May 28, 2009

Hug It Out...

This week I was liberated from a situation in my life that was a massive source of stress. Because I was so stressed and tense 99% of the time, it really showed in my face; in fact, not long ago one of my friends told me that she missed the "old me" - she said that I never smiled anymore. That really pissed me off.

One of the things that the "old me" did often was to hug total strangers. You know you've seen them; that person you notice in passing who just looks like they could use a big hug. I don't know if it's because I don't look threatening, or if it's because I just do it before they can react...but not one person has ever pulled away. And rather than look angry or embarrassed, their entire being seems to relax; then they say thank you, and that's my cue to leave. Generally, there's no discussion; no dissection of what had just transpired, as I believe we've communicated in a language that is understood by everyone. We, the recipient and I...we get it.

I LOVE the fact that the young'uns get it, as detailed in this awesome article from MSNBC. I think that Carrie Osbourne, a sixth-grade teacher at Claire Lilienthal Alternative School, says it best. She stated that "hugging was a powerful and positive sign that children are inclined to nurture one another, breaking down barriers. “And it gets to that core that every person wants to feel cared for, regardless of your age or how cool you are or how cool you think you are.”

I believe in the power of touch, and that in that tiny bit of contact lies a whole world of healing. The best part is that in the process, I'm healed and recharged as well. This coming week, I'll be spending an evening with Ammachi, the "hugging saint from India" who will be in LA next week for her yearly visit. You can read more about her here. She is an amazing woman put here for the simplest of reasons, doing work that is almost too complex to break down to an understandable level. And isn't that the way of mystery?

While in the middle of all my icky life-nonsense, I was surrounded by people who hugged me and told me that everything would work out. They were right, it did work out. And you know what? Watch out, because I'm back. Arms open.

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