FREE SPIRIT RETREAT 2015 - Kaihla Tonai + Kori Leigh

Having the capabilities to summon an ample array of words to formulate this blog post has been daunting. I have so many thoughts to share, yet I fear that nothing that I say could truly convey the messages in my heart. Words can only do so much, and I hope with everything that I have that today's words speak volumes to your soul, and ignites the same fiery yearning for sisterhood + transparency in your heart that is aglow within my own. If you've been following me for even a handful of months, then you're most likely familiar with my Free Spirit sessions. These sessions were born almost two years ago. They were created from nothing, out of a simple yearning for needing to do more; to have more, to give more, to be more for the women in my life. They were shaped, and brainstormed, and moulded, and named out of a space in my heart that longed to be filled. They were started and developed for wild-hearted women who felt compelled to join in on this movement of self-love + transparency. They were created so that YOU could take the time to document this exact moment in your life. They are still happening because your heart aligns with my own; you have your own message--no matter how big or small--and you need to hold onto that message with everything you have.


You're a mother. You're a friend. You're a survivor. You're a daughter. You're a believer in living an honest life. You're an advocate for free spiritedness, and living whole-heartedly within your own truth. Whether or not you feel confident when you walk into your session, I see something within you. I see pieces of who you are in your words and in your silence. I feel your insecurities as well as your greatest qualities. I see that you're doing the best that you can. I see that you showed up. I see that you're trying. kaihla_tonai_intimate_wedding_elopement_photographer_2766kaihla_tonai_intimate_wedding_elopement_photographer_2769

A few weeks ago I was wandering around a mall when out of nowhere I felt a strong longing to work harder on my Free Spirit sessions; it's as though I suddenly felt that I needed to work on my message + these sessions right then and there. As I continued to walk I started solo-brainstorming on ways as to how I could make these sessions into something more, there had to be some way that I could connect with these women better, that I could translate the light that I see in them in a more powerful wayor that I could let them leave their sessions as though they are a part of something bigger. I needed to do something for these women, and I needed to do it now. You are the lovers, the healers, the leaders, the foragers, the innovators, the dreamers, teachers. You are so much more incredible then you realize.

Not minutes after I got home from the mall, I opened my computer and began chatting with Kori; she's the most incredible brainstormer, and hype-friend. She's always down for hearing out ideas, and is so passionate when it comes to anything that aligns with her own story + message. For months we've been chatting back and forth about Kori putting together her own retreat for gypsy soul sisters, and with that in the back of our minds, we rolled out a few solid ideas on something that we could do in the near future together, and the following ideas were developed.

Kori + I are hosting a FREE SPIRIT RETREAT on OCTOBER/NOV 30-31-1

Free Spirit sessions started out as the focal point for this weekend retreat, but it has since turned into SO MUCH MORE than just sessions. I'm so eager to photograph you ladies--there are honestly no words that can describe my unbridled exuberance. Being able to physically capture on film WHO YOU ARE at this exact point in your life in the middle of an ocean-side forest bring indescribable feelings into my soul, but I just felt that you need MORE.

YOU deserve so much more.

We wanted to develop a concept that would bring together like-minded free spirited women who feel compelled to be a part of something bigger then themselves. We wanted to cultivate a SAFE SPACE for wild-hearted women to come and dwell in the comfort of community and tribe. We yearned to offer something that allowed you to be celebrated for living an honest life, and walking your own truth.


I'm going to do my very best to convey all of the following information to you in ample detail, but as always, if there's ANYTHING that you're confused about, or that you have questions about PLEASE don't hesitate to contact either myself or Kori ( I'm also always willing to talk with you more over the phone or on FaceTime (just message me for my number).

The retreat is happening over the course of a weekend (Oct 30, 31, Nov 1) at Kori's secluded rustic cabin that is STEPS away from the Pacific Ocean. Her home in the forest is located on the Sunshine Coast, and is surrounded by nothing but the magic goodness of Mother Nature. We are limited the number of women attending the retreat weekend to 8and the deadline to sign up for the Free Spirit retreat is September 30th, 2015. The retreat will fill up on a first come first served basis. Upon signing up (you can do so by getting in touch with me so that we can go over some paperwork together), Kori + I will be sending over an exact itinerary, along with all the other details that you may need (addresses, phone numbers, etc, etc).

