I was introduced to Byron Katie in 2014 by my cranial therapist.
With an old neck injury that I had ignored for far too long, and was causing me chronic pain, I had come to a point where I was no longer able to move my head from side to side. Saying that it was affecting the quality of my life was an understatement.
So I walked into the cranial therapist's office that day, knowing that CST could help my neck (as well as the TMJ and ear-ringing that I was experiencing) as I used to have CST done when I lived in Toronto about 10 years back. What I didn't realize was that in addition to the pain relief I was hoping to get out of this appointment, I was about to discover the Work of Byron Katie.
Fear and Anxiety
As I lay there, talking with my CST therapist, she started asking me questions.
At that point, I was feeling very down.
The pain and ear issues I was experiencing were causing me a lot of anxiety.
I explained that I felt like I was living in fear; fear that my situation with my body would get worse – honestly, I never knew that ear issues could cause such overwhelming anxiety and isolation – and that I was also coming off some severe PTSD from our son having been ill the year before.
I won't go into any of the details here, but our son is now doing really well but having a sick child is obviously a parent's worst nightmare and it was very scary, very sad, and very overwhelming. I think I was still reeling.
The Work of Byron Katie
Discovering The Work changed my life.
I was introduced to the “4 Questions” which started me questioning my thoughts (you can grab the worksheet here if you'd like to go through them – I highly suggest it)
I was then sent home with the book, “Loving What Is.”
From that point on my mind had been cracked open – the light was let in, and I couldn't go back.
Over the next several appointments, as I talked through my emotions with my cranial therapist, I started to realize that a large part of my current suffering was that I was resisting what “was.”
The realization that if I were to let go of the “story” I was telling myself, then maybe I could start to make some emotional progress and finally start to feel better.
As the months marched on, and I continued to have work done on my neck, my cranial therapist walked me through my emotions, the 4 questions, and the turnarounds for various thoughts.
And the more I also worked on my inner thoughts, the stranglehold that my neck had on my physical body lessened, and the stranglehold that my thoughts had on me emotionally started to lessen.
I felt like I could breathe again, despite certain things still being exactly the same. What had changed were my thoughts “around” what was happening.
So today, instead of getting into all the things that I worked through and continue to work through (as it's all a work in progress and right now even writing about this is another indication of we teach what we need to know) I would love to share my top 10 favorite Byron Katie quotes.
These quotes as I found them, resonated with me on a deep level.
The quotes have all nourished my soul and they have tied directly into some of the things I needed to heal.
I by no means claim to know very much about Byron Katie – I've hardly scratched the surface. I'm getting better but I still have a long way to go.
Some days I take several steps back, but I do know that The Work has changed my life or should I say my “reactions” to life.
The Work has helped me cope with life's twists and turns.
The Work makes me look at things and gets me to “wonder” about them before I panic, or jump to a conclusion and tell myself a story.
Now before I give you the 10 quotes that really resonate with me and help me live my best life, I wanted to write out the 4 main questions of The Work that get you to start questioning what you “believe”, challenging the negative thought and putting it up for inquiry:
“1. Is it true?
2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
3. How do you react when you believe that thought?
4. Who would you be without the thought?
My Top 10 Byron Katie Quotes
- “All the advice you ever gave your partner is for you to hear
- “Don't believe everything you think.”
- “Nothing external can disturb us. We suffer only when we want things to be different from what they are.”
- “Everything happens at exactly the right moment.”
- “There are no mistakes.”
- “As I often say, if you argue with reality, you lose—but only 100 percent of the time.”
- “The basic realization that other people can’t possibly be your problem, that it’s your thoughts about them that are the problem—this realization is huge. This one insight will shake your whole world, from top to bottom”
- “We don't hear what someone said; we imagine what they meant.”
- “The unquestioned mind is the world of suffering.”
- “The world is your perception of it. Inside and outside always match – they're reflections of each other. The world is a mirror image of your mind.”
- NOTE: I had to throw this one in here, too: “You're either attaching to your thoughts or inquiring. There's no other choice.”
So after reading these, how do you feel about them? What resonates with you?
And by the way, in wrapping up this post, I wanted to mention there is a great children's book for The Work.
My cranial therapist gave it to my son to read.
This was a few years ago and it has helped him question his own thoughts and whether or not they “serve” him. For a child that had to deal with illness, I felt like it helped him heal as well.
The book is called, “Tiger, Tiger, Is It True?” and it is a great read for the little ones. It's a lovely book and one I think all children would benefit from reading.