One profound option, when they don’t care about you

In December, I’ll be facilitating a 3 day Relationships Retreat with my husband assisting (who is wonderful with The Work). We’re inviting anyone who wishes to do The Work on an important or stressful relationship: partner, child, boss, mother, father, relative, friend, sibling. Find out more HERE.

Speaking of stressful, difficult relationships….

Someone in Year of Inquiry brought a powerful situation and thought to our group inquiry call.

Many stressful situations have appeared already in our group calls, since everyone’s taken the dive into their first Judge Your Neighbor worksheets–a moment of suffering, resentment, sadness, despair, worry.

This particular thought can be so very painful, when you believe it:

She doesn’t care about me.

Maybe it’s “he” or maybe it’s “they” in your situation.

People think this very painful thought about love relationships, family members, companies, bosses, employees, children, schools, the government.

They don’t care, and I feel horrible, lonely, left out because of it.

Like the inquirer who so beautifully explored his situation yesterday on our group call, I was a bit amazed at how often this belief has come to surface in my mind and awareness.

That person doesn’t care, because they don’t turn towards me, ask me questions, look at me. Or they say something mean. They criticize me. They dismiss me. They fire me. They ignore me.

(I’ve also had the thought someone cares too much about me, LOL, but that’s for another day).

Let’s start at the very beginning.

Remember that time, when you felt Not Cared About? Maybe it goes way back, into childhood, or maybe it happened yesterday.

She or he doesn’t care about you….is it true?

YES! She’s never responded, written, called, texted….nada. I’m getting the silent treatment. If she cared, I’d hear from her. She wouldn’t have cut me off!

Can you absolutely know it’s true?


This was the same answer as the inquirer in Year of Inquiry yesterday. Yes, Yes, Yes. It’s true, and absolutely true. I know what caring looks like, and it’s not this.

How do you react when you believe they don’t care about you?

Devastated. Lost. Self-critical.

I have images of the future, and they’re all bad. Failure, or me lying all alone in my house, no one else around. I feel abandoned, sad and frightened.

I review what I did….thinking it must have been wrong. If I had been nicer, or asked her questions earlier, maybe this lack of caring could have been prevented. I attack myself for not seeing it more clearly in the past.

And I definitely attack her. Look at what she’s like….she’s ridiculous. I make a great case in court for her being a lousy person, which explains everything, right?

But who would I be without my story of that person not caring about me?

In our telegroup when the inquirer was looking at this question, he couldn’t really find who he’d be. Too difficult.

I like the exercise of pretending we’re watching a movie of the situation we think is “proof” of lack of caring.

In my situation I’m one of the characters in the scene of course, and I’m looking at myself. There’s me, sitting all alone in my cottage in silence, with empty space in the room and no good friend who I thought cared. I have no returned call, no letter, no text, no voicemail. Just silence and quiet.

Who would that woman be (who is me), sitting alone in her cottage living room, without the belief that someone else in the world does not care (in my case, an old friend)?

The inquirer in our Year of Inquiry group looked at himself in a restaurant, watching his partner not include him in the conversation. Man eating a nice meal, looking around, noticing people, the environment.

If that man didn’t have the thought “she doesn’t care about me” who would he be?

Who would I be?

Relaxed. Feeling the room. Watching. Noticing so much going on in that scene, that environment. Couch, desk, pen, rug.

Could silence be “care”?

Except for my mind’s judgments about silence and quiet and no one being there….I might find the quiet very beautiful, very supportive, and very connected. Even magical.

Even exciting.

She does care about me.

Could this be just as true, or truer?

I suppose. She’s not hurting me, like yelling at me or taking away my stuff, or breaking something I like. She’s leaving me alone.

Actually, she’s taken me very seriously–so seriously she’s chosen to not ever respond to me or write back, or call, when I’ve reached out. She’s cared very, very much. She’s working through her own process. It doesn’t require contact with me, at the moment.

Turning the thought around again: I don’t care about me. 

Do you criticize yourself? Ruminate on what you said or did “wrong”?

I sure did, in my situation. I thought I should have been more clear with her, read her better, been sharper, or more easy-going. I told myself I shouldn’t care, too, when I really did. Which was not very caring.

Turning it around again: I don’t care about her. 

In that situation, how is this just as true?

I don’t relax, and let her be herself, moving on into a life without me actively in it. I don’t like her silent treatment. I rip her to shreds in my mind and see pictures of her deserving to suffer.


“There’s no release or escape from yourself until you leave him alone and focus on your own turnarounds. Changing him [her] will no longer be your life’s work. You can be your life’s work. You’re the one who believes in change.” ~ Byron Katie in I Need Your Love–Is That True?

The quickest way to peace with that person who doesn’t care?

Leave them alone. Question my own caring. Redefine skewed ideas of what “care” is. Notice. Rest.


