28: The Work of Byron Katie | Just Melissa

In this Just Melissa episode, I walk you through a session of The Work (Byron Katie’s approach to questioning stressful thoughts) done with my own therapist after I sustained a concussion in December 2018. My accident left my physically incapable of doing everything that made me “me”—going to the gym, hiking, reading, working, socializing—and brought on a bout of depression and a crisis of self-worth and value. Through this intimate retelling, I’ll show you how I used The Work to question my stressful thoughts around the accident; see exactly where my pain and confusion were coming from; and change my mindset from fear, frustration, and helplessness to acceptance, self-compassion, and empowerment.


In this Just Melissa episode, I walk you through a session of The Work (Byron Katie’s approach to questioning stressful thoughts) done with my own therapist after I sustained a concussion in December 2018. My accident left my physically incapable of doing everything that made me “me”—going to the gym, hiking, reading, working, socializing—and brought on a bout of depression and a crisis of self-worth and value. Through this intimate retelling, I’ll show you how I used The Work to question my stressful thoughts around the accident; see exactly where my pain and confusion were coming from; and change my mindset from fear, frustration, and helplessness to acceptance, self-compassion, and empowerment.

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Melissa Urban

Whole30 Head Mistress, Co-Founder


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 Episode Notes

Byron Katie YouTube channel
Byron Katie Instagram
Byron Katie does the Work on chronic pain


Loving What Is, Byron Katie (start here)
I Need Your Love, Is That True
? Byron Katie
A Mind at Home With Itself
, Byron Katie
A Thousand Names For Joy
, Byron Katie

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Continue the conversation with me @melissau on Instagram. If you have a question for Dear Melissa or a topic idea for the show, leave me a voicemail at (321) 209-1480.

Do the Thing is part of ‘The Onward Project,’ a family of podcasts brought together by Gretchen Rubin—all about how to make your life better.  Check out the other Onward Project podcasts– Happier with Gretchen Rubin, Side Hustle School, and Happier in Hollywood.

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MU:       00:00     Hi, this is Melissa Urban and you’re listening to Do the Thing, a podcast where we explore what’s been missing every time you’ve tried to make a change and make it stick. Today I’m going to talk about one of the most life changing experiences I have ever had learning and practicing the Work of Byron Katie. I’ve talked about the Work for years on social media and in this podcast. It’s a simple four question framework that allows you to question stressful thoughts, accept what is and restore your power. For those of you who have read her book, Loving What Is, or looked at the Work on her website, it might sound too good to be true. How can you shift your entire experience with just four questions? Today I’m sharing one of my own facilitated sessions of the Work to show you the power it has with a real world scenario.

MU:       01:02     I hope by exploring these Just Melissa topics, you’ll have your own light bulb moment and successfully Do the Thing. There’s a story of a man whose roof leaked when it rained. He couldn’t fix the roof when it wasn’t raining. He claimed he didn’t need to fix the roof. I think of this story often when I’m doing work on my own self worth and identity, whether it’s through therapy or my Byron Katie practices. it’s easy to say that my self worth isn’t wrapped up in things like my athleticism, my business success or my relationship when I have all of those things. When my gym sessions are rockin, when Whole30 gets a feature in People magazine, when I’m blissfully happy with my boyfriend, it’s sunny outside. Of course there’s nothing leaking and it’s really easy when things are going so well to say, of course my worth or value aren’t dependent on how fit successful or loved I am.

MU:       02:05     It’s easy to see that and I want to be able to say that. Right. I want to be able to say that I recognize my value as a person intrinsically and that it’s not dependent on any external factors, things that could be taken away. That is ultimately the goal. But once it starts to rain, if I get injured and can’t go to the gym, if I lose a big potential project at work or if my relationship ends unexpectedly, well now it’s raining and it’s really easy to see the holes. All the ways my worth value and self confidence actually were tied up in those external things. Who am I if I’m not the fit one? Am I as valuable if I’m not Whole30 Melissa, am I as lovable? If the person I love isn’t loving me back right now, it’s harder to see holes when it’s sunny, but the problem is once it’s raining, it’s much harder and a lot more uncomfortable to fix those holes in your self worth and value.

