An easy way to learn about The Work is to watch videos. You get to meet Katie and see The Work in action. Here are just a few of our favorites and there are many more on YouTube and www.thework.com. Enjoy!
Finding kindness and questioning stressful thoughts.
Here’s one of Isabelle’s favorites.
She’s not getting over it.
This one is Lisa’s favorite.
It is easy to do the Work. Just follow the steps below.
Step 1: Download and fill out a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet here.
Alternatively, just write down the thoughts or judgments that are troubling you in this moment in short and simple sentences. (Katie sometimes invites people to “vomit on paper.”)
Step 2: Select a thought or belief from the ones you have written
that really has a “charge” to it – that really feels true, and upsetting to you. Then, take your time and ask yourself the following questions regarding this thought.
Give yourself permission to answer from your heart. Notice if you begin to go into defense or justification. This is your chance to really ask you, and really hear from you, what’s true. I invite you to be kind and gentle with yourself and your thoughts as you do this. The Work is meditation.
Question 1: Is it true?
Question 2: Can I absolutely know that it’s true?
Question 3: How do I react, how do I live when I believe that thought?
Question 4: Who would I be without that thought?
Step 3: Turn the Thought Around.
The Turn-Arounds are an opportunity to experience the opposite of what we have been believing, to see for ourselves if it’s as true or truer than the original thought.
To illustrate this, let’s look at what happens when I turn around the thought, “I have something to teach you.” One turnaround for this thought could be: “I have nothing to teach you.” An example of how this is as true or truer than the original thought is that I know everything you need to live a life of fulfillment and happiness is within you – not me. You hold the keys to your happiness and when I think I can give them to you, I experience a lot of stress and anxiety! Another example of how this could be as true or truer is when I hold this turnaround in my heart, I instantly relax and stop trying so hard. This shows me it’s closer to my true nature than the original thought. Ahhhhhhhh.
Another turnaround might be “You have something to teach me”, and that definitely feels as true or truer. Every time I meet someone with an open mind I learn something. As I get clearer, I am more and more in awe of you, and more humble. For example, recently I had dinner with my two brothers. I noticed that when I was quiet and just listened to their conversation, boy not only did they not need me, but they had rafts of kindness, love, and good information to share with one another, and I got to be a lucky listener.
Another turnaround might be “I have something to teach myself.” Hot dog, that feels exciting! And it definitely feels as true or truer. How many times a day do I receive little messages from myself that are so kind and helpful, and that I frequently ignore? And that if I were to follow them, how much more alive and real and responsive my life would be? I am not talking about burning bushes or ground-shaking epiphanies. I am talking about following the simple directions that come to me, like ”go and pee now” (instead of holding it so long I forget I even need to go), or “call this friend now”, “get off the internet now”, or “time for bed, dear”. Life is so kind and so simple when I listen.
Step 4: Embracing Reality
When we do the Work on a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet, the turnaround for item #6 is a little different than the other turnarounds. In #6, we are invited to consider what we NEVER want to experience with that person or situation again. For example, I might be working this statement for my #6: “I never want to feel rejected by you again.” The 1st turnaound for this statement might be: “I am willing to feel rejected by you again.” Now why would this be? Why would I be willing to feel rejected by you again? Because, when I feel rejected by you, I hurt. I withdraw. I punish myself and you. I make you responsible for my happiness and self-love and deny it to myself when I perceive you do. All this is very painful, very uncomfortable, and it shows me that something’s off with my thinking. If I make you responsible for my happiness, in that moment, I am powerless and a victim. Not a nice place to live. And a massive invitation to look at what I am believing in the moment. So I am willing to feel that way… because I know what to do when I do feel that way! I can ask myself some simple questions, find out what’s really true for me, and set myself free.
The second turnaround for #6 is “I look forward to feeling rejected by you.”Huh? Why on earth would I do that? Isn’t it enough to be willing? Why do I look forward to it? The second turnaround is an invitation to fully embrace life and all the thoughts that may still live unquestioned within us. Why do I look forward to it? Cause here it comes, until it doesn’t. Life brings us all kinds of interesting joys and pains, horrors and oddnesses. Number 6 is the arms-wide-open, bring it on, it’s OK willingness. Not polly anna, not a pasted-on affirmation, but the humble allowance and acceptance of what is, whatever that is, in the moment. I may hate you again. I may hit you again. I don’t want to, and if I am believing an unquestioned thought in that moment, how can I not live that out, even if it is “just” internal – hating and hitting myself? And if that occurs – I look forward to it, I look forward to doing the Work on it, I look forward to hearing and healing what is left. What else is there to do?
Hopefully this has given you a taste of how easy and effective questioning a painful thought can be. For more information or to book a session, feel free to contact us. There are also fabulous resources including videos of Katie facilitating the Work available here. There are even experienced facilitators available on the Do the Work Helpline who will facilitate you through the Work for free! Click here to find out more.