What is the Color of the Iris of Your Eye?

iris

Is it possible to know this without a mirror?

I Can’t See my Eye at All

The only way I can see the color of my eye is to use a mirror. I literally have to look outwardly in order to see inwardly. My mirror can be of glass and silver, or it can be a friend relating the color of my eyes to me. But I must use something outside of myself in order to see myself that closely.

And the Same Is True when Doing The Work

The Work of Byron Katie is a form of self-inquiry. At first you would think that looking inwardly would be the most direct route to self-awareness. There are other valid forms of meditation that do just that.

But The Work of Byron Katie is different. It uses a mirror.

What Mirror?

Other people and things are the mirrors. By noticing my judgments about other people, and reflecting on those judgments, I can often see hidden parts of myself.

The four questions, the turnarounds, and the examples for the turnarounds are a powerful tool for self-inquiry. By starting with what I do see—the outside world, I quickly come to see what I don’t see—myself.

And that can change everything.

Once I See What I’m Doing, I Have Options

I start to notice what’s working for me and what is not working for me about what I’m doing. That’s all. My behavior naturally shifts once I see.

That’s Why The Work Uses the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet

It seems indirect at first to focus on judging others. But it is a very direct way to see those parts of me that are just too close to me to see without a mirror.

Have a great weekend,
Todd

“When you do The Work, you see who you are by seeing who you think other people are. Eventually you come to see that everything outside you is a reflection of your own thinking. You are the storyteller, the projector of all stories, and the world is the projected image of your thoughts.” Byron Katie, Loving What Is

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sunset

If I can just get here, then I’ll be happy.

Replace the Word, “Here,” with Anything

If I can just get ahead financially, then I’ll be happy.
If I can just have a more balanced schedule, then I’ll be happy.
If I can just get enlightened, then I’ll be happy.

The variations of this basic thought are infinite. “If I can just have X, then I’ll be happy.” But ironically, this is the whole story of unhappiness.

When I Desperately Want Anything, I Suffer

Even if I want happiness.

Wanting to be happy literally creates the opposite of happiness. Yet, how much energy, money, time, and effort do I spend looking for happiness? Yearning for it? Celebrating it when it comes? And crying when it goes?

That is not peace. That is not true happiness. True happiness is happy with what is. No matter what the finances are. No matter what the schedule looks like. No matter how unenlightened I feel. No matter how unhappy I may be. Can I be happy with that?

True Happiness Has a Different Definition

True happiness is not necessarily the experience of getting what I want. True happiness is not dependent on anything going my way.

True happiness is more like contentment, or peace. Happy with whatever comes, even if it is failure, or sickness, or overwhelm, or poverty.

Can I be happy even living an imbalanced, imperfect life? That is the question worth contemplating. If I can, I can be happy, or content, or peaceful, even when I’m “unhappy.”

What If It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This?

What if sitting here typing this little email to you is life, the whole of it? Here I am with all of my life-long habits of straining, and perfectionism, and feeling a little pressure for time, and that tension in my neck right now.

What if this were good enough? What if I were happy with this, instead of pining away for an enlightenment that never comes?

As I write, I feel happier just thinking this way. Maybe accepting is the better word. And that brings peace. And that somehow opens up my heart. It’s enough.

Have a great week,
Todd

“This takes a radically open mind, and nothing less than an open mind is creative enough to free you from the pain of arguing with what is. An open mind is the only way to peace. As long as you think that you know what should and shouldn’t happen, you’re trying to manipulate God. This is a recipe for unhappiness.” Byron Katie, A Thousand Names for Joy

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Fear Doesn’t Always Feel Like Fear

sky scrapers

Pressure to be great can be another form of fear.

I Thought I Was Through with Fear

I remember a few years ago when the baseline fear I used to feel stopped being there. That little feeling of anxiety in my stomach went away due to a lot of work I was doing on my motives.

I was questioning thoughts like, “I need to make more money,” “I want to be successful,” “I need to be happy,” “I need to be healthy.”

The turnarounds, “I don’t need to make more money,” “I don’t want to be successful,” “I don’t need to be happy,” and “I don’t need to be healthy,” were bringing me a lot of peace.

So I thought fear was done.

But There Was More

It didn’t show up as the feeling I recognize as fear this time. Instead, it feels like a pressure to perform. That’s what’s up for me these days. I feel it as a pressure in my neck and back. And a strain in my eyes and head.

