“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” is the amazing quote we know and love from the movie The Wizard of Oz. It’s a special directive that you can harness to free yourself of emotional baggage on the spot. It’s a simple technique. If you’ll stay with it you’ll find you can release a lot of emotional pain in very little time. So, ironically, it actually is very magical; despite the questionable nature of the Wizard!
So…let’s begin with a problem you currently have. Pick just one to work on first. Pick a medium-sized one until you get more facile with this process. You can tackle the bigger issues soon enough once you are more practiced with it.
Look at your problem with great curiosity, interest and suspicion. Resist the temptation to jump into the problem now and roll around in it. Just look. Nothing more is required at this moment. If you find yourself slipping into it you can either pick a lesser-charged issue to tackle first, or just remind yourself to “watch yourself” do the process. This will keep you out of the thick of things so you can gain some freedom.
Now…peer around the back of the problem and notice what you actually see that lies behind it. Be open to being surprised by what shows up. It may not be what you expect. If often isn’t.
Next…peer around behind that and notice the structure that holds the problem together. Resist the temptation to figure out what that’s all about. Just look. Nothing more. Whatever it is…it is…and that’s totally fine.
Now…keep your attention gently there. You’re just resting your current attention on the structure that is behind the problem–the scaffolding that supports everything. It could look like something you recognize–or not. It may be familiar–or not. It just is what it is. Just look…and wait…and wait…and wait longer than you think is productive. You want to wait until you go just past the point of boredom. Then take a breath and relax. Let the whole thing go for now.
Check in with your problem and notice the subtle, or very obvious improvements you feel. Notice what you notice without any need to push, cajole, force or manipulate it in any way. Neat, huh? Less problem in a very short time.
What happened? A lot. But for now it’s 1000 times more useful to not look for answers. Instead, you’ll really help yourself by running through this sequence again on another problem. Perhaps even a third problem if you have a few minutes. You’ll feel better and better each time. You can reduce your suffering in this way quickly, easily and peacefully whenever you have a few minutes free.