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Friday, October 06, 2006

Free Hugs

Hey Y'all!

Hope you are all having a great week. A couple of friends have recently sent me the same link for a great video about a
FREE HUGS CAMPAIGN(click here to see it). It reminds me of the kindred spirits I have met in here. I imagine you are all out there in your respective parts of the world making a difference like this. I know that may sound like a generalization, but all of you in this forum have touched my life in an inspiring way and I'm rather certain that you carry that great energy with you out into the world as well. So Thank-You for starting that domino effect that makes our world better and brighter.

And how is the law of attraction working for you this week? Any success stories yet?

Have a great week and Take Care Of Each Other!

All Things Possible!


  • At 1:50 PM, October 06, 2006 , Anonymous Sue said...

    Chris...a beautiful topic. Sending HUGS to all the forum friends and thanks to all who wrote me such kind and compassionate notes a couple of weeks ago. They meant a lot to me, and I appreciate all of you so much.

    I'll look forward to the inspiring stories about Chris' question, and will be be thinking about it in regard to my life, as well.

    Enjoy a beautiful weekend! Sue

  • At 2:47 PM, October 06, 2006 , Blogger Tim said...

    You always have such great lead ins to your topics. Maybe you should research doing your own talk show where the conversations would actually lead to something more meaningful than "do you know who your baby's daddy is" or "you can decorate your whole house with this old rag".

    The video was very thought provoking. I tried to put myself in the spot of seeing someone holding a "Free Hugs" sign and what I would do. I suppose it would depend on the person holding the sign. Obviously a hot blonde with 38....well never mind.

    I actually found myself a bit disappointed in my thoughts being suspicious or at least thinking I would be suspicious. Why is that? Could it be the media filling my head with all sorts of negatives such as the recent school murders and various other occurances that make us become instantly suspicious of everyone's motives?

    I must admit that I do wonder what the scenes would be like if there wasn't a camera around (again, disappointed in my thoughts). Would many of these people have bothered? Would the skateboarder really have jumped the dude on the ground and then gone and gotten his hug? I suppose that is the old "if a tree falls in the forest" scenario.

    Have a great weekend everyone and Chris, thanks for another thought provoking subject. You have set my mind a blaze.........


  • At 7:59 PM, October 07, 2006 , Blogger Christopher Showerman said...

    Thanks Sue for the post. You reap what you sow, so that would be a lot of caring coming back to you because you put so much out into the world. And you do!

    Tim, what a wonderfuly thoughtful and candid response. I felt the same twinges of suspicion at first. I believe we learn to be suspicious of each other as we grow in our society because everyone from our loving caretakers to the media and government pound the idea into our head to be wary of others. We grow comfortable and a bit complacent in our limiting parameters we build around acceptable behaiviors we exhibit to each other. However, inside, I believe we have a limitless potential for wonderful (and to be fair, horrible) qualities that we are taught to supress in ourselves and not trust in others. In some cases this fear serves us (great book on the subject called "The Gift Of Fear") but in far more cases, it squelches the more sublime experiences in life. Maybe we wouldn't go up and hug a stranger, but the act makes us far more aware and likely to hug each other. And when we do, we inspire those around us to do the same.

    PS: Thanks for the talk show host vote. Another great guy who is repped by my agent is launching his new talk show, so if you get a chance, check out Mr. T's new show "I PITY THE FOOL". I saw a teaser clip and found it very funny and endearing at the same time.

    All Things Possible!

  • At 9:20 PM, October 09, 2006 , Anonymous DaveW said...

    I enjoyed the "Free Hugs" video - but I think that if I came across someone holding a "free hugs" sign, regardless of the attractiveness of the individual holding the sign, I know that I would avoid him or her. Unfortunately, I would also think "what's the catch" or more likely "what are they selling?" However, the video did succeed in making me think about this and why I would react that way. Which I am sure, was the point.

    By the way Chris, I heard a radio commercial today for Mr. T's talk show - it does sound interesting to say the least.


