a bit of a nut case if I started thinking “he’s leaving me” every time he called out “goodbye!” as he went to work in the morning.


All that meaning we place on relationships and what he or she is supposed to be doing that equals “I am loved” and all the meaning placed on a relationship that means “I am secure” or “I am NOT secure.”

When there are never any guarantees, ever. Someone could die, so could you (everyone will).

Leaving is the way of it, in fact.

Coming together, leaving, coming together, leaving. Nothing written on a piece of paper says anything firm and final about this leaving or staying. Marriage. Divorce. Break-ups. Falling in Love. Commitment. Separation.

Without the belief I am left, I simply notice the tide goes in and out. And I don’t get very upset about it.

Without the belief that I was left, I begin to see benefits for it going the way it’s going.

Let’s go there. The ultimate turnaround. Life dishing up something FOR me, not something happening that hurts me.

How could this be just as true, or truer?

For me, I noticed how much I loved the quiet. I could read anything I wanted all day long on the weekend. It was like a miracle to have nothing on my schedule. I meditated for hours. I walked through my neighborhood with Deva Premal playing over and over on my headphones. I noticed houses I had never seen before. I found little trails I hadn’t noticed. I came across a wild plum tree in nobody’s yard underneath the power lines, loaded with plums, and came back the next day with a bag.

I thought about relationships during that “I-was-left” time. I noticed how many exceptionally crazy beliefs I had about them that were considered normal in society. Here’s what “this” means. Here’s what “that” means.

I saw I couldn’t know.

I started hanging out with friends I had known since high school, but hadn’t really seen or spent time with in fifteen years. I signed up for a Qigong class. I started being curious about things I hadn’t pursued. I explored dance classes, and found one I loved.

Turning the thought around every way:

  • I left him
  • I left myself
  • He did not leave me

Can you find examples of how these are true? Spend time on each one, finding three examples for every turnaround.

I left him internally during our life together a thousand trillion times when I looked over at him and thought critically he wasn’t good enough, he didn’t do the lawn mowing right, he bought the wrong thing at the store, he wasn’t giving me enough affection, he worried too much about money.

I left myself by thinking I wasn’t a good companion, like I needed someone else around to make me happy. I didn’t appreciate my own mind, my thoughts, my desires. I suppressed myself. I didn’t share the truth. I felt inadequate. I ripped myself to shreds internally. I didn’t feel worthy of love. When we first met, I still obsessed about food a lot. I pushed myself really hard. I felt bad about my own abilities with money, before he ever joined in on the money show. I had images come to mind about my difficult, lonely future. I feared myself worthy of being left.

He didn’t leave me. Nope. In the mind constantly. Wondering what he was up to. Worrying about myself in the future, all alone. Feeling unforgiving. Like this his actions and behaviors are all about me, when they really have nothing to do with me. I got some of the photos, the kitchen ware, the couch, his old car, a new little gorgeous cottage just for me to live in. I receive texts, messages about the kids, emails, and we spend holidays together.

Ha Ha.

The advantages to this being “left” thing continue to enter my life, even after many years. There are far more advantages than disadvantages.

And even all of these supposed advantages and disadvantages…

….who knows if they are even true.

The most important thing is, the pair of glasses I am wearing about the whole thing is that it was one of the most powerful, life-changing, incredible experiences and wake-up calls of my life. Almost on equal footing to attending Byron Katie’s School for The Work.

I mean it.

I orbited into an entirely different paradigm. It wasn’t instant. My mind hung on very tight. I wanted to punish. I rotated back into severe doubt. But then I’d rotate with self-inquiry into brilliant trust. It was a roller coaster ride.

Very, very exciting.

Who would you be without your story?

You can do this. All it takes is answering some powerful questions slowly and honestly. You can do this.

A Community of the Spirit

There is a community of the spirit.

Join it, and feel the delight

of walking in the noisy street

and being the noise.

Drink all your passion,

and be a disgrace.

Close both eyes

to see with the other eye.

Open your hands,

if you want to be held.

Sit down in the circle.

Quit acting like a wolf, and feel

the shepherd’s love filling you.

At night, your beloved wanders.

Don’t accept consolations.

Close your mouth against food.

Taste the lover’s mouth in yours.

You moan, “She left me.” “He left me.”

Twenty more will come.

Be empty of worrying.

