Category Archives for Sample Work

Access the 2018 Open Session Recordings

​The 2018 Open Session ​Recordings ​Are ​Now ​Available

If you're like me, listening to The Work can be a powerful way to experience it. ​

When I was a nature photographer driving around in my car looking for photo opportunities, I used to play recordings of Byron Katie doing The Work with people​. In fact, I bet ​I was listening to one of those recordings on the drive to and from photographing the irises above. 

The value of listening to The Work for me is that I get to witness different minds answering the questions. The questions are always the same, but the answers people come up with are often surprising. I learn a lot this way. And I get new ideas of places I could look for answers ​when doing The Work on own work.

​I also discover that I have many similar stressful thoughts, and it gives me ideas of worksheets I can write on my own.

​Open Sessions Are Even Better When You Attend ​Them Live

​Every week, we meet online (Zoom webinar) for 30 minutes to do The Work. I call these webinars Open Sessions. There is no curriculum. Just bring a stressful thought to question, and I'll facilitate. I also answer any questions about The Work.

If you can ​attend these webinars, which occur on different days and at different times each week, then you get the benefit of being there live. You can do The Work ​with me, or ask questions when they come up for you. ​​It's like being​ in the same room together.

But if you can't make it, I also send out audio recordings​.

​How to Get Open Session Recordings

​To get the 2018 Open Session audio recordings, simply sign up for my weekly reminders ​for Open Sessions. ​

Every Sunday, you'll get an email with a link to sign up for that week's live Open Session. If the time works for you, you can sign up to participate that week.

​If you can't make it that week, ​as long as you are getting the Open Session reminder emails, you'll automatically get a copy of that week's recording whether you were able to attend or not. 

In addition, when you sign up for Open Session reminder emails, you'll get access to all of the Open Session recordings from 2018 (forty-eight recordings in total - approx. 30 min. each)

​An Easy Way to Keep The Work Alive in Your Life

​Thirty minutes of The Work every week can keep ​inquiry very much alive ​in your life

​Join us for Open Sessions when you can, and listen to the recordings when you can't. We covered a lot of ground in 2018. I'd love for you to ​benefit from ​everything we did.

​Sign up here to start getting Open Session reminders.

Have a great week,

​“People ask me, “How can you listen to all these problems, day after day, year after year? Doesn’t it drain your energy?” Well, it doesn’t. I’ve questioned my stressful thoughts, and I’ve seen that every single one of them is untrue. Every thought that used to look like a poisonous snake is actually a rope. I could stand over that rope for a thousand years, and never be fright​ened of it again. I see clearly what some people don’t yet see for themselves. Everyone in the world might come upon that rope and run screaming the other way, and I wouldn’t be afraid for them, feel sorry for them, or worry about them at all, because I realize that they’re not in danger, they’re absolutely not in harm’s way. As they cry snake, I see only rope." Byron Katie​, A Thousand Names for Joy.​

Insecure About How You Look?

my necklaces

I used to feel insecure about my pearls.

I Don’t Feel Insecure about them Anymore

I’ve always worn my birthstones. But a recent addition of a choker strand of pearls got me feeling very self-conscious. I found myself hiding them. I found myself not wearing them with a T-shirt. I found myself worried about what others thought of them.

And it all came to a head when a 12-year-old girl asked me, “Why are you wearing a girl’s necklace?”

Boy did that trigger me. I was defensive. I wanted to escape. I felt shame. As if all my suspicions were confirmed.

So I Wrote a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet on the Girl in that Situation

It went like this:

Line 1 (situation):

I am hurt by her because she is judging me.

Line 2 (wants):

I want her to understand why I wear my pearls.
I want her see that I also wear ruby and coral.
I want her to stop judging me.

Line 3 (shoulds):

She shouldn’t be so direct.
She should see these are my birthstones.
She should say, “Wow! These are awesome. Let me see.”
She shouldn’t look for a weak point to get a rise out of me.
She shouldn’t tease me.

