157 thoughts on “

    • Abby there are still a couple of openings for the June 2023 retreat. Joan has expanded the content and concept from just for one who have lost a spouse or partner. What she realized is A Widow’s walk is her journey through tremendous change unexpectedly thrust upon her. In Joan’s words, “The retreat was misnamed (by me). Although I use my recent experience with the death of my husband as a point of attention,
      the retreat will be about getting going again when you have been stopped or stopped yourself”. If you have any questions feel free to email Joan at capewoman3@gmail.com or myself cathy@joanandersononline.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

      • Hi, Cathy ! Are there still openings for this retreat? I sure need it as my life has changed significantly the past year. I would also need to arrange transportation to the cape as I don’t drive much these days.

        • Good Morning Rita…
          Due to unforeseen circumstances Joan has had to cancel the retreat.
          Hopefully we will be able to reschedule it in the future.
          So good to hear from you.
          Stay always unfinished.

  1. Good Day
    I read the book in 2012, and it’s been my Bible since. Master piece that changed my life… Not completely though. I have been yearning for my year at the sea, its just never been affordable for a South African “me”

  2. Was on the cape for the holidays & finally got to watch the movie. It was great!!! My stepdaughter & her husband both loved it as well. They are residents on the cape & were able to recognize various areas in the movie. I on the other hand only recognized you. Thanks for sharing your story.

      • Hi Enri..so good to hear from you and excited that you enjoyed Joan’s first book. The movie is entitled Year By The Sea…
        Here is the link for the official trailer. Hope you enjoy.


  3. Joan, OMG!!!!! I felt like you were writing my life story. I just didn’t know how to put my feelings/words into the correct statements. I would really appreciate it if you would put my name on any newsletter/event schedule. I hope that you might open up the retreat schedule to a few more events. I just finished your 1st. book and will read the others,but would love to really follow up with a retreat to complete my lesson. Thank you soooooooo very mush for having the courage and ability to write your instruction manual on how to figure out -What now for many women who’s families don’t need them any more ( which is a good thing). Sincerely, Nansi

  4. Just saw the movie & now want to read all of your books – perfect timing for me as I’m questioning so many things in my life right now! This is like a breath of fresh air to me!
    Do you ever do retreats on the NC Coast? I do love the Cape & would consider doing a retreat there so please add me to your events/newsletter list

    • Dear Kimberly,
      Unfortunately we are not planning any retreats on the NC coast, even though I know how beautiful it is.
      But I do have exciting news. Joan will be announcing a June 15-17th, 2018 retreat in Chatham, MA on the Cape by this weekend.
      I hope you will be able to join us. Registration will be posted on the website. Stay tuned.
      Always Unfinished,

    • Dear Susie,
      I have added your contact information to Joan’s email list so that you can receive announcements in the future. Please add the address Joan@joanandersononline.com to your contact list so the newsletter does not go into your spam folder.
      I am excited to tell you that Joan will be posting a retreat in Chatham, MA on Cape Cod this weekend. The dates are June 15-17th, 2018. I hope you will be able to join us.
      Always Unfinished,

      • Read Joan’s book ‘year by the sea’ several years ago and just saw the movie tonight. I would love to get her Newsletter and info on futures retreats. So glad to have found Joan again!

  5. Can you please add me to the Scotland retreat as well as all other retreats and weekends? Also will Joan ever have an event in Texas? How many retreats and weekends are offered per year?

    • Dear Michelle,
      Joan does not have any retreats in the near future planned in Texas. She will be announcing a retreat in June of 2018 on Cape Cod in Chatham on the Website tomorrow. I hope you will be able to join Joan then. At this time Joan does not have a retreat planned for the coming year in Scotland, but if that changes it will be announced on her website. Hope to see you in June.
      Always Unfinished,

  6. Hi,
    I have 4 woman that are interested in a retreat. Do you have a 2018 schedule yet you can send me?
    Thank you,
    Harriet Rosenzweig

    • Dear Harriet,
      Thank you for your inquiry regarding Joan’s retreats. How exciting to share the weekend with a group of fellow seekers.
      Joan will be posting on her website the next retreat which will be June 15-17th, 2018 on Cape Cod. I hope you will be able to join Joan then.
      If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.
      Always Unfinished,

  7. Hi i would very much appreciate you adding my name to your list. A scottish retreat would be heaven at this point in my life xo I have always wanted to go to one. I enjoyed all of the books so much xo

  8. Hi, can you please put my name on the list to receive information on retreats you will be running in 2018. If possible I would like to go on the waiting list for the retreat to Iona, Scotland.
    I have all of Joan’s books and keep rereading them over and over again.