I wouldn’t think of this as fear because it’s not in my stomach.

But I realized last weekend that it was the same thing showing up in a different form. The pressure I feel is a pressure to do a good job (at whatever I’m doing).

It May Not Sound Like Fear, But Look at This

The pressure I feel is not so much of a pressure to do a good job. It’s a pressure to do a prefect job. Which means that it’s really just a fear of doing something wrong, even just a little wrong. And ultimately, this is a fear of disapproval. That’s what I fear more than anything. And that’s what makes me strain and push myself. I’m trying to avoid disapproval. That’s the biggest stress in my life. I think it always has been.

For me, it goes back to when I was in school. I got the feeling from my mom that anything less than 100% was not quite good enough. I know she wasn’t really that strict on me, but I wanted her approval more than anything.

Again, it wasn’t really her approval that I wanted, because when I got her approval, it was never really all that satisfying. Instead, it was the fear of her disapproval that motivated me. I rarely saw disapproval from her. But that fear is what kept me running. That’s why doing a great job on one thing was never enough. There was always the next job waiting to be done. Which was yet another risk for disapproval to be managed.

And in my twenties, when I started to find my own way in the world, I believed that my mom did not approve of some of my choices. And that depressed me, even when I was doing what I wanted to do.

I Realize Now that Some of that Is Still Unworked for Me

Because I still fear disapproval. That’s why I try to be nice to everyone. That’s why I try to do a perfect job at everything. That’s why no matter what I do, it’s never enough. That’s why I work so hard. That’s why I’m afraid to do anything that I really want to do.

So while it doesn’t show up as fear in my stomach, the pressure I feel in my neck and back and head is my clue. It’s time to start looking at my motives again. And it’s time to start seeing who I am trying to please. It’s time to start writing some Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheets on the various people whose disapproval I’m still trying to avoid. It’s time to do The Work on this.

Have a great weekend,
Todd

“How do you react when you think you need people’s love? Do you become a slave for their approval? Do you live an inauthentic life because you can’t bear the thought that they might disapprove of you? Do you try to figure out how they would like you to be, and then try to become that, like a chameleon?” Byron Katie, Question Your Thinking, Change The World

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tools

The Work 101 is all about the tools.

It’s Easier to Learn a New Skill When You Take Some Training

For example, I love learning languages. But if I just buy a dictionary and try to learn a few words on my own, chances are I won’t get very far. When I want to learn a language, I sign-up for a course.

The advantage of a course is that there’s a structure to the learning. I benefit from the experience of those who created this structure for me, instead of trying to figure it out on my own as I go. I can just sit back and go through the training and the learning happens almost by itself.

What I Love About The Work Is That It’s So Simple

Even children can do The Work.

But just because something is simple, doesn’t mean that I will do it. Learning a language is simple enough for a child to do, but adults often are too busy. And just because it is simple doesn’t mean that I will get it easily. Sometimes the simplest things are the hardest to understand.

So if you haven’t picked up The Work and run with it on your own, I invite you to join me in one of The Work 101 training courses that I offer online. The next one starts in April.

I Started Offering This Course Nine Months Ago

And since then, I’ve run five courses, each one improving upon the last, thanks to all the great feedback I have received. As a result, the course is starting to become a really solid training program. I think you will find now that the course is capable of taking you from zero experience with The Work to self-sufficiency in just six weeks.

It’s also a great way to go deeper with The Work if you are already experienced.

For example, you’ll hone your skills at writing a really focused Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet. I just added a whole section on how to use a stressful emotion as a guide to identifying the main offense for a worksheet.

And There’s a Lot of Practice with Turnarounds

You’ll become very familiar with how to find the technical turnarounds (to the self, to the other, and to the opposite). Many people have trouble with the turnaround to the other, so there’s extra emphasis on this.

And there’s also lots of practice finding meaningful examples for the turnarounds. As you know, this is as much of an art as it is a skill. It is a meditation. You’ll get lots of practice with this kind of meditation during the course.

And Naturally, You’ll Begin to Culture a Practice of The Work

During the course, you will be doing The Work four days a week for six weeks. There’s a lot of consistency in that.

And I’ll be giving you feedback as you go. You’ll also get to watch how others are doing their work, and you can learn a lot from them.

