Look around your local gym long enough, and you’re likely to see the phrase “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional,” emblazoned on a bumper sticker, a T-shirt, or a bicep in the form of a tattoo. It’s one thing to adopt that mantra as a way to encourage yourself to eke out one more rep or run one more minute. It’s another to adopt it as an overall way of life.
That’s what this week’s guest Byron Katie specializes in. “The Work” that it takes to wake up to reality, let go of negative perceptions about yourself and your place in the world and to stop judging – others and yourself. Ask yourself a series of four questions when you’re having a strong emotional reaction–
1. Is it true?
2. Can I be sure that it’s true?
3. How do I react when I believe that it’s true?
4. Who would I be without this thought?
If you do this simple–but not easy–exercise on a regular basis you can begin to opt-out of suffering and make more conscious decisions about your life.
And remember, as Katie says: Reality is always kind. It’s just that we so rarely live in it.