Line 4 (needs):

I need her to approve of my pearls.
I need her to not think I’m cross dressing.
I need her to respect me.

Line 5 (judgments):

She is hurtful, judgmental, ignorant, right.

Line 6 (don’t ever want):

I don’t ever want to be judged for wearing my pearls again.

And I Worked it Over Two Weeks in Steady Pace Inquiry

What I found was that they are my birth stones. I like wearing my birth stones. Why wouldn’t I wear them? And the necklace was a gift from my partner. Another plus. And the jeweler told me he couldn’t combine them with my coral beads because the holes were different sizes. Once I owned my reasons for wearing them, I felt more secure.

Secondly, I realized that a girl of 12 is naturally thinking about the differences between the sexes. Not to mention that looks are everything in junior high school. She even commented on our Kleenex box which happens to have roses and red lips printed on it. She thought that was strange to have in a boy’s house. But I found through inquiry that just because she is in junior high, doesn’t mean I have to be!

And finally, I found that just because men in my culture don’t wear pearls does not make them feminine. Pearls have no sex at all. They are mineral. I was just buying into a culture bias. And the only reason I do that is because I want to be accepted. Without that thought, I can disassociate myself from the cultural norm and just be myself. Very freeing.

Now I Can Wear my pearls with a T-Shirt into a Machine Shop without Stress

It’s hard to describe the shift that happened for me without letting you read everything I wrote while working that worksheet. But the change was clear and dramatic. Now I don’t hesitate to wear my pearls.

I’ve been with people who I’m pretty sure were judging me for them, but it was no stress at all for me. Because I know why I wear them. And I just don’t get involved with whatever they may be thinking.

I understand where they may be coming from. I used to go there too. But that kind of thinking just doesn’t work for me anymore. So I don’t bother with it now. I love how this simple process of The Work works for me.

Have a great week,

“Notice how often you defend yourself (with words, actions, the way you dress, your tone of voice) and how stressful that can be. What impression—what “you”—are you trying to hide or strengthen? Whom are you trying to convince? What is the story of “you” that you perpetuate or want to perpetuate? What “you” would you be without this story?” Byron Katie, I Need Your Love, Is That True?

Get two new articles about The Work of Byron Katie every week, plus my checklist for the Judge-Your-Neighbor-Worksheet. Subscribe to the newsletter here.

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.

How to Find Self-Compassion

baby's breath

This flower may be thinking, “I’m too small, too plain. I’m not good enough.” There is no compassion in self-attack.

Self-Compassion Comes From Seeing a Bigger Perspective

I can’t have self-compassion when my thinking is small. If I’m attached to getting what I want, my mind is riveted to one small outcome. And if I don’t get it, I’m upset.

How do I react? I attack anyone and anything that is getting in the way. Including myself. Self-compassion is not possible when I’m attacking myself.

So how do you find self-compassion when you’re in the middle of self-attack?

Self-Compassion Starts By Listening

For me, that means writing down all my stressful thoughts. Getting them out onto paper. I feel safe to rant and rave onto paper. It’s not going to hurt anyone. And it gets it off my chest.

I feel listened to when I do this. Like it’s OK to have all these thoughts. “Let’s get them down. I want to consider each one of them.” This is the beginning of self-compassion.

But that’s just the first stage. Getting those thoughts out is not enough for me. I like to really inquire into the truth of each thing I wrote. I like to take self-compassion to the next level.

I Use The Four Questions and Turnarounds of The Work of Byron Katie for This

I love this simple system of self-inquiry. First I identify a stressful thought like, “I made a mistake.” Then, I question it using the four questions and turnarounds of The Work.

For example, I felt that I made a mistake while facilitating a client the other day. I started leading my client during inquiry and I felt ashamed for doing it. I judged myself harshly.

So I can question, “I made a mistake,” with the four questions and turnarounds of The Work as follows.

I made a mistake.

