Do You Need to be Proactive in Life?

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A man says, “I know that things are the way they are, but shouldn’t I take action to change my life?”

“Things are the way I believe them to be,” Katie says. “Without inquiry, I’m stuck with that. So I’m successful or I’m a failure–whichever I believe me to be. You say you want to take action, change your life, and take responsibility. Good. Do that. But most importantly, take responsibility for what you believe about your life, at least at the same level that you take responsibility for what you do in your life.”

As mind changes, life changes. —Byron Katie

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The Work and Mindfulness

Apart from my current job, I am taking a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Teacher Training program to become one of the very first MBSR teachers in Croatia. I feel great appreciation for the MBSR program and the work of Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn and was sad to find none of it is familiar in Croatia – almost no MBSR courses are available here and mindfulness practice in schools, hospitals, business, etc. is very modest, if there is any. I therefore decided to do the training on my own and bring MBSR and mindfulness practice in general to my country, to start speaking up for its benefits. According to the current dynamic of my training, I would start teaching MBSR courses in January 2018. I have the same sense of gratitude for The Work of Byron Katie. Benefits that I have personally experienced from doing The Work in this short period of time since I found out about it are enormous, but I find a lot of “work” is here to be done and find the School would be the most efficient way to do it. I believe the experience of attending the School for the Work would be a valuable addition to my MBSR courses, both for my personal role as a teacher and for my students as well. From what I am learning about The Work, I believe MBSR participants would deepen their experience enormously by getting in touch with how they can approach their thoughts once they have recognized them as thoughts. It is my heart’s desire that in my country as many people as possible will enroll with the MBSR courses and learn about The Work, and in that way, make their conscious steps towards living their lives free from mind’s conditioning and suffering that it causes. As I see it, every single person that “comes home” in such a way stops spreading reflections of his or her imprisonment to the outer world, stops projecting the suffering to his or her beloved ones and becomes an inspiration for other people who cross his or her path, which creates a better world in an instant. Granting me a scholarship to attend the School for the Work would enable me to pursue this approach thoroughly.


From a registered surgical nurse in the UK

My experience with The Work of Byron Katie started four years ago. The Work found me in a moment of my life when I was unable to get out of bed, feeling strong anxiety, and I saw nothing to hold on to. Daily practice in The Work allowed me to stand up to my analytical mind in such a solid, unquestionable way, and that just blew me away. I saw every conception of reality I had created leaving me, slowly and irrevocably. Since then I feel an impulse and excitement to share The Work with people. I’ve shared it with my friends and family and have done Judge-Your-Neighbour Worksheets with them.

Since I discovered The Work, I’ve had Skype sessions with a facilitator once a week for a year and a half, I hear BK’s podcasts and watch her seminars on YouTube with the same excitement some people watch a football match, which has blown my mum’s mind a few times in the past. I’ve seen numerous interviews, and I have attended a few Work retreats in these four years. I keep practicing The Work, and I know I need support with some topics and I look forward to it. I’m reading Loving What Is at present.

As I work towards inner freedom, my family and everything around me moves me towards love and inner peace in ways I’m not even able to understand. There is no better contribution to the world than my working with myself. That’s what I came here to do in this world, and I believe that’s what we are all here for. Especially being a therapist and a nurse, I need to make sure I keep freeing myself in order to be able to best support others. As a nurse, taking medicine to the next level, I understand how our lack of self-awareness has affected our physical health, and the need to start focusing on healing from the inside has become obvious.

As a human being I feel the suffering in my clients. Some of them experience breakthroughs during our sessions, and I’ll soon be working at the Women’s Center with very vulnerable women. I look forward to being at the School for The Work so that I can better handle these situations, being able to guide my clients towards the identification and dissolution of their belief-causing suffering, giving them the same chance someone gave me four years ago, to shift reality and to outgrow the hell they are experiencing.

“Katie, I don’t want you to die.”

