The closer you move to the sun, the warmer it is. The farther you move away from the sun, the colder it is.
It’s a game we used to play as kids and sometimes even as adults. One person is blindfolded and doesn’t know where she is being directed. The other person tries to direct her to an object without giving any clues except “warmer” or “colder.”
It’s a way of feeling your way to the object. If she moves closer, the other person says “warmer!” If she moves away from it, the other person says “colder!” And pretty soon she zooms in on it.
That’s why children can do The Work. You don’t have to be a psychologist or a spiritually wise person to do it. All you have to do is pay attention to “warmer” and “colder.”
But in The Work, instead of “warmer/colder,” it’s “peaceful/stressful.” If you feel more stress you’re getting colder. If you feel more peace, you’re getting warmer.
It’s that simple.
There’s no need to understand why it’s stressful or why it’s peaceful. Analysis is not needed in The Work, just simple observation and reporting. “Does the thought bring you peace or stress?” That’s all I really need to know.
Again, there’s no need to understand the stressful thought at all. It’s enough to see that it hurts when I believe it. And it doesn’t hurt when I don’t believe it.
All I need to move towards peace is to start moving in the opposite direction. The opposite of colder is warmer. And the opposite of stress is peace.
So by considering the opposite of my stressful thought, and finding examples of how that opposite is true, I am literally starting to move from colder to warmer, from stress to peace.
When you’re unaware that your hand is in the fire, you rail against the pain, blame God, feel sorry for yourself, etc. But when you become aware that your hand is in the fire, it takes no time to remove it.
That’s what The Work of Byron Katie does. It brings awareness. When I’m aware that my thinking is causing me pain, I tend to move away from it. And as soon as I do, I feel the coolness of peace again.
After that, it becomes almost impossible to put myself back into that pain. Why would I do that to myself? I only put myself in pain when I’m not fully aware of what I’m doing.
The Work is a great way to feel your way to peace. It is a great way to wake yourself up.