How to do The Work on Jealousy

cobra convertible

Jealousy arises when I believe thoughts like, “He has a better car than mine.”

Can You Do The Work on Jealousy?

Of course.

You can do The Work on any stressful thought. But jealousy does have a few twists and turns that make it seem a little more challenging at first.

The obvious place to start is to question the jealous thought itself. For example, “He has a better car than mine.” Questioning just this one thought can take you the distance from stress to peace.

But There Are a few Potholes to Look out For

The first one is the turnaround, “I have a better car than his.” This is a valid turnaround, but you have to hold it with the original statement to find the balance. If you discard the original statement, “He has a better car than mine,” in favor of the turnaround, “I have a better car than his,” then it still feels stressful.

This is because I’m still putting one above the other. I’m still judging. Now it’s in the opposite directions, but it is just as stressful.

But I can find peace when I hold both together: “He has a better car than mine” and “I have a better car than his.” His is better in some ways, and mine is better in some ways. From this perspective there is a kind of equality I start to see.

In fact, you could formalize this into an unusual turnaround to say, “Our cars are equal,” and find examples of how this is true.

Here’s Another Pothole

Trying to fit jealousy into a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet doesn’t always work. The comparison of “his” vs. “mine” inherent in jealousy statements can complicate things. I often find that my wants, shoulds, and needs are not as clear when I write a worksheet involving comparison. But I have done it, and I’d say it works 80% well for me.

What I tend to do instead, if I choose the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet format, is to boil my comparison statement down to its essence. So instead of writing, “I am jealous of him because he has a better car than mine,” I write, “I am jealous of him because he has a beautiful car.”

This is what he is “doing” to me. This is what I’m a victim of. This is the “offense” that started the war inside of me. I find the rest of the worksheet flows out more clearly when I write it this way in Line 1.

But I Don’t Always Write a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet

Often, the heart of jealousy for me is the hidden want inside of me—including what I think having that car would do for me. So I sometimes just write a list of wants and question them individually as one-liners using the One-Belief-at-a-Time Worksheet:

I want to have his car.
I want a beautiful car.
I want people to admire my car.
I want my mom to admire my car.
I want to feel proud of the car I drive.
I want to be seen as successful.

If I question these wants, I often find that not having the car can be just as good, or even better, than having it. That’s when the freedom starts for me. I can have the car or not have the car. Both are good.

Again, jealousy falls away when I see the equality of the two.

Have a great weekend,

“How do you react when you believe the thought that if you had more money you’d be happier? You get to be unhappy now.” Byron Katie, Question Your Thinking, Change the World

Diving Deeper Through a Portal

azalea blossom close up

Once I enter the world of the flower, new worlds open up within that world. I’m diving deeper through a portal to find even more portals within it.

How to Find the Deepest Corners

The Work of Byron Katie is way of bringing the light of awareness to the deepest areas of the mind, where the light may still be dim. This process of self-inquiry allows me to make peace with anything, no matter how hidden and persistent it may be.

But how do I work these deep issues?

Surprisingly, the deep issues are not actually so hidden. They may have deep roots, but they also have branches, flowers and fruit above ground that are easily accessible.

How Do I Find These Flowers and Fruit

I find them by simply living my life day to day. As I do, I inevitably trip over something. I was going along fine and suddenly I’m triggered. That stress I feel lets me know that I just touched on a part of my confusion.

I don’t have to dig deep to do deep work.

All I have to do is look at my stressful reaction and look for who or what I am blaming in that moment. I write a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet on that person, and question what I wrote using the four questions and turnarounds of The Work.

This is how everyday events become portals into self-inquiry. When you deal with what is coming up now, you also deal with the underworld that supports it. By cutting the branches above ground, you also weaken the roots below.

But You May Find More When You Enter the Portal

Maybe someone triggered you today by dismissing you. So you write a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet on the person who was dismissive. And you work through it slowly meditating on each question and turnaround.

In addition to getting clearer about how to stay peaceful in this situation, you may also start to see images from old situations. There may be older stressful moments and memories contained within this one.

These Old Situations Can Be Worked Too

You may start by writing a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet about someone dismissing you today, but you may end up writing other worksheets on a pivotal times in the past where someone dismissed you. Maybe it was an old friend, or a parent, or a teacher that hurt you, and you still hold that hurt today.

Each of these old hurts could be its own separate Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet.

The combination of working recent situations, and older related situations means that the confusion has little chance to survive. The branches and the roots are be being cut away from both sides.

