intentionally designed retreats for queer folks,
by queer folks with a focus on celebrating our identity
If you've felt like you've had to do any of the above, you've come to the right place. We believe in the process of queering. A process of becoming that strips away the things we're told we should be, what we should accept, and how we should show up in our world. We see the impacts of isolation, fear, self-hatred, shame and minority stress and we believe we deserve better.
You don't have to be alone
You don't have to accept the minimum
You don't have to be afraid to wander
You don't have to hide who you are
Rising: (noun) a movement upward; an act of opposition against those in power
New Moon Retreat: Costa Rica
Blue Spirit Retreat Center
Nosara, Costa Rica
Escape to paradise in Nosara, Costa Rica! Immerse yourself in the serenity of pristine beaches, lush jungles, and transformative experiences. Join expert instructors for beginner to advanced yoga sessions overlooking the Pacific, indulge in organic, locally-sourced cuisine, and unwind with rejuvenating spa treatments. Nosara's pura vida spirit permeates through our retreat, ensuring a harmonious blend of relaxation, personal growth and joy-filled experiences. Elevate your mind, body, and soul in Nosara – your journey to Rising begins here.
Single occupancy lodging with views of the jungle, mountains or ocean for 6 nights
All meals made with freshly sourced organic and local ingredients, with accommodations for dietary restrictions per request
Three yoga classes taught by Brianna, RYT 200
Excursions including horseback riding on the beach, a waterfall hike, and surfing lessons
Group coaching in a safe, collaborative environment specifically designed to help you feel empowered and joyful in who you are
Opportunity for one on one time during "orbit hours" where you can meet with Brianna or Marley for individual coaching intended to provide clarity as you take it all in
Beach days for lounging and relaxing
One included spa service to allow you to feel pampered and recharged
A closing ceremony that'll leave you with memories that last a lifetime
Prices below include:
6 nights lodging, all meals, all adventures
$3,500 for a limited time
Single Occupancy, Ocean View
$3,200 for a limited time
Single Occupancy, Mountain View
$3,000 for a limited time
Single Occupancy, Garden View
$2,800 for a limited time
Single Occupancy, Cottage
Rising is the process of moving from Self-Acceptance to Self-Celebration
We see this process as a lifelong one, often mimicking the waxing and waning of the moon. We learn, we grow, we learn, we shed and this cycle repeats as we move through life. Our retreats are designed to nurture you no matter where you are within those phases. Our goal is to help you achieve self-celebration in the following ways.
Through their work as psychotherapists, Brianna and Marley have designed an intentional group and 1:1 coaching framework to help you develop insight, examine societal bullshit, and come to understand yourself in a way that empowers, uplifts, and celebrates the joy of who you are.
Holistic Rest & Fun
All retreats include yoga classes and at least one additional holistic wellness service (because we all need to rest and rejuvenate). Offerings may include massage, sound baths, reiki, or other energy work. Our retreats are held in peaceful spaces that encourage immersion in nature.
This is where the secret sauce is: we carefully pre-screen prospects to ensure goodness of fit not only for each retreat, but also among attendees. We strive to create joyfully cohesive, dynamic, and supportive groups that will foster community that lasts beyond the time spent on the retreat.
Working on self-love doesn't have to be painful! We're going to laugh, play, and have FUN. We've got excursions designed to tune into our inner children and allow space for us to let loose and enjoy ourselves and each other.
We can't wait to meet you
Here we are in Tulum shortly after we got engaged
We're Brianna and Marley. We are both trained therapists, entrepreneurs, and adventurers. In our two years together, we've traveled to over half a dozen countries, and collectively been to nearly twenty. We see our ability to travel and expand our frame of reference as key to our self-knowing. We also know that navigating policies, customs, and attitudes while traveling as a queer person can be intimidating and downright scary. This is why we’re so thrilled to be able to create intentional retreats for LGBTQ+ folx that encourage the process of growth we've experienced in ourselves while providing a layer of safety that allows for peace of mind.
Outside of traveling, we have provided individual, relational and group therapy to hundreds of clients with a focus on meeting the needs of our LGBTQ+ clients through a lens of social justice and self-empowerment principles intended to shape how clients react to their inner and outer worlds. We see our work as therapists as a huge asset to our ability to create a framework that can help you move towards a place of self-celebration within your own identity.
Community is where it's at
We were built for connection, not for isolation. We live in a time where we are more alone than ever before, and in isolation, our negative self-talk and beliefs can feel utterly crippling. This compels more isolation, and worse, shame. When shame is left alone to fester, it grows.
The key to healing shame is getting connected.
Our quality of life, our ability to feel seen, our readiness to revise the limiting stories we have about ourselves, is healed in spaces where others feel and understand and validate the same. Together, we gain clarity about ourselves and our needs in a way that is so much harder to achieve on our own. And? We get to do it in an environment that fosters curiosity and joy - something we are routinely denied in our everyday lives.
