Last week for the International Day of Peace I hit the streets with a few other huggers to give away Free Hugs. For those of you who don’t know about Free Hugs, watch the below video, it explains it all.
But how did I end up giving away Free Hugs for the International Day of Peace?
In surfing the pages of Facebook I came across an event for Free Hugs for World Peace, I checked to see if it was being done in Montreal and when I didn’t see anything I said to myself, “Why not?”
It seems I keep doing that these days!
I contacted Vincent Marx who had started this initiative through his site 1 True Spirit dedicated to revealing the 1 TRUE SPIRIT that exists in every one of us, in all life, and in all things and I was off to the races.
Actually, I was off to the art store to get poster paper and felt pens.
First I launched the event on Facebook, and then the night before (yes, I am one of those people that pulled all nighter before the exam), I enlisted the help of my friend Eric to make posters with me. Well he made the posters and I watched him.
Wednesday, September 21st 2011 was a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky for the International Day of Peace. I packed up the car with my posters and my meditation pillow – I had organized a MedMob (Meditation FlashMob) from 12 to 12:30 and from 12:30 to 1 PM we would give away Free Hugs.
The location was in the centre of downtown Montreal (Phillips Square across from The Bay for any of you that know the city) and after negotiating with a band that was playing a little too loud for us to meditate, and finding a spot on the pavement between the kiosks and a photography exhibit that had popped up since I had first chosen the location, a group of twenty or so of us of sat in meditation.
After the meditation, I asked for anyone who wanted to join in for the Free Hugs. Anne, Marilyn and Karen were ready to give it a hug, and we hit the streets to offer a little free love to complete strangers during a busy lunchtime in Montreal.
I hope you can see from the video (thanks Carl and Joanne) we had a lot of fun. What you can’t see is what it feels like when someone you don’t know trusts you enough to let them take you in your arms and give them a real hug. What does it feel like? It just feels right. It feels like there is no fear, no hate, no anger, that we really are all brothers and sisters, from one family, and that there is one true spirit that exists in all of us.
We did this for the International Day of Peace, but I will tell you a secret, I kept the signs. You may just see me sometime standing on the corner giving out Free Hugs. If you see me, don’t be shy, come and get one, they are free, and I promise, they don’t hurt.
And by the way, you don’t need a sign to give a hug away. Why not give someone you know a hug today, you may be surprised at how good it feels.
For information on 1 TRUE SPIRIT, click here.
That was great, Simon! Wonderful! I loved what you said in your blog, and you are so right. There is something that happens in your heart when you give a hug to a “complete stranger.” I did my first FREE HUG event last December, and it sent me off in a direction that I never expected to go. Life is interesting that way — when you step beyond your comfort zone.
I’m glad you had a nice day on the 21st. I don’t know if you saw my video, yet or if you happen to hear about the typhoon in Japan…. Well…yes… I did my FREE HUG event for peace day during a typhoon — and it was a big one! The funny thing is, I still got lots of hugs, and I still had a great experience. I think that no matter what the outer appearance seems to be, if we go deep enough — into the eye of the storm so to speak — we will find peace. At one point during my event, I was literally surrounded with people giving ME hugs. Awesome!
Thanks again for writing about the event on your blog. I believe that we will get even more cities involved next year, because once someone experiences what it’s like, they want to do it more, and they want to spread the joy.
I saw your post about the typhoon and was impressed with your dedication!
Feel free to share the link of your video on The Social Effect site.
Thanks Vincent for giving me the opportunity to participate in this.