I am joined by the remarkable Byron Katie, known for her groundbreaking program called “The Work,” and a collection of insightful books, including titles such as “Loving What Is,” “A Thousand Names for Joy,” and “I Need Your Love – Is That True?”
Self-inquiry, as Katie explains it, is the process of asking ourselves four profound questions: Is that true? Can I know that to be true for sure? Who am I when I think those thoughts? And who would I be without that belief? Through this practice, we come face-to-face with the realization that much of our suffering stems from living in the past or projecting into the future, all driven by a mind dominated by ego.
The result of this mental struggle is emotional turmoil, anxiety, self-consciousness, and conflicts with others. But Katie’s teachings offer us a way out of this cycle, inviting us to let go of limiting beliefs and uncover a deeper sense of peace and understanding within ourselves.
Having experienced the transformative effects of Katie’s teachings firsthand, I felt compelled to have an honest and genuine conversation with her, even though I knew it wouldn’t be a straightforward Q&A session. Katie’s responses challenge us to sit with our thoughts, examining them with an open mind and heart.
In a world where information overload and self-proclaimed experts abound, Byron Katie stands out as a beacon of authenticity. Her genuine approach and emphasis on self-inquiry make her teachings accessible and valuable for people of all ages, genders, and life circumstances.
So, no matter where you find yourself in life, whether you’re a young child or an adult seeking personal growth, the practice of self-inquiry holds the potential to enhance your life and bring you closer to your true self.
I am thrilled to share this conversation with Byron Katie, for she has had a profound impact on my own journey, and I believe her insights will resonate with you. So, without further ado, let’s delve into the complexities of self-inquiry and embark on a path of self-discovery together.
- “The Work“
- “Loving What Is“
- “I Need Your Love – Is That True?“
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- Laird Provides Grace [00:07:31]
- The Program [00:07:46]
- An Awakening [00:10:42]
- Agoraphobic [00:15:07]
- Brain Is A Meaning Maker [00:18:27]
- Four Questions [00:22:46]
- You Can Use Me [00:24:43]
- Without Thoughts [00:28:40]
- Hasn’t Investigated “The Work’ [00:39:30]
- Jet Ski + Laird [00:46:33]
- Do You Ever Get Your Feelings Hurt? [00:48:30]
- FOMO [00:50:17]
- Battle with The Girls [00:52:13]
- Speaking to Teens [00:57:05]
- Three Types of Business [00:58:44]
- How Do We Guide Them? [01:00:32]
- Parenting Tricks [01:05:13]
- Loss of a Child [01:10:04]
- Scenarios [01:15:43]
- Pain [01:19:51]
- Turnaround [01:29:51]
- A Thousand Names [01:32:58]
[00:04:49] Gabby Reece: I want to tell you that this interview is the one that I’ve waited the longest to ask to do, and I’ll start off this conversation by giving people some context.
For me personally. I don’t, I try not to make this conversation about me or personal, but this particular conversation is very personal and intimate to me. So, years ago as we have three daughters and one of them as young adults and teenagers go through their challenges.
And I had asked our mutual friend, Elijah, who I said I’m trying to get her. I’m ill equipped and when they talk about more tools and help and I go, I just haven’t found the place, not only for her, but for me, because the other thing I learned is it’s not about dropping your kid off and being like, fix them and I’ll be back.
It’s like when the dog’s unruly, fix the owner of the dog’s fine. And it’s the same. You learn that as a parent that. You can do so much yourself. And so, Elijah goes, Oh, I know. And so, we sent this daughter quite young, 13, and she. Was with you in a large group for many days. It was also… For nine days. Nine. It’s a long time. And I, it was an invitation. She wasn’t forced to go. It was her, because that doesn’t work.
[00:06:15] Byron Katie: The agreement, as I recall, with all of us looking at it originally, it was with her consent. Yes. Which was my yes. Yes. And I just, oh, wow. This little pumpkin is, she she’s in.
[00:06:33] Gabby Reece: And I’m glad because now she’s, it’s many years later and she’s thriving, but it was really, if I could be honest, the impact that you had on myself, and I even know Laird, but I think me as being the more kind of rigid.
[00:06:51] Byron Katie: Straightforward.
[00:06:53] Gabby Reece: I think rigid’s the right word. You’re being nice. I think Laird’s time in nature has made him more pliable in a way that I’ve had to really take a look at.
And one of the things I. One of the many things I appreciate it. What I see there and my experience It’s like he respects you so much that he can afford to yeah, I think he maybe believes like oh, she’ll figure it out when you talk about that respect, I think we have that with our children. When they’re going through this and that and you think oh, they’re They’ll get there.
[00:07:26] Byron Katie: Yeah, they get it. We’ve spent a little time together. Yeah, they get it.
[00:07:31] Gabby Reece: Yeah, so I think Laird provides that grace for me. When he goes, I’ll look at Gabby banging her head against the wall. She’ll figure it out. Or at least work on it. That’s it. Yeah.
[00:07:42] Byron Katie: If we figure it out. Yeah, you can sure count on that.
[00:07:46] Gabby Reece: And your work, your program, The Work Because you never told me what to think or feel or how to act. You just dropped off ideas to me. That’s why it hit me so hard. And I, and so I was introduced to the work through my children, which is beautiful, right? Yeah. Bottom up learning.
[00:08:11] Byron Katie: It says a lot about you. I don’t think we have the choice. My children could introduce their parents. To something that required this is it true? It’s a big ask.
[00:08:30] Gabby Reece: Yeah, but that question It’s one of those things though, it’s like gravity. Sometimes I feel like when we don’t fight it, it’s like apologizing.
I think it’s just easier. Don’t keep trying to hold up the walls. So, I just wanted to start the conversation by thanking you. And for also setting the table for people to know that I for so long have wanted to talk to you, but because your, you and your work have been so impactful to me that this is a very personal conversation and also one that I think is important because you have not only helped so many people, but I believe the work has the opportunity to take people out of suffering and that’s a big deal.
[00:09:18] Byron Katie: Yeah, I work with people and then they are introduced to self-inquiry and they take it from there. Yeah. And so, it eliminates me and that’s as it should be, we all. We all have an understanding within us and anything that opposes that within us, it feels like stress. And self-inquiry is Yeah, it’s available to all of us.
[00:09:54] Byron Katie: It’s already built in. It gives us balance. Balance for the mind.
[00:10:01] Gabby Reece: But the work has a really beautiful directive. I would like to, because we can get lost within ourselves and our feelings. Yeah. You can spin around a bit. So, the work, I think, really gives some very clear. A stability.
[00:10:17] Byron Katie: Yeah.
[00:10:18] Gabby Reece: I would really appreciate it in any way that feels good to you to share how you, one would say you had an awakening, and which led you. To what some of the things we’re going to talk about today. But if you would share maybe just some of your experience and how you landed.
[00:10:42] Byron Katie: It was an awakening.
I woke up to what hurts and what doesn’t hurt. I woke up to what’s true and what’s not true for me. Which took me back to everything I’d ever learned. And I had this experience on the floor that Anytime when my mind is running, each sentence I experience is ending in a question mark. So that’s the inquiring mind.
And one morning Decades ago, as I lay just sleeping on the floor, my self-esteem was so low, I didn’t believe I deserved a bed to sleep in. And so, as I lay sleeping on the floor. This bug crawled over my foot. I say cockroach, but that just grabs a person’s imagination. We can just see that, but it was it nonetheless crawled over my foot and I opened my eyes and came out of this dead sleep before the ego could take over the mind.
