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Highest Self Podcast 414: Questioning Your Beliefs To Become Free with Byron Katie

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This episode is a must-listen for true liberation! Questioning my beliefs has been a major game-changer for me in the past year and I’m so excited to bring the mother of this practice Byron Katie to the podcast. In this episode, we dive into how to use The Work to resolve ANY conflicts in your life. I get vulnerable with Katie and share an issue that was showing up for me in my relationship and she does The Work on me! I also ask the burning questions many of you have about how we can actually find peace with things we dont like. This soulful conversation will open your third eye and guide you on the path to true, lasting freedom. Tune into this with a cup of tea and open mind!

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TRANSCRIPTION

Episode 414: Questioning Your Beliefs To Become Free with Byron Katie
By Sahara Rose

[00:12] Sahara
Namaste, it’s Sahara Rose and welcome back to The Highest Self Podcast, a place where we discuss what makes You, Your Soul’s Highest Evolvement.

[00:19] Sahara
I am extremely excited to share this Episode with you today because it is with a person who has deeply influenced my own life, especially in the past year – Byron Katie.

[00:31] Sahara
You may have heard of her, you may have not, but she is definitely someone who you want to get to know because she has posed four questions that truly have changed the lives of so many people, through what she calls The Work.

[00:46] Sahara
So, it’s been nearly 20 years that she has been sharing The Work with thousands and thousands of individuals, to question our beliefs, to actually ask “Is it true? How can we know it’s true? Who would I be without this thought and what would the opposite be?”

[01:02] Sahara
And The Work has been extremely helpful for me in the past year as I was undergoing some challenges that really were irritating me and making me angry. And a friend of mine posed the suggestion for me to work with someone who practices The Work, who has trained with Byron Katie, and I did one session with this person and I’m like “I have no more problems, they are solved” because they allowed me to look at it from another perspective and to really question “Who am I to think that it should be another way?” and to really drop the word should.
And I feel like the biggest transition I’ve made in the past year is how open my mind is and that I truly see the perspective in everything. And I have let go of any form of belief that it should go any one specific way, even the way that feels better or easier for me, and to really just accept reality of what is. And I’ve begun really practicing this in my life, with my friends, teaching this in Dharma Coaching Institute, and even diving deeper with my own questions that now I use to question my own beliefs. And all of this really wouldn’t have begun if it wasn’t for the work of Byron Katie. So, I’m so deeply honored and humbled to have her here on The Highest Self Podcast with you today because it’s my deepest joy to bring my personal teachers to you and to really let these wise women and wise men share their wisdom especially with our Millennial generation, Gen Z, whoever’s listening to this, that sometimes we don’t have access to elders in the same way that we used to when we lived in villages. So, she truly is such a wise elder crone queen and this is such a powerful conversation.
And I decided to open up and be vulnerable and bring one of my personal problems to the Episode, for Byron Katie, which she goes like Katie, to do the work on me.
So, I open up and I share, I get real about a situation that I was in that day and I’m happy to say right now that it isn’t a problem anymore. And actually, one of the reframes that she shared to me was my biggest ‘a-ha’ moment, that now, anytime I’m that situation at all again, I ask myself that question that she asked me of “Is he ready?” and that makes any form of me trying to make the situation go away or get better, or any of it, it just drops it.
So, there’s such freedom on the other side of questioning your beliefs, and we really go there in this conversation.

[03:39] Sahara
I mean, I, on this Podcast, always ask the questions that I feel you guys may be thinking or wanting to ask, especially questions that people are afraid to ask, and I go there on asking those questions to her and she really answered in such a beautiful way.

[03:57] Sahara
So, without further ado, let’s welcome Katie, to The Highest Self Podcast.
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[05:03] Interview

[05:04] Sahara
Welcome Katie, to The Highest Self Podcast, it’s so great to have you here!

[05:07] Katie
Thank you!

[05:09] Sahara
The first question I would love to ask you is what makes you your highest self?

[05:14] Katie
Oh, the, life – oh my goodness, life as it is, life as it is, not as I imagined it to be, but the way it really is, Sahara, it’s just, a kind of understanding that I hold in me, that is…
You know, I think we all are our highest selves, but what we’re thinking and believing, any time we don’t experience ourself in that frame of mind, let’s say, we can look to what we’re thinking and believing about the world, and it shows us the world as it is, as opposed to what we believe it to be.

