Category Archives for Relationships

How to Make Peace After a Fight

​Flowers continue to bloom after the storm.

​You May Feel ​Shaken After a Fight

​A lot of emotions come to the surface​. You may feel guilty that it's your fault, ​or ​confused about how to make it right. Or you may feel angry that you were not understood, or loved​. You may feel hurt. ​

You may also feel physical ​sensations in different parts of the body as you play over the argument in your mind again. It's like your whole life comes grinding to a halt until you can somehow find peace again. ​It can sometimes be a very challenging question how ​to make peace after a fight.

Fights are confusing. And, in my experience, it's worth gaining some awareness before rushing back to fix things. Sometimes, trying to make it better too quickly can make it worse. The key for me is to do some genuine self-inquiry first.

​​How to Make Peace After a Fight

​Sometimes, I want to forgive the other person, but I can't. Sometimes, I want to apologize and can't. Sometimes, I'm just too stubborn to let go of my argument. All of these things make it hard to make peace after a fight. But until I can ​let go myself, there's not much hope of reconciliation with the other person. ​I have to do some digging in my own space first.

It's like I'm dealing with a hurt and angry child inside of me. There's no reasoning with a child. But there is a way meet any child with understanding and love, and a willingness to listen—no matter how hurt or angry they may be.

​Here are the steps I go through in first meeting myself with understanding and then slowly opening to the other person again:

​1. Listen to Myself

​I do this best by writing my stressful thoughts down. Getting them on paper helps to stop them from swirling around in my mind. It also feels like they have less power over me when I can see them ​written down. The important thing for me is to let the hurt part of me write uncensored. ​That part of me needs to be fully heard. For me, this is a very important step of how to make peace after a fight​. 

I do this by writing free-form on a blank piece of paper. Or I use a special worksheet designed for gathering all my stressful thoughts about an argument. The worksheet I use is called the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet, and it's perfect for ​getting it all out on paper after a fight. It's  amazing how "heard" I feel just writing a worksheet about the person I was fighting with. When I write a worksheet, I'm not trying to be spiritual. I'm just ​letting myself be fully honest about how I feel. ​

​2. Question My Story

​Getting my stressful thoughts down on paper can be ​quite relieving. ​Now I have a little more distance on my thoughts. But I like to go further than that​: I like to formally question the thoughts I wrote down. This is a powerful form of self-inquiry that helps me to unravel the stories I'm caught in. ​For me, this is an essential step ​in how to make peace after a fight​.

When I question the truth of what I was thinking and believing, I often find that ​I innocently had a partial understanding. As my awareness opens to a wider view, I start to ​take in the other person's ​perspective too. And I start to see ​the things I was doing that I was blind to before​​. This humbles me softens me, and I often find understanding and forgiveness naturally welling up for the other person​.

This process of questioning ​your own stressful ​thoughts is called The Work of Byron Katie. If you're interested in unraveling your stressful stories, I highly recommend taking some time to really learn how do ​this process. It can be used in any stressful situation to find peace.

​3. Question They Need to Forgive ​Me

​While I'm in the ​mode of questioning my stressful thoughts about the person I fought with, there's another step for me in how to make peace after a fight. 

Once I find forgiveness for the other person, it's easy to think that they should find forgiveness for me too. If I believe this idea, I may become frustrated or impatient ​if the other person still holds a grudge against me. So it's time to dig a little deeper. This is the next phase of questioning for me. I literally question the thought, "I need them to forgive me," or "I need them to let it go."

When I ​question this thought, again using The Work of Byron Katie, I often come to find even more understanding for ​the other person. I see how hard it was for me to let it go, and I get it if it takes them time as well. ​They can take as much time as they need. In fact, when I'm really clear, I don't expect them to let it go at all.

Instead, I focus on my part, and how I can let go of my expectations​. This keeps me in my own business, and ​away from trying to change or rush their process. I call it respect. It feels like unconditional love. This is also a big part of how to make peace after a fight, peace within myself even if the other person is not ready​ o​r—worst case scenario—even if they never open to me again.