Before it could catch up with a thought and name it. Identify it as anything. And I saw what was light. Just light. But I wouldn’t name it that. And then I noticed it was named. And it was involuntary. I didn’t do it. And then window. It was named, so light, window, now there’s three. There’s an eye, there’s light, there’s a window, and then walls, ceiling, floor and it was, I was just wild with being born into Light, window, ceilings, walls, I, and still without identification because the I, no identification yet.
And so, for no reason, I like to refer to the body as I share with you as it. And that’s just like too many. Letters, but it, in hindsight, I can say just stood up and began to walk and it walked into a bathroom and I can see it as I share this with you and on the right there was a bathroom, it walked into it, didn’t know it was a bathroom, nothing, it was just, and it looked into the mirror and Gabby Ha.
It saw the eyes in the mirror and it just fell just deeply into love and it was amazing. Identification. Identification. It could see itself without. So, there was, and it included everything, everyone, and everything. Because everything is a state of mind, as I had already witnessed on the floor.
So that’s a that’s, that makes for that left the world to identify me. My children call me mother, that’s how I knew I was a mother. I’m your child, that’s how I knew they were my child. In this world, that’s how it is. People say it’s a door, just like an infant. We say apple, and the child goes goo ga. Apple. And they see, they name it, and then that moment becomes the reality. So even an apple is a state of mind. There’s nothing that isn’t.
[00:14:55] Gabby Reece: You have three children, and they were all two I think we’re young adults and you had a teenager at home. Because you had your own sort of battle with suffering prior to this moment.
[00:15:07] Byron Katie: Ugh, agoraphobic. It’s the fear of leaving the house, the home. And for me, it was the fear of leaving the bedroom. The fear of anyone seeing me, including my children. It was a state of mind where I was so despicable that the greatest gift, I could give is that no one has to look at me. No one has to see something.
And self-esteem so low. It would be, I don’t know, weeks. Between brushing my teeth, it was just I love sharing this, because if I can sit in self inquiry, every human being and every language in the world, no matter what the state of mind has the Ability to notice, not at first, it’s a practice, I can’t identify it but to just move from their head to paper is what I invite people to do.
And identify what they’re thinking and believing that is causing the suffering. Anytime we’re emotionally, On the other side of feeling good, we can identify what we’re thinking and believing and Identify that move it to paper. So, there is the Irrational mind there is the fearful mind there is the cause of our suffering Which is what we’re thinking and believing, and we can move it from our head to paper.
That’s respectful and oh boy It is the ego. It calls for respect. I Love the ego; you know It’s anything that would create the illusion of an entire world Deserves a little respect so to honor it. I move it from my head to paper and there it is The ego stopped and now I like to see it as love making to see something terrible going to happen, and I just it’s okay Sweetie, the mind go yeah but yeah, but okay, I’m going to Just write it down.
Then I’m going to sit and inquire because I want to know. I want to know. I want to know what’s true and what isn’t. In this experience. In my experience. Is it true something terrible is going to happen? And the eagle goes yes. And I say, okay, honey, let’s slow it down. Down, I hear you, and you could be right, and something terrible’s going to happen.
Can you really know that it’s true? And then meditate in that. Get still. Those of you listening to this those of you that are meditators, you’ve already, you, you know how to get still. But rather than avoid the mind, identify it, question it. But I really invite people to… Write it down because it’s stable there and the Ego doesn’t say what I really meant was You know, it gets okay. I hear you and let’s just work on this first
[00:18:27] Gabby Reece: So, when you talk about this and I find myself and I think about the work and the four questions We have biology That we’re in this vessel, and the brain is a meaning maker, right? It’s always what’s that? Is that a threat?
Something coming over the hill. Is that a shadow? Is that a silhouette? Ego is an it’s a fearful state of mind.
I’m curious if you feel, because sometimes I feel. I feel that because I see it running in my own self and my own personality and then you know, you wake up at three in the morning and you think, Oh, that kid’s what’s going to happen there and all the money and all the stuff.
And I’ll ask myself, Is that true? But I’m also reminded that there are biological things that we almost are working against, that we have to have this practice to help us manage or house what we would call the body. Yeah. And that it’s a dance. Yeah I think When we are not, I don’t want to say not hard on ourselves, but when we could see how we could be that way and then go, great, let’s go back to work now, it makes it easier than going, Oh, why do I do that?
What’s wrong with me? Why do I do that? Why am I doing that? So, you have your awakening and Elijah brought up something really important. People will, who know you will go yeah. It almost feels like Katie had an epiphany that literally something dropped into you. And Elijah’s Oh yeah, no, Katie worked for years and over. Where did the motivation, where, not the motivation, where did the energy or the directiveness come from?
[00:20:10] Byron Katie: The curiosity to understand. A way of understanding. It’s like I’ve, here’s a language for, I found myself here, to be at home here, that’s it, and how to be at home here. At first there was so much joy.
I was. Just walking out into the streets and agoraphobic, walking outside, didn’t know what anything was, and maybe walking up to someone and saying, I’m not very at home here, would you hug me now? And where does that come from? People don’t turn me down. They wouldn’t turn anyone down that authentically wanted a hug because there’s it’s experienced as there’s no trickery there and one of the stories I love to tell is I’m in a market in the desert, no towns for miles around and I’m over at the vegetables and there is this She was a huge, large lady and her skin from being in the desert, it looked like a dry lake bed, with all the cracks and everything and she was black and huge and she had this bag, she was holding this bag and I had lost reverence and I said would you hold me now is my way of grounding you know coming like grounding and she dropped all of her bags put her arms around me and started rocking me in place and singing me a lullaby and that’s just one of the many experiences I’ve had as I used to call it I used to refer to it as meeting the human race.
There’s nothing that is not beautiful in this world other than what we’re thinking and believing in this world. There is nothing terrible and I don’t expect people to believe me. My way is just to invite people into self-inquiry and notice for themselves.
[00:22:29] Gabby Reece: I’ve always appreciated that you made, you held space for when somebody’s just gone through something. Oh, that may not be right at that moment. It’s like the people around them have the opportunity to support them, and then when it is time for self-inquiry, that’s something else.
[00:22:46] Byron Katie: And it’s something that only we can only we can know when we’re ready, but when someone is upset and lost, I’m not going to throw an is it true with on them, but when someone is, which is what you’re saying, when someone is disturbed. And just to be still and available and if they are looking for a tissue to hand them one. Yeah. Your four questions.
[00:23:16] Gabby Reece: They showed up for you and then you worked on them over and over painstakingly.
[00:23:20] Byron Katie: No, I noticed. You noticed. And then people said, what in the world? You, this agoraphobic out in the world and what happened?
And that’s not something I could tell. That’s not something I could tell. I was on the floor, and I saw a light, and I saw a window, and I saw a door. But I could take them through my experience, if that person is open minded, move them to the floor, whether they’re standing, or sitting, or running, move them to the floor.
And through those four questions, and turnarounds, as I call them. They discover it for themselves. Yes. In their own way, without my help. I’m I can ask the questions, but I’m not, only they can answer them. And, everyone’s not interested. And some people are fascinated. And some of us, when we’re up against a wall and there’s no other way around it they’re open to I heard about those four questions, what are they, to people in the world are passing this on from one to the other.
[00:24:41] Gabby Reece: Can you lay out the four questions?
