The Why and What of Natural Happiness

For four years the focus of my learning and teaching was resilience.  I believe it's a crucial skill set for all of us in these uncertain times, but I've now decided to put another focus beside it: natural happiness.

Since 2011, I've learned lots about the benefits of resilience, but also the limitations of the concept.  Some people find it too cold or 'technical' to engage them.  And I've realised that resilience is a means, not an end.

Few of us would say that resilience was our highest aim in life, whereas many would name happiness.  Like all good concepts, it's over-used and misused: I'm using happiness to mean wellbeing, life satisfaction, lasting joy.

I’ve been exploring natural systems as a learning model for over twenty years: my recent work has shown me that this approach is useful for many people, and is highly relevant for happiness and resilience.

I’ve coined the term Natural Happiness to sum up this approach, and it’s the title of my third book, now partly written.  You can follow my progress on my new website, www.naturalhappiness.net, and through my newsletter.

If you ask me how I picture natural happiness, I’d say like a tree – hence the new logo above.  Roots are essential to any tree, and I see natural happiness as growing upwards from a strong root system.  When individuals or groups are resilient, this gives them roots that provide stability and nourishment.

People are subtle, complex natural organisms, hence cultivated natural ecosystems have real parallels: in my book I’m using organic gardens and farms as my model, and am enjoying fresh insights as I write each chapter.  I look forward to sharing the fruits with you.