has anyone reading this ever done “the work” by byron katie? i absolutely love this woman. she is amazing. my friend, david, introduced me to her a few years ago when i was going through my divorce. he gave me a stack of CDs that were actually a book-on-tape. i downloaded them and started listening immediately. well, every year, about once a year, i listen to them all over again. i’ve been listening to them on walks and my drive to jewell sometimes, and her message is so powerful.
she has this tool called, “the work”. you answer a series of questions, then go back and ask four questions that basically break down each statement into nothing. her thing is: who would you be without your story?
she has a specific worksheet focusing on the body, since we all seem to have terrible relationships with your bodies. don’t know one single person who feels great about her body. and i do mean to use “her”. guys are brilliantly happy with theirs, beer bellies and all.
so, the worksheet has fill-in-the-blank statements like, “I am __________ my body because________.” You fill it in with pure, honest thinking (don’t candy coat it) and then, when all the statements are made, you ask these statements four questions. Here’s my first statement:
I AM DISAPPOINTED IN MY BODY BECAUSE IT WAS SUPPOSED TO KEEP LOOKING YOUNG AND AMAZING FOREVER, WITH NO EFFORT ON MY PART AT ALL.
(That’s hard to admit, but when it comes down to it, it’s true. I’m mad that I have to start exercising, since the first 38 years of my life have been cake. Literally. Cake and cookies and whatever I wanted to eat and I weighed 95 lbs.)
so then you ask yourself, “1. is that true? and 2. can you really know that to be true?”
NO, THAT’S NOT TRUE. IF I DIDN’T HAVE THIS ALARM GOING OFF WITH MY BODY TO GET OUT THERE AND EXERCISE, I WOULD NEVER GET OUT THERE, AND WOULD NEVER WORK ON MY HEALTH AT ALL. THE VANITY OF WANTING TO LOOK BETTER REALLY PUSHES ME TO GET TO THE GYM. THE RESULTS? MY DEPRESSION AND STRESS VANISH.
next question is, “3. when you think that thought, how do you feel?”
WHEN I THINK ABOUT BEING DISAPPOINTED IN MY BODY BECAUSE IT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE IT USED TO, I FEEL EVEN OLDER AND BITTER. I HAVE A CHAIN REACTION OF TOXIC THOUGHTS THAT RIP THROUGH MY MIND SO FAST THAT I CAN’T EVEN CONTROL THEM. IT STARTS WITH, “I WISH I LOOKED LIKE I DID WHEN I WAS 25” AND GOES IMMEDIATELY TO “MY HUB IS 27. ISN’T HE GOING TO LEAVE ME FOR A YOUNGER WOMAN EVENTUALLY?” WHICH I KNOW ISN’T TRUE. I HONESTLY DON’T WORRY ABOUT STUFF LIKE THAT, BUT THE MIND CAN REALLY SABOTAGE YOUR HAPPINESS. MY MOM CALLS IT THE DEVIL. WHEREVER IT’S COMING FROM, WE HOLD THE POWER TO UNDO OUR THINKING.
the last question: “4. who would you be without that thought?”
THIS IS MY FAVORITE QUESTION OF ALL OF THEM. I FEEL MY SHOULDERS IMMEDIATELY RELAX WHEN I EVEN READ THIS QUESTION. WHO WOULD I BE WITHOUT THINKING THAT MY BODY SHOULD BE YOUNGER, BETTER, THINNER, STRONGER? I’LL TELL YOU WHAT I WOULD BE ~ YOUNGER, BETTER, THINNER, STRONGER. I WOULD HAVE NOTHING IN MY WAY. I WOULD GET TO THE GYM WITH NO BURDENS. I WOULD JUST GO AND ENJOY MYSELF. I CAN BE ALL THOSE THINGS RIGHT NOW AND SO CAN YOU.
and then you’re supposed to turn around the thought and change the wording so that you see the real issue. but i don’t even need to do this because question #4 has a grip on me and i could be happy for the next 24 hours just thinking that thought.
and that’s just one statement on the worksheet. there are six total, and i wrote them all out this morning, after my walk. talk about a healing morning!
and now i’m going to the grocery store to buy veggies and the best dip ever. craving some crudite. the dip is the KNORR spring veggie soup mix ~ dip recipe on the back. i’m gonna make it with greek yogurt instead of mayo. it has spinach and water chestnuts in it and it is so incredible!
HAVE A GREAT DAY, EVERYONE.