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.

South Carolina Grief Project

South Carolina Grief Project

Dearest lovely Byron Katie,

My name is Justin H. and I am a 26-year-old South Carolinian living abroad, currently in Mallorca, Spain teaching English. I am writing to you now in what I would call a “completely out of character” way, but after reading this morning´s news about the truly heart-breaking gun attack in the place where I grew up, I haven’t been able to focus on anything else but writing you this email.

As Mallorca is an island in the Mediterranean, normally I would be enjoying this paradise on earth, and reveling in the wonderful fact that I have distanced myself from SC, which I once believed to be such a backwards, suffocating, and unloving place to live, but I have recently come to truly SEE by doing The Work that this idea was simply the filter that I chose to see it through. I CANNOT thank you enough for bringing such clarity into my life and in such a short amount of time (I discovered you and your fabulous body of accessible ideas in another book only 2 weeks ago), and I think ALL of South Carolina deserves this same blessing. It´s our birthright, as I’ve heard you put it.

In the news today I have simply been witnessing the storm of panic…people fighting political wars in message threads…de facto discussions about the history of racism in the United States…gun control debate renewed…intrigue into profiling this young shooter…is capital punishment appropriate for him or not…is the United States a fundamentally bad place…which news sources have right on their side and which are racist…is the Governor´s response to the shooting heartfelt enough…should the Confederate flag be removed…and all I can think is THIS:

THEY ARE MISSING THE POINT TO BRING ABOUT TRUE CHANGE…Well, not all of them are missing the point…

Chris Singleton, the son of victim Sharonda Singleton, said, “So if we just love the way my mom would, then the hate won’t be anywhere close to where the love is.”

(To me, these beautiful lives are the point.)

What I´m asking Katie, as a man with limited resources and connections, and literally thousands of miles from my home (at least physically), is this: Can you help to open a dialogue among the people of South Carolina and show them your wonderful way, as you have shown me, that transcends racism, politics, violence, and FEAR. If I can catch a whiff of freedom in two weeks due to YOUR Work (OUR Work, as you may say), then I can only imagine what it can do for all the people of South Carolina and the nation in such a time of true need for its universal message. Can you help us make the way our people think as beautiful as the land the live in???

A very big request from an eternally grateful fan.
Thanks for your consideration,
Justin

* * * * * * *

After receiving this letter from Justin, I immediately invite all Certified Facilitators to specifically be available for all the people whom Justin and many of us care so deeply about. Certified Facilitators, please go to the Helpline and volunteer your time to those people wanting help through their recent tragedy. For those of you wanting help, please go here. Our facilitators are here to support you on the Helpline, free of charge.

Thank you, Justin, on behalf of everyone who understands the suffering that grief and fear can bring and on behalf of all of us at the Institute for The Work, our gratitude for the invitation to serve peace.

In the interest of peace and the end of suffering,
Byron Katie and the Certified Facilitators at the Institute for The Work

South Carolina Grief Project

Do The Work
Helpline
South Carolina Grief Project

After receiving the following letter from Justin, I immediately invited all Certified Facilitators to specifically be available for all the people whom Justin and many of us care about so deeply. Certified Facilitators, please go to the Helpline and volunteer your time to those people wanting help through their recent tragedy. For those of you wanting help, please go here. Our facilitators are here to support you on the Helpline, free of charge.

Thank you, Justin, on behalf of everyone who understands the suffering that grief and fear can bring, and on behalf of all of us at the Institute for The Work, our gratitude for the invitation to serve peace.

In the interest of peace and the end of suffering,
Byron Katie and the Certified Facilitators at the Institute for The Work

P.S. The Helpline is a volunteer-based service offered around the clock, seven days a week, as volunteers are available. This helpline is for people new to The Work and for those needing occasional help or support in doing The Work.

* * * * * * *
Justin’s letter:

Dearest lovely Byron Katie,

My name is Justin H. and I am a 26 year old, South Carolinian living abroad currently in Mallorca, Spain, teaching English. I am writing to you now in what I would call a “completely out of character” way, but after reading this morning´s news about the truly heart-breaking gun attack in the place where I grew up, I haven’t been able to focus on anything else but writing you this email.

As Mallorca is an island in the Mediterranean, normally I would be enjoying this paradise on earth, and reveling in the wonderful fact that I have distanced myself from SC, which I once believed to be such a backward, suffocating, and unloving place to live, but I have recently come to truly SEE, by doing The Work, that this idea was simply the filter that I chose to see it through. I CANNOT thank you enough for bringing such clarity into my life and in such a short amount of time (I discovered you and your fabulous body of accessible ideas in another book only 2 weeks ago), and I think ALL of South Carolina deserves this same blessing. It´s our birthright, as I’ve heard you put it.

In the news today I have simply been witnessing the storm of panic…people fighting political wars in message threads…de facto discussions about the history of racism in the United States…gun-control debate renewed…intrigue into profiling this young shooter…is capital punishment appropriate for him or not…is the United States a fundamentally bad place…which news sources have right on their side and which are racist…is the Governor´s response to the shooting heartfelt enough…should the Confederate flag be removed…and all I can think is THIS:

THEY ARE MISSING THE POINT TO BRING ABOUT TRUE CHANGE… (Well, not all of them are missing the point…)

Chris Singleton, the son of victim Sharonda Singleton said, “So if we just love the way my mom would, then the hate won’t be anywhere close to where the love is.”

(To me, these beautiful lives are the point.)