1. Is it true?

2. Can you absolutely know it’s true?

3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
I feel ashamed and embarrassed. My skin gets hot. I try to push the thought away. I justify that what I did was okay. I feel defensive. I lose confidence. I think less of myself. I want to hide.

4. Who would you be without that thought?
I would not feel stressed at all. No self-attack. I notice where I was leading my client and I adjust for next time. I’m looking forward to next time to try it again.

Turnaround: “I didn’t make a mistake.” Could that be as true, or truer?
1. Yes, it is true. I didn’t make a mistake. I just became aware of something that didn’t work for me about my facilitation. That is actually very helpful for me to keep improving my game.
2. Also, I didn’t set out to mess it up. It just happened. Even though I’m still responsible for what I did, I can find an innocence there as well. Considering what I was thinking and believing at the time, I had no choice but to “fumble” in this way. I believed she needed my help. Believing that, I had to lead her.

And that leads me to more inquiry.

The Root of My Mistake Was Also A Belief

So instead of stopping with my inquiry on “I made a mistake,” I can take it further. I can question, “She needed my help.” Because that’s what I was believing that caused me to start leading her and putting words in her mouth in the first place.

So I repeat the same process again.

She needs my help.

1. Is it true?

2. Can you absolutely know it’s true?

3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
I step in. I interrupt her process. I put words in her mouth. I don’t listen as closely to what she is saying. I look slightly down on her. I lead her away from her own inquiry. I start taking over. And then I attack myself for doing all this.

4. Who would you be without that thought?
I would give her more space. I would truly listen. It feels like respect inside me for her. My heart feels open. I’m curious what she will find.

Turnaround: I need my help.
1. Yes, I need my help staying in my own business, while holding the space for my client. If all my attention was on that, I could serve her better while she does her work.

Turnaround: I need her help.
1. I often am surprised at the wisdom that comes from my clients’ mouths. The more I simply hold the space, the more I get to learn from my clients.
2. And, yes, I need her help. She has to find her own answers. I can’t do her work for her. Because my answers are not going to touch her in the same way as what she discovers herself.

Turnaround: She doesn’t need my help.
1. Her answers are the ones that will help her the most.
2. She hasn’t asked me for my help yet. I just butted in.
3. Her long silences are as much a part of this process of inquiry as anything she says. In fact, my interruptions are disturbing this process of self-inquiry for her.
4. It’s not the end of the world even if she doesn’t find any satisfying answers. She doesn’t need my help.
5. My helping her could end up making her dependent on me. The opposite of what true self-inquiry accomplishes.

What Happens When I Go Through This Process?

As I go through this, what I notice is an expansion of my heart. I’m no longer blaming myself for making a mistake. Instead, I am owning what I did fully. And I’m now seeing more clearly my new direction: the value of not helping her, but rather holding the space for her to help herself.

This feels like the dawning of self-compassion. First of all, I listened to myself and wrote down my stressful thoughts. Then I questioned my self-attacking thought and found my innocence. And finally, I questioned the limiting belief that caused the “mistake” in the first place. In fact, there may be other limiting beliefs I could question: “I want her to have a good experience with me. I want her to like me as a facilitator.” Each of these could be questioned in the same way.

This kind of questioning leads to expansion of consciousness, in my experience. And as my perspective expands, I move from self-attack to self-compassion spontaneously. That’s why I love The Work of Byron Katie.

If you want to learn more about The Work and try it yourself, you might enjoy my three-week online course called The Work 101.

Have a great week,

“When the mind has seen that it doesn’t know what it was so sure of, it begins to unravel, the knots relax and begin to untie themselves.” Byron Katie, A Thousand Names for Joy

Get two new articles about The Work of Byron Katie every week, plus my checklist for the Judge-Your-Neighbor-Worksheet. Subscribe to the newsletter here.

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.

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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Pop Music Popcorn


Pop music sometimes sounds a lot like The Work. Let’s listen.

