Mother's Day idea: What she might really want get away from you

"It is possible to go away for a weekend and have a life changing experience," author Joan Anderson has said. "Retreat is a form of pause -- it is a time apart in solitude, a precious space in which we can see our world in a different light."

Anderson knows. Overriding both her own fears and the criticism that her venture triggered, she spent a year by herself on Cape Cod. She returned and wrote, "A Year By the Sea -- Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman." The memoir spent 30 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. While most women can't go away for a year, a day or weekend is another matter.

You might want to consider Anderson's book for a Mother's Day gift -- along with some add-ons.

If in recent months, your mother has experienced loss, a major life change or move, she may be long overdue for time when she can hear her own voice. Retreat is all about the "re" words: reflect, repair, refresh, regenerate, renew, reconnect. One can retreat for a day, a weekend, a week or longer, can retreat alone or with others, with a format and focus, or none at all. A woman can retreat with Joan Anderson at a 5-Star resort or on a very small budget. She can also retreat, though it poses special challenges, if family is away and she remains at home.

Consider offering your mom a gift basket for the day of her choice. It might include a picnic lunch, a journal or meditation tape, an appointment -- perhaps for a massage, reiki, or reflexology, maybe something she's never tried. Depending on your budget, you can assemble something as simple and lovely as a yoga class, a bottle of bubble bath and a gift-card that includes your personal services for that day.

Environmentally friendly and clutter free. Lots of moms would love a retreat.

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