Sitting with Byron Katie’s Teacher

lake in rain

Who was Byron Katie’s teacher?

I Was Working with a Client Recently

He was doing The Work on anxiety, which has been a constant companion in his life.

He was questioning some one-liners such as: “I wish this anxiety wasn’t coming up. I wish I didn’t have this in the first place. This is getting in the way of what I really need to be doing.”

These Thoughts Cause Stress

When he is believing these thoughts, his anxiety increases. And so does his frustration, hopelessness, and depression. Without these thoughts, it would be much less stressful for him when anxiety shows up.

It was fascinating to see that the resistance to anxiety was the biggest cause of making it worse. Without the resistance, he would be listening for what the anxiety is actually trying to tell him. He would be alert, tuned-in, hanging on every nuance.

He Started to See the Anxiety as his Teacher

The anxiety has always let him know when he was resisting some truth, was attached to some goal, or was trying to prove something. Anxiety let him know when he was trying to protect some version of himself that he was pretending to be.

The only purpose of anxiety has been to let him know. And he’s been vigilant about checking it out: listening, and questioning what he was believing.

As he’s done his work over the years, his anxiety has gone down a lot. But now he sees the parts of his anxiety that remain not as his enemy to be destroyed, but as his friend, as his continuing, ever-patient teacher.

In Fact, Anxiety Is Just the Teacher’s Bell

The real teacher is simply the truth. If he listens to each truth that presents itself, anxiety is not needed, just as no bell is needed when the student is listening.

The turnarounds were so sweet from this perspective. “I’m glad anxiety is coming up. This is not getting in the way of what I really need to be doing.” It’s so helpful that the teacher has a bell and uses it.

He immediately saw that even when anxiety comes up at inconvenient times for him, by facing it and listening to the truth behind it, he is doing what he really needs to be doing. Other priorities become less important from this perspective. When he listens to the internal teacher, and questions his stressful thought, he can then go back to his other priorities with his heart engaged again.

It Reminded us of Spiritual Teachers

One way people learn from spiritual masters is to devote themselves to them. If the master calls in the middle of the night, or in the middle of something important, the disciple drops everything and runs to them, hanging on every word.

This is an external expression of what can also be done internally. When anxiety calls, the “disciple” devotes herself to attend to it, hanging on every word of wisdom that it brings.

This is how I understand Byron Katie’s path. She didn’t have an external teacher. Instead, each stressful experience was her internal teacher’s bell calling her to look closely and question what she was believing.

This idea was fun to play with: maybe my client’s anxiety was the same teacher—Byron Katie’s teacher, the original teacher of all spiritual teachers throughout time. Suddenly, the call from anxiety seemed very significant indeed.

The dates for the next Work 101 course have been announced: Jan 13 – Mar 17, 2019. I’d love to have you join us for eight weeks diving deeply into The Work.

Have a great week,
Todd

“When you follow the voice inside, you lose your sense of self. In my world, I can’t do anything wrong. There’s no plan. I am just an internal yes. That voice is clear to you, it’s clear to all of us, but it’s overlaid by the thoughts we believe. 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 and losing everything. People would say, “You’re crazy,” and I would just say, “Oh,” and keep on following the voice. It’s a wonderful experiment, and what happens is that you expand into that awareness and lose yourself in a deeper and deeper way. And then other people, who are just you again, say things like “You’re so loving,” and there’s no one to thank, and you receive it fully. It’s the space that opened as you.” Byron Katie, A Mind at Home with Itself

Get Articles like this in your Inbox every week


  • Get weekly tips on how to do The Work of Byron Katie.

  • Read my insights as I do The Work.

  • Be the first to know about new courses and other (cool) stuff.

  • Get my free checklist for filling in the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet.

I will not send spam, and I will not sell or give away your e-mail address to anyone.

Tips for Going Deeper in Question 4 of The Work

Half Moon Bay, California

The Work will take you as deep as you want to go.

