When Do I Get to Shine?

I am not the sun. I hold the space for the sun to shine.

The Ego Is Interested in Shining

And it will try to do so in any field of life.

But the funny thing is when it tries to shine, it usually just interferes.

This Can Easily Be Seen When Facilitating The Work

The role of a facilitator is to hold the space for someone to do their work. It’s a very simple job.

But I’ve watched my ego try every conceivable trick to make it about me. To make me look good as a facilitator instead of doing my simple job.

Here are a few examples.

Asking Lots of Sub-questions to Question 3

This is a place where the ego loves to try and shine. The way the ego sees it, the more sub-questions I ask, the more I can say, “I was really helpful to my client. I brought out all kinds of interesting things in inquiry.”

Sub-questions are great when they are needed, especially when a client is new to The Work. But my ego loves being “important” by asking “great” sub-questions even when someone doesn’t need any prompting.

And the ego isn’t satisfied with just the standard sub-questions. It’s got to spruce it up—it has to come up with new twists and clever renditions of the sub-questions. After all, that’s my chance to shine!

But shining like this is nothing but distraction.

Here’s Another Place the Ego Likes to Try and Shine

Finding turnarounds.

The ego loves unusual turnarounds. So when the ego is in charge, it skims over the standard three turnarounds (which it deems boring) and focuses on “special” turnarounds that show off how clever I am, and how much I know.

And it doesn’t stop with finding turnarounds. The ego LOVES to help the client find examples for the turnarounds. “No, you just wait. I’ll find your turnaround examples for you. I’m much more experienced at this than you are. You’re going to love what I find for you. You’re going to love me.”

But guess what? The client doesn’t love what I find for them. And they don’t love me either.

The Reason People Love The Work Is Because They Do It Themselves

I’ve watched over and over the difference between when I find a cool insight vs. when my client finds a cool insight. It’s like reading something in a book, vs. finding it on your own.

When I find it for them, it falls kind of flat. When I stand by and allow them time to find it themselves, it’s transformational. I watch them melt and soar. And it is a joy to behold.

And I had nothing to do with it.

Yet My Heart Melts Too

Because I love to see stress fall away. It’s why I do what I do. I love The Work.

When I’m clear, it’s not even a little bit about me. I am simply holding the space for my client to shine. They get to shine. But I get to be.

There is no ego in being. I get to be freedom, love, compassion, happiness, and awareness. And I’d trade that for shining any day.

Have a great week,

“When someone is facilitating The Work, giving the four questions, he’s receiving at another level what I originally received inside me. If he’s really facilitating from a neutral position, without any motive, then he’s in the place where I am on the other side. It just gains in its freedom. It’s in or out: unlimited.” Byron Katie, Question Your Thinking, Change The World

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.