    Thank you so much for the stories of your personal travels in life.

  9. Ahh, what a dream to attend a workshop with Joan on Cape Cod! Please keep me posted as to future events! Thanks so much!! 🙂

  10. I am definitely interested in cape retreats for my sister and myself. Also how do I get emails about Joan’s blogs? Love her books..thank you

  11. I would like information on your workshops on Cape Cod.

    I just read your book A WALK ON THE BEACH and iam so moved by it. I would love to spend time with you and the other women.

    Looking forward to a workshop one day!

  12. Please let me know about the next weekend retreat “the woman you left behind.” It would be interesting to know who she is. Also the price for a weekend

  13. Hi,
    I would love to be informed of 2018 retreats. Experiencing one of Joan’s retreats is at the top of my to do list.
    There have been and are times that her books/website are my saving grace. I look so forward to enriching my middle age life with her gifts.

  14. Just finished reading A Year by the Sea. You spoke directly to my heart. Please add me to your mailing lists. I am interested in your retreats.

  15. Hi Joan,

    My name is Danielle I’m 29 years old currently working in the greater Boston area at an antique store and I just wanted to email you to say thank you. Thank you for getting the courage to explore your life and share it with others- as well as your friend Joan Erikson. (I’m currently reading a walk on the beach right now.) The second reason I’m email you is I’m actually at a very big crossroads in my life right now. My boyfriend and I broke up after 10 years and I’m going through a career change.I’ve also realized through another woman’s book entitled the artists way by Julia Cameron that I enjoy artist colonies and was thinking about doing something similar to what you did. Do you have any great relatively cheap one person housing recommendations in the outer cape near Provincetown Massachusetts? I’m interested in taking a few filmmaking classes with PTV but I figured I’d email you and give it a shot. It’s not easy finding good secluded housing for a writer/artists but I know you are the one to ask. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing for you.


  16. I would love to be included in your updates regarding future retreats. I just finished “A Year By the Sea” moments ago and am driven to move forward in a similar path. My weekend will be full of great introspection and dreaming.

  17. Would love to be added to the retreat list. I connect with so many parts of your writings – would love some guidance and growth for sure. 2017 or 2018 retreats would be amazing!

    Thank you for your stories – everyday is a new beginning and I am so grateful for your books!

  18. Hi Cathy & Joan~
    Please add me to your mailing list for upcoming retreats. I’m very interested in attending one in 2017-2018. Thank you so much! ~Liz

  19. Please include me in the news letter for upcoming retreats to Scotland. Thank you so much! I’m currently re-reading”A Year by the Sea” for the second time and recommended it to my best friend who is going through the same. Much appreciated!

    • Trish, thank you for getting in touch with Joan. If you decide to have a book club around “Year By The Sea”, you could call in for a chat with Joan via speaker phone. It always is fun for the group and for Joan. I have added you to the list for future retreats to Scotland and included you on Joan’s newsletter contact list.

      • I have been to Iona with Joan and would like to go again. Joan said she would always remember me as the girl in the plaid skirt. Please add me to your list!

    • Dear Selena, thank you for your comment regarding future retreats with Joan. At this time we are looking into Spring and Fall 2018 retreats on the Cape.
      I have also included you on Joan’s newsletter contact list. Stay tuned.

  20. I saw the movie A Year by the Sea this weekend and had the opportunity to hear Joan speak. I would like to know how to attend a future retreat. I feel that I found her story at this time in my life for a reason!

    • Dear Patty, thank you for the inquiry regarding Joan’s Iona retreat. I have added you to the advanced notification list if Joan decides to hold one next year. I have also added you to Joan’s contact list for her newsletter so you can stay up to date with all the news. If you add joan@joanandersononline.com to your contact list it will assure that her emails do not go into your spam or social email list.

  21. Stumbled on A year by the Sea and now found An Unfinished Marriage. Thank you Joan, for writing the thoughts in my mind! Please add me to the list for future retreats, events etc.

