I am doing a teleconference on The Power of the Turnaround as part of the certification process for The Work, so thought I would write down a few things that are either official guidelines or what I have found useful on my own:
1. Turn the sentence around to the self, the other and the opposite. Turn around the original sentence only (not one that has already been turned around).
2. Keep the answers specific to the original situation.
3. Include the object in the statement. This may lead to more clear turnarounds. Life is unfair –> Life is unfair to me.
4. Simple and apparently mundane examples are valuable. They help open the mind. I am sick –> I am healthy. (I breathe. Talk. Eat. Go to the bathroom. Get dressed in the morning. Enjoy movies.)
5. If I have judgments about the turnarounds or examples, I can take these to inquiry.
6. More than three examples can be helpful (of how a turnaround is as or more true than the original statement). Sometimes, it helps to keep the list going for a while. It opens the mind.
7. Turning the statement around to “not” (sick –> not sick) and the opposite (healthy) can both have value. The examples may be somewhat different. God will abandon me –> T1: God will not abandon me. T2: God will support me.
8. Some ways to identify underlying beliefs: (1) What I fear the most about not being healthy is…. (2) Not being healthy means…. (3) I am not healthy because….
9. For should sentences, it can be helpful to think of the turnarounds as pointing to gifts. I shouldn’t be sick –> I should be sick. What’s the genuine gifts for me in being sick now? (It gives me time to explore, do inquiry, connect with friends, travel. It brings me to inquiry. It’s an invitation for empathy. It helps me see it’s not always as simple as to pull myself out of it.)
10. For sentences about the future, it may be especially helpful to identify underlying beliefs and look at these.
I will miss my plane –> I won’t miss my plane. (Yes, could happen. I don’t see any more examples right now.)
What I fear the most about missing my plane is…. I will miss out of the workshop. I won’t get the certificate. I will lose money. It will be a hazzle. People will see me as unreliable/disorganized. It’s terrible if they see me as unreliable/disorganized.
I’ll miss the plane because…. I am disorganized. I am unreliable. The traffic was too slow. I didn’t get up in time.
Homework before session one:
Keep a list of the one-liners you Work during the days before the course and pay special attention to the turnarounds. Write down any questions or insights that come to you about the turnarounds and bring them to the first session.
The safest is to not exist.
T: The most dangerous is to not exist.
E: When I wish to not exist, I am not here for me.
God will abandon me.
T: God will be here for me.
E: (Times when I asked for help/guidance, and it happened.)
She is making it difficult for me.
T: She is not making it difficult for me. T: She is making it easy for me. T: I am making it difficult for me. T: I am making it difficult for her.
(I notice resistance to some of those turnarounds, and also a melting into them from knowing they reflect truth and give peace.)
It was a terrible time. (Europe during WW2.)
T: It was a wonderful time.
Homework for week 2:
What I am becoming aware of about the turnarounds:
Reality is enough. Finding simple, clear, honest examples.
If turnarounds seem a bit confusing, then may be helpful to find (a) beliefs about the turnarounds, and (b) underlying beliefs and inquire into those.
(Sticking with one for a while, gathering evidence. Helpful to slow down, take time.)
(Gives direction in my life.)
(Can feel challenging to live a turnaround. Beliefs: Not quite ready. Costs too much. Too high demands.)
I sometimes create a sense of pressure for myself around turnarounds, from my beliefs around it. (Beliefs: It takes effort, energy, to find specific examples.)
Focus on one TA for the week, reflection:
God will abandon me.
T: God will be here for me.
E: Notice God is here now (BM/BH, what experience happens within/as, capacity).
E: God has answered prayers. (Asked for something like Breema before finding it. Asked for awakening no matter what it takes. Asked for help with cf and found it through KP and TRE.)
E: When I pray (Heart Prayer, Christ meditation), there is a strong sense of an alive and infinitely kind/wise presence.
Day 1: Feels true. Comforting. I can leave God, God cannot leave me. I can “forget” the presence of God through beliefs.
Keeping it specific, the challenge. (It’s difficult to find specific examples.) What do I mean by “God”?
Notice how/when “I leave God” when get caught in certain beliefs. (Worry, fear, doubt.)
Also notice I feel a bit embarrassed about this, and sharing in the group. (They will see me as weird.)
Day 2: God as reality.
How do I see God? For me, God is reality, all there is, what I am familiar with and what I am not. If God=reality, then reality will be here for me. It will show me my beliefs, where I am stuck/out of alignment/create suffering for myself.
Day 3: Reality will be here for me. Reality is always here, showing me when I believe a thought (stress, discomfort etc.). Very grateful that I have a way out of it, have inquiry (and similar approaches) + the motivation to follow it. See how it’s not a given to know about inquiry + have the impulse to use it.
Day 4: Reality will be here for me. Reality is here, showing me when I believe a thought. And, at least right now, reality is showing me a way out of/through it.