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Loving What Is

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4.15  ·  Rating Details  ·  11,802 Ratings  ·  538 Reviews
Out of nowhere, like a breeze in a marketplace crowded with advice, comes Byron Katie and “The Work.” In the midst of a normal life, Katie became increasingly depressed, and over a ten-year period sank further into rage, despair, and thoughts of suicide. Then one morning, she woke up in a state of absolute joy, filled with the realization of how her own suffering had ended ...more
ebook, 202 pages
Published May 7th 2002 by Harmony (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Emily
Sep 08, 2011 Emily rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Hmmmm...need to digest this one before writing a review. Some things rang true, some were rather disturbing. I'll be back in a bit...

I'm back. Here we go:

**Update**
After a long discussion with a good friend who found The Work extremely helpful in dealing with some difficult issues in her life recently, I'm willing to acknowledge that when applied appropriately with greater guidance and/or better explanation, many of my concerns as outlined below can be alleviated. My rating is staying at a 1-sta
...more
Virginia
Jul 13, 2008 Virginia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book about blew the top of my head off.

Numerous times I had to sit back and contemplate the book for a long long time before I felt prepared to continue.

I recommend this to EVERYBODY. It's another one of those books that would improve the world by major leaps and bounds if everybody read it.
Lori Kincaid
Jul 14, 2011 Lori Kincaid rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
I listened to part of the audio version of this book, but I couldn't finish it. I first learned of this book from a smart, very successful woman who referenced it in a talk to 250 of my co-workers. She mentioned how life-changing it was to determine what was her business, someone else's business or God's business. That made sense, so I decided to check it out.

My first dumbfounded moment was in her conversation with a mother who was struggling with her young son not doing his chores, not doing hi
...more
Bob Klein
This is a hard review. Her book (and her questions, but mostly her interviews-as-examples) have the potential to help a lot of people deal with interpersonal issues (that she boils down to inner-personal). The problem I have is the potentially dangerous way that she applies a universal logic to dealing with complex problems. The questions are general enough, and the answers are supposed to be generated by the people answering them. Still, she makes it quite clear from the numerous case studies i ...more
Dani
Oct 31, 2012 Dani rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

I went into this with open eyes and mind and ended up being quite disappointed.

***SPOILER ALERT***

The story that really sent me over the edge was the one of the abused woman. She was sexually abused by her stepfather from about age 9.

Byron Katie must not be a sexual abuse surivor because her "work" with this gal both appalling and insensitive. To tell a victim that they need to admit they are guilty of some part of the abuse is incomprehensible to me. And to tell a victim to put herself into th
...more
Carolyn
Jan 25, 2011 Carolyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you want a life-changing book, then you need to read this one today. It is so powerful.

Years ago, after months of dealing with post-partum depression after giving birth to my first child, my GP suggested I talk to a therapist to help me through the depression. I ended up seeing a cognitive therapist for a few months, which blew my mind. I actually got the tools necessary to help me deal with my emotional reactions to situations going on around me.

Byron Katie, whose book is at heart cognitiv
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MizzSandie
I've got nothing against the message of this book or the questions it's build up around.
It's just that it's all a little... shallow. . and simplistic.
There's so much more to life, and people and their problems, and their stories, and their thinking and their feelings than Byron Katie acknowledges.
Life is complex.
And sometimes the way to clear your mind or look at life and things from a different perspective doesn't come in a 4-question package, no matter how well and often it has worked for oth
...more
V
Nov 02, 2008 V rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone seeking to improve themselves, or seeking better understanding
Recommended to V by: Book Club
To start, let me say I generally loathe self-help books. I don't like reading them, and most generally end up throwing the book out, or keeping it as a source of laughter material.

I would not have read this book if I didn't have to for a book club, and when I first picked it up and started reading I was like "Oh come on.. really?"

But as I got further into the book, and really started to grasp exactly what she was trying to say, and trying to get people to implement in their lives.. The simplicit
...more
Nikki
I was recommended this by my counsellor. I was very unsure about it because a lot of reviews suggested it includes a lot of victim blaming -- and this is, in a sense, true: Byron Katie's theory is essentially that we are always the ones causing ourselves pain. She does tell a woman to figure out what part her nine year old self had in her own rape, what she did 'wrong'.

That sounds very discomforting, but I think I see why she does it. When you've had some kind of trauma, there's often a question
...more
Lezlee Hays
Jul 09, 2012 Lezlee Hays rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have no idea how to star this. One star because I think it's potentially dangerous? Four stars because I think some of it could be helpful for some people? Two stars because on balance I can't make up my mind? I don't know. Ultimately, I think Katie's concepts are too much for most people to digest without potentially having bad side effects. The idea of letting go of the things we can't control - other people, many of our thoughts, realizations that we're often our own problem and not the oth ...more
Heather
As other readers have stated, this book was really hard to review. I didn't feel that the author was truly honest, for some reason. She presents herself as completely altruistic, but the dynasty that she is building through "the Work" doesn't seem to support that hypothesis. She comes off as a bit of a New Age nut, and the book is a little silly in parts.

