Want fresh insights? Change your view!

View of Ingleborough from Whernside, Yorkshire Dales

Celtic New Year and the dark months ahead are a good time for rest, reflection, opening to new perspectives. You can help this by changing your point of view, and I’d like to share some examples.

A fairly easy change is place. This is one reason I go to the Yorkshire Dales most years. The wild, untamed fells, the miles and miles of spaciousness, and the intricate small valleys below, give me a feeling of expansiveness and new possibilities.

November is the month when I led several of my retreat groups in the Tunisian Sahara – and I’ll be offering one in Southern Morocco, November 10-20 in 2018. In the vastness of the desert, your ideas of who you are fall away, so you can choose again. And the Bedouin nomads are a great model for our times, showing us how to be happy with almost no control or resources.

Alan’s 2008 Sahara Retreat

A powerful change of perspective is to imagine yourself as another person or even a thing. Anytime I want to feel more gratitude, I imagine myself as a Syrian refugee. At Hazel Hill Wood, we invite people to sit with a tree, and imagine life from the viewpoint of the tree. Seeing life from the viewpoint of an animal or bird can be a powerful way of changing your view. In the book The Once and Future King, part of Merlin’s training for the Young Arthur is to turn him into an owl and an ant.

Another way to change your view is through time. Imagining the future can be a valuable way to guide your choices here and now. For more on my project exploring this, see www.seedingourfuture.org.uk.