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Connecting the Pieces

This one time my husband bought a puzzle from the National Parks and all the pieces were oddly shaped and it was super challenging puzzle. Our family worked weeks on this puzzle with small pieces and sections being built and carefully placed somewhere on the table to be later connected to something else. It was a big deal as we started to see the frame take shape and then some of the sections representing each national park. Weeks started to pass with fewer and fewer dedicated sessions to working on this puzzle though. We started to lose interest because it was time consuming and hard. A great challenge in deed but one that we eventually put back in the box to try again at another time.

We started out so excited to build this puzzle. Our family had been to a few of these places and we talked about the times were were there while working on this puzzle. There were other places we talked about how cool it would be to visit one of the parks and when we should go. It is a puzzle that generated a lot of conversation and time together as a family in a time when we had some free evenings and were looking for something different to do. Yet we didn’t complete it. Maybe we will some day when we’re hunting for something different besides watching movies or playing a board game. Maybe we won’t and the puzzle will remain in the box unconnected.

The funny thing I thought about this particular puzzle while working on it was how much it represented in my life. Not just the fact it was challenging or seemed impossible at times though life sometimes does have things that feel that way. It was the idea that adventure, new places, growth and oddly shaped pieces really do make up the fabric of our lives. There are no perfect pieces and yet some go together easily while others you spend a lot of time hunting. You have to try several things before finding the right one and then you have to figure out where to put this section you just built. Sometimes you build something that can’t be used just yet so it waits off to the side for the perfect opportunity. Yeah that truly does sound like life doesn’t it?

As I reflect back on these last couple years writing this blog about natural living I am reminded of this puzzle. I’m reflective of the time I spent looking at my own life for what I learned that was worthy of sharing with you. Some of it was great advice and will definitely save you time and money while giving you incredible benefits living naturally. Other content was me still exploring how it fits in and where to make life better for my own family. That’s the challenge and beauty of though, it truly becomes a continual journey of learning, trying different things and seeing your own landscape transform into something you’re proud. In this case it also offers the benefits of supporting your health, home, family and budget which in my mind are just icing on the cake.

The truth is living naturally is one of the best ways to connect with yourself on what is really important to you. It is shedding the expectations we often don’t even realize we have on us for what is the right way to live, how we should raise our children, what’s the best diet and workout program, what we should spend our money on. These expectations come through feeling like we should want something in our life that we see others super excited about or achieving and thinking we should want that too. We should want a big house in a pretty neighborhood, in a good school district and new cars in the driveway. We should get married before age 35 and have kids and a minivan. We should go to the best college we can get into because that’s how you get good jobs to pay for this lifestyle we are supposed to want. If that is what you really, truly want in your life then way to go! That’s impressive and you deserve every bit of it. However, most of us realize sooner or later that there really is more to life.

I think too often we get caught up in the swirl of o