Do You Prefer Writing The Work or Doing it with a Partner?


Sailing can be done solo, or with others. Each way has its value. I like a little bit of both.

The Work Is The Work

But there are many ways to do it.

You can sit down and answer the four questions, and find the turnarounds and examples for the turnarounds, alone with a pen and paper. I have fond memories of doing The Work this way at Turnaround House under the oak trees with the squirrels and the birds.

And if you like to do The Work alone (but also with others) you can participate in one of my online forums where we write The Work every day but share it with each other: Slow-Cook Inquiry, Steady Pace Inquiry, Self-Paced Inquiry.

I love doing The Work this way because I get to write it at my own pace, but I share it with others in the forum. I learn from them. And they help me to keep coming back to do my work every day. There’s nothing like the power of a group to support doing an ongoing practice.

But Writing Is Not The Only Way

Partnering with another person and having them ask you the four questions, and supporting you to find the turnarounds and examples of the turnarounds, is another great way to do The Work.

This is how I first started doing The Work. And having another person to meet with regularly really helped me to do my work. I made appointments, and I kept them, and The Work got done. Also, I learned a lot by working with other people.

This is why I also offer a Partner-Pairing Program for doing The Work. This is an option if you prefer to do The Work verbally.

You Can Try It Both Ways in The Work 101 Course

In The Work 101 course this month, we practiced doing The Work in written form, as well as paired with partners. Here are some of the experiences people had. It’s clear how some people really prefer writing and others really prefer speaking.

“I MUCH prefer working with a partner to writing. It is like I have to actually leave the process to do the writing and don’t feel the meditative and deepening effect.” – P

“Writing has been my preferred mode of communication for years. Before email existed, I wrote long letters to people and kept a journal for many years. So, doing inquiry work in writing feels like a wonderful fit for me.” – D

“What worked for me about writing out The Work vs. working with a partner is that I wasn’t dependent on anyone else’s schedule. I was able to just jump in when I had the time. I like being able to spend as much or as little time as feels right in each question. It’s simpler in that there is no temptation towards manipulation, no filtering of words or need to explain myself, which can lead into story.” – M

“What works for me about being facilitated by another is that I am accountable to meet, to complete my Work, to watch my motives. I like feeling like I’m held in my Work, that someone is there to catch me if I fall into story. Sometimes my partner has insights that help me to see even more. I like it when they capture other beliefs as I do my Work so I don’t have to hold that. Sometimes I really like the connection I feel.” – M

“I’ve been learning a lot from the partner sessions. If I were more experienced with The Work then I might prefer to do it on my own, as I prefer with my other written self-work. But for now, I find myself learning nuances and layers of The Work from partners that would have taken me much longer to learn on my own. ” – T

“I prefer facilitation. I love being able to speak what comes for me and hear it and say it in the presence of a witness. Something powerful about that process, the vulnerability of it perhaps, and having someone witness what I’ve had in the dark and am bringing into the light that really works for me. It’s my preference. With the writing I tend to overthink and edit a bit because I’m lazy about doing too much writing.” – L

“Written work is for me a very profound work, with deep insights. The gift of written work: connection with myself. On the other hand, the advantage of facilitation work is I learn to stay present with myself while connecting to another being. And I overcome the impulse of pleasing. I would like to replicate the same in the real world.” – M

“When writing The Work, I can leave out my insecurities of being good enough, and I can take all the time I want. I like the combination of writing on my own and sharing with a community where we comment each other and share our thoughts about the Work we are doing. Working with a partner face to face (ear to ear) often makes me feel uncertain of myself, but on the other hand there comes a liveliness to it when I step out of my comfort zone. There’s a thrill in meeting another person on the same path, and new ways of seeing things turn up. It can be very inspirational in so many ways to work with another.” – C

I Invite You to Try it Both Ways By Participating in The Work 101 Course

We meet for three weeks, starting July 5. You’ll get plenty of opportunity to do The Work in written form as well as with a partner.

This course is not just for people who are new to The Work, but is a great refresher course as well. In this course, we go over all the elements of doing The Work so that you can get the most out of it when you do it on your own. The Work 101 is also a prerequisite for participating in my ongoing practice groups.

Learn more about The Work 101 $9 here.

Have a great week,

“In Loving What Is, Katie has given you everything you need in order to do The Work by yourself or with others.” Introduction by Stephen Mitchell, Loving What Is

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