A Letter of Gratitude

Hello,

I want to express my deep gratitude for the work of The Work, as I experienced it this morning, Sunday, August 10, 2008, through the Helpline.

Sonya (I apologize if I’ve misspelled her name) worked with me for over an hour. She was clear, patient, relaxed, and quite unexpectedly at the end, shared a bit of the impact that the work she made possible for me to do for myself, had on her. This is a gift, and I am grateful.

The experience is remarkable. I feel mentally and emotionally clearer, calm, cheerful, and lighter–to the point of being able to laugh, relaxed and at ease. She facilitated work, clarity, release about a specific problem; the clarity and relief seem to have generalized, quickly. Though we did not address this directly, I am also experiencing a decrease in the intensity of physical pain I’m in, and emotional relaxation about it and whatever my be the problem.

Sonya was direct, clear, patient, encouraging, thorough, caring. She shared her own laughter and tears.

What a amazing and healing experience.

Heartfelt thanks for Sonya and Katie’s Work from

J.A.

An email to KT

As Friday now begins, this will be my fifth day living here in the county of Humboldt. I feel so many lessons waiting for me here, so many stones unturned, so many teachers fast approaching. I love to notice how full of myself, how self-righteous, and how quick to judgment I am. It is so exciting to see how much work I still have to do. It fills me up with bursts of enthusiasm, as I reflect on anything in the day that felt like velcro in my body, any stressful thoughts that did not pass with ease, but instead stuck inside me and became hard. I had such a beautiful facilitation by my new friend D today. My stressful thought was “I don’t fit in”. I quickly came to realize it was my thinking that did not fit in here. It was my thinking that was creating all of the separation I was seeing. There is no separation until I believe it. Believing the thought I don’t fit in makes me focus on where you and I are different. It only makes me want to see more ways that I can justify this belief that I indeed, do not fit in. That you are not like me, and that I am better. It’s become such a game, between me, myself, and I. When I hear the thought swell up inside me “I’m better than you, or, I know more, or I’m on such a higher level” I meet it with giggles of joy. I now actually enjoy kicking myself off my own pedestal, it’s become so impersonal. Somewhere along the path of committing to self-realization, it became self-enjoyment, and now there is no part of my mind I do not enjoy.

I am so appreciative for this continued commitment of inquiry with ongoing partners. I was quite resistant at first because I believed I didn’t need it. I have had to sit with myself literally for an hour or more at a time to try and find one thought that was causing me stress before calling my partner. Sometimes I can’t locate one at all. And I find that those are the days that inquiry is just simply fun and when the call ends I feel happy to have connected with someone from the school. And then there are days, like today, when I needed that call. I was feeling alone, isolated, and out of place here in my new place of residence. I got to talk it out with someone who uses the same language, someone who knew the work, someone who could just hold the space for me, ask the simple questions, and listen. It is priceless.

I’ve come to realize that I don’t need The Work every day. I go days on end without a single stressful thought. And then something pops up and I discover a new stone, or an ancient stone, that hasn’t full turned over and cleaned itself off yet. Those are the days that I go straight to inquiry and fall in love again, and again, and again. I can no longer locate a time I am not falling in love, whether it is with living without stressful thoughts, or living with a stressful thought and then asking it four simple questions and turning it around.

An Email from E

Dear Katie:

As I came back from the School in April I started to have fearful thoughts about my body, not at all like me before, so I began to see “dangerous moles” and had them checked, then I went to see another the Doctor who said he felt my heart energy low and I should go to see a cardiologist, in the meantime I watched my mind and I new something deeper was moving on without having any clue what it was about.

Then one morning I found myself lecturing my husband about how hard his silence was for me, as I thought I had finished and went to get ready start my day and got into the shower a thought came to me: “Oh, my husbands silence is killing me!” – then a quick turnaround hit me, “my silence is killing me?” with a big question mark attached to it because I talk a lot, then like if I had been hit by thunderbolt I saw that I have never ever been able to express to anyone my fears, needs or desires or to ask for anything at all.

