We had the pleasure of hosting Leslie Mcdonald of on our last women's retreat to Hudson Valley. It was an event we will never forget! The retreat was peaceful, supportive, engaging and incredibly healing. Below is Leslie's experience of the weekend; a beautiful visual diary complete with her photo memories.




When was the last time you did something for the first time?


This has been a year of firsts for me.  I have learned a lot about myself, community, support, and of course health and wellness.  I have met some pretty incredible people this year, mostly through social media.  As a kid growing up I remember my parents telling me not to talk to strangers, especially online.  Now it seems that I spend most of my day engaging and connecting with as many people as possible through Instagram or other forms of social media.  I met my business partner, Kayla Kleinman on Instagram when I stepped out of my comfort zone and asked to meet her in person for a workout.  3 months later, she asked me to c-create Holistic Happening with her!


And then there was Nicole Glassman, founder of Mindfulhealthnyc, a fellow IIN graduate who posted beautiful photos of essential oils, crystals, chakra education and mindful quotes.  I liked everyone of her photos and felt inspired by her dedication to personal healing and growth for herself and her clients.  She reached out to me on Instagram to meet in person and after spending all of 5 minutes in her office, I told her I felt like I was home.  I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders, and I knew I was in the right place for me.  I was surrounded by positive energy from her workplace and the people she worked with.  There were flower essences, crystals, essential oils and non-toxic beauty products everywhere.  Her workspace is a true representation of everything she puts out online.  She is completely authentic and dedicated to her practice and the well-being of her clients. 



Mindfulhealthnyc has retreats twice a year and I’ve always been intrigued by retreats – spending 3-4 days with a group of strangers, sharing your ideas and emotions, eating, sleeping, working with this group and being away from home and the comforts of your own space and kitchen and routine.  I love traveling, but I don’t always love being in what could be uncomfortable situations and opening up.  But this year has been about growth and stepping out of my comfort zone and doing more things for myself instead of others.   I am trying to focus on loving myself and building up my own love and inner strength because I always give so much to others.  So when Nicole suggested that I join her team on the Hudson Valley Chakra Retreat, I couldn’t pass up this opportunity.

What Is A Chakra?

Chakras are the wheels of energy in the center of the body.  Chakras can be blocked due to internal and external circumstances such as stress and when a chakra is not open, energy can not flow freely throughout the body.  Each chakra corresponds to organs in the body, so depending on the blocked chakra, different symptoms will present themselves.



Each chakra has a representative color, essential oil, mantra, organ in the body so the retreat was about exploring the 7 chakras in the body, identifying which chakras are not in balance for us individually, recognizing what is causing the block, and helping one another understand steps we can take to open the chakra.



Mindfulhealthnyc has a chakra quiz that you can take to determine which chakra is blocked for you as well as what you can do to heal.  I took the chakra quiz 3 months ago when I first met Nicole and was “Solar Plexus,” the chakra of the gut, energy, growth, and personal power.  It is associated with the color yellow, the crystal citrine and the citrus essential oils.  At the time, this made perfect sense for me because I was beginning to transition into health and wellness, be more social, step out of my routine and meet new people.  My solar plexus was not in balance so I wasn’t trusting my gut to follow this new path, I had digestive issues, lack of energy and insecurities in my relationships, whether with friends, coworkers or with Ryan.  I wasn’t trusting.  And I never felt like I had enough time!  I began using Mindful Mosaic flower essences to feel more confident and centered and working with Nicole to heal the lining of my gut, eliminate allergens and toxins from my life, physical and emotional, and I began to have new opportunities present themselves, whether because I was more open to receive them or because I was now more aware of them since I was listening to my gut and following the path that I know would make me happy.


The menus every day related to the chakra that we were specifically working on so the coloring of the food matched the specific chakra.  Every thing was grain free, dairy free (optional on the side), soy free, refined sugar free, and gluten free.  I can honestly speak for the entire group when I say that the food was so delicious – we went back for seconds and thirds at every meal.