Sunday, September 16, 2007

Blog Closed, Open to View

Regretfully we have to close submissions to this blog as this address has finally been found by spammers.

This blog though will remain open for viewing.

The Haven Management

Friday, June 22, 2007

When great trees fall....

Joann was wise and soulful and a great teacher.  I loved learning through her wisdom. 

Joann provided wonderful reflection with compassion, and in doses that I could digest.   I came to Haven with a huge blind spot about how I be with others.  She showed me ways to be ‘good enough’.  I am a better being - friend, mother, colleague because of Joann.

Joann – you are a great soulful tree.



When great trees fall,

Rocks on distant hills shudder,

Lions hunker down

In tall grasses,

And even elephants

Lumber after safety.


When great trees fall

In forests,

Small things recoil into silence,

Their senses

Eroded beyond fear


When great souls die

The air around us becomes

Light, rare, sterile,

We breathe, briefly,

Our eyes, briefly, see with

A hurtful clarity.


Our memory, suddenly sharpened,


Gnaws on kind words


Promised walks

Never taken,

Great souls die and

Our reality, bound to

Them, takes leave of us,

Our souls,

Dependent upon their


Now shrunk, wizened.

Our minds formed

And informed by their


Fall away.

We are not so much maddened

As reduced to the unutterable ignorance

Of dark, cold


And when great souls die,

After a period peace blooms, Slowly and always

Irregularly, Spaces fill

With a kind of

Soothing electric vibration.

Our senses, restored, never

To be the same, whisper to us

They existed.  They existed.  We can be.  Be and be Better.

For they existed.

Maya Angelou



Friday, June 8, 2007

Fw: Sweet Dreams Joann

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, June 07, 2007 10:40 PM
Subject: Sweet Dreams Joann

My introduction to Joann and her to me, was in the Spring of 1988.  I was looking for a counselor and a friend of mine said "I know a very good one".  Joann and I have laughed over those first few sessions we had.  Neither one of us was too sure if it was going to work between us.  But (fortunately for me)  after a few meetings, I relaxed and the humor started to come out from both of us, and we settled in for the long haul of counseling.
Our relationship over the past 18 years went from counselor/client to friends to workshop participant/teacher.
What I learned from Joann can not be measured.  I only hope I can mentor someone in my life time, as she did for me.
I am still in shock of her passing.  Even though it is not a secret we will all die some day; and I was always  aware of the major health issue she was dealing with over the years.  I still thought she would always be here!
Sweet Dreams Joann
You are loved and will live on in my heart forever!
Sue Paulson

Monday, May 28, 2007

Wishes of peace

Anyone who had the opportunity to meet and learn from Joann is truly
blessed. I think of her every time I load my dishwasher and the forks
aren't in the "right" way! I cherish my time that I had the opportunity to
learn and grow from Joann. She showed compassion to others by sharing her
experiences of pain that she endured in her life. Her lessons will be
carried on through generations. Thank you, Joann. Thank you for your
compassion. You are held in the highest regard.

Sandy Soderberg (Anger, Boundaries & Safety 9/04)

Comes The Dawn

After awhile you learn the
Subtle difference
Between holding a hand
And chaining a soul
And you learn that love doesn't
Mean leaning
And company doesn't
Mean security
And you begin to learn that
Kisses aren't contracts
And presents aren't promises
And you begin to accept
Your defeats
With your head up
And your eyes open
With the grace of a woman
Not the grief of a child
And you begin to
Build all your roads on today
Because tomorrows ground
Is too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way
Of falling down in mid-flight
After awhile you learn
That even sunshine burns
If you get too much
So plant your own garden
And decorate your own soul
Instead of waiting for someone
To bring you flowers
And you learn that
You really can endure
You really are strong
You really do have worth
And you learn and learn

With every goodbye
You learn

Friday, May 4, 2007

Dear Joann

When I saw the subject line of the message, "Remembering Joann Peterson", my heart sank.  I knew it meant no more hearing her voice, seeing her delicious smile, walking down the pathway beside her, talking with her again.  Then I started reflecting on all the ways Joann has touched my life since I met her over 20 years ago.  And I believe she will always be here. It's a very long "list".  I have been sad for myself that I won't see Joann again in this life.  I am glad that hers was a journey of growth and learning.  I am sad that she had so much pain in her life.  I feel so very blessed that she chose to use and share her life experiences to help me stay alive and to live the happy life I now have.


In thinking back, I realize that as she was guiding, nudging, nurturing, she too was learning, experimenting, growing – the suggestions she offered in programs and to me about how to be in the world she tried out for herself, too.  And I take great delight in remembering her over the years and seeing her grow into her beauty.