How true it was that my silence was killing me! and I saw how I had used my body as a shield to protect that deep silence, going to the extreme of willing to sacrifice it before opening up, so I have had threatening health issues in the past. All of this happened at the speed of light without even doing the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheets.

Needless to say that I spent the rest of the day overtaken by the clarity of my mind and the true power of The Work. All my secretly hidden capacity to love is out to the world now.

God bless you Katie you are truly a gift to the World! All my love to you,

E.

A Phone Call

My daughter called me to let me know how her day went yesterday. I love listening to her report her journey into the mind.

Roxann is so very into The Work, her joy, her life, and at some point she asked me what I was up to and for no reason, out of my mouth, I said, “Oh, guess what? I have cancer!” I was thrilled, of course, to report my day.

There was silence, and then the line was disconnected.

She called back and said, “Mom, that is not something you say to your daughter as though it were an everyday event.” And of course it was.

The doctor had just called and said that he wanted me to come into his office as soon as possible to talk, that the biopsy showed that I have cancer on my nose, phase 2 basal carcinoma. He wants to start me on radiation for four weeks as soon as possible. I start Turnaround House, my heart’s desire, tomorrow, and am wondering how the days will look as I intend to be there daily with the exception of two weekends. Anyway, my husband and my sons cannot be upset, my daughter cannot be upset, they really don’t know what they are supposed to feel and until they do, they don’t. For me, I don’t bother. I love life and that is my job. When Stephen was talking to the doctor, my thought was, “Ha ha, ha, ha, I have cancer and you don’t!” This thought and thoughts like this continue to override anything untrue to my way of understanding and keep me laughing and loving what is mind. I continue to wonder why people (mind) continue to believe that what never lived can die. It really is quite wonderful to be mind free of physical self-image. Denial is believing that you, as you understand you to be, ever are what or who you are, have been, or ever will or can be.

I invite you all to inquiry, to your own marvelous death of the body (before it dies) as you understand it to be and to be born of who and what you are not to your mind and then to understand what you are in that, as that unknowable known. I hope that you have followed what I have just written, as so many of you who love The Work for so many months or years have been able to do. Your own answers to the questions and examples of turnarounds have kept us as one, undivided in peace and beyond, for so many months, even years. I live in you and I die in you, what else is possible? Nothing. I love living in you if you love it, and I can tell you that you live in me and only that, you are my life. I love not belonging to me and you do and belonging to you when I do. What identification have you given me? I live as that. Do you love me yet? I welcome you to love beyond the self.

Email: A Response to “I’m afraid of war”

Dear Katie,

I just saw the video “I’m afraid of war” from Israel which you included in the latest Newsletter.

I went through the inquiry for myself together with the Israeli woman, and I felt it applicable to every single stressful thought I ever had, which were all thoughts where I was at war with reality. That video is so incredibly powerful, it helped me at last fully assimilate the 300 or so inquiry worksheets I have written so far, I cried all the way though it and kept crying for some time afterwards, I guess it was all this accumulated tension leaving my body.

And what you told about doing inquiry with the veterans and your examples of the man burning to death and about having ones leg blown off, helped me at last feel deep inside my bones the deep meaning of your response to my email to the Parlor about when I was attacked and which had not fully sunk in until now. It would be helpful if some examples of explicit inquiries about physical harm could be published, and I understand why that is not always possible.

I have been doing Inquiry since January, have done about 300 inquiry worksheets so far and am doing about three new ones each day. I have now learned to go very deep inside and usually it takes me 30 to 60 minutes and 4 pages of writing to do each Inquiry. So I do not do two inquiries in a row because I need some time to let each one fully sink in. I also feel quite exhausted sometimes after a deep inquiry. I have learned to sit there waiting patiently with my pen in my hand because I have noticed that sometimes the deepest and most surprising answers to the questions take a while to come up, once the quick and easy ones are already on paper. I hope that I am not exaggerating with this, since the inquiries that have been published in your books and tapes seem to be so much shorter and quicker.

For the past few weeks I have been noticing that from time to time a little “Inquiry computer program” seems to start running inside my head when I think a stressful thought. So far it is only about the “easy” ones but I love the new experience.

