Rebirth of a Madwoman – The Resurrection of Byron Katie

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

The sudden transformation of Byron Katie serves as a remarkable testimony to the powers of spiritual resurrection that live in each of us.

Born Byron Kathleen Reid in Breckenridge, Texas, in 1942, she was raised in the small desert town of Needles, California, in the years following World War II. Her mother said that she was named Byron for money, after a wealthy relative offered financial support if the child was given his name, and Kathleen for love. Growing up, everyone called her Katie.

Her homemaker mother and her father, a railroad worker, saw Katie grow from a quiet, thoughtful little girl into an aggressive, competitive teenager who sought to be the best in everything she did. A top student, she played piano and sang in a regional choir. Beautiful, energetic, and fun, Katie was voted first runner-up for queen of her high school prom.

Have an Average Day – Enjoying the Ordinary is Extraordinary

Thursday, January 10th, 2008

I once was talking to my friend and mentor Steve Chandler when he said to me, “Have an average day!” Taken aback, I asked him what he meant. Isn’t the idea to have great days, even exceptional ones?

He told me a story about one of his mentors, Lyndon Duke, who studied the linguistics of suicide. After receiving doctorates from two universities, Duke began analyzing suicide notes for linguistic clues that could be used to predict and prevent suicidal behavior in teenagers.

Duke came to believe that the enemy of happiness is “the curse of exceptionality.” When everyone is trying to be exceptional, nearly everyone fails because the exceptional becomes commonplace, and those few who do succeed feel isolated and estranged from their peers. We’re left with a world in which a few people feel envied, misunderstood, and alone, while thousands of others feel like failures for not being good, special, rich, or happy enough.