I attended Anger, Boundaries and Safety last August, when Joann was still in hospital after surgery.  As I have been thinking about what I learned, I marvel at how beautifully designed this program is - elegant, concise, graceful and to-the-point – just like Joann.  And it seemed to me that it was created without ego.  Without her there, Wendy, Jan and Greg were able to step into her shoes and carry on superbly.


When I was a beginning intern, striving so hard to be perfect and definitely not achieving, she once asked me "Who do you not get along with most, men or women?"  Affronted, it took me a while to realize the answer was both, at which point knew I had to make an attitude adjustment or two.

I am so appreciative of her professional knowledge and experience that she shared in her role as intern educator - her no-nonsense, principled, approach; her attention to detail.


When I first started coming to The Haven, I wore sweatsuit outfits a lot and saw myself as awkward and ungainly.  I started to notice Joann make shifts in how she presented herself, notice how women, and men,  I liked looking at presented themselves.  And started to think that I, too, was worthy of coming forward and presenting myself with confidence.  I made adjustments to my style, and one day Joann said how graceful she thought I looked, when I didn't see myself that way.  I realized that I too could notice positive things about myself. 


A few years ago, after Joann had back surgery, she started using a cane.  I remarked one day that I thought the one she was carrying was very attractive.  Her reply:  "If I have to have a cane, I want a sexy one."  Fabulous!


When my friend, who later became my husband, first attended a Come Alive with me a few years ago, I was so delighted that she saw the same wonderful person I did and welcomed him with open arms.  She knew that I was really "bringing him home to meet the folks."  And her gentle guidance was a very positive influence in our relationship


Joann helped me realize that to be myself, I must look to myself and not outside – she modeled an embrace of living and of growing older – that the wisest way is to live fully and authentically, not be afraid to take risks.


Direct, insightful, wise, crone energy, humour, masterful -  you lived your life with dignity.



a blade of grass,

dancing jauntily in the breeze,

bending in the wind,


not broken by passing storms,

now planted in a different meadow.


With a warm feeling in my heart,


Lynn (Parmenter) Nixon

Thursday, April 19, 2007

blog entry

To Joanne....
Well I know I haven't really been living as righteous a life as many...and I'm still kicking myself for having not done that painting of you while you were still here. However somehow I felt that you might value more that I live an honest life. So I first went about setting the story straight on several accounts....quite better I must admit.
So...(and I'm wondering if anyone else might be experiencing the same thing)...I feel as if your presence is as strong as ever. The lessons I learned from you in a short while I applied immediately in my life. They have made a huge difference and I shall remember them for as long as I'm on the planet. You have succeeded in creating such an incredible learning method that you live on in zthese teachings. And I'll never forget how you saw completely through me with your smile....
Love you...
All of you...
Pete Lee
(Come Alive, Anger Boundaries Safety, 2004)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


I was stunned and deeply saddened to read about the passing of Joann who, for me, was a wonderful teacher and caring friend.  I took every course I could that she led and I can never express enough the appreciation I feel for the wisdom she shared and the inspiration she provided to me and many others. There will be a big missing in my being  especially when I visit or think about attending the Haven. She was a quintessential part of my self growth and development much of which I owe to courses I have taken with her at the Haven. I know that her spirit lives with all of us who ever knew her. I will miss her very much. Thanks for the opportunity to express my thoughts.
Peter Benson
Naramata, BC  

Monday, February 19, 2007


Joann was one of the most formidable people I have ever met.  I use this word because I saw in Joann the incredible courage to challenge me to try something new and at the same time the love and caring for me to take the time to call me on the huge wall I had erected around myself.  I had the privilege to spend two months with her and for me this time changed my life so much for the better.  I know I changed it; still I was incredibly blessed to find Joann who had the heart to assist me.  She lives forever in me, and so many of us, whom she cared about


Brian Rowbottom





Sunday, February 18, 2007

Thouhgts from Craig

Joann, I say to you Respect!
Hope is what keeps us alive and faith moves us forward.
Thanks for the push! I am loving you always....
Craig Young XO

Friday, February 2, 2007

I Re-member

Dearest Joanne
Life flowing gently down and through
over, under and between.
I miss you.
I re-member
I breathe LIfe energy
Let tears flow
I miss me
I miss you.
Knowing eyes
Gentle hand
Firm boundaried heart.
I knew you
I know you.
I lived you
I re-member you.
My heart fills with peace
My heart fills with loving.
I let go.


Friday, January 26, 2007

She will be remembered!!

I first met Joann in 1984 on the day my Phase 1 ended, that evening I
started Women's Sexuality. Phase 1 was my first introduction to Haven on the
advice of my lawyer. Joann and Peggy Merlin were staying in Raven and I
went to talk to them at the end of that first session. Joann told me that I
said to the two of them that I couldn't do the workshop because I wasn't a
girl. I saw myself as a 21 yr old, drunken, rowdy, redneck, tomboy from
Prince George, she saw me as a confused young woman. I treasure the
influence she has had on me over these last 20+ years.

