Going to the Light

Finding Your Strength on the Clothesline

Thirty eight women from fifteen states believed enough in themselves to retreat to Cape Cod in the middle of winter to be off duty—to pause—to take stock of who they are beyond the roles that they play.

Many in this group of robust souls (who ranged in age from 30 to 75) were in caretaking professions such as nursing, teaching, social work, personal coaching—and as I watched them probe their own psyches it was pleasing to witness an attitude shift—from weary and bedraggled to beaming and serene—proving what Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote in her book, A Gift From The Sea that “If it is in a woman’s nature to nurture, then she must nourish herself.”

When I was on the Oprah show several years ago, there was a woman in the front row complaining that she could never get away… “she had children, a husband, a job, and no time for leisure.”

I surprised myself with my answer: “There are 8,700 hours in a year. If you can’t find 24 for yourself it’s pitiful.”


Oprah picked up on my sentiments and in her wonderful way shouted back at the woman: “Pitiful…you are pitiful!” The audience roared and I realized, after the fact, what a seminal moment it actually was. What’s more, it is pitiful to see how little it takes for a woman to actually refuel and turn her life around!

The Latin word for vacate is vacare—to be empty. That is precisely what happens on retreat—a woman can empty her overflowing container of everyone else’s issues and be selfish enough to regain some of what she has given away.

I wish for you, retreat time—be it an hour, a day, or a weekend, to recapture your essence and be that person full to the brim with feminine energy—an energy that will do a world of good to yourself and those around you.

Yoga: Body and Soul

Timeline to Know Your Strengths

Weaving The Colors of Your Life

Breaking the Rules: Bathrobe Clad Beach Walkers

7 thoughts on “Going to the Light

  1. Good day!, Very attention-grabbing angle, we had been speaking about the same factor at work and found your site very stimulating. So simply had to com-ment a huge thanks for all your effort. Please sustain the nice work your doing!

  2. Dearest Joan,
    Today I gave a wonderful friend your first three books for her 63rd birthday and introduced her to your web site..I am looking at the pictures and have such a yearning to be there again on the cape with your warm giving thoughts around me!
    Many hugs,

  3. Joan,

    Thanks for looking back on our weekend, assessing what brought us there, and moving forward with what we hopefully haven taken back for ourselves….

    You had so many stirring quotes over the weekend, I just wanted to share one here that reflects my experience….

    “set an intention, make a connection, pause in some reflection, take a direction, you are off to a new adventure….”

  4. Thank you again Joan for a wonderful weekend. This blog brought back great memories of a wonderful group of women. This was my first retreat but certainly won’t be the last! Why did I wait so long? Hugs to you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.