The Bliss Engine: What's Your Creative Return Time?

Change in living things happens within the cell. Your home is a cell. Diet is your revolutionary weapon."—Jim Blake, The Bliss Engine

The Bliss Engine BookExciting news this week — I'm thrilled to share that my dad's book, The Bliss Engine, is now available on Kindle! 

It's all too often that our greatest bliss eludes us — masked or numbed by food, alcohol, TV, or our own inner demons. But when we do enter a bliss state — absorbed in deep, creative flow and focus — we are transformed, and locked into our deepest potential for contribution.

Managing bliss -- finding it, staying there, and learning how to come down from it (without crashing too hard) takes discipline and practice, on top of the fundamentals of diet and exercise.

Praised by Norman Mailer in a previous edit as "fucking brilliant," The Bliss Engine is about the relationship of diet to creativity. From the description: "The Bliss Engine is a recipe for un-blocking personal consciousness, allowing creative thought to flourish, and opening doors to releasing new energy of our national consciousness."

The ideas in this book have been a huge inspiration to me, and the subject of many a long weekly walk that my dad and I used to take back when we both lived in California. He has since recently followed his big dream of moving to Nashville to pursue music, and I'm thrilled to help shepard his ideas into the world in the midst of his latest great leap.

I hope you'll find my dad's thoughts on the relationship between diet and creativity as insightful and as thought-provoking as I do. Today I'm sharing one of my favorite essays from the book (with more to follow) but first . . .

Special Bliss Engine Bundle

I'm doing a little something special for Daddy-O to help The Bliss Engine take off:

If you purchase the book (just $2.99) between now and July 31 and forward your receipt to receipt [at], I'll give you a complimentary pass to my two-week course, The Acorn Project (a $15 value).

The Bliss Engine will help you reach your highest state of creativity, and The Acorn Project will help you figure out exactly what to do with it once you're there: you'll reflect, answer questions and explore a variety of big ideas to figure out which of your acorns you want to grow into your next beautiful oak tree.

Bliss Engine Excerpt: Return Time (by Jim Blake)

Bliss is a state of heart, mind and body wherein one absorbs and radiates the energy of light, of happiness, creativity, joyful spirit and hard work or meditation. Bliss is an answered prayer and bliss answers prayers. Bliss is all around us and it is strong and fragile.

If you are a creative person, you depend upon easy access to your zone to do your best work. You have no intermediate fallback state of mind where you can hack out ordinary work and get by; no bliss, no product. When you enter your daily flow state, you do not want to be interrupted.

When considering a diet, think about the Return Time. Return Time is the time it takes to get back into your flow state after eating a meal or interrupting the work for any reason.  A meal has a built-in Return Time.  If you are in the middle of a project you want a quick RT. Remember, alcohol of any kind quadruples RT. The Bliss Diet ensures quick RT. It allows immediate return to your zone. It is assumed that you are doing compelling, creative work that you love and are eager to resume.

Passionate professionals develop a routine in which their zone is most likely to be accessible. Alcohol or drugs may reveal hidden sources of ideas but as habit, these offer diminishing returns. The Bliss Diet enables one to return to sublime tasks rapidly.

If you don't like your work, you will need emotional, intellectual and spiritual strength to break away from the inertia of your creative block. You want to re-align your attitude to your job in nowheresville or leave it altogether. Bliss-killing meals lock an iron ball to your leg when you are most in need of escape.

If you leave your home or office or studio for a lunch containing meat and alcohol, you're done for the day. If you haul a hamburger, pasta or alcohol back to your sanctum you would do best to spend the remainder of the day rinsing out test tubes, cleaning paintbrushes or schmoozing with co-workers. Sweep the studio, don't do anything you put your name on.

If you are fortunate enough to receive bliss before noon, why damage it with a heavy lunch? A heavy meal at any time is an additive-negative. You lose the pleasure of your bliss and you have lost anything you may have thought or done in your flow state, even simply being a friendly co-worker. Few things create a grouchy mood quicker than blown bliss. Let the destruction of your bliss come from something bigger than food.

Bliss is a gift. You can't force it. It arrives gently through the front door of a well-tempered mind. It doesn't enter through the grime-stained back window of a food or drink induced stupor.

The Bliss diet allows rapid front door access. If one's diet is suffused with fat, salt, sugar and alcohol, bliss will be impossible, sit this one out. Leave the creativity to others.

Bliss Engine Excerpt: Small Stuff

We are showered with small gifts all day: photons, the breeze, trees, clouds, the occasional smile from a stranger. The Bliss Diet helps to guide blessings toward your purpose. Your net is cast for new ideas every day. Every day you retrieve your net of answered prayers. You control the size of the openings. If the openings are scaled for the big tuna, you miss the smaller fish that might feed your dream. Capture the plankton that pass your way. Great Douglas Fir trees grow from pollen. We know about forests and trees; don't forget pollen, nurture it with blissful faith.

Get it while it's hot!

Like what you've read? Click here to purchase your copy on Amazon -- huge thanks to Melissa Anzman for her help getting it Kindle-ready! And don't forget to forward your receipt to receipt [at] for instant access to The Acorn Project from now until July 31. I can't wait to hear what you think!

I'd love to hear from you in the comments:

How do reach your bliss zone? What helps you stay there?