The Happiness Connection  

Does your heart sing?

Perhaps because we recently celebrated Valentine’s and Family days, I’ve been thinking about hearts and the part they play in our desire to be happy. What makes your heart sing and your senses tingle?

My heart sings every time I look at one of our three cats, Sadie. We fostered her for the SPCA when she was young and pregnant. She was the lone cat in our home for several weeks, until we became the proud foster family for her six kittens. We cared for all seven of them until the young ones were old enough to be adopted.

After much negotiation, we agreed on two kittens to keep and returned Sadie and the others. The kittens were snapped up quickly, but no one wanted their mom. That didn’t surprise us as she was pretty anti-social. Even when she had her litter, she only did what was absolutely necessary to care for them.

One day when our kittens were about a year old, I glanced at a page in a local paper and saw Sadie’s face staring back at me. Almost a year after we had returned her to the SPCA, she was still there.

I started with a stealthy lone visit to the SPCA see what was going on. I then began to take each family member in turn to see her. Every time it was the same. She refused to acknowledge us, and simply stood on a table and stared out of a window.

No wonder no one had taken her home.

On my daughter’s visit, she spent her entire time playing with a gorgeous cat called Joey. But we didn’t want a third cat, and we weren’t there to find one; we were there to see Sadie.

She was unkempt and dangerously thin. No matter how much my husband and I didn’t want another feline, we knew that we had to write a third cheque and take her home. Her state wasn’t because she wasn’t being looked after, it was because she was so unhappy; she had stopped eating and looking after herself.

We didn’t want a third cat, but her need for a home was more important than the amount of fur we had to vacuum up every week. Within minutes of arriving back at our house, she stretched and began to wash herself. It was as if she was saying, “What took you so long?”

Sadie is now glossy, sociable (with us) and healthy, and every time I see her, my heart sings. Because we gave her a forever home, she is alive and well.

Knowing that you have done something good for someone else, without any reward for yourself, is guaranteed to boost your level of happiness.

If you aren’t sure where to start, here are some tips.

1. How can you share your strengths and interests with others to make a difference in their lives?

2. What are your values? How can you promote these during your work day, and in your personal life?

3. Stop spending time thinking about what your job, family and friends offer you, and think about what you can give to them.

Knowing that you are part of a bigger picture, and that you are making a positive difference, is a sure way to let your heart sing.

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About the Author

Reen Rose is an experienced, informative, and engaging speaker, author, and educator. She has worked for over three decades in the world of education, teaching children and adults in Canada and England.

Research shows that happy people are better leaders, more successful, and healthier than their unhappy counterparts, and yet so many people still believe that happiness is a result of their circumstances.

Happiness is a choice. Reen’s presentations and workshops are designed to help you become robustly happy. This is her term for happiness that can withstand challenge and change.

Reen blends research-based expertise, storytelling, humour, and practical strategies to both inform and inspire. She is a Myers Briggs certified practitioner, a Microsoft Office certified trainer and a qualified and experienced teacher.

Email Reen at [email protected]

Check out her websites at www.ReenRose.com, or www.ModellingHappiness.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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