Going Deeper in Question 4

Question 4 of The Work of Byron Katie is a powerful question. The question is, “Who would you be without that thought?” In The Work of Bryon Katie, we are questioning thoughts, beliefs, or stories. You start by picking one thought, usually a stressful thought and questioning if it’s true or not, and reporting how you react when you believe it (questions 1-3).

Question 4 is a chance to explore new territory. Who would you be without that thought (in the same situation where you were believing it)? Answering this question can open up new worlds. But it can also be challenging at times.

Here Are Some Tips for Going Deeper in Question 4

1. Go back to the situation where you were believing the thought. Just like when you answer question 3 (how do you react?), go back and walk around in the situation again. Be there and go through every experience again mentally, but with without the thought this time. The more specific and thorough you are, experiencing every aspect of the situation again without the thought, the more you will get from question 4.

2. Pretend. The biggest obstacle to going deeper in question 4 is the belief that you have to get rid of the thought. This is not true! You don’t ever have to get rid of your belief when doing The Work. You are just experiencing the effect of it (question 3) and imagining what it would be like without it (question 4).

Many people think, “I can’t be without it because I believe it.” But you don’t have to stop believing a thought to pretend who you would be if you didn’t believe it. Take the liberty. Explore. Who would you be without that thought? The thought may be perfectly true. You don’t have to stop believing it ever! Just who would you be without it? Be a kid. Pretend. Just because I can’t fly, doesn’t mean I can’t pretend that I can fly over my house and experience it from the air.

3. Use the subquestions from question 3 again in question 4. Ask yourself what emotions or physical sensations do you experience without the thought, how do you treat the other person, how do you treat yourself, is there any difference without the thought?

4. Take your time. Maybe take ten minutes to really explore who you would be in the stressful moment without the thought. Look at the other person. What do you see when you look at them without your story? Maybe even sit in question 4 for a whole day, thinking about it from time to time throughout your day. It is a meditation.

Have a great week,
Todd

“Picture yourself standing in the presence of the person you have written about when they aren’t doing what you think they should be doing, or when they’re doing what you think they shouldn’t be doing. Now, just for a minute or two, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and imagine who you would be if you couldn’t think this thought. How would your life be different in the same situation without this thought? Keep your eyes closed and watch them without your story. What do you see? How do you feel about them without the story? Which do you prefer—with or without your story? Which feels kinder? Which feels more peaceful?” Byron Katie, Loving What Is

Great new book on The Work of Byron Katie

How to End the Stories that Screw up Youur Life

Ernest Holm Svendsen sent me a preview copy and I love it. The comes out in early September.

I’m Really Impressed with This Book

Ernest Holm Svendsen is a certified facilitator of The Work and it is obvious to me that he has been practicing The Work himself for a long time and thinking about how to present The Work to others for a long time.

His experience comes through loud and clear as he explains what inquiry is, and all the details of how to do The Work of Byron Katie. I especially love his wonderful analogies which illustrate so many of the points he is making. His clear writing makes inquiry understandable to all levels. I’m planning to read it again!

Get the Book for Free for a Limited Time

Ernest is promoting the book on Amazon and, for a limited time, he is offering a free (digital) version of the book. If you sign up to his pre-release list, you will receive an email when the book comes out in September with an option to download it at no cost from the Amazon website (if you do it within the first couple of days of the launch period).

Why free?

This helps to ensure a strong launch of the book on Amazon. There is a window in the first few days when they will be increasing the number of downloads by offering the book for free. This helps the book get noticed.

Have a great week,
Todd

“I am here to take the mystery out of everything. It’s simple, because there really isn’t anything. There’s only the story appearing now. And not even that.” Byron Katie, Question Your Thinking, Change The World

Stretching vs. Forcing

redwood forest

These redwood trees have stretched far beyond the comfort of their original seeds. But each step of growth has been gentle, rather than forceful.

There Is a Balanced Way to Grow

A way to stretch without using force. A way to remain peaceful even when moving out of your comfort zone. A way to grow without burnout. This is the way nature grows.