  • At 3:33 AM, October 11, 2006 , Anonymous Jaschenka said...

    Hey forum family..and first of all BIG HUG to all of you out here!

    Interesting movieclip Chris, thanks for posting and yes unfortunately I have to join the line with Tim and Dave and admit that I'd be suspicious too. I guess it is in our instincts, and sometimes this feeling of fear is enhanced by things that happen around us. Over here it is sadly no longer rare that you hear stories about someone trying to help out another but being payed back with a curse, slap in the face or worse. This relates to the last topic on here- if fear takes over.
    However- I do think of it as a positive thing that we are aware of our suspicions and at least try to do something with it.
    It reminds me of a programm I saw ages ago that explained the 'change the world one little step at a time' theory. It gave some fun do-it-yourself excersizes. I tried one of them: For one full day be aware of wearing a smile on your face and see the responses of the people around you. You'd think you'd come across lots of happy faces or make a couple of others smile..wrong! I'd been looked at as if I was doing something really silly all day long. I seriously started thinking I was perhaps wearing my shirt inside out or something..

    Anyway, awareness is the first step to making a change. So we are on the right track here! Be Inspired!

  • At 5:41 AM, October 11, 2006 , Anonymous Angi said...

    Hi All

    Interesting topic for discussion you've given us Chris. On reading your post my first thoughts were that since everyone here seems to be such warm caring people we'd all embrace the idea of reaching ot to people and passing on affection.

    That was until I watched the video clip.

    I have to admit that like Tim, Dave and Jasch I too found myself waching with suspiscion, trying to see the hidden motive behind what i was seeing. I dod wonder if it was part of some programme where innocent members fo the public are duped into doing silly or irrational things for the so called amusement of others - aftrer all they were being filmed.

    I'm saddened that I should have such a cynical reaction to it. Perhaps because it's a reflection of the fact that nowadays we are surrounded by a society steeped in fear, coinstantly bombarded by the media with such gaphic images or messages to reenforece the fear and "stranger danger" attitude, that we all of us view with such suspicion a simple act of affection.

    Unfortunatley this attitude seems so entrenched wtihin us that it's not only the acts of strangers that instills such fear or suspicion within us. Though how much of this is a primal instinct; a response to something happening outside the norm, and how much a reaction coloured by past experiences?

    Recently I reacted to unexpected affection from a very dear and close friend, not normally one for giving physical contact other than goodbye hugs, with questions and backing off from him, rather than enjoyig the moment. I this my reaction deeply hurt him when all he'd done was give me a hug when he'd sensed I might need one - something that I do naturally to him and other special friends when I sense their need.

    Luckily our friendship is such that we were able to talk about this and move forward without lasting damage.

    I hope you don't mind me sharing this with you all my dear friends , as it's not something i'm proud of doing, but I was remeinded of the incedent by my, and others responses to the video clip.

    I only hope Jasch that the awareness this intereseting topic has provided will help us all take that first step along the road to a more enlightened and caring world. One we all on here strive towards in our own unique and special ways.

    Love and Bright Blessings to you all.


  • At 7:18 AM, October 11, 2006 , Blogger Christopher Showerman said...

    I'm so impressed with all of these responses. They are very real and honest and I really appreciate you all sharing so openly! Thanks! Yes, you are all absolutely right that AWARENESS is a major key to our effect in the world. The HUG video definitely pushes the parameter of our comfort zones in terms of what we will allow of ourselves in public or with strangers. I propose the easiest way to start is by embracing YOURSELF. It doesn't have to be a public display - in fact, real affection and generosity rarely is. Once we start embracing WHO we are UNCONDITIONALLY,(not what we have achieved, or how we look, or who our friends are, etc.) we start to emminate acceptance and approval into the world - and that is infectious! This isn't a physical test to see if you can wrap your arms around yourself (but if it helps, go for it!) but to silently show sincere gratitude and appreciation to who you are. If you have trouble with this at first, imagine yourself at 4 years old and embrace that innocent, hopeful, and creative child you were.