Think of who created thought!

Why do you stay in prison

when the door is so wide open?

Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking.

Live in silence.

Flow down and down in always

widening rings of being.

~ Jalaluddin Rumi

Much love,


P.S. Two events happening soon, that support your inquiry:

1) Being With Byron Katie (just stopped by the house which is getting a facelift for ten days….can’t wait to spend 4 days there starting July 8th)

2) Sliding Scale pay what you can. Summer Camp For The Mind begins July 5 – August 18.

Retroactive jealousy…when you need it a certain way, it gets ugly

Oy veys, I got the completely incorrect link for Summer Camp for The Mind for all of you who are wanting to check the schedule and information page.

Head over HERE to find out all about Summer Camp online program including the daily schedule.

Yes, it is entirely sliding scale and yes, it begins with a 3-hour mini retreat (two of them, to be precise, at different days and hours for those of you in completely different time zones). In the mini-retreats we’ll simply be doing The Work, one after the other. It doesn’t matter if you’re experienced, or a brand new beginner.

And finally, I forgot to let you know that the usual First Friday wouldn’t be happening since I’m traveling and in spotty internet connections. We WILL however meet on the second Friday, June 9th at the very same time 7:45 am PT. Save this link HERE for joining me on 6/9. (Apologies for not warning you)! July we’re back to First Friday.


And now for another fascinating topic I first wrote about in 2015. It vaguely appeared while on this trip about retirement planning.

Retroactive jealousy.

I hadn’t really heard the term, but a dear inquirer used it about his experience of stress when it came to his partner.

This can expand beyond jealousy about someone you love having been with someone else.

You can also be jealous of someone’s historical success, the experiences they’ve encountered, the achievements they’ve undergone. In the Past.

As in, it’s not even happening anymore. But you’re jealous as you hear about it.

I myself should have gotten that opportunity! I should have been the one getting that experience. I should have been the boyfriend. I should have been the girlfriend. I should have had that kind of scholarship. I should have gotten that kind of degree. I should have woken up back then when I was that age! 

I remember an inquirer who always felt, because her husband had a previous marriage where his wife had died of cancer, that she was always “the replacement” and she felt pain and jealousy of what her husband’s previous marriage had been.
Good fodder for inquiry.
First….consider why this is troubling for you?
What do you think it means, that the person you’re deeply interested in, this person you love, had another life, before you came along?
It means they’re comparing ME to someone they knew previously.
It means I’m not the first, I’m not the special person. It means they have numerous, general, multiple experiences in their life and I’ve missed out on all of them. It means I’m not 100% important. It means they might have great memories with other people and they’ll desire them again.
I must confess, the only place I’ve personally ever experienced this Retroactive Jealousy is around something to do with accomplishment and success with career or money, as I mentioned.
As in….I’m jealous someone else got THOSE awesome career opportunities. I didn’t. They planned well. I didn’t.
Bummer for me. Good for them.
How do I react when I think I didn’t get that experience, in the past, that someone else got?
It can feel devastating. Sick. Soooo uncomfortable.
I leave the person who has sparked this comparison-mode. I want to get away from them. I retreat. I feel very disconnected and separate.
So who would you be without the belief that you should have been there, you should have had that experience….in the past?
Who would you be without the belief that the person you love shouldn’t have been with that previous person?
Who would you BE?
“I’m a lover of what is. It’s so painful when I’m not. There’s nothing we can do about it. It is what it is. And we’re all lovers of reality…..We all want what is because it’s the way of it. And we all KNOW it….How does it feel to react to your own lie??! To something you don’t even believe yourself? We’re attached to this concept. And we think they’re doing it TO us. But it’s nothing more than our fairy tale is being burst.” ~ Byron Katie
Who would you be without the thought that this other person’s story is the better way?
I’d feel quiet. I’d be laughing. I’d be thrilled with my relationship with myself, my own life.
I’d be overjoyed in hearing about other peoples’ life paths, successes, achievements, experiences, mates. I’d be so curious, in a really good way.
Turning the thought around….
….I shouldn’t have been there, I shouldn’t have had that experience I’m hearing about, there’s nothing out of place, nothing is wrong, nothing is missing, all that happened before to this person is perfect and important.
I should have been in my own life, with my own experiences, in this body here.
How could this be just as true, or truer?
“It’s living with no net. You do it and you die and your knees wobble and you’re weak like a baby and you’re so vulnerable. It’s so exciting. Much more exciting than your story. It’s love affair, and it goes as deep as it can. The love of self.” ~ Byron Katie
“You are whole and complete within yourself. You do not need anything. You do not need anybody….No clinging, no holding on. If you need it a certain way, you are dependent, and it gets ugly.” ~ Michael Singer


Right here, this place, age 56 and doing whatever I’m doing. I notice I’m traveling on a trip my mother saved up for to celebrate her 80th birthday, so I didn’t need to have more success to do this amazing adventure.