I have been dealing with the loss of my Dad on Christmas morning when I read
of Joann's passing away. My Dad had a paralyzing stroke ten months earlier
and died of a massive blood clot. I knew in a general way that Joann's
health was precarious but when I did Disengaging Depression in the summer of
2004 she was the same Joann that I have known over the years. All the blogs
about Joann have captured the wonderful woman that we knew and loved. I know
my Dad is no longer struggling with a body that didn't work anymore and I
know Joann is not either. I believe they will get to know each other 'up
there' and swap stories about the Heather they have both helped me become. I
can hear their laughter now!! :)

I will miss you, Joann! Thank you for always helping me see the woman that I
am. I have always felt your love and acceptance of me and respect for my
process. You are missed!

Heather Jackson


Joann Peterson

Joann was one of the greatest teachers I have been priveleged to learn from. I have often said that my education at Haven far surpassed my university education in importance and impact. It was an interesting experience for me to work with Joann during Phase 1, and to experience the full life passion of someone with a PhD.... So I learned that it could be done!! Brain and heart and gut can co-exist and the combination is more exciting than the individual parts. What an empowering, enlivening and  joyful path was opened up for me. I am grateful for Joann’s role in guiding my daughters on their path as well, and feel so grateful that I can summon up her presence in my memory, and “feel” the things I learned at Haven, and from Joann. What a gift.


Karen Minden, PhD,

CEO, Pine River Institute,

Tel: 416.955.1453   Fax: 416.955.1652


Thursday, January 25, 2007

in memory of joann Peterson

I had the privilage of taking two courses at Haven which Joann helped lead - "Come Alive and Disengaging Depression."
Joann was an amazing lady with so much compassion and understanding for people. She helped me through a very difficult bout with depression with her knowldege, empathy, courage to change approach and her own life story.  She lived life to the fullest and touched so many people with her warmth and love.  She will truly be missed.  Joann was a cornerstone at Haven, and that wonderful place will not quite be the same without her presence, but her spirit will live on there forever.
Gratefully yours,
Sue Peachey

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Joann, I cannot stop writing about you on my heart...

 Her Ordinary Life


She was a girl friend and a mom,

A wife, an adventure partner,

She was a buddy to some,

Her wink famous to others,

Some heard her disappointments,

Others her cries or laughter,

Only intimates heard it all.


She fussed about her house,

Keeping two of them for balance,

Both necessary to keep her job,

Both supports to her ability;

She commuted to work, driving,

Crossed a border, left home,

Got home again, to her work.


A lifetime’s work, to listen, to love,

She ached when she got news

Learning something had happened,

At her other home, or with you,

The distance a price she paid, to be

 This quiet lady from Bellingham,

This extraordinary lady from Haven,

One place seeing her ordinary days,

The other demanding her best daily.


Her life was designed to fit her,

It allowed her to access her every part,

She expressed herself powerfully,

And never gave away her heart,

She simply entered the moment,

Sharing each electric reality,

Bathing herself in her commitments,

To love, to be honest and here,

For “Pete”, her boys, the grandkids, friends - and us,

Us being the other family she loved,

Where she worked, she fretted, she was,

As if it was all seamless, all tied into one,

Her life had meaning, it was pushed forward,

Relentlessly, she grew, she saw, she taught,

By word, by example, by her silent witness,

Joann lived her ordinary life fully,

The life for which she had fought.


Dale Partridge

January 18, 2007

Forgive my use of the familiar “Pete”. While I have never met him, Joann’s love and enjoyment of her husband was so frequently shared, often in parables or insights that caused me to understand something, often for the first time – I feel close to him and Joann’s much loved family. It’s as if the unique lifestyle that they created together was such a gift to me and thousands of others, as we all spent so much time with this amazing woman over the years.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Thank you Joann

Joann in Sep of 01 during Phase One

Joann, I was shocked to hear of your passing. In my sadness of
saying good bye I find comfort with the many warm memories I have of
you. I am blessed and privileged to have met you; to have been seen
by you; to have shared conversations; to have been guided by your
succinct words of wisdom. I will forever cherish your gift of
sharing that has such impact on my life journey. Thank you from the
bottom of my heart, Sam Mak

Joann Peterson

From Jim Sellner,
I first met Joann in a Come Alive on the barge in Vancouver. I was assisting Ben & Jock, Joann was a participant. I recall how we sat outside sharing both our fears about being “found out.” As we talked we both burst out in laughter at the absurdity of that fear. Everything changed.  We both relaxed and had a great time for the rest of the workshop. After that I felt very close to Joann even though we didn’t see each other much.

