21 Ways to Stay in the Peace From philosopher author Byron Katie
Compiled by Mary Lynn Hendrix
The following are simple, yet powerful practices that can give you new ways of looking at your life circumstances, and by doing so, create new possibilities for making choices that will bring you greater alignment with your personal integrity. (my note: AND into ECSTASY INSTEAD OF BUMMER, and via joy, passion, some EMPOWERMENT!) These exercises are developments of "The Work " which authoress Byron Katie offers in seminars to provide clarity of mind and honesty of heart which ultimately leads to peace.
1. Reversing your HASTY Judgements
Practice noticing when you judge or criticize someone or something.
For example, in a grocery store line, you might be impatient and think
the person in front of you is disorganized and rude. Quickly turn your
judgment around and ask yourself: "Is it just as true about me? Am I
rude? (Am I rude sometimes; to others - or to myself?) Am I being rude
inside of me when I think they are rude?" This exercise takes your
attention off the "other" and places your attention on you. Forgiveness
naturally results. Placing the blame or judgment on someone else
leaves you powerless to change your experience; taking responsibility
for your beliefs and judgments gives you the power to change them.
Remember, beyond the appearance of who it is you are looking at, it is
always God disguised, standing in front of you so that you can know
yourself. Reversing judgments allows complete forgiveness.
Forgiveness leads to awareness of one's self, and reestablishes
2. The Three Kinds of Business
Notice when you hurt that you are mentally out of your business. If
you're not sure, stop and ask, "Mentally, whose business am I in?"
There are only three kinds of business in the universe, mine, yours, and
God's. Simple! Whose business is it if an earthquake happens? God's
business. Whose business is it if your neighbor down the street has an
ugly lawn? Your neighbor's business. Whose business is it if you are
angry at your neighbor down the street because they have an ugly
lawn? Your business. Life is simple, it is internal. So, count, in five
minute intervals, how many times you are in someone else's business
mentally. Notice when you give uninvited advice or offer your opinion
about something (aloud or silently). Ask yourself: "Am I in their
business? Did they ask me for my advice?" And more importantly,
"Can I take the advice I am offering and apply it to my life?"
3. Being in Nobody's Business
After working with the practice of staying out of other's business, try to
stay out of your own business as well. Hold lightly whatever you think
you know about yourself. "I am contained within this physical body. Is it
really true? Can I really know that it's true? What do I get by holding
that belief?" There is a widespread belief that we are our bodies, and we
will die. "Who would I be without the belief?"
4. "Detaching" from Your Body/Your Story
Try speaking about yourself, for a period of time, in third person, rather
than as I or me. Instead of saying, "I'm going to lunch", say "She's
going to lunch", (referring to yourself), or "This one is going to lunch."
Do this with a friend for an hour, the afternoon, or the entire day.
Eliminate the use of all personal pronouns (I, me, we). Refer to yourself
and the other in third person. For example, "How is that one (or this
one) today? Does he want to go to the park?" Experience impersonally
the body, the stories and the preferences which you think you are.
5. Speaking in the Present Tense
Become mindful of how often your conversations focus on the past or
future. Be aware of the verbs you use: was, did, will, are going to, etc.
To speak of the past in the present is to reawaken and recreate it fully
in the present, if only in our minds, and then we are lost to what is
present for us now. To speak of the future is to create and live with
what is but a fantasy in our minds. If you want to experience fear, think
of the future. If you want to experience shame and guilt, think of the
6. Doing the Dishes
"Doing the dishes" is a practice of learning to love the action that is in
front of you. Your inner voice or intuition guides you all day long to do
simple things such as doing the dishes, driving to work or sweeping
the floor. Allow the sanctity of simplicity. Listening to your inner voice
and then acting on its suggestions with implicit trust creates a life that
is more graceful, effortless and miraculous.
7. Listening to the Voice of the Body
The body is the voice of your mind, and it speaks to you in physical
movement as muscular contractions - as twitches, twinges, tickles and
tension, just to name a few. Become aware of how often you move
away from peace or stillness. Practice stillness and let your body
speak to you of where your mind contracts, no matter how subtle the
flickering contraction may be. When you notice a sensation, inquire
within, "What situation or contracted thought is triggering this physical
sensation? Am I out of alignment with my integrity in this circumstance,
and if so, where? Am I willing to let go of this belief or thought that
causes my body to contract?" Listen and allow the answers to guide
you, and return to the peace and clarity within.
