Spring Greetings from Joan Anderson

Joan with Hands Up
Quote of the Month

"In the Celtic tradition, a person is born through three forces: the coming together of mother and father; an ancestral spirit's wish to be reborn; and the involvement of the God or Goddess. Just now, I feel that I have met my father's (and mother's) spirit wishing somehow to be reborn through me."

Joan Anderson from The Second Journey
Iona Labyrinth

Last Chance to Experience Joan's Retreat


Time Out of Time-  

A Celtic Retreat


Iona, Scotland

October 14-19, 2011


Only five spots remain for this popular retreat.  


This retreat will not be offered again until 2013.


To find out more info and to sign up 

Click Here

One Day Workshop with  

Joan Anderson


A Day for Unfinished Women: Who are you beyond the roles you play?


May 21, 2011



Hemisphere Restaurant, Sandwich MA


To find out more information and to sign up


Click Here

Upcoming Retreats with  

Joan Anderson


Omega Catalog 



Second Journey- The Road Back to Yourself


Omega Institute

Rhinebeck, NY

May 13-15, 2011


Click Here to Register 


Monhegan Island 

An Island Adventure on Monhegan in Maine


Monhegan Island, Maine

June 7-10, 2011


Only two spots left!


Click Here to Register  


Books By Joan Anderson


A Year By the Sea

A Walk on the Beach

An Unfinished Marriage

The Second Journey

A Weekend to Change Your Life

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Some Unfinished Thoughts


Spring Forward


The other day my brother called with an invitation. He had recently converted our father's home movies to a DVD and he wondered if I would like to partake, he said, in some real "living history."

I expected an afternoon of watching ourselves literally grow up-staged vignettes circa 1940 to 1950, a la Father Knows Best. Surely my brother and I would be the leading characters in the family drama although I felt certain there would be plenty of supporting characters such as grandparents and our parents themselves.

    Settling into an easy chair with a glass of wine in hand, I was ready to be awash in nostalgia. There would certainly be tears as I watched my now deceased parents produce Christmas year after year, along with birthday parties, and family holidays.

Talk about experiencing metamorphosis-watching myself change right before my very own eyes!

My father (who must have fancied himself to be part Baby JoanCecil B. DeMille) had captured all manner of our growth and development from zero to 10, beginning with the hospital delivery room, my first bottle, messy highchair meals, being wheeled in my pram or pulled in a sleigh, crying to get out of the play pen, taking a first step, being an angel in the Christmas pageant, back yard antics, and more.

For awhile, it was amusing to look back on a young life that would never have been made so vivid if not for these movies. But in reality, my "sixty something" vision detected, not a life as it really was, but how our parents wanted our lives to be seen. The back-story was intriguing and enormously revealing. It was time to put down my wine and straighten up, to search the images for body language, expressions, real joy or staged, fabricated fun.

I began to see many physical characteristics as my own-- the deeply creased brow of one grandmother, the grin of another, a large frame and head like my father, and the porcelain skin of his father.

As time went on, there were the similarities in personality as well. I hadn't realized how particular my mother was, detail oriented and very much in control, like me, addicted to perfection for sure and a father dutifully following her lead trying hard not to make waves within the relationship-- again, like me. All the women seemed to be in control, not following the rules of others. The matriarchy was alive and well in this family. No wonder I have since made it my cause!

My mother and her mother fought hard to be individuals and I feel that fight in me. What's more, they strove to make my brother and me originals-no carbon copies here-being different and individual was a virtue.

My mentor Joan Erikson believed that we arrive with genetic traits formed in utero-we're meant not to ignore them but to use them. "Some things you just can't change," she would say. "They are indelibly printed on your soul. You've no choice but to go with it-use these strengths-build on them."

It is spring. The perennials are coming up all over the lawn-pushing up from the cold, dark soil and making themselves seen. So it is with me. The perennial aspects of my personality should not be hidden anymore.  

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