It's easy to be peaceful in some settings, but can you be peaceful even when you're being challenged?
How to Make Peace with Anything
Have you ever wanted to make peace with someone, or something, in your life but found it difficult to do?
This is especially hard when the other side is not budging. I'm often much more willing to give a little if the other side is also willing to compromise in order to make peace. But what happens when someone, or when life itself, offers no compromise?
Is Peace Still Possible?
Making peace with anything is the simplest thing in the world. It requires only one action: letting go. But letting go may be nearly impossible in a stressed state of mind. This can be a bit of a catch-22.
Letting go is easy for those who are well practiced at letting go but, for most of us, it is easier said than done. "Just let go!" is great advice, but how do you do that?
Here's How I Do It
One of my favorite practices for opening the door for peace is called The Work of Byron Katie (The Work). The Work is a simple form of self-inquiry that helps me to identify a stressful thought, write it down, question it, turn it around, and find examples of how the opposite could be just as true.
It sounds simplistic. But when done meditatively, it has profound results.
This simple, meditative process opens my mind to experience the very opposite of what I believe. This process of expanding the mind often leaves me in a much more peaceful space, without changing anything in my world. Often after doing The Work, the same situation that stressed me no longer causes me stress at all.
This is very freeing because it means that I don't have to fix my world, which I can't always control, to be at peace with it. Ironically, I also find more energy and enthusiasm for changing the world when I'm no longer arguing with the way it is.
How to Do The Work
The Work is something you can do in written form, or with a facilitator in spoken form. The process itself is simply questioning, it provides no answer, but the questions invite the mind to settle deeply into itself and allow hidden wisdom to surface.
I've been using The Work personally as an almost daily meditation practice since 2007, and professionally since 2010. I have witnessed over and over and over again the power of this simple set of questions. It somehow gently moves my mind, and the minds of my clients, to look at things very differently in a short amount of time.
To get started, I suggest downloading The Work as Meditation Start-up Kit.
How to Make Peace with Anything
Some things are harder to let go of than others but, it is possible to make peace with anything. I continue to test this theory every day as I do The Work on the things that stress me.
I encourage you to challenge yourself too. Can you make peace with anything? I'm willing to bet that, if you're willing to question your thinking, peace will have a hard time staying away from you.
If you want to begin this practice in earnest, I'd love to have you join us for The Work 101, my online course for learning and going deeply into The Work.
“If you are tired of suffering, I invite you to The Work." Byron Katie, A Mind at Home with Itself
You might also enjoy these tips for making The Work a long-term practice.
Videos of The Work of Byron Katie
Here are a few videos of what it looks like to do The Work. Each session brings out different things as each client takes the questions inside and finds their own answers.
Watch more videos of Byron Katie, the founder of The Work, facilitating at thework.com.
Books on The Work of Byron Katie
Loving What Is by Byron Katie
I Need Your Love, Is That True? by Byron Katie
A Thousand Names for Joy by Byron Katie
Question Your Thinking, Change the World by Byron Katie
A Mind at Home with Itself by Byron Katie
Finding the Door to Inquiry by Todd Smith
Articles on The Work of Byron Katie
Here are some other articles you can read.
Forms for Doing The Work
Download forms for doing The Work here.