I often hear versions of this confession from my clients. When a child has trouble answering, “How do you feel when you’re happy?” it poses an additional challenge.
In a recent attempt to explain, this is what I did:
Can you feel the chair underneath you? (Focusing on sensations)
What does it feel like?
Can you grab something near you? Pen, bottle of lotion, toy….
Is it hard or soft, shiny or dull, does it have a smell, is it fuzzy, it it cool or warm…a sort of 20 questions of sensations.
Once this child understood physical sensation. I asked her, what does it feel like when your mom hugs you or when you are playing with your friends?
She smiled. Still having trouble describing the sensations.
I asked her, in those times do you want to stay or leave?
“stay there” she said.
Ahhhh….so maybe happiness feels like wanting to just stay. She smiled. Maybe when you feel yourself smiling, it might be happiness?
This little person taught me that happiness is wanting to stay, wanting to be present, not wanting to escape or the feeling to end.
She may not yet know what happiness feels like but we maybe getting closer to finding out.
What does happiness feel like for you?
May you stay in ease, stay in goodness,