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These are shots of the cabin taken straight from Kori's iPhone. Upon booking, we're going to have a full list of "what to bring" items, as well as an itinerary, and so much more info for you guys, but we wanted to stress how rustic and honest this whole experience is going to be for everyone involved. We're spending the weekend in a real space, surrounded by the rawness of Mother Earth. The cabin is heated with a woodstove, the toilet is located outside of the house, and the air is filled with the goodness of salt + freshness.

The cost of the ENTIRE Free Spirit retreat weekend costs $1,400, with a $500 deposit required upon booking. The cost covers everything that you'll need throughout the weekend, you just need to get there (there are various options/methods on how to get to where you need to be. Just ask us either before or after you book and we'll explain in greater detail!). In the spirit of transparency, I thought it would be good to acknowledge that at this point, this retreat is not about making money for Kori + I. Your attendance cost is going towards funding the entire weekend; it's going into the food, the drinks, the supplies, the goodies, the fine art prints, the gas to pick you up, etc, etc. This weekend is whole-heartedly for the wellbeing of yourself, your tribe, and for Kori and I.

The following is what is included within the FREE SPIRIT RETREAT: ♥ A full free spirit session (indoor + outdoor images), 35+ high resolution edited images, and outfit options to choose from throughout the sessions (Free People dresses + other boho-esque clothing). ♥ Meals + snacks provided throughout the entire weekend. Kori is a holistic nutritionist and incredible cook. She's going to be crafting some of the most delicious + nutritious meals for us throughout the entire retreat. She's also going to be sharing a little foodie wisdom as well. ♥ Accommodations. A crucial part of this weekend is that our whole tribe is able to BE together throughout the entire 3 day/2 night weekend. There won't be private rooms for everyone as this is Kori's house and not a hotel haha, but we're planning on setting up two cozy sleep areas for everyone to experience and rest in after their fresh-air-filled days. ♥ Guided meditations ♥ Outdoor forest workouts ♥ A fine art print of an image from your session ♥ WINE. Wine + champagne will be provided throughout your stay. ♥  Life coaching session with Kori via Skype either pre or post retreat ♥ Smudging ceremony ♥ Painting + crafts (with all supplies provided) ♥ GIFT BAGS filled with incredible goodies from local suppliers, as well as take-home items that you'll be crafting up throughout the weekend. ♥ Transportation to & from the ferry (depending on where you're coming from!) ♥ The promise of self-discovery and the formation unshakeable connections with soul sisters who's hearts align with yours. ♥ Other miscellaneous items: small hikes, cooking lessons, orca whale sightings, the freshest air, community, angel card readings, soul-satisfying talks. The following images are taken straight from Kori's instagram----MMMM. 


Like I mentioned earlier, we are in the final stages of solidifying a FULL itinerary for you to have prior to coming out to join us in the forest and that's going to be available to you upon reserving your spot in the retreat. Also, as previously mentioned, there are most likely items within this post that weren't explained as thoroughly as they should be (I get overly excited and forget things sometimes....), so if you're a little lost, need any sort of clarification, or simply want to talk more about what you've read today, just please send me an email or give me a call; I'm more than happy to share some more info with you!!!


This retreat (& my Free Spirit sessions) is never something that I'll ever force on you, simply because I trust that if you feel something within yourself strongly compelling you towards this experience, then we're going to hear from you. If your drawn towards the ideas, the sessions, the people, or the purpose of this retreat, please reach out to either Kori or I, we'd love to talk more about it with you. As we grow into the wild-hearted women that we were intended to be, life tends to drop equally strong and courageous women onto our paths; individuals with a passion for using one another to nurture and flourish the strengths that each of us possess. As the days pass, we learn to embrace that ever-pertinent calling in our souls. And, as we work to tune our hearts into choosing compassion, as opposed to competition, we end up filling every moment with like-minded goddesses that share in the movement of togetherness.


And juuuuust in case you're still not entirely sure who we are, Kori and myself are two free spirited goddesses with a passion for living a life of transparency, all the while bringing together like-minded wild-hearted woman with a desire to better themselves FOR themselves, and for the well being of their tribe. We also BOTH happened to GET MARRIED this summer to our own wonderful bearded men (photos by Kenzie Kate + T.Renee)

We can't wait to hear from you. ***The only thing that we'd love for you to do, is to share this post either on facebook or other means of social media. Your voice and encouragement means so so much to us, and by sharing this post you just might be able to reach somebody who needs these words + this retreat at this exact moment in their life.