Book Review: Year of YES by Shonda Rhimes

Are you ready to dance it out, stand in the sun and be your own person? If you answered yes to any of the following statements, get your hands on a copy of Shonda Rhime’s autobiography, Year of YES.

As a fellow member of the introvert club, I could relate to the level of angst that Shonda Rhime’s had when she declared her year of yes. For a full 365 days, she promised to say yes to the opportunities that scared her, challenged her and had the greatest capacity to changer her. An outsider looking in would say “Shonda’s got it all! She’s the creator of two hit TV shows (Grey’s Anatomy & Scandal) as well as the executive producer of another (How To Get Away With Murder). How could anything possibly scare this woman?” Like many other Shonda Rhimes fans out there, I too was curious to know what sparked this journey and ultimately led to the writing of this book.

So… needless to say, I went to my local bookstore and picked up a copy to find out. Probably one of the best decisions I could’ve made looking back in retrospect. Now, we have to address the elephant in the room- my inherent bias. Hands down I am a big fan of Shonda Rhimes and truly admire the quality of tv shows she produces. Whilst reading her book, I discovered how Grey’s Anatomy (my all-time favorite show) was conceptualized from the cast to the ultimate message of the show. Rhime’s wrote about a subject very close to my heart-diversity. Her goal for this show was to depict real-life characters of all backgrounds & walks of life- aka “NORMALIZING” television. As an audience member, this is what engaged my interest further and hence why I decided to write this book review.

Whether you’re a fan or not, this book is for all my introverted friends out there who want to step out into the sun and say YES to life. Rhime’s is the epitome of a storyteller and her personal journey is one that many of us shy folks can relate to. Many times in life we are presented with unique opportunities but we never muster the courage to step up to the plate. Rhime’s encourages us and shows us that even the quietest wallflower in the room can bloom and own their truth.

“I am only just beginning to understand that the very act of saying yes is not just life-changing, it is lifesaving. I now see two paths–a ragged rocky one that goes up to the top of the mountain and a nice easy one that heads down under it. I can fight to make the rocky climb, get a few bruises, risk getting hurt. And I can stand on the mountaintop and breathe the rare air in the warm sun, taking in the whole world before me…. the years and years of saying no were, for me, a quiet way to let go. A silent means of giving up. An easy withdrawal from the world, from light, from life.”

15 chapters, 300 pages, candid experiences, inspiring words and a whole lot of humor. Year of YES has motivated me to claim 2018 as a year where I will face challenges and be open to new opportunities! All my introverted friends reading this right now, how many times have we made plans and cancelled at the last-minute because we’d much rather prefer to stay in our comfort zones? Or how many times has life presented us with experiences – a trip with friends, attending social events or anything out of our element just for us to refuse? From what I always tell myself, there’s no need to have a fear of missing out (FOMO), but growth should most definitely be prioritized.

Personal growth– in mind, body and soul can be manifested in ways beyond our imagination. I used to believe that following a traditional path in life would lead me to happiness. Only the contrary of what I was actually feeling. Emptiness. Like you’ve got a big hollow space in your body and you can’t seem to fill it. Know what that’s like? It sucks! As cliché as this sounds, change starts with you. Yes, YOU! The one reading this post. I want you to know that saying yes is a powerful tool that’s been placed in the shed for too long. Take it out of the toolbox and start putting it to good use.

“I’ve started to think we are like mirrors. What you are gets reflected back to you. What you see in yourself, you may see in others, and what others see in you, they may see in themselves.”

Here I am. Here you are. Let’s step forward into this journey together. Feel the warm sun invigorate you’re being. Play your favorite song and crank up the volume. Dance it out like no one is watching.

Live by your truth. Develop the courage to be fearless in the pursuit of your dreams. And…

remember to say YES!

Thank you all for joining me on this blog post. This is the second installment of my book reviews for January. Check back in again soon where I’ll be reviewing Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements.

With love,

Ashna

XOXO

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