Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Work of Becoming a Not-Suffering Soup Spiller

So how does someone transform from the suffering soup spiller in the first comic to the not-suffering spiller in comic number two? How can we start to wake up from the overpowering thoughts and associated feelings that warp our perception and kill our joy? One method that's helped me is answering Byron Katie's Four Questions, along with the "turn-arounds."

Here's what a session might look like on one of the suffering spiller's troubling thoughts:


Enter a stressful concept on the line below and then question it in writing (on blank paper as needed) using the following questions and turnaround:

Belief: My partner doesn't help me.

1. Is it true (the belief from above – yes or no)? Yes.

2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true? No, if I'm really honest with myself it's not absolutely true that he doesn't help me.

3. How do you react when you believe that thought? What happens? I feel tired. Mad. Resentful.

If the following questions apply, please answer in writing. Before you answer, close your eyes, be still as you contemplate your answer:

a) Where do you feel it in your body when you think that thought? Close your eyes. Describe what you feel. My jaws clench. My arms feel heavy. I feel heavy all over.

b) How have you treated that person, the situation, and others when you believe that
thought? What did you say and do? Be specific. I yell at him and complain. I try to make him feel guilty. Or sometimes I just isolate myself and don't talk, make eye-contact.

c) How do you treat yourself when you believe that thought? What addictions, if any,
do you experience? (Cigarettes, food, internet, alcohol, shopping, chocolate,
television…)? I ignore myself and my feelings. I want chocolate and T.V. Sometimes I overwork myself.

d) Where and when did that thought first occur to you? Describe briefly what your life
was like before that thought first occurred to you. I remember as kid having too much homework and having to babysit my sister. I would have to stay up late to get everything done and would end up crying and stressed out. Before that, I remember being a young child and asking for help easily and unselfconsciously. No stress.

e) Where does your mind travel when you believe that thought? (List any underlying
beliefs and question them later.) It travels to the future- I see piles and piles of work, and me stuck, doing it all alone.

f) Does this thought bring peace or stress?
Definitely stress!

4. Who would you be without the thought?
I notice that the reality is that I do what I do. Sometimes I ask for help and sometimes I don't. Sometimes people help me, and sometimes they don't. There is no stress about it. I'm also able to see the countless times that someone helped me and I hadn't even asked. I'm free to notice the times of unexpected assistance. If I don't get help, I don't need it.

a) Who or what are you without your story?
I'm a person carrying soup who is aware that there are things I'd like to have happen before my in-laws arrive and aware that nothing NEEDS to happen that does not happen. I can also see how the people around me are feeling. Maybe my partner is stressed in his own way.

Turn the thought around. (Example of a statement: He hurt me.)
: I don't help my partner.

How is your turnaround as true or truer? (For “I hurt me,” how have you hurt you in
this situation?) Give examples: Darn it, it's true. I don't help my partner when I wait until the last minute to get things done for company and then blame him for my stress. I don't help him when he has a big project due at work and I don't help him out with family stuff. I don't help my partner when I expect him to know what I want from him and don't give him a chance by telling him!

Turn it around to yourself (Our example: I hurt me.):
I don't help me.

How is your turnaround as true or truer? (For “I hurt me,” how have you hurt you in
this situation?) Give examples: That is true I don't let myself ask for help when I want it, when I overwork myself and get stressed out, and when I don't plan ahead and rush at the last minute. Oh, I also don't help myself when I make up this whole story that people should be different than they are and that my needs are more important. That does not help me!

Turn it around to the opposite (He didn’t hurt me.)
: My partner does help me.

(For “He didn’t hurt me, or he helped me,” how did he not hurt you? How has he helped
you?) Give examples: True! He helps me when he gives me space to vent without being reactive. He helps me when he does things he knows I like ( hugs, smiles, massages, sex). Actually, if I'm really honest, he helps me when he doesn't help me, because then I get the chance to do this work and practice asking for help when I want it. I learn to be honest.

Turn it around to “my thinking” where appropriate (My thinking hurt me.):
My thinking doesn't help me.

How is this turnaround as true or truer? (For “My thinking hurt me,” how has your

thinking hurt you?) Give examples: True again! There are times that my thinking doesn't help me ESPECIALLY when it tells me that my partner doesn't ever help me out! It doesn't help me when it tells me I can get more done in a day than is really possible. My thinking doesn't help me when it lies to me and tells me I suck and that I'm a lousy wife.

So, he doesn't help it true? Nope. No. It isn't true at all.



Welcome to the class: An Introduction to The Work of Byron Katie! Hosted by Olasofia Seelowe.

Delighted to offer you the chance to learn and practice this laser sharp tool for achieveing peace of mind, clear thinking, and stress reduction.
  • Day: Mondays
  • Time: 11am SLT (8pm CET)
  • Duration: 90minutes
  • Location: It will take place at one of the main meeting areas on this island.
  • Exact Class Location: It is usually at "Stonehenge": The teleport to "Stonehenge" is at the main reception area at the Wisdom & Enlightenment Center. Remember to check the exact location just before the class as it may change.
The class will be run using voicechat.

*TIP* Download the latest version of Second Life for full voicechat features

If you have voicechat enabled, you will be able to volunteer to be facilitated on a stressful thought.

You can still participate even if you do not have voicechat.
*you will be able to hear my voice
*when we work in pairs during the class you will still be able to do this by IM using normal chat.

Look forward to seeing you there!

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