Project Hugfest

February 24th, 2015 by Steve Pavlina

In the final afternoon of the Conscious Life Workshop in August 2014, I gave the group of 125 attendees a special challenge — to come up with a co-creative project that would provide value to others and that we could all do together in about 90 minutes.

I played facilitator and referee during this time, but the group was responsible for coming up with their own idea and then implementing it. After about 30 minutes of brainstorming and many rounds of voting, they settled on doing a massive hugfest on Fremont Street in Downtown Vegas, which was within easy walking distance from our workshop room at the Golden Nugget. The idea was to film it with our cell phone cameras, and then to edit and share it as a short video to spread some positive ripples with the world.

Once we settled on the idea, people quickly got to work making signs, and within minutes we walked down to Fremont Street and starting sharing hugs with each other and the tourists. It began a little tentatively at first, and as people warmed up, the group energy gradually became more fun — and boisterous. Some of the attendees told me afterwards that it was a very memorable, heart-opening, and beautiful experience for them.

The total time from when we began brainstorming ideas to when we were back in the room after doing the hugfest was only about 75 minutes. That included those 30 minutes of brainstorming, so this whole thing came together very quickly. That’s the beauty of creating with an open heart. When we got back to the room, we spent some time figuring out various other logistical details, such as how to get the video editing done and what to call the project. Eventually we settled on the name Project Hugfest.

Special thanks to Cynthia Lou for creating the Project Hugfest logo… and of course thanks to everyone who participated in making this project such a fun success.

Here’s the video. I hope you enjoy it. Feel free to share or post it wherever you like, such as on your own website or social media pages.

Why did it take me so long to post this? That’s entirely my fault. I had closed all my social media accounts, including YouTube, in July 2014, a month before the workshop. Once the video was done and edited, anyone from the workshop was free to share and post it however they wanted. I had agreed at the workshop to also create a new YouTube account just to post the video, but when I tried to do that, I found that Google still required me to have an associated Google+ page (which I really didn’t want). When I tried to make a new account, it would automatically recreate my old Google+ page, which then reactivated my previous YouTube channel. I didn’t see a way to make it work with a new account, so I put it on the back burner for a while.

Eventually I gave up and decided to just to re-enable those accounts, so I could finally post this video. Streaming it from my own website just isn’t fast enough for people outside the USA.

I turned off advertising for the video since the intention wasn’t to generate income. The intention was to create something of value and to share it freely with the world.

I’d like to personally dedicate this video (if I may take that liberty) to Daan Buckinx, a young 20-something Belgian who attended some of my workshops in 2009 and 2010. Before Daan passed away from terminal cancer in 2011, he inspired many people, including me, to openly share hugs and affection while we can. The last time I saw Daan, we were walking around downtown Las Vegas, very near to where this video was filmed, and he was giving beautiful heart-centered hugs to the tourists in the area, brightening their day and making them smile… even though he wasn’t feeling his best due to the cancer treatments he was receiving.

I hope Project Hugfest will inspire you to openly share more hugs and affection with the people in your life.

Hugs! :)



Steve Recommends
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Site Build It! - Use SBI to start your own money-making website
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Lefkoe Method - Permanently eliminate a limiting belief in 20 minutes
PhotoReading - Read books 3 times faster
Paraliminals - Condition your mind for positive thinking and success
The Journal - Record your life lessons in a secure private journal
Sedona Method (FREE audios) - Release your blocks in a few minutes
Life on Purpose - A step-by-step process to discover your life purpose

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Your Own Star Colony

February 21st, 2015 by Steve Pavlina

My long-term path of exploring personal growth has often felt like repeatedly breaking orbit around a familiar star to go explore elsewhere in the galaxy.

Usually this involves three stages:

  1. Recognizing that the familiar star is limiting my growth; becoming aware of its constraints
  2. Feeling increasingly attracted to new possibilities outside the current star system; itching to go explore
  3. Taking action to go explore; breaking orbit; accepting the consequences

One popular star is the star of religion. Many people dwell in its gravity well. It can be a difficult one to leave, especially if you’re threatened for trying like so many are, but breaking orbit opens up a world of new possibilities. There’s an enormous sense of freedom and expansiveness to be found away from this star’s influence.

Another popular star is the star of violence. When you orbit this star, you exist in a world of allies and enemies. Animals are property and product, and the flesh of other beings is a reward that you’re entitled to.

You may also be familiar with the binary star system of jealousy and possessiveness. Those within this complex system frequently lay claim to each other. Clandestinely sneaking off to explore elsewhere is common, but those who get caught are treated harshly upon their return. Even so, within this system appearances are more important than underlying truths.

Searching for Home

On your path of personal growth, you’re likely to break orbit from several different star systems, go explore elsewhere, enter orbit around new stars, and then eventually break orbit from them too.

After some time you may find yourself drifting in the space between stars, looking for a new system that truly feels like home to you.

If such a system already exists, with enough searching you may be able to find it. Then you can settle into orbit and enjoy the wonders of that system for as long as you desire… at least until you get the itch to go and explore some more.

But what if you either can’t find your desired system, or you suspect that it doesn’t exist?

Then you can go find an unoccupied system, plant your flag, and start your own colony. Invite like-minded people from elsewhere in the galaxy to help you colonize it. So if you can’t find a home you like, you’re always free to go build one and invite others to join you.