  22. I would like to be on the email list for retreats in 2018. I am in Brisbane, Australia. I would love to go to Iona but also love the Cape and Boston on my travels so open to all! I have read Joans books many times over especially in some of the more poignant times of my past 10yrs.

    • Carol I will add you to Joan’s newsletter contact list. This will keep you up to date regarding retreats, appearances, and everything related to the movie Year By The Sea.

      • Hi Cathy ,
        I would love to be placed on the list to receive information regarding any of the retreats book signing or speaking events when you are ready to send it out.

        I have also read, more than once, and given as gifts all of Joan’s wonderful books. Tonight, I am on my way out to get another copy of her latest book Stretch Marks for a friend. Thank you so much! Ann

  23. I would be very interested in knowing more about the retreat to Iona in 2017. Please add me to your list to contact once you have details.
    Thank you!

    • Dear Janet,
      I have added you to the advanced notification list for the October 2017 Iona Retreat. Joan and I are finalizing the details and expect to have the announcement out by the end of August.
      We hope the dates work for you. It will be on a first come basis since there are only 22-26 women that can be accommodated. The $500 deposit will be via PayPal on this website.
      I have your email and will be in touch in about a month.
      Always Unfinished

  24. I would love the fall retreat 2016 or one in 2017 that Joan is doing.
    Please add me to the list and update me per email. I can send the
    deposit as needed.
    Thank you

  25. Dear Joan,
    I just got through writing a desperate text message. I apologize. I never looked at the workshops available. I would DEFINITELY want to go to one of you workshop but unfortunately I cannot afford the cost. Everything I want to do to help myself takes money. I have Medicare as my insurance. I doubt if they will cover it. It’s a shame isn’t it? A person needs help and can’t get it.

    Thanks for listening!

  26. October 2017 will be my 5th month into retirement. I would really like (need) to be one of the 22 women on the Iona retreat.

    • Brenda, that sounds like a wonderful place to launch your Second Journey. I will keep you posted regarding the dates.
      Joan Anderson’s Assistant

  27. Greetings,

    I would like to receive information regarding the Kripalu Retreat when you are ready to send it out.

    I have read, more than once, A Year By The Sea and The Second Journey. I will now open one of the books to a random page to receive a message for the day, of course, it is exactly what I need to read.

    Thank you!

    • Dear Nancy,
      What a wonderful idea to open A Year By The Sea and read a random pearl of wisdom from Joan.
      It is amazing how Joan has been able to put many of the feelings that women have into words.
      Her story is universal and timeless.
      Kripalu should be putting up the winter workshops shortly.
      If you go to http://www.kriplau.org you will be able to register and read the description of the weekend.
      Looking forward to seeing you there.
      I have added your email address to Joan’s contact list so you will be able to stay up to date regarding all the exciting update about the movie and future retreats.
      Joan Anderson’s Assistant.

  28. Hi There,
    I would like to attend one of Joans retreats – I am in Houston, Tx. It looks like they fill up fast so I will be flexible on date and location.

    Thank you,
    Lisa White

    • Dear Lisa..
      Thank you for your inquiry regarding Joan Anderson’s Retreats.
      We are presently looking into November dates for a weekend retreat on Cape Cod.
      I have added your name to Joan’s contacts so you will receive her newsletter regarding all the updates about the movie and where Joan will be next.
      Make sure to add http://www.joanandersonline to your contact list so the newsletter does not go into your spam account.
      Look forward to seeing you in the future.
      Joan Anderson’s Assistant

    • Dear Barbara,
      So good to hear from you.
      Unfortunately Joan will not be hosting a retreat on Iona in the fall of 2016.
      She will be announcing a retreat for October 2017 late summer of this year.
      I have added your name to her advanced notification list.
      Since there are only 22 openings the retreat has filled up very fast in the past.
      We hope to see you there.
      Joan Anderson’s Assistant

  29. I would love to know more about the Cape Cod retreat. I embarked on my own path on November 5; your book “A Year at the Sea” literally fell off the shelf at my feet; I read it in two days and like the many women who found you earlier, I felt it was also my story. Thank you for that connection.

