After seeing a friend of mine post about Free Hugs Day on Facebook, I decided to do my own free hugs day. I was specifically guided to go to the Whole Foods in Napa. Whole foods is a place with a lot of open-minded people and I knew that it was the right place to go. I was a little nervous to go by myself, as this was the first time I had ever done something like this, so I took my friend Alexander with me. We took our signs and stood right in front of Whole Foods. At first it was nerve-racking, especially when the police drove by to see what the heck we were doing, but once the hugs started rolling in my whole energy shifted. The response was overwhelmingly positive. People from all walks of life, all ages, all races, sexes, and religions came up to give us a hug. The most rewarding this about this was hearing how many people said "Thank you boys for doing this, this was so needed and it made my day."
There was one particular person I will never forget. Him and his daughter came up riding on bikes, and he mentioned how his relationship with his wife was very rocky and they were having a difficult time. He was in a very dark place. He said that just coming here and hugging us gave him hope in humanity and hope that things would be alright. He practically had tears in his eyes and he was very inspired by what we were doing.
Another young girl, about 7 years old, couldn't stop hugging me and thought this was the coolest thing ever. She said "I want to have my own hug day soon." She came back for hugs about 3 or 4 times and as she drive away on her bike she said "I'll see you soon, ok?"
Unfortunately, not every one was receptive to the Free Hugs. Many people thought that we were selling something or wanted something in return. I guess it is hard for people to believe that people will give for free and not want something back. A few people thought we were there to hook up with women? That's an odd thing to think about. I mean there are better ways to pick up women, but in any event I AM GAY! (Haha) Some people said that they would hug us if we were women. Apparently for some people it is too macho to hug another guy. However most people (including guys) were very receptive and loved spreading the positive energy.
If you haven't done a free hugs day of your own, I highly recommend it. There is research to show that hugs will release endorphins and seratonin in your brain. I can tell you from experience that this is true and it is a wonderful thing. There is something about the human touch coming from the heart and feeling that heart to heart connection with another human being that is healing. I went from feeling nervous at the beginning to feeling an overwhelming sense of love and and joy. I was jumping up and singing and dancing by the end of it. The energy that we were putting out was like a pulse of light that overshadowed any lower energies that might be around that area. We actually attracted more light and positive energy to us and paved the way. Not only were we healing other people, but we were healing ourselves.
The most important lesson I learned today is how to react when someone isn't receptive to my positive energy. Basically you love them anyways! There were some people that clearly needed love and hugs but did not want to open up to receiving. I could have directed their negativity back at them, but instead I chose the high road and sent them love and positivity anyways. We must learn how to stay centered in our light and love. The moment I had any inkling of negative energy creep back in, I DELETED it right out of my mind. NOPE.. NOT FOR ME!
I hope to do this on a regular basis and maybe make this some type of movement in my area. I know that this inspired people. So much so, that one particular person I met started a facebook group called "Signs for Love" Her idea is for us to go out and hold up any kind of signs (not just ones for hugs) and to spread positive energy and light into the world. Are you up for the challenge? I hope to see your blog post soon.