There are many ideas about what healing is and the experience is very individual, often involving a readiness for change and letting go. What if healing is a magical co-creation involving the mind, body and spirit? And what if it can include a chosen person/people, products and experiences? One woman who has dedicated her adult life to the healing world as a naturopath, nutritionist and yoga teacher is Kate Reardon and it’s easy to see why she has been invited into so many people’s healing journeys in Australia, Bali and abroad.
Our Skype interview was in the midst of Kate’s European trip with her husband Pat and two beautiful toddlers. She sounded pretty calm and collected given her busy schedule and family commitments, and so I started by asking her all about natural detox. Kate shared her insights and I sensed she could have spoken for hours about the topic. “It has profoundly changed my life and I am still feeling the effects of the first detox I did 15 years ago. Detox is getting rid of anything in any part of you that is not aligned with your most inner powerful self. That happens on a mental, emotional and physical level and it’s more than just cutting out alcohol, cigarettes and sugar. Detox has the potential to go further, it removes the obstacles on all levels that may be getting in the way of being your full potential,” she said. Kate takes people on a deep and profound inner voyage, rather than offering a hyped-up, quick-fix method.
And with years of working in the field, you can imagine the transformational stories she had to share. Her voice lit up particularly when she mentioned one memorable story… A lady in her mid 60s had experienced chronic bad back pain and she hadn’t been able to walk without a walking stick for 20 years. She couldn’t run after her grandchildren and it impacted her work. So during her first 10-day fast, she had a huge emotional release and by the end of the 10 days, she left her walking stick with Kate and for the first time in 20 years she was able to walk up the stairs to get on a plane.
These are the sorts of miracles Kate and her team have witnessed over the last nine years at their detox retreat centre (Natural Instinct Healing) in Ubud, Bali. Kate shared that it’s a privilege to be part of so many people’s lives.
Interestingly, Kate’s own healing journey began when she was 15 after being diagnosed with aggressive glandular fever, Ross River fever and her appendix ruptured as they were taking it out during surgery. Her immune system was completely shattered and she experienced an extreme amount of pain and exhaustion. This was the first time in her life that modern medicine could not help her.
Kate’s Mum was desperate to have her healthy again and took her to see a homeopath which was her first experience with alternative and holistic health care. Something deep inside of Kate was awakened and she integrated the advice of this homeopath and connected back into her heart through meditation and inner self-exploration; she discovered something very powerful within herself that would change the course of her life forever.
Her physical body recovered quickly and she discovered she had the power to change the state of her mind and body and that her ‘life force’ was a precious presence within her which she began to nourish and nurture.
“This seed was planted within me and I knew it was my life’s purpose to help facilitate healing, transformation and change within other people. So with extensive tertiary studies in both complementary and mind body medicine, I set out on a global search to find the most dynamic way of helping people achieve radical healing and transformation.”
Kate went on to create a flourishing practice in Australia but started to notice that an hour was just not long enough to spend with someone to bring about lasting change. “I wanted to have those beautiful moments with someone, offer a cup of tea, hold their hand and cry with them and laugh with them and listen to their stories.” That’s what inspired Kate and Pat to move to Bali and create 7-, 10- and 14-day healing retreats. “As a practitioner, retreat time is the ultimate and it’s what I was always wanting to create for people, I just didn’t know how I was going to do that within a traditional healing model.”
Kate’s heart-based dedication to the field is obvious and what’s refreshing is her commitment to her own growth and evolution. I asked her about her self-care rituals. She said, “Before having children, I used to get up every morning and meditate, do yoga and journaling. With two small children, this has changed and now I find 10 minutes a day, no matter where I am, it could be in the shower, or in between clients and I close my eyes and take some breaths, pull all the energy down into my womb (because that’s our power centre as women), and I ask myself ‘how are you going?’ I give myself that space and see how I am and that has brought profound compassion into my life. Mindfulness has become my practice, whether it’s changing nappies or working in my business. Self-care has been a huge focal point for the last five years, before that I was so rubbish at it. A good question I ask is, ‘what would someone who truly loved themselves do?’ And then I go and do that. It might be making a cup of tea or going for a walk.” Kate said she now embodies self-care (rather than it just being a concept) and this has allowed her to show up more in the way she wants to in the world.
Some might say that weaving daily self-care into juggling family and business is an impossible mission. Before having children Kate would hear people say, “you have to choose; either motherhood, or run a successful business” but that never resonated with her. “My business is my baby. It’s not a human but it comes from the same creative energy of my being that birthing my children did.
“When I looked for role models who were mothers, leaders in their field and in a conscious, happy relationship, I couldn’t find many mentors, so I had to figure out how to create this for myself. A friend said to me, ‘Kate, you can have it all, you just can’t do it all.’ The Balinese culture has supported this idea with their eastern philosophy, ‘it takes a village to raise a child’.” Kate is inspired by how much the mother is held and nurtured in eastern cultures. So she had to get over the guilt she had around asking for help and the guilt around having times where she was feeling vulnerable. She also created an incredible team of professionals around her and they are taking the business to another level that she wasn’t able to on her own. “I had to dismantle all my beliefs about what a mum should be and also about what a boss should be and I had to let go and do it ‘Kate’s way’.
“When you put your most potent self in the right areas, things just blossom, that’s the power we have as women. So if I am going into meetings and empowering my team and being the best leader I can, then that will come back to me 100%. And if I am putting that energy into my kids and singing to them and caring for them, it’s like tending to your garden. But it has to start with us and that’s the downfall of us as women, we just don’t take good care of ourselves. And I have learnt this again and again. This world would look very different if we were kind to ourselves.”
With kindness in mind, Kate plans to spend the next 12 months creating simplicity for herself on a personal level and from a business perspective, The Natural Instinct Healing team will run more overseas retreats and weekend immersions in 2019. I was also thrilled to hear Kate has started to write her second book and says it will be created with the feminine energies and less push energy.
“Multi-level healing is acknowledging all that we are as a whole; our mind, body and spirit. I look at the whole person; the diet, lifestyle, body composition, iridology, nail and tongue analysis and in order to truly heal, we have to acknowledge all parts of ourselves. When anyone is going through any pain, trauma or misalignment, they need to be asking, what can I do for my mind, what can I do for my body and my spirit and that brings a depth to the healing journey and it speeds it up. If I just worked with someone solely on their nutrition, of course it would make a difference, but if I look at recommending movement, energetic healing, emotional healing and clear childhood trauma, then they are going to get to where they desire to be much quicker.
“When other people can shine and make an impact on the lives of others, that’s what gets me up in the morning.”