​4. Make Amends When Appropriate

​The last step of how to make peace after a fight is a step of action. I don't do this step until I've fully done my inner work​ (steps 1-3 above).

Amends is more than just saying, "I was wrong. This is my part​." ​Amends ​very often include an apology like this, but true amends means that I'm now seeing the person differently. I've done my work and I no longer blame them. When I see ​them that way, my actions naturally are more respectful and loving towards them. And it comes through in everything I say and do. There is no substitute for doing my inner work until I see things differently. Once I do, it's done. I call this spontaneous amends because action follows spontaneously as my perspective changes.

​Of course, if there is something specific I did to harm the other person, I also consider what specific actions I could do to make it right. ​

​Now It's Your Turn

​Try it out. Pick someone whom you haven't fully forgiven, and go through these steps. And spend some time learning this process of ​The Work of Byron Katie. It has become a powerful way for me to meet myself with understanding even when I'm a mood to fight. 

If you have questions ​about how to make peace after a fight, bring ​your questions to one of my free weekly Open Sessions and let's do The Work together. ​

Have a great week,

“I encourage you to write about someone—parent, lover, enemy—whom you haven’t yet totally forgiven. This is the most powerful place to begin. Even if you’ve forgiven that person 99 percent, you aren’t free until your forgiveness is complete. The 1 percent you haven’t forgiven them is the very place where you’re stuck in all your other relationships (including the relationship with yourself)." Byron Katie, Loving What Is.​

He or She Is Toxic, Is It True?

dead leaves in water

If I think this water is toxic, I am repulsed and run away.

I Love the Propaganda of the Mind

When the mind is triggered, it doesn’t think in calm, rational thoughts. It uses dramatic, inflammatory words and pictures to drive home the idea that this is life or death, and to provoke immediate action.

This is good for survival. All animals have it. It has kept us alive for millennia. But it is often misused by the mind. And questioning it can help bring the mind back to a more rational place.

Have You Ever Thought “He or She is Toxic”?

This is such a great word. It immediately connotes images of radioactive waste or bio-hazard signs. And the gut reaction is to get the hell out of there.

Now look what happens when the mind uses this word, toxic, to label a friend, family member, or coworker. Maybe you read about toxic relationships somewhere, or someone suggests that someone close to you is toxic. Immediately, the instinct kicks in, “I’ve gotta get out of here.” Or, “I’ve got to destroy them.”

In that state of mind, the person whom you’re close to is no longer a person. They’ve been labeled. They are now toxic waste to be gotten rid of as soon as possible.

The trouble is that if you look closely enough, everyone is “toxic” in some way or another. And if you keep seeing things this way you can end up being very alone and afraid. You may even start seeing yourself as “toxic” and try to run away from yourself.

It’s Time to Question What You Think

You can literally question, “She is toxic,” or “He is toxic,” even “I am toxic.” I use the four questions and turnarounds of The Work of Byron Katie.

I did this recently with a client. She found that when she believed that her boyfriend was toxic, she immediately pulled away from him. She wanted out of the relationship. She was frozen in fear. And angry at him. She had no patience for him at all. And she had a feeling like a dark energy was contaminating her interior.

When she imagined what it would be like to be in the same situation with him but without the thought that he is being toxic, she was much more neutral. She saw that he was having a hard time. Yes, he was being irrational, but it wasn’t actually dangerous or contagious.

She Saw He Was Not Actually Being Toxic

Toxic was just one way of labeling it (a convenient way of labeling it that fit with other motives running). It was the mind’s spin. The same experience could be seen in a different way: that he was caught in a trap in his mind and couldn’t set himself free.

It’s like he was a fly caught in a spider web of his own thinking. Every buzz of the fly, every complaint, was labeled as him being toxic. But in reality every buzz was just a symptom of his own struggle.

Seeing it this way led to a feeling of compassion instead of fear and disgust.

And It Left Her Open to Be Supportive

It reminded her of how doctors and nurses work around all kinds of dangerous, even contagious, diseases and rarely get sick. They are there to serve, to care for the patient, not to run away in an act of self-preservation.

