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, go to: https://www.naturalhappiness.net/books/

For further reading on the Natural Happiness way, go to: https://www.naturalhappiness.net/natural-happiness/

To receive regular info and updates, subscribe to the Natural Happiness newsletter: https://www.naturalhappiness.net/newsletters/

To get in touch, email the Natural Happiness Office: naturalhappinessoffice@gmail.com

How to grow through a pandemic

Resilience skills for these bewildering times

Natural Happiness

Learn how to grow your own wellbeing by parallels with gardening and ecosysytems.

The Seven Seeds

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.

Foresight: future flourishing through super-resilience:

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

Looking back from 2042

Deep Adaptation and climate change

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

Natural Happiness: Cultivate your resilience with the Gardener’s Way

NATURAL HAPPINESS: Cultivate your resilience with the Gardener's Way March 5-7 2021: at Hazel Hill Wood, near Salisbury With Alan Heeks, Jane Sanders and Marcos FrangosHow can you stay happy when there’s too much change and uncertainty? This workshop shows you how: to...

Natural Happiness for Gardeners

Grow your own Happiness Cultivate your wellbeing with gardening skills! online workshop 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 model for human nature: this...

Connecting with Soul

A 1-day workshop in Bridport: Saturday February 1, 2020 With Alan Heeks, Linda Heeks, John Harley This is a chance to explore different ideas of what the soul is, and various ways to contact it. One aim is to see if soul contact can guide us in clarifying our life...

The Odyssey of Manhood

A men’s weekend about the long journey to find yourself September 6-8: Hazel Hill Wood, near Salisbury With Alan Heeks and John Harley Men are often trying to reach a goal, or figuring out what to aim for. Maybe as we get older, we see that the journey is significant...

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 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...

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...

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...

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...

Your Resilience Toolkit

What is resilience, and why does it matter? Resilience is the ability to stay calm in high levels of change and challenge, to bounce back when something difficult happens, to face up to a problem and find a good solution. It’s a set of skills to help you maintain your...

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

The Gardener’s Way: seasonal tips for January/February

The Gardener’s Way: seasonal tips for January/February

This is part of a series of blogs to show what we can learn for our wellbeing and resilience from gardening priorities through the seasons of the year. The depths of winter are not a time for intense activity, in the garden, or in our lives. So, an overall lesson from...

read more
2021 and the seeds of hope

2021 and the seeds of hope

In the gardener’s year, November to January is a time for clearing and fertilising ground, and starting to plant seeds for the new cycle’s growth. And when we plant a seed, we plant a bit of hope with it. The process of realising that hope takes plenty of time – so...

read more
The Gardener’s Way: seasonal tips for November

The Gardener’s Way: seasonal tips for November

This is the start of a series of blogs to highlight gardening priorities through the seasons of the year, and how we can learn from these for our own resilience and wellbeing. This blog covers the period from mid-October to the end of December.

read more
Nine positive ways to use your lockdown time

Nine positive ways to use your lockdown time

The lockdown has given most of us a gift of more time.  You may need no help in filling it with worries or distractions, so here are my ideas about the positive possibilities. Radiate love: My experience of the lockdown is that simply sending out love is one of...

read more
Learning to Unlearn

Learning to Unlearn

Yes, it's a paradox, but our ways of thinking, our habitual responses, are so deeply set that a deliberate effort of unlearning is needed if we want to see things as they are, and be able to find a fresh response. I've been exploring Sufi teachings for over thirty...

read more

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...

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...

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...

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...

Your Resilience Toolkit

What is resilience, and why does it matter? Resilience is the ability to stay calm in high levels of change and challenge, to bounce back when something difficult happens, to face up to a problem and find a good solution. It’s a set of skills to help you maintain your...

Get In Touch