Healing Journey of a Wellness Coach
Join me as I share my ever-evolving and profoundly transformative healing journey. I hope my experiences inspire you, make you laugh, expand your mind, and open your heart.
Meet Wellness Coach, Cate Ritter
Hi, I’m Cate Ritter. I’m an Intuitive Wellness Coach that specializes in some of the most efficient and effective healing methods available. I help others remove the blocks preventing them from finding their bliss. To get to the root of issues, I work with clients on a mind, body, and soul level. Together we transform the old subconscious b.s. (belief systems), buried emotions, and other incoherence that keeps you stuck, stressed, and frustrated with the outcomes in your life. As you release the stagnant energy weighing you down, you create space for new possibilities and greater potential. You start to feel lighter and more connected to your soul/love/Source — the part of you that’s home to infinite love and healing.
Healing is a transformative process of expanding your awareness to remove what weighs you down so you can align with your authentic self. Although transformation isn’t easy, it’s worth it!
Before I continue, let me give you a little backstory. I’m about to share the general path that led me to where I am as a healer and the revelations that have helped me facilitate the healing in others worldwide. I find this important, as embracing commonality in one’s challenges can be a great source of healing. Like most of us, my experience in life has been exciting, interesting, and chaotic. Amidst the frustration, confusion, and chaos, the answers lie. Frustration begets determination; confusion leads to discovery, and in the end, we realize that the “problem” is the gift. By sharing a little about myself, I hope you’ll find a sense of hope and renewed determination to shift from blocked to blissed in mind, body, and soul.
Where do I begin? My path has been full of challenges, pain, love, and adventure. I’ve lived in three different countries, experienced and even facilitated Ayahuasca ceremonies in the remote Amazon jungle, and lived in the slums of Peru. I’m not immune to life’s challenges. I’ve lost loved ones, gone through a divorce, and gotten rid of nearly everything I owned (3 times, but who’s counting?). I’ve experienced chronic illness, and I know how frustrating it is to try different practitioners, modalities, and diets and still NOT get better.
In the past, I felt like I’d tried everything but didn’t get the relief I deserved. Throughout my journey, I worked with top medical doctors, naturopaths, functional medicine practitioners, chiropractors, osteopaths, clinical nutritionists, intuitive guides, and various healers. Like many clients, I struggled with weight gain, fatigue, hormone imbalance, anxiety, and digestive issues. I was diagnosed with Mold Illness, Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, Lyme disease, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, hypothyroidism, and more.
Cate’s Transformative Healing Journey
I was born in Sacramento, CA, about a 3-hour drive south of where I grew up. I had to be flown into Sac because I was born two months premature. Weighing in at 3 pounds, 2 ounces, I lived in an incubator for the first month of my life. The doctor said I was a miracle baby. After my brother, my mom had two failed pregnancies. She was told she’d not be able to give birth again… then, I came into this world, and I was early. I was so tiny that the only clothes that fit were cabbage patch doll outfits. I hear they were quite fashionable!
Northern California Girl
I grew up in a small lake town in the mountains of Northern California near Mt. Shasta. Lakehead still has a population of around 500. My family had a gorgeous 5-acre property with an eclectic woodsy home with 20+ foot vaulted ceilings and walls of windows overlooking breathtaking views of expansive wilderness. We were surrounded by nature.
Clients often ask if I had a good or bad childhood. I see my childhood as a beautiful experience, but I didn’t always feel that way. Like many people, my childhood was challenging. I grew up with functional alcoholics, stress, and pressure to get a full-ride golf scholarship to college. From age 8 to 18, I played well over 300 junior golf tournaments throughout California and around the nation. It felt like I had a full-time job. By the time I left for college, I had 99 trophies and over $50k in golf scholarships from top schools, including Boston College, Gonzaga University, Xavier University, and Hofstra University.
Same (Subconscious) Programs, Same Problems
Despite my accomplishments, I never felt good enough. I became a perfectionist and overachiever to mask my feelings of low self-worth. My well-being reflected it too. I suppressed my intuition and emotions. And even though I was a healthy weight, I didn’t have great health. My diet and lifestyle were far from ideal. I was in unknowingly moldy environments and spent most days on chemically sprayed golf courses. Although my parents cooked whole foods, we still ate a lot of processed stuff.
Lakehead to Long Island
I chose Hofstra University. New York City and the surrounding areas were different from what I was used to. I sure was right! Long Island was a BIG shock to my small-town-girl, empathic, highly sensitive system. During my first year, my issues amplified. I got the nearly full-ride golf scholarship and even won my first Division One tournament, but it felt like my health and body were breaking down. My routine of working harder and doing more was becoming increasingly draining, ineffective, and unsustainable.
Cali to Owie
To get my groove back, I transferred to Cal State University, Chico where I continued to play golf on scholarship. But, I struggled to regain my health. In an attempt to lose the 30 pounds I gained while eating the oh-so-delicious pasta dishes and cannolis the East coast had to offer, I took up running. Although I lost weight, I developed excruciatingly painful plantar fasciitis in my right foot. This was not conducive to golf tournaments where I was carrying a heavy bag and walking for hours on end. I knew I needed to make some serious changes for my well-being. Although I wanted to red-shirt the next year, my coaches wouldn’t accept it.
Life Without Golf
After quitting the golf team, I started eating better, exercising, taking care of myself, and focusing on what I wanted for the first time in my life. The only problem was that I didn’t know how to change on a deeper level. I re-focused my perfectionism and addiction to over-achieving in school. During my first semester without golf, I got a 4.0 while taking 19 credits, working two part-time jobs, volunteering as a tutor, and writing a 44-page thesis. I graduated from college in 3 ½ years (which would have been three if all my credits had transferred).
Waitress in Walberswick
After college, I decided to work abroad and travel. I listened to my heart and booked a ticket to London, UK. Luckily, a couple of weeks before my departure, I found a job as a waitress in a gastropub in the small village of Walberswick on the Suffolk coast, northeast of London. I had no idea what I was doing, but it felt right, so I went. With all honesty, I was a terrible waitress. Half the