The Happiness Connection  

What seeds do you plant?

Perhaps because I was in England when I first began to garden, I place my perennials close to each other.

This dense planting is typical of traditional English gardens.

I like the intermingling of species and the cacophony of colour that results.

That was the unconscious approach I took last year when I planted my tomatoes. The result was a tomato jungle.

My neighbour laughed at the tangle of plants, but we were both impressed by the amount of fruit that was produced.

Early in this growing season, I added new soil in my tomato bed and waited for the weather to be warm enough for planting.

A few days ago, I was looking to see how much weeding I’d need to do. I could see small seedlings coming up.

When I looked more closely, I realized that they were tiny tomato plants.

I thought I must be seeing things. But when I rubbed my fingers along some of the leaves, they came away with the unmistakable smell of tomato.

I had no idea that tomatoes could self-seed like that.

I looked from them to the numerous plants I had purchased for this year’s jungle. I had options.

I could:

  • Remove the seedlings and put in the new plants.
  • Insert the new plants among the seedling and see what survived.
  • Put the new plants somewhere else and leave these seedlings with space to grow.

The Happiness Connection isn’t about gardening, so you probably realize this story is going somewhere else.

You and I also self-seed, and I’m not referring to children.

Every time you have an interaction, or are witnessed by another person, you’re dropping one of your seeds.

That doesn’t mean it will grow, but the possibility exists.

What you model is what you sow. If you model happiness and positivity, you have the ability to inspire another person. Just your energy can be up-lifting.

You can also inspire with a less desirable type of modelling.

I learned a lot about how not to parent from my Mom and Dad. I don’t mean that as a disrespectful comment, but their style wasn’t for me.

Living consciously means you can choose the type of seeds you want to leave for others, and the type of plants you want to grow in your own garden.

My parents planted seeds. Self-awareness meant I could decide to remove the ones I didn’t want and choose different plants.

Without that cognizance, I would simply have copied what they did.

Take time to notice your inner feelings and thoughts. Examine why you feel the way you do, regardless of whether those emotions are positive or negative.

People watch with an intention to learn more about yourself.

Don’t judge, just observe.

Journalling is my favourite tool for doing this.

As you make choices about how to live your life, remember that you’re not only tending to your garden, but you’re also scattering seeds. You get to choose the variety you leave behind.

Of course. What other people do with the seeds they find growing is up to them.

You’ll probably never know whether the seeds you leave behind help, hinder, or wither, but that isn’t part of your journey.

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap,
But by the seeds you plant.”

— Robert Louis Stevenson

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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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