8. Reporting to Yourself
This exercise can help in healing fear and terror. Practice reporting
events to yourself as if a circumstance you find yourself in is actually a
news story and you are the roving reporter. Announce exactly what your
surroundings are and what's happening "on the scene" at that very
moment. Fear is always the result of projecting a re-creation of the
past into the now or the future. If you find yourself fearful, find the
belief and inquire: "Is this really true that I need to be fearful in this
situation? What is actually happening right now, physically? Where is
my body (hands, arms, feet, legs, head)? What do I see (trees, walls,
windows, sky)?" Impersonalizing our stories gives us an opportunity to
look at circumstances more objectively, and choose our responses to
what life brings. Living in our minds, believing our untrue thoughts is a
good way to scare ourselves to death, and it can appear in form as old
age, cancer, degeneration, high blood pressure, etc.
9. Literal Hearing
Practice listening to others in the most literal sense, believing exactly
what they say, and do your best to resist falling into your own
interpretations about the information they share with you. For example,
someone might compliment you on how beautiful you are, and you
interpret that as an implication that the person has ulterior motives. Our
interpretations of what we hear people say to us are often far more
painful or frightening than what people actually say. We can hurt
ourselves with our misconceptions and our thinking for others. Try
trusting that what they say is exactly what they mean: not more, not
less. Hear people out. Catch yourself when you want to finish a
sentence for someone either aloud or in your mind. Listen. It can be
amazing to hear what comes out when we allow others to complete
their thoughts without interruption. And, when we are busy thinking we
know what they are about to say, we are missing what they are actually
saying. You might want to consider these questions: "What can be
threatened if I listen and hear literally? Do I interrupt because I don't
want to really know what they have to say? Do I interrupt to convince
them I know more than they do? Am I attempting to portray an image of
self- confidence and control? Who would I be without the need to
possess those qualities? Is there a fear of appearing unintelligent?
Would people leave me if I heard them literally, and no longer engage
in manipulative games?"
10. Speaking Honestly and Literally
Speak literally. Say what you mean without justification, without any
desire to manipulate, and without concern about how another may
interpret your words. Practice not being careful. Experience the
freedom this brings.
11. Watching the Play
See yourself in a balcony, watching your favorite drama about you and
what distresses you. Watch the story on the stage below. Notice how
you have seen this drama performed hundreds, perhaps thousands of
times. Watch this until you find yourself becoming bored. The
performers are having to exaggerate their parts to keep your attention.
Notice when you get honest with your boredom, you get up from your
seat, leave the balcony, exit the playhouse and step outside. Always
know you can re-visit. Who would you be without your story?
12. Watching a Second Version of the Play
Write your story from the eyes and mind of another. Write as many
different versions with as many different outcomes as you like. Notice
what you notice.
13. Exercising Polarity
If you find yourself dwelling on a negative thought, practice going to the
opposite positive extreme or polarity. When you catch yourself slipping
back into negativity, choose again to return to the positive polarity and
be present with your conscious choice; feel the truth of it. There is only
love, and what doesn't appear as love is a disguised call for love. It is
your birthright to live in the positive polarity of love and truth.
14. Self Loving Process
Make a list of everything you love about someone and share it with
them. Then, give yourself everything that is on the list. You may also
recognize that what you love about someone else is just as true of you.
Then allow the fullness of it to be expressed in your life.
15. Coming from Honesty
Practice moving and responding honestly. Laugh, cry, scream, and speak
as it is genuinely true for you in each moment. Be a child again; act in
full integrity with your feelings. Don't let beliefs compromise your
integrity. For example, practice leaving a room honestly without
manipulating those you leave behind with a polite excuse. Live your
truth without explaining yourself.
16. Asking for What You Want - Giving Yourself What You Want
Ask for what you want, even though it may feel bold or awkward.
People don't know what you want until you ask them. The act of asking
is a validation of the awareness that you deserve to have what you
want. If others are unable or unwilling to accommodate your request,
give it to yourself.
17. Awareness of You
Recognize that the one in front of you is you. Beyond all appearances
and personalities is the essence of goodness, which is you.
Remembering your presence in all form will bring you immediately into
the present moment, in awe of the fullness therein. The person before
you will become an opportunity to know yourself. The heart overflows
with love and gratitude, humbly saying, "Oh yes, this person or situation
is here for me to learn about who I am."