And it can be helpful to emulate nature in this way when making The Work of Byron Katie a daily practice.

This Comes up in Inquiry Circle

In Inquiry Circle, we do The Work more or less on a daily basis. Everyone works at their own pace, but the idea is to keep practicing on an ongoing basis.

Making The Work an ongoing practice is a balancing act. It’s a balance between listening to the part of me that wants to stretch and grow and to the part of me that wants to take it easy. If I listen only to one side, I go towards one extreme.

Either I don’t engage enough to get the momentum going (even though I want to do The Work), or I engage more than I want to engage, pushing myself towards burnout.

In both cases, the result is the same: I eventually quit the practice.

Opposites Must Coexist for there to be Balance

To maintain an ongoing practice of The Work, I have to be willing to push out of my comfort zone, but I also must be willing to pull back sometimes too.

It’s like driving a car. If I only push on the brake, I will go nowhere. But if I never use the brake, and only use the accelerator, I will surely crash the car. Effective driving comes when there is an ongoing conversation between the break and the accelerator. The driver is constantly adjusting the break and the accelerator based on the conditions of the road. Then she can drive anywhere with ease.

Likewise, engaging in doing The Work—maybe even pushing myself a little to do so—may be necessary if I’m stuck in inertia. It does takes some effort to do The Work. But once I get going, slowing down with The Work can also be important. It’s a constant conversation between these two opposites.

Are You Finding Your Balance?

How are you doing in finding your balance point with making inquiry a steady practice? Are you pushing yourself too hard? Or are you letting it slip? What thoughts are making you push too hard or let go too easily?

I suggest writing down the thoughts that keep you from practicing The Work in a balanced way. And, yes, you guessed it: question them!

Join me for The Work 101 online course, Sep 2 – Nov 4.

Have a great week,
Todd

“The practice of inquiry requires a careful listening, a witnessing of what meets the questions.” Byron Katie, A Mind at Home with Itself

Introducing the Scholarship Fund

laburnum blossoms

Laburnum blossoms spring from every branch.

There Is Abundance in the World

As a person long in the habit of doing everything by myself, for myself, I often operate under the belief that there is not enough. That is because I’m only thinking of myself and what I can do, or what I have.

Resources are limited when I see it that way.

But reality is different. In reality, there is plenty for anyone who wants it. This becomes very clear when we work together.

I Have Offered Scholarships for the Past Couple of Years

I love being able to support anyone who sincerely wants to do The Work but who cannot afford my programs. Up to this point, I have given scholarships personally whenever needed.

This worked well on a small scale, but there came a point where my resources were not enough for the demand.

Now, I am expanding the scholarship fund, allowing others to donate and to help me decide who will receive the money. I now donate 10% of my income to this fund. This amount, together with the donations from others, allows us to give more scholarships those who apply for them.

Would You Like to Join the Team?

You can now make donations to the scholarship fund on my website.

And as a donor, you can also volunteer to sit on the scholarship committee. This committee helps me to review scholarship applications and to grant scholarships. It is a lot of fun to serve in this way.

If you would like to make a donation to the scholarship fund, please donate here. You can also set up a monthly recurring donation by contacting me privately.

Thanks for being a part of my community.

Have a great week,
Todd

“The next time you give your children money, realize that the receiving is in the giving. There’s nothing more to receive than that. If you touch it again, it’s hot! The receiving is in the moment you give it. That’s all you get. It’s over. If you have one expectation, one desire for them to be grateful, you lose the gift. Love is an impulsive act. It’s free. It’s the story you tell about it afterward that’s your poverty. My generosity is what’s mine; the story you tell about it has no effect on me. What does that have to do with me? But my gift—that’s what I receive.” Byron Katie, Question Your Thinking, Change The World

The Work is Not About Changing Your Personality

horse

If you’re a horse, you’re probably always going to want to run. Why would you try to change that?

People Think The Work Is About Changing Yourself

But it’s not.

The Work is about finding ways to love what is. “What is” includes what is around you as well as what is closest to you: your body, your personality, even your thoughts.

