Geneen set the woman straight, kindly but pointedly.
"I'm not going to fix you," she said. The woman nodded, and the rest of us -- four hundred hopeful, eager women in an overly warm conference space -- let out an inaudible sigh.
It was Day 1 of the Women, Food, and God retreat, and Geneen Roth was not about to encourage the disillusioned.
"I'm not going to fix you."
Which meant, of course, that she wasn't going to fix me, either. So I accepted rather begrudgingly the reality that I would have to put forth some effort on my own behalf. For two days, I proceeded to treat myself to Geneen's wisdom, again and again (what else would you expect from a re-treat?), and Sunday afternoon, I emerged on the other side. Not fixed. But not broken.
I meant to write about my expectations for the retreat. I meant to reread Women, Food, and God. I meant to buy some yoga pants. I accomplished none of these, but managed to get through the weekend just fine (although I really should have packed the pair of stretchy black pants without the hole in the rear section. Ahem.)
Having no expectations, I could not be disappointed. I learned some things, too, like that Geneen Roth is an Abraham Lincoln buff. My notes are filled with quickly scribbled pearls from Geneen, and my raw, ineloquent responses to her prompts. Wound tight with anxiety, I somehow managed to sit through most of the sessions, including my very first yoga class. I soaked up the sweet, authentic company of the incomparable Kate with whom I shared a teensy cubicle of a bedroom where a monk had once slept (really). I ate zucchini and mint fritatta, and a quesadilla, and homemade gluten-free bread, and cashew cream, and I remembered anew why I love food. And eating. And eating with friends.
Stay tuned for more thoughts on the retreat, including what it feels like to watch four hundred women close their eyes and savor a Hershey's kiss.