Taking the plunge into Step One: Dear Reality, Here’s What I Don’t Like About You

Have you ever believed someone could do or say something that would make you happy, or repair a difficult situation for you?

He should calm down. She should come back. He should be kind. She should stop criticizing. They should be healthier.

And what about what happens next, after you have that wishful thought? 


You may notice that part of your reaction to this thought about someone else, as it comes wildly careening through your mind, with accompanying images and wishes…..the next common thought: 


Sheit. It’s me. 


(That’s ‘shit’ for some of us, but as a British citizen, although raised mostly in the US, I love the expression of “sheit”. Something about it is perfectly artistic and sharp, right? “Sheit. It’s me.” Not long ago in Year of Inquiry our group was laughing hysterically at our new phrase “embrace the sheit” and we imagined getting t-shirts).


After we have the glimpse of how that other person could change so I might experience a little happiness, I may do a u-turn on my demands, and think the thought….wait a minute….


….I shouldn’t want that person to change! Jeez!


If only I was more x (mature, calm, detached). If only I could stop caring. If only I were different.


There must be something wrong with ME…..


I should do The Work on myself! I’m the problem! I need to fix my thinking! That’s right!


But we’re invited over and over NOT to do The Work on ourselves, or the way our minds are working. 


What we’re invited to look at is the actual incident that caused the riot. The moment we objected to. The thing that happened we didn’t like, first. 


This can be the way someone behaves, or what they say. It can be the way things unfolded in a relationship. It can be a big unexpected change. Something involving money. Something involving food or my body.


So what to do, instead of doing The Work on myself?


Write the worksheet on the situation that prompted all this suffering. The Other Person. That thing that happened. 


BE HONEST.


There is something quite remarkable that can happen, and details that can go differently, if you let your mind download all the pain you feel about whatever is Out There, and not “you”. 


It’s all you anyway. You probably already know this. You are a smart one. You’re very aware. It’s why we quickly think “it’s me” after having a stressful thought about something or someone else.


But letting the mind express it’s fears about whatever happened Out There is so genius for identifying the places we get stuck. 


It’s raw, immature, small, original, petty, small, me-vs-universe….it’s got a basic kind of fear or anxiety or sadness or disappointment to it. 


And here’s the thing. 


When I let my mind express it’s objection to what’s Out There (separation), I’ve got some very simple core ideas about Reality right in front of me–and it becomes a conversation with the Great Mystery, or God (whatever God means to you). 


My mind thinks. It has objections. 


This mind fills a difficult moment with imagination about what was in the past, and what’s going to happen in the future. It loves to think it’s in control, or has some semblance of control. 


Can’t I direct….something? 


Please? (LOL).


Well, the way we can give the mind a little rope, is to let it express it’s desire to control and direct on a worksheet! So amazing! So cathartic! My tantrum with reality, written down. A hissy fit, in all it’s glory. 


Dear Reality, Here’s What I Don’t Like About You.


It’s specific, on a thing you don’t like. A moment in time. Not too much, just enough. 


So Step One: The Judge Your Neighbor worksheet. 


Follow the simple directions. Write your childish, ridiculous, babyish, stupid, silly, boring, awful thoughts. Write them all down. Judge the heck outta those other weirdos in the world. 


Be with the reality you want to fight. Notice it, and write. 


You can’t get away from this objection, so write it down!(Well, you can avoid it temporarily through all kinds of activities including eating, drinking, smoking, spending, obsessing–I’m an expert–and you can run, but you can’t hide). 


I find when I allow the unedited voice to write, I’ve got GOLD for mental activity to question. I’m not on the self-improvement plan or ANY improvement plan. 


I’m interested in the truth. The Truth. The place that’s possible to visit with an open, unsure, unknowing, unidentified mind. 


“Arguing feels unkind inside me. Just to notice what is, is love….It hurts to fight what is. And doesn’t it feel more honest to open your arms to it? This is the end of war.” ~ Byron Katie in Loving What Is

As I do The Work, it always feels kinder to open my arms to myself as well as anyone else, to open my arms to how I’ve behaved. I love noticing that what I am, is love. I love noticing that when I do The Work, it moves to the end of war. 


Including me objecting to me (the “it’s all me” foghorn).


I am questioning what I think. I am questioning “my” reality. 


A few years ago in Year of Inquiry, someone said in one of our fabulous group calls where we all feel like one mind doing The Work together: ‘I’ve given up doing The Work on myself. It’s too shallow and gets me nowhere. I find now, there’s so much insight in doing The Work on what’s outside me, and it’s all inside me anyway.’ 


What I know is, when I constantly tried to improve myself so I’d have a great life, it failed. 


So let’s do The Work on what we oppose about What Is. I love this inner exploration, with you. 


Bring your Judge Your Neighbor worksheet to the next First Friday Open Inquiry call on January 4th. Come to retreat and study your compulsion to eat (to believe your thoughts) January 9-14. Call the Help Line. Sign up for a solo session. Get a friend to hear your JYN and facilitate you. 


Questioning your suffering thoughts can change your entire world. It has changed mine deeply for what appears to be better–but maybe it’s just my mind that’s changed and my life was always very good indeed. 

Dear Reality, Here’s What I Love About You: Everything.

Could be just as true.

Much love,
Grace

Love

Thank you for being a part of this amazing world, so full of infinite experiences, situations, inquiries, silence, possibilities….


….and this quiet moment, now. 


I love you’re here.


Much love,Grace

I had to admit it. Yikes.

First (before today’s inquiry) an accidental merging of my mailing lists (in case you haven’t read the news): I pressed a button and all Eating Peace subscribers were combined with regular Grace Note subscribers. 

But I figure this has lead to something perfect: you updating your subscription with what you want to receive from Work With Grace, and what you don’t. 

Grace Notes (like the email you’re reading) come out 1-3 times a week with the The Work on some stressful thought (plus all upcoming events are announced, the Peace Talk podcast updates, and First Friday monthly free sessions). 

Eating Peace Notes are all about eating, self-inquiry, and ending troubled relationships with food and our bodies (and especially our minds) and comes out once every 7-10 days with a youtube video.

How to update: scroll down to the link at the very bottom of this email (or any email you ever receive from me) and click the Update Profile link. It’s in tiny pale letters.


The whole list debacle makes me think of fessing of up to mistakes made, and how this goes in the world whether between two people, or huge groups, or whole countries. 

It can be incredibly powerful to admit your part in an interaction gone “wrong”. Or to tell the honest truth when you’re asked a question directly.

