Finding Shifts: The Work in Amsterdam

I’m thrilled to share news about the Work of Byron Katie (a powerful tool for working with limiting beliefs, and opening mind and heart in leadership, organization and change). Katie is hosting a first ever intensive in The Work for leaders and people in business in Amsterdam from February 8th to 11th, 2012. The very amazing Caitlin Frost will be there  as part of Katie’s team.

Here’s an example from Caitlin of how the Work can facilitate a lot of shift, energy, creativity and learning:

“The CEO needs to be at the meeting”.  Is it true?  Can I absolutely know that it is true? (And what happens when I attach to it?)

“We need more money”.  Is it true?  Can I absolutely know that it is true?

“They won’t listen to me”….  “It is not possible to overcome this or that difficulty”…. “If I speak up people will get angry”… “If I leave this conversation people will be offended”….

There are so many big and small assumptions, beliefs and fears that close us down as facilitators, participants and human beings – and as we often experience in Open Space – powerful questions and invitations can support opening. There are more questions in the Work that support a deeper dive into where the first question would likely take you in a really deep meditation. And these questions can surface a lot of material for learning about my self, others and the situation and open some space for shift.

How do you react, what happens when you believe that thought? (A meditation and amazing opportunity for self learning about what the effect of attaching to the belief is.)

Who would you be without that thought? (A meditation and opportunity to then open your mind to the same situation without attachment to that belief, assumption or fear.)

And then there is a playful part of the Work called the ‘turnarounds’ where you take the initial stressful or stuck thought/belief and ‘turn it around’ in different ways to explore where the opposites or other perspectives could be equally or more true.  Another very specific to the situation way to open your mind.

For example:  “They won’t listen to me”

Turn around: They will listen to me. (And then I really consider where this could have truth.)

Turn around: I won’t listen to them. (And then I get to see where this could also be true – where am I not listening?)

Turn around: I won’t listen to myself. (Where do I not even listen to myself in this situation? Possibly because I am so worried about what they will say or do I am not really listening to me either.)

Caitlin goes on to describe how for her, “This work hosts me in a really skillful conversation with myself where I am able to open my mind and heart, and often see things that I can’t see or experience when I am stuck in fear or ‘I know’ mind. It is the opposite of being ‘right’ and gives me a way to soften that up in myself. It does not offer any specific advice of what to actually do or not do – I find for myself that wiser and kinder action just flows in the space that opens when I do it.”

For more information, Caitlin has some great material on her website about how it applies to organizational work and some examples, free downloads and explanations.

Where might this inquiry practice create shift, energy, creativity and learning for you?