Monday, May 30, 2016

The Year of YES by Shonda Rhimes

My book club’s book for the month is The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes who is the writer and producer for shows such as Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, Scandal, and How to Get Away With Murder. (You guys know that I do not watch TV, and I have not watched any of these shows.)

Upon first starting to read this book, I was intrigued, but it took me awhile to be drawn in. However, once Shonda pulled me into this book, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it also sparked me to do some self-reflection.

Based on this book, Shonda has always been a loner, introvert. Her sister casually said to her that she always says ‘No,’ and that comment literally caused Shonda to change her life. Shonda worked through her fear, got out of her comfort zone, and changed her life for the better. She said YES to speaking her own truth, her body, difficult conversations, to owning her own greatness etc.

Shonda writes about the idea that many women, including herself, do not like to take compliments, and if someone tells us that they like our dress, we will make a comment such as “This dress is old” instead of just saying “Thank You.” I’ve been practicing just saying “Thank You” and closing my mouth.

Shonda also talks about how she had to face the reality of her relationships with many of the people in her life: “Now that I see it, I can’t unsee it.... I feel sad. I’m grieving.. The loss is painful.” However, Shonda goes on to say that “The Upside of Culling people from my life is that my focus has become very clear.” (WOW) After reading the chapter on friendships, I realize that we must look at our relationships for what they are and not for what we want them to be and deal with them according... LIBERATING!! (We can love folks, even family members, and not have them in our personal space....LIBERATING!!)

I found it quite interesting that once Shonda decided to say YES for a year, she did not want to stop saying YES to her improved life: "One hundred twenty-seven pounds thinner, several toxic people lighter, a better mother, a better friend, a stronger leader, a more creative writer, a more honest person, more adventurous, more open, Brave...”

This is a fairly short, serious, yet humorous read that confirms the fact that we have the power to change our lives.

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