What is this life if, full of care… #Retreat

On Wednesday I took a guided retreat day with Brian Draper. I don’t feel the need to share all of it, but despite the weather forecast, the rain held off from the minute we walked into the grounds of Mottisfont Abbey to the point at which we headed for hot chocolate (and without my mobile devices, so no checking in on Foursquare, or taking a photo of the magnificent building/grounds). Having just read Brian’s Less is More, been de-cluttering, and looking for better work-life balance (although I’ve often talked in terms of work-life integration), and worked through a lot of difficult stuff, I’m seeking to find what Brian describes as ‘making my soul sing’. 15 minutes on a bench with W.H.Davies poem …

What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare. No time to stand beneath the boughs And stare as long as sheep or cows. No time to see, when woods we pass, Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass. No time to see, in broad day light, Streams full of stars, like skies at night. No time to turn at beauty’s glance, And watch her feet, how they can dance. No time to wait till her mouth can Enrich that smile her eyes began. A poor life this if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.

from Songs Of Joy and Others (1911)
Time to consider the well, without which none of the rest would exist … but which many bypass for the big showy rose gardens (it’s not all about how it looks/big showy events, but how deeply are you living day to day? was what I took from that)

mottisfont well

A look at The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working – how do I manage my energy – where is my renewal zone? Lots of pictures of colours seeking to burst forward, no longer squashed by many of the painful things that I’ve worked through recently.
I have re-joined The National Trust (slightly annoyingly, if I’d joined online beforehand, I would have got 3 months free, but it’s a charity, so…), so one of my challenges is to carve out time to go and sit in what will now become ‘my gardens’ (I don’t have one, and had got a bit ‘bored’ of the houses), whether to work or sit.

By admin

Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst  (Lion Hudson, 2014; second edition in process) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.

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