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Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life
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Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life

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4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  9,421 ratings  ·  440 reviews
A frustrated and depressed housewife for more than a decade, author Byron Katie woke up one morning on the floor of a halfway house and for the first time felt a clarity and peace of mind she had never known before. As this radiant joy and calm became evident in her small community, more and more people came to her door, wanting to know more. What had changed, and how did ...more
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Published March 10th 2002 by Audio Literature (first published 2002)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Emily
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
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Virginia
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.
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
V
Nov 02, 2008 V rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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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
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Lori Kincaid
Jul 14, 2011 Lori Kincaid rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  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
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Carolyn
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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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
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Dani

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
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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
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.
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Jimi Ballard
Mar 27, 2008 Jimi Ballard rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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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
Marjorie
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
Chavonne
Jun 08, 2011 Chavonne rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one.
This book is dangerous. I'd heard from somewhere I can't remember that this book was helpful in learning acceptance. I'm always looking to move forward in that so I thought I'd give this a try. I read about half of the introduction when I realized that this book was offering something I just cannot stomach: blaming the victim. Sure, there have been things that have happened in my life that I could take more responsibility, behaviors that I could have not made because I knew better and through ad ...more
Ashley
Aug 15, 2008 Ashley rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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Farnoosh Brock
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
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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
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Lezlee Hays
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
Missa Gallivan


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
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Ashley Hoopes
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
Peanutbritt
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
Kate
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".
Ken Dickson
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
...more
Sarah Stewart
This was another book that I've been hearing about for years and have been meaning to read for forever. I finally bit the bullet and bought it on audible. My favorite part was that I felt that she explored my favorite concept from "Bonds That Make Us Free" (Terry Warner, Arbinger): When we are having a hard time forgiving others, it is really ourselves and our own actions that we can't forgive. She uses this simple, practical process to identify when this is happening. No therapist, no huge proc ...more
Aerin
I found this book to be fascinating and practical.

It is similar to Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, though she is not a trained therapist or psychologist. I found her approach to be very straight forward and easy to read. Her four questions are valid and effective and if you actually complete the exercises, can be quite illuminating.

More than any book I've read so far, I think she gets to the heart of accepting things as they are as a practical exercise. Not that your life can't be
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Sharon
I chose this book because it was on a recommended reading list from a life coach whose work I respect. While I found it useful on many levels, I think that a person doing what Katie calls "The Work" may need to be careful and do so in a very loving environment . It seems that some situations (e.g., around issues of sexual assault or domestic violence) would be very triggering to try to review alone.

Byron Katie maintains that by examining the thoughts and beliefs behind the stories we tell oursel
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Cindy
I will preface this by saying that Byron Katie's mystical guru language basically drives me nuts. I also have the occasional problem with her interpretation of God or her seeming lack of moral absolutes.

That said - I really did like this book. I felt it gave a better and more thorough explanation of how to go about inquiry than "I Need Your Love—Is That True?". It answered a lot more questions, with less that felt like "filler." If I was recommending one Byron Katie book to someone, it would be
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Margaret Dilloway
Great resource for treating anxiety and depression with cognitive behavioral therapy. It seems like it's kind of new-age-y and dicey at first, but it's really not.

To begin with, Katie says there are only three kinds of business in this world: your business, others' business, and God's business (i.e. natural disasters). If you are out of your business (like you're worried about the actions of others or the state of the world), you experience negative feelings. You learn that you make up stories
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Leanne
I just had a beautiful one hour exchange with my struggling 14 year old son thanks to this book and its author Byron Katie. I don't want to sound overly dramatic, but this book has changed my view about myself, others, and life in general. Watching the immediate positive effect the four questions had on Nick was exciting.

I keep wondering how I missed this book with all the reading I do. But I guess it has something to do with the old wisdom, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."
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Does doing The Work work? 5 19 Jun 14, 2014 05:38AM  
Seriously, No Discussions about "The Work?" 4 16 Sep 28, 2013 07:25PM  
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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,
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More about Byron Katie...
I Need Your Love - Is That True?: How to Stop Seeking Love, Approval, and Appreciation and Start Finding Them Instead A Thousand Names for Joy: Living in Harmony with the Way Things Are Who Would You Be Without Your Story?: Dialogues with Byron Katie Question Your Thinking, Change The World: Quotations from Byron Katie Your Inner Awakening: The Work of Byron Katie: Four Questions That Will Transform Your Life

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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.” 153 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.” 118 likes
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