    • Hello. Could you please place me on Joan’s mailing list?
      I am forever a week too late in getting to this retreat on the Cape.
      Thank you so much,

  30. Hi, I am interested in the February retreat. Do you still have openings? Sherry Johnson told me about Joan and it sounds like a wonderful experience! Also I have been to Iona, and if she does that again, I would definitely be interested!
    Thank You

  31. I would love to be added to the wait list for the Scotland trip. My questions are; does the $2900 cost include airfare? Where do you fly out of? I would also like to be added to Joan’s email list. When are we able to sign up for the Scotland trip for 2016? I feel that this retreat is calling to me. I love and have read all of Joan’s books. I can’t wait to see the movie!!!

  32. Like many admirers of all Joan’s books and wisdom, I would love to attend the Iona workshop this fall. Obviously, the waiting list appears long, but please add me to it as well.
    Please add me to your mailing list as well.

    I am a new owner of a small independent bookstore in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and have been sharing the wisdom from Joan’s books with every woman I meet that seems to be in the same search for meaning in their lives as her words and reflections seem to resonate with so many of us. Thank you for being “generative and passing on what you’ve learned” with all of us.

    • Dear Deb,

      Love hearing from independent bookstores and you. A dear friend lives in Decorah and I am trying to get out there at some point. If so I’ll make a point to stop in your shop. Stay connected as we move forward with retreat plans for 2016 joan

      • Joan,

        So sorry I missed your reply! It’s been a crazy summer and now fall is here already. I would love a visit from you when you visit your friend in Decorah. We’re not too far away . . .

        I am signing up for your March 2016 Weekend By the Sea. I am so looking forward to meeting and learning from you 🙂


  33. Joan,
    Have enjoyed all your books and passing to sister/friend. Thank you for your insight. Would love to attend a retreat on the Cape. Please keep add me to the list.

  34. I’d like to get info on Iona in October and cape retreat in early 2016.
    I’m already planning to be in uk in October and would love to find a way to join.

    Thank you

    • Dear Mary,
      I have placed you on the waiting list for the Iona retreat.
      If there is a cancellation I will let you know. Being that you will be in the UK at that time it might work if there at the last minute a woman cannot attend.
      I will also place you on Joan’s newsletter list.
      Thank You

  35. Cathy

    Loved meeting you and Joan at Omega beginning of May. What a dynamic and transformative experience. Please add me to the wait list for the Scotland trip. Now that would be a trip of a lifetime. Thanks so much.


  36. I attended the May 1, 2 and 3rd Second Journey, Second Chance Retreat at Omega and would like to be notified of any new posts by email.
    I am grateful for the experience of attending this workshop.

    • Hi Peg, It was great to meet you at Joan’s Omega retreat. I will add you to the contact list and you will be receiving Joan’s newsletter and all the updates regarding the movie Year By The Sea.

  37. Hi Joan & Cathy –

    I’ve read all of Joan’s books and every one of them has touched me at the deepest of places. I’ve re-read two of them… I think it’s time to retreat!

    Can you put me on your mailing list? I’m a definate “go” for a Cape retreat in January. It seems like a long ways off but it’ll be here before we know it.

    Really looking forward to it!


    • Candy so good to hear from you and look forward to meeting you in the future. I will add you to the contact list so you can receive Joan’s newsletter and follow all the upcoming events.

  38. Could you please let me know if there is a wait list for the retreat in Scotland. I have just started reading Joan’s books and would love to participate in this retreat.

    Thank you.

    • Dear Marybeth,
      I do have a waiting list for the retreat on Iona in October of 2015. I will certainly add your name to it. I will also add your email to Joan’s contact list so you can stay abreast of updates regarding the movie and upcoming retreats.
      Thank you for your inquiry.

  39. Do you have any retreats in the summer or fall? Do you ever make it to the West Coast. Please add me to your mailing list.


    • Dear Kathleen,
      Thank you for your inquiry.
      I will add you to Joan’s email list so you can stay abreast of the upcoming events regarding retreats and Year By The Sea the movie.
      At this time we do not have any retreats scheduled for the West Coast, but it is always a possibility.
      The next retreat after the one on Iona will probably be January on the Cape.
      Look forward to seeing you in the near future.

