Tuesday, January 29, 2013

whole soul me.

In my house, "whole soul" is a verb. 

This year we are participating in Hilltown Families Valentine's Day card swap.  We sat down to make ten Valentine's Day cards that will be sent to local families we may or may not know.  As we sat with blank cards before us, I thought of Thich Nhat Hanh's hugging meditation, and the theme for our cards came together. 

Ever since my children were very little I have done the whole soul hugging meditation with them.  The directions are simple:

"According to the practice, you have to really hug the person you are hugging. You have to make him or her very real in your arms- breathing consciously and hugging with your whole body, heart, and spirit. This is a practice of mindfulness: 'Breathing in, I know my dear one is in my arms, alive. Breathing out, she is so precious to me.'  The energy of care, love, and mindfulness will penetrate into the other person, and she will be nourished and bloom like a flower.

To be really there, you only need to breathe mindfully, and suddenly both of you become real. It may be one of the best moments in your life."*

If you were a fly on the wall in my house, you may hear someone at bedtime say, "whole soul me, baby!" in response to a haphazard, half-hearted hug.  It is our playful way of saying, "be here with me, give me a real hug." 

In my house, "whole soul" is a verb. 

To "whole soul" someone means to stop and be present for them, to feel their wholeness and breathe them in.  It is often one of the best moments. 


*visit here to see the entire article on Thich Nhat Hanh's whole soul hugging meditation


  1. This is beautiful! We're so happy you are bringing mindfulness to the Hilltown Families Handmade Valentine Swap! (((hugs)))

  2. Thank you!! We are having so much fun creating valentines and are so thankful to you for creating such a fun swap!