Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Puzzle

I spent 3 days this week in beautiful Lake Cumberland State Park with my colleagues at a work retreat.  This was definitely the best retreat we've had in the almost 11 years that I have worked there.  One of the activities was for each person to decorate a puzzle piece to reflect his or her uniqueness as part of the School of Professional Counseling.  I then put the pieces together to make the puzzle you see above.  Can I just say how much I love this?  I love, love, love it.

I learned of this activity at an Association for Play Therapy conference workshop a few years ago with Dr. Joyce Mills.  The puzzle pieces we used were much smaller and the attendees got so into it that their pieces were so covered, covered, covered with collage materials that they couldn't be connected.  Instead Joyce arranged them in a heart.

Both puzzles could be metaphors for one's relationships with colleagues or others in one's life.  Stay within your boundaries and roles.  Don't monopolize or take over.  No one is better than another.  Everyone has something to contribute.  All the pieces are necessary and must work together to create a beautiful tapestry.  And it helps to have someone (such as this guy) to put the pieces together.

I also notice how very different each and every piece is. 
We're not perfect, but therein lies the beauty.

And, in case you were wondering, here is my puzzle piece.  It is so very ME.  That little thing at the top is suppposed to be an origami crane, by the way.

Here's hoping you're part of something beautiful.


  1. So… which final finished puzzle did you identify with more; the one that stayed within the boundaries and worked together, or the puzzle that overflowed, yet still became a heart. I can’t wait to try this with my eleven year old girl to see how her pieces fit, or don’t. Thank you for this special post.

  2. Love this! What a powerful experience.

  3. Good questions Michael. I just can't completely compare the 2 puzzles since they were such different experiences for me. The most recent one is more personal because I know the people in the puzzle and I led this activity. For the heart one, I felt more involved as a participant and I like that the fact that finished product became a heart.

  4. Thank you for your creativeness!!!
    This is a sheer inspiration!


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