This week on The Living Experiment, we bring you Part 2 of Pilar’s conversation with New York Times bestselling author and teacher, Geneen Roth.
Geneen has been teaching and writing about conscious eating and living for the past 30 years. Her most recent book is This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide. Through keen observation, reflection, and some very funny asides, her work guides us to see our compulsions and self-sabotaging habits through more curious and self-compassionate eyes. It also helps us see the bigger picture of what we are doing here in the first place, and what we want to do with, as she says, “the breaths we have left.”
In Part 1, Geneen and Pilar covered all sorts of ground. Here, in Part 2, they pick up where they left off, talking about appetites, aging, beauty, creativity, mortality, and more. Geneen also shares a few of what she calls her “touchstones” — simple strategies for getting grounded, for warding off anxiety, and for evolving your own viewpoints.
Finally, they both suggest experiments to help you explore and enjoy your own Messy Magnificent Life in ways that work for you.
“This Messy Magnificent Life, Part 2” Episode Highlights
- A continuation of the discussion about living in the small moments
- The problem of scarcity-thinking and our perpetual search for “the next thing” we think will make us happy
- The cult of youth, and how it robs us of our sense of self
- Recognizing yourself for who you are, and focusing on what’s good rather than what’s wrong
- Anxiety as a byproduct of the belief in the stories — true or not — that we tell ourselves
- Geneen’s touchstones for finding the freedom and joy in life that’s already there
- Why we need to look at therapy as a means to reaching a better relationship with ourselves, rather than a process for becoming a different person
Geneen’s Experiment of the Week
1) If you can’t sleep in the middle of the night, instead of lying in bed believing your thoughts, go outside and experience the sounds and scents of the nighttime world. Notice if your state of mind has changed when you go back to bed, and if you can more easily fall back asleep.
2) Pay attention to how many of your conversations involve complaining, and then decide to not participate. Notice if other people notice a difference in you, and if it changes the way you choose to react to things you otherwise would have simply complained about.
Pilar’s Experiment of the Week
Find Geneen’s book, This Messy Magnificent Life, and try “The Red String” exercise. Also, check out one or more of the recommended links in the Resources section below.
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- Geneen Roth’s main website, which includes a complete listing of her books
- Geneen’s most recent book, This Messy Magnificent Life, plus her tour schedule and links to her book-club guide
- Geneen’s master class on women, weight and power — free when you buy her new book
- “Nighttime Revival”, Pilar’s essay about her strategy for dealing with sleepless anxiety, which echoes Geneen’s own nocturnal “visiting” ritual
- “Winning Cycles”, a podcast episode Pilar referenced about the “two ways to win, one way to lose” philosophy taught at Lafayette Morehouse
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