I have a suitcase. I have legs that can walk many miles. I bought a simple silver necklace to match the ones my sisters also bought in a market yesterday.

Nothing more is required.

Much love,


Quietly feeling annoyed….but unable to speak up?

It is truly incredible to me the power of some stories (especially one I’m going to mention today experienced by moi), and how deep they run and how intensely they stick.

Especially if they haven’t been seen in the light but stay down in the underworld, half hidden from consciousness.

Today I’m talkin’ about the Story of Nicey-Nice and it’s flip sided neighbor Argh-Aggressive.

What is up with that auto-pilot Be Nice and Seethe Inside thing?

Here’s what I mean by auto-pilot.

A few examples:

A) Person starts talking to me. They talk, talk and talk some more about their terrible aunt who is evil. It’s the fifth or tenth time I’ve heard about the aunt. The story is the same. I remain quiet, even though my stomach hurts. I do not say “you know, I’ve heard you speak about this so often, I don’t ever want to hear it again, you complaining ninny.”

B) Person asks if they can enroll in the program I’m teaching for free. I don’t let them know that it actually cost me, then, to have them in the program. I would be paying for them. I say yes, even though I don’t feel good or right about it.

C) Person sends me gifts in the mail, leaves presents for me in my car, drops items for me into my bag at work. I don’t say “what’s with the gift-giving slightly stalker weirdness, can you please stop?”

D) Person tells me I’m unfriendly because I don’t smile at her and say hello in the morning. I don’t want to, I just want to focus on the project I’m hired to work on. I don’t tell her “I won’t be doing that.” I say “hi” for awhile but then give up.

E) Person asks me if I want to go on a boat ride with him and his dog. That sounds horrible. I don’t say “no, I get seasick and I’m not that into pets”. I feel guilty for not being into pets. I don’t answer his emails.

F) Person starts showing me their photos of their vacation and turns out there are about 5000 of them. All landscapes. I don’t say “I’ve seen enough, thanks.” I keep looking and nodding but thinking when the hell will this be over.

G) Person asks me to teach them everything I know about marketing and promoting and growing my business over lunch. I think about the thousands of dollars I’ve invested in learning what I know for the past three years and how huge this request is. I say “sure, we can do that sometime” but I won’t ever do that.

You get the picture.

And then the worst situations for me when I’ve been Not Authentic, shall we say, have been with men on dates, in relationships, when sexual encounters were a possibility, or underway.

There’s a moment.

The feeling that I want to go more slowly, or stop, or that I don’t like something is clear.

But I never spoke up!

Some time ago, before the Sexuality teleclass began, I was reading over the curriculum (which is awesome, by the way). I loved zoning in on this way of being Nice Outside Annoyed Inside, and looking again carefully, without hacking myself to bits for having done it.

The way I used to be, I frequently said nothing in situations where I felt conflict or concern.

After doing The Work on a few of these more intense situations…

…I realized that I wanted the person who did something objectionable (in my opinion) to change so that I could be more comfortable.

Otherwise, I might have to speak up, tell the truth about myself in that moment. Horror of horrors.

The truth that was “I don’t like that! No thank you! Stop! Ewww! Really? I feel afraid, I’m angry, I’m nervous.”

I had great fear that if I did speak up, the person to whom I was speaking might feel hurt, and then hurt me back, and then I’d feel hurt.

So let’s question that thought today. The idea that it might be safer to keep quiet, or safer to speak up, and uncertainty about both.

Is that true that it’s safer to keep quiet? Or safer to speak up?

Rats. I don’t know. Wait. Yes. I actually do think something’s true. It feels safer to keep quiet. Yes. But I should speak up, dang it. Help! I don’t know!

How do you react when you believe NOT telling someone to stop, or that you don’t like what’s happening, is easier and safer?

