“This seriously isn’t happening?”… are words I couldn’t even spit out of my pursed lips, as I discovered that my co-host of The Attitude Shift, Donna M. was stuck on the runway in Chicago minutes before the show began Wednesday evening. If you could have seen my face I was visibly relieved when she Skyped to say let her into the show. The plane had been sitting on the tarmac for 45 minutes and possibly they were going to open the doors and send the passengers off until the storm passed. Whew. Bullet dodged.
As we were talking, the flight attendant came by and told her to shut her phone off as they preparing for take-off.
Oh, but wait, Donna said that Haley was calling in any minute to do the show with me so okay I can do this. Sure, we may have the guest with what is most likely the biggest Facebook following ever in the history of the show on, but Haley and I can handle this. We did before. I’ve even hosted the show on my own once before, a long time ago. I’ve got notes and stuff happens. We’ll get through it.
This was what my thoughts flashing through my mind were like. The manic thoughts came on strong as I started the show. I didn’t see anyone on the switchboard calling in, not a soul
The lump in my thought now got bigger. My thought? Now if that isn’t a Freudian slip, then there never was one. I meant to type throat. (you’ll see why later that this is significant)
Despite the inflammation in my throat and I can see today, my thoughts, I kept talking. I truly have no idea what I said. I was thinking ahead. What was I going to do if no one came on? The panic was setting in.
Then all of a sudden I looked down at the computer screen and there was Donna’s number showing up.. I frantically clicked the button…”Donna!….Donna!” ….silence…..keep talking Siobhan, I heard a voice deep inside say…
“Oh there’s our guest, Byron Katie… okay still breathing… helloooooo.. whew there’s Katie as everyone calls her and oh Donna, thank goodness.. her flight has been delayed, they’re letting her off the plane…okay the show will go on.”
It certainly didn’t go off like that. Yes, Katie was on the show, yes Donna was on the show and then Donna was gone. The plane took off. She said hello and she loves Katie and a few words…then nothingness.
There was still no Haley. I felt there was deafening silence but I’ve since listened to the show and I kept talking. Katie talked, I talked. Katie talked. I talked.
As we talked, I began to feel a heat deep within myself. It was a feeling I do not believe I have ever felt in my lifetime. It was like someone had wrapped my heart in a warm blanket. I began to breathe. I began to calm down, I began to listen to Katie, I began to hear Katie. I began to hear myself. Really hear myself. We shared with each other, with the callers, with the audience.
My great friend Kim, has since written to say she felt I was doing the Work of Byron Katie as we did the show. I agree. I was working it all out in my mind.
I met a good friend, Kia the day after the show and Kia had actually called in, as she is a huge fan of Katie’s and the moment I saw Kia, I said… I know what it was like now for the disciples to have met Jesus. I’m not saying Byron Katie is the second coming of Christ as that’s not my business, that’s God’s business, however I met on that show, a woman who has the tools for each of us to end our suffering, for the world to end war and for all of us to experience great joy. Sound familiar? I’m not here to run a commentary on religion, Jesus or God. That’s not my business. I am here to share with you what I experienced and maybe, just maybe you will experience as well, something so profound, so life changing that you too walk around with a silly grin on your face at the local grocery store feeling like you have a surprise for everyone in the world.
Byron Katie, was unknown to me a month or so ago. I had determined recently that I must follow my intuition. My intuition brought me to Katie’s website and without out a thought, I pushed the send button as friend of the show and mentor. Paul Martinelli had once told us to do, and invited her on the show.
As she said on the show, “when you filled out a request asking me to be on this show I just couldn’t jump at it quickly enough, I love what you are doing. I couldn’t say yes quickly enough. My motives are your motives.”
WOW! Little did I know that Katie’s message would radically shift my world.
She is not a talking head, telling me to wish my way to success and happiness. She has ground breaking tools to shift our attitudes.
They work. They are part of what she refers to as The Work.
The Work is free for everyone around this world and I encourage you to go do the work. At first I was resistant. I was angry. I closed her book and walked away from it. I came back the next day and started writing…I wrote, my penmanship got bigger, messier, harder to read…I was angry about the situation I had chosen to write about. I was doing her Judge Your Neighbor Worksheet.
The process of inquiry as she puts it, is:
Judge your neighbor,
Write it down,
Ask 4 questions,
(This is free at http://www.thework.com)
I’ll use the situation with the show to provide an example of how this tool ends your suffering and pain.
1. Judge Your Neighbor.
My neighbor in the case of the show would be Donna. My thoughts about her not being on the show would have gone something like this.
How could she do this to me?
What was she thinking booking a flight home on show day?
She doesn’t care about the show.
She doesn’t care about me.
I’m so upset with her.
I’m angry she didn’t do the show.
There shouldn’t have been a storm in Chicago.
2. Write it Down.
Okay, you get the concept of the exercise. You actually judge your neighbor. You write down your thoughts as they flow and boy do they flow. Writing them down is important and you can find out why on Byron Katie’s website.
3. Ask 4 Questions.
I’ll ask the first 2 questions for just one of the statements I wrote down for space and time constraints but you answer the 4 questions for each statement you wrote.
I’m angry she didn’t do the show.
Question 1: Is that true? (yes or no answer)
(yes, I was upset and angry)
Question 2: Can I know it is absolutely true? (yes or no answer)
(No, I can’t know that she absolutely didn’t do the show because she planned it that way or wanted to see me fall on my face or…any number of reasons I can come up with)
I hoping you see the process here. It may not be as clear as mud here but it’s clear as stink at thework.com and there are even facilitators, you can call for free and work through this process with. I encourage you to do it.
There are 2 more questions that are part of this inquiry. However, although I have done them, I want to go straight to turnaround again for space and time constraints.
The turnaround has me look at myself. Turn the statement, I’m angry she didn’t do the show to I’m angry I didn’t do the show.
I’m angry I didn’t, I can’t do the show. I have no confidence to do the show on my own. I’m no good at hosting a show.
You see where this is going. My thoughts of anger were actually thoughts of anger towards myself. I was afraid to host the show on my own because my confidence to do that is, was, the size of an ant.
This realization is very freeing. It isn’t Donna who made me feel the way I was feeling. It was myself.
The anger I felt for her not being able to do the show was simply a reflection of the anger I have about my ability to not do the show. I’ve used Donna as a crutch. As long as she’s on the show I don’t have to step up. I don’t have to face my fear of hosting a show. I don’t have to do much on air, I can stay safe doing the producing work behind the scenes. I can do what I am confident I can do. Book the guests, do the research, make friends. I don’t have to step up and talk. I don’t have to show the world my fear, my nervousness.
The situation was what it was. My negative, fearful thoughts stood in my way of pure enjoyment of talking with a wonderful woman. I see that now. I know that now. The concept of questioning my thoughts has shifted things for me dramatically. Question the negative thoughts that crop up. Write them down, turn them around and you will find freedom.
I’ve got a lot of thoughts to write down and I will. I am confident that my life has just turned a corner and what’s around that corner is my version of heaven.
I love you Donna for who you are and for not being on the show last Wednesday. Thank you for being my catalyst to this revelation. I’m excited for the next show and the next one and the one after that. It is an amazing, joyful ride.