Summer Retreat at Majestic Farmhouse

The journey of healing can be a challenge of a lifetime. From the lows of discovering the pain and hurt of the past to realizing the potential for an unknown future, it can be a lot for our souls to bear. That’s why this weekend I joined a Women’s Nature Retreat hosted by the phenomenal Alexandra Charles to discover what’s been brewing in my subconscious and what had to be brought to light.

I drove down the beaten path in Ewing, New Jersey to a quaint house with trees galore and sounds of people chattering. Making my way to the door, I saw a woman radiant with cheerful eyes and a warm smile. This was Alexandra, the host of this Black woman owned-and-operated spiritual retreat. A survivor of breast cancer, emotional woes, and bearer of high vibrations (I mean she’s an Aries after all). She welcomed me into her home and directed me to the room where I’ll be visiting for the weekend.

Once I entered my room, I was greeted by Nykki, one of the yoga instructors for this weekend. She would be my roommate as I unpacked my bags. We chatted about our trip here and what we were most excited for this weekend. Her reply was to live in her truth as a traveling Kemetic yoga instructor. I had to snap to that and was looking forward to learning from her.

More guests trickled in from New Jersey and Pennsylvania, open to the experience of rest and respite this weekend. We munched on vegetables, cheese, and crackers before Alex led us to the backyard for a beautiful outdoor dinner and introductions.

There were six women (including me) in total as we went around the table introducing ourselves and intentions for the weekend. Before we did so, we said it over a bowl of flower buds to capture our essence and energy. It was a touching moment to start this weekend of respite. Afterwards we dined on vegan goodies and got to know each other for an hour or so.

As the sun started to set we headed inside for a meditative drumming circle hosted by Tom Campbell. Tom brought an assortment of beautiful Native American drums and asked us to grab a drum that spoke to us. A drum with a full moon and speckle of stars caught my attention, becoming my pick for the evening. Before we all started, he told us a story to set the intention and then we began. He was the lead and the rest of us followed as we banged in rhyme. The air buzzed with energy as the sound picked up, our hearts syncing with the beat. Time seemed to melt away until our session was over.

Then it was time for the Sacred Four Direction Prayer. We headed outside as Tom brought out containers representing earth, wind, water, and fire. We all followed along as we gave praise to each element and their cardinal direction. I’ve never had an experience like this and upon reflection: it’s a practice I’ll incorporate into my meditation routine. Afterwards, it was time to call it a night as I headed upstairs for some much needed shut-eye.

Bright and early the next day, we had dream work with Alexandra. Seated with my breakfast and cup of steamy tea in front of me, we women went around touching on dreams we wanted to explore, and diving into childhood traumas, hopes, dreams, and aspirations for the future; we discussed it all that morning. Before long our two hours flew by and it was time for yoga.

Our teacher, Nyasia Thompson, appeared in a cute, hot pink two-piece and exuded good vibes. She got us hype for this time of self-love while we dipped into downward dogs, warriors, and child poses. Sunlight kissed our skin while we moved through flow, and I felt a wave of clean energy emanate through me with each move. Over all too soon, we thanked her and headed inside for the sound bath with crystal bowls, led by Alex.

We all took seats on the couch as the session began. The twinkling sounds of the bowls floated through the air as Alex moved from one woman to another with the sound bowl in her hands. I felt the frequencies pour into me with each tap and it felt like a ray of light, love, and positivity.

Once our session finished, it was time for lunch and then the herbalist class. Fresh fruits, veggies, and tea nourished my body while the herbalist, Jamard Banks – the owner of Herbal Kemistry, set up his session. The session’s topics spanned from skin conditions to the gut lining and alternative medicine. Jamard’s wealth of information was insightful as we created a healing bath filled with salts, oatmeal, dried florals, and other herbs. I made mine with rose and lavender for a beautifying and calming soak the following evening. Once we finished making our lovely bath mixtures, it was downtime. I grabbed a quick bite to eat and headed to bed with some lavender buds under my pillow for cozy dreams.

On the final day, once I headed downstairs for a filling breakfast, it was time to write letters to those who hurt us in the past. A process that felt, in the moment, overwhelming – but also healing. Tears were shed and sounds of understanding shared among our small tribe. Gratitude was abundant as we cultivated a sense of inner peace after the session. Then it was time to burn our letters and head over to the river. Our emergence into Mother Nature was full of life and light, as we cast petals into the current. I splashed my feet in the water for a few minutes, and then it was time for mindfulness practices led by Nykki. Background sounds of rushing water and her sweet voice made this closing event one that sealed the goodness of this retreat.

My experience was relaxing yet enlightened me to the fact that what I’ve been looking for already exists inside of me. It just needed to come out, thanks to the help of this gorgeous retreat. Check out Alexandra Charles, her practice, and book a retreat for some much-needed R&R!


Jamard Banks, Herbal Kemistry:

Nyasia Thompson, Certified Yoga Instructor, Owner of Still We Rise Wellness

Tom Campbell, Sacred Tree Drumming Founder, Spiritual Leader

Alexandra Charles, Owner of Majestic Farmhouse Off the Beaten, Certified Shamanic Sound Practitioner, Retreat Host –

Nicole (Nykki) Taylor, Certified Kemetic Yoga Instructor & Meditation Facilitator / @divineinu