[06:01] Sahara
Absolutely. You shared that any thought that triggers stress is an argument with reality and that reality is God, if it’s happening, it’s meant to be, and it’s really about becoming a lover of reality.
Can you explain that a little bit further?

[06:18] Katie
Well, it’s easy to love reality when I understand reality without the ego’s lens on it. And so, anything that’s, just, say, less than beautiful, I question what I am believing about that person or anything in the world, I question it and I don’t try to make it anything other than what it is. It’s a true questioning, it’s an open-minded, self-inquiry, where we look to ourselves rather than others, to just get down with what is true for me. So, we’re tapping in, when we do that, we’re tapping in to something that is so authentic that we automatically trust it.
So, again – for example, if I look at someone and I see them, using that expression again, if anything is less than beautiful, in every way, then, if I see them as less than that, I know it’s me that is off, so I question what I’m believing about that person. And with that gone, with that clear, I’m in touch with that human being, and the war is over.
If there’s a war in this world, with anyone or anything, I have to look to myself, meaning “What am I thinking about the world or that person?” And I can question “Maybe what I’m believing is valid, maybe what I’m thinking is valid. I’m not trying to win or lose anything here, I just want to know.” And self-inquiry gives me that, and anyone with an open mind, very open mind, because the world really shifts as we sit in self-inquiry.

[08:14] Sahara
Can you share a little bit about your story and how you awakened to this way of seeing the world?

[08:21] Katie
It was after years of very deep depression, more painful than I would – oh, I wouldn’t want that for any human being, we all have all the pain we need anyway, we have enough.
But as I lay sleeping on the floor – I was sleeping on the floor because I was so full of self-loathing, I didn’t believe I even deserved a bed to sleep in, so that’s depressing.
So, as I lay sleeping on the floor, this particular morning, a bug, a cockroach, crawled over my foot and I opened my eyes, I came out of this dead sleep and I saw, and just an instant, that when I believed my thoughts, I suffered, but when I questioned my thought, I didn’t suffer, there’s an awakening in that, and I’ve come to see this as true for every human being.
For example, I opened my eyes and there was no identity present, and then I saw the light coming through the window, but I didn’t really see it until words, description, attached to what that was. So, we had object and we had a name and it was kind of a chemistry that happened, that I became, I saw light, I saw a ceiling, I saw walls and a floor, and I saw life, but it wasn’t there, prior to being shown the cause of all my suffering, the cause of all life, and life by nature, out of our true nature. It’s a whole different way of seeing that feels right, it’s absent (the depression) and anything on a scale from 1-10, from just mild dissatisfaction to very deep depression, that’s what happened and it maintains. And this practice I call The Work, the self-inquiry, is available to anyone with an open mind.

[10:34] Sahara
It’s almost like the veils lifted of our interpretation of something, and also really seeing things as they are; seeing the chair as a chair, and finding that new-born fascination with life again. It’s almost like you came back into this world with infant eyes and could see things for the simplicity and the truth for what they are.

[10:58] Katie
Oh, honey, that’s really beautiful. And yes, thank you for – you have such a beautiful way with words! You just have such a gift, such a gift!

[11:11] Sahara
I appreciate that, especially coming from you, whose words, in The Work, have changed thousands and thousands of people’s lives, including my own. I have worked with one of your Practitioners, doing The Work, named Sylvia, it was so helpful for me.
So, for people who are not familiar with The Work, can you share what these four powerful questions are?