I’d like to share the journey that I had with this thought. —Sujung

I’m contemplating the memory of me saying “I don’t want you to die” to Katie at the Convention. That morning during The Work for Breakfast, I did The Work on “I want my hands to function properly.” The situation was that after the laundry, while I was picking up the laundry from the washer and moving it to the hanger, I dropped a clean piece of laundry, and I felt frustrated with my hands for being clumsy. At first, it seemed trivial and I was hesitant to explore the thought on my hands, but somehow I said “Okay, let’s do it,” and my wonderful partner, Alicia, started to ask me, “Is it true that you want your hands to function properly in that situation?” When I was asked question 3, “How do I react when I believe the thought?” I said, “I feel lost” several times. She asked me to stay there and feel that feeling of being lost. I closed my eyes in an attempt to go there and feel it, but in that short moment there was some ongoing resistance to going there, and then there was a moment when the resistance dropped, and I was right there at my mom’s death when I was seven and felt LOST, and didn’t know what to do. I went to school, came home, she was gone. She had died in a car accident. I started to sob, and the cry came from a deep place inside me. I call it the “animal cry.”

After that, when it was the morning session with Katie, after Ernesto’s amazing insightful story, somehow my hand was up in the air, I was handed the mic, and I started to talk to Katie and said, “I don’t want you to die.” It didn’t matter how childish I sounded, how absurd it was to ask her not to die for me. It was necessary for these words to be expressed, because they were so true for me in that moment.

I realized later that the experience meant a lot to me, not just because I had a chance to tell her that, but also I was able to throw a tantrum, which I have almost never done since my mom died. I was so grateful that Katie was there not teaching, just listening to my tantrum and meeting me from where I was. I got a chance to tell Katie what I wanted from her, which I couldn’t when I was seven.

When I asked Katie to promise me that she would take good care of her health and live long for me, she promised she would do her best to take good care of “that” body. I felt relieved and was able to sit down. The child was heard finally….

I thank Katie for holding the space for me so that I could be who I was in that moment… a child throwing a tantrum, resisting what is, asking mom not to die for me… Sometimes maybe that is all that is needed. To be heard… sitting with that child in us… meeting her from where she is.

I’m amazed at what the “seemingly trivial” one-liner brought me and where it led me. I’m also amazed at how things are happening for me each moment. I wanted to talk to Katie after the session, share my experience and hug her, but there were quite a few people lining up to talk to her, so I left the room. At noon that day, I saw Katie in the lobby having a meeting with the Thinking Project team. I went to the staff room and came back to the lobby and saw Katie just finishing the meeting and walking to the elevator alone. I called her name, she turned around and we hugged. Tears began to pour immediately, so I cried in her arms for a while. After a good cry, she kissed me on the cheek and whispered in my ear, “Isn’t it wonderful to love someone so deeply?” and I nodded, crying. When we were parting, I was able to say what I wanted to say: “I love you so much.”

At the banquet, I saw people taking photos with Katie. I wanted to take a picture with her last year after I was certified, but I didn’t have courage to ask her, so I didn’t. After I came home from the convention, whenever I saw photos of people with Katie, I felt annoyed at them and at me. I was beating myself up for not asking her what I wanted. However, this time, the moment I noticed the thought “I want to take a photo with Katie,” I just stood up and went to her. There were people waiting to take pictures with her and suddenly she stood up. People moved away and suddenly she was right in front of me. I said “Katie, I want to take a photo with you.” She leaned toward me and said, “You know, I need to go to the bathroom.” Usually this is how I would’ve reacted: “Oh, I’m sorry, go ahead.” But this time, somehow, I was like an innocent child. So I asked. “Oh… Are you coming back? Will you come back?” and she said “Well, just in case, let’s do it now.” So we did. We took a photo. 😉 😉 😉

It dawned on me that asking “Are you coming back?” means a lot to me. Several months ago, I was washing the dishes after dinner, and my husband was in the living room. Suddenly I heard the beeping sound and the sound of the door closing. I felt my heart dropping, called him several times, ran to the door, and opened the door. He was there waiting for the elevator to come. I asked, “Where are you going without telling me where you are going?” and he whispered, “Downstairs. I’ll be coming back soon.” I felt relieved and closed the door. I was walking to the kitchen feeling confused, wondering what it was that made me feel so desperate to go catch him. He is coming back soon. He is coming back soon. Suddenly one thought appeared: “But Mom didn’t come back. Mom didn’t come back.” And there I was, standing in the middle of the living room starting to weep. She didn’t come back. She was gone when I came home from school.