But I have to admit that the four questions were insightful and actually helped me to see through a lot of issues I have been dealing with late
...more
Sherry Joiner
It took years to correct the thought patterns and the way I felt about myself and others. In Byron Katie's book with Stephen Mitchell, Loving What Is: Four questions that can change your life, the light came on. I searched my soul for the truth, and it enlightened every situation around me by me doing the 'work' of writing it down. I found out the reasoning behind- why I was being paranoid, and- why I made such rash judgments. Byron Katie invites you to discover the reality in your life, how you ...more
Jenn
When I started reading this book I had a very strange sense of deja vu until I remembered that the first chapter had been assigned as required reading in a previous course. I was glad that I had the opportunity to read the entire book, since the first chapter did hold some interesting points.
In this book the author introduces her concept The Work, which provides a person the ability to see reality for what it is, reduce cognitive confusion and make peace with the uncontrollable aspects in life.
...more
Crystal Hammon
Despite some vile language in the transcripts used to illustrate the author's system and a slightly condescending tone found there, I found this book a wonderful little tool for dissecting embedded beliefs that do nothing but create grief. The author's basic premise is that most unhappiness and stress comes when we argue with reality. By answering four questions and turning what's bothering you into turnaround statements, you can identify what's really true about situation, discovering new optio ...more
Marjorie
Mar 25, 2013 Marjorie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
I read this because I saw a quote, which I liked, in an online discussion. The quote was actually from another book by the same author -- maybe I should try that other book instead.

In this one, the four questions (and a "turnaround") are like a simple, pared-down form of cognitive therapy. I tried them on a few problems, and they were helpful. Also helpful was Katie's notion that there are three types of business -- yours, mine, and God's -- and much of our stress comes from "mentally living out
...more
Farnoosh Brock
May 29, 2013 Farnoosh Brock rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What if four questions could turn your frustration around and create harmony in your life? What if you could ask yourself powerful questions and trust that the process would lead you to inner peace and pain-free existence? What if it really were that simple - not easy, mind you, but simple?

This book has been an awakening in ways that I had not intended to experience. Subtle. Powerful. Inviting. Gripping. Nudging. Original. Oh my, quite the awakening.

In "The Work", Byron Katie takes us through th
...more
Ashley
Jul 03, 2016 Ashley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Reality doesn't wait for your opinion, vote, or permission, sweetheart. It just keeps being what it is and doing what it does." Byron Katie, pg 70.

When I am discontent, it is because I cannot accept some person, place or principle that is not as I want. I get stuck on the "shoulds". Even though I know I need to let it go, I'm not sure how. This book gives a very simple process of examining my thoughts. For this reason, I rate this book as a life changing five star.

Many of us cling to our story
...more
Liz Dague
Oct 08, 2015 Liz Dague rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Heard great things and watched a film clip of Byron Katie on Oprah. What she said made some sense, so I bought the book.

Stopped reading at page 55. The recommendations in this book are potentially harmful. I would not put any stock in it.

This reviewer found 12 potentially positive aspects and 37 potentially harmful aspects!
http://www.new-synapse.com/aps/wordpr...

I truly bought into what she was saying with the first chapter and did a practice exercise, but something did not seem right. I had
...more
Jimi Ballard
Mar 27, 2008 Jimi Ballard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people aready familiar with "the work" through Byron Katie's previous books.
Shelves: spirituality
I listened to this mostly while on a 4 hour drive and while walking my dog. I don't usually like to treat books as background noise but it worked in this case.

If you're not already familiar with Byron Katie's process of inquiry that she calls "the work" you should start with "Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life". Read that and then actually put her process of inquiry into practice a few times. This book will make much more sense if you have that background first.

In "Loving W
...more
Leah Lavi
I dont disagree with the concept of what she is trying to get across; I agree that only we have control over our own reality and the thoughts that reinforce our way of feeling. I agree about projection and acceptance. I like some of the questions such as "who would you be without the thought..." On the other hand I think the method is a bit harsh and cannot be used with just anyone who is suffering. I think it puts blame on people which can further reinforce the victim role that people who suffe ...more
Ashley
Aug 15, 2008 Ashley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone, an open mind would help.
Recommended to Ashley by: Jeanne
This book was recommended to me by a friend who said there was no need to read the book from cover to cover. She said that I could pick and choose my areas based on what I am facing on the days I pick up the book. I couldn't do it and I'm glad I didn't. In order for me to fully grasp Byron Katie's philosphy I needed to read the entire book before being able to fully understand her steps. Her dialogues were probably the most helpful in learining how to question myself.

