The Puzzle piece CONNECTING TO MYSELF
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Explore the Puzzle framework
Witness how others have used the Puzzle and inspire yourself
Pick one Puzzle piece
Apply the tip(s)
Follow up on results
Acknowledge positive impact
The puzzle tips
INTRODUCTION TO THE PUZZLE PRACTICE BOOK
The practice book is available to keep track of my thoughts, and support me step by step through my transformation to live well.
I will find here all the Puzzle tips, together with some help on how to apply these tips, and measure progress.
I can either print it and write on it, or use a side booklet of my own to take notes.
3 key advises to live well are:
Start small, and build up from there.
Experiment in place and/or with people I am comfortable with, then expand.
The more I practise, the more comfortable I am, and the easier it gets!
Have fun anchoring these new habits!
SETTING THE SCENE TO LIVE WELL
How do you feel starting this practice book? On a scale 0 to 100.
How do you want to feel after applying the Puzzle in your life? On a scale 0 to 100.
Close my eyes and imagine being there.
Capture here with my own key words what it feels like - with some thoughts, feelings and sensations how it will be:
When do I want to be there?
And when do I want to start?!
I have chosen to focus on the tips of the Puzzle piece:
CONNECTING TO MYSELF
Capture why I have chosen to transform the role "my Filter" plays
On a scale from 1 to 10, capture my perception how dysfunctional the Puzzle piece "my Filter" is today
On a scale from 1 to 10, write down what success will look like after I have successfully practiced the tip for 7 days in-a-row
Last, capture what I have achieved after these 7 days
SETTING UP EXPECTATIONS
RELAXING MY MIND
What this tip is about:
How to practice this tip?
Everyone is different, so I need to choose what makes me feel well.
And I need to have the discipline to do it every day, over and over. Repetition brings comfort, and repeating something I like doing expends my comfort zone even more.
Also, as my life evolves, something that suits me today may not suit me tomorrow. It is therefore OK too to evolve the activities I do every day to relax.
There is a long list to help relax minds - and none of them are specific to the Puzzle. To quote the most famous: avoid excessive screen time and in particular before sleep, eat balanced, do some physical activity, meditate, or be kind to myself.
The following 3 tips are less known but equally helpful, as they are simple and can be done anywhere:
1. Take a few minutes each day, and do nothing. Set the alarm not to worry about the time I am granting to myself. Just breathe and pause for a bit!
2. List 5 little things I like to do, and find them every day. They shall be accessible: an achievement I am easily able to make everyday.
For instance : read every day, laugh every day, learn something new every day (which can be as simple as reading an article in the newspapers), etc.
3. List 30 personal items I am or would like to be (ex. I am free, I am successful, I am positive, etc.). Find 1 minute every day: read this list out loud, plus associate a gesture to each item. This process reprograms my brain, to believe in everything on that list.
1. Let’s start with a quick assessment of where I stand:
I sleep well at night and wake up rested? Yes No
All together, I have at least 30mn per day where I can relax? Yes No
In the evening, I easily put the mobile away and am offline? Yes No
When I am home, I don’t think about work? Yes No
I have a good work/life balance? Yes No
If I have 5 yes: this Puzzle piece is in place, I am already well managing my peace of mind!
If I have 3 or 4 yes: I have started prioritising my peace of mind, and want to do even more.
If I have up to 2 yes: recovering my peace of mind is a priority I want to make room for.
2. Pick an artistic activity. And I don’t need to be an artist to do it!
It can be as simple as listening to music, singing a song or colouring a mandala. Something I can easily do.
Reason to do so is that while I am focused on an artistic activity, everything else disappears around me. Which helps coming down.
Decide how much time per day I can allocate to it, starting small: ………………
During my 7 days in-a-row trial, add 3 minutes more per day, starting on Day 2
3. Each day during my 7 days in-a-row experiment, capture the following:
How do I feel before starting this activity?
How do I feel when I am in the middle of this activity?
How do I feel after I have completed this activity?
4. Another option is to identify 5 little things that I would love to have every day.
Things that I can very easily find, and that make me feel good. Can be watching a funny video on YouTube every day. Can be listening to a good song. Can be to take a 2 minutes walk, where I think and do nothing else but walk! Etc.
And before I go to bed, I check that I did get my 5 little things!
my little thing #1 is …..
my little thing #2 is …..
my little thing #3 is …..
my little thing #4 is …..
my little thing #5 is …..
Often, I will notice that over time I will start to crave for my 5 little things, as the habit is set and they make me happy! So I will naturally look for them, and they will catch my attention when they happen (which will reinforce the virtuous circle of my happiness).
5. Last, I can work on reprogramming my brain.
Make a list of 30 items I already have and like, or want to reinforce, or want to become. Each of the 30 items start with “I am…”
For instance, I am taking good care of myself, I am setting up limits, I am slowing down, etc.
Every day, at the same time of the day, I should go through my 30 items list. Say each of them loud, and associate a gesture to each expression. If I can, even say them in front of the mirror.
Note that I can’t just say them in my head: it won’t work to make my brain believe in this list. I have to hear myself, and put my energy into what I am saying - like I am convinced about it.
On a scale from 0 to 10, capture how much I believed in what I said - and observe the power I have on my own brain:
As I observe a positive trend, then keep doing it for another 59 days in-a-row (as 66 days is the duration scientists have identified as the ideal time to reprogram a brain).
Table of content
Relaxing my mind
Relaxing my body
Reflecting back on this experience:
What worked well?
What will you change with the next Puzzle piece?
Be kind to yourself!
