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Issue 26: Oct 2018


Creative Ageing Revisited



  • Editorial
  • Feature blog: Even the old are prejudiced about ageing
  • Seeding our Future: a progress report
  • Upcoming events
  • Smiling at wrinkles
  • Last call for Morocco!
  • YouTube Video: Alan's New Book: Not Fade Away
  • Book Blog: Not Fade Away
  • Bonus Blog: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

Dear friend,

October 1 is UN Older People’s Day.  This is just one reason to highlight my new book on creative ageing, launched earlier this year.  I’m also running two events this month on this theme, in Bristol and at Hazel Hill Wood. Whatever age you may be, older people will be part of your life.  So a road map to enjoying the vintage years could be helpful to us all!

With best wishes

Even the old are prejudiced about ageing!

How to grow through the fear and bias

Most of us have prejudices, and most of us have them around old age, whatever age we are!  It’s been shocking for me, as an expert on creative ageing, to admit this is true of me.

I realise that one simplistic way that I categorize people I meet is ‘old’ or ‘regular’.  ‘Old’ people have white hair and wrinkles, they move slowly and not in straight lines. You have to slow down and concentrate to communicate with them.  This summer, as I approached seventy, I still felt depressed at the prospect, despite working hard at being positive.  I’ve realised that the heart of my depression is joining a category about which I still have prejudice: old people.

Alan with a group at Hazel Hill Wood

Alan with a group at Hazel Hill Wood

At least I can see the opportunity here, to find ways to unpack my hangups and clear them will help my own ageing process, and hopefully others.  This is part of a wider change in our outlook on life, which is vital as we get older: choosing our own beliefs and values, and not being manipulated and prejudiced by the media. For full blog click here.  

Seeding our Future:
a progress report

It’s now 6 years since I started my first project on future resilience, and 2 since the current one began. Now you can benefit, in a few minutes, from a few of the insights which several man-years of work have provided.

These projects have been going long enough that some of the trends we foresaw are actually happening. I’ve learned that some changes can arrive amazingly fast, and are in your face (like climate change this summer), others are so subtle and dispersed that you have to know what you’re looking for in order to spot the trend (such as IT disruptions).


LAST CALL for Morocco!


Travel can take you forward or back in time. Daily life in Southern Morocco has traditional qualities which can enrich our ‘modern’ ways: a close connection to the land, and spiritual connection woven into everyday life.

There are a few places left on Alan’s Roots of Joy holiday-retreat, Nov 10-20. Book soon to secure a place and a cheap flight!
See more here…
YouTube Video:
Alan's New Book: Not Fade Away

Smiling at Wrinkles

  • 'Don't worry about avoiding temptation. As you get older it will avoid you.' Winston Churchill.
  • 'Old age is an excellent time for outrage. My goal is to say or do at least one outrageous thing every week!' Maggie Kuhn
  • 'We could certainly slow the ageing process down if it had to work its way through Congress!' Will Rogers
  • 'When they tell me I'm too old to do something, I attempt it immediately.' Pablo Picasso



Oct 7: Afternoon Elders’ Circle at Hazel Hill Wood with Alan Heeks. On the Sunday, after the conservation weekend, Alan will be hosting an Elders’ Circle: an invitation to share your experiences and insights around how to grow older happily and healthily.
The Elders’ Circle will be 2pm-4pm, and is open to anyone age 50 or over. Others of any age are welcome to listen and observe. This session is free of charge for all.

Click here for more details...

Oct 15-16: Wising up to Super-resilience: thriving in the 2020’s with Alan Heeks at Hawkwood College, Stroud. This is a chance to explore the future and evolve your own strategies, helped by findings from the Seeding our Future project, through a mix of enquiry, process, briefing and group discussion. Organised by partners in Seeding our Future: The Schumacher Institute, social innovator Alan Heeks, and Hawkwood Centre for Future Thinking.
Click here for more details...

Saturday October 20th: Wise and Well Festival, Bristol. Alan will be leading one-hour sessions on Ageing Creatively (2.30pm) and Follow your Bliss (1.00 pm with Will Gethin).  For more details click here.

Oct 30: Re-visioning Frontline Services. with Alan Heeks and team. A new Action Learning Programme for managers of front-line services teams, including three 24-hour residential at Hazel Hill Wood in October, February and April.  See full details here.

Nov 10-20 The Roots of Joy – Nourish your Body Heart & Soul in Southern Morocco. With Alan Heeks and Cordelia Jilani Prescott. Relax, reflect and renew amid the warm land and people of Southern Morocco, learning from Nature about the roots of joy, and grow your wellbeing from the roots up. This trip combines a truly magical holiday with some inner and group exploration, including meditation, mantra dance, inspiring Sufi practices and lots more.
Click here for more details...

Front-Line Services

We all depend on front-line services, such as health, local authorities, and voluntary organisations. Most of them are under severe pressure, squeezed between rising demand and shrinking budgets.

RVFLS is a new Action Learning Programme, led by Alan Heeks, Daniel Koerner and Jose Barco, for managers in small front-line bodies, or team leaders in larger ones. We will explore the needs of managers, teams, and their clients, with three 24-hour residentials at Hazel Hill Wood plus online support.


Book Blog: Not Fade Away: Staying happy when you're over 64!

Written by Alan Heeks…

The late sixties and beyond are a landmark: a good time to choose what you want from the years ahead, and take stock of the story so far. This short, practical book offers you valuable guidance, new skills, and resources to help you to be happy in your vintage years and grow through the tough bits. Read on here...

To buy the book click here.


 Bonus Blog:  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 marriage, leaving the family home and my two daughters. The following year brought depression, a cancer scare, and the loss of my main client for training work. It took me several years of turmoil to find myself again, but I had some rich adventures on the way, including blind dating, learning to cook, tantra groups, and a lot of solo time at Hazel Hill Wood, the retreat centre I have created. Click here to read on...

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