This turn from self-protection to service changes the whole dynamic. Even if she is unable to untangle the fly from the web, she is available for the fly who is caught.

In this mode, there is no dark energy inside of her. There is only light, her own light that she shares generously. The darkness was only the darkness of her own closed and fearful heart. As soon as it opened again, there was nothing but sunshine inside.

If you want to dive deeply into doing The Work of Byron Katie with me, I invite you to join us in January for The Work 101, my eight-week online course in The Work of Byron Katie.

Have a great week,

“How do I help people who think that the rope is a snake? I can’t. They have to realize it for themselves. They could take my word for it, because they want it to be true. But until they see it for themselves, they would always in their hearts believe that the rope is a poisonous snake and that they are in mortal danger. Well, thoughts are like that, and inquiry is about the snakes in the mind—the thoughts that keep us from love and from the awareness of being loved. I can see that every loveless, stressful thought in the mind is a rope. Inquiry is meant to help you discover for yourself that all the snakes in your mind are really and truly just ropes.” Byron Katie, I Need Your Love, Is It True?

How Do You Disagree With Someone When You Do The Work?

snowy road

If you don’t like snow and you do The Work on it, you may find that you actually do kind of like it. But does that mean that you can’t move to a warmer climate?

A Client Recently Asked Me This Question

She has been doing The Work on her wife, who had an affair. She wrote, “If you understand someone’s motivation for doing something and feel compassion for them, how do you then disagree with them?

“For example, I may reach the point where I really understand my wife having an affair, but then how do I say, ‘I don’t want to be with you,’ if I really understand her motivation? Doesn’t understanding her mean the same as forgiving? And if I forgive, then I will want to be with her.”

This Is Such a Great Question

And it’s a point of confusion for many people.

Does forgiveness mean I have to live with someone? Does compassion mean that I can’t disagree with someone? Does love mean I have to agree?


Love is deeper than that.

Love Has Nothing To Do With Appearances

Love is an internal experience of openness. But love is not blind. Love is the opposite of blindness.

Only wanting something is blind.

Love can see clearly what doesn’t work about being with someone too.

Through inquiry, love finds understanding and compassion for someone who has hurt me. Through inquiry, my heart opens again to that person. And I can feel the blood move in my body again. Inquiry opens me up again so that I don’t have to suffer anymore.

But this is internal. What does my openness have to do with the other person? Nothing. This is my experience. I’m cleaning up my own life by doing The Work.

The Work helps me to love again. To find openness in my heart again. It does not place any demands on who I should live with. That’s up to me.

The Work Is About Taking The Charge Out of My Judgments

Once I take the charge out of my judgments, I can still make intelligent observations and “judgments” about someone, but they don’t feel charged because they are balanced with compassion.

In fact, I can make very clear decisions, yes or no, even when I have compassion for the other person. But I do it with clarity. I don’t have to use anger, or victimhood, to justify my actions. I just act out of a sense of self-responsibility.

Then, if I do say “no” to them, it is not a rejection. I am balancing love and “no” together.

Have a great week,

“People ask for many things. Once you discover that your honest answer is no, communicating it is simple when you communicate your love at the same time. The no is one part of your answer, and the acknowledgment of your love is the other part. Here are some examples of how to express your honest no to these requests and still let people know that you hear them and respect that they’re asking for what they want. Find out which words seem the most caring, natural, and true for you. Try these, and see how it feels to stay within your own integrity.

“Thank you for asking, and no.
I understand, and no.
You could be right, and no.
I care about you, and no.
I can see that it works for you, and no.
I want to please you, and no.
I’m frightened to say no to you, please support me, and the answer is no for now.”

Byron Katie, I Need Your Love, Is That True?

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As Awareness Grows, I Catch Myself Earlier


When I’m not paying attention, I pick up a rose and get hurt by the thorns. But I avoid the thorns when I’m awake.

The Work Is All About Awareness

As Byron Katie often says, “The Work is about noticing the difference between what hurts and what doesn’t.” And she often adds that it is about noticing internal cause and effect.

