Inquiry is to be done, not analyzed.
And yet, I cannot help being curious about and notice what happens. That itself is a form of inquiry.
So here is what seems to happen for each of the steps of The Work…
Notice stress. This helps me pay attention to what is going on in daily life. I become more aware of what situations (thoughts) trigger stress and tension for me.
Identify belief. This helps me recognize that what triggers stress and unease is a belief, it is my own thoughts. It may also help me find underlying assumptions and beliefs.
Is it true? Can I know if any story is true? At the very least, this question opens the door to new possibilities. What seemed so obviously true may not be so obviously true.
Can I be sure it is true? Hm. No.
What happens when I take that thought as true? I get to explore how I react when I take a story as true. What happens in thought, feelings, and actions, and what some of the consequences are. This also makes me notice it as it happens in daily life.
Who would I be without it? Who would I be, in the same situation, and without the belief? This helps me imagine other possibilities. Try them out in my imagination. Get a feel for it. Open up for the possibility of living from it.
Turnarounds. What is the validity in the reversals of the initial belief? I find the validity in the reversals about others or a situation. They are not as one-dimensional as my initial belief made it appear. When I turn it around to myself, I find that the advice is for myself. There is often a sense of relief and of coming home here. I find specific examples of how the turnarounds are valid, and take time to feel it and allow it to sink in. In the following days, I can also explore how it is to live from the most juicy turnaround in daily life.
I am willing to…. I am willing for what the belief said shouldn’t happen, to happen. I am looking forward to it. This helps me recognize what is left for me to look at. And it also helps me recognize that I am genuinely looking forward for it to happen. It will help me see what is left, even more clearly.
After going through this, there is another set of questions: What happens if I make these stories into a truth for myself. How would it be if I see these as questions only?
These questions helps me notice it in daily life. It brings up curiosity. What happens when I take a story as true? I can notice that as it happens. Who would I be without it? I may find myself there, in a situation in daily life where I initially held onto a belief. What is the validity in its turnarounds?
And there are of course many other ways of looking at why The Work works.
It helps release identification with a habitual viewpoint. It gives me a richer set of stories about myself, others, and the world. It helps me look at things from many more angles, including the ones I used to exclude. It helps me recognize myself in others, bringing up more understanding and empathy. It helps me recognize how I stop myself to act on what seems right in the situation, what may come from a little more maturity, wisdom, and kindness. It frees up thought, feelings, and actions from the boundaries or shoulds inherent in any belief. It invites in healing and maturing. It may open for genuine gratitude, forgiveness, and appreciation, where those initially seemed very far away.
- why the work works
- identify belief
- is it true
- can i be sure it is true
- what happens when i believe that thought
- who would i be without it
- i am willing to…
- disidentification with habitual viewpoint
- richer set of stories
- recognize are stories