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Finding & Feeling Incandescent Joy

My young tortoise, Malti, happens upon a “found” blackberry while out hunting for lawn victuals – a true moment of incandescent joy for her and me both!

Lately I’ve been having these moments. They arise like a bubble rising up through a soda bottle – literally – like, I can feel them bubbling up out of me.

And then the thought follows: “I am incandescently happy!”

There is a real present-ness to these moments – it is something I don’t feel at any other time in my day.

The sensation completely overtakes me, and for a few precious breaths I am breathing in joy, breathing out joy. It is very pure joy!

I have never been inside one of those 100 percent oxygen tanks – the ones that I’ve only seen on television at veterinary clinics where they put animals inside who can’t have surgery but need deep healing.

But I think these incandescent moments might be sort of like breathing in 100 percent pure oxygen – the kind that is not dragged down by any toxins, pollens or irritants (and certainly not by any carbon dioxide).

It is a bit heady but not intoxicating – more like feeling deeply, purely present and complete.

Why am I even telling you this?  

I suppose because until they started happening, I didn’t believe it was possible to ever feel just pure happiness, just pure simple joy.

These experiences are never attached to anything “big.” For example, when I feel them, I haven’t just won the lottery. I am not being proposed to. I’m not even on vacation.

I might be standing in a sunbeam. Or watching my parrot, Pearl, preening his feathers.

Maybe my young tortoise, Malti, has just lumbered by me on the lawn in search of delectable edibles.

Sometimes I can’t even put my finger on what caused the up-rising.

These moments never last long. If I miss them – if I don’t take time to stop, notice, name what I am feeling, sink in for the instant it is with me – they are gone again, off in search of more consciously aware playmates.

But just to know they are possible – they exist – they exist for ME – that they have arisen before and may do so again – is nothing short of soul-sustaining.

Today’s Takeaway: Have you ever felt anything similar – like just a pure bubble of so-bright-too-bright-impossibly-bright inner light that you can’t even really put a name to or believe is real at first? What invited its presence? Does this happen occasionally or even frequently in your life?

Finding & Feeling Incandescent Joy

Shannon Cutts

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APA Reference
Cutts, S. (2018). Finding & Feeling Incandescent Joy. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 24, 2019, from


Last updated: 3 May 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 3 May 2018
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