I hope to attend October School in LA. I still have so much work to do on myself and I also know that I learn a lot from other people’s inquiries. And at some point in the future I hope to be able to contribute in some way to bringing The Work to more people around the world.

Thank you very much, Katie!

MARC 🙂

Inquiry—”I’m NOT Succeeding on My Own”

Participant: I’m mad at me because these days I don’t succeed in earning my living on my own.

Katie: Is that true? “You don’t earn a living on your own”—is that true?

Participant: I’m supported by my husband, and there’s scarcely anyone in my practice these days.

Katie: So sweetheart, do you make your husband support you?

Participant: Yes.

Katie: So he does not have a choice?

Participant: Yes, he has a choice.

Katie: Yes. He doesn’t have to support you. So “You are not making a living on your own”—is that true? Few people come to your practice, your husband never has to support you, and you’re supported—on your own!

Participant: Right now, I’m so much in my mind.

Katie: And are you supported?

Participant: I am supported, yes.

Katie: So “You’re not supported on your own”—is that true?

Participant: I can’t understand right now.

Katie: Okay . . . so, thank you. Who would like to do The Work? And I hope everyone in this audience just did “I am not supported on my own.” Is there anyone in this room that has never been supported? Including you, sweetheart? I invite everyone in this room to find one time when you were not supported. It’s not possible. There’s no time in your life when you have not been supported. I’ve never met any human being that can find one moment that they were not supported. On your own! With or without a job. Can anyone find one moment when they were not supported? [Pause] I can’t either. So sweetheart, sit with it for a little while and we can come back to you. Because I hear from you that you’re having trouble putting it together.

Participant: I’m afraid of not being able to financially keep up my existence. I’m mad at me because I don’t succeed at standing on my own feet financially. I reproach myself for not having sought a job during the year of separation that would provide a living for me. And I don’t forgive myself for having spent the money I got from my husband—the biggest part of it.

Katie: So sweetheart, “You need more money”—is that true?

Participant: No, it’s not true.

Katie: That’s very good to know. Part of that money is gone, you only have this much, and “You need more”—is that true?

Participant: So the money is completely gone, and now it’s about the money I have these days, and it’s not a lot.

Katie: And “You need more”—is that true?

Participant: No.

Katie: That’s so good to know. How do you react when you believe the thought “I need more money”? What happens to your beautiful life and your beautiful body when you believe the thought “I need more money” and you don’t have more money?

Participant: I panic. I lose my joy, which is enormous, my playfulness, my pleasure, and my peace with myself and with existence. I get pissed off at the school that sacked me.

Katie: That’s a lot. That’s a lot.

Participant: I get narrow.

Katie: So “I need more money”—give me a peaceful reason to believe that.

Participant: There is no peace in that.

Katie: No peace in that. So close your eyes, precious. Now watch you living your life exactly the way you live it, without the thought “I need more money.” Look at your life without that thought.

Participant: Then I have a lot of time to spend with myself and I feel perfectly well in that. And I always have things to do, and I’ve got nice contacts. Basically, more work—I don’t like more work. It’s exclusively the thought to work more for money. I’ve got a real full life, full of experiences with birds, with people, with trees, with grasshoppers.

Katie: Wow.

[The audience applauds.]

Katie: And a home.

Participant: Yes, I’ve got a nice apartment.

Katie: “I need more money”—turn it around?

Participant: I don’t need more money.

Katie: No. Not right here, not right now. Not in this moment. And I’ve never known one human being that needed more money than they have. And I’ve tested it. And I invite you to test it. And every moment, notice how you have enough money. Let’s look at the next one. Continue to read.

Participant: I’m still very excited.

Katie: It is exciting, isn’t it? Life without money worries?

Participant: Mm-hmm.

Katie: Oh, you’re still very nervous.

Participant: Mm-hmm. I’m mad at me because I don’t succeed at standing on my own feet financially without the support of my husband.

Katie: “You don’t succeed”—is that true? “You don’t succeed at standing on your own”—is that true?

Participant: I succeed at standing on my own, but I’m of the opinion that I don’t succeed at making it financially.

Katie: So “If your husband’s money was all gone, you would not succeed”—can you absolutely know that that’s true?