MU:       03:11     Last year around this time, I discovered a major leak in my self worth roof, something I never even considered until it started raining. It was surprising. It was disconcerting. It threw my whole life out of whack and it made me feel like I was starting all over again from scratch. I do therapy, I’m self-aware. How could something hit my sense of self worth and value and my self-assessment so hard. The good news is I discovered I could fix my roof even though it was pouring. I found a way to see the leaks, brave the discomfort and patch them up from the inside out and all it involved was two hours on a couch for questions and the Work of Byron Katie, it all started on December 26 2018 the day I got my concussion last year for Christmas, we were down South in St George, Utah visiting with both of our families and we had taken the kids Brandon’s nephew and my son to a fun center where they have bowling and arcade games and laser tag.

MU:       04:23     So we’re playing laser tag in this dark room with really bright, glowing flashing lights and loud music. It’s very disconcerting when you walk into this environment and I had never done laser tag before so we walk in and not two minutes into the session I went to like turn and duck cause there were a bunch of people in the room and I hit something with my head or something hit me. I don’t actually know what happened, but I was struck behind my left ear really hard. The phrase seeing stars took on a literal meaning. I don’t think I ever actually lost consciousness, but I sat on the floor quite dazed for probably 60 seconds. I remember my son being right there and wondering what was wrong and me looking at him, making sure that I didn’t collide with him. I remember the technician coming over the attendee to make sure that I was okay.

MU:       05:18     It took me a few minutes. I got up and I kept on playing and and kind of we went on with our day. I had a really bad headache, but that was to be expected. Over the course of the next few days, symptoms started popping up that Brandon immediately recognized as a concussion that I certainly did not cause I had no experience with this. I had a really bad headache. I was really irritable. I was having trouble with screens, so typing, being on my phone, I tried to write an email, I got really frustrated. I felt like my vision was fuzzy. I just felt wrong and like off. The issue with the concussion is that it doesn’t work like other illnesses or injuries, so when you have a cold, when I have a cold I’ll take a day or two off from the gym and then I can kind of power through it and usually I end up feeling if I rest a little bit and then kind of just put my mind over matter, I’ll feel better and get back to my normal routine.

MU:       06:12     Same with a physical injury. When my appendix ruptured, I obviously took the time off that I needed, but I started to get back to the gym pretty quickly and I was pretty active in my recovery and I healed up faster than most people do. I tried to do the same approach with my concussion where I would go to the gym anyway. I would take it easier on my workouts, but still try to get through them. The problem is with your brain and with the amount of inflammation and stress that you’re under. I was just making myself so much worse and I was really baffled with how to handle this because if you can’t suck it up and power through it, like what are you supposed to do? The answer of course was to consult a trained healthcare practitioner, follow all of their advice and like rest my butt off so I could finally heal, but for whatever reason I was really resistant to that idea and insisted on handling it myself.

MU:       07:05     It took me probably two or three weeks before I finally saw a physical therapist who specialized in TBI and concussion and she put me on a very strict protocol for recovery, including physical therapy exercises and like very strict rules around what I could and could not do at the gym. But for a few weeks I was on my own and I tried to handle it on my own and it did not go well. I made myself so much worse to the point where I could no longer function. In fact, my kind of come to Jesus moment was having a panic attack in the middle of the gym and having Brandon have to sit with me and kind of talk me down what I was experiencing, the vision symptoms, the auditory symptoms, feeling completely overstimulated and overwhelmed. I knew something was very, very wrong and I didn’t know what to do.

MU:       07:57     Finally, I see a physical therapist. I’m finally on this protocol, but part of the protocol is that I can’t go to the gym for a while. It was probably two months before I could get back into the gym and do any semblance of normal, a normal workout. On top of that, everything that kind of made me feel like me, the fact that I love to read books, the fact that I connect with people on social media through the Whole30 I love to hike. I love to take my kid out and be really active on our weekends. I couldn’t do any of those things. The kind of concussion I had, which primarily affects my vestibular or balance and vision systems meant that screens were overwhelming. Driving in a car was overwhelming. Being in public was overwhelming. Conversations were overwhelming. I couldn’t do anything, so I was really stuck kind of at home in this very basic survival mode of rest and physical therapy and it really threw me for a loop.

