Video: My Son is Weird—Is It True?

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.

www.thework.com

Letter: Losing a Child.

Dear Katie

I know you are very busy and lots of people are asking something of you. I am writing to you, because ‘something terrible has happened’ – the 6 year old girl of a friend of mine had what is called a freak accident, and she died yesterday. I am very touched by her death, and am writing down lots of beliefs about death, protection, safety, danger and so on, but somehow I absolutely cannot see how I can love that this happened. The idea of loving when somebody loses their child (even if it is only they who believe that) seems cruel and cold. Please can you tell me how one can move from accepting what is to actually loving it?

With buckets of gratefulness to you,
Sylvia

Byron Katie’s Judge- Your- Neighbor Worksheet

Video: I Need Mom to Accept My Bisexuality

I Need Mom to Accept My Bisexuality

A young woman says that she needs her mother to accept that she is attracted to women.

With Byron Katie’s help, she questions this thought and realizes that it isn’t true. And if she didn’t believe it, she realizes, she would feel whole and strong.

Without the need for approval, Katie says, not only would she be comfortable, but she would be intimate with her mother. “When you don’t need her approval, you can be there for her. You can say, ‘Mom, tell me more. Are you hurt because I prefer women? Do you think this will embarrass you? I want you to know I love you, and I’m going to be there for you. And I understand if you don’t approve of me. It was really scary for me, and I’m still scared.’ Give her the time that you gave yourself.”

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Thought Thursday: On Parents and Children

Byron Katie on Parents and Children

If your happiness depends on your children being happy, that makes them your hostages. So stay out of their business, stop using them for your happiness, and be your own happiness. And that way you are the teacher for your children: someone who knows how to live a happy life.  —Byron Katie

 

To read more of Katie quotes, click here

2014 Summer Camp for The Work: Questions for Katie

Questions for Katie:

Background: We told the kids a little bit about you today, including the story about a man with a gun threatening to kill you. Some of their questions reflect their curiosity about that story.

What is your religion? (Elijah)
Kindness.

Describe The Work in one word. (Cynthia)
Inquiry.

How did The Work get started? (Ryan)
I realized that when I believed my thoughts I suffered, and when I questioned them I didn’t suffer. When I realized this, The Work was born. It was so powerful it even found its way to you in my life.

How fast is The Work spreading in the world? (Justin)
I don’t know. The Little Book has been translated into at least 37 languages. So I think it’s spreading very fast.

Why are you okay with dying? (Elisa)
Because I am only who I believe me to be. What never lived can never die. Nothing can’t be afraid of anything–right?

What is your view on life and death? (Samai)
I regard all life as precious, and death the same.

Do you have any bad days? (Kate)
I don’t. I’m very open to bad days, though, since bad days would show me clearly what I need to Work on next.

What’s the most important thing we should know? (Eric)
That love is the ultimate power. Nothing else is a problem once that is understood. Fear lets us know when we are arguing with reality, which is love, the nature of all things.

What is your perspective on money? (Elijah)
Money is a state of mind. A sane mind is never in need.

What brings you happiness? (Cynthia)
Everything, including your question.

What sacrifices have you had to make since starting The Work? (Kate)
None.

How did you stay so calm when someone pulled a gun on you? (Ryan)
I didn’t want to miss what could be the last few moments of my life. Also, wouldn’t it be silly of me to worry about me when he was the one with the problem? I did think, “I hope he doesn’t do this to himself.” To harm another human being is to really feel bad about yourself. Guilt is not a happy way to live. Also, I didn’t want to miss being with the stars, the sky, the moon, the smell of water and plant life. It was an amazing moment, just like this one now with you.

How did you know what you were going to do and say in that situation? (Justin)
I didn’t. I don’t plan my words or actions; it isn’t necessary, Justin. I just can’t know what’s going to happen next in my life, just as you can never know, and that’s what makes life SOO exciting. That’s why I say, “Love is the power.” To be authentic is to love yourself, to love others, to love the situation, and to be present and aware in the moment (which is the only place you can be), is to understand that love is the power you can trust.

What is your overall goal with The Work? (Elijah)
The end of suffering.

Who is your role model? (Elisa)
It’s not a person; it’s the love I see in all things. And a great role model it is. It never lets me down!

