Select Page

Natural Happiness –
The Gardener’s Way

Learn from nature to grow your wellbeing and resilience

 

How can we stay happy when there’s so much uncertainty around? The answer is to cultivate yourself like a garden, and grow your own wellbeing by learning from nature.

Natural Happiness is a simple, practical guide that supports people in their personal lives, in their work, and in making sense of wider issues.

People are organisms: constantly changing, and with interactions between physical, emotional, mental, and inspirational aspects. In cultivated ecosystems, such as organic farms and vegetable gardens, we can see how to shape and steer an organism to achieve the outcome we need, and this is a great guide to cultivating human nature.

Organic farmer, conservationist and social entrepreneur Alan Heeks has developed a way for people to cultivate and maintain their own sense of wellbeing and happiness, drawing on his own experiences.

Alan comments: “Having set up a 130-acre organic farm and education centre, I realised that people and teams can learn a huge amount about human sustainability from the parallels with cultivated ecosystems.”

Alan has since created a 70-acre conservation woodland, an acre of organic garden in his hometown, founded a community food security project, and runs workshops on personal resilience and adapting to climate change.

For more about Alan’s planned fourth book, Grow your own Happiness, click here.

For further reading on the Natural Happiness way, click here.

To receive regular info and updates, subscribe to the Natural Happiness newsletter, click here.

To get in touch with the Natural Happiness Office, click here.

How soul resilience can support you in stormy times

As life gets more uncertain, we need a quantum step up in resilience, and that’s what soul resilience could offer you. See more on Alan’s new website, www.soulresilience.net.

Join our team as a Natural Happiness Advocate

Leading short workshops in person and online

Alan's new book: ready to publish

The Gardener’s Way to

Grow your own Happiness

Use your gardening skills to cultivate yourself

Natural Happiness e-newsletter

Natural Happiness e-newsletters are issued every couple of months, and bring you insights, resources, event news and bonus blogs. To see the latest newsletter, or join our mailing list, click the link below.

Nurture and adapt: Natural Happiness for stormy times

See new blog here.

See latest newsletter here.

Image: Learning to live with extremes with Bedouin nomads

The Seven Seeds of Natural Happiness

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 life and work, and for work teams and communities.

Alan Heeks has created a unique model based on what he calls the Seven Seeds of Natural Happiness, which stress different ways of enhancing and supporting your wellbeing inspired by nature, gardening and farming, for example, nourishing your roots; compost your troubles; cultivate community.

Read more about the Seven Seeds here.

Organic gardening methods offer us many useful parallels for growing happiness and the Seven Seeds are a distillation of what Alan has learned over the last 30 years.

Growing through uncertainty: resilience insights

The present is already so demanding that most of us don’t want to consider the future. But surely the rapid changes and rising pressures we face now are likely to continue, and increase? Alan has been researching and leading trainings in resilience for several years: the skills to grow through problems and keep thriving, not just cope and get by.

 

Here are some resources that may help you:

Nine positive ways to use your lockdown time

Finding the gifts in Bewilderment

Deep Adaptation and climate change

Looking back from 2042

The 8 Dimensions of Super-Resilience: How to grow into the 2020’s

Soul Resilience Circle – online group

In October and November 2021, I co-led two pilot online groups to seek and share soul resilience insights. Further groups are in planning for next year. We will explore different ideas of what soul is, and ways to contact it, to find soul guidance about staying...

Soul Resilience Retreat: How your core self can help you grow through storms

Feb 25-27, 2022 at Hazel Hill Wood near Salisbury With Alan Heeks and Jane Sanders As life gets more turbulent, we need to go higher and dig deeper to find a quantum step up in our resilience. This retreat is a chance to explore how the deep wisdom of your soul can...

Nature Immersion for Climate Distress

A CPA-sponsored workshop for therapists and counsellors Tues May 17 - Wed May 18: Hazel Hill Wood, near Salisbury We can see that the climate crisis is worsening, and we need new ways to respond to rising climate distress. This experiential workshop is designed for...