[00:24:43] Byron Katie: Yes, the first one is… You can use me. That’s okay. Look,
[00:24:48] Gabby Reece: I’m here, I’ll be your crash test dummy, I’ll give you a real scenario. Okay. Do you want me to be a mother in this scenario, a wife, or someone or a child?
[00:24:57] Byron Katie: So, what comes to your… I think right now mother.
[00:25:00] Gabby Reece: Mother? Yeah, because I the inherent landscape of concern and non-objectiveness that comes with parenting that I do a little better in other places.
[00:25:10] Byron Katie: So, you need to be concerned about which daughter?
[00:25:14] Gabby Reece: Let’s make it up. Let’s say the youngest. Let’s say Brody.
[00:25:17] Byron Katie: We’ll say it by name. Okay. You need to be concerned about Brody
[00:25:22] Gabby Reece: Yes, I’m very concerned about Brody.
[00:25:24] Byron Katie: Is it true? That you need to be concerned about Brody. And its people listen to this, the ego wants to jump up because enough about the work, it doesn’t. You know about, you know how to be still. But, I know, you question me, and I’ll be a concerned mother.
[00:25:46] Gabby Reece: Okay. Do you want me to, do you want it to be Roxanne or another kid or just a mom? Sure. Okay. Roxanne. Okay. You’re worried about Roxanne. You’re concerned. You, do you need to be concerned about Roxanne?
[00:25:57] Byron Katie: Would you give me yeah; I need to be very concerned about Roxanne. Yes.
[00:26:02] Gabby Reece: Would you be concerned like about her overall if she’s taking care of herself or if, no, just in general, I need to worry about her.
[00:26:14] Byron Katie: Is there something specific that you’re worried about? Yeah, she’s just irresponsible.
[00:26:17] Gabby Reece: She’s irresponsible? Are you worried about the way she’s dealing with her own children? Or are you, is it that? No, she’s
[00:26:25] Byron Katie: just irresponsible.
[00:26:26] Gabby Reece: Is there something specific that shows up for you? That she’s irresponsible?
[00:26:31] Byron Katie: No just overall, irresponsible. That girl. Is she being the kids, do they go to she’s irresponsible, is it true? Yeah, got it. Because we’re doing this fast thing, yeah.
[00:26:42] Gabby Reece: So, she’s irresponsible is that true? Yes. So, it’s true that she’s irresponsible? Yes. In what ways can you know that? Then how do you react? Do you want me to ask you the ways that she’s irresponsible?
[00:26:56] Byron Katie: No, just that, how do you, Katie, how do you react? What happens when you believe the thought? So
[00:27:04] Gabby Reece: Katie, when you think about how irresponsible Roxanne is, how do you react to the
[00:27:10] Byron Katie: situation? So, when I think when I’m thinking the thought, Roxanne is irresponsible. How do I react when I believe the thought? I see images of the past where she made decisions that I didn’t agree with, that I thought were not helpful. I see situations in the past where she was, and see, I can see all of this in my mind’s eye. And then I see It’s a meditative process and stillness, and my mind is open to those images of the past.
And so that’s what I’m speaking out of. That’s… What do you call it? Past futuring? And my virtual daughter and my… And… And then I see images, how do I react when I think the thought, she’s irresponsible, and then I see images of her, oh, making poor decisions around her health, around. And I just, I’m just going to report to you what I see.
In my mind’s eye what I see when I believe the thought, she’s irresponsible. And then the next question, who am I without it? Who would you be without that? Without those
[00:28:39] Gabby Reece: beliefs?
[00:28:40] Byron Katie: Okay, would I be without those thoughts? Would I be without them? My goodness, I can see the table. I was like…
In this hypnotic trance of the not now it was, and she’s not even in the room, and for all I know, she’s doing all the right thing that’s best for her life, I see. Why am I without the thought? Present, grounded, then I can see when I turn it around to opposite, she’s not responsible. She is responsible.
Oh my God. She has raised the most amazing two children. Oh, my goodness. What was, I think, the most amazing two children. They’re kind, they’re loving, they’re caring. One of them’s a little young and so smart, making wise decisions. I was thinking of her health, forgetting that she’s going to the gym now and she may be going a little too far, but for her, she, and she’s never looked better and felt better.
Oh my gosh. Yeah, she is, she’s responding. She’s a great wife. Right or wrong. She’s really a loyal Supportive partner with her husband and he adores her that says something it’s working for him seems to be working for both of them she’s responsible oh she calls me when she calls me and invites me into her life when I see how I treat her when I think the thought she’s irresponsible that’s some kind of miracle that she really is.
She calls and this is difficult as it’s, it’s difficult because she’s so responsible in her life and I’m trying to model like she wasn’t here and it’s it’s difficult and I could see you having a little difficulty with it. So, I thought I’d take that off of you and sit in it.
But I don’t think that that You can,
[00:30:58] Gabby Reece: you can ask me because I think I feel like I’m, I am in touch with the things that because I do use the work to unwind when I wind up, because it’s almost like an emotional reaction.
[00:31:12] Byron Katie: Okay, so Brody is I worry about Brody. I worry about Brody because she
[00:31:21] Gabby Reece: because she does not seem at times empathetic.
And is very interested at this time, and I justify it because she’s a teenager, with material things. And so, I, for me I’m putting my thing on it, I feel like it leads to a path of unhappiness. So that’s really, if I get down to it, that’s what I’m probably worried about.
[00:31:49] Byron Katie: Yeah, I’m worried about Brody because I don’t want her to be unhappy. Yeah, what about that? That’s it. Okay, so you don’t want Brody to be unhappy. Yeah, is it true? That is true. Yeah, I’m a yes. I’m a Yes, that’s true. Yes, looking strong. Yeah, and notice how you react when you think the thought Yeah, and what was the thought again?
[00:32:18] Gabby Reece: I feel like my heart a little yeah
[00:32:21] Byron Katie: Okay, so be there in that situation where you’re worried about Brody and notice the images of past and future that you see when you think the thought, I’m worried about Brody.
[00:32:37] Gabby Reece: They’re really not so bad, if I could be honest. It’s some blanket, invisible thing that if I really dig in, there’s nothing really that supports it. Not really. There are silly things here and there, but. Not really.
[00:32:51] Byron Katie: Yeah. Yeah.
[00:32:54] Gabby Reece: It feels at times when I feel that way, it’s just like some universal reaction. Yeah. But it’s not
[00:33:00] Byron Katie really thought out. Okay. I’m going to go back before the work found me, okay? Okay. And Roxanne was into alcohol and drugs. As a teenager. As a teenager, years ago. She’s in her fifties now and she’s so responsible, but she’s just 16. I bought her this brand new, amazing car. She would jump in that car looking amazing and maybe not come back until two or three in the morning. And I would sit. On the couch, by the door, no matter how late it was. And wait for her to get home. And how do I react when I think the thought, Gosh, it was so horrific Something terrible has happened to her.
Yeah. Yeah. So how do I react when I think the thought in that situation? Something terrible has happened to her. I saw images of her in that car, rolling at night, on a road with no traffic, near where we were living, and screaming for me, and no one could hear her, no one was there, and it’s so dark, no moon out, and I’m not there for her.
And I’d see those images of past where I’d seen things like that on television series or I’ve seen things like that and read them in the newspaper and we didn’t find her for 24 hours and it was too late and and all those images of the past in my head, that’s Ego’s work.
That’s its job. Without that, we wake up to the difference between what is true and what is not. And what’s true is I had no proof. Something terrible has happened to her and my ego would scream, Yes! Can I absolutely know that it’s true? No. How do I react when I believe the thought? Hell. Hell in my head.
