Freedom From Your Fears

 facing fears handsfree mama

My younger daughter recently learned about Chucky. You know–the angry red-headed serial killing doll who never left Tommy’s room without a knife. If you managed to avoid the Chucky movies that were popular in the late 80’s/early 90’s, consider yourself lucky. It was horror at the most ridiculous level. However, I knew the movie was realistic enough to scare children. I dreaded the day my kids found out about wild-eyed Chucky and suddenly their beloved American Girl Dolls were ushered from their rooms at night.

For three nights in a row, my daughter woke up crying and could not go back to sleep.  Coincidentally, I was awake all three of those times because I was dealing with my own nighttime fears.

My fears were brought on during a conference call with my publishing team. While talking over what I might expect around the time of my book release, the possibility of traveling to large metropolitan areas for television interviews came up.

Whoa.

Whoa.

I wanted to be sure they knew some important details about me—I wanted to pipe up with this:

Do you know what I wear every single day? See this comfy Dri-fit? This is my Writer’s Uniform, and I rarely deviate from it. And see this laptop? This is how I communicate. This is where I think about what I am going to say, then I type it, then I change it a bunch of times, and then when I am good and ready, I hit ‘publish.’ Wearing my comfy uniform. In my basement. Alone with my cat, who at times, is even too much company.

I was terrified at the thought of taking my directionally-challenged self outside familiar surroundings. I warned my supportive team members that I would surely get lost in the hotel, and I would never make it on time to my interviews. They assured me I would not be alone and continued being so excited and pumped up about the possibilities. But I couldn’t stop the fears from welling up inside me.

I mean it’s one thing to admit to a keyboard that you are a highly imperfect reformed yeller/hurry upper and recovering tech addict. But admitting such painful truths to a real live interviewer while a microphone and camera document every word is another thing. The list of possible things that could go wrong began to cloud my mind. I quickly pushed away any thoughts of television interviews and told my husband it was a forbidden subject.

What I could avoid during the day began coming out in my dreams. That is why on the night my daughter cried out, I was already awake. Minutes before, I’d bolted upright in a panic because I’d come to an interview underprepared and underdressed.

I hustled up the stairs to my daughter’s bed and crawled in. “What’s wrong,” I asked never expecting the response I got.

“I’m scared of Chucky,” she whimpered.

“Who’s Chucky?” I asked innocently praying she was referring to a new movie character—preferably one that did not accessorize with butcher knives.

“He’s this doll that carries a bloody —“ I stopped her. No need to elaborate any further.

I resisted the urge to ask how she learned about him, but instead made a mental note to have a talk with her older sister. I then opened my arms and pulled my child close and whispered, “I understand.” I was thinking of the bad dream I’d just experienced and came to a conclusion: Television interviews are my Chucky.

For three nights in a row, my child repeated this waking up pattern. But then the fourth night came and went. Nothing. Not a peep.

As my freckle-faced child sat on the toilet that morning, I just had to know. “So you slept great last night,” I said without mentioning any names that started with the letter C.

“I am not scared of Chucky anymore,” my daughter said triumphantly.

“Really?” I asked baffled.

“I faced my fears,” she declared sounding far wiser than someone wearing flannel pajamas with ice cream cones on them should sound.

Wow. I just had to hear this. I took a seat on the edge of the bathtub fully prepared to hear everything she had to say about facing her Chucky fears. Honestly, I was hoping to learn something.

“How did you face your fears?” I asked all ears.

“I said two things to myself,” my daughter said holding up two fingers so I could easily follow along. “I said: One: Chucky is not real—someone made him up, and Two: Mom and Dad are here; I am not alone.”

I was so joyful and so proud of my child and her insightful revelation. I held up my hand for a high five but once her hand touched mine, I clasped it desperately hoping to absorb her courage.

