I stood in front of the mirror brushing my teeth as always. Though I was feeling groggy, without a thought I knew just how to brush: upstairs, downstairs, inside, outside. Every tooth got thoroughly scrubbed.
But this process would never have become so automatic if I hadn’t made some effort when I was young. Because of my dad’s inspiration and instruction, I have now lived forty years without a cavity. But only by brushing my teeth every day.
Doing The Work Every Day Keeps You Balanced
Like brushing your teeth, even a little practice of The Work will leave you feeling better. The Work helps you find perspective when you face any stressful situation. It gives a sense of freedom.
But if you wait until you’re feeling bad again before you go back to The Work, you’ll miss the growing experience of freedom that’s possible when you do it every day.
Stress accumulates every day, whether you do The Work or not. If you do The Work every day, you’ll uproot the stresses while they still have tender roots, and are easier to remove.
But before you try to make The Work a daily habit, there are some important first steps.
Three Things You Need To Do To Make The Work A Daily Practice
If you want to get the benefit of doing The Work regularly, you must:
1. See the value The Work
2. Find a facilitator
3. Carve out a regular time to do The Work
Let’s find out how to accomplish each one of these tasks.
1. You Need To See The Value Of The Work
Seeing the value of The Work is absolutely essential. If you don’t see real value in The Work, you’re never going to find time to squeeze it into your busy day. Seeing value comes from two things: understanding and direct experience.
To gain understanding of the value of The Work, it’s good to read about it. You should learn in detail how it works, what it does, how it helps specific problems. For this reason I make lots of articles available for you to read in my newsletter, on my website, and in my soon to be created membership site.
And more importantly than understanding is direct experience with The Work. Reading articles is no substitute for experiencing first hand how The Work helps you regain perspective and emotional balance in the face of stress. You need to experience this directly before you will be motivated to make The Work a daily practice.
And that brings us to the second thing you need to do to make The Work a daily practice.
2. You Need To Find A Facilitator
This may seem unnecessary at first. But I’ve had many clients tell me that they’ve read Byron Katie’s books, and they’ve tried to do The Work on their own, but with only limited success. This is because The Work is a skill. And it takes time to develop the skill of doing The Work effectively.
A trained facilitator has developed this skill. And by starting with a facilitator, you can jump-start your own learning of this skill.
Even if you work with an untrained facilitator, you at least get the benefit of another person’s perspective. But to really skyrocket your success with The Work, an experienced facilitator is essential.
For members of my upcoming membership site, there will be a chance to do The Work with other members of the site on a regular basis. This will open you to a pool of growing facilitators to work with. And I will be a member of that pool as well.
But finding a good facilitator is not enough. There’s still one more thing you have to do if you want to make The Work a regular practice.
3. You Need To Carve Out A Regular Time To Do The Work
You may already place a lot of value in The Work. And you may be working with experienced facilitators. But if you don’t create a regular time to do The Work, your good intentions will soon get buried. So pick a time a stick to it.
Without thinking about it, you know when to brush your teeth. You brush them as soon as you get up, and last thing before you go to bed. It’s automatic. The Work can become automatic too. But you have to start by picking a regular time to do The Work each day. Then you will start to see results.
But I Don’t Have Enough Stressful Thoughts To Work Every Day
A lot of people think this. They think that stress has to rise to the crisis level before it is a problem. But when you do The Work every day, you will start to notice the smaller stresses that you have ignored before.
Smaller stresses grow bigger when they’re left alone. And they have babies too. If you use The Work to do maintenance on these smaller stresses every day, they’ll be much less likely to get out of hand.
I Have Done The Work Almost Daily For Over Four Years
I have worked with various facilitators over the years. I have even done The Work with the most experienced facilitator in the world, Byron Katie herself. But more importantly than any single facilitation session has been the consistency with which I’ve done The Work.
I come from a background of the regular practice of meditation, and I have applied that same principle of regularity to my practice of The Work. The result has been a steady growth of freedom as I deal right away with the various stresses that come up.
Sometimes it’s my partner that stresses me. Sometimes it’s my work. Sometimes it’s my mom or dad. And sometimes it’s my health. By regularly doing The Work on what’s bothering me at the time, I not only nip the stressful thinking in the bud, but I gain confidence that I can handle anything that might come up.
The Work works best when it is done every day. Actually, I just do it five days a week. But if you want to start a habit of doing The Work regularly, there are three things that you must do.
1. You must somehow come to see the value of The Work, by reading about it, and by direct experience with an experienced facilitator.
2. You must find a facilitator, or facilitators, to work with regularly. This will jump-start your progress with The Work, and will prevent you from getting bogged down on your own.
3. You must carve out a regular time to do The Work. Without setting up a regular time, you will soon find that months have gone by without doing The Work at all.
If you want to get started right away, the next step is to choose a facilitator to work with. Once you choose a facilitator, and start to get some real experience under your belt, it will be much easier to make The Work a daily practice.
Remember when you learned how to brush your teeth? It took some practice, didn’t it? Well, with a little practice, you can establish a daily habit of The Work. And when you do, your stress will get brushed away long before it can rot away your life.
Todd Smith is a facilitator of The Work of Byron Katie. He offers individual facilitation sessions as well as ongoing sessions to help you get started in The Work. Find out how to book a session with Todd here.