  40. Love your books, Joan, live in Massachusetts, not a big fan of the Cape, but am sure if I experienced it on one of your retreats, I might become more of a fan…wondering what the $3,000 fee for your retreat includes, in addition to the breakfasts, dinners and retreat treats…? Lodging? Please and thanks for input…

    • Dear Sue,
      I think you might be mistaking the $2,950 cost which is for the Iona, Scotland Retreat.
      In the past the Cape Cod retreats have ranged in price from $1,300 for a private room and under $1,000 for a double. The retreat includes meals, accommodations, and the retreat time with Joan.
      The wonderful thing about the retreats is the bond that forms between like minded women.
      I hope we get to see you soon.
      I will add your contact information to Joan’s newsletter list.
      Always Unfinished

  41. Joan & Cathy,
    Could you please add my name to the waiting list for the next trip to Iona this coming October?
    Thanks and I hope all is well with you both. Life is amazing out here in Montana…your invitation is open ended!!

    • Cathy great to hear from you and we are so happy you are enjoying life in Montana. Maybe someday we will get out that way.
      I have added you to the waiting list for Iona.
      Hope to see you soon. Let me know if you are in New Jersey in the near future.

  42. Dear Joan,
    I am so excited but have only just noticed the retreat to Iona this year and am wondering whether it is too late or whether you have any spaces available? I would dearly love to attend.
    I would also like to be added to your email list to receive information, newsletters and advice about upcoming retreats etc.
    I look forward to your reply.
    Kind Regards,

    • Dear Diane,
      I will add you to Joan’s contact list so that you can receive her newsletter. Constant Contact powers the email communications that Joan sends. Many of the Internet Service Providers have increased the filter level of incoming emails. For you to receive Joan’s newsletter you would need to add
      to your “safe senders” list or to your address contact book to prevent it from potentially being filtered as junk or spam.
      I will also place you on the waiting list for Iona.
      Hope to see you at an event in the near future.
      Hope to meet you at an upcoming event.

    • Dear Ann, Thank you for your inquiry regarding the Iona retreat. Unfortunately it is is sold out. I will add your name to the waiting list in case there is a cancellation.

    • Dear Beverly, great to hear from you. As you know Joan just had a retreat in January on Cape Cod. At this time she does not have another one scheduled on the Cape.
      On May 1-3, 2015 Joan will be at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY.
      Maybe you could join Joan there. Hope to see you soon.
      Cathy Stollen

      • Hi, is there a mailing group I could get on that lists the retreats? I would love to know when Joan’s next Cape Cod retreat is when the details are available. Thanks

        • Dear Kathleen, I will place your name and email address on the list to receive Joan’s newsletter and any upcoming events. At this time Joan does not have another Cape Cod retreat schedule, but she will be at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY May 1-3, 2015. Look forward to meeting you in the future.
          Cathy Stollen

          • Hello as am from Alberta Canada am also wishing to be added to a list to let me know when there is another Cape Cod retreat.

          • Dear Rhonda,
            I will add you to Joan’s email list so you can stay up to date with all upcoming events. I will also let you know of any upcoming Cape Cod Retreats.
            Hope to see you soon.

  43. Dear Joan
    It’s been a while since I attended one of your retreats. I plan
    On retiring this year. I feel a need for another retreat as I move into another phase of my life. I am interested in the Cape Cod Retreats.

  44. Will you repost the travel information for getting to Cape Cod? Which airport we would fly in to, ferry costs, etc? The travel expense is often greater than the cost of the retreat and I would like to check on it.


    • Dear Linda, If you are coming to the Cape you can fly into Boston’s Logan Airport and take the Brockton Bus Line to Barnstable. Buses go every hour. Check out http://www.p-b.com or you can fly into Providence, Rhode Island and rent a car. There is no ferry required to get to the retreat. There are still a couple of room available if you are thinking of joining Joan, you can register on this retreat page.
      Hope we get to toast in the New Year together.

  45. Dear Joan,

    I attended one of your retreats in 2004. It was amazing. Life has taken some twists and turns and I am ready to come away if there is a single available in Chatham this month.

    I hope to see you,

    • Cheryl, Joan always comments on what a difference a decade makes. Here you are just over 10 years since your last retreat. Joan has an exciting new agenda based on her upcoming book.
      Stretching Towards Solutions and Resolutions. What a great way to kick off the New Year. There is still a private room available, and if you would like to register you can do so on this page.
      Hope to see you in a couple of weeks to toast into the New Year filled with things that have never been.

  46. Please put me on the list for Iona…..I went to one of the seminars in Chatham

    years ago….still have the single oar that I found on the silent walk.

    Having knee replacement in the Winter of 2015….I should be ready for a October 2015


  47. When will you next be going to Monhegan Island? I’ve always wanted to go there and unfortunately missed an opportunity last summer.

