As I prepared to debut my blog a little over a year ago, I knew it was critical to come up with a powerful tagline. For months, I’d wake up in the middle of the night scrambling for a piece of paper on which to scribble what I thought was the perfect motto for Hands Free Mama. It quickly became a daily occurrence to wake up to a barely legible phrase that, once again, wasn’t “the one.”
But one momentous day, the following seven words came to fruition on the treadmill tray in front of me as I ran: “Letting go … to grasp what really matters.” That was it! That was the essence of living “Hands Free. “ When it comes to distraction and what really matters, you can’t have one without letting go of the other.
You see, when I was living my highly distracted life, my hands were full – overloaded with electronic devices, excessive commitments, endless tasks, and a constant flow of superficial “stuff.” Yet, my life felt EMPTY. In my unsuccessful attempts to perfectly “do it all,” I completely lost touch with what really mattered in life. I lost sight of my purpose and became immune to life’s simple joys. There was no longer time to laugh, play, and make beautiful memories. I was missing more than life – and it wasn’t pretty. In fact, it was nearly tragic.
But things are different now. Thank God, things have been different since the day I broke down under the hot Alabama sun and stained my shoes with tears. Once I began my “Hands Free” journey, I started living again – which means grasping what matters in full force.
So what is “grasping what matters” to me? If you haven’t checked out my list of what really matters, you can do so here. I wrote it over a year ago when I started this blog, and I am comforted by the fact that it hasn’t really changed too much … it is who I am.
But if I had to put it in a nutshell, I would say, “Grasping what matters is about making a difference in the world.” But to be honest, I don’t really like the sound of that. It sounds ambiguous, grandiose, challenging — if not down right impossible.
But I have found that it is not.
Making a difference in the world can mean making a difference in one life. One life. That’s all.
So how do you make a difference? (And to the parents reading, how do you raise children who want to make a difference?)
It just so happens that someone very special recently asked me that question. And she asked me to write my answer in “Hands Free Mama” style to share with the readers of her incredible blog. What an honor to be selected as the guest contributor on the topic of “Kindness, Gratitude & Altruism” in Debra Dane’s 52 Weeks To Simplify Your Life Challenge.
Thank you for your willingness to make one additional “click” to read my story today. As always, I am grateful for your support and encouragement along this journey to let go of distraction and grasp what really matters.
This is my story …
How to Spread Kindness as a Family: Actions of the Heart
*Today’s Hands Free challenge is to select one idea from Debra’s inspirational list of 30 ways to teach children about gratitude and kindness and do it this week!
*Please join the movement! “The Hands Free Revolution” on Facebook is a growing community of people striving to let go of daily distraction and grasp what really matters. Receive daily tips and inspiration today by simply clicking “like” on my page.
You are never “ambiguous, grandiose or challenging.” And, you make a difference in my world (and I suspect countless others’) on a daily basis. As always it is with extreme admiration that I say thank you, Rachel
Rachel Macy Stafford says
Wow, Bill. Your comments always touch my heart and stick with me on a daily basis. I am grateful you take time to read and give me such encouraging feedback. Thank you, friend!
Rachel, my internet habits have changed because of your profound, wise insight!! “hands free mama” says it all… That is truly my goal! and so simple to grasp.
Rachel Macy Stafford says
Thank you, Allie! Reading these words from you is like a dream come true! When my journey started, I knew living “Hands Free” was not something that should be kept to myself. It makes me so happy to know that you have found it to be as simple, yet as life-changing as I have. Thank you so much for taking time to comment and for supporting my message.
We haven’t been able to do as much this year- but last year, we went to a lot of community service volunteer clean-up events. When our friends are sick or going through a hard time, my kids help me cook a meal or dessert and I explain that when people are sad or sick, that it makes them happy when we bring them dinner. I’m still on the internet more than I should be, probably- but I do generally keep it until after my kids are asleep. Giving up my smartphone was one of the best things I’ve done. Congrats on your year! I’m coming up on mine, too!