Much love,


Plus, October 4-day retreat in northeast Seattle 10/18-10/22, five more spots for commuters. Gorgeous setting, I’ll help you find an AirBnB nearby if you’re traveling (and if you want to sleep on the couch/air mattress at the retreat house, that works, too).

Eating Peace: Two physical sensations worth questioning, for your eating freedom

Have you ever noticed the deep self-criticism (or self-pride) you might feel because you’re full, or you’re hungry?

Fullness and hunger are two states of physical sensation when it comes to eating and the body.

Some of us who have pushed the boundaries super far on these conditions have felt the pain….of both extremely stuffed with food, or extremely hungry for food.

We all know we’d like to avoid either extreme. It’s natural to want to be somewhere more in the middle, and more relaxed. If it was easy to simply remain in the middle, without swinging to extremes, we would.

Something about this isn’t easy, when it gets thrown off balance.

One way you can find some insights on your own beliefs about these states of sensation, is to judge them relentlessly. See what you really believe about yourself when you’re super hungry, or super full (or about anyone else when they are).

What does fullness mean about you, as a person? (It’s often really horrible, but sometimes good, I know).

What does hunger mean about you, as a person? (Also horrible, but sometimes good, for other reasons).

When you identify your most painful thoughts about either one of these conditions, you might find some surprising beliefs come forward into awareness.

The good news, is you can then question these thoughts using The Work of Byron Katie.

Is it true, for example, that you’re “good” when you’re hungry, and “bad” when you’re full?

Really consider it. I used to “know” it wasn’t true, but I’d act completely like it was, and something believed it at a very deep level.

Who would you be without your story, your judgment, your assessment, your belief?

There’s great freedom in wondering who you’d be without your story of hunger and fullness. You might get to experience these sensations like you’re feeling them for the very first time. Like they are sacred, interesting messages, worthy of paying attention to….over the mind’s thoughts to ignore them.

Much love,


True freedom: feeling the answer to this question

A friend of mine and I were talking closely.

These are the kinds of conversations I love, and seem to have on a regular basis–not just with clients questioning thought, but with others journeying on the path of life as well.

“What if you got your arms and legs cut off, would you still be you?”

Of course!

I’d be me, maybe a little traumatized, but I’d be “me”. I might be someone who had gone through a huge transformation, never to be the same again.

But still with all my memories, my childhood, my personality, the Enneagram 5 and INFP on the Myers Briggs personality test. I’d recall the times I could walk and hold a pencil and even what those felt like probably.

“So if you got your head cut off….how ’bout that? Would you still be you?”


Except, this is a fantastic question.

I mean….?

We usually believe that without our minds, we aren’t ourselves. If someone loses all their memories, or has brain damage, or is in a coma, they aren’t themselves anymore. Right?

But are we our minds? Our thoughts? Our memories?


This is related to the fascinating and contemplative fourth question in The Work of Byron Katie: Who would you be without your story? Who would you be without your stressful thought? Who, or what, would you BE without all that energy focusing on danger, worry, sadness, upset?

Who would you be now in this moment, if you couldn’t reference the past or the future, or make comparisons, or judge something as Good or Bad?

It’s almost like the mind itself, which is the one pondering that question apparently, says…..I don’t know. 

What else could it say?

Who would I be without a head?

I don’t know.

Kind of hilarious, though, to consider.

I can imagine two ways I might contemplate this question. One is without life. As if my head has been cut off (original question). In that case, I certainly no longer exist as that individual life. There was a me, if anyone remembers it, but whatever “I” am is one big I-don’t-know. A mystery no one ever knows, until we die.

The other option is with life. That is, I am still functioning as a living entity, and human body that’s called “alive” but I have no believable mind. No thoughts, sight, hearing, smell or taste. Heart is still pumping. Life force or body intact. Just no “head” in the sense of the head being the center of thinking energy.

Without the head in full operation, or the brain doing what it seems to do, I notice what’s left is feeling. Touch. Sensation. Aliveness, all by itself.

An openness is left. I don’t believe it is a certain way, without question.

I notice things are OK in this moment, with this deepest sensation of feeling, sensing the pulse of life, not knowing for sure about what anything means.

Why is this so appealing?

You can only find out by trying it. Sitting still and feeling, and noticing what’s here if you didn’t have a busy, stressed-out, upset mind?

“We suffer because we overlook the fact that, at heart, we are all right.” 
Douglas E. HardingOn Having No Head

“This is true freedom: a mind that is no longer deceived by itself.” ~ Byron Katie

That one thing you’ve been so bothered by today? Take a moment to wonder who you’d be without your thoughts and beliefs about it.

Just a moment of deep breath. Being.

Much love,


I need more time!

First Friday Inquiry with Grace is here! We start at 7:45 am Pacific Time. Everyone and anyone is welcome to join, listen, raise your hand to share or “do” The Work. We’ll begin by filling out a Judge Your Neighbor worksheet. Use this as a time to simply do The Work. I’ll walk you through step by step. Beginners and experienced all are welcome. All you need to bring is a pen and paper, dial in with your phone or computer, and get ready to open your mind.

