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Are You Ready for a ‘Good’ Challenge?

By Paul C Pritchard on Thursday August 29th, 2019

The Technique that Changed My Life

You can do nothing more valuable than realise who you are. – Byron Katie

How would you react if you learnt one of your senses was to be lost? When inspirational teacher Byron Katie thinks about her impending vision loss, she smiles contemplatively and says ‘good’. While this may initially seem like a strange response, her practice is one which has transformed my life, along with many others. Are you ready for the ‘good’ challenge?

I love that the world is waking up to waking up. More and more people are seeing clearly that the old ways need to be updated or completely replaced. The new paradigm of how we live here on Planet Earth is emerging. I’m excited by the diverse options to help us recognise our innate state of enlightenment. Everywhere I turn there are invitations to workshops, seminars, retreats, where we can: fast, meditate, practise yoga, be in silence, experience catharsis, purge, take ayahuasca or Kambo frog medicine. We can visit sweat lodges for ritual, ceremony and insights. We can find all sorts of dynamic meditation to emotionally clear; arrive at forgiveness, heal trauma and the list goes on and on and on …

Of course, for many of these noble pursuits we need to invest time, money and energy. Sometimes it’s great to leave it all behind and go on a self-nurturing sabbatical where we give ourselves full permission to explore and express who we truly are. There’s a great sense of rest and nourishment for our nervous systems. There’s a feeling of coming home to true essence. But when we return to our ‘real’ lives we can quickly slip back into old habits and old patterns of behaviour we know will lead us once more to the ‘need’ for another break from our ‘exhausting reality’ in six to twelve months. It becomes an endless cycle of rupture and repair.

Many teachers and gurus tell their students that they are not so much interested in the one hour a day that they spend meditating but more interested in the other twenty-three hours. This has always resonated with me. Surely, it’s about the dedication and the vigilance of waking up 24/7? But who has the time, right?

The other 23 hoursMeditating an hour a day is great, but how do you conduct yourself the other 23 hours?

I wanted a practice that could really help me stay present, every day. A practice that would cost me nothing but commitment. I wanted something that I could weave into my every waking moment and would also help rewire my neural pathways when I slept.

The ‘Good’ Approach

I love The Work of Byron Katie. It’s simple in its approach without diluting the need for doing the work, actually delving deep into self-enquiry for your own true authentic answers. Byron Katie speaks of the vigilance and practise needed until it becomes a natural habit. One of the most effective ways to cultivate a new way of directly experiencing life, a fresh way that turns old thinking on its head, is to challenge our sequential thinking.

In her book, A Thousand Names for Joy, Byron Katie enters into a call and response with life that is so seemingly understated that I barely thought about the powerful impact it might have. She simply started to say “Good” to every single thing that happened in her daily experience. This included the big dramatic things (Byron Katie faced losing her sight) to the mundane and seemingly insignificant moments, like stubbing your toe, or missing the bus or being irritated by a dog barking or the rain starting just when you finished hanging out the washing. It was a simple noticing of what is happening and then the response, “Good.”

And right there and then it hit me … this is the challenge I’ve been waiting for. And I could start it right now. I was eager to start. And with just that thought I said, “Good”. If in the face of going blind Byron Katie could say “Good” then I could certainly give it a go.

I was blown away at how fast things changed for me. It was like my old habits were caught in their tracks, old responses were left dazed and confused. I could almost hear the cogs in my brain clunkily slowing down and re-evaluating my reaction and habitual responses. In just that pause, when I said “Good”, I had a whole new reality. This is the key to the basis of Byron Katie’s work … to stop arguing with reality.

'Good'Suddenly I could see the silver lining in the more challenging moments.

Old Way: My car won’t start!

“Damn, I’m going to be late. I don’t need this stress. Bloody mechanics just ripping me off. I bet they caused this problem. I haven’t got time for this. My whole day is ruined. Life sucks … why is this happening to me?”

New Way: My car won’t start!

