Loving What Is

There have been very few books which I could say have changed my life, but “Loving What Is” by Byron Katie is one of them. It is an unassuming looking book, but it packs a powerful punch between its pages.

Loving What IsAnd most of the power is in just four questions. In fact the subtitle is “Four questions that can change your life.”

And they can!

I don’t really recommend you first read this book when your life is going swimmingly well. But it’s a great book to grab fast and devour if bad things happen, for example

  • your husband cheats on you
  • you break up with the guy who you thought was “the one”
  • you lose your job
  • you fall out with a good friend
  • some natural disaster strikes
  • you fall into debt
  • you or someone you love is ill
  • you have a dilemma that is keeping you up at night

Once you understand how to use the questions in the book to change your thinking, you’ll see it can also work on lesser calamities such as your partner’s irritating little habits or rain on your vacation.

Anytime you feel this is not the way life should be, that you are fed up with the way things are, it can help.

Initially though, I suspect the worse the situation you are using it for, the more you will understand the power of it.


In my case, I came across the book when I was having a spectacularly bad time at work, feeling like the victim of poor senior management decision making.

Within a very short period of just a few months I went from loving my job to hating it with a vengeance. I decided the only way for me was to get out, and I was trying to find a way to negotiate a settlement so we could survive without me working. Meanwhile I went through weeks of anxiety and not sleeping. Fun times!

Reading and then applying the book to my situation helped me through that awful period. I was calmer. I could see a way out. I stopped hating so much and started understanding. And I slept better. I did get what I wanted eventually, but I didn’t have to wait for that moment to feel better.


What the book does for you is make you feel less like a victim and more like the powerful person you are in any situation including ones where you truly are a victim (for example, of a violent crime). It gives you clarity and a way forward when you don’t think you have any path out of the mess you are in.

You work through the four simple questions (and the subset of clarifying, prompting questions that come with them) and come out the other side with a new way of thinking about whatever it is that is bothering you and taking away joy from your life.

The book not only provides the questions (which would take no more than a page or two to lay out) but gives example after example of applying the questions in all kinds of situations, from the most trivial to the most horrific, so you know how to use them whatever is happening in your life.

“At some point, you may notice that you’re meeting every thought, feeling, person and situation as a friend. Until eventually you are looking for a problem. Until finally you notice you haven’t had one in years.”

I haven’t quite got to that point yet, but if I ever do have a problem, out comes that book to gain a bit of perspective on it. I find it not so much a book you read, as a book you apply over and over again.

Find Loving What Is on amazon.com here or amazon.co.uk here.

Over to you: Have you come across “Loving What Is” already? If you have, what did you think of it? Please share in the comments below.

12 Responses to “Loving What Is”

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  1. Ricci says:

    This sounds like a very useful and practical book that just about anyone can use. Thanks for sharing!
    Ricci recently posted…Product Reviews: BEDTIME BLISS Sleep Mask, Ear Plugs & Carry Case

    • Ana says:

      Anyone who ever has problems accepting the reality of their situation and wishing it could be different will find it useful (and I think that’s all of us at some time or other). Thanks for your comment Ricci
      Ana recently posted…Why Smart Women Turn Off Men

  2. This is a wonderful message for a Monday morning. It brightened my day
    Fred Mcmurray recently posted…I Hath Seen The Future Of Video Games! – TechCrunch

  3. Shay says:

    I love adding in new books and this sounds like the perfect book for me right now ans I’m trying to figure out which way I want to go with my life.
    Shay recently posted…I Need To Create A Budget, My Dreams & Free Budget Worksheet

    • Ana says:

      Thanks for sharing Shay. There are probably better books for figuring out what you want to do with your life, but this one will help you if you are blocked from moving forward by your current situation or something that has happened in the past.
      Ana recently posted…Three Little Things From My Week

  4. Sophie Bowns says:

    This sounds like a brilliant book! I must have a look on Amazon for it!
    Sophie Bowns recently posted…Teddy- Chapter 35

  5. Bonnie Gean says:

    This sounds like a book I could get into. Especially since I’m having a terrible time coming to terms that my daughter is an alcoholic and refuses to get help. I just cannot stand the drama anymore.

    I love her, but hate how she lives her life. This book seems like it would help me understand the situation better and how to handle it.
    Bonnie Gean recently posted…Welcome to Reclaiming My Health

    • Ana says:

      I think this book would help you feel less anguish about the situation Bonnie. The author’s own daughter Roxann drank heavily and did drugs and there’s a chapter on dealing with addictions including a section entitled “My Daughter’s Addiction.” Sometimes books show up at exactly the right time for us. This one did for me. If you get it, don’t start at that chapter though as I don’t think it makes sense without reading through the whole book. I hope you find peace around this. Sometimes I wish I could help my sons more too when things go wrong for them. It doesn’t matter how old they get, we still suffer when they do.
      Ana recently posted…17 Tips For Dating Again After A Breakup Or Divorce

  6. Misty Spears says:

    This sounds like a great book Ana. Definitely one to consider especially if you’re in a place in life when it could help you get through something.
    Misty Spears recently posted…10 Common Misconceptions About Industrial Hemp

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