People unravel difficulties using the Wonder Anew questions.
The first Wonder Anew question asks, "What is your difficulty?" Participants begin by identifying their problem.
"As much as I suggest, even beg, my kids are not reading books at bedtime or any other time for that matter."
"My husband is not feeling well and I'm spending a lot of time making up tragic scenarios about his health."
"When I listen to my adult child talk about a problem, I respond with an idea about how to fix it even though I am not asked for advice and then my child stops talking and ends the conversation."
"It's my mom. When I'm vulnerable and tell her about an experience, she cannot be compassionate. I'm sad and crying or angry and she tries to calm me down by saying it's not so bad or others have it worse. Then I feel ashamed for feeling sad like my experience doesn't deserve sadness."
"My friends call me names on the playground." (5 year old)
"I am mad at God for my parent's death."
"I feel unimportant. Nobody notices me. I'm not important enough to worry about." (teenager)
"My Mom died. I feel like my Dad died with her. We didn't talk about her after she died and still haven't talked about our feelings, and now years later I feel like he is not here even though he is alive. I miss them both."
“I act like my partner is perfect and good and I am not.”
“It’s hard to say no without an excuse.”
“I was in a conversation with a friend about an abuse experience and noticed that the words we used talking about what happened are part of the problem.”
“It feels like the cheater is the one with the power. I don’t want to believe this, but my actions say I do.”
“I’m a public school teacher. I want to present a variety of ideas around standards that involve informational text. I want to include articles on a topic dealing with foreign and domestic tax evasion of the top 1% of the world (Paradise Papers). I checked it out with my boss and then I told a friend. My friend heavily advised against becoming political and ‘breeding radicals.’ I want to ignore my friend and show multiple views, but I feel uncomfortable.”
“I am judged by what I wear.”
“I was driving down the road and a song came on that took me back to a particular moment in my young life and it’s as if today is an illusion and yesterday is a reality. I’m still caught in the feelings of that past.”
“I feel more alive when I’m in crisis and jolted.”
“My thoughts are mostly about worries.”
“Having to be on a side and fighting for a side is not something I believe in. I say I will face this day, look at the person in front of me, and attend with full liveliness to the present moment. Yet, I forget that thought and then my mind starts thinking and thinking about the news and what happened, and this and that, and him or her or them, and I get angry.”
“I’m in a romantic relationship with someone who is in treatment for cancer and it seems like growing a relationship isn’t feasible right now.”
“My child and I get into a fight at breakfast almost daily. If my child ate a healthy breakfast with protein s/he would have an easier time getting ready for and getting to school.”
“When I get sick, I become wimpy and whiney.”
‘I hear shame-based language in the church I attend. I often leave feeling ashamed of myself.”
"I eat when I'm not hungry."
"I'm a teacher who must say the Pledge of Allegiance every day with students. I don't want to."
"I disagree with the way my child's teacher handles classroom management."
"I feel guilty. I invited my young son's bullies on playdates—numerous times."
"Rather than speak up about my preferences, I submit. Then I blame and resent the person for not getting what I want."
"I feel inferior to my wife."
"My partner insults me and I insult him back. Over and Over."
"I'm angry that my child's school is closing."
"I physically harm myself and feel relief doing it."
"I no longer want to say the pledge of allegiance."
"A group of people I trust ganged up on me and I lost my job."
"I'm a tabloid whore consumed with gossip."
"I hate when people ask me what I did today."
"I can't get hired. I work under the table, but I can't say that when I interview."
"My ex put a restraining order on me and I can't see my kids."
"Feeling helpless and wretched sadness watching someone I love who is in pain cut themselves.
"My problem is this. What to tell parents who come to school on Fridays to eat lunch with their kids. Parents are constantly texting. The kids know that their parents aren't really there."
"I'm alarmed by the anxiety level of K, first and second graders at my school. I have never seen anything like this in all of my 32 years working with kids in the public school."
"My sister tattles to our dad in a way that makes her look angelic and perfect."
"I'm scared about the effect on my child from being exposed to porn on the Internet by an older child."
"I see my bad patterns in my son as he parents his kids."
"My friend sees what I do wrong in parenting, offers help and ideal suggestions, and I resent her for it and myself for not being able to tell her to stop it."
"I feel angry, disappointed, and bleak about the world my grandchildren are inheriting."
"I used to criticize people who looked at their phone when they first woke up and now I've become that person and even though I know it and want to change, I don't."
"I have trouble making and keeping friends."
"I got arrested for shoplifting."
"I had to go the bathroom."
"I feel like my children are in prison. Our School Board Member said that all the schools will have fences around them by the end of the year and extensive sign-in and sign-out processes."
"I heard him murder my parents."
"I stopped exercising."
"My husband tried to shoot me."
"I am cheating on my boyfriend."
"I have COPD and still smoke."
"My good friend has a child my child's age. I arrange playdates with them, but my child doesn't like her child and behaves badly."
"I accidentally cut off my finger."
"My friend sends texts asking me to do this for her daughter or to call and help her because she's having problems and I want to tell my friend to get a life and stay out of her daughter's life."
"I think I'm having a lymphoma relapse."
"Running errands stresses me."
"I lost my inheritance."
"I measure my worth by the number of likes I get or don't get on Instagram."
"I don't have enough rupees for my child's education and food."
"I stopped exercising."
"I actually feel body pain watching my sister continue to drink."
"I feel anxious if I don't have my phone."
"I want to write a memoir and I'm paralyzed to begin."
"I obsess over things that usually don't happen."
"I will not have a bowel movement at home when my husband is there because I don't want him to smell it."
"I tend not to open up about personal problems to people I completely trust."
"I feel alone in my mind and heart."
"I'm intolerant of quirks in people, class structure, and difference."
"I have problems with how others view me."
"I get anxious when I have nothing to do."
"I'm extremely close to becoming a misanthrope."
"My parent's divorce affects how I feel about myself."
"My face embarrasses me."
"I feel nervous and anxious and afraid of failing."
"I let my grades define my self-worth."
"I want to quit every job I get."
"I am giving all my extracurricular time to a sport I don't like but I do it because my dad did it and won a lot of acclaims and he wants me to do it."
"My parents put stress on me about school."
"I have borderline personality disorder. I'm having a hard time trying to live my life and feel like a whole and fulfilled person. I am coping with crippling amounts of mental illness and am not in a position to be receiving treatment right now."
"My parents have started to fight a lot."
"I'm disorganized and unable to throw things away."
"I transferred schools this year and I miss my friends."
"I feel my high energy repels my friends."
"I want to forgive my mother."
"My biological father left me when I was a toddler and I never saw him again."
"I hate my body. I've been in bad shape my whole life."
"I feel a nodule in my thyroid area. I googled it and now I'm freaking out."
"I feel that I will be unable to finish my novel or that I am not a capable enough writer, or not outstanding enough to succeed as an author. I worry that the writing which I have devoted so much time to will not be read and that I will disappoint myself." (high school student)
"My stress is dealing with all the tests in school."
"I'm struggling to accept that my family supports me going to art school because I think they really want me to be someone else."
"I'm frustrated watching my friend change her behavior to fit in with a different crowd."
"I get upset when my parents fight."
"The boy I like is moving out of state."
"My performance in school is dropping. I feel stressed and incapable and wary because I don't know how to fix it."
"I feel guilty whenever I do anything non-school related."
"I hold back from sharing my feelings."
"I have severe lumbar spinal stenosis and feel useless."
"I am unable to receive treatment for my mental illness because I am a minor and can't be treated without parental consent until I am 18. My parents refuse to acknowledge or assist me with my problems."
Examples of how some people answered all of the questions.