“The answer is…..”
“I have something to tell you….”, 
“I must admit that….”
“I’m worried about saying this, but the truth is….” 
“I’d like to have a heart-to-heart conversation about….”

The other day, my husband, who is a school teacher, stood in the kitchen looking into a bag of fabric someone donated to him for his classroom. 

“Oh look!” he said with delight, “this design is so beautiful! And this one looks like a picnic table!” 

He continued to scrounge through the huge bag of large and small fabric pieces. 

Then he pulled out some kind of white mesh thing with sticky sides and held it up and looked towards me, sitting over in the living room. 

“Do you know what this is?”

I stood up and came over to look. 

I had no idea. Some kind of backing perhaps, something used in sewing. 

My husband left it on the counter. 

Several hours later I was back in the kitchen making a cup of tea, cleaning everything up the way I do while the water boiled, emptying the dishwasher, wiping counters, putting things away where they belong.

I held up the folded white mesh thing-we-didn’t-know-what-it-was, paused, hesitated, and then threw it in the garbage. 

Um. Heh. Yah, I did that. (It’s not the first time).

That evening, my husband poked his head into where I was reading. “Do you know where that white meshing stuff is from the donation bag?”

Oh. 

“I’ll get it!”

I noticed myself jump up, go into the kitchen and fish the stuff out of the garbage, with him following me and seeing me do it. I kinda wish he wasn’t following me, if you know what I mean.

What did I think, earlier? That he’d never notice? (Yes, and I remember hesitating with the gut feeling to ask him first).  

“You threw it out?!”

Fortunately for me, I have the dearest most patient husband in the world. The stuff was slightly moist in one area from a tea bag, but intact. 

While in this situation part of me knew to take the time to ask first….I’ve been in situations before where I deleted documents, broke something, lost my wallet or keys, forgot an appointment….and I didn’t “mean” to do it. This one I actually basically knew not to, and did it anyway. 

One underlying thing was happening in all of them: wanting to go fast. Wanting it to be easy, and done. Finished. Over. Task Complete. Problem Solved. Kaput. 

Being someone who was once bulimic, literally, with a raging eating disorder, I watch the underlying belief in axing things, or purging, still arise. 

It happens so quickly, because speed is involved. 

Get this out of here, cut this off, remove it from my sight, off with his head!!

Have you ever handled relationships with others like this?

Jobs. Romances gone sideways. First husband when he said he wanted to end the marriage. 

People sometimes cut off their family members using this “delete” strategy rather than tell the full and honest truth, and listen to the other tell theirs. Which takes time, patience, slowing down, willingness to share together and speak and discover what it’s like for the other. 

But here’s the thing: For me, it’s always good to do The Work first, before such an intimate conversation.

It’s worth it. 

It’s literally one million times easier to share honestly with someone you love than to hold it in, pretend things are OK, repress, be super careful. Even better if you discover your own fears, motive or agenda beforehand, by doing The Work.

I know, I know….that other person may not want to speak with you even if you get to the place where you do. That’s OK. The best feeling is being open and willing. You can let them know you are (if you are) so they know you’ll be ready when they are. 

Meanwhile, I love the four questions.

I can just throw this away, and the counter will be clean. (I can just shut down, isolate, withhold the truth, and go on about my life leaving the past entirely behind…)

Is it true?

Um. Rats. There may be a few steps in between. These steps might look like feeling our full feelings, willingness, inquiry, learning, honesty, clarity, awareness, love, surrender, peace.

So, no. It’s not true that throwing it away will clean it up, forever…or with no consequence. 

How do I react when I believe safety lies in cutting something off? Or my goal will be realized if I throw something out (even if it’s not mine)?

I move fast. I toss it away.

Long ago, when I was trying to follow spiritual principles I was gathering from anything I could possibly read, I decided giving all my possessions away would put me into a state of wonder and lack of burden. 

I literally took everything, including photo albums with all my own baby and childhood photos, to the dump. I watched everything I owned practically go over the edge by my own hands into the pit. 

I still think about that purging. The desire to purge my mind of myself. The desire to be something that was Not Me. Really believing it would bring me to freedom, or peace.

It didn’t. 

Who would you be without the belief that throwing something, someone, that issue….into the garbage or out of your sight, will make things easier? Quicker? Handled? Safer?

Sigh.

I’d ask my husband if he wanted the thing, or not. If he said “no” I might even put it in the Goodwill box and treat it as something of value. (I still do love giving away things I don’t use very often, and prefer the more minimalist life of a little house, fewer clothes, just-right amount of pots and pans, one bookshelf of books).

Who would I be without the belief that tossing it away would clean it up? Including a relationship?

I’d be doing The Work. Checking my inner clenching. Watching “my” resistance. Noticing the fear at the human level and the absence of fear at a place beyond.  

I’d make contact with an open mind, with the other person. I’d share my inner life, and connect with them, without expectation. 

Turning the thought around: I can’t throw this away and expect the counter will be clean. I can’t just shut down, isolate, withhold the truth, and go on about my life leaving the past entirely behind…

Could this be just as true or truer? What’s the reality? 

I notice the mind, and the heart, want to catch up with each other and understand together what’s going on. I notice I want to connect with others in a really honest, open-hearted way and this takes time. Willing to listen, speaking the truth in response, sharing until it feels empty.

I notice I can’t throw my thinking away about something that happened that I found disturbing. I can’t just shut it down, isolate it and go on about my life without inquiry and understanding. 

It takes as long as it takes. It takes reflection, having an honest conversation with myself. Willing to be wrong or misunderstood. Willing to Not Be The Victim. 

And here’s the good news: you don’t have to have the other person say “yes” to a conversation, you don’t have to keep a job that’s really not right for you, you don’t have to keep the white mesh thingie on the counter when you want the counter cleaned off. 

It’s a clarity dance. 

I love slowing down, with the help of The Work. I love noticing the way the mind believes Fast or Over is better, instead of Slow and Steady.

Best of all, it’s a work in progress, this dawning of awareness. It’s underway. Happening. Doing what it needs to do. 

“I see people and things, and when it comes to me to move toward them or away from them, I move without argument, because I have no believable story about why I shouldn’t. It’s always perfect. A decision would give me less, always less. So ‘it’ makes its own decision, and I follow. And what I love is that it’s always kind.” ~ Byron Katie

If you’d like to question your thoughts about a relationship that ended (divorce, break-up, separation) then join me January 6th on Sundays at 11:00 am Pacific Time for 6 sessions (no class January 13th). Sign up here.