When I believe a particular thought, it hurts. When I don’t, it doesn’t hurt. So it’s not the world that is causing my pain, it is my thought about the world that is causing it.

The four questions and turnarounds of The Work are simply a way to notice this. The more I do The Work, the more I notice that I am the one who causes my pain. And I am the one who can stop it. I’m totally in control.

The Cool Thing Is That This Noticing Becomes A Habit

I don’t have to do The Work all the time in order to notice. The four questions and turnarounds are the formal practice. And they can pull me out of the pain when I fall into it.

But the more I do it, the less I fall into the pain. Because I remember what I discover when I do The Work.

For Example, The Other Night I Started Getting Triggered

It was a Sunday evening, and I was upstairs working on my computer. I was already feeling a little guilty about it since this is normally time my partner and I spend together relaxing.

As soon as my partner called up to me asking, “What are you doing?” I started getting defensive. And I watched the beginnings of an anger reaction.

But due to many previous worksheets I’ve worked on him in similar situations, I had some awareness, even in the moment, that I was in control of how far my suffering would go.

What Happened Was A Kind of Spontaneous Discrediting of My Stressful Thoughts

It sounded something like this.

First my defense, “I’ve been behind for a couple of weeks. I need to catch up.” Followed by, “That’s not really valid. It’s only been a week. And I’ll get caught up in the next couple of days even if I don’t do it tonight.” My defense was not so solid.

Then my mind turned to finding fault with him, “He only finds the flaw. That’s what’s wrong with him. I can never do it perfectly enough for him.” And I started looking through my archive of past events to bolster my position.

But I noticed as soon as I started attacking him in my mind, my chest began to tighten. This is a common reaction that I’ve discovered many times in question 3 of The Work, “How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought.”

So Here It Was Happening In The Moment

And that awareness was enough. I saw that I had a choice. I could keep looking for proof that he was wrong and out of place for “telling me what to do,” and watch the pain descend on me. Or I could bypass it and simply shut down my computer and go join him in the living room.

That’s what I did. And my mind grumbled a bit more even in the living room, but I was aware of it. Each time my mind started attacking him, I saw the connection to my own misery. And within a few minutes, I dropped the whole thing with no stress, enjoyed the rest of the evening, and slept like a baby.

That would have been a three-day “cold war” for me ten years ago. But this time, it was hardly a blip. That’s the value of increasing awareness through doing The Work. I just keep catching myself earlier and earlier so I don’t have to hurt.

Have a great weekend,

“Shortly after Katie got back from the halfway house, her home began to fill with people who had heard about her and had come to learn. She was able to communicate her inner inquiry in the form of specific questions that anyone who wanted freedom could apply on his own, without her. Soon she began to be invited to meet with small gatherings in people’s living rooms. Her hosts often asked her if she was “enlightened.” She would answer, “I’m just someone who knows the difference between what hurts and what doesn’t.” Loving What Is

If you like this article, feel free to forward the link to friends, family or colleagues. Or share the link on Facebook or other social media. If you have thoughts you’d like to share about it, please leave your comments below.

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It’s Not Okay for the Relationship To Not Be So Great, Is It True?


Relationships have cycles. Are you expecting perfection at every moment?

One of My Clients Did a Cool Piece of Work Recently

She’s been frustrated with her live-in mother for quite some time. The relationship is just not fun. As my client says, “It’s driving me bonkers!”

She hates to say it, but she feels like she actually hates her mother. She’s practically given up talking with her because every time she does there’s a fight.

“There’s a farmer’s market on Wednesday.”

“Today’s not Wednesday.”

“I know! You don’t have to explain everything!”

There is little patience on either side of the relationship. And miscommunication abounds.

So She Does The Work on Her Mother

She’s worked through several worksheets on her mother and, while she gets a few insights here and there, the stress and fighting continues.

But in trying to figure out what to work next, she discovered a deeper, underlying belief, “It’s not okay for my relationship to not be so great.”