Creating Your Own Colony

After many years of exploring, I never found a pre-existing, populated star system that felt like home to me. I found some really interesting systems, but the best were usually only a 60-70% match for what I desired… not quite good enough to settle into, although definitely worth visiting for an extended time.

Partly because I didn’t see a better option, I found myself a quiet corner of the galaxy and started my own little colony. It’s not very big, but since I was free to design it as I liked, it has all that I need to be happy.

On this colony we have no established religions. We love philosophy, but have no need for creation myths or gods or anything like that. We love to explore truth, but we have no sacred texts.

Our food is fairly simplistic compared to what’s available elsewhere in the galaxy. We don’t want to overcomplicate or corrupt our sustenance, so we just eat whatever grows fresh on the trees here. Occasionally we’ll get creative with our meals, but for the most part we’d rather put more attention on higher level pursuits.

Our greatest fascination is each other. We love deep conversation. We love co-creation. We’re always working together on some creative project or another. Our colony is a very low-stress place to live, but there’s a constant feeling of positive pressure to tune in and outwardly express the inspired messages that flow through us every day.

We’re optimists at heart and encourage the heck out of each other. Ideas are nice, but we place more value on the expression of ideas. We love to say, “Make it so!”

We’re shamelessly affectionate. Hugging is our standard greeting. We love making each other feel good, both physically and emotionally.

We’re all very curious, so we love to explore. Our colony may be home, but we’re frequently off exploring some other part of the galaxy either together or individually. We gain a lot of creative inspiration from exploration.

We don’t always agree with each other. We actually love disagreement because it’s an opportunity for us to play. Much of our colony has been colorfully stained by some of our previous fruit-hurling battles — a practice we engage in with the utmost vigor and enthusiasm. Whereas other systems treat shame, fear, and guilt as weapons to keep people in line, we regard them as toys for our amusement.

We love hierarchy too — at least as a tool for play. Instead of static titles, we normally refer to each other as Master, Mistress, or slave. These roles can shift multiple times each day depending on our moods, and they allow us to playfully express ourselves while preventing stagnation and boredom. When someone is feeling authoritative, they may start issuing commands, and others will generally play along. When too many people want to be dominant at the same time, some very silly battles can result. And when too many people feel submissive, generally someone will assume command and make everyone do the most ridiculous things until they feel inspired to do something creative. We constantly explore leadership, teamwork, and authority in a most playful manner.

We do have personal possessions, but we’re minimalists in that regard, so our personal territory doesn’t extend far beyond the clothes we wear. We’d rather create, play, experience, and explore than acquire. Possessions are boring to us.

We love to share what we create. We freely gift our creations with the galaxy as a whole, and we encourage others to expand upon our contributions. It’s hard to find a system that hasn’t been influenced by our creative work.

We do have money, but its role is more playful than practical. Anyone is free to create unlimited financial credits out of thin air, and they can gift or spend those credits however they like. People on our colony often use money to buy hugs, massages, and other pleasures. These are freely given anyway, but it’s still fun to occasionally offer someone a thousand credits for a hug. Our colony has a rich variety of silly rituals for expressing appreciation, gratitude, and affection, some of which include gifts of money. We love to ensure that everyone here feels valued.

We generally avoid conflict with other systems, partly by remaining obscure but also by not having anything they’d want to take from us. Our system has few resources they’d care to claim, and anything they might value, such as our creative work, we share freely anyway. We live off the energy from our star, and we inhabit a strategically irrelevant arm of the galaxy. As far as targets go, we remain deliberately unappealing.

The animals of our world are sacred to us. We see them as our brothers and sisters. We do not own them or keep them as pets, but we share our colony with them. When guests visit from other systems, we teach them about the animals of our world and encourage them to treat the animals with respect and love.

Many people are aware that our colony exists, or maybe they’ve heard of it, but few know its exact location or would be able to find it. We’re very cautious about inviting people to visit, and we’re even more cautious about inviting people to join. When we encounter people who express interest in visiting, but it’s clear they’d be a mismatch, we gently refer them to other systems which we feel would be more suitable for them. If it seems necessary, we might even deny the existence of our colony altogether: “Yeah, that place is just a myth. Doesn’t really exist.” We also have some staging areas where we can evaluate people to see if they’d be good matches before we risk exposing ourselves to potential conflict.

Relative to other systems, our colony is delicate and could potentially be knocked off balance if incompatible energies were to infect the place. Security is very important to us, not in terms of protecting our lives or our property but in terms of guarding our peaceful, playful, creative energy and the values we hold sacred. We don’t seek to make our colony popular or even well-regarded. We seek to maintain its purity of essence. It just needs to sustainably exist, and that is enough.

This is my colony. It’s certainly not as grand as some other systems, but it’s my home, and I’m happy here. While I still love to explore and probably always will, my heart keeps drawing me back to this simple colony again and again. It’s the one place in the galaxy where I feel the deepest sense of oneness. And most beautifully, it exists.



Steve Recommends
Here are my recommendations for products and services I've reviewed that can improve your results. This is a short list since it only includes my top picks.

Site Build It! - Use SBI to start your own money-making website
Getting Rich with Ebooks - Earn passive income from ebooks
Lefkoe Method - Permanently eliminate a limiting belief in 20 minutes
PhotoReading - Read books 3 times faster
Paraliminals - Condition your mind for positive thinking and success
The Journal - Record your life lessons in a secure private journal
Sedona Method (FREE audios) - Release your blocks in a few minutes
Life on Purpose - A step-by-step process to discover your life purpose

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