Click the link here to join me for First Friday (everyone joining will be muted, so don’t be shy, you can come and see what it’s like by listening in). No one is required to share out loud.


Sunday at 5 pm Pacific Time the doors close for Year of Inquiry. I am so, so honored and excited for the beautiful group who have joined. While the full program earns a huge number of credits for Certification in The Work (166) through the Institute for The Work, the most important part of this program is doing The Work. Some people will do TeleSessions Only (the flexible version where you are not earning credit) and some will jump in to complete all requirements for training in the Institute as a Certified Facilitator. Two levels of participation.

I get so excited because….wondering if our stressful beliefs are true is a most stunning and beautiful experience to have.

To read about Year of Inquiry and enroll, visit HERE. If you have questions, I’ll probably be answering them all weekend, so don’t hesitate to write


One thing we’ll be doing in Year of Inquiry Month Three is noticing our common, frequent Top Ten Stressful Hits. Have you ever noticed repetitive objections or complaints can repeat themselves regularly, over and over, in your head?

There’s not enough time. Life is hard. He doesn’t care about me. I’ve been abandoned. I need x in order to be happy. I can’t go on unless…..

The scenes, or situations, or even the people and characters involved can change….

…but here comes the same thought. Again.

Byron Katie refers to these kinds of repetitive thoughts as Underlying Beliefs (and so do other speakers, authors, researchers).

These beliefs maybe formed when you were really young. Or perhaps they began before your time, and they were passed along from generation to generation and you received these beliefs from your mom or dad without even realizing it.

You can still question them. Especially when they’re stressful.

The other day, I was writing for a book project underway. I get to write one chapter in a collection of chapters written by facilitators of The Work who have been inquiring for a long time. The deadline for the chapter was yesterday.

I had the thought just like I’ve had with so many projects and events in life: “I need more time.”

It’s possible this thought will never go away. It’s just a little voice that likes to sing. About “time”.

Time, time, time we love time! More time, more time, more! Not enough time, not enough time, not enough!

I chuckled after I heard the thought “I need more time”. Because almost immediately I had the question “Is it true?”


Because I really have sat many times with this inquiry and felt the spaciousness of what it’s like without believing I need more time. For anything.

Not more time for this book writing project, not for hanging out with a close friend, not for making more money, not for running a race, not for weeding the garden, not for waking up or becoming enlightened, not for being alive.

I notice there’s always this moment, here right now. I can only finish what I finish, do what I do, live this life, be this.

There’s no more time available….that’s reality. There’s no less time either. The amount of time required is in the hands of something else, some other force, not this personal small identity of “me”.

Who would you be without this underlying belief, a human belief passed along for ages from one to the next to the next, that we must hurry, or we’re under pressure, or there’s not enough time?

What if Unfinished… OK?

Could the amount we have be enough? Be plenty?

Turning my ancient repetitive belief around: I have enough time. I do not need more time. Only my thinking needs more time.

Could it be the manuscript of this book chapter is “done” for now?

Of course. I tweak, edit, correct, update. Then the deadline comes, and off it goes. Good enough. What else would it be?

What are genuine examples of how you do NOT need more time in your life, for whatever you think you need more time for?

Why do you need more time, anyway?

Ahhhhh, therein lies the interesting question. Because I love this so much, I’m afraid of losing it. Because I dislike this, I need time to fix it. Because people will disapprove, time will fix the disapproval. Because people approve, time will keep it going.

Are any of these conclusions absolutely true?

“Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time–past and future–the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

It’s only my thinking that actually needs more time.

And one way I can give my thinking more time….is questioning it’s beliefs, with The Work.


The question, O me! so sad, recurring–What good amid these, O me, O life?
That you are here–that life exists, and identity;
That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.
~ Walt Whitman
Much love,

P.S. I was on the radio with some local Seattle people. Listen to the show HERE.

Here’s the bottom line

Countdown to Year of Inquiry starting next week with Orientation, and the following week with live calls. We’re very close to full.

I love beginning the new year in September. It’s probably conditioning from schooling my entire childhood. It begins to feel like fall, with more orange sun, longer shadows, slightly shorter days. And my hands are clapping to think of sitting in self-inquiry with all the wonderful people showing up to share a year together.

There are 3 final spots open for the FULL program (receiving ITW credit for the equivalent of a School for The Work plus 80 more partnering credits plus a few more for a total of 166).

Two people asked about receiving credit inside ITW even if they’ve already completed two Schools for The Work. The answer is YES, you’d get credit in ITW for this Year of Inquiry program if you complete it in full, even if you’ve got two schools or more already on your certification resume.

