Feel bad, in a fog, and not sure why? Burn through, like this.

Do you ever have the thought that you’re not even sure what you’re upset about, or worried about, or anxious about, or sad about….

….you just know you feel troubled, bad, uncomfortable?

How do you do The Work if you can’t really come up with a belief to write down or investigate?

I have two ideas you might find super helpful today, if you’ve had this experience. One involves a little data collection, one just takes you into inquiry right now.

The thing about the data collection option, is people (OK, this would be me) might say UGGGGH. I can’t wait a second longer! I hate looking, wondering, collecting. Plus the word “data” reminds me of white coats and cold surfaces.

So I’ll give you the Go-Directly-To-Inquiry suggestion first.

Sit still for a few minutes. Maybe only one. Get a pen and paper or your computer and write “I have no reason to feel bad” or “I need to know what my thoughts are right now” or “This is too hard” or “Something disturbing is happening.”

Those are the kinds of thoughts I had when I felt foggy, confused, and not able to see what specifically bothered me about being alive in that particular moment.

You can actually then take your thought through the four questions.

If you’re inspired and you don’t believe you have to know anything more than you do, you might even be able to write a Judge Your Neighbor worksheet, even if it feels repetitive and not super deep or like a pile of troubled thoughts just hanging out in the atmosphere, weighing you down.

It’s still a place to start, and maybe more powerful than you realize. You’ll probably discover a thing or two in the inquiry process.

The second suggestion….the “data” one (just pretend the word is a nice, calm, soft word for a moment)….goes like this:

Get a little baby notebook, the kind that’s pocket sized and thin. Or a notepad. Or one piece of paper, that can fold and stuff into your pocket. Carry it around with you all day long and when you feel a surge of emotion, or notice something you don’t like, write down what you’re thinking, even if it doesn’t make logical sense.

Notice especially what you Do Not Like. If you don’t like a picture or image that crosses your mind, write it down. If you don’t like someone’s appearance, or their shirt color, or the street, or the dirty dishes in the sink, write it down.

I don’t like the weather. I don’t like my hair. I don’t like the pain in my back. I don’t like her shoes. I don’t like my dirty car. I don’t like the way I told my dad’s death story to the listening group–I went on too long. I don’t like her sarcastic text last summer. I don’t like moving away from Kansas.

It’s a running tally.

And by the way, my family moved away from Kansas in 1969, so what pops into your head that you don’t like might be really, really old.


It’ll just be there.

No need to explain anything, this is a list for YOU alone.

No pressure to start inquiring immediately, just an exercise in noticing.

You might be very, very surprised at what comes to the surface, if you’re being a neutral researcher, collecting a bit of data about this working mind.

And voila.

Stressful stories tend to appear, the more relaxed you become about allowing them to be seen.

When I had a really rough relationship underway (apparently) I did this data collection with the man I was supposedly dating at the time. My “thought catcher” notebook was green, and in my purse or bag at all times. If I had a thought that had anything at all to do with the man in question, I’d write it down. I’d see the picture, and note the scene.

“Moment he said ‘x’ at the horse race” or “Words he muttered about his neighbors when we were sitting in his back yard” or “the way he put his arm around me possessively during dinner at Brad’s house”.

Here’s one of the best things I noticed about this data collection notebook.

As I kept it over many weeks (months) I would review what I had written before. Some moments or situations I did The Work on, but some went flitting by, and I actually forgot about them, even though they were pretty stressful….and even though I wrote them down.

I would read, and think….WOW. That’s right! He said ‘x’ and I ignored it. He did ‘y’ after I asked him something and I didn’t ask him to elaborate at all. He asked me ‘z’ and I laughed, instead of being honest about my fear of the question.

My own desire to go unconscious and NOT think about my stressful thoughts was evident, right in the notebook.

I kept doing The Work….kept returning to the issues without being so judgmental towards myself that I’m repeating the same thing over and over.

Everything became clearer, and clearer, and clearer, until the relationship became easy, not hard. I said “no” honestly, and “yes” honestly, and it naturally unfolded the way it needed to.

The thing about tracking and continuing to look, even if you don’t always want to….

….is insight and awareness begins to blossom and flower.

