Free Blind Hugs!


At the end of April, Jente and I stood on the Central Station of Rotterdam with open arms and a blind fold on. On the floor a little note saying: I trust you, do you trust me? Let’s hug.

# Why?
Because there is so much fear within certain parts of our society that it’s good to show something different every now and then. To show trust, vulnerability and to invite people to give their trust as well. And this hug of a stranger can be a very short moment of connection between two people who would otherwise pass each other without noticing.

I had seen a video of The Liberators doing the same thing some time ago and I always wanted to do it as well. After having given free hugs a couple of years ago, I knew that it was probably much more fun then I could imagine. Next to that, I wanted to do something a little bit scary again. Because even though I knew it was going to be fun, going out there and standing with a blindfold in a public space made me nervous as well.

It’s a bit like when you’re going to swim in cold water, and right before you go, you stand at the side and feel a strong resistance: “I don’t want to go this time! It’s so nice and warm and comfortable where I am right now!!” But you do it anyway because the desire to experience life to the fullest is stronger then the fear. And because it’s just cold water 🙂

Then when you are in the water you feel alive! Fresh and awake! Aware of every changing sensation in your body.

The same happened when putting on the blindfold. I felt present. And within 5 seconds somebody gave me a hug. It’s great giving hugs to people you don’t know or see because it’s almost easier to really enjoy the embrace without being distracted by your mind reacting on your sight.

In the moments when nobody came to hug, it felt like nice moment of meditation. To simply come back to my breathing and enjoy standing there with open arms and heart, ready for everything.

So yeah! Give it a try ones! It’s a beautiful experience and your love and presence will change the world.

Maarten from Wake Up Rotterdam

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