This thought was holding so much energy for her. Because of this thought, she was trying so hard to fix the relationship.
Including trying to use The Work to fix it.

And That Pressure To Fix Things Was Interfering With Her Work

It was required, in her mind, that her relationship with her mother be perfect. Just like it was required that every other relationship, and every part of her life, be perfect.

Through inquiry, she discovered that she inherited this belief from her family when she was young, especially her mother, and it was reinforced throughout her life.

She felt that she was not allowed to feel bad. It was partly a religious thing. If she got emotional, her mother would tell her to get over it. Her family would make fun of her if she showed any negative emotions.

And if she didn’t do things perfectly, she’d be told, “You should have known better.”

The Conclusion Was You’re Supposed To Be Perfect

I know this one well because I came to the same conclusion living with my family. Positivity is great, negativity is not allowed! What a straitjacket!

Without the thought, “It’s not okay for my relationship to not be so great,” my client felt much freer.

And she found that there was no pressure to fix the relationship. She could just let it be.

For Me, This Is The Work

This is loving what is.

Not even trying to use The Work to fix the relationship. Just allowing it to have a stressful turn.

I often say that The Work is not about fixing things, but about seeing that they don’t need fixing. There’s real freedom in that.

And in that space, my client might continue writing Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheets on her mother and working them. But without the pressure of fixing things by doing so.

Just working it because that’s what’s up for her.

Have a great week,

“If you do The Work with any kind of motive, even the best of motives—getting your husband back or healing your body or saving the world—it won’t be genuine, because you’ll be looking for a certain kind of answer, and you won’t allow the deeper answers to surface. Only when you don’t know what you’re looking for can you be open to the answers that will change your life.” Byron Katie, A Thousand Names For Joy

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What I’m Learning From The Kitchen Dance


The kitchen is a great place to find situations for The Work.

I Noticed A Subtle Annoyance Recently

In the kitchen.

My partner and I have been cooking three meals a day for more than a decade. I know what I’m doing, and I can work efficiently. And there’s almost no stress. I like cooking.

That is, when I’m cooking alone.

I’m even pretty stress-free with others in the kitchen. But not 100%, as I recently found out.

My Mother-in-Law Likes to Help Out in the Kitchen

She washes dishes as I cook and sets the table. It’s actually a nice help. But I noticed that a little annoyance was building up in me.

Sometimes I want to go from the stove to the sink, but she’s washing dishes in the sink. Or she’ll sometimes start washing something I am still using. Annoying.

So I wrote a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet on her. Not because this was a big deal. And not because of any real issue with my mother-in-law; we get along great. I wrote it just because it triggered me.

That’s the only reason to write a worksheet, in my opinion. I wanted to find out what was going on for me, and to see if there might be another less stressful way to experience the situation.

So I Did

Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet

Line 1:

I am annoyed with my mother-in-law because she is in the way.

Line 2 (wants):

I want her to stop helping me.
I want her to go read a book.
I want her to get out of my way.
I want to stop feeling like she has to help.
I want her to stop making me rethink how I do things.
I want her to let me go on auto-pilot when cooking.

Line 3 (shoulds):

She should ask me if her help is helpful.
She should let me do my own dishes.
She should not try to race ahead of me to do the dishes.
She should not see this as a responsibility competition.
She should see that I work better alone.
She should see that it takes the same time whether she helps or not.

Line 4 (needs):

I need her to not cause me stress.
I need her to ask me how she can help.
I need her to defer to me as the authority.
I need her to stay out of my way.
I need her to be under my complete control.

Line 5 (judgments):

She is annoying, helping too much, in my way.

Line 6 (don’t ever want):

I don’t ever want her to help me in the kitchen when I’m cooking again.

Now That May Sound Harsh

But all I was doing in writing that worksheet was letting that annoying feeling speak. I put the mic right up that emotion and let it talk.

That’s not my enlightened/wise self. That’s my stuck/stressed self talking. And that’s the part that needs to be heard. That’s the part that needs The Work.