Eating Peace Retreat is also coming soon. Three spots left. This is a deep and powerful immersion in questioning thought, behaviors, relationship with food, reactions, compulsion, betrayal, disappointment. We start Weds night Jan 9th and end Monday morning January 14th. Life changing. 

Question your thinking, change your world. 

Much love,
Grace

If I say “no”, they’ll be furious

  • This coming Friday, Dec. 14th Let’s Do The Work: It’s free. 7:45-9:15 am PT. Bring a pen, paper and open mind. All levels of experience are welcome. Click here to join.
  • January 9-14, 2019 Eating Peace RetreatSign up here. If you’re flying into Seatac airport, land late afternoon Weds (4:30 pm), leave after 1 pm Monday. 4 spots left, and 3 rooms in the retreat house.
  • March 22-24, 2019 Sit In The Fire, a 3-day weekend of emotional release/trauma work in combination with self-inquiry, facilitated by Roxann (Byron Katie’s daughter). Watch Grace Notes for the minute we take reservations. Email me now to get on the waitlist (hit reply).
  • Spring Retreat May 15-19, 2019. Lake Forest Park, WA (Grace’s hometown in northeast Seattle). Best spring cleaning you can do for yourself. The mental kind!

A man sat with me on skype, far away in another time zone by distance, but fully present that moment to a deeply painful belief: if he said “no” to his father, his father would go ballistic with rage. 

He had proof. From his childhood. 

He was so upset with himself for feeling the same way for over forty years. 

“I’ve been such a people-pleaser. I’ve kissed ass, I’ve bent over backwards for my bosses. There’s no way out of this, I never change. I’m just too scared.”

He spoke the words of someone who feels hopeless. 

I could relate.

While I didn’t have a father who went ballistic with rage, and fortunately came from a household growing up where physical violence was rare, I had that same automatic reflex of wanting to be pleasing to others and not make them mad. 

Especially parents, people I believe I needed. 

If I said “no” they’d get really angry and stop talking to me, or punish me by withdrawing attention or support. They’d make it clear I was “bad” or “wrong” with my no, and maybe even tell other people who would also reject me.

Byron Katie talks about three things we humans tend to become crazed for: love, approval, appreciation.She calls it LAA for short.

It doesn’t feel so la-la when you’re desperate for it, right? 

Your thought is that person doesn’t love you, and you neeeeeeeed their love, approval or appreciation. The mind thinks “I can’t stand someone out there NOT LIKING ME!”

I thought this about siblings, romantic partners, parents, friends, co-workers, bosses. 

If I received a disgusted look, a critical remark, a dismissal, a sarcastic comment….oh no, here it comes: I can’t say “no”, I can’t express my own opinion, I need to be pleasing, I need their appreciation, I need to repair this, I need to get them to like me again.

Just like the dear inquirer who sat with me, let’s do this.

Is it true you need their approval, love, appreciation, acceptance?

Yes. I hate not having it. Except…..no. I will not die without their acceptance. 

Even in the case of this inquirer doing The Work where he thought because he said “no” in the past, his father would hurt him, he realized he survived. He was OK. He even ran out the front door. 

He then moved away and grew up. Reality was actually kinder than his expectations about it.

How do you react when you believe you need them to like you? You need them to approve, accept, appreciate you?

Ugh. 

It’s a horrible, endless effort to get what I think I want and need from them: Their smile, them saying “we’re so alike and you’re so brilliant” (or whatever I think I enjoy hearing), their hand reaching out to me, their praise. 

When I believe I want it, and I’m not getting it, I definitely don’t say anything I think they won’t like. 

Like, “no”. 

I don’t want to disappoint them.

I feel sick.

Maybe, I eat, smoke, drink, spend, watch TV, go to the internet, try to grab some kind of pleasure or avoidance somewhere else.

So who would you be without the belief “if I say ‘no’ they’ll be angry” or even more importantly “I need their love” (and disagreement means I don’t have it)?

It doesn’t mean you’d be a cold, heartless beo*%ch. 

At least that’s what I’ve noticed. Because I still see a human being who wanted time with me, who wanted me to say “yes”, who wanted it the way they wanted it. 

Just like me.

Without the belief I need anyone’s love, approval or appreciation….I simply tell the truth. 

I don’t feel afraid of people’s questions or requests or suggestions. I respond with interest, curiosity, and my own questions if I have them. I feel like there’s solution possible, even if we don’t know it yet. I don’t feel despair or like giving up. 

Turning the story around: 

  • If I say “no” they will love me. I don’t need their love. Could be just as true. Can you find examples? For me, I’m aware the person I say “no” to still accepts or appreciates me. Perhaps they’re disappointed, but it’s because they love me, not because they don’t. 
  • If I say “no” I won’t love myself. I need my own love. True. I see the other person’s upset, and I quickly decide it means something about me. I forget to love myself, and feel my open heart towards them even as they have a tantrum (LOL). 
  • If they say “no” I won’t love them. They need MY love. Also could be true! I’ve been angry that person didn’t give me exactly what I wanted, er, I mean demanded. Yikes! Perhaps they only wanted something, and I refused to give it, and just like me they perceived this meant I didn’t care, love, appreciate or approve of them.

“Suppose your hand moved for no reason, and he found that unacceptable–wouldn’t it be obvious that it was all his show? If he criticizes you, and you take that personally, you’re the one who hurt you. The story you impose onto his criticism is where the pain begins. You’re arguing with reality, and you lose.” ~ Byron Katie in A Mind At Home With Itself 

Woah. So, if I see that person upset when I’ve said “no” (or anything else for that matter) then I upset myself when I take it personally.
Who would I be without that story?

Free to say “yes”, to say “no”, to be honest and kind in the presence of anyone, and everyone.

Much love,Grace

P.S. If you’ve felt like you’re bracing yourself against the one who was once connected, and now is NOT (separation, break-up, divorce) and all the associated stressful beliefs that rise up around this person….you may love the upcoming class “Divorce is Hell: Is It True?” starting Sundays in January. Sign up here.

When I believe reality hurt me, am I arguing against it, and missing something immovable?

  • First Friday is Second Friday in December 2018: It’s free. December 14th at 7:45-9:15 am PT. Bring a pen, paper and open mind. All levels of experience are welcome. Click
    here to join (WebCall or phone if you want to speak and be heard, Broadcast if you want to listen-only and write in the chat-box).
  • January 9-14, 2019 is the annual Eating Peace RetreatSign up here. If you’re flying into Seatac airport, land late afternoon Weds (4:30 pm), leave after 1 pm Monday.
  • Online course: Divorce/Break-up/Separation IS HELL–Is It True? Sundays 11 am PT January 6-February 17, 2019 (no class 1/13) with me and Nadine Ferris France, two facilitators who have experienced divorce and now think of it as amazing. Really. $250.
  • March 22-24, 2019 Sit In The Fire, a weekend of emotional release/trauma work in combination with self-inquiry, facilitated by Roxann (Byron Katie’s daughter). Watch Grace Notes for the minute we take reservations.

