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Getting Through the “I Get It” Phase

Last updated on December 2, 2020

succulent flower
If you were walking by you might think, “It’s a plant,” but you’d miss the view from up close.

“I Get It” Is the End of Exploration

I was working with a client today who couldn’t really find a stressful situation to work. He’d bring up lots of topics, and then shoot them down.

“Oh, no. That was a while ago. I get it now. It doesn’t bother me now.” Or, “That does bother me, but actually now that you mention it, I can see her point of view. We don’t need to write a worksheet.”

So He Never Came in Close

It’s kind of like walking through a garden and just casually looking at the flowers. As opposed to a photographer, who gets off the path and is often found right down on the ground looking at a flower.

The Work is a chance to get in that close. But the mind will trick you out of it.

I Call it the “I Get It” Phase

You start learning about The Work, and it’s kind of cool. You start getting some insights and enjoy learning how to turn a thought around.

And then you stop.

Because you get it. Nothing more to learn here! And you move on to other things.

Like people who stand on the rim of the Grand Canyon and say, “Ok, we did the Grand Canyon,” and put a nice neat check mark next to it. They have no idea what they’re missing down below.

So How Do you Get Past this Phase?

One thing that seems to help, which I used with my client today, is to notice that there are two parts of the mind: the wise part and the stuck part.

It’s the wise part that gets it. It sees that you really are above such pettiness. It stands in it’s ivory tower and proclaims that all is well.

Meanwhile the stuck part of mind cowers inside whimpering, and not feeling good enough–not safe enough to speak. This part of mind is never given a chance to talk by the wise, enlightened part of mind.

But eventually, the stuck mind shows itself in various moments of breakdown.

That’s the Entry Point for The Work

The Work is about inviting the stuck side of mind to finally tell it’s story by revisiting some moment of breakdown. The stuck mind often feels relieved to be invited to speak out onto a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet. Finally, someone is listening. Someone cares.

Then the wise mind can come back into play again when the worksheet is written. It can be wise, and help find reasons why the turnarounds are true. It can guide the stuck mind out of its stuckness like a helpful friend.

So Set Wisdom Aside

To get past the “I get it” phase, I encourage you to set aside your wisdom and allow the unenlightened version of yourself to speak, even if you think your complaints are not a big deal.

In the moment when you were upset, they were a big deal.

Write from that point of view. And you’ll meet the pieces of your mind that really are still stuck, and could use your help.

Have a great week,

“And if you really want to know the truth, if you’re not afraid to see your story on paper, the ego will write like a maniac. It doesn’t care; it’s totally uninhibited. This is the day the ego has been waiting for. Give it its life on paper. It has been waiting for you to stop, just once, and really listen to it. It will tell you everything, like a child. Then, when the mind is expressed on paper, you can inquire.” Byron Katie, Loving What Is

About the author

Todd Smith has been doing The Work of Byron Katie on an almost daily basis since 2007. He is just as excited about this simple process of self-inquiry today as he was when he first came across it. He also enjoys writing about The Work, and training others in the subtleties of this meditative process. Join Todd for The Work 101 online course, private sessions, virtual retreats, and his ongoing Inquiry Circle group.

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