Here’s What I Found When I Worked This Worksheet

I discovered that I was competing with her. I was literally racing ahead to get the dishes done before she even walked into the kitchen.

I wanted it to be under my control. I was fighting with her on a subtle level. And that was what was stressful. It was my resistance to her help that was causing the stress in me.

I was literally getting in my own way by seeing her as “in my way.”

So I Started Experimenting With A New Kitchen Dance

A dance that includes her this time. If she’s at the sink, and I want to be there, I stop. And out of respect, I let her finish what she’s doing. In fact, I often now volunteer to help her by drying the dishes in those moments. Or I take a break for a few minutes and go downstairs.

I started paying attention to how much time she really does save me by helping out. I had been discounting it before. This took the pressure off. I can now afford to adjust to her kitchen dance because together we are working faster than I would alone.

My favorite thing happened a few days after working this worksheet. I saw a pile of dishes in the sink. I noticed the urge to rush ahead and wash them before she came into the kitchen. But I reconsidered. And I decided to leave those dishes for her. It was like a gift to her.

This was huge for me. It felt like generosity, love, and respect all rolled in one. My heart opened, and it was so easy to be conversational with her when she arrived. I was actually grateful for her help. We were finally on the same team in my mind. I was not trying to control her. And that made my heart want to dance.

Have a great weekend,

“The turnarounds bring powerful new awareness. Self-realization is not complete until it lives as action. Live the turnarounds.” Byron Katie, Loving What Is

If you like this article, feel free to forward the link to friends, family or colleagues. Or share the link on Facebook or other social media. If you have thoughts you’d like to share about it, please leave your comments below.

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Worrying About Fairness Is A Sign Of Competition


“You’ve spent too much time at the helm! We need to divide the time fairly.”

Fairness Is A Big Concept For Me

I notice I want everything to be fair. And I spend a fair amount of energy thinking about how to keep things fair.

Fairness is not a bad thing. But I’m starting to see fairness as more of a consolation prize than as a true ideal.

Fairness is a consolation prize in that it is the next best thing after teamwork. Teamwork means unity. We’re on the same team and it doesn’t matter who has the helm more. This is about us, not you and me.

Fairness Comes Into Play When We Are Separate

As long as I think I’m separate from you I want things to be fair. Fairness is basically appealing to a higher court to get what I want.

Fairness is very manual. It requires a lot of accounting and measuring and it requires enforcement. Fairness is a kind of forcing of civility on top of my otherwise selfish motives.

Even when things are fair, my motive to be in control still lurks, waiting for an opportunity to win even within the confines of these fair rules.

Fairness Would Not Be An Issue Without Competition

I can think of two example of this recently for me.

One has been over the past six months since my partner and I combined our finances. When our finances were separate, I felt inferior because I earned less. And I constantly strove to contribute my “fair share.” It was stressful.

Also, I kept detailed accounting of expenses to make sure that I was paying exactly half of everything. That was a lot of work. And the underlying feeling was one of separateness and competition, with a veneer of fairness making it all appear good.

But when we combined our finances, there was no more competition. We’re now on the same team. We both contribute to our money, and we decide together how to spend it. There’s no separation. And there’s no more need for fairness. Fairness is mute when there is unity.

Another Example Was Working With A Co-Trainer in ITW

We were training an eCourse in the Institute for The Work (ITW), and I thought it was unfair once when she got more time facilitating than I did.

I wrote a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet and discovered that, once again, I was competing. That’s why fairness was so important to me in that situation. I wanted to appeal to fairness in order to regain my “deficit.”

But when I worked through my worksheet, my turnarounds pointed me to something higher, to being a team with her. As co-trainers, we could be two hands of the same body. Who cares if the right hand gets more action than the left. We both win when we are working together. For example if she is facilitating, I get to rest and enjoy the show, and learn from her. Life is good that way.

This Is Expansion of The Ego

You might call it death of the ego. But I prefer to see it as expansion of the ego. The ego expands from being identified as just me to being identified as us, which is something bigger.