By the end of the course, you should have all the tools you need to do The Work on your own, and a momentum started for doing it on a regular basis. At that point, you’ll be welcome to join our ongoing practice group of The Work called Inquiry Circle, where many of us have been doing The Work consistently for about five years.

If you’re interested in getting started with The Work, going deeper with it, or beginning a steady practice of it, The Work 101 is a great place to start.

And It Can Be Done From Home on Any Schedule

There are no set meeting times. Everything takes place on the Inquiry Circle forum which is open 24/7. There are videos to watch, articles to read, and written assignments to do. And once a week you will pair up with another participant in the course to do spoken work together.

But don’t be fooled by the flexibility of the schedule. I am a strict trainer. If you want to participate, you’ll need to show up consistently. So plan on at least four hours per week to keep up with the assignments. If you do, you may find a new confidence growing in your ability to do The Work.

Join us April 10 – May 26 for $137: The Work 101

Have a great weekend,
Todd

“You begin with the problems that irritate or depress you. The book will show you how to write them down in a form that is easy to investigate. Then it will introduce the four questions and show you how to apply them to your problems. At this point, you’ll be able to see how The Work can reveal solutions that are simple, radical, and life-changing.” Byron Katie, Loving What Is

Get two new articles about The Work of Byron Katie every week, plus my checklist for the Judge-Your-Neighbor-Worksheet. Subscribe to the newsletter here.

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orchard grass

The orchard grass is predominant when I’m almost lying on the ground.

Perspective Makes all the Difference

The Work is all about finding different perspectives. The four questions and turnarounds of The Work often open my mind to very new perspectives. But there’s another area of The Work where perspective plays an important role.

And that’s the area of writing a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet.

Stand in one place and you’ll judge a person one way. Move to another position and your judgments may be very different. This is why you can write many different Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheets on the same person in different situations.

This Idea Was Helpful when Working with a Client Recently

She deeply loves her boyfriend and wants nothing more than to be with him. But she gets embarrassed at the thought of introducing him to her friends and family.

How do you write a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet in this situation?

If she writes a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet directly on her boyfriend, it doesn’t really touch the issue because she sees him as wonderful. One way to address the issue is to write a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet on a particular friend or family member who she thinks will judge him. This could be a good direction for exploration.

But Here’s What She Did that Really Worked

She imagined herself being together with her friend and then turning and judging her boyfriend from there. The perspective was totally different. Because she was standing next to her friend, her values were different. So when she turned to judge her boyfriend, she saw him totally differently than how she sees him at home.

The first line of her worksheet was, “I am embarrassed by my boyfriend because he is blue-collar.” And the rest of the worksheet flowed from there.

And working that judgment, “He is blue-collar,” was powerful. This belief lay at the root of her embarrassment. And, as she started to do The Work, she found several genuine examples of how he is not so blue-collar after all: he is up on current affairs, he likes to travel, he likes to wear nice clothes, and he is a successful entrepreneur.

The Examples Had to Be Valid Even While Standing with her Friend

It was not enough for her to find examples that were true for her when she was alone with her boyfriend. She had to look for examples of how “He’s not blue-collar” that would hold weight with her even when she was standing next to her friend. Because that’s the perspective she is working from.

Already a little exploration in this direction is starting to shift things. Next up will be the turnaround, “He’s blue-collar. Yay! Is that really a problem?” Can she find examples of how, even if he is blue-collar in some ways, that it’s not a problem—even when she’s standing with her friend? And so The Work continues.

Have a great weekend,
Todd

“We’re so secretive about what makes us feel ashamed that we even try to keep it from ourselves, clinging to our pretense of self-respect while our thoughts run on about how terrible we are and how unforgivable the things we’ve done. Secrets cry out for inquiry. You can’t be free if you’re hiding. And in the end, the things we’re ashamed of turn out to be the greatest gifts we have to give.” Byron Katie, I Need Your Love, Is That True?

Have a great weekend,
Todd

“We’re so secretive about what makes us feel ashamed that we even try to keep it from ourselves, clinging to our pretense of self-respect while our thoughts run on about how terrible we are and how unforgivable the things we’ve done. Secrets cry out for inquiry. You can’t be free if you’re hiding. And in the end, the things we’re ashamed of turn out to be the greatest gifts we have to give.” Byron Katie, I Need Your Love, Is That True?