Past, future, and then in the future I see my life without her. And I see me at the funeral. And I see me, people pointing the finger, she was a terrible mother, it’s her fault. I see horrendous thing. Now, as we witness those images of past, future, that is the cause of suffering. Is it my daughter that is causing me the suffering I’m experiencing?
Or is it the ego at work? So, who would I be without the thought? That’s the fourth question. Something terrible has happened to Roxanne. Who would I be without that thought? And then to wake up too. I’m here. I haven’t heard any news. This is a pattern of hers showing up late at night and then the ensuing arguments we come, where have you been when she does walk in the door?
Would I be without the thought something terrible has happened, happening to her? At peace. Still the mother waiting up for my daughter, but in a state of sanity rather than panic. And then, as it happened, she came through the door. Every time she’d come through the door, and she’d give me the look. And I had earned that look.
It was before the work. I’d say, where have you been? I’m taking your car from you. And you’re hurting. You knew I would worry. All of that. And she’d give me the look. Like I was that old state of mind. And rightfully I appear to be in the same body.
And I am just so grateful for the sound of her voice her words I’ve earned. But I’m just grateful and say nothing because she hasn’t asked me a question. And watching her walk to her room with gratitude and a kind of connection that, that I had never experienced before. And then eventually, she began to trust that she wasn’t going to receive wrath when she got home.
And we began to, she began to trust me because it was authentic. Because she knew all my tricks. But this was authentic, and she began to trust me, and the relationship we’ve had when the work found me, which we’re looking at before the work and after the work, is she had one mother, and now she has another.
Mother, the identities of so switch and what I love about this is I get to hear this from people all over the world because they’re just sitting in these four questions and sitting in themselves. Something terrible has happened to her. Something wonderful has happened to her. And eventually we could talk.
She could tell me without fearing reprisal. She could tell me where she’d been. And I got to meet her life. She began to trust that she could share it with me without criticism or… I began to meet my daughter. And she began to meet another mother.
[00:39:30] Gabby Reece: When someone has not really investigated the work yet, if people haven’t had the opportunity at times, for let’s say somebody who’s a neophyte or just a householder, like it’s all new, the thoughts of this is new. It would, because I remember thinking is it a detachment? But it’s not.
[00:39:51] Byron Katie: No, it’s the opposite of a con. It’s where questioning the ego, and the ego wants to be heard. It wants to be heard, it’s fighting for identity as object, as physical body, and ego as a state of mind. It can never be physical, so it has to, I, from the moment we wake up I am awake, I’m late for work I need coffee I, I.
I don’t know what to wear today. I, I. Oh, I forgot my comb. And the I, it’s just, it’s I, I. If it goes to sleep, then people have the experience I had on the floor. It’s just boom. And then the eye happens and it’s whoa. So, there’s a thing. Can we leave it for a minute?
Okay. There’s this thing where you, when you began to talk about health, and we moved physical health and we moved a bit from it. Just to go back a little. I was so obese when the work found me. And how do I react when I believe the thought, for example, she doesn’t care about me there’s she’s in danger in that situation that we looked at earlier.
I see those images, and I need to medicate. I need to shut them up. I need to stop them. We go to alcohol, food, drugs, anger, everything that the ego can thrive on to live. And, who are we, who am I in that situation without the thought? Not brainwash myself, but meditate in, who am I without the thought?
Sitting here without those images in my head, which thoughts, and what we’re believing onto the images. Without that, you just look around, and someone with an open mind discovers a world, like right there on the couch. You know in our homes discover a world. It’s like we’ve seen it, but we have never seen it without the ego owning What it is who we are what’s going to happen?
What has happened? We’re You know if I say the word, Apple again Probably everyone on This call just saw an apple in their mind’s eye but that’s and if I say imagine a big fat juicy lemon and biting into it, do that right now, notice what happens, it’s a physical reaction, and that is the power of imagination, and without it No ego.
Now I can see a lemon. As I say it. I see a lemon. It’s just that I’m awake to the difference between and reality. Imagine Imaging meaning imagination and reality. So, it leaves me present and I can say anything. Talk about. anything and see the images and understand, for example, we’re sitting, I’m sitting in a theater and the ego’s calling the shots and what a great movie.
It’s just not I, like I see a lemon without the ego’s backtracking. If you see a lemon, you wouldn’t know it’s a lemon if you hadn’t believed it. Again and if you hadn’t believed it originally, as that child would say in the world, we’ll see that child and then again, oh mom, lemon yeah, lemon, ooh, that’s sour, lemon, oh, this one’s not ripe, oh, lemon, this, so I cannot see a lemon now without a past.
Yeah. It’s all there. And otherwise, we wouldn’t know what anything is. And so, I learned names for things, the courage to, to speak, talk. And be in this world and understand that it’s impossible to be in this world, the world of suffering. And for me, this sounds maybe like too big a jump, but people talk about heaven and what would it look like.
Trees and sky. Guys and beauty and kindness and caring and other than what I’m thinking and believing, that’s where I live. And if My invitation is if you’re not okay in the world, identify what you’re thinking and believing and question it. And I have a thing called Judge Your Neighbor Worksheet where we can go back to any situation like me sitting on the couch, and there’s six questions there.
You just fill in, and then that’s what you take to inquiry. Yeah,
[00:45:12] Gabby Reece: I was amused at old images of you and even Steven, your wonderful, brilliant husband, and you both have increasingly gotten healthier as you have lived more years. I think you, you’re timeless though. I look in your eyeballs and you’re six, you’re 60, you’re 14, you’re, I don’t know.
It doesn’t you have to say if. And this is going to leave your interest, but I’m going to say it anyway. I don’t care. As a female, because we have so much tacked on to us about our physical appearance, you are a woman that I look to. And I oftentimes, try to think about how I feel or view things.
Not while I’m a 53-year-old woman with whatever. I try to not do that. It doesn’t serve me. But when I see you, I think, you know what? That makes me a lot less afraid. Yeah, I want you to know that. Yeah, as a woman, because for me, you’re not moving through the world. Do I look pretty to you?
Yeah, your eyes are shiny, you’re engaged, you’re interesting. I went see bobbing with you last year at 80 years old, you’re doing stuff, I get videos of you on a sand rail cart hauling ass on the dunes.
[00:46:33] Byron Katie: And I love that image of me on The, the jet ski with Laird. Oh my gosh, that was just so fun.
[00:46:42] Gabby Reece: He was mad they had a governor on that. He Oh, they put a governor on it. He can figure it out how to get it off. The captain said that then he would I go he goes, I don’t think he can. But it’s not somebody who’s fighting anything. That’s what it is, Katie. It’s not Oh, wow, you’re amazing. You’re healthy.
[00:46:59] Byron Katie Its you just are. I respect the way people see me, too. Too old not this and too much that. I respect the way they see me. How could they not? How could they not? It’s how do I see people. That’s my business. Yeah.
[00:47:19] Gabby Reece: Yeah. And you say I could be paraphrasing. What people think of me is really none of my business.
[00:47:25] Byron Katie: How can it be? They How could if I believed about me what they believe about me, I’d see me the same way. How do I see me? I don’t bother I just do. I, it’s not to say I, I don’t bother is not the phrase I’m looking for, but I do the middle thing, not too high, not too low, in the center.
