'Tis the Season of Yes

I made up my mind that 2017 would be the year I reacquainted myself with a couple of my first loves: reading and writing. Thanks to my mother, I’ve always loved to read. It was nothing to see my mom reading in bed or on the couch, so in my eyes reading was normal; it was expected. So I read too, a lot. Interestingly enough, reading and writing go hand in hand. When researching how to improve my writing, I continually found reading as the top answer. I’ve ordered two books since the start of the year, the first one was a miss.  I just couldn’t get into it but the second one, man oh man.

Year of Yes….

If you’re living and breathing then you know who Shonda Rhimes is.  She is the genius behind Thursday night drama.  The creator of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder.  I will admit that I don’t watch any of these shows; I appreciate their awesomeness and I love the hype but I just don’t watch a lot of TV.  Nonetheless, I love Shonda.  She’s a writer, duh.  So, this book, I am all for it.  If you haven’t read it, don’t worry I won’t spoil it, at least I will try not to.  What I will do is share with you some of the things that stood out to me.

|YEAR OF YES|

The title of this book stems from a conversation between Shonda and her sister. Essentially, her sister made the comment that she [Shonda] always says no. From that conversation, a book was born.  Shonda took it upon herself to overcome her fears, and say yes to more opportunities.  Lets discuss the word yes.  Yes agrees, it affirms.  Yes is positive.  If yes is so good, why do so many of us stray away from it?  Probably because of the responsibility tied to it.  In a lot of cases, including Shonda’s, it involves overcoming fear.  One of the most profound moments of the book was when her sister said “it was like you needed permission.” As I read this I found myself thinking about how much Shonda had accomplished up to this point.  She had done some pretty awesome things; even still there was a lot she was missing out on.  Think about that, think about your own life.  As far as you are now, what could change with giving yourself permission to do and be more? Personally, I struggle with the spotlight.  I know you’re like, yea right. Seriously, I do.  As much as I do, there is still more that I don’t do.  After reading this book, I’ve concluded I need permission.  Permission from myself, to say yes.  There are opportunities that I allow to pass me by and its because of the responsibility.  Being responsible is being consistent, its planning, and executing and sometimes I get stuck planning.  I’ll admit it.

| THE IMPACT OF YES |

Once she gave herself permission all kinds of things started happening.  For one, although her yes appeared to focus primarily on her work it impacted other areas of her life.  Saying yes was becoming a habit and she was happier, lighter, more courageous. Most importantly, she became more confident.  As much as she had accomplished, with all of us counting down the days of the week to her night and she would still hide herself. This book shed light to the infectiousness of positive vibes.  We post the memes on social media, we create the statuses, but how many of us are actually living by that message? There is a responsibility to living up to those positive vibes; frankly, its easier to be negative.  It doesn’t take work at all to allow the downs of life to overwhelm you.  The responsibility is in the getting up, the staying up and giving yourself permission to be happy, right where you are. I’ve had conversations with friends about being happy, and we would discuss things we feel may be missing.  Now, I feel being happy is a state of mind, it isn’t things or at least it shouldn’t be.  If you tie your happiness up in things and/or people, you will never have control over it. You will always be chasing it or trying to keep it, instead of just enjoying where you are today.

| YES ISN’T ALWAYS YES |

Yes, you read it correctly.  Yes isn’t always yes.  Sometimes its yes to saying no.  Fear impacts so many areas of our lives.  It doesn’t just impede our ability to move forward with our goals, it also prevents us from facing difficult situations.  Have you ever wanted to tell someone no but didn’t want to deal with their reaction so you either avoided them or agreed to do something you didn’t want to?  If you’ve answered yes, this is about you. Shonda talks about this too; give yourself permission to say no.  Yes to saying no. Chances are the response you receive won’t kill you. The difficulty is actually in the avoidance; its in the situation you put yourself in by agreeing to something that isn’t in your best interest.  Give yourself permission to put yourself first sometimes.  For a lot of us, this will be hard but it is necessary.  You can’t be of service to others, if you aren’t first of service to yourself.

This book was good, like really good.  It was an easy read and finishing it last night was such a perfect segue into this week’s theme: happiness.  If you haven’t read the book check it out.  I would love to read some of your thoughts on this book.  Feel free to comment below.

Say Yes to Self Discovery.

Laneshia Lamb