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The Importance Of Human Touch

Posted Mar 10 2011 8:36pm

I spent the last few days at the Anthony Robbins conference, “Unleashing The Power Within”, in Sydney. Today I’m feeling depleted and my muscles are sore but the conference has left me with an undeniable burn in my belly that I know is going to kick start areas of improvement in my life that I’ve been aching to make happen for a long time.

I won’t be able to fully say if the conference actually DID work until I witness change and action within myself over the coming weeks and months, but what I can say for now is that I feel happier, stronger, more motivated and more excited about life than I have in a very long time. That in itself accounts for something. I highly recommend anyone out there who hasn’t experienced Anthony Robbin’s big heart in the flesh, to book yourself into Unleashing The Power Within as soon as you can. For me it was definitely worth the flight to Sydney and the bad hotel food.

One of the big reminders I had during the conference was the importance of human touch. In my circle of friends, family and acquaintances there seem to be two types of people – those who hug and those who don’t. I grew up in a family of people afraid of touching and afraid of expressing love. So hugging and kissing my friends hello and goodbye was something I had to teach myself to do at a young age, which I did out of admiration for my friends and family who were huggy touchy people. Now my family has caught on too and we’ve all turned into a bunch of huggers.

I find it a little amusing now when I come across someone who’s not a hugger because I guess I’ve forgotten what it was like to not be one. I’ve had some interesting encounters with people who are obviously super uncomfortable with giving me a a hug so it’s been a little like hugging a piece of gristle or a pole. Then on the flipside I’ve had hugs with super cool “experienced huggers” who love to hug for a really long time and won’t let go. I loooooovvvveee these hugs because they make me feel loved. It doesn’t even have to be someone super significant in your life, sometimes there are magical and special people out there who love to share their open heart which means connecting with you in a big, giant, long bear hug. It’s beautiful.

As a single girl, I love to get human touch from others whenever I can because apart from feeling great, I know how important it is. Touch is incredibly healing. It lightens up our soul and wraps up our heart in comfort and warmth.

At the Anthony Robbins conference we were encouraged to interact with and touch the people around us through massaging each other in breaks, high-fiving (yes a little lame I know but you so had to be there) and lots and lots of hugging. I loved it when we were asked to hug five others in the audience and the whole room of 3,500 people turned into a big hugfest. It was beautiful.

As a single person, we can get human touch from many different places without it being “creepy”. Get into the practice of hugging your friends and family when you see them. Get a massage every now and again (I had a 90 minute kahuna massage yesterday and as usual it was oh so blissful) and girls even getting a beauty treatment is usually enough to satisfy that human urge for connection.

If you don’t consider yourself to be a touchy person, you’ll find that the more you ease yourself into regular touch with others, the more comfortable you’ll get with it. I have a very lovely friend who is a very touchy person which I always find so cute and funny. When she gets excited or happy (which is often) she’ll squeeze and massage my arm or leg. I love how comfortable she is with human connection and just being around her has taught me a lot about the healing powers of touch. I’ll have to tell her one day how much of an inspiration she’s been for me. I’ll bet she’ll respond with a big bear hug and an arm squeeze.

Now that I’m in Bali I’m also being reminded of the cultural differences with touch. It is no uncommon in Indonesia and Malaysia for both men and women to walk down the street holding hands – and I’m not talking about lovers, I’m talking about men holding hands with their male friend. Aussie blokes wouldn’t be caught dead holding hands with their best mate, but here it’s not only acceptable, it’s normal. How great is that? Yay for touch!

So for the next week if you’re not a hugger I want you to do a little experiment. Hug as many people as you can. Turn into a crazy hugging person. Give every friend, family member and acquaintance you see a big giant hug and kiss on the cheek (or the lips!) and see how you feel and how comfortable you feel by the end of the week. I’d love to hear how you go!

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