And the difference for me is an expansion of the heart. There’s no more concern about petty fairness when I identify as us. It’s very freeing. Suddenly, their assets and my assets pooled together become mine because now I am “us.”

Have a great weekend,

“Every story is a variation on a single theme: This shouldn’t be happening. I shouldn’t have to experience this. God is unjust. Life isn’t fair.” Byron Katie, Loving What Is

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Love vs. Being In Love


Love is lovely, but what is love?

When You Think of Love Do You Think of Being In Love?

For me there’s a difference between love and being in love. Being in love has an intensity about it that love does not.

For me, love is a kind of a baseline. Like happiness. Or better yet, like being. It is nothing I can put my finger on. It’s quiet, subtle, almost unseen. It’s like potential energy. While being in love is kinetic.

Being in love is energy in motion. It’s as if the wholeness of love gets focused on a particular thing. And that focus makes me fall towards the one I love.

Being In Love Has a Mixed Reputation

On the one hand, it is hailed as the pinnacle of emotion. Everyone is looking for love. And on the other hand, it is sometimes scorned as addictive, illusory, or egoistic, especially by spiritual camps.

So love becomes confusing.

Is it good or bad?

Only You Can Know

If being in love feels stressful, as in “I need it” then question your stressful thoughts. I need her. I need him. Is that true? Who would you be without the desperation?

But if you believe that being in love is a bad thing for spiritual reasons then question those stressful thoughts as well. Who would you be without the thought that being in love was bad?

Only you can find your own truth. And there may be many sides to truth. I invite you to explore all sides of it through inquiry. Simply let your stressful feelings be your guide as you look for the next stressful thought to question.

An open mind will question anything.

And if you want to question your thoughts about love, I’m here to support you in that through private sessions.

Have a great week,

“Love is so big that you can die in it—die of self and be fully consumed in it. It’s what you are, and it will have all of you back to itself again. So simple.” — Byron Katie, Loving What Is.

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Why Do We Stir Up Hornet’s Nests?

bee on apricot blossoms

Bees and hornets sting. So why don’t we leave them alone?

Humans Have Some Strange Instincts

I can remember as a kid wanting to poke a hornet’s nest. What the heck is that all about?

And it’s not just hornets. I remember the first rattle snake I ever saw. Someone had to tell me to put the stick down that I was about to poke it with.

Same goes with alligators I’ve been close to. I wanted to do something to get a reaction out of them too (though I used my better judgment then).

This Does Not Seem Like Intelligent Behavior

In fact, it’s not.

But that doesn’t stop us humans. Or at least me from wanting to do something stupid.

And I do the same thing with people. If someone I love gets angry, that same urge to prod them comes up. What the heck?!

It Happened to Me Recently

My partner got upset about something but was kind of quiet about it. My old way would have been to drag him into “discussing” it. But when I thought about it, there was nothing to discuss.

The only reason I had for “discussing” was to try to get him to admit that he was wrong. When I saw what I was wanting, I dropped it completely and let him go about his business.

Sometimes it’s just kinder for all involved to let things be without inciting them to riot.

I Don’t Know Where It Comes From

All I know is that this tendency to poke and prod to get some kind of a reaction does not increase my peace of mind.

I’m glad at least that I’m starting to become aware of my crazy desires, and to question them.

Monday, September 15th at 9 AM my new book will be ready. Get ready to take advantage of the introductory price of $37 for the first week only (starting Sep. 15). After one week the price will go to $47.

Have a great weekend,

“Just notice when things are out of balance. You don’t have to figure it out. There’s a built-in signal that will always let you know: it’s called stress.” — Byron Katie, A Thousand Names for Joy p. 155.

If you like this article, feel free to forward the link to friends, family or colleagues. Or share the link on Facebook or other social media. If you have thoughts you’d like to share about it, please leave your comments below.

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Sample Work: At the Coffee Shop

coffee shop

Here is one participant’s work from a situation at a coffee shop.

Here’s a Situation for Inquiry

Recently, a participant in The Daily Worksheet came up with an interesting situation for inquiry. Here’s what she writes.

