A Hug from the Universe: A Reflective Journaling Exercise, with Lori Ann Roth

Lori Ann Roth


Suddenly, I felt a wave of peace and love surrounding me. It was as if I was receiving a giant hug from the entire universe. The feeling was of immense joy and love going into me, around me, and through me. I started to cry because the love was overwhelming.  “Thank you, thank you” was all that I could say as the tears streamed down my face. The gratitude I was experiencing was so large, the entire world, sky, and universe was involved.  I realized that I am not alone. Someone, something loves me; loves me so much. I had never experienced that kind of love, peace or joy before in my life. When it went away, I felt so much calm. I was very relaxed but energized and joyous. I felt lighter and part of the world.

Some say it is God; maybe a spiritual presence. Others say that it is my body accessing parts of the brain that produce these types of sensations. I just know that the emotion was beyond wonderful and I categorized it as a gift. I didn’t have that experience for another 7 years. I chocked it up as an anomaly. Then it happened again during similar circumstances. I wondered if I could re-create that emotion/feeling anytime I was feeling down and needed a giant hug from the universe. So, I started to find what was similar about both times.

That first instance happened when I was writing in my journal on my deck in Virginia; I was 48 years old. Journaling is a habit for me – ok, not a habit but a way of life. I journal almost every day. The second time it happened I was 54 and had moved to Florida. I was writing at night because I couldn’t sleep. Both times I was outside, it was quiet, and I was alone. So, I started to experiment with my journal.

I call this new journal the being journal.  Many of us, myself included, are do-ers. We get things done.  Most of us believe this is a great characteristic. I am an achiever! However, I realized that when I was doing, I was not be-ing. Each time I felt the “hug” I was not doing anything.  After much thought and analyzing, I wrote down the process and wish to share it with you. It may work, it may not. It has worked for me, not all of the time, but more often than not.  I can recreate this sensation.

Get Your Hug from the Universe

  1. Choose a place in nature where you will not be disturbed, and it is quiet. I always sit down.
  2. Write down all of your thoughts down.
  3. Write until you have nothing left, until there are no more thoughts.
  4. Put the journal down and take some deep breaths. Breathe in the air and the moment.
  5. Breathe normally and just be. Each time my eyes were open, and I observed the nature around me. 
  6. At this state, you will feel relaxed.
  7. Feel grateful (don’t think here) for all that you see, experience, and sense.
  8. Just be and take in everything.

That’s all there is to it! Then the sensation or the “hug” envelopes me. 

In my experience, this process works best when I don’t overthink it. I have friends who say this is a form of meditation or mindfulness. That is fine with me. Whatever you would like to call the process to create your “hug” is perfectly ok.  Using a journal helps me to get out of my head and into the place of love, gratitude, and joy.  Hopefully, this will work for you. I wish for you to experience this true joy. This hug from the universe. Good luck and let me know if you have any other journaling exercises or experiences that work for you to bring you joy. 


Lori Ann Roth

About Lori Ann Roth

Trainer, Coach, Author, Speaker, Lori Ann Roth Ph.D is a life-long learner who is dedicated to helping people learn to be their best. Dr. Roth is the President of “Learning and…Reflective Growth,” a company that specializes in training and coaching. She has dedicated her education, knowledge, and experience to enhancing the personal and professional development of others. “Be the best YOU” is her favorite affirmation. She supports people as they explore self-awareness and live authentic lives. She is a creative and an experienced learning and development professional who has been in the field for over 35 years. She facilitates fun, yet educational experiences for her training (face to face and online) and coaching clients.

Dr. Roth is a certified coach and a skilled facilitator as well as a Distinguished Toastmaster. She loves to help others learn and grow. Her specialty areas include: Leadership Development, Coaching, Training, Facilitation, Strategic Planning, Instructional Design, and Public Speaking. To find out more visit