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post #761 of 796
Hi. I'm just beginning to read this thread. I have looked at the website before but it didn't really click with me. However, the thing that has really stuck with me and I find myself using throughout the day are the turnarounds. I can't remember any of the other questions, but I can at least identify my stressful thought, ask if it's true, and usually come up with the three turnarounds. Then I feel amused. It feels like it really helps me.

For example:
My son saw the movie Starwars. We go to the library, and all he wanted to look for were Starwars books.

My stressful thought:
I don't want him reading those books.

My turnarounds:
I *DO* want him reading those books. (I DO want him choosing his own reading materials. I DO want him to find books interesting and relevant. I DO want him to feel independent.)

He doesn't want me reading THOSE books. (This makes me see how ridiculous it is to have judgement about what someone else is reading. In a good way.) :-)

I don't want ME reading those books. (Aha. This might be the one that is most true. Maybe to look for some books on tape) :-)

That was just a small one. I might come back with a more substantial one.

If I am finding this helps, do you think I can continue to do this on the fly or might I find more value in doing the whole worksheet? My hesitation about delving more into the website are: it feels like too much "work." I don't have lots of time for journaling etc. I also think it might be too much dwelling on the problems. I am currently reading (listening to) a law of attraction book called "The Astonishing Power of Emotions," if you have read it I would like to know what you think. It sounds so much "easier" to simply be aware of "upstream/downstream" thoughts and emotions and that can be done on the fly, in progress, and I'm more drawn to the idea of making problems smaller than they feel in the moment... please let me know if this makes sense. Thank you :-)
post #762 of 796
i am no expert, but for me, i have found doing it when a problem arises really helps. i don't journal either. the turn arounds are the best part, they always open my eyes. lol i find the biggest thing is usually it all comes back to me. it is my issue and i can only control me. lol go figure.

that book sounds interesting. i was disappointed in "the secret" i felt it was too much about getting things and money, not enough about changing your out look and doing work on yourself.

h
post #763 of 796
Quote:
Originally Posted by May May View Post
When they attack you and you notice that you love them with all your heart, your Work is done. -- Byron Katie




I wish I'd read this a few days ago. It could have helped clarify my own feelings for me.
post #764 of 796
i guess i still have some work to do. lol

h
post #765 of 796
Thread Starter 
Hello, friends!


Webjefita, I agree that the turnarounds do rock! I have also found that if I move into the turnarounds too quickly then they don't really stick . . because I am still stuck on my belief in the original thought. In other words, it is a normal human experience to hold two conflicting beliefs at once so while I can see the turnaround I can also still see reasons to believe its painful opposite. When I question my painful thoughts, however, what is happening is that I am actually undoing them and then noticing their turnarounds becomes the natural effect of that. It is not forced.



Quote:
Originally Posted by webjefita View Post
If I am finding this helps, do you think I can continue to do this on the fly or might I find more value in doing the whole worksheet? My hesitation about delving more into the website are: it feels like too much "work." I don't have lots of time for journaling etc. I also think it might be too much dwelling on the problems. I am currently reading (listening to) a law of attraction book called "The Astonishing Power of Emotions," if you have read it I would like to know what you think. It sounds so much "easier" to simply be aware of "upstream/downstream" thoughts and emotions and that can be done on the fly, in progress, and I'm more drawn to the idea of making problems smaller than they feel in the moment... please let me know if this makes sense. Thank you :-)

It's too much work - is that true? Look at all the ways in which you invest your time, attention, energy into holding up stories. That is a lot of work, isn't it? So you get to decide if what you're doing is working for you. If it is then there's no reason to change it.

I have read some of the book you refer to and find it to be very true for me, too, to notice my upstream and downstream thinking. The place where I stop is that I can notice my downstream thinking but I can't just "let go" of it. I've never been able to do that, no matter how hard I tried, and when I've tried and failed I just feel even more hopeless. What I have found that works for me is that answering the questions of The Work allows my own truths to evolve through the letting-go process in their own time, using their own logic, being present with their integrity. They unravel themselves. Then I find genuine reasons for believing the thoughts that just happen to be upstream . . . but I've not moved toward them simply because they're upstream.
post #766 of 796
this is really cool. i did the worksheet and i get the turnarounds for a lot of it, but i'm stuck on the "embracing reality" part, lol - i can't embrace reality?! uh oh. anyway, it gives me much to think about and i appreciate it!
post #767 of 796
Thread Starter 
Hello friends. I want to share on this thread an experience I had while gardening this morning. If I were to give a title to this day I would call it Innocence Found.

I had the thought that, since it is true for me that we as living beings are love itself, then all I have ever received from my father is love.

That is the first generation of all that he has ever done and said and not done and not said in my life.

