How to Start Working Through Emotional Issues

It is often hard to get at deeply buried information in your mind.

The hardest part with doing inner work is when what you're working on is buried so deep you can't get to it easily. There are numerous ways to get around this, and I'm going to share a simple technique that's worked very well for me.

It's an adaptation of Sentence stem completion exercises I picked up from Nathaniel Branden ( ) and the opening technique of Michael J Gelb's How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci book.

The method is simple: First write down 100 questions you want the answers to. They don't all have to be about what problem you're working on, especially since any insight into yourself can help make inner work easier.

Then take a write out each question with ten dashes, each with their own line, under the question. Repeat until you have all 100 questions listed this way.

Start answering them. Don't stop until you're done.

This, honestly, will probably take at least a week or two. That's okay. There's no rush.

What this does is force you to think a massive amount about lots of different things. By having ten spaces down for each question you ask your mind to fill each blank, so it searches deeper than it normally would. 

The exact benefits of doing this exercise are somewhat hard to say. It depends a large part on what 100 questions you ask and how honest your answers are. There's no benefit to thinking about this, only to do it. Give it a try.

Some notes:

-The specific numbers here are just numbers and not important in themselves. You could ask 50 questions and answer each one 5 times or 1000 questions 20 times. As usual, the more effort you put in to it the bigger the rewards you will reap. I'd suggest going for 100 questions and ten answers at least the first time you try this technique.

-Also, don't worry about making every question a good one. 100 questions is, honestly, a lot. Throw some softball questions in there too. As long as you have at least ten or so questions that make you uncomfortable asking, you're golden.

-You probably won't be able to come up with ten answers for each question and that's okay. Answer as much as you can, if it's a hard question chances are you'll still have learned something.

-I recommend doing this technique like this: Go through each question and write in what comes easily. Then go back and think of more answers. That way you get through the more superficial levels faster and get to the hard part faster.

By using this technique (and asking at least some hard questions) you'll be able to uncover quite a bit about yourself you didn't consciously before. Then you can take that knowledge and use it in conjuction with whatever healing modality that works for you.

I'd appreciate feedback on both how this technique has worked for you and how I've presented it. This is the first place I've written it up and it's likely I've left something out. If you don't want to comment, email me at


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Hugo La Rosa
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Posted on Sep 13, 2009
Charlene Collins
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Posted on Jul 23, 2009