Touch is a powerful tool of connectivity, understanding, and communication. The reality is—from infancy to elder age—all animals need touch. However, many go long periods without receiving basic, caring, and respectful touch. A lot of this has to do with upbringing, family dynamics, and more recently technology. Meet Edie Weinstein, founder of Hug Mobsters Armed with Love which is an organization to give free hugs around the world. She is reinvigorating the essence of humanity one event at a time.
Raised by a family who hugged her as she left the house and upon her arrival, Edie was surprised to see how disconnected society was from such a basic experience. Inspired by Juan Mann whose free hugs in Australia went viral online, Edie decided she was raised her whole life to do this kind of work.
A hug is more than physical contact. It is an embrace that speaks, listens, holds, and supports. Lack of touch can cause serious pain and feelings of loneliness.
“Well, one of the people that approached us was a gentleman who was an Iraq war vet. He was the only survivor of his platoon. And he had survivor’s guilt. And he said, I thought about ending my life until I met you people. Can I join you? So, of course, we gave him a sign and he was off to the races himself,” Edie shares.
Hugs are great for the heart on both a physical and emotional level. It is the connection of a heart to heart that merges the magnetic fields of individuals. Tons of energetic healing can occur in this space when done from a loving and intentional space.
The Birth of Hug Mobsters Armed with Love
While Edie provided a service that could have saved someone’s life, she also battled a life-threatening experience of her own. Surviving a heart attack at the age of 55, she decided to walk the streets of her town in Pennsylvania while offering free hugs.
Her friends started calling her “hug mobster” as a fun nickname only to become the inspiration of a movement. Rather than being armed with weapons of destruction and harm, Edie added love to the arsenal behind being a hug mobster.
Hug Mobsters Armed With Love approaches the positive take on powerful weaponry. In this case, lovingly tackling disconnection society often faces inspires others to open up and receive—with consent, of course.
“So, consent for me is about, okay, can I be all into whatever is being offered to me or asked of me? And that could be touch. It could be sex. It could be a gift. It could be a commitment to do something with someone. So that’s why it’s important.”
Edie continues to travel, offer hugs, and teach workshops on wellness, relationships, and trauma recovery.
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