Question: What do Cruella DeVille, Debbie Downer, and the Wicked Witch of the West have in common?
Answer: They’re all in need of a big hug.
Growing up, a friend’s mom used to always say that mean, unhappy people were really just in need of a hug. At first I scoffed at that logic, because I was a teen and scoffed at anything an adult said, but through the years I’ve come to realize that the bitter, unhappy people of the world are many times desperately lacking affection and attention in their lives. They probably haven’t had a really good hug in a long time, or maybe ever. Though the answer could be a bit more complex than that, that’s what it boils down to.
Not necessarily because of, but certainly due in part to this logic, I am an over-hugger. I love to hug like Mary Poppins loves to laugh. As a result, so do my kids. We hug hard and often. No wimpy hugs or half hugs for us; I’m talkin’ full-body-press, arms-‘round-the neck, take-your-breath-away hugs.
Hugs have become a way for my family and me to reconnect and center ourselves when we find ourselves spinning out or not getting along. During the times when my husband is traveling, which is often, my kids and I invariably get on each other’s nerves.
Here is the pattern: I say yes to too many projects and people, my husband goes out of town, my already busy days get busier, my already short temper gets shorter, my kids sense my stress and act out for attention and then, inevitably, one or all of us end in a tizzy, with various degrees of screaming, stomping, crying or all of the above.
Sound familiar to anyone?
My remedy to times like these, besides a good workout or a cold glass of chardonnay, or both, is to have a Hug Day. Hug Days consist of random, frequent, full-on hugs that occur periodically throughout the day. Whenever and wherever we happen to be, when one of us yells, “hug day” we all stop what we’re doing and bring it on in for a group hug. As silly as it may seem, it works.
Also, on Hug Days, I try to limit my computer/phone time, I limit the amount of places we “have to be,” I drive slowly and take deeps breaths. I also do some of the yoga exercises that we used to do in Mommy & Me Yoga when they were young. After watching Buddha Dog in Snow Buddies do “Ohms” my kids love doing them too.
In times of stress like I described above, I find myself second-guessing my capabilities as a mom, counting the many ways in which I fall short. But when I go that place, Insecurity Central, I just try to focus on the things I can do, which is to show them loving kindness and hug the heck out of ‘em.
Here is a video demonstrating how well, or how not well, I am succeeding at that.
Recently I discovered a company called Cerra whose products offer to help busy women become aware of our thoughts and feelings, act with thoughtful intention, and reflect on our experiences, thus leading to a happier, more balanced life. Since I am on a perpetual mission to find more balance in my life and act with more intention, I was excited to know a company like this exists.
One of the “seven intentions” that they promote as being a key ingredient to living a well balanced life is Loving Kindness. I’ve spilled the beans about my hug days as my way of bringing balance and loving kindness into our life, now it’s your turn: how do you achieve balance in your life and/or how do you promote loving kindness in your own life or with your kids?
By replying you will be entered to win one of two prizes! First Prize: $150 to a Local Spa, plus $50 Gift Certificate to the Cerra Boutique.Second Prize: One of Five $100 Gift Certificates to the Cerra Boutique.