Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hugs (abrazos) to All; Sisterhood and Friendship Awards

On September 2007, The International Day of Peace, my daughter, Amber and a group of high school teens (spearheaded by Rafa in the photo) organized a free hugs campaign in the Old City (Old San Juan, Puerto Rico). They carried signs and smiles and offered hugs to people arriving to Puerto Rico from cruise ships, tourists and bemused, muddled and confused locals. As the activity caught on, people began to understand the gesture of goodwill and many began to accept "Free Hugs." (An article featuring the story was written by Libni Sanjurjo Melendez in Primera Hora on Sabado 22 de Septiembre de 2007; Jovenes conmemoran el Dia Internacional de la Paz Regalan abrazos en Viejo San Juan, Panorama 22) The teens were questioned by police and after much discussion and delay were allowed to continue.

I am so proud of these teens and my daughter for understanding love and showing the way to sometimes hesitant adults. Everyone needs a hug!

I applaud all people who recognize the power of affection and appreciation!

Hug a Tree!
Hug a Puppy ! Hug a Friend!

Hug a Blogger!

The Hug (Tess Gallagher)
A woman is reading a poem on the street
and another woman stops to listen. We stop too,
with our arms around each other. The poem
is being read and listened to out here
in the open. Behind us
no one is entering or leaving the houses.

Suddenly a hug comes over me and I'm
giving it to you like a variable star shooting light
off to make itself comfortable, then
subsiding. I finish but keep on holding
you . A man walks up to us and we know he hasn't
come out of nowhere, but if he could he
would have. He looks homeless because of how
he needs. "Can I have one of those?" he asks you,
and I feel you nod. I'm surprised,
surprised you don't tell him how
it is-that I'm yours, only...

In the spirit of sharing peace, I give you Abundant Hugs


Linda Socha from Psyche Connections has honored Oasis with the affirming Sisterhood Award for giving her "laughter, learning, and perspective." Please go visit her blog and enjoy her peppy and touching posts. Open hearted Natalie of Musings of the Deep has also shared this Sisterhood Award with me and to top that off, she also shared the Friendship Award with me! Such a community of warm and intelligent friends in this blog world.

I would like to share the Sisterhood Award with these bloggers who share love, laughter and insight...

1. Butternut Squash Goddess of the Confluence

2. The Muse at Muse Swings

3. Sheila the artists who writes From Forensic to Fine Art

4. Carol of The Writer's Porch

5. Dianne of Intutive Painting

and those bloggers with abundant hearts must have the Friendship Award...

1. Reya Mellicker of The Gold Puppy

2. Pat of Mille Fiori Favorite

3. Just a Plane Ride Away

4. Linda of Vulture Peak Muse

5. Rudee the Knitting Nurse

If I missed you, please accept a long hug of apology and take the award you deserve!

You are a living story. Become aware of the stories you tell about yourself and your world. Participate consciously in the writing of the next chapter of your life.

Deepak Chopra and David Simon (The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga)

Also, Thank you Bill Austin the Best Blog of the Day Award! (March 5, 2009). If you would like to nominate a friend's blog or your own, click on the Sharing Blog Love link on the Oasis sidebar under the award.

Blog Awards Winner


On Accepting Your Sisterhood or Friendship Award...

Here's how award process works:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 5 blogs.
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link this post to the person from whom you received your award.

Watch the video that made it all happen!


  1. Thankd Cynthia for the lovely recognition. It made my day!

  2. Congratulations Cynthia!!! Big hugs from me too:)

  3. Cynthia.......I got on the comment section!!!
    Thank you for the Sisterhood Award, Sis! Did you get my e-mail??

  4. Yay! for hugs! Beautiful Amber looks like you. :D xx♥

  5. Hi again,Cynthia! I was just going through your old posts, and came across one about Tasha Tudor. I have three little prayer books from when I was baptised in the 60's. They are in a briefcase to grab in case of fire, along with Birth Certificates etc. My treasures. What a lovely post.xx

  6. Congratulations on your many, many awards, Cynthia! And also to your beautiful daughter. A hug across the miles to you both.

