Geneen Roth, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Women Food and God, explains how to take the journey to find one’s own best self in this “beautiful, funny, deeply relevant” (Glennon Doyle) collection of personal reflections.
With an introduction by Anne Lamott, This Messy Magnificent Life is a personal and exhilarating read on freeing ourselves from daily anxiety, lack, and discontent. It’s a deep dive into what lies behind our self-criticism, whether it is about the size of our thighs, the expression of our thoughts, or the shape of our ambitions. And it’s about stopping the search to fix ourselves by realizing that on the other side of the “Me Project” is spaciousness, peace, and the capacity to reclaim one’s power and joy.
This Messy Magnificent Life explores the personal beliefs, hidden traumas, and social pressures that shape not just women’s feelings about their bodies but also their confidence, choices, and relationships. After years of teaching retreats and workshops on weight, money, and other obsessions, Roth realized that there was a connection that held her students captive in their unhappiness. With laugh-out-loud humor, compassion, and dead-on insight she reveals the paradoxes in our beliefs and shows how to move beyond our past to build lives that reflect our singularity and inherent power. This Messy Magnificent Life is a brilliant, bravura meditation on who we take ourselves to be, what enough means in our gotta-get-more culture, and being at home in our minds and bodies.
This pleasant book from Roth (Women Food and God) again addresses a female audience about common struggles with body image, self-worth, trauma, and the trials of growing old. In chapters that can be read as individual essays, Roth reconfigures difficult experiences and, with the benefit of distance, relates them in witty, upbeat reminiscences. She remembers being criticized for being "too much" while growing up too sensitive, too demanding, too big: "they somehow forgot to mention that I was also sassy, silly, and keen-eyed." In an attempt to release readers from feelings of unworthiness, Roth explains how her journey to peace of mind first began by untangling her unhealthy relationship to food. The opening section addresses how food, because it is one of the joys of life, can become a crutch for self-esteem: "consistently eating beyond enough is a way to not have to face that what we love ends." Roth writes about how breaking her back caused her to consider the heavenliness of the human body, how witnessing a puppy's joy encouraged her to calm her mind, and how (in a timely chapter) a conversation with a friend about Gloria Steinem made her consider the possibility of an international patriarchal "cabal." Roth, who has become more resilient with age, will captivate readers with her energetic yet calming wisdom.