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How to Become a Hug-a-Holic

By Jafree Ozwald

"Love is our true essence. Love has no limitations of caste, religion, race, or nationality. We are all beads strung together on the same thread of love. To awaken this unity--and to spread to others the love that is our inherent nature--is the true goal of human life." ~ Ammachi

One of the most challenging and rewarding things you are here to do on this planet is to learn how to truly connect with people. This means being able to engage freely with others on the deepest emotional, spiritual, mental and physical levels. When you are connecting with others in these intimate ways, you open up new energies of love, lightness and power within yourself, and this allows you to explore the most hidden and mysterious aspects of your being. There are many wonderful and divine things inside you, and for you to find them takes a willingness to open yourself and let others inside you.

The outer world is your playground, which serves as the catalyst for your main spiritual growth in this lifetime. All the people you interact with along the way are perfect mirrors for you, reflecting the deepest understanding of what is happening within your innermost process. The more you open, engage and can interact with others in a way that feels genuinely healing, liberating and loving, then naturally a sacred healing source finds its way into your heart, falling into every crack and crevice of your being.

As a baby, you came into this world completely unrestricted, unguarded and unafraid of being intimate with others. You were a bubble of bliss and your heart was naturally open, fearless and unconditionally loving. You were constantly merging with everyone and everything you met. Giving and receiving touch was as natural as breathing. Then, throughout your childhood, a grid of social rules were unconsciously implanted upon you. They were given so you could fit in, survive the system, and become accepted member of the society. You were taught there was a right and wrong way to talk to people, to work, play, to touch others, and socially interact with everyone. These social rules often created feelings of limitation, separation and distance from other people. This fear based system educated you that you'd be punished in some way if you broke one of their rules. These rules have been planted in such old deep soil within you, that you may not be aware how they are rooted and functioning in your everyday life.

Now that you are an adult and on the path of healing, personal growth and self-realization, your job is to liberate yourself from every single limitation that has been imposed upon you. You are here to find freedom from every mental, emotional, social, and physical prison you're living in. You are here to grow beyond all these walls. You already know which social rules are imperative not to break as they would hurt others, yourself and perhaps throw you into jail. Yet, this level of liberation I'm speaking about is not about breaking those types of social laws, this freedom is much more evolved than that. This path is about finding a freedom within yourself that is sooo enormous, so ecstatic, and full of aliveness that every societal rule must bend and bow down on the path to greet you.

If you're interested in discovering a new level of inner freedom and liberation in your life, my invitation for you is to start breaking free from that social programming which says, "keep to yourself" and God forbid don't physically touch anybody you don't know! Try on something radical and completely new here. Explore what its like to reformat your social software to experiencing more physical touch with everyone you know. Make the habit of creating heart to heart connections with everyone you meet, especially those who are cold, resistant and truly need a hug. This time you have here is precious and not worth wasting a single day on feeling distant and separate from others. Devote the remainder of your life to replacing every potential hand shake with a heart warming hug. Open your arms to new people you meet and embrace them. This deeply transformative heart opening practice which will change your entire life in more ways than you know.

In 1996 when I first decided to break free from all social rules and open my heart to embracing everyone I met, I noticed something dramatic shifted inside me. The life I once lived which felt separate and distant from others, soon became warm, fearless and healing in all my relationships and conversations. In a few months time I had "trained" everyone who knew me that they would give and receive a hug whenever we met. My entire world was surrounded with meeting warm spirited friends who instantly opened their hearts to me upon first sight. For the very first time, I felt as if my heart had a home inside of every person in my life.

Becoming a hug-a-holic is a practice that requires a delicate balance of giving and receiving love. It honors where people are at in their ability to let in love, and yet lives under a very radical and rebellious assumption that most of society needs to hug each other more frequently. This doesn't mean that you're running up to embrace every single person you see on the street. The hugs that come from you are more of a natural heart opening effect that come through a deeper devotion to your heart and spiritual path. When your heart truly opens up to the source of love, it becomes overflowing with such a genuine fearless energy that you have to share it with everyone you personally meet. You just don't care anymore if the other person is going to be offended if you reach out to hug them. You've already let so many social rules run your life, so don't let the ego get in the way of love.

