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Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life [Paperback]

Byron Katie , Stephen Mitchell
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 23 2003
Out of nowhere, like a breeze in a marketplace crowded with advice, comes Byron Katie and “The Work.” In the midst of a normal life, Katie became increasingly depressed, and over a ten-year period sank further into rage, despair, and thoughts of suicide. Then one morning, she woke up in a state of absolute joy, filled with the realization of how her own suffering had ended. The freedom of that realization has never left her, and now in Loving What Is you can discover the same freedom through The Work.

The Work is simply four questions that, when applied to a specific problem, enable you to see what is troubling you in an entirely different light. As Katie says, “It’s not the problem that causes our suffering; it’s our thinking about the problem.” Contrary to popular belief, trying to let go of a painful thought never works; instead, once we have done The Work, the thought lets go of us. At that point, we can truly love what is, just as it is.

Loving What Is will show you step-by-step, through clear and vivid examples, exactly how to use this revolutionary process for yourself. You’ll see people do The Work with Katie on a broad range of human problems, from a wife ready to leave her husband because he wants more sex, to a Manhattan worker paralyzed by fear of terrorism, to a woman suffering over a death in her family. Many people have discovered The Work’s power to solve problems; in addition, they say that through The Work they experience a sense of lasting peace and find the clarity and energy to act, even in situations that had previously seemed impossible.

If you continue to do The Work, you may discover, as many people have, that the questioning flows into every aspect of your life, effortlessly undoing the stressful thoughts that keep you from experiencing peace. Loving What Is offers everything you need to learn and live this remarkable process, and to find happiness as what Katie calls “a lover of reality.”

From the Hardcover edition.

Frequently Bought Together

Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life + I Need Your Love - Is That True?: How to Stop Seeking Love, Approval, and Appreciation and Start Finding Them Instead + A Thousand Names for Joy: Living in Harmony with the Way Things Are
Price For All Three: CDN$ 39.64

Product Details

Product Description

From Amazon

Remember the phrase "question authority"? Loving What Is is a workbook on questioning authority--but in this case, what is in question is the authority of our own fundamental beliefs about our relationships.

Known simply as "The Work," Byron Katie's methods are clean and straightforward. The basis is a series of four questions addressed to your own lists of written assumptions. Whether you're angry with your boss, frustrated with your teen's behavior, or appalled at the state of the world's environment, Katie suggests you write down your most honest thoughts on the matter, and then begin the examination. Starting with, "Is it true?" and continuing with explorations of "Who would you be without that thought?" this method allows you to get through unhelpful preconceptions and find peace. An integral part of the process is "turning the thought around," and at first this can seem like you're simply blaming yourself for everything. Push a little harder, and you'll find a very responsible acceptance of reality, beyond questions of fault and blame.

The book is filled with examples of folks applying The Work to a variety of life situations, and reading other's examples gets the idea across pretty clearly; chances are you'll find your own frustrations echoed on the pages a few times. Many chapters are divided into specific topics, such as couples, money, addictions, and self-judgments, with one chapter devoted to exploring the method with children.

Questioning your own authority is never an easy process, but it seems well worth the potential rewards--stress-free choices, peace, and affection for those closest to you. --Jill Lightner --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

A thrice-married housewife and mother of three who once suffered from depression, Katie presents what she calls "the Work," a series of questions to help alter bad thinking patterns and reveal painful truths. So that readers might see the method in action, she has reproduced edited dialogs among herself and participants at her workshop. Direct and easy to follow, her book could indeed produce results for readers battling run-of-the-mill work and relationship problems. However, Katie and coauthor/husband Mitchell, a translator of the Bhagavad Gita, would like their audience to believe that this is heads above a standard self-help book: in Mitchell's compelling introduction, he compares Katie's process to the Socratic method and the Zen Koan and posits that it will enhance any other program or religion. These are heady claims, and it's up to the reader to decide whether the authors deliver on their promises. With the publicity campaign and author tour, there will likely be demand in public libraries. Susan Burdick, MLS, Reading, PA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
What I love about The Work is that it allows you to go inside and fine your own happiness, to experience what already exists within you, unchanging, immovable, ever-present, ever-waiting. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The End of Therapy June 14 2003
By Jan
I had a story. It wasn't a happy story. It was about an abusive childhoood. I wore that story like a pair of sunglasses. I saw my world through that story. I kept spoiling my present with those past experiences.
"The Work" a process contained in this book is the only system that allowed me to really get to the truth of my story - ah - the story under such examination just started dropping away.
This book is not in competition with any other. No other book can take its place. The niche is unique. In A Course in Miracles you are told forgiveness is the key but no one gives you a road map for how to do that - Byron Katies does. In The Power of Now Eckhardt Tolle tells us to be fully in the present moment and just be aware of the pain body - Byron Katie tells you to investigate that pain body so that it can drop away.
For me, this was the single best book that I've experienced that genuinely helped me...I went to A Course in Miracles classes for over 7 years - no real change - I read and am doing The Work in Loving What Is - major changes in two weeks....
I'm very thankful for this book, this work.

