One Thought Is Enough to Get Started
When I first started doing The Work in 2007, I didn’t use the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet. For three years, all I did was pick one thought to work each time I sat to do The Work. I simply scanned my experience and identified a thought that was bothering me.
This is called working a “one-liner”—a single thought to question.
In 2010, when I was at Turnaround House, I discovered the power of the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet. Instead of identifying one thought to question, I could identify many related thoughts on one worksheet.
I learned how to go deeply into one stressful moment and identify each part of my stressful story to write on each line of the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet. This really deepened my work.
Today I mainly use the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet. I find it to be a very powerful way of identifying my stressful thoughts to work.
But I Do Not Exclusively Use the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet
I find that some thoughts do not fit into a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet. And for those, I still use the one-liner approach.
For example, sometimes I simply need to question a motive that is causing me stress. I used this a couple of years ago when I questioned the thought, “I want to make a living as a facilitator.” This thought was not about a neighbor, so the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet wasn’t appropriate. So I questioned it as a simple one-liner.
However, there were related worksheets that I wrote. For example, I wrote a worksheet on Katie in a specific situation when she invited me to “not make a living as a facilitator.” My worksheet on her covered things that my one-liner did not. Also, I wrote a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet on my mom who wanted me to be “successful.”
So I Find That’s It’s a Little of Both
Sometimes I write Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheets and find additional one-liners to question. Other times I start by questioning one-liners and find Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheets that I can write.
With both approaches, I can cover any topic.
And I Also Write Clusters of One-Liners
Most commonly, these come out as lists of one-liners. I might write a list of my fears for doing something. Or a list of reasons why I can’t do something. Or a list of complaints about a situation that I’m in.
And when I want to go even deeper, I use the following prompts to find even more one-liners to add to my list.
1. And it means that…
2. What are all the reasons why I think it’s true? (list of proof)
3. What am I wanting here?
For example, if I wrote a one-liner, “I’m not a good facilitator,” I can question this one-liner directly. But I can also use the prompts above to come up with additional stressful thoughts to question.
I can use the prompt, “And it means that…”
I’m not a good facilitator and it means that:
I won’t have many clients.
People will talk about me.
I have to hide my head in shame.
Or I can use the prompt, “What are all the reasons why I think it’s true? (list of proof):
I’m not a good facilitator because:
I don’t interrupt people quickly enough when they step out of The Work.
Not everyone I work with is satisfied.
I don’t always follow the script.
Or I can use the prompt, “What am I wanting here?”
I want to be a good facilitator.
I want others to praise me.
I want Katie to approve of me.
I want to help people.
As You Can See, I’ve Gathered a Cluster of One-Liners
So even when I’m not using the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet, I can find a group of related stressful thoughts to question. When I question all of them, I am giving thorough treatment to all of the different facets of my story.
You can find more prompts and ways of finding additional related one-liners in chapter 5 of Loving What Is.
Have a great week,
“A powerful way of prompting yourself is to add “and it means that _____” to your original statement. Your suffering may be caused by a thought that interprets what happened, rather than the thought you wrote down. This additional phrase prompts you to reveal your interpretation of the fact.” Byron Katie, Loving What Is
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.
Get two new articles about The Work of Byron Katie every week. Subscribe to the newsletter here.