Joann’s impact on Haven has been insightful, inspirational and loving.
Joann, you will be missed.

To Joann and Ben and Jock from Mike Meegan

Dear Ben and Jock (and Joann):

I finally found the blog dedicated to Joann- I was sitting here reading it – thinking about the influence the three of you have had on my life -

My fireplace is about six feet to the left of  where I’m sitting - I just happen to glance over at it and there was a big billow of smoking coming from the front of it – I went to see what it was – and my oven mitt was on fire – it filled the whole house with smoke and I hadn’t noticed – I was too busy reading and reflecting – it must have been burning for quite awhile because there was only about a quarter of it left when I threw it in a waterbucket on the porch.


          I sit here searching for words to say and then I realize this is not complicated  –  just plant my feet to the floor and sit quietly  but continue to let a few thoughts form –  teacher heads the list  –  followed by simplicity and genuine – grateful is in there too -

Instinctively I want to ramble – Joann Peterson wouldn’t want me to ramble – she’d probably ask me what I was feeling – I’d tell her a sense of loss

She’d remind me a sense of loss is not a feeling –

Ok “sad then”  then speaking to me in silence – she’d  nod her head and let me cry –

She might cry with me  and I’d experience been seen -  like I often did with her.

I suppose that’s what she gave me  -  that’s a lot to give to someone –

             I’ll be forever grateful –

                                           Love Mike


Monday, January 22, 2007

Remembering Joann

Dearest Joann,

It was February of 1982. You were new in the counseling practice and had an
opening. Twenty-five years later, I consider that to have been the single
luckiest and most important phone call I've ever made. With your help, three
generations of our family changed the way we lived. You taught us new ways
of thinking, and doing and relating. You dragged me (very reluctantly) to
Haven and shepherded me through change, change and more change. Others in
the family followed. Your dedication, compassion and caring kept us coming
back for more, and more and more. There were times when you were the most
important person in our lives, keeping us going through the rough spots.
Your confidence in our ability to prevail never waivered. Your smile, that
signature tip of your head and wink of your eye enveloped us in a warm
blanket of safety. You had an enormous heart, and you cared in the depths of
your soul. Despite, or perhaps bcause of, the travails of your early life,
you gave others the caring you never had. You made a profound difference in
thousands of lives, including ours, for which we are eternally grateful.
Thank you, thank you, dear Joann.

Now we grieve, and remember your eyes, your smile, your voice, your words,
your touch, your hugs, and your love. You have a permanent and very special
place in our hearts. A place like no other.

With deepest affection and gratitude,

Nancy Kennell
Bellingham, WA

An inspiration you were

Attending Come Alive in summer session of 1997 and it was truly an
amazing experience and life changing. Joann you were an authentic woman
with so much love, strength and courage. When I met you and the rest of
the PD Seminars team at the Haven I was spiritually depleted, shut down
and tired of running. I will never forget the meeting I had with you and
Wendy. I still cherish the advice you gave to me and it took me a long
way. After my Haven experience I moved on and continued my personal
growth journey. I am happy to let you know that I am working on my
thesis for my Masters of Arts in Environmental Education and
Communication. It was an enormous challenge and mid-way in the program I
took my notes out from PD Seminars and that really helped me at the most
difficult time I was experiencing in my graduate studies. Life is
amazing. I had not reflected on my time at the Haven for over a year.
And today I decided to google the Haven PD Seminars and I felt a great
feeling of sadness when I read the sad news. You were such a wonderful
teacher, for me you were an inspiration.
Kleco! Kleco!


I miss you.

I felt a sinking in my heart the moment I read the news. No more
moments with you - your wonderful smile and sense of humour, your swift
insights, your precious caring. I miss you already. And I am so lucky
to have had those moments with you. I feel very special to have shared

When I would go to Haven I was often content if we walked together from
Heron down to the Lodge. Sometimes I had nothing to say. I just wanted
to be in your presence and with you. I felt satisfied with that many
times. And I was so joyous when we had chats together - just the two of
us. I loved them.

I was always in awe of you as an educator. Where does all your
knowledge and experience and wisdom come from? How do you know so well
what would shift the energy in this moment and lead at least me to a
place closer to my feeling, to me? And I thought you were often leading
with your vision, with your very soul.

I hold all these memories and many more very precious. So long
sweetheart. I am so glad we journeyed together even for a short time.

