Episode 59: Self-Inquiry and Freedom from Suffering with Byron Katie

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Episode 59 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: Self-Inquiry and Freedom from Suffering with Byron Katie

Do We Have the Power to Stop Our Own Suffering?

Autoimmune disease and suffering often go hand-in-hand, physically, mentally and emotionally. What we don’t realize is how much pain comes from our minds – the stories we tell ourselves about our experience. This isn’t to say physical suffering isn’t real. But as Byron Katie says in this podcast, it often accounts for a small percentage compared to the anguish created by our minds. Byron Katie says she has one job: to teach people how to end their own suffering. As she guides people through the powerful process of inquiry she calls The Work, people find that their stressful beliefs—about life, other people, and themselves—radically shift and their lives are changed forever. She has taught this technique to millions of people around the world, and is the author of six books, including the bestselling Loving What is – 4 Questions That Can Change Your Life.

Episode 59 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: Self-Inquiry and Freedom from Suffering with Byron Katie


Listen to the Show
There are three ways to listen:

  1. You can subscribe to my podcast through iTunes.
  2. You can listen through Stitcher.
  3. You can also listen to the episode right here through the play bar at the bottom of this post. If you subscribe to my blog by email, you’ll got notified of future episodes.

Show Notes

  • Intro (0:00)
  • Thank You to Our Podcast Sponsor: Paleo on the Go (1:54)
  • What is “The Work”? (3:09)
    • The Work is a process of self-inquiry that helps us question stressful thoughts and find the truth underneath.
    • There are 4 questions.
      1. Is it true?
      2. Can you absolutely know that’s true?
      3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
      4. Who would you be without that thought?
    • Turnarounds – Finding examples where the opposite is true.
    • It cuts through fear and helps us live truly in the present moment, without living in the past or projecting into the future.
    • This isn’t a process we do in our minds. Writing it down and tuning into our bodies is essential.
    • Resources:
  • Demonstrating “The Work” (11:11)
    • Eileen offers herself as an example, and Katie takes her through the process of self-inquiry, questioning this stressful belief: I’m disappointed with myself because I’m not in remission.
    • While I usually write detailed show notes, this is a process best heard. A summary won’t do it justice. You can listen through the play bar at the bottom of this post, or through iTunes or Stitcher. The demo starts at time stamp 11:11 and continues interspersed throughout the rest of the podcast.
  • When’s the Best Time to Do “The Work”? (22:31)
    • Every day. It’s great to do 20 minutes first thing in the morning, to set the tone for your day.
    • However, if you’re having a day where you are in a lot of physical pain, be gentle and caring of yourself. That is not the time to do The Work. Instead, wait until you have some breathing room, and then write down the thoughts that consumed you while you were in pain. Work on those – one each day.
    • While Katie often tells people to ease into the work by starting with a judgment about someone else, she believes we can start right away with our beliefs about autoimmune disease. Because we are NOT our autoimmune disease.
    • Keep an open mind. The ego clings to its beliefs.
  • Universal Beliefs (24:34)
    • These are stressful thoughts that people all around the world believe, which simply aren’t true. Here’s the full list. Some will be beliefs you hold. These are great statements to process through The Work.
    • Stressful thoughts are exhausting. They affect our ability to live a full life. They impact our relationships. They often make us feel like victims. That’s why it can be so transformative to learn how to avoid being ruled by these thoughts.
  • Three Kinds of Business (42:13)
    • My Business
    • Your Business
    • God’s Business
  • Outro (47:39)

Spreading the Word

If you like the podcast, please leave a positive review in iTunes or Stitcher. It would mean the world to me, and also helps others find the podcast and learn about their potential for healing.

Listen to the Show

There are three ways to listen:

  1. You can subscribe to my podcast through iTunes.
  2. You can listen through Stitcher.
  3. You can also listen to the episode right here through the play bar at the bottom of this post. If you subscribe to my blog by email, you’ll got notified of future episodes.
  Have you checked out my books?   Books By Eileen Laird | Phoenix Helix

18 thoughts on “Episode 59: Self-Inquiry and Freedom from Suffering with Byron Katie

    • I’m a big believer in “It never hurts to ask!” But I was shocked and delighted when she said Yes. She’s so humble in person. It was an honor and pleasure to interview her.

  1. Excellent podcast!! It came on the heels of having just finished a recommended read of The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer, a book that I struggled to get through even though there were some gems along the way. The interview with Katie filled all the gaps missing in The Untethered Soul, with loving compassion, clear language, and a simple course of action. I will be checking out Katie’s website and books. Just what I needed. Thanks Elaine!

  2. Wonderful podcast, Eileen! I’ve used the work in my life and found it so helpful, but it was good to hear Katie address autoimmunity and give some tips specifically on this topic. Also, thank you for sharing your experience so vulnerably.

  3. All your podcasts are excellent, but this one is especially powerful. Thanks for agreeing to use your own life as an illustration of the Work. I’ll listen to this one again to keep learning.

  4. Wonderful podcast Eileen,thank you for this most potent and neglected topic.Also for you sharing with us your own vulnerability.You are an amazing gift to us all!!

  5. I have listened to a ton of podcasts over the years and have never listened to one I did not learn something from or did not like. Some were good, some were great, some were excellent. Then there is this one. I am already forwarding the link to others. Thank you for putting yourself out there Eileen.

    • Connie, that’s so wonderful! The Work is applicable to so many areas of life. I’m so glad it improved your Holidays. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I have practiced the Work for a number of years and utilize it to this day. It has supported me through the depths of depression and anxiety and led me into a life that I wouldn’t have dreamed possible. One that is filled with more inner peace, clarity, and freedom..especially in my relationships with others and my body. I have had severe psoriatic arthritis to the point where I could barely walk or button up a shirt. I am only 31. The Work supported me in finding inner peace despite how my body showed up and supported me in making the decision to go onto medication while continuing my holistic journey. I questioned thoughts like “I am a failure if I go on medication” “I will get cancer” “No one will want to be with me” “I should be doing something else with my life”..and many many more. What I can say is that with the Work to guide me, I simply questioned my stressful thoughts around the body/medications and my ability to have life guide me became clearer and clearer. I genuinely don’t know how I could have gone through the challenges of autoimmunity without the Work. Thank you Eileen for making this podcast available to others who may be interested and benefit the way I have. Your support is a real blessing.

    • Nishant, your testimonial brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for sharing. It’s such a beautiful thing when we free ourselves from fears and self-judgements.

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