Letter: “My son has a grudge”

Dearest Katie;

My 28 yr old son, the one with the brain tumor, is breaking me down. He has a grudge and he’s going to make me listen. Recently he had a series of seizures and resulting brain swelling that left him weakened on his right side and unable to find words to complete his sentences. His tumor is progressing with its own life and growing and impacting him more all the time. So last week he wrote a letter for me to read. He says it explains everything, about how I’ve never listened to him, and that I’ve lied to him, and refused to believe him, and smothered him, and made him look like a fool. He is going to make me read his letter. Even though he requires 24-hour care now and has come to stay with me since last Monday, he says he will leave and find someone else to live with, if I don’t read his letter, and if I don’t change. I can find it all, Katie. I listened to him today and I was able to say “Thank you.” He told me, “You’re not always right.” And I said, “Thank you” and I meant it. And he said he felt better and calmer because he was able to tell me all this today.

I don’t know if this was anything like what you went through with your children. I remember you saying that after you found The Work, they came and told you all the awful things you had done to them. I’m not sure how to stand this, but I’m trying. Thank you for The Work.

My son is a gift. He’s going to give me my life. Last Monday, I mentioned that I’d get him his hair clippers from his house and bring them to him. He looked at me and said, “How do you know where they are?” I said, “Wow, you’re really suspicious.” And I proceeded to tell him I’d seen them when I had picked up some of his things the day before. And right then I saw it all, Katie. He never said a word, and suddenly I understood that he was just asking a question, to get an answer. And that I was the one with the story. I had no business judging that he asked the question because he was suspicious. And it isn’t my business if he is. I’ve been thinking about that several times a day since. I’ve been doing this to him, and to everyone I’ve ever cared about or just been around, all my life. How did these people stand me like this, the way I have been? Finally I am beginning to get it when you say something like “until you look forward to criticism, your Work isn’t done.” I’m looking forward to noticing the next thing, when I feel the criticism, so I can see if it really is criticism.

My son is a gift; I know that, because he’s going to give me peace. But he still causes me pain, when he talks to me the way he did today. I feel the pain coming and I notice it can fall away. I’m not there yet, but I have no choice but to listen to him, and try to remember it’s not personal. Thank you for The Work.


Dearest Jane,

You are very brave, sweetheart. My eyes are welling up with love, gratitude, and admiration as I read your e-mail. Yes, I love that you do a Worksheet on your son each day and witness love expand and continue to experience the gift of your son as he continues to grow you. Continue until your heart bursts open with love and your eyes can’t stop filling with gratitude.

In deepest gratitude for your courage and love in this world,
Byron Katie

Letter: “My Dad is not okay”

Hello, Byron Katie,

My name is Janet. It has been 18 months since my dad was killed (radiation treatment for cancer) and I just cannot come to terms with what happened to him. He is my best friend; I love him more than the universe. He wasn’t a very happy man in his later years, but was only 70 when he was killed. I let him go initially as I felt there was a hereafter, but I have not heard from him personally, nothing, no dreams of him. I cannot believe that a person I (and my mum and twin sister) can be so close to, love him so much and not know for sure he is okay. I cannot stop being in agony all the time and no-one understands. What can I do? I also lost my beautiful dog, my uncle my aunt and my grandmother all around the same time (18 months). I can cope with their loss, just, but not my dad. Thank you for your time. You are the most amazing person I have ever read about, you know the truth, see through the illusion, and I would love to hear what you have to say about my hurt. Thank you again.

Best wishes and thank you for your Work,

Dearest Janet,

I hear from you that you’re afraid your father is not okay in death. I would ask that you answer the following questions. “Your dad is not okay”—is that true? Can you absolutely know that it’s true that he is not okay? How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought? I hear that you are in agony, you feel that no one understands, you believe that you can’t cope, you are hurt. What else? Get as quiet as you can and trace what happens as a result of believing this very painful thought. How do you treat yourself when you believe it? How do you treat the people around you? Notice what more is affected when you believe the thought. Then ask yourself who you would be without the thought. Who would you be, living your life after your father died of cancer, if you didn’t even have the ability to think the thought “My dad is not okay”? Then turn the thought around and find at least three genuine examples for each turnaround. How is each one true? For example, “My dad is okay.” Would you like to hear two examples that I found? 1) He has never spoken up to give you any sign that he is in agony, that he isn’t okay. 2) You are guessing and don’t know. What other examples can you find on your own and without my help?

