Loving What Is book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Out of nowhere, like a breeze in a marketplace crowded with advice. Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life [Byron Katie, Stephen site Best Sellers Rank: #1, in Books (See Top in Books). This Loving What Is summary shows you the 4 questions that'll help overcome any stressful situation, what a turnaround is & why complaining.
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LOVING WHAT IS: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life Her book is full of real-life transcripts of Katie working with individuals on specific issues. The Paperback of the Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life by Byron Katie, Stephen Mitchell | at Barnes & Noble. There's no objective Book of Jerks you can consult on this apparent fact. But this is a strategy for learning to love what you get, whether it's.
And then, you can turn them around. Just carefully consider all of them and follow what your gut tells you is right. A turnaround will never give you one right answer — just a lot more options for your thoughts. Complaining has a value of zero. Everybody has problems. Unless you use that energy to do something about it, your frustration is useless. Find your place within those and do what you can. Four questions. And a lot of thinking.
So if you feel frustrated, anxious or outright depressed, give Loving What Is a try. Here are 3 lessons from Loving What Is: You can overcome stress by dissecting your thoughts with four simple questions. Katie's technique, called "the Work," consists primarily of listing the people whom one doesn't like and the reasons for disliking them, then answering four questions: Is your allegation about the person true? Can you absolutely know that it's true?
How do you react when you believe that thought? Who would you be without that thought? Her book is full of real-life transcripts of Katie working with individuals on specific issues, illustrating how the Work can help those coping with marital infidelities, uncommunicative children, employee conflicts and a host of other situations.
Eventually, Katie contends, it becomes second nature to apply the Work to every situation, thus ending personal suffering. And I don't believe a healthy, integrated and sane adult just resigns to accept whatever the other person is doing just because it's "not their business. What I'm trying to say here is that I believe there is a healthy human place which acknowledges how we are affected by other people while not being codependent and can assertively navigate ask for what we need or want things without being attached by way of a neurotic ego.
Being assertive means we ask for what we want while letting go of the outcome and the answer if the answer is no. So in some cases, "loving what is," means accepting the fact that someone else's behavior affects us a certain way and then asking for help from them and compassionately communicating our needs while not demanding or expecting the other person to meet them - as we understand our needs are ultimately our own responsibility and the other person may only be one strategy or source of meeting our needs.
And, worst comes to worst, we may have to apply some boundaries with a person who we are wanting something from, but who doesn't genuinely have the willingness to give it to us. A boundary says, "I'm not doing this to appease or upset you, I'm doing it to take care of myself.
So we can move on to other people and strategies without blaming them, though we allow ourselves, compassionately, to feel disappointed, and take that disappointment as our soul's wisdom that we do need to move on and set that boundary perhaps. Further on the topic of assertiveness though. The poet David Whyte has this idea he talks about of "the conversational nature of reality.
We don't get all of what we want from the world and the world doesn't get all that it wants from us. What Katie's ideology here seems to reflect is a cutting off of the conversation because it's vulnerable and leaves us open to suffering. So she advises just accepting whatever the world is like. However, we need to realize we are also a part of the world and do have some control over what happens; and that a healthy adult realizes that and is able to be assertive without being attached.
Suffering is a part of life, and truly "loving what is. True nonattachment and acceptance fearlessly admits our humanity and vulnerability, which includes us having wishes that are not fulfilled or are frustrated. So being an integrated, healthy or sane adult does not mean we just give up what we want because it would be "arguing with reality," as Katie reiterates many times. This took me awhile to figure out, as to why I wasn't jiving with her application of the basic premise of the book, which I agreed and agree with - that it's generally much more healthy to accept what is rather than resist or argue with it.
The serenity prayer guides a lot of my internal decision making. But it seems that Katie only affirms half of it - the acceptance of what we cannot change. But there are indeed things we can change, and can exert effort towards without being attached neurotically though, granted, I do believe this takes a good amount of inner work and transformation before one can come to this point.
So I didn't see this point being affirmed - that there is a necessity to seeking the wisdom to know the difference between what we truly can and cannot change.
Katie seems to opt for a rather black and white binary as to what we can and cannot change as, I imagine, this makes "the work" a lot simpler to apply. Okay, my other main disagreement is that the application of the work felt too rationalistic and, again, simplistic to me. The reason being, a person who is applying the work is left with these binaries - "is it true? It was especially the third question of the work that bothered me the most - "Who would you be without this thought?
And I believe that the most powerful place of transformation is in understanding the motivation for why we are operating in a certain manner and then figuring out if there might be a better way to meet the needs motivating our behaviors.
