I have had so many amazing experiences with giving Free Hugs to people. If I had to guess, I have probably, in the last two years, given over 700 hugs to people, mainly strangers, when I stand on the street, or walk around the city. It has been powerful, magical, entertaining, inspiring, and deeply emotional. Something within me has shifted in a way that I didn’t know hadn’t shifted up to that point. I feel more open, more accepting, less judgmental, and definitely, more consistently in the present moment.
To stand somewhere and wait to see if persons will want to hug you, want to walk past you, or feel uncomfortable, it really is essential to be in the present moment as much as possible, at least that is what works for me. Then, I get to enjoy every little morsel of what happens when humans interact with me, and with one another. It is such a joy to participate in and observe. And, I hope to keep taking it to new locations, new people, and bringing it anywhere it might inspire and support others.
My next big destination will be The Pittsburgh Fringe Festival, happening March 31 to April 2. Since my Scranton Fringe Festival experience was so uplifting and fun, I decided to try it again. I have no idea how it will be received, or what will happen, but I have a feeling I am in store for lots more surprises and gifts!
At first, when I began offering hugs to other people, I think that my belief was that I was giving others something that they needed. I presumed that those around me always needed support or help. And, even though that is true for some, the deeper truth that I have discovered is that I also get something very valuable when I stand with my sign and interact with others. I get to accept an offering from them as well, and get to genuinely be with another person, and feel their beautiful light.
I can’t wait to see what happens next!