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Interview with Eight-and-a-Half-Year-Old Emma

Q: Have you ever been to a Katie event?

A: No, but I have listened to the Loving What Is tapes. I listen to them when I go to sleep.

Q: Is it ever hard for you to hear people’s stories?

A: Sometimes, a little bit. I like the endings when sometimes they laugh a lot and they realize it’s really not true what they were thinking.

Q: Do you experience that when you do The Work?

A: Yeah, I do.

Q: Can you tell me about a specific dialogue that helped you?

A: Yeah, I can remember one. This is from couple of years ago. I was watching TV. There was this really scary preview—it was of a horror movie—and I didn’t have enough time to change the channels, so I saw it. That really freaked me out.

So my mom helped me with that. I did The Work on it and after that I realized it was not actually something that could hurt me. It was an image that was made up and was not real. That was helpful.

[Emma’s mom described how the turnaround “I’m going to hurt the monster” was a fun one for them. Emma saw that she could destroy the monster by questioning her thoughts about it. She also saw how she hurt herself (“I’m going to hurt me”) by bringing back in her mind an image of something unreal—that wasn’t in her room in reality—and believing it could actually harm her. It hurts to make up and imagine what the monster will do to me.]

Q: Did you feel peaceful after that? Were you able to sleep in your room?

A: That night I slept in my mom’s room just in case. After that I felt a lot better and just comfortable with going to sleep. I was clear-minded. Even if I pictured the image, it didn’t actually scare me anymore.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to tell me about The Work in your life?

A: Something happened that was kind of big and it sort of caused me and my mom to separate a bit. I was really angry at her. And I was worried that it would cause our relationship to be permanently wounded. She did The Work with me on that and it helped a lot. So it’s more peaceful now.

Q: After The Work, were you done with that belief? Did you find the relationship wasn’t permanently wounded?

A: Yeah, I did.

Q: Emma, why do you think The Work works? What do you think it is about The Work that helps people totally change their mind?

A: Oh, wow. When you do The Work, especially with “Is it true?”—if you think for a couple of minutes you realize this thought can’t be true. Like, “I need oranges.” You realize if you needed them, you’d be unhealthy. If you’re perfectly healthy, you wouldn’t need anything else. You’re only unhealthy emotionally if you think that thought.

And then “How do you react when you think the thought?” You realize there’s a really big chain of suffering you go through if you just think this one simple thought.

The turnarounds are the most important—especially the part where you have to give a reason why it’s true. It might not even be part of The Work you’re doing. “My friend doesn’t care about me anymore.” If you do the turnaround “I don’t care about myself,” you find a moment where you didn’t care about yourself. That points the flashlight at you, not your friend. Sometimes when I’m angry I pinch myself or hit myself to numb the emotional pain and focus on physical pain.

Q: Do you ever find the turnarounds surprising?

A: Yeah, it just comes at you kind of suddenly.

Q: What do you like about hearing Katie do The Work with people?

A: Well, Katie’s funny. She has some funny quotes that are fun to laugh to. It’s also interesting and can give you a better idea of how The Work works—because you can think it’s a weird process and probably doesn’t work. When you hear someone do it and hear how they’re happy when they get to the end of the process, you get how you can use it to make your life happier and not suffer.

Q: Do you imagine you’re going to keep using The Work?

A: Yeah, I do. If you get introduced to it and it works on one of your problems, you really can’t stay away.

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