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A Weekend to Change Your Life: Find Your Authentic Self After a Lifetime of Being All Things to All People

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  453 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
New York Times bestselling author Joan Anderson gives women practical advice and inspiration for building creative, independent, and fulfilling lives through discovering who they truly are and who they can be.

Like Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, Joan Anderson’s bestselling A Year by the Sea revealed a far larger than expected constituency, in the form of thousands of wom
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 10th 2007 by Harmony (first published January 1st 2006)
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Michelle B
The concept is excellent. The intended audience seems to be women who are experiencing the life change that comes with children leaving home or retirement. The author speaks from a place of overwhelming privilege. However, if you can look past that, the book offers a lot of wisdom and good advice, even for younger women.
Allison Frederick
Jan 03, 2008 Allison Frederick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is no shortage of literature about the struggles of an empty-nester woman these days.

This non-fiction book plays nicely into that catagory. Even though I am not her target market, I enjoyed the book. It was a sober reminder, leading me to recognize that choices I make each day compound and if I do not make choices to develop my own talents and presever my own interests; I may find that I completely abandoned myself and then struggle to reconnect with my own voice.

Author Joan Anderson hos
Jul 14, 2014 Eileen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this a few years ago for Bookclub but it was on the shelf here at the Cape and thought it would be the perfect read for the beach. I also brought along a journal Brendan had given me for my birthday. This book is the end of a series by the author and I do believe I enjoyed her fist book the most-“A Year by the Sea” This book provides some narratives about the experiences of women who attended the weekend workshops. There are sample exercises to complete (if you care to do so) with stories ...more
Aug 15, 2011 Danni rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that I stumbled upon by accident and loved. She talks about planning enjoyment into everyday and putting Gold stars by all the things that you do just for you. I think that I am going to try it. She had cancer and went to cape cod by herself to rejuvinate her mind and spirit and figure out what she wanted out of life. When she came home she had kicked the cancer and was a much better spouse. She also talks about how having a group of friends to help you through life is a must. I h ...more
Jun 29, 2011 Jenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been on a bit of a self-help kick lately and I think that this is the best book I've read in that genre so far. I don't like to mark up books but with this one I wanted to underline it, highlight it, and throw in a few sticky notes for good measure. Basically the idea is that women tend to focus on, as the title says, being all things to all people which leaves them unsure of who they are. A Weekend to Change Your Life is designed to help women find themselves over the course of a weekend b ...more
I gained more from Anderson's A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman, but anytime something I read gives me pause to reflect is a positive experience. Lot's of the wisdom and food for thought found in this book has already been touched on in Anderson's previous works, but this book is meant as a mini-retreat, where the reader actively journals in response to exercises. I didn't do this; still I found it nice to ponder the exercises in the early morning quiet or before going to bed.
Jennifer Pearson
Dec 02, 2014 Jennifer Pearson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book in a good read for anyone who feels drained by always caring for others- children, elderly parents, family, friends, etc. It is an account of how Joan Anderson learned to refocus on herself and rediscover what was really important to her. This book helps to remove the guilt many women feel when they finally focus on making themselves happy instead of just focusing on the happiness of others. I consider this book to be a retreat of sorts- best read when you have time to do the activitie ...more
'The goal is to turn your mid-life crisis into a mid-life discovery'.
I would have appreciated more tools one can use in her life right now, without having to go on a retreat, although I do understand how important it is to spend time on our own and outside. This book is very Clarissa Pinkola Estés-influenced; it's main message is 'go on a retreat and spend a weekend alone thinking about your life, then change it' - nice concept, but probably not the one you can use any time you want; but it cert
Actually, I had picked this up for someone else, but decided to read it this weekend and was impressed. I wish there had been more tales about Joan Erickson, and perhaps a stronger nod given to Annie Morrow Lindberg's 'Gift from the sea', which i could feel hiding behind every dune in the story and must have influenced Anderson a wee tad. However, that said, the book is exactly what it says it is, a guide for a 3 day retreat for women to figure out all the things they may have forgotten under th ...more
This had some excellent exercises and reflections, and I don't think the point about regular time in nature being essential to well-being can be emphasized enough. That said, this seems more geared toward middle-aged women who are facing transitions or life turning points. I'm sure I'll revisit it in the future. I do love the idea of a physical ritual to help release what no longer serves your life.
Aug 08, 2011 Joyce rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the idea of the book. I borrowed it from the Racine library and read it over the weekend, hoping to learn more than I did. The idea is great to get one (woman) to reevaluate life goals but her blatant leaving God out of it and self worship is bad in my opinion. I took a few notes, some truths. I think I was attracted to the book because she was on a Cape Cod beach :)
She also wrote A Year By the Sea, An Unfinished Marriage, and A Walk On the Beach.
Kristi Elker
I can see how this book might be helpful to some people, but it grated against my beliefs because it was all about "self" and how we need to be our authentic selves. The problem is that she leaves God out of the picture--it's what I can do--it's all about self--and for people who are looking for fulfillment and purpose--you'll never find that apart from God. You can "look inside yourself" all you want, but you'll still find something missing.
Dec 31, 2008 Jaymi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
This book gives suggestions and exercises for women who want to dig deeper and uncover what their soul purpose is. For many of us, we lose our way and Anderson believes that it only takes one weekend to examine what is going on to change it and become something new. I loved reading the mini-retreat stories from others and what they uncovered about themselves in this book. It was also engaging enough to keep reading during my past weekend getaway camping with friends.
May 28, 2016 Gayle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There are some good questions in the book to ask yourself if you're in a season of life where things are changing or need to change. Perhaps if a person read this book in conjunction with a retreat (group or personal), it would be more effective, but I didn't. There is a fair bit of New Age philosophy in the book which I found difficult to get past as far as accepting the ideas as presented, but it was an interesting and useful read.
Christy Woolum
Jun 12, 2014 Christy Woolum rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is not a book you read once. I had loved all the other books by Joan Anderson about how she retreated to Cape Cod to rediscover herself. This most recent book is set up with exercises that help with prioritizing life. I highly recommend it if you feel your life is way too busy, especially if you can't remember what it is that is making it so busy!! I just wish I could schedule a week-end now to find my authentic self.
Mar 09, 2009 Chelsea rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't finish this book. I tried. But if I had a weekend away to read this book and reflect on my would be amazing. But I have 2 little kids and NO free time. I LOVE Joan Anderson. But I will have to say good-bye to this book for now. Maybe later on in my life I will pick it up. I look forward to her other books. A Year By The Sea was life changing for me. Check that one out Good Readers!!!!
Jul 19, 2009 Hope rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have thoroughly enjoyed Joan Anderson's books that are about figuring out the important things in her life and having them all co-exist together. She provided a lot to think through and think about. I definitely recommend her books for any woman trying to figure out the important things in her life.
Christine Fay
Jul 20, 2016 Christine Fay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This accessible little book offers a how-to guide on conducting your own private weekend getaway for the girls with practical advice on how to make the most out of your regenerative time together. There must be time for solitude as well as group processing. Writing a letter to yourself is also part of the program. I’m glad I read this before I went on the weekend retreat in Chatham.
Caroline Kingsley
Jul 29, 2012 Caroline Kingsley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman more, but I still found this book useful and highlighted quite a bit. I think this book is good for any woman going through a transition of any sort, or needing to, not just the empty nesters.
I may have enjoyed this book more if I had been at a different place in my life. Her advise is good for those who are searching and it's interesting to read about the experiences of the many women in her weekend support group.
this book wasn't as helpful to me as the first books by same author. i guess i find that i enjoy helping people even when i have to come second to do it. i wasn't disappointed, just not as enthralled as i was by the first ones.
Elizabeth Boltuc
This was an ok book but it seemed like the author focused too much on quoting other authors and too little on her own message. Although it had some good information I didn't think most of it was relevant to where I am currently in my life.
Sep 14, 2009 Mtalley2 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the book A Year by the Sea in 2005. I just recently wanted to read more of this authors writings. I find her refreshing approach to distancing yourself when stressed out and then personally regrouping to have another more organized go at life just what I've needed.
Dianne Oliver
I do not care for exercises or some of the self help type talk, but I guess I do enjoy having a chat with another woman who is going through some of the same life experiences that I am, and gleaning ideas from her. That about sums it up. Girl time.
Lish Helgeson
May 19, 2016 Lish Helgeson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