I am an ally. Can I attend?Short answer: not yet! We love our allies and are excited to curate an experience for queers and cis-het folk alike with a wider focus on allyship and understanding the queer experience. However, the coaching component of this particular retreat is specifically designed for queer folx.
I'd like to attend, but I am not out. How will you preserve my privacy?We're so glad you're here! We wholly respect that your coming out process is YOURS and give all attendees the option to opt out of all photographs, videos, and other promotional materials that could be identifying.
Are retreats gender inclusive?Hell yeah! All Rising retreats are gender inclusive, age inclusive (21+), ability and size inclusive. Basically if you're queer, we want you here!
Can I meet other retreaters before we go?Abso-freaking-lutely! We aren't going to make you go blind into a foreign country! We will be hosting several virtual hangs before we go so that you can meet other folks, and connect well before you get wheels down in Costa Rica. These will be informal, with some guidance from us, in an effort to build connection early. We will also add you to a Slack channel so that you can connect with folks via text as well. Finally, we will be sharing folks contact information so that if you happen to be in the same city as another retreater, you can coordinate traveling to Costa Rica together.
Will I like the people on the retreat?We have created an intentional and thorough pre-screening process to ensure that all participants meld well together. This includes exploring values, willingness, personality types, and a general vibe check. We want everyone to walk away from each retreat feeling like they've made lifelong friends.
I'm a current or former client. Can I attend?Unfortunately, no as this would create a dual relationship, which can damage the integrity of the therapeutic relationship. We will however have travel packages and other educational materials available for purchase on our website. Stay tuned!
How long is the flight?It depends on where you're starting from! Travel to Liberia from Raleigh will be approximately 6-7 hours depending on your layover. From Miami, about 3 hours with a nonstop flight. From Dallas, 4 hours nonstop. From Los Angeles, 5.5 hours nonstop.
What should I pack?We're going to be doing a mix of things, so be sure to pack for both activity and relaxation. We will send out a cute packing list closer to the retreat so that you have specific details, but think yoga clothes, hiking shoes/boots, swimwear, and resort casual. Brianna is planning to be barefoot as much as possible, so if you also hate shoes, know you'll be in good company.
Where do I fly into?You will fly into Liberia's airport, Daniel Oduber Quiros (LIR) International Airport, and take a 2.5 hour shuttle to our hotel. The cost of the shuttle is not included in the retreat and costs approximately $45 each way.
Can I get a schedule of what the week will look like?We are excitedly keeping exact details of the retreat a secret until just before arrival. We are hoping this builds anticipation, and not anxiety. We are very big proponents of doing only as much as feels good for YOU, so know that you are welcome to opt in or out of anything we do. If you have specific questions about what to expect, please email us! We're happy to help.
Are my meals included?Yes! All meals are included, and will consist of vegetarian and pescatarian choices. If you have dietary restrictions, allergies or preferences, feel free to let us know when you book with us so we can work with our resort hotel to ensure that your needs are met. Please note that while all meals are included, alcohol is not and will be billed separately by the hotel.
So, if y'all are therapists will you be providing therapy?While group and 1:1 coaching will certainly be therapeutically-informed, we will not be providing traditional psychotherapy on Rising retreats. To learn more about the differences between psychotherapy and wellness coaching, refer to our blog and podcast: Queer Tides
Will I be able to share my feedback on the retreat -- before, during and after?Yes! Brianna and Marley have devised a fool proof strategy for receiving and implementing attendee feedback. This ensures that you as the participant will have opportunity to be actively involved in the curation of your experience. While we will handle all logistics to provide a stress-free experience, we also deeply value collaboration and are devoted to hearing you out and making modifications to our approach so that your retreat is tailor-made.
How will you ensure my safety as a queer person?We meticulously vet retreat locations both based on what countries and regions are historically safe for queer folx and also based on culture and attitudes of specific hotels, retreat centers, and excursions. As trained therapists who are deeply passionate about ensuring safety, we are staunch advocates for our people and will not tolerate hatred of any kind directed toward any retreat participant. This is achieved through constant communication with retreat hotel management and regular check-ins with staff while on the retreat to provide corrective feedback should any issues arise. We see Rising retreats as a way for queer folks to safely and supportively expand outside of our comfort zones. As retreat leaders, we take our responsibility to create safety seriously.
Why choose Half Moon Rising retreats over another retreat business?We have a particular edge up on the retreat industry as we put as much emphasis on holistic wellness as we do on play (because play IS holistic wellness, too)! Rising retreats won’t leave you with a month-long hangover, but they also won’t make you feel self-conscious to kick back and have a couple of beers by the pool. We also aren't going to leave you with a month-long emotional hangover either -- we want you to be curious about yourself AND have fun. When you return home you'll feel rejuvenated, and inspired to continue to break through your own rainbow glass ceiling.