Practice, Practice, Practice

3 New Hugs (1 yoga instructor, 1 new friend at yoga, 1 childcare employee at O2 fitness)

I have so many ideas for posts running through my mind lately I worry that I am duplicating this post. But, it’s what I am feeling so here I go. The things we really want most out of life take practice. That is, if we don’t already have it established as a routine. Even after it is established as routine sometimes life brings us sideways and new routines become the way of life. It is up to us to determine which routine gives us the best life possible.

My new routine began taking me away from hugging new people. I didn’t like that. I wasn’t as carefree. My smile wasn’t as quick to come. My entire being became smaller. I have experienced the largeness of life and I am happiest when I am living it to my fullest potential. So, I once again practiced my routine. It wasn’t easy. Those nerves of wondering what others would think of me returned. I almost backed out. Almost. But I didn’t.

There was a woman about 60-65 years old in my yoga class. I am completely in awe of her flexibility so I told her. We talked about how long she has been practicing yoga and what brought her to it. At the end I asked her for a hug. She was happy to oblige and I felt the smile creep back on to my face. Next, I went to pick up my kids in the child care where there was a new employee working. I was still nervous, but this time it was a little easier. A 2nd big hug later I am beaming. On the way out the door the yoga instructor thanked me for joining the class. Well, at this point the nerves are gone and the joy and excitement of hugging others overtook me again. 3 hugs in a matter of 5 minutes. lt’s moments like this that I know I am a hugger for life.

Please accept this blog as my virtual hug to you.


36 thoughts on “Practice, Practice, Practice

  1. I am thrilled by your story. I too am a hugger, but for me it is a very different experience. I grew up in a home devoid of hugs and kisses. My older sister died when I was 20, and it was a life changing experience, because I realized I had never hugged her, or told her I loved her. I made the decision to change my ways and never let anyone not know how I feel. Hugging was not comfortable for me at first, but became easier over time. The biggest difference for me, is because I’m a male. I need to be very careful who and where I hug. Hugging other males is perceived as wrong, and hugging females is often seen as perverted. I even became a Christian clown 25 years ago and my clown name was Huggles because of my hugging penchant. There are so many people I’ve seen over the years who I thought really needed a hug, but I’ve been rebuffed and rebuked enough even for asking if I could, that it is still a difficut experience at times. But there is nothing like a hug to brighten my day and hopefully, the day of the recipient. Keep on hugging!

  2. Just watched your video and read some of your postings. I gotta admit, you’re pretty Freak’n Awesome!

  3. well, a modest woman or christian woman should not be hugging strangers especially the opposite sex unless it’s a family members. I will pray for you.

  4. Pingback: Everybody Needs A Hug « Online Haven

  5. How many people decline you for a hug? Do you find more women than men don’t wish to receive a hug from you, or is everyone receptive equally?

    • Great questions, Ray! It’s been well over a year now and only less than 10 have declined my hugs. That’s pretty outstanding if you ask me. There doesn’t seem to be much difference between how receptive men are as opposed to women. Some people don’t seem all that enthusiastic to hug me but do it anyway and often I walk away noticing they have a slightly bigger smile than when I first approached them. I think that says something, huh? {HUG}

  6. I am so glad to see this. I did this also, but only for a couple of weeks. I had had brain surgery and after going home to recoop I realized that I had an overwhelming and indescribable love for the people of God. All walks of life. I was hugging everyone I could get to. I just wanted them to know that God loved them because I could see that like never before. I think it even help me to heal. I was up and about in record time with no repercussions to this day from the surgery. You have inspired me to once again Hug, Hug, Hug. Thank You!

  7. A hug is such a small thing really, but has such a positive impact on people. You inspire me. The world definitely needs more huggers.

    • It’s so true. It doesn’t take much. Even a smile can brighten someone’s day. Your comment definitely brightened mine. Thank you Joeann! {HUG}

  8. You are an inspiration! 🙂 I’m thinking I love this idea for me, if not daily at least every time I am out & about! And if it’s hot out, how about just a friendly hand squeeze or handshake? There is just something lingering & sweet & reassuring about hand squeeze 🙂 picture it a tired overworked grocery checker & you hold out your hand and shake hers & say thank you with a smile.

    • Yes, yes, yes Tammy! Touch is so important and I can just imagine how that grocery checker would respond to such a simple gesture from you. I love it. {HUG}

  9. Melinda, I ran across your story and it caught my attention. What a wonderful expression. I applaud you for sure! I am 40 minutes east of Raleigh but the next time I visit I will be on the lookout for this amazing and inspiring individual for certain!

  10. I hate it when people say that the world is evil and there is no more good in it. It makes me feel so depressed. Once I heard this story, I started believing that there are wonderful people out there, and made me look at the world in a more positive way. Thank you for making my day so happy and uplifting! Hugs to you!!!

    • I believe in the good of mankind. I am beyond thrilled that I can be a good news story in a bad news story world! Thank you Rhea for your kind words! {HUG}

  11. Good for you!! As a former elementary teacher, I know the power of a hug. As someone who is aware that the skin is the largest human organ– guess that is why hugging feels so great and is such a healing force. I could lower my mom’s blood pressure by holding and stroking her hand…..

    • I hope you were allowed to hug at your school. It hurts me to hear that some teachers are discouraged. My son is just entering kindergarten and it was important to me that the teachers were allowed to hug him. Thank you for sharing the story about your mom. That is beautiful. {HUG}

  12. Melinda,

    I love your story so much that i just shared it with Ellen! i wrote her a letter strongly suggesting that she has you as a guest 🙂 Keep hugging! The world needs more people with your positive attitude and motivation! 🙂

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