I had a lot of practice in trying to cut my thoughts down as if they were weeds, or leave the yard entirely, or hate the field because it was just so scary how fast it grew.

So it took some alternate kind of energy, a non-violent sort of open, kind approach to this mind, that whatever it was doing was the best it could, and worth taking a look at.

The more I could consider taking a look at the voices or pictures in this head as it moved through the day, the easier it became. Logging, noticing, writing it down without so much judgment, without such quick judgment of the content.

If you find it difficult to do this….you are not alone.

I STILL have the thought sometimes that sounds like…..”do I HAVE TO look at this? Seriously? Can’t we just party, instead?” Meaning, eat, drink, smoke, distract.

Believe me. If that worked, I’d probably be doing it. I’d still be thinking that identifying my thoughts and questioning them was the hardest way, and eating or blacking out was the easy way.

It’s the opposite.

If you need help along the way, to keep going, then you might be seriously considering Year of Inquiry starting September 5th. I’m getting a ton of questions about it. Registration will officially close August 31st. Everyone enrolling will make a solo appointment with me right away that fits with your schedule. You’ll have two months to decide (until November 1st, 2017) if it’s right for you and if it isn’t, for any reason, you can withdraw. Full payment, and also payment plans for 12 months, are available.

All I can say is, I myself wouldn’t have done The Work without regular, committed, connected time with others in a group or at least one person to partner with regularly, without stopping, keeping steady at it just like any Olympic athlete might be training.

I know there is no competition really, this isn’t a contest or an attempt to “win”. But in this world of humanity, if you aren’t training and coaching and doing your daily practice with the fun of the huge upcoming Olympics in mind, there will definitely be no participation in the field at all.

Left to my own devices, all I was doing was floundering through a murky forest of thought and beliefs that were incredibly stressful.

Connecting with others brought such insight, sharing, lowering of fear, intimacy and awareness, I am forever grateful for each and every person willing to do The Work with me along the way.

I definitely couldn’t have done it without you.

And I’m grateful also for every person who has ever bugged me, because I couldn’t find this power of love and truth without them, either.

If you’re wanting to commit to steady ongoing practice with other beautiful inquirers, Year of Inquiry might be the perfect way. You can read about Year of Inquiry HERE and scroll down for logistical details like the schedule, fees, and the monthly topics. People in Institute for The Work receive credit worth one full School for The Work plus 80 credits of one-to-one partnering.

“These four questions will join any program you’ve got and enhance it. Any religion you have — they’ll enhance it. If you have no religion, they will bring you joy. And they’ll burn up anything that isn’t true for you. They’ll burn through to the reality that has always been waiting.” ~ Byron Katie

Much love,


P.S. Let me know how your data collection goes, or if you have questions. You can do this.

The stress of trying to get rid of your thoughts….can be deadly

Year of Inquiry is now taking registrations for 2017-2018. Read all about it HERE and scroll down for logistical details like the schedule, fees, and the monthly topics. We begin Sept 5th. It’s OK to think about it a bit. It’s a big commitment, worth pondering. I usually take registrations until August 30th. If it looks like it will fill before then, I’ll let you know.

For the first time ever, Institute for The Work candidates training to be certified in The Work can earn an entire School for The Work plus 80 credits more by completing the YOI Program.

Everyone in Year of Inquiry ends the year with two months of Summer Camp for The Mind, underway right now.

And what a great call just yesterday, where we heard about a situation some might call tragic.

Someone close to us dies, unexpectedly, from a drug overdose.

Death sometimes seems like the worst case scenario–not always, not hands-down The Worst–but often with death or thinking of death, we feel the pain of loss, the finality, the sadness, the quick in-breath.

Our minds start dancing about, running to find whose fault it is or answer the question about why it occurred. Who contributed? Could someone have stopped it? How did this happen?

Recently I’ve received a few email letters from folks who don’t feel like living, who can’t stand living with a mind that’s dark, destructive, violent, or depressive. They just want to get out of the anxiety, get away from thoughts that hurt.

I don’t blame them for a second.

Having a mind that’s yelling at you is very tough. People report feeling almost traumatized by their own mind.

One thing I know that helps, when it comes to inquiry?

Questioning this thought: I hate my mind. It has to stop. I have to shut it down.