Another turnaround, a turnaround to the self, would be “I am not okay” (in the moment when I believe my dad is not okay).” Continue finding turnarounds and examples for each turnaround until you are free to think this thought, without believing it and without pain, angel. A thought unbelieved is a welcomed friend, not an agony-maker. You can take care of one of you, and that would be the one who you know for sure is suffering, and that would be you. I care deeply that you stay with yourself and give yourself the gift of freedom from agony around this unquestioned assumption, and if you want to end suffering in your family, deal with your own suffering first. If you can’t take care of your own suffering, how can you help others, “dead” or alive? Be still, angel. The answers that will set you free are within you. Ask, wait, listen, and be enlightened to what you already know. This enlightenment brings you closer to your father, much closer than agony ever could. Love is the power, and you have it within you to ignite that power.

You might also check in with yourself about the three kinds of business. Whose business is it if you are not okay? Whose business is it if your dad is not okay? If you can get only this straight, it could make things a lot easier for you to begin to do The Work.

Until we know that death is as good as life, and that it always comes at just the right time, we’re going to take on the role of God without the awareness of it, and it’s always going to hurt. Whenever you mentally oppose what is, when you think that you know what should and shouldn’t happen, you’re going to experience sadness and apparent separation. There’s no sadness without an unquestioned story. What is is, because it is. You are it.

You imagine an afterlife, and you feel devastated that your father hasn’t communicated with you, that you haven’t even dreamed of him, except as a waking dream, and it is a nightmare. No one knows what death is. Maybe it’s not a something; maybe it’s not even a nothing. It’s the pure unknown, and I love that. We imagine that death is a state of being or a state of nothingness, and we frighten ourselves with our own concepts. I’m a lover of what is: I love sickness and health, coming and going, life and death. I see life and death as equal. Reality is good; so death must be good, whatever it is, if it’s anything at all. Death is kind enough to be still and silent, and I appreciate that. Everything else is projected into that stillness by your mind.

I hope that you write down all your stressful thoughts about your father and your projected “afterlife,” sweetheart, and do The Work on them. That is the only way I know that will help you out of your misery. Whatever else I may say won’t help you, even if you believe that I am telling the truth, even if you believe that I am the most enlightened person who ever walked the face of the earth. It’s only your own wisdom that has the power to show you the way out of confusion. So I invite you to The Work. Question what you are believing about your father. It’s not your father’s death that is causing your suffering; it’s your unquestioned thoughts about him and “his” death. I invite you to question these, and set yourself free.

In deepest gratitude for your stillness and devotion to what lives in you,

Sharing Your Turnarounds

Dear Ones,

Over the years, I’ve witnessed countless miracles as people question their thoughts and turn them around. Some of you may have heard me share these turnarounds (or have shared them yourselves) during the School for The Work or at weekend intensives, or may have read about them in my books. As many of you know firsthand, through your own turned-around lives, we exchange our war with reality for the peace that passes understanding.

The more turnarounds we experience and share, the more we open our hearts and our lives to the others who also want to wake up to who they really are.

Here’s a turnaround from a woman in Atlanta, which exemplifies what I’m inviting you to contribute:

The Man of My Dreams

“Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.” These words, which introduce a spiritual self-study called A Course in Miracles, pierced my heart when I first read them in 1989. However, it wasn’t until 22 years later while attending the nine-day School for the Work that my mind and heart opened to their true

At the age of 15, when most teenage girls were reading their first romance novels, I discovered the world of mystical poets and spiritual texts. My alcoholic father had killed himself when I was 12. During the years following his death, I sought comfort in the Bible, the Bhagavad Gita, the Tao Te Ching, A Course in Miracles, and the words of poets such as Khalil Gibran, Rumi, and Hafiz. I was a spiritual-text junkie, always searching for the next fix, yet never being able to sustain a feeling of peace.