That night I woke up between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. feeling certain I’d slept through an interview. To assure myself it was only a dream, I opened my laptop and checked my inbox. No interview reminder, but there was a message from a blog reader. She said she’d become consumed “in dark moments and in dark thoughts.” Her inner critic had become so loud she could no longer hear anything positive. She asked me to write some affirmations that she could use to see the positives in herself and in her life.

I get a lot of writing requests from my readers, but I’ve never accepted one. My inspiration always comes from within. But that night, I knew I must write. This woman was telling me she had cruel thoughts in her head and I had the power to make them go away—just like my child did for herself the night before.

I wrote, “Three Words for the Critic in Your Head,” and sent it to her.

The next day I heard from the overjoyed reader. I got tears in my eyes when she told me she would be repeating my words to herself in those dark moments. Her exact words were: “Those simple words will save me.” She wrote several more paragraphs and apologized for being lengthy. She explained that she wrote so much because she felt “connected” to me—someone who understood what she was going through.

In other words, she realized she was not alone.

It had been my intention to help my reader get rid of her Chucky—that debilitating monster in her head telling her untrue things and causing her to worry about things that might never happen.  But in the process, I got rid of my own Chucky.

It was then that I saw my interview worries and fears about being in the public spotlight for what they really were: stories in my head—how I wasn’t eloquent, stylish, youthful, or articulate enough … unwarranted fears about my safety, my family’s safety, or how my family would manage while I was gone. But they were just stories. None of them were true.

And what was true? I am not alone.

Through every email you have sent, every comment you’ve written, and every tear you’ve shed while reading my blog, you have been my faithful companions. You will be with me when I face my fears.

I am simply the messenger on this life-changing journey, and I don’t have to be perfect. I don’t have to have it all figured out. I may stutter; I may trip; I may look bad in bright lighting, but my words will be strong because they come from the heart—and because I am not alone.

And neither are you.

As we begin a new year, I feel compelled to offer this message of hope to anyone ready to face his or her fears:

To the one tired of feeling overwhelmed by life—the one ready to find space to breath again:

You are not alone.

To the one tired of beating yourself up—the one ready to feel worthy again:

You are not alone.

To the one tired of dealing with the challenges of someone you love—the one ready for a reprieve from the heartache:

You are not alone.

To the one tired of bearing the weight of addiction—the one ready to lift the haze and see light again.

You are not alone.

To the one tired of dealing with heaviness in body and heart—the one ready to be free from the excess holding you back:

You are not alone.

To the one tired of putting off your dreams—the one ready to take a leap of faith and try: 

You are not alone.

Today just might be the day to face your fears by taking one step towards freedom …

To pick up the phone and say, “I need help,”
To let someone else in on your pain,
To let go of past mistakes and offer yourself a fresh start,
To make time for YOU, your dreams, your health, and your happiness.

As I step out of my comfort zone into territories unknown, I know it will be scary to face my fears.

But I’m going to do it anyway.

Because I can feel your hand in mine—and together, we are not alone.

facing fears hands free mama

****************************

I conclude this blog post with some wise and inspiring people who have recently impacted my life. Here is a list of various resources that may help someone out there face his or her fears today: 

1. Heather @ Enough About Food

 As a Health & Life Coach, Heather helps individuals with weight loss, improve their nutrition, increase physical activity and manage their stressors. Heather offers inspiring reflections through weekly blog posts and has transformational  e-course starting Jan. 18th. 

2. Shawn @ Abundant Mama Project

The Abundant Mama Project was created to inspire overwhelmed, busy mothers to slow down and let go of the worries and concerns that are holding them back from experiencing joyful motherhood. Through her blog, newsletter, and e-courses, Shawn offers simple and practical ideas to be more peaceful, present, & playful. She is currently offering a free copy of: “The Abundant Mama’s Guide to Peaceful Mornings.”

3. Andy Smithson  @ Tru Parenting

Andy shares valuable insights he’s gained as a counselor working with children and parents to improve their lives individually and as a family. Andy is currently offering a free ebook entitled: 5 Jump Starters for Powerful Family Cycles.