So if you are interested in really diving in to full blown training and moving towards certification in The Work, being in your own investigation of what has stressed you in your life, and being a part of a group doing this together for a year….join us in this deep way to practice and sink into The Work as a way of living.

If you have questions about the full program, I’m happy to talk (press reply and we’ll set up a time). The fee for the FULL program earning all credits in the Institute for The Work is $3200 (or you can have the option of paying monthly). You’ll come to two retreats in Seattle (October and May) and partner with someone in the group once a month (you’ll receive a partner assignment, you don’t have to choose a partner yourself).

To join sign up here (you’ll see links at the bottom for your program choice): JOIN NOW.


How do we know something’s stressful?

We feel it. Anger, rage, horror, terror, anxiety, shock, worry, sadness.

When feelings are really big….they can’t be missed.

But what about less obvious emotions? What if you feel just a slight irritation, or annoyance, or boredom?

Sometimes, when a feeling isn’t so crushing (and sometimes even when it is)….we humans can tend to move with speed towards the first instinctual order of business: Stop the feeling!! I want to get off!! 

Think about what it’s like when you take care of an upset baby.

We begin to try to figure out why the baby is crying, angry, fearful, distressed. If all basics are handled (hungry, thirsty, tired, diaper changed) then we often move to cheer the baby up. We shake shiny things, sing songs, make goofy noises, snap our fingers, bounce.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that….it’s often what works beautifully for babies.

As adults, however, there may be more than survival-level disturbances or needs. We are fed, clothed, watered and awake. Needs are met in the physical world.

Yet, instead of inquiring, writing, and studying more deeply what might be bothering us, we automatically want to shake shiny things. Eat, drink, smoke, nap, sneak, watch netflix, internet, clean, text, date, buy, spend, work.

Make the distress stop! 

If the stress stems from a disturbance in the mind, however, based on believing what you think as the Truth….

….no shiny thing will ever really work to end the suffering.

(I tried it with food, and it wasn’t pretty).

It may be interesting for awhile, but then, if you’re like me, you might feel haunted by ghosts from the past, or images of what terrible thing might happen in the future.

It goes unresolved until you inquire into the nature of what you fear, or of what you find most heart-breaking.

The good news?

Sitting with the pain and difficulty, and the feelings–whether big or small–winds up being the easier way.

It’s weird, I know. Am I saying the harder way is the easier way?

Yeah, I basically AM saying the “harder” way (feeling strongly, looking at the suffering directly) is easier.

The best way I know how to do this….and it involves listening to the mind and including it as a companion, not an enemy….

….is The Work.

Even if you never join Year of Inquiry or any other group program, you can do The Work. You can do it for free.

First, sit down and think of ONE thing only that’s bothering you. Maybe in the back of your mind. One person who betrayed you, or hurt you, or who you haven’t forgiven.

Remembering that person, see the situation that disturbs you most, and write it down using a Judge Your Neighbor worksheet.

Be so very honest on this worksheet. Furious, desperate, vengeful, grief-stricken.

It might be really, really uncomfortable….but you’ve got four questions. The secret sauce to transformation. The end of having to keep talking about that problem endlessly.

You can do this!

“Here’s the bottom line: suffering is optional. If you prefer to suffer, go on believing your stressful thoughts. But if you’d rather be happy, question them.” ~ Byron Katie in A Mind At Home With Itself

Much love,

P.S. Here’s the latest Peace Talk podcast on boredom stress. Enjoy and let me know what you think. Leave a review on itunes if you’re able to figure out how to leave reviews (LOL).

Exclude nothing, welcome it. The astonishing practice of The Work.

Have you ever experienced the feeling like you know The Work of Byron Katie is transformative, you’ve tried it, you’ve done it, you’ve been in workshops on The Work, you’ve sat with Katie in person, you’ve even gone to The School for The Work….

….and yet, something isn’t jarring loose? Something keeps on keepin’ on, it keeps repeating itself, you keep feeling bad about the same thing, you don’t really get how to address your particular relationship(s) or issue?

It can’t be so simple, can it? You can’t just “question your thinking” and change your life, can you?

Yet we’re drawn, constantly, to inquire once we’ve been bit by the bug of the power of self-inquiry. To wonder about if what we’re thinking is actually true is amazing!

What if everything I’ve ever been terrified of isn’t actually true?

Wow. Exciting.

But even though I’ve known and deeply experienced and been fundamentally changed and impressed by The Work, I haven’t always felt the power of it.

know how to do The Work, but….(we have our reasons we don’t do it, or we think it won’t work….)

The grooves and habits we’re in are perhaps deep, and practiced for many years (since childhood)!

Over the past ten years I’ve worked on my own thoughts about the following topics, and worked with so many people who were suffering about the very same situations.

