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The Work Is 100% Not Needed

As wonderful as a highway is, it is not actually a necessity.

The Work is 100% Not Needed

I love The Work of Byron Katie and I think it comes through in my enthusiasm for it.

If you read some of my articles about The Work you may feel my enthusiasm, but you might also think that you have to do The Work in order to be free. I don’t actually believe that.

I’ve done The Work on The Work and I’ve done The Work on Byron Katie, and I’m clear that I don’t actually need them at all. Ironically, when there’s no need for The Work, that’s when I’m able to slip into second gear with The Work. That’s when I’m free to get into it with full enthusiasm.

Because It’s Not Something Other Than Me

The Work always brings me back to me.

The four questions are nothing but questions. The turnarounds are nothing but opposites. There is nothing to The Work at all. The great benefit of The Work is what I find when I look to myself.

So if The Work disappeared overnight, and there were no more questions, and no more turnarounds, would there be any problem? No. There are a million ways back home to me.

I’ve Often Noticed How We All “Do The Work”

The Work is just about noticing what hurts and what doesn’t hurt. We all do that anyway.

I think it’s a part of human nature. When we notice something hurts, we question our assumptions, our positions—everything. We often shift our points of view and consider “turnarounds” out of pure instinct.

The Work is nothing new. It is a part of human nature to inquire. Even if the formal practice were forgotten, the natural tendency to inquire would continue as it has since ancient times.

What I Love About The Work Is That It Speeds Up The Process

The same natural tendency to question everything, especially when we’re faced with any kind of suffering, is formalized in The Work.

Byron Katie has boiled it down to four questions and turnarounds. She has made it so simple, so accessible. In creating a formal practice of inquiry, she has literally created a highway through the mountains.

Personally, I Love the Highway

It’s available, so I use it.

I love zipping through the mountains on the smooth surface of the road, and I love seeing how fast I cut through my suffering with The Work.

But I’m also clear that if the highway disappeared, I’d have just as much fun getting out of the car and trekking through the woods, eating the berries, and getting my exercise.

With or without The Work, I am on the same path of coming home to me.

This Adds Another Layer of Freedom to the Practice

With this perspective, I do The Work because “Why wouldn’t I?” There’s no “have to” in it. There’s no “should” in it. There is no element of desperation in it. And there’s no fanaticism about it—no judging of myself or others over “who’s doing The Work” or not.

It just becomes an option. Shall I go for a drive or a hike today? I often drive. And I often walk.

“The Work is merely four questions; it’s not even a thing. It has no motive, no strings. It’s nothing without your answers.”