Weeknotes: Nurturing courage & compassion: How to be on creative retreat 🎥🖌️

There are 3 themes in these weeknotes, coming live to you from my retreat:

  1. Creativity, with courage, compassion & curiosity
  2. Retreat, being on one, well, no, being on 2 simultaneously
  3. Thinking: Where’s my head at? Notes on asynchronous collaboration & ADHD
A figure surrounded by these words: Calm & excited. The non-duality of reality. Co-regulating to self-regulating. Self-regulating to co-regulating.
Unscheduled retreat, March 2021. Yup, reality is non-binary…

➡ What’s my relationship to my creativity? And how is it? And what about yours?

The interactions between my 3 month retreat in daily living and the creativity course Amplify are really incredible! So many different ways of being, doing, engaging, communing, sitting, dancing, musing, mindlessing (mindless being/existing, vs thinking).

I believe everyone is creative

I’m practising being more creative. It’s iterative. It’s a process.

Something about compassion, self-compassion, process, failure & being willing to make mistakes

What if I can rest into being accompanied?

Being accompanied means being encouraged, supported, upheld, enhanced, improved, complemented, cheered. Like a musical accompaniment. I think this emerged from retreat.

The kind of relationship I want to have with readers

Also translates to: What are my values? or What do I value?

  • Curious
  • Exploratory
  • Creative
  • Compassionate, and wanting to be more compassionate
  • Reflective
  • Femme
  • Courageous
  • Helping me iterate and evolve, learn and grow

Who will be most supportive of my values and how I want to show up in the world?

What a difference being resourced & rested makes…

When I give myself space and time, the things that are difficult are not that hard.

How to practise collaborating with creativity

4 Signs You Might Be a Starving Artist (and What to Do About It), in summary:

  1. Fantasize ➝ Have vision
  2. Blame ➝ Seek opportunities
  3. Complain ➝ Take ownership
  4. Stay stuck ➝ Keep going

Helpful advice from this week’s Amplify call

  • Define milestones and look for opportunities to get there
  • Use a quarterly planning process – noting that 90 days go faster than we tend to think
  • Review what you actually got done
  • Keep a list of accomplishments, achievements, interesting experiences by quarter ➝ try on paper. Include interesting films watched, video games played and stuff. Leads to a sense of what you get done & what the trade offs are
  • Set goals to get better balance
  • Write 3 pages (stream of conscious, like Morning Pages) on the fear/anxiety I’m experiencing

Listing accomplishments, achievements & interesting experiences

  • Watching Adventure Time
  • Lying down, sometimes napping, when I need to rest. Exhausted? Time to nap for 20 mins

I started my list with these, before going through my calendar for January – March.

Really glad to be doing that because I wanted to do quarterly reflections from the start of the year, in addition to my monthly reflections. I guess now I do reflections every day too, with my daily diary drawings for the past two week, and weekly reflections, with these weeknotes. Yay!

I digress…

The Amplify live sessions really help me to be more exploratory and adventurous. 70 folks on a video call, with a lively chat of so many ideas and insights. As a result I looked into courage training, amongst many other things.

I want to share my process more, so part of that is sharing these things that I’m intending to do (not just talking about stuff I’ve done already):

➡ How do I live: On being on retreat

How to be on retreat in daily living

Carve out time in the day light for sitting and noodling, for musing and meandering, for resting and snoozing, for reflecting.

What do you call a retreat within a retreat?

So, this week’s video is a vlog about being on retreat, specifically the 4 day unscheduled retreat I’m on right now, as well as the 4 month retreat in daily life, which I’m on right now too. What unshoulding and shedding mean to me, being unbound and free.

Retreat inception… Check out my previous videos

Practising giving myself Permission to Slow Down

Slow down.

That’s one part of the recovering from burnout triad (the other two being get support and reconnect with goals & priorities).

Slowing down made these things possible

Feeling very grateful.

Because of the pandemic, I was introduced to Jaya Ashmore. A friend ran regular & frequent meditations, and recommended Jayaji to us. 5 retreats this year, so far, and 8 last year (5 of which were with Jayaji, the others were with a friend, Lama Rod Owens and Anushka Fernandopulle and Bonnie Duran with Gaia House).

If you would like brilliant extended meditations, I recommend these audio recordings:

Other stuff I’ve been doing whilst embracing unshoulding & shedding

  • Meditating
  • Dharma talks
  • Eating pizza
  • Watching Adventure Time and this science video: 3 Discoveries You Missed Because of COVID (5 minutes, auto-generated subtitles)
  • Writing weeknotes
  • Playing with & updating functionality on my website (image slider/gallery & tag clouds)

➡ My thinking mind: On ADHD & asynchronous collaboration & ADHD

Asynchronous collaboration

Being on retreat made it possible to do some lightweight planning in a way that didn’t even feel like working, that was great. Looking forward to writing about async ways of working next week.


I was going to say I’m not going to link to a specific episode of the Translating ADHD podcast, because they’re all golden, but this particular episode resonated so much with me:

“I work best in collaborative efforts. …It used to be that I thought I needed someone else and I was always in a one less position, down one. Like, oh I’m so grateful that this person’s going to work with me. I’m nothing and they’re something. And I’m gonna hitch my wagon to their locomotive. Which is a mixed metaphor… Because I need an activator.”

Cameron Gott

I love mixed metaphors.

Ooh, great question:

What gets in the way of embracing your authentic self?

Cameron Gott