What I´m asking, Katie, as a man with limited resources and connections, and literally thousands of miles from my home (at least physically) is this: Can you help open a dialogue among the people of South Carolina and show them your wonderful way, as you have shown me, that transcends racism, politics, violence, and FEAR. If I can catch a whiff of freedom in two weeks, thanks to YOUR Work (OUR Work, as you might say), then I can only imagine what it can do for all the people of South Carolina and the nation in such a time of true need for its universal message. Can you help us to make the way our people think, as beautiful as the land the live in???

A very big request from an eternally grateful fan.

Thanks for your consideration,
Justin

AHA!

Byron Katie is now an honorary board member for a local, Santa Barbara Non-Profit organization called AHA!.

AHA! serves teens and families year-round with after-school programs in Santa Barbara and Carpinteria, a summer program in Santa Barbara, and in-school programs in Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, and Goleta.

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Their aim is to create a community of socially and emotionally intelligent adolescents who are committed to compassion, character, positive creative expression, and the celebration of diversity. With an innovative experiential curriculum, their program guides teens to set goals, stop bullying, and end hatred.

 

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The core curriculum imparts invaluable skills for understanding and managing emotions and relationships. From this place of security in themselves, teens are inspired to be creative, compassionate community members and achievers.

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Katie spent a full day with the AHA! staff showing them, through their own experience, that The Work can be easily done among themselves and with teens. So far the AHA! staff has been using The Work for themselves by filling out Worksheets when they notice stressful thoughts. In the short time they have been doing this, they have noticed more positive interactions with one another and less stress.

 

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In AHA!’s more intimate summer workshops, the AHA! staff is looking forward to facilitating the teens and teaching them about The Work. The staff already realizes how much The Work can change the future for these teens.

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The Work in Zimbabwe

For those of you who aren’t yet aware of Nadine Ferris France and her team, read her latest email (below). Thanks to you and your School enrollments and tuition’s, the Work Foundation is able to make allow community leaders in Zimbabwe to attend this year’s School for The Work in Bad Neuenahr, Germany. We are able to pay for round-trip airfare, onsite hotel expenses, etc. and make it possible for these leaders to go back home and, with the help of Nadine and her team, continue their training to become Certified Facilitators of The Work. So enjoy one woman’s marvelous work for the end of suffering.

Dearest Katie,

At the airport on my way home from two days in Belarus. I was invited to speak on self-stigma and HIV to a regional conference of 90 HIV positive women from Ukraine, Russian Federation and Belarus (over 10 countries were represented). Yesterday, I had a 3 hour session with the group, where I presented on self-stigma and HIV based on the Irish research on beliefs, then presented the Zimbabwe Self-stigma and The Work programme and then did The Work with the group. It was all in Russian – with an interpreter – as the majority of people only speak Russian and little to no English.

Each person filled out a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet (in Russian!) and I worked the first statement on the Worksheet with one beautiful woman while the group followed in their own work internally – “I am angry at Olga because she judged me (because of my HIV status)”.

Katie, it was mind-blowing – there are just no other words for this experience. I found the women so incredibly open to themselves and to The Work, and willing to answer the questions so fluidly – most of the women in this region have contracted HIV through drug use – so have battled drug addiction and HIV, using methods such as the 12-step programme. This region has the highest-growing HIV epidemic in the world at the moment and remains very poor – so it’s the tip of the iceberg in terms of amount of people already infected – in the next five years we will see a huge increase.

After the session I was flooded with people asking for The Work for themselves and for their own national programmes. Then in a meeting with the group of advocates that brought me to Belarus, they want their own programme on self-stigma and The Work and they want their own trained facilitators. It seems we might go the same road as we did in Zimbabwe: a 12 week self-stigma and HIV course, the School for The Work, and then the Training for Trainers so they have their own facilitators who can then give courses on self-stigma and HIV all around the region. These women are absolutely incredible, and I have no doubt will make it happen with a little support from us. They are strong, open, skilled, and highly tenacious! We will need to get one or two to the School quickly, so watch for even more scholarship applications coming soon.

Katie, this continues to explode around us in terms of demand, and I just want to keep you with us so you are aware when things are coming left and right and where they are coming from.

I am looking forward to seeing you in London, and I look forward to our time together after your book signing for me to share some of the incredible Work happening in Zimbabwe and now the Russian region it seems!

Here is one of the women I met yesterday! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbucYGCIHDI

With so much love and gratitude.
Nadine xxxxx

PS – the materials on thework.com in Russian were SOOO USEFUL

Dearest Nadine,

Thank you for the update. You are tireless, and I am ready and willing to keep up with you as long as I am financially able, of course! No holding back, dearest, and it’s not easy to keep up with you as you continue to move The Work for the end of suffering in our world. What a privilege to support this path and to know you!

Always your partner in your lifelong journey to end suffering,
kt

Local Zimbabwe facilitators with Certified Facilitators for The Work of Byron Katie: (left to right) Susan V, Nysha T*, Nadine F, Sylvia V**, and Margot D.

 

The Work in Zimbabwe

 

These are the participants in a 3-month course on self-stigma and HIV, using The Work. Each of them has described the far-reaching impact that the course has had on their lives. They want to develop a five-year plan to move the Work in Zimbabwe, especially related to HIV-connected issue. Nadine says, “It is the most exciting and meaningful project I have ever had the privilege to be involved in.” Thank you, Nadine, Margot, and Susan, and all of you who have supported the project.