For many years following daddy’s suicide, he occasionally appeared in my dreams—always remaining distant and unresponsive when I would plead with him to not leave again. During a dream visit in 2001 (his final to date), he spoke for the first time, sending a clear and unforgettable message. As I begged him not to leave, he quietly but emphatically said, “Don’t do this to yourself,” as he gently released himself from my embrace and walked away. The dream left me reeling, yet oddly comforted.

I stumbled across The Work the following year, as I was living a typical life of balancing motherhood, career, and an impending second divorce. I began doing the four questions and turnarounds on everyone from my mother, husband, ex-husband, children, siblings, and friends to the family dog, taking excruciating care to never question the black hole of my father’s suicide. My mind began to clear through inquiry, and the truth began to reveal itself in all its glory. Yet the fear of going deeper still lurked in the background—until I attended the School for The Work earlier this year.

As the School progressed and I ventured deeper into inquiry with the support of those around me, I found myself not only questioning the thought that my father should not have killed himself, but turning that thought around to what had henceforth remained an unfathomable thought—”Daddy should have killed himself.” How did I know this was true? Because he did. Not only did I experience a spontaneous release—I burst out laughing! Could I give at least three reasons why the thought that he should have killed himself was as true or truer than my original thought? Absolutely. My father released himself from what was, to him, an unbearable life by the only means he knew at the time. Secondly, even though I loved my father with all my heart, my family and I were spared the misery of continuing to live with a depressed, out-of-control alcoholic. And finally, I realized that the pain of my father’s suicide had attracted me to a spiritual path at an early age, for which I am eternally grateful.

That same day, I experienced an equally powerful turnaround to “My father should not have killed himself”—”I should not have killed myself (over the pain of my father’s suicide).” And I should not continue to kill myself over it. The man of my dreams, my father, had already delivered this message to me years earlier. But it took me questioning my thoughts and turning them around to arrive at the truth. As The Work reminds us, there’s nothing serious about life or death, for there’s nothing that can threaten what is real. Everything becomes as clear as day because, in Katie’s words, “There really isn’t anything; only the story appearing now— and not even that.”

Kathryn, Atlanta, GA

As this woman has come to understand, peace is who we really are without our stressful, fingerpointing, unrealized stories. Through The Work, we wake up to the amazing truth that everything happens for us, not to us.

Love beyond reason,

The Work in Pakistan

The following text was written to Zahid from Bahawalpur, Pakistan, by a 27-year-old woman with two young children. (She uses her mobile phone to get on the Internet.) Here is the translation:

Dear Zahid,
I just went though Katie’s little book. It’s amazing. Now it’s time for the Worksheets, but before filing in those I’m going to read them out peacefully. The insight about staying in my own business is superb, I have generally sorted out that most of my transactions are really not my business at all…it’s really funny. Tell me one thing: What can I do with little kids, I mean they are totally dependant on me and isn’t a mother’s duty to defend them or solve their problems?

I really understand what you want to say and the joy that one has in the heart. I didn’t really know about presentation of this method in Pakistan, but one thing is true: Pakistan and the Pakistanis are suffering a lot and most of them really need counseling because their depressions are getting wild with each passing day. I love the statement “being born again,” in fact I want to be born again and that miracle is happening.

It’s true, it’s true! Within two days of knowing The Work, it is…really out of this world! I never realized how near happiness was. I’m going mad about jumping into Worksheets, but I have to sit calmly to sort out what is most stressful. It seems that Allah has blessed me with an angel in your form whom I can trust due to knowing my parents and family and letting me know what I was searching for until now. You know what my reaction would be to see Katie. Just jumping at her and kissing her on her forehead like buddha: amazing! Lots of love, lots of love, lots of love, I’ve never ever gone though such deep replies because whenever I asked anyone they replied but most of that was related to philosophy. And I rather didn’t understand Sakeel, Urdu, or Persian or difficult things. Blessings to you and her.