  48. Hello again,
    My dearest friend and I attended your retreat on Monhegan Island 3 years ago…it was incredible. We are from Texas and the scenery of Maine coupled with the soul cleansing was just what I needed. I am interested in attending another workshop…are there any locations coming up that can rival Monhegan?

    • Carolyn, our next retreat on the Cape will be the weekend of January 30-Feb 1st. 2015. Hope to see you there. I will add you to the contact list and we will be announcing it within the week.
      If I can be of any other assistance you can contact me at Cathy@joanandersononline.com

  49. Have read your books, Joan. Have passed along and bought for others. You are a source of peace. I come to chatham every thanksgiving. But feel a need to get to a retreat if you are doing one sooner. Life has thrown some curve balls.


    • Kathy, Joan will be at Kripalu in the Berkshires of MA Sept 19-21. Second Journey the Road Back to Yourself. We haven’t posted it yet, but late January she is looking at doing another retreat at the Chatham Bars Inn. I hope one of them works into your schedule.
      You can read more about the Kripalu retreat and how to register on the retreat page.
      If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at
      Always Unfinished

  50. Joan: I was first introduced to you and your story through your candid, sensitive, funny, heartwarming and powerful book “A Year By the Sea” on the Oprah Show. I was hooked. And after that I met you at a workshop you held at Maggie’s Place in a Chicago suburb. In fact, I think you were visiting one of your son’s for the weekend after the workshop. Well, I’ve read all of your books and some many times…and I have wanted to reconnect with you through a retreat. I would be able to attend the Sept. Retreat in the Berkshires, but would prefer to attend in Cape Cod where the transformation began. I too am called to the sea and yearn to find my “salty” nature. Please let me know when you will be doing another Cape Cod Retreat. I’d like to make plans. Thanks much for continuing the journey for all of us who want to walk with you….Dee

    • Judy, Joan has not posted it yet but is looking at doing a retreat in late January at the Chatham Bars Inn. I will put you on the email list for notification once we announce it.
      Great hearing from you.
      If you have any other questions you can email me at
      Always Unfinished

    • Tamie, Joan will be at Kripalu in the Bershires of MA Sept 19-21 for Second Journey the Road Back to Yourself.
      You can go to the retreat page and register on line throught Kripalu.
      Joan is also looking to do a retreat on Cape Cod in late January of 2015.
      Hope one of these dates works for you.
      If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly at
      Always Unfinished,

  51. I would be interested in Summer/Fall retreats which are planned or being discussed. I just finished “A Walk on the Beach”. For 5 years I have felt pulled to the Sea, to begin a regeneration of who I am now. I was widowed in 2009 after a lovely and successful marriage to a Teacher who adored his job. There was so much he taught me about life. About people, but mostly about myself. I tell others that I was his first ‘student’. I have wanted to write our story, mostly just for myself, because I feel it needs to be told. I would give a copy to each child upon my death. And there are other aspects I would like to reclaim and refocus on. If retreats are planned, could my name be added to a mailing list. In the meantime, I am reading “a Year By The Sea”. You are a lovely communicator.

    • Dear Peggy, Joan has not scheduled a retreat for the fall of 2014 yet. She is presently looking into November at The Chatham Bars Inn. Once that is finalized I will email you with additional information.
      Hope to see you soon…Cathy Stollen

  52. Dear Joan,
    Words cannot begin to describe what I experienced at your retreat in Cape Cod. Somehow it is as if your soul answered the call of my soul and guided me into a beautiful new existence. I feel reborn with the purpose and direction I was so desperate for……. Thank you does not even come close.
    Gloriously unfinished,

  53. Joan, it has been 2 years since I stumbled upon your book, A Year By the Sea. I had entered the shadowlands of my life and it was manna from Heaven. I was depleted physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I devoured it! I re-read it and also read all of your memoirs twice. I put them away and from time to time found myself pulling one or the other off the book shelf to peruse yet again. I was desperate for something tangible to hold onto that would calm my fears of being the only woman alive undergoing changes within that brought so many questions and wrought so much discontent. Much to my disappointment, I have not had opportunity to attend your retreats. However, time has brought about a change in my circumstances. I have decided to leave my hometown and my husband of 34 years, temporarily, to live for one year alone in Ft Myers, Florida. My plan is to “retreat” and journey inwardly, replenish, explore the questions, make friends with the past, become excited about the future, and learn more about the woman within. Will you give me any suggestions for this time of my “retreat” and suggest any books that may partner with me on this year journey? I hope to have the opportunity to meet you someday at one of your retreats. Mine is a heart of gratitude for your work. Thank you so much.