Sometimes I spend months working through the related worksheets that come up from one small incident that triggered me. That’s how I’m diving deeper through a portal.

Have a great week,

“I often use the word story to talk about thoughts, or sequences of thoughts, that we convince ourselves are real. A story may be about the past, the present, or the future; it may be about what things should be, what they could be, or why they are. Stories appear in our minds hundreds of times a day—when someone gets up without a word and walks out of the room, when someone doesn’t smile or doesn’t return a phone call, or when a stranger does smile; before you open an important letter, or after you feel an unfamiliar sensation in your chest; when your boss invites you to come to his office, or when your partner talks to you in a certain tone of voice. Stories are the untested, uninvestigated theories that tell us what all these things mean. We don’t even realize that they’re just theories.” Byron Katie, Loving What Is

How to Identify “Cause” Thoughts vs. “Symptom” Thoughts

Bossy didn’t like me photographing her herd. My stressful thoughts included “I’m a coward (being stood down by a cow).” And “She is bossing me around.” The first is a “symptom” thought (self attack), the second is a “cause” thought (what she did to me).

Every Stressful Moment Has a Mixture of Thoughts

The first job when doing The Work of Byron Katie is to sort through all of those stressful thoughts to find the main ones to question.

One of the main distinctions I use when sorting my thoughts is the idea of “symptom” thoughts and “cause” thoughts. “Symptom” thoughts are secondary thoughts. They arise as a result of the “cause” thoughts.

Though I’ll question any thought (and I mean that), I generally find it more helpful when I question the “cause” thoughts rather than the “symptom” thoughts.

Here’s How I Tell the Difference

I find “cause” thoughts by asking myself questions like this, “What started the war? Who or what triggered me in the first place? Why am I bothered? Who is bothering me? What am I a victim of here?”

These questions help me identify who or what is offending me. I’m reacting to some perceived injustice. Who did it? That’s how I find the “cause” thoughts.

On the other hand, I recognize “symptom” thoughts by the fact that they are reactions. They look like my typical answers to question 3, “How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?”

Thoughts like these primarily include self-judgments (shifting blame to myself instead of staying with who I was originally blaming) or secondary attacks (attacking the person for unrelated reasons).

Symptom Thoughts Are Distracting

Symptoms are usually louder than causes. That’s where the pain is strongest. The mind gets distracted by this and goes into emergency mode dealing with all of the symptoms. But if often misses the cause as a result.

And on top of that, the mind often wants it that way. The mind doesn’t often want to look at the real causes because it might have to give up things if the truth came out. So it keeps the show going about what a bad person I am, or how I’m no good at this or that. It’s a smoke screen.

Or it keeps the focus on some separate issue blaming the other person for something where it knows they were wrong, instead of looking at the issue at hand which might not stand up so well to inquiry.

Which Ones Shall I Question?

I literally will question anything. And sometimes I will question the “symptom” thoughts just to pacify things a bit. After all, “I’m a coward” turns around nicely to “I’m not a coward.”

But the fact may be that I am a coward in that situation. The real work lies in identifying what makes me react in a cowardly way. I’m looking for causes. I this case, I react this way because “The cow is bigger than me.” That could be the new “cause” thought I could question.

It Takes Courage to Admit what the Cause Thought Is

It’s usually something very trivial, embarrassing to admit even, where I was weakly blaming someone else for my misfortune. If I can come to terms with this, and write it on paper, my work is more than half done.

This is why writing simple Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheets lies at the foundation of doing. The Work of Byron Katie. The worksheet almost forces me to look for the thing outside of me that I’m feeling victimized by. And that almost always points to the “cause” thought that started my stress reaction.

Usually everything else, especially the self-judgments, fall away once the cause thought has been questioned.

Have a great weekend,

“If you start by judging yourself, your answers come with a motive and with solutions that haven’t worked. Judging someone else, then inquiring and turning it around, is the direct path to understanding.” Byron Katie, Loving What Is

How to do The Work with the Heart

the lotus is like the heart

Like a lotus flower, the heart is a sensitive gauge. It opens and closes depending on how much truth it senses. This is a clue for how to do The Work with the heart.

How to Drop into The Work?

It is easy to say that The Work is meditation, and that it is done with the heart more than the intellect. But what if your heart is not engaging when you’re doing The Work? What can you do to use more of the heart when doing The Work?

