At Trader Joe’s there’s a greeting card, which upon the front stands a tall man with his arms outstretched to the sky. Above his head are tons of puzzle pieces. The message reads, “Arrange whatever pieces come your way.”
Actually, it’s what you’re doing daily anyway, whether conscious of it or not. If I may be so bold as to make a suggestion: Wake up and pay attention to the pieces and give careful thought as to how you would like to arrange them. When you do, your life will become immeasurably sweeter.
If you’ve ever been puzzled by life, it’s only because you haven’t realized that you have the ability to sort through the pieces and choose your life’s design. Wow, who knew? You’re not pre-packaged! You are, in fact, a design unfolding from moment to moment through your thoughts and feelings.
Here’s a simple exercise to help you choose with care the pieces that support and reflect your desires, wishes and hopes. Every day, observe carefully which pieces you focus on the most. Do you tend to put your attention on the ones that scare you the most? Perhaps a piece labeled “bills” or another piece labeled “taxes” or “career decisions”?
Then the first step is to realize that the word on each piece is simply just a word. It’s a convenient and generic word to assist us in communicating with one another. Your reaction to the word is based on your personal experiences and feelings. In fact, your feelings can act like crazy glue that keeps you stuck to past negative experiences.
If you’re not awake, there is danger of repeating the experience when old feelings are triggered. You can free yourself from the pattern at a conscious level by replacing negative thoughts attached to the word with positive thoughts — every time you see or hear the word.
Or, if one of the pieces has the name of an old flame who still irks you or a friend or boss who drives you nuts, ignore the piece. Yes, ignore the piece. The more energy you place under that piece the more it will try to glue itself to your life’s design. Ugh, what are you trying to create anyway? Weed out the trouble-makers by turning your attention to the pieces you value, love and enjoy.
There is a saying that goes, “Do not conform to life but let life conform to you.” Much of this exercise supports that.
However, life hands us some surprises along the way. Or perhaps a better word would be challenges. Challenges, which are important for us to handle, learn and grow from. Often those pieces say, “Do not ignore me, this is for your own good and will add depth, meaning and value to your life’s design. Your friend, the universe.”
The beautiful part is that when you have the courage to even look at the pieces and the willingness to practice the above suggestions, you become empowered. And then when life’s challenges arrive from out of nowhere, you can meet them with amazing fortitude and grace.
Is this exercise easy? No, of course not, or more people would be complaining less about life and living life more. But believe me, it works. I did not invent it. It’s been around as long as we’ve been spinning through space. It has been taught for eons.
But someone was clever enough to remind us of it on a simple greeting card from Trader Joe’s.