Bryon Katie found herself at a complete dead end in her life, she felt increasingly depressed and over a ten-year period had sunk into an existence of depression, despair and rage. Then one morning she woke up in a state of absolute joy, filled with the freedom of knowing her suffering had ended.
Determined to give people a way to discover for themselves what she had experienced, Katie has developed a simple method of self-enquiry that she calls The Work, four simple questions that allow you to see the problems that are troubling you in a whole new light. The Work is a life-transforming system for discarding the stories we tell ourselves, which are the source of our suffering, and replacing them with the truth and a life of joy and peace.
Katie was once a stay-at-home mom in a desolate desert town. But in 1986, she experienced a sudden "awakening" that helped her accept the circumstances of her life, both pleasant and unpleasant, and make peace with "all that is." Now a leader of self-empowerment workshops, Katie has perfected her method for reaching inner peace, a process of releasing self-defeating thoughts and behaviors that she shares here. 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. The underlying theory that all suffering is caused solely by erroneous thinking is certainly not original (witness Anthony DeMello and others). Still, many will find these tools helpful for making peace with their reality.