How about when you believe it’s better to sock-it-to-em and tell it like it is?

I’m nervous, agonizing over right and wrong. I’m terrified.

Who would you be without the belief that speaking up is better…or keeping your opinion to yourself is safer? Without the belief that either one is right or wrong?

I’d relax and trust more. I wouldn’t be so suspicious of what’s going to happen in five minutes, or tomorrow.

Wow. There would be no future.

I’d say what I really think, with a sense of clarity, even love.

I wouldn’t believe I have to put up with things, allow things to happen without saying how I feel. I wouldn’t think I have to scream to be protected. I’d honor myself, as well as the other people. It would be exciting!

Turning the thought around: Telling the truth is safer.

It saves a whole lot of time.

I think of how many relationships dragged on and on in a certain unsatisfying way because I didn’t tell the truth. Like I was clinging to being likable, and avoiding hurt.

What if instead I stepped out on the ice and skated, being freely who I am, and THEN saw who showed up to play with me?

That sounds much more fun, much more real. It’s more solid, genuine, deep, kind, loving.

I’d notice how much I love honesty and clarity from others, whether they are more soft-spoken or direct. I notice how openness, calm, kindness and sharpness are all beautiful elements of great conversation.

And I love myself when I’m honest with ME, not trying to pretend I like stuff I don’t like. That’s the most important of all.

“To discover our autonomy is the most challenging thing a human being can do. Because in order to discover our autonomy, we must be free from all external control or influence. This means that we must free our mind from all that it has collected, all that it clings to, all that it depends on.” ~ Adyashanti

I find there is a place beyond all turnarounds, where there is no concern for safety, but no urgency….a sort of waiting, maybe a true silence, that is deeply genuine.

Real feelings coming up in the moment. Feelings that say “get away from me” or “be quiet” or “no I don’t buy you begging me to help you mediate your arguments with other people” or “slow down” or “I’m leaving” or “quit bossing me”.

But falling back, not being silent because you’re so terrified of being disliked or hateful, but instead relaxing with the sensations….this goes beyond all strategies for what-to-do next.

It’s like no strategy is necessary. There’s just the truth, awareness of what you’re feeling along with connection with the other, honest connection.

“Patience has a lot to do with getting smart at that point and just waiting: not speaking or doing anything. On the other hand, it also means being completely and totally honest with yourself about the fact that you’re furious. You’re not suppressing anything–patience has nothing to do with suppression. In fact, it has everything to do with a gentle, honest relationship with yourself….This suggests the fearlessness that goes with patience. If you practice the kind of patience that leads to the de-escalation of aggression and the cessation of suffering, you will be cultivating enormous courage.” ~ Pema Chodron

There is no safer. It’s an illusion.

Just be you, without any requirement to fix, help, appease, diminish, change, switch, improve you or anyone else.

Now that’s a wonderful practice. We can call it Beyond Safety.

Beyond Nicey-Nice and Argh-Aggressive and all that flip-flopping.

I notice that in this realm, there is no forever suffering.

It’s only about being gentle, honest and kind with yourself. You.

Not worrying so much about hurting others (although you do care about them) but focusing on honestly being with you. Loving yourself. Not slapping away your fury or fear.

Taking your own hand, with such sweet tenderness. Telling the truth.

All you need to do is remember to be gentle and honest, with yourself. The rest will take care of itself.

Much love,


Don’t go spouting out an answer…..sit there.

My mom on my left, announcing to all of us in the row on the plane: Do you want to see where we are?

She’s excitedly waving her cell phone.

My sister on my right: I keep telling you to TURN ON your airplane mode! You should NOT be able to tell us where we are!!

My mom: I didn’t turn it on this time! But the GPS dot is still glowing!

My sister: That’s impossible!

My mom: No it isn’t! I swear! 

My sister: OK. Fine. Show me where we are on the map.

My mom: No. I’m not going to show you now!

My sister: I didn’t want to see it anyway!


Don’t you love how adults can snip at each other just like age 11?

Everyone was laughing a moment later.

But it’s sort of endearing to notice, these moments happen. Communication snafu, a little sting, an irritation, a flame.

They happen at such a quick speed, it’s practically hard to even catch. You might say something you regret, or feel all riled up on the inside full of tension.

Family is especially great for this practice. You know what I’m talking about.