But the way the work sets it up is that one is only meant to inquire as to whether the thought creates stress or peace, and then we are asked to let the thought let go of us I did appreciate her clarification that she isn't asking people to "drop the thought" or to try to drop it on the basis of realizing it's not helping us feel peaceful or happy.
However, all emotions are meaningful and necessary to becoming a more integrated human being. Stress, depression or unhappiness are the not our enemies, merely the signals that perhaps we are seeking to meet a need of ours through an inefficient or unrealistic strategy. And determining whether a strategy is inefficient or unrealistic is a very personal and intuitive process that requires a good amount of self-awareness and wisdom.
In Non-Violent Communication they say that all judgments are tragic expressions of unmet needs. And this is why we can have compassion on judgments - the judgments of others and our own judgments. So that is the kind of understanding I have found to be most helpful. Whereas, what Katie seems to be suggesting is a judgment of the judgment and trying to resolve it by the mere realization that it seems to be causing us stress or may not be true from another perspective.
However, something may be true for us - and there are good reasons why we have any judgment we have. There are certain needs within us that are trying to be expressed, though we may not know how else to express them but to have a judgment or resistance to something or someone. So I find that the place of transformation is not in merely rationalistically observing whether we feel stressed or at peace with a thought, but seeking to compassionately understand every part of ourselves, even the parts of ourselves that have judgments and resistances and then letting those parts of ourselves speak so that we might understand what they are wanting and why - rather than hoping they dissipate with the simple realizing that they are causing us stress or that we would feel more happy without them.
I'll give an example.
In the chapter of dialogues on relationships and family she talks with Justin who is struggling because he feels that his family doesn't accept him or his way of life and they just want him to conform to theirs. But the way Katie speaks with him, she leads him to the conclusion that it is him that's being unreasonable or unaccepting because he's equally not accepting their nonacceptance of him essentially.
This, to me, reads essentially as trying to judge our judgments out of ourselves rather than compassionately understand them and resolve them - which is what I find to work a lot better personally, and from my understanding of human nature as a psychologist. With Justin, what I would have tried to lead him to would be a compassionate understanding of his legitimate need and desire for acceptance.
It's not his need for acceptance which is causing stress, it's the unrealistic strategy of trying to have it met through his family, which, in reality, doesn't, in his experience, have the willingness or ability to meet that need.
You see what I'm saying? There is a much more helpful understanding in realizing the needs which motivate our resistances and judgments are legitimate, human and reasonable. What may not be reasonable or sane is the various strategies we may be entrenched in trying to meet those needs. Maybe Justin, after truly accepting that his family may not be able to meet that need of his right now , seeks to find other friends or groups of people who are willing and able to meet that need of his - whereas, the work seemed to just have him bucket the need and strategy together, when it was only the strategy that needed adjustment perhaps.
That's what I think is a more healthy way of "loving what is. What may not always be wise, reasonable or sane is the various ways we seek to have our needs met that simply probably won't, or won't right now. I have to admit that I didn't manage to finish the book after I had these epiphanies as to why I cringed so much during the dialogues in the book.
So to be fair, maybe Katie addresses some of these things that I've hit on here, I'm not sure. Also, to be fair, and to live out the ideology I'm expressing here, I am imagining that it's possible Katie is just making "the work" overtly simple in order to bridge people over into a more integrated and mature perspective and so maybe my disagreements stem from that - just seeing where there are some very important nuances and elements to understand in order to truly and most healthily love what is, in my experience at least.
I will also say that I did find the simplicity and clarity of the work to be helpful in many regards too, as reminders to me of how I can live out the principles of acceptance for what is and what I cannot control better e.
This was a helpful reminder for me to think about what areas I still have "should" statements in and to explore why. Some closing notes: I believe the model of cognitive behavioral therapy and its recognition of cognitive distortions to be a more helpful way of working through resistances to reality.
Katie only asks in the work whether something is true or not - but I find that you come to a place of transformation and resolution much quicker if you can understand how or why something is true or not - and that's the useful part of the understanding of cognitive distortions as they are common biases or ways of thinking and perceiving that are ungrounded and unhelpful and that are often the source of a lot of our suffering and inability to face and accept what is.
There are indeed some great principles in this book, ones that I deeply resonate with and that have been a part of philosophies like Taoism and Buddhism for centuries. However, there are some key nuances that I believe Katie seems to miss, which made the application of the work too simplistic and rationalistic, and ultimately not as effective as it could be if it incorporated a more humanistic and compassionate understanding of the psyche and our needs as human beings.
That being said, I could concede that perhaps this could be an excellent and life-changing book for a person beginning to be exposed to such principles or philosophies.
