Can Byron Katie change your life?
Find out this weekend, when the spiritual mentor and author of six books (including the groundbreaking Loving What Is) gives a day-long workshop at Paepcke Auditorium. Sponsored by local organization Lead with Love and the Aspen Chapel, Katie’s session is part of Lead with Love’s four-day retreat that begins Thursday, though individual tickets ($250–$500) for it are also available.
“It’s a real gift to have her here,” says Lead with Love founder Gina Murdock about Katie. “We provide tools for people to shift from fear to love, and she’s the perfect spokesperson for that.”
Katie’s method of helping people find the ever-elusive concept of inner peace sounds deceptively simple. She advocates for changing how you frame things at the most basic level: your thoughts. The key? Question them. The four things to ask yourself about anything stressful, frustrating, or otherwise messing with your emotional outlook: Is it true? Can you absolutely know it’s true? How do you react—what happens—when you believe that thought? Who would you be without the thought?
Easy, right? Not so fast. “Her work is challenging,” notes Murdock. “It’s not fluffy stuff. But it’s phenomenally transformative.”
Indeed, Katie refers to the process as “The Work” and it involves no less than reinventing the way you see the world. “There’s no reason to believe that thoughts match reality ... They are no more than vague attempts to figure out what’s going on around and inside you,” she writes in her book I Need Your Love—Is That True?
Says Murdock of The Work, “It’s a radical concept. We’re constantly seeing blaming and shaming everywhere. I see it as a way to be liberated and free from suffering.”
The good news: Katie is a calm, centered guide who takes you through the process with step-by-step examples, all to help you achieve your own enlightenment. (Katie achieved her own awakening after a debilitating bout with depression, agoraphobia, and thoughts of suicide; having checked herself into a halfway house and sleeping on the floor—she didn’t think she even deserved a bed—she experienced a life-changing insight.)
The other good news: Everything we need to heal ourselves and find contentment is already within us. Katie calls it our internal wisdom. “The way you relate to your thoughts—that’s what you bring to every relationship you have, including the one with yourself,” she writes.
Perhaps you’re already at the peak of your emotional evolution. Or perhaps you’ve already steeped yourself in The Work and are well on your way to inner peace. The rest of us—which most definitely includes me—would do well to spend a day with Katie in person and finally start achieving what we’ve been after all of these years.