These are the kinds of thoughts I used to have all the time that prompted binge-eating, or drinking, or smoking, or obsessing about one problem or topic without being able to put it down, ever.

I imagine it’s what someone was thinking, in part, that would want to use heroin, or a drug to the point of overdosing on it.

So let’s inquire. Because almost everyone has had these kinds of thoughts about disliking their own mental process. They may not decide they want to die, but they still have thoughts like “I’m a mess, I should be different, I hate how I am, how I think.”

Is it true your mind has to stop, you have to shut it down or change it, you need to quit having the thoughts you do?

What? Of course it’s true!

It’s why I’m doing The Work.


Pause. Wait.

Can you absolutely know it’s true you have to change your thinking, quit thinking that way, get away from your thoughts, shut them down?

Um. It’s weird, but I can’t say “yes, it’s absolutely true.”

I notice people think thoughts that are terrifying, depressing, enraged, desperate, confusing, sad. I’ve thought a lot of them. Probably billions of them.

It seems that in reality, the way of it, people think difficult thoughts.

My difficult thoughts, actually, have been what has pointed to the places I most need to look. The places I felt most traumatized, ashamed of, where my beliefs were the most stressful.

So it can’t be absolutely true that I shouldn’t, or they shouldn’t, think stressful thoughts.

How do you react when you believe you MUST change your thinking, end it, remove it, delete it, get away from it?

The way I reacted is I felt worse. I read books. I signed up for programs to help. I ate. I went to a movie. I felt horrible. I didn’t talk with anyone. I isolated myself. I withdrew from people, not wanting to be around them or connect with them. I drank. I attacked my own mind very viciously, with words. I moved on to the next program. I felt bad. My feelings were wild, intense, frightening, just like my thoughts about how much I hated my thoughts.

So who would I be without this thought that my mind is my enemy, it’s thinking the wrong way, it needs to stop, it needs to change, NOW?


But a strange sense of excitement, even a very soft “wow” begins to arise.

You mean, this battling mind so full of dark thoughts and mean, nasty words, and brutal attacks towards itself….wasn’t my enemy?

Didn’t need to be shut down with force?

I notice, without the thought that my thoughts are terrible and need to be changed….

….this present moment suddenly becomes lighter.

Looking at the past, it also seems lighter. Like a long, unusual journey through brambles, storms, dangerous seas….but also sunny weather, lazy days, moving connections, insights.

I don’t need to seek anything that’s missing, or DO something to eliminate or make change….without the thought my mind needs to be fixed, changed, shut down, hated.

Without any thought that I must fight and kill the mind, I don’t actually have any interest in getting in gear for a war.

I might listen to what it’s saying instead.

Oh. Wow.

Turning the concepts around: I love my mind. It has to keep going. I have to open it up. I shouldn’t be different, I accept how I am, how I think.

These feel so much more gentle. Could they be just as true, or truer? What are examples?

Well, the thoughts I have, even if violent and aggravating or scary, are telling me important things about how I’m viewing the world.

They’re telling me I’m upset about a thing or two. They’re reminding me…Re-Minding me…what to look at much more closely, for understanding and awareness. They actually help my mind rejoin itself and come back together.

Sure, it doesn’t feel that great to have a mind full of trauma, pictures, worries, criticism, judgment. But it’s doing what it can do to get my attention!

I want to look and to know. It’s actually pretty amazing to go back, and to look, at events and situations that overwhelmed me and freaked me out, especially to look with inquiry and investigation at a deep level.

I’d rather not bypass, come to think of it. It never worked to eat my head off (I love that phrase, doesn’t it just say the perfect reason for eating I had at the time? Eating my head OFF). It never worked to try to shut the thinking down, or enforce change in my mind, or chant lots of affirmations.

Every time there’s a battle, I lose. Even if I’m at war with my own thoughts.

Byron Katie says from time to time: “We either believe our thoughts, or we question them. There’s no other choice.”

I keep discovering, there isn’t any other choice. Part of me would like there to be (OK, not really). Isn’t there a short cut somewhere? Can’t it just stop? You mean my choices really are A) Believe or B) Question. Can’t I do something else?


I am not in charge.

Not even of this thinking.

