Retreat Testimonials

“Joan, what you are doing is truly a special gift—giving women an opportunity to find themselves and what they need.” — Michele L.

“You are an amazing person and you gave us an amazing weekend. From the moment I set foot in the water with my bare feet until I reached the lighthouse (some 5 hours later), was my life’s journey.” — Linda

“The weekend by the Sea was really special for many reasons. From the moment I walked into my room with a vase full of flowers on the dresser and thoughtful gifts on the bed, I knew the weekend would be a meaningful one. It was obvious that you worked very hard to create a well-oiled gathering for the “seekers” who come into your peace and bring a little havoc.” — Jane B.

“I am the woman who got lost on the beach but in the process I found me. You along with the seals reaffirmed that I may be alone, but I am no longer lonely.” — Charlene O.

“My drive home from the retreat was surreal as the faces and voices of 32 strong women floated around me. How is it possible for so many strangers to connect so quickly. The whole weekend was profound. I came thinking of leaving my marriage. While on the beach walk I wrote in my journal: “Walking by the waves, a though occurred to me. Maybe I don’t need to be unmarried. Maybe I just need to be different within my marriage. That was only one revelation that the treat provided for me. There were hundreds more.” — Michele L.

“I have been on a path to improve my self esteem for about 6-7 years and so I am able to absorb experiences more. I never tire of new directions and some experiences are better than others. My weekend by the sea was one of the best!” — Barb H.

“Thank you for giving me and so many other women a safe place to BE. When I finished your first book I remember saying, I am going to meet this woman. I know she will understand my pain, my sadness, and my feelings of emptiness. My intention was strong and the weekend I spent with you was indeed life changing and will resonate forever.” — Cathy C.

“The weekend was just what I needed to start getting real with myself and my life.” — Betty R.

“The weekend experience was for me like no other, truly a highlight of my life.” — Cindy P.

“You are doing a wonderful thing by bringing women together to learn better alternatives for dealing with their lives.” — Carol G.

I left enriched by the surroundings, the activities, the fascinating women, and most importantly time with you, Joan.” — Maggie C.

“I am truly attempting to live in the present. That was the true gift of the weekend.” — Terri R.

“You, Joan Anderson, touch many people in a very special, loving way bringing them peace and the desire to BE more.” — Carol K.

“I think we must have realized, each in our own way, that we needed to leave all the heaviness in our souls behind, in order to gain and feel the healing, patience, and clarity of Iona, to go forward with grace. And I’m sure for some, to just keep going with meaning. I immensely enjoyed the simplicity of Iona- the beauty of nature- the stillness of time- the living with the elements-and the wholesomeness of the animals. I do feel nourished in many ways, and continue to be amazed at how much went on in 5 days. I’m still processing it. There is more for me to re-discover, so I’ll be heading back. Hopefully next year.” – L.S.

“I’m sure you all know the drill and I found myself once again tapping my watch!!! I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date. But now after Iona I find myself pausing and asking me just how important is this task, this errand? I am going to take the time to once again capture some “Time out of Time” to ponder the next year. What I experienced and what I learned during this past year, and my Iona experience with my “Iona Sisters” is certainly a central point of significance of this year. I will write out my New Year resolutions, but this year not external goals to be achieved but more inward goals to be reached for, all of which will hopefully have grown from seeds of intention planted in Iona.” – P.D.

“We came to Iona because we felt called. Most of us had read Joan’s book, The Second Journey, and it resonated deeply. Arriving as pilgrims and strangers, we were sisters under the skin and felt instantly connected. Led by Joan with grace, humor, and hard physical challenges daily to reap the rewards of a spiritual pilgrimage in the sacred “thin place”, we were each in some way changed. It is said that if first you go to Iona, you will definitely thirst for even more. When you hear people say they’ve been to Iona and they’ve only made a day trip to tour the Abbey, theat is not anything like this transformative retreat lead by Joan. If you are open to it, this can be the journey of a lifetime!” – Carol P.

“Retreating with Joan on the Island of Iona in Scotland was such a “Magical” experience. Joan’s ebb and flow has helped me to bring balance in maneuvering the River of Life…and the bond us women shared at such a spriritual place was not only extremely healing for me, it has blown the windows wide open on my Journey. I am forever grateful for that “Moment in Time”.” – Audrey A.

“I must thank you for giving me an experience of a lifetime- one that I will repeat. I had so longed to attend a Joan Anderson retreat, that when I saw the Whidbey information on the website I knew I could not miss the opportunity. It is hard to explain the experience I had on Whidbey. I’m thinking about it almost constantly and will most definitely attend another retreat, as I know I just skimmed the surface of emotions, soul searching and meeting kindred spirits. The Earth Sanctuary really impacted me. I wish I could have that experience again and again. Thank you for sharing your knowledge, life lessons, and joy.” – C.V.