I found this book to be ver
...more
Missa Gallivan
Jul 22, 2012 Missa Gallivan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


This book blew my mind. I don't think that one can fully appreciate the depth and impact of the kind of thinking Byron Katie advocates without at least two reads of this book - or at least I can't. I plan to set this one aside for a little bit, contemplate seriously the things that she talks about, and then pick it up again and go through it. While reading the book I did have a very profound experience with "The Work" which convinced me that these techniques can be a way to end suffering, espec
...more
Ashley Hoopes
Dec 23, 2010 Ashley Hoopes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I give this book five stars because I think that it is a profound idea that Byron Katie is introducing- especially for those who are tormented with the weight of worry about those people and circumstances around them that they feel as though they have some power to control. It was a breakthrough for me, to have permission to let go of some worries that I felt duty-bound to carry with me throughout life. Often, these questions pop up in my daily trains of thought, and cause me to re examine what ...more
Tara
May 11, 2016 Tara rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book at the beginning, but as it went on it just got kind of weird for me. I got some points as to what she was saying, especially when she talked about how you control your own thinking. But when it got to the section on rape, that was just messed up and weird. That's when I really lost interest.
Sarah Janina
Lieben was ist – Katie Byron


Verantwortung für die eigenen Probleme übernehmen. Man lernt zu erkennen, dass ein Problem immer einem selbst gehört und somit auch immer mit einem selbst zu tun hat. Dich stört etwas an anderen? Nun, das eigentliche Problem liegt dabei aber in dir. Denn wenn es dich stört und dich nicht gleichgültig lässt, ist irgendetwas in dir selbst im Unreinen. DU hast ein Problem... also löse es, stelle Fragen, gehe dem Ganzen auf den Grund und mache nicht anderen etwas zum Vorw
...more
Britt
Jun 24, 2014 Britt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My first exposure to 'The Work' and Byron Katie was about 15 years ago. Back then, I probably would have given any of her books one, possible two stars. But the truth is I wasn't ready or even able to hear or understand the concept of projection (even with a Master's in psychology! go figure). A recent accidental rediscovery--by way of a 7 min video of her working with someone on Youtube--just blew my mind. Since that day, I cannot get enough of Byron Katie's insights. The Work is working for me ...more
Amber
Jun 11, 2015 Amber rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was my first attempt on self-help. The concept seemed pretty simple -you have a problem, ask yourself four questions and get to the bottom of the problem. More often than not,the root of the problem is "You". While I agree with this to a great extent, I don't think it is possible to blame yourself for everything that happens to you. I can see how some people can benefit from this book, but it couldn't help me, especially since the author does not really talk about the healing process a ...more
Kate
Aug 02, 2010 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book teaches the same thing that Bonds that Make us Free teaches, or Anatomy of Peace, yet it's more like "how to get out of the box in four steps" to put it in the language of Bonds. It's stated simply, yet very powerful if I can apply it. Encourages writing what your thoughts are as a way of working through to the truth of your thoughts. 20% of it is her message, the rest is dialogue between her and others doing "the work".
Corrie Beebe
Jan 23, 2016 Corrie Beebe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Oh my gosh. This book. This is amazing! Is anything you believe really true? The stories you tell yourself, the stories you BELIEVE with all of your being are true......are they REALLY!??! What an eye opening experience. It was a challenge to listen to, but I'm so glad I did. I have more in my arsenal to understand and deal with MY beliefs. Should children love their parents? Is that TRUE? Can you KNOW it to be true? So simple. So profound. I have had this book in my closet for three or four yea ...more
Ken Dickson
Feb 25, 2014 Ken Dickson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In 1986, after years of suffering, Byron Katie’s life had reached its absolute bottom. At that point, she had a revelation: "I discovered that when I believed my thoughts, I suffered, but that when I didn’t believe them, I didn’t suffer, and that this is true for every human being…I found that suffering was optional.” So began “The Work”, Byron Katie’s method of teaching others how to end their suffering.

The Work is so simple, a child could learn it, but so profound that psychologists are adopti
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Does doing The Work work? 6 31 Nov 09, 2015 03:08PM  
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Byron Kathleen Mitchell, better known as Byron Katie, is an American speaker and writer who teaches a method of self-inquiry called “The Work of Byron Katie” or simply “The Work.”

Katie became severely depressed in her early thirties. She was a businesswoman and mother who lived in Barstow, a small town in the high desert of southern California. For nearly a decade she spiraled down into paranoia,
...more
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“As long as you think that the cause of your problem is “out there”—as long as you think that anyone or anything is responsible for your suffering—the situation is hopeless. It means that you are forever in the role of victim, that you’re suffering in paradise.” 184 likes
“A thought is harmless unless we believe it. It’s not our thoughts, but our attachment to our thoughts, that causes suffering. Attaching to a thought means believing that it’s true, without inquiring. A belief is a thought that we’ve been attaching to, often for years.” 157 likes
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