Ann Doyle

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Still With Me

Words are always difficult for me to express, but I want to add my voice to the chorus of so many who have memorialized Joann in this blog.  This heartfelt outpouring of love and recognition of Joann's enormous contribution to so many will be one of the songs her life sang.
Five years ago I began my journey at Haven.  Joann was there for that first, raw experience, cradling me as I wept and opened.  Joann was there, fully present, for my last course this past March.
I saw your shining spirit Joann, which only seemed to grow stronger over the years.  Your pain did not define you and I marvelled at that courage, tenacity, and took heart in it.
I loved your clarity, directness, feistiness, truthfulness and humor.  But most of all I loved the way you loved and took such care with each of us.  You knew when to push, but not too hard.  I love how you laughed, smiled and winked knowingly and inclusively.  You were smart and at a time when my trust and faith were waning, you spoke words born of experience, stuggle and wisdom.  Words I could trust and believe.
Beginning this summer your image kept popping into my mind.  I would respond by sending a little prayer for your healing, accompanied by gratitude for your being.  I felt awkward about trying to articulate my feelings so just kept my thoughts unexpressed.  Until a couple of weeks ago, that is when I awoke and knew that I needed to let you know how important you had been in my life.  My first e-mail ever to you was sent January 5, 2007.
Now you are no longer here.  I am glad you are no longer in pain, yet I am sad.   Throughout each day and for a very long time each night before falling asleep I am remembering you.  I am surprised by the depth of my grieving.  Logically it is unreasonable, given the limited amount of time I was in your presence as a student.  Yet here it is.  You nurtured, inspired, encouraged and challenged.  You asked no less of others than you did of yourself.  I loved you for all of it.  
 Now, rest sweetly,  and in the words of a great teacher......
"Bless your bones"  Joann.
Lovingly,  Anette G.

Saturday, January 20, 2007


Sensing, Surviving, Settling, Stumbling, Selling out
Starting over, Searching, Striving and Finally Something more
Joann, you taught me that soul directed events defy logic and ridicule reason, however authentic moments never betray us
Our time together was brief yet I loved and learnt so much from you
Everyday you walk with me, everyday I smile at the woman I am, the woman I've become and the woman you assured me I always was but never knew
It's raining outside today and raining in my heart
So near yet so far away
until we cry, laugh and play again
Rest easy and enjoy your next phase
With Love
Mardi Kaye   

Farewell to a teacher, mentor and good friend

Dear Joann,

Teacher, mentor, and friend

For the many things that you gave, in time; will never end

So near, and close even from so far away

You made time, for caring in so many ways

Thanks for being there to nurture, and to play

And have the gut to stand and say what needed to be said


I learnt as much from your tender heart, and firmness in this way

At time I felt so naked, yet seen

And wondered how your vision was so clean,

Best was when I got to laugh, and play

Made the big issues go away,

Cherishing many favours done, and how

You showed me I had it in me to be the one

To be here NOW, was a great relief

No more waiting, no need to deceive.


My sadness is that you’re gone, yet my love for you,

Can be cherished and linger on

Good bye my friend

Thanks for your caring and your love

I’m sad that you’re no longer here,

Yet your graciousness seemed to dispel many who had fears

Your help showed so many they were not allow,

And the most sacred was really already inside

And you’re not on your own.


I still see your rye smile, and cheeky grin,

It’s good to know you let me in.

My tears for you now celebrate all that has been

Thanks for showing me how to get near,

Not to be so alone, but sharing with other rather than on my own.

With a loving good bye I cry just a little more

Knowing, that you opened up that inner door

My special friend, my learning with you will never end


Thanks for all the gift that you’re brought, and the many teaching that you taught

Yet the greatest gift in my mind

Was your willingness to share the good and the bad

From a where you were, even if other didn’t concur

This seemed to bring a sense of presence and grace

And made it a joy to connect face to face.

Will nice those time, and cherish the rest

May you now truly rest in peace,

With love

Stefan Neszpor


My recollections of Joann (written with love-ing)

Has it really been 10 days since you died? I had intended to write
something sooner but I suppose my excuse has been that I have been away and
that work has been busy. To be honest it is more about resistance, perhaps
to submit to this blog is my acknowledgement that I will not see you again
(in human form). I am grateful that it was Linda Nicholls who informed me
last Wednesday as she had previously arranged to meet Lisa and me for lunch
on that day.

In my copy of Anger, Boundaries & Safety you wrote "Randy, Such memories,
from Taiwan to now!"

In November of 1990 I travelled to Taiwan and Hong Kong with you, my father,
Jock and Linda Nicholls to offer Come Alives, I believe this was the second
year in this part of the world that Haven had offered the program. During
this trip we bonded, adjusted to a different culture and spent many hours
talking, laughing (and your occasional giggle fit), being easily embarassed,
and it was at this time that I started to learn from you. Four years prior
to this trip I was in a Come Alive which you led -it was then, in 1986 that
you really became a significant person in my life. Over the next 20 years
there was a constant connection which I know many others have experienced
with you -Joann, you were a mentor who trained me clinically, and you shared
with me much wisdom about living; I recall being introduced to developmental
psychology and humanistic perspective to personality styles in a way that
was interesting, exciting and I yearned for more. Even today when clients
and colleagues ask me where I was trained I answer that it was at the Haven.
I will miss seeing you sitting at your table when I am in the lodge for a
meal, miss you asking me how my life is going, how I have been since our
last meal, and your grin and that beautiful twinkle in your eye.

