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Issue 33: September 2019


Events Update
Feature Blog: Responses to Chaos
Blog: Right-wing chaos: intention to control
Book blog: Thriving on Chaos
Time for some prepping?
Bonus blog:  Finding roots of happiness in Morocco

Dear friend,

Does the mere idea of more chaos make you shudder? Me too. But look around: it’s what’s coming at us from many sides. The aim of this issue is to explore some of the reasons for rising chaos, and some responses which may help you.

Wishing you serenity in the months ahead!


Feature Blog:
Response to Chaos
What are the benefits in even more chaos?

We'd better find them, since it's already happening!


You might call me an anxious optimist: I worry a lot about the state of the world, but I cling to a belief that there’s an upside to the challenges, if only we can find it. That belief is hard to sustain these days, so I’m writing this to help me as much as anyone else.

It was back in 2012 that I got interested in resilience: I felt that we all need to raise our resilience skills urgently, to handle growing turbulence ahead. I still don’t feel I’ve got on top of the challenges, but frankly, my experience of the past seven years is that I’d be in a much worse state if I’d done nothing!

My explorations since 2012 have not produced any astounding breakthroughs, more a steady deepening of things that help, and learning from others. So here’s an overview of what I can suggest to live positively with yet more chaos.

  • Keep connecting with a positive vision. Advocates of this range from positive psychology experts to Gail Bradbrook, co-founder of Extinction Rebellion. It really is worth imagining and picturing, as fully as you can, the better world you’d like. Do this at every level from yourself individually, to your community, to the global ecosystem. Draw pictures, write it out, connect with it repeatedly. Daily would be good: because we’re assailed by negative news continually. 


Thriving on Chaos by Tom Peters

Still useful, 24 years on!

This catchily-titled book was published in 1987, and was a management best-seller for years. Even then, new technologies, speed of change, intensifying competition were big issues. Whilst Tom Peters’ insights may not address all our current challenges, they’re worth revisiting. In this blog, I’ll explore how they might apply to organisations of all kinds, not just businesses. 

Peter’s book is 523 pages long, oozing with motivational hyperbole about revolutionary leadership, extraordinary responsiveness etc. It’s key principles are by now well-established: the first is Customer focus and superior service. How might this apply to a charity or a campaigning organisation?  To read full blog click here.

Right-wing chaos:

control through fear

Naomi Klein: No is not enough


Naomi Klein’s 2018 book, No is not enough: defeating the new shock politics, is the most lucid, convincing, and alarming account I’ve seen yet of what Donald Trump is really about, and much of it is relevant to the numerous other right-wing leaders gaining power in these chaotic times. She’s clearly right that Trump excels at alarming and confusing us. This is likely to leave people confused, overloaded, and acquiescent. But it gets worse.

What, in essence, is Trump trying to do? Rearrange the world to favour mega-rich individuals and corporations, including himself. Look at his proposed huge tax cuts, massive deregulation, or at the billionaire corporate types who fill his Cabinet.

Klein’s analysis makes worrying sense of Trump’s fluster of activity. For example, why crank up international tension and defence spending? To read full blog click here.


NOVEMBER 1-3, 2019 

Celebrating Samhain : a time to take stock, honour the land, the Ancestors, and nourish ourselves. 

With Agatha Manouche and Alan Heeks 

As we reach the end of the cycle of the year, it helps to appraise the depth of our roots in every sense, and connect to the slowing vibration of Nature, remembering the legacy of our Ancestors whose spirits are so close at this time. During the weekend you are invited to explore this theme with Agatha and Alan, who have evolved a spiritual stewardship at  Hazel Hill Wood for over 20 years.  This weekend is a unique chance to experience it for yourself, as Agatha retires after this group. 

During  our time together,  we will start the dark season’s nurturing process by learning ways of  letting go and composting what no longer serves us and our communities;  this process helps deepen our roots to allow seeds of hope and intention  manifest for the Celtic New Year. Click here for more details.

FEBRUARY 1st 2020

A 1-day workshop in Bridport: 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 purpose or responding to challenges, and finding the joy in turbulent times.
The day will be a shared, experiential journey using a range of processes including guided meditation and creative work. It is not based on any particular belief system, but is a topic which has facilitators the leaders for many years. Click here for more info.

MARCH 20-22, 2020
Deep Adaptation: A Spiritual Exploration
Hazel Hill Wood, near Salisbury
With Alan Heeks, Jake Farr, Karim Hadden
Deep Adaptation is the term used by Jem Bendell to invite us to face the radical changes climate change will bring within the next decade. This weekend retreat will focus on the spiritual aspects: seeking purpose, healing, mutual care from a bigger perspective. More info soon...


Did you know that August 10 saw the biggest power failure in the UK for years? About a million people were affected, and power for some trains and stations blacked out. Perhaps a warning of more chaos in essential services. To see what you could do about prepping your own home, see this blog, or check

 BONUS BLOG: Southern Morocco:

We can learn a lot from people with less material wealth

For many years, I’ve found that trips to so-called less developed countries give me priceless reminders of how to live more happily back home in 2018 Britain.  This was certainly true of the group trip I co-led to Morocco in November 2018.
I called this trip the Roots of Joy because I believe that human happiness needs to grow up from a good root network, in the same way as a tree or a plant.  The idea was to experience what these roots are for our host communities in Morocco, to help cultivate our wellbeing both as a group, and as individuals.
It was highly satisfying to see that this idea worked, for everyone in our group. A key factor in this was our hosts in Morocco, Holidays with Heart. Over many years, an English woman Jane Bayley, has gathered a superb local team at the centre she has created in the town of Taroudant, an hour inland from Agadir.
Jane’s project is impressive in many ways.  One reason it is well rooted in its locality is the support it gives to a range of local projects: social, environmental, and cultural.  One example is the Moroccan Childrens Trust, who are running pilot projects in Taroudant and Agadir to place orphan and neglected children with foster parents instead of residential care centres.
To read on click here...


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