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Describe your “heart” in 3 ways.
This will obviously define what your interpretation of “heart” is.
The sky is the limit.
If you like some limits, then go with objects with detailed descriptions.

1. My heart is a green bough, waiting for a bird.
2. My heart is a cathedral.
3. My heart, sometimes, is pleasant music, but too many things strike the dissonant chord.

Go on – Tell me! What’s on your PUKKA list?


5 songs that feel cinematic to you.
(Makes you feel like a movie montage.)
Any emotion.
Sad montage: Bon Iver… The Wolves, Act I and II
Cowboy Romance montage: Dirty Three… No Stranger Than That
“The world is beautiful and I’m wandering through it” Montage: Kings of Convenience…The Weight of My Words (Four Tet Remix – Instrumental)
Jet Lag/Excessive Caffeine Consumption Montage: Patrick Watson…Beijing (first song performed on this video)
“It’s just like I imagined it” Montage: Sigur Ros…Ara Batur
How about you? What’s on your PUKKA list?


Five feelings you think of when you picture a window.
You can be descriptive with imagery.
My PUKKA list is:

  1. hope
  2. the recognition of potential
  3. dreams unrequited
  4. intuitive peace
  5. impermanence
What about you? What’s on your PUKKA list?


List three sensations that give you delight every morning.

My PUKKA list is:

1. the first sip of coffee. yummmmm…

2. after a shower, drying my face off with a towel

3. seeing my boyfriend come out of our room in the morning, bleary-eyed and adorable (he gets up later than I do, so I have plenty of time to wake up and am alert enough to see how much of a sleep funk he’s in!)


When I look back over this list, I realize that I use three of my senses every morning to enjoy my world: taste, touch, and sight.

What about you? What’s on your PUKKA list?



Natural Phenomenons

List THREE Natural Phenomenons you often overlook, but appreciate.

This is your PUKKA list prompt for the day! I’d be so grateful if you left your own unique PUKKA list in the comments!

My PUKKA list for this prompt is:

  1. The fact that my body can grow another human being inside of it.
  2. That when the sun is beating down on all the plants and trees, there are a millions of photosynthetic processes in that moment.
  3. That when I sleep, the whole world isn’t sleeping. The other side of the Earth is just waking up.
There it is! Creating this list left me with a state of awe. Such a better state of being than shame or guilt!
Enjoy the day and take care!
Now tell me… What’s on your PUKKA list?

Where Did the Idea for PUKKA lists come from?

Good ole collaboration (go figure!). I was spending quality time with my dear friend John and we had a very similar conversation to the one detailed below:

Joy: Ugh…. I’m so tired of feeling like I never accomplish anything. I make lists and lists of things To Do and when I look at it towards the end of the day, all I feel is guilt. I know it makes sense to just stop making lists, but I love it so much! It’s pretty much an addiction.

John: So why don’t you just make lists about other things? You can indulge that pleasure for creating lists by keeping away from To Do lists [and Bucket Lists] and concentrating on lists that explore who you are now.

That was it! A practice was born. Over the next year, John would send me multiple list prompts and I would reply with my answers. It was a great way to play with lists without them bringing me shame.

We discussed making a book of lists, a coffee table publication that could bring the same relief to other To Do list addicts. That hasn’t happened yet, but the idea for a blog appealed to me more than a static publication. Why? Because, in the comments section, you’ll be able to submit your own unique PUKKA list. I’ll be able to learn from this PUKKA list community and I’m sure you will inspire me to meditate on daily events and things that I tend to overlook (another great benefit of a PUKKA list – it’s a wonderful exercise in mindfulness).

He still sends me lists and now I’ve started sending him lists too (there’s no way I’m letting him escape a little self-exploration!). In my free time, when I sit down to journal and feel the urge to create a To Do, I now take the reins and create lists that let me be me. I have enough hurdles in life that pull me away from the present moment and into the future. I don’t need writing to become one of those hurdles.

And, just to make sure you understand my philosophy: I don’t see anything wrong with To Do lists and Bucket Lists. I just don’t think repeatedly creating them is a healthy practice. It plops you in a space where you suffer from not having what you desire. PUKKA lists will put you a place where you feel alive with what you already are. 

What is a PUKKA list?

Well, it’s not a Bucket List, that’s for sure.

Bucket Lists are lists created to set intentions of what you’d like to accomplish before you die (kick the bucket). A Bucket List is a mega version of a To Do list. I have yet to create a Bucket list of my own, but I have To Do lists up the wazoo and, I’m telling you, it’s quite uncomfortable.

You see, it’s not always about getting something done; sometimes it can just be an expression of who you are, what you’re thinking right now, what you see in this moment, etc. A PUKKA list is a list unconcerned with long-terms, stuff you wish you had, or places you hope to travel to in the next five years.

“Pukka” means genuine, authentic, sincere. I didn’t make this up. It’s in the dictionary!

A PUKKA list is meant to satiate your craving for creating lists without the added burden of guilt and shame, typical side effects that are often onset by the end of the day (when you look at a To Do list or a Bucket List and still see so much yet “unaccomplished”). 

Save the empowering checkmark for dentist appointments and getting your oil changed. PUKKA lists are intended for pure fun, self-discovery, and mindful observations.

Having a set number of entries allows you to approach the list in a casual manner. You don’t need to write a novel about “which trees you’d plant if you were suddenly made a land baron;” you just need to write three types of trees down.

Easy. Simple. And you probably discovered something about yourself that you didn’t know before (and also had a chance to daydream a bit about what a land baron may wear on the weekends).

One of my mottoes is “Creativity without limitation is imagination.” As in, if you had to consider the color blue, your imagination could run wild through fantasies of birds, the ocean, your first girlfriend’s favorite hoodie, Smurf ice cream, on and on and on.

But deciding on three things that you think of when you see a rich blue – that’s where creativity comes in. You select three objects (or whatever) and group them together.

That grouping, now set down in a list, is unique. Yours. It’s like inviting three friends from different walks of life over for a drink.

It’s your party!