Book:Loving What Is
I had heard of this book for years and never taken the opportunity to read it until now. As its author would no doubt say, I read it at the perfect time for me.
“The Work”, as it is known throughout this book, is a set of four powerful questions which can be applied to any situation in life that is causing pain/blockage/stress for the individual concerned. (“Is it true?”, “Can you absolutely know that is true?”, “How do you react when you think that thought?”, and, “Who would you be without that thought?”) Katie’s loving approach to all reality, even our perception of “the worst” that the world has to offer, is revolutionary, and seems to have an incredible impact on those people she works with. The power of inquiry is staggering when people truly put themselves in a place to honestly face the reality of their situation. From inquiry and the insights gleaned, the author moves to the process of “turnarounds” -an amazing tool which can free people from years of self-inflicted pain and suffering.
She calls our thoughts, our stories and draws our attention to the likelihood we may well be living in our minds instead of reality. She vies suffering and discomfort as calls to inquiry, seeing situations we dislike as entrances into ourselves. Those people and situations we most dislike are actually our greatest teachers -doing exactly what they are supposed to do and reminding us gently to stay ?in our business?.
Katie encourages us to enter the darkest, most painful corners and seek to bring light, a dissolving truth to detach us from the binding yoke of our stories. I especially like the turnaround piece of The Work -a powerful method of looking at the same story with a different perception. There are numerous examples throughout the book of people who are freed from years of bitterness and resentment when they start to turn their stories on their heads and think of new perspectives. There is a lovely sense of their liberation as you read about their experience.
She includes some wonderful stories in the book -those of her son living the amends he wished to make in the world, for example. His behaviour -the random acts of kindness is something I will always remember, and having read it once, decided to immediately build that behaviour into my own life. The tale of the thief who went to the homes of everyone he stole from to apologise and make amends was another favourite. It is all inside-out coaching, a book I would certainly recommend for anyone interested in finding a way out of pain. The whole book reminded me of Gandhi’s beautiful counsel to “become the change you wish to see in the world”. I take away powerful tools in The Work -inquiry, turnarounds, self-knowledge and reminders to hold tight to in moments of challenge. I have strengthen the knowledge that everything happens for me, not to me, that nothing outside me can give me what I seek, and that we never receive more than we can handle. All suffering begins and ends with us and learning our role in our own pain is the most valuable liberation we can give ourselves.
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