The Heart Loves Tangible Things

Anything real is what the heart loves. That’s why the heart loves the senses. You can touch it, you can taste it, you can see it. The heart gets these kind of things. There’s no need for inference or understanding, just plain, simple, direct experience.

That’s how to do The Work with the heart: keep things real when doing The Work. That’s how to do The Work with the heart, keeping the heart interested. Unless you’re a super intellectual person, the heart loses interest when things get more abstract, logic based, and general. The intellect loves theories, but the heart loves direct experience.

Here’s How to Engage the Heart more when Doing The Work

1. Start with something real. Use a real situation, something you can touch and see and remember. Something that actually happened. The more real and specific and concrete it is, the more the heart can relate to it.

2. Pick subjects that are really up for you. This takes courage. It means stepping past denial and looking at what’s really bothering you. Are you doing The Work on a distraction issue, or is this the one that’s really bothering you? The heart only cares about what’s really up for it. If there’s a burr in your trousers, you may need to take off your trousers to look at it.

3. Don’t try to force your mind to change. If you do The Work with the motive of manipulating yourself or making yourself wrong, you will quickly lose heart. Do The Work for the sole purpose of exploring the truth, looking at all the angles and options. The heart loves the truth when it sees it. It loves the truth even more than being right.

4. Don’t belabor The Work. Ask the four questions, give as clear answers as you can, find turnarounds, and as many examples as you can, and then keep moving. If nothing comes, that’s okay to. The Work is just exploration.

5. Give yourself time to listen to the answers coming from your heart. The heart loves being asked what it thinks. Asking the heart is the essence of doing The Work.

6. Do The Work with other people. The heart often loves connecting with others when doing The Work. In fact, that’s why I created Inquiry Circle. It’s my favorite way how to do The Work with the heart.

Have a great week,

“I used to call it the voice of the heart. I didn’t have a teacher to tell me, “This is spiritual and this isn’t,” so I just kept following the voice…” Byron Katie, A Mind at Home with Itself

Why Am I Always Negative?

tracks in the snow

The mind starts by complaining about one thing (maybe the cold and snow), and then it moves on to complaining about itself, asking, “Why am I always negative?”

Why Am I Always Negative — Judging Is What the Mind Does

And it’s probably never going to stop.

It requires judgment even to tell the difference between hot and cold. This is just natural role of the mind to observe and evaluate.

But there’s a difference between judgment and negativity. Negativity starts when the judgment becomes personal, “I hate cold. This shouldn’t be happening to me.”

It’s the “happening to me” that makes it personal. Seen from this point of view, I quickly become a victim of what is happening. And that’s when the suffering begins. That’s when it feels negative.

Being Negative Is a Reaction

For me, it’s often my attempt to compensate for something I didn’t do. When I don’t take responsibility for my actions, then all I can manage to do is to complain, to be negative.

If someone invites me to do something and I don’t want to do it, and I say yes when I really mean no, I have not been true to myself. But instead of owning my mistake and asking myself what I can do about it, I end up complaining and nit picking instead.

In other words, being negative can end up being a feeble attempt at saying no—in a passive, complaining way. And at no point am I actually taking responsibility for myself or looking at options to change my situation. I’m still just a victim being kicked along.

How Can I Turn this Around?

Noticing the thought, “Why am I always negative?” is a good starting point. It is the wake up call letting me know something is off. It’s time to take a closer look.

My favorite way of taking a closer look is The Work of Byron Katie. This simple process of self-inquiry helps me notice what I’m doing.

To do The Work when I’m feeling negative, all I need to do is pick one of the negative, complaining thoughts in my mind and write it down. What exactly am I complaining about? Or, if there are several things, I can write them all down.

Then Pick One Stressful Thought to Question

Maybe the thought is, “It’s too cold.” Or maybe you feel like a victim of your partner, “He didn’t listen to my no (about moving here).” Identifying the stressful thoughts that lead to being negative is a big part of doing The Work. Once you have them on paper, pick one to start questioning.

By taking your time and meditating as you consider the questions of The Work, you may start to find some surprising answers. You may find that you actually do like the cold, but were using it as a weapon against your partner for not listening. You may even find that he was listening to you, but you never made your point clearly, or emphatically enough.

The more you drop into the questions and turnarounds of The Work, and find examples of the opposite of what you believe, the more freeing it becomes, and the more empowered you start to feel.

For me, The Work Is How I Take Back Control

When I’m a victim, I give my power over to someone or something else. That leaves me with no options other than being negative. But when I do The Work, I start to naturally find that I am the one who makes me suffer or not. It’s all up to me.