  54. Joan,

    I stumbled across your book “A year by the sea” while on an unexpected trip to Barnes and Noble and am i ever so glad i did. Being a woman who has been seeking an answer, an understanding of some sort and definition as to my purpose for 4+ years now i found myself at B&N seeking more answers that particular day and came across your book, i am just now finishing “A walk along the beach” and just ordered the next 3 yesterday. I am anxious for their arrival. After 6 pages in to “A year by the sea” i felt like i could have written the words on those pages as they mirrored my life, my feelings, etc. I thank you for sharing of yourself and the affirmation alone that our thoughts are not “crazy” and we are not alone out here feeling the way many woman find themselves feeling. These books and your words and wisdom will stay with me for a lifetime. Again, i thank you. Could you please let me know when you will have retreats on cape cod for 2014? It is a goal of mine for this year that i am determined to make come true. Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.
    -mary davis

  55. Dear Joan
    I have no idea how your book came to be in our house, but something pulled me to it last night. I couldn’t put it down, I’m 51, my girls are grown, life has been hard the last eight years, health and a child’s drug addiction. Our marriage is complicated and until reading your book I felt alone. Your honesty is so refreshing, you calmed my spirit with your words. My flight instinct has been so strong lately, yet I control the urge because I have my work, my husband and my children to think of, how could I be so selfish, and yet I fear I’ll crumble into a thousand pieces if I don’t run away. I was meant to read your book “An unfinished Marriage” . Thank-You for your beautiful words that have opened a door for me, today starts a new day for me.
    In sincere appreciation

  56. Joan
    I have read every one of your books and have enjoyed each so very much. The book “A Year By The Sea,” I have read four times. I keep it close to my night stand. It has helped me through some tough times and offered such insight. I am going to attend one of your workshops. Let me rephrase that. I plan on attending one of your workshops at Chatham Inn and attending the one to Iona. I have done much reading on Iona, Scotland, and can I feel a pull – I need to be there. I was hoping 2014 would be my year, but sadly have wracked up to many medical bills from an accident. So, my sight are on a new 2015 with a new workshop in store for me and hopefully a dear friend of mine.
    Joan, thank you is small compared to what I have received from you through reading your books.
    Thank You and see you in 2015

    • Hi there,
      I have a vase which is shaped like a woman’s torso. It broke into many pieces a few years back and I glued it back together. It symbolizes to me of all women who carry so much and feel so wounded and yet our spirit somehow glues us back together. Hopefully our paths will cross and you will get the PAUSE your sprit and soul deserve. Joan

  57. It is on my heart to attend your retreat in Cape Cod. Could you describe what the days will entail with a bit more detail? Taking this opportunity to say thank you for all of your writings. I have read all of your books and look forward to learning more. blessings, Maggie

    • MAGGIE…There is no typical day because the women are all so different. We begin with a rousing talk with me during which there are many exercises you go through to understand who you are today and why you are a terrific woman. That opening is followed by an opening circle, wine and cheese, dinner and maybe a cozy time by the fire. Each day engages body, mind, and soul work. A hallmark of my retreats is time spent alone in nature (on Cape Cod that would be the beac). To bring all that you’ve learned and become we eventually walk a labyrinth together. A recent retreater said that the three days changed her more than all the days of her life. Most women leave renewed and ready to continue on their path. Joan

  58. Joan I have read all your books & have gathered so much great information from them. I retired a year ago & am going through a new passage in my life. I am very interested in coming to one of your retreats. I live in Florida & wondered if you might ever get here to have one.

    • Edie,
      Sorry for the delay in writing to you. Although I have a lot of readers from Florida, most come north for the retreats. They seem to like the get away and to walks the shores I walked in year by the sea.Remember to pause as you transition from one stage of your life to another. Joan

  59. where do I find information on the Cape Cod retreat? Doesn’t this one entail a great deal of travel from California? I would like to do a retreat located close enough for one plane ride with no changing of planes if possible.
    while my sixties began in high gear finding my life on an upswing in all ways that lasted only four years until my world caved in on me for more then a decade.
    That is why I want to experience one of your retreats, to reclaim ME.