This is surely a blessed thing to realize and the resulting feeling is peace washing over my entire body.
post #768 of 796
that is beautiful.

h
post #769 of 796
Subbing. This is such a cool concept. I am very intrigued.
post #770 of 796

Can The Work be used to resolve distress over judgments about one's self?

I'm not sure if any experienced practitioners of The Work are still around, but I'll post my comments and questions about this process in hope for a connection with those who have explored this method with success and/or struggle

~~Background~~
I've read many, but not all of the posts on this thread. I began reading the posts from April 2007 and fully digested the discussions through mid-August 2007, so I'm fully halfway through the over 750 posts. I've studied many of Katie's videos on youTube, read articles about her, visited her website, and become familiar with the main elements of the process of The Work. I've also read and engaged with the material from Naomi Aldort's book Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves, which is in part directly related to using The Work to analyze our reactions in parenting conflicts with our children.

The thoughts/reactions in my life that are most distressing to me have to do with myself. xochimama mentioned the original emphasis of Byron Katie's process is to focus outward, and that is fully supported by Katie's statements in the Little Book, an excerpt from Loving What Is, which Katie provides for free on her website as an initial starting place for doing The Work.

I have practiced secular Buddhism and mindfulness meditation for more than 20 years and was a remarkably calm person in the face of many of life's day to day stresses prior to becoming a parent. I find that some interactions with my child bring out a strong anger reaction in myself that was not present in my 15 years of work as a teacher of young children in child care, preschool, and parent education programs.

~~Internal distress~~
When I struggle with my feelings in a situation such as my 5 year-old daughter whining, I don't think that "she shouldn't whine," so it seems the ~Judge Your Neighbor~ concept doesn't directly apply. I'm not distressed explicitly that she is whining, but moreso that I am reacting to it with impatience. The stressful thought is, "I shouldn't be impatient when my daughter whines." But in truth, as I write it out here with some space from a conflict, that thought is not stressful at all. I can see how it is true and also not true. [True because the impatience isn't the most gentle way to react, Not True because I should be impatient, it's me- it's how I came to be in that moment. Although it is not how I want to be, so I don't accept the "should" as I "should always" be impatient or as permission to be impatient.] The thought becomes, "I shouldn't be frustrated with myself for feeling impatient when my daughter whines," but then that is not stressful either.

The stress comes from imagining the embodiment of the impatience and frustration, not thinking about whether or not it should happen. For example, I feel stress when I think about the impatience within me when my daughter whines, when I recall fully within my mind, body, and spirit vividly how that impatience felt.

So my question seems to be about the formulation of a deeply personal distressful thought/feeling and how The Work does or doesn't apply to inquiry into such thoughts. Katie states quite clearly and frequently that she feels the tools of The Work can end all suffering in the world, so I assume this includes the suffering brought from our thoughts about ourselves. My distress brought for inquiry becomes, "When my daughter whines, sometimes I react with impatience and anger."

~~Previous Inquiry from mothertoall~~
To some extent, I feel like my question relates to the inquiry that May May and mothertoall were dialoguing about in July 2007. mothertoall was wishing to address her unease with a situation at home related to the flirtatious behavior of her niece and ultimately resolved the distressful thought for inquiry as, "My niece should know better than to flirt with grown men." It seems the process became stalled and I am curious if the context of the framing of the thought was part of the difficulty.

I'm going to hypothetically investigate that distressful thought, "My niece should know better than to flirt with grown men," not as I think it applied to mothertoall, but how I imagine it or similar thoughts might apply to myself. I use it here because it has become a part of the history of this thread and readers are familiar with how difficult it was for mothertoall to apply The Work to that situation which she found so distressing.

If I imagine myself in a situation like the one mothertoall described, I would probably also feel distressed, but the statement, "My niece should know better than to flirt with grown men," wouldn't bring me much distress. I would take out the ~should know better than~ because I am familiar with children's psychological development and am aware that children's actions are based on their experiences and their developmental stage. So now I have, "My niece shouldn't flirt with grown men." I'm not distressed about that idea at all. I think it would be safest for my niece to not flirt with adult men, but once again, she is a child and is behaving according to her experience and development. What would be distressing for me would be if there were older men who took advantage of my niece's flirtatious behavior in a way that was developmentally inappropriate or abusive. And still, thinking, "Adult men shouldn't take advantage of younger girls," doesn't bring me any distress. I agree with that thought and Katie has mentioned many times that it is only the distressing thoughts that need to be brought to The Work.

