Byron Katie’s “The Work”
When I look back, I was always searching for “tools” to make my life and the life of my clients easier and healthier. Among different philosophies, theories or medical and psychological approaches, there are a few outstanding highlights that I found. One of these is Byron Katie’s “The Work.”
People using her method kept telling me how much their life had changed by asking four simple questions about their beliefs, then going inside and turning the questions around. Since 1986 Katie introduced her method to millions of people in different countries, her books are translated into many languages and she worked with corporations, universities, schools, prisons and hospitals.
The Work of Byron Katie is a way to identify and question the thoughts that cause most of the suffering in the world. It is a way to find peace within yourself and with the world. Katie knows what she is talking about: She suffered for 10 years from a deep depression, at the end she spent almost 2 years in bed.
One day she experienced a life changing realization. She noticed that she felt more depressed when she had thoughts like “I should be out of bed, ,my children should appreciate me more, my husband should be nicer etc.” But when she d i d n o t believe these thoughts, she felt better and more peaceful. She realized that what had been causing her miserable condition was not the world around her, not the actions or behavior of the family, but what she believed about her family and the circumstances of her life.
From that time on Katie developed a powerful method of inquiry, called The Work, that made transformation practical. Instead of trying to change people or ourselves with thousands of “shoulds” and “should nots”– we are better when we accept reality as it is.
Acceptance leads to an empowering state of mind and when we stop opposing reality, action becomes possible, clear and simple.
Katie says: “The only time we suffer is when we believe a thought that argues with what is. 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 say meow. Wanting reality to be different is hopeless.”
Another important part of her work is ”staying in your own business.” Much of our stress comes from mentally living and thinking what other people (partners, neighbors, children, friends etc.) should do or how they should behave. To think that I know what is best for anyone else is to be out of my business. Even in the name of love! It keeps me from being present in my own. It creates tension, frustration and it is the cause of problems inall relationships.
The four questions are:
- Is it true? (Be still and wait for the heart’s response)
- Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
- How would you react, what happens, when you believe that thought? (How do you feel with this thought? Do you experience anger, stress? How do you treat the person? How do you treat yourself by having this thought? )
- Who would you be without the thought? (Close your eyes, see yourself just for a moment, without the thought, belief system or complaint and feel the difference).
I invite you to find out more about “The Work” the “Turnarounds” and the application of the work for different issues and situations .All her material is provided through the internet free of charge. That makes it accessible to everybody who wants to evolve, consciously grow and become healthier in body mind and spirit.