by Farnoosh: My guest today on the Daily Interaction Show is Byron Katie. Katie created The Work, which is a self-inquiry method that teaches you how to free yourself from your thoughts, the cause of your suffering, and how to find and embrace the truth. She has changed the lives of millions since the day that she woke up from her own dark depression and followed the voice of truth.
One gorgeous day in the fall of 2012, I tuned into Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday and hear a voice that instantly hooked me. It was Byron Katie talking about her method of self-inquiry and it was fascinating to me. I had learned about affirmations from Louise Haye and studying my own personal development journey for a while and NEVER had I come across anything – a method, a system, a tool – that unraveled the powerful hold that thoughts exerted over my mind… until I learned about The Work.
That day, I was hooked on Byron Katie, and have since watched dozens of her videos, read Loving What Is: Four Questions that Can Change Your Life and listened to it on audio. And today I invite you to do the same with my conversation with Byron Katie.
The Story of Byron Katie
In 1986, at the bottom of a ten-year spiral into depression, rage, and self-loathing, Katie woke up one morning to a state of constant joy that has never left her. She realized that when she believed her stressful thoughts, she suffered, but that when she questioned them, she didn’t suffer, and that this is true for every human being. Her simple yet powerful process of inquiry is called The Work.
The Work consists of four questions and the turnarounds, which are a way of experiencing the opposite of what you believe. When you question a thought, you see around it to the choices beyond suffering.
Byron Katie’s six books include the bestselling Loving What Is, I Need Your Love—Is That True?, and A Thousand Names for Joy, which is next on my audio book list!
Questions for the Byron Katie Conversation about The Work
1. In your book, “Loving What Is” you talk to us about how our stressful thoughts are the root cause of our suffering. Before we talk about how we can change this, can you explain the relationship between stressful thoughts and suffering and give us an example?
2. I love what you said about The Work: “It is a way to contact wisdom because all the answers are inside of us.” But if you are the type of person that is constantly looking for answers outside of yourself, how do you begin to prepare yourself to do The Work, which teaches us that all answers are within us?
3. Would you give us an explanation of The Work? Who can benefit the most from doing The Work? How do we begin to apply The Work? Can they do The Work on your own or do you need guidance first?
4. You once said that when a thought enters our mind, it becomes our God, we worship it and there’s no more room for anything else. In order to get ready to do The Work, how do we know which thoughts to work on? Do we put all our stressful thoughts to the Inquiry or would doing The Work on a few of them cause an avalanche effect and take care of the rest?
5. Does The Work inspire us to take action? For instance, we apply the work to a stressful thought such as “I am miserable at my job.” If we do The Work successfully, would we just feel better about our job or also be empowered to take action and to change our situation for the better?
6. I love the focus of The Work on ourselves but what if anything do you recommend doing for a beloved person in our life who is suffering from his or her thoughts? I like to add that especially when you know this person would rather be right than free and in peace.
7. How does The Work help us move away from a scarcity mindset and move towards an abundance mindset?
8. My favorite part of “Loving What Is” are the 3 types of business: My business, your business, God’s business. Can you help me and my listeners better grasp this one with an example?