My ten-year-old daughter Aine and I are still glowing from our experience at the Workshop for Children and Parents. It was such a beautiful experience for us together and individually. It is very profound how it has impacted her/our life experience, and I can see how different it is in subtle yet crucial ways to how many children in our culture (big ones too) are taught to process experience – ‘rejection’ being called names, ‘failure’, sadness, fear….. and how she was processing them in the past (me too – I just notice the new shift with her after the workshop and I have been at it for a while). The conversations we have had since the workshop are so beautiful and deep, and so much more full of curiosity and questions that set ideas. She told me that it seems more like she understands life now in a way that makes more sense to her heart, and that it is like she has been given a key to life – like she was carrying a load of rocks on her back and now there are fewer, and she knows how to put the others down when she is ready. What a relief. We are both very grateful for what we have found together in The Work and in ourselves.
I have been doing The Work myself for about five years and so the effects definitely live in my family. I had offered on occasion to share The Work more directly with Aine but she didn’t want to, she said it didn’t feel like time. When the invitation for the Ventura workshop came – it felt so right for both of us and we knew to come together. When I asked her if she wanted to learn The Work process before we went she said no – she wanted to just arrive with an open mind. She did, and Katie was there to meet it with hers.
Last night Aine and I were watching a documentary about a group of students in the U.S. who started a paper clip project as a way of learning about diversity and studying the Holocaust. It was her first real exposure to more that basic information about the Holocaust. It had much more detail than I had anticipated when we borrowed the movie from the library and it was very moving – with interviews with death-camp survivors speaking of their experience and pictures of the camps. I would have thought this would be overwhelming for her, and when I asked her, she reached for my hand and with tears in here eyes, said, ‘This is important for me to know.’ She wiped the tears from my eyes and said, ‘Remember, Mom, if the universe is friendly, there must be good in this also, even if we can’t know what it is’. There was no fear in that moment or afterwards as I would have anticipated, no blaming, panic, hatred – just a very deep and clear sense of love. Wow.
A number of Aine’s friends asked here about it, and when she told them that it is learning about how not to believe your stressful thoughts – they respond immediately and want to know how to do that. They get it that it is suffering they don’t want. We are sharing our materials and what we learned as best we can and I can also feel how amazing it would be to have a DVD set on The Work for Children – speaking directly to children and sharing examples of Katie working with children, children working with each other and parents and children working together. There was something very powerful about hearing Katie speak, and witnessing other children doing the work and voicing their fears and stressful thoughts, that was profound for Aine, and I would love to be able to share that experience much more widely than those who can make it to the workshop. If something like that is possible I would be willing to help it happen in any way that I can – I can feel the amazing potential in my community and I am sure with others.
Thanks so much for all the amazing work you continue to do to share this gift with more and more people in the world and of all sizes.
I used to be terrified of flying and I would do a really weird thing with my mind. I would practice being prepared for the plane to fall, trying to exercise bravery as I imagined how it would feel. As you may imagine, I spent the whole flight in terrified misery. Before I went to the School and met Katie, I switched my thinking: the plane is NOT going to fall, and I decided to believe this as much as the other. This helped as long as the plane did not begin to do the jig in the air.
Then, I was flying home from my second School in Bad Neuenahr, Germany, and the pilot announced very rough weather approaching Madrid. My body tensed. The first jolt hit about 20 minutes out and I could feel the fear pour into my stomach. Then, suddenly, I remembered something Katie had said and I asked myself: Is anything happening to me right now? I went to my body, felt it sitting tightly in the seat, and the answer from my body was immediately NO. I questioned: “The plane is going to fall”— IS THAT TRUE? CAN I ABSOLUTELY KNOW THAT IT IS TRUE? Again the answer was NO. I felt my body relax. I opened the window blind (it was night time), and the cosmos was there in all its splendor, the stars, flashes of lightning on the horizon, infinite sky black… it was so beautiful, so breathtaking, that all I could feel was love and gratitude. The plane continued shaking like a Waring blender, but suddenly to me it felt like a rocking cradle, I was filled with joy and so relaxed that I actually nodded off for a few minutes while the craft joggled me softly to sleep. We arrived safely in Madrid and I did NOT suffer 20 minutes of panic. It was wonderful. Thank you so much for The Work.
P.S. I have never shared with you the actual moment of my transformation, and as I read the Parlor letters, I suddenly thought that I would like to do that. I had been through so many years of psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, alternative therapies, and what have you and still I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t satisfied, still I thought that I was missing something in life. Still searching. I found The Work, thanks to a friend; I did the School and immediately began using The Work with myself and with others that asked me for it. I realized it was working for me, I felt better, I lived better, I was softer, kinder to myself. Then one day, I can’t remember why, I decided to work on one of my core beliefs about my childhood. MY PARENTS PUSHED ME ASIDE was more or less how it went (I did my work in Spanish and it is MARGINARON or marginalized me). Is that true? I closed my eyes and suddenly the following scene appeared in front of me: My parents getting up in the morning, looking at each other from either side of the bed and saying: “Today let’s push Brianda aside so she suffers”. I burst out laughing, it was delightful. What a comedy scene!!!! I continued to do The Work and when I got to the turnarounds, I found the pain: I PUSHED MYSELF ASIDE, oh yes, I certainly could find that when I locked myself in my room and refused to join my parents, and I PUSHED THEM ASIDE, even truer when I decided that I wouldn’t share my life with them or tell them anything about me. Tears of loss welled up at all the missed opportunities to share with my parents my growing up, and love, love for them and all they had given me. And then the miracle happened. The STORY disappeared, my past vanished. There was no longer anything to be reclaimed, anything to be repaired, anything to be regretted. It was gone. I began living in the present, grateful for everything I have and have had always. Since then it has been a beautiful life, and I love sharing it with you and with others as they ask for it or come into my life.
