Photo by Frans van Zaalen, taken at Utrecht Train Station, on Feb 14th 2018.
This is me last Wednesday, on Valentine’s Day. My friend Sylvia and I took the train to 4 different cities and held up our FREE HUGS signs and hugged random strangers for 7 hours. Hugging strangers is something that I’m pretty passionate about and that’s why I started Heel Holland Hugt in 2016. When you stand here, holding up your sign, wondering if you’ll be ignored or embraced, you are fully present in your desire to connect with someone. To connect deeply with them for a very short moment. To tell them ‘I see you. I feel you. You matter to me.’ I cannot tell you what an impact it can have on someone – we’ve had people in tears, people who would not let go, people who had not been hugged for weeks, and people who gave us flowers and presents. We were also called names, given dirty looks, nearly spit on, and laughed at. It’s all part of the deal when you stand there with your sign.
When I coach someone on English communication, I want them to feel safe. To feel welcome. To use their words to build a bridge to other people. To know that they matter, to me and to others. It’s a hug, but with words.
Let me give you a verbal hug on Tuesday evening, at my Free English Webinar at 20.30. You’ll get my tips and tricks on pronunciation, grammar, formal and informal language, and so much more. And you can ask me anything at the end! Grab your spot here and join the hundreds (OMG it’s amazing how many people have signed up!) who have already joined.
So excited for Tuesday night!
Sending you the biggest and warmest of hugs,