Friday, January 9, 2009

Book Review - Loving What Is

Loving What Is by Byron Katie was recommended to me when I was having a particularly stressful time around money. I’ve got to say that, while the money problem is still here, my ability to handle the stress has improved greatly – which gives me more opportunity to take control of the situation. And I really do have this book to thank to a large degree.

Byron Katie is a fantastic woman who really has a great view on reality. Basically, the crux of the book is that reality doesn’t cause our problems, it’s our expectations on reality and our reaction to reality that causes the pain. This mean our challenges are in our mind, somewhere we should be able to affect!

What Is Loving What Is?

Loving What Is is based around four simple intended to bring your thinking in line with reality, and thus remove the cause of our pain. The Four Questions are:
1. Is it true?
2. Can you absolutely know it’s true?
3. What happens when you believe that thought?
4. Who would you be without that thought?

Then comes what Byron Katie calls the turnaround – now that you understand what you thought, what is really there? It’s a chance to look more deeply into yourself, and find the source of that thought – probably another thought that would be more useful.

For example, “That idiot cut me off” is a variation of “People shouldn’t cut me off.” With the questions, it becomes:
1. Yes, of course it’s true!
2. Well, I guess not. I mean he did cut me off, so obviously at some level he SHOULD have…
3. When I believe the thought, I get mad. That doesn’t feel good. I don’t drive as safely either.
4. Without that thought, I would be still relaxed, driving safely down the road.

Now the Turnaround
People do cut me off, so what should I do? Let them! Then there’s no anger or danger, and I don’t care any more, so no negativity. Just slow down, relax, and drive safely…

It really does work – now there’s a little less negativity in your life. Next, you can apply it to family, friends, money, work expectations, and so on. Really, you’re learning how to handle when your expectations and reality don’t meet. Read Loving What Is for a lot more ideas and examples. Buy the book, so you can refer back to it, and check out the website here.

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