  7. Thank you Cynthia for this wonderful recognition!

    Congratulations to your lovely Amber and her friend Rafa for organizing a successful free hugs campaign! The world certainly can use more hugs.
    X0 Pat

  8. cynthia , thank you so much for the award, it is so much appreciated! I will try and pass it on this have a gorgeous daughter and what a lovely thing they did, hugging strangers and befuddled tourists! I can only imagine how that must have felt to both parties!!! the poem was very moving....and finally congratulations on your well-deserved have a terrific blog!

    also many thanks for your lovely comments on my own...


  9. Congratulations on your well-deserved awards.

    Is that your daughter in the photo? If so she is gorgeous - and has her mum's brains as well, from the sound of it anyway


  10. Wow..congratulation on all those lovely awards.
    *hugs back*

  11. Thank you for the award, and for your very wise advice today.

  12. It's a great initiative. One smile on the street can energise it, after all 'a smile does go a mile'. Kudos to your daughter, she's understood the essence of humanity in its truest sense.

  13. Congratulations to your daughter for a super, life enhancing idea.
    I think the blogosphere is a lovely place to connect with like-minded positive spirits who remind us to give of ourselves.

  14. Thank you so much for the Friendship award! Really cool!!

    And bravo to your daughter for giving hugs to those who wanted them. Surely you know about the hugging saint of India, yes? She c omes to DC every year and hugs thousands of people, stays up all night doing so. Whew!! I couldn't handle it - I believe she is definitely a saint.

  15. Congratulations on your awards - and thank you SO much for mine! Congrats to all of the other presentees!!! Hugs all around.

  16. Congratulations to you my friend,

    I am so impressed and inspired by your daughters project... to spread love throughout the world is a sacred and beautiful thing... and that is what you do here on this site,

    Much love to you friend,


  17. Linda S.,thank you for initiating this round of appreciation!

    Ms. Lucy, hugs back to you, dear friend!

    Carol, I back to you Sis, gosh, the comment mysteries! If you can't respond, you can also let me know on facebook. I think I had a pop-up window blocker on? (I've eaten too many "cookies"-what a word...confusing, right!) I'm glad you broke through, dear wise friend. I saw on your blog that you also write poetry! Great! (Share some with us, please.) xx <3

    Natalie, hi friend! Some say that about Amber...she dyed the underside of her hair blonde...and it looks good on her...teens!...I told her when her hair was white like mine, she could go blond no problem...who knows, she will probably go natural...more power to her! Thanks for the awards and the reminder to collect.

    Tasha Tudor has lovely work. I also have a couple small prayer books of hers...The Lord's so touching in her illustrations. xxx000 <3

    Catherine, hugs back to you dear sister friend! A lot of awards going on over at your place, too! xx00 <3

    Pat, you deserve all the recognition for your Mille generous heart!
    xx <3

    Linda, thanks for mentioning the poem, it's much longer and goes off into an unrelated theme so I just stopped it right where it fit! (Did I cheat?) I like your new design changes over at Vulture Peak Muse...everyone feels a bit better? Much affection to you and your daughter! <3

    French Fancy, thanks for pointing to my daughter's brains! She works hard at school...and I hope she attains her academic dreams. She wants to study psychology in the states (US). Much affection to you Mrs. French Fancy. xxo <3
    Alpha,thank you for the visit...huggggsss! <3

    Rudee, thank you for reading my eternal comment on your blog...I do get carried away! I just am 100% on you and your daughter's side! xx

    Anil, thank you for the visit! I am proud of her... a big smile and hug for you! I hope the best travel blog was a big win for you! Love your posts and photos! <3

    Elizabeth, back from India and returned to New York! I look forward to your "life enhancing" insights and choose such intimate close up shots of structures and angles...I'm glad that we have the chance to share and connect. xx <3

    Reya, thanks for the congratulations, friend. I found a quote from the hugging saint:

    "Just by feeling (someone's) pain you cannot resolve it," she says. "You have to do something. If you see a blind person who is crying, why suffer for him when you can hold his hand and help him across the street?" Isn't she wise!!!