    And WATCH OUT! Because if I see any of you out there in the real world, I'm gonna hug you!

    All Things Possible!

  • At 1:10 PM, October 11, 2006 , Blogger Lara Ufuk said...

    hi dear all..

    thank you for the honest, warm and mind opening posts you guys..

    very interesting topic Chris.. for me it became more than interesting that i still have no idea how i would react to it..:))

    honestly.. i don't know.. i think it is becasue of being in a period in my life i am questioning so many things i thought was right or wrong, what is warmth, what is self protection, what is being professional, what is being humanistic, what is being selfish, what is caring for others and for the world we live goes on and on...

    it naturally creates confusion but also a chance to look from a much larger perspective with a great freedom yet it also involves given up certain freedom by taking more responsibilities..

    you know it helps so much to be close to kids and experience their generocity in love.. in my case my two years of nephew whom i have been discovering a new world with.. they seem to help us to remember and to observe how we all you said Chris.. starting for our selves going to the begining seems like a great idea..

    before i go two things i wanted to say about the previous posts..

    Sue, sorry for your cat, mimi..i hope you feel better about must be hard..

    Patrick, when you ask us to write about what is up with our lives i mean to write...but the confusion im my head will need to settle down a little bit.. soon to write more i hope ..

    i wish you warm and tight hugs with your loved ones.. nothing like it.. sometimes i can't see my brother for weeks.. and when i see him then i definetly feel the need for a tight and long hug.. Chris.. i sure hope to get my share of the hug in real world..We never know.. :)

  • At 1:23 PM, October 11, 2006 , Anonymous Ute said...

    Hi everyone and BIG HUGS to you all!
    Sorry I have been absent for so long, at the moment I feel a bit like being on bord the time machine and everything rushing by, so much is going on right now, new strategies at work and some serious home improvement at home, plus a few mini-trips...

    As ususal, another great subject for us to ponder, Chris! I share all your sentiment about feeling aprehensive about hugging a stranger like in that campaign video but from a practical point of view I don't think we should feel bad about it. After all, that is only our sense of self-protection kicking in and that is not a bad thing. I would probably not hug someone running around with a sign like this; but I have been in a situation once when I started to talk to a woman in a restaurant who was there alone, as was I, and we both told each other our respective griefs we had that day and parted with a hug, which I think comforted us both, even though we were complete strangers. From my experience not everyone likes to be hugged, some people don't like that at all, so you always have to be aware of their feelings as well as your own.
    I found that you can "embrace" people without hugging them, just having an open ear (and mind) and helping them without much fuss, if in your power.
    A few years ago I have started to "introduce hugging" with friends, acquaintances and at work, though not with everyone. Some of our older friends who were just not used to it from their background were a bit bewildered at first but now they are totally loving it! :)
    I think it also helps if you have a strong self confidence to be the one to initiate a hug, but still you might want to be on your guard depending on the situation, especially as a woman. Jaschenka and I watched "Elisabethtown" recently and there is one scene when the recently widowed woman tells how she thought her neighbour was comforting her with a hug until it became quite obvious that he had something else on his mind.

    A friend and I have been to the annual book fair in Frankfurt last Saturday. There we found a sticker that said "Love for Everyone, Hate for Noone" - we really loved that and I thought I'd share this sentiment with you. What I also liked was that there were a lot of leaflets about the Islam, so you could find out what the religion is really about. I brought some home though I hadn't had time to study them. It was really cool to see all those books, in different languages from all over the worlds. It is really amazing how much variety there is on this little planet.

    Ah, Jaschenka, that's really awful. I sometimes try to see if I can get smiles back from people, but usually at least a few respond in kind. :) :) :)

    Sue, in case you haven't heard already, the premiere for Kieren's new show Monarch Cove has been changed to Nov 4. His mom (whose name incidentally is also Sue) sent me a photo of a billboard advertising the show today that has Kieren on it. She was very excited about it and so am I! If you want to see it, I just put it on the website ( Also, I was wondering if you might be able to tape the show as a back up for me, until I know if I can get it otherwise which I will find out only after it has started airing.