4. Andy Kerckoff @ Growing Up Well

I just finished reading Critical Connection: A Practical Guide to Parenting Young Teens. I underlined a powerful insight on every single page of the book. Andy uses his own life experiences, as well as his experiences as a teacher and administrator, to help parents meaningfully connect with kids—even through the most difficult teen years. 

 5. Theresa, PhD, licensed psychologist @ theresakellum.com 

If you feel hopeless like nothing you do will ever work, or if you or your child(ren) are experiencing depression, anxiety, grief, trauma, attention problems, self-inflicted injury, suicidal thoughts, or are simply wishing for healing, Theresa can help. 

A couple notes from Rachel …

*In conjunction with my January 7th book release, my publisher has scheduled a few book signings. I will be doing a short talk/signing in the following cities: 

Birmingham, AL
Atlanta, GA
Indianapolis, IN
Austin, TX

Please see my Events page for dates & locations. If the turnout is good for these signings, my publisher will consider adding more! Nothing would make me happier than to see your loving faces in person, my faithful companions on this life-changing journey!  

*The ‘Only Love Today’ leather bracelets and letterpress prints have been designed and will be available in the Hands Free Shop very soon! Thanks to all who requested them!

*I am thrilled to share that The Hands Free Revolution has been selected as a finalist in the Parents Magazine Social Media Awards Contest in the “Best on Facebook” category. If you could take a moment and vote for our community under “Best on Facebook,” I would be ever so grateful. 

Six days until my book comes out! A HUGE thanks to all who have pre-ordered!

Six days until my book comes out! A HUGE thanks to all who have pre-ordered!

Signature

Comments

  1. 3

    says

    You inspire us to live deeper, richer lives with those we love. Thank you for being courageous in your vulnerability. It takes a lot of deep down strength to share the honest, raw things that you do. Stay strong and courageous, Rachel.

      • 5

        says

        When the going gets tough and you start feeling the fears, remember to slow down, breathe, and tackle one thing at a time. Big new things are done one little thing at a time.

    • 7

      says

      Living “Hands Free” does not mean abandoning technology altogether. In fact, most everyone can agree technology, the Internet, and even social media sites like Facebook are not “bad”—they can actually be highly beneficial to our lives. It is how and when we choose to use them that can be harmful to our lives and our relationships.

      Being “Hands Free” means temporarily letting go of external or internal distraction (i.e.; phone, computer, unrealistic standards, perfection) to be fully present with someone or something meaningful in one’s life.

      What you see on my blog and social media platforms are part of my occupation as a full-time writer and speaker. All of these online activities are done during my work hours. It is my passion to share how I transformed my once overly distracted life and how I maintain a healthy tech/life balance. Many people today find it incredibly difficult to manage daily distraction, and I have many strategies and experiences to help them. Living Hands Free offers a realistic and highly attainable solution to living a present and meaningful life in the 21st century.

      • 8

        JW says

        I too wondered how you lived Hands Free while writing a blog, etc. It was easy to come to the realization that technology can consume your life if you do not set limits as you have. You are an excellent writer and I cling onto every word that you write. You have opened my eyes to how technology used at inappropriate, continual times can ruin relationships. I love reading your messages and I share them with my husband and friends. Keep up the excellent work!

      • 9

        Michelle says

        Bravo on the cool headed reply! I have absolutely loved reading everything you write, ever since I first stumbled across your blog. I share almost everything of yours that I read! :) Your words change lives! Keep it up!

  2. 11

    says

    First time reader!!!

