Excerpt from interview with Marci Shimoff for Beyond Belief:
One of my favorite tools is a very simple system developed by a woman named Byron Katie. Katie, they call her. is one of the happiest people I’ve ever met, and Katie discovered one day that is wasn’t her circumstances in life that were causing her to be miserable but it was her thoughts about those circumstances.
She just naturally started to question her thoughts. You know we have this belief that just because we have a thought means that its true. Silly, just because you have a thought doesn’t mean that its true. It’s very important to learn to question your thoughts.
Katie has developed a system called the work. It’s a very simple system for asking yourself four questions, that allow you to really see if in fact your thoughts are necessarily true, and they allow you enough distance that you are able to dissolve some of those thoughts that are robbing you of your happiness, of your success, of your greater purpose and passion in life.
The four questions that are involved in the work are very simple.
The first question is: “Is that true?”
So I have a thought, my thought is, my friend should be nicer to me. Well, is that true? You might on first guess say yeah, that’s true! Then you say. Can I really know that that’s true?
That’s the second question: “Can I really know that that’s true?”
The third question is: “How do I feel when I have that thought?”
Generally when you have a thought like that you are going to feel contracted, you are going to feel less energy. you are going to feel judgemental.
And then the fourth question is: “Who would I be without that thought?”
You know without that kind of judgement I might have more freedom in life. I might be able to be more accepting, more loving of my friend, I might not be so contracted.
So you ask those 4 questions. Then there is a very interesting twist and that is: You do a turnaround statement.
So you take the original statement and you turn it around in some way. So the thought: my friend should be nicer to me, well, one possible turnaround statement is: I should be nicer to my friend. Could you find a way that that could be true?
Another possible turnaround statement could be, I should be nicer to myself. I think for most of us that one could be true.
It sounds like such a simple process, but it makes profound difference in peoples lives. I have seen so many people who have had amazing changes, just by, on a regular basis, practicing this simple system called the work.
Marci Shimoff is one of the experts in the documentary Beyond Belief. Get the DVD at: www.beyondbeliefthemovie.com