I was thinking back on when I went recently to a puzzle room with two of my children. We were led into a room where two of us got handcuffed to one wall and the other handcuffed on the opposite side of the room. We were told, "You have one hour to escape the room." That was it. For a few moments, we just looked at each other, realizing there was nothing apparently within our reach. My first initial thought was, "We are still going to be here in an hour, cuffed!"
A series of events within the room unfolded realizations and surprises, not to mention a few red herrings and complete mind-bending tricks. We did get out of the cuffs and also did not escape the room.
The experience in the puzzle room created such a different kind of bond between us as we all had such different strengths. The key was to remember each one of us has value and a right to be heard. It can turn into an absolute comedy farce or epic disaster if you can't hear each other's worth. At times I was so caught up in figuring it out that I didn't take in the pure magic of seeing them problem solve, work together and tease each other. There is an eight year age gap between them and seeing them listen and collaborate was one of the most significant clues for me on that day. The answer to that particular clue was the reminder to see beyond the immediate problem as there is growth in everything.
I considered how people can feel trapped in their life and feel that there is no possible way out. This leads to looking for escape rather than solving the situation. There have been times in my life where I have also felt this way only to realize that it was my own mind that had created the so-called handcuffs. We are our own greatest magician, and often the biggest illusion is the one we tell ourselves.
I considered how I often wanted the answer or the why to situations in my life. Sometimes when I am paying enough attention to my clues in life; I see the why easily and other times the clues seem to elude me. Life can also feel like a Rubik's cube where you move one piece, and then it shifts another and another only to realize you can't get back to the first piece at all!
I thought on my loved ones who have passed and wondered if when you leave this body if you get to have a good old chat with spirit and say" So what was my lesson in this lifetime?" and even more curious if most people went "Nooo.. so close!" A bit like we did in the puzzle room.
There was a moment in the puzzle room where we had to use an old radio. I won't give too much away in case you get to this room yourself. We had to try and tune it into certain frequencies. For me, this was a reflection on life and how in-tune you are to your clues or connection to life or energy or spirit. Tune it out or tune it out. Be connected or not. To me, it feels a little like a scene in Star Wars trying to use the force both within the puzzle room and in life. When you try and force the answers or get into your ego, it won't flow. There is the classic scene where Luke tries to levitate his jet out of the bog and Yoda, as patient as ever, speaks of feeling and not forcing the energy. Being. Who knew such an old classic had such relative and spiritual meaning!
The ultimate unlocking of the final door is when we pass on from this life. We then possibly have our own "Ah-ha!" or "Oh and ahh" moment. It’s like the big reveal of "So this is what the other side of the door is!" The final door is just a new chapter or the next season in your own soul series.
Forcing and trying to get pieces to fit into your life blocks many wonderful things that are right in front of you. Flow, not force, will always allow realizations and the beauty of life to reveal itself to you. I don't know about you, but I always feel that a bit of Yoda in your day is a great thing!
Andrea Lines-Botell is a mental health advocate and life coach with a passion for dynamically supporting change.
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