Get two new articles about The Work of Byron Katie every week, plus my checklist for the Judge-Your-Neighbor-Worksheet. Subscribe to the newsletter here.

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Byron Katie’s YouTube Channel

lathe

I love work. I can watch it all day!

Have You Ever Watched The Work?

A great way to get a taste of The Work of Byron Katie is to watch some of the videos that Byron Katie has posted on YouTube. She currently has over 200 video recordings of her facilitating people as they do The Work on various topics.

You’ll find videos on parenting, family, death and dying, relationships, fear, mental health and depression, money, body and health, business, and more.

As you watch, you’ll see people doing The Work, answering the four questions and finding turnarounds and examples. You’ll see the range of stressful thoughts that you can question. And you can get ideas of how to come up with meaningful answers to the questions.

Watching Is Almost as Powerful as Doing The Work

As you watch, you’ll naturally find yourself identifying with some of the people doing The Work. Their work becomes your work as you watch. And their insights can often become your insights too.

If you’re new to The Work or, even if you’ve been doing it for a long time, Katie’s videos can be helpful.

But, of Course, There’s No Substitute for Doing The Work

As much as I love the videos, they are only a taste of The Work. There is no substitute for the power of finding your own insights as you do your own work.

Each has it’s value. When I first started doing The Work ten years ago, I listened to audio recordings of Katie facilitating people. It really helped me to “get it.” Then, when I did my own work, I had a better idea of how to do it.

Now, I rarely look at her videos, but whenever I do, I’m re-inspired by some insight that comes out. I invite you (and myself) to add watching these videos to your practice of The Work.

Here’s the YouTube Link

You’ll find a long list of videos here on Byron Katie’s YouTube channel.

https://www.youtube.com/user/TheWorkofBK/featured

Have a great weekend,
Todd

“Everyone learns The Work in their own way. Some learn the process primarily by watching how the dialogues unfold. (I encourage you to read them actively—looking inside yourself for your own answers as you read.) Others learn The Work strictly by doing it: inquiring into whatever is troubling them at the time, pen and paper in hand.” Byron Katie, Loving What Is

Get two new articles about The Work of Byron Katie every week, plus my checklist for the Judge-Your-Neighbor-Worksheet. Subscribe to the newsletter here.

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Facilitation Is for the Birds… Are you Sure?

seagull

This bird really likes facilitating. Do you?

People Ask Me Why I Write About Facilitation

Last week, I wrote about how to facilitate someone when filling in a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet. A friend of mine wondered why I wrote about that when most people just call up to get facilitated. The reason is simple. The more you learn about facilitation, the better you become at your own inquiry.

Today, I’m Going to Look at Another Aspect of Facilitation

This is the infamous “bringing someone back to The Work” part of facilitating. This is the most challenging part of being a facilitator for me. I sometimes let people wander further than they need to when facilitating them.

The Work stops working when people stop answering the questions of The Work. So it’s important to bring people back. Otherwise, it just becomes just a conversation. And the power of inquiry is lost.

But at the Same Time It’s Important not to Push Them

Self-inquiry is self-inquiry. And the self doesn’t like being told what to do. If someone wanders from answering the questions, if I bring them back with force, or make them wrong in any way, they shut down. And once the heart is closed, inquiry is impossible.

So it’s a balance between bringing someone back and not shutting them down. For me, it has to do with respect and equality. When I am seeing my client as an equal, seeing that they are doing what I myself do as a client, then I have understanding for them when they wander. And I’m gentle with them when I bring them back.

This Really Works for Me

How do I keep this balance?

First of all, I find myself really listening. I ask myself, “Have they started wandering, or are they actually answering the question?” Sometimes, it looks like someone is wandering but they really are not. If they are not, then my interfering would be counterproductive.

On the other hand, sometimes it’s clear that they are lost in their story. If that is the case, I simply ask again the question that they were answering. Maybe in a different way. Or, if we’re in question three, I might ask a different sub-question.

The person may hardly know that I’m bringing them back. It is gentle. Like the way you move a child in a new direction. It doesn’t take much and they are off running again.

For Example, I Might Ask, “Which Turnaround Are We Doing Again?”

It brings them right back, but without making them wrong. We are both traveling together, and I’m just bringing their attention back to the job at hand, finding examples for a particular turnaround.

