I am a big fan of Byron Katie and her work, The Work. If you are familiar with her, feel free to skip to the “Katie and her work resonates with me” for the big payoff 😏. If you are not familiar with her, I introduce you to Byron Katie and the Work.
According to Wikipedia, Katie is an American speaker and author who teaches a method of self-inquiry known as “The Work of Byron Katie” or simply as “The Work”. Her “career” started in 1986, when she was 43 with three children and unhappily married to her second husband, she reportedly suffered from depression, agoraphobia, overeating and addiction to codeine and alcohol. She called her insurance company for help, and was referred to Hope House in Los Angeles. After two weeks at the house, she reportedly experienced an epiphany in her thinking which created a way for her to challenge and lessen the harmful effects of long-held beliefs. She credited the epiphany, which became known as “The Work”, for a subsequent weight loss and other reductions in bad habits.
She began holding informal meetings to discuss her philosophy, and in the early 1990s, began having more formal workshops. The workshops eventually led to the formation of Byron Katie International.
What is “the Work?” Doing the Work, one first focuses on someone or something that is upsetting. Write that thing down. Then start the inquiry on the stressful issue with four questions:
- Is it true?
- Can you absolutely know that it is true?
- How do you react, what happens when you believe that thought?
- Who would you be without that thought?
After the questions, the practitioner goes through a “turnaround” process exploring turnarounds of the initial thought to see if the opposite is truer or as true as the initial thought. I find the process can be powerful to experience as both a participant and as an observer.
Katie and her work resonates with me in a big way. I am a fan because:
- Her basic premise is I have to let go of the past in order to live in the present.
- Our thoughts are powerful things, but I can make a choice to let go of them.
- It’s all up to me and if I am open to it, I can choose to let go immediately, at any moment (maybe even at the end of the Work!)
- She is serious, but also works from a place of joy, love and humor. Whenever I watch her, I always get the feeling she has great empathy mixed with a belief that as humans we are taking this life way too seriously.
As I close I have a couple of offers for you:
- Check her out for yourself at https://thework.com/
- Come join me for a new “Letting Go” small batch. The first meeting will be on 3/14 @7PM CT. Bring something you need to let go of. If you are interested, send me a note at email@example.com.