͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ 
Is this email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.
Natural Happiness graphic

Issue 58: November 2023

Joy and Resilience



Dear friends,

I've been exploring resilience for years: my latest insight is that joy is a vital part of it. Life these days can easily feel scary and overwhelming: we have to keep seeking out joy and positive contact with others, or else we'll sink into the mud of despondency. I hope this issue helps lift your spirits!

With blessings,


Feature blog: The physiology of joy
Image description

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.

Music for joy

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.

Natural Happiness: project update

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.

Image description
Events update

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.

Natural Happiness: Advocates Opportunity

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.

Roots of Resilience: Seed 1

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.

Can we choose our destination?

At heart, I’m an optimist and I try to believe that life has meaning and purpose. Those beliefs are half-drowned right now, and I’m writing this blog in the hope of reviving them… If we think of the past five years, life for many of us has been overshadowed by huge crises, which feel almost intolerable: the climate emergency, covid, Ukraine, and now Israel-Gaza.

     On the other hand, if you choose to face around and look for them, there are immense blessings in life too. Most of us in the UK have a lot to be grateful for: for a start, that we live here, not in the spreading list of trouble spots across the world. Read more.

Image description
Book blog: The Book of Joy
by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu

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 stress and raising our wellbeing.

     Douglas Abrams, who compiled the book, shows how modern research offers similar pointers for human happiness to the Buddhist and Christian teachings this book explores. This book offers a lot of useful insights from all three sources, illustrated by many vivid recollections from the dramatic lives these two men have led. Read more.

Image description

For regular updates and insights, follow us on social media:
Natural Happiness
to nourish wellbeing
Seeding our Future
for resilience to climate change and other issues

If you don't receive this newsletter direct or want to
pass signup details to a friend: here's the link.

For more info see www.naturalhappiness.net

You are receiving this email because you signed up for our newsletter or made a purchase from our shop.

If you want to unsubscribe, click here.