Habits come and go: what matters is to be directionally correct.
It is OK to come back to a Puzzle piece you have already tackled, or to take more time to anchor a habit.
Do as it suits you best.
Come back to the Puzzle as you see fit
Seeking for inspiration?
Go through Thoughts and People’s stories to find out how others have leverage the Puzzle to solve their challenge
RELAXING MY BODY
What this tip is about:
How to practice this tip?
The objective is to complement the information feeding my Filter, and counterbalance the inputs from my Ego.
The more physically relaxed I am, the more my Filter will have another perspective on the threats around me. The following exercises can help my body achieve so:
At the end of the day, once in bed, take a few minutes to check how I am.
If I am tense, I can take deep breaths and relax my body as the air comes in and out.
If 2 parts of my body are tense (and it has to be 2 for the trick to work!), then I can close my eyes and concentrate on these 2 pain points to make them go away. I can shift from one to the other, or stay on one, then shift. What my attention does at first is that it amplifies the physical tension, until it magically makes it go away. It is therefore stressful, before it is a relief. Before I start, I should thus tell my Ego that nothing bad will happen (so it does not panic as the pain increases before it goes away!). Useful too to remember that this process never lasts more than 2 minutes. No thinking is involved, just to focus on the 2 parts of my body that are tense.
Before falling asleep, I can also tell myself how I would like to sleep. For instance, ‘I want to sleep deeply and wake up rested’.
Last, before I get up in the morning, I can take 1 or 2 minutes and ask myself how I would like to live the day, and immerge myself in this sensation. So I have at the back of my mind this feeling throughout the day.
1. Let’s start with a quick assessment of where I stand:
At times, I feel a ball of tension in my stomach? Yes No
My hands can’t rest, I have to hold to something? Yes No
I can feel tension in my back due to stress at work? Yes No
I have no to very little time for sports? Yes No
I have no to very little time to take care of my body? Yes No
If I have 5 no: this Puzzle piece is in place, I am already well managing my body!
If I have 3 or 4 no: I am already making some space for my body, and want to do even more.
If I have up to 2 no: reconnecting with my body is a priority I want to make room for.
2. Each time I do something for my body, and with an activity that involves physical contact - ex. go to the hairdresser, put cream on, get a massage, shave… - do take 2 seconds and acknowledge I am taking care of my body. Make the time to be grateful for taking good care of my body.
And as I do so for 7 days in-a-row, is my body craving for more?
Is my body asking for more attention?
on a scale from 0 to 10, how much do I really want to take care of my body on Day 1?
And has the intensity for taking good care of my body increased by Day 7?
While I give a lot of attention to my Ego/brain, my body also matters. It is my physical motor, and also the part of me that can be sick. Paying attention to it, maintaining it - helps.
3. How many minutes do I exercise each day, between Monday and Friday? ............................................ minutes
Is this enough to let go of the pressure and stress of the day? Yes No
If not, then how much time can I commit to do sports, Monday to Friday ? Keep in mind it has to be small enough to be possible every day.
And what exercise do I want to practise during that time?
Could be running as fast as I can for 2 minutes if I have no time and want something intense. Or could be walking or dancing, if I want something gentle.
There is no rule - just find what is good for me and meets these 2 criterias: feasible every day, and where your body moves.
And when do I want to start?
4. When I feel at the same time 2 tension points in my body (can’t be one, and can’t be more than 2!), I can release these 2 tensions as follows:
Find a quiet place, make myself comfortable and close my eyes.
Focus my attention on the 2 physical pain points. I can concentrate on one then go to the next, or jump back and forth - as I see fit
On a scale 0 to 100: how big is the tension coming from these 2 points?
There is no rule but to stay focused on these pain points until they are gone. It will feel like the tension grows before it goes - and my Ego will most likely panic as this happens, worrying that I am just making things worse! Ignore the fear, as it is in my head only. I cannot hurt my body solely focusing my thoughts on it.
Stay focused, bring my Ego along, remember to breathe and stay on it - knowing that the whole process never takes more than 2 minutes to complete.
And if my Ego is overwhelming, then pause, breathe, partner with it - and then start again.
Now that I have completed the exercise, on a scale 0 to 100: how big is the tension coming from these 2 points?
5. When I go to bed or before getting up, run a physical check on myself.
How do I feel?
Is there something I can do to physically feel better?
When can I give it to myself?
Write down here these answers, and see how they evolve throughout my 7 days in-a-row experiment.
6. Before I sleep, decide how I want to sleep.
Deeply? Wake up rested? Wake up relaxed? …. in my own words, decide what the night should look like. And observe how my sleep evolves throughout the 7 days in-a-row.
On a scale from 0 to 100, how is the quality of my sleep on Day 1?
on Day 3?
and on Day 7?
7. To stop my brain from keeping me awake, I can count up and down as I decide to fall asleep.
Keep going with my normal breathing, and count (ex. 1, 2, 3) as I bring air in, then count again (ex. 1, 2, 3) when I breathe out.
As it is impossible to both count and think, it will stop my thoughts and leave room for my body to relax and fall asleep faster.
To assess whether this tip is effective for me:
How long does it usually take me to fall asleep?
When I count, how long did it take me to fall asleep on Day 1? And on Day 7?
Note that I may go back and forth a few times between thinking and counting - as thoughts tend to take over when I stop paying attention! And that is OK: when I notice I am back in my head, all it takes is to restart counting.
YOU ARE MASTERING THE TIPS RELATING TO THE PUZZLE PIECE "CONNECTING TO MYSELF"!