Hands Free Life Love! Chapters 6 & 7 www.theshortesttallman.com

Hands Free Life e-book club #6 & #7

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Hi everyone!!!!

I am so far behind on my HFL e-book club!!! I am going back to it, because there’s just so many great messages in the rest of the book. Sorry I fell behind, but here we go, with chapters 6 & 7 (not two chapters to miss):

Chapter 6 is entitled, “Give What Matters.” It does tackle gift giving, but this chapter,of course is all about showing that you care, really truly giving someone the time of day, and improving lives through your gift. On p. 131 she writes, “Giving What Matters means you no longer wait for the proper day, a grand occasion, or the perfect moment to express how you feel about someone… Giving What Matters is a liberating approach to living fully in today. As in, you are not bound by the expected timelines to give of yourself or show that you care- you can do it whenever you want! No restrictions. She goes on to say (later on p. 131) that to really give, you have to let go of anything that will distract from the gifting experience: give your time, your focus, not worry about these restrictions of monetary value, etc., but just live fully through your gifting. The gift of your time, of not holding back, is the best gift you can give.

And while talking about gifting and giving, Stafford brings up the importance of easing the suffering of others by giving. I think we all know it is important to help those less fortunate than us, and we all agree that our children are better for it, because they can learn to appreciate what they have and learn compassion. However, one thing she mentions as a possible outcome of exposing our children to the suffering in our world is that “they will know they are not alone in their own struggles and pain” (p. 144). I think that that is a valuable lesson that may not be as obvious- to learn the commonality among all of humanity, when we come together to help others. If you don’t know where to start, think about what your charity niche might be. It can evolve over time- any good is good! This section reminds me of one of my favorite of Stafford’s quotes: “When we see each others’ scars, we love each other more.” We all just want to be noticed, you know?

Chapter 7… oh I love chapter 7. I love them all, though!!! Chapter 7 is the first chapter in the section, Protecting What Matters, and it’s entitled, Establish Boundaries. Establishing boundaries really is a key component of living Hands Free; this is a very practical section of the book. On p. 152 she writes, “It means having to reject mainstream trends and expectations to be true to what you believe is in your best interest.” Doesn’t sound easy or like much fun!!! We all know we should put down our smart phones more, and this chapter really teaches us how important it is. How’s this quote for you: “Establishing Boundaries allows you to go to sleep at night knowing you did your best to protect your own precious life from the corrosive elements associated with worldly distraction and pressures.” (p. 152) Wowza!! I let that one simmer for a while… it is so true.

Hands Free Life Love! Chapters 6 & 7 www.theshortesttallman.com

This chapter touched upon something very real that I think we as 21st century parents are aware of, maybe do some of, but I highly doubt most of us do as much as should do- and that is, be expertly aware of what our kids are doing online. This was a real eye opener for me, as well as some other articles I had read recently on the subject. This is some really scary stuff, and I think sometimes that us millenials that grew up with access to the internet, we are sometimes desensitized to it a little. We know how to navigate, what to search to get what we want, etc. But how easy it can be for a child to be exposed to something on an innocent websearch. Stafford explains that she went to an educational program about the dangers of technology, and her eyes were really opened up from what she learned. So, not only do we need to limit screen time just for the sake of spending enough time in the real world, we also need to be vigilant about the content our kids see. I have since spoken to my kids about online content, and what to do if they stumble on something that makes them uncomfortable or doesn’t seem like it’s for kids. So using Rachel’s own words: it is our job to establish boundaries to protect ourselves and our children’s precious lives from “the corrosive elements associated with worldly distraction and pressures.” (p. 152). Don’t let yourself be naïve when it comes to protecting your children- educate yourself!

So much important stuff in these two chapters to help you truly live Hands Free! It’s so much more than just putting your phone down; it’s about being present and living your best life! What did you think? What spoke to you, either within these chapters, other stuff Rachel wrote, or other intentional living writings that you’ve come across? I’d love to hear from you!

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