You know what? Whenever I want to do a Worksheet a wish from inside comes to pick up that small book you sent and read it. It’s the fourth time I’m reading it and I want to share something very great…When I think of myself and close my eyes…or when I tell somebody about The Work, I feel like a light coming out right from the middle of my heart and spreading like sunlight.

Letter: “My son shouldn’t play violent video games”

The following is taken from the July edition of the Byron Katie newsletter. Eileen writes because her son’s violent video games are causing her stress. Her words are italicized.

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Please help me with this one: “My son shouldn’t play violent video games/watch violent children’s programmes.” I know there’s a violence to stopping him playing them. But when he plays them he seems to get brainwashed into thinking it’s ok to go around shooting people and that the most important thing in life is to be the winner (the end justifies the means). So at times I panic, because I think, here I am doing The Work, trying to become a more peaceful parent, meanwhile my son is becoming indoctrinated in the art of war. Last week he bit a friend and said it was ok because he won.

I’ve considered the possibility that how much he watches and what he watches is his business. But he’s only six. If he’s doing what he wants to do, which is to play video games most of the day (he’s home-educated) and I let him, then am I not being passively violent because love would act to protect him? Aside from what will it do to his mind to immerse himself, at such a sweet young age, in programmes made by people who clearly don’t do The Work (!), I feel I must restrict his use for fear of what will it do to his body, his eyesight, his posture, his adrenalin (he gets very flushed), what constant exposure to electro-magnetic frequencies may do to his health, in way that can never be measured.

With a 6 years old, where do I draw the line between his business and my business? I find this one a really difficult grey area.

My daughter, Roxann, it seems to me, is very clear about her business, her daughter’s business, and God’s business. She sees her five-year-old daughter as her business and God’s business. If, for example, Marley wants ice cream before dinner and Roxann says no, it is over and done. It is over and done because Marley can trust her mother’s integrity 100%. Marley hears the no and simply goes on about her business.

If Scott, her father, (this no longer is entirely true, as he has since “lived through” a lot of ego didn’t survive the nine-day School for The Work) says no to Marley, he has to say it over and over, since he doesn’t really mean it, even though he thinks that he does; he (is this familiar?) is teaching Marley, unintentionally, that if she can push the right button, crying, begging, stamping around, pleeeeeeeezzzzzzzzing him, etc., he will finally say yes. She only needs to find the right button to push.

Now consider how painful it is for the little girl, as you imagine what she must go through and what she is teaching herself about what it takes to get what she wants in life. Now, consider the little girl who hears what she trusts to be true from her mother. I see peace. Her mother is so very kind in her communication and isn’t seeking Marley’s love, approval and appreciation; she is being honest and answering out of love with her instead. “After dinner, honey.” And that’s it. Roxann is open to a discussion and won’t be moved unless from what she is hearing it makes sense for her to move to another idea. I find that Roxann is very loving and open-minded and real with her children. I closely watched Marley growing up and witnessed the two methods of raising children. (Scott was doing it the way that I did it) The School really opened Scott’s eyes. Beautiful to watch such an amazing young family grow as their minds become open enough to Work themselves.

I asked a health kinesiologist to muscle-test for me how much was ok for my son to watch, and he said he thought an hour and a half was as much as my son’s body could manage each day healthily. So then I turn into the ‘Hour and A Half police’ as I try to apply this daily principle and notice my lovely son become secretive about watching. I have introduced guilt into his joy.

There is another way. I invite you to inquiry, to look to the ways that you are secretive, with him as well as with yourself and others.

So have I left my business in trying to protect my son? I note that when your daughter was drinking you did not take steps to protect her, and that this ability to stand back and just love her is what helped her the most in the end. But she was 16. My boy is comparatively tiny.

