On this 19th day of my 21-day gratitude challenge, I am very grateful that Friday and Saturday, I got to spend hours in an auditorium with Byron Katie and my friends Thomas and Val and a whole bunch of other people, watching Katie, as she’s called, working with several people who were troubled about something.
Katie’s technique is called The Work, and the way we worked was to fill out a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet (available online for free along with a lot of other resources) about a recurring stressful situation, something that reliably pushes our buttons. She encouraged us to be our meanest, pettiest selves when we filled out the worksheet.
Then she asks, or has us ask ourselves, four questions:
- Is it true? (yes or no)
- Can you absolutely know that it’s true? (yes or no)
- How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
- Who would you be without the thought?
Then you turn the thought around three ways and find three specific examples of how each turnaround is true for you in that situation. For example, if my thought is “I hate him,” the turnarounds would work like this:
- The first turnaround is to the self. “I hate me.” How do I treat myself hatefully?
- The second turnaround is to the other. “He hates me.” List ways he hates me.
- The third turnaround is the opposite. “I love him.” How do I love him?
So from an NLP perspective, she’s working at the belief level, and she’s helping people reframe their experiences and emotions and beliefs and even identities. She refers a lot to people’s internal images (but not voices). On an energy level, she’s helping people move from contraction to expansion.
On Saturday, her first guest onstage was an attractive, polished woman who had flown here from San Francisco. Her husband of 30 years cheated on her with “a 27-year-old Brazilian whore” while she (the wronged wife) was undergoing treatment for breast cancer.
Katie took this woman through the process. She realized that she had stopped loving her husband but was willing to live a charade, she knew he was lying to her, et cetera. It took her out of her victim story. She also got huge applause for getting here with her frequent flyer miles since her husband had denied her access to all of their bank accounts. This woman is resourceful!
In the turnaround, Katie asked the woman to say, “I’m a whore,” and the woman couldn’t get the word “whore” out.
The unflappable Katie said, “What the heck. I’m enlightened. I can say it for you. ‘I’m a whore.’ There.” Big laughs and applause.
Later she worked with a woman who was so distraught because her husband, a diabetic, wouldn’t take his meds that she herself was on medication.
Once again, I’m grateful I got to see Byron Katie do The Work in person. If anyone wants to play with me, ping me.
In this moment, I’m grateful for life as it is. That’s what enlightenment is. That’s what Zen teaches. That’s what we practice when sitting in meditation.
I’m grateful to those who read my blog. Today it looks like I will cross the threshold of 5,000 views! Thank you for reading my posts. Thanks for connecting. Thanks for commenting.