    Thanks for the connection. Why don't you visit her when she comes to DC. I'd love to hear about your experience with her. xx <3

    MuseSwings,your welcome, dear friend. And hugs back to you!!!! <3

    Maithri, thank you so much for your visit and encouraging help me to understand my blog project better...thanks for keeping me focused. I wonder how the work with those suffering with AIDs is going...I couldn't get into your blog...I figured blocking my way.

    May your "soaring" way be unobstructed...and your work express the highest action for us all. xx00<3

  18. What a beautiful daughter you have Cynthia, and what a moving post! it's easy to see where she gets her loving compassionate nature.
    And Congratulations on your well deserved awards! (i was finally able to stay on your site, i'm often bumped off)
    xxx lori

  19. gr8 to c there r good and affectionate people like u on this planet..from my heart..cheers friend

  20. Dear Cynthia,
    What a gorgeous daughter you have, both inside and out! You must be so proud of her being involved in something so beautiful as a free hugs campaign!
    Thanks so much for the lovely Sisterhood Award, I am honoured.

  21. Cynthia, thanks for signing up to follow my humble blog. I'm honored to be part of a bigger sisterhood out there.

  22. Congratulations on your well deserved awards!!

    And thank you dear friend, for my award!

    Bravo to your daughter for her beautiful, caring heart. I can see that she takes after her lovely mother :-)

  23. Your daughter is a beautiful young woman, Cynthia. You have every right to be proud of her and proud of yourself, says a great deal when a parent raises such a thoughtful child who is willing to put themselves out there and do their part for world peace...yes, world peace! When we can begin to understand how important these little gestures are in the world, maybe we can come to some understanding of how respect and love plays such an important part in world peace! Congratulations on your fine work as a mother, too!

    Clearly your blog awards are very well deserved...there is no doubt about that. Again, Congratulations! (and thanks for the intro to some lovely bloggers)!

  24. Is that your daughter? She is lovely! Wow! Congratulations on having an intelligent beauty with a big heart.

  25. Susan!!! I can't get into your blog comment section...sorry, I also cannot email you because of some POP3 block...if you can help me with this...are you writing somewhere else? I found a new blog of yours but I can't find it again. Thank you for you comments here, friend! Sorry I skipped over you in my reply order, I went to try again at your blog and got lost! xx <3

  26. Lori Ann, I so enjoyed your post this week and the trip to Africa...really it seemed like Out of Africa over there at Lori times five. I hope I corrected the problem with the intrusion. I set the security lower so the pop up blocker would stop blocking you. I think that was the problem. Thank you for the visit, dear sister friend. xx <3

    R.Ramesh,you are welcome here! Thank you for your kindness. <3

    Dianne, hello dear friend and blog sister, glad you came over. I know you are busy now with the new offer...success is here! xx<3

    Lakeviewer, welcome to our sisterhood! So exciting to have you here from so far away!

    Just a Plane Ride Away, hi again, friend, I just thought of Roxi's auditions and how you are going through all of that with your daughter. Amber sings, too. Your daughter seems as if she might go professional later...she's so poised. <3

    Kim, thank you, friend for you comments. I appreciate that you understand the peace bringing gesture. I know you think about how to improve the world as well. Have a lovely creative week. <3

    Yoli,thanks for the praise of Amber. She is growing up! I'm glad she has academic goals. Also, thanks for the visit...I know you are a busy mom. xx <3

  27. What a gorgeous and open hearted daughter you have! The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, eh? :) Happy Monday!

  28. A hug can change the course of a day. Hugs to all.

  29. What a lovely post Cynthia! Congrats to your daughter who understands the true meaning of love and how a simple hug can spread universal joy.

  30. I applaud your daughter for doing this kind of project there. And congrats on all the awards (they feel so good don't they --and are fun to give back out too!).