I read in Loving What Is that you’re no longer a believer that children’s teeth shouldn’t rot. So am I in my son’s business even when I brush his teeth? What about when I rush to save him from an oncoming car? I really get The Work when it applies to adults. But with my children, it’s more complex, because I want to be responsible for them.

If you can’t answer my question, then at least would you consider developing (a) a book on The Work for parents and (b) a video game for children based on being a warrior for The Work? Perhaps where they could choose which Byron Katie outfit to wear and then act out storming into people’s internal prisons releasing them from their uninvestigated alien thoughts. They could have special anti-thinking stun guns, love cannons and guns that shoot out questions and turnarounds. They could have bullet-proof suits printed with Judge-Your-Neighbour worksheets which see them through all obstacles. It could all be so lovely then. I could just plug my boy into all of that and he’d be happy and investigated all at once. And I could put my feet up, have a cup of tea and celebrate this marvellous technology that gives me a break and keeps my boy so entertained.

Love Eileen

Dearest Eileen,

“Your son shouldn’t play violent video games”—is that true? No, because he is playing them—until he doesn’t, and so much of this is up to you and what you are believing that would cause him to take over your life using ways that you have taken over your own life with. Our children learn from us how to get what they want. .

How do you react when you believe that thought? You feel stressed, worried, exasperated. You’re thinking along these lines: What are children coming to? What kind of horrible company would create a video game like this?

Who would you be without the thought “My son shouldn’t play violent video games”? Probably more relaxed. Possibly at peace with your son. Possibly at peace with yourself.

Possible turnarounds: “My son should play violent video games” or “I should play violent video games with my son” or “My son should play some other games.”

Accepting the way things are doesn’t mean you can’t act to change it.

So what to do? How should you act?

As a mother, you have a very clear path of action: either (1) you accept your son’s video game—perhaps you should enter his world, and join the game—or (2) you take away his video games. You can take immediate action. See if you can find an alternative to channel his energy. What comes to your mind? Perhaps a physical sport (skateboarding, soccer, tennis, rock climbing, running), perhaps a book (a friend swears by King Solomon’s Mines), or a chore or activity (mowing the yard, sweeping the floors), building (a treehouse, a kite, a plane), or creating something (a website, a movie, a painting, a comic book)—the possibilities are endless. And if he still chooses to play his video games after that, bring him some cookies and sit with him as he plays. Talk to him about it. About the game, about the violence, about the world. Show him the protests in Iraq on YouTube. You can engage with your child’s world or reject it. Try embracing it.

As an adult, when I do The Work I get free, and my children follow. My children learned confusion from me and are now finding clarity through me. We teach by example, not through empty words that we cannot follow ourselves.

“Sounds like a great video game, however: “rushing, storming…” I would have to relearn. Does it work with a smile on your face? Does everyone drop their gun and laugh? Then I’m in. Any ideas out there?

Thank you, dearest, I enjoyed your letter and have been where you have been, and it can be so very heart-wrenching as a parent when our children are out of control and we don’t know what to do.

Also, The Work brings sanity; no parent wouldn’t take a child to the dentist if they could. Roxann has the most amazing way of brushing Marley’s teeth and Marley today doesn’t and has never, as far as I can see, had the thought that it is something that is a burden. Her mother and father answered her questions and it all made sense to her, just like walking. Ahhhhh, peace is a brilliant state of mind, and my job is to invite the world to that. The way is “in” first and lived “out” as an effect of the power found inside. That is what happens as a natural result.

