Emergency resilience: why you need it

Learning from Boiled Frog syndrome Climate psychologists tell us that humans aren’t good at dealing with complex, diffuse threats whose timing is uncertain. It seems we’d be great at handling a woolly mammoth attack, and our evolution is way behind reality. If you...

Mining for hope in the quarry of gloom

There must be some kind of way outta hereSaid the joker to the thiefThere’s too much confusionI can’t get no relief In this time of big troubles, it’s easy to feel hopeless. And if you’re an anxious type, like me, you’ll always find plenty to unsettle you. Yet the...

Deep Adaptation and climate change: an introduction

Back in 2018, the sense of urgency about the climate crisis rose sharply, helped by several key voices, including Greta Thunberg, and Professor Jem Bendell. Whilst he strongly supports all efforts to reduce climate change, he cites extensive scientific evidence that...

Could a pilgrimage renew you?

As life keeps getting more complex and confusing, I've found that pilgrimages are a good antidote, a way to feel renewed, re-centred, clarified. The tradition of pilgrimage goes back many centuries, and has seen some revival in recent years, with Santiago de...

Discerning at the end of life

Discerning at the end of life Guest blog from Palden Jenkins Alan Heeks writes: Palden is an old friend, who plays a Merlin-like role in my life, popping up periodically with cryptic insights. He’s a deep thinker out of the box, a seer and astrologer, who usually...

Making sense of the covid times

I'm writing this in April 2022: we're into the third year of the covid time, and over 70% of us in the UK have had covid at least once. This is the biggest global pandemic since 1918… so what can we learn from it? Probably all of us have had many conversations where...

Climate distress: trauma and Nature immersion

I'm a big fan of Bob Doppelt's book, Transformational Resilience, which sees individual and collective trauma as one of the biggest, most pervasive issues of our times. Doppelt defines trauma as "an experience (that) seriously undermines or shatters at least some, if...

Beauty, outrage, shared humanity: all in Trafalgar Square

I've just had a rare visit to London, and one of my treats was a classical music concert in St Martin in the Fields, the beautiful old church on Trafalgar Square. Right across the road, in the big central area, was a vigil and protest for Ukraine, which is happening...

Transformation goaded by crises: Palden Jenkins

A bigger view of our possible future… Alan Heeks writes: Palden is an old friend, who plays a Merlin-like role in my life, popping up periodically with cryptic insights. He’s a deep thinker out of the box, a seer and astrologer, who usually offers a radically...

Book blog: Navigating the Coming Chaos, by Carolyn Baker

A handbook for inner transition Carolyn Baker is an American psychotherapist who has been deeply involved in Transition groups in the US for many years. This book is a valuable guide to spiritual and emotional resilience as stability erodes around us. She sees the...

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Check out our blogs below

 

Creation Spirituality: what, why, how

Align your own creative power within the divine The essence of creation spirituality is this idea: that the creation of our world was not a one-off event billions of years ago: it is a process continuing in every moment, and each of us can contribute.  As Neil...

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...

Not Fade Away: The Story Behind The Book

Not Fade Away: The Story Behind The Book

Alan Heeks shares the roots of his fresh approach to creative ageing... I believe that shipwreck and re-invention are the healthy essence of the mid-life crisis, and I did mine pretty thoroughly. Two weeks before my 50th birthday, I moved out of my 27-year old...

Born to be wild: fresh adventures

Born to be wild: fresh adventures

Everyday life these days can be uncertain and unsettling for anyone, and getting older may just seem to make that worse. It may feel tempting to settle into your rut, retreat into safety. In fact, you’re likely to be more happy and resilient if you open up to fresh...

Mysteries of elderhood: effects of ageing

Mysteries of elderhood: effects of ageing

Alan Heeks shares his development through the life stages When I turned sixty in 2008, I set a clear intent of moving into elderhood, growing beyond my prevailing warrior-hero approach to life. Ten years on, I can report good progress on my development through the...

Pilgrim without map or boots

Pilgrim without map or boots

Fresh adventures in later years As we get older, we need fresh adventures to keep us growing. Two new experiences I’ve been enjoying are short pilgrimages and retreats. The difference between a pilgrimage and a walk is subtle: I’d say a pilgrim is walking with a...

Dating Tips for Senior Singles

Dating Tips for Senior Singles

Learn new skills, have adventures…find true love! Picture the scene: I am a newly mature single sitting alone at a table for two, wearing smart casual gear which I hope looks suitable, I am waiting for my blind date, Jackie, to appear. To look my best, I am not...

The Little Book of Hygge

The Little Book of Hygge

Cosy friendship in all its forms: including tea, cake, candles! Many surveys show the Danes to be the happiest people in Europe and the world, and the quality of hygge seems to be one reason. Hygge, pronounced hoo-guh, is hard to define or translate: friendly cosiness...

Fresh adventures for creative ageing

Fresh adventures for creative ageing

Discover yourself and have some fun as you grow older.   Everyday life these days can be uncertain and unsettling for anyone, and getting older may just seem to make that worse. It may feel tempting to settle into your rut, retreat into safety. In fact, you’re...

Life Threatening Crises for Friends

Life Threatening Crises for Friends

Alan writes about his experiences of friends suffering from life threatening illness. In the past few months, the wives of two close friends have had late diagnoses of advanced cancer which could be fatal.  The husband of another friend has had a stroke.  At the...

Age is just a number: Charles Eugster

Age is just a number: Charles Eugster

Charles Eugster is a pioneer in health regimes for people over 65, and well beyond. He has won medals for rowing and sprinting in his eighties and nineties! However, his book offers a lot of help for oldies less fanatically fit then he is. 

