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.

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The Work 101

The only time we suffer is when we believe a thought that argues with what is. When the mind is perfectly clear, what is is what we want.

If you want reality to be different than it is, you might as well try to teach a cat to bark. You can try and try, and in the end the cat will look up at you and say, “Meow.” Wanting reality to be different than it is is hopeless. You can spend the rest of your life trying to teach a cat to bark.

And yet, if you pay attention, you’ll notice that you think thoughts like this dozens of times a day. “People should be kinder.” “Children should be well-behaved.” “My neighbors should take better care of their lawn.” “The line at the grocery store should move faster.” “My husband (or wife) should agree with me.” “I should be thinner (or prettier or more successful).” These thoughts are ways of wanting reality to be different than it is. If you think that this sounds depressing, you’re right. All the stress that we feel is caused by arguing with what is.

People new to The Work often say to me, “But it would be disempowering to stop my argument with reality. If I simply accept reality, I’ll become passive. I may even lose the desire to act.” I answer them with a question: “Can you really know that that’s true?” Which is more empowering? — “I wish I hadn’t lost my job” or “I lost my job; what can I do now?”

The Work reveals that what you think shouldn’t have happened should have happened. It should have happened because it did, and no thinking in the world can change it. This doesn’t mean  that you condone it or approve of it. It just means that you can see things without resistance and without the confusion of your inner struggle. No one wants their children to get sick, no one wants to be in a car accident; but when these things happen, how can it be helpful to mentally argue with them? We know better than to do that, yet we do it, because we don’t know how to stop.

I am a lover of what is, not because I’m a spiritual person, but because it hurts when I argue with reality. We can know that reality is good just as it is, because when we argue with it, we experience tension and frustration. We don’t feel natural or balanced. When we stop opposing reality, action becomes simple, fluid, kind, and fearless.

To learn more about the Work and how to live a fearless life, visit: The Work