The best way I find to work with a dynamic where someone really bugs you, even if you adore and love them, is to first, hold very very still on the moment you felt the slap, or irritation, the sting, the offense.

What are your thoughts about that moment?

What do you want, what do you fear, what do you need that you think is missing?

Now….see if there was another similar moment like it in the past, maybe even the distant past.

The Original Offense.

I like investigating my fears that show up as little irritations by noticing how far back they go. I see the story and where it was born, where it came alive, and where I’ve then seen proof for this belief I had appear, perhaps again and again.

A moment like this for me: I’m in the passenger seat. My husband is driving. He turns a different way than I normally go, headed to the same destination.

I feel a blast of annoyance. “Why are you going this way? It’s longer, and less pleasant!”

Why on earth would I care about which way we’re going, if I’m not even driving the car, and I trust we are indeed headed where we both desire to go?

What do I want? No surprises. To relax. What do I fear? The route will take up my attention. We’ll be lost. I can’t concentrate on our conversation, or enjoying the ride. What do I need that I think is missing? A recognized pattern. My usual way. Not having to re-direct.

Do I remember an earlier situation where taking an unexpected turn wasn’t such a great outcome? A time I got lost?

I sit a moment to see if a memory appears.

And then….one does appear.

(I told you it doesn’t take long, if you sit still with it a moment).

It’s my mom and dad, up front in the car, dad driving, mom navigating–and THEY are arguing, and I’m worried about their argument.

I just want my dad to go the normal way, so my mom doesn’t get upset. Going alternative ways is obviously worthy of upseted-ness. My proof is my mom’s response to him.

And now, I can question it all. My dad was lost, is it true? My mom was frightened, is it true? My mom shouldn’t have been angry, is it true? They should never bicker, is that true?

Who would I be now, without that story appearing before my eyes?

Laughing at the hilarity of it all. Noticing the similarity in the moment sitting between two wonderful people I adore (sister, mother) and having no issue with them being pissy with each other.

In fact, it’s rather entertaining.

Another case closed.

“Don’t try to change the dream, because trying to change it is just another movement in the dream. Look at the dream. Be aware of the dream. That awareness is It. Become more interested in the awareness of the dream than in the dream itself. What is that awareness? Who is that awareness? Don’t go spouting out an answer, just be the answer. Be It.” ~ Adyashanti

Much love,


Take a stand against self-hate when you go through a break up

Spring Retreat is completely full. I like to say “spring cleaning” retreat.

You can do spring cleaning retreat on your own mind no matter where you are, as you go about life. It’s nice to have you come to Seattle, but the wonderful thing about The Work is…it’s not required to go anywhere to do it.

You can stop somewhere, find a pen and paper or your favorite device, and begin by writing down your painful thoughts.

THEN….do The Work on one thought at a time.

The other day, several people shared that one place they feel stuck, sad, despairing, or frustrated is in the middle of a relationship.

A break up, irritation with your partner, not feeling attracted to someone anymore and feeling like you should be, divorce.

Now, finding something annoying about the person you’re living with can be difficult, like getting poked with a pin every time you once again observe it.

These thoughts are like mosquitos. Here they come again. Huff. “There he goes again with leaving his stuff all over the table” or “he’s so out of shape” or “she’s always eating my snacks” or “she shouldn’t be so impatient’.

But it seems when people share with me that a relationship, even with it’s quirks and faults, is OVER….

….they feel pretty dreadful.

Thoughts begin to appear like “I’ll be alone forever” or “no one really cares about me” or “he’s already moved on so fast, I must have meant nothing to him” or “she ruined my life by leaving”.

Whew, these are super intense.

Let’s take a look at a break up, and see if we can get a little spring cleaning done.

One of the most difficult things I realized, long ago when I was going through divorce, was that because I was no longer wanted as a primary partner….I concluded that it meant I was un-want-able.

Worthy of being left.

Because someone moves away from me, I did something wrong.

This can even happen with other close relationships, family, friends, children.

Is it true, that if someone leaves you, or ends the relationship, or doesn’t want to talk to you anymore….it means YOU are worthy of being left? Leave-able? Don’t deserve a relationship that remains intact?


How could it possibly mean this? There are so many factors involved.

How do you react when you believe you actually deserve to be left, or somehow caused it, or made it happen?

