I came to know The Work of Byron Katie through a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet. Immediately I felt invited to, without reserve, write down my thoughts about my partner. At that time he was suffering from depression and burnout. I was surprised by the impact of the six sentences on the worksheet. Arriving at question four I felt reluctant. Writing down what I thought I needed seemed too dangerous. Afterwards I read the my finished worksheet. Inside I felt acknowledged and peaceful. It incited my curiosity: what more was there to this ‘The Work’? I decided I wanted to experience and learn more.
In 2007 my partner and I attended the School for The Work with Byron Katie.
With The Work I found out: “the body follows the mind”. At that time I could pretty much keep control over the impact a car crash was having on my body and mind. Experiences such as cognitive and physical problems, uncertainty about the course of recovery, and a sense of failure because I was not able to practice my job as a special education teacher any more, were all “under control”. … Well, it was like holding my breath in order not to drown. After several sessions with The Work I made peace with the body I had labelled ‘unreliable’ during the years after the accident. Gradually I took pleasure in the method, in identifying and doing inquiry on the irritations that I thought I shouldn’t have, while getting to know myself better. For example, I found out that I had created a certain distance from my emotions. What I presented to the world was at odds with my inner experience. On the surface I was telling myself “I won’t have fear” and “I should trust” but deep inside I was feeling afraid and uncertain. Now, though it may look the same to others, I keep breathing quietly inside. If an undermining pattern or new stress presents itself, the Work offers me a realistic—and often surprising—alternative: a life of freedom and connectedness.
After the School I attended various therapeutic trainings (in particular the Contextual-systemic therapy in which relational ethics play an important role), so now I’m also able to offer The Work from a professional care framework. For myself and from my experience as a facilitator, I have noticed that all themes are welcome, on the worksheet and in The Work. Don’t hesitate if you would like to submit your stress or to inquiry to The Work. I’d be delighted to support you!
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