I had just finished my monthly Free Hugs session in Union Square, NYC, and was walking back to Harlem where I lived. I save subway fare by walking as often as possible. Being a storyteller I don't have much money. That's when I saw a woman sitting on the pavement. The shopping cart to her was side piled high with her possessions. Her shoes were worn to nearly nothing. I got out my Free Hugs sign and approached her. I smiled gently and asked if she would like a hug. She looked at me with disbelief and asked, "You would hug me?" I opened my arms and walked closer to her. "If you want a hug," I sad. "Absolutely." She reached out for the hug and then told me she had not been touched in almost 20 years. I hugged her tighter. I apologized to her that I had no money to give her that ... Read Full Story >>
“We hugged, now we’re friends, right?” he asks as he takes my hand and leads me up the steps to the Lincoln Memorial. I’ve never offered Free Hugs at a March before, but decided it might offer the smallest bit of healing at the March for Justice in Washington DC on August 23. It was an impromptu decision. My friend Sarah accompanied me. Honestly, we weren’t sure how to best offer the Hugs. So we simply walked, We walked among thousands of people all searching for the same thing; Healing and Hope. Free Hugs signs overhead, we walked through the throngs of people. We smiled. Made eye contact. And the response was overwhelming. Hundreds of people accepted hugs as we made our own March in a sea of people winding their way across the Mall. It was heart-expanding to not only share hugs but to hear people’s comments: “Best sign I’ve seen ... Read Full Story >>
It is said that we need four hugs a day, just to maintain our sanity. Many of us are not meeting our quota. I didn't think that was right. So I began to share and organize Free Hugs Around the World. Free Hugs make people smile and feel good. Hugs release endorphins. Through these free hugs, I've noticed that people often share deep details of their lives. We are desperate to connect to each other. My most powerful hug ever, was from a severely autistic boy in Paris. He saw us hugging and asked his mom what we were doing. To our relief, she did not say we were crazy. Instead, she explained that we were hugging people and it was very kind. They left. A few moments later, that boy came running towards me, leaped into my arms, hugged me tight, and looked me right in the eyes. Then I saw his mother. She was crying. I gently set ... Read Full Story >>
He stood on the corner looking a lot like Santa Claus, a smile on his face and a cup outstretched in his hands. I smiled back and asked if he was hungry: "Would you like to go somewhere and share a sandwich?" He responded with a bigger smile and a resounding YES. His name is Aed. We went together to a corner bakery and then over the next hour, he very slowly ate his sandwich, pausing with deep delight on each bite as he shared his life story with me. He was one of the few hand pruners still trying to work. He spoke lovingly and with deep passion about all sorts of plants and trees and how to properly care for them. Much like humans, each one requiring kindness and attention. He spoke of his time serving in Vietnam and how that forever affected him. He spoke about a pathway diverged but ... Read Full Story >>
“This is who we are. We take care of each other.” I’d passed that bridge about a half dozen times over the last several months. I noticed the make shift tents and the people and I’d wanted to stop, but wasn’t sure how or where to put my car. Thankfully, my housemate Gail knew exactly where I was talking about when I asked her if she knew about the folks living under the bridge and she knew of a parking spot just beyond. Christmas Day seemed the perfect day to finally meet some of these people and share a bit of hot soup and conversation. Her name is Joy. She likes documentaries. She’s worked in medical records and believes everyone should be greeted with a smile because as she says, you never know what somebody’s just been through. Joy understands about being through something; she happens to live under the bridge. His name is ... Read Full Story >>
I'm going through my bookshelf and sharing books that have deeply touched my heart. Some I will send as surprise packages to people I know will resonate with, others I will place in public spaces for whomever the universe decides needs them most.
I love this idea! Thank you kindspring for the ongoing Inspiration! A hug from my heart to yours!
I've hugged my postal carrier, the cashier who helped me at CVS, the staff at Panera, the cashier at the grocery store, the cook at the local burrito joint, two police men, a traffic cop, security guard, doorman, waitstaff, tollbooth worker, and custodial staff of a local park.
Share your heart with someone, today! HUGS from my heart to yours.