Last weekend, in Ojai, I witnessed one of the most intoxicating hugs I’ve ever seen. It was between two platonic friends of the opposite sex. There was nothing uncomfortable about it, nobody was making an awkward joke, and it must have extended to 40 seconds of pure connection and appreciation for one another.
I was forced to take personal inventory of how often I walk through social experiences giving quick, societal, meaningless hugs. Always. In that moment I woke up. It’s like walking through life having a lot of meaningless sex, or meaningless conversation. Two things I’ve never really been in to. Conscious hugging is where it’s at; and if you have a consenting recipient, here’s why you might want to give a conscious hug–heart forward—for twenty seconds or more:
I. Release oxytocin (love hormone) to bond more deeply.
II. Release ego and connect to empathy and understanding through the exchange of feelings across the bioenergetics field generated by the heart. This causes us to empathize with the other person and build trust.
III. Balance the nervous system (parasympathetic) through psychophysiological coherence created by passionate hugging.
IV. To consciously step into the present moment with the person you’ll be connecting with. This type of hugging takes scattered thoughts and brings the other person into focus.