Natural Happiness for Gardeners

Natural Happiness for Gardeners 60-90-minute online workshop Cultivate your wellbeing with gardening skills! Available for group bookings With Alan Heeks   In these stormy times, we need new skills to stay happy.  A cultivated ecosystem, like a garden, is a role...

Events

We’d love you to join us at one of our events. We create spaces to connect like-minded people and explore a range of different topics for personal development and have started doing workshops online.

The Work that Reconnects: a way to face the future

If you’re working with hazardous materials, you need good methods and equipment. The future really is hard to face: it can easily feel bleak and overwhelming. Many people feel pain and despair about the state of the world and the environment, and blank out to avoid...

Resource Toolkit – Change the Story

If you’re setting an intention for positive change, changing the story is an important part of shifting you or someone else out of a habitual response. One of my biggest insights since turning 60 has been the way repeating stories shape our lives. The older we get,...

Nourish Your Roots: The Tree Test

Life and work get more confusing year by year, and that’s unlikely to stop in future. Spending time in Nature is a great way to reduce its stress and find clarity, but what do you do when you have to make a decision, in your workplace or at home, within the next few...

Composting: the upsides of your downsides

Imagine that you can tap into a major new source of energy and insight, that’s already within you: it’s free, abundant, and just needs a bit of effort to process it.   What’s more, you’ll be creating benefits out of problems that drain energy and pollute your inner...

Mapping your wild margins

This matrix can help you recognise and value wild margins in yourself, or you could use it for a group such as a work team. Start by listing a few activities, skills, interests which may seem marginal and unproductive. Then explore how they could help you, and how you...

Cycles of progress map

This tool is an invitation to map your progress over time, including the ups and downs, and to celebrate both, and see if there are any cycles involved.   During my 20 years in business management and my Harvard MBA studies, progress was always defined as linear...

Friendship Tips

Cultivating a garden takes some dedication and skill, and friendships need this too. One of the big improvements in my 50s and 60s has been more and better friendships.  These friendships oil the gearbox of life: lubricating changes and crises which could be...

Resource Toolkit: Personal Energy Audit

This can be a powerful process to help you understand your sources and uses of physical, emotional, mental and inspirational energy. Gardeners and farmers manage the energy mix for their land, and you can do this for your personal ecosystem.   Asking yourself “How’s...

Resource Toolkit: Creative Conflict Resolution

Many challenges involve conflict. This process is one I’ve used often myself, and have taught in training groups. You can use the gist in minor conflict, and the full process in major ones. Here we move on to human skills which can help you to compost difficult...

The Seven Seeds of Natural Happiness

How can you stay happy when there’s too much change and uncertainty?  Are there ways to bounce back and thrive if life is getting you down?  Natural Happiness uses skills from gardening and organic farming to help you cultivate your own wellbeing. The Seven Seeds...

Resources

In this section you’ll find a range of processes and resources I have created which can help you to grow your own natural happiness and resilience.

Natural Happiness Blog

2022 Climate Outlook: pray for miracles

2022 Climate Outlook: pray for miracles

The holiday time around New Year 2022 has been a chance for some of us to reflect on the outlook for the climate crisis, and it's not a cheery prospect. I have been digging deep to find some constructive responses. In reviewing current information, I was startled to...

read more
Community climate responses: co-creative insights

Community climate responses: co-creative insights

I’m writing this thinks piece in January 2022, to see what I’ve learned from two years’ work in my hometown, and to share my hopes for the year just starting. On this journey, I’ve had to dig deep in my co-creative toolkit, and add some new approaches. So here’s a...

read more
The Book of Joy: Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu

The Book of Joy: Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu

Lasting Happiness in a Changing World   This deep and delightful book, published in 2017, became an immediate best-seller worldwide. The wisdom of these two great men in their eighties is surprisingly fresh and practical, and relevant for all of us in handling daily...

read more
Co-creativity – dancing with problems

Co-creativity – dancing with problems

Most people are trying to shape their lives amid more uncertainty than they can handle: co-creative skills make this easier. It's about finding solutions with other people's needs, with apparent obstacles, with uncertainty, balancing them with your own needs and...

