Life Lessons From A Jigsaw Puzzle
I just finished a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle. Well, 998 pieces to be exact. I’m pretty sure my cat ate two of them.
It’s a beautiful, spring-like scene of songbirds and flowers in a scenic country setting, for those who are curious.
Making jigsaw puzzles is something I used to do as a kid. My sister and I would do them together. I hadn’t done one in decades. Until Covid hit. I’m going to count it as one of the benefits of Covid that I got to remember how much I love making them, There’s something magical about that moment when I pick up a piece and absolutely know where it fits, and then get the satisfaction of the easy fit. Ahh….
Here’s what I noticed. For me, there are two ways of making a puzzle:
1. The hard, boring way. I find a spot I want to fill in with the correct piece, and then I systematically try every piece that I’ve determined might fit in that spot, based in color and shape. This = no fun. Way too much effort. And even when I find a piece this way, it’s not as satisfying. This could also be called the MASCULINE way- direct, goal-oriented, focused, sharp. The masculine way is by no means always a bad choice; simply in this case, for me.
2. MY way. I group pieces into categories by color, just like before, but then I lightly look at them, calmly, enjoying the colors, until I see a piece that tells me exactly where it fits. I use my intuition. And I get to experience that magic I described earlier. This could also be called the FEMININE way. Flowing, free, intuitive, emotional. Again, this is not to say the feminine way is always a good choice; simply in this case, for me.
We all have both masculine and feminine energy. This is a good example of how, in any given situation one or the other energy is more ideal. In both cases, the “job” would have gotten done. However, I got it done much more enjoyably, which was the whole point in this case, by using option #2.
I tend to flow with feminine energy quite easily. This is not necessarily because I’m a woman. It is simply my natural tendency. It is good to employ when I am doing something creative, or playing, or relaxing. However, there are certainly times when I can get too much in the flow and then certain things would not get done. Important things. If I am, for example, leading a workshop, I’m going to need to use mostly my masculine energy for that. I will need to hold the space for the workshop, provide the structure, the instruction, keep the time. These are all skills much better accomplished using masculine energy.
Have you ever wondered about this yourself? Which energy is the one you use most often? Are there times when using the opposite energy could be helpful or more enjoyable in your life? What experiments might you be willing to try in your life to play with these energies?