And when I step back into my own power, the whole situations shifts.

But this is a meditation. You have to actually do The Work, not just understand it in principle. You have to allow yourself to complain in an uncensored way on paper. And then you have to go through the four questions and turnarounds slowly and gently so that your whole heart moves with your inquiry.

Otherwise, it’s just philosophy, which is not so helpful when it comes to shifting awareness in every day life.

Negativity is a Temple Bell

The next time you think, “Why am I always negative?” notice what’s going on. And try doing The Work on the complaints that are freshest in your mind.

It could be the beginning of a homecoming.

If you want to see The Work in action, join us for the free Open Sessions every week.

Have a great weekend,

“When something hurts in your relationship and it’s not obvious why, you can do the same thing. Sit down and put your thoughts on paper. Concentrate on your complaints about your partner. Don’t be kind. If anything, exaggerate the faults you find. Using the Worksheet here as your guide, write down how you’ve been wronged, what they should and shouldn’t do, what you want and need from them, what you refuse to put up with any longer. And when you have it down on paper, question what you believe. Ask the four questions and turn it around.” Byron Katie, I Need Your Love, Is It True?

Wiggle Room in Two Dimensions

upside down reflection of city street

When you’re working with more than one dimension, the possibility for freedom is multiplied.

For me, Questions 1-4 Are About Looking for Wiggle Room

When I first start questioning a statement with The Work of Byron Katie, I start with the four questions:

1. Is it true?
2. Can you absolutely know it’s true?
3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
4. Who would you be without that thought?

These questions serve a very vital purpose. When answered slowly and meditatively, they can start to loosen the attachment I have to the thought that I am questioning.

There Are Two Ways to Wiggle the Thought

Questions 1 and 2 provide one way: I ask myself if the statement I’m questioning is actually true, or not. This is one dimension of wiggle room.

The other is provided by questions 3 and 4. Regardless of whether the statement is true or not, I notice whether the thought brings me peace or stress. This is the second dimension of wiggle room.

The Dimension of Truth

If I genuinely look, and find that the the statement I’m questioning is not true, my attachment to it usually starts to loosen. My grip on it naturally relaxes as I consider the untruth of what I’m holding.

And there are two chances to do this. Question 1 is the first. Question 2 is a more subtle version: if I can find even a shadow of a doubt about the truth of my statement, it is often enough to start the opening.

Even the tiniest bit of wiggle room is a crack, an opening, and that’s enough for the light to start coming in.

The Dimension of Pain

Questions 3 and 4 are about noticing the effect of believing the statement. How do I react when I believe it? I feel stress. Who would I be in the same situation without that thought? More peaceful.

This compare/contract exercise, when done meditatively, creates another crack, another opening, in a completely different dimension. And this too allows the light come in.

Without any prying, very spontaneously, my grip loosens on the thought. After all, why would I hold onto something that is causing me pain?

Taken Together the Four Questions Are Powerful

It means that, even if I don’t find any opening in one dimension, I may still find an opening in the other dimension. Even if the thought I’m questioning is actually true, I may still find that holding onto it is painful.

Just noticing how painful it is to hold onto the thought is often enough to ease my attachment to it. And this opens me enough to try some turnarounds.

Turnarounds Are Where New Thinking Emerges

Questions 1-4 begin the process of letting go.
The turnarounds bring new understandings.

If I skip the four questions and go straight to the turnarounds, however, I’m often not open enough to really consider them. In that case, I may do the turnarounds intellectually, but the part of me that is still holding onto the original belief is still closed. So no significant shift happens inside of me.

But when I consider the four questions first, something inside starts to open before I even get to the turnarounds. And when it does, the turnarounds often find fertile ground to sprout and grow.

Have a great week,

“I suggest that you always use the four questions before applying the turnaround. You may be tempted to take a shortcut and get right to the turnaround without putting your statement up against inquiry first. This is not an effective way of using the turnaround. The feeling of judgment turned back onto yourself can be brutal if it occurs prior to thorough self-education, and the four questions do give you this education. They end the ignorance of what you believe to be true, and the turnaround in the last position feels gentle and makes sense. Without the questions first, the turnarounds can feel harsh and shameful.” Byron Katie, Loving What Is

How to Find the Offense within the Offense

bas relief face with nose broken

The offense is, “They broke the nose.” The offense within the offense could be, “They hurt my pride.”