The Work is not about changing anything. It is the opposite of trying to change yourself. It is a way to come home to the way you happen to be today and to find the good in it.

The Work is about peace, not change.

“I Should Be Different” Is Stressful

“I should be different” is no different than “He or she should be different.” Both are arguments with reality. That is what makes them stressful.

If you think you will do The Work and a be a better person, your motive to change yourself will end up causing you more stress. You will judge yourself and your work, and you will put pressure on yourself. My suggestion: don’t do it. It’s a trap. It’s the old way we’ve all be doing forever. It doesn’t lead to peace.

It is self-help in disguise.

If You Want to Be Miserable, Do Some Self-Help

When I say self-help, I mean “Get fit,” “Make more money,” “Be successful,” “Lose weight,” “Make friends and influence people,” “Be nicer,” “Be bolder,” “Be less secretive,” etc. There are thousands of books written to feed these addictions to improve ourselves. And while they can be very useful, they are not interested in unconditional peace.

With self-help, and all kinds of problem solving techniques, peace only comes when you are successful. With The Work, peace is available without any success at all. That is freedom.

Spiritual Teachers Have Been Talking About It Forever

The pathless path. The kingdom within. The goal that is present in every step.

This is what The Work points towards. And as you use The Work, you may find that peace does not depend on anything at all, not even on The Work. It is always available for the taking.

You can even be peaceful when you have more stressful thoughts left to question. Loving what is literally means loving what is.

But Wanting Change Is Not Incompatible with Peace

The more you love what is, the more open-minded you become. You start to love even your self-help thoughts, the ones that push you to strive for improvement. Peace can be had even when trying to lose weight, or make money, or be successful.

Those self-help thoughts are also part of what is. And while I often question thoughts like, “I want be successful,” many times I don’t. I trust my stress to tell me what needs to be questioned and what does not.

That way I am always a work in progress, interested in something “better,” but not caring if I ever get there because I’m perfectly okay as I am. That’s all there ever is to peace.

Join us for The Work 101 starting Sep 2, 2018.

Have a great week,
Todd

“If I think that I should have a different chair, just to use that metaphor, I am insane! I’m wanting two things at once, and confusion is the only suffering. “I want another chair” is a lie. What I want is this chair, obviously, because it’s the one I have. So I’m no longer confused. How do I know I want this chair? I’m sitting in it.” Byron Katie, Question Your Thinking, Change the World

Why Some Self-Judgments Are Especially Resistant to Inquiry

hen

Some Beliefs Are Tough Ones

And while I believe that any stressful thought can loosen and fall away with inquiry, it doesn’t mean that it always does. This seems to be especially true with certain “truths” that the mind attaches to and uses to beat itself up. For example:

I’m too fat.
I’m not good enough.
I don’t fit in.

Notice what the mind does here. It takes something true (maybe I am fat or not good enough) and latches onto it. It then generalizes it to an abstract level that almost can’t be touched by examples to the contrary.

The Mind Is Protecting This Belief Even Though It’s Painful

That’s the strange part. There’s nothing more painful than believing these self-attacking thoughts. But it’s often impossible to pry the mind’s grip off of them.

This tells me one thing: the mind wants to hold onto them. It’s using them for some reason. And usually that reason is a cover up.

If I focus on how “I’m too fat” then I don’t have to own the fact that I’m scared to reach out to people (afraid of rejection). And if I hold onto the idea that “I’m not good enough,” then I have an excuse not to take on more responsibility (afraid of failure).

That’s Why These Thoughts Sometimes Don’t Respond to Inquiry

They are not always the real issue.

The mind is happy to have us focused on “I’m too fat” and going nowhere with it. Meanwhile, it says safe not having to face its bigger fear: making friends or finding a partner.

While questioning “I am fat” can be a very powerful inquiry if the mind is open to it, I sometimes don’t question it. Especially if I’m starting go in circles.

Instead, I Use the “I’m too Fat” Thought as a Temple Bell

Did that temple bell just ring?