    Chris, to adapt GOTJ2: Watch out for that HUG!!! because I am sure everyone here will hug you right back when we get the chance! I'd love to see the ad for the new show of Mr. T on the website, but when I tried a friendly (?) message told me that the video I was about to watch was not available for my country. Oh well, then I'll just wait a while until it does. I openly admit to loving the A-Team and "do it for the Jazz" is one of my favourite quotes!

    So, TONS of HUGS & SMILES to you all!!

  • At 3:23 PM, October 11, 2006 , Blogger Tim said...

    I have continued to think about this subject and have enjoyed everyone's comments. Here in northern Illinois we are about to enter into the perfect night for hugging with the temps dropping into the 20s (a direct result of the Chicago Bears being 5-0, Hell is starting to freeze over).

    As I have mentioned before, we have a new puppy in the house who is awesome. Frankie likes to give hugs. He will jump up and wrap his feet around your neck and bury his head into the crook of your neck. He does it to just about everone he meets and at a recent dog show, he actually had people lined up waiting to "get theirs". I find it ironic that we will accept affection from a dog quicker than one of our own. Yet another quirk of human nature.


  • At 9:15 PM, October 11, 2006 , Anonymous Sue said...

    Glad I tuned in. The forum is really blossoming today! Hugging is a fascinating topic. I grew up in a family that didn't hug that much, except for my grandmas and an aunt who was always hugging us, and sometimes you weren't sure if you liked it or not. My husband's family tends to hug more than mine, so I've learned over time to become more comfortable with it. I think the art of hugging has evolved. And, while we may not quite feel like hugging a stranger, hugging seems more natural to most people in today's world, I think. We know that human touch is important and how much it can boost our immune system for example.
    I appreciate Angi's honesty and sharing her experience with her friend. And I think about the same things that Lara mentioned. In recent years I've pushed myself to be more outgoing and reach out to others, where I'd have been afraid to before. That's because I've learned the value of a hug to our soul and spirit. So I'll sometimes find myself actually hugging a stranger, similar to Ute's experience. I work at a small newspaper, and I've found myself (while astonishing myself that I can do do this) reaching out to hug and console a person who might have just lost a loved one and the story must go in the paper. It's becoming more natural for me to sense when a person could use a hug. I also agree with Ute about embracing someone with your heart. And Lara and Chris are right about remembering who we were as a child and loving that person. Today I talked to an elementary principal about an awareness of disabilities program, to help first graders get a feeling of what it's like to have a disability, and to help instill compassion and caring about other's feelings. I think programs like this are invaluable to help kids become compassionate human beings from an early age. It was fun to watch them participating in those activities, and the principal said they really do get the connection.

    Thanks Lara for your note about Mimi. She arrived in our yard, a little gray and white kitten, the summer our daughter went off to college. So she was pretty much our son's cat. He's now 27, but he says he still remembers that day we found her. I'll have to give you a virtual hug via Chris' website!

    Ute, you surprised me about the show...I can try to tape it for you. I think I'll be around that night. I'll just have to find when it's on here. I managed to tape Chris on the O.C. a couple of years ago and also his C.S.I. this spring. So I'll give it an ATP try!

    I love your "Watch out for that HUG!" I know we'd all love to see Chris as a talk show host. Wow, bet there'd be a lot of hugging going on!

    Great posts everyone! Tim's right. Winter's arriving overnight here. So beautiful WARM HUGS to everyone...Sue

  • At 12:26 PM, October 15, 2006 , Anonymous Alex said...

    Hi dear Chris and forum family,

    Hope you all are doing well; it's always a pleasure and a joy for me being here and reading all of your awesome, honest posts.

