Hug like you mean it

Have you been hugged by another adult lately? Atrocious.

As children, we hugged indiscriminately. Nothing like the half-hearted, one-armed, you-call-that-a-hug we give and get as adults.

What we've forgotten is that hugging is a gift in its purest form.

Recently I've been thinking about what I could give away. I have the time and the desire, but have yet to find an opportunity or a charity that motivates me to say yes. The big yes with my heart singing.

Enter Oprah. Her show, Master Class, is pure genius. Watching Maya Angelou the other night, it hit me.

Give what you can, she said, and I thought:  I can hug. What if I gave that away?

So I did.

One day on twitter, I announced that I was leaving my apartment, and that I would give hugs along my route around Washington, DC. I called it #hugtour and recipients included my accountant, the ladies of Sisarina, and Jenna Sauber.

What came next is what Hugging is all about.

Chloe, a woman I don't know well, asked if I could swing by her office a little out of my way. For a hug, I said yes.

As I approached the building, I saw her:  a lawyer decked out in heels, suit, overcoat and cell phone.

I smiled and ran across the street toward her. (Running hugs rock. Highly recommend.)

When she noticed me, she jumped up and down. In front of her office. In the middle of an ordinary Tuesday.

We hugged, chatted for five minutes, and I left.  So simple, and it made both of our days.

The best part about giving is what you get in return.

I felt so good about her reaction. I honestly can't remember the hug. The image of her mid-air next to a hot dog cart, on the other hand? A keeper.

In that moment I knew I was giving, generously and unabashedly, and that it was being accepted. Big time.

That's what is needed to bring the hug back.

We each need to give and receive wholeheartedly. Let go of whatever it was that turned you into a tentative hugger, and hug like you mean it.

Yes, I do make house calls.


[Honor a great hugger in your life:  Hug Like You Mean It t-shirts are available here.]