This Messy Magnificent Life

A Field Guide

This Messy Magnificent Life

Foreword by: Anne Lamott
Inspiring, personal, and often spiritual reflections on how women can find peace, make wise choices, practice everyday joy, and step into their power from Geneen Roth—author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Women Food and God.

From the beginning, Geneen Roth was told she was too sensitive, too emotional, too curious, too demanding, too intense, and too big. Yet gaining and losing weight for decades did not improve her self-worth or reduce other people’s criticisms. Like most women who struggle with their weight, she believed that if she could resolve what seemed to be the source of her self-hatred—how and what she ate—she would be thin, happy, and free. That belief, she discovered, was false.

When her struggle with food ended—and didn’t change anything except the size of her thighs—she kept trying to fix other broken parts of herself with therapy, intensive meditation retreats, and rigorous spiritual practices. Yet it was only when Geneen stopped trying to change or fix herself—that she was at last able to feel at home in her mind, body, and life. Now, she shares the wisdom of giving up what Geneen calls "the Me Project," and finding the freedom, peace and power that await us just beyond it.

With humor, compassion, and insight, 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. This provocative, enchanting, and sometimes laugh-out-loud look at the imperfect path women take to step into their own power, presence, and ownership is based on the author’s personal journey and her decades of work with thousands of women around the country.

Roth embraces everyone’s unique and often unsung potential and shows us how to be open, curious, and kind with ourselves; how to say no to people and ideas that hold us back; how to let go of grudges and anxieties; how to pick ourselves up after setbacks; how to say a resounding yes to the world; how to move from fixing ourselves to finding ourselves; how to find joy in the ordinary; and how to experience the extraordinary right here and now in our bodies.

With a foreword by Anne Lamott, This Messy Magnificent Life is a compelling and often quirky look at what it means to be an imperfect but unapologetic woman living a (mostly) magnificent life.
  • Scribner | 
  • 224 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781501182464 | 
  • March 2018
List Price $32.99 (price may vary by retailer)

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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for This Messy Magnificent Life includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

Introduction

With humor, compassion, and insight, 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. This provocative, enchanting, and sometimes laugh-out-loud look at the imperfect path women take to step into their own power, presence, and ownership is based on author Geneen Roth’s personal journey and her decades of work with thousands of women around the country.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. In the introduction, Anne Lamott says of Geneen Roth, “Never before had someone expressed so brilliantly, and with such wit, that curiosity and self-love were the way home” (x). What does Lamott mean by home here? Does it have more than one meaning?

2. In relinquishing the “Project of Me” Roth says she had “tried versions of not fixing myself before, but always with the secret hope that not fixing myself would fix me” (3). Where are the h see more

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About the Author

Geneen Roth
Carl Studna

Geneen Roth

Geneen Roth is the author of ten books, including the New York Times bestsellers When Food Is LoveLost and Found, and Women Food and God, as well as The Craggy Hole in My Heart and the Cat Who Fixed It. She has been speaking, teaching groundbreaking workshops, and offering retreats for over thirty years and has appeared on numerous national shows, including The Oprah Winfrey Show20/20, the Today show, Good Morning America, and The View. For more information about her work, please visit GeneenRoth.com

 

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