What Hurts Is the Emotional Interpretation

Actions are just actions. They become offenses only when they are interpreted as being personal in some way.

An offending action is offensive because it is somehow an affront to my ego. That’s what makes it personal. That’s what makes it stressful. And that’s why the emotion shows up.

The closer I can get to identifying what’s really bothering me, the more my work addresses that deeper, hidden offense that I am holding in a given situation.

The Work Starts with Identifying the Stressful Thought to Question

This usually consists of identifying a specific time and place when someone did something offensive to you. And you write down what they did:

He hung up on me.
She didn’t reply to my email.
She ignored my instruction.
He spent the money without consulting me.

This is a good way to start writing a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet. Finding a clear offense brings a lot of focus to a worksheet. Once you find the offense, you can simply write it on Line 1 of the worksheet, “I am hurt by him because he hung up on me.

But Here’s a Way to Get Closer to the Offense

Before writing the triggering action down on Line 1, consider for a moment why that action really bothers you. What is is about that action that hurt you, or angered you? You may want to use the prompt, “It bothers me because it means that s/he _________.”

This can lead to finding the offense within the offense.

Here’s an Example

He hung up on me.
It angers me because it means that he overpowered me.
It hurts me because it means that he doesn’t love me.

As you can see, these are two very different interpretations of the same action. This is what makes it personal. What is stressful for me in this situation may not be the same as what is stressful for another person if they were in the same situation because their interpretation may be different.

What matters is how I interpret it in the moment that I was stressed. When I find it, then I’m doing The Work on the thing that’s actually bothering me. I’ve identified the heart of the matter.

And when I do The Work on the central point of my stress, chances are that I will address the issue completely, and my turnarounds will provide the needed balance for my stress.

Practice Looking for the Offense within the Offense

In my experience, it’s usually worth the effort.

But in case you don’t find anything, that’s okay too. I also frequently use the triggering action itself as the offense that I write in Line 1.

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. The answer to the prompt, for the purposes of inquiry, is always what you think your statement means.” Byron Katie, Loving What Is

The Sixth Annual Address Book Challenge

cows by the ocean

If you haven’t been to these pastures for a while, you’ll find some old friends waiting.

Address Books Contain a Wealth of Experience

Every year, I like to take a look at my address book and mine it for stressful situations for doing The Work.

The idea is very simple. Just pick up your physical address book, if you have one. Or open up your electronic address book on your computer, phone, or tablet. You can also use Facebook, or any other system you use for listing your contacts.

Start Scanning

Take your time as you read through the names one by one in your list. And start paying attention to your subtle emotions. As you see a name, do you notice any subtle discomfort?

Do you want to squirm away from that name on the list? Do you notice a slight feeling of anger or sadness coming up?

This is the clue that there are some unquestioned stressful thoughts hiding there.

Here’s the Challenge

Find a name that makes you feel uncomfortable, or stressful in any way, and instead of turning away from it, go into it. Sit for a minute and let the memories start flooding in.

Where is the stress coming from with this person?

Maybe they did something mean. Maybe it’s just one incident, or maybe there are many incidents that come to mind. If there are many, focus in on just one of them—the main one you have not forgiven them for—and write a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet on that particular incident that you remember. And then question each statement on the worksheet.

This Is Forgiveness Work

And for me, forgiveness doesn’t come until I’ve thoroughly questioned all of my stressful thoughts on the incident that I’m holding.

These old situations hiding in my address book are pieces of myself. There is no need to work them all. There are too many, in fact, for that. But I can take just one of these old situations and make peace with it.

Working just one thing deeply is a way of working them all.

Happy New Year!

“I encourage you to write about someone—parent, lover, enemy—whom you haven’t yet totally forgiven. This is the most powerful place to begin. Even if you’ve forgiven that person 99 percent, you aren’t free until your forgiveness is complete. The 1 percent you haven’t forgiven them is the very place where you’re stuck in all your other relationships (including the relationship with yourself).” 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.

How to Not Short Circuit The Work


A short circuit happens when you bypass the regular circuit.

There Is no Shortcut with The Work

The Work is an experiential process with several defined steps to go through. If you jump from the beginning of the process to the end of the process, you can miss the experience of transformation.

What looks like a shortcut, may turn out to be a short circuit.

Here Are Some Ways This Can Happen

Probably the most common way of doing this is to “flip” a stressful thought to its turnaround without asking the four questions.

