Brian’s Journey

Brian’s Hugging Journey

Day 1

Today, I began the 21-day hugging challenge by sharing a warm, cuddly hug with the best hugger I know, my 3-year old son Henry. Henry gives the best hugs! He has the ability to fall into the natural contours of your body making it feel more like your hugging a soft pillow or a thick stuffed animal. He is such a sweet boy and receiving one of his hugs is one of my favorite things each and every day. I allowed myself to fully enjoy the experience and get lost in the moment. It lasted MINUTES, not seconds.”


Day 2

This morning I told my 6-year-old son Jack I needed a big hug. He was excited for the hug but quickly turned his attention to a new basketball he just received. The hug was about 8 seconds. I told my wife we should show Jack how it’s done and I gave her a big hug. It was hard to get lost in the hug and be fully present because she was busy chewing her breakfast. Final Verdict: My son Henry is the best at hugs.


Day 3

I wasn’t satisfied with mine and my wife’s hug yesterday so today I made another attempt. My wife was nice and sleepy when I asked for a hug so she had no problem sinking into it. For about 5 seconds it was very nice until we heard the scream of “mommy” from the mouth of our 3 year old. It was nice while it lasted, but it reminded us both that it’s hard to get lost in a hug with a couple of rug rats running around. I’m looking forward to trying again though.


Day 4

I began my challenge this morning by explaining the Hugging Journey again to my wife. Her response was that it’s my challenge that she did not agree to participate in. A few minutes later, when I asked her for a 21-second hug, she was unwilling to honor my request. She said that I shouldn’t ask people to drop what they’re doing, but rather I should ask when others are ready. I responded by saying that she asks me to drop what I’m doing all the time to honor her requests (lift something heavy, take out the trash, attend to the kids, etc.). There is clearly more going on than sharing a hug.


Day 5

I gave my Mom a hug today, both physically and figuratively. Ever since my parents split up, the holiday season has been a challenging time of the year for family get-togethers. It’s always mildly awkward and a little inconsistent. This year, we made a point to host my Mom for a Thanksgiving meal and we invited her to decorate our Christmas tree with us. I gave her a long hug by the tree but the whole night also felt like a hug.


Day 6

After a very active weekend, the house was quiet this morning with tired kiddos fast asleep. My wife and I had several moments to share some time together and more importantly drink our coffee (which is like a hug in a cup). I asked for permission to share a good hug with my wife and she obliged. It was a nice moment free from distraction with the focus just on us.

As I progress my way through the Hugging Challenge, I see that I am proactively looking for ways to hug others, both literally and figuratively. I’m beginning to look at life through the “space of a hug” as Dr. K likes to say.


Day 7

I gave my Dad a hug today. It’s always a little awkward because we really don’t hug each other much anymore. I’m not sure when we stopped hugging, but it’s been a few years. Most of the time we just exchange a half-hearted sort of hug. But, this year I offered a moment delivered with the spirit of a hug. We don’t typically spend Thanksgiving with my Dad (for a few reasons) and we didn’t plan to this year either. But, I made the effort to ask he and his girlfriend to dinner with me and my family and we had a great Cracker Barrel dinner. The whole night was a bit of a hug.


Day 8

I gave someone a great big Florida hug today. Our friends who are originally from Illinois and Canada currently live in Florida and we decided to visit them for Thanksgiving because they rarely get to celebrate the holiday with family. I gave my friend Tara a big hug when we saw her.


Day 9

Our friend, Ryan is a military man. He serves as a Combat Rescue Officer in the Air Force. We shared a special thanksgiving together, all in the space of a hug.


Day 10

Today was a group hug with our friends in Florida. It wasn’t a goodbye, more of a see you later. We had a great time spending the holiday with them. It’s a privilege to have friends all over the world and to be able to pick up right where we left off when we see each other. We can slow down and be present in the moment, just like a good hug. Spending a few days away from home added perspective within the big picture and made me want to narrow my focus when it comes to those I care about the most.


Day 11

Today I had a great hug! I think with all this hugging going on, it’s getting contagious. My oldest son Jack who is 6 years old came up to me this morning and asked me for a hug. I was very happy to oblige and I got my daily dose of oxytocin without even having to ask.


Day 12

If there’s one thing I know, my son Henry is the world’s best hugger. If there were an international hugging challenge, he would win. That’s just a fact. This morning Henry was feeling a little reluctant to start school. He had a little trouble detaching after a long weekend. I was in a rush but rather than dropping him off and running to work, I took the time to really enjoy his hug and be present in the moment. It was probably a hug that last 1-2 minutes but it was great and he was ready to start his day afterwards.


Day 13

Today I received/gave a hug from the world’s second best hugger, the mastermind behind the Hugging Challenge himself, Dr. K. I always appreciate a hug from Dr. K but today I made a point to sink into it and relax a little and only step away after a comfortable amount of time. As usual, I received well wishes afterwards and felt better.


Day 14

Today was a surprise hug. I was meeting with my Dad today when my Aunt Libby popped in his office. I hadn’t seen her for quite some time and it was a welcomed interruption. She looked surprisingly well after recently undergoing a few medical procedures. It was nice to see her, visit for awhile and of course, give her a big hug.


Day 15

Today was a double bonus hug. My wife and I shared a very nice hug this morning while my three year old looked on (aka the world’s greatest hugger). He couldn’t help himself and latched on to my wife’s leg. I, in turn, picked him up and we made him a Henry sandwich in between us. Lots of giggles and hugs. Good stuff!


Day 16

Great hug today from my Mama. Mommy hugs are always great!


Day 17

Today was a special day because my (6 year old) son came up to me and asked me for a hug. I think I’m starting to rub off on him. He’s been coming by for more hugs which I’ve always welcomed but with all the talk about good hugs lately, I think he wants to get in on the action.


Day 18

Today was a family hug. We celebrated an early Christmas with my wife’s side of the family. We had meals, stories and a visit with Santa. I made a point to offer long, quality hugs as we said goodbye.


Day 19

Today was a special hug with a friend. It was not only a good, long moment where I focused on being present; it was a reminder to be radically transparent with the people who care about you. I wish the best for everyone special in my life and radical transparency is a great vehicle to make sure that happens….all inside the space of a hug :).


Day 20

Today was a special day because I spent the entire day looking at life through the lens of a hug. I actively looked for people to connect to, slowed things down and spent time with everyone in the moment. The whole day was a hug.


Day 21

I completed the Hugging Challenge today by passing the torch to a friend who has also taken up the challenge. I gave him a long hug and sunk into it (just like Dr. K has taught me to do). Prior to the challenge, it may have been an awkward experience but since we both came to it in the same frame of mind, it was a great experience. It was positive. It was good. It was passing the torch, passing the light. If we keep passing this on, maybe we can unleash a brushfire of hugs and positivity throughout the world!