**********************

Last Monday, I offered my weekly facebook live at 2 pm PT on PAIN.

Physical pain.

Although emotional pain can be right up there in the very same inquiry.

It burns and aches and hurts and stabs. We have physical symptoms. Our stomachs ache, we can’t sleep.

Even if we’re not physically suffering or injured, when we feel hurt, it seems like we are.

Five years ago, in the middle of a dance on a Saturday morning, bursting with energy and joy and so happy with the music….

….I ran across the whole dance hall wooden floor, almost leaping. I felt so excited!

I found myself suddenly, spontaneously, doing a handspring roundoff.

Now, you may think at age 52 which I was at the time, that this was pretty wild and ridiculous. But for me, cartwheels and handstands were a regular thing, probably since age 11 when I became obsessed with them.

I still seemed to fall into a cartwheel on beaches, on grass lawns, in big living rooms, and in dance halls where I knew I wouldn’t kick anyone (we hope) in the face. That is, if I wasn’t wearing a dress. Although sometimes, I still did it depending on the dress.

So there I was joyfully bounding across the dance hall floor when I went into a roundoff handspring, my old regular I performed over and over and over again at age 15.

Except.

When I landed and flung both arms in the air with the Olympic Landing gesture, I was up-side-down then right-side-up and both legs were perfectly straight….

…but something ripped or pulled in my right leg and hurt like nothing I had ever felt before–not even my broken ankle (also from gymnastics vaulting, but at age 15).

Now, if you haven’t done The Work on physical pain before, you might enjoy me doing it on the facebook live show I did earlier this week (scroll down for the video). That same injury was all flared up and really burning, for ten days straight.

I had not done The Work on it once. I was bearing it, suffering through it, and deciding “against my will” (LOL) to go to the doctor. They ordered an MRI. I felt like the pain was excruciating and nothing was comfortable: not lying down, not sitting, not standing.

And that’s not entirely what I wanted to talk about today.

What I wanted to talk about today was the way emotional pain of a relationship changing format can feel the same on a psychic level.

Tortured. Feeling angry, or sorry for ourselves. Shaking a fist at God. Or that mean, evil, nasty, thoughtless, sick person who hurt you.

Stop Hurting! Now! I am the one being hurt by YOU (picture person or pain or entity that’s causing pain)! Arrrgggghhhh! Cry!

There was actually a mix-up with the doctor’s handwriting that made the MRI order take six extra days, during which my right torn hamstring/sits bone kept burning, aching, hurting so it felt like a nail was hammered half way into the bone in my leg.

I called one of the office worker people once and felt a little choking cry in the back of my throat….”I’m in so much pain” I said. Waaaah.

That was all before I did The Work.

Oh. Right.

What struck me was the very same thing happened to me when my husband said “I don’t want to be married anymore.”

It was like I was stabbed with a knife.

Images of a devastated future. Images of being lost, lonely, single forever, the abandoned and hurt one. Images of having no money, and being a poor little piteous person. Images of never being the same again, in a bad way.

I was hurt.

Is it true?

Now. Some people will think if you ask if it’s true, it means you’re cold and heartless and you have no compassion.

Of course it’s true! I was hurt! What are you nuts? If you could feel my hamstring, you’d know what I mean!

This is where people sometimes exit The Work, or criticize the method for blaming the victim, or condoning violence or abuse or whatever causes hurt, or suggesting we’re questioning the person’s troubled condition.

But that’s not what I’ve experienced as I’ve answered this question deeply, honestly, compassionately: is it absolutely true that I am hurt?

Maybe I was hurt for a moment. Maybe I went through something that is NOT fun, and scared the s*%t out of me. Maybe I felt shocked.

But am I absolutely-for-all-time hurt in a way that makes my life impossible, or forever unhappy, or ruined? Am I sure I was “hurt” by someone else intentionally (or even accidentally)? Am I sure things should go differently than reality?

No.

Same with my leg being injured and in pain. I noticed there were many things I could do, even though I was in pain (I thought).

You also might answer the question about whether it’s true that you’re in pain with a simple “yes”. No wrong answer.

Yes, it hurts. Absolutely.

Keep going.

How do you react when you believe you were hurt? You ARE hurt?

Wailing. Angry. Desperate. Depressed.

So who would you be without this thought that you are hurt?

Holy smokes. WHAT??!

I feel that injured area. I feel that broken heart. I feel the awareness I look around the room I’m in. I notice a very quiet space. Quiet sofa, quiet table, quiet wall calendar. Very peaceful.

I notice this moment without the images of what I’m anticipating will happen in the future, without imagining what it means to have this sensation I’m calling “hurt”.

I notice this moment has no hurt in it, except for a thought.

Oh. Wow.

Turning the thought around: I am not hurt. In my thoughts, I am hurt. I hurt myself with my own thinking of being hurt. That other person is hurt (could be just as true–and usually is, if they’ve been hurtful). I am healed, mended, stronger, toughened, softened.

Could this be just as true or truer, that instead of being hurt I am actually OK, even if my leg may never be the same? Even if that relationship may never be the same again?

Is there something powerful, supportive, even incredible that’s come out of that relationship that caused “hurt” that’s contributed to my life?

Maybe I could spend time noticing this, instead of only noticing what’s been lost.

What could be good about pain?

It tells us to lie down, to visit the doctor, to rest, to question our thinking.

I have no idea if The Work shifted my leg pain, but the next morning after I questioned my pain, I noticed it was significantly diminished. If I wasn’t against it, or trying to ignore it, but allowing it to be as it is, I asked what it needed me to do….and I rested and lay on my stomach while running telecalls all day.

In my divorce, when I believe I was severely hurt, as I did The Work, I asked what it was the hurt needed. I rested within, instead of being so freaked out.

I gathered with girlfriends who had also been divorced (or were going through it right at the same time). I had a beautiful divorce ceremony with my mother leading where some of the most moving words were spoken, and prayers, poetry and holy gifts were given to me. When I moved, people donated furniture, dishes, napkins.

I discovered a career since I became obsessed with wanting to know the truth and was constantly doing The Work. I had time to read, meditate, and watch videos by people interested in peace and freeing themselves from being victims of reality (when my kids were with their dad).