MU:       08:57     It threw me for a loop in that I had always been an active person and to me that meant going to the gym every morning, going for hikes every weekend, staying connected with people on social media, keeping up with my work tasks, hanging out with friends on the weekend, and I felt like this concussion had taken that for me. I could no longer be an active person because my job to heal was to rest. And that threw me into such a spiral of self-worth, questioning and value questioning and self-esteem, questioning, who am I if I am no longer active, if I am no longer the fit person at the gym, if I’m no longer the church goer on the trails. If I’m no longer the voracious book reader, what is my value as a person if I am just lying on this couch listening to Parks and Rec. I went through an existential crisis of self worth and value the likes of which I don’t think I’ve ever experienced in my whole life because all of a sudden it was pouring and this giant leak in my roof had been revealed.

MU:       10:05     Something I never ever had to look at because I have had the blessing and privilege to always be able to be active over the course of like my whole life. And now that was taken away from me and I didn’t know who I was. I moped around for many days feeling really depressed and angsty and down on myself. The negative self talk was creeping up in my head to a volume that it hadn’t been in years. I was unmotivated to even do my physical therapy. It was a really dark time for me. After a while though, I kinda got sick of my own shit, which I feel like is wont to happen and I remembered that I already had the tools at my disposal to question these stressful thoughts and shift myself from this negative mindset. I’ve been doing the Work of Byron Katie for more than four years now, both on my own and through my trained facilitator here in salt Lake city, Kathryn Dixon.

MU:       11:09     I was introduced to Byron Katie or Katie as she’s known through her book, loving what is, and I found Kathryn here at home after doing a search for resources and Utah drew Manning and I talked about Kathryn and the Work in our season. One podcast called the truth about divorce. He and I both credit the Work with allowing us to move through very stressful public divorces and business splits with grace, ease and happiness. Here is a primer on the Work. Katie’s premise is simple. It’s not the situation that is stressful. It’s how you are choosing to respond to the situation that creates stress. Often we create stories about what is in our own life and in Katie’s theory, the only time we get stressed, anxious, or upset is when we choose to believe this story instead of simply accepting the reality of what is. So, I’ll give you an example.

MU:       12:08     The guy you’ve been dating hasn’t returned your texts all day long and of course you don’t know why, but you have stories about why he’s not returning your texts. He doesn’t like you anymore. He wants to break up with you, but he doesn’t know how. He’s probably with another woman right now or the worst Oreo of all. You’re just unlovable. But really what happened, what happened in this situation is that someone didn’t return your text. That’s it. And that scenario alone is not enough to make you really stressed out. I bet you can think of a dozen times where you sent someone a text did. They didn’t reply for a couple of days and you didn’t even think twice about it. But now in this situation, you’re stressed, you’re anxious, you’re negative, you’re being mean to yourself. And that’s not coming from the fact that someone didn’t text you back.

MU:       12:55     It’s coming from the story you are telling yourself about what this situation means. By the way, that’s a real story. A girlfriend of mine called me a few years ago to share that. The guy she had been dating for a few months that she really liked was definitely about to dumper. So I asked her a bunch of questions and it turns out he just hadn’t texted her back in awhile. So I gently led her through some work questions and she was able to calm down and think about the situation from a place of acceptance and it turns out he had just broken his phone earlier in the day and was having it repaired and by the way, they are married. Now. the Work is comprised of four questions designed to help us identify our stories and shift our perspective, all facilitated by a worksheet you can find for free on Byron Katie’s website.

MU:       13:47     You start by identifying a situation in which you felt angry, hurt, sad or disappointed and pinpoint the specific reason you were upset. Then you ask yourself the four questions specific to this particular experience. Is it true? Can you absolutely know that it’s true? How do you react and how do you behave? What happens when you believe that thought? How would you react or behave? Who would you be without that thought? the Worksheet or your facilitator will dig deeper into these questions with you, helping you see how the story you have in your head is causing pain, bringing stress and leaving you feeling powerless and helpless. After working through the questions you’re posed with one last question. Can you see a reason to drop this thought? By then? Trust me. You have just named a thousand reasons to drop this thought and never believe it again.