“I’m at this coffee shop, working on my computer. This couple, not sure if they’re a couple, is sitting facing me. I catch the boyfriend looking at me 4-5 times and I’m doing the same. I’m hooked.

“I can’t stop looking even though I feel like crap for doing it. I want something from him.

“I am excited with this guy because he is giving me power. He is making me feel like a million bucks. He’s making me feel like I’m worth something and like I have value.”

And she continued to write a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet on this very specific situation.

Here’s What She Questioned

From line 1 of her worksheet, she questioned the thought, “He is giving me power.”

And Here’s what she Found through Inquiry

Is that true?


Can you absolutely know it’s true?

“No, I’m not sure.”

How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?

“I feel like my head is really big, ego really inflated. I feel powerful, better than everyone in the room, I feel almighty! I forget about the work that I’m doing and am totally focused on this pleasurable feeling of getting power from an outside source.

“I try to be sexy and make faces and move in ways that would please him. I’m super self-conscious, it’s like I exist only for him and his eyes in this moment. I feel dehumanized. Super stressed. I want him to like me, I have this idea of perfection in my mind and I want him (me) to keep believing it.

“I’m terrified of disappointing him by, let’s say, my voice if I answer the phone, or my body if I have to get up and go to the bathroom. It’s like I am paralyzed and want to be perfect for him and the ideal that I think he is making in his head about me….phew….this is exhausting and I’m totally disconnected from me, I become just a body and a face and a fantasy to him and to me.”

Who would you be without that thought?

“I’d smile like I would to anyone looking at me, like a girl. I mean, the awkwardness comes from me catching someone else’s eyes and looking away quickly, no matter who it is. but when it’s a man I begin to go into all sorts of fantasies about what it means!

“I’d just give a quick smile, like ‘Hey, fellow human, I notice you’re cute, and yes your girlfriend is too, cute couple.” End of story. Gratitude for beautiful man, and same gratitude for the old woman sitting next to me.

“Just me observing people in coffee shop and watching my observations about them ”cute, handsome, nice hair, oh she looks so sweet, etc etc.” I wouldn’t have to make this big story about what it means.”

Turnaround to the Self

I am giving me power.


1. I make this huge inflated ego story about how he wants me and how desirable I am. I give my ego power in that moment. For all I know I remind him of his sister, or he just caught me staring and is curious

2. By suspecting that every man or woman that is looking at me has ideas about me, I’m giving power to me, feeding the identity of ”I’m attractive”

3. I’m giving my ego power when I let those fantasies take over instead of being with my thoughts about what I really think about myself. I use this fantasy as escapism of what I believe myself to be. With these fantasies, I escape my own inquiry. I avoid myself and I give my ego power.

Turnaround to the Other

I’m giving HIM power.


1. I want something from him. So I look at him 3-4 times. I use him to my satisfaction.

2. By believing that he could save me, give me value, see me, etc, I’m giving him lots of power and very little to myself.

3. When all he did was just look, I give him all the power in the world like, ”Here, you do It. Make me feel special because I certainly can’t give that to me.” I’m putting huge responsibility on him.

Turnaround to the Other

He is NOT giving me power.


1. All this fantasizing and side trip into illusion is exhausting and I’d prefer not to be going through it.

2. I actually feel weak, paralyzed, stupid, not myself and uber self-conscious when that happens. I’m not powerful at all, I feel weak and disconnected.

3. He’s not doing it, I am, with my mind and thoughts.

How about You?

Do you go into fantasies as well? If you notice any stress mixed in with the high, it’s a great opportunity to write down your stressful thoughts and question them. Just like we do every day in Inquiry Circle.

Have a great week,

“When you look back on that first crush, it’s possible to see that the girl you adored had nothing to do with it. Years later you can run into her again, stare at her all you want, and not have a clue what you saw there.” — Byron Katie, I Need Your Love–Is That True?, p. 63.

If you like this article, feel free to forward the link to friends, family or colleagues. Or share the link on Facebook or other social media.

Get a new article about The Work of Byron Katie every week. Subscribe to the newsletter here.

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