Welcome All You Pop Stars!

It’s great to have you here with us today.

Let’s do The Work as a group, popcorn style. First we’ll pick a stressful thought that everyone can relate to. Then I’ll ask the four questions of The Work and you’ll pop in with your answers as they come up for you.

There’s only one condition. You have to answer with a lyric from one of your songs. Is that cool with you guys?

Rihanna: Work, work, work, work, work, work.

Ok, Let’s Pick A Stressful Thought

Chainsmokers: I need you, I need you, I need you right now. Yeah, I need you right now. So don’t let me, don’t let me, don’t let me down.”

Todd: Ok, good one! Can everyone identify a time when you had this thought, “I need you”? Yeah? Ok, great! Let’s do The Work. Get really really close to that situation when you felt you needed someone. “You need them, is that true?

Adele: Yes.

Selena: Yeah.

Daya: Yep.

Justin: Yes.

Todd: Can you absolutely know it’s true that you need them?

The Weekend: No.

Chainsmokers: Yes.

Flo Rida: No.

G-Eazy: No.

Todd: How Do You React, What Happens, When You Believe That Thought That You Need Them?

Salina: I’m so sick on that same old love, my body’s had enough!

Justin: I’m sorry, yeah, sorry, yeah, sorry.

Twenty One Pilots: We’re stressed out.

Alessia: I’m stand-offish, don’t want what you’re offerin’.

Salina: Too hard to breath, I’m on my knees right now ‘ow.

Fetty Wap: Every night I’m losing sleep. I don’t want to live my life without you. Can’t go on another night without out you.

Adele: My God, this reminds me of when we were young. It was just like a movie. It was just like a song.

One Direction: Now my heart’s breaking and I don’t know what to do.

Tori: I’m hollow.

Todd: Who Would You Be Without The Thought That You Need Them?

Meghan: I’m gonna love you like I’m gonna lose you. I’m gonna hold you like I’m saying goodbye.

Justin: And baby I be moving on.

John: My head’s underwater, but I’m breathing fine.

Todd: Let’s Turn It Around To “I Don’t Need Them.” Any Examples How This Could Be As True?

G-Eazy: Oh, it’s just me, myself, and I, solo ride until I die, ’cause I got me for life.

Ed: Hearts were never broken, and time’s forever frozen still.

Zara: I will never forget you, and you’ll always be by my side till the day I die.

Dierks: I wish it could’ve worked out
But I’m gettin’ over you now
On a beach towel
With my shades on
My drink’s up
And the sun’s out
Huh, I’m somewhere on a beach

Have a great week,

“Most people believe that love and need are synonymous. “I love you, I need you” is the hook of a thousand love songs.” Byron Katie, I Need Your Love, Is That True?

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Introducing Open Sessions


I love technology.

Technology Lets Us Come Together

And that’s what I’d like to do with all of you.

Using the Zoom teleconference service, we can now meet as if we were in one room together to do The Work.

There were 17 of us in a Zoom video webinar last month from all over the globe. We could all see each other and do The Work together. So cool!

So I’m Going To Introduce A New Program for Doing The Work

I call it “Open Sessions.”

As opposed to private sessions.

In private sessions, you can work one-on-one with me. In open sessions, you can also work one-on-one with me but in a group setting using the Zoom meeting service.

This allows us to learn from each other as we do our work.

And This Is Going To Be Free

Here’s how it works:

Sessions will be 30 minutes each.

You bring a completed Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet to the call, and I will facilitate one or two volunteers to do The Work.

You can also bring any questions.

And you can bring any work that you have started on but got stuck on.

The call will be recorded and made available for those who attend the call.

The First One Will Be March 16

Join us on Wednesday, March 16 from 9:30 – 10:30 AM Pacific Time. Please register to get the call-in details.

I’m really looking forward to this.

Reserve your spot here.