Loving you and your dear son,


Letter: “When you get it”

Dearest Katie,

About two years ago I read Loving What Is and began my Work journey, this never ending internal life. After listening to the audio of the book, and subsequent audios, I sent you a letter, which ended up on the Parlor. I had quoted a section of the book, which I just could not at all understand at the time. That part about “When you get it, they’ll get it. That’s the law! It must be so” “They will follow.” (paraphrasing). I wrote you asking for clarification, as I just couldn’t get it. I am starting to now. I have lived this question on and off since your response back then in the Parlor. I am seeing more and more, what starts to shift around me when I do my part, my Work. And I see it’s nothing personal. I see when my own mind begins to clear, it clears everywhere, and in some cases it just blows my mind. My whole world shifts. One of my sisters who had been very angry at me for a year and a half, approached me recently and said, “I just want you to know that I am ending being mad at you. I can’t stand it anymore. I see it is not hurting you and it is killing me. I love you. I always have. And spending more time around you these last three weeks has shown me this so clearly. And besides that I don’t just love you, I like you! So I am ending all this silly business with you. I am back on with you. I miss you so much.” This blew my mind. And I understood.

My son K, who is twenty-three years old, affectionately sometimes calls me Guddha – a cross between Grant and Buddha. And I know it cuts both ways. He does think I am wise sometimes, as he rubs my head affectionately. And I am sure sometimes he says it when he thinks that I think I am wise. Guddha sounds different in my head at those times! Like “Oh Mr. Know-it-All”. Thank you K. Now maybe I will call him Kuddha! He decided a few months ago to do The School. He is doing the March School. Now how wise is that? Finding his way to his own freedom. I’m loving it. So, please study up on the curriculum a little extra, as I am wanting the universe for him, which I really know he already has! “When you get it, they’ll follow!” Thank you for your doing and undoing, dearest Katie. Hugs and gushy kisses as always.

Love, Grant

P.S. Thank you for sharing the Rwanda letter on the community site. A real blow away.

Dearest Grant,

Thank you for your letter. One of my grandsons says that he is attending the School for The Work this summer in Los Angeles. I would love that he gets what your son received at the School, and that is his own truest mind back, awake and responsible for his own life and best interest. We all adore your son! Let him know that he is cleared to staff a School if he wants to. I love watching even six- and seven-year-olds work with people who are sixty, seventy, twenty and every age in between at the events I get to facilitate as well.

For those of you asking about your children coming to the School during the upcoming summer break, the answer is, of course, “yes.” Both my grandsons are fourteen, and I think of the fourteen-year-old daughter of one of the women at the last School (just a few days ago). This young lady wouldn’t let anyone—not even her mother—get away, skate away, shift away, shrink away from the authentic self she could see in us. This darling and ruthless fourteen-year-old facilitator used her skills (the most ruthless skills always are our kindness, gentleness, caring, and the most unmoving integrity in the face of the one in denial, the facilitated) to tear open a lot of stuck minds and lives. As I am not traveling out of the country this summer (thank you all for supporting my visit to London and Copenhagen in January) and many of you are wanting your children to come to the School during summer break, and of course I am very happy about that, I will be there as usual, from early morning to late at night, all day, every day, watching awareness shift from the fear-based self into another paradigm, the new one, the kinder one, yours. I hope to see not only my grandson but who knows?—maybe both my grandsons as well as your children and grandchildren at the summer School for The Work in Los Angeles.

loving you,

Letter: “My son will soon be dead”


I am still suffering with the thought that my son, who has a brain tumor, will soon be dead. I think of reasons why that would be good in this friendly universe, like then he, who has never seemed happy to me, will be in more peace. What money I have left will be all mine. I will have no children left to worry about or see in pain or laughter. My other son (whom you did TW on with me back at my first school in Oct 2006) drowned at 18 months. In that School I looked at the worst thing that could happen, that I would lose this other son, and now it is happening. Oh yes, another good thing about the last son dying, he won’t have to watch me get old and die.

When I imagine what it would be without the thought that he will soon be dead, and turn it around, that I will soon be dead, I feel a shift. I think I love him, and I notice I love myself more and it’s myself I’m really concerned about in all this. I want him to be fixed and safe so I will be fixed and safe. And it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen and I’m Working on it happening…with me being fixed and safe.

I do The Work constantly and am getting peaceful off and on. Then I see he is not happy and my resistance to “what is” gives me deep pain.

