How can we stay happy when there’s too much change and uncertainty? Are there ways to bounce back and thrive if everyday life and work is getting us down? The answer is to cultivate yourself like a garden, and grow your own wellbeing by learning from natural ecosystems.
The times we’re in are tough: it’s clear that we need new approaches and models to thrive in all this. Natural happiness is a simple, practical approach which can help in your personal life, and your work. It will show you how to cultivate your own human nature, and tend yourself like a garden: deepen your roots, and grow fruitfully through all kinds of weather.
Alan Heeks is a Harvard MBA and successful businessman, who since 1990 has become a keen gardener, and has created a 130-acre organic farm and 70-acre woodland as centres where people can learn about natural happiness and resilience.
On this website, learn more about the 7 seeds of natural happiness, and Alan’s forthcoming book on Natural Happiness. You can also learn more about upcoming events, access some useful resources and sign up for Alan’s free monthly e-newsletter on natural happiness and the roots of resilience. You can also learn more about Wisdom Tree, a team set up by Alan offering training on natural happiness and resilience. Get information about Alan's work on creative ageing: books and blogs. And about Hazel Hill Wood, the magical 70-acre woodland retreat centre near Salisbury which Alan founded, and is one of the inspirations for this approach.
Newsletter: Issue 11: February
Creative Ageing Issue
Special resources, blogs and more.
New YouTube Video
Ageing and Renewal
Alan talks about the comparisons between people and nature in terms of ageing and renewal.
The Gardener’s Way: Fruits of Maturity
Growing older can be tough when society’s in denial about it, so what can we learn from analogies with organic gardening? I’ve been pondering this as part of my work on Natural Happiness.
Alan Heeks is a writer, pioneer and group leader with a passion for wellbeing, resilience, sustainability, and how we can learn about them from nature. Over the past 20 years he has created two pioneering education centres where people can learn from nature: a conservation woodland and an organic farm, where he has led many groups, and which have inspired his books. His work is currently focused in three main areas:
Natural Happiness – the Gardener’s Way: Alan’s forthcoming third book shows how people can grow their own happiness using parallels with organic gardening and farming, such as composting, mulching, and co-creating. See more at www.naturalhappiness.net.
- Maturing Happily: Alan has been exploring this theme since his own midlife crisis in his early fifties. He has co-led both mixed and men’s groups on creative ageing, and has explored this theme in his writing. This includes his new planned book, Not Fade Away – staying happy when you’re over 64!, and his second book, Out of the Woods: a guide to life for men beyond 50. For more about Alan’s current work on maturing happily, click here, for blogs on this theme click here, for more about Out of the Woods click here.
- Nourishing the front line: Alan is part of a small team offering life and work skills for resilience to organisations, individuals and communities, with a special focus on learning from nature. See more about Wisdom Tree and their work here.
Out Of The Woods
A Guide to Life for Men Beyond 50
Midlife and beyond can be the most fun a man has ever had, but it’s also a time for fresh skills and a new path. When the roles that define men dissolve – work, marriage, fatherhood – it’s a time of huge possibility and freedom, but it’s easy to feel lost in the woods, with nowhere to turn to. Midlife and beyond can be the most fun a man has ever had, but it’s also a time for fresh skills and a new path. When the roles that define men dissolve – work, marriage, fatherhood – it’s a time of huge possibility and freedom, but it’s easy to feel lost in the woods, with nowhere to turn to.