All posts by Sabrina Santos

The HUG experiment

So let’s Hug it Out!

“Millions and millions of years would still not give me half enough time to describe that tiny instant of all eternity when you put your arms around me and I put my arms around you.”

– Jacques Prévert

two-children-hugging

Did you know hugging is good for you?

Someone told me “Who doesn’t love a hug?” – Sadly not everyone knows how important the power of hugging is.

In a world where society is so “evolved”, and information is available at a fingertip, it’s easy to forget some very basic things like the warmth of a hug. People are isolating themselves and missing out on a simple gesture that can make a big impact.

Our PW team has gone to the streets of London to prove hugging is a very simple act, but not everyone is willing to give it a try.

 

Little do they know about how such an act can be so full of goodness.

So, let’s get scientific! Here follows a bunch of reasons why you should never waste the opportunity to hug someone and why it’s so damn good for you.

  • The Oxytocindeal – Hugging immediately increases the oxytocin levels in your body. That’s an important chemical component associated with social interaction, trust ,relaxation and love – to name but a few. It has a variety of effects into your body’s well-being, so let’s take a look at a quick list of goodness it can bring you.
  1. Strengthen Immune System – When hugging, the gentle pressure acts directly on the thymus gland, which balances and regulates the production of leucocytes (white cells). So yep, hugging makes you stronger!
  2. Combats Stress and reduces anxiety – the censorial response our skin gives after a hug is directly linked to our nervous system. It also reduces cortisol levels (stress hormone) if they are longer than 20 seconds.
  3. Lower Heart disease– lowering stress and high blood pressure, hugging is all around good to keep your heart healthy and working better.
  4. It makes you Happier- Hugging stimulates the production and release of endorphins, so open your arms and get to it.

There are many other benefits of hugging but I guess touching and connecting, strengthening trust and interdependency are my favourite ones.

Hugging reminds us that we are humans and are here for a reason, connection to one another is certainly part of the human experience, so open your arms and join forces with us.

Hug it out!

We will be hosting free hugging events soon, so stay tuned for more news on it. In the meantime, check our Hug feast in the streets of London

“There is a saying by Virginia Satir, a respected family therapist, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.” Eight or more might seem quite high, but while researching and writing this article I asked my child, “How many hugs a day do you like?” She said, “I’m not going to tell you how many I like, but it’s way more than eight.” That really made me smile and touched my heart. And, I realized how organic and deep the need for hugs is.” – resourced at mind Body Green

Thanks for reading,

Love and Light,

 

Self-Love Part 1

Do you truly love and accept yourself?

“This self-love is the instrument of our preservation; it resembles the provision for the perpetuity of mankind: it is necessary, it is dear to us, it gives us pleasure, and we must conceal it.” – Voltaire

We want to start with the very basics. For anyone’s well being, Self-Love is essential. People are looking for Happiness everywhere but the right place: inside themselves! For any human being to be able to experience true happiness, it is imperative that they fully love and accept themselves.

We interviewed some people in the streets of London and many refused to talk, not because they were camera shy but because they didn’t think they had anything great to say about themselves, or they didn’t think they had love for themselves.

However, some brave ones were happy to talk about Self-Love and what it meant to them, as well as sharing what they love about themselves. Take a look at the video below:

 Let’s talk about Self-Love

I can speak about Self-Love openly. Why? Because there was a time I did not love myself. In fact, it was quite the opposite. I used to hate myself. I was very lost, I no longer knew what I wanted, where was I going, and what my goals and dreams were.

I thought money was the main concern I had to deal with, and that achieving success and financial freedom were the things I needed to do to be free and happy; turns out when that started to happen I felt even emptier as I was building my wealth above a foundation in which I did not believe.

Well, there is a lot I want to talk about, but for this article I’ll focus on the fact I didn’t love myself and used to put the on the great mask, presenting this “facade” to everyone.

See, I’m one of those people that they call bubbly, I’m always smiling, and yes to a certain degree this is what my life is like, mostly cheerful. The reality is that I was trying to avoid the main issue.

  1.   I didn’t love myself
  2.   I didn’t even know who I was

So, I decided to continue playing that role until it got to a point that it no longer served me. I was tired of wearing the mask, and I was ready to start getting to know the person underneath it.

Believe me, I read all of those new age books. I used to tell myself oh yes let’s try this, let’s do that.. Oh yes I love myself, but never had the courage to look inside.

When I started looking inside I didn’t like what I saw. All those years of avoidance, not dealing with my internal feelings – Oh man they pile up – and it gets harder and harder, it was a big pile, practically 30 years of it.