Have a great weekend,

“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.” Byron Katie, Question Your Thinking, Change The World

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The Work Is For The Little Devil On Your Shoulder

bird on cattail

Whether it’s a bird or a little devil, it’s not going away until it’s satisfied.

Many Times I’m Not Believing My Thoughts One Hundred Percent

So it’s easy to think, “I don’t need to do The Work. I can see through this.”

But The Work is not for the larger part of me that can see through it. The Work is for the little devil sitting on my shoulder whispering, “Don’t fall for that spiritual B.S.”

A Client Brought This Up For Me Recently

We were working on some guilt he had about being the one who had to make a tough decision about whether to go for a lung transplant at the last hour for his mother, or not.

For a number of valid reasons, he decided not to. But the guilt persisted.

We were working the stressful thought, “I killed my mother.” He found that, with the thought, it was very stressful. And without the thought, he was peaceful. And he found many examples of the turnaround, “I did not kill my mother.”

For example, she smoked for years, she didn’t do what the doctors told her to do, she resisted going to the hospital, etc.

These Were All Good, Valid Examples

And they helped start the shift. But my client put it vividly when he said that it’s like there’s a little devil on his shoulder that is not yet satisfied.

So I invited the “little devil” to have his say. Its point was that my client was still the one who made the final decision. And it wasn’t going to let him get away with it, no matter how much his mother had actually caused the problem.

This Led To Another Turnaround

The turnaround was “I killed my mother, and it was the right thing to do.”

As soon as he found it, there was a shift. The little devil was satisfied that my client was owning it. And from there, my client could open to see the good in that decision.

My client’s whole purpose in making the decision was to minimize the suffering. And the doctors confirmed later that they also thought it was the right decision.

Through this work, my client owned it fully–all sides of it–and could move on.

That’s The Value of Listening to The Little Devil

If you don’t, it will keep on hounding you. It will discredit all your other examples. It will make a mess of your work.

That little devil is the one that’s not letting you have your peace. And it’s not going away.

So why not listen to it?

It may have a point. And when you question it, it may lead you to a deeper truth that satisfies all sides.

Have a great week,

“Secrets cry out for inquiry. You can’t be free if you’re hiding. And in the end, the things we’re ashamed of turn out to be the greatest gifts we have to give.” Byron Katie, I Need Your Love, Is That True?

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They Should Get in The Right Lane, Is That True?

Chevy Impala

There’s nothing more frustrating that a slow driver in the left-hand passing lane.

This Is A Time When You Know You’re Right

You can practically see the page of the driver’s manual that says, “The left lane is for passing. As soon as you’ve passed, return to the right lane.”

You may have even seen highway signs posting the same instructions.

This is a situation where it really is true. They really should get in the right lane if they are driving slowly. So is it worth doing The Work on it?

You betcha!

The Work is about finding peace in any situation. If it stresses me, I do The Work.

A Client and I Did This Work Together Recently

We found that there is a higher law even than the rules of the road while driving: the law of reality.

Yes, it is true that they should get in the right lane if they are not passing. That’s what the laws of the highway clearly state.

But no, it’s not absolutely true that they should get in the right lane. Reality trumps all, even the laws of the road. If there’s someone in the left lane driving slowly, that is law! The law of reality.

And if I don’t respect that law, no matter how right I am about the government highway laws, then I’m going to feel stress.

If You Fight With Reality You Lose Every Time

I may be right (they should get over). But I can’t make them get over. So it’s truer that they shouldn’t get over. It’s just reality. It’s out of my control.

But there is an area that I can control: my thinking about them. Without the thought that they should get over, I’m back in my peace again. No matter how they drive.

And The Turnarounds Show Me How To Solidify That Peace

The original statement was, “They should get in the right lane.” The turnaround to the opposite is, “They shouldn’t get in the right lane.” First of all, because they are not.

And there may be other reasons too: maybe they are passing someone (but passing them slowly so as not to go over the speed limit). Or maybe they just need lots of time to prepare for a left turn in order to avoid rash movements at the last minute.