[11:32] Katie
The first one is to identify what you’re thinking and believing any time you fell out of source, for example. But to identify what you’re thinking and believing, and then question it. And the first question is, for example – we worked with one yesterday, he lied to me on another podcast, he lied to me, and the first question is “Is it true?” So, be there now, in that situation, in that time and place where that person was lying to you and anchor there. It’s like we’re meditating in that time and place, and listening and being present in it – “He’s lying to me, is it true?” and then you listen very carefully because the ego was in play then may be without the ego and we’re just still in it, something else shows up. So, “He lied to me, is it true?” and I’m listening to his words, I’m there now, in my mind’s eye, “Is it true, can I really know that it’s true?” He lied to me in that situation.
And then, the next question is – notice, in this meditative state now, notice, being there now, in your mind’s eye, notice how you react, what happens when you believe that thought.
So, then we witness ourselves, we get in touch with our emotions, we get in touch with the images in our head of past and future and of when we’ve been lied to and “He’s going to do it again”, so much shows up in it, in that process (as you should know from experience). And then, as you witness that, the answer is either yes or no, “He lied to me, is it true?” So, we’re just looking for authenticity within ourselves because understanding that that’s freedom.
The last question in that situation – who would you be without the thought “He lied to me”, and that is not to go into denial, it’s just to drop it and listen; just drop your thoughts and listen again; look at the expression on that person’s face; in touch with their feelings. And then I invite people to turn it around “He lied to me”, turn it around “He told me the truth”, and the ego doesn’t like that, and maybe the ego is right, but to really listen, “He told me the truth”, listen to his words and in this safe place, it’s okay for me to really listen to what he said. And so often we can hear the truth, maybe that person, anyway, I’m making this short. So, he lied to me, told me the truth and then another opposite, and these are to try on, it doesn’t mean they’re true, we’re just trying it on for the situation and another turnaround “He lied to me. I lied to him”, so I meditate in that and that situation, “In my defense, when I was so indignant and angry that he lied to me. And in defense, “I lied to him.” So now I listen and shows me that if something shows up, where I did lie to him, that I can admit it, to myself first, and then eventually, when I’m ready, I can admit it to that person, apologize for what I saw and how I reacted when I believed the thought. Maybe I punished, maybe I hurt him in some way, but I can apologize for the lie I told and make it right where I can. It’s a way of life, these living turnarounds, “He lied to me.”
So, then, another way of turning it around “He lied to me. I lied to me”, so to get very present in that situation, to be there now and “Where was I lying to me? To myself?” and get in touch with that. But there is a radical shift of identity when we sit in ourselves, and this is nothing more than just a meditative process, that’s an exercise in stillness that we sit in with these questions as a kind of guidance to keep us, to support us, to be in ourselves, looking for the cause of suffering, that cannot be outside of me if I’m suffering, it has to be what I’m thinking and believing, and how I react out of that. This is where we murder, this is where we say things that bring guilt on, and guilt is the ego’s favorite food, it just nurtures it, it feeds it. So, it’s a process I invite everyone to, and it does take courage.

[16:51] Sahara
So, I would love to do an example of The Work right now with a thought that I had, the past few days, that has been bothering me. And I think it’s a thought that some listeners may resonate with. So, let’s break it down.
So, the thought is, “I’m annoyed that my husband won’t tell me how he feels when he feels it”.

[17:14] Katie
Okay. So, what is the situation? When that comes to your mind, what images are there, what situation?

[17:21] Sahara
It causes me to second-guess myself and to try to get out of him how he feels, which makes me feel uneasy.

[17:30] Katie
Okay. So, you want him to share his true feelings with you.

[17:35] Sahara
Yes.

[17:36] Katie
Is that it? Okay. Be there now, in that situation, you want him to share his true feelings with you. Now, see him in your mind’s eye, open your mind, see him in your mind’s eye, you want him to share his feelings with you. Is it true?

[17:55] Sahara
Yes.

[17:57] Katie
And how do you react? Witness how you react when you believe the thought, you want him to share his feelings with you. Notice what you say, what you do, your attitude, your facial expressions, your shoulders, just witness how you react, what happens when you believe the thought you want him to share his feelings with you.

[18:25] Sahara
I attune to his micro-expressions and hyper-focus on him and then start questioning him “Are you okay? Are you sure? Are you sure nothing is wrong? Will you tell me?” and then he says he’s fine but I still don’t feel like he’s fine, so then, I think “Am I going crazy thinking that something’s wrong? Should I believe him?”, but then, every time, the next day he’ll tell me that something was wrong but he didn’t feel ready to talk about it yet, which frustrates me.

[18:57] Katie
Yeah, So, just experience, just get in touch with what you have shared with us and be there now, in that situation. Notice the efforting, what is the energy it takes to be that wife in that situation?

[19:20] Sahara
Yeah. It’s almost like I can’t feel at ease unless I feel like we’re 100% good, so I need the break, so I keep questioning him so we can get the conversation out of the way and I can move on.

[19:36] Katie
Yeah, yeah. So, big effort. And in that, who would you be, just be there now in that situation, who would you be without the thought “I want him to show, to tell me his true feelings”, what did you say “I want him to…?”

[19:58] Sahara
I want him to share how he feels when he’s feeling it.