Video Interview: Parenting and The End of Blame

Parenting and The End of Blame

Nicole Telfer of http://www.empoweredkids.co.uk interviews Byron Katie on parenting:

Q: Can you help us understand what lies beneath those emotional triggers? Why are kids so good at pushing our buttons?

Katie: If I see them the way they are, then we’re connected. If I see the old them of the past, it influences the way I see them now. The problem lies with me, not with my child. When we stop blaming the child and look to ourselves, that’s when real change begins.

Q: My kids don’t listen to me. The only way I can get them to do as I say is to yell and scream.

Katie: When I think they’re not listening to me, am I listening to them? No one is guilty. There are just two people who love each other trying to communicate.

Q: How can we tell when we’re observing behavior, that is something they need to address, or if it’s something they’re mirroring in us that we need to address?

___________________________

Q: How can I use The Work so that I can stay grounded? Sometimes I just lose it.

Katie: Sometimes we can’t connect. Later, I’d get a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet, I’d close my eyes, and I’d imagine myself back into that situation when I was frustrated with my child. I’d imagine us, just the way we were, and I would identify thoughts I was thinking in that situation. The Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet is made for this. It wasn’t my child who caused my anger; it’s what I was thinking and believing.

Then I would question each thought, using the four questions and the turnarounds.

Example: He doesn’t listen to me.

1. Is it true? (Yes or no.)

I’d close my eyes and I witness what I said to them, the emotions I felt.

2. Can I absolutely know that it’s true?

3. How do I react, what happens, when I believe that thought?

I see that I put my hands on my hips. I gave my child “the look.”
I threw up my hands.
I can see so clearly how I reacted when I believed the thought “He doesn’t listen to me.”

4. Who would I be without the thought?

The Turnarounds:
I don’t listen to me. I wasn’t listening to the things I was saying. I wasn’t taking my own advise. I just kept talking to him in that oblivious way.

I don’t listen to him.

He does listen to me.

Then I look at that situation and it shows me examples of how the turnaround is as true or truer.

Even if a child is trying to drown me out, he hears me. By going back to situation and witnessing, I can always see where that child is listening.

When we really listen, we can hear the signals that our children are giving us, and they wake us up.

_____________________________

If there’s a problem in my house, I look to myself. That’s very empowering, because no one has to change other than me. That’s what husbands and children are for; they push our buttons so that we can get free.

Q: As parents, how can we continue to teach our kids to keep practicing The Work, so they can find the peace within themselves?

Q: How can I use The Work to deal with my need for approval so I don’t put that onto my kids?

Q: My twelve-year-old daughter has become very closed. She won’t open up and tell me about her day or her interactions with her friends. I feel like I’m locked out of her life. How can I find my way back in?

Nicole: The biggest life lesson I’ve taken away from your Work is that the whole purpose for these close, connected relationships is to teach me more about myself. They stand up and show me where I need to grow. And your book for children, Tiger-Tiger, Is It True? allowed me to introduce the whole process to my kids at a really young age.

“If think they need to turn it around, I need to turn it around.
If I think someone should question their thoughts, I need to question my thoughts.” —Byron Katie

Video: Introduction to The Work of Byron Katie—He Owes Me

He hasn’t paid child-support in six and a half years. Is it true? Watch as a wife and mother finds that she has the perfect husband and father of her children, if only her mind wouldn’t tell her otherwise. Her story is our story. Her many thoughts around the “unsettled” debt have made it impossible for her to see the person in front of her. Her turnarounds are deeply challenging and, for her, a powerful opening of the heart. To bring one turnaround home to each of us, Katie finds examples in her own life.

In this brief video, the four questions and turnarounds of The Work are clearly outlined for the concept “He owes me.” This is a wonderful reference tool for anyone who wants to understand The Work better, or for those just beginning to use The Work.

1.  Is it true? (Yes or no. If no, move to 3.)
2.  Can you absolutely know that it’s true? (Yes or no.)
3.  How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
4.  Who would you be without the thought?