18. Self Gratitude
For a simple twenty-four hours, stop looking outside yourself for
validation. On the other side of that you become the experience of
19. The Vanity Mirror
If you want to see who you are not, look in the mirror. Use the mirror
once a day only. Who would you be without your mirror?
20. Beyond Justification
Begin to notice how often you explain or justify yourself, your words,
actions, decisions, etc. Who are you trying to convince? And what is
the story you are perpetuating? Become aware of your use of the word
"because" or "but" when you speak. Stop your sentence immediately.
Begin again. Justification is an attempt to manipulate the other person;
decide to be still and know, and BE CAUSE.
21. The Gift of Criticism
Criticism is an incredible opportunity to grow. Here are some steps on
how to receive criticism and benefit from it. When someone says you
are "wrong, terrible, sloppy," etc., say, either in your mind, or aloud to
that person, "Thank you." This thought immediately puts you in a space
where you're available to hear and to use the information in a way that
can serve you. After the criticism, ask yourself, "Do I hurt?" If the
answer is "yes", then know somewhere within you, you believe the
criticism also. Knowing this gives you the opportunity to heal that
portion which you find unacceptable within yourself. If you want to
cease to be vulnerable to criticism, then heal the criticisms. That is the
ultimate power in letting go of every concept. Being vulnerable means
you can no longer be manipulated for there is no place for criticism to
stick. This is freedom."
22. READING THE GREATS! If you read this far, you are ready for
the greatest book, "HOW TO WANT WHAT YOU HAVE" by
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QUOTES FROM MS. KATIE
You move totally away from reality when you believe that there is a legitimate reason to suffer.
Reality is always kinder than the story we tell about it.
I’m very clear that everyone in the world loves me. I just don’t expect them to realize it yet.
For me, reality is God, because it rules.
An unquestioned mind is the world of suffering.
Personalities don’t love—they want something.
Sanity doesn't suffer, ever.
You are what exists before all stories. You are what remains when the story is understood.
I’m a lover of what is, not because I’m a spiritual person, but because it hurts when I argue with reality.
Everyone is a mirror image of yourself—your own thinking coming back at you.
“I don’t know” is my favorite position.
What is is. You don’t get a vote. Haven’t you noticed?
Until you look forward to criticism, your Work’s not done.
If I had a prayer, it would be this: “God spare me from the desire for love, approval, and appreciation. Amen.”
Thoughts aren’t personal. They just appear, like raindrops. Would you argue with a raindrop?
You either believe what you think or you question it. There’s no other choice.
There are no new stressful thoughts. They’re all recycled.
Stress is an alarm clock that lets you know you’ve attached to something not true for you.
We do only three things in life: we sit, we stand, we lie horizontal. The rest is just a story.
The teacher you need is the person you’re living with.
If I think you’re my problem, I’m insane.
The world is my perception of it. I see and hear only through the filter of my story.
There’s only one thought to question: the one appearing now.
When I argue with reality, I lose—but only 100% of the time.
Everyone and everything is doing its job perfectly—no mistake.
Ultimately, I am all I can know.
Until we know that death is equal to life, we live in fear.
When I am perfectly clear, what is is what I want.
Arguing with reality is like trying to teach a cat to bark—hopeless.
How do I know that I don’t need what I want? I don’t have it.
We fear only what we haven’t understood.
There are no physical problems—only mental ones.
We never make a decision. When the time is right, the decision makes itself.
The miracle of love comes to us in the presence of the uninterpreted moment.
The last story: God is everything, God is good.
No one can hurt me—that’s my job.
When they attack you and you notice that you love them with all your heart, your Work is done.
Forgiveness is realizing that what you thought happened, didn't.
Seeking love keeps you from the awareness that you already have it—that you are it.
Have you asked you?
Everything happens for me, not to me.
We say to others only what we need to hear.
I don’t let go of concepts—I question them. Then they let go of me.
Nothing you believe is true. To know this is freedom.
If you want to see the love of your life, look in the mirror.
Reality is always the story of a past, and what I love about the past is—it’s over.
We suffer only until we realize that we can’t know anything.
You can only see what you believe— nothing else is possible.
I could find only three kinds of business in the world—mine, yours, and God’s.
Whose business are you in?
No one has ever been angry at another human being—we’re only angry at our story of them.
Gratitude is what we are without a story.
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