I was introduced to the work by a German woman backpacking through Northern California that I met at some sort of women’s gathering.
There isn’t much that stands out to me about that night except that we were standing around a bonfire and I was talking about things I was struggling with, decisions I needed to make, what I wanted to happen in the future etc., when the woman said that I needed to read Katie’s book, “I need your love is that true”.
I remember reading the book, highlighting throughout it, loving it and then passing it along. I enjoyed the book so much that I even pulled quotes from the book for my yoga teacher training finale when I stumbled upon it in the library at Breitenbush hot springs.
It wasn’t until about 5-6 years later that I attempted to apply the 4 questions to a stressful thought. I was in Mexico at the time and I decided to question the thought _________ should want to speak with me.
At this point in my practice, I was an armchair facilitator and watch countless YouTube videos of Katie actually doing the work with clients. I started to get a feel for how the process worked but had never actually completed a judge your neighbor worksheet. I remember trying to answer the questions on blank white computer paper.
I wrote out all of the questions and my responses and had not yet learned the art of short simple sentences, and Yes or No responses. I experienced some relief from the pain of having someone I really cared about not wanting to speak to me. But I wanted more.
A few more unbearable experiences took place before I found myself in Paris at one of Katies one-day events.
I followed her instructions from my seat on how to correctly fill out a Judge your neighbor worksheet, then earnestly followed her facilitating someone on stage.
“I am angry with the terrorists for hurting innocent people and instilling fear in the world”
I was there with him from beginning to end.
And when he turned around, “I want the terrorists to stop hurting people” referring to a very recent terrorist attack that took place in France to, “I want me to stop hurting people”, I could see so clearly how in my life, I had repeatedly hurt people. How I had at times used my words, and thoughts as weapons in the tiny acts of war.
I could see how if there was to be peace it really would begin with me, and as long as I was rationalizing or justifying any act of cruelty even in the slightest – that I needed to stop hurting people.
I was so blown away by what happened that day I lingered around in the building for what felt like hours after the event.
When I walked out, I saw Katie and Stephen power walking down the street and stopping to wave at the young man she facilitated who yelled, “hello” to her from the streetside cafe.
I walked behind them silent and mesmerized. Then, just before they both jumped in the back seat of the small golden-beige colored 2001 Toyota Corolla, I yelled “Bye Katie” and she replied, “Bye Honey” then zipped away.