But sometimes someone is clearly getting defensive. Instead of finding an example for a turnaround, they are telling me why it’s not true. I may say something like, “You’re giving evidence of why the original statement is true. You already have a big body of evidence on that side. What we’re trying to do is look for examples of how the turnaround could be true, just for balance.” And they usually come back to the task at hand.

Sometimes, of course, someone is completely closed to a turnaround. They say it is not true. And I’m fine with that too. I remind them that all we are doing is exploring. Then we move to another turnaround, or to the next statement they want to work.

Ultimately, Only They Can Do Their Work

Only they can find their truth. The questions of The Work can help them to look in places that they might not ordinarily look, but my job as a facilitator is done once I direct them there. If they find nothing, that too is successful inquiry.

So again, it’s a balance. A balance between holding the questions of The Work and not pushing. Somewhere in that delicate space is where insights can most often be found.

And this is true whether you are facilitating another person, or facilitating yourself.

Have a great week,
Todd

“When someone is facilitating The Work, giving the four questions, he’s receiving at another level what I originally received inside me.” Byron Katie, Question Your Thinking, Change the World

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Attachment to Heaven Is the Only Hell

beach

If summer by the beach is your idea of heaven, then winter could be hell for you.

It All Depends on How Attached You Are

We all prefer certain things over other things. That’s natural. But if a preference becomes attachment, then the seed of suffering is formed.

Attachment means that you no longer just have a preference, now you have to have it that way in order to be happy. It becomes dependence.

Preference means, “This is great. I love this so much.” Attachment means, “I need to have this all the time.”

That’s Where the Argument with Reality Begins

Because reality does not keep things the same for long. Reality is always cycling between between opposites. It is always changing. And if you want it to stay in your favorite position, you’ll be almost constantly fighting reality, and almost constantly losing.

And this, by most definitions, is hell.

When you’re attached, the only time you’re happy is when the conditions line up so that you get what you want. If you’re attached to summer, then you’re only really happy for a few months out of the year. And even during the summer months, you may not be fully happy because you know it won’t be long before summer fades away.

Attachment Creates Misery with Anything

If you’re attached to having money, then you will be miserable when you have less money. And you may be miserable even when you have lots of money for fear of losing it.

If you’re attached to romantic love, then you will be miserable when you don’t have it, or when it doesn’t last. You’ll call the “honeymoon” period of your life the best part of your life. And live in hope, that doesn’t fully cover sadness, for true love to come again.

If you’re attached to good health, then you will be miserable when health problems arise. Or you will live in fear of getting a health problem.

sine wave

You live for the peaks of life and try to avoid the valleys. And there is no peace.

All Suffering Comes from Attachment

In reality, money goes up and down, health goes up and down, love goes up and down. Everything goes up and down. If you want it to stay up all the time, it will wreck your emotions, drain your energy, and make you suffer.

But the good news is that all you have to do to find peace is to let go of your attachments. Just loosen the grip on what you want a little bit and life gets easier.

This Is Why I Love The Work of Byron Katie

It is a way to explore my attachments and to see if they represent my real truth or not. The Work uses suffering as the starting point because suffering indicates that I’m attached to something. I’m attached, I am fighting with reality, so I feel stress and strain.

The Work says, “Pay attention when you feel stressed. What are your stressful thoughts in that moment? Write them down and question them.” When you write your stressful thoughts, you’ll find that they are full of attachments: I want…, He should…, I need…, etc.

Then, when you question each of these stressful thoughts with The Work—when you find that “I don’t want…” is as true as “I want…,” and “He shouldn’t…” is as true as “He should…,” and “I don’t need… is as true as “I need…”—then the attachment loosens.

And the Mind Stops Fighting the Cycles of Nature

Through inquiry, the mind finds all the ways that winter is as good as summer. And all the ways that less money is as good as more money. And how no romantic love is as good as romantic love. And how health problems are as good as perfect health. It takes an open mind, and it is work, but it is a powerful inquiry.

If you can find genuine examples of how not getting what you want is as good as getting what you want, then you can be peaceful and happy no matter what life is giving you.

You can live in heaven even when the world around you looks like hell. This is freedom.

