For the longest time I couldn’t decide if I should continue to write my Hands Free book privately or if I should start sharing it on a blog. I knew that by “putting it all out there,” I was taking a risk. I would be exposing the struggles of my life for all to read and critique.
For weeks, I have had unsettling dreams as the debut of my blog grew near. But then my Hands Free inner voice quickly reminded me that along with distraction and disconnection, I am letting go of perfection. I knew that by letting the world know my inner conflicts and my weaknesses, I would be one step closer to the person I wanted to become. I would be one step closer to having the inner peace that would come hand in hand with having a less distracted life.
Yet on the day I debuted my blog, every single apprehension, fear, and doubt that I had been experiencing was silenced. As the encouraging comments came pouring in, I was eased into a gentle hammock of affirmation; words of support lifted me and wrapped themselves securely around me.
No longer did I have to wonder if I was the only one feeling this way. No longer did I feel that I was alone in this battle against the destructive forces of daily distraction. No longer did I feel like I was the only one who wanted to burn my to-do-list and make playing the only real priority of the day. I had started a conversation and the world emphatically answered.
Now I know there are men and women out there who want to stop checking their Blackberry and start checking their marriage. There are moms and dads who want to stop building their contact list and start building lasting relations with their children. There are people who no longer want their lives to be dictated by a merciless schedule, but instead dictated by their heart and soul.
I thought I was going to be the one giving the messages here; but yesterday I received one loud and clear. This message was spoken by men and by women. It was spoken by people who work outside the home and by people who work inside the home. Someone over age 60 spoke this message, as did someone under age 30. The message was spoken through many different voices and multiple styles, but the message was unmistakable: There is an army of us that want our life back. The Hands Free Revolution has begun.
For one person, it started with the choice to build a snowman instead of doing work. For another, it started with the choice to talk with his son while taking him to practice instead of driving on auto-pilot. For one mom, it meant listening to her daughter talk about a book she was reading instead of checking email. And for another, it meant giving her 13-year-old daughter a bedtime back rub rather than watching television.
Daily distraction, consider yourself warned. I’m going Hands Free; and I am not alone.
Besides daily distraction and disconnection, what is something you are holding on to that you want to let go of? For me it was the impossibly high standards I expected of myself. What is holding you back from having fun, being yourself, or simply living life? Let it go. See how it feels to be free.
Kerry Foreman says
I want to let go of feeling horrible that I don’t do Christmas cards!! I know it is proper etiquette to send them, I know it is maybe rude not to reciprocate when I receive one, and I know my Mama taught me to!! However, I HATE sending greetings on obligatory days, I much prefer to send a kind word here and there letting my loved ones know I am thinking of them and how I feel at that moment. Alas, I still feel the need to make excuses for myself and to “warn” my new friends that I still like them even though I don’t send a Christmas card…and then hope that they still accept me….rudeness and all. 🙂 Apparently, I haven’t let it go huh??!!
Laura Burke says
I just read with my little one and rocked her to sleep. Oh how good she felt…. the phone rang, I ignored it; the Christmas cards sat ready to be addressed, I ignored them too….. in that rocker was exactly where I was meant to be! Thank you for starting the revolution that so many of us have been longing for!!
Rachel Macy Stafford says
Laura, I am loving this! Thank you for sharing your Hands Free moment with me. As soon as my 4 year old wakes up from her nap, I am going to make a few of my own! Thank you for the inspiration!
Indiana Lori says
Where do I start? Perfectionism? Uniqueness? Filling some meaningless void with an over packed schedule? Meaningless deadlines I set for myself? Nope…I don’t even know where to start!
Rachel, I am loving how this site flows from topic to topic.
Rachel Macy Stafford says
Thank you, Connie! I appreciate the positive feedback!
….and here you are nearly three years later. Your writing has reached a worldwide audience and the snow ball effect continues…. People share it. People like it. You resonate with so many. You resonate with me. Whatever their personal background story, people dig this….
Rachel Macy Stafford says
Wow. This really makes me feel so happy! Thank you for going WAY back to the beginning (I didn’t know anyone read back that far) and saying something so kind. This journey has been a blessing in so many ways. I am grateful for your support!
Julia Kurskaya says
So, you’ve literally burned it!! … I love you, Rachel.