Your Messy Brilliance – A review

The public has spoken: Your Messy Brilliance is a must read for all ladies (and gentlemen too, if you would like to). Not only does this wonderful book explore how the mind-set, behaviours and identities of women are moulded by society and almost enforced on us, it offers the brutal truth on how to break the habit and become your own person. While this may sound typical when compared to other self-help books of its kind, one should consider that (at the time of publishing), Your Messy Brilliance currently holds an average rating of 5 out of 5 stars, an incredible feat in this all too judgemental and critical world that we live in.

We start off with a short journey through Kelly McNelis’s past. Forced to grow up faster than any child should have to, her self-esteem was damaged almost beyond repair. Her experiences gave her the impression that the world was cruel and that the only to survive was to sacrifice her own soul and happiness because women are obligated to be wallflowers, or pillars of strength that carry the world on our shoulders wherever we go. Later on in life, after a failed marriage and much maturity, McNelis figured out the true key to happiness and now, is so kind as to share it with you. It’s a truth that you desperately need to know, whether you realise (or admit) it or not.

McNelis has published something that all women need, but might not have: A friend, a sister, a mother, and a brutally honest mirror that won’t tell you that you are the fairest of them all just to cheer you up. In fact, Your Messy Brilliance will tell you that you are probably not the fairest of them all, and then kindly remind you that it doesn’t matter because you don’t have to be. You are you, and you are wasting time pretending to be anyone other than yourself.

As the book’s subtitle describes, Your Messy Brilliance contains 7 Tools for the Perfectly Imperfect Woman, and that is both the heart and soul of it. It will teach you something you have probably been told many times before but never cared to listen to: You are perfect just the way you are.

The cold reality is that most women wish they could just be themselves, but due to social and romantic pressures, develop a sort of identity OCD in which we can never put a toe out of line in fear of judgement, disappointment and backlash. This constant worry is what leads to unfulfilled potential, and the dilution of our own happiness.

While accepting yourself in all your imperfection is easier said than done, it is not as difficult as most women assume it to be. The tools listed will walk you through it, and the method works because it’s not girly magazine advice. Just as the author set the stage, you too will venture back to your own past and into your own psyche, and therefore be armed and prepared to break your negative image of yourself at its roots. Once you understand why you think the way you do; once you have pinpointed the experiences that shaped you; you can confront your demons- and then slay them.

This might not be an easy journey for all women. Some might have to relive painful memories. Your journey will be a messy one in and of itself. However, that’s perfectly fine. McNelis urges you not to push yourself, to go through this book as you see fit, when you are ready. Know that when you do, you will get up close and personal with yourself. You will shed all the parts of your soul that don’t belong to you. By the end of it, you will see (and learn to love) yourself for all your so-called shortcomings, flaws and quirks.

McNelis has a way with words that is rare in the world of self-help and DIY spirituality. She is blunt, cheeky and sharp, yet retains grace, eloquence and poetry that will flutter in your soul. She doesn’t want to tell you what to do, nor imply that her way is the only way. She merely expresses that she has both seen and experienced the success of her 7-step system and finds all ladies worthy of this knowledge too. Reading Your Messy Brilliance feels just like a much needed ladies’ night; or a large tub of ice cream, a glass of your favourite wine and your most loved Chick Flick- except that Your Messy Brilliance is not sugarcoated fluff. It is genuine, realistic and thought-provoking. It is self-help in every sense of the word.

While Your Messy Brilliance may not appeal to everyone, it is highly recommended that you give it a chance. Everyone (gentlemen included!) can stand to learn something from it. It is intelligent, entertaining and oh-so loveable. It stands out because, unlike other words of empowerment, the true message of Your Messy Brilliance is not “if you want to unlock the gates to happiness you have to change”. In fact, it is the opposite: If you seek true happiness, don’t change. Embrace yourself- and then flaunt it for all the world to admire.

Whether you need guidance, or are simply looking for a great pick-me-up, consider Your Messy Brilliance. There is an excellent chance that it will become your new favourite, and hey, you have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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