Have a great weekend,
Todd

“You do have the power, though, to question your thought, turn it around, and find three genuine reasons why the death of your child is equal to her not dying, or even better in the long run, both for her and for you. This takes a radically open mind, and nothing less than an open mind is creative enough to free you from the pain of arguing with what is. An open mind is the only way to peace. As long as you think that you know what should and shouldn’t happen, you’re trying to manipulate God. This is a recipe for unhappiness.” Byron Katie, A Thousand Names for Joy

Get two new articles about The Work of Byron Katie every week, plus my checklist for the Judge-Your-Neighbor-Worksheet. Subscribe to the newsletter here.

If you like this article, feel free to forward the link to friends, family or colleagues. Or share the link on Facebook or other social media. If you have thoughts you’d like to share about it, please leave your comments below.

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sprinkler

Do you water your lawn so well that you’re causing a drought?

Too Much of a Good Thing Is Not Good

For example, if you’re facilitating someone to fill in a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet, it can be so helpful to remind them of the situation. Holding them in the time and place of the stressful event and keeping them focused on the main offense that triggered them there can be a powerful support.

I love it when a facilitator holds me close to that original stressful moment as I fill in my worksheet. It helps me find all the stressful thoughts that were bothering me then. It helps me to zoom in and really identify every aspect of the issue that came up for me there.

But as a Facilitator It’s Easy to Go Overboard

If holding someone to the situation is a good thing, then holding them to the situation repeatedly is even better, right? Not in my experience. More is not always better.

The idea when you’re facilitating someone to write a worksheet is simply to support them as they fill it in. The client’s mind can wander, and a facilitator can help by bringing them back.

But if the person is already focused on the situation and the main offense for the worksheet, there is no need to bring them back. If you do, it will probably be annoying. There is no need to bring someone back who has never wandered.

I See This From Time to Time

A facilitator in training will start each sentence with, “Now, go back to that situation…” It can sound mechanical, repetitive, distracting. And what does “that situation” mean anyway? The term has become almost cliché. If you’re using it in a kind of cliché way, you’ll probably notice that it doesn’t feel quite right.

One person asked me recently about it. She thought she had to do it that way. Because everyone does it that way. And I basically asked her, “Is that true?” And “Who are you trying to please?”

What I love about The Work is that only my answers count for me. If it feels off for me, it is off for me. It might be right for a 1000 other people, but not for me. Maybe I’m missing something that they are seeing. Or maybe I’m just following the blind. It’s for me to question everything and find my truth.

Here’s What I Find

What works for me is not to use the word “situation” very often when bringing a client back. Instead, I like to just mention the main offense that happened in that situation. For example, when I’m facilitating someone to fill in Line 3 of the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet (the advice), I’ll say something like, “What must be going on for her to put you down? What advice can you give her?”

By saying something like that, I have effectively brought my client’s attention to situation, and more importantly to the offense within the situation (she put them down), which is at the core of it all. I am holding the client in the situation without using the word “situation.”

Or I might say, “Really look at her sitting across the table from you. What must she be believing to put you down like that? What is she missing? Give her some advice.” Here I’ve used “sitting across the table from you” as a reference. I’ve brought my client back to the time and location aspect of the situation in a natural way. I don’t have to start my sentence with, “In this situation,…” I just mentioned one detail from the situation, the table, and it was done.

Ultimately, I like to listen closely to the flow of the conversation. Sometimes, my client is clearly focused on the time and location and the offense. It’s just obvious. If so, no need for me to say much of anything then.

I Encourage You to Experiment with It

I encourage you to look for a way to balance what is required for facilitation with what is required to be yourself when facilitating. That balance point is a beautiful space. I call it the razor’s edge because I constantly am falling off of one side or the other. Finding that razor’s edge, I believe, is also a path to enlightenment.

And it doesn’t just apply to facilitation. It can apply any area of life. Where are you trying too hard to please someone, or to do it right? And where are you losing the heart of what you’re doing? Somewhere in the middle is a balance point where you can be yourself and do the task too. It’s worth looking for that point.

Have a great week,
Todd

“It’s your truth, not ours, that will set you free.” Byron Katie, Loving What Is

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How to Find the Turnaround “to the Other”

sunflowers

“He should buy me flowers,” turns around to, “I should buy him flowers.”

The Turnaround to the Other Is Not Hard

But it does take a little practice before you can find it easily every time. Let’s practice a little here.

First of all, if you’re new to The Work, there are three standard turnarounds (opposites) that you can look for when doing The Work on any statement.

The turnaround to the self (Put yourself on all of it.)
The turnaround to the other (Switch the roles.)
The turnaround to the opposite (The complete opposite.)