Anyway, through meditation, energy healing and other spiritual practices, I gained the strength I needed to be able to face myself, to listen to the “I” right inside, and finally started to acknowledge that the things I truly believed were not the things I included in my day-to-day life nor my work.

So I had to change…I had to start an inner journey to find out who I am, what I love, and what makes my soul sparkle…

Do you know what is it? What makes your soul sparkle?

Okay, so maybe you don’t believe in the soul etc .. Let’s re-phrase.. What makes you feel real?

Something you love doing so much it doesn’t even matter what the results are like because you are having so much fulfilment while doing it. It makes your entire body vibrate differently, it makes you warm and smile inside.

I take it you get the point…

I guess listening to yourself and finding out what makes your soul sparkle is the first real symptom of Self-Love.

Does it make sense? I hope you are getting it.

It’s not straight forward (it might be, if you are already on this path). It was not so obvious for me when I was so far away from understanding this Self-Love business.

So, you might be asking yourself .. mmmm I do want to find out . Do I love myself?

Here is a simple exercise.

I started with baby steps, doing a really simple experiment that can open all sorts of doors.

The mirror experiment  

Look yourself in the mirror, stare into your own eyes and say:

I Love you, I love you , I love you – I Love and Accept myself for who I am.

Once that’s done, you will know right away how far from truly loving yourself you are.

If you can jump right away into the core of your eyes and swim in your own soul, feeling the bliss that follows with it, that’s what it’s meant to be like when you truly love yourself.

Or..

If when you say those things it’s nearly like they are not meant to be said out loud, there is a discomfort, shyness, maybe even a sadness or a feeling of untruth…

Me? I had all of those. It was baaad.

The good thing is when you realise you want to be honest with yourself and work on it.

Start with this simple exercise every day, maybe morning and evening or even more. The more you do, the more things start to change – believe me this is a powerful tool.

Anyway, I guess the point is..

  • Do you truly love yourself?
  • Do you truly know who you are?
  • Do you truly do what you love?
  • Do you truly know what you love?

If any of the answers above are NO, don’t panic, most people will not even dare to ask themselves those questions until is too late to do anything about it.

The good thing is that you got here and that’s the beginning of a new journey. If you are willing to do the work and find out what is behind the rainbow, you can.

Start small with the mirror exercise, and do it at least once a day for 30 days.

We will soon post more on the subject. Feel free to ask questions and remember, “The Power is Yours”.

For more Eye gazing techniques here are some helpful links :

 

Keep Calm and Love Yourself

Thanks for reading,

Love and Light,

Sab

 

 

 

The Hamster Wheel

Are you running around in circles? Keeping busy asking no questions?

It’s hard to believe, but a lot of people live under their own shadow. Afraid to shine, afraid of what they could have been.They have no idea who they truly are. They have absorbed their own existence through the eyes of their external reality – they judge themselves through the eyes of everyone else but themselves.I guess it might be very hard to imagine a world where there is no one else but you. Because so many of us let everything else have such an impact in our essence.

But if it was the case, and you were the only human left on the planet with no one else to talk to or interact with, it doesn’t mean you would fade into non-existence; you would be still you, having to deal with a lot of yourself.However, living through other people’s opinion of ourselves is normally what we experience. We were programmed like that, so it’s not a surprise.

I’ve been and still am absorbed in the Hamster Wheel. It’s hard to stop running in the wheel, when it’s all we know and it’s all we have had.

Until BANG! Life shakes you out of it. It hits you in the head so hard that it forces you to get out for a moment and look around.

I know very much about those moments, I’ve had plenty of those. But that’s not what I want to talk about today.I want to explore this crazy frenzy of running like a rodent in circles like there is nothing else out there for me. Pretending I’m content with whatever crumbs I find on the way.Back to the Hamster Wheel … Whenever I fell out of it – because life had hit me in the head -I had the chance to look around from outside the Wheel and try to make some sense of why I have been there running round and round all this time.There is no questioning about why you are in the wheel, no time to ask – while you are running it.

But hey! When things get bad and you fall out of it, the minimum you can do is to question why you were there in the first place.You might try to change things around and stick to a plan and make sure you don’t get back in it, but unfortunately for me, all the previous times I was on the floor looking at the wheel, with my big hamster eyes, trying to find a meaning for the whole thing, I got sucked back into it, started running, and forgot all about my questions.It wasn’t until recently that life hit me hard enough to shake things up so much that the wheel was no longer working and I had a chance to stay out of it for a while – against my will of course.They say pain teaches you.

