Tuesday 28 June 2016

Year of Yes

Finished June 25
Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes, read by the author

The impetus for this book started on Thanksgiving 2013 when Shonda was trying to impress her oldest sister by listing off all the things she's be invited to go to. He sister shut her down by asking if she was going to do any of them, and Shonda said she was too busy. Her sister told her that she never said yes to anything. A few weeks later, after an event where she was told, not offered a choice, that she had to share a box at a theatre with the Obamas, and she did, she woke up in the middle of the night realizing that her sister was right. If she'd been offered the choice, she would have said no. She began to wonder what other experiences she missed. She decided to spend the next year saying yes to the things that scared her. The first one was to agree to give the commencement address at Dartmouth, her alma mater, but it wasn't one of the first ones she actually had to do. One of those was going on Jimmy Kimmel. She set some rules to increase her comfort level with doing it, but did it, and as the year went on, she began to actually lose the fear and enjoy the experiences.
Some things were small intimate things, like agreeing to stop and play with her kids when she was going out the door to an event, and thus was a little late to the event. Others were huge like saying yes to the life she wanted to live and who she wanted in it.
She also learned that sometimes an outward 'no' is a yes in disguise, a yes to being true to her own values, to her own needs, to her own self. During this year, she lost a large amount of weight, she ended up with a smaller, but tighter group of friends, she grew closer to her family, and most important she became happier. By the end of the year, she was ready to continue saying yes to her life forever.
This was an inspiring read, with her reading the book herself, giving expression to her own vulnerabilities, mistakes, and breakthroughs. This is a book that spoke to some of my own issues and fears. This is definitely a book I'll be reading more than once.

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