Before writing your “To Do List”, consider a “To Be List”

It never ceases to amaze me the variety of high quality self-help offerings available on the internet in increasing number.  It seems like I think of an idea, and one google search later I discover 5 other people have already had this idea and are capitalizing on it… or shall I say, offering their magnificence to the world.  I’m so touched by the people who have found a way to make a living by inspiring folks for free online and then producing a book from the results that I’m sure retails at $15 or less.  This is how we change the world, one blog at a time, while keeping our own necks swimmingly above water. is a great example of this.  During a recent coaching session, my client mentioned something her professor said to her.  He said something to the effect of, “My life became a lot easier once I got clear on my values and created a list of how I wanted to BE in the world.”  We both contemplated the potential power of a “To Be List”… after the call, I searched the web and found Lauren & James and their website, blog and book Your To Be List.  One of the things I like most about this website is the thought and effort put into creating motivational pieces with video, found in the About YTBL section of the website.  Just from watching the two videos I get an good idea of what they are suggesting and can move forward inspired and ready to make a significant shift in my life.

So far my To Be List has take two forms… a 12 Commandments type theme of non-negotiables and ideals I still haven’t achieved but know I will in time… and then a looser, cleaner form focused on feelings and needs… connecting with the present moment, recognizing what feelings and needs are alive and what desires I have from there… and then asking the question, “who do I need to BE right now to achieve my desired outcome?” similar to what is described on YTBL website.

I’m finding with my 12-Commandments-style list that there is a tricky balance between wanting to rise to the occasion and being discouraged, because I have so far to go until I live up to my high standards.  They sometimes feel like ‘shoulds’ instead of personal choices.  Maybe I should refer to them as the 12 suggestions, and that would lessen my resistance?  I’m not sure… but it does feel good to write down a list of who I would BE if I were perfect and could change direction on a dime.

Do you have a To Be List?  Share it here to inspire others! 🙂

February 18, 2011 at 7:04 pm 3 comments

BLISSfix loves

Check out the new wordle I just made at  This is a wordle of my intention for how I want to live my life.  You can copy and paste or write any text and have create you a beautiful synopsis of the essence of what was written, removing all the common words and making the remaing words larger or smaller based on the frequency of their use.  You can also enter a website or blog and it will generate a wordle of that.  I entered and I was surprised to see how many times I used the word “brown.”  Didn’t know I was such a big fan of brown. 🙂 offers about 20 fonts to choose from, and a variety of options for direction of words, layout, upper or lowercase, color and variation levels.  So go ahead, Wordle something for fun and post a link to your results in the comments!


February 12, 2011 at 7:42 pm Leave a comment

BLISSfix recommends Paperless Post (

Yesterday I talked about writing more thank you notes and now I’d like to tell you about a website that can help you do just that.  I have been enjoying my free trial with for several months now and I love it for 4 main reasons.

1) It’s Easy –  For whatever reason I find it so much easier to send notes to people via the web instead of handwriting it.  However, there is something that’s missing in an email or e-card.  This website is the perfect balance as it looks handwritten and yet I can type, spell check and share it with multiple viewers.  It’s also easy for the recipient.  I’ve sent it to people who are technically challenged and they have easily opened their thank-yous from me and have very much appreciated the card.

2) It’s Beautiful – As someone who has worked in the stationery industry, the visual, tactile elements are beautiful and the designs are very classy.  Think Cranes stationery only electronic.

3) It Saves $$$ – The” stamps” and “coins” are much more reasonably priced than actual stamps and high-end cards.

4) It Saves the Planet! – by sending notes electronically, you’re saving stamps, paper, printing and ink which saves trees and other natural resources.  Sure, it’s just one note… but I’ve already sent 15 notes in a few months and over the course of a year that might become 60 notes a year, and imagine I use this for 20 years, then we’re looking at 1200 notes… and I’m just one person.

February 10, 2011 at 6:35 am 1 comment

Thank you for

I am loving the tons of fun blogs I’m finding and I’m celebrating how they’ve created fun books from their blogs!  Here is one of them… check out… a very clever blog where the author writes a (often funny) thank you note each day.  They are often entertaining and while they are sometimes sarcastic, I am reminded how many things I have to be thankful and it inspires me to write more thank you notes… which leads me to tomorrow’s blissfix entry.