Participant: I don’t know. No, I can’t know. I don’t know now.

Katie: And what happens when you believe that thought, “Without my husband’s money, I wouldn’t succeed.

Participant: I make myself small, meek, narrow. I see myself as not capable of living. I see myself as dependent, as not worth living.

Katie: And what happens physically when you experience those thoughts?

Participant: I collapse. I can’t breathe freely, I can’t think clearly. I’m not able to be aware of my real wishes and dreams.

Katie: So give me a peaceful reason to believe the thought “I cannot succeed without my husband’s money.”

Participant: There is no peace—there is no good reason to think that.

Katie: So who would you be, living your life—the same life you have right now—without the thought “I cannot succeed without my husband’s money”?

Participant: I have to get myself into that, first. I feel good. I feel rich, alive, strong, and completely survivable.

Katie: Do you see how you’re succeeding?

Participant: Right! Yes.

Katie: You’re succeeding.

Participant: I will make it.

Katie: Without the thought, look at your life. Full of energy and ideas.

Participant: And creativity. I can bring so much to other people, too—endlessly much.

Katie: And they don’t have to pay you for it.

Participant: Right.

Katie: They pay you or they don’t—you’re a success. You’re helping people. That’s a success.

Participant [crying]: I feel bad when I have the thought that I have to get money from everyone I help.

Katie: You don’t have to. You don’t have to. “You have to get money from everyone you help”—is that true?

Participant: It’s a thought. I love to give, to give a lot, and to give generously.

Katie: When you think of it, you break into tears. That shows you the way. You don’t have to let money stop you from giving. They’ll give you eggs for breakfast —or not. “Without my husband’s money, I cannot succeed”—turn it around?

Participant: I’m a success without my husband’s money.

Katie: Yes. And hopefully you’ll run out of it, and you can test it.

Participant: Mm-hmm.

[The audience laughs and applauds.]

Katie: But until then, you can afford to help people without money. Or for money—but that idea doesn’t have to stop you.

Participant: Yes, my heart gets narrow when I think I should only do it for money.

[Katie laughs.]

Katie: You just have to give it away, that’s how you are. That’s who you are.

Participant: I also wanted to tell you that I was afraid of coming here, because I can’t pay a lot—or scarcely anything.

Katie: I love that you didn’t let that stop you.

Participant: No, there was nothing that could have stopped me.

Katie: You’re a success!

[Audience applauds.]

Participant: I would like to Work on that sentence that I reproach myself for spending the money I got from my husband on trainings in healing and healing work.

Katie: “You should not have done that”—is it true?

Participant: I can only tell you that I did it.

Katie: How do you react when you believe the thought—“I should not have done it; it was a mistake”?

Participant: I feel very guilty, and I have a bad conscience, because my husband had to pay. I feel that I abused my family. I feel simply bad.

Katie: So “It was a mistake; you shouldn’t have done it”—turn it around?

Participant: It was no mistake? I did it because this was the thing to do.

Katie: So sweetheart, give me an example of why it was the best thing to do. How will it help your life?

Participant: It was a lot of money, and it was good to use it in a way that made sense. I didn’t feel well, and I needed healing.

Katie: Why is it a good thing today? Why is it true today that it was not a mistake? An example of why it was a good thing?

Participant: Because money wants to be spent.

[The audience laughs.]

Katie: Yes, it just kind of passes on. So, “I made a mistake”—turn it around?

Participant: I didn’t make a mistake.

Katie: Yes, it sounds like you’ve really learned a lot that can really help you.

Participant: Yes, a whole lot.

Katie: So if you had to choose, would you choose helping people or the money?

Participant: To help people.

Katie: Yes, you just have to. Thank you, honey.

Participant: And I do great works, too.

Katie: Yes. Thank you.

Participant: Thank you.

Inquiry: “My Partner Left Me…”

Participant: I’m hurt by K****, my partner, because he left me.

Katie: So “He left you”—is that true?

Participant: Not really; in my heart he is there all the time.

Katie: So how do you react when you think the thought “He left me”? What happens? You’re living your life, you’re very happy, and then the thought hits, “Crrrrgh!”—“He left me.”