I remember when you were taking ballroom dance classes and my father was
your dance partner -the senior citizens in the class; when I saw you dance I
imagined that you experienced a flow, a freedom in your body, and that for a
few minutes you were able to transcend the physical limitations that were so
present for so many years.

I choose to hold these and so many other memories of my contact with you
over so many years. One more memory to share was when you presented at the
Victoria Haven Experience two years ago. We (the organizing committee) were
thrilled that you were presenting and that you agreed to do a book signing
over the lunch break. You were beaming at the end of the signing as there
were quite a number of the participants who asked you to sign their books
(like you were not expecting this to happen). I have no doubt that you will
continue to be with me for the rest of my life; I am looking forward to
being at your memorial gathering.

Randy Wong

In memory of Joann

Dearest family and friends to Joann…..


It is with sweet sorrow that I read through this blog and recount memories of our shared past….one that connects so many of us to each other….being present in creating ‘community’ on so many levels.  I realize that without seeing many of you often, and now not being able to spend more time with Joann—that it is not really the time that matters---more that it is the quality of our relationships. 


For me Joann will always be one of those outstanding examples of such quality of relationship.  ‘No holes barred’ (as she would remind me!!) and a willingness to risk it all deeply in that way of connection. 


I send me gratitude for the time we shared.  Joann if you didn’t encourage me --- I would not have leapt off the edge and risked living past all of the physical challenges which appeared to be before me.  And---I might not have risked co-creating miracles!  The most recent of which is my beautiful new baby daughter Freya (her daddy and I met while in Phase I with Joann).  I returned home from the hospital on January 9th and heard the news the next day.


Joann you have been a role model of how to live ‘outside of the odds’ and I will continue on that path.  Gods speed on your journey. 


“Come to the edge.”

“We can't. We're afraid.”

“Come to the edge.”

“We can't. We will fall!”

“Come to the edge.”

 And they came.

 And he pushed them.

 And they flew.

~Guillaume Apollinaire


With Love and light

Brandy Gallagher (MacPherson)

OUR ECOVILLAGE, Shawnigan Lake, BC






I remember revealing that I thought there were special rules for me. I
believed that though I do not expect perfection from someone else, that
though I feel compassion for other people in their struggles - that I was
somehow an exception and should know better - and be hard on myself to make
myself perfect. You told me that this was perhaps one of my most important

Now, years later, I'm still doing it. I've hesitated over posting here
because I've fretted that I couldn't compose the perfect tribute to you.
But I am aware, and I am making a different choice.

Oh, Joann. You being gone feels wrong. I wish that there had been more
time. I want to know you more. I've already learned so much about you from
the memories of others here.

Sweets, I remember you calling me once.

I learned so much from your great big heart, patience, and wisdom. And I am
grateful for what you taught me about life and myself.

Joann, you helped me to choose life. In that work, with me having spewed
forth vile self-hate and my desire not to be... I remember you finally
telling me to open my eyes. And so I did - to see me, reflected in you, and
you, seeing into me. "Live," you bade me. I hold this memory tightly to
me, Joann, with so much gratitude and love for you. A door opened that day
and a cool breeze freshened my soul. I have opened many doors in my times
with you.

Even still. I wish my parents could have met you, who played such an
important role in my life. So last week I wrote and told them about you.
There are things they didn't know about the dark times in my life, and it
was hard for them to hear. But another door has opened here, in my
relationship with my parents, and I am excited to step through it.
Thank-you, Joann.

I can hear your voice still.

One night, when I was grieving you, I felt a warm presence by my side. I
believe it was you.

I don't know what I believe about death, or what happens after. I can tell
you that I shall remember your voice, your gentle hugs, your beauty, and
your delicious sense of humour. And in further memory, I re-dedicate myself
to living in honesty, integrity, and intimacy.

I wish you well, wherever you are, and I love you dearly, Joann.



Friday, January 19, 2007

Messages abound from Joann

The quote in the poem below is what Joann penned in my copy of "Anger,
Boundaries and Safety" just two years ago. Her message of love,
learning, honesty and honour will continue to be heard in our hearts,
minds and spirits. I really only saw her message in this quote when I
looked again at the inscription a few days ago. Thank you Joann, thank
you, thank you.


