Art of Hugging, A Practice in Presence
Why Practice Hugging?
Where else do you have permission to do something that feels so good and is so very good for your health while giving you the powerful opportunity to practice moving into the present moment and resting there for a little while!
A heart to heart hug which lasts at least 20 seconds can have significant benefits on our mental and physical health and happiness in the following ways:
From the moment we’re born our family’s touch shows us that we’re loved and special. During our childhood the loving cuddles that we receive develop into our sense of self-worth which we carry into adulthood at a cellular level. The associations of self-worth and tactile sensations from our early years are still imbedded in our nervous system as adults. That is why when we are feeling down, unsure of ourselves or confused a hug can often transform those feelings back to one of self-worth and a positive attitude.
A good hug increases the feeling of safety, security, trust and belonging. These are the foundations of all healthy relationships.
Getting a good squeeze before going into a stressful situation can help you relax and calm down a bit. The hug could even help you stay calm, cool, and collected during the event. The reason for this is that when we hug, our oxytocin levels go up. This powerful hormone is often called “the bonding hormone,” because it promotes attachment in relationships. Human-to-human contact also lowers your body’s levels of the stress hormone cortisol. And that in turn helps ease your blood flow, lower your heart rate and increase your immune systems capacity to respond.
Physical touch and hugging can combat feelings of loneliness that arise as people get older. A retirement home in New York conducted a study in which they implemented a program called ‘Embraceable You.’ The idea was to encourage cross-generational contact and touch between residents and staff members to improve the residents’ wellbeing. The results were conclusive, with residents who were touched or hugged three or more times a day having more energy, feeling less depressed, better able to concentrate and more restful sleep than their less-hugged counterparts.
So what’s not to love? Hugs make you happier, healthier and more relaxed – AND improve your relationships!
There’s only one catch: It has to be a GOOD HUG! Which means, it has to last at least 20 seconds.
"KimJoy is a hugging adept whose love for the art form has led to this sweet heart offering. She has designed a simple, elegant practice for moving into the mystery. Using parameters of care and safety, she creates a finely tuned container of light to relax into the embrace of the Beloved. I arrived not knowing hugging as a spiritual practice. I left serenely walking on air. Thank you KimJoy! "
Micheal Zieve, Sebastopol
The Art of Hugging Practice was a sweet and deep experience. The Practice was lovingly presented and we were guided through it seamlessly. I felt quite comfortable while exploring new levels of shared, heartfelt presence.
Since then I've found myself comfortably dropping into a calm and timeless place when hugging opportunities arise. I've also sensed my own energy being settled into an easy abidance in my belly and solar plexus. I'd call this feeling grounded in a deep and satisfying way.
Why Practice Presence?
This self-awareness practice is an opportunity to connect with ourselves: body, mind and emotions. Once we are fully engaged within then we engage with another. We hold the intention to stay present to our own inner experience while we are connecting/hugging with another.
What an awesome skill to cultivate! I stay connected with me while in relationship with you!
This practice opens us up to the possibility of standing in our own selves fully while meeting another, who is standing in their full self, and together relaxing and breathing into an open space of connection and resting there.
Unfortunately, I am putting the Art of Hugging on pause for the time being.
We will collectively ride out this Delta Wave and see what is next for our returning to gathering together and connecting in this way!
Love in every direction!
We gather on the 1st Saturday of each month 10am-Noon, near Sebastopol in the beautiful movement Orchard off Bloomfield Road. Please register and you will be sent specific directions.
$15-$30 donation – please give what you can and No-one turned away
?October 2nd 10am-Noon?
?November 6th 10am-Noon?
?December 4th 10am-Noon?
Bring layers, water, maybe a blanket, yoga mat, cushion or backjack, a mask, sun hat, all the usual stuff.
Wrist bands will be available to those who are fully vaccinated for identification as this may allow you, and or others more ease.
It is essential that each individual assume:
Personal responsibility for their bodily safety & health.
Please be Respectful & Sensitive
to the boundaries of others & to your own.
If you don’t feel Well- please stay home & get better.
Our heartfelt gratitude for your awareness & care
Contact KimJoy with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org