    YOu said you do the same work as Pink Cowboy and I am totally stumped as to what that's all about. Can you fill me in? Why are teachers not correcting their own tests? He is doing it for a publishing co... perhaps they put the tests out and just want to see how accurate their product is?I guess my question is, why the big brother timing on those correcting them? If you have a moment to tell me, can you comment on my blog at


  31. Congrats, Cynthia!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and joining. Welcome! :)

  32. Marie Isabelle, oh my! I don't know about apples falling and all that but I do have a 40's hair style thanks to you! Anyone who wants to play with a new look, go to Marie's Monday post and watch the hair tutorial. What FUN! Thanks for the visit! <3

    Ingrid M., a hug back to you, too!! OOO
    Janice T., you're welcome, friend, though my daughter is her own person. I only get a little credit. :-) <3

    Sydney,hi new friend! I went over to your blog and answered you in detail. (Too much?)We both work for testing services. It's usually a part-time contract position. (He's said he's at it full-time for a couple of months.) They need to hire professionals trained in assessment during their evaluation periods.

    I loved your blog post today. Great self-reflective exercise paired with your own personal sharing! <3

    Paris,hi there and thank you. I enjoyed your post this week! <3

  33. Hiiiii.Just dropped in 2 say hiiiii..cheers

  34. I am acknowledging the very nice friendship award you gave me on my blog tomorrow Cynthia. Thanks again for thinking of me!

  35. Hi Cynthia,

    I loved the peace hugs! What a fantastic idea.

    Thank you also for the blog award. It came at the right time. I recently receieved a note from my dad that suggested that I shouldn't write any more stories using abstractions of characters from my childhood for another 25 years until everyone who might know him or me passes away. I've been in a bit of a funk.

  36. R. Ramesh, Hello to you also, friend.

    Pat, thank you for letting me know. This is the last round for you now? No more awards. I understand the blogging hobby can be pretty time consuming. I still enjoy connecting in this way. I find a lot of good blogs through the award process of linking. Thank you for recognizing mine. <3

    Butternut, Hi Butternut! In response to your comment on my blog, thank you, and about waiting 25 years to write your stories, I have much (too much?)to say.

    I found a quote by Margaret Atwood who is commenting about diverse motivations for writing, "To write is to take risks and it is only by taking risks that we know we are alive." If you wait too long the stories will change, or not come into being or your motive to write will diminish.

    Writing is empowering and sometimes there is a fallout. In my opinion, it's better to answer the muse in whatever way he/she directs. That's your way, your path, your unique contribution. Most people either love to see themselves described on the page...only a few are uncomfortable.

    Your stories are mild; I'm working with Jamaica Kincaid and she really tells all. But then again, she changed her name to JK- it was Elaine Potter Richardson. Quite soon after that she wrote more stories that were so clearly autobiographical that the name change was not effective...then she stopped caring about hiding the details.

    What is true anyway? We all have diverse perceptions. Write from the heart...otherwise you are not validating your own life experience. I also really enjoyed the family story. I told some of it to my husband. I wanted to read more detail.

    I think it's the beginning of a great collection of fictional stories. Did you know that most first books are autobiographically based...if you don't write your first book, the second one is stuck, too. Out with the funk and in with the new! <3

  37. Hello dear -
    According to my dashboard there is a new post over here but I think it is just your widget. Since I'm here - I'm saying Hi! Hi!

  38. Hearty congratulations on your awards! And thanks for all the new suggestions of places to visit!!

  39. Free Hugs...that video was one of the first ones I "favorited" on YouTube. And how wonderful, special, gratifying and awesome that your daughter and her friends followed and made their own very special impact on the world on that day.

    Be proud and give lots of hugs :)

  40. Hi Cynthia,

    Thank you for the beautiful response. I think that would be a great post for everyone!

    I am reading Among Flowers right now. Please tell Ms. Kincaid she has a new fan.

    I will work to shrug off the disappointment and summon the courage. Fortunately, my father is not diabolical. He's merely concerned about what everyone else thinks, exactly what 'Acceptable in Thy Sight' was about. Peace and Hugs

  41. Sweet photo. Sign of the times that the police would question huggers! I've been considering a scene in my book where someone blows a hug out of proportion and uses it as a weapon against the hugger. Odd times.

  42. I remember seeing quite a bit about the free hugs campaign - It's been going on for years on and off I understand - It is breathtakingly beautiful to witness, from the clips I have seen - ~I remember sobbing, or perhaps that was joy mingled with grief - A hug means so little - Such a small gesture... but it can mean so much physically and mentally to someone who has been longing for it, n'est-ce pas, Cynthia. Hugs, dahlink! ((x))


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