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Summer 2010
In This Issue
Unfinished Thoughts
Blog with Joan
Quote of the Day
"Life, like a beach, constantly rearranges itself and then you are left to work with the new arrangement."
-Joan Anderson

Retreats 2011 Now Being Scheduled

Chatham Bars & Inn

January 21-23
A Second Journey to Embrace Body & Soul at Chatham Bars & Inn

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February 11-14
Winter Renewal with a Yurt Sleepover in Sun Valley, Idaho

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Monhegan Island

June 7-10
An Island Adventure on Monhegan in Maine

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Anna's Story
One Woman's Journey

Watch one woman's journey during one of Joan's retreats

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Best Selling Books by Joan Anderson

A Year By the Sea
An Unfinished Marriage
A Walk on the Beach
A Weekend to Change Your Life
The Second Journey

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Unfinished Thoughts
Hour Glass #2
Carpe Diem -  It's Now or Never
"Can you believe that half of the year is already gone?" my colleague and friend tossed out the other day during our daily phone call.
"What?" I responded, actually stunned at the thought. Being someone who is usually aware of time passing, I was surprised that I hadn't thought of it myself. She continued to rattle on about how, once again, she had let herself be caught in the web of everyone else's drama so much so that her own life had been put on hold. "Aside from the work we do together, I feel as though I've wasted the past 6 months," she said.

My mind wandered back to February when our son announced his intention to separate from his wife. I immediately foresaw the ramifications of such a decision and went into panic mode, trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together so as to save the day as well as the marriage.
"What happened?" I asked him trying to quell the panic in my voice, knowing that questions always seem like judgments. "You seemed perfectly happy last summer when you were home. Surely it can be fixed. At the very least you need to do some therapy. Think about the consequences down the line."

There was no end to my suggestions and possible remedies as I obsessed night and day trying to fix it. Hadn't that been my role all along-to put Band Aids on my children's wounds? Aha, but my son was no longer a child and what's more I hadn't been in his marriage so what did I know. Eventually, somewhere between March and April I threw in the towel and then sunk into a kind of depression that shoots down all hope. So continued my winter of discontent where I did nothing but lick my psychic wounds and exist in a murky fog, that is until the phone rang this morning and I woke up!

In trying to avoid the messiness of life I had retreated from everyone and everything like a petulant child who failed to get here way and in the process never once seized the day-all 180 of them. Thus my beloved winter is now but a blur and I failed to smell the lilacs in spring. Hadn't I learned anything in the past ten years as I searched my soul for life's meaning? Didn't I preach to others that change is inevitable and what we're meant to do is simply adapt? And wasn't I always quoting, The Prophet as he counseled those of us with children to realize that we could give them our love but not our thoughts for they have their own thoughts. "You may house their bodies but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow which you cannot visit, even in your dreams."

So now it is time to put the focus back on my life-enough of the grief-time to rejoin the human race and be my buoyant self. I cannot make up for the lost months but I can celebrate summer and fall and relish the  next 180 days. Live it or miss it altogether. It will be different, to be sure.  The matriarch is gone (my mother), the family has been reconfigured, relatives who have not been here for years are coming and others are choosing not to come. Be that as it may, I am in needing of seizing the season, caring not for who is or isn't here.

Re-enchantment is the work ahead and joy is a duty. Just this morning I awakened to crisp morning air after a particularly muggy week, smelled freshly brewed coffee perking on the stove thanks to my husband, listened to a cacophony of multiple birds heralding the dawn, and walked through delicious dewy grass to pick up the morning paper. A good beginning to the rest of my life, I should think.

It's Fourth of July weekend-vacation time for most. Although I am not going anywhere-not vacating the premises-I am going to vacate myself from worry, feeling powerless, being sad, to say nothing of being out of control.
On my walk the other day I noticed a large blue hydrangea blossom which had pushed itself through a crack in a stockade fence. It will be a symbol for my recovery-to push myself out of the doldrums and begin to receive the gifts of ordinariness. Time to engage again with my body, put up boundaries when needed, walk the beach both morning and night, and receive all that is waiting to be found.  Although I cannot control all that life throws at me I have learned that I can control who I am along the way.

Carpe Diem. May you too seize your days.

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