What was going on when I had the thought, “I’m too fat,” or in my case, “I’m too skinny”?

If I look around, nine times out of ten, there was something else going on that I was avoiding or was afraid of at that time. Why is the mind seeking solace in this safe, familiar thought at this time?

Then I Question the Source Thoughts

These are often Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheets. If I’m suddenly self-conscious around someone, what story am I carrying about her? Maybe she made a comment earlier, or seemed to avoid me. That’s a worksheet I can write.

And when I work my worksheets, I often find that my insecurity becomes less, and my self-judgments fall away without further inquiry on “I’m too fat,” etc. Suddenly, “I’m too fat,” is not a big deal anymore (because the mind is no longer using it to hide).

In many cases, my self-judgements, like “I’m not good enough,” are simply how I react to something else. So instead of questioning them, I question what is causing my self-attack in the first place—usually what I’m believing about something or someone around me.

Let me know your experience.

Have a great week,
Todd

P.S. I’m switching to once a week for these newsletters for a while. I may send more often sometimes, but my baseline will be once a week (Mondays) for now.

“Don’t necessarily do The Work on drinking,” I tell them. “Go back to the thought just prior to the thought that you need a drink, and do The Work on that, on that man or woman again, on that situation. The prior thought is what you’re trying to shut down with alcohol. Apply The Work to that. Your uninvestigated thinking is the problem, not alcohol.” Byron Katie, Loving What Is

I Should Be Feeling Happier, Is It True?

balsamroot and lupine

I remember the day I took this photo. The whole photo shoot was a high point for me. But did it last?

Here’s the Problem With Highs

A client summarized it well when she described her experience. She said that recently miracles have been happening for her, completely unexpected goodness coming her way. And while she felt incredibly grateful, she was bummed that she still felt sad inside.

This of course led to self-attack and a downward spiral.

So We Did The Work on “I Should Be Feeling Happier”

Ironically, when she believed this thought, she felt worse. She saw the miracles that had happened in the last couple of weeks, and she saw her sadness in spite of them. In addition to attacking herself for not feeling happier, she felt helpless to ever become happy. After all, if she can’t be happy when miracles happen, how can she ever be happy?

It sounded strangely similar to the way people chase after money, or fame. Like those super successful people who end up committing suicide because all the success never gave them happiness.

Without the Thought, “I Should Be Feeling Happier.”

Without this thought, the happiness of the miracles comes and goes just like any other happiness. It’s a highlight that is wonderful to behold, but which fades naturally like a shooting star.

Without this thought, she laughed when she said that she would just be sad. Just sad without the overlay of “I should be feeling happier.” It would be simple sadness, not compounded sadness on top of sadness.

She Must Have Found Twenty Turnaround Examples

The turnaround was, “I shouldn’t be feeling happier.”

And once it started getting clear, the examples came pouring in. I can’t remember them all, but the idea was very simple: highlights aren’t meant to change my life—they are just highlights.

She is an artist, and considered that if she painted only highlights there would be no contrast in her artwork. In fact, the highlights would not really be highlights in that context.

Happiness Is Not Meant to Last

It was fascinating to consider this. I could also find where my whole life has been focused on gaining more and more happiness. And even my spiritual practices have been aimed at an imagined state of enlightenment that is only happy.

But happiness comes and goes. Highs come and go. As does sadness and any low. That’s just the way life moves. It’s like the stock market. It goes up and down. A flat line would only mean it’s dead.

This Idea Takes the Pressure Off

It leaves life in a much simpler state. When miracles happen, I can enjoy them, be happy about them, but knowing that they are temporary. When they fade, there is no mistake. I am not wrong because I can’t hold the happiness forever.

It is just the natural swing of life. Seeing that, if sadness emerges, I can “enjoy” that too. My client immediately loved the idea of enjoying sadness: with big pillows, and Kleenex, and movies. But even sadness can’t last. Nothing can.

