Relax & Recharge at Fiddlehead Grove Healing Center
When the stress of life gets to be too much, it’s time to take a retreat to recharge your batteries. Luckily, you don’t have to go far to find a healing center that feels like it’s a million miles away. Just a short trip to Oswego County will bring you to Holistic Horizons at Fiddlehead Grove.
The History of Holistic Horizons at Fiddlehead Grove
The yoga retreat and healing center is the mastermind of Cathleen Kelly, a nurse and home health aide by trade. She started the business in 1999; Holistic Horizons was originally located in the Geddes Plaza. It was her mission to join and grow the alternative health community in Central New York, with a focus on holistic healing.
What’s the difference? Holistic healing specifically focuses on treating the whole system: mind, body, and spirit. Cathleen strongly believes in the interconnectedness of the three pieces, especially in how they affect each other.
Cathleen first focused on holistic nursing, both in practice and as an instructor of others in holistic healing. Her business grew to three locations in Liverpool, Clay, and Cicero, the latter also including a restaurant called Speedy Greens.
After her own battles with health problems, which traditional medical practices were not helping, Cathleen decided to take a step back. Slow down. Focus more on healing herself before she could heal others. That’s when she decided to build on her dream of establishing a healing center on the land she purchased nearly a decade prior.
About Fiddlehead Grove and its Labyrinths
Cathleen first purchased the land in West Monroe in 1995, but it wasn’t until 2004 that she started building the retreat. Of course she had started on her own home and landscaping, but it was at this time that she expanded on the property, building into the forest.
The first addition? A labyrinth. Cathleen had an intuition that the property needed a labyrinth for protection. And so after some research, construction began on a classical 7-circuit labyrinth, made from the stones and earth from the property.
Shortly after the first labyrinth came a second. A portable one this time. So that Cathleen could bring it indoors for the winter, or with her on her travels. The portable labyrinth was made with $40 worth of plastic drop cloth and electrical tape. It is often used by visitors before doing yoga as a way to center themselves.
Most recently, Cathleen and her husband Michael finished construction on a new, larger labyrinth. Located further back at the edge of the property, the view is perfect. As you walk the labyrinth, you can see where the land drops off and rises again through the hills. The new path is more than double in size from the previous one. At 50-feet wide, the new labyrinth was made in the Chartres style with 11 circuits.
Walking the Labyrinth
On my visit to the center, I knew that I had to walk the labyrinth. How can you visit such a powerful place and not? Drawing on my previous experience with labyrinths at Crow Calls in Elmira, I cleared my mind to center myself. Walking the new labyrinth took me about 20 minutes. I made a point not to go too fast or too slow, keeping in perfect rhythm while I listened to the leaves crunching beneath my boots. Enjoy the rays of evening sunlight coming through the trees. For the first time in a very long time, I felt relaxed. At peace. Not stressed about everything else in my life.
Activities at Fiddlehead Grove
With 86 acres of land, Fiddlehead Grove offers a variety of activities, both indoor and out. In addition to walking any of the labyrinths, Cathleen has put together a thoughtful, well-rounded experience at the retreat. Please note that some of the activities require reservations and fees. See the services portion of their website to book activities.
In addition to the workshops for adults, Cathleen also offers modified versions of many of the activities for both children under 12, or virtually for anyone.
One of the main activities at Fiddlehead Grove is Yoga. Cathleen offers weekly Kundalini Yoga classes on Saturday afternoons in addition to private lessons based on individual need.
Cathleen is proud to own the only public gong in Oswego County. And based on my very brief experience listening to the sounds of the gong, I can tell you it is incredible. Something about the reverberations reach into your soul and bring a sense of calm that is hard to explain in words. There are monthly gong ceremonies that tie in with the lunar calendar. The next gong ceremony will be on New Years Eve with a new moon ritual.
As previously mentioned, there are two permanent and one portable labyrinths at Fiddlehead Grove. The purpose being to help you find purpose or answer a question about your life. Labyrinths are designed to help clear your mind as you wind through the path.
With such a large property, it goes without saying that there are some beautiful trails to explore through the woods. Named after various creatures, the trails wind through the trees, bringing you to various places of interest at the center. One of Cathleen’s favorite spots? The impressively large tree named “Rhiannon”.
Using the Japanese techniques of Usui and Karuna Reiki, Cathleen performs healing sessions with guests. This is done by channeling the energy through your body, grounding it with your feet.
A popular holistic health activity, reflexology is done by applying pressure to various body parts using the thumbs and fingers. This promotes your internal organs to perform better and leads to deep relaxation while revitalizing your body’s energy.
Channeled healing is a powerful way to heal the mind, body, and spirit, pulling from the earth’s greater powers. The ceremonies are done by both Cathleen and her husband Michael.
Various types of meditation are available at different points throughout the property, and can be done both guided or individually.
Enjoy a Spa Day or a Retreat
If more than one of these activities really piques your interest, consider booking a spa day or retreat at Fiddlehead Grove. A variety of full-day services are available depending on who is going and what you are looking to do.
The Spa Day includes reflexology, sound therapy, guided labyrinth or meditation, aromatherapy jet tub soak, reiki, and a hot paraffin hand dip.
Customizable Family Retreats can include yoga, guided labyrinth walks, gong meditations, and more. You can even bring the whole crew for a Team Retreat.
Cathleen also offers Healing Retreats, both for individuals and couples. These include a healing plan, meditation, and a few educational workshops. It ends with developing a wellness plan for your continued well-being.
So why create this wellness center in the middle of the woods? Cathleen believes strongly in the power of nature, the interconnectedness between the world and the human body. That there are certain needs that traditional medicine and practices don’t meet. And it is her mission to bring holistic healing practices to other people.
“That’s my joy – watching other people enjoy and benefit from this project.”Cathleen Kelly
It is clear just how passionate Cathleen is about her work. It is more than a full time job’s worth of work to maintain the property and accommodate guests at the healing center. Yet she exudes this beautiful spirit of positivity, and her energy radiates to all those around her. Cathleen and Michael are incredibly hospitable – and proud of the work they do!
They are happy to guide you around the property and tell you all about the holistic life they lead. Stepping inside their home truly feels like walking into a retreat. The log cabin style of the home is open and airy, yet cozy and comfortable. Plants fill every space, bringing the outdoors in. Plus, inside their home is where you’ll find the sauna, jet tub, reflexology room with an amethyst crystal mat, and even a cozy meditation nook.
This is definitely somewhere I would love to go!