  • Doing The Work on someone who really angers you, where you felt resentment or even rage for being betrayed, ignored, hurt.
  • Doing The Work on money, or loss of your job, or feeling anxious about your survival because of the volatility of money or your career.
  • Doing The Work on addictions, like going to the fridge for more, more, more when you’re clearly not hungry, or drinking to where you don’t remember what you said, or smoking cigarettes when you thought you already quit.
  • Doing The Work on love, sexuality, couples, marriage or divorce
  • Doing The Work on getting cancer, hurting yourself physically, aging, or not being attractive enough.
  • Doing The Work on the pain of being alive, on mother, father, sister, brother….on everything we learned or experienced when we were tiny things.

If you wonder about hitches or blocks about doing The Work, like thinking it’s not as big a deal as it seems, or it’s just not so light and easy, you may enjoy listening to the live immersion webinar today.

Come join me for an investigation of what typically blocks us when it comes to this profound and transformational self-inquiry.

We start today, Tuesday, August 22nd at 8:30 am PT: Ten Barriers to The Work and How To Dissolve Them. (2 hours) Click HERE to register. Bring a pen and paper.

At the very end, and I mean truly after 90 minutes of only focusing on barriers to The Work and wonderful exercises to help crack them….I’ll talk about Year of Inquiry for those interested in the one year program starting soon (live calls start the week of Sept 15).

But if you aren’t drawn or can’t attend this live webinar….don’t worry.

I’m here with you in The Work. No one needs a webinar to do The Work. The Work is something you can do, free of charge, by answering four questions and finding turnarounds.

All you need to do is identify one particularly stressful thought today. Write it down.

Then hold it up against the four questions. Keep repeating it over again, as you wonder about every question, and every answer. Then find your turnarounds….all the opposites to your stressful belief.

If you have a special and particularly difficult stressful thought, hit reply and let me know what it is and if you’ve worked it before. I’ll write about it in a Grace Note soon.

“When the mind begins inquiry as a practice, it learns as a student of itself that everything is for it. Everything adds to it, enlightens it, nourishes it, reveals it. Nothing is or ever was against it. This is a mind that has grown beyond opposites. It’s no longer split. It keeps opening, because it’s living out of a fearless, undefended state, and it’s eager for knowledge. It realizes that it’s everything, so it learns to exclude nothing, to welcome it all.” ~ Byron Katie in A Mind At Home With Itself

Let’s do The Work. Because nothing could be so wonderful as to not be against what happens.

Much love,


No one knows what’s good and what’s bad about the body (+ immersion class 8/22)

Ever wondered what all the fuss is about when it comes to doing The Work of Byron Katie?

Even when I had powerful insights questioning my stressful thinking, I sometimes got really stuck.

Sometimes, it felt like The Work wasn’t “working”! I’d consider the same person for the thousandth time and how much they bugged me, or have the very same fear about money, or my child, or my body appear in my thoughts once more.

Quite awhile ago, I began to notice some of the same patterns of resistance to self-inquiry in other people too, as I facilitated them or had great discussions with them about their investigations into suffering.

Studying the resistance to self-inquiry, an immersion class was created: Ten Common Barriers That Keep The Work From Working…and How to Dissolve Them.

It’s packed full of information, several exercises that may help you deepen your experience of inquiry and The Work, and the four primary ingredients I’ve found that keep us clear, and practicing.

At the end of the very robust class chock full of information, I’ll share about one of my favorite and most thorough programs: Year of Inquiry (which starts in September). It’s for those interested in a structured program in the practice and training of The Work of Byron Katie.

But even if you would never sign up for a program that lasted an entire year….this immersion 2-hour course should give you some inspiration and ideas about exploring your own inner world, and enjoying the transformation that often results.

We’ll meet Tuesday, August 22nd 8:30 am Pacific Time. To register, sign up HERE.

Speaking of resistance.

Not long ago, I was at a summer gathering outdoors. People were dressed in shorts, tank tops, sun dresses, and bathing suits.

And an old familiar thought suddenly appeared.

I saw someone I know to be the same age as I am, with gorgeously streaking gray and blonde hair (no hair color going on over there), a tall, thin, muscular-looking body, cool shorts, and the perfect matching tank top.

As I looked, I thought “she is so beautiful, and has remained in such perfect shape.”

I asked her about hip pain, or back problems. Nope. I asked her if she still exercising a lot. Oh yes! Yoga, pilates, cross-country skiing in winter, long walks and long bike rides.

The thought that suddenly appeared was…..I don’t look like that, or do such extensive activity. My body is sagging. My skin is drooping. I do not have leg muscles that still look fabulous like those muscles over there.

Boo hiss.

Body comparison is a magnificent topic, and not uncommon, for doing The Work.

It feels like an old worn-down groove of thinking, those comparing thoughts: This body must perform, look wonderful, carry me without pain, stay healthy, appear age-less (or slowly aging), not wrinkle or sag, be strong.

Perhaps you have the thought your body should weigh “x” or look like “y” when it doesn’t.

That other way is better. Not this way that I am.

