• Kelly B
  • Have you ever heard of The Work?
Have you ever heard of The Work?
Written by
Kelly B
April 2011
Written by
Kelly B
April 2011

I'm not a fan of The Secret so I was skeptical when I discovered The Work by Byron Katie. The fact that it begins with the word The is a red flag for me. But I decided to check it out anyway. The mission statement on the website reads as follows:
The Work is a simple yet powerful process of inquiry that teaches you to identify and question the thoughts that cause all the suffering in the world. It’s a way to understand what’s hurting you, and to address the cause of your problems with clarity.

Okay, my real beef with that statement is the phrase "all the suffering in the world." Without that phrase you've got a potential winner, Ms. Katie. So I'm going to redefine it as a way to identify and question the thoughts that cause my personal frustrations. That's better.

As you've probably guessed, there are books, work sheets and seminars to explain the concept. However, the site does list The 4 Questions to ask yourself and then explains the next step in the process called Turn It Around. And that means you can employ this concept for free.

Yeah buddy, I like free so I thought I'd try out this method for myself.

My Personal Suffering

I have a huge issue with people who let their dogs take a dump on my lawn and then walk away without cleaning it up. This causes a lot of anger and resentment for me so I think it's the perfect topic for The Work.

The 4 Questions

1. Is it true?
Yes, I find dried feces on the strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street in front of my house.

2. Can you absolutely know that it's true?
Yes. I can see it, smell it and handle it through the inverted bag that I use to clean it up. I cannot hear it and I will not taste it, but that covers the five senses and it verifies, to me, that it is absolutely true.

3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
I say, "GRRR!" when I see the pile. I curse the dog who laid that cable and then I grab a plastic grocery bag so I can pick it and throw it in the garbage can.

4. Who would you be without the thought?
I would be a peaceful mindless sheep.

Turn It Around

This step is exactly what it sounds like -- make your answer the opposite of what you said.

1. There is no dog feces on my lawn.

2. Are there any absolutes in this world besides death and taxes?

3. I misplace my anger onto the dog rather than the irresponsible owner who allowed the dog to take a dump on my grass and then walked away without cleaning it up.

4. I would be a person who embraced canines all over the world and I would direct my rage at the person attached to the other end of the leash.

I'm not sure if this method really works but I'll get back to you in the thick of summer.

Let's be friends

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