[20:02] Katie
Okay. “I want him to share what he’s feeling”, because the other’s understood, because you’re in it. “I want him to share, with me, what he’s feeling”, okay, be there now, look at him, without the thought. You’ve already asked him “I want you to share your true feelings” and he’s already given you the answer, I mean, an answer, not the one you were looking for, he’s responded. Who would you be without the thought “I want him to share his true feelings with me”, “I want him to share his feelings with me”? Hear his answer, look at his face, look at his body language and send the thought “I want him to share his feelings with me”, just drop it and be there now. Who are you without the thought “I want him to share his feelings with me”, after he responded?

[21:03] Sahara
Well, I feel like I would be someone that doesn’t care. So, I feel like my wanting to know his feelings is because I care about him.

[21:11] Katie
So, you might write down “I want him to know I care about him”, but notice how you react when you believe the thought you want him to share his true feelings with you. Look at you through his eyes, is that someone that cares?

[21:29] Sahara
Yeah, he feels like he needs to sit on it for a few days, incubate on it and then share when he’s ready, but I have this fear that it will fester and turn into a big issue, so I want to get it out of the way and talk about it because of my fear that it could turn into something bigger.

[21:48] Katie
Yeah, so it’s really all about you and your comfort, disregarding him, unintentionally, your intentions are to get closer and everything you said, but it doesn’t play out that way.

[22:04] Sahara
Aha, well, my fear is that he’ll never tell me and then it will turn into a huge issue down the line, so I take the responsibility of making sure we have the conversation.

[22:17] Katie
So, look at him, look at you, when you’re believing the thought, you want him to share his true feelings with you, and you’re really having none of it. He responded, so look at how you react through his eyes, look at you through his eyes.

[22:34] Sahara
Yeah, he is probably annoyed that I keep asking him, feels pressured.

[22:39] Katie
Okay. And let’s look more closely – you look at you through your own eyes.

[22:49] Sahara
Yeah, I see someone who needs everything to be okay around them, for them to feel at ease.

[22:58] Katie
So, “I want him to share his true feelings with me” – how would you turn that one around? I want me?

[23:07] Sahara
Yeah, I want me to share my true feelings with myself.

[23:10] Katie
And you’ve really been transparent here with us, really transparent. Can you see another turnaround? “I want him to share his true feelings with me”.

[23:23] Sahara
I don’t want him to share his true feelings with me?

[23:25] Katie
Okay. So, just try it on, doesn’t mean it’s true.

[23:31] Sahara
Well, I could see that because…

[23:33] Katie
Look at him trying to deal with you, he’s responded, look at him trying to deal with you. “I don’t want him to share his true feelings with me”, so, compassionately, why might that be true for you?

[23:46] Sahara
He feels that he’s not even at a place to thoughtfully speak about his feelings until he’s really sat on it. So, maybe if I pressured him to say how he felt before he felt ready, it would be something I didn’t want to hear.

[24:01] Katie
In that situation I don’t want him to share his true feelings with me. I have one, would you like to hear it?

[24:10] Sahara
Sure.

[24:11] Katie
I learned it from you. He’s not ready. Look at him, he’s not ready. And look at him, he wants to give you what you want, obviously he loves you, and he’s not ready.

[24:27] Sahara
Yeah, also, I’m not responsible for getting his true feelings out of him.

[24:32] Katie
How could you be, they’re his! And he’s not willing, he’s not ready, he’s standing in his truth. “I want him to share his true feelings with me. I want me to share my true feelings with him.” So, what might that be with all this information?

[24:56] Sahara
Yeah, I’ve told him before, “When you don’t share how you’re feeling, but I can energetically feel something’s off, that makes me second-guess myself, so can you at least just tell me “Something’s up in my mind but I’m not ready to talk about it.” And I don’t even think he does that because he doesn’t realize that something’s bothering him, it’s almost like I realize something’s bothering him before he does, but then my questioning may amplify it.

[25:25] Katie
Okay, very good. Give him a little push that he’s not quite ready for. Yeah.

[25:35] Sahara
I feel like a lot of us, who, and I know you’ve written about this, consider themselves to be empaths, we hyper-attune to other people’s feelings and it’s almost like if they don’t feel okay, we can’t feel okay, so it’s almost like we want to just band-aid the problem so we can move on, but really, that’s our own problem.

