The conclusions I came to about that situation led to feelings of deep shame, insecurity and suffering in silence. I thought it meant that I was bad, that something was terribly wrong with me, and that I was ultimately unlovable. The painful story of “not good enough” took hold and self-abandonment in the form of people-pleasing and perfectionism along with it.
This imbalanced state of mind would flare up especially at night and during quiet stretches, when the busyness of life didn’t distract me. The resulting anxiety and finally depression were deafening.
All the result of stories I was believing in my mind.
• • •
A series of experiences allowed me to see that the conclusions I had come to around what happened were not accurate; That it didn’t actually mean I was unlovable, bad, and inadequate.
That situation, the one which my mind had used as proof of my unworthiness for close to a decade, began to fade.
It was my first conscious experience of noticing the effect of thoughts and the real world consequences of believing the fearful assumptions within the mind. Under the influence of distorted beliefs, my vision of the world and perception of self/others was wildly skewed.
• • •
Eventually my mind found other evidence of my personal favorite “not good enough” story and struggles with body-image ensued. My body had become the new proof that I was not ultimately lovable.
By the time I discovered The Work of Byron Katie I already intimately understood the pain of the inner-critic and the deep suffering of thinking I needed other people’s approval to know that I was good, to know that I was worthy of love.
What was strikingly new in this process of inquiry was that I realized I could actually embrace what I spent most of my life attempting to avoid or deny.
I discovered that an alchemy is possible when I no longer resist the darkness I feel towards myself and the world around me.
• • •
I am no longer running away from the past or how I feel. I am no longer ruled by the fear of getting in touch with unresolved trauma, resentments, disappointments and anxiety. I am no longer afraid to get still.
The freedom inherent in this is liberating. • • •
Life continues to unfold and the pieces left to be held and seen continue to be revealed. A profound area of growth for me has been and is romantic relationships.
The old "unlovable" story wreaks havoc when it is governing. This myth-state of mind maintains tendencies of codependency and with it, betrayal of self. I know the pain of confusing my worth for how another sees me, trying to squeeze myself into what they want to my own detriment, keeping myself stuck in a dynamic that doesn't work out of fear...
Reclaiming my light by being in touch with what's true for me and living my truth in very practical ways continues to be a radical journey towards authenticity and genuine intimacy. I now know a deep source of connection within that is not dependent on being loved by another. I am no longer afraid to be single and good love no longer feels impossible.
• • •
The insights I have experienced through the simple questions and turnarounds, while genuinely humbling at times, are consistently life-affirming and life-changing.
This practice meets me wherever I am and allows me to find my way back to myself, to my truth.
I have been applying this meditative process in the challenging aspects of my life for over 10 years and am deeply grateful for the effect this ongoing practice continues to have on my life.
• • •
"To heal is to touch with love that which we previously touched with fear." - Stephen Levine
certified facilitator of the work of byron katie
I completed the Institute for The Work Certification Program in 2012 and am certified as a Wellness Counselor by Cornell University. I offer workshops, residential retreats, and work with individual clients over phone or Zoom. In addition, I've been involved in projects since 2013 addressing self-stigma in vulnerable populations through Beyond Stigma; working on the ground with international Non-Governmental Organizations to support people living with HIV & AIDS in Zimbabwe (2013, 2014 & 2015) and sex-workers in Vietnam (2017 & 2018). I have worked with people on a wide variety of challenges ranging in severity - anywhere from everyday annoyances, to losing a loved one, heartbreak and PTSD. There is nothing that these questions can't support if the mind is open.
“This work requires stillness and the desire to understand the cause of your suffering.” - Byron Katie
Featured in the press: • Hairprint's Women is Wellness Blog here The Work on self-stigma: • Journal article on self-stigma and HIV in Zimbabwe here • Read posts written in 2013 on sharing The Work in Zimbabwe here