“Good. I get to call for help. I get to have a little rest. I get to take this time to breathe and reflect on how ‘busy’ I think I am. I get to see the ‘good’ in this situation. I get to challenge myself to see the reality that life keeps giving to me and not the reality that my mind keeps inventing. I get to stay with the facts and away from interpretation. This feels GOOD.”

It had a profound effect on me. In short, I was in a better mood from the moment I took up the challenge. I instantly saw how much unreal and unnecessary drama that my mind keeps creating. This drama keeps me down and steals my energy. I also began to laugh out loud. It was as though I was suddenly planted on the set of a really funny sit-com. I began to see how grown adults all around me were behaving in learned or habitual ways that were actually hysterical. There was so much complaint all around me. There was so much complaint about me not complaining. People would say, ‘You don’t seem bothered? That would really piss me off.” And in that I just kept smiling and fully appreciating the simplicity in disidentifying with suffering.

The clearer your mind gets, the more it projects a friendly universe, until one day it occurs to you that you haven’t had a problem in a very long time. – Byron Katie

~

So … here’s the challenge. Say “Good” to all your experiences. Especially the ‘bad’ ones. And remember to say, “Good” to the good ones too. Just see what happens to your perspective on your life, your aliveness, your engagement, your participation etc.

Please let us know how you get on. It might give you that excuse you’ve been looking for to start your journal. Document how this challenge infiltrates your thoughts and behaviours. Give it at least a week … Write your experiences or feelings in the comments below.

We value your voice.
We welcome your wisdom.
We cherish our conversations.

One heart, one light, one love…

Team UPLIFT

How do you feel about this article? Join the conversation.

 

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34 Responses to Are You Ready for a ‘Good’ Challenge?

  1. I love the simple answers, we often make things far more complex than they need be. I am starting this today 11th September; now, 1700 hours. I am eager to see the results.

  2. Another thing I’m going to add is that this challenge seems to be a self preservation technique. If you want a piece of mind, you will get it, but I’m not sure how much this method or way of life is going to help solve world problems.

    • I hear what you’re saying Kait. We here at UPLIFT believe that taking responsibility for ourselves and how we exist in this world is one step towards creating greater change. And finding better ways to deal with our own personal challenges is a part of that 🙂

      Much love to you,
      Team UPLIFT

  3. It’s true. There is a hidden jewel in everything. Accept what is and decide to follow the jewel. For a simple example, children are often scolded for accidental spills etc. because their parents are frequently stressed and overwhelmed. Thank goodness for grandparents who have the resources to focus on the jewel–“Oh! These things happen. Now we get to make the floor even cleaner than it was.” A simple reframing that can offer long term life altering consequences for perspective. This focus on the hidden jewel is a practice that can consciously be made deliberate.

  4. I am doing my best to say GOOD about the hurricane making its way towards where we live at the moment. Actually it makes me feel less stressed about something I can’t do anything about.

    • My family is in Miami. The “good” that I see in this is that on my mom’s floor, all of the neighbors (all seniors) get together and share supplies, support each other – some take turns cooking for the group- and turn it into a “we can do anything together” attitude. Hurricanes are def stressful but it’s beautiful to see the love of people getting together to make it work. I wish you the very best and hope that your area will not get hit.

    • It sounds like the practice is working for you then Jacqueline, wonderful to hear 🙂 Stay safe.

      Love, blessings and goodness.
      Team UPLIFT

  5. I’ve actually been doing this for quite some time, and YES, it does absolutely help change how you see your circumstances. I also have started laughing at how ludicrous adults act about things that are really insignificant. They all think I’m crazy. I think they are all crazy. Namaste. <3

  6. I in! I’m joining you in this challenge. I’m starting right now! Sitting on my porch 5 AM. I’ll stay in touch. I’m also excited about checking out Peta’s Healing Hub. Peace to all!
    Monica in NH
    USA
    Planet Earth

  7. GOOOOODDD!!I am sharing this article with all my friends for them to start the new moon cycle in a good way. Good! Neural pathways

  8. I have been working on being grateful in all situations good and bad. It’s amazing how your mind changes when put in a positive state no matter what is happening. I acknowledge my feelings, be grateful and at peace with them.
    I let my happiness peace & love flow to others. I feel like I bring joy to everyone I meet because of my positive attitude.
    People can feel that energy.
    I loved your article and I can’t wait to read A Thousand Names of Joy.