  60. Hi Joan,
    I have enjoyed and re-read most of your books, as they have often brought me back to a place of comfort and understanding. It is on my “bucket list” to attend one of your workshops.

    Will you be doing another one in Iona? I am Irish, Scottish and have not yet traveled to either country but would love to incorporate your retreat into a journey there.

    Also, I contacted you a number of years ago to see if you would consider doing a retreat here in WA on San Juan Island. I believe you had done one on Whidbey island that year. We have a home here and there is a beautiful old Marina Resort here you may have heard of, Roche Harbor Resort. Anyway, if you’d ever be interested in doing that (I think you kindly wrote me back and said when I approached you that you would consider it), I’d love to help make that happen.

    Anyway, thank you again for your words, your wisdom, your insight and your guidance. It has been very close to my heart in so many ways.
    Jeannie B.

    • Hi Jeanniie

      I love the northwest and hope there will be another retreat there. In the meantime thanks for your thoughts and yes, there will be another Iona retreat.Each of my retreats are originals…not one is like the previous because of the place, the seeking women and the fact that I keep changing. See you soon I Hope…joan

      • Dear Joan,
        I am looking forward to your movie! I find I keep having conflicts sadly with your workshops but one of these days. I was fortunate to have made it to Ireland last fall for the first time and felt such a connection with the lovely people there. Hopefully in the not too distant future I will find myself in Scotland as well.
        This summer, a family wedding brought us to the Cape. It had been over 40 years since I was there as a child on our sailboat. It seemed so much busier than I remember it. We made it to Block Island as well for a few days. Unfortunately I can’t seem to line up with your dates but one of these days…
        I wish I could entice you here to the N.W. and San Juan Islands….. Best of luck with the release of your movie. And thank you again for putting into words what is in so many of our hearts.

  61. Hello Joan,
    I will be turning 60 next May 2014. I would love to come to one of your retreats as I transition into my next decade of living. Your books have helped me through my 50’s raising teenagers, dealing with marriage issues, parents dying, etc. I live in Los Angeles, originally from Oregon, and my mother & relatives from New York & New England. Travels I’ve made to New England have always felt like returning to old roots where my ancestors landed from England centuries ago.
    I will hold the vision and the hope to attend one of your retreats in my 60’s if not my 60th year.
    Thanks for all you give. I appreciate your insights and courage.
    Linda Marten

    • Linda

      How nice to hear that our thoughts are similar and the books have resonated with you. Happy Birthday as turning 60 can be a major jumping off point for the individual woman who no longer needs to play the role.

      Joan Anderson

      • Thanks Joan. Your comment about the “jumping off” point reminds me of the quote, “Sometimes the only transportation is a leap of faith.”
        I’m curious what’s on “the other side” so to speak as I enter my 60’s.
        It seems so “old and mature”, but I still feel 35 inside.
        Hope your Thanksgiving is full of gratitude and good food!
        (I just blogged “How do you Cultivate Gratitude in Hard Times?” and posted it on my Facebook if you’d like to read it.)
        Thanks again for responding. Do hope to come to one of your retreats sometime in my 60th decade.
        (Perhaps I’ll ask for it for my 60th birthday present!)
        Warm regards,

  62. At a time of life when some might think there is nothing I really have to resolve, I find that there are a multitude of questions, yearnings and ‘needs’ I would love to explore and hopefully fulfill in the next decade and beyond of my life.
    You might refer to me as a stalled soul or someone who has finally realized there is something out there she needs to understand about herself and her life that she has not fully realized until lately.

    I would love to attend a retreat but am not certain which one. I only just found out
    about your retreats so your input would be so appreciated. My energy level has gone down somewhat so anything that does not involve complicated traveling would be great.

    I look forward to hearing back from you Joan.

    sylvia resnick

    • Hi sylvia

      The mid-winter retreat encompasses all that I learned during my year by the sea while offering experiences similar to what I indulged in as I slowing began to see who I was beyond the roles that I had been playing.I think the Cape Cod retreat would unstall your soul and help you to jumpstart your one and precious life. Joan Anderson

  63. Your books kept me standing thru a HELLISH time–and it would be a dream to spend some time with you at your retreats:))

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