It may first seem unnatural and fake to open your arms to a perfect stranger, or a "non-hugging" family member who you just doesn't let anyone associate with them on that level. The hug may feel like you're hugging a stiff oak tree, where you might receive a painful slap on the back. The communication begins with teaching others how to hug. Let them know why you are doing this and what it means to your life. Be radically honest with people, you have nothing but your ego to lose. With a little practice you'll soon find each new embrace becomes more warm and cozy than the last. In a very short while you'll find the community around you then becomes a doorway to deeper healing and transformation within yourself.

To give and receive the ultimate hug, you must understand that every heart to heart meeting you have is an short yet divine opportunity for each person to relax, rest and dive deep within themselves. It may last 3 seconds, 3 minutes, or 3 hours, all depending on the level of communication you create. The key is making every embrace genuine, meaning your heart is truly open and loving theirs. This type of embrace from both people becomes an instant gateway to the divine. Through intentional communication with the people in your community, your heart opening practice with others will soon become a joyful habit that everyone looks forward to, and will soon manifest into the most amazing joyful life everyone could possibly live.

Your life is meant to be juicy and overflowing with great aliveness. You are not here to live a life of feeling separate, isolated or avoiding touching other people. Human beings need gentle, warm, physical touch everyday to remain healthy. It is vital and essential for you to be happy and exist in a state of true mental, emotional and physical health. When you stop caring about the social boundaries people have around truly embracing another being, you realize that there is an entire world of loving hearts available for you to connect with. Through a radical playful honesty with others about your new hugging life mission, you will free the mind from all social inhibitions and find the trust in love that will guide you. It is your devotion to melting the walls everyone has around their hearts that the right words and actions will come to you, and will turn any socially awkward situation into the most enlightening and healing heart opening connection.

An enlightened hug-a-holic is not about being an efficient, effective "professional hugger" who is trying to save the wounded hearts of this world. Its more about expanding the love inside your heart by consistently melting through the fearful egoic walls people have around theirs. All socially acceptable and unacceptable behavior comes from the ego and when you break through any social taboo such as hugging someone for 15 minutes in public, an entire Universe of unlimited possibilities will start opening up inside you.

"The sun shines down, and its image reflects in a thousand different pots filled with water. The reflections are many, but they are each reflecting the same sun. Similarly, when we come to know who we truly are, we will see ourselves in all people." ~Ammachi (the hugging saint)

Your heart is the doorway to God, and there is nothing more socially powerful and personal than experiencing a deep merging embrace with a genuine heart warming hug. By implementing hugging others as a simple daily practice, you will mend the many years of deep fragmented feelings you may be carrying inside. Most of us are living in an overly controlled rigid social system that is afraid of social displays of affection. The deeper fear is that sex may take over the weak will powered beings and create all sorts of future complications. This may have been a problem 100 years ago, yet in the 21st century I believe we are much more conscious and advanced than we're giving ourselves credit for.

When you start your hugging practice with people you might find a fear arises inside you from approaching those who aren't ok with intimacy or their own sensuality. When you can break free from any fear of intimacy you are empowering yourself in more ways than you realize. This fear comes from our survival instinct that is terrified of being vulnerable. There is a deep inherent need to connect with people physically, and yet finding how to have real intimacy and healthy boundaries is the key. Welcoming the warm embrace of another makes us face how scared, isolated and lonely we truly are. Most people are sooo afraid of rejection that they cannot take the risk to open their arms to hug another. The fear of being shunned, unaccepted, and avoided is so painful that they would rather remain closed and distant, being free from emotional risk. The problems is this irrational fear can be soooo pervading that this energy can have a paralyzing effect on every single social interaction you have.

If you look at your own social fears, what thoughts and feelings do you have that stop you from giving everyone a hug? If there was a part of you that was afraid of intimacy, how young would this part be and what fearful story would it be telling? The energy you're spending in trying to connect with certain people is the exact same energy proportionally to what you're spending trying to avoid certain other people. The thing we run from is the thing we run towards. When you stop judging and start hugging you'll see all your fears evaporating everyday. The truth is that everyone is on the same level when it comes to love, because we all have a deep humility found inside our heart. Every single one of us yearns to be held, loved and cherished and this experience can be found inside every single being on this planet.