    Love your blog! I’m going to pray for strength for you as you make the circuit, & if there are any questions you have about how to do your makeup, what the camera “likes” best in terms of clothing— or how to calm your nerves, feel free to reach out. I anchored local news for about 20 years, & have been consulted to DEATH. :) (I know tricks!) 1. You will be great! 2. Be yourself. Try to forget self-analysis, at least while you’re in the studio. Talk from the heart. You’ll never go wrong. 3. Take comfort in knowing your interviewers will NOT let you fall. They will almost as if by instinct help you if they notice you are nervous. These people are probably where they are today because of (in part) their ability to put nervous people at ease, yes, even live, on camera. 4. The studio won’t have many people in it; pretend nobody’s watching except your mom or your very biggest fan (that’s how I made it through 20 years of live TV!). 5. the camera loves brighter, clear colors & no patterns. No shiny fabrics. No shiny types of makeup. (No shimmer. Only matte, & Mac Studiofix powder/foundation is your BEST FRIEND.) *** I just moved to Austin, & I will try my hardest to visit your book signing. Also… my blog is now shut down. I was AFRAID of condemnation or people taking my silly stories & thoughts too literally, because everyone said it all made me look pathetic & desperate ( I *AM* pathetic & desperate, but I guess my being real embarrassed too many of my loved ones). I finally caved to the pressure. I’m also afraid I am ruining my kids’ entire childhood & lives, by the way… Just My random fear. :)

    Much Love,
    Frances (Scott)

    • 12

      says

      WOW! Thank you, Frances! Your tips are SUPER helpful. I so appreciate you taking the time to share them. I hope you will re-consider having a blog. You have a lot of wisdom and experience to share! Thank you for offering loving encouragement & awesome tips to help me overcome my fears. Hopefully my blog & book will help you see all the positives you are doing as a parent and soon you will overcome your fear (that you are ruining your kids’ lives). I bet if you asked your kids, they would have LOTS of positive things to say about their mom. You should take a few minutes and watch this video: http://www.upworthy.com/these-kids-finally-say-what-they-really-think-about-mom-and-her-reaction-priceless-9

      PS It would thrill me to see you at the Austin book signing!

  3. 13

    says

    This is a great post to start off the year. I have only just today discovered your blog (though I have heard of it!) and wanted to express how your words and your movement resonate with me. I too felt compelled to start a movement to live more “hands free” about 4 years ago, but my movement, aptly named “project eye contact” gained little traction. Still, the idea of setting aside the distractions to parent and live more presently remained, and after our fourth child was born, I felt it was time to revive my notion of writing about my journey to be a bit more well, hands free. I started blogging this past year, and am thrilled to have finally stumbled across your site! Best of luck with your new book, and keep it up! Oh, and as your daughter so poignantly reminded us, you are certainly not alone.

    • 14

      says

      Hi Julie, welcome! I am so happy you are here. I love the idea of “project eye contact.” Eye contact is such a simple action, yet it is the heart of human connection!

      I hope you will keep writing on your blog no matter how many people read. I started this blog 3 years ago and was overjoyed if 50 readers came to visit. It took 2 whole years of consistent posting and connecting with people to really gain a following. But honestly, I never worried about the numbers/stats. When I sat down to publish a post, my hope was that my story would touch ONE life. And that is still my hope each time I write. Because with every life we touch, the world changes for the better. Today you have touched my life. Thank you for being open & honest and sharing your own fears. We are truly not alone. Thanks for reminding me. Keep writing!

  4. 15

    says

    you words have come a the perfect moment… I just recently started my own blog , not a big deal but I am a personal trainer/ nutritionist /mommy not a writer and I have always had a horrible time spelling. I always wanted to do this but never had the nerve to step out of my box. Well I did and for some reason I feel like this is what I am meant to do, that it will take me to my next adventure but I am so scared , why is my blog any better than that one… why would anybody read mine??? How do I give time to it when I have so many other things on my plate?? Then I wake up to this in my inbox ……. and you know what, I am going to do this. It will be baby steps and I may only have 20 followers but it is for me , it is to help me teach my girls to ” rock this life” so thank you and keep on keeping on. ( yikes sorry for the long comment!!)

