Depending on my mood, this video could either be totally uplifting or supremely annoying. Today, I found myself getting swept into the laughter, and also noting my surprise that nobody on the train wound up weeping. The two are so often connected. Release.
We walk around holding it all in, keeping it together, containing ourselves. What are we afraid of?
You know the Free Hugs Campaign that has gone around the world and back again? It’s definitely along similar lines as this laughing bodhisattva. A couple of weeks ago, I squeezed in a short run before picking V up at school. This was the day I found out about Deborah’s suicide. Around 2:20pm, I was outside the building stretching, when I saw them coming, a group of maybe six or eight people walking down Main Street with big “FREE HUGS” signs, yelling, Free hugs! Free hugs! Most drivers and pedestrians were looking at them curiously but not stopping. I yelled after them. Wait! Over here! Bring on the free hugs! I ran over to the sidewalk and opened my arms wide, not caring who saw, knowing that none of these people knew I was swimming in the shock of grief. It didn’t even matter.
Another day not long ago, I was having coffee with a friend downtown after dropping off kids. My cell phone rang as she and I were talking, and I looked to see who it was. It was another friend who is also a coaching client of mine. She is running the rapids of starting her own company, and I decided to answer the call. Our conversation went something like this:
Her: Hi. Where are you?
Me: Mirabelle’s. Are you okay?
Her: I’m leaving a meeting nearby, but I don’t want to interrupt…
Me: Come over here. Just come by right now. I’ll be here.
And a couple of minutes later, she walked in, took one look at me, and burst into tears. We stood there hugging while she cried really hard for a few minutes. Then I introduced my friends to each other and we all commiserated about the challenges of holding it all in, keeping it together, containing ourselves.
But to laugh so hard you don’t know if you’re laughing or crying, to accept a free hug, to see a caring face and burst into tears – this is what I’m talking about. This is who I want to be in the world. This is what connects us all. If you’re moved to leave a comment, please share a story of giving and receiving. How do you release the weight of the world from your shoulders?