I notice now that my peacefulness seems to be tied like a stock chart to his state of comfort. When he says “Mom, I’m not worth $1500 a month for chemo” I die. I can’t feel prepared yet for his death. I want to pass onto the other side of this but I don’t yet no how. Thanks for being there, Katie.

Peace and Love,

Dearest JJ,

You do “yet” know how, The Work works when your dear mind is open to “what is next”. You’re not prepared for his death yet, is it true?

It sounds like your not prepared for his LIFE yet, he isn’t dead, he is still living!!!!!! The dead or dying son in your heads image is not your son, it is an image. You are trading your sons life now, for images of death, not your sons life and it is “killing” your time with him and your life with him in joy. He has a right to believe that he is “not worth it”, listen to him, he has a right to his opinion and it doesn’t mean that he isn’t worth everything to you, you can still honor his opinion. You don’t have to agree, your opinion is your business unless you think that his life is not worth $1500. per mo and maybe you don’t sense you don’t believe that he is going to live anyway, and in an odd way it is understandable that the mind would take you there.

I love you JJ, don’t let your unquestioned mind cost you one minute with that darling, dear, dearest son of yours. Is it sadness that you are feeling or love? Isn’t it love, feel it as deeply as you can, let it live in you, allow it, let it cry you, take you over even, its okay, love is all powerful. Don’t confuse feelings that you believe to be sadness with what love feels like, my dearest. I am with you, ask him to hold you for me.

with all of my heart,

Email: Working through the loss of a father

Hi Katie,

Just wanted to thank you for The Work! It is truly amazing at shifting one’s beliefs and allowing healing to happen!

I stumbled onto your website some time ago, and bookmarked it, thinking: “I might try this at some point.”

Well, my Dad passed away a few weeks ago, and I’ve been having a very rough go of it since. My Mom passed away many years ago, so it stirred up stuff around her too.

Anyhow…before my Dad passed away, I had been struggling with this novel concept of looking after ME. I did some things to help me, and in the course of it, have gotten others very angry with me. So tonight, I found your website again, and printed off the worksheet with instructions. Then I happened to see your videos…and clicked on the one about ‘Father’. Wow! As you were talking to the gentleman on the video, I was Working thru my stuff…and I cannot believe how much better I feel already! By the way, my issue was the same!

My Work is far from done, but I feel the shift already and am very excited about this ‘new’ knowledge I have of myself!

I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart!


Letter: A Mother does The Work with her incarcerated Daughter

Dearest Katie,

My 25 year old daughter is in prison in California at CIW-California Institution for Women – just south of Ontario. This is my story and my request.

I am so grateful for The Work. The Work came to me in April of 2007. I came to The School that June in Trumbull and then again that October 07 in LA. I flew back to the Bay Area (I have moved to Nevada) to see my daughter in September 2007. She has been involved in meth addiction for the past 10 years and doesn’t make contact very often. I was able to get in touch with her and we had the most amazing time. She wanted to know what I was doing because I was so different and she wanted to spend more time with me. She loved what I told her about you and The Work. I shared this with you that first night at the school in LA. You said she sounded like someone who really wanted to know the truth. She does!!

So then she went off on her way and got in more trouble and was arrested Feb 08. When she wrote to me she asked if I would help her understand why she kept living this destructive lifestyle, so I sent her your books- Loving What Is and I Need Your Love. Her response was pure amazement and joy.

I will share a few things with you here that she wrote to me while reading the books:

“Mom, this is so awesome-without all the f-ed up thoughts I can be without anxiety.”

“Since reading Katie she’s taught me not to let it mess up my train of thought
or f- me up in the head & get me angry.”