I know this is going to sound a little harsh….but it’s kind of grandiose. Negatively grandiose, I know. But I realized, that break up over a decade ago wasn’t All-About-Me. I knew, when I really answered the question honestly, that someone leaving did NOT automatically mean I deserved it.

How do you treat that person, when you think you don’t want them to leave, or you need them to stay so you can still be worthy?

Ooooh. Yikes. I’m treating them like they are a precious diamond or some incredible prize or possession I can’t be happy without. Unhappy when they aren’t around. Happy only if they are.

It’s like being in a volatile prison. Everything’s hanging on what that other person does (coming, going) and I’m not here in my own business watching the world do what it does–which includes that person apparently “leaving”.

People can’t even die without me freaking out, when I believe them leaving means something about me. When people go, I never enjoy my own company.

So who would we be without this incredibly alarming thought that people have to stick around for my worthiness and feeling of deserving ease and support?


You mean….I don’t have to depend on anyone staying? I don’t have to believe it means I did something wrong? Or I’ll be alone forever? Or I’m a loser?

Yes, what if this meant nothing about you? Who would you be without the story it’s YOU?

I found this as I did The Work during my divorce. I could see so many reasons why my former husband wanted out of a marriage and to move into a new paradigm, to stop the one-track road he had been on.

As I did my work, and explored who I’d be without my dreadful self-attacking thoughts….

….I could begin to genuinely find turnarounds too, without bitterness.

  • I am want-able; I’m here, I’m alive, I’m available
  • I don’t have to depend on someone’s presence to feel love
  • There is no deserve or not-deserve, I am simply alive and can love this moment no matter who is in or out of it
  • I’ll be connected and loved forever
  • everyone really cares about me
  • I was clinging and crying so fast, he must have meant nothing to me
  • she/he saved my life by leaving

I can find examples for every single one of these turnarounds.

My life is completely different because of the pain I experienced through break-up. It woke me up. I was in a nightmare when it came to what I believed about relationship and love.

Now, I feel free when it comes to relationship, partnership and love, almost all the time. I get the best of everything: a feeling of independence like being single, and a kind accepting partner to spend time with and laugh with.

I see there’s wonderful things about being all alone, un-partnered, and that “deserving” or “worthiness” have nothing to do with partnering. Except maybe if I feel unworthy to begin with, I’ll put out that vibe big time and people will get the message and leave. I felt that way during my previous marriage: full of doubt and self-criticism. His leaving was a perfect match to how I already saw me. We were on the same page.

I see with others who have left that I don’t have to be so distraught when they go. My father died long ago, for example, and I still feel his love and have little conversations with him all the time. I don’t need his body to be here to feel comfortable.

Who would you really be without your stories of alone-ness or having a partner or being “in” a relationship or being “out” of one?

Everyday we’re “in” then “out” of relationship. Life is moving and dancing all over the place. All day long, this very day, the man who is my husband was gone, nowhere to be seen (by me). I hardly thought of him. He was busy teaching kids. I was busy doing The Work with people.

Perhaps fully breaking up could be the same in the end.

Without me putting heavy, harsh, self-attacking meaning on people coming and going….I’m watching, feeling, loving, sharing, moving, holding still, crying, laughing, thinking, taking action, being a human.

“It’s confusing for someone to conclude that they aren’t loved because there is something wrong with them. This person, who is trying to become lovable spends much time, attention and energy trying to be good, earn approval, please others, be perfect. 

And then, when they find that all that trying to be good doesn’t work, and doesn’t in fact get the love and approval they want, the only thing they know how to do is TRY HARDER. 

If you can find the willingness to look, and take a stand against the scam self-hate has you caught in, the confusion will give way to clarity.”

~ Cheri Huber in There Is Nothing Wrong With You

All I know is, ending the self-hate scam and self-improvement efforts have freed up time to explore many more things in this world.

And also freed up time or awareness somehow, to notice the red leaves fluttering in the wind through the window, the flash of pale pink blossom between bright green trees, a child on her bicycle flying past the front door, the tapping of the keyboard, the silence behind my back, the willingness to die without having all the answers.


Much love,


P.S. Breitenbush! Come join us to question the thoughts that keep you in conditioned self-improvement scam stories. We need you for other adventures in the world. At least, that’s a thought going through this mind. And, I love you even if you’re stuck.