What’s the difference between a pinot grigio and a pinot noir? They’re both wine, right?
A connoisseur is one who enjoys something with discrimination and appreciation of the subtleties. You can be a connoisseur of anything: wine, art, jewelry, detective novels, tea, cinema, ice cream, honey, etc.
Why not be a connoisseur of stressful thoughts?
This may sound strange at first. But if you’re familiar with The Work of Byron Katie (4 Questions and Turnarounds), you know that stressful thoughts are the entry points into freedom and peace.
When you identify a stressful thought and question it using the four questions and turnarounds of The Work, you open the door. And inside is often an amazing world that is both stranger than fiction and yet truer than truth.
Through the doorway of stressful thoughts, the mind can find what it’s really looking for: itself.
Of course, this is an art. Just as being a connoisseur of wine is an art. The connoisseur never thinks, “All wines are the same.” A connoisseur is fascinated with the subtle distinctions between one vintage and another.
Each one offers something different to the wine connoisseur. And each stressful thought offers something different to the connoisseur of The Work.
When writing a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet, there is a separate line for writing your “wants” and your “shoulds” and your “needs” in the same situation. At first, this may seem repetitive. But to the connoisseur, this the place to pause and savor the different aromas.
Wants – Line 2 of the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet is where you list your wants. These stressful thoughts have the flavor of being driven by pure emotion. They have a strong body with a sharp nose.
Shoulds – Line 3 is a place to write advice for the person who offended you. This a very subtle flavor, easy to miss. These rarefied stressful thoughts are collected from a dew-kissed image of the offender seen nowhere else in the world but the mind of the victim. These projections of mixed understanding, when harvested with care, can provide deep insight and direction when turned around.
Needs – Line 4 is about looking for what you need to be happy again. These nectarine stressful thoughts hold the key to forgiveness and to unlocking the heart again. The mind believes that the other person holds the key. When you write these thoughts and question them, the spell is broken and the way to happiness opens.
Just as you can eat ice cream without noticing anything other than it is cold and sweet.
But if you have a connoisseur’s mind, you may enjoy reveling in the subtle distinctions between the wants, shoulds, and needs. I find that when I do pay attention these subtleties, my work is more satisfying to me, and I’m less likely to have to redo the work I’ve done before.
If you want to become a connoisseur of The Work, you are cordially invited to join us for a nine-week online “stress-tasting” course called The Work 101.