    Thanks Chris for your kind words and for being always so nice and thoughful. I enjoyed reading your stories and seeing the great pictures of the Tour Newsletter n.2; thanks for giving us the behind the scenes of your experience with the "Legends" tour. Unfortunately i got only the Newsletter n.2 and i'm looking forward to getting other stories and photos. Speaking of this i want to thank Dave for posting the text of first Tour Newsletter for Lara and all of us.
    Sorry to hear that Edward Albert has died. I remember well him and his famous father Eddie Albert as great actors in so many movies and tv shows. It nice to know that Edward was not only a great actor but also a wonderful caring man; my condolences to his family and friends. Finally i got "Sea of Fear" on Dvd so it was nice to see you with Edward and Kieren as well(congrats again Ute for your beautiful website); i enjoyed the movie and you were great as always!

    Sue, sorry to hear about your cat Mimi. Pets are beings who really love us unconditionally and we love them so much for that. My thoughts are with you and your family. I love your sweet words and thoughts and you're so right to say that we are all the same in our heart also if we all live separates lives.

    Lara i noticed and appreciated, because i thought the same things, the kind words you said some weeks weeks ago to Tom who has not posted here since July. So yes, we think of you Tom and hope you're doing well with everything, all the best to you!

    Nice to hear you have an awesome new puppy in your house, Tim!

    Angi, i'm glad to see you're doing well with your arm.

    Patrick, what a great gift you gave us; thanks for posting the beautiful poem "Desiderata" i totally agree with it.
    Also glad to hear that Jonathan is doing well now; please give him my best regards and wishes.

    Chris, i enjoyed the video about Free Hugs Campaign and, as Sue said, hugging is a very fascinanting topic because warm hugs with heart have a huge value to our soul, spirit, body and we all would love to see more warm hugs, more true love and friendship in this planet, instead of all of these horrible crimes and acts of violence which continuously happen all over the world. As we all know, they are caused by widespread egocentrism and lack of awereness-harmony with the universe and this lack causes from excessive fear-suspicion to hypocrisy, cynicism, close mind, hate, violence. I agree with you Sue and hope that one day such tragic things disappear from this planete.
    Thanks you all for sharing your honest stories and thoughts about hugging. Chris i loved your great thoughts and suggestions about getting over fear and suspicion and about embracing who we are with appreciation and gratitude.
    I feel the same feelings Patrick told us about; as a matter of fact when i read your posts my face lights up and my heart warms up. I consider you and this forum family a wonderful part of my life, a dream come true!

    I'm sure that we all here would love to meet you personally Chris, hug you and getting your special hugs! :) Because we are very grateful to you for who you are, for being so true, sincere, open, modest, and for sharing your bright light with all of us.

    Hugs and Love to you all and take care!

    Alex in Turin, Italy

  • At 8:18 PM, October 15, 2006 , Anonymous Sue said...

    Hello again...hope everyone will have a wonderful week and Chris, my best wishes for the last week of Toronto. You'll have to give us some tips on living out of a suitcase!

    Alex, thanks so much for your kind words about Mimi. I have a neat photo of her this summer that I took outside on our picnic table. I was working on a writing project and she was there with me next to a bouquet of flowers. I'm glad to have that photo, and all of you have inspired me to perhaps put together a collection of photos and write some things about her. You're right, pets are amazing creatures that bring much joy to our lives and love us unconditionally.

    Hello to Tom, too, and hope to hear from you soon.

    I love that Chris asks us to "Take Care of Each Other".... Beautiful forum hugs to everyone...Sue

  • At 5:34 AM, October 16, 2006 , Anonymous Angi said...

    Hugs to everyone

    Sue I too was very sorry to read about Mimi and though at the time i wasn't able to post straight awaty becasue fo the arm injury. Your last post reminded me of something i'd forgotten about. A couple of years ago the dog of an elderly lady i'd gotten to know through night school died. Naturally she was devestated by this especially so since she ws in the proces of moving to another ountry and felt she would be leaving all the places that has special memories of her dog behind. i'm no great artist but on the suggestion of a friend i did a picture of the garden fountain in a shady corner (the dog loved lying next to it) as a leavig card for her. Not much i know but it did help her a little. i know a mere photograph or picture can never replace the sense of loss we have when a loved one human or animal dies but having sometihng concrete is so important for the comfort and memories they bring.