I want you to open your mind this year to going on a real hugging adventure. Make the commitment from now on that each person you meet, you will force yourself to open your arms, move towards them with a loving smile, relax into your heart, and explore the magic that happens when you embrace. It could be a male or female, it doesn't matter. What does matter is that you devote yourself to this hugging practice EVERY day.

Start breaking all the social hugging boundaries that you can. Hug the clerk behind the cash register, the manager who you were upset at, your neighbor who you never talk to. Get into the hugging habit, especially when it feels uncomfortable. You just don't know how important your hugs may be for people. That one person who is not so good at social interactions and perhaps has not been touched or hugged for many years may be right in front of you. You may be that one amazingly sacred gift they secretly need inside to make their life worth living.

Right now, pretend that you have never given nor received the most amazing hug in the Universe. This profound life changing "cosmic hug" is one that will make your heart feel like its a pink puffy cloud all day long. Explore what its like to hug people as if it was a new art form that nobody knew existed! Imagine you are discovering this special exotic technique which will take you into the highest levels of bliss. Let yourself explore each hug as if you were falling into the arms of God and arriving in heaven. Trust this experience each time until you completely give up all inhibitions and fear. Just open your arms and smile whenever you meet someone new. Don't even think about it, just do it, all the while you are genuinely smiling. Most people will just copy whatever you're doing and open their arms too, because social rapport is embedded into our very core. Most people don't want to seem distant cold or closed down, so embrace them and love them as long as is comfortable for you and them.

Its important to realize that it takes a very advanced soul to know how to hug another being in a deep and meaningful way. Do not get too discouraged if you or your partner are not able to immediately follow these steps and find the ultimate cosmic hugging experience. It may take time before some people trust this feeling of being embraced with unconditional love. Share this email with those you want to share this divine experience with! Now get ready to become a hug-a-holic... here are 4 life changing steps to giving and receive a truly healing hug!

Super Cosmic Hug Step #1
Look people in the eyes when you meet them. Smile and give a first initial "I love you" greeting just from your eyes. The eyes are the windows to the soul, so let the love come through them! Love the other person not because you should but because they are lovable, need love and available for receiving love. Make this about giving love from your soul, and also receiving any love that you need to. This is not about trying to get them to give love back to you, yet be open to that when it does occur. Hugging is about intimacy and creating a connection with human beings that breaks through all your fears, walls and limitations.

Super Cosmic Hug Step #2
Allow your chest to physically touch the others chest. Embrace their body in the most gentle, slow and loving manner that is deeply welcoming them into your heart. When the other embraces you, rest into the other persons heart. Surrender any walls or fears you have, and melt for a few moments into the others body. Take a deep breath together with the person and exhale together. Ask them to breath with you if they are open to it. Allow your heart to open and connect with the heart and being of the other soul.

Super Cosmic Hug Step #3
Remain centered in your body as you embrace and surrender into the other. This is not about giving your heart away to the other person. They already have a heart so what would they need a second heart for? Enjoy the process of finding the balanced point in the very center of yourself in this experience. It may become erotic or exotic if you're attracted to the other, yet allow yourself to remain connected to your center, your heart, your truth and essence. Merge yet remain centered in the merging. It can be very easy to get lost in the other, or to remain distant, separate and in control. Find the middle path where you can breathe with them and be in their energy field and deeply rooted and centered in your essence at the same time.

Super Cosmic Hug Step #4
When your bodies physically meet, find a level of full bodily embrace that feels enjoyable, healing, healthy and relaxing for everyone involved. Some people will keep their pelvis (sex center) pulled back so as not to get to close, while others may push into you. Just find the middle ground where you're not resisting nor pushing, yet meeting them with the heart, belly and hips evenly. It takes practice yet this is about learning how to let go of layers of social fears and sexual inhibitions we didn't even know we had. To reach the more advanced levels of hugging, you may need to talk openly about these four steps in detail with your friend or partner. Practice hugging many times a day and get comfortable feeling what a real juicy hug is like for you!

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