One powerful question you can use to dig a little deeper into this comparison stress, is to wonder what it means that you look the way you do, and that other person looks like that?

What does it mean about you, that your body is the way it is?

For me, my body the way it is right now compared to this friend’s body, was a reminder of what I can’t do anymore, and maybe ever, again. I no longer can ride for miles on my bike, I can’t even seem to skip a day of yoga without back pain, I don’t have tight skin, and my muscles definitely do not show up distinctly like they once did.

It means I’m on the downhill slope of a life in a body. It’s eventually going to die.

Which is no small thought.

Sometimes, the concern people have about the disappointment of their body is that they will not be loved, they will be rejected, they won’t be admired, they’ll be ignored.

It always means something stressful, when you feel a clench about looking at someone else’s body and finding your own lacking, or even ugly.

I can’t experience pleasure, I’m not good enough, I’m rejected, I have no support, people don’t care about me, I have nothing to offer, my life is over.

But who would you be without these stressful stories of the body?

Who would I be in that moment with my friend, without believing my body was worse, her body was better, something was wrong or unfair or hard about the situation, in any way?

I’d be noticing how much appreciation I have for this incredible body I’ve been inhabiting for all these years.

I’d be laughing at the mind and it’s urge to decide something’s wrong, or unacceptable, or ugly—when it can’t possibly know it’s true.

I’d be noticing that sagging seems to be the way of it.

So do I think I know better than God, or reality?

I’d be laughing at my own arrogance, but with a lightness–not with self-criticism or harshness. Seeing I do the best I can, I inquire.

Turning the thought around: I can experience pleasure, I AM good enough, my thoughts are rejecting me (not other people, not the world), I have support, people care about me, I have everything to offer. This body must do exactly what it’s doing, this body must look the way it does (it’s already wonderful), my thinking must not carry me with pain, decline, appear to be aging, wrinkle or sag, my thinking must no be weak. 


These are all so incredibly true.

My body is just simply being itself, doing it’s job, living it’s full life (which is potentially half over) and I really don’t know where this is all going.

“No one knows what’s good and what’s bad. No one knows what death is. Maybe it’s not a something; maybe it’s not even a nothing. It’s the pure unknown, and I love that. We imagine that death is a state of being or a state of nothingness, and we frighten ourselves with our own concepts. I’m a lover of what is: I love sickness and health, coming and going, life and death. I see life and death as equal. Reality is good; so death must be good, whatever it is, if it’s anything at all.” ~ Byron Katie

Who would I really be without my story of what the body is doing, as I stand in the presence of this tall, muscular, thin friend of mine?

Filled with gratitude for this temporary time here on planet earth, apparently in this magical body, appreciating that other body over there (and many more) and knowing nothing, nothing, nothing at all.

Much love,


P.S. Being strangely a bit more organized than usual (because I’m almost 3 weeks ahead of schedule), you’re invited to attend this 2 hour online immersion course on August 22nd at 8:30 am Pacific Time. Love to have you with me there. Register for the live class right HERE.

Thinking of quitting? It’s probably not up to you. Drop the probably.

The other afternoon, a thought popped into my head. It wasn’t exactly peaceful.

“You should just quit.”

The thought was about working. Running my business, doing The Work for a living.

Right in the middle of an afternoon.

