Exhaling at Golden Door’s Summit
Jennifer Weaver & Molly Schoneveld
Former business partners. Best friends for life.
We’re like fire and water. When one of us burns hot, the other cools things down. Our week here is all about being rejuvenated by friendship and finding that balance within ourselves.
Tell us about your time together at Golden Door.
Jennifer: Molly and I went from talking all day, every day, just being so enmeshed for eight years to really having to schedule a call – which is hard. Especially now, me being on a different time zone, too. It’s sort of just threw another kink into the friendship. So I will say, after spending time together at Golden Door, I feel like we’ve been so much better in our communication, which has been awesome. I’ve missed it.
Molly: It was very much about reconnecting and just getting to spend time together that was just the two of us, which hadn’t happened in so long.
Jen is that sister I never had. I’m an only child, and she is just my ride or die. We were business partners, but we also were just the best of friends, and I feel like we have so much in common. It’s just always so fun to get together with her because we can just talk about anything and everything.
Jennifer: You sort of lose track of who you are as an individual once you have kids, and you’re in the mommy mode, so it was just really nice to have a week of pure inner focus and just remembering things like “Oh, I really love quiet time” and “I really don’t love overstimulation, I don’t need to have background noise all the time”.
I was coming from an exhausted perspective so coming to Golden Door is just amazing in every sense. I mean you want for nothing, so just knowing the attention to detail and how many little things were handled that I don’t have to think about — from all of your meals and your snacks, to your sunscreen and your skincare, your laundry — every little thing is handled.
What are your favorite things to do there?
Jennifer: Molly and I tackle it differently, especially because it’s definitely a feat to orchestrate childcare and all of that to leave for a full week, so I love taking all the classes.
Molly is much more ‘don’t schedule me before ten’ and she will kind of bow out. But she’s also working a little bit of the time as well. So I really do everything from yoga to archery, I tap dance, fence. Definitely, my favorite is archery. I mean, that’s a bucket list, right? To get a bullseye?
Because I live on a farm in Texas, I love the garden and the chicken house, and just being able to kind of walk through that space, and see the sort of nourishment that comes from the land.
Molly: Pretty much for me, every time it’s just to de-stress. I’m not somebody who wants to necessarily lose five pounds, or my goal is to do this or that. Really my goal is to just de-stress because I feel like my job is so stressful. I actually schedule a lot of free time. I don’t like to have my whole day booked. I don’t like to get up at the crack of dawn and go hiking.
I love the pool classes, and I think that’s probably because they’re not super high impact, but it’s also the absolute perfect temperature, and it’s just so beautiful. I love the whole food aspect of Golden Door, so I will always go to the garden. I’m always interested to see what’s going to be on the menu and talk to Chef about whatever it is that he’s got cooking.
How has your week at Golden Door transformed you?
Jennifer: I come back renewed. You kind of come in depleted, and then you’re able to spend all of this time just within yourself, communing with other people, and everything’s so positive and healthy.
Sometimes it’s such a struggle to even nurse yourself because there’s so much thought and labor that goes into it — you have to wake up early to make healthy food or to get that workout in before your chaotic day starts. It requires so much preparation and commitment, and here everything’s handled.
I feel like my soul, my body, my mind, all of it, is nourished, or replenished. I come back just completely reset.
Molly: One of the biggest things is I do feel like I can breathe again. I think when you own a business, and you have clients in the way that I do, you feel an incredible sense of responsibility, not only to them but your staff. And it is just the weight of the world that I feel on my shoulders all of the time.
And at Golden Door, I do feel this sense of letting go. You step across that footbridge, and you’re just like, Oh my God, I can breathe. I can put all that out of my mind and just be here.
And so it’s something that I’m consistently working on. But I think every time I go, it just helps me to have that mindset that everybody deserves to have time off, and time away, and time that’s just our own, and not having to feel like we’re 24/7 attached to a computer or phone or whatever it is. When I left last time, I think I cried on my way home.
Jennifer: I guess the one lightning bolt I was struck by was to be more present in my life and to make time in my life. What do you need in your life? Not a lot – the great people who are important to you, and then finding joy, peace, and the ability to just be with them.