I'd like to say that now I wear sunglasses so that people won't be blinded by the light coming from my eyes...but that's stretching it a bit - I'm just a lot happier!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Discovering yourself through Inquiry May 14 2002
By A Customer
In Loving What Is, the authors explain Byron Katie's technique, called "The Work." It is about how to resolve problems, live from a place of peace and aliveness, and how to examine what is, rather than our thoughts about what is. Her approach is refreshing and inspiring. The technique centers around what Katie calls the "Inquiry," four simple questions that allow people to discover how their own thoughts deceive them and create obstacles to a satisfying life. Her book illustrates the "Inquiry" with examples from people she has worked with. She addresses aspects of life that affect everyone: relationships and family, work and money, death and terror. What I enjoyed about her work and her style is that she encourages people to simply look at their thoughts and behaviors, without putting pressure on them to be different than they are. This allows their problems to dissolve. Rather than trying to solve peoples' problems, Katie takes them through a process of examining their reality and shares her enthusiasm and passion for living with awareness. Another book that explores the magic and ease of living in the present and the healing effect of discovering your own truth is Working On Yourself Doesn't Work by Ariel and Shya Kane. This is a simple, honest, and empowering book that captures the essence of how to live a rich, fulfilling and exciting life by letting go of mechanical behaviors from the past that stand in the way of aliveness and well-being.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It IS True!!! Oct. 31 2003
By A Customer
I've been reading through some of the reviews of this book. The negative reviewers make statements such as, "It's too basic. It's a band-aide approach. She's unqualified." I think the question they need to ask is exactly what Katie teaches, "Is it true? Can you absolutely know it's true?" What makes a person "Qualified" anyway--a piece of paper? I've met garbage collectors that I considered more "qualified" to comment on "life" than some therapists who had the "credentials." Qualified, like beauty, is in the eyes of the beholder.
This "work" has helped me tremendously in changing my thinking. It's helped me identify the "stories" I create around the actual truth, and it's helped me realize that those stories are what create my suffering--not the actual reality itself. I think the main thing Katie helps people do is shed their "victim consciousness" and empower themselves. We all create our own reality. She simply helps us "examine" what we're creating and change our perceptions about it. It's in changing those perceptions that we are able to stop creating the same "patterns" over and over again and create more "consciously." And as Forest Gump would say, "That's all I have to say about that!"
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Katie is RIGHT! July 13 2010
By Amazon User TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Katie encourages people to take responsibility for their own life, their own happiness by questioning their own thoughts. She says there is my business, your business and God's business...I found the peace I was seeking when I stayed in my business. This is definitely worth the money! You can't put a dollar sign on peace of mind.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it July 10 2003
By steve
You may love it, you may hate it. So simple it may be easy to miss the point. I found Katie's style and some of the wording a little off putting and some of the ideas challanging, but tried the questions for myself anyway. If you believe the road to change starts with self awareness and self acceptance, then katies questions certainly can't do any harm. My experience is that they are simple and profound. If you have a desire to challange your perceptions and question your view of the world, this is an excellent place to start. I've spent a fair bit of time and money on self help books, looking for answers. I've found myself a lot happier living with these four questions
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars cognitive behaviour therapy....simplified July 6 2009
For me, this book is a great bridge between understanding the ego, and understanding how to disarm it. For an understanding of the ego, a good read is Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth". Tolle defines the ego as the false identity that we create for ourselves by identifying with our thoughts, feelings, things, experiences, etc. Katie provides a very useful and simple method for examining those thoughts, and bringing into our awareness thoughts that have been unconsciously running our lives.

Whether Byron Katie knows it or not, the inquiry process that she describes really is a simple method employing cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) techniques. In CBT, the idea is that we can change our behavior by changing our thinking. It's our thinking that causes our emotions which causes our behavior. One method is to look for the evidence in our thinking, which is essentially what Katie's describing with the question "Is It True?". I love that her method really simplifies the process. The questions are so simple, it's easy to remember them, which makes it easy to use them often and repeatedly. And that is the work that makes or breaks CBT: examining the destructive thinking again and again, each time it comes up, until one day, the thought isn't there anymore. Her process may sound simple, and it is, but it is a lot of hard work for most of us! The reality is the old thinking often keeps coming back again and again, so it takes a real commitment to make a lasting impact.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
We can all get there, it's really quite simple.
Published 2 months ago by MaryAnn Setterstrom
4.0 out of 5 stars Ask the question of yourself, what is my belief ...
Ask the question of yourself, what is my belief system and is it really true. This book will help you to discover new insights and beliefs about yourself. Read more
Published 2 months ago by CathyChamberlin
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit simplistic
The person who was repeatedly sexually abused at 9 years old and then as an adult managed to turn the issue around to I'm abusing myself (with thoughts) doesn't quite work for me. Read more
Published 3 months ago by thelmablue
4.0 out of 5 stars Loving What Is ? Yes !
Thought provoking book that leads to greater personal awareness presented in a clear, concise, easy to follow manner. Love What Is.
Published 4 months ago by Karen Cote Rooney
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
I think this will be a very helpful book. Of course because it has exercises it's not quick to get through but by engaging oneself one can get the greatest results
Published 6 months ago by Ms. Laura Lambell
5.0 out of 5 stars Simplest Formula for Peace Ever
Byron Katie's four questions are the simplest and most powerful of any of the several processes I have studied and tried to bring calm and peace to any disturbing situation - old... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Rachel Kovachis
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish. Ridiculous.
If you really think "It's not REALLY true" that your child should do his homework, or that they should NOT throw tantrums, then you may want to stay away from this book. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Paula A. Brahan
4.0 out of 5 stars Goes to the heart of the matter...
Something here for everyone.....straightforward and helpful. A book you will return to when living becomes challenging. Read more
Published 12 months ago by liamo
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved "Loving What Is"
Ok, I’ll admit it. I don’t always "love" what is. I’m just not there yet. But this book has certainly helped me "accept" what is, and stop trying to alter the reality of "what... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Steven Lane Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Most Helpful Self Help
This is the most helpful self help book I've ever read. I don't "get" it all yet, need to re-read, but doing the "work" brought great illumination.
Published 20 months ago by Griffin Harvey
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