  • this will go on forever
  • I’ll never have any savings (or enough of ‘x’)
  • you haven’t amounted to much
  • so what (referring to just about anything)
  • I can’t retire like other people
I thought about canceling my noon yoga class, and the plan to work on the chapter I’m writing for an upcoming book on The Work, and definitely let’s not think about another podcast.
Who cares! 
The funny thing was, it was probably my brain trying to get me to take a break, go outside, relax. Or it was just a random suggestion. I love how the mind will recommend quitting when things seem a little bit hard, or very hard.
I notice these “So What” kinds of thoughts about work and projects come in only when I’m pushing hard, not taking any breaks, skipping meditation, not pausing to do The Work, avoiding rest.
But people, including me, frequently have this thought about quitting when they get upset with someone, feel pushed in between a rock and a hard place, and don’t know another way out. In an extreme way, “quitting” is what people are doing who feel suicidal and imagine exiting life here on planet earth.
Do you have anything you’ve thought about quitting recently?
You should.
Is it true?
How do I react when I have the thought I should quit?
I have pictures of a future where I am no longer doing the thing. No longer in that relationship. No longer going to that location. No longer doing that work.
It is really amazing how powerful the urge to LEAVE is. Cut ’em off! I’m never speaking to her again! Goodbye forever! I quit!
Who would I be without the story of quitting?
Noticing I continue. I stick with the person, situation, circumstance, activity, or not. And it may have little to do with the thought of quitting.
Or nothing at all to do with it.
Turning the thought around: I don’t quit. I quit my thinking. “It” quit me.
All of these options have been true….and now that I think about it and do The Work on this idea of quitting….
….I’m not sure I’ve ever been the one that made quitting happen. I either just knew it was time to stop, or not. Perhaps fatigue and exhaustion caused quitting. Perhaps an awareness the thing wasn’t required resulted in quitting. Perhaps doing The Work caused quitting.
Perhaps there was no quitting whatsoever, even though the idea ran so loudly through my mind.
Here I am writing down the thoughts, sharing them with other people, doing The Work right in front of everyone (as a reader once said to me).
“I follow the way of it, which is always revealed in the moment. It’s God’s will, and it’s always crystal clear. When you no longer have a will of your own, there is no time and space. It all becomes a flow. You don’t decide, you flow from one happening to the next, and everything is decided for you…..This morning I had the thought to shower, and I notice that I stayed with the email. I find that fascinating. Showering was a wonderful idea. Will it move to that, or not? It’s exciting to wait and watch and allow life to move at its own pace as it continues to do what it does.” ~ Byron Katie in 1000 Names for Joy
I have the idea to quit. I don’t quit. I have the idea to quit. One day I do.
Is it happening because I’ve decided so?
There are so many beautiful complexities to the life, the flow, the world. They include this mind, sometimes talking it seems to no one.
The ultimate full-blown complete opposite turnaround: I should just begin. But it’s already happening.
  • this will go on forever YAY!
  • I’ll always have enough of everything I need! WOOHOO!
  • you haven’t amounted to much, which is PERFECT
  • so what (referring to just about anything) HOORAY!
  • I can’t retire like other people. SO LUCKY!
Every new moment, beginning fresh. Looking around at the unknown, the mysterious, the shape of this room, the going for a walk, returning home, writing. Activities did change today. Nothing quit. Life is still here, continuing, never-ending. Always more possibilities, always room for The Work, always life just here, being.

Much love,


This is the only time you suffer. Amazing.

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

Speaking of deadlines.

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

Will it help me reach success?

Ha ha!

I have no idea about that.

She laughed, too.

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

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

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

There’ll be a whole lotta inquiry going on.

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

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

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

Who knows what can happen.

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

What could be better than this kind of intimacy?

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

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

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

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

Who would I be without my story?


Starting another Year of Inquiry. LOL!

Much love,


The Work of Byron Katie on Personal Shame. Begin.

Feeling ashamed, embarrassed, guilty, disgusted with yourself is one of the worst feelings ever.

If you’re like me at all, I used to want to hide in a closet and never come out if I felt embarrassed about something I said or did.

I ate. Or smoked. Or went to movies to take my mind off myself doing that embarrassing thing, or acting that dumb way, or making that stupid mistake. I’d call myself an idiot.

I wanted to leave town and never show my face again.

If someone triggered me into an experience of feeling shame, I might also have thoughts like “that person is so mean, rude, controlling, nasty, immature, etc,” and judge the heck out of them.

They MADE me feel so bad!

Up until a few years ago, if I felt confronted by someone about a thing I said or did that they didn’t like, I might go overboard to fix it, make it so they didn’t think poorly of me, and then hope it was never mentioned again. It was like I couldn’t relax until I knew they liked me.

If I felt like someone had a poor image of me, I stopped answering their phone calls or efforts to get together. Too dangerous.

It’s powerful to look at what you’re thinking, and believing, when you feel ashamed.

I once had a friend say I wasn’t helping out enough around the meal clean up.

Instant shame.

My impulse was to rush to the kitchen and start frantically cleaning everything in sight. I actually DID jump up and move. It never occurred to me for a second to say my back hurt and I was stretching, so I’m opting out.

OMG! I could never say that! (It almost feels weird to write it even now, years later! Who cares about your hurt back, just suck it up and pitch in…..right?!)

What was really going on in the moment someone confronted me, or had a request, or criticized me….were thoughts almost entirely about my ego being bruised, my identity of Good Person being shattered.

  • She should think I’m awesome. At all times.
  • No one should ever be hurt by something I do or say.
  • I must be perceived as caring, thoughtful and kind.
  • People should all love me (and they don’t).
  • It’s not safe to have people dislike you–they can hurt you, cut you off, ditch you, and stab you in the back

One thing I noticed about these underlying fears were….

….they weren’t really about SHAME!

Shame was the reaction. Shame was what happened when I believed someone didn’t like me. Like a weird motivator of violence against myself so I’d fix me.

I was actually terrified out of my skull if someone moved away from me, thought critically of me, didn’t like something I said or did.

I was terrified because I thought I should be perfect and perfect meant never disturbing anyone else, ever. Maybe if they knew everything about me, they WOULD be disturbed. So I have to keep a lid on it.

Now….you can take this even farther by wondering if there’s anyone early in your life who you worried about their view of you?

My parents instantly come to mind, and today, my father.

