The idea for TONIC + bloom, a women’s retreat I cohosted this summer, was twofold: the need and the want. When I began looking for a guided retreat I could participate in earlier this year, I came up empty. Yes, there were retreat centers, but not close by. Yes, I could reserve a hotel or homestay and retreat there by myself (which I’ve done before successfully), but I wanted to be with a group. I realized there was a hole in the market in Virginia—the need.
When my cohost Britt bought Glentivar Farm in Greenwood, Virginia in 2019, she envisioned it being a place of encouragement. Britt is a champion for women and a maternal mental health advocate. She established Britt Davis Art in 2021 and works with acrylic, charcoal, and pencil mediums to remind women of all ages that they are not alone—the want.
As dear, like-minded friends, the two of us began dreaming together this spring, sensing both a desire to be in community and an overall feeling of disembodiment plaguing women today. So many of us spend the majority of the day in our heads—thinking through schedules, managing careers and children, wrestling with anxiety—and our bodies suffer for it. So we created a day where women were invited to focus less on their thoughts and more on their bodily experiences.
TONIC + Bloom was born.
Tonic, by definition, is anything that brings refreshment, vitality, a sense of well-being. We explored the word in our time together, including why it’s essential to build tonics into our ordinary rhythms and create margins that are wide enough for refreshment. The morning began with a group coaching session where women were invited to answer the questions, What does it look like to live in my body today? and What is the only conversation I can have with myself by being here today? To help identify their tonics, retreat guests enjoyed painting, massage, yoga, swimming, foraging, napping (!), journaling, meditation, prayer and walking trails on the farm.
The evening ended with a cocktail hour and dinner at the pool house with fresh food from the garden, followed by a Blessingway to end the evening.
By filling both the need and the want of retreat through TONIC + Bloom, Britt and I knew we hit a sweet spot. We plan to host many several more retreats throughout the coming year and hope you’ll consider joining! Click here to sign up for my newsletter where I’ll first announce future retreat dates. See you on the farm!