IMG_20150222_092434I forgot about how much fun putting a puzzle together can be. By together, I mean that the kids and I have been enjoying doing this activity together.

It takes time. It takes collaboration and skill. It requires team effort. It gets us off all devices and videos. I’m pretty sure it’s doing good things for our brains. Connecting sections feels like an achievement worthy of very loud and vivacious cheering. We tend to sing. Luckily, I’ve got the kids hooked on a few classic rock songs, so it’s all good. Puzzling things out even turns metaphoric.

Like when we got stuck on a striated green and black area. All the pieces looked identical, yet none seemed to fit.

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I kept staring at the same couple of shady green pieces, trying to match them to the picture on the box cover, yet I was stumped. I stared at them for so long that they looked like they didn’t fit this puzzle at all—perhaps a manufacturing mistake? So, I decided that maybe it was time to take a breather. Three hundred pieces is no small feat, after all.

I stood up, walked around, and looked at the puzzle from a different angle. Lo and behold, the solution materialized instantly. I couldn’t believe how effortlessly the mysterious pieces resolved themselves. A mere change in viewpoint made them look completely different.

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I had to take pause for a moment. How often have I become so enmeshed in my problems that I couldn’t see them clearly? How vital it is to get up once in a while, walk around that head noise, gaze at them from a different angle, and distance myself from the small vision.

Many people who teach living a more enlightened life talk about being the witness to our own lives—being in this world, but not “of” it.

That’s what happens when I step away from the problem, instead of trying to figure it out.

It amazed me that the simple act of merely getting up elicited a complete change in perspective—so much so that instead of seeing one small puzzle piece, the vision unfolded into a panoramic picture. Suddenly it looked like nothing I had imagined. It made sense. Then the pieces fell into place with ease—similar to winning a game of solitaire online when the cards zip to their respective piles with the speed of light.

It also made me think about what it would mean to pull so far back as to have a universal landscape. Perhaps a problem would no longer look like a problem but rather a blessing, meant for the good of evolving further. Years after going through hardships, when the pain subsides, that is the bottom line that I reach. Every. Single. Time.

I can tell you this for sure.

Next time my family and I are short on ideas for what to do, we’re heading straight to puzzle it out. It’s sure to stir the possibilities—and at the very least, it’s a whole lot of fun.

When was the last time you did a puzzle? What did you discover?

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