February 9, 2011 at 6:14 am 1 comment

The Happiness Project

I haven’t read the book, but the website is awesome and full of BLISSSfix remedies!

February 1, 2011 at 9:15 pm Leave a comment

The Rule of Agreement

Last night I blogged about ACT – Acceptance Commitment Therapy, and tonight I had an interesting conversation with my friend, Christine, about the Rule of Agreement highlighted in the book Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell.  Christine swears that this one concept revolutionized her work life and continues to improve her relationship to others today.

“One of the most important of the rules that makes improv possible, for example, is the idea of agreement, the notion that a very simple way to create a story – or humor – is to have characters accept everything that happens to them. … Bad improvisers block action, often with a high degree of skill. Good improvizers develop action.”

Christine asserts that by learning to “agree” with everything that comes her way and then simply add to it, that creative energy continues to flow in the brainstorming process.  It applies in business and in every day life.

The moment I internally or externally say “no” to someone or to my own thoughts, it is as if a door to resourceful creative flow closes and refuses open again until the “critic” is at bay.

I noticed this happen internally today as I was experiencing a slurry of funny ideas for a project I’d like to collaborate with a few friends on.  One after the other, ideas were flowing, so many I couldn’t get them all down… three were on the tip of my tongue (or pen in this case, as I was jotting them on paper) and I noticed that I thought, “oh, I can’t use that idea, it’s too negative.” and wooosh! like magic, the other two ideas were gone… I never remembered what they were to write them down.  And they were good, too!  Ever had that happen?  It made me see the value of allowing all thoughts to come and then letting the best ones rise to the top.

This reminds me of ACT simply because agreement with everything is another way of saying accepting everything that comes into my life without judging it.  It also relates very strongly to my training as an Inspired Learning Facilitator.  The Inspired Learning Foundation acknowledges that for learning to take place a safe space of acceptance must be present.  Just think of how many students are labeled ‘stupid’ or ‘learning challenged’ to use a PC term and remain trapped in below average performance because they are simply shut down.  It reminds me of a story told by Catherine Cadden, author of Peaceable Revolution Through Education, when a teacher belittles a child for coloring a banana brown saying, “Everyone knows bananas are yellow,” when in reality, bananas do turn brown when they are older, and they are brown when dipped in chocolate, and perhaps they are brown in low lighting.  If only that teacher had read Blink, perhaps she would have been open to bananas of all colors and that little boy would still feel safe in the creative process.  I digress…

So I’m curious… What is your experience with this?  What memories does this conjure?  Have you noticed any ways that you currently are blocking the flow of creative energy in your work, home or life? What strategies have you successfully used to open that creative flow back up? I’d love to hear any stories you have about practicing this Rule of Agreement and the results!  Please comment below!

January 28, 2011 at 3:51 am 1 comment

ACT – Acceptance Commitment Therapy

A friend just loaned me this book about Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT).  While I wish the authors had chosen a different title that didn’t get a cheesy 80s song stuck in my head and I wish they had done a better job of editing the book to streamline it, I enjoyed learning about ACT, which is summed up fairly well at Wikipedia.  In short it suggests that human suffering comes from attachment to and identification with our thoughts. (This reminds me of Buddhist teaching as well as ACIM).  It suggest awareness/mindfulness as a way to realize that we have choice in how we react to situations and circumstances.  It reminds me of the phrase, “don’t believe everything you think.”  I really enjoyed some of the exercises they suggest in the book to illustrate their points. I shared them with friends like parlor tricks. 🙂

I did notice after reading this book for several days that I was able to ‘watch myself’ react to things, bringing more awareness into the present moment, which was new for me and helpful.

There were also elements of the Law of Attraction scattered through out the book as scientific fact without them every calling it by name.  Simply acknowledging with documented studies that we get what we focus on.

All in all, I wish I could have anchored the “how to get into your life” part of the book a bit more.  I’m interested to hear if anyone out there has any other suggestions for good reads on this topic of mindfulness or awareness.

January 27, 2011 at 3:31 am 1 comment

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