I am not in charge of discovering self-inquiry either….I backed into it and kept following it because I noticed when I believed all those swirling wild uncomfortable troubling thoughts, I suffered and wanted to shut down the suffering with force.

When I questioned those troubling thoughts, they seemed to turn into laughter. Trust. Love. Even joy.

The inquiry offered wisdom, and making things very simple: questioning just one concept at a time.

“I don’t let go of my concepts–I meet them with understanding. Then they let go of me.” ~ Byron Katie in Loving What Is

Much love, Grace

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.

Faster than the speed of light; it’s a bird, it’s a plane…it’s a thought!

During the Being With Byron Katie Silent Retreat the actual sessions with Katie and audience were not, of course, so silent.

Hands were raised, incredible questions asked, wisdom shared, and the brilliant dialogues and people doing The Work with Katie, so inspiring.

It also wasn’t so silent in the head.

Yaketty yaketty yak.

The mind works so fast, it’s chattering and talking and making it’s opinion known so quickly, you can’t even hear the words.

The imagery that arises in the mind, the words, the sensations….

….they all seem to travel at 120 miles per hour. Or 200 kilometers.

Faster than the speed of light, it’s a bird, it’s a plane….it’s a THOUGHT!

And the thought acts like Superman, too.

This is true, real and great and powerful. Be afraid.

After the very first day of the retreat, I suddenly became aware that I had been chattering about several big things in my life, without even stopping to question them, for months.

It was like the brakes went on, screeching to a huge halt.

Katie asked everyone to consider moments in their lives when they believed they were not OK. Make a list.

Who would I be without any of those stressful thoughts about moments when I supposedly wasn’t OK?


Here’s one thing I noticed. And when it occurred to me, I just shook my head and almost started laughing out loud.


Most of the stressful times when I thought I really wasn’t OK, when I was scared….this is a little embarrassing….


….I was sitting on my couch, alone in my cute little cottage living room.


Here’s me reading a text saying she’s through with the family.


Here’s me reading a letter I just opened in the mail from the Department of Health.


Here’s me reading an email from an old flame saying he’s coming over. Now.


Here’s me reading my bank statement which says $10.16 and I have a mortgage bill of $1800 due in two days.


I mean. It’s just soooo obvious that the stress came from inside my creative head, not from actual reality. It was all future anticipation of what horrible thing might happen in an hour, or a week, or a couple of months.


None of those things I pictured ever happened. Not one.




And the rest of the retreat only went up from there.


A stunning reminder of the power of the incredible question: is it true?


“You move totally away from reality when you believe that there is a legitimate reason to suffer.” ~ Byron Katie

Much love,


When the student is ready…the story will appear. Or so it seems for me, today.


For two days, my primary focus has been sitting with Byron Katie (as she is streamed via video from Switzerland) and a beautiful group of people sharing complete silence together in between all the sessions.

This may sound a little funny….like not that exciting, or perhaps even difficult (I’ve been on very difficult silent retreats before when my mind was very active), or maybe weird that it’s all on video so how could this be “real”.

But oh my.

Am I ever glad I have done this for 3 years in a row, even though this year my venue went away last minute, I had to grab something site-unseen and I thought it wasn’t going to be so nice being in the city center (one of my thoughts) and I thought I was going to “lose” money, blah blah blah.

None of that logistical, financial or detail stuff matters at all, in comparison to the beauty of questioning stressful stories, hearing Katie answer peoples’ questions, hearing the incredible work the people in Switzerland are doing.

Here’s one thing I know.

I would not sit still like this, with 3 hours of silence in between sessions (just like the folks in Switzerland). I wouldn’t take the morning walk in silence where we all intentionally walk together in walking meditation. I wouldn’t write out my own thoughts, taking note, doing The Work with people in between sessions if they’re really upset or confused. I just wouldn’t give myself that (this is also a story, I realize).

The way I’d do it on my own is to watch it in segments, get up, walk away, pause the video, do laundry, answer emails, answer the phone, NOT write worksheets or contemplate the astonishing concepts people bring forward on my own.

People in the retreat in Switzerland have done worksheets on death, extreme violence at the hand of a parent, the meat industry, needing the love of a partner, wanting mother to be different. Their situations are so beautiful, and amazing, and such teaching for those of us who listen.

