I believe it is stress and related anxious feelings which pull us away from joy, and I have learned a lot about the physiology of stress by co-leading resilience workshops for doctors alongside Professor David Peters, himself a doctor, and an expert in this field. I now realise that prolonged stress and anxiety not only removes our potential for joy, but also impairs our empathy and our ability to make good, clear decisions. Read more.
Here are two pieces I turn to which always lift my spirits:
Sea of Joy, a 1969 hit by Blind Faith, with a very young Eric Clapton on lyrical guitar, Steve Winwood's elfin vocals, and the legendary Ginger Baker on drums! Click here.
Exsultate Jubilate, a sublime Mozart motet, with beautiful lyrics like psallant aethera cum me: the heavens sing with me. Click here.
Preparations are going well to support the launch of the book in March 2024. I have recruited a small team of Advocates, who have now had their initial training, and are available to deliver tailored Natural Happiness workshops, in person or online. See more under Events.
My book publicist, Katie Read is getting a positive response to the book from a range of magazines, and pitching for sessions at a number of literary festivals.
Natural Happiness: Use Gardening Skills to Cultivate Yourself
April 19-21, 2024 at Hawkwood College, Stroud
In these uncertain times, this workshop will help you deepen your roots and grow your resilience. With sessions in Hawkwood’s gardens, you’ll experience how organic skills like composting, mulching, and co-creativity can feed your wellbeing amid daily stresses and big issues like climate change. For more info and bookings click here.
Facilitated Workshops for Professionals
The Natural Happiness model is highly relevant for professionals of many kinds, including managers, coaches, hospital doctors, and consultants. Alan can deliver sessions from half a day to 2 days, tailored to your needs. Read more.
To support the launch of his new book, Alan is training a small team of Advocates: your main roles would be to deliver short workshops and talks on the Natural Happiness approach, in person or online, and outreach to find groups to work with. If you're interested, there is still time to join the group.
Advocates will be able to shape this role to work with client groups of most interest to them: for example, this could include community groups, work organisations, gardening clubs, and sustainability networks. This is paid work, with training provided: see more details here.
Cultivating more resilience is a basic part of the Seven Seeds of Natural Happiness. When a tree is under stress, it deepens its roots to find more nourishment and increase its stability. Seed 1 of the Seven Seeds of Natural happiness is Nourish your Roots: you can try the Tree Talk, the main process for this is in the book, with this video link or this write-up.