The reason I wanted to do this interview is that it seems I keep quoting and paraphrasing you on the site. Naturally, because of the demographic of the site... the reason they come to the site is to find people in the same boat as them, and as soon as they sort themselves out, they leave the site.
That's wonderful. That happens for me, too. It tells me I'm doing my job, so good.
So, it seems they are at the right point as far as inquiring all the time. I mean, they come to the site because they have questions. But they also don't have a path of inquiry like The Work, so it seems like if they could put it within a framework, they could actually find some peace. The natural inclination when they come to the site is 'I thought I was this, now I'm this, so that means A, B, and C.' They may take their old identity, discard it, say 'I'm gay or lesbian, that means I'm this, and I like this, and I have to do that, and I have to like The Indigo Girls,' and all these other things.
As you talk, I have one thought, and that is: you might get a list of all the questions they ask, and all of the meanings, like what it means... I heard you say it means this, this, this, and this. To put that list up there with the four questions, and then somehow do simple inquiry on them. You have this whole list with "Being gay or lesbian means..." and put that list that they struggle with in their little hearts. We could walk through inquiry on it, and show them how to do every single one of them themselves... it doesn't mean they would do it. It would just show the four questions and the turnaround.
With the site, I know my role is to just put things there. There's nothing I can do but to say, here's something that could help. And since this is an audience where I'm guessing 99.X percent of the readers aren't going to know who you are, could you tell us the origin of The Work and who you were when it all began?
I was a woman with three children, and very agoraphobic, very paranoid, and very confused. And so depressed, that it was extremely rare that I could get out of bed, or leave my bedroom or home. My self-esteem was so low that I actually slept on the floor, because I was so full of self-hate I didn't believe I deserved a bed.
So, one morning, as I lay sleeping on the floor, actually a cockroach crawled over my foot, and I opened my eyes and in place of all that depression and paranoia and pain and suffering and I only wanted to die, and in place of all of that, it was gone. It was gone. It was gone. And I saw in that what is really valuable and it's what I invite everyone to, and it is this: when I believe my thoughts, I suffer; but when I question my thoughts, I don't suffer, and I've come to see that this is true for every human being.
And I bring a thing called The Work, and this is a very, very simple way that anyone with an open mind can do. It's a way to identify and question thoughts that cause all the suffering in the world. So, we question just one thought at a time, just the thought that you yourself are thinking, that's all. The one that brings you stress. And I've come to see that I'm responsible for my own freedom, I'm responsible for my happiness, and no one can give that to me. That's my job. And so I did.
The book tour for your previous book was when I first encountered you, and I bought both previous books at that time. And I encounter people in my life, my mother, my friends, and you think 'This would be so helpful,' and as soon as you explain it to them, they listen, they're excited by it, and the instinct seems to be, 'Well, that sounds interesting, but still... don't you think things would be better if this were the case?' So, I guess you can lead people to The Work, but how do you make them drink?
It's simple. You do The Work yourself, and it will attract people to you or not. It's like the freer I get, the more friends I attract, so the more friends I have. And when people want to know what my freedom is, I just immediately say 'four questions and a turnaround,' and then invite them to it, and they say yes or no. Another way... I have a friend and I was in an elevator with him, and a third party stepped into the elevator and my friend said, 'Hi, how are you?' and he said, 'Oh, you know, the world's a mess.' And my friend said, 'I used to believe that, too, and I found a way, and it's just the best thing on the planet. I found...' and he just went on and on. 'And if you'd like to experience it, we can do it right now.' And the man said, 'OK.' So, he said, 'The world is a mess. Is that true? Can you absolutely know that's true?' And by the time we hit the twelfth floor, this man was going, 'Whoa!' He just cuts to the chase. So, what he did was, he heard a statement because he was doing The Work himself. He had the ability to identify this man's stressful thought and just walked him through it with the man's permission.
Stephen: And he does that in planes. He does that on buses. This guy just has a knack for it.
Katie: He was in a used car lot buying a car for his son, and I get a call from this used car salesman saying, 'Thank you, thank you, thank you, Byron Katie.'
Stephen: If a person doesn't want it, then they won't pursue it.
Katie: Yeah, if someone's not interested, to answer your question, I just trust their way.
And the natural impulse I have, since I keep hearing the same stories repeated that I've worked out and don't trouble me anymore, so you want to be just like, "Here! Do this!"
I'm not aware of the hotline.
It's wonderful. There are facilitators all over the world, you can call them over Skype or just locally, and they'll do the work with you. You don't have to give them your first name, anything, and they'll do The Work with you for no charge. Just because they're amazing, selfless people like you.