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Issue 54: March2023

Seeing life differently



Dear friend,

My focus this month is exploring different viewpoints, to help you expand your sense of the 'reality' you live in. We all have to limit our information sources to avoid being overwhelmed, but the default sources in mainstream society are pretty blinkered and biased. So read on, and see life through the eyes of a desert nomad, an octopus, or a fairy tale!

With blessings,


Feature blog: Seeing life differently
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Can I invite you to take a couple of minutes, and ask what gives you your sense of reality? Maybe your physical surroundings, other people, and news media and social media. But remember that most of us seek out others who share our views, and social media selects messages to send you which confirm your beliefs. News media focuses on bad news, because that’s what we pay most attention to.

This blog offers you some ways into different views of reality which can give you more perspective, and stop you being moulded by the media. Read more

Losing control - the nomad way of living

One of my big life-changing experiences was co-leading a dozen retreats in the Tunisian Sahara with Bedouin guides. They had grown up as true nomads, moving around the desert with their camels and goats, but now living mostly in a town because many desert wells had dried up.

Our Bedouin guides had few material resources, little control over their situation, yet were living happily with huge levels of uncertainty. I regard them, and nomads generally, as a really valuable lead indicator for all of us, as we face rising disruption and less control on many fronts. So here are my pointers to what we can learn from the nomad way of living. Read more

The octopus viewpoint

This fascinating new novel, The Mountain in the Sea, will help you to see life through the eyes of an octopus, and other species. For Alan's blog, click here.

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Events update

Natural Happiness Online:

Small groups and coaching

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Alan Heeks writes: linked to the upcoming publication of my Natural Happiness book, I am offering two formats for online groups (or in person in Dorset):

Small groups: a mini-workshop of 1-2 hours, using Natural Happiness approaches, tailored to the group's wishes.

Coaching: one-to-one sessions of 1.5 hours, drawing on Natural Happiness processes.

All sessions will be experiential and highly participative. Timings and cost negotiable. If you're interested, contact Alan.

Fresh insights on food security

In his Deep Adaptation approach to climate change, Jem Bendell has consistently highlighted food shortages as a major driver of the societal disruption he foresees in the next few years. Now for the first time he has issued a well-researched, detailed 24-page report on the food security outlook. To download it, click here.

Alan's new book update

Alan's fourth book is titled Natural Happiness: use organic gardening skills to cultivate yourself. The copy editing stage has been completed, the book cover is taking shape, and publication is due in early 2024.

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Book blog: Fairy tales are true, by Claudio Tomaello

 A doorway to the subconscious mind

This short, readable book opens a doorway to different ways to see everyday life, through the medium of fairy tales and fables. Claudio is passionate and persuasive about the power of these stories, perhaps overlooked because modern commercial versions trivialise them.

Fairy tales are true aims to empower the reader to find their own meaning, rather than prescribe it. These stories are full of symbols, which each heart can interpret. He writes that “the symbol is not to be analysed, it is lived”, and the symbol’s power is to communicate directly with our subconscious, and thus connect our daily reality with the spiritual dimension.

Read more

Bonus blog: The World's most magical forest - and what we can learn from it
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Mount Gushurale in the morning

I’ve loved forests all my life, and have been in many fine ones on five continents. My vote for most magical is the forests of Bale Mountains National Park, in south-east Ethiopia. Why so special? Beautiful, vibrant, atmospheric, with life of all kinds, and very rare: many unique species, and there are few other habitats like this worldwide.

If the idea of flying to Africa to support an eco-tourism project worries, you, I share the concern. I limit myself to one return air trip per year, and there are reasons why Ethiopia especially needs our support. This big country has many unique species and rare habitats – it also has one of the fastest population growth rates in the world, a terrifying deforestation rate, and a government with limited resources and many priorities.

Read more

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