It seems that the actual distressing part of the flirtation, as mothertoall attempted to flesh out, is that when her niece is flirtatious with older men the girl is in a dangerous situation and mothertoall felt unable to resolve it in a way that kept her niece safe without feeling a lot of pain and anger and judgment inside herself. That danger is real and is the responsibility of adults who act inappropriately, not children who are flirtatious. In no way, unless married, can a child legally consent to sexual behavior (including kissing, discussions of a sexually provocative nature, etc.) with an adult in the United States. So I think mothertoall was most distressed with her reactions to her niece's flirting and how worried she was about her niece's future.

Does this make sense or clarify anything? It was distressing for mothertoall to see her niece flirting, but the idea, "My niece shouldn't flirt with grown men," was not the summation of the distressing part of the situation. Perhaps the distressing part could be framed as, "When I see my niece flirt with adult men, internal pain and hurt based on past experiences keeps me from acting effectively and compassionately to protect her."

~~
I'll stop here because I am out of time and hopefully there is enough information in the above two examples (mine with a reaction to whining and mothertoall's with a reaction to flirting) to explore how and/or if The Work can be applied to investigating our distress and judgment of our own reactions to stressful parts of life.
post #771 of 796

Beliefs vs. Feelings vs. Reactions... Little help here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by luckychrm View Post
"When my daughter whines, sometimes I react with impatience and anger."
I've been reviewing the Instructions for The Work from Katie's website, and it seems that the method is designed to work with beliefs rather than specific character traits, reactions, and emotions... Except in perhaps our belief about whether or not we should have those traits, reactions, and emotions.

I'm not sure where my goals fit with this. I don't believe that I need to be more patient with my daughter when she whines, I believe that I want to be more patient with my daughter when she whines. And that belief causes me no distress.

Maybe I'll continue reflecting around this issue and come up with an authentic belief to bring to The Work.

~~An interview with Byron Katie regarding the role of radical protest and not accepting some of the worst parts of life with/in humanity~~

I came across an interview with Katie in which Marc Gafni, a spiritualist and writer, explores the validity of accepting all "that is" in life: http://www.marcgafni.com/?page_id=99 Warning: This interview includes discussion of the Holocaust and extreme violence against children

~~Please check credentials and be safe and gentle with your heart!~~

May May has done an excellent job of explaining that her role in this thread has been to facilitate The Work. Byron Katie has no education or license in psychology. The Work is not at this time an American Psychology Association (APA) recognized form of therapy for mental illness. As all associated with the program have said, possibly until their faces turned blue []: The Work is 4 questions and a turnaround.

Many of The Work materials on Katie's website have been revised as recently as August 2010, including the primary claims of the method's effect, which are posted at the beginning of this thread. The new statement of the effectiveness of using The Work to analyze one's thoughts as of October 2010 is:

People who do The Work as an ongoing practice commonly report:

* Alleviation of depression: Find resolution, even happiness, in situations that were once debilitating.
* Decreased stress: Learn how to live with less anxiety or fear.
* Improved relationships: Experience deeper connection and intimacy with your partner, your parents, your children, your friends, and yourself.
* Reduced anger: Understand what makes you angry and resentful, and become less reactive, less often, with less intensity.
* Increased mental clarity: Live and work more intelligently and effectively, with integrity.
* More energy: Experience a new sense of ongoing vigor and well-being.
* More peace: Discover how to become “a lover of what is.”


~~Who am I?~~
I am a survivor of pervasive ongoing child abuse, neglect, and sexualized violence that occurred within my home and my community who is willing to be the transitional generation ending harmful parenting, caregiving, and education practices. I have struggled with undiagnosed PTSD from the age of 3 and am finally getting comprehensive treatment 35 years later.

I think The Work may be helpful in improving an individual's attitude about and action toward his or her fellow humans, but I suspect The Work has limitations as well. Because of my strong desire to reach the goal of a harm-free upbringing for everyone's children, I am giving The Work a heartfelt attempt through personal practice on my own truly distressing issues.

Full Disclosure: When I first came upon the turn-around procedure in Aldort's book, it caused me a great deal of discomfort. As I saw Katie practice it (via videos) with individuals in front of large groups on issues of child abuse and neglect, I was fully triggered into a dysphoric state of anxiety. I talked to my licensed counselor about the turn-around part & accepting "what is" [(I welcome... )] as step 6 of The Work and she said she would never use it regarding trauma as it would likely be quite negating and destabilizing.

There are a few psychology specialists online who have formally made statements for and against using The Work for traumatic issues.