But those who are already familiar with them will probably be wasting their time trying to find something significantly insightful or transformative here other that perhaps just a reminder of and another way to word principles they are already aware of. Apr 13, Farnoosh Brock rated it it was amazing. What if four questions could turn your frustration around and create harmony in your life? What if you could ask yourself powerful questions and trust that the process would lead you to inner peace and pain-free existence?
What if it really were that simple - not easy, mind you, but simple? This book has been an awakening in ways that I had not intended to experience. Oh my, quite the awakening. In "The Work", Byron Katie takes us through th What if four questions could turn your frustration around and create harmony in your life? In "The Work", Byron Katie takes us through the process of asking four fundamental questions to the difficult, aggravating, frustrating and painful situations in our lives, be it a relationship, a workplace or office situation, a personal dilemma, or an internal conflict.
She calls it "putting it to inquiry". I love how she asks her participants if they want to know the truth. Some of us don't. Some of us like the lies we have made up. Some of us are too attached to those lies, and some of us would never welcome a wake-up call. Some of us imagine falling apart in the face of truth, so we run and hide with the lies. But if you are not in that category, if you are courageous enough to face your demons with the statement: May it shine a light of clarity into your problems too.
I am infinitely glad that I read this book. On April 10th, I invited Ms. Byron Katie to come on to my show, The Daily Interaction podcast, for an interview and she said yes. I interview her in May and can hardly wait. What a treat for me and my listeners. Be sure to look up the show on iTunes and check it out. Aug 03, Heather rated it liked it Shelves: As other readers have stated, this book was really hard to review. I didn't feel that the author was truly honest, for some reason.
She presents herself as completely altruistic, but the dynasty that she is building through "the Work" doesn't seem to support that hypothesis. She comes off as a bit of a New Age nut, and the book is a little silly in parts.
But I have to admit that the four questions were insightful and actually helped me to see through a lot of issues I have been dealing with late As other readers have stated, this book was really hard to review. But I have to admit that the four questions were insightful and actually helped me to see through a lot of issues I have been dealing with lately.
I think that the questions are basic stuff for those familiar with cognitive behavioral therapy, but for some reason Katie's four particular questions really work. What the process did for me was to help me clarify my part in the difficulties I was facing so I could let the rest go. Maybe the book wouldn't be so interesting to others who are already are more self-aware than I am, but I liked learning to be more honest with myself.
I think many people would be surprised to find the stress and frustration that they think others are causing are actually self-generated. Learning to ask myself "Can I really know that is true? Oct 08, Liz Dague rated it did not like it Shelves: Heard great things and watched a film clip of Byron Katie on Oprah. What she said made some sense, so I bought the book. Stopped reading at page The recommendations in this book are potentially harmful.
I would not put any stock in it. This reviewer found 12 potentially positive aspects and 37 potentially harmful aspects! I truly bought into what she was saying with the first chapter and did a practice exercise, but something did not seem right. I had Heard great things and watched a film clip of Byron Katie on Oprah. I had major objections when on page So I said, 'Sweetheart, the matter with me is that I had the thought that you shouldn't be shouting, and it didn't feel right.
Thank you for asking. Now it feels right again. That is verbal abuse! As a survivor of an abusive relationship, I cannot take any advice from someone who excuses another person's abusive behavior.
Please read more negative reviews on this book before downloading! Don't put your very personal thoughts and emotions into Byron Katie's hands!
Jun 24, Britt rated it it was amazing. My first exposure to 'The Work' and Byron Katie was about 15 years ago. Back then, I probably would have given any of her books one, possible two stars. But the truth is I wasn't ready or even able to hear or understand the concept of projection even with a Master's in psychology! A recent accidental rediscovery--by way of a 7 min video of her working with someone on Youtube--just blew my mind.
Since that day, I cannot get enough of Byron Katie's insights. The Work is working for me.
I don't even really 'do' the Work but I ask myself the questions quickly and that in turn has helped me to see that my thoughts are not necessarily reality, and that my feelings are caused by those thoughts. That alone--dare I say it--has changed some aspects of my life dramatically. And I'm no pop psych junkie. I studied and appreciate the science of behavior, brain chemistry and sociology. I've been to psychologists, psychiatrists and therapist which I still recommend for each and every person.
What The Work brought me that all the books on the former list did not is an actual method--a process not a theory!
And I mean in a very small fraction of the time: That is a lot of cost savings if you think about it. I understand if people don't 'get' it. I certainly didn't. In summary: You have nothing to lose. Definitely worth a try for the money saved on therapy alone if it resonates with you.
If it makes no sense, or is difficult to grasp in book form, try watching a video of Byron Katie working with someone tons of videos on youtube or at least visit the concept again in years.