If the original statement is, “He should buy me flowers,” then the three standard turnarounds are:

The turnaround to the self: “I should buy myself flowers.” (I put myself on all of it.)
The turnaround to the other: “I should buy him flowers.” (I switched the roles.)
The turnaround to the opposite: “He shouldn’t buy me flowers.” (The complete opposite.)

The Turnaround “to the Other” Usually Needs the Most Practice

So let’s look at some of examples. See if you can spot the pattern. Notice that for each statement the roles get reversed in the turnaround to the other.

1. Original statement: “He lied to me.”
Turnaround to the other: “I lied to him.” (The roles are switched.)

2. Original statement: “She hurt me.”
Turnaround to the other: “I hurt her.” (The roles are switched.)

3. Original statement: “He doesn’t respect me.”
Turnaround to the other: “I don’t respect him.” (The roles are switched.)

4. Original statement: “He should use a softer tone of voice with me.”
Turnaround to the other: “I should use a softer tone of voice with him.” (The roles are switched.)

It’s a Little Different when Working with “I want” or “I need” Statements

With “I want” or “I need” statements, I don’t change the “I want” or “I need” part at all. I only switch the roles for the remainder of the sentence. Here are some examples.

1. Original statement: “I want him to pay attention to me.”
Turnaround to the other: “I want me to pay attention to him” (The roles are switched, but “I want” remains untouched.)

2. Original statement: “I need her to ask me how I’m feeling.”
Turnaround to the other: “I need me to ask her how she’s feeling.” (The roles are switched, but “I need” remains untouched.)

3. Original statement: “I want him to join me.”
Turnaround to the other: “I want me to join him.” (The roles are switched, but “I want” remains untouched.)

4. Original statement: “I need her to apologize to me.”
Turnaround to the other: “I need me to apologize to her.” (The roles are switched, but “I need” remains untouched.)

One More Thing to Keep in Mind

Not every statement has a turnaround to the other. Here are some examples of statements where there is no turnaround to the other.

1. Original statement: “He is stupid.”
Turnaround to the other: there is no turnaround to the other. (There is no other person in the sentence.)

2. Original statement: “She is not being humble.”
Turnaround to the other: there is no turnaround to the other. (There is no other person in the sentence.)

3. Original statement: “He smells bad.”
Turnaround to the other: there is no turnaround to the other. (There is no other person in the sentence.)

Test Yourself

Find the turnaround “to the other” for each of these statements. The answers can be found at the bottom of this post.

1. Original statement: “He is too demanding of me.”
Turnaround to the other: ??

2. Original statement: “She should take my feelings into account.”
Turnaround to the other: ??

3. Original statement: “I want her to include me.”
Turnaround to the other: ??

4. Original statement: “I need him to say he loves me.”
Turnaround to the other: ??

5. Original statement: “He sits around too much.”
Turnaround to the other: ??

Scroll to the very bottom of this post to check your answers.

Remember, These Are Just the Technical Turnarounds

When you are doing your own work with statements of your own, you’ll also be looking to see if you can find examples of how each turnaround is true for you. This is how you can start to explore with turnarounds.

You never know what hidden truths you may uncover. And you never know which turnarounds lead nowhere. It’s your world to explore.

If you want more practice with turnarounds, join The Work 101 course with me.

Have a great weekend,
Todd

“You’ll also meet what Katie calls the “turnaround,” which is a way of looking at reversed versions of a statement that you believe.” Loving What Is

Answers to the Quiz

1. Original statement: “He is too demanding of me.”
Turnaround to the other: “I am too demanding of him.”

2. Original statement: “She should take my feelings into account.”
Turnaround to the other: “I should take her feelings into account.”

3. Original statement: “I want her to include me.”
Turnaround to the other: “I want me to include her.”

4. Original statement: “I need him to say he loves me.”
Turnaround to the other: “I need me to say I love him.”

5. Original statement: “He sits around too much.”
Turnaround to the other: there is no turnaround to the other for this statement (There is no other person in the sentence.)

Get two new articles about The Work of Byron Katie every week, plus my checklist for the Judge-Your-Neighbor-Worksheet. Subscribe to the newsletter here.

If you like this article, feel free to forward the link to friends, family or colleagues. Or share the link on Facebook or other social media. If you have thoughts you’d like to share about it, please leave your comments below.

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