I am grateful that I was able to ask Katie if she was coming back. It’s amazing to see how these are all connected and how they all come to surface so beautifully… to be met. I’m so grateful that I had a chance to relive the situation with Katie. I thank Katie for her presence, and I thank me for my presence. It IS wonderful to love someone so deeply!!!

A Letter from Turkey

Dearest Katie,

I want to write and share one of the endless internal dialogues that I have with you. As you may have heard, the situation in Turkey is rather turbulent and daily life is disturbed with a number of unfortunate incidents.

I am so very grateful to you and to The Work for being able to go through the day with a clear mind and inner peace and being able to invite people to do the same no matter what the external conditions are. Being diagnosed with cancer, and hearing that a bomb exploded and killed 39 people 100 meters away from where my daughter and grandchildren lived, did not disturb this peace, and I believe this is the most amazing blessing. It feels like being held by grace. If it were not for The Work, I would not be the same person that I am today under the circumstances.

I have people call me and thank me for The Work, for the way it enabled them to have a normal life in Turkey under the present conditions.

Katie, what you have given me, my children, and the world is beyond valuable and precious. It is a lifesaving survival tool that I will do my very best to continue to pass on to as many people as I can.

With much love and deep gratitude,

Thank you, my dear N., my sister.

You are the embodiment of all that I would want to give in this world. No longer the world of suffering in this state of grace. I love you, and I think of you every time I hear the word “Turkey.” My family, our family.


The Work in Georgia

Hi dear Katie,

This is Tina, the one from Georgia (the country between Russia and Turkey) who was granted a scholarship by you at the School for The Work–July 2016.

First of all I would love to say thank you again for your generosity and for this transformational opportunity that has changed my life, forever…

I’m happy to announce that the translation process in Georgian is almost finished. After the Web-site is done in Georgian, the next stage is to share The Work with the Georgian people, who are waiting for it impatiently.

The population of Georgia is about 3 million people. Most of them don’t know English, Russian is already almost forgotten, especially in my generation, so I’m enthusiastic about bringing The Work to as many people as possible to discover it in Georgia.

With big love, enthusiasm, and gratitude,

* * * * *

Hi dear Katie,

I’m writing to share the progress about bringing The Work into my country, Georgia.

On November 5, I shared The Work with Georgians, they loved it, and I’m so happy and grateful. A lot of people came, and they were excited to know more about The Work. They have found their answers in it.

It’s a big pleasure to share The Work in my country.

I would love to share the pictures too.

IMG_0185 IMG_0246


Letter from Katie

Hello, dear, dear family of the world. I do hope that you benefit from this letter, and if those of you new to The Work hear something that seems a bit beyond (or way beyond) the ordinary perspective or usual way of thinking in regard to life, death, or anything else, that you feel the discomfort and continue to follow along as well as you can, as it is my hope that you may gain what I have gained through inquiry: peace beyond what can possibly be taught other than by one’s own self—self-realization and the freedom born out of stillness within inquiry. The only way out of suffering, in my experience (and I have a great deal of that), is to drop into one’s own self.

The Work is inquiry. It is a way to identify the thoughts, judgments, and assumptions we place on the past and future images running in our heads that cause suffering, all the way from mild irritation to terror, sadness, and grief. Once you have identified and listed these disrupting past/future internal events and write them down, they are ready for inquiry. For example, let’s say that my child is very ill, I am in the hospital room with my doctors, and they are informing me that they are unable to pin down the cause of the illness, and in the meantime my child’s condition is becoming worse by the hour. I am terrified. I am believing that he is going to die of this unknown disease.

So, in order to actually do The Work on that judgment in my head, which feels like it is terrifying me to death, I look at the situation clearly in my mind’s eye, eyes closed, and begin to question this judgment that I have written down.