Not wah, or just right in the center and the listening just in the center. Not putting something on it and not demeaning or thinking. It’s just, for example, when you talk, and your questions, it fascinates me. And then what responds we both get to hear together, because I don’t have to plan it.It’s nothing, there’s no one to be other than authentic. For better or for worse.
[00:48:30] Gabby Reece: Do you ever get your feelings hurt?
[00:48:31] Byron Katie: Not yet. I’m open. What is something hurtful someone might say?
[00:48:40] Gabby Reece: No, maybe, I don’t think anyone could say anything, I just, maybe if I threw a party and I live next door to you and we’re good friends, and I invite all of our mutual friends, and for whatever reason I didn’t.
Invite you, or I forgot, who knows, what are the reasons, would you be, would you not even have a moment of huh, like
[00:49:04] Byron Katie: a ruffle feather? Knowing me, I’d probably be more fascinated. And we left to the party and if you’re speaking to me, Yeah. Then then I’d say Abby you didn’t invite me to the party, and I wondered is it something I’ve said or done or…
So, you just lean into it. Yeah, I want to know because if you don’t support me, if you don’t help me in that, then, that what I’m blind to… Would continue in my life, so you evolve me. So not inviting me is a good thing, just like everything else in the world if we are open to, to if we’re curious and have an open mind as opposed to blaming.
[00:49:56] Gabby Reece: Katie, there’s a couple things you’ve said that I really want to bring up and then I’m going to have Elijah come sit with us and just talk for a moment. I used to joke with you.
[00:50:06] Byron Katie: And you know why I wouldn’t mind?
[00:50:08] Gabby Reece: Yeah, because you like to go to bed early.
[00:50:10] Byron Katie: That and, you can tell me all about it and I wouldn’t have to show up.
[00:50:17] Gabby Reece: See, we joke about that with charity events. My friends used to say, can’t we just send the check? So that’s how I feel. I have no FOMO at all. I don’t miss, I don’t have the fear of not doing anything. I’m fine with it. But there’s people who they really get their feelings hurt if they somehow feel.
[00:50:33] Byron Katie: Sure, they’re believing their thoughts. Yes. And I’m not enough. There’s something wrong with me. It’s not fair. There’s something wrong with me. They’re unkind. They did it on purpose. They just wanted to hurt me. They thought I wouldn’t find out about it. Just the list goes on and on. And those, all of those belong on paper.
[00:51:00] Gabby Reece: And… Yes, and that’s the other thing. I… I re listened to Loving What Is, and I like how you’ll, because people will try to, especially in the turnarounds, will try to move you offline, and you’ll be like, let’s go back to the paper. Yeah, let’s go back to the paper. So, I really encourage people.
[00:51:15] Byron Katie: Back to the paper, meaning go back to what you wrote, anchor there.
[00:51:19] Gabby Reece: It’s an anchor. It’s in there. Because like you said, the ego will be like, no, but what I really meant was this, and it keeps moving. It’s a moving target. And I want to say too, that we don’t give young, But I think if someone got this skill as early as possible, it would really save a lot of problems, especially for teenagers, because all those things you just said about not being to the party, I think they’re feeling on high volume because of social media and a million other inputs.
[00:51:45] Byron Katie: So, my gosh, yeah. Oh, my goodness. Can you imagine babes? Oh, all suffering all suffering is we can look to what we’re thinking and believing, and we can understand the cause of suffering and how to end it. Yeah.
[00:52:06] Gabby Reece: So, I’m just going to bring up a few things that you said to me because I hear them a lot in my voice. So, I came to you one time and I use this as a terrible example. I said Katie, I have this battle with the girls like about their socks and their socks are on the floor and they’re pick up the socks and we’re all taught right. Conditioned, you have to teach them.
They have to do a good mother. Yeah. You got to get them to do it. And a lot of parent’s heads are going to explode, but it’s. It is, and I will tell you that I put it in practice and we can talk about the outcome, but I said Katie, these socks, I’ll hang them, I want the socks up, and I asked her to put the socks up, and you said to me, you pick up the socks, because then you have the joy of the clean floor, and I’ll paraphrase, and then that joy will move through the house.
[00:52:56] Byron Katie: And also, you’re, you demonstrate. How to pick up the socks effortlessly, rather than, it’s a big deal. Even in a hurry, you’re picking up their socks. You show them how to, you can, even when you’re in a hurry or late, pick up your socks. It’s we teach by example. That’s the that’s the, that’s a great teacher. And we’re all teachers. It’s just, what are we teaching our children? You don’t pick up your socks, punish them. Then they’ll pick up their socks. They may but look at what happens to the relationship. Yeah.
[00:53:36] Gabby Reece: And Laird and I came to you to early on and we were leaving and you looked at us with those, that face of yours and you said to us, the good news is she’ll either choose to do it or she won’t.
And I remember thinking, oh yeah, that’s good news. And then you said, but the bad news is. She’ll either choose to do it or she won’t. And that landed for me square in a bullseye because I was like, yep, that makes perfect sense. We’re all walking around thinking we can pull levers and reins and, iron fist it.
And I have a kind of pushing personality with athletics and coaching and organization, all these things. , but I could hear that as a parent and in a person in real relationships with people, which was like, I can’t, I’m not going to force it. I really can’t. Even if I thought I could and I would like to, yeah.
And you, and then you were like, okay, dears, and then we were on our way and that lasted, that, that sits with me and it rolls through my head. Sometimes it’s happening and I’m like. She’s either going to choose to or she’s not. Get on with it.
[00:54:56] Byron Katie: It’s like we give them everything. We give them our experience.
We, we listen to them with open minds. And they’ll choose to do it, or they won’t. But we have, that’s our best shot. Anything less than that is violence on 1 to 10, even if it’s just giving them the book.
[00:55:26] Gabby Reece: It’s throwing in that little thing that, yeah. Okay, again, I’m going to say two more things because I do think these are important points that you have, you said some of the greatest things we could do as a parent is to really listen.
Not fix their problems, not chime in. And another thing I’ve borrowed is to ask permission to ask a question or to say something. I want you to know, and it works really well. When you honor them and go, hey, can I ask a question? They’ll tell you yes or no, or am I allowed to make a comment, yes or no? But at least it’s, feels like a reciprocal.
[00:55:59] Byron Katie: Yeah, and that thing to listen, really listen, is a way of saying, without interjecting, open your minds without any teaching or just yeah buts or not. Just open your mind and hear their lives, because we miss it otherwise. They have to be tricky around us. Yeah.
[00:56:26] Gabby Reece: Otherwise. And the other thing you said is to the best of our ability, whatever the word happiness means. To do that for yourself, so they have an idea of what that looks like.
[00:56:35] Byron Katie: Yeah, what we’re teachers, one and all. It’s just, what are we teaching? And that’s some good teaching you’re pointing to.
[00:56:49] Gabby Reece: And then… I’m just curious if you, let’s say, let’s use your grandchildren because they’re young enough now. Let’s say you have a grandchild come over and they’re just wild and super disrespectful and just like hell on wheels and all over the place. What I mean
[00:57:02] Byron Katie: And
[00:57:05] Gabby Reece: are you laying down a law? Are you like, wow, this is amazing. If you, if do you make a request, like how do you, or if they’re I can speak to having a teenage. Daughter, sometimes they say some stuff that you think I think I feel really disrespected.
[00:57:24] Byron Katie: Not quite sure here, but
[00:57:26] Gabby Reece: we can always ask them. Do you say that makes me feel a certain way? How do you confront things? Because the party, you say, hey, you call and I’m really curious, have I done something? How do you confront that given your approach?