[25:54] Katie
Yeah, yeah, we’re the ones still left with it. Any line within us that we cross, when we try to pull something from someone else is our own line we cross. But we, more often than not, think “Oh, it’s for his own good” when really, it’s for my own good and he has to pay the price for my own insecurity, for my fear of “Oh, it’s going to come out later in not a good way.”
Yeah, it certainly is a – I love these queries so much, Sahara, and your courage, I have to say, really impresses me. This inquiry is a big ask.

[26:42] Sahara
Yeah, thank you. I had to take the opportunity, I’m sitting with the queen herself, so… And I know so many people in my audience, have probably felt this way, whether in friendships, relationships, of this hyper-attunement to other people. And whether it’s the world around you and “I can’t feel happy until the world is at peace” or a work situation, it holds us back.
So, I’d love for you to share a little bit about – what about that, maybe, guilt that we have in our minds of “Well, if I don’t care, then I’m accepting it and that means it’s okay.”

[27:19] Katie
Well, I cannot wait for the world to be free. That would be a long wait. I want the world to be free so I’m free, but that is really going the long way around. So, I work with one human being in this world. Just as I worked with you, I was doing my work, it’s always like that. But my work is for me to do, for me to be free, and free is, it’s quite a word. I see that everyone in the world, other what they’re thinking and believing, they’re okay. When you’re right with yourself, you understand, when you understand yourself, you understand the world.
Like, I can see someone really angry, let’s say, and suffering in that anger, and I understand and I don’t try to change their mind. My job is to love, my job is to connect and further, if I believed what they’re believing in that situation, I would be the same. So, I can hold that space because I understand just what I’ve said, I’m free to be with human beings – how do I say it, sweetheart, it’s a beautiful thing to understand that other than what people are thinking and believing, they’re okay. And that you’re your own example, like in that situation, believing what you were believing, there was some, even though minor discontent, it was there in the name of goodness, you’re trying to spare him, and really both of you, but in that, you weren’t spared. And inquiry gives us the opportunity to free ourselves after the fact as life happens. We can always go back, just as you have demonstrated, and identify what we were thinking and believing in that situation, and wake ourselves up to the cause of our own suffering and continue the practice of inquiry.
And again, it is such a gift to understand that what people are thinking and believing is the only thing, it is the cause of their suffering and that allows me not to fear their suffering.

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[31:48] Sahara
Can you share the story about when you were with your daughter and she was giving birth and you guys weren’t sure what was going to happen?

[31:57] Katie
Yeah. When the baby came out, it wasn’t taking in air, wasn’t breathing, and the doctor had done everything that he could to get the baby to breathe, and it was seriously not looking good to the doctor, which alarmed everyone.
But to me, to my experience, my grandbaby, who is now 28, my grandbaby, did not have to breathe to be my grandbaby. My grandbaby, that grandbaby, was perfect in every way, which is why I wanted him to be born in that first breath. And as soon as – you know, people around were so alarmed, but not me, there was my grandbaby, oh my goodness, I’m living it now, my precious. And he took a breath and then he cried and all is well for the mother, but I don’t know how long the people I love are going to live, I have no way… So, I love them now and I can say, dead or alive, if you think, if your husband, right now, he’s living in you, and even if he were dead, now, and you don’t have the news, you imagine that he’s alive, so you’re okay. And it’s that way, life is a dream, that’s what’s meant by life is a dream. So, the dream of my grandbaby dreaming, the ego’s best trick is to compare. So, I see the baby can’t breathe and then I imagine the baby of my dreams, meaning that baby, dreaming and alive and in my arms and taking him home and all of that dream, compared to the baby that can’t breathe – what is the cause of my suffering? Is it that baby that can’t breathe or is it my ego comparing one to the other that brings me the grief?
Now, when you’re awake to reality, what is real and what is imagined, and in that case, what is imagined is my grandbaby breathing. If I’m awake to that illusion, I am present with my grandchild, and that may be all I ever have of my grandchild and I’m not going to miss one moment of it.

[34:34] Sahara
That’s such a beautiful story! And you know, for so many of us, we feel that life should be a certain way, that your grandbaby should be alive, that he should be able to breathe, that’s how life should go, no one should have to suffer that way.

