“In my experience, it takes only one person to have a successful relationship. I like to say I have the perfect marriage, and I can’t really know what kind of marriage my husband has (though he tells me he’s happy too).”
What is the Work?
Wow, The Work is an awesome tool. Most tools to increase your happiness advice you to change your thoughts. This is very different. The Work is one of the few tools were you actually question your thoughts; it’s about undoing thoughts rather than adding new ones. Byron Katie is the creator of this life changing process.
The Work is all about self-inquiry and consists of four questions and a turnaround. All that’s required is a pen, some paper and an open mind. Through this process, anyone can learn to trace unhappiness to its source and eliminate it there.
Start Now the 3 Step Process
You start by identifying a belief or thought that causes you anxiety or unhappiness. You are encouraged to choose something which feels important that someone else does or did. Once you have chosen something let’s print the paper we will need for step 1.
1. Judge Your Neighbor
Needed paper work: -All you really need is this sheet to start Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet but you will probably find this sheet very useful Emotions List as well. The emotions list can really help you identify what you are really feeling. And below I have included variations of the judge your neighbor sheet.
So like I said before the work is very different then all the other tools. Number one it has you question your thoughts instead of change them and now we start the work by JUDGING. As Byron Katie says “For thousands of years we’ve been told not to judge, but we still do it all the time—how our friends should act, whom our children should care about, what our parents should feel, do, or say. In The Work, rather than suppress these judgments, we use them as starting points for self-realization. By letting the judging mind have its life on paper, we discover through the mirror of those around us what we haven’t yet realized about ourselves.”
Investigate each of your statements from the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet using the four questions and the turnaround below. It’s about awareness, not about trying to change your thoughts. Ask the questions, then take your time, go inside, and wait for the deeper answers to surface.
1) Is it true? (Yes or no. If no, move to 3.) 2) Can you absolutely know that it’s true? (Yes or no.) 3) How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought? 4) Who would you be without the thought?
As Byron Katie advises: Each turnaround is an opportunity to experience the opposite of your original statement and see what you and the person you’ve judged have in common. A statement can be turned around to the opposite, to the other, and to the self (and sometimes to “my thinking,” wherever that applies). Find a minimum of three genuine, specific examples in your life where each turnaround is true. Be creative with the turnarounds. They are revelations, showing you previously unseen aspects of yourself reflected back through others. Once you’ve found a turnaround, go inside and let yourself feel it.
Find at least three examples for each turnaround.
Examples of Turnarounds:
“He should understand me” turns around to: • He shouldn’t understand me. (This is reality.) • I should understand him. • I should understand myself.
“I need him to be kind to me” turns around to: • I don’t need him to be kind to me. • I need me to be kind to him. (Can I live it?) • I need me to be kind to myself.
“He is unloving to me” turns around to: • He is loving to me. (To the best of his ability) • I am unloving to him. (Can I find it?) • I am unloving to me (When I don’t inquire.)
Why do the Work?
People who do The Work as an ongoing practice report life-changing results:
Alleviation of depression: Find resolution, and even happiness, in situations that were once debilitating.
Decreased stress: Learn how to live with less anxiety or fear.
Improved relationships: Experience deeper connection and intimacy with your partner, your parents, your children, your friends, and yourself.
Reduced anger: Understand what makes you angry and resentful, and become less reactive, less often, with less intensity.
Increased mental clarity: Live and work more intelligently and effectively, with integrity.
More energy: Experience a new sense of ongoing vigor and well-being.
More peace: Discover how to become “a lover of what is.”
The Work Essentials
The following are free PDF files available for you to download. (For downloads in other languages, go here.)
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