MU:       14:49     Finally, after these questions, you what are called turnarounds. Flipping the script and asking yourself if you can see this new reality is just as valid as the story you used to believe. Could the opposite of this stressful thought be just as true, if not truer than the original? In a word, the Work is freedom. Once you see something in a different light, you can never unsee it. I kind of liken it to the wizard of Oz where once you pull back the curtain, you can see your story for what it is and it’s no longer as big. It’s no longer is scary. It’s no longer looming over you. All of its power has been completely stripped away. It’s important to note that the Work doesn’t fix your life, right? It’s just as likely that my friend’s boyfriend could have ghosted her in that situation. But what the Work teaches you is that the ghosting isn’t the most stressful part of this situation.

MU:       15:48     It is the story you tell yourself about what this situation means about you and for you that is stressful. So the Work isn’t there to solve everything and it’s not like living in some Lala land where you pretend that getting ghosted wouldn’t hurt your feelings, but what it allows you to do is separate what happened from the terrible, awful stories you tell yourself about your worth and your value as a person based on what happened. Realizing that you hold that power to respond to any situation in your life, any way you choose and that accepting what is is where you hold all the power is an incredibly liberating and freeing experience. I would say discovering the Work is one of the three most life changing events that have ever happened to me right up there with the Whole30 and my mindright meditation practice.

MU:       16:44     So back to my concussion, I realized that I had work to do on the stressful thoughts. I was telling myself about who I was and what it meant to be in this period of inactivity. So I called Kathryn, my Byron Katie facilitator, and we set up an appointment and on my way over I’m thinking about which stressful thought am I going to question. And you know, typically what happens is you end up with this big airy like my concussion sucks, my concussion made me depressed. I need to be active. Okay, cool. But we need to get a little more specific before we do the Work on that. So what about it sucks. Can you think of a specific moment in time where you had a thought that was just so painful, it hurts so much like what was that moment and what was that thought like?

MU:       17:36     After spending a little bit of time on her couch and working through some of these like bigger picture, stressful thoughts, we arrived at the specific thought that I was going to question. Now I’m actually going to share with you the notes from this Byron Katie. Work session. This is an incredibly intimate practice, so I’m only going to share the high level details because I want you to understand the power that this process can bring, but I got to keep some of it back because this was two hours of me ripping myself open in the most vulnerable way imaginable and just like spilling my guts and my heart and my soul onto the table. I’m not going to share 100% of that with you cause I can, but I want to give you enough information so you can see what the Work is like and understand how it was able in just a span of two hours to shift my mindset and my presence and my confidence and my sense of worth.

MU:       18:34     That’s how powerful this process is. So getting to Kathryn’s house and sitting on her couch, we decided to question the stressful thought. I need inactivity to bend to my will. Now, that might sound a little convoluted or it might sound a little bit difficult, but we arrived at this very specific kind of phrase after me talking about how I feel about inactivity and the way I felt about inactivity in my own life, not with other people, because very often we give other people way more grace than we give ourselves. Oh, showing emotion if you’re you, that’s totally fine and like normal and healthy. Me showing emotion is weakness. That was kind of how I felt about inactivity in me. Inactivity essentially meant that it’s like settling or giving up and that I should be able to overcome inactivity, that inactivity shouldn’t be tolerated. It shouldn’t be allowed to exist, like I should be able to have power over my body.

MU:       19:38     That was essentially the stressful thought that I was questioning, which is I need my body to be able to do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. Now, listen, it sounds like anyone who said that out loud, you’d be like, um, that’s not true. And bananas and you can’t possibly believe that you need to be in control of your body like that at all times. Of course, that’s unrealistic. But that’s the crux of this work. There’s no judgment in the stressful thought that you are going to question. And that was what it came down to. I felt like in this moment with my concussion, I needed my body to bend to my will and it wasn’t doing it and it was making me miserable. So that was where we started. And the first question is, is it true that I need inactivity, that I need my body to bend to my will?