Death has this power.. It’s overwhelming, it changes things..Death puts things into perspective, it shows you how powerless you can be and how fragile life can be.It does make you wonder if you are doing things right, and what is the point in running around in circles.When my brother was murdered I went into shock, and I woke up. At that time in my life I went through so much inner change and discovery that I didn’t want to hop back on the wheel.

I knew for a fact my time was limited and I didn’t even know how long I had. For all I know tomorrow is no guarantee.It got me thinking about all my dreams that I left behind, all the passion I had in me and what I have been doing about it. Chasing my happiness in the wrong places without even knowing who I was.Outside of the Wheel, I started questioning who I was and who I am now.It made me look back and realise that everything I had been scared of wasn’t about living a meaningless life – because I’ve always done so much and also gave my best to live it fully and do things with no regrets. I was very scared because I didn’t know who I was.

I was afraid of embracing my own dreams and allowing myself to live them.So yes.. I woke up, I got out of the Wheel – I still have to hop on it from time to time ..  But I refuse to stay there.I want to live, I want to get to know who I am, and I want to change the world and myself. I want to make a difference. Not for anyone else – but for myself.I’m nowhere near getting there, but the journey is ahead and I have started to walk it.

How about you?

 Thanks for reading,

Love and Light,

Sabrina Santos

a

Happiness Chasers: Are You Happy or Chasing It?

We are all chasing something. People talk about happiness and what it is…

But who really knows what Happiness is?
Do you?

People are too busy chasing things, achieving goals and setting targets..
Running after whatever they think they need, we all do it, or have done it.

And so, people think achieving those goals is reaching happiness…
Then setting new goals, running after them, making them happen – without stopping to question if they are happy.

They keep themselves busy chasing.. They sure don’t have the time to wonder if they are happy or what makes them happy..

So they spend their life chasing things and avoiding looking inside.

It’s scary to think all your life you were chasing goals and not stopping to think about yourself and finding what truly makes you spark inside.

I’ve met so many people like that, in fact it’s rather hard to find someone that’s not like that. I like to think my friends are different.. but I never had the chance to ask.

I’d like to think I am different.. But am I?

Sometimes it is so obvious… You see in people’s eyes that they have no clue about what makes them happy and they won’t even dare to find out – to truly find out.

I haven’t quite figured out what happiness is; or maybe if it is so many different things combined into one long word
…H-a-p-p-i-n-e-s-s...

That might be why it is so hard to describe what happiness is, as it’s not just the one thing.

But one thing I know, is what happiness isn’t.. Chasing!

Chasing after something is not happiness … nor is achieving or getting what you are chasing after. That’s an illusion. A damn big fraud, and we have all felt it.. When you want something so bad and when you get it, the feeling of achievement is there but after a while it goes away.. It’s like you need something else to chase after.

Although it’s your right to be happy, sometimes you can’t make it happen.. you just waste your time being busy chasing things and telling yourself this is what you want and need.

I think there is always a choice to be made.

The closest I have ever gotten to figuring out what happiness is, is by knowing a bunch of things that happiness is not..

And the happiest I have ever been has nothing to do with anything I was chasing.. it was more like a moment .. a single moment that went on for a period of time in which it floated through me like the wind like the warm sunshine, it’s magical and you can’t quite describe it.

However, some moments are attached to things, people and goals..

I’m not talking about those…

I’m talking about some pure simple happiness attached to nothing, it’s just there and you don’t even know why you are happy, you just are.

Maybe it’s looking within, finding yourself..

Knowing who you are and loving who you are..

Not the WHO everyone else thinks you are..

Definitely not the WHO people make you out to be – society, friends, religion or a partner.

But the WHO only YOU know..

It’s so hard figuring that out and getting to know the real YOU..

But there are moments when you have that clarity and a glimpse of knowing and feeling it.

Maybe that’s a big step to finding happiness..

Knowing WHO you are – embracing, loving yourself and accepting every bit of it; being true to this person only YOU know.

So the best advice I can give you is to stop chasing everything..

The dream job, loads of money, the dream relationship … Thinking that will bring you happiness…

It simply won’t.

Start chasing yourself.. start finding out who YOU are and what made you be this way.

De-construct all these layers everyone else built you to be, and get to know the real you.

It’s not an easy task, but it’s worth it.

The rest will follow into place… You can still set goals and do everything else, but you will be happy while doing it and not at the end when you achieve it, followed by the vacuum of the next thing to chase and to run after that false state of happiness.

Once you find yourself, you will know that happiness is nowhere to be found, apart from within Oneself.

It was there all along waiting for you to find it… In you.

Thanks for reading,

Love and Light, 

Sabrina Santos

 

Make it happen you have all the tools within you.