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Letter: From Sylvia

Dear Katie,

I wish to participate again in the nine-day School for the Work to be held in July this year. It is my hope that I will gain some more experience and would work towards being certificated.

Ever since I left the School last year on the 28th of July 2013 my life was a complete change. I now watch my diet and do morning walks and as a result my blood pressure is no longer alarming to the extent that my physician reduced the quantity intake of my medication. I realised that going through inquiry helped me to be in touch with my inner self. I had not forgiven my late husband Maston Vumbunu for transmitting the deadly virus HIV to me, but I wrote a letter to apologise to him at the School, which was a major turning point. The letter made me forgive him and appreciate so many things that he had done for me for the seven years we were married.

That made me change the way I talk to my son about him. It made my son ask me what really transpired at the School of the Work. My son had noticed a great change in my stories about his father. I now talk good about him.

I also noticed that the stressful thoughts are universal. There are no thoughts which belong to HIV positive people only, therefore discovering that The Work is for all people e.g. HIV negative people, cancer patients, gay and lesbians, the old, and even children and teenagers.

I now face my thoughts head-on with inquiry. The Work is an ongoing process in my life. All I need is pen and paper to lead me to freedom.

Being the eldest child in a family of five, I was always out of my way and in my siblings’ business, creating more stress for myself. Now because of The Work, I can give room to my siblings to solve their own problems. When an issue comes to my attention, I question whether it is my business, theirs, or God’s. The Work also helped me not to fight with reality because I will never win the war.

We had a self stigma course using “inquiry-based stress reduction: The Work of Bryon Katie” (IBSR), which left me very liberated when we came back from the School. I no longer want to be treated with special care at funerals, church gatherings, etc. I also questioned so many thoughts involving my HIV status.

I also gained as a facilitator and as participant. We did “popcorn” and realised that The Work is for everyone, i.e facilitator and participant. I used to think that since I was involved in so many HIV workshops and also an HIV activist, I would not stigmatise myself. I realised that I had so many occasions and instances whereby I stigmatised myself and those around me.

My vision on how to move The Work in Zimbabwe among the people living with HIV is to cascade The Work, first to all the support groups in the capital city Harare and then Zimbabwe as a whole so that many people benefit. Also to have more local facilitators receiving training at the School for the Work, for I hope to see The Work moving to other provinces in Zimbabwe, since ZNNP+ has support groups throughout the country . I also hope that one day the School for The Work will be done in Africa in Zimbabwe and have local Certified Facilitators.

My commitment to move The Work is to give all I can, 100%. I will use my weekends and other afternoons to do The Work with the participants. I also created a whatsapp and a Facebook group chats for the Community of the Work in Zimbabwe. We watch videos and listen to audios from BKI. I take it upon myself to remind members of the Community to come for The Work and encourage them to read books by Byron Katie.

So far I contributed in translating the yellow card in our native language. I am now working on translating the sheet “Instructions for Doing the Work “.

I hope this information will meet your expectation and favourable consideration.

Yours Faithfully,
Sylivia V

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