I don't mean to use this thread to delve into the appropriateness of the turn-arounds in certain circumstances, but I wanted readers to be aware that applying turn-arounds to trauma might leave them feeling worse than before they started and then without the trained support (e.g., licensed mental-health providers) to help manage their overwhelming feelings. There are many discussions of this element of The Work within the 1-4 star reviews of Loving What Is and other books of Byron Katie's at amazon.com.
post #772 of 796
just a thought that might help with your feels reguarding your LO's behavior and your reaction to it

"When Anger Hurts Your Kids" is a great book on helping you deal with your own emotions when it comes to things your child does. HTH

h
post #773 of 796
thx mamaofthree I spent some time browsing in a bookstore last night. I was trying to figure out which of Byron Katie's books I would invest in since I don't currently have access to a library. I couldn't find one that I felt really answered my questions in depth about using The Work on one's self. I did find a book called Parenting from the Inside Out by Siegel & Hartzell which did adress the issue of negative parenting reactions from a combined perspective of emotional interconnectedness and biology. Something called: Interpersonal Neurobiology. I'm surprised that having very recently completed a Bachelor's degree in education it is the first time I have come across this material.
post #774 of 796
Thread Starter 
Hello, luckychrm. Welcome to The Work.


What is coming to my mind when I read your description of your experience is to ask you what your thoughts are when your daughter is whining.

It is my experience that feelings are the effects of thoughts.

Have you tried journaling whatever comes to mind? Just letting your thoughts flow out onto paper? I have found that exercise to be very helpful in determining what is triggering me in situations where I have not previously been able to find the stressful concepts.


With regard to mothertoall's thoughts about her niece, what have sometimes been similar triggers for me are the beliefs that 'she will get hurt' or 'she is not safe'.
post #775 of 796
Thanks for the input May May Are you still practicing The Work regularly? Are you a certified facilitator? I've been thinking of calling one of the volunteer facilitators on the hotline, but I haven't got Skype installed on my computer yet.

I'll check back in if/when I get a chance to go through this exploration and let folks know how it went.
post #776 of 796
Thread Starter 
Luckychrm, I do still practice The Work regularly. I began studying The Work in 2000; attended several workshops given by Katie and then completed the School for The Work in 2006. I have not participated in the certification program and may consider doing so once my children are much older (the program is quite intensive and I am a single mother). I practice The Work daily and also with my children, clients and friends. I am here to share The Work with anyone who wants it, as much as I am able.

The volunteer hotline is an excellent resource and I often recommend it to people.


I had suggested journaling because it can help one to isolate the stressful concepts that may not yet be known to their believer. In my experience, once one has discovered the thoughts that bring them suffering, they can move forward with answering the questions rather quickly. Identifying concepts is the key to beginning the process of The Work. It is all about finding and working with what is true for us in each moment.


post #777 of 796

Turn arounds

Quote:
Originally Posted by May May View Post
With regard to mothertoall's thoughts about her niece, what have sometimes been similar triggers for me are the beliefs that 'she will get hurt' or 'she is not safe'.
As mothertoall framed it, "My niece should know better than to flirt with grown men," two turn-arounds pop to mind that are at least as true or truer:

My niece shouldn't know better than to flirt with grown men.

Grown men should know better than to flirt with my niece.
post #778 of 796
Thread Starter 
I am not understanding your intention. Mothertoall shared her thoughts the way they are true for her. What is true for you in this situation, luckychrm?

Would you like to do The Work on your stressful thoughts about your daughter's behavior, luckychrm?
post #779 of 796
Thanks for the offer May May, but I am not interested in using this thread to apply The Work to a very personal and vulnerable experience in my life via a public forum. And to clarify, my stressful thoughts were about my behavior, not my daughter's.

My intention in exploring mothertoall's example is to try and understand why it got so confusing and what aspects caused that. It seemed through reading her posts that mothertoall's experience with The Work may have added to her confusion and I don't want to be in a similar situation myself.

It seems to me that the purpose of doing The Work in a public forum is so that we can learn from each other. My Work is your Work?

I was excited that there were so many posts related to The Work in this thread and hoped it would be an opportunity to explore the ideas presented by Byron Katie in order to consider applying them safely to my own situation.
post #780 of 796
Thread Starter 
I hear you, luckychrm. Thank you for explaining. I support you in doing what is right for you and hope that you find what you are looking for in the way of discussion about The Work.

The process of inquiry can become confusing at times. The Work stops working as soon as we begin to spin our stories during the process of inquiry.


Everyone is welcome and free to either question their thoughts or to believe them, to keep and to live out of those concepts that are working for them, to answer the questions of The Work or not. There are no right or wrong answers to the questions. Each person's truth is right for them in the moment they're believing it.

In the example of trauma and in other examples, I have noticed that it is necessary for people (myself included) to stay present with and honor the experience of their suffering for quite some time. Sometimes, they come to a place of readiness to bring their suffering to the questions. Sometimes not. This is freedom. If The Work is feeling dismissive to someone then it may not be for them. They are free.


I am offering facilitation of the questions for those who want it. I am here to hold the space. The Work is each person's own.
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