Download the Facilitation Guide for helpful supporting questions: http://thework.com/sites/thework/downloads/worksheets/facilitationguide_Eng.pdf

Download a free intro to The Work: http://thework.com/sites/thework/downloads/little_book/English_LB.pdf

Do The Work:  http://thework.com/do-work

For the full length version: https://youtu.be/B1KpCZGWbL8

Video: Needy Parents, Window Jumpers, ADHD, and Screaming Tantrums

Susan Stiffelman and Byron Katie appear together in a follow-up session to address any questions people had about the previous three sessions. The previous sessions; session 1, session 2, session 3.

They also announce the decision to continue the webcasts in response to enthusiastic feedback from viewers. Visit TheWork.com under Events to find when our next webcast will be.

About this video:

Louisa from London says, “I’m trapped between my enlightened self and my stressed, angry, guilty self, and I feel this swing is confusing my kids.” “You’re describing the dilemma of every parent,” Katie says. Louisa continues, “How do I let them know that I am doing my best as a parent?” Katie says, “Why do your children have to know you’re doing your best? That’s all about making you feel better. It’s using them to parent you. A Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet on your children will show you exactly how you use them to feel better, and how this disconnects you from them.”

Amita from India: “Although I understand the power of unconditional love, sometimes I feel my daughter thinks she can get away with any behavior because of this. How can I get her to understand that her physical, demanding behaviors are not acceptable? She often threatens to throw herself out of a window.” Amita has written a letter to her daughter, which Katie has her read turned around to herself. “All the wisdom that you had for your daughter,” Katie says, “is like the most intimate prayer to yourself.”

Stacey from Los Angeles asks, “What’s a healthy way to approach my child so that I’m not filling his head with untrue stories and beliefs about the world?” “Whatever I don’t want my child to hear,” Katie says, “or whatever attitudes I don’t want them to mimic, I put them on paper and question them. My child will show me what’s left for me to question. If I can find freedom from those thoughts, then they can do it too.”

A woman writes in to ask how to work with her four-year-old daughter, who has been diagnosed with ADHD. Katie says, “We all experience ADHD, depending on how entrenched we are in our belief system. How hyperactive am I when I am judging my children?” “The way we can really help our children,” Susan says, “is by seeing them as they are, rather than from a pathological point of view.”

Dawn from Texas is new to The Work and asks: “How do I deal with my very strong-willed child, who throws tantrums when she doesn’t get what she wants?” She then acts out a typical tantrum of her daughter, and s Katie models a connected parental response by witnessing the child without her own wants and needs getting in the way. “There are two ways to witness the child,” she says. “One is in peace, and the other is not.”

 

Video: Socks, Ex Husbands, Fears, and Screaming Little Girls—The Work on Parenting

Socks, Ex Husbands, Fears, and Screaming Little Girls—The Work on Parenting

https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=rZ4R61wEubI

In this third and final session of The Work on Parenting, Susan Stiffelman and Byron Katie begin with a conversation about specifics like chores and rants about our children: “They don’t listen to me; they’re so ungrateful; how can they live in such a pig sty?”

These beliefs create a disconnect and power struggles with our kids. “The Work,” Susan says, “is a powerful tool to liberate us from all the thoughts that cause us to come at someone instead of alongside them. When children withdraw and defy, they’re letting us know that we’ve disconnected from them.”

Katie then guides Amber from Ithaca in doing The Work on “He’s going to move to California” and “The move is not best for my daughter.” After questioning these thoughts and turning them around, Amber finds the possibility of a lasting peace and connection with her ex-husband and their daughter.

Jamie, a mother of three from Canada, says “Amy is an over-the-top, screaming little girl. She is not the little girl I imagined I would have.” After inquiry, Jamie notices that she is not the mother she imagined she would be and discovers that when she is not busy thinking that Amy should be different, she can be fully connected and compassionate with her.

Ina from Japan is concerned that her daughter is adopting all her fears and lack of boundaries. She questions the concept “My daughter is fearful of life” and quickly finds that when she believes this thought, she become more fearful and unable to help her daughter. “If we take care of ourselves,” Katie says, “our children follow” Ina also questions the thought “I need her to be a fearless and happy person.” Without the expectations we have for our children, we can relax, be present, hear them, and be fearless with them. ”I can’t expect my children to live what I can’t live,” Katie says.

“When we parent ourselves, parenting our children is effortless.” —Byron Katie

Interested in learning more about The Work, find us at www.thework.com for more information. To download a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet, click here.

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