Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Why The #$*! Is Hugging So Difficult?

Seriously. Why do hugs fall into one of two camps – “get-your-freebie-cop-a-feel” or “paranoid-i-got-issues-touch-a-phobia?” The modern world sometimes takes all the fun out of living. I think we are backsliding into a Victorian passive/aggressive state based on the sole relationship of fear. Yuck. Personally, it would be great if people could be a bit more like hobbits. Innocent, fun-loving, happy folk who share a hug just as easily as a pint of beer – and who also happen to be fictitious. Nice.

So why are hugs so darn difficult? What’s to fear about showing that you like someone by giving them a hug? Other than your kids, how many different people have you hugged today? Not that i’m discounting a kid’s hug. They’re great! But kids have no concept of weird society rules; they have open hearts and no fear. (See – there’s that hobbit thing again.) If the world were peopled with kids there would be lots of hugs going on. Did you hug your parents? A loved one? A friend? How many people did you come in contact with today? Count them up. Now – how many of those would you consider “huggable?” And of those, how many did you actually hug? The ones you claim aren’t huggable, why aren’t they? How many could you have hugged?

According to some psychologists, we need 5 – 12 hugs a day. Crap. If that’s so – i’m way off count. I might not get 12 hugs a month, much less that many in a day. And i like hugs. Crap again. What’s a hugger to do? Go out and hug the next stranger walking down the fruit aisle at the grocery store? Ooooo – maybe i’ll start a new trend – “grocery hugging.” I can picture it now, stock clerk to customer, “nuts and chocolates on aisle three, hugs aisle five.” Or maybe i’ll start a hug-a-thon at a local Starbucks. Hmmm…

Hugging is good for you and the person hugged. So why are we so reluctant? Why are we so afraid? Because that’s what it boils down to – fear. Yet hugging is one of the best healers, the best peace-makers, and the best feel-good medicines around. And it’s free! Try this – the next time you get into an argument, instead of raising your voice, the silent treatment, walking away, or placing blame – stop and try a hug. It’s very hard to be mad at someone when they’re hugging you. Try it. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. I mean really, how long can someone stay your mortal enemy if you’re hugging them? And heck, even if you haven’t had an argument – surprise yourself. Get out of your box. Take a chance and hug someone – just because. Learn how to be a good hugger and become a Hugger now! ;-)

Life Positive – a holistic living site with a nice side article, “How To Hug.”

Personal Life Media – podcast and blogs. This interesting article and interview is on “Sex, Love and Intimacy.”

Psychology Today – blog post on “The Moral Molecule”

Yep – and here it is – the site for National Hugging Day – or January 21st – put it on your calendar!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Acorn Popping

They’re everywhere. Bright green and yellow. Shiny and smooth as silk. Acorns. If robins are harbingers of Spring, then acorns are the messengers of Fall. How lovely! I’ve never met a person who didn’t like Fall. The scent of the Earth bearing up Her last harvest for the year. Hot days followed by chilly nights and crisp mornings. And the mighty oak, adorned in fat little acorns. I sat below the shade of a massive tree the other day. A gentle breeze blew across the fields and i fell into an idyllic trance. You know what i’m talking about? Like when we were kids. Sitting there with not a care in the world. Just absorbing the wonderfulness of the moment. Though we never thought of it like that. We were just killing time, twisting long pieces of grass in our hands and making braids. Or drawing doodles in the sand with a twig.

The afternoon was like that, a soft, sweet and lazy daydream. I was lost in my trance when a sudden burst of wind shook the tree. And then Fall happened. Acorns were popping. Pop, pop, popping. Little Buddha bellies poked out from their pods, then – POP! Off they went! Jumping to the ground and bouncing in the leaves. I smiled and laughter. They danced all around – like children showing off. “Look how high i can bounce!” It was a magical afternoon. Tender and sweet. Like children. Like Fall.