[34:48] Katie
Right, and we love that, and it’s a great gift, and then there’s life, it offers up. And then when they’re born and they knock your favorite cup off the cabinet and it shatters to pieces, it’s “Watch what you’re doing?!” and we’re imagining, again, the cup and then the broken cup in our head, so we compare, the ego compares.
So, when my grandbabies, which, and they have children too, dropped and knocked a glass off or something, I’m not going to miss how it shatters and breaks and catches the light and moves and dances, I just, I love life as it is. But comparing it all together, sitting on the shelf, that’s not life, that’s imagination. So, we can say, life is what a dream – what a dream if we don’t love the dream, that’s what this work is about, it’s about the end of suffering. Freedom is our birthright and this is Earth school and it’s here to wake up to reality. And anyone with an open mind can do this work. And again, it does take an open mind and courage.

[36:24] Sahara
So, do you feel that we can live in a world with no suffering?

[36:28] Katie
I just respect the illusion of time and Earth, everyone’s free, it’s about here we are, with the opportunity to wake up to where we really are. And I can tell you, love thee, caring compassionate human beings. Anything we think that doesn’t match that, feels like pain, it shows us that something is off and it’s not this world, it’s what we’re thinking and believing about the world. An unquestioned mind gives us the life not worth living, and that’s a quote, I think Socrates, “An unquestioned life is not worth living.” And I’ve certainly come to understand that to be true.

[37:19] Sahara
Yeah, if more people had these tools, they would be able to see their perspective from a new lens that could bring them great amount of joy and freedom, without anything changing.
And I think what shows up for me and my ego, and probably some other people’s, are “Well, if we just accept everything as it is, then it won’t change, then we won’t make improvements. How are the oceans going to stop being polluted with the plastic and the Amazon stop burning and sex trafficking stop happening if we just accept it as it is?”
So, what is your response to that?

[37:52] Katie
That would not be my experience. It’s the extreme opposite, it’s entirely active, but it’s acting out of curiosity met with wisdom. And who would I be without the thought in that situation where “He lied to me”, in the scenario that I offered up earlier, “Who would I be without the thought he lied to me”, oh, my goodness, everything is there in that space.
Here’s the short version – every time someone sits in these questions, they’re inviting wisdom to meet the question. If we think we already have the answer, we just notice, clear the decks again, clear the mind, ask the question again, whichever of the four questions they’re on, and just allow wisdom to meet the question. And the question has to be one out of curiosity, like “Is it true?”, it’s like “Is it true?” and that internal thing, like a challenge, no, it’s not like that, it takes an open mind, just a curious mind that really wants to know. And that curiosity like “He lied to me, is it true?” or whatever you’re questioning “Is it true?” with that curiosity and an open mind, wisdom as the answer, will meet that question ever time. It lives for that, it’s there, it’s moveable, it’s just waiting for the invitation and it doesn’t require that we ask, it is just there and we are wise and the ego is overriding that wisdom. The ego I see as like an innocent child that is desperate for life, desperate to live this life as an object. The object we see as the physical body “I’, “I”, “I am”, “I am Byron Katie”, “I”, “I’, “I”, “I think”, “I feel”, “I”, that “I”, anytime we are not at peace, mild discontent to furious, that is a state of mind that we can identify and question and it shows us peace, peace. It’s a practice in stillness, a practice in stillness. But the wisdom we find wasn’t meets the question, for example, “Is it true”, and you’re anchored, meditating in this situation, we’re asking “Is what I’m believing true?” wisdom meets that. It’s shown in images and a silent language and it wakes us up to reality and it affects our life and the way we treat other human beings.
You know, we have words like patience, but that’s a natural state of being, we don’t even have to name it, it’s natural in us, but we use those words because they give meaning. I’ll go back to the ego as a terrified child because that’s all I’m talking about anyway, if you have children that are screaming and crying and unhappy, they’re hungry, they’re this, they’re that, and you just can’t handle them all at once, I think the ego like that is just everywhere in our heads, just everywhere. And so, on this judge and enable worksheet, there are six questions on it and I invite people just to answer those questions, on the worksheet, and then, it’s like taking – Sahara, it’s like taking all these children, the ego, and just pulling one, just the one, like “I want him to share his true feelings with me”, just pulling that child out, that thought out, and then let the other children, billions, trillions, it doesn’t matter how many you think are out there, how many thoughts, just let them know, just let this wild child ego know you’ll get back to them, you’re going to work with this one, just this one, and you’ll get back to them. Say “Get quiet”, the ego gets quiet and you can just have this love affair with this one concept, this child, this egoic state of mind and sit in those four questions and it will offer everything up. And then the next, and then, all of a sudden, not only do the children get quiet, but they stay quiet and you’re just awake to reality. And there’s an understanding there that you begin to treat the world and see the world the same way that you did, what I’m using the metaphor of the children, to see them like that. The ego is not going to stop and the world is not going to stop, so I think, understanding, that’s the power. We came out too, what isn’t, knowing the difference of what is and what isn’t, by nature.