Participant: I feel inferior, or worthless. I feel very much alone, helpless, and I just don’t know what to do.

Katie: And I would put “I don’t know what to do” on a separate piece of paper, and Work it later. So, “He left me”—who would you be without that thought? Who are you without that thought as you live your life?

Participant: I feel free, secure, content.

Katie: So close your eyes. Now watch you, going to the market, doing the dishes, without the thought “He left me.” What do you see? Watch your life.

Participant: I see many people, and I join with them in a very good time, and I have freedom inside.

Katie: Yes, you have your life back.

Participant: Yes.

Katie: “He left me”—turn it around.

Participant: I left him.

Katie: So when you were with him, give me examples of how you would leave him when you were with him.

Participant: For a long period of time, I didn’t think of him. I had intimate situations with others. I didn’t feel well with him.

Katie: Yes…yes. So you’re just like him! “He left me”—can you find another turnaround?

Participant: He didn’t leave me?

Katie: Yes. You love him; he’s in your heart. Can you find another turnaround?

Participant: I left him in my thoughts.

Katie: Yes, and I found one, would you like to hear it?

Participant: Yes.

Katie: “I left myself.”

Participant: Yes. This is true.

Katie: When you mentally go into his life and who he should be with, you leave you. You move into a dictatorship, and that’s very painful, running people’s lives, and telling them who they should be with, and who they shouldn’t be with. And then you feel that. It’s the opposite of caring and love. Thank you, precious.

Participant: Thank you.

Find your own worksheet, here.

Inquiry: “She Didn’t Give Me The Job…”

Here’s a dialog from this (hot) summer in Europe:

Participant: I’m angry at ***** because she didn’t give me the job.

Katie: “She didn’t give you the job”—is that true?

Participant: Yes.

Katie: Yes. She either gave you the job, or she didn’t. So the answer’s yes.

Participant: Yes.

Katie: So how do you react when you think that thought—”She didn’t give me the job”? What happens when you believe it? What happens to your body, what happens to your mind?

Participant: The mind begins to think very fast, I should have learned to know her, it’s my fault, I should have seen it from the first beginning, I should not have been so engaged; self-reproach.

Katie: So you re-live the past. That thought is how you keep your life lived in the past with no awareness of this moment now. To believe that thought is how you live in the present – how your body lives in the present, but your mind isn’t here. You’re lost in a very painful dream of a past, with shame and guilt and blame. So, close your eyes, and look at your life, exactly as you live it, only without the thought—“She didn’t give me the job.”

Participant: I enjoy meeting other theatre people and to expand, and to meet people, enjoy…

Katie: Yes, well that’s your job. That’s your job, isn’t that the one you love? The important one?

Participant: Yes…yes. Yes.

Katie: So “She didn’t give me the job”—turn it around?

Participant: I didn’t give myself the job.

Katie: Yes, the job that you love. So give you your job back…to love life, and being in theatre, with people you love to be with, and happy life. And when you see her, thank her. It freed you up to do this job. And the next time there’s an audition, show up! Who knows? Especially if it’s hers.

Participant [laughing]: Yes.

Katie: What else did you write?

Participant: She should have given me the job.

Katie: Is that true?

Participant: No!

Katie: So turn it around?

Participant: She shouldn’t have given me the job.

Katie: So if the universe is friendly, why is it better that you did not, that she did not give you the job? Why is your life better because of it?

Participant: I can look at my fears. They are always underneath, and now they really crop up. It’s not so comfortable, and I feel that it’s on my way now…and that this is my job.

Katie: Yes. It certainly freed you up for that. You might send her a thank you note, and tell her that you loved the audition, you learned more than you could ever thank her for, and next time she’s holding one, to please let you know. This gives you such a close intimate experience with her. It’s wonderful to be close to the people who give us what we really want, whether we know it or not.

Participant: Yes.

Katie: Thank you.

Participant: Thank you.

You can do The Work here.

