Today’s topic is How to Identify and Question the Stressful Thoughts that Cause Our Stress and hopefully by the end of the show you’ll be inspired to question the things that cause your suffering and have the knowledge and power to dismantle these stressful thoughts and gain freedom of mind.
Byron Katie is interviewed on “The Well Woman Show” with Giovanna Rossi.
Giovanna: I want to start with a quote from Loving What Is. “No teacher is ever necessary. You are the teacher you’ve been waiting for.” What do you mean by that?
BK: I went to the world for answers—asking others what they advised; but ultimately, I found the answers to all my questions inside. It became so clear to me to just question everything I believed about my life and other people’s lives. As a result, everything shifted dramatically. Every time I questioned my assumptions—the things I was so sure were true—the questioning would show me astonishing truths I had no access to otherwise, truths that gave me a happy, problem-free life. So I invite people to question what they think.
Giovanna: And it is really hard to always be questioning our thoughts. That’s why you have these four simple questions to guide us.
BK: And the questions really are a practice. They are something we meditate on, until the questioning just comes naturally.
Giovanna: You have to focus on it and really do this in order to get to the other side of suffering.
BK: I do The Work all over the world with people and one-on-one, so I’m always in inquiry. And the questioning continues all day long, without effort. So I’m always prepared for life.
Giovanna: What superpower did you discover that you actually found was there all along?
BK: The ability to love without reservation.
Giovanna: I define feminism as equality in social, political, and economic spaces. Do you consider yourself a feminist?
BK: In that way, absolutely. And as women, if we are not in those spaces equally, it’s because of a fearful state of mind. There’s nothing that could stop us in our life if we were not fearful. If I believed anything that didn’t give me equal rights in my life, I would question it.
Giovanna: What do you tell people who are incredibly fearful right now; people who feel like they have no power over our social and political situation?
BK: I’d invite them to love what is, which is different from accepting what is. To love what is is to see things clearly from a balanced state of mind. In that clarity it’s simple to see what we can do to make positive changes in our life and in the world, and there’s no fear to stop it.
“Anyone with an open mind can do this Work; that’s the requirement.” —Byron Katie
For more information about Giovanna Rossi, please visit her website by clicking here.
More About The Work
The Work is a simple yet powerful process of inquiry that teaches how to identify and question the stressful thoughts that cause all of our stress.
The Work was developed by Katie Byron Mitchell who, after a long depression, noticed that she was unhappy when she believed her thoughts. She developed this method to methodically dismantle these stressful thoughts and gain freedom of mind.
Her insight into the mind is consistent with leading-edge research in cognitive neuroscience, and The Work has been compared to the Socratic dialogue, Buddhist teachings, and twelve step programs.
She says: “I discovered that when I believed my thoughts, I suffered, but that when I didn’t believe them, I didn’t suffer, and that this is true for every human being. Freedom is as simple as that. I found that suffering is optional. I found a joy within me that has never disappeared, not for a single moment. That joy is in everyone, always.”
As we question the thoughts that pull us away from our true nature, a new reality presents itself. Fear and anger are no longer the default mode. The mind, free from stress, can think creatively, all on it’s own. We create, love, innovate.
Thus we understand that our stress does not emanate from our world but from the stories we make up about it. This is empowering news. It brings our contentment out of the whim of the outside world, into the realm of our mind. Whom else should we trust with our happiness?
People who do The Work as an ongoing practice commonly report: Alleviation of depression: Find resolution, even happiness, in situations that were once debilitating.
Decreased stress: Learn how to live with less anxiety or fear.
Improved relationships: Experience deeper connection and intimacy with your partner, your parents, your children, your friends, and yourself.
Reduced anger: Understand what makes you angry and resentful, and become less reactive, less often, with less intensity.
Increased mental clarity: Live and work more intelligently and effectively, with integrity. More energy: Experience a new sense of ongoing vigor and well-being.