    • 16

      says

      Hi Rory, thank you for sharing this! I think sharing our insights and experiences with others is one of the greatest gifts we can give. Someone will read your blog and you will flip a switch … or inspire her/him to take that first step toward self-love and care. Please read my response to Julie. I think it helps to not worry about stats or lots of readers, but instead focus on helping one person. Because when you help one person, you help those they love too! I love what you are modeling for your children as well.

  5. 21

    says

    Yay, Rachel! I hope you come to my neck of the woods sometime soon…I would love to meet my friend in person :) So excited for you in your upcoming adventure…much love.

  6. 22

    Jeanne says

    LOVE your posts, can’t wait for the Only Love Today bracelets. You help all of us with your Bully Close to Home post (not sure I got that name right) – don’t bully yourself! Keep battling that mean self-talk. I just saw Wicked again and love that Glinda tells Elphaba that just because it is her secret doesn’t make it true. You will be awesome in interviews because you are so completely authentic. That is all we can truly be. I am so grateful for your blog. Your girls are so blessed to have you as their mom. I am planning on buying your book for a bunch of people I know. My kids are older (youngest is 12) but your posts are wonderfully helpful. THANK YOU!!!

  7. 23

    Malinda says

    Rachel… You are so empowering. Number 6.) on my resolutions is becoming hands free. Inemteracting more with me family and getting to the heart of why matters…. Which at the end of the day is us. Jut the four of us in my little family.
    My son is afraid of the dark and this mantra has been said in our home a lot lately but I never put into play in my own life. Such a powerful message to start 2014 with. So thankful I found your site. You are an amazing woman!!! I complete understand how your reader feels connected to you. You have that effect on people!
    Very excited for your release date. And like you said. You are not alone. I know I will speak for more than myself when I say we will all be with you at your signings in spirit!! I wish you were coming to the Pacific Northwest. :) good luck Rachel. Thank you again for your coaching on this journey!! Here’s to 2014.

  8. 24

    says

    You are MUCH stronger than you think! YOU are strong enough and more to face your fears (or banish them!) with regards to your appearances. You are a woman who has laid out her shortcomings, failures, and deepest thoughts with more people than you know. You have inspired and given others the strength that they need to have a clear view, open their eyes, take that step. I say that is a woman who is strong enough to face the cameras, speak face to face, and step outside your comfort zone! You are an inspiration, a light, a God sent gift to so many. How could you think you can not do all this? We love you and support you. And you look quite confident and cute in your picture with your book! I see blue skies ahead. :)

  9. 25

    Venestina says

    Hi Rachel,
    It is always a pleasure to read your posts, you never fail to amaze me. Sometimes reading your posts I forget that you also need encouragement, you touch so many lives that is difficult to see how you also need support. But we are here for you, we learn from your mistakes and from the way you see life in this new journey. You are a role model for a lot of people and just being yourself and honest you have our support 100%. We don’t need a perfect mom, we need you, your imperfections make who you are, you passion to write and to share your story is all we want. We don’t want a movie star or a model that looks good on camera, we want a real mom like us, that can go out and say, yes I made mistakes but I learned from them. I decided to be a better person and work hard to be a great parent for my kids. I decided to change and even though is been hard Im still trying and will keep trying. Your book will be a hit, because as you said, you only need to help one person at a time and you are doing more than that! You blog is great because we feel we are not alone, parents make mistakes and learning from them is the first step. Good Luck on everything you want to achieve, a great 2014 for you and your family and lots of blessings.