As we all stumble into the second phase of life, it is a gift to reach out and grasp a kind, guiding hand. Thank you Joan Anderson for these road maps so helpful on the journey.
Jul 13, 2009 Cathleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It had great ideas to help change your eyes!
Nov 05, 2011 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Books like this help me on my journey through life. It's like taking a vitamin. We all need to be reading this sort of thing regularly.
Aug 18, 2007 Angela rated it liked it
Good ideas...might be more appropraite for somone a bit older.
This was a bit of a disappointment after her earlier books.
Lina Pane
May 27, 2015 Lina Pane rated it it was amazing
Excellent writer and excellent book. Get get enough of this author too
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Ever since I can remember I have been curious—asking questions, trying to figure out life’s meaning—all in an effort to live fully and get it right. My career began as a stringer reporter for the Gannett newspaper chain. As I practiced the craft of writing, I moved on to photo essays books for children, then the breakthrough book, Breaking the TV Habit, and finally into the genre of memoir. The la ...more
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“But I wasn’t prepared to handle the power shift, or my brand-new role as bit player. So I took to retreating to the bedroom to hide my awkwardness. I had learned long ago that the Chinese character for “conflict” is two women under the same roof, and regardless of my own discomfort, I was determined to have none of that.” 1 likes
“The soft side of me had been buried by a culture that insists we do rather than be, and I didn’t much enjoy the life I was leading.” 1 likes
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