Thank you Katie. And when people ask, I say that in my experience psychotherapy brings you to ACCEPT your story, and THE WORK makes it disappear!!! KABOOM!!!
Much love and gratitude, Brianda
I’m doing a live radio interview on Blog Talk Radio on October 15th at 7 pm EST (4 pm PST). The show is called It’s All About You, hosted by Darien Marshall and Darius Jones, owners of Darimar Entertainment, a company highlighting positive thinking and living. They’ve spent many years teaching spiritual principles in the community, promoting self-development through creativity.
If you get a chance, please tune in here >>
Your partner is your mirror. Except for the way you perceive him, he doesn’t even exist for you. He is who you see he is, and ultimately it’s just you again, thinking. It’s just you, over and over and over, and in this way you remain blind to yourself and feel justified and lost. To think that your partner is anything but a mirror of you is painful. So when you see him as flawed in any way, you can be sure that that’s where your own flaw is. The flaw has to be in your thinking, because you’re the one projecting it. You are always what you judge us to be in the moment. There’s no exception. You are your own suffering; you are your own happiness.
There’s no way to truly join your partner except by getting free of your belief that you need something from him that he’s not giving. Nothing can cost you someone you love. There’s nothing your husband can possibly do to keep you from loving him. The only way you can lose him is by believing what you think. You’re one with your husband until you believe that he should look a certain way, he should give you something, he should be something other than what he is. That’s how you divorce him. Right then and there, you have lost your marriage.
Of course, sometimes it’s best to physically leave. If your husband is abusive, question your thoughts about why you stay. As you enlighten yourself to what’s true, you may come to see that the only sane choice is to leave him. You may love him with all your heart and simply know not to live with him. We don’t have to be fearful, bitter, or angry to end a marriage. Or, if you’re not ready to leave, you may stay in the marriage, but with a greater awareness of how you’re abusing yourself by allowing him to abuse you. It’s like a yard with a big sign on the gate: THIS DOG BITES. If you walk into the yard once and are bitten, the dog has bitten you. If you walk into the yard a second time and are bitten, you have bitten you. This very awareness can change everything. By questioning your mind, you begin to realize that ultimately no one can hurt you—only you can. You see that you are 100 percent responsible for your own happiness. This is very good news.
The School for Leaders has been cancelled and we have many marvelous, fresh leadership ideas for 2008 and beyond! In the meantime, the 9 day School for The Work is producing thousands of new leaders in the world. Please join us in the New Year’s Cleanse and the April 9 Day School for The Work in Los Angeles, California.
The School for Leaders
February 24 – 29, 2008
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
On February 24th – 29th, 2008, Byron Katie International is extending its reach by inaugurating the School for Leaders. In collaboration with the 1492 Society for Growth and Renewal, BKI and its highly skilled staff will lead participants for five days of intensive discovery. Focusing on leadership and self-inquiry, this dynamic team will bring The Work of Byron Katie and leadership training together in a groundbreaking adventure that will shift the way you experience the world of business and change your whole life.
If you want to lead others, learn to lead yourself.
If you want to lead yourself, question your mind.
Most of us have experienced events in our lives, and specifically in our work environment, where our unquestioned mind leads us mechanically into reactions. We often do not notice our painful stories and are sitting in a cognitive prison, where we cannot see, hear, or feel what’s true. These unquestioned thoughts impede true, sustainable leadership, which is so essential in every kind of business environment, whether a small company or a large multi-national corporation.
We are living in the middle of a huge paradigm shift in business, where the traditional management schools are concentrating heavily on hierarchy, directing, and controlling. The School for Leaders focuses instead on exploring your limiting beliefs and on teaching you how to enhance the collective wisdom in you and your environment. By doing The Work at work, you will experience peace and clarity in your professional (and personal) life. This will manifest itself in greater confidence in your leadership ability, and increased creativity, productivity, decisiveness, and harmony in you and your colleagues.
True leadership is always based on non-violence and non-defense. Gandhi in his wisdom once said: “My people have changed direction; I am their leader, therefore I have to follow them.”
Can this be true for you?
This example offers you a glimpse into how much your present thinking aligns with this simple and powerful, non-violent leadership paradigm.
If you agree with the statement of the wise leader, join the School for Leaders. If you disagree, you are even more welcome to attend the School for Leaders and to notice your abilities to trust the process.
The School for Leaders offers you a journey into your limiting beliefs and the discovery of your natural ability to lead. You are invited to become skilled in doing The Work, so that your business and your life can open to a world of infinite opportunities.
I look forward to meeting you at the School for Leaders.
P.S. Learn more about THE SCHOOL FOR LEADERS here >>