“He is going to die” (of this disease). I quietly ask myself, “Is it true?”

“Can I absolutely know that he is going to die (of this disease)?” And it is like summoning up a genie that lives internally within me at all times. I trust this source completely to SHOW me in the stillness the answer to these two questions, and I wait until I see either “yes” (it’s true) or “no” (it’s not true), and remain open to what I am being shown, without prejudice to either one. This is a meditative practice, and to understand such truths being summoned up takes focus, silence, patience, and an open mind. The answers are there already, these simple “yeses” or “no’s,” if you really want to get in touch with the simple truths beyond rational understanding and the peace that comes with them.

Next, notice in that situation how you react, what happens, and how it feels, when you believe that. Be still and witness from that hospital room in your head. See the doctors’ faces, see yourself as you were in that situation, see that time and situation as closely as you possibly can by meditating on it as though it were happening now (because it is happening now in your mind). If you are still enough and are asking in earnest, you will be shown.

Now ask yourself, “Who would you be in that situation without the thought ‘My son is going to die of this disease?’” Meditating on this question as though you were still in that situation, that hospital room, etc. (even though it may have happened years ago), will show you peace, clearly, if your mind is open to all that you see without the thought “My son is going to die.”

Turn the thought around: “My son is not going to die.” Could that be as true or truer? Eyes closed, be still, witness, meditate on that situation in your mind’s eye. You will be shown, beyond fear, what is, was, and always will be already there.

“My son is going to live.” Could this be as true or truer?

“I am going to die” of this thinking disease about my son, while my son is actually still alive, doctors are on the case and doing their jobs, my son is in the hospital being cared for, and I’m worried in a way that keeps me disconnected with him and his potential fears, pain, life, etc. (and for all I know, he may be more settled than I am).

I invite you to go to, to “universal beliefs,” and find situations to apply to any one or two of them, and began to experience inquiry as a daily practice. Only you can actually shift your mind and life in a way that can give you another, better world that no one has the power to take from you. It is a kind world, it is the world we already live in, as opposed to a world we perceive. If I don’t live in a friendly universe, I have lost touch with reality. (When I make such statements to others, about their own work and world, I am quick to also say, “Please don’t believe me; test it for yourself.”) You are the one, and the power is within you, released through inquiry and silence, that can set you free.

Identify your thoughts. Write them down. Ask, wait, witness, and allow your world of suffering to shift.

These are interesting times we live in, with much turmoil, it seems. If you want to change the world for everyone, you can do it from within yourself. To change the world, question your internal world.

Loving what is, just now, now, now,

Gratitude for The Work

I’ve been thinking of you and sitting in gratitude for all that seemed to come from my meeting you. This strong feeling arose this morning as I was speaking with my sister. She was telling me all the ways her daughter was not up to being a mother. As I listened what arose in my mind was that she was out of her business. I mentioned that in a gentle and loving way. Something lit up in her, and it seemed to rock her world with understanding and clarity. She understood how she was living what our mother showed her and passing it on to her child who was then passing on to her children. That insight seemed to disintegrate our family karma.

Similar awareness and clarity has shown itself daily, and for that I am grateful. The Work has pointed me to a freedom and happiness I knew existed and with thirty years of meditation, studying the wisdom texts, translating them as well, chanting, and other practices, The Work has been the Crown Jewel of freedom. There is a peace in me that is present and never leaves.

Thank you for all of this, my Dear Friend.
I love you, Katie.


Letter from Australia

Dear Katie,

I write to you with some news about the work in my school in New South Wales, Australia. I have been working as a Pastor Care worker for 9 years now in a Catholic primary school with over 600 students. The role name has been my cover and I have been using The Work now for some years. Early this year, my work (with The Work) at the school was noticed. It was noticed first through a programme I had created, using a scenario for year 6 students, using The Work to form a complete process, 30-minute sessions in 3 classes.