MU:       20:28     Is it true? And even just asking that question, I felt a little bit of a release because of course it’s not true. The logical part of me sees that it’s not true. In fact, I can see that it shouldn’t be true because if my body bent to my will, I would be in the gym cranking out a really workout and making myself even sicker. So in this case, enacting my will on my body would actually hurt me, not help me, so I need inactivity to bend to my will. Is this true and I was able to answer no, and just in that question, the grip, this story had on me released some of its hold and some light started to come through. One question, is it true? Can you absolutely know that it’s true? No, I can’t absolutely know that it’s true. Of course. In fact, I can think of a number of occasions where my body did not bend to my will and it was a really good thing like when I was pushing it too hard in the gym and I got a little bit of shoulder pain and I stopped.

MU:       21:31     My body probably kept me from getting injured, so no, I can’t absolutely know that it’s true and the story releases its hold a little bit more. Then we got into the next section which is how do you behave? How do you show up in the world when you believe this thought? We dug into this quite a bit. I’ll share a little with you here. How do I see my body when I believe this stressful thought that I need my body and my activity level to bend to my will? Well, when I believe this thought that I need my body to bend to my will and it is not, I see my body is weak. I see it as frail. I see it as useless. It’s falling apart. It’s betraying me. It is unreliable and how do I behave towards my body when I believe this stressful thought that I need my body to bend to my will.

MU:       22:19     How do I behave when I believe this thought I abused my body, I push it more. I berate it. I deny it a voice. I mean to it. That’s how I behave. When I believe this stressful thought in just speaking these words out loud, I realized that this is not me. This is not the person that I am. This is not how I take care of myself. There is something false in the way that I show up in the world When I believe this thought. in realizing that the power of this story releases even more. If believing this thought means that I behave in a manner that is not very nice to myself, I can already see a reason to drop this thought. How else do I behave when I believe this thought that I need my body to bend to my will? How do I see myself in this moment?

MU:       23:13     Not my physical body but myself. I see myself as failing. I see myself as unreliable, undependable, not trustworthy. I see myself as unworthy of the praise that people put upon me. I also see myself as cruel and unsupportive. I see myself as unloving, contemptuous of my own body. I see myself as punishing and I see myself as having no room for empathy whatsoever. To me, when I this stressful thought, empathy is useless and it won’t help my body do what I want it to do. There’s a moment in every session where Kathryn reads back your own words to you, and this is the part where I usually break down in tears because to hear that description is so painful, it doesn’t sound like me. It doesn’t sound like the person I know that I am, and to hear me talk about myself in that light hurts so much.

MU:       24:14     I am so mean to myself when I believe this stressful thought, and it’s certainly not how I would want to behave towards myself in the midst of this traumatic injury. Before we went onto the next question, Kathryn asked me, can you see a reason to drop this thought? Now, it’s very important to note that she’s not asking me to drop it. It’s rare in a session of the Work that you’ll come around so far so fast that that thought has just gone from your head. So we’re not saying can you drop the thought, but can you see a reason to drop the thought? And immediately I answered, yes, yes, I can see a reason to drop it because it’s making me miserable and it’s making me treat myself terribly without grace, without compassion, and it’s actually hurting my body more than it’s helping it. Like yes, I can see a reason to drop this thought.

MU:       25:10     I’m getting emotional just thinking about it because in the moment it is an incredibly powerful experience to question that stressful thought and realize that you can see all kinds of reasons to let it go. And then you go to the fourth question, who would you be without this thought? How would you behave? How would you show up in the world if you just didn’t believe that you need your body, that you need your activity levels to bend to your will. And here’s usually where I laugh because in this moment I’m thinking everything looks totally different. My whole day looks different. If I just didn’t believe that thought, if I wasn’t buying into it, I would have been grateful for the fact that it was a weekend and I didn’t have my son and I could just spend the whole weekend just down and healing and taking care of me.

MU:       26:03     I would’ve been grateful for all the circumstances that would have allowed me to heal. I had good food. I have a man that loves me and was happy to take care of me. A team who’s willing to pitch in and let me rest without this belief that I needed my body to bend to my will. I would have sat in the grief and the pain and the hurt and I would have processed my accident, which I had never allowed myself to do. I would have accepted what happened to me, which would have allowed me to move forward without believing this idea that I need my body to bend to my will. I wouldn’t have felt any shame or embarrassment. This wouldn’t have been a statement of my worth. This was an accident. It was something that happened to me. Feeling that was like again, a giant weight lifted off of my chest.

