A man investigates his childhood memories of his parents and money. With a little help from Byron Katie, he realizes that his problems with money have all been a misunderstanding. As he questions what he was believing, he is able to see his parents in an entirely different light, and instead of fear, he finds compassion and laughter.
“Frank should be more understanding,” a woman thinks. But this thought causes her enormous suffering, because Frank isn’t more understanding. “That’s what happens when we try to control the world,” Byron Katie says. “And all the time we’re the ones who are not being understanding. We’re not applying it to ourselves.”
Once the woman questions this thought and thoughts like it, she begins to understand that there is nothing she needs from Frank—that the only understanding she needs is her own. As Katie says, it takes only one person to have a perfect marriage.
A man thinks that his whole life has been scarred by his father’s emotional absence. But when, with Byron Katie’s help, he questions the thought that his father isn’t there for him, he discovers a father he has never known before.
A woman suffering from a deep-seated fear of Donald Trump questions her many thoughts about him. “He will create concentration camps,” she has written on her Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet, “cause a nuclear war, and ruin the environment. I want him to not be president, to disappear, or at least to get a better, kinder set of cabinet members. He should step aside and offer the space to Hillary Clinton or another Republican candidate. Trump shouldn’t say things that are racist, sexist, able-ist, homophobic, and xenophobic.”
Slowly, with Katie’s help, she questions these terrifying thoughts, sometimes with the help of the audience, and the heaviness of the thoughts begins to dissolve. After completing the inquiry, she has a moment of insight, as she realizes that it is the thoughts that create her fear, not Trump. She proceeds to tear up her Worksheet in a flourish of delight, to cheers from the audience. Katie turns to her with a smile and says, “You’ve just made America great again!”
Dixie is frightened by Donald Trump because she’s afraid he will dismantle Obamacare and Social Security, ruin our economy, deport her immigrant neighbors, undermine the effort to combat global warming, abolish women’s reproductive rights, put us at risk of nuclear war, risk planetary destruction, and take away her hope for our country.
As Byron Katie helps her question her fears, Dixie begins to understand how it’s the images in her mind that frighten her, not Donald Trump. “When we believe our thoughts,” Katie says, “we’re hypnotized. This very moment is the only opportunity we have to make real change. The gift of life goes on no matter what you’re thinking and believing. Reality is always kinder than the story we’re believing about it.”
Follow-up message from Dixie: “For the first time since November 8th, I am meeting the new morning on its own terms. And as a result, in this moment, all is well in “my kitchen.'”
Byron Katie is interviewed by CsetykSobe.cz, along with a Czech/English translator. Katie supports them to get in touch with thoughts that cause them stress and may be running their life–thoughts like “My friend should change,” “My son is arrogant,” “People really don’t care,” There’s no way I can get this job done,” “Life is unfair.” All these stressful thoughts have a powerful affect on the way we see others and the world.
“When I ask myself ‘Is it true?’ and meditate on the question,” Katie says, “I become enlightened to a whole other experience. I can see the world in an entirely new way. This is happening for hundreds of thousands of people on the planet in many languages. And why do we believe these thoughts? We have an identity that we’ve established. We have to believe the thoughts in order to keep the construct of this identity together. When we start to question these thoughts, our identity begins to fall away, leaving us more enlightened, self-aware, and free. We either believe our thoughts or we question them; there’s no other choice.”
“If I have the thought ‘He doesn’t care about me,’ and I notice how I treat him when I believe that, it’s very different from how I treat him when I believe ‘He does care about me.’ Once I have done The Work on that negative judgment, the next time I meet him, I’m balanced, connected, and interested. I am now an excellent listener who can grow and expand through this meeting with him. And having questioned the judgment, I am now more open and connected with every human being I meet.”
“When we do The Work, our world changes, because the way we see the world has changed. Only I can free my mind. No one has the power to cost me my freedom but me. I invite you to question the thoughts that are depressing you.”
When we question our beliefs, we open ourselves up to a world that is unlimited. —Byron Katie
Czech Introduction to The Work: http://thework.com/sites/thework/downloads/little_book/Czech_LB.pdf
A woman does The Work on a moment in time when she was texting with her estranged mother. Her belief at that moment is “My mother doesn’t want to know me.”
BK: We’re meditating on “She doesn’t want to know me”—is it true?” The answer is always one syllable: yes or no. Notice the other thoughts that arise around this, and gently go back to the question. Do you see images of you and her in the past and the future? Is that you or imagination?
Together, they question statements like “I want my mom to acknowledge me,” “I want her to admit that she screwed up,” “She should apologize for the past,” “She shouldn’t expect me to parent her,”and “She should admit she’s a psychopath.”
“You cannot experience rage unless you’re in a movie.” —Byron Katie
A man investigates childhood memories of his parents fighting over money. With a little help from Byron Katie, he realizes that his problems with money have all been a misunderstanding. As he questions what he is believing, he was able to see his parents in an entirely different light, finding compassion and laughter instead of fear.
Sameer from London believes that he needs to do it all or he won’t survive, even though he knows it’s not true. “The ego loves the thought ‘I know it’s not true,'” Byron Katie explains. “That immediately tells me that I need to Work that thought, since I really don’t know what’s true for me until I question it.”
After Sameer questions the thought, Katie suggests a turnaround: “I will be able to do it all, and I won’t survive.” “That feels really uncomfortable,” Sameer says. “I have a fear of being nothing.”
“It’s just identity we’re dealing with,” Katie says. “It’s not the life and death of the body, but of who you believe you are,” Katie says. “In this moment, while we are talking together, the world is what it should be, and it’s comforting to realize that it doesn’t need me at all.”
“I love the thought that I don’t need to survive,” Sameer says.
A young mother is pained by what she perceives as her son’s weirdness and she wants him to be “normal;” more like the other kids. With Katie’s gentle guidance, she meditates on her unquestioned thoughts for the first time, watches them unravel, and finds her prescription for happiness in turnarounds such as “I should stop being weird to my son in front of other children” and “I should know how to fit in.” Through tears and laughter, she sees that she might just be the mother of a really happy kid.
Rawan from Egypt explains that even after much success with The Work, she feels that there is still something rotten inside her.
Byron Katie says that she too had felt that way, and that it was true: there was something rotten inside her. “It was my unquestioned judgments about me and you.”
“I have done Worksheets on this, and the feeling disappeared for a while, but then it comes back,” Rawan says.
“Judgments that go against our heart start to accumulate,” Katie says, “and they can override the enlightenment you found with the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet. I don’t call it The Work for nothing. It’s a daily practice. Every morning, identify a new judgment, close your eyes, and ask the four questions. Throughout the day, write down every rotten, unkind judgment you have. Then later fill out a full Worksheet and set yourself free.”