I had already been using The Work to support change with behavior issues, anxiety and family issues, the whole family approach. I have been taking Tiger-Tiger through the whole school for maybe 4 years. Every story I read has a reflection time where I bring in The Work. I was supporting teachers and all the community but since the recognition it has had good viral effect. I have presented to school psychologists, 2 time slots now in staff meetings (50 on staff). I have run 5 parent workshops and touched maybe 25 parents and running another 2 this school term. I work privately with mums to support change in their perceptions in parenting and sometimes with nasty separations. Been doing that for a long while using The Work. I now have teachers seeking real support with me doing The Work. Possibly teaching psychologists tools of The Work (it has been requested).

Today my school ran a professional development day with all staff attending. For the first time we ran 4 different workshops where staff had to choose 3. My workshop was called “reality corner,” and I had 2 time slots filled. How can you figure? They had The Work all along, knew something was going on because healing was taking place in all areas. They used to say “I don’t know what she does but it works,” and still there was no movement or room for growing, although I stepped up many times. I even began to tire in it all.

It took an outside psychologist who knew The Work to get things moving.

He has to follow protocol but supports me to bring the change. His words to staff, about The Work being done through me, helped stir the pot. I have applied for community funding and am waiting to know if I have won funding to come to the School for The Work. Might know by November. I have been trying since last year and maybe will make the next March if accepted.

Love and blessing to you, dear soul.

P.S. I have experienced the weirdness of my being used this way. If there was a person most unlikely, it was me. (Is that true?)


A Letter from Tania Fierro

Dear Friends of The Work,

Carla Gonzalez, Founder and Creative Director at Mission School in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico (, invited my husband, Pedro, and me to support bringing The Work into their K-12th-grade school and greater community. Early in 2016, we started by offering a four-month immersion program in The Work to thirteen key educational leaders. In this program, educational administrators, counselors, key faculty, and management had the opportunity to attend workshops on The Work, one-on-one sessions, and were able to facilitate each other through ongoing partner exercises.

Additionally, this April, Carla hosted an introductory three-day workshop in The Work at Mission School, inviting all members of the extended school community, including faculty, parents, and their families. This event was attended by more than seventy participants. As of that day, Carla has established bi-weekly inquiry circles at Mission School.

The Thinking Project with Rachel Pickett and Linda Dellet is coming to train teachers to further implement The Work for teachers and students in the classroom, bringing ITW (Institute for The Work of Byron Katie) volunteers and facilitators from across the world to support this project.

The next phase of this long-term project includes a second immersion program for school leaders, focusing on bringing The Work into school planning, operations, governance, and policy implementation. We are also planning a year-long immersion and two-year coaching program for the extended school community. Mission School is also planning on hosting a program to bring The Work into classrooms this year.

In this way, Mission School is one of the first K-12 schools in the world to have training and implementation of The Work at all levels of the organization, including school leadership, management, parents, staff, faculty, operations, and the classroom.

For more information, visit: and

Questioning It All

Dear Beloved Katie,

Listening to your webcast today, I suddenly woke up to an entire new level of enquiry that I had previously been asleep to.

I have done two nine-day Schools with you, and in each one I kept looking for the point of pain, the point of suffering. Of course this still exists—I continue to identify a lot – and yet there is another level of… well not pain or suffering in the sense that I had been thinking.

Maybe I can call it “existential suffering.” I do not feel sad, depressed, angry, irritated, or any of those most obvious emotions. And yet, I am not ecstatic. I am not full of joy and gratitude and excitement and enthusiasm, as I see you are ALL THE TIME.

I started to wonder about that—what is the Worksheet I need to do for this?

“I should be joyful all the time—is that true?”

And then I was watching you work with the concept “Physical pain is a projection of the mind” and the advice you gave to a woman from Idaho on May 17th. You said, “What I suggest is not very exciting, but still I suggest that you continue to do The Work on mother, father, sister, brother, children, grandchildren – whatever occurs…”

Then I had a flash of “OMG. What do I believe about the people most precious in my life?” Even that thought “These are the most precious people” can be questioned.

