Puzzles, Problem-Solving and Feng Shui: Lessons Learned

colorful puzzle pieces

Recently I was attracted to a complex, 1,000-piece puzzle. The scene is the four seasons of Central Park in NYC. Many of the colors blend together and pieces appear to fit in multiple places. When I opened the box, the project felt overwhelming. I thought “Where do I begin?”

I sat back and decided I needed a strategy. Once in place, the process got easier and the puzzle began to come together. While assembling it, I found myself reflecting on pattern recognition and its connection to feng shui. The frame sets the boundary for the entire

picture. Within the frame, it’s easier to connect the pieces with a lot of open space. In other words, a blank canvas. Too many disjointed pieces within the frame are confusing.

I equate this to how many people feel about getting their homes in order. The process is overwhelming and therefore it doesn’t get done. Too much clutter in spaces is distracting and slows you down. When you clear spaces of things you’re not using or you no longer want, you have room to create and expand.

Six take-aways from my puzzle initiative are:

  1. Sort the colors. In your home and workspace, put all “like” things together. When items are scattered about it’s harder to access and to use them. When you bring similar items together, they are easier to sort and easier to use. You can also let go of multiples and save money by not buying extras because you can’t find something.
  2. Assemble the frame. The frame is the setting. It creates boundaries and everything else is incorporated within it. Think of your land as one frame and your house as another.
  3. Create open space within the frame.  A blank canvas provides an opportunity to start fresh. Rather than working around everything in a space, sometimes it’s easier to clear everything out and only put back what you want. This is my approach to cleaning closets. Take everything out, clean the space and only put back the items you really want or need. Everything else needs another home or location. You can give away, donate or sell the extras.
  4. Look for patterns among the pieces.
    Stepping back and studying the shapes of puzzle pieces is a lesson in pattern recognition. This is also a key aspect of feng shui … studying the patterns in spaces. Some patterns could include: the same type of area being blocked repeatedly (such as your Wealth gua), too much clutter, an imbalance of yin and yang energy, disjointed spaces (like disjointed puzzle pieces), colors not blending together or contrasting well, and much more.
  5. Take a break when you’re tired or the picture is fuzzy. When you work at something too long you reach a point of diminishing returns. If things aren’t coming together, it’s more effective to walk away and return later. When you return refreshed, it’s easier to recognize the patterns and to take action. You can get more done in less time this way.
  6. Enjoy the satisfaction of success. Congratulate yourself and celebrate your progress! I feel much satisfaction when something I thought was difficult turns out to be easy. Clearing clutter and reorganizing your space can happen this way. A little bit at a time. Recognize your small successes along with way and celebrate your wins. You’ll feel better and when you feel good, positive energy flows.

You home is like a puzzle. If you’d like help analyzing the patterns and identifying a strategy to move forward, contact me: peg@fengshuiconnections.com. I’d be happy to help.