Or maybe, they just forgot they were in the left lane. That has certainly happened to me. It’s understandable.

There’s A Living Turnaround Here Too

A living turnaround is something I can actually do, something I can live, that can bring me back to peace the next time I’m in a similar situation.

The living turnaround here is: “I should get in the right lane.”

It’s such a simple turnaround. But it can make all the difference in the world. Here’s how I used this living turnaround some years ago.

When we lived in Richmond, Virginia, my partner and I used to hate driving to Washington, D.C. on Interstate 95. It was six lanes of traffic with high-pressure driving on all sides. It was stressful.

Eventually, we came across this living turnaround. We got into the far right lane and set the cruise control for the speed limit.

Suddenly the whole experience shifted. We had plenty of room on the road ahead of us. The craziness of the road did not touch us. And we arrived home with very little stress from the drive. It was like being on a train.

The Work Always Shows Me How to Live Peacefully

No matter how many things other people are doing wrong, I can still remain peaceful. The only thing that needs to change is my thinking about the situation.

The Work provides a direct way to challenge my own thinking and to turn it around. And to find new directions for living that allow me to have a happy internal experience.

Have a great weekend,

“If you want reality to be different than it is, you might as well try to teach a cat to bark. You can try and try, and in the end the cat will look up at you and say, “Meow.” Wanting reality to be different than it is is hopeless. You can spend the rest of your life trying to teach a cat to bark.” Byron Katie, Loving What Is

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Sometimes Three Examples for a Turnaround Are Not Enough


If you’re hungry, one raspberry is not going to be enough to satisfy you. You need a bunch of them.

Are You Limiting Yourself to Three Examples?

Three is a nice guideline for finding turnaround examples. But it doesn’t have to be an absolute. For example, sometimes finding just one example for a turnaround is all I need to see a shift in my perspective.

At other times, three examples barely scratch the surface of my belief system.

Sometimes I need more examples. A lot more.

I Was Working With a Client Recently

She was questioning the thought, “I will starve if I don’t sell my next painting.” And she was believing it quite strongly.

So instead of stopping at three or even four examples, I invited her to come up with 30 examples of how the turnaround, “I won’t starve if I don’t sell my next painting” could be true.

She came up with 30, which turned out to be a great list once she got going. And she reported that it really took the pressure off after seeing so many examples of how she is not dependent on selling a painting to survive.

I Did the Exercise Too

I took it as a challenge to find my own 30 examples too. And it was actually a lot of fun.

If my income went to zero today, and facilitating The Work was not longer viable for me, here are 30 reasons why I wouldn’t starve.

1. I have a partner who also earns money.

2. I could work at City Market Co-op (get to meet lots of people while I work).

3. I could get a job with a tree company (get to use chain saws! 🙂

4. I could ask my partner if there was a way for us to work together.

5. We could take a break from working and go trekking around the world, working locally whenever we need money.

6. We could live in India. My partner knows all the ins and outs of it.

7. We could sell our house.

8. We could move back to my partner’s mother’s house (which my partner owns), and live very cheaply.

9. I could go back to live in the ashram.

10. I could get a part time job working at Turnaround House, like I used to.

11. I could mow lawns like I did when I was a kid (I made a lot of money, got good exercise, and had lots of time to enjoy this satisfying, mindless activity).

12. I could get a job at a library (I love books).

13. I could drive a cab (I enjoy driving and chatting with people).

14. I could apply for jobs as a website designer while going back to school to learn more.

15. I could be a wedding photographer (I did that in the past and it was very successful – some clients told me never to stop).

16. I could make it my job to call each person I know to ask for work ideas.

17. I could apprentice as an auto mechanic (I’ve always wanted to learn more about how cars work).

18. I could become crew on a ship (I’d get to see the world and get room and board for a while).

19. I could ask my step-dad for suggestions of where to apply for work in NYC (he has helped all his children get a start in the working world – I’ve always considered it to be too materialistic, but it would pay me and teach me humility too).