This permission to be sad when I’m sad, and happy when I’m happy is freedom. We ended the phone call with me wishing her well. “Enjoy your sadness!” I said. We laughed about it, and strangely there was a real joy in seeing it this way.

How About You?

Are you doing The Work to get rid of sadness? Or anger? Who would you be if you did The Work to love your sadness instead?

If you haven’t taken The Work 101 with me, the next course will start Sep 2. See you there.

Have a great weekend,
Todd

“If we pursue it, it runs away. If we stop pursuing it and question our minds instead, the source of all stress disappears. Happiness is who we already are, once our minds are clear. When the mind is perfectly clear, what is is what we want. We’re happy with whatever life brings us. That’s enough, and more than enough.” Byron Katie, A Mind at Home with Itself

Introducing the Inquiry Circle Prep Course

lotus bud

It takes strength to start standing on your own.

This Course Is About Self-Sufficiency

In The Work 101, you learn all about the basics of how to do The Work. Once you’ve completed that course, you are eligible to take the Inquiry Circle Prep Course, my newest course focused on gaining independence in daily practice.

This is now a prerequisite for membership in Inquiry Circle, my ongoing practice group.

What Is the Course About?

Have you ever wanted to do The Work but never got into a habit of it? It takes some focus to establish a habit. After all, there are so many things calling for our time in life. This course is for those who value doing The Work and want to make it a regular part of their lives.

We will continuously look at what stops us from putting in the time each day. And we’ll work in teams to overcome both practical and mental obstacles to the practice on a daily basis.

We will build up from doing The Work four times a week to doing it every day by the end of the course. I will also be sharing tips for deepening The Work as you practice.

It’s Easy to Practice in a Classroom Setting

But can you do it when the class is over? Most people keep up with the assignments in The Work 101 just fine. There is external motivation. But it’s a different thing when you’re the only one you’re responsible for.

In the past, many people have gone from The Work 101 into Inquiry Circle only to drop out in a month or two. One reason for this is that it can be like taking a few swimming lessons and then jumping into the deep end.

The Inquiry Circle Prep Course, is a transition course that helps you move from being told what to do each day to finding your own internal motivation and practical solutions to showing up regularly.

The First Course Is Jul 29 – Aug 26

Come work out with us for a month.

As you practice, you may find yourself getting stronger and more self-sufficient. Whether you stay in Inquiry Circle long term or practice on your own after the course, I hope that you find more clarity about how to support yourself to make The Work an ongoing practice.

Sign up for the Inquiry Circle Prep Course here (completion of The Work 101 is a prerequisite).

Have a great weekend,
Todd

“Until there’s peace within you, there is no peace in the world, because you are the world, you are the earth. The story of earth is all there is of earth and beyond.” Byron Katie, A Thousand Names for Joy

My Process of Evolution

tulips

At the same time that a flower is being born, a flower bud is being destroyed.

Change Can Be Challenging

When it first starts to happen, it can seem like a bad thing. All I can see at first is the loss and destruction of what was familiar. If I am attached to it, it can be emotionally stressful to watch what I’ve come to count on change.

But change it will. Nothing stays the same for long in this world.

When I’m only looking at the loss, it can be disheartening. But that is only because I don’t see where it is heading. I am always in the dark about the future. I don’t see that the destruction of the flower bud is the start of an even more beautiful thing: the flower. And that the flower in turn will fall away in order to give rise to the fruit.

Here’s what it Looked like for me in May

I started noticing that people were leaving Inquiry Circle, my ongoing practice group for The Work, more than usual. Normally, I don’t worry if people come and go in Inquiry Circle, but this time it was happening more than usual and somehow my mind was not open to seeing the good in it.

Here’s how the process evolved for me:

Stage 1: Emotional Resistance

The first thing that happened was it got me down. I took it personally.

I started wanting to give up. All I could see was the destructive side of the picture. I was not looking at evolution. I was seeing it as loss.

And my mind went to all or nothing. I really did contemplate discontinuing the program that has been running continuously for many years.