    Venestina

  10. 26

    Lisa says

    You are not alone! I wish you were coming to Phoneix! I would love to meet you. Just remember you are Daring Greatly – it is not the critic who counts but the man in the arena. You have bravely put yourself in the arena, and my heart and daughter thank you. Your words are inspirational dear friend. Just be yourself and know your fans love you BECAUSE of your imperfections. You are willing to share them with us which makes us more brave to share ours with others and overcome them. May God bless your journey over the next few weeks! – Lisa

  11. 27

    Jean says

    Hi Rachel! I never usually post on blogs that I read, usually feeling like there isn’t anything to share that you haven’t already heard or someone else hasn’t already written. However, I felt compelled to share that I truly find your blog inspirational and it reaches the deepest parts of me where not many people go. I think we all have a face that we share with those before us and technology has made it easier for people to share themselves without the fear of face-to-face embarrassment or intense, heart-pounding fear. My life is often chaotic as a single Mom of 3…all with special needs…I’m also a freelance photographer and Graduate Student. I really don’t have much time to read recreationally <—I probably didn't spell that right! I came across your blog from a friend who shared it and I caught it in my news feed. I feel compelled to tell you that your candid honesty, you ability to be raw and real have truly captured my spirit and reigned me in to take a deeper look at myself…while enjoying what it feels like to pay attention to myself…something that is a rare luxury in my world. Thank you so much for your words, your inspiration and your willingness to climb through your own fears to help your readers with theirs. I look forward to buying your book! Happy New Year :)

  12. 28

    says

    Thank you for this post. So many times we get all wrapped up in our own fear that it takes on a selfish face. You are so right though. We are not alone.

    I love reading your blog. Somehow your posts are always right on time.

  13. 29

    Heidi says

    I’m so proud of you and your daughter for conquering your fears! That is a lesson I need to remember.

    I hope you know how much you’ve helped me (and countless others by the looks of it) to disconnect from devices and reconnect with my daughter and also to just live a more authentic life.

    My mind and heart feel like a balloon sometimes, just taken by whatever wind/mood/circumstance that comes along, you so often provide a tether to help ground me. I appreciate it so much. Happy new year to you and yours!

  14. 30

    sonya says

    I felt so alone before finding your blogs and others like them. I don’t know you, but I love you and the contributions you’ve made to my life, my families life and all of those who benefit from a happier and healthier family. We sing so much of the same heartsong. For those of us who would go to your book signing, those of us who read this blog, it would be even more connecting to see that you’re only human. Of course we all know this, but the flesh and blood reality of understandable nerves, hair faux pas, etc will only endear you more. Crusade forth! I wonder what new adventures are awaiting?

  15. 31

    Kim says

    I cannot tell you how much your posts mean to me (and so many others). You truly touch my heart – you speak the words I don’t dare speak out loud – and let all of us know that WE ARE NOT ALONE! I have been waiting patiently for the “only love today” bracelet and cannot wait to get one and put it on right next to my watch so I can see it many times a day. I only recently found your blog and have been reading it voraciously – I feel like we are the same person (except you, my friend, are much more in shape!!). THANK YOU for all you do!

  16. 32

    Virginia says

    Wow! Wow! Wow! Amazing as always!
    I wish you the best experience on your upcoming tour. If I lived anywhere near, I’d probably make an effort to meet you in person! :) One day, one day!
    My electronic copy is already paid for. Just waiting for it to be released! =)
    You speak from the heart. That’s all you have to keep on doing!
    I believe in you!
    XOXO.

  17. 33

    says

    Once again you show us how your own wisdom gained is reflected in the words and actions of one of your daughters, which really must be the highest accolade there is for a parent. So kudos to you!!

    I wish you courage and calm as you embark on the exciting journey that comes with promoting your book. I am sure the self confidence and tranquility that you radiate so successful here on your blog will follow you in these real life adventures as well. I look forward to hearing about each step of this exciting new time and send my very best wishes for 2014, for you and yours.
    Break a leg!

  18. 34

    Marcee ... ILLINOIS says

    Ohgee. I totally dislike (hate) that/those movies. Too scary for even adults. The icky character whatamacallit is frightening enough. We shouldn’t even call it a you-know-what. There, I said it.
    From what I remember {{sigh}} …. may have seen some parts here and there. Throughtout the years. All parents should definitely monitor kiddo TV. There are so many creepy and downright dangerous ideas, nightmares, etc. that kiddos (teens also) will pick up from films. Eventually you must deal with the outcome.

