life is not in pieces; life is the pieces

Every holiday my mama would buy our family a really hard puzzle {ya know, the kind with 5000 pieces that are slightly different shades of the same color}.

It was wildly frustrating to sit at the table for hours knowing all the pieces were there but having no idea how they fit together.

Life is a lot like a puzzle.

When life feels like a big confusing pile o’ pieces, here is some puzzle wisdom to help you sort it out.

start with the edges

What defines you? What are your boundaries?

When you know who you are, what you want, when to say yes and when to say no, it’s a whole lot easier to see the vision of the life you love.

maintain perspective

The bigger your puzzle, the longer it takes to discover how all the pieces fit together. Seeking, sorting, and searching is part of the process.

Go at the pace that is right for you and the size of your life.

you have what you need

Even when it feels like something is missing, trust you have all the pieces you need. Some pieces will be hiding in plain sight. Some pieces will be tucked under other pieces. Sometimes you’ll look at a piece and think it’s not the right piece and a few days later you’ll pick it up again and be delightfully surprised you had the right piece all along.

Through the confusion and the clarity, trust you have what you need.

find the common themes

Find similar pieces and be curious about how they fit together – health pieces, work pieces, wealth pieces, love pieces. Once you’ve fit together one section, then move onto the next one and the next one and the next one.


When you’re looking for a very specific piece, avoid getting distracted by all the other pieces. Focus on the one you want.

We find what we look for.

little pieces are progress

At times it will it feel like the pieces are a chaotic mess. Overwhelmed and hopeless you might be tempted to pack it in. Don’t give up. Instead, focus on the one piece you can find, even if it feels insignificant compared to the massive task of completing the entire puzzle.

Let the little pieces be progress.

it’s better together

There were times during the holiday puzzle project when I would sit by myself and try to figure out how everything fit together. It was slow. And, sometimes, lonely. When we worked on it together, the pieces fell into place with smooth satisfaction.

Working together {usually} makes everything easier.

wrong leads to right

You might think a piece is the perfect piece and expect it to slide into place easily. If it doesn’t, put it back, and try again. Sometimes we need to try out the wrong thing before we find the right thing.

enjoy the journey

When you find the right piece, let yourself marinate in the feeling of fulfillment before moving onto the next piece. Enjoy the journey of searching for, and finding, pieces rather than racing to the outcome completing the puzzle.

take a break

Spending all your days searching for the pieces can suck the joy and fun right out of life.

Sip some tea, make some art, climb a mountain, hop on a plane, sit with a friend, take a nap, throw a party, light a candle, soak in a bath.

By taking a break, you’ll have more energy and clarity when you return.

appreciate the past

You’ve come a long way.
You’ve done a lot of work.
You’ve found a lot of pieces.

It’s important admire and appreciate how far you’ve come.


When you are feeling overwhelmed by how many pieces there are in the puzzle of your life, or feeling frustrated that you can’t see the whole picture yet, or trying to fill the empty spaces remember –

your life isn’t in pieces; your life is the pieces

Aliveness comes from living them all.