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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.

Join our team as a Natural Happiness Advocate

Leading short workshops in person and online

Don't let covid grind you away

Staying cheerful in troubled times

Alan's new book: ready to publish in 2021

The Gardener’s Way to

Grow your own Happiness

Use your gardening skills to cultivate yourself

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

Natural Happiness for Gardeners

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

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.

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...

Enjoying your elderhood

The term elder is used with various meanings: I’m using it to invite you to connect with the mature wisdom in yourself, and in our ancestors. Traditional tribal cultures, such as the Native Americans, Celts, and Bedouin, had great wisdom, including the role of the...

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

Why composting is a skill for our times

Why composting is a skill for our times

Here’s a provocative thought: in a natural system, there is no waste. Anything which seems useless or decayed can be repurposed, and one of the main processes for this is composting. Animal and plant waste may look and smell unpleasant, but it’s full of energy and...

read more
Football as a map of the inner life

Football as a map of the inner life

Deep insights from the Euros   With all the excitement of the Euros, it seems appropriate to use football as a guide or metaphor for the inner life, or as one book title puts it, the game of life and how to play it.The image of a football club or of a country’s team...

read more

For lasting happiness, nourish your roots

Alan has been leading groups on natural happiness and resilience for years. He writes about ‘The Story Behind Natural Happiness’… For several years the focus of my learning and teaching was resilience.  I believe it’s a crucial skill set for all of us in these...

read more

Beautiful Garden Wisdom – for all!

How many times have you sat in a garden and felt a weight lifting from your shoulders? There could be a number of reasons for this – maybe gardens hold special memories for you; or fresh air and being outdoors really does ‘blow the cobwebs away’. Some would say it...

read more

Natural Happiness Seed 1: Nourish your roots

This is the first in a series of blogs presenting the Seven Seeds of Natural Happiness, a unique way to help people grow their own happiness using parallels with gardening and organic farming, created by Alan Heeks. For an overview of all seven seeds, click here. In...

read more
Natural Happiness Advocates

Natural Happiness Advocates

A unique chance to join our team   Role Description 1. SUMMARY Author and group leader Alan Heeks is seeking up to six people to work with him as Advocates, sharing the Natural Happiness approach by selling and running workshops, online and in person. 2....

read more

Earth Visit Report from Prostetnic Vogon Jelfs

To: Controller, Zone 581, LIP Group. (Less Interesting Planets) Your Greatship, I grovel before you as I make this report. This is the scheduled 50-year update on my visit to Earth in 1971. Your Greatship will recall that in 1971, the outlook here was promising. Many...

read more

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...

Enjoying your elderhood

The term elder is used with various meanings: I’m using it to invite you to connect with the mature wisdom in yourself, and in our ancestors. Traditional tribal cultures, such as the Native Americans, Celts, and Bedouin, had great wisdom, including the role of the...

Natural Happiness

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