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Are You Ready To Do The Work?

Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors

Are You Ready To Do The Work?

Putting an end to blame and judgment.
Byron  Katie
Byron Katie More by this author
Aug 18, 2009 at 10:00 AM

THE WORK IS A SIMPLE yet powerful process of inquiry that teaches you to identify and question the stressful thoughts that cause all the suffering in the world. It consists of four questions that you apply to a stressful thought. It’s a way to understand what’s hurting you, a way to end all your stress and suffering. It works for everyone who is open to it, and it has a profound effect on your whole life.

The first step in The Work is to write down your stressful thoughts about any situation in your life, past, present, or future—about a person you dislike or a situation with someone who angers or frightens or saddens you. (You can go to and download and print a sample worksheet to use.)

For thousands of years, we have been taught not to judge—but let’s face it, we still do it all the time. The truth is that we all have judgments running in our heads. Through The Work, we finally have permission to let those judgments speak out, or even scream out, on paper. We may find that even the most unpleasant thoughts can be met with unconditional love.

I encourage you to write about someone whom you haven’t yet totally forgiven. This is the most powerful place to begin. Even if you’ve forgiven that person 99 percent, you aren’t free until your forgiveness is complete. That one percent you haven’t forgiven is the very place where you’re stuck in all your other relationships (including the relationship with yourself).

If you begin by pointing the finger of blame outward, then the focus isn’t on you. You can just let loose and be uncensored. We’re often quite sure about what other people need to do, how they should live, and whom they should be with. We have 20/20 vision about others, but not about ourselves.

When you do The Work, you see who you are by seeing who you think other people are. Eventually you come to see that everything outside you is a reflection of your own thinking. You are the storyteller, the projector of all stories, and the world is the projected image of your thoughts.

Since the beginning of time, people have been trying to change the world so that they can be happy. This hasn’t ever worked, because it approaches the problem backward. What The Work gives us is a way to change the projector—mind—rather than the projected. It’s like when there’s a piece of lint on a projector’s lens. We think there’s a flaw on the screen and we try to change this person and that person, whomever the flaw appears to be on next. But it’s futile to try to change the projected images. Once we realize where the lint is, we can clear the lens itself. This the end of suffering, and the beginning of a little joy in paradise

About Author
Byron  Katie
Byron Katie is the author of the bestselling books Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life, I Need Your Love—Is That True?, and A Thousand Names for Joy: Living in Harmony with the Way Things Are. ..... On her website y Continue reading