[43:20] Sahara
Yeah, what I’m hearing is, questioning the thoughts that may make you feel fearful or anxious about the state of the world, while still being an active participant in creating the world that we want to make.

[43:34] Katie
Free to do it! I mean, free doesn’t mean crazy, free doesn’t mean stupid, free doesn’t mean complacent, freedom is action and you have the energy to do it, and the wisdom. We know how to ask for help, we know when someone says “No, that’s not the one” and you ask a thousand other people and they say no, and you ask one thousand one and that one says yes, that’s the one, that’s the one, but there’s no tiredness in it, there’s no disappointment or disillusion in it, you just keep moving out of the state of, you know, for all the right reasons – it’s love, it’s caring, it’s sharing, involving, it’s entirely active. I mean, what could stop it, what could stop a human being like that, other than what they’re thinking and believing, that strikes fear into our hearts, that could be questioned, identified and questioned. What would stop us? When we stop, the head doesn’t stop.

[44:44] Sahara
So, instead of that “Feeling of people should care more, people should be more active”, just turning it back to us?

[44:54] Katie
We should not, I should.

[44:55] Sahara
I should, exactly!

[44:56] Katie
If they are – good, we’ve got a great beginning here, a great beginning, and if we’re doing it out of the sense of right, we’re attractive, if we’re doing it out of a sense of “Look at me and I am the only way, I am the way and you should follow, and if you don’t, there’s something wrong”, then we have a division, just like we’re experiencing in this country, “I’m right; I’m right; I’m right!” The don’t know mind is neutral and there is no split in that, there’s balance there.

[45:34] Sahara
So, what are your thoughts of diving into pain, anger, sadness, really dissecting it? A lot of schools of thought are very focused on the shadow work and being there, what is your take on that? Do you feel like it creates more identification and more evidence towards that or do you feel it’s an essential part of making our way to the other side?

[45:58] Katie
I just think, if it disturbs me, then it’s something I need to move to paper and meditate in. In other words, I need to question it.

[46:09] Sahara
So, for example, if you’re sad because a parent wasn’t there for you, to question “Should they have been there for me?”

[46:17] Katie
I would write “My parent wasn’t there for me, is it true? Can I absolutely know that it’s true? My parent wasn’t there for me”, and my ego would scream “Yes, yes, it’s true” and just settle down, it’s okay, get still, get really still “Can I absolutely know it’s true? My parent wasn’t there for me, my parent wasn’t there for me.” And if the answer is yes, you just move on to the next; if the answer is no, you just move on to the next. We’re just looking for the truth, we’re not looking for the right yes or no, we’re waiting for wisdom to show us when we sit in the question “Is it true?” And then how do I react, what happens when I believe the thought, “My parent wasn’t there for me”, and then I just get still and wisdom offers up and the ego offers up, it doesn’t matter what we name it, how we react when we believe the thought, the sadness, the self-pity, the longing, the way we are envious of people whose parents are there for them, as we imagine it to be. Noticing that our attention goes there every opportunity we get and then we feel bad when we compare and then looking at the situation growing up, “My parent wasn’t there for me”, and what we see there can be radical, what we accomplish with that one. But the ego doesn’t want us to see it, so inquiry and wisdom will offer all that up.

[48:08] Sahara
You may see that there in a different way.

[48:11] Katie
Oh, see what’s there, see what was there, that when I’m believing that my parent wasn’t there for me, I’m blind to what is there, takes up all the space. That’s the ego’s; the illusion, the successful, any time we’re in self-pity. I’m not saying self-pity is wrong, it’s just, we can identify the cause of the self-pity, move it to paper, stabilize it on paper and question it. And then “They weren’t there for me”, turned around, “They were there for me” and then to, just, meditate in that and see how that turnaround fits, if it fits at all, and then “They weren’t there for me”, “I wasn’t there for me”, and then I can meditate on that. And, see, how I wasn’t there for me, in those times I was believing that someone should be there for me.
We’re resourceful and the ego doesn’t – it really hides that from us!

[49:21] Sahara
Yeah, I think it creates that freedom of “You didn’t live up to my expectation”, but who put that expectation there?

