Say Yes To The Goddess: Founder Wants You To Getaway Wisely
As a 16-year-old mother dropping out of ninth grade in Seattle, Anne Peterson would have said where she is now, 34 years later, would be highly unlikely.
But the founder, course and event designer and lead guide for the Goddess Getaway, with its inaugural launch this June in Puerta Vallarta, Mexico, is all about saying yes, making the right choices and seeing opportunity wherever you are.
“Very early on I came to believe my life was going to be about making a difference,” says Peterson, who is based in the Dallas area, and has been a program developer and designer for two decades.
Without a high school diploma, Peterson earned her GED, and worked her way up in hourly jobs from McDonald’s to bank teller to bill collector to sales person to entrepreneur to leadership program designer.
“I was blessed with great angels and mentors,” she says, realizing she could work around barriers to create the future she imagined.
“I got on a different trajectory,” Peterson says, who also hosts podcasts and Goddess events in addition to the getaways.
Forbes reports that travel that is female-centric and centered on wellness and personal growth is a big trend. “According to Skift, ‘women-only wellness retreats are the new luxury.’ These travelers care about staying healthy and at peace, as well as having consistent and flawless service from start to finish.”
Travel + Lesiure reports on this growing trend as well, “Today’s female-focused travel companies span every type of trip, from hardcore climbing expeditions to soft adventure experiences where days are spent cycling and nights spent tucked into crisp Frette sheets at a high-end hotel. Whether you’re focused on learning new skills, conquering physical challenges, or just exploring a new place in the company of other women, there’s a trip to meet your needs.”
For Peterson, getting to the destination of using all of her skills for the launch of a new venture means looking back to see how she got here.
A mentor helped her learn the skills to launch a company selling building supplies in the 90s, in the DIY age of being your own contractor, she says. Peterson sold carpeting, floor coverings, cabinets, windows, doors.
“I was doing jobs I was not on paper qualified for, but I did well,” Peterson says. Each time she started a new venture, Peterson says she would ask herself, “Is this done with me?”
She and her husband then moved to Texas, and were managing hotels when Hurricane Katrina hit the Southeast. “That was life-changing,” she says, as they took in more than 800 hurricane victims at the Quality Inn they managed.
“We ran a 230-room hotel and evacuation and rehab center,” Peterson says. The ballroom became a “store” for victims to “shop” for items that had been donated.
In 2012, after also working on designing and developing leadership programs, she was approached by Being A Leader, leadership programs created by Werner Erhard, Dr. Jeri Echeverria, Dr. Michael Jensen, and Steve Zaffron, and worked with them until 2018.
“The secret to my sauce is you put yourself with smarter, faster, bigger people than you think you are,” says Peterson, who also created her business, Innovative Event Management, a boutique event company.
The Goddess Getaway concept includes the live events, conference calls, webinars, and practices designed to answer: “How do we claim our power and integrate as full and equal partners in our families, work, community and the world?” according to the website.
“This is about more than inspiration,” Peterson says. “It is about real change.” She adds,”The real consequence to saying yes when you don’t know how is that miracles all come from stepping up.”
Naming the initiative “goddess” is deliberate because the title is something women resist and feel is relegated for others. Peterson says women tell her they feel they are too old, too fat, too short, too anything for the title of goddess. Yet, she says, goddess is also a universal, timeless assignment of a feminine archetype across history and cultures.
“We all have our own version of why we are not a goddess and it is our personal version of diminishment,” she says.
The June inaugural event will be for up to 70 women who gather at the resort for four days, for the all-inclusive designed getaway. “What if we experience ourselves as unique, driven, powerful women?” She adds, “The genius will come.”
Sessions and discussions help break down the resistance, she says, and offer tools to unblock and become something new to yourself, she says. “You learn to say yes,” she says.
The women-only event is purposeful, Peterson says, “because it is most important that we do it with our sisters. And we also lay down our swords against each other.”
With a 15-person team ready to take on the “woulda/coulda/ shouldas” every woman has and offer courses and events that are transformational, Peterson says, she sees a future with semi-annual getaways, punctuated by other event offerings and a network of women supporting each other.
Indeed, similarly, Take The Lead embraces the power of “sister courage,” according to Gloria Feldt, president and co-founder of Take The Lead. The 50 Women Can Change the World programs in many sectors benefit women putting into practice the 9 Leadership Power Tools, in order to “lead the unlimited life.”
Cari Coats writes in Forbes, “Tackling leadership topics through a female lens is essential to achieving breakthrough progress for women. Women can be notoriously reticent to seek out support, yet networking and sponsorship are known to accelerate careers. Once women open themselves up to the wisdom and insight that comes from the experience of others, particularly women just like them, their professional growth can be exponential.”
Peterson would agree. “We need this structure to support our contribution to women rising to their full and equal partnerships that are rightfully theirs.”
Preparing for the first-ever Goddess Getaway, Peterson says, “I am learning to consider myself a goddess. The discovery of that is an ongoing transformation.”
About the Author
Michele Weldon is editorial director of Take The Lead, an award-winning author, journalist, emerita faculty in journalism at Northwestern University and a senior leader with The OpEd Project. @micheleweldon www.micheleweldon.com