He was very proper, upstanding, charitable, kind, not at all aggressive, thoughtful, and caring. He only showed anger once a year. He was very faithful in the church, and devoted. He was someone who in my eyes, and in the eyes of many, did the “right” thing. He never put his foot in his mouth, or bothered anyone, it seemed. He was a beloved professor to many students.

But somehow, it was clear that he also had very high standards. He disapproved of quite a few behaviors, and spoke of people he didn’t respect.

Just listening to his words, I vowed to make sure I would never be someone who he could talk about like this. I wanted him to love me all the time, and never be critical.

There’s RIGHT and there’s WRONG. I believed it.

Do you have someone who if they didn’t approve of you, you’d feel absolutely terrible? Has that actually happened?

Even if it hasn’t happened, you can hold that upstanding person in your mind, and notice the fear that enters if you think they MIGHT disapprove of you, or they are disapproving of someone else.

If you’ve done something that if THEY knew you did it, they’d reject you….you can imagine them finding out, and do The Work from this horrifying prospect: someone you care about very much KNOWS what you did, and they disapprove.

Let’s do The Work!

Is it true you need their approval? Is it true that because of the way it went in that situation, you are a bad person? Is it true you must always be perceived as generous, kind, patient, or good in some other way? Is it true you must never, ever, ever hurt anyone’s feelings, and if you do–FIX IT–or hide it forever?


It’s a lot of pressure.

I can’t really know it’s true. It’s hard to be good in everyone’s eyes. It’s hard to TRY to be perfect, to WORK at doing the right thing.

It’s exhausting, actually.

How I react, when I believe I need to be perceived as safe, good, and loving and “work” at it….is I don’t speak the truth, I’m very careful with most humans (especially anyone who reminds me of my dad) and I worry if someone doesn’t express praise, or approval, or doesn’t give me a nod or smile.

Holy Smokes. So stressful.

Who would you be without the belief you have to be good, right, upstanding, clear, loving, and not ever do anything that would disturb someone?

Wait. Really?

Are you sure it’s OK not to work at being the best possible person in the entire world that I could be (and this equals never bothering anyone)?


Because it just doesn’t seem natural to have to work, and get all twisted in a pretzel to make sure you look acceptable, and accepting.

Who would you be without this stressful story that you need to be seen as upstanding, positive, healthy, nice, kind…whatever your words are that you worry about NOT being?

Who would you be without the belief you need to be approved of, by THAT person (you know the one)?

How could it be a good thing that someone hasn’t found you ideal, or perfect? How could it be of benefit that someone said “no” or “you did it wrong!”

Whew. I almost have no idea.

I’ve been operating as if this is a given for so many years, I can’t imagine feeling entirely free to be myself, naturally me, without shame or judgment.

And then….

….I feel it. Just a wee bit. Who I’d be, What I’d be, without the thought.

It’s so light. It’s exciting. Magnificent even.

Without the belief I shouldn’t impose on anyone, or be disapproved of, or be perceived as unloving….

….I am very happy suddenly. Like it’s just completely 100% OK to be whatever this is. Responding, being, connecting, disconnecting. Being a human. Not expecting myself to be more, or other than, human.

Turning the underlying thoughts around:

  • She should think I’m human, capable of foibles. At all times.
  • People should be hurt by something I do or say, when they are.
  • I must NOT be perceived as caring, thoughtful and kind.
  • People shouldn’t all love me (and they do–hee hee).
  • It’s not safe to have people like you (how interesting!)–they can hurt you, cut you off, ditch you, and stab you in the back. And, they can heal you, open you up, set you free, wake you up.

These turnarounds feel so much lighter, so much more true than the original stressful thoughts.

They are worth sitting with slowly, deliberately, and finding your own answers one by one.

“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.”

~ Mary Oliver from the poem Wild Geese

For more sharing on shame and working with this stressful experience, listen to Peace Talk Podcast Episode 133 right HERE.

f you feel shame about something, my number one suggestion?

Pick only one moment where you believe you did it wrong, or you ARE wrong.

Write a Judge Your Neighbor worksheet on that moment. Write down all your beliefs (it’s OK to hide it somewhere, so no one can find it and read it). Write down what you think the WORST thing is that could happen if the whole world was aware of this about you.

Then begin to inquire.

“Your separation from God has ripened. 

Now fall like a golden fruit 

Into my hand. 

All your wounds from craving love

Exist because of heroic deeds.

Now trade in those medals;

That courage will help this world.”

~ Hafiz, from the Poem Trying To Wear Pants

Much love,


P.S. My hands are clapping with the inquirers signing up for Year of Inquiry. If there’s any way to explore and dissolve shame, its with steady self-inquiry using The Work in the presence of other people.

I find no other way so helpful. Read about YOI HERE and scroll all the way down for fees, how the program works, and the schedule. People in Institute for The Work receive credit worth one full School for The Work plus 80 credits of one-to-one partnering. Join us. Your courage will help this world. At least, that’s my story.