MU:       26:52     There’s no shame. It’s not about my worth. It’s just something that happened. How would you see your body if you just didn’t believe that you needed activity, that you needed your body to bend to your will? Would your body still look weak, useless, falling apart, betraying me, unreliable? No, of course not. If I didn’t believe that thought my body is none of those things. If I just didn’t believe that thought, my body would feel like a body, something that has taken really good care of me my whole life and now it’s hurt through no fault of its own and it’s time for me to take care of it, I would’ve cocooned it on the couch with a blanket. I would have relaxed. I wouldn’t have been anxious. I wouldn’t have been punishing. I would have seen it with so much compassion that my body right now was hurt and it was needing and worthy of care.

MU:       27:45     I would have been a champion of my body. I would have said, sorry body that this happened to you, but thank you so much for helping me rest and recover and heal. I would have treated my body without this stressful thought, with gratitude and love and in partnership. Quite a different reaction now isn’t it? How I treat myself and think about myself and my body with the stressful thought and without it? kind of easy in the moment to know which one I prefer. The final question we addressed was this, how would I see activity if I just didn’t believe this thought that I needed my activity levels to bend to my will, how would I behave towards and think about activity and the attachment to this idea of being active is gone. It’s gone. It looks like any other state of being activity, inactivity, happiness, sadness.

MU:       28:41     It’s just a state. I would have taken it off the pedestal. I still would have seen worth in it, but no more than any other state of being. It would feel so much more balanced, so much more realistic. I’ll appreciate it when I have it, but I won’t attach to it or give it power. When I don’t. That realization also unlocked an enormous amount of empathy towards others. If I couldn’t be empathetic towards myself when I was in a period of inactivity due to injury or stress or illness, there’s no way I could be genuinely empathetic towards others in that state. Unlocking this realization and dropping the story for myself meant that I was all of a sudden able to better show up for people in my life who were going through something similar. That wasn’t something I recognize that I even needed, but once I flipped the script and changed the story about myself, it unlocked this world of with other people in a way that I never would have been able to do had I stuck to that stressful story.

MU:       29:48     There was one more thing we needed to get to before this session was over. If I just didn’t believe this stressful thought that I needed activity to bend to my will, how do I see myself? Kathryn asked me, are you still ashamed of yourself for this accident? Are you worth less? Are you valued less because you got a concussion? And this is the point where I had to laugh because of course not. Of course I can see this now. When I look at myself, I am just as awesome, just as worthy and valued just as much as I was before my accident. Of course I was, I would’ve had a much more overwhelmingly positive outlook. I would have felt stronger to maintain that positive outlook. I would’ve been proud of the tasks that I was doing to help me heal and I would’ve felt more authentic than ever.

MU:       30:37     More dependable than ever because I was practicing what I preach. I would have been taking really good care of me. I would have been proud of me. I would have been supportive and loving and I would’ve been compassionate and that feels so much more like me than the way I was behaving when I believed that stressful thought that I needed inactivity to bend to my will. That’s just a brief summary of this two hour session that I did with Kathryn, my facilitator. But can you feel the power in these questions? Can you feel the power of this journey? We haven’t even gotten to the turnaround yet, which is another really interesting experience. But just in these four questions, I was able to see that the way I show up in my life when I believe this stressful thought is not serving me and it doesn’t feel like me and it hurts and it’s painful and I was able to find reasons to drop that thought and see all of the ways that my life could appear without this stressful thought.

MU:       31:45     And when I left that house, that stressful thought has not come back because every time it wanted to come back, it’s very easy to kind of fall into old patterns, right? One, two hour therapy session is not going to completely overwrite decades of thoughts and patterns and behaviors, but every time that thought came back, it was immediately followed by, Ooh, I know how I behave and I know how I feel when I believe this thought. Also, I’ve pulled the curtain back on that thought and I know all of the ways that it’s not serving me and it’s not true and I was able to drop it right then and there and I never had to experience the stress of this thought again. That’s how powerful the Work is. So back to my concussion, doing the Work doesn’t fix my concussion. It doesn’t make me heal instantaneously.

