Perspective, peace and priories

Last week I had a retreat/holiday at a farmhouse in a secluded mountain valley in south Wales. Hill walks, cosy fires, good food, chatting – and no internet!

After I’d booked I used it as a deadline for writing an e-course (more on that soon), and it also turned into a deadline for using the garden blackberries to make jam. Well, I did both of those and glad of it. But the price was some late and fruity nights, and that taut, nervy focus that can come with finishing something against the calendar. Going straight from that to an attempt to relax was not exactly wise. Even the Welsh hills can only do so much!

Llanthony Priory ruins
Llanthony Priory ruins, Brecon.
(c) Tim Gray 2013

I find my mind is usually working on several things at once, in the foreground and the background, and keeps grabbing on to stuff to do with one or the other. I refer to it as a hum. And, indeed, it has its uses. But it’s also easy to get lost somewhere inside it.

One of the things I took from the holiday is to do with letting go of things. Who do we want to be and show up as, versus who we’ve ended up being. Choosing the good bits of ourselves that we want to live in and show people round, and tidying other stuff away.

That goes with making time to refresh our perspective by going away and returning, so we can see our structures and habits from the outside and head towards where the views are.


This post is really just an excuse to use the photograph. I knew it was a metaphor for at least one thing.

It’s important to get your priories right.


(Hills and cake courtesy of More To Mountains, used with permission.)


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