Stage 2: Doing The Work

The only thing that saved me was The Work. When I feel emotional, it’s my clue that it’s time for me to do The Work. So I did. I wrote a worksheet on Inquiry Circle and did my work in front of the Inquiry Circle group, as I do every day.

The result was that I started to see how I was the one making it into a terrible thing. It was my interpretation that was getting me down. I made it mean that Inquiry Circle was a failure, that I was a failure. I was literally zapping my own energy.

The people leaving was not the problem. My thinking was. As I started to see this more clearly, the emotions lifted. I became more neutral. I no longer wanted to just run away. Instead, I became curious about the next steps.

Stage 3: Asking for Feedback

When I’m taking it personally, I don’t want to hear feedback. I just want to run, to trash it all, to give up. But once I did my work on the emotional thoughts around it, I was suddenly open and interested in what others had to say. I was not afraid to face reality.

So I asked for feedback. And I got a lot of very helpful feedback. For example, one of the main reasons why people were leaving Inquiry Circle was because I started keeping attendance. Inquiry Circle is not a course, it is an ongoing practice group. The attendance idea works great in a course, but in Inquiry Circle it felt a bit oppressive.

It was clear that I was using too much “stick” and not enough “carrot.”

Another suggestion to me was that I was spending too much time doing administrative tasks for the group, sending emails, billing, setting up systems, etc., and not enough time participating in the group (reading and commenting). Having done The Work on my emotional thoughts, I was now open to hear this.

Stage 4: Making Changes

Based on the feedback I received, a picture started becoming clear for me of how to move forward. I wanted to simplify things so that I would have less administrative work and be more available for participation.

So I discontinued the different “tracks” I had created. I stopped using individual work spaces and brought us all together into one big forum called “The Work Forum.” Suddenly, an ancient problem in Inquiry Circle evaporated. Now it didn’t matter if some people were less active. When we all do The Work together in one forum, those who are active don’t feel isolated like they do when we are in small groups of 3 (if two people become inactive).

I also started reading The Work that others write each day as a high priority. That’s one way I can serve in this group. And I created a special forum for questions about The Work. Now, like in my Open Sessions, people can ask questions about anything in addition to doing The Work.

I am also now planning more fun and diverse activities and exercises to keep it fresh. The core of Inquiry Circle will always be doing The Work, but sometimes doing group activities can spice it up, and stimulate each of us to find new areas to work.

And finally, I changed the membership from a monthly membership to an annual membership, and I cut the price in half. This makes administration easier for me, so I can spend more time participating.

Stage 5: Long Term Growth

Now that the revolution has happened, evolution can continue at a slower pace again. The bud has been transformed, and the flower is now opening. I’m excited about the new changes. And I continue to add new changes as they come up.

For example, I’ll be creating a one-month “Inquiry Circle Prep Course” that participants will complete after finishing The Work 101 and before starting Inquiry Circle. This not only gives a taste of Inquiry Circle before committing to it for a year, but it also makes sure that everyone is clear about all of the options inside of Inquiry Circle and how to use them.

I will also be experimenting with more ideas to make spoken work easier in Inquiry Circle across time zones. And I’ll keep adjusting and adding new things as suggestions come in. But I’ll also keep an eye on keeping it simple.

None of this Would Have Happened if I Didn’t Get Over the Hump

The key in all of this was The Work. Without it, I would have just given up. But I recognized my negative emotions as a sign to do The Work, so I was able to identify them and question them and let go of them. Once I was no longer feeling sorry for myself, I was able to open to a whole new way in Inquiry Circle.

So my gratitude is to this simple way of questioning anything. With it, negativity is not bad. It is just the first stage of my next step of evolution. The Work helps me get over the hump emotionally so that I’m open to the goodness that awaits.

Have a great week,
Todd

“It’s good that you think you’re going to lose your job. This is exciting. Do The Work, live The Work, notice, and know that if you lose your job, there is something better waiting for you. But when you’re stuck in a belief, you’re blind.” Byron Katie, Question Your Thinking, Change the World

>