The Work by Byron Katie is a series of questions for examining situations that can completely change your perspective on things. Here’s how to do The Work by Byron Katie.
How to Do The Work by Byron Katie
In this post I’m just going to pull out a couple of the questions she uses, but for the full method, I would recommend reading her book Loving What Is by Byron Katie. I can’t give away all her secrets. 😃
So basically you would start with thinking about a particular emotionally-charged situation. Here are some examples of stressful thoughts:
“[Name] is never there for me.”
“[Name] is judgmental of my life.”
“[Name] doesn’t show that they love me.”
Something like that. In the actual process, Katie has people write out a whole page of observations based on certain questions and recommendations, but for the purposes of this blog post, we’re just going to go with the simplest method that can still get some eye-opening results. 😉
And then my two personal favorite questions that she uses to turn around the situation around are these (she also has 4 questions before this part in the book, but I’m skipping ahead):
Let’s use the second example that “[Name] is judgmental of my life.”
So you might flip it around first and say “I am judgmental of [Name].” Is there any way that that could be true? Are you sure?
And next, you would flip it to “I am judgmental of my own life.” Is that true at all?
Or to use the last example, “[Name] doesn’t show that they love me.”
You would first flip it to, “I don’t show [Name] that I love them.” Is that true at all?
Then you flip it to, “I don’t show myself that I love myself.” Is that true? Is it possible that you’re looking for happiness or love that you can only provide yourself?
This is a simple process of reexamining your statements and re-working them to see if there is any other truth lurking beneath the surface.
To continue the example of thinking someone is judging you, although that could be true, it could also be true that deep down, we’re judging ourselves and are extra worried about anyone else judging us. Or maybe it’s possible too that we’re judging other people and don’t really want to admit that.
You’ll notice that we haven’t actually confronted anyone here or gotten into any arguments. All we’ve done is re-examined our own beliefs to see if they’re still true.
And our original beliefs might actually still be true, but it’s also possible that there’s more to the story that we realized, and that can change our perspective on things and lessen the emotional charge and anger of certain beliefs.