[00:57:41] Byron Katie: I just leave them alone. My grandchildren I just make them all love it. Oh my gosh, they teach me video games. They teach I just love it so much. And they I get to see their interests. I get to see how they live when I’m not there because I’m, they don’t expect me to be judgmental. Yeah. As far as I can see. So, they tell you.
[00:58:09] Gabby Reece: What if it’s one of your grown kids that are like nah. Like maybe they come at you.
[00:58:14] Byron Katie: I listen carefully because they could be right. Meaning if it’s something they oppose that I said or did, or you love that one more than you love me, or whatever, I listen, and I learn a lot. And that’s how I get to meet them and who they are and how they are. And they show me where I fall short that I was blind to.
[00:58:44] Gabby Reece: You talk about three types of business,
[00:58:47] Byron Katie: mine, yours, and gods, the universe, whatever term people relate to as what is giving a beautiful and lovely. And so, what I like to say is if I’m mentally in your business or. God’s business, then there’s so you tell me what I say about it. No,
[00:59:17] Gabby Reece: I, I, what, why I bring it up is…
[00:59:20] Byron Katie: There’s no one here for me. I’m, I can’t remember how I say it.
[00:59:24] Gabby Reece: No, the thing I appreciate about this… Because people be like the storm came and it’s that’s God God’s business, nature’s business. Most everything else is someone else’s business. I’m only can worry about this, but
[00:59:40] Byron Katie: he is with a capital. I may be
[00:59:43] Gabby Reece: his business. But what is, but it made me think about this particular time. And I know Stephen keeps you abreast on current events. We’re in the time of two wars, and there’s just there is a lot of suffering going on.
[00:59:59] Gabby Reece: And I think about for People who are dealing with the state of the world.
[01:00:07] Byron Katie: These are terrifying times for so many people. Yeah. But then without the war, these are terrifying times for so many people. Yeah. It’s just that this is… This is a major, these are major events, and there’s a lot of fear running. And as we would say in the world, and rightfully it’s looking very wild.
[01:00:32] Gabby Reece: Yeah, it is. And as, let’s say parents are listening, and in respecting, okay, my business, God’s business, and your business, and that even means with our children to some level, but maybe, Is there a line, though, or where is that with kids when they’re dealing also with this world? nHow do we guide them or help them or, I was just wondering your point of view because you do have. That’s such a
[01:00:57] Byron Katie: unique perspective. To be as self-aware as we possibly can. And if we can’t do that, we all know how to love our children. And when we snap at them or don’t understand, that’s just fear on our end.
To just get in touch with what you’re thinking and believing about your child and what they’re saying and question it and then make another attempt and this is not something that we can just start snapping. This is not, this work is not something to remember, it’s something to realize.
[01:01:40] Byron Katie: Yeah.
[01:01:42] Gabby Reece: And if they come to us as parents or grandparents about, though, this world, because again, it’s, you’re where I’m
[01:01:50] Byron Katie: in charge of. So, you be someone like that and I’ll be me. Just… In other words, someone
[01:01:58] Gabby Reece: that… I’m concerned we have all of this violence, and people are at each other’s throats, and there’s this, not only physical wars, but then even within…
Our own tribes where people have such passionate convictions. So, I think teenagers might be feeling it young adults who are just now getting out and on their own. I get, I guess what I’m trying to understand, I think the violence part too is so difficult to get your head around, it’s impossible, young children and families and is how do we.
It’s not about supporting them, but I guess have those conversations or support them because again, I’m not there. It’s like I told Laird when this thing happened with Israel. And in fact, one of my daughter’s boyfriends is from Israel and they were there five hours prior to when things happened.
I said to Laird, I’m not there. I feel it. I’m not there. My, my responsibility then is to be. The best version of myself then I need to be more loving and more positive because I don’t know what else I Realistically could do, it doesn’t mean you don’t feel and have empathy but also to pretend that it’s happening to you seems Also, not genuine.
[01:03:19] Byron Katie: I as you know loved inquiry in that situation, I would just say oh honey, tell me all About it. What was that like for you? And just and then get all That’s invitation to download, and you can hear where they are. You don’t have to guess or imagine. And they’ll tell you.
And if they just say, it’s just too frightening, then if and out of your state of mind, you might say, Oh, honey, tell me more. Tell me more. Because I’m frightened, too. Just the thought of you being there, so close to that danger, it just really frightened me.
And I really love and care about you, and I’m so glad you’re home. And what was that like for you when you found out? And it’s, there’s Those are words for ex exactly how to communicate with our children no matter what grudge they’re carrying with us because it’s meeting them where they are and sharing our love at the same time. Yeah. Yeah. And, when I found the work It took Roxanne a long time to trust that I was not trying to trick her.
[01:05:07] Gabby Reece: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And I want to reemphasize… Coming up
[01:05:10] Byron Katie: with another parenting trick. I know, right?
[01:05:13] Gabby Reece: I wish I could manipulate. I just have made… I took that off the table. Yeah. Got to play by the rules. But I do want to reemphasize, though, that you did a lot of work.
[01:05:23] Byron Katie: Lots. Yeah. Years. And continuing to. Yes. It doesn’t end. It’s just it’s my bliss. It’s a world I can trust. It’s a world where I call it first generation world. It’s a world I can trust. It’s like table, you, me, air. It’s walls and ceilings. I’m not imagining. But not here past and the not here future, I’m present and this is if a bomb goes off.
Other than what I, or if someone says they’re going to, they’re going to drop a bomb in 10 minutes. Okay, other than what I’m thinking and believing, where is the problem now? Okay, who am I without the thought it’s going to hit, it’s going to blow me up, it’s going to do, what am I going to da, without all of that, who would I be without?
Without the thought something terrible is going to happen a bomb’s going off. I’m present and fearless. As we’re talking about it, it’s, I think of Laird and Lodge during the fires here. And, boy, they were just having a, they were just having an amazing old time, just pushing way beyond doing. The right thing. That is an… That is such an example of who and how we are when we’re not frightened and just into self. Yeah.
[01:07:14] Gabby Reece: You said to me, I was asking a question and you pointed at your head, you tapped on your head and I was like Katie, I don’t know what to believe and what’s true and not true.
And it was some scenario with one of the girls going back to all the stories. And you go, Oh, yeah, I’m never in good company when I’m in here. I’m going to bring Elijah over. Katie, I’ve been doing tech talk counter talk with Elijah. Yeah. Once a week we sit, and we visit for about 45 minutes because Elijah is my bridge to technology.
He’s the one who’s trying to convince me it’s a tool and I’m still like, yes, I know it is, but I’m worried sometimes about it. So, he’s my liaison to just. His generation, what’s happening in the world now, so I can continue to learn.
[01:08:00] Byron Katie: Gosh, I love your I love your mind.
[01:08:04] Gabby Reece: Oh, let’s not get crazy.
[01:08:08] Byron Katie: So, Katie, It’s an inquiring mind. You’re growing, you’re always growing, you’re always inquisitive. It’s just that’s the mind of a child and that is not an immature thing when, with your experience.
[01:08:21] Gabby Reece: Thank you. I will say and I’ve, I said this to Elijah so that we were all sitting, and we were all eating lunch at your house. And you have that nice you have a big table, but you have this table that apparently also works for a lot of families. They say when you have a small eating table, it’s better because everyone sits close together. And there was a moment that you were talking, and you said anger it comes from fear.
[01:08:47] Byron Katie: Anger is a mask for fear. Yeah, it is fear.