One of the participants did The Work on life today. What a big wide-open concept. She was worried, actually terrorized, that life was dangerous or something terrible could happen.

Katie asked us all, during a 3 hour silent break, to think about any times in our lives when we were not OK, and to write them down.

When was I not OK?

Part of me was thinking I know I’m OK….I’m completely OK so far.

Yet, I still had visions and pictures of the times appearing in my mind, even though I’ve done The Work on major aspects of these situations.

I had fun writing them anyway.

  • When I lost all my money and couldn’t pay the mortgage
  • When my former husband said he didn’t want to be married anymore
  • When my sister cut me off
  • When one of my best friends betrayed me by reporting me to the Department of Health for a completely false reason
  • When I tore my right hamstring off my right pelvic bone
  • When I learned I had cancer–a sarcoma tumor on my thigh
  • When I learned my dad was dying of leukemia many years ago

The thing is….I’ve found great peace by doing The Work on all these things. I’ve even found that I’d welcome them happening again (almost) because of the learning, the total OK-ness, that resulted.

I wanted to go back further, though.

I wanted to follow Katie’s invitation to write about Father-Mother-Sister-Brother from the distant past. The things that happened where original beliefs were born.

Like the first betrayal, the first awareness that I would die, the first awareness that my mom or dad would die, the first time I hurt myself physically, the first fight with a sister, the first sadness with a best friend.

I just couldn’t get into it.

Too old. Too far away. Not possible. I don’t feel upset, and I can’t even remember it anymore.

Then. Something happened.

I decided to walk during the 3 hour break. I felt a huge draw to move through the neighborhood of this darling house we were calling our Being-With-Byron-Katie-Silent-Retreat house.

I walked past a Open House for sale, only a few blocks from our retreat. I suddenly realized, I’ve been here before. I broke silence for a moment when the real estate agent approached me in the very quiet house. I said I grew up near here and pointed out the window across the water to another neighborhood about a mile away.

She whipped out her phone and looked up my high school sweetheart’s name in association with the houses on the street.

He lived two houses away. This house was one of his friends’ house. My friend Isabel lived 5 houses away. My friend Sarah lived 8 houses away.

I left the Open House and walked twenty feet to the front of my high school sweetheart’s house. I suddenly remembered walking up the hill to visit him. I remembered walking up the same hill to visit my friend Sarah in sixth grade.

I followed my same path I took many times back to the family home I grew up in, and took a photo.

Everything was coming back to me, like a huge early saga of a movie. I felt nostalgic, and sad, and full of longing, and love, and amazement that here I was, my future 56 year old self, visiting from the future….which was the NOW. None of those nostalgic or sad emotions filled me, they were in the background. They weren’t ALL of me, like so many stories have been.

I mostly felt….gratitude.

There’s the house of Mr. Glass who my dad liked so much, there’s the short-cut up from the play field, here’s the little grocery store where it was such a big deal to walk down the street and get an ice cream bar or some kind of treat, here’s the elementary school, here’s the street where I learned to drive and cars can’t even use it anymore–it’s exclusively closed for walking, there’s one of my best friend’s house where I got served pancakes by his kind mom Mrs. Miller who was also super nice when my dad died.

How lucky can one person be?

To be shown this visit, so that I remember some other times I thought I was not OK that were early. Boyfriend breaking up with me. Sarah moving to White Plains, New York. Fighting with my sister and throwing her clothes out of the window. Mom getting breast cancer. My skin color dividing me from others. Feeling fat.

I can go there.

I can do this work.

I can remember, on purpose.

Byron Katie said to us yesterday (I’m paraphrasing so I can’t put quotes around this one): I’m asking you to go to Hell. I know this is not a little thing. But there are four questions you can take with you. Don’t go, in fact, unless you take the four questions. But in Hell, with these questions….peace becomes possible.

Anything is possible.

What I love noticing is, how safe we are right now, as we go in our minds to that hellish place or that terrifying, awful place, or that sad place we remember.

I am so very safe indeed right now. I am so surrounded by abundance, and the support I need right when I need it. I’m almost shocked with the perfection of it all.

