Title: Hands Free Life: 9 Habits for Overcoming Distraction, Living Better and Loving More
Author: Rachel Macy Stafford
Basic Overview: Reading this book is like taking a big breath of fresh air. The author takes you through nine habits of living a life that truly matters:
Habit 1: Fill the Spaces
Habit 2: Surrender Control
Habit 3: Build a Foundation
Habit 4: Take the Pressure Off
Habit 5: See What is Good
Habit 6: Give What Matters
Habit 7: Establish Boundaries
Habit 8: Leave a Legacy
Habit 9: Change Someone’s Story
Each habit is illustrated by beautiful stories that not only demonstrate the habit but make you feel like, “I can do that, too.”
The Parts I Liked Best:
Rachel Stafford discusses a story where her daughter’s preschool teacher tells her that she is the emergency contact for over half the students in the class. She says, “It wasn’t meant as a compliment, but as the words rolled off her tongue, I felt like she had placed a crown on my head…Rachel Stafford, Emergency Contact”.
She goes on to explain that while the rest of the world may see titles such as “CEO” as the most prestigious, to her there wasn’t a better title than “emergency contact” because of what that really means. She explains, “You see, the inherent responsibilities required to inhabit the sacred space on an Emergency Contact line–connection, trust, time, and availability–are all essential for building close relationships, which is one of the key features of a Hands Free Life” (34).
How the Book Made an Impact in my Life:
My husband and I read this book together out loud on a family trip. At first I didn’t know if he was listening to me read; then I heard him laugh at appropriate times, and he began to make insightful comments. A few chapters into the book he commented on how good the book was. When we got home from our trip, he actually read the last few chapters out loud to me. After finishing this book, I think it’s safe to say we have never had a non-religious book impact us the way this one did. We have both had a paradigm shift of what a successful life looks like. It is now more important for us to have deep connections, make memories, and build up others.
We have spent less time on our phones and trying to chase the “shiny pennies” in life and have spent more time holding hands, reading to our kids, building train tracks with our toddlers, taking family walks, baking treats for neighbors and speaking words of love, encouragement and kindness. This book has changed us.
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Edited by Aubrey Degn and Sarah Monson.
Image provided by Candi Kidd.
I am so excited to read this book! Excellent review!
I love the idea to read this book as a couple!
Hands Free Mama says
Wow! I am blown away by this heartfelt review! I am thrilled that you and your husband read this together. I appreciate knowing that the book resonated with him as well. I wrote the book in hopes that the habits outlined in the book could apply to anyone wanting to add more presence, peace, and connection into his or her life. You have truly made my day with this positive review! THANK YOU for the time and love you put into this.