A true mother's tongue
'Do follow and explore
everything that beckons you! I
have had delight watching you
emerge this month. Enjoy the
passion of responsible anger.'

Do grieve the loss of this brave woman's life
Do honour her with exploration
Do be everything you can
Do love
Do laugh
I hear you sweet lady
brave fighter
tender warrior
and I promise me and you
I will live and in that life I will

With such deep gratitude - Karen Nye

Thursday, January 18, 2007

in shock and much sadness

Having known you since the early 70's it came as a shock and much sadness
That you have moved on. We had not always agreed with each other over the years and with your ,"in my face attitude" and all your loving, I am not the person that you first met. You hold a very special place in my heart and with much love, I will always remember you. Thank you for being you.

With great sadness

Always Joe (Turner)

from Harriet

Joann, you sang me a lullaby once, sitting on the floor and holding me, even though you were in pain even then. You always welcomed me back to Haven, winked at me over the years, and a year ago, when I was in pieces and a fledgling intern, you took my face gently in your hands, looked tenderly into my eyes, and encouraged me. You invited me to mail you after that, and up until just before your operation you answered all my mails point by point. We looked together at some of my shitty thinking and judgements. "Nasty!" you wrote, in response to one of my comments. That one still makes me laugh, even through my tears, as I write this. You told it like it was, I wanted more of you, I wish you hadn't died, I am glad you are not suffering anymore, I am so glad I knew you. Harriet



I do not know how to sum up in words what a
profound influence you have had on my life.
Simply put, THANK-YOU for everything!

You will always be with me!

Linda Wischoff

Though the singer is silent

While thinking about Joann today, I received a beautiful e-mail from
Haven and sensed the Wonder-Full Love, from her global family,
Blessing her Soul.
Joann's life mirrored family, communication, connection, integrity
and authenticity. What a life! What a song!

I turned toward a tender song on the TV and as 'no accidents' have
their way, Carly Simon was singing in unison with her children, Ben
and Sally Taylor. They sang so softly, a song composed by their
father, James Taylor. Carly celebrates the song on her CD,
appropriately entitled: 'INTO LIFE'.

It felt like Joann, responding.

May Haven now place a 2nd chair at seminars; one for reps, one for

Peace and Grace,
Cathy Meadows

You can close your eyes

Well the sun is surely sinking down
But the moon is slowly rising
So this old world must still be spinning round
And I still love you

So close your eyes
You can close your eyes, its all right
I don't know no love songs
And I can't sing the blues anymore
But I can sing this song
And you can sing this song
When Im gone

It won't be long before another day
We gonna have a good time
And no ones gonna take that time away
You can stay as long as you like

So close your eyes
You can close your eyes, its all right
I don't know no love songs
And I can't sing the blues anymore
But I can sing this song
And you can sing this song
When Im gone

"Though the singer is silent, there still is the truth of her song."
John Denver

for Joann's blog

Your words "okay honey-bunch... it's all right honey-bunch....," "I hear you have a little heart beating in your womb," "Carrie! Swing the bat directly over your head!" and many many more, mark the platform that held me up as my life  became indescribably and immeasurably more.  Thank you with all my love, Carrie Southern 

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

for Joann

As I read each of these entries, I feel closer to Joann, making it all the more difficult to believe and grasp hold of the reality that she no longer walks this earth. I haven't spoken to her or seen her for over 9 years and yet, the news hit me hard. Over that time I sent her occasional letters and email and no matter their content, I always got a beautiful reply. I treasure this correspondence.

I remember sharing a very personal photo shoot with her. I felt so beautiful and special. She admired the curve of my womanly stomach. I had never noticed it before. I think of her when I notice it today. Joann, thank you for seeing me as the woman I didn't notice I was becoming.

I remember lamenting to her of some way that I felt wronged. I don't recall her exact words but remember the experience of their sharp but loving sting. That turned out to be a powerful hour for me. "Open your eyes! Don't go away from me." Joann, thank you for your truth and willingness to be with me.

The mirror of her friends is a powerful one. I am grateful for it. I experienced her presence as one of love, pure and joyful and sexy and strong. I am glad to have been bathed in it. Thank you, Joann, for your love. I hope you rest easy in an embrace of love in this next phase.

Jennifer Hamelman Milyko
Missoula, MT

Heart, Dear Heart

Heart, Dear Heart
Your memory lives deep inside me
  too deep for words, or sighs.
Somewhere in my core, there you are.
 We, like one, connected so deep
Like a silver thread, from me to you,
  And now where you are.
You and I have memories,
  of crying, of laughter, of anger, grief
You and me, the speaking of our bodies and
  the telling of tales
Now stopped...... and now, my aching.
Dear One, your love is reining here all over us.
And we, and I, thank you.
In my love, you are here.
To Joann, With love, Jane Olynyk

From Bill, Rosemary & Shana

Remembering Joann

in a short time



In grateful Hearts.