A view from age 56: Jane Sanders

A view from age 56: Jane Sanders

My Armenian great grandfather Aram Assadour Altounyan swore by yogurt eating and daily cold showers – and lived into his late 90’s, still working as a surgeon in Syria. A family story is that at 93 he operated on his wife – hands still skilful and steady.

A view from age 71: Gay

A view from age 71: Gay

Turning 70 was fine. I couldn’t believe it in a way – I kept having to redo the maths to convince myself this huge number related to me. I really like being an ‘elder’! The tricky one for me was turning 50 – neither one thing or the other.

A view from age 74: Giles

A view from age 74: Giles

It’s the people and the truth and love you bring to dealing to them ALL that count, not your or their appearance, behaviours, plans, status, achievements &c.

How NOT to have a midlife crisis

The ‘hero’ of this book is Tubby Passmore, 58: balding, bulging, and thoroughly lost.  Although he’s outwardly successful – well-off, modestly well-known as scriptwriter for a top sitcom, with a steady if dull marriage, Tubby is depressed and confused.

Elderwoman: book by Marian van Eyk McCain

From Elderwoman, I conclude that one of the big gender differences in elderhood is that women face it more collectively.  Men often face the challenges of ageing alone, and need new skills to find the collective support and wisdom they also need. 

After 7 Months of Covid, What Have We Learned?

After 7 Months of Covid, What Have We Learned?

Can we trace an emerging future? Surely most of us have often been bewildered and disoriented in the past seven months. If someone had shown us a picture of life in Covid a year ago, we would never have believed it. Trying to make sense of the story so far, and where...

Food Security: Opportunity, Research, Action

It’s easy to feel disempowered these days, but this is an issue where we can all do something. Food security means reliable access to enough good quality, affordable, sustainably produced food. Many experts believe that food shortages and price rises will be a major...

Book Review: Active Hope by Macy and Johnstone

Book Review: Active Hope by Macy and Johnstone

I have taken part in workshops led by both Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone, and regard them as two of the best teachers on personal resilience in a full sense of the phrase.  Working in depth with this book could be a good start to exploring super-resilience.

Emergency resilience: why you need it

Emergency resilience: why you need it

Learning from Boiled Frog syndrome Climate psychologists tell us that humans aren’t good at dealing with complex, diffuse threats whose timing is uncertain. It seems we’d be great at handling a woolly mammoth attack, and our evolution is way behind reality. If you...

Mining for hope in the quarry of gloom

Mining for hope in the quarry of gloom

There must be some kind of way outta hereSaid the joker to the thiefThere’s too much confusionI can’t get no relief In this time of big troubles, it’s easy to feel hopeless. And if you’re an anxious type, like me, you’ll always find plenty to unsettle you. Yet the...

Deep Adaptation and climate change: an introduction

Deep Adaptation and climate change: an introduction

Back in 2018, the sense of urgency about the climate crisis rose sharply, helped by several key voices, including Greta Thunberg, and Professor Jem Bendell. Whilst he strongly supports all efforts to reduce climate change, he cites extensive scientific evidence that...

Could a pilgrimage renew you?

Could a pilgrimage renew you?

As life keeps getting more complex and confusing, I've found that pilgrimages are a good antidote, a way to feel renewed, re-centred, clarified. The tradition of pilgrimage goes back many centuries, and has seen some revival in recent years, with Santiago de...

Discerning at the end of life

Discerning at the end of life

Discerning at the end of life Guest blog from Palden Jenkins Alan Heeks writes: Palden is an old friend, who plays a Merlin-like role in my life, popping up periodically with cryptic insights. He’s a deep thinker out of the box, a seer and astrologer, who usually...

Making sense of the covid times

Making sense of the covid times

I'm writing this in April 2022: we're into the third year of the covid time, and over 70% of us in the UK have had covid at least once. This is the biggest global pandemic since 1918… so what can we learn from it? Probably all of us have had many conversations where...

Climate distress: trauma and Nature immersion

Climate distress: trauma and Nature immersion

I'm a big fan of Bob Doppelt's book, Transformational Resilience, which sees individual and collective trauma as one of the biggest, most pervasive issues of our times. Doppelt defines trauma as "an experience (that) seriously undermines or shatters at least some, if...

Transformation goaded by crises: Palden Jenkins

A bigger view of our possible future… Alan Heeks writes: Palden is an old friend, who plays a Merlin-like role in my life, popping up periodically with cryptic insights. He’s a deep thinker out of the box, a seer and astrologer, who usually offers a radically...

Navigation aids for a world beyond normal

Navigation aids for a world beyond normal

In the past two years, the world has been rocked by three huge events: covid, the rapid acceleration of the climate crisis, and now by Ukraine. Most of us did not see any of this coming: a few people did, and the ones I know are telling us to brace for more major...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Climate alarm? Learning to live with it

Climate alarm? Learning to live with it

The IPCC report this week on the climate crisis has left me alarmed and unsettled, maybe you too. I’m writing this blog for myself as much as anyone, as part of my long-running search for ways to live with this. There are plenty of good processes out there, and many...

How do we find the spiritual roots of resilience?

How do we find the spiritual roots of resilience?

How do we find the spiritual roots of resilience? There’s so much talk about resilience these days, but little of it explores spiritual sources. My focus is resilience in everyday life: how we can stay steady, and grow through daily stress and bigger crises. There’s...

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...

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...

For lasting happiness, nourish your roots

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...

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...

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...

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....

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