Another way it can happen is to take Byron Katie’s words as true, without testing them.

For example, someone recently mentioned to me that Byron Katie often says, “That’s the way it should be because that’s reality.” This is a very valid point and, if I fully understand it, it can be very freeing. It is completely true from a place of surrender.

But It May Be Too Big of a Jump for Me

I may want to surrender to reality, but I may not be able to in one step.

That’s what The Work is for. It breaks it down into smaller steps so that I can slowly move myself from arguing with reality to accepting, or even loving what is.

The first step is to allow myself to fully express my argument with reality. I need to feel fully heard before I’m willing to question anything. That is why writing down the stressful thoughts on paper is so valuable. It allows me to get the rant out of me.

The Four Questions Allow Me to Go Further

Once I have written my stressful thoughts on paper, I do not jump to the turnarounds. Instead, I ask the part of me that just ranted what it thinks. Is it true? Can I absolutely know it’s true? No matter how I answer, my mind starts to open to the idea that there might be more than what I’m believing. This is my first move towards acceptance, but it may not be enough.

Questions 3 and 4 take it further. They help me look at how my belief affects me. Does it bring peace or stress? The question, “How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?” shows me how stressful it is to believe it. And the question, “Who would you be without the thought?” often shows me how peaceful I would be without it.

This simple comparison loosens my attachment to my stressful thought. It helps me see that the thought itself is what’s causing my stress. These are experiential questions, and they continue to lead me from anger to more awareness.

At this Point I’m More Open for the Turnarounds

But even when I find turnarounds, I don’t take them as facts, I hold them as simply new hypotheses. Could the turnaround be as true, or truer? I look for my examples. It is in finding concrete examples that my acceptance of reality starts to crystallize.

At the end of this process, I may be able to genuinely say that “this is the way it should be.” I may find my own acceptance and surrender to reality. But I have to go through this experiential process before arriving at this point.

The Work is a meditation. This is why reading or listening to the words of wise people is helpful, but not always enough. I have to find it for myself before it’s real for me. The Work is what helps me to do this step by step.

Merry Christmas,

“When the answer comes from inside you, the realizations and shifts follow naturally.” Byron Katie, A Mind at Home with Itself

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.

The Power of Slow and Steady

rounded rocks

The ongoing action of the waves over time has rounded the edges of these stones.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

I was cleaning the toilet today, as we do pretty much every day. And I realized that the calcium buildup that had been so bad last summer was gone.

Ironically, I hadn’t done much of anything. I didn’t make removing the calcium scale into a big project last summer. I didn’t try to chip it away. I didn’t use chemicals. All I had been doing for the past six months was just cleaning the toilet every every day with a porcelain-safe scrub sponge.

At the very beginning, I had tried scrubbing a little harder with the sponge, but it didn’t make much difference. So I soon forgot about getting rid of the scale and just cleaned every day because that’s what we do.

Then, without any major fight, the scale is gone. In fact, I think the scale was gone for a while before I noticed.

That’s How The Work Works for Me

Sure, I notice plenty of “calcium buildup” in my thinking that I would like to get rid of. But thinking about it as a big project makes me more stressed. It actually creates more “buildup” in my mind.

So, instead of making a project out of cleaning my thinking, I don’t worry about it. I can live with a little scale in my thinking, just like I can live with a little scale in my toilet. This takes the pressure off. I’m no longer doing The Work to fix myself.

As a result, The Work is not stressful for me. And when the The Work is not stressful, there’s no resistance in me to doing it.

I just do The Work because that’s what I like to do. I like cleaning my mind every day—just a little bit. I’m not trying to make everything perfect in there. That’s probably not possible anyway. I’m just questioning my thoughts a little here and there because it feels good to do so.

But Over Time a Little Questioning Goes a Long Way

Every once in a while I realize that something that was a big issue for me is no longer an issue. I don’t even know when it fell away. I don’t know which worksheet, or which one-liner, that I questioned was the one that made the difference.

I’m not even thinking about it. It’s like doing The Work without caring. When I do The Work that way, I hardly notice that my thinking is getting clearer. There’s no big celebration. It’s just a growing feeling of being on the right track.

And that Reinforces my Desire to Keep up the Steady Pace

I’m not looking for miracles when I do The Work.

Slow, steady growth of clarity is enough for me.

Have a great weekend,

“You can’t force this process; you can only inquire and find out what’s true.” Byron Katie, I Need Your Love Is That True?

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.