Year Of Yes- 5 Ways To Change Your Life(Book Review)

“You never say yes to anything.” The words that sculpted the Shonda Rhimes we know today. And a movement we now know as the Year of Yes!

Did you think that Miss Shondaland herself has a mountain of insecurities that prevent her from living her best life?

I know, we all know, that people have insecurities but for some reason, people like Shonda and Oprah feel exempt.

The Year of Yes Walk

Look, most of you have read the Year of Yes. And well done to you! I do hope you are living out the principles in it this book. And if like me, you waited for the hype to die down? I am here to tell you, you can now get yourself a copy, it’s worth the hype.

In the Year of Yes, Shonda walks you through her life. First, she lets you in as a friend. She sets the record straight about what she expects from you as a reader. And what you can expect from her.

“I am a liar. And I don’t care who knows it. I make stuff up all the time.” This sets the tone for the ride you are about to go on. A catch-up session with a friend you haven’t seen in ages.

It is time to get your wine and cosy up with this read, you will thank yourself for it.

Insecurities Holding you back?

The Year of Yes will help you blow your insecurities out of the water. At the very least it will help you look at them. One of my biggest insecurities is: do I measure up.

This means I spend too much energy assessing if what I do and or say is worthy. And I definitely used to have a hard time saying NO. How could I say no? I want people to love me, right?

If I say no, even to ridiculous requests, I risk not being loved and I can’t have that. As crazy as it sounds now I was once terrified to say NO. And all of this energy is wasted and makes me miss the present. ( I am working on this, very hard!)

In the Year Of Yes, Shonda writes about the life-changing effects the sentence NO has. (Yes, you read that right, No is a complete sentence.) “Said clearly, strongly and with enough frequency and force, it can alter the course of history. Want an example? Rosa Parks.”

Say Yes To Saying No

I once heard someone say, “You are not saying no to the other person. You are saying yes to you!” ( Drop mic!) And honestly, that was the kind of bear hug I needed. This framing has helped me think before I respond.

It is surprising how people want you to respond immediately. And it shouldn’t be a shocker, we are raised to fall over ourselves to meet people’s requests. I say NO to that!

What Saying “No” Shows You

In Year of Yes Shonda writes about a friend who asked for money. Firstly, when Shonda says no, her friend losses her rocks! And Shonda’s revelation is, well the worst thing that could happen is and the world didn’t end. “I’m happier knowing what kind of person this really is than I was not knowing.”

When you have the courage to say NO, you get to see who people truly are.

People who take their frustrations out on you because you are creating a boundary for yourself are not people you need to keep around. You need to surround yourself with people who understand that a request isn’t a demand. And people who celebrate you for choosing to pour into yourself so you can better pour into them. Find a friend(s) like Thobi.

The Year of Yes has cemented my resolve to say “No” without fear. And know that the people who matter will take it in their stride. The tantrum throwers can find themselves outside, okay?

Be A Doer And So Much A Dreamer

This was a hard lesson for me to come to grips with. When you read how Shonda breaks it down, you can’t help but be fired up! And realize we’ve been socialized in the wrong D…(get your head out of the gutter, mama) I mean we have been taught DREAM big. And yes, we must but not so much we forget to ACTUALLY DO!

Life, or rather the life you want doesn’t happen from dreaming about it. You have to put your back into it. Do more than you Dream or at least as much as you dream.

I used to dream of a fail-proof way to strengthen the bond I have with my boys. And then I decided to Do or rather PLAY.

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Your Healing Space

Year of Yes to Playing & How it Transforms Your Parenting

This book will teach you how to play with your kids. And if you don’t have a problem in that department, it will remind you to zone in on the things that bring joy.

This chapter “Yes to All Play and No Work,” truly resonated with me. I have had a hard time playing with my kids. And my number one reason is: a mama be TIRED!

Here’s the plot twist, playing actually energizes you. Read all the other benefits of play for adult children, that us.

They will not stay small forever

The ” Yes to All Play and No Work.” chapter made me realise my boys will not be small forever. And one day they will stop asking so I must take it seriously right now. In their lives, play is important because firstly, it is how they learn. Secondly, it is how they form bonds and finally, it is FUN!

I have discovered my playing bone. At first, I couldn’t remember if I played as much as they do when I was a child. I did. And maybe even more than they do. But something happens when we get older. A mythical creature whispers in our ear, “stop playing.”And we listen. And that, mama, is the beginning of the end.

How playing transformed my parenting

Children are so amazing and all they truly want is our attention. They want to know they matter and that we see them.

The quickest way to give all of this to them is to PLAY. A few things that have changed since I started taking play seriously.

One, my youngest, who has been a wild card has calmed down, some, not much. But we take the little gains.

Two, they both listen more often than not and three I no longer yell. It has been so long since I yelled.

I still don’t play with them every day. But whenever they ask if I want to play, I say yes 98% of the time now. And as Shonda, in Year Of Yes, discovered kids don’t need too much time, “after fifteen minutes I’m no one.” In essence, our kids are just checking in with us. And if you remember this, you are more likely to say, HELL YES when they ask to play.

Your Body is Screaming For You To Say Yes To Health

Through play, I began to realize that the real prize is moving your body. Just like our kids, our bodies are screaming to connect with us.

We don’t need to work out like professional athletes or even every day. I have found that giving myself 20-30minutes of moving my body has done wonders for me.

On days that I don’t have boxing I get on my FitOn app and pick a 20mins exercise and sweat it out and it ends just before I die!

Start a Year of Yes to your body not from a place of shame but a place of connection. You can join me on FitOn and we can cheer each other on.

The Year of Yes to Thank You

And this was the greatest light bulb of them all. I used to be so self-conscious around my writing, especially when I published Anathi A Lifeless Womb. When people who resonate with the book, shared their views I didn’t hear them. I believed they were paying lip service and being nice.

When I stopped being skeptical over people’s compliments a whole new world opened up for me. I now get to see myself through the lens of others and learn things about myself. Things like compassion! I have a whole lot of that yall! I am also funny and fun. People feel better after being with me. And I say Thank you to all of it. I no longer discount the things people value in me, I welcome it with a BIG smile!

It was the people who gave criticism that piqued my interest. And yes, some was constructive but most of it was noise. Until I decided to block out the noise and listen to the ones who see the heart of the book and the work put into it. I then started to say, “Thank you.” And left it at that.

The Actual Short Year Of Yes Book Review

The Year Of Yes is not a self-help book. Don’t for one minute think that. It is a woman, in this case, a woman who owns American television, walking us through her journey to meeting herself.

Shonda Rhimes holds nothing back in this book. She shares the dark parts and shares how she came out of it. In the book she doesn’t talk down on the reader on some, “you must do this or that.” It is simply, “now this is what happened…”

If you are reading and taking it all in, you can’t put the book down and carry on with your life as usual. There will be a fire in your belly. You will also want to join the world team of “badassery” women.

I give it a 4/5. And it is not a 5 because I do wish she had a page at the end with step by step instructions. But that’s just me.

If you have read Year Of Yes, please share which chapter is your favourite.

And please leave any book recommendations you have for me to review in the comments. You stand a chance to win any of the books reviewed on this blog.

As always, I wish you the kind of healing you deserve.

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