on June 14, 2003
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!
on May 14, 2002
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.
on October 31, 2003
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!"
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.
on 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.
on June 5, 2003
The best recommendation I could give any one is to check this book out of the library rather than paying for it. The concept (and I mean singular) presented is so simple that you get it within the first 20 pages. Subsequent chapters offer transcript after transcript of various sessions between the author and different people with different problems to solve. It gets very tedious hearing these 4 questions (or variations on these questions or the additional bonus questions) asked over and over again. I'm not saying this book won't help some people change their attitudes about their lives, it's just not worth keeping in your private library. Some books you want to refer to over and over, this is not one of them. Read it and return it!
on April 18, 2003
This book is a load of unqualified psycho-babble at best. Life- altering discoveries are based on word games such as restating "I have my husband" into "I hate myself". Even Freud said that, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar"!! The book has dialogs with people following the four questions that are illogical at best. Katie steers her cleints down slippery slopes while pretending not to influence them. Her direction through the dialogues has more to do with "slight of hand" and "bait and switch" than actual psychology. Then what ever misdirected conclusion that is reached is "turned around 180 degrees" and that HAS to be the answer! It is an interesting "band-aid" approach to grieves you, but what happens when the band-aid falls off? What happens a week later when you look at your husband and realize that you really do hate him?
The other problem that I had with Katie is that she has this life-changing shift of consciousness that she never explains. She suffers through ten years of depression and then "poof" the lights turn on without any explanation. She doesn't explain where her enlightenment came from, but it seems to be based on the work of husband number three author Stephen Mitchell while she was still married to husband number two. (Mitchell writes in the introduction: "The first time I watched the The Work. . . I recognized something very similar in process here. . .The Book of Job, the Tao Te Ching, and the Bhagavad Gita. . . Having a reserved seat. . .is one of the privileges of being married to her." Mitchell's writing credits include the last two works. Even if the psychology were sound, her story doesn't hold water.
on December 28, 2003
This book doesn't tell you what's what. It has no real philosophy in it. It simply gives you a simple way to discover your own truth.
I was very skeptical about even reading this book. Somehow I ordered it and it sat around in my collection of thousands of books. I was searching for a "spiritual solution" to my feeling terrible and this was one of many books I ordered.
Then one day, in emotional pain, I picked it up after reading many others. I started reading it.
I read and re-read. I went each chapter again and again and again.
A year and a half later, it is the only self-help book that I really care about. I have done "The Work" many many times and made it a part of me. I have purchased audio tapes of other people doing The Work.
My wife has asked me for help in The Work and my son also.
Here is what has happened to me: I suffer much less. I view every challenge in life as an opportunity for deeper self-realization. I am more comfortable with myself and my life. Things bother me less and less.
Bottom line: I am more in love with the truth than I ever was. I am still less than honest but I am more honest than I was, and loving the truth more and more as time goes on.
The truth does appear to set me free. Reading this book can help you see the truth for you. If you are interested then read this book.
on March 22, 2002
A friend of mind literally put this book in my hands. I had been obsessing about someone for months. I have a meditation practice, a therapist, friends who had been listening to me patiently. But this book seems to be helping in a way nothing else has. This cool thing called "The Work"--where you have to write down what's bothering you and then ask four questions and turn your problem around--made me see that he had hurt me once, but I was hurting me every single day, with my thoughts, repeating the whole thing over and over, letting it take me over. I feel so much lighter about the whole thing now, even kind of amused at times by my own craziness. I really recommend this book to anyone who thinks too much. And I really want to meet Byron Katie someday--the way she talks about Reality being God--if only we were willing to truly see it, the way she talks in general is kind of startling, wakes you up. In person, she must be amazing.
on November 19, 2003
Byron Katie's book, LOVING WHAT IS, provides an easy-to-grasp key to finding peace where you are, right now -- no matter what is going on in your life. While many coaches and therapists advocate acceptance as being the key to overcoming destructive inner negative self-talk, few have so clearly delineated a method for people to achieve this healing state of being.
Katie's premise is that your beliefs are what cause you the most pain and suffering, and that by carefully reviewing those beliefs, you can more easily differentiate the things you can change from those you must learn to accept as they are. LOVING WHAT IS describes a simple technique for reviewing and revising your beliefs with a four-question technique that cuts to the core of what is really troubling you.
Like a wise grandmother, Katie shows how she lovingly soothes those she assists in transcripts of sessions in which she helps people take a look at whether their beliefs are true... whether they can absolutely know that those beliefs are true... how they react when they think those thoughts... and who they would be if they didn't believe those thoughts.
While emotions such as fear and anger may take time to transform into peace and joy, LOVING WHAT IS provides an excellent road-map to a more peaceful and enjoyable life for anyone who is ready to chart a new course.
Cynthia Sue Larson
-- author of "Aura Advantage: How the Colors in Your Aura Can Help You Attain What You Desire and Attract Success"