And today, because I just happen to be someone who loves the work, and who therefore arranged this retreat, and wound up renting this retreat house, which happened to be near my old neighborhood of my childhood (all of which I could never have planned)….

….I’m ready to do The Work on things that weren’t available to me before. They appear now. Memories. Situations. Hellish times or even just slightly bothersome ones. Rising up for inquiry.

And I love whatever appears to you, in your particular life, is just right for you, too. Whatever bugs you. If it’s present, you can inquire.

“Just to notice what is, is love.” ~ Byron Katie


Much love,


P.S. If you want to join our Being With Byron Katie Retreat for the second two days (Monday 7/10 and Tuesday 7/11) here in Seattle, there are people who have to go to work tomorrow, who won’t be at the retreat house with us–so there is room for you. Email me.

P.P.S. The photo above is right by our retreat house, down the hill, and in my old neighborhood where I grew up. Portage Bay Lilies.

The one thing harder than accepting this.

What absolutely thrilling excitement of the very best kind to sit with those who came to the webinar immersion class yesterday. Slides, concepts shared, my experience, people asking great questions.

Webinar Immersion: Ten Barriers That Can Keep The Work…From Working. It’s so much information. An entire 90 minutes of sharing what’s blocked my own work or hearing what’s made others hesitate, these ten “barriers” I’ve named. I talk about Year of Inquiry for all of you interested, at the very end. Listen to the recording HERE. And thank you, thank you, for being here.

And I had so much fun afterwards going live on Facebook. What a nut case. I actually crack myself up sometimes (OK I do that a lot–no one else is laughing, except me).

But here I am being excited about the upcoming (today!) Being With Byron Katie Retreat, plus all the people who were with me on the Ten Barriers webinar. Check out my video HERE.

I just love The Work, that’s all.

I love sharing The Work. I love seeing people get amazed at their own inquiry process. I love finding my own personal discoveries in the middle of hard times, painful experiences, loss, worry or fear.

It’s stunning, really.

I continuously get floored by the people I work with. They are so courageous and so brilliant. Wow.

I’m sure I actually need every single person who comes my way.

You all show me how to sit in The Work and find answers, and answer the questions.

When I receive payment for facilitating this work, it’s fairly remarkable. The exchange could be the other way around. I give THEM some kind of payment, or gift. Because the person sharing their inner thoughts, and then reading it and giving it up to inquiry, is brave, and clear, and so very inspiring to me.

They have no idea they’re bringing me freedom, by having us look at the story together. I get to explore and investigate this terrible, stressful, difficult situation….and THEY brought it to ME.

Sometimes the voice within says “wow, I wonder if there can be any peace in this situation they present?”

There always is peace. Every time.

Everyone shows me where.

So today, thank you ever so much for bringing your work to the free First Friday calls, for showing up with all your sharing and questions during the Ten Barriers webinar, for joining me to watch and participate in Being With Byron Katie.

There is still room if you can make it today (we’re in Seattle), to sit with us in retreat for 4 days and spend time in silence, and with Katie. Everyone there gets to watch anything you miss through Sept 30th.

And you know that relationship, that event, that situation, that issue, that problem?

You can inquire. It’s so possible to take a good look, and explore what’s true for you about what went down.

“There’s only one thing harder than accepting this, and that is not accepting it.” ~ Byron Katie

If I can help you in any way with inquiry (secretly it’s if you can help me in any way with inquiry) then please ask. I will share with honestly what it’s been like to stick with self-inquiry, even when I didn’t like it. I wasn’t sure what else to do, so no real alternative, honestly.

Question your thinking, change your world. Seriously.

Much love,


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,


Eating Peace: Questioning this can change everything

Webinar Immersion Free Class: Ten Barriers That Block Self-Inquiry, and How To Dissolve Them. Join me today from Noon-2:00 pm for a powerful course, live. Bring your pen and paper and an open mind. This will really help you with compulsion and self-critical issues, and going deeper in The Work of Byron Katie. At the end, I’ll be sharing information about Year of Inquiry that begins in September.


Body image plays a big role in our eating and food patterns.

Not everything, but it sure had a big influence on me.

In fact, my own negative body image basically got eating off balance started in the first place.

