REDISCOVER Your Joy on Vashon Island

Welcome to life on island time. 

You must be fully vaccinated to attend this workshop in person. And you must bring proof of your vaccination with you. That means we can all relax and feel more joy as we gather.

Remember those first days of COVID lockdown? We were all scared and isolated. Some of us didn’t leave our homes for months. And even though we’re out and about now, a little bit more, but with COVID still lurking, our brains have been rewired for fear and protection. 

There isn’t much room for joy in a brain that’s on high alert. 

But we need joy. We need it more than ever now. 

When the lockdowns began, I tried to put on the brave front for my kids, who were more scared than me or my husband. We needed to show them we would be okay. 

The third night the kids were home from school on lockdown, though, I woke up in a cold sweat. My lungs lurched. My gut rumbled in pain. And this thought arrived in my mind, like a neon sign in red — oh my god, this is going to be just like when I was a kid. 

See, I grew up in a complicated family, where fear was more important than joy. I lived isolated from the world for decades. And joy was scant and rare. 

I knew, that night, that I would do everything in my power to emphasize one quality in our life during lockdowns: JOY. 

Put the dining room table outside on our front porch to make a space for dancing? Sure. That meant we created a space where friends could come over for coffee, sitting 10 feet apart with masks on, outside. Watch tv while we ate on the living room rug? You bet. This is how we found the joy we shared as a family, and still do — favorite movies, smart sitcoms, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, every season of The Office, and more and more. Play board games in the middle of the day? Why not? Pillow fights? Blowing bubbles off the back deck? Rollerblading on the front porch? Entire cities built out of Lego? Volcanoes made of baking soda and vinegar? Eating mac and cheese and candy sometimes for breakfast? Yes. Yes. Yes to joy.

I thought I was doing all this for my kids. But as crazy as this may sound, the entire era of COVID — which still isn’t done and may never be — allowed me to become a person who lives a life of joy, all the time, no matter what is happening. 

That’s what led me to the work I’ve been developing for the last year: how to make your joy into a habit and become a person who lives with more joy.

This is why I’m offering you this day-long retreat — rediscovering your joy. 

Come to vashon island

Why come to Vashon for the day?

  • Life moves more slowly here on Vashon. You can only reach the island by ferry. (Miss a ferry? Reach for the book you keep in the car. You’ll get the next one.)
  • This is a town with no stoplights.
  • We have farm stands that set out produce and assume you’ll pay for what you choose. Town itself is about three streets long. 
  • People know their neighbors here. They care about each other. 
  • And, the island is covered in forests, surrounded by beaches.
  • This is a good place to get away from the rush of life for a day. Your body slows down into calm as soon as you’re on the water. 
  • This island can help you find your joy.

DETAILS of the Retreat

  • We’ll be meeting from 10 a.m  to 4 p.m on the day of the retreat. 
  • You’ll be greeted with pastries, coffee, and tea.
  • Lunch and snacks will be provided, prepared by chef Daniel Ahern. (Let us know about any food allergies when you register. We can accommodate everyone.)
  • Together,  we’ll talk about joy and why it matters, as well as how to make it a habit. 
  • Are you ready to understand how your mind and body work in stress? Do you want to learn how to take care of yourself? Are you willing to be silly? Vulnerable? Do you yearn for a community with resilient people who want to create more joy in their lives?
  • We’ll also take spacious breaks for walks, dancing, laughter, and other surprises.
  • At the end of the day, you’ll go home with the feeling of release from being in community with other people, everyone intent on making their lives more joyful. 

Plus, there’s more!

  • After the retreat, the joy continues. 
  • You’ll receive emails from me with prompts for thinking and writing, as well as suggestions for how to discover your joy.
  • Plus, plenty of links to joyful books, videos, music, and activities you can do.
  • Six weeks after our first session together, we’ll come together again, on Zoom this time, to catch up and see how the work has changed you. 
  • We’ll be sharing our joys and talking together about how we can work for the joy of other people.

We’ll drink coffee and talk. We’ll share food together.

You’ll make new friends and connections.

After this workshop, you’ll be ready to prioritize Your Joy.

Begin your journey to joy.

The tip of a red canoe/kayak pointing into an blue and undulating oily sea in the late afternoon sun, poised for adventure.