MU:       32:34     It doesn’t make my symptoms go away. What it does is it gives me a new way, respond to my concussion in a way that feels far more authentic, far more positive, far more caring of myself, and that allows me to show up in a more caring way for the people around me. It allowed me to change the way I thought about the situation except what is, and then move from a position of power to be able to deal with what had happened before my session when I wasn’t accepting what was and I was just thinking my body should be doing what I tell it to do. I had no power in that situation. Living in that Headspace of I wish things were different, but they’re not means that I’m putting all of my time and energy and focus into wishing and should and not actually addressing what’s happening in my real life.

MU:       33:26     After doing the Work and dropping my negative story, I was able to see my concussion for what it was. I was able to accept the situation as it was occurring in my life and I was able to move forward from a place of empowerment, feeling loving and kind and compassionate towards myself and that my friends is how you fix the roof when it’s pouring. Again, it’s kind of not about the roof. It’s how you feel about the rain coming down on your face. If you can find a way to not be miserable with that rain coming down on you. If you can find a way to not tell yourself stories about what it means that your roof is leaking. If you can identify the thoughts about your leaky roof that are causing you stress and pain and anxiety and hurt, if you can question those stressful thoughts and figure out how to drop them, you actually can get up there and fix the roof and that’s exactly what I did with my concussion by focusing on physical therapy, by resting, by taking care of myself and being nice to myself.

MU:       34:31     Now sometimes here people would say to me, but Melissa, you still have a concussion and that still sucks and I accept that it did suck. I did have symptoms. It was painful and it was really hard, but I got to choose how I wanted to experience that process of healing. I could either go through that healing process miserable and unhappy and beating myself up and˙ being mean to myself as I was before or I could do the Work and go through the same healing process with a much better attitude, feeling much more optimistic and positive and being kind to myself. It’s not about the situation, it’s about how you choose to respond to the situation and the Work helped me be happy during a time where I otherwise would have been miserable. Tell me that’s not a worthwhile process. I wanted to share this example with you for a few reasons. First, it really helps me solidify the Work that I’ve done to continue to talk about it. So honestly I’m talking to you, but as always I’m only just talking to myself, but to, I’ve recommended the Work to so many of you through books, through Byron Katie’s website, through practitioners, and I wanted you to hear a real life example of how the Work works and how incredibly powerful it is.

MU:       35:50     I’m not exaggerating when I say that. the Work basically saved my life during my divorce and business split and I have put it to use through a variety of circumstances and relationships and challenges ever since. The best part is that much like the Whole30 the entirety of the Work is available for free. Byron Katie is such a generous soul that she has made this all available through her website. Byron katie.com you can go to her website, click on the Work, download the judge your neighbor worksheet, work through all the questions and arrive at these powerful realizations all by yourself. You can also find Byron Katie certified facilitators through her website, so someone like Kathryn Dixon here in salt Lake that you can make an appointment with who can help you walk through the Work and the process. This is incredibly helpful because there are some really difficult situations like when I worked through my sexual trauma or even some situations around my divorce where I would get stuck on the first question, is it true and I would insist that it was 100% true and I knew that for a fact and it wasn’t until I worked with a practitioner who could ask me other questions and help me tease it out that I was able to get past that obstacle and continue on with the Work and the questioning of my stressful thoughts.

MU:       37:11     For that reason, I’m actually hoping to become a facilitator of the Work myself. I think I have a bit more work to do on myself before that happens, but it would be a dream come true to be able to lead others through this work that I have found so incredibly life changing. I’ll make sure to include all of the resources I’ve talked about here including Byron Katie’s website, her books, and a few YouTube videos so you can watch her facilitating others through the Work in the show notes. I hope you found this episode helpful and enlightening and I hope that you discover the Work to be as life changing as I have. Bookmark this one and come back to it. Anytime you find your roof is a little bit leaky and you’re kind of stressed out about it. ek.


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