Inquiry – Terrorism and The Work

Terrorism at the World Trade Center: A Dialogue in Cambridge, September 13, 2001

I was scheduled to be in New York on 9/11/01. The morning I was to travel from Long Island, the planes hit the towers, bridges were closed and highways shut down before I could enter the city. I was free, however, to get to my event in Cambridge two days later. I worked with a woman who was terrified. She gave voice to the fears that many people were feeling. Amazingly, by the end of our dialogue, she was smiling. Her whole attitude had changed. Stephen and I wanted to include this dialogue in Loving What Is, but our publisher said that it was too hard for most people to believe. They wouldn’t accept that such a major transformation could happen so quickly.

Continue Reading

Inquiry – “I Hate My Husband…”

The following dialog appears in Loving What Is.

NOTE: Byron Katie’s response to reader comments on this post may be read here>>

Mary, reading the statements from her Worksheet: I hate my husband because he drives me crazy — everything about him, including the way he breathes. What disappoints me is that I don’t love him anymore and our relationship is a charade. I want him to be more successful, to not want to have sex with me, to get in shape, to get a life outside of me and the children, to not touch me anymore, and to be powerful. My husband shouldn’t fool himself that he’s good at our business. He should create more success. My husband is a wimp. He’s needy, and lazy. He’s fooling himself. I refuse to keep living a lie. I refuse to keep living my relationship as an imposter.

Katie: Does that pretty well sum it up? [The audience bursts into laughter, and Mary laughs along with them.] By the sound of the laughter, it seems as though you speak for a lot of people in this room. So, let’s start at the top and see if we can begin to understand what going on.

Mary: I hate my husband because he drives me crazy — everything about him, including the way he breathes.

Katie: “Your husband drives you crazy” — is it true? [This is the first of the four questions: Is it true?]

Continue Reading

Doing The Work: A Facilitation Guide

Use the following four questions and sub-questions to investigate a stressful belief-for example, “My mother doesn’t love me.” (Some of the sub-questions may not apply.)

1. Is it true?

(Close your eyes,be still, go deeply as you contemplate your answer.
If your answer is no, continue to Question 3.)

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

– Can you know more than God/reality?
Can you really know what’s best in the long Work run for his/her/your own path?
– Can you absolutely know that you would be happier if you got what you wanted?

3. How do you react when you think that thought? (When you believe that thought?)

– Where does the feeling hit you, where do you feel it in your body when you believe that thought? How far does the feeling travel? Describe it.
– What pictures do you see when you believe that thought? Watch it, be still, notice.
– When did that thought first occur to you?
– How do you treat others when you believe that thought? What do you say to them? What do you do? Whom does your mind attack and how? Be specific.
– How do you treat yourself when you believe that thought? Is this where addictions kick in and you reach for food, alcohol, credit cards, the TV remote? Do thoughts of self-hatred occur? What are they?
– How have you lived your life because you believed that thought? Be specific. Close your eyes, watch your past.
– Does this thought bring peace or stress into your life?
– Where does your mind travel when you believe that thought? (List any underlying beliefs, and inquire later.)
– Whose business are you in when you think that thought?
– What do you get for holding onto that belief?
– Can you find a peaceful reason to keep that thought?
– What terrible thing do you assume would happen if you didn’t believe that thought? Write down the terrible thought, and turn it around to the opposite and test it for yourself – is the opposite as true or truer?

4. Who would you be without the thought?

– How ewould you live life differently if you didn’t believe that thought? Close your eyes and imagine life without it.
Imagine you are meeting this person for the very first time with no story. What do you see?
– Who are you right now, sitting here without that thought?

Turn the thought around.

(Statements can be turned around to yourself, to the other, to the opposite, and to “my thinking,” wherever it applies. Find a minimum of three genuine examples in your life where each turnaround is as true as or truer than your original statement.)

– If you lived this turnaround, what would you do, or how would you live your life, differently?
– Do you see any other turnarounds that seem as true or truer?

The turnarounds allow you to see the best course of action for you.

The key to experiencing The Work is to go beyond the quick answers of the intellect and tap into a deeper wisdom. Ask, then be still and wait for an inner voice to respond. With practice, this will become easier. You will learn to rely on yourself—not the world—to see what’s true for you.

Get free resources at www.thework.com