Okay, here goes. Big confession. I love Bethenny Frankel. Yes, there it is. I love Bethenny Frankel. I do. She had me when I randomly stumbled upon one of her last TV shows, “Bethenny Getting Married?” as I laughed at her dry sense of humor, loved her dog, Cookie, cried at her realism, awed at her professional experience and innovation and overall was wow’d by her life. She also had me at her Skinny Girl Margarita’s. Now let me back up a few steps as I clearly wasn’t patient enough to leave my big reveal to the end.
Over the last few years, I have grown to love reading. In the beginning it may have been the occasional James Patterson thriller or Sweet Valley High series (who remembers that?!). But I realized, for who I am, if I am going to dedicate my time to read, I better be learning something and hopefully growing as a person. And when I need to learn and I need inspiration, the bible is my book of choice. Granted most times my prayer after reading the bible may sound a little like this: “God, thank you for the bible and your word, but today, I am confused about what you are trying to tell me…” On one hand it can be frustrating, but on the other, that’s the beauty of God. And I don’t believe God created amazing authors and artists for no reason so clearly, in addition to the bible, diversifying my reading selection is a must. I gravitate towards autobiography-type books (think Andre Agassi’s Open), leadership and career growth, non-fiction and every other month or so I throw in a fiction book (most recently Sarah’s Key which was amazing, heartbreaking and awakening). When I saw Bethenny’s book, A Place of Yes, come out in late March, I was excited to get it and then equally annoyed by the sub-title of the book “10 rules for Getting Everything You Want Out of Life,” which completely turned me off to reading it. It seemed selfish and self-serving. For the first few months the book was out (and on the New York Times Bestseller list week after week after week), I did not buy it. I had temptations, but I didn’t do it. Although I loved her and her show, I was somewhat convinced the book was too typical…too predictable…too preachy.
As I strolled through O’Hare International Airport in early August on my way to New York City (ironically), I had some time to kill so Barbara’s Book Store drew me in for a little peak at the latest and greatest books, magazines and Moleskin journals. I secretly was looking for A Place of Yes but didn’t see it. I pretended to look around as if I was flexible and open-minded about my next read. After about 34 seconds of casually perusing, I raced to the counter and desperately asked “do you have A Place of Yes?” The lovely man behind the register didn’t seem to know what I was talking about. So, he resorted to his computer. After a few seconds of typing, he looked up at me and said with a smile, “ah, yes, it looks like we have one copy.’ Thank God, I thought. We walked over to the self help section (I could have just made that up… I actually don’t remember what section of the store the book was in but it seems fitting) and low and behold, one copy left with my name written all over it. Okay, Bethenny’s name written all over it.
Fast forward 3 weeks as I flew from San Antonio to Chicago I finished rule #10 of 10 of the book. I looked at Rick and said for the fourth or fifth time, “I am so sad to be finishing this book.”
A Place of Yes is inspiring, admirable and funny. It is Bethenny at her best, sharing her life (all of her life…what I love about her is she seemingly doesn’t hold anything back) and sharing 10 core pieces of advice on how to live in a place of yes, or what I think is living from a place of positivity, a place of hope, a place of honesty and a place of glass half full. Bethenny has lived a rough life, a glamorous life, a healthy life, a city life, a real life, a life of a wife (two times), a life of a mom, a life of friend, a life of someone who comes from a place of yes. My kind of gal. Here are her 10 rules and my very short excerpt of each. And while I wish I was getting paid for plugging her, I’m not. I just really respect Bethenny and do recommend her book 🙂
1. Break the Chain: Essentially, take the positives from your upbringing, leave the rest behind. Move past your mom, your dad, your siblings. It’s YOUR life. The past doesn’t have to equal your future.
2. Find Your Truth: Dig deep and confront who you are, why you are that way and what you want from your life. Listen to your gut and be transparent with yourself.
3. Act on It: Make it happen. Don’t rely on other people. Do something for crying out loud!
4. Everything’s Your Business: This was one of my favorite rules and has helped me a lot already. Basically, whatever you do each day, whoever you talk to, even at a family function or a corporate event, be aware, be engaged and be your best. You never know who is going to mean what in your life at some point…
5. All Road Lead to Rome: Love this one also. Nothing is a waste. No job, no ex-boyfriend, no ex-husband or no past friendship is for no reason. Everything serves a purpose and will likely grow you, build your character and your story…even if you have no idea at the time, when you get to Rome you will stop and say, “aahhh, now I get why I had to go through all that pain to…”
6. Go For Yours: Set your goals and go after them. Period.
7. Separate From the Pack: Being different is good. Being lonely can also be good. Step out of the crowd, get uncomfortable and be okay with being unique. Besides, average is so 1990.
8. Own It: Keep your word, if you frick up, admit it. If you have no clue what someone is talking about, say it. If you lied, ask for forgiveness. Remove the pride. Be truthful. Be real. If your ego owns you, go back to rule #2.
9. Come Together: Not sure if you guys heard recently, but being social is the new black. Two brains is better than one. Two people are better than one. Being open-minded to others is cool. Asking for help is even cooler. Taking a risk for a relationship. Meeting a new person at a work event or at a mom’s social. Having a child. Helping your brother out by babysitting. Going to church. Volunteering. Come together for the love of God!!
10. Celebrate: This was also a favorite of mine and I loved that she ended her book this way. Don’t forget to take time to enjoy life. To celebrate your success, or someone else’s (ahem, rule #9). To celebrate your sibling(s), your friends, your parent(s), your job or your child. To celebrate your husband for no reason at all. To celebrate life by taking care of your body, your neighborhood, your city, the world. Celebrate you.
[photo credits: http://www.bethenny.com]