I took classes like qigong, and did art projects, and started playing music again. I bought different kinds of clothing at Goodwill.

With my hamstring injury, I found yoga, stretching, stillness.

Who am I without my story of being hurt?

Well it seems like I’m so much more than I once was. How strange and mysterious, and weird.

I thought I was less.

It isn’t true.

“You can get clear, so others don’t have to suffer….This is a practice….Wisdom is running the show. Effortless. If I’m walking to the gas chamber, what an amazing day. Other than what I’m thinking and believing, it’s amazing. That doesn’t make it right. But am I awake to what is ultimately right. There’s something immovable–and there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s always there. It’s yours. It’s perfect. It’s divine. It’s immovable. It hurts when you argue against it.” ~ Byron Katie

Much love,
Grace
P.S. When you receive this Grace Note, I’ll be deep in the woods of Breitenbush facilitating the winter retreat. If you write to me or leave a comment, I can’t wait to read it on Monday! xo

When I believe they’ve hurt or threatened “me”….suffering in reality

First…a few upcoming events:
  • Thrilled that Breitenbush Retreat starts this Thursday night, and we have such a wonderful group coming together! The good people at Breitenbush may be able to squeeze you in if you want to attend. Call 503-854-3320.
  • First Friday is Second Friday in December 2018: Because I’m out of phone and internet service at Breitenbush, please join me for the monthly Friday open call on December 14th at 7:45-9:15 am PT. Everyone can walk through The Work on an important stressful relationship of your choice, from start to finish. Click here to join us (save this link). It’s free and donations accepted.
  • January 9-14, 2019 is the annual Eating Peace RetreatA most profound immersion into inquiry and mindful eating, where you’ll experience peaceful eating with food of your choosing. It is possible for anyone to end their war with eating, food and the body, and enjoy life with all three. Read about it and sign up here. Lodging available for those wanting to stay onsite (3 rooms left).
  • Online Video/Telecourse (we’re using zoom): Divorce, Break-up, or Separation is Hell–Is It True? January 6-February 17, 2019 (no class 1/13) co-facilitated with Nadine Ferris France, certified facilitator of The Work. Can’t wait to teach this course again! This work made all the difference in the world to me 13 years ago.
  • March 22-24, 2019 I’m hosting with Tamami Fujiwara, (certified facilitator) Roxann Burroughs for Sit In The Fire, a weekend of emotional release work in combination with The Work. Mark your calendar (not taking reservations yet). It will be in a cool venue somewhere near-ish Seattle (all day Friday, Saturday, ending Sunday afternoon).

Speaking of relationships.

Some of the most confusing or painful, I’ve noticed, have been between me and those I’ve been romantically involved with or attracted to.

The other day….sigh, alas, deep breath….I received a card from an old flame.

My mind started chattering as I opened the envelope, a little adrenaline flurry moving through the chest. 

He’ll never stop popping up every few years. What is his problem? This is so old and over with, why does he make any effort? Hasn’t he moved on, for cryin’ out loud? REALLY?!

I had just been noticing a few hours before fetching the mail, that when we do The Work, we’re always relating.

I was noticing when I identify stressful thought, I see a relationship with me and another human being, a relationship between me and a substance like food or drink or tobacco, a relationship between me and money, a relationship between me and the place I work, a relationship between me and a body or ailment, a relationship between me and a member of the family, a relationship between me….and whatever reality presents itself in the moment.

I love how the mind sees in duality or multiples. There’s a me here, and another and another, and then multiple gazillions of infinite others: fence, car, road, cement, wind chime, dog, leg, mug, laptop, glasses, earring, man, letter.

And the surprising fun of it all is the very same mind that sees all this gorgeous variety and “other” and “me” can also answer questions about any of it, instead of simply assuming what it sees is the Truth.

So back to romantic relationships. They sometimes bring pain, it seems.

He abandoned me. She hurt me. He insulted me. She confused me. He betrayed me.

Is that true, what happened in that romantic interlude (whether 1 month, or 30 years)? Is it true that person’s behavior or actions aren’t supportive?

Is it true he’s clinging, or obsessive, or trying to get on my good side again, or can’t let go (as I read the card)?

Can you absolutely know it’s true he hurt you? She hurt you?

This is a good question to sit still with for a long time.

Can you know it’s the Truth for All Time, if you had to answer to the Great Universe, that the person you have in mind….hurt you? Or shouldn’t be sending you a letter in the mail?

You might say “yes”. It’s OK. There is no wrong way to answer this question.

How do you react when you believe what’s happening, including a letter arriving in the mail box, shouldn’t be?

I react by calling up the whole story from the past in literally 2 seconds, remembering snippets of what happened, telling myself a story again of what was–and how it wasn’t good.

Unfinished business. Believed story.

I react with thinking something’s unsafe here, as I open the envelope. Curiosity, worry, memories.

So who would I be without my story? Who would I be without remembering the story of tragedy, abandonment, sadness, grief, confusion, drama?

Who would I be if I wasn’t so sure there was a “me” back then who got dogged, or disappointed?

It doesn’t mean I go into denial in this moment here now, fake pretending everything’s fine, when it isn’t.

I get to notice how quiet it is, and how cozy in my little cottage as I open a letter–which is requesting a get-together. I get to notice what’s unfinished from the past that still feels painful, and feel compassion for myself and for this Other person reaching out.

Without my story, I also notice I have no idea what the other person is thinking.

Turning the thought around: My thinking is dangerous here. My thinking and stories are popping up all over again. My thinking is old, done with. My thinking is confused. My thinking hasn’t moved on. I’m hurting myself, with my thinking. 

Could this be just as true, or truer?

Yes.

In reality, nothing much happening. Simple card received in the mail.

How could it be a good thing, that relationship went the way it did?

Suddenly, feeling appreciation for the old stories, the images from the past. A sense of acceptance…without having to know why or why not, without needing it to have gone any other way than it did.

Noticing in the moment the beauty of the room I’m in, hands that open an envelope, pictures of a man’s face in my mind (from the past). Noticing feeling laughter around the story of that romance, and to myself most of all.

Noticing reality right now is very quiet, and I’m here with this, with myself.

Can I find good reasons that relationship did the dance it did?

Oh yes. It was a most marvelous teacher, the best I could have ever imagined for learning about true, honest unconditional love and mystery. It showed me how stories rise up and fall away, and reappear and fade once again, like waves.

In this moment, the stories of that relationship feel mysterious and without answers, and like the couch I’m sitting on is my closest companion, and except for in my thinking, I’m never alone.

