If you knew that you could free yourself from stress, stuckness, shame, worry, guilt, hateful thoughts about yourself or others, would you do it?
The key is to look inside and question any thought or belief that doesn’t serve you.
I just returned from nine days at The School of The Work where I served as a staff member to more than 200 men and women from all over the world that came to learn The Work. Byron Katie created a simple yet powerful method of inquiry to question any thought that causes emotional stress or pain. The result is peace.
The School is a safe, warm environment where we investigate our fear-based stories that we’ve held on to our whole life.
These thoughts or beliefs become the stories we tell others about our life. We create our reality by believing these thoughts are true and acting out of that belief.
Using Katie’s form of inquiry – four questions and the turnarounds – we can investigate all the painful stories in our lives to find out what is as true or truer then the original belief.
Katie developed the Order of Creation to demonstrate how thoughts are created within us and how they create our reality.
Cause a feeling.
Feelings cause us to act or behave in a certain way. They drive our behavior.
Our actions create the results we get in our life.
Find a stressful thought that is bothering you then question it using The Work. Find a short, simple sentence with one concept to question such as these common thoughts below:
He doesn’t appreciate me.
I’m not good enough.
I don’t have enough money.
I’m too fat.
I can’t do it.
I will never get a job in this economy.
Here’s an example of how to work a thought. Let’s work the thought, “He doesn’t appreciate me.”
Thought: He doesn’t appreciate me.
Is it true? Go back to the specific time this caused you to suffer and answer it with a yes or a no. If you believed it at the time, then the answer is yes.
Yes because he forgot my birthday.
Can you know that it is absolutely true?
Answer it as a yes or no.
No, I can’t know that absolutely.
How do you react, what happens when you believe that thought?
List the feelings and physical sensations you get when you believe this thought.
I feel frustrated, I feel like I don’t count, and I get a pit in my stomach.
Who would you be without this thought?
This is a chance for you to find out what you would be if you couldn’t think this painful thought.
Without this thought, I would be calm and not irritated at him.
The turnarounds are an opportunity to consider the opposite of what you believe to see if it is as true or truer then the original thought.
Turn it to the opposite:
Use the same words as the original thought and turn it to the opposite.
He does care about me. (find specific examples so your mind will believe it)
1. He asked me how my day went yesterday and asks most days.
2. He called me last Friday to check in to see if I want him to pick up dinner since I’d worked a long day.
3. He says he loves me every night before we go to sleep.
Turn it to yourself (replace “he” with “I”)
I don’t care about myself. (How is this statement as true or truer then the original thought)? Remember, you are looking for what is truest for you and what feels best.
1. I don’t take the time to exercise weekly.
2. I have been eating lots of sugar this week.
3. I haven’t been getting enough sleep this week.
Turn it to the other (to him)
I don’t care about him.
1. I didn’t give him a card for his birthday.
2. I bought ice cream and I know he is on a diet.
3. I don’t cook for him as much as he cooks for me.
Are you ready to get free of these painful thoughts? If you can learn how to question the thoughts, you can set yourself free.
Please let me know if you have questions or comments about The Work.
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