read more
Teach your children well

Teach your children well

Teach your children well What do younger generations need to learn? Do you ever wonder how we can help to prepare young people for the future they face, and whether what they learn at school really helps this? These questions become more acute as the climate crisis...

read more
The Work that Reconnects: a way to face the future

The Work that Reconnects: a way to face the future

If you’re working with hazardous materials, you need good methods and equipment. The future really is hard to face: it can easily feel bleak and overwhelming. Many people feel pain and despair about the state of the world and the environment, and blank out to avoid...

read more
Nurture and adapt: Natural Happiness for stormy times

Nurture and adapt: Natural Happiness for stormy times

Nurture and adapt: Natural Happiness for stormy times This blog is part of my quest for positive approaches to the turbulent future I foresee for all of us. As you'll see, I explore several role models, people already living with high uncertainty and low control. Farm...

read more
Digging into Regenerative Agriculture

Digging into Regenerative Agriculture

Digging into Regenerative Agriculture A model of de-intensification for humans too! Ever since I co-founded an organic farm in 1990, I've tried to stay aware of trends in sustainable farming. The latest is regenerative agriculture: there's a lot of hype and froth...

read more
An introduction to Soul Resilience

An introduction to Soul Resilience

If you hope to thrive and grow through your life, not just cope and survive, how will you do this in the stormier times we can see ahead of us? It needs a quantum step up in resilience, and that’s what Soul Resilience could offer you. Exploring the soul’s journey is...

read more

The Work that Reconnects: a way to face the future

If you’re working with hazardous materials, you need good methods and equipment. The future really is hard to face: it can easily feel bleak and overwhelming. Many people feel pain and despair about the state of the world and the environment, and blank out to avoid...

Resource Toolkit – Change the Story

If you’re setting an intention for positive change, changing the story is an important part of shifting you or someone else out of a habitual response. One of my biggest insights since turning 60 has been the way repeating stories shape our lives. The older we get,...

Nourish Your Roots: The Tree Test

Life and work get more confusing year by year, and that’s unlikely to stop in future. Spending time in Nature is a great way to reduce its stress and find clarity, but what do you do when you have to make a decision, in your workplace or at home, within the next few...

Composting: the upsides of your downsides

Imagine that you can tap into a major new source of energy and insight, that’s already within you: it’s free, abundant, and just needs a bit of effort to process it.   What’s more, you’ll be creating benefits out of problems that drain energy and pollute your inner...

Mapping your wild margins

This matrix can help you recognise and value wild margins in yourself, or you could use it for a group such as a work team. Start by listing a few activities, skills, interests which may seem marginal and unproductive. Then explore how they could help you, and how you...

Cycles of progress map

This tool is an invitation to map your progress over time, including the ups and downs, and to celebrate both, and see if there are any cycles involved.   During my 20 years in business management and my Harvard MBA studies, progress was always defined as linear...

Friendship Tips

Cultivating a garden takes some dedication and skill, and friendships need this too. One of the big improvements in my 50s and 60s has been more and better friendships.  These friendships oil the gearbox of life: lubricating changes and crises which could be...

Resource Toolkit: Personal Energy Audit

This can be a powerful process to help you understand your sources and uses of physical, emotional, mental and inspirational energy. Gardeners and farmers manage the energy mix for their land, and you can do this for your personal ecosystem.   Asking yourself “How’s...

Resource Toolkit: Creative Conflict Resolution

Many challenges involve conflict. This process is one I’ve used often myself, and have taught in training groups. You can use the gist in minor conflict, and the full process in major ones. Here we move on to human skills which can help you to compost difficult...

The Seven Seeds of Natural Happiness

How can you stay happy when there’s too much change and uncertainty?  Are there ways to bounce back and thrive if life is getting you down?  Natural Happiness uses skills from gardening and organic farming to help you cultivate your own wellbeing. The Seven Seeds...

Natural Happiness

Contact Form