“If someone says ‘I’m leaving you’, she feels the excitement rising inside her, since she can see only the advantages that come from that. What could be a more fulfilling experience than to witness the gift of reality? If someone says, ‘I’m joining you’, she can see only the advantages in that. What could be a dearer experience than having you join me?…..The greatest gift you can give others is your realization that there is no self and no other.” ~ Byron Katie in A Mind At Home With Itself

Here I am noticing today, so much connection and joy with all the love I’ve had the privilege to experience with various humans, and how it’s always been kinder and more exciting than my thoughts about it.

If you want to join in the teleclass about relationship divorce, separation or break-up (no matter when it happened for you) then come discover the peace and excitement. Enroll here.

Much love,

Grace

The good news about the rain and watching “nothing” happen and all plans blown away

Yesterday and the day before, it rained so hard the drops looked like streaks of light, with a flurry of churning foam swirling where it hit hard pavement.

A puddle formed so huge next to my car, I had to climb into the driver’s seat from the passenger side. At night, the inch of open window letting in fresh air to the bedroom was blasting a cool breeze the room like a fan.

Then in the morning, when everything seemed calm, dark and quiet, with what appeared to be a soft steady rain….

….moments before First Friday call was cued, ready to press “go” for all the inquirers coming to do The Work for 90 minutes together on our open online inquiry session….

….thunk.

You could literally hear a thunk coming from somewhere in the atmosphere, and all the lights went out.

Power outage.

It was dawn-ish dark. An autumn morning, the day before the time change in the US, with light barely in the sky at 7:30 am.

I lit candles and pondered what to do, knowing people were dialing in to do The Work in moments.

I could quick put on clothes, take my lap top, and try to find public internet as close by as possible? I’ve done this before. I’ve held teleclasses in hotel parking lots, hospital lobbies, my car, or outside the Starbucks. The trouble with my options was that it was raining, and rush hour. So I’d need to bundle up and find someplace covered, and reasonably quiet.

I still would likely be late to my own call, and everyone would have hung up by the time I connected. IF I even got connected.

So if it was a national emergency, believe me….I would have been driving somewhere in my slippers trying to find a connection so we could all do The Work together.

But it was not an emergency.

What a funny day, of unexpected plans and changes.

After awhile, I packed up my gym bag with a change of clothes and towel so I could go shower there, and I stopped at the Starbucks for a coffee which was full of happy people talking, waiting, standing in line (and bright lights)! At the gym they had lights, but no working internet there, either.

I answered a few emails using my phone, especially all the emails where someone wrote “am I doing something wrong?” about the call!

Then, reading at the library that the electricity probably wouldn’t be restored in my area for at least a few hours, I began to drive north to meet my son who had texted me the night before, in the middle of the stormiest part of the evening when the wind had been churned up.

He had said he was coming for a meeting to the city north of me called Everett. “I’ll let you know tomorrow where we can meet for lunch, mom!”

I hadn’t heard from him yet on this strangely quiet morning, which was now almost afternoon. I sent out a text letting him know we had no power, so I’m going ahead and hitting the road to the north and moseying up towards the city he was in.

No response.

I remembered as I drove, this was an area where a specialty dance store lives. I used to drive all the way out here to buy my daughter special tap shoes or leotards. Why not stop and see if they have some comfy dance pants or sweats I’ve been needing for awhile?

Success.

But still no text from my son.

I wound up driving to the bus station where my daughter would be arriving in another 90 minutes, to wait. I got myself a cup of tea and sat in my car, staring out the window. And thinking about what an odd day it was of non-doing or random floaty-type doing because I’m waiting and I have the time. Which is rare.

My son’s phone, it turned out, had died….(there seems to be a theme). He had no charger so he had driven all the way to our house only to find a dark cottage without electricity, so he went to the same Starbucks I had been to earlier, borrowing my charger–at which point he was able to text me.

My daughter arrived on the bus, jumped in my car, and we drove home. Still no electrical power. No hot water. No heat. No lights. No battery charging.

We all went to a movie together for the 4 o’clock matinee. That never happens.

I joked a few times that I would need to do The Work on disappointing the First Friday participants and being a flake, or not getting much done for a Friday when I always work on my business.

But it does seem like things just moved as they did and I followed along. There were moments of thinking, and noticing the idea it was “sad” to not accomplish anything today.

I also noticed “anxiousness” when remembering Sunday (that’s tomorrow!) I’m starting a free, open facebook live 7 day course on eating peace and believing I should be preparing more for it. By the way, no opt-in required, all you need to do is request membership in the private eating peace facebook group and all the daily live videos will happen there.

Also in my wanderings and waitings of the day away from home, “grief” came through from the beautiful and very bittersweet visit I was still digesting after visiting my dear friend Carl’s gravesite. I was there just 2 days ago on Dia De Los Muertos, November 1st.

And then, surprisingly at the end of that day, I watched the computer open, the lights on, and tap tapping of fingers sharing with you my day, in all its unexpected and fascinating strangeness.

So, we’ll have a new inquiry jam session: First Monday, November 5th 5:30-7:00 pm Pacific Time. A day and time that’s completely different, I know. Next month in December it will be First Friday again at 7:45 am PT.

This is a time to dial in for open inquiry doing The Work from start to finish. Simply connect here a few minutes before we start. No experience or prep necessary, just come and question a stressful thought or two, listen, share if you want. A time for undoing thinking, and being.

Who would I be without my thoughts about how a day is supposed to go? Or what should not happen? Or what should?

Wow. Jeez. I might notice I’ve been wanting to go even slower. I’ve been meditating just a bit longer when I do meditate. I’ve been interested in turning to quiet, simple, non-working space. Even fewer plans than ever.

Noticing the friendliness of this past day, reality, and how very supportive it is. Even without lights.

Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby. ~ Langston Hughes

What’s raining in your life? Maybe it can beat upon your head with silver drops, or a kiss.
It doesn’t mean you have to like it, but is there anything interesting about it? Anything remotely good? Anything helpful?
Find your turnarounds. They could be a soothing lullaby. You never know.

Much love,
Grace
P.S. I received quite a few requests for the recording of the eating peace webinar I recently offered for the first time. If you want to address any compulsion, not just eating, maybe it will help (I’d love your feedback). I was so plagued by compulsion, in many ways more than eating, it means so much to share in community the healing around compulsive behavior of any kind. You can watch it here.

I don’t want to. I quit. I won’t like it. Can I absolutely know that’s true?

The other day, I had the thought “I don’t want to do anything anymore. I quit.”

Kind of funny.

I was sharing on the eating peace webinar how the mind, even when we do The Work regularly, runs and has commentary, and sometimes grand blanket-statement commentary.