[49:28] Katie
Good!

[49:30] Sahara
And was there ever an agreement that that parent was like “You’re going to be the dad from Full House!” They did not know that they were supposed to be this certain role that we may have had in our minds as the idea of what we wanted that parent figure to be. However, maybe, let’s say, they were an alcoholic or even abusive, but even they may have felt they were there for you, in different ways. Even an abuser sometimes thinks thats how I’m showing my love to this person, which again, I don’t think is right. Or if we can even talk about right or wrong, but it does allow us to open up the possibilities for something rather than “They didn’t love me, that’s why they did this”, to, maybe this is actually how they best believe to show love.

[50:18] Katie
Yeah, and I have no idea what is in another person’s head; just enough insight to understand that I can’t know and to look to myself. What you said is so well, I don’t think there’s anything …

[50:37] Sahara
Yeah, something that you mentioned in your book is to change through peace rather than through fear, and I think that the ego is so used to changing because it hurts so much to remain where we are, that “I’m burning myself again and again, so now I need to change”, however, we can change from that place of pure acceptance, pure peace and still continue to evolve from that place. And in fact, we’ll see possibilities that we wouldn’t have seen if we came from that out-reactive, “The stove keeps burning me so now I need to separate from it”.

[51:12] Katie
Yeah. So beautiful! Nothing less than that, or “I need to identify what I’m thinking” were to pose it and question it.

[51:22] Sahara
Absolutely! Well, thank you so much for sharing all of this wisdom with us, for making it so accessible and inspiring so many. And where can listeners start to do The Work and read your various books?

[51:38] Katie
Well, you know “Loving What Is”, the New Edition just came out and that is how to do The Work, right there, and there’s a 1-hour Mon-Tue-Wed, time I spend with people, from 9:00am – 10:00am Pacific Time. And thework.com and there’s 0.99c App put there with the worksheet instructions, and everything they need to bring with them is already in them. And then, how to do The Work is available in those places I just mentioned.

[52:19] Sahara
Amazing! Well, all of your books are so beautiful, I deeply, deeply love listening to them because you go through The Work with so many different people in them, so it allows you to really see yourself in so many different perspectives. And also, yeah, hear people’s situations, that you may not be in and think about “What would my thoughts be in that”, and start to questions things that haven’t even happened to you yet. So, if they ever do occur, you’ve seen your way through them.

[52:47] Katie
Yeah, that’s so true, that’s so true, and that’s pretty powerful, yeah. The things we fear can also be questioned, yeah.

[53:00] Sahara
Absolutely! Well, thank you again for sharing your wisdom with us today!

[53:04] Katie
Oh, you’re so welcome, honey. Thank you for your good work, Sahara, so much fun to sit with you and that beautiful and open mind of yours, honey.

[53:13] End of Interview
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[53:14] Sahara
Wow! Such a potent conversation! I am still just letting it all sink in! She really is just such an example of someone who is like a living Buddha. Just her ability to come at every situation with such fresh eyes and just really look at things without any external perspective or preferences, just to really look at it for what it is, with no story attached whatsoever, it just is. And it’s so rare to see that in today’s world where we’re so obsessed with “What’s your opinion” and “What’s your belief” and “How do you see this” and “You should think this way” and “If you don’t have a belief, then you’re silencing!”, to really move past that, to drop the conditioning of the human mind, that wants to constantly be on anyone’s side and then just to look at what is. And from that place of truth, of seeing things for how they actually are, to then, take action.
So, I love this conversation

[54:20] Sahara
Be sure to get her book “Loving What Is” which is now the revised edition, updated for our times, and these questions really are eternal. And I hope they support you in your own journey in questioning your beliefs.

[54:35] Sahara
So, I hope you loved this conversation! And I would love for you to leave a review. So, please, share a review with me, if you’re listening to this on iTunes, and take a screenshot of that review so I can send you a free gift as my thank you.
You can email that free gift over to [email protected], take a screenshot of your review and I will send you a free gift of my unreleased book “Eat Right For Your Mind-Body Type” which is a deep Ayurveda book all about eating right for your Dosha.
So, again, take a screenshot of your review and send it over to [email protected] and I will send you over my free e-book.

[55:17] Sahara
I hope you loved this conversation, share it with people that you think it may resonate with and I’ll see you in the next one! Namaste

 

Episode 414: Questioning Your Beliefs To Become Free with Byron Katie
By Sahara Rose

 

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