“Mom, I’ve had to do a lot of The Work from Katie’s book on our last phone call but it worked. I feel so much more connected to you and to myself. The miracle of Katie I found is my thinking pattern changes even before a bunch of The Work is done on paper. I finished Loving What Is and started I Need Your Love yesterday. In Loving What Is on page 203 I did the 6 page exercise and oh my goodness was it intense. I still have The Work to reflect on. ‘Doing time’ is a whole different experience than the first time. The other women in here are miserable and I choose to feel my feelings and rid myself of nasty thoughts. The first book really showed me how you can overcome anything bad that’s happened to you. The pages toward the end were super deep with 9/11, Mom didn’t stop the incest, and the one on the daughter’s addiction. Mom, I love my mind, body and spirit. I must learn to forgive myself.”

“So it’s like this-I’m really loving the Katie books. This is so amazing–so worries aren’t real they are like leaves in the wind and like raindrops. ‘Why argue with a raindrop?’ What has me in shock is that I can live in complete happiness and be okay just as I am. Mom, the past two days of reading I already feel like a weight lifted, the stress lifted. So I am really understanding the not being attached to our thoughts. It’s cool Mom. I love it.”

Then she related another story and said: “What I did was without even noticing at first, I felt the thought and then I turned it around and laughed realizing that I don’t have to feel that thought and how happy I could be without it. Mom, this Rocks!”

I love that she is loving The Work!!

My daughter was incarcerated Feb 11 in San Mateo County Jail and remained there several weeks. She was then sent to Valley State in Chowchilla- where everyone goes and most stay. It’s a maximum security prison and none of women’s prisons are segregated by crime level or race or gangs like the men’s are. A got to experience several things here for 10 weeks. Then she was transferred to CIW women’s prison and has just entered the SAP drug treatment program there this week.

I got to visit her for the first time in prison at CIW at the end of August. We had a glorious visit-Fri-Sat-Sun for several hours each day in a crowed noisy room. We were so connected. We did The Work together. It was wonderful. I will get to visit her again Oct 31-Nov 3 only this time we get to stay together 24/7 in the family housing unit-a prison slumber party!! We have a 2 bedroom apartment for the weekend and they have a CD player. She wants me to bring all of your CDs and lots of blank worksheets!!

She is also loving Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now and A New Earth. She has done all the workbook assignments and sent them to me. She is just so ready and eager to begin again. She choose to go into the drug program as opposed to Fire Camp, where she was also accepted, because she realized even though it was a really “cool” thing to do and she got out of prison to train, be at camp, and then would be released 4 months early from her sentence–that after all of that it would have left her in the same space-dealing with her addiction and being out again-without having addressed her issues. So she opted for drug treatment, full sentence, and requested an additional 5 month residential treatment program after her release date of July 2 09, -so she will be complete Dec 2, 09. She stays at CIW until March 09 and then goes to one of the Drug Treatment Facilities until July 2. Then to another location for the residential program. She wants to come to your School and the Turnaround House, too!

My daughter just keeps teaching me. She is my greatest teacher. I really feel moved to enter your Facilitator Training program. I am completing an intensive horticulture training right now, ending in November, I am hoping to work with other Master Gardeners here in Nevada with the prison landscape training programs and establish gardens for the inmates. Then, hopefully after being accepted and completing my Facilitator Training with BKI, I would love to be able to take The Work to the jails and prisons here as well.

I am doing The Work and doing my best to look at all my stuff around this whole situation. I feel I am pretty clear that whatever she does when she gets out is her business. (0K—-I do have a wish list!! I want her to come home and have another chance at the life she says she wants). I am just so grateful to have my daughter back for whatever period of time that may be. Since she asked for my help and support and since she is so loving The Work, I of course want her to have all the support possible in understanding how to do The Work and discovering what she was believing that kept her going back to the meth use and this lifestyle. She has told me that she wants to start a new beautiful life free of this addiction.

Much Love and Gratitude,

P.S. My daughter is now reading A 1000 Names for Joy and I am sending her Stephen’s Tao Te Ching and the book A Million Little Pieces.

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Compassionate Communications was founded by Greg Voisen after his oldest son Sean was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of twenty-one. After this life-changing experience, Greg sought new ways that he could help give back and support the growing community of families and individuals facing the challenges of cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

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