  19. 35

    says

    oh Rachel, how I loved your words today. I am a homemaker, homeschooling mom of 2 boys (ages 14 and 11), and new blogger and I am a person who feels like they are not enough.. all.the.time. Not skinny enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough, not a good enough writer to do “this blogging thing”, ntot patient enough.. my list is extensive. Its a fear put there by my childhood, the not being enough, that I just can’t seem to get rid of. I think maybe I need to identify what my real fear is so that I can finally face it and get rid of it.

    Thank you again. I needed this.

  20. 36

    says

    First of all, sweet lady, you are not alone. There are many shy writers out there. That’s why we’re writers. Do what feels best for you. Follow your heart doing what FEELS right, not just what you think its right. Very important mama tool …

    Second of all, thank you for the kind mention of The Abundant Mama Project. We’re small but we’re mighty … a community full of misfits and mamas wishing they felt like they were enough more in this life … so we’re getting them there.

    Keep writing. Keep leading. Keep spreading YOUR message. xxx

  21. 37

    Monique says

    We are right there with you Rachel! I have recently made huge positive changes in my life and they all started with one step. I faced my fears down one step at a time and the first step started with reaching out to others for support. I was humbled by the love I received.
    So open your arms my friend and feel all the love from your dear readers.
    You are so loved my dear!
    HUGE hugs to you,
    Monique

  22. 38

    Emily Miller says

    I recently subscribed to your blog after running across your article The Bully Too Close to Home. It touched my heart and opened my eyes. You are so inspiring . Thank you for reminding us all that we are not alone.

  23. 39

    says

    Rachel, Thank you for this wonderful post. I’m so honored to be included in the list of above. I want you to know that you have blessed my family’s life with your writing. Thank you. I wish you and your family the best year ever in 2014.

  24. 40

    Ekta says

    You are such an inspiration. You have definitely changed my perspective and am sure this is true for so many others. I have preordered your book. Can’t wait to read it.
    You are a rock star!!

  25. 42

    Caragh says

    I enjoy your blog and am inspired by your heartfelt writing. I did notice a possible error in your piece. I believe when you asked your daughter “Whose Chuckie?” you actually meant “Who’s Chuckie?”

  26. 43

    Tiffanie says

    I just love your stories of love and encouragement. I read then on Facebook all the time.
    I’m a mother of 2 young kids – going on 10 and 4 this year.
    How much is your book and how do I order? I live in Singapore.
    xoxo

  27. 45

    says

    Rachel,

    Ever since I read your blog post on bullying I have been talking about you to everyone I know. I ordered 10 copies of your book and have been talking it up to a lot of people. My wife and I are grandparents of 5, two of which live with us and our adult daughter (a 2 year and 8 year old). At 58, it’s tough doing this all over again. Your HFM blogs give me such hope and encouragement, thank you ever so much. God is good.
    Roy Robbins

  28. 46

    says

    Thank you for facing your fears, being brave, and encouraging us to do the same. I cannot tell you how excited I am to get your book in the mail next week. Thank you for beginning your Hands Free journey and taking us along with you. My family will be forever grateful.

  29. 47

    says

    As someone who’s recently had life turned upside down, the knowledge that I’m not alone has been a continual encouragement. New country (kind of), new job (not yet found), new family medical problems (not yet settled), and needing to completely reimagine my life and career: It has not been easy. I have been so thankful for family and friends that have come alongside me.

    Thank you so much for sharing. It was beautiful .

  30. 49

    Mandy B says

    Thank you, I needed to read this today at this moment. Sometimes you want to be alone and try and fight the inner battles by yourself and not burden yourself on others. But deep down you know you need them to help you up when you feel you just don’t have the strength. And to tell yourself that it is ok and to let them do that. To talk about it and let the walls down. I am not alone!! Thank you for your articles, they are helping me to try and find my joy again. Blessings to you and your family for the new year.

