DANA KNOX WRIGHT
Genre: Narrative Nonfiction / Memoir / Self Help
Publisher: Carpenter’s Son / Clovercroft Publishing
Date of Publication: August 24, 2021 * 208 pages
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Helicopter parents. Control freaks. Perfectionists. Intolerants. Over-consumers. Social media junkies. We all fit in there somewhere. Read one woman’s stories of clinging, turning loose, and becoming free.
We are overly busy helicopter parents, control freaks, perfectionists, intolerants, over-consumers and social media junkies–who worry, fear, laugh less, and always want more. In the midst of it, we wonder what it would feel like to open our hands and turn loose of all of it.
In HOLDING ON LOOSELY: Opening My Hands, Lightening My Load, and Seeing Something Else, author Dana Knox Wright tells stories of one who is hardwired to cling. To her children when they asked for a blessing to go. To someone else’s ideas, when she didn’t trust her own. She held on to prejudice when she would tell you she didn’t. She shut down for days while clinging to fear. She clung to youthfulness as if what would come next couldn’t be her life’s cherry on top.
In a particular season of her life, she recognized her bent to possess, to keep, to hold tightly, and to control was completely contrary to Jesus’ example. This is one woman’s history of holding on and her stories of turning loose–stories of the gentle and firm, humorous and heartbreaking ways God led her to turn loose. It is living minimally from the inside out.
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This is such an enjoyable book on so many levels. It’s a mix of testimony as one knows that term in Christian religious denominations, memoir, and inspirational self-help. In the pages of this book, the author opens her heart and her soul and shares her journey from clinging to so many things in life to relaxing and Holding on Loosely. She honestly writes about her struggles to overcome the need to hold on and offers advice on how the reader can do the same thing, using humor and a conversational-style of writing that invites the reader in.
Each chapter is filled with tidbits of wisdom, and I finally had to stop highlighting after a while so I could just read and absorb the messages. One that struck me in particular is, “You and I have the power to lay waste to a person’s dignity when we judge them.” Oh how true that is, and if only more people kept that in mind when being quick to criticize. Like the author, it did take me sometime to realize how hurtful my criticisms could be.
Another section I highlighted is, “It is Life-Giving to cling to goodness. When it seems the whole world is forgetting about goodness, someone has to remember it.” This is in the chapter, The Sky Isn’t Falling: Turning Loose of Doomsday, where the author writes about her struggle to not be a “Debbie Downer” or “A Negative Nancy.” She shares a story about her friend, John, who publishes a newspaper in the Hill Country of Texas with only good news. Stories about dog parades, boat races, charity fish fries, concerts, art shows, and more uplifting community news. Nothing else.
What a great idea, and the world could be a better place if we ditched the negative news and only looked at things that make us smile.
This is a book that I highly recommend, especially to people in middle age, because I think that’s the time that many of us are looking at our lives and trying to figure out how we can be better people. The author offers so much information, so much inspiration, and it’s done without preaching or judging or making the reader squirm too much. When I recognized myself in her journey I did squirm just a little. 🙂 But it was my reaction that had me wriggling, not her writing. All of the insights and advice is presented in such a kind, loving, non-judgmental way, and that makes this an enjoyable read indeed.
Dana Knox Wright began letting go of fear at fifty. It’s the decade where, in an odd twist, Sandra Bullock asked for her autograph—the decade she began hiking to places with seriously wild animals, rafting in crazy rivers, and eating wild blackberries with only mild concern that rabid foxes eat from the plants, too. After a long career in radio voiceover, she found a passion for spreading goodness and living to the full. She has offered readers encouragement, hope and sisterhood for almost ten years through her essays published on her blog. Dana holds a degree in Journalism from The University of Texas at Austin and is the author of Saving Stories: Afternoons with Darrell (2017). She is the mother of three adult children and three grandchildren and currently lives in a small river town in the Texas Hill Country with her husband and an English Mastiff named Pearl.
GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
Signed copy of Holding On Loosely, goodie basket,
one overnight stay at the Llano Line Shack.
(US only; ends midnight, CDT, 10/22/21.)
SEE THE SPECIAL PART OF THE GIVEAWAY ON THIS VIDEO AT YOUTUBE.
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|It’s Not All Gravy
|All the Ups and Downs
|Reading by Moonlight
|The Clueless Gent
|Top 8 Quotes
|Julia Picks 1
|The Adventures of a Travelers Wife
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