20. I could go back to working for Vaidya Mishra. They never wanted me to leave, and I love what they do.

21. I could become a personal cook again. Easy! I do it anyway.

22. I could learn how to be a film editor and see if my brother-in-law would like to expand his business.

23. I could work in a bookstore.

24. I could write short documents to sell on

25. I could work as a photographer’s assistant in New York and learn that side of the trade.

26. I could get a job at one of the ski hills nearby (could be a lot of fun).

27. I could be an au pear for my sister’s kids.

28. I could apply for “real” jobs that are advertised in the paper even if I don’t have experience.

29. I could be a bookkeeper for any small business (I’ve done my own books for years and I’m good at it).

30. I could be a waiter. That’s one job I never tried, and sometimes I think I missed that experience.

That’s A Bunch of Examples!

After coming up with so many examples, I feel completely safe no matter what happens. It’s better than insurance for giving peace of mind. And my mind keeps coming up with more ideas too.

It totally destroyed the idea that I’m dependent on what I do to survive. But I needed 30 examples to really get it.

If you want to take the challenge, make a list of 30 ways you could survive if your income went to zero. And, if you feel like it, share a copy on the blog.

Have a great week,

“For people who enter this inner world, the world of inquiry, jobs become secondary. Freedom is everything. Jobs come, jobs go, companies rise and fall, and you’re not dependent on that.” Byron Katie, Question Your Thinking, Change The World

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I Can’t Get a Job If I’m Totally, Brutally Honest, Is That True?

Times Square NYC

The competition for getting a job in New York City must be huge. How can you compete if you have a flaw?

One of My Clients Did a Fascinating Piece of Work Recently

She has been out of work for a while. And while she is very good at what she does, she is not so good at time management and productivity.

This resulted in her coming under review in her last job, and eventually she quit that job to avoid a possible firing on her record.

Needless to say, she’s been worried about looking for a new job. At one point she told me directly, “I can’t get a job if I’m totally, brutally honest.”

And I Immediately Asked Here, “Is That True?”

It was shocking to even consider that question. Her answer was yes, it’s true.

But we explored it and found that this thought alone was responsible for a huge percentage of her stress. How does she react when she believes it’s true? Tension, fear of job interviews, unable to apply for jobs, totally stuck.

And if she didn’t believe it was true? Peaceful, honest, simple. Looking for a job that would match who she really is, instead of trying to hide herself to get in the door.

So She Turned It Around

And found examples of how being totally, brutally honest could actually help her to get a job. Here are a few of the examples she found.

1. If she’s totally honest in an interview, highlighting her weak points as well as her strong points the interviewer may find it very refreshing to work with someone so honest.

2. If her weak points are fully exposed from the beginning, there will be less stress on the job trying to keep them covered.

3. Because she has been open about her weak points, she may also start to receive the training and support she needs from the company in order to improve in those weak areas.

4. If she’s totally honest, then the interview gets turned around too: now she’s interviewing potential bosses to see who is a good fit for her, not the other way around! The power is back in her hands.

But Can You Go Too Far With It?

She also discovered that there is a difference between being totally, brutally honest, and using the honest truth to put yourself down and shut yourself out.

That doesn’t feel like balance either.

If she goes to an interview and highlights only her weak points to the exclusion of her strengths, then it’s like using the interview to beat herself up.

If you present only the bad side, then sure, who will hire you? But if you hide your weaknesses, then you feel the stress of that.

The balance point may be somewhere in the middle: giving a fair, open, and complete picture without skewing it either to the negative or to the positive. Just honest.

Whatever job I get using that approach could be a very good match for me. A place where I could really be happy and grow.

Have a great week,

“The job is about your freedom. Everything—every man, woman, and child, every tree, every stone—is about your freedom. It’s all God giving you what you need so you can get honest one time.” Byron Katie, Question Your Thinking, Change The World

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.

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