What would you do if you saw a sign that said:
FREE Hugs?

  • Would you go up and get one?
  • Or, would you walk past curiously but not wanting to go over?
  • Or, would you look the other way and pretend that you didn’t event see the sign?

Personally I would probably walk past curiously but not actually go over to get one. At the last expo I went to though, I had a fascinating experience that may have helped to shift my perspective on this and possibly even my actions in the future.

I had a stall at the Discovery Life Expo a few weeks ago and a stranger walked up to me and started chatting.  After a couple minutes she asked me if she could have a hug from me. “Yes, of course,” I said.

After the hug she thanked me, saying that this was exactly what she needed.  She went on to tell me how good my hug was and that I give a really good hug.

What she suggested next took me by surprise:

“I think you should put up a sign at your stall saying FREE hugs, because so many people would benefit from one of your hugs.”

I felt myself shrinking back a little, not really sure if this is something I would do.

We continued having a really great chat about also sorts of interesting things and after a little while she told me she had to go and left.

A few hours later she came back with two teenagers in tow.

“I brought these two young ones over to meet you. I told them about your amazing hugs and they would love to have one from you if that’s ok” she said.

The teenagers looked really excited and as if they couldn’t wait to get a hug from me.  It made me curious – what had this stranger told these teenagers about my hugs that had them so excited to get one.

I opened my arms and smiled warmly, welcoming them in for a hug.

One by one I hugged each one of them and both of them responded by telling me how amazing my hugs were.

After the exchange of hugs, I shared a beautiful conversation with them, where they asked me why I hugged the way I did and what it meant to me.  They seemed deeply interested and fascinated to learn more about me and the way I hugged.  I felt myself just sharing from my heart and in this process I could feel a deep connection to some gorgeous souls.

As they were leaving one of the teenagers spontaneously launched towards me and embraced me in a wonderful hug.

I was so taken aback at how such an amazing, heart and soulful exchange could happen between two strangers in such a short amount of time. As they left, I was beaming from ear to ear.  Something about my hugs, about my energy, about how I am choosing to shine and show up in this world was being seen and recognised by complete strangers.

The next day, I noticed a lady walking towards my stall with so much intent and purpose.  It was undeniable that she was coming over to talk to me about something, yet about what I did not know.

“I hear that you give really amazing hugs and I would love one”, she said.

“Of course, I would love to”, I replied.

As I held her in my embrace I could feel her melting into my arms.

“Wow! That is a really good hug.  I just want to stay here” she exclaimed.  After our hug she told me that she would love to just stay there all day and stand in my energy as she felt totally amazing being around me.

It appeared as if the news of my hugs was spreading!

To me a hug should be about genuine connection and far too often it is exchanged as a mere formality as opposed to an opportunity to connect and to share love.  Everyone needs love, to feel loved and to share love, and what better way to do it then a genuine heartfelt hug.


Perhaps I should put up a sign next time that says FREE hugs and see what happens….

I see you…