Dec 23, Ashley Hoopes rated it it was amazing. I give this book five stars because I think that it is a profound idea that Byron Katie is introducing- especially for those who are tormented with the weight of worry about those people and circumstances around them that they feel as though they have some power to control.
It was a breakthrough for me, to have permission to let go of some worries that I felt duty-bound to carry with me throughout life. Often, these questions pop up in my daily trains of thought, and cause me to re examine what I give this book five stars because I think that it is a profound idea that Byron Katie is introducing- especially for those who are tormented with the weight of worry about those people and circumstances around them that they feel as though they have some power to control.
Often, these questions pop up in my daily trains of thought, and cause me to re examine what I held as truth.
It does have it's limits, in my mind, though Katie would disagree. In some circumstances, it does not work. But in freeing the mind, and giving inner peace, it was a must read for me. I highly recommend it.
Mar 25, Marjorie rated it did not like it Shelves: I read this because I saw a quote, which I liked, in an online discussion. The quote was actually from another book by the same author -- maybe I should try that other book instead. In this one, the four questions and a "turnaround" are like a simple, pared-down form of cognitive therapy.
I tried them on a few problems, and they were helpful. Also helpful was Katie's notion that there are three types of business -- yours, mine, and God's -- and much of our stress comes from "mentally living out I read this because I saw a quote, which I liked, in an online discussion.
Also helpful was Katie's notion that there are three types of business -- yours, mine, and God's -- and much of our stress comes from "mentally living out of our own business. For example, this: The book also had many absolute all-or-nothing statements e. Also, I don't know if I believe the backstory of how the author had a sudden revelation that instantly flipped a switch in her brain from the blackest depression to the most intoxicating joy.
Eckhart Tolle "The Power of Now" claimed a similar backstory. I don't know if I believe him either. Even if both of their stories are true, and they really did have these instantaneous revelations that completely transformed their lives, are the revelations necessarily healthy and sound? Is it really wise for me to use insights from people who, by their own descriptions, were mentally ill at the time of their revelations -- as guideposts to living more sanely? I didn't read the whole book. I read the beginning and then portions of the rest.
Normally, I wouldn't write about a book I hadn't read completely, but in my defense, the way I read it was actually endorsed in a "How to Read This Book" chapter in the book itself.
The quote I liked: Realizing this is freedom. No one will ever understand you -- not once, not ever. Even at our most understanding, we can only understand our story of who you are. There 's no understanding here except your own.
Despite it being an absolute statement -- "no one will EVER understand you" -- and therefore imprecise and a distortion of truth, something about it spoke to me. I realized I spend a lot of energy trying to be understood and getting frustrated and upset when I'm not -- and that none of that may be necessary.
I will try the other book, the one the quote is in, to see if I like it better than "Loving What Is. View all 6 comments. Feb 19, Barry Lee rated it did not like it. At best, this is a gross oversimplification of real problems people face with solutions founded in anecdotal evidence and contradictory principles. If you cherry pick quotes out of this book you'll end up with a collection of seemingly valuable maxims, which I assume are the reasons for this book's success.
That being said, the book doesn't cohere well logically. One of the techniques she teaches is "the turnaround". This is where you turn a problem around and see if the problem is actually your At best, this is a gross oversimplification of real problems people face with solutions founded in anecdotal evidence and contradictory principles. This is where you turn a problem around and see if the problem is actually your fault or just in your head.
On page , she uses litter in the desert as an example of how things are. She says there's no point in judging people who litter, because the litter is already there, therefore it is part of the desert. While I can see how not getting upset might be helpful, the rest of the story is completely unhelpful and makes no sense.
If we should accept things the way that they are, then why bother picking up the litter?
She later covers her bases by telling the reader not to get caught up on the turnarounds. But then what was the past pages all about? What's the point of this book then? The author pretty much tells people to get over things. Everything is in your head. Some of that advice could be valuable, but her delivery makes no sense whatsoever and is full of victim shaming. She claims things like "there's no such thing as verbal abuse" and asks questions like "can you absolutely be sure that your dad doesn't love you?
She blames a victim of sexual abuse by a stepfather for "assuming" that the victim's mom knew what was going on. When the victim turns around and says other people had described the abuse, the author just claims that nothing is for certain. With that mentality, there really is no point in living.
We should all be on controlled states of heroin use so we could just live our lives loving what is. Byron Katie's recommendation for the world would mean no goals, no reasons, just what is. I've never struggled reading a book this much in my life. Maybe I'm the one victim shaming". Author's Favorite Word: Nov 16, Brian Johnson rated it it was amazing Shelves: