Today is a KISS (Keep it Super Simple) Day with a simple Fun Practice – Jigsaw Puzzles! Now, I realize this is a fun passtime for me, and a torture method for some of my friends. This fun month has lots of activities, but not all will be for you! Check out this month’s Introduction for more on mindfulness, flow, and Tea Ceremony – my recommended substitute practice for any suggested daily Fun Practice this month you do not want to try. We will have 31 different practices and activities to at minimum beat boredom for Anti-Boredom Month, and hopefully help you experience a flow state.
Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try today’s Anti-Boredom / mindfulness/flow Activity: Puzzles! Today is a KISS simple day, but you can turn a fun and simple childhood pastime such as puzzles into a mindful practice and your own Zen activity. You can make this as simple or as complex as you want, and taking a step back and observing your approach can be a way to learn more about yourself. I personally LOVE working on challenging puzzles as a meditative activity to help me process complex issues ‘in the background’ as I work, and I equally enjoy quickly completing simple colorful puzzles to get a rush of accomplishment.
Puzzles can be a simple fun activity, or a months-long project depending on what puzzle you select! There are three main considerations: Pieces, Picture, and Place.
The main consideration for puzzle pieces is the number of pieces. I am a puzzle fiend, and will generally not even bother with a puzzle less than 1000 pieces. I usually get 1500-3000 piece puzzles.. I finish a 1000 piece puzzle in one day, and some challenging 2000+ piece puzzles have taken me months to complete. This ties in closely with your place selection.
In addition to number of pieces, you should consider the size of the pieces. There are many challenging styles of puzzles with oddly shaped pieces, rather than the classic jigsaw shape. I also enjoy 3D puzzles, which you put together in sections then build into a figurine.
The picture can add as much of a challenge as the number of pieces! I recommend beginners pick a scene with a lot of color variation, so you can group and build pieces in sections. Some of the most challenging puzzles I have completed are monochromatic designs, where nearly all pieces look the same. I also enjoy finding really cool pictures, and gluing the completed puzzle to use as framed wall decorations.
The main consideration here is a clean, flat surface! If you are working on an average difficulty puzzle under 1000 pieces with a standard picture, you may be fine with a desk or kitchen table. However, some puzzles can take days or weeks to complete. I have used the felt rollers pads for harder puzzles that need to be stored and moved, but the rolling will cause your puzzle to fall apart. I prefer a large flat piece of plywood to build my puzzles on, which can be moved around as needed.
Try to calmly take notice when your thoughts drift back to the past or forward to the future. Try to bring yourself back to and fully immerse yourself in the present moment by focusing on the sight, sounds, smells, taste, or feel of your surroundings.
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Please comment and share your experience with today’s practice. Were you able to find flow or contentment in the now? Always remember, be kind!