Byron Katie (Byron Kathleen Reid), a businesswoman and mother living in the high desert of southern California, became severely depressed while in her 30s. Over a 10-year period her depression deepened, and Katie spent almost two years seldom able to leave her bed, obsessing over suicide. Then one morning, from the depths of despair, she experienced a life-changing realization.
Katie saw that when she believed that something should be different than it is (“My husband should love me more,” “My children should appreciate me”) she suffered, and that when she didn’t believe these thoughts, she felt peace. She realized that what had been causing her depression was not the world around her, but the beliefs she had about the world around her.
In a flash of insight, Katie saw that our attempt to find happiness was backward—instead of hopelessly trying to change the world to match our thoughts about how it should be, we can question these thoughts and, by meeting reality as it is, experience unimaginable freedom and joy. As a result, a bedridden, suicidal woman became filled with love for everything life brings. Katie developed a simple yet powerful method of inquiry, called The Work, that helped make this transformation practical.
Katie’s insight into the mind is consistent with leading-edge research in cognitive psychology, and The Work has been compared to the Socratic dialogue, Buddhist teachings, and 12-step programs. But Katie developed her method without any knowledge of religion or psychology. The Work is based purely on one woman’s direct experience of how suffering is created and ended. It is astonishingly simple, accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds, and requires nothing more than a pen and paper and an open mind. Katie saw right away that giving people her own insights or answers was of little value—instead, she offers a process that can give people their own answers. The first people exposed to The Work’s four questions reported that the experience had transformed their lives, and she soon began receiving invitations to teach the process publicly.
Since 1986, Katie has introduced The Work to hundreds of thousands of people in over 30 countries around the world. In addition to public events, she has introduced The Work to groups in corporations, universities, schools, churches, prisons, and hospitals. Katie’s joy and humor immediately put people at ease, and the deep insights and breakthroughs that participants quickly experience make the events captivating (tissues are always close at hand). Since 1998, Katie has directed The School for The Work, a nine-day curriculum of exercises offered several times a year in different locations around the world. Katie also hosts an annual New Year’s Mental Cleanse—a five-day program of continuous inquiry that takes place at the end of December—and she offers weekend intensives in major cities. Audio and videotapes of Katie facilitating The Work on a wide range of topics (including sex, money, the body, and parenting) sell briskly at her events and here on her Web site.
TIME magazine has profiled Katie, calling her “a visionary for the new millennium.” In March 2002, Harmony Books published Katie’s first book, Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life, co-written with renowned author/translator Stephen Mitchell. Loving What Is has been translated into twenty languages. It reached as high as #21 on Amazon—where an ordained minister wrote that she would recommend this book before the Bible—and has been on best-seller lists at bookstores around the country. Katie’s second book, I Need Your Love—Is That True?, was also a bestseller.
The four (4) basic questions ...
1) Is it true?
2) Can you absolutely know that it's true?
3) How do you react, when you think that thought?
4) Who would you be without that thought?
and a couple of addition questions Katie sometimes asks are:
Can you see a reason to drop this thought?
Can you see a stress-free reason to keep this thought?
So my friends let us get on with "The Work"
this video is a great example of what we could do when we write out our own questions...and do the work involved to be about a relationship with the IS-ness of life...and embrace THAT.