    • 50

      says

      Yes, it is that urge to not burden others that traps me in my own self-imposed prison so often. But that we are not alone, that there are others who are there and WILLING to help us up when we don’t have the strength… that’s an amazing, amazing thing. I’m glad you’re finding your joy again. I love those words.

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    Abdissa Michael says

    It is always refreshing and comforting to hear that we are not alone in our journey. There are only few peoples on this planet who share there own true history, no matter what, to help others to overcome their fears. RACHEL, thank you being, willfully one of them. And I am thinking of applying your words of encouragement to my own life, of course at my own pace. I will try to get out of my scary and isolated cell and ask for help from whoever is willing to assist. God bless you!

  32. 53

    Michelle says

    love love love this… good luck! You can do it :D and thank you for inspiring me to dump the junk and follow my scared little heart where it wants to take me.

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    says

    Dear Rachel, your daughter is wise beyond her years! I love her simple-yet-effective method for coping with fear. Remember what’s real, and remember you’re not alone. I recently read somewhere — I think it was on Momastery — that the two most repeated words/phrases in the Bible are Remember and Be Not Afraid. And that’s exactly what your sweet girl did. She remembered what was true, and in doing so, found freedom. Thank you for sharing her insight with us! xoxoxo

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    says

    God sent your site to me at just the right time, when I was most open to receiving the message He had for me to hear from your post. Thank God! It is now a big part of my New Year’s Goals and I shared that in my blog post, Change is coming in my 2014, with a link back to your wonderful site. Thank you for having the courage to write about this. It is changing lives.
    ~Erika from MishMashedMe

  35. 58

    Julie Mann says

    My husband died at the age of 43 on September 13. We have a 9 year old daughter. His cancer was very aggressive and we did home hospice care (I was his nurse). I have been a stressed out, checked out, angry, sad, depressed, scared, overwhelmed parent not only for the past year, but even before that. I was always perfectionistic, harried, hurried, angry, and sometimes almost violent. Your posts give me hope, solace, a place to feel like I’m not totally crazy, and a place to feel like I have a chance at starting again and giving my daughter a better life.

    Thank you.

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      says

      Thank you, Julie, I am grateful to know that my messages bring comfort and hope to you. I am deeply sorry for your loss. As I read your words, I find your commitment to your daughter through your pain and healing to be incredibly inspiring. Sending you love today, friend.

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    says

    You know what’s funny? All those connections to people throughout so many posts and stories… they came about because you ARE imperfect, and that resonates with the rest of us imperfect people. If you trip, stutter, stumble, are rumpled and wrinkled, WHATEVER… it will simply resonate with and endear you to those of us who do that kind of stuff too. I guess what I’m saying is that you basically can’t mess up, because the platform you are speaking from is one of vulnerability and imperfection.

  37. 62

    Julie says

    I forgot to say that I treasure your blog, share it frequently, and feel it nurtures my soul! Preordered the book! Cannot wait!

    Will you be in NYC?

  38. 63

    says

    This post is so timely for me. I am the one who is tired of putting dreams on hold and ready to take a leap of faith. I am an artist who has been holding back for years. I tell myself it is because my primary focus right now is my kids (homeschool.) that is true, but it has been an excuse to not do my work, not put myself out there. It is all about fear. I am afraid of what they will think of me, and my art. Well, the dam is breaking now. I have work being published in a friend’s book. I have been asked to record an online class. Many good things are happening. I have dragged my feet out of fear, but somehow these things happened anyhow. Now, for my next trick, I want to write an article for an art magazine. Move over fear!

  39. 65

    says

    I just wanted to thank you for your thoughtful reply to my comment. You are so very right, when there is something worth saying, you say it, or in this case, write it. Readership is secondary. I am so glad to have found a kindred spirit in your blog. I hope you don’t mind I posted a link back to it, along with where to find your book on Amazon. Great work you’re doing for all of us. Best~

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