A dream is a powerful thing. It can inspire, it can energize, it can illuminate. But unless it mobilizes, well, a dream is just a dream.

Julie and me in Marin, 2007.

Julie and me in Marin, 2007.

Last weekend I was fortunate enough to witness a dear friend’s dream taking flight. Julie Mikos and I have been friends for almost 15 years. When she moved to the Bay Area, I felt like a sister had moved to town. Julie is kind, smart, funny, and loving. She is an incredibly talented photographer and simply the most beautiful person, inside and out. We’ve hiked up and over every inch Mount Tam. We’ve talked for hours and hours in Marin and San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley, Tahoe and Tecate.  And when my family and I moved to Los Angeles for a stretch, Julie was there, too. To see new babies, to tickle toddlers and to drive 6 hours to and 6 hours fro in order attend my surprise 40th birthday party.

This girl is family, in all the ways that matter most.

A few years ago, she told me about her dream. An incredible idea called The Healing Farm. It’s a vision born from who she is deep in her heart: someone who wants to help others in a real and sustainable way. Through The Healing Farm, Julie will be able to offer people a chance to explore holistic health, nutrition, and wellness, in peace and quiet, out in nature.  With the very best experts and practitioners to lead the way, and fresh, nutritious food to fuel the mind and heal the body.

Now, for those who have loads of disposable income, there are plenty of places you can go to find a quality wellness getaway. But if you’re on a budget? All the places you just Googled are immediately off your list.  This is where Julie’s idea is different. The Healing Farm will offer retreats that are of the highest quality, but at a much more reasonable cost.

In the short term, there will be retreats at existing locations that are beautiful, but not extravagantly priced. Long term, The Healing Farm will have a permanent location where guests can stay in a variety of ways, at a variety of price points – cabins, casitas, shared occupancy, single occupancy, and a guest campground. But regardless of how you lodge, all the amenities will be open to you. Options like these make a wellness retreat accessible to anyone who seeks it, not just those who seek with wads of cash money.

Yoga at  The Healing Farm.  Heaven. (Photo by  Julie Mikos , of course!)

Yoga at The Healing Farm. Heaven. (Photo by Julie Mikos, of course!)

So, last weekend was a first trial run with a small group of friends, all of us total Julie Mikos devotees. After years of dreaming, months of classes, and weeks of planning, Julie welcomed us to Stinson Beach for a day-long taste of The Healing Farm. We started with Julie delivering a warm introduction, and then she gave an information-packed cooking demonstration. Sara Rankin of Alma Acupuncture gave a great lecture and treated a few delighted participants. We closed the day with sunset yoga and meditation, taught by yours truly from a floating dock (earning extra points for difficulty!). All in all, it was an incredible day and a wonderful glimpse into what The Healing Farm will be.  And Julie documented it all, just beautifully, right here on her Healing Farm blog. Her lovely photos capture the day so well and clearly show what it looks like when a dream becomes reality.

I’m here to tell you, dreams do come true. But they don’t come true with the wave of a magic wand or the help of a fairy godmother. Dreams come true in pieces and in parts. They come true with laughter and with tears. But most of all, they come true with the perfect balance of hard work, creativity, hope, and love. And when it all starts to come together, it is a wonder to behold.

For now, The Healing Farm is part dream, part business plan, part one-day retreat. But in April of 2016, it will be a reality that you can attend at the Mayacamas Ranch in Calistoga. For details, keep an eye on TheHealingFarm.org, or right here on The Goodness.

I know for sure I’ll be there. And I’ll save a mat for you.



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