One post, one concept, multitude of benefits.
This one post includes brain games and funny stuff and how-to’s and health tips, all wrapped into one.
Grab Bag Wonder Work:
Maybe once in a lifetime, if we’re lucky and our eyes are open (and are those two really different from each other?), we discover a life-changing concept and all things have the potential to be new.
This just might be our lucky day.
Maybe you are reading this because it will be good for you. Maybe it will be good for someone you tell about it. I know it can be good for anyone who is willing to answer the questions.
Waiver: If you NEVER suffer disappointment,
frustration or anger as a result of life’s events…
then skip this week’s post.
That would be you, the Dalai Lama, and Byron Katie.
For the rest of us, let’s open up our very human hearts for remodeling. And Byron Katie just may be offering the overhaul we need.
Byron Katie: Formerly Obese/Suicidal/Agorophobic. Awoke one morning with a new mind. Now, student, teacher, philosopher. An incredible back story (come back and read it later).
Truth Moment: I have been reading and watching and feeling “The Work” of Byron Katie for a few weeks now. I am TRULY FLOORED by the near-immediate relief of negative/stressful feelings this has brought to me. I hope that intrigues you.
But I can’t say that The Work is a panacea, or that Byron Katie deserves the adoration of the masses, anointed as a guru of the peaceful mind. Quite honestly, my take is that that kind of personal abdication defeats the very purpose of the freedom we all seek.
For me, this really isn’t about this woman, Byron Katie, or her unusual story, nor do I see The Work as the sole key to peace on earth.
While it might be a really good start, I see The Work the same way I see my discovery that vinegar is really the best cleaning agent around:
• It works on A LOT of things •
• What was once cloudy becomes clear •
• It’s cheap (the essentials of The Work are free!) •
• The risk:reward ratio is really advantageous •
So…. it works, it’s cheap, and it’s low risk.
Now let me share with you
a little vinegar for the mind….
First, a nice intro to read is this article on Oprah.com by Caitlin Flanigan , a young mom who, struggling with the fear and misery of Stage IV metastatic cancer, decided to meet with Byron Katie to REALLY face down the supposed magic of Katie’s “Work” and see if it could trump what she held in her very scary hand.
I hesitate to share how deceptively simple this is, for fear it will be passed over as just another interesting self-help article I read while waiting for a teeth-cleaning appointment.
I have been giddy with the exploration this simplistic approach has opened to me and to the thousands of others I have read about and observed.
Simple? Yes. Shallow? Hardly.
I will jump ahead and offer you the very simple outline of “The Work”.
At the end I give you a numbered list of steps to take to do The Work.
Why not try it?
All you have to lose….. is the burden.
All the suffering that goes on inside our minds is not reality, says Byron Katie. It’s just a story we torture ourselves with. She has a simple, completely replicable system for freeing ourselves of the thoughts that make us suffer. “All war begins on paper,” she explains. You write down your stressful thoughts, and then ask yourself the following four questions:
Question 1: Is it true?
This question can change your life. Be still and ask yourself if the thought you wrote down is true.
Question 2: Can you absolutely know it’s true?
This is another opportunity to open your mind and to go deeper into the unknown, to find the answers that live beneath what we think we know.
Question 3: How do you react—what happens—when you believe that thought?
With this question, you begin to notice internal cause and effect. You can see that when you believe the thought, there is a disturbance that can range from mild discomfort to fear or panic. What do you feel? How do you treat the person (or the situation) you’ve written about, how do you treat yourself, when you believe that thought? Make a list, and be specific.
Question 4: Who would you be without the thought?
Imagine yourself in the presence of that person (or in that situation), without believing the thought. How would your life be different if you didn’t have the ability to even think the stressful thought? How would you feel? Which do you prefer—life with or without the thought? Which feels kinder, more peaceful?
Turn the thought around:
The “turnaround” gives you an opportunity to experience the opposite of what you believe. Once you have found one or more turnarounds to your original statement, you are invited to find at least three specific, genuine examples of how each turnaround is true in your life.
Wanna see this in action? I suggest you do. There are dozens and dozens of videos (in many categories of issues: Health & Body, World & Politics, The Work, Money & Career, Relationship & Family, Mental Health & Depression) and written recounts of people from all walks of life, with issues great and petty, applying their thoughts to The Work. Here is just one of those videos of people addressing “The Work” with Katie:
And if you think that you or someone you know might be living with a situation that is beyond the scope of The Work, and you are brave enough to prod the depths of unthinkable heartache, please share in the experience of being Hannah’s mother:
When you’re interest is peaked from the videos, give it a go for yourself….
1. Perhaps the best written, short overview to whet one’s appetite for a life lived with less stress is this free, downloadable booklet, “The Little Book”, linked to the image below, which will give you a true and tasty flavor of what The Work is and what it can be for you (I also encourage you to get your hands on her book, “Loving What Is”).
2. Print these Instructions for Doing The Work.
3. Print a copy(ies) of the Judge Your Neighbor Worksheet.
4. Watch the video here if you wish assistance in filling out the J-Y-N Worksheet.
5. Use the Facilitation Guide to help you put The Work’s 4 questions to each of the six thoughts on the J-Y-N Worksheet.
6. Many feel they do better working with a real human. If that is you, there are facilitators who donate their time to be available, free of charge, on the phone or on Skype, to assist you through The Work. Find one here.
I cannot tell you how profound this can be for you.
I only know what I have seen, heard and felt.