Bill, Rosemary and Shana

A Soft Holding


You held me when I saw you last
Seeing me in my pain
Your body as petite as my own
A firm whisper in my ear...
"You have lost too much weight"

This moment seemed to last a lifetime
And utters the essence of your existence to me
Your presence and loving assured voice
Your soft holding and firm guidance
Moments with you
Knowing I exist

I hold my memories of you

Jennifer Hilton

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I will never forget you, Joann

I was deeply saddened by the news that Joann had passed away. To Joann I owe much of my growth in both my personal life and professional life. I was privileged to be one of the few people from Asia in those early years that had close contact with and was professionally trained by Joann. She was a great role model and a teacher of life for me.  At many difficult and turning points of my life, Joann came to my "rescue" by giving me feedback that was always insightful, precise and impactable. Her teaching so gracefully combined with a spirit of human warmth of heart and sensitivity to my pace of growth, and as a result, I never felt pushed and yet the motivation for growth always grew soon afterwards from within my own humanity. Such capacity and legacy of her teaching has long become an inspiration for me and has been personalized in my own way of teaching and in my own life of relating. 
And on top of everything was her great capacity of loving that is the most valuable legacy that will always be lived and cherished in my heart. 
Sean Feng,
Shanghai, China.


The Unfolding of Joann

Dear Joann,

I have marveled at how you continue to unfold.

In the 16 years I have know you I have witnessed you explore, expand, retract, explode, implode, react, reproach, exceed, succeed, expand, contract, inspire, aspire, seduce, respond, inhale, exhale.
Now I breathe and know that your unfolding continues.
With loving,
Carole (Ames)

Fly with Eagles

Almost a decade ago and during the most difficult time of my life I was
introduced to Joanne in one of the Haven's seminars. She touched my
soul and helped me strengthen my spirit in a good way. That impetus has
never been forgotten and I often remember the gifts she gave me in a
very brief moment in time. I am one out of many Northern British
Columbian Rednecks that is going to miss her. Joanne, I pray the
creator holds you gently and the wind fires your spirit to fly with eagles.
All my relations,

Monday, January 15, 2007

Dear Joann

Dear Joann

I struggle to find the words as I remember the times we have spent together. I
have a heavy heart and a light spirit as I am with you.

You shared with me your self in so many ways. From the gentle words and the
playful wink you shared, to your words of wisdom and wonderful stories of
learning. You have been such a huge part of my journey. You have guided me and
offered many thoughtful insight of who I am when I was stuck and didn't see
myself. You were warm and loving and packed a huge punch for such a small women.

You held my hand and hugged me. You listened when I confessed my
transference, " like you didn't already know". You allowed me the space to be
me and shared in my sadness and my joy. You encourage me to follow my dreams
and be with myself in whatever that was. You had this unique ability to be with
me in a personal and loving way, like I was the only one in the room.

I mourn the loss of your physical body and hold your spirit in my heart.

Terri Wolfe

Special message remembering Joann

A message for Joann

I talk to you every night and through many moments of the day. You
are everywhere for me and yet I so dearly miss your physical presence.
I am so grateful to you Joann for every moment that our lives where
shared. You were many things to me (mother, friend, mentor,
colleague). I wish that I was closer in contact with many of our
shared friends right now but of course you know I am busy working
away at another learning experience. I want to thank you the most for
supporting me in so many moments of my life and also our friendship
between Paul, myself and you. We had many laughs especially when you
came to Yellowknife and worked with me. Paul and I will always hold
you deep in our spirits . I know you are still holding us all near to you .

Your journey is continuing and I will always keep in touch (I know
how much you loved the wowo stuff). Yet now I know you know. We
journey together dear friend in all forms of energy.

Play well, learn well, rest well, love well and we will all love you
back no matter where your spirit journey's.

I love you and miss you yet through time I will feel you deeply in
the wind and we will speak. Yet for today I cry.

Love your friend Gillan Enright

For Joann

Gentle teacher, Knowing friend, Greatly missed..
Rest Well

David Aitken

In memory of Joann

I know words cannot express the feelings of loss you must have with Joann's passing.  Yet hearing the memories of others when my Mom passed away showed me I was far from alone knowing someone so precious in my life had gone.   So I will give you mine in that spirit.

She said we were like her daughters and sometimes I acted like a little brat to get her smile.  She stayed close by when I was small and afraid and shone with me in my joy.  She loved me, and through her eyes I found love for myself.  She was like no other lady, so loving and strong.  I hold her close in my heart. 

With deep saddness

Denise Angelstad