It’ll come up with the goofiest things.

As if we have an insane aunt or uncle hanging out in the corner saying things just out of the blue.

I was doing The Work recently with the dearest inquirer.

She said in the middle of her work; “life is just a series of distractions made until we reach the end and can finally die.”

It was the very same kind of thought as the one I told you about a second ago, the one that said “just quit everything” with bravado, like it’s a real idea, or even one that’s possible to follow. (Whatever “everything” is, I’m not even sure).

This kind of grand statement about all of life can show up in more subtle ways, too, about one topic, or an experience.

For example, speaking of holidays….

In my family, there are already texts running around suggesting the location, time, menu and expectations for Thanksgiving. I may have even been the one who started it with a question about who was doing what to someone in the family.

Today in the USA it’s Halloween. If we’re “fun” people, we’ll wear costumes, right? (Another thought I’ve had in the past).

Perhaps we’re even attending a party, or trick-or-treating with kids or grandkids.

The mind is so creative, it immediately can see visions of past tables of food, people having discussions, living rooms, traditions, lights, decorations, meals, activities.

It says “oh no! It’s going to be hard!” or “I won’t like it!”

The mind supplies these past experiences to imagine what’s to come in the near future.

Even as I write this, I just imagined kids coming to the door at 6 pm when it’s beginning to get dark, and I just had the thought “Oh no, I didn’t buy any treats!” Followed by the thought to turn off the porch lights and hide, as my husband and I joked last night. Or go out to a movie.

Is it true the best option is quitting?

Is it true that not going is easier than going?

Is it true you won’t have fun once you get there? Or have a great time even? Or be entertained by life, family, people, atmosphere, no expectations?

No.

I once learned from a wise therapist I saw for quite awhile that if I wanted to go to a large gathering like a party, but felt afraid, I could enter and say to the first person I saw “I don’t really feel comfortable coming to parties….I’m kind of shy.”

It would be so honest, she advised, that I wouldn’t feel like I have to pretend anything.

I tried it at the next gathering I was invited to.

She was right. I had the best conversation.

I started telling the truth at parties or larger gatherings or groups, including my own family-of-origin gatherings. Adding The Work to the process seemed to really help.

Who would I be without the belief that what I’m invited to is going to be dangerous, anxiety-provoking, boring, dumb, a waste of time, hard work, or Not Fun?

Who would I be without the belief that I need to “quit” something, especially something that hasn’t even happened yet?

Ahhhhhh.

I’d feel relaxed.

I’d notice this quiet moment. I’d notice how much fun I have both in silence, and with other people.

Turning the thought around: I don’t have to quit. I can’t actually “quit” everything. And wouldn’t want to.

Quitting will happen eventually, for everything I do now (in the form of death). Reality will take care of the quitting, starting, stopping, going, moving, thinking, ending, being.

Still turning it around: my thinking should quit. Yes, it could quit ruminating on the future. I could quit believing the thoughts about quitting are even true (I notice they aren’t).

My thinking can run, the voices in my mind can speak, and it doesn’t mean I’ll stay home. Maybe I will….and maybe I won’t! I might have a whole heck of a lot of fun if I go.

And that idea feels more fun, right in this moment. And easy, since nothing is required right now. I don’t have to “know” exactly what will happen, what to decide, or what to do.

That which comes and goes, rises and sets, is born and dies is the ego. That which always abides, never changes, and is devoid of qualities is the Self. ~ Ramana Maharshi

Much love,
Grace
P.S. At Breitenbush, we’ll be dancing on Saturday night in the great lodge–open to everyone staying at Breitenbush (not just our group). A wonderful option for movement without speaking, being as you are.

Even in that horrible situation, it was kinder than my own thoughts about it.

I’m resting flat on my bed while I write in this moment.

I’ve been getting ready for 2 days for the autumn retreat. Remembering what to put in the box, hauling things over to the beautiful property. Everything is prepared at the retreat house, the sun is shining brilliantly with a deep blue sky, and the forecast calls for more golden fall sun for several days.

We’ll be having some amazing silent walks in the Seattle area neighborhood, that’s for sure. I’ve done them in the drizzle, in the heavy rain, in crisp gray cold winter weather, and this time in the bright sun. Can’t wait.

I most can’t wait for retreat to begin because it’s for me. I’m ready for retreat just as much as those attending.

I have a few thoughts to question, and I know they’ll start unraveling themselves in the presence of other sincere inquirers.

It happened today earlier during the Year of Inquiry group call. Two incredible thoughts brought to me like thoughts handed on a platter built for awakening.

Here you go….question this, Grace.

One of the thoughts a courageous inquirer took to The Work?

I’m all on my own.

What a frightening, discouraging, painful thought. But mostly it’s so painful when you think it means no one is there for you, no one is helping you, no kindness is offered, no relief.

It’s the feeling of having to contend with reality, in whatever form.

How many times have I had this belief running in my mind?

He left me, she left me. She won’t talk to me. I don’t have enough. It hurts. I can’t handle it. No one is here. I’m the only one who cares, or tries. I ‘have to’.

From working at jobs where the boss felt difficult, to being physically injured, to cancer coming to visit, to all the money gone.

I’m on my own.

How do you react when you believe this thought?

Discouraged. Resigned.

Giving up.

Full of imagined future terrors. Picturing the next abusive moment that could potentially happen. Worry. Feeling so vulnerable. Full of self-criticism and self-attack.

So….who would you be without this thought you are on your own?

I see the moments I’ve had this thought when I think something unacceptable and horrifying happened, or something mean and violent happened, or something shocking and frightening happened.

Who am I in these moments, without the belief I am on my own, I was on my own, with no help, nothing else, no support?

Today, I was filled with the beauty of The Work and the power of love, as I listened. The inquirer questioning this thought in our group became still and felt the memory of a moment she was sure was so difficult.

Then she noticed reality: she’s in a bathtub as a child. The water is so nice, warm. It is surrounded by a bath that holds the water. Blood is being washed away. Her mother is there, having put her in the bath. There’s a room, a floor, a house with walls, a ceiling.

Can I stay with the moments I’ve been so sure were dreadful, when I thought I was all on my own, and notice?

In my cottage 12 years ago. No one else home. Children gone. Former husband gone. Family gone. Money gone. Cancer diagnosis.

Who would I be without the belief I am on my own?

Looking around the room. Noticing the couch holding me, the floor under the couch, the foundation hooked by gravity to the earth. Noticing a bookshelf, a rug, running water, a cupboard with crackers, a wall heater.

