Artwork by Ben Bauchau from the Dark Thoughts series.

As Christine Downing writes in her wonderful book, The Goddess: “The truth that will give us back a lost part of ourselves is also the one that takes away a self to which we have been deeply attached.”

In this mini-episode, I talk about the impact of going on a 19-day retreat alone, what it feels like to have happily let go of one of my biggest creative ambitions, and why finding new clarity is so much more uncomfortable than we anticipate.

Key takeaways from this meditation:

  • Why setting aside addictions and distractions gives way to new clarity
  • The benefits (and drawbacks) of going on a long retreat alone
  • What happens when creative ambitions turn toxic

Go Deeper

RESET, a cosmic tune-up for your workday. RESET is a course created by Hurry Slowly host Jocelyn K. Glei that shows you how to let go of toxic habits and get back in touch with the natural rhythms of your energy, your attention, and your creative flow. See the full lesson plan and book your spot for January 2020 at

Get Jocelyn’s brainwaves in your inbox. If you like Hurry Slowly, you’ll love this twice-monthly email highlighting new ideas about how to be more creative, productive, and resilient.  Sign up at

Favorite Quotes

“The funny thing about change — and actively pursuing it — is that it never unfolds quite like you think it will.”

“The minute I realized that I had been using this creative ambition as some kind of horrible cattle prod that constantly made me feel guilty, I was able to let it go.”

“When we recognize what is enough, and let go of the rest, let go of all those ambitions for more, then — and only then — can we expand.”


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References and ideas mentioned in this episode:

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