    Tim enjoy your puppy - sounds delightful. Al thisw on pets got me thinking though how we all of us rected in some way with some degree fo cynicism to the Free Hugs campain video yet how many of us would think twice about giving or responding to affection from a dog, cat or any other "cute" animal? Why is is that having four legs seems to remove the reserve we all have to some degree about sharing affection with other humans?

    Since this topic I know I've been more conscious about how I feel about giving and receiving affection (and even found myself observing others around me) - OH and when saw my friend the other day I didn't hestitate to returm the hug he gave me when we met :)

    Chris hope the show continues to go well and thanks for the entertaining newsletters.

    lots of love HUGS and Bright Blesings to you all.


  • At 7:00 AM, October 16, 2006 , Blogger Christopher Showerman said...

    Beautiful comments! And you know what? I believe you all really do take care of each other! It's awesome to be among like minded folks of such generous spirit.

    As mentioned above, I'm leaving Toronto this week so I'll see if I can get you one last post before I lose internet access here.

    ALEX (and anyone else interested in the newsletter) - please send me an email with NEWESLETTER in the subject line so I can get you back on the mailing list.

    Have a wonderful week and take care of each other!

    All Things Possible!

  • At 8:06 AM, October 16, 2006 , Anonymous Sue said...

    Thanks Angi, I caught your post perhaps before the topic changes.Thank you so much for the sweet story you told.

    And what you mentioned to Tim is so true. The HUGS campaign video and Chris' topic has gotten us all to think about how we interact with people.

    Thanks Chris, for allowing us all to meet via your web forum! Wishing everyone beautiful times with loved ones this week...Sue

  • At 4:09 PM, October 16, 2006 , Anonymous Patrick said...

    Hello, all! I would hug you if I could.

    Sorry it has been so long since I have been with the Family, but my partner and I have been playing dodgeball with Life's challenges lately. I think we are winning, but the score is about even. It has been similar to a plumbing project--fix one pipe and another one breaks. But we are strong individuals with a lot of positive energy, and I know we will be just fine. We just have to strap in right now and hang on with a clear mind.

    We are off to Miami this coming Thursday for my annual meeting of the American Association of Blood Banks. I hope all are remembering to donate blood every 56 days. You are giving the gift of life to a needy person when you donate.

    Then, the exciting trip will be the weekend of Oct 28 as we will be traveling to Philadelphia to see "Legends" and our man Chris. Adrian and I are as excited as kids on holiday!

    All of the posts have been really thought-provoking and genuine, which is why I love being part of this Family. I will do my best to be on the forum as much as possible during the next few weeks. I will give a full report of the "Legends" experience.

    My love to you all...keep us in your thoughts and send plenty of positive energy this direction. We need it right now.

    Take care of yourselves,
    Patrick in Pittsburgh

  • At 1:07 AM, October 17, 2006 , Anonymous DaveW said...

    Hey everyone,
    Like everyone else, it seems, I haven't been around this past week or so because I am actually on trip to San Diego, California - leaving the somewhat chilly climes of Michigan for a couple of weeks for the overcast and unusually wet weather of southern California. I will be moving on in a couple days to Chris's old stomping grounds - Los Angeles and Hollywood - before heading further north to enjoy the scenic wonders of northern California and a couple days in San Francisco.

    Patrick, I look forward to hearing what you think about "Legends" as I plan to see the show when it gets to East Lansing (Sue, I hope to see you there!).

    Take care all - hugs all around.


  • At 8:21 AM, October 17, 2006 , Anonymous Sue said...

    Hello again, and thanks Dave, we have tickets for the opening night here. That would be amazing to see you and Chris both! Enjoy your California trip. It's a beautiful state. We visited our daughter there in the spring. They're now in Virginia while our son-in-law is in school until next spring. Patrick, I also hope to hear about your Legends! experience! -- And, I agree with Chris, thanking you all for making the world "better and brighter" and "beautiful" in your unique way. Keep the hugs going! Sue


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