Things everywhere. Sure, perhaps no humans, but something better than other humans: a place to sit, in silence, without interruption.

And then the most marvelous sound.

The inquirer who is doing The Work today of this very thought begins to laugh.

“My thoughts are all alone. I am not alone.”

Laughter, and more laughter, and more. Rising like a bubbling burst of joy. I was laughing too.

All I know is, in this work today, and in this work about to happen for 4 days, and in The Work I’ve ever been a part of in the past….this kind of discovery is the most wonderful feeling in the entire world.

To see that life, and all its experiences, has been more kind, supportive, caring, quiet, gentle and filled with love than I ever, ever have imagined when I’ve believed my stressful thoughts.

I feel so very lucky, so full of appreciation to notice what’s actually true. Astonishing.

I thank every inquirer who does The Work with me, as I get to see the most remarkable clarity arise out of their own inquiry. Stunning.

“Reality is always kinder than the story we tell about it.” ~ Byron Katie

Yes, even that story. Even that one.

Especially that one.

Much love,
Grace
P.S. This may seem a little crazy, but I have more room than I’ve had in awhile at this retreat. If you want to come, email me or text me 206-650-1230. You can join us. Several of the participants who were going to be here are signing up for the Breitenbush retreat instead. If you want to be there, it’s only $245 before 11/1 for 3 whole days.

Life is hard. Is it true? Let’s do The Work on this together, for a year.

Life can be hard. Tough things happen, to all of us.

Surprises, confusion, shock, upset, pain, loss. Sometimes we can see how the difficulties we’ve gone through have created greater strength and awareness and lots of learning….and sometimes….

….not so much.

Yikes!

When we feel confused or troubled about how things are, we often wind up suffering after something’s happened, maybe for years, every time we recall it. We don’t know how to deal with our thoughts and feelings about it, or find resolve.

Maybe we get a defensive posture towards life, or certain people, or we feel nervous or anxious about the future. Maybe we’re dreadfully unhappy about some relationships, and carry an inner sense of resentment or loneliness. Maybe we feel deep disappointment about the way things have gone so we lose our enthusiasm for trying something different, or making a change.

When I felt upset about various experiences or relationships in my life, I often found others would try to pick me up and suggest I have a more positive attitude. Or be encouraging, or be good cheerleaders for me.

Positive thinking! Change your mindset! Focus on happiness!

It didn’t really work, despite good intentions.

Then, after many years of doing various therapies, self-help, trainings, retreats (all useful) I learned The Work of Byron Katie or Inquiry Based Stress Reduction (IBSR).

If you’ve tried The Work you probably already know it’s a powerful way to address a troubling mindset, and find clarity about anything that’s ever happened that hurt or disturbed you.

We all know what it’s like to have an Ah-Ha moment where a lightbulb goes on, and you see something new about a stressful experience or perspective you thought you’d ALWAYS find troubling.

Wow! I didn’t see that before! Holy Smokes!

The Work, which is four questions and finding turnarounds, is one of the greatest ways to achieve this kind of insight…and the fastest.

But you do have to DO it (LOL) and practice it regularly, like meditation.

Which is where Year of Inquiry comes in: it was first and foremost invented for people like me. People who knew it was good, like vitamins, but forgot to take them.

I found insights every time I sat down and actually completed the process from start to finish. But I got busy, put the Work second to chores and tasks, and let things build up without turning to my inner life to give it peaceful attention.

Year of Inquiry was created to have a regular group who would journey together for an entire year, looking at new shared topics every single month (including: money, relationships, family, body, turnarounds, shame, hurt, anger, career).

We laugh, we cry, we answer the questions, we watch our worlds begin to shift and change because we’re responding differently, making small changes without even planning them. We feel happier. We feel lighter.

Things that used to bother us, no longer do.

We begin to catch ourselves and watch our minds as it shouts “Something’s going wrong!” or “I shouldn’t have to experience this!” or “I’m not good enough!”

Practicing The Work unravels stressful thinking. It unravels suffering. It ends addiction, neediness, scarcity, resentment.

Who would we be without our stories? About others, and most importantly about ourselves?

What I have found, is we would be loving, peaceful, and free. We’d be the best version of ourselves possible (and that’s always true, and we’d know it).

If you want to do The Work in a dedicated, committed group of inquirers for an entire year, then join me in this gift of inquiry.

This week there are 3 information sessions (they’ll be recorded) to answer your questions about the format, expectations, curriculum and fees. Please see the facebook events on this page to connect to the correct webinar here.

All About Year of Inquiry:
*Tuesday, Aug 28 8:00 am PT
*Weds, Aug 29 Noon PT
*Thurs, Aug 30 4:00 pm PT

The first week of September is Orientation Week where you’ll watch training presentations to get on board our private secret forum in slack, and get set up for a successful year.

There are two full months to decide if Year Of Inquiry is right for you–no questions asked.

What I know is, YOI is a very inexpensive way to get and stay connected to dedicated time for self-inquiry through every season of an entire year.

Everyone in Year of Inquiry has sixty days to fully participate in the experience before making a final decision. You’ll pay in full, or choose the 12 month payment plan—but if you withdraw there’s only a fee of $100 for the first month, or another $100 for the second month of the program (everything else will be refunded) if you choose to withdraw….even if you didn’t decide to withdraw until Halloween you’d only pay $200. The first two months will also be included a solo session with Grace so we get to know each other right from the start (normal fee $125).

I have this refund policy on purpose because I want only people to continue through the year who deeply know they like the process of inquiry, not just the idea of inquiry.
After two months of seeing what it’s like, most people get the sense of what doing The Work regularly, every week, may do for their inner world and their lives. If it’s not for you now, it’s OK.

What I know is….when I came into The Work all I wanted to do was question thoughts about myself and what I had done wrong (not what I had encountered in life that bothered me).

Then I followed the simple invitation from Byron Katie and the steps of The Work to identify judgments I had about other people, the world, money, bodies, being alive, love, and what I thought of as reality.

Looking at all of these, I myself began to change. And amazingly, so did everything else in my life. Circumstances became more peaceful, less dramatic, less intense, and more vibrant and exciting.

Freedom didn’t happen in an instant. It unfolds daily, with every time I ask “is it true?”

This Work gives the mind something it loves to do: rest.

To not rely so heavily on “figuring” everything out. But instead, to wonder what it’s like without thinking.

How fun is that?

“To have a way to see beyond illusion is the greatest gift.” ~ Byron Katie

To read about Year of Inquiry, which begins in September, head over to here: https://workwithgrace.com/year-of-inquiry/