Yes. What do you believe about the people most precious in your life? And yes, “these are the most precious people” is a powerful assumption to question. I suggest that you complete a few Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheets, one person at a time, or all of them grouped into one Worksheet. Maybe something like this:

  1. “These people are the most precious people in my life”—is it true? Continue through all four questions and turnarounds, with each assumption on your Worksheet.
  2. “I want these people to ____.” What do you want them to be, what do you want for them? Fill in statement 2 on the Worksheet.
  3. “These people should/shouldn’t ____.
  4. What do you need from them for you to be happy? “I need them to ____.”
  5. What do you think of them, in any specific situation or in general (only if you are not focused on one specific situation)? It is important that you meditate on the questions about each judgment.
  6. What is it that you don’t ever want to experience about those people (or that person) again? “I don’t ever want ____.”

And don’t forget that the turnaround for statement #6 is “I am willing to ____.” “I look forward to ____.”

You write, Maybe I can call it “existential suffering.” I do not feel sad, depressed, angry, irritated, or any of those most obvious emotions. And yet, I am not ecstatic. I am not full of joy and gratitude and excitement and enthusiasm, as I see you are ALL THE TIME.

I invite you to notice, to be aware of comparisons, the illusion of duality. You see in your mind’s eye an image of “you” (past/future) and an image of “Byron Katie” (past/future). Is that image of Byron Katie in your head really me? Is that image of you really you? Is it real or imagined? Aren’t you really just comparing images with images? Please take this simple process wherever you think “you” are, have been, or will be.

It had never occurred to me that this thought was a “problem” and yet—I realized, listening to you, that I need to question all the beliefs that hold together the identify I call Jeremy, until there is no “Jeremy” to find any more. Just this moment.

Do I have to find a “problem” and a “moment” before I can do a Judge-Your-Neighbour Worksheet? Can I instead just start to write down what I believe about my mother, father, sister, brother, children, best friends, etc. and then just question those beliefs, even if I cannot perceive any point of pain or problem?

Absolutely. At we also have a One-Belief-at-a-Time Worksheet, and have fun becoming aware of “yourself” and then losing that false identity. You cannot lose him without first understanding what he only appears to be from within, and then laughter, an apparent re-entry of what isn’t and can never be. What joy!

I would love to hear your experience of doing what I suggest above. All is possible in love.

Love and gratitude

Surviving Sexual Assault

On April 29th I was attacked by five armed men with balaclavas. I was tied up, beaten, and sexually assaulted. I realized that night that I might be killed. I remembered Byron Katie’s words when she spoke of having a gun put to her belly. “If these were your last breaths, wouldn’t you want to be present?” I made the choice of savoring every breath! I believe that through her teachings she saved my life. I stayed calm and present throughout the horror that went on for hours.

I want to incorporate trauma counseling into my work, since there is a lot of violence and crime in South Africa. I want to share my experience and The Work and show people that they don’t have to suffer for the rest of their lives from a trauma. I believe I am being called to facilitate healing for others, and I want to participate deeply in the 2016 School so I can really prepare well to facilitate The Work effectively. I also experienced my dad’s death as a special gift, thanks to Byron Katie again. I have so much gratitude and so much to give and share with others. I don’t hate my attackers. I said “God bless you” when they left. Everyone has been amazed by my attitude and the way I have dealt with my attack.



Photos from Russia

The Work in Russia

Dearest Katie,

First day of The Work immersion in Moscow. Look at these beautiful faces! So much gratitude to you for sharing the gift of The Work. So many amazing stories…


Feedback from the South Carolina Grief Project

South Carolina Grief Project

Dear Katie,

On the Helpline we were invited to provide feedback on our experience of offering support for the South Carolina project. In the early morning (Australian time) of 19 June I received a call from a woman who had a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet on racism. She mentioned the shooting, which I was unaware of at the time. She said to me “I hope you can handle this Worksheet.” As I listened to the Worksheet, I was in awe of her courage. I felt so privileged to work with her and to work on my racism. I loved that I was in Australia and she in the USA, with no separation. Hands stretched across the world in peace.

– Wendy D.

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