For a decade now I’ve had the honor of sharing my passion for the art and craft of massage through teaching. This has brought me tremendous joy and as a result, I’ve met hundreds of eager students that span the rainbow of colors, ages, sizes, nationalities, abilities, personalities, and talents. My world is richer and has more texture now because of this exposure. Every time a passionate student shares a revelation or a success story with me, I genuinely share that joy! Happiness emanates from their energy field and I begin resonating with it. I love to teach precisely because of this gift of spontaneous happiness generation, or compersion.

Compersion is a word that was coined in the 1960s to describe an emotion for which there is no adequate, single word in English. According to Wikipedia, it describes the pleasure that comes from delighting in another person’s well-being; feeling joy inside yourself when someone else experiences joy. This is what I was feeling all these years but I never knew it had a name or that it was a thing, I just knew it was why I love to teach. It turns out it’s not a new thing either. The Buddhists have had such a word for at least 3,000 years; mudita is defined as pure joy unadulterated by self-interest. It’s the opposite of jealousy.

Thanks to a podcast I was listening to the other day, I discovered this newish word, compersion, and I love it. It’s instinctual for mothers and fathers to feel this unbridled joy when their children are excited and happy and I believe it comes naturally to all of us but, like a lot of things, it needs nurturing. So now that you know what it is, you can nurture your compersion and create more happiness in this world.