Using the Byron Katie inquiry process:
0. Identify statement which causes suffering.
1. Is it true? 2. Can I absolutely know it is true?
3. What are the consequences of believing this thought?
4. Who/what would I be without the thought?
5. Turnarounds (to the opposite, to my thoughts).
Food shouldn’t make me sick.
1. Yes. 2. No. It’s only a belief, a preference, no absolute truth.
3. I add on to my physical experiences: I blame myself for eating the food. I blame whoever made it available to me. I judge myself for eating it in spite of knowing that it wouldn’t be good for me. I blame my body for not being more capable of dealing with a wider range of foods. I feel like a failure for not being able to function better in spite of the symptoms. I experience the body as “other”.
4. I would just have the symptoms. I would stay clear. Do what I need/want to do, and adjust it to the symptoms as needed. Find ways to work around it. I would not add drama to it. I find connection and partnership with the body.
5a. Food should make me sick. (Yes, it frequently does, so that is what it should do until it doesn’t).
>> 5b. My thoughts shouldn’t make me sick. (Yes, this is more true. Believing in thoughts such as this one definitely makes me sick – on all levels. It creates drama, and amplifies and adds to the symptoms.)
I should know what to do.
1. Yes, it seems true. 2. No, it is a belief.
3. Frustrated. Trapped. Backed up into a corner. Confused. Fragmented. Judging and blaming myself for not knowing what to do. Paralyzed. Isolated.
>> 4. Being with what is. Maybe even enjoying the unknowing, enjoying not knowing. Resting in it. Allowing space into it. Open for the unexpected. Open for help from others.
5a. I should not know what to do. (Yes, that is how it is – until it isn’t.)
5b. My thoughts shouldn’t know what to do. (Yes, they often don’t. Clear space often does.)
I shouldn’t be better than others.
1. Yes. 2. No. Another belief.
3. Fear of sticking my head out, of what people may say or do. Fear of people talking behind my back. Fear of failure. Fear of how I look to others. Intimidated by what may be, by the possible reactions of others. I feel paralyzed and weak. Hopelessness.
4. Free to manifest according to the situation. Allowing myself to develop skills and abilities freely. Free to share.
>> 5a. I should be better than others. (Yes, if I am in certain areas.)
5b. My thoughts shouldn’t be better than others. (Yes, I can realize that they are universally human thoughts which happen to arise in me right now. They are just guests coming and going.)
She shouldn’t contract.
1. Yes. 2. No, just an opinion.
3. I take it personally. I feel hurt, resentful. I contract, as soon as I detect any contraction on her part. Isolated. Withdraw. Shallow breath. Tense muscles, especially in the lower legs.
>> 4. I can stay in space, and allow the perception of her contraction and any contraction on my part to arise within this space. I am clear, present. Sense of connection.
>> 5a. I shouldn’t contract. (Yes, this is more true. The advice is definetely for myself. Her process is her responsibility, my process is my responsibility.)