[01:08:50] Gabby Reece: Yeah. And we were at this little table, and lair was across from you and Laird thought about it, and Laird’s yeah, no I think I’ve been angry without being afraid. And you thought about what he said, and you thought maybe in your case I he could be right. I he could be right. And when we left, I said to Elijah, Katie is the most fixed and movable person I’ve ever met in my life.
[01:09:14] Byron Katie: Yeah, it’s, I’m in I’m seated in something beautiful an immovable truth. And that truth is non duality. There’s only good. Other than what we’re thinking and believing, we’re all in touch with it. And guilt is the proof of that. We say something, we do something that harms another human being, and guilt happens. And that is the ego’s favorite food. Right there, right up there in its top three. It’s a false identity anchor. It’s just,
[01:10:04] Gabby Reece: You, I stated earlier, people come far and wide from all around the world to see you who’ve had various again, death of a child, and they a lot of them will use the work to find their way, because that’s the most unimaginable, I think for most of us living, they’d say, okay, the worst thing that could happen would be the, Loss of a child.
And when they’re ready for the inquiry. It’s like I cannot lose my children. Right here, right now, I’ve only imagined that I have three of them. And I have no proof. If one of them, for all I know, one of them is dead, and I just haven’t received the news yet. So, I’m just imagining they’re alive.
[01:11:04] Byron Katie: And that’s very consoling, but can I love them equally dead or alive? Yes, because I see my three children in my mind’s eye now. I see them, they’re all in different cities, and I can see that. And in my mind’s eye. And, let’s say they were all blown up. I still see them in my mind’s eye. I still see them only I see them in the past and I see them all together. I see us all together and all the good times we’ve had and then I see the future where… I’ll never see them again, and their children won’t have parents and, oh, and I’m sad. You see how bounced around I am? But what’s true is, my children, this is a big dose. They’re either remembered or anticipated.
There’s nothing in this world that is not a state of mind. Yeah. Even if I touch something, I would have no idea, like an infant, I’d have no idea that I was touching without the, without a past view, a remembering or anticipation, and that is a state of mind, because that is not singular, I.
And this earth school is a privilege, and we catch up with it, or we don’t. If we do, there’s some freedom. If we don’t, this is a world of suffering by reputation. And we can do better, we can do better, because when we do better, we do better. The clearer our state of mind, the kinder, the saner, and the wiser we are, because fear is a state of ignorance, the unenlightened mind.
And there’s no mind that isn’t enlightened, but the ego’s taking up all the space. And something that powerful it’s worthwhile to sit down with it and challenge it in a, respectful way, just mindfully. You told me a story once where, you were, I believe, in Barstow.
It was in this world. In this world, yeah. I believe you were in Barstow and there was a group of… Oh, I’d like to go back. Yeah. In this world, as I imagine it to be. Yeah. Yeah. See, there’s so many layers that just, that goes so deep because like even with what you just said, there’s so much in that with this world as I imagined it to be, because it’s like taking that and even what you were saying to Gabby earlier about Oh, were you conscious of where you put your hands?
So, are you being moved? And then if you follow that, it’s were you being thought? Yeah, cause the ego. cause I, yeah, I am going to pick up this glass. Who would I be without my story witnessing something so marvelous and fascinating that just continues to blow. What does that meaning what?
That this motion? Yeah. This what? Does that. Yeah. And to respect it it’s, I think it, for me, and I can’t always live it, but when I can really follow that, it’s checkmate and that’s it. Because if I’m not being, if I’m being moved and I’m being thought, then I have, it’s not, there’s no I, there can’t be, and I can’t always live that.
Yeah. But when I can really, but there’s something without judgment. Witnessing itself, there’s no word to describe that, that that does its justice, even to name it is to lose it. You need 20 years to work that one out? But understanding that is, to mention it without losing it. Yeah.
[01:15:43] Gabby Reece: I watch Katie get these scenarios. People will give oh, my husband, my wife, my kid the million things. And I said, Katie, when people are talking to you, giving you the scenario, I know you’ve heard them hundreds of times. And it looks like you’re hearing it for the first time. And she’s oh, I am.
[01:16:03] Byron Katie: Yeah. But I can still say, I heard it. It’s just how we communicate here. You’re in me. And I’m not saying anything new. Or anything that, I’m not saying anything that everyone isn’t aware of. Even though as I talk, their egos are challenging it in their own way and rightfully yeah. I’ve heard you say a lot of things that I don’t think people are aware of, or at least in that moment. I remember one of the times some lady had a very big concern about the lions at the zoo were starving. And you just said, Oh, if I ever believe that I would just hop in the cage and let the lions eat me.
Yeah. I don’t think that had occurred to anybody else in the room when you said that. Yeah, it’s are you bothered, really? You care, really? How much do you care? And it’s and that could just sound so crazy to someone. But the answer is no, not enough to go to. The caretakers, obviously not enough to feed them myself, me this body, but to go to their caretakers, to go to if need be, a thoracic those are bad examples, but the powers that have starting at the bottom with just maybe they have a new caretaker, and maybe you don’t know, but If I care, then that is it’s easy to say.
But do I? Really? How do I react when I believe the thought, I care. I walk away, I feel guilty. The life of how I can help is and we can walk away, it’s okay. We can walk away. But what’s going on internally? And who knows, maybe we’re out of a job and we’d be great lion keepers. You never know when you start checking things out. How can I serve, how that’s going to show up.
It’s a whole world, it’s a whole world just waiting to be discovered this when you have no life, you’re just left with how can I help? There’s no I, no self, and it’s and in this world, I had to learn just like everyone, to speak and to talk without distancing, giving people calls to distance themselves from me because it’s not user friendly. One of the things I heard you talking with Gabby earlier about is the motivation to do the work itself. And you said something, and I’m paraphrasing, I don’t remember exactly when you said it, but it was to not, to avoid something. And what would you say, is there a what would be the motivation to do the work?
Pain. Pain just cornered. And you know when there’s Nowhere else to turn to self-inquiry. That is to say, turn to yourself. How that’s what these four questions are for. To identify the cause of suffering, and then the four questions will support you to get still and meditate in.
For example, my dad doesn’t listen to you. And to meditate in that. And that’s what these questions are. Your dad doesn’t care about you. Is it true? And notice. Can you really know that it’s true he doesn’t care about you? Can you really know his mind, his heart? Notice. Can you yourself really know? That your dad doesn’t care about you.
And our parents sometimes when we’re looking at what we’re thinking and believing, and it’s like an automatic, yeah, because the ego has all the proof, but to, but self-inquiry is the opposite. It’s an invitation to get still. Can you really know? Can you really know that it’s true?
Your father doesn’t care about you; your dad doesn’t care about you. And notice how you react when you believe the thought. When you go to bed at night, when you wake up when you’re living your life, notice how you react when you think the thought, my dad doesn’t care about me. Notice the images of the future when you think the thought, my dad doesn’t care about me. Terrifying. What do you see? Do you want it’s I, the thought I was saying was, my dad doesn’t listen to me, but I can do care about him as well, but I just see The ignorance and I see the imagined of what’s going to be and how we’re not going to talk and it’s just always going to be this separation.
And it’s never going to feel the same way that it used to. I see not being able to connect with him again.
So, is that to say you see him cutting you off? Or me cutting him off. You are cutting him off. Yeah. And notice the emotional, when you think the thought. I feel it in my gut, just it’s very blocked off, and it’s like twisting in my stomach. And notice the images of the past, when you think the thought.