  9. Goodday from WA .My name is Peta Nottle I am from Perth Western Australia . I that to share this with you , I am 72 years old .
    My memoirs of my life’s journey from 1951 to the beginning of 2018 is currently in the hands of a Professional editor and then will be sent for publishing . it is a journey from Freedom as a child to having the door to my Soul Closed . On and off during the Journey of Life until the journey changes after the journey to “The Voyage of Everlasting Life .”
    I have written the chapters up on The wholeTransformation .
    I would love to be part of the Story Telling Through Up lift. I have started a U Tube channel called “ Tranquillitas Healing Hub . I do not do technology , two beautiful souls -have joined with me all non academic , however have been travellers on the bumpy road of Life ,We have called the Venue , set on the banks of a lake across the road from my little home “The Centre of Story Telling Contemplation and Action”
    Please , contact me , I would love a connection with you .
    in Light Love Energy
    Peta❤️😀🙏🏻❤️😀🙏🏻❤️😀🙏🏻

    • Hi Peta…I will check out your youtube channel! Sounds interesting.

      As for this subject about GOOD, I feel its just another word for “accept”. We all do our best, and when things change, which they frequently do, its not always for the best (as in blindness), however as I see it if we were to lose one of our senses, and weve done everything we can, there comes a point where we have to accept it.

      I interpret this subject as just to chill out about things, and “not to sweat the small stuff” because most of it is only small stuff….

      I certainly wouldnt say “good” if I knew I was losing my sight, however at some point after the grieving of my loss I would need to accept the situation.

  10. Goodday from WA .My name is Peta Nottle I am from Perth Western Australia . I that to share this with you , I am 72 years old .
    My memoirs of my life’s journey from 1951 to the beginning of 2018 is currently in the hands of a Professional editor and then will be sent for publishing . it is a journey from Freedom as a child to having the door to my Soul Closed . On and off during the Journey of Life until the journey changes after the journey to “The Voyage of Everlasting Life .”
    After the Transformation .
    I have written the chapters up on The wholeTransformation .
    I would love to be part of the Story Telling Through Up lift. I have started a U Tube channel called “ Tranquillitas Healing Hub . I do not do technology , two beautiful souls -have joined with me all non academic , however have been travellers on the bumpy road of Life ,We have called the Venue , set on the banks of a lake across the road from my little home “The Centre of Story Telling Contemplation and Action”
    Please , contact me , I would love a connection with you .
    in Light Love Energy
    Peta❤️😀🙏🏻❤️😀🙏🏻❤️😀🙏🏻

  11. Robin, I would venture the point may be to look at the positive objectively in any event.

    Ok, so take increasing weather extremes. ‘Good, another proof of the crisis at hand despite the deniers, and that the planet is responding perfectly naturally to our action or inaction, like the living organism it is. This provides another opportunity for more people to wake up and get us closer to the awakened critical mass needed for change to happen.’

    While it is tragic and inevitable that death and destruction must occur sometimes before people do wake up, the fact that more people are continuing to take it seriously because of the increasing events is a positive.

    I don’t like to think of it, but if I liken it to the fact that most people can’t even see there’s a problem until they hit a personal rock bottom, then perhaps we will get to real whole world devastation before enough of us wake up and decide to act to affect change.

  12. I think, Robin, that the idea is to say “Good” to the situation, not to our habitual judgments about it, that are the real source of the pain…
    Allowing is not the same as celebrating or rejecting. We must begin to see our thinking patterns for what they are, allowing space for what else could be there and transforming suffering into peace. I’m going for it!

  13. I think that celebrating blindness or any disabling disease is absolutely denial of the highest degree. Let ‘s say, “ Good, to the climate deniers, so glad they are do not care about their carbon footprint. That soon weather extremes will kill many more in third world countries. Good.
    This is absolutely nuts.

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