I went on a diet at age 14, with my mom.

Later on, with increasing urges to suppress feelings and emotional experiences I didn’t like so much, food became more than just something to restrict in order to get the good body.

It was comfort, soothing, grounding, and calmed nerves, expressed anger, exhausted me, and put me to sleep (or kept me awake).

But that body image feeling so very serious, that started off a huge chunk of the stress that affected my experience of eating in the first place.

I love looking at body image very deeply now.

I still notice the stressful thoughts chirping in the background, but they are so much less serious.

I share one very powerful question here today, for looking at body images concerns….and how to work with the question to get to the heart of your thinking about the body and your looks:

What do you think it means…about you, about others, about the world?

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

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

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

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

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

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

There’s so much to worry about, right?

Look at this list!

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

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

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

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

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

I feel bad about…..

I feel troubled about….

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

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

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

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

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

Look directly at the feelings and the situation?

No thanks. 

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

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

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

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

It was an emergency, after all.

That’s what feeling strongly felt like.

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

It hurts. Don’t do it.

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

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

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

Wait. You mean….Huh?

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

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

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

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

I’d feel them.

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

Then they’d fade away.

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

Maybe it could be the same for us.

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

How could this be truer?

Oh so easy for me to find, now.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~ Tao Te Ching #48

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

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

Much love,


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

Quitting the Doing Too Much….Again

Soooo much is happening this week.

Isn’t it supposed to be vacation here in the US?

Hmmm. Stressful thought: I have too much to do. There’s too much happening. My schedule is too full. Too too too.

We’ll talk about that in a minute.

Meanwhile, I apparently MUST tell you first (when I believe there’s so much to do, then checking it off the list becomes my reaction) that this coming Friday July 7th, I’ll be doing one of my favorite open webinars again: Ten Barriers That Can Keep The Work From Deepening.

Super helpful points for those of you that find your process in The Work confusing, stuck, or meh. Sign up HERE and watch your Inbox for the link to the program. We meet 7/7 from Noon-2:00 pm PT.

If you’ve been doing The Work, or trying to get started, this webinar may really help you cut through a little fog.

At the end of the robust 90 minute course (I’ll try to keep it to 75 mins but if you have great questions, it will go longer) you’ll have some clear exercises to continue with, and a downloadable handout especially made for this webinar immersion class that summarizes each barrier.

In the Friday Webinar, I’ll also explain the basics of Year of Inquiry, the program beginning September 2017. I’m stunned this year to find that people are already enrolling before Summer Camp For The Mind even has begun. (Summer Camp is great for people testing out telesessions to see if it’s right for you: you can still join HERE).

No one HAS to be a part of the live telesessions in YOI–there’s so much to gain from the two retreats, the monthly Intro webinars and listening to recordings plus our private place to share written work which is super cool–but you’ll get the feel of the live telesessions if you’re in Summer Camp and you can decide if they support your investigations in your stressful beliefs.

People can join SCFTM (Summer Camp for The Mind) until Tuesday, July 11th. Yes, we’ve got Opening Day today 7/5 OR Opening Day tomorrow 7/6 but both of these will be recorded (the only recordings all summer) and if you listen soon, you’ll be ready to join any daily call starting July 12th

Meanwhile, about the non-stop scheduling of webinars, telesessions, solo sessions, groups, meetings, emails, administration.

That “too much to do” thought.

Remember that one?

Holy Smokes.

It’s true.

Really, though? Can you be absolutely sure?


I’m still breathing, eating, pausing, spending time with my kids yesterday (it was my adorable son’s 23rd birthday).

How do you react when you think you have too much to do?

Resentful. Serious. Making lists. Checking things off. Worried.

Who would you be without your story of too much to do?

This can be about working, hosting an event, getting ready to travel, visiting the post office, cleaning.

Who would you really be without this thought?



I’d be stillness, simply here. Letting everything go, before bed. Not dreaming of the next thing, or the next, or the next day.

I do not have too much to do. My thinking has too much to do. Too much to do has me.

Could these be just as true? Or truer?

Yes. Oh yes.

So let’s stop, and rest, and be with this moment here. Not the one at the end of the doing.

Deep breath again.

“Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour.” ~ Walt Whitman

Much love,