It doesn’t listen to me, and the ego, notice how it just pulls up like a file cabinet. Just example after example that it shows you like that’s really him, like it’s not imagination. Notice how you react when you think the thought. What, how you react, how the ego reacts when you think the thought.
Yeah, I have the whole file cabinet of. Proof. And its text messages, things you said over the phone, in person, just everything just running. All the evidence, how he doesn’t listen. So, we’re noticing the cause of suffering. Is it the images and what you’re believing onto the images in your head, that are the cause of your suffering?
Or your father? Everything I believe in, the images. Yeah. Yeah. Who are you, without the thought? This is call. Yeah. And a way of saying that for people that aren’t familiar. With that fourth question, or how to sit in it. It’s who would you be without the thought? If you didn’t believe that. And that’s the invitation to drop all those images of past future.
Of the not now past, the not now future. Because that is the ego. Giving you this false life, as I lie with have this fatherhood. So, to drop those images, who are you in your life? Without the thought. Right now, it just feels much more relaxed in my body, much calmer. So, look at you are waking up with a thought and going to bed with a thought.
Are you okay? Much better. Getting in your car, driving to the store, going about your business. Are you okay without it? Are you doing okay? Are you okay? Very okay. Okay. And notice who you are with the thought. It’s chaos. Yeah. Not present. Yeah. Imagining a past, imagining a future with no proof other than that you even have a father.
And who are you thinking of your father without the thought? I could see a Chuck that I really love and appreciate. And without the thought, do you even have a father? No. Yeah. Yeah. So, you, the ego conjures one up. Yeah. Yeah. That’s right. Yeah. And it doesn’t mean you don’t, but for all so how would you turn that around?
How would you find an opposite to meditate in, to get still in? I would see at least three different opposites. One of them would be, I don’t listen to my dad. Okay, so examples of where you don’t listen to your dad. It doesn’t hurt to listen, as in it’s you don’t have to do what he says or follow advice to be open to it.
You, you get to, you have a mind. Would you want examples of other turnarounds? Yeah, examples. Examples? Example of that turnaround. Of how I don’t listen to my dad. I… I think on the last conversation we had there, it was, he said something that I really didn’t like and I just, but it was, I wasn’t, there was nothing he said after that.
Can I even tell you what was said? I was just in my own world. He shouldn’t have said that. Yeah. Yeah. I was not, there was no listening. Come up against your ego and just shut it out. Yeah. Okay. So now just take a moment and listen. It’s like you heard what you didn’t hear. No matter what the ego says, it was going on.
You heard. What he was saying, unless you stopped him. I think I did stop him.
I understand why you wouldn’t you know, he did start to say something and I do remember what he was about, and you’re right, like I can recall it, even though I had mentally shut it down, like I’m not listening, but I can recall what he was starting to say. Yeah. Yeah. So, another turns around. Another opposite.
My dad does listen to me. Okay, an example in that situation that you just described. What he said that triggered me was based on what I told him. Yeah, so he heard you well. So, he listened. He was a good listener that night. He listened. Now I’m just curious if I’m the place where you weren’t surprised.
Considering what you were saying. Were you just shocked? Yeah, I think I, no, I wanted to be surprised, but I wasn’t really. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, the ego is just so surprised. That leaves you not responsible for saying what you knew before you said there could be a penalty. And also, I’m righteous.
If I justify it. Yeah, exactly. You get to be the winner. Exactly. Yeah. The victim. Yeah. Can you see another turnaround? And I love, we can sit in these. Just even one turnaround. And my invitation to everyone is to don’t jump to the turnarounds. Because sitting, meditating in the four questions first.
Bring to light things that you knew, but you didn’t know that you knew. So, it’s educating you before you get to these turnarounds. Turnarounds will flip on you. They’ll come back and kick you. It’s just not that the work is judge your father, write it down, ask more questions and turn it around, just the way Elijah’s demonstrated to us today.
[01:29:55] Byron Katie: You see another turnaround? I do. And I just want to reiterate something because after almost 20 years of doing this with you, like you just said about not skipping to the turnarounds and what you say about writing it down. Not skipping the four questions. Not skipping the four questions.
Sorry, not skipping to the turnarounds and also writing it down. There are things that I’ve spent years not doing and I can just say that does not work. Yeah. You can attest to. I can attest to not skipping the four questions and actually taking the time to write it down. Because if we don’t. Write it down.
And then the ego will just manipulate all of it. So, we bring our minds into the world, on paper, and there it is undeniably. Those are my thoughts. And they don’t change. The ink doesn’t change. And it’s yeah, we just Trust what we write, and you see another turn around? Yeah, another turns around I’d see is, I don’t listen to me.
That’s powerful. Pointed to that when you knew, you had a pretty good idea what his reaction would be. Yeah. Yeah. And also, I was It did, I was more, I really, I wanted to win, like you said, I was much more interested in I’m going to be right and righteous and I’m justified, and it wasn’t listening.
Yeah, so the ego’s got you in its it’s got you in its grasp. It’s like non duality is a sane life. A sane life, and that’s what this brings us to. And its earth school, so I don’t ever expect to as long as I’ve got a problem here I am. And I don’t know that I do or not, but I’m in.
It’s I’m so free, I think. I just live in. Is it true? Is it true? Yeah. Have you ever found anything that is true?
If I switch that word to authentic, I get more… Yeah, love. Yeah, without opposite. Non duality. No opposite. And that’s what I’ve been testing. Everyone I work with is enlightening me. It’s not the other way around. I consider myself the only unenlightened person in this world, and depend on this world to show me, and it does.
[01:32:58] Gabby Reece: Byron Katie, the program is The Work, and some of Katie’s books are Loving What Is, A Mind at Home with Itself, A Thousand Words for Joy.
[01:33:08] Byron Katie: A Thousand Names.
[01:33:09] Gabby Reece: Sorry, A Thousand Names, and this one I love. I need your love. Is that true? Yeah. And of course, there’s more books, but I just wanted to name a
[01:33:21] Byron Katie: few as I hear that title is, I need your love. As I hear that title, it’s I need your love. Is it true? No, because I’ve already got it. We don’t have to be aware of it. It’s
[01:33:35] Gabby Reece: just how it is. That’s right. And if people want to dive deeper, they can go to the work. com
[01:33:41] Byron Katie: or buy on Katie. com. Thank you
[01:33:47] Gabby Reece: for listening to this week’s episode. If you want to learn more, there is a ton of valuable information on my website. All you have to do is go to GabrielleReese. com or head to the episode show notes to find a full breakdown with helpful links to studies, research, books, podcasts, and so much more. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out and send them to at Gabby Reese on Instagram. And if you feel inspired, please subscribe. I’ll see you next week.
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About Bryon Katie
In 1986, at the bottom of a ten-year spiral into depression and self-loathing, Byron Katie woke up one morning in a state of joy. She realized that when she believed her stressful thoughts, she suffered, but that when she questioned them, she didn’t suffer, and that this is true for every human being. Her simple yet powerful process of self-inquiry, which she calls The Work, consists of four questions and the turnaround, which is a way of experiencing the opposite of what you believe. Byron Katie has been bringing The Work to millions of people for more than thirty years. Please join her at athomewithbk.com for At Home with BK on Zoom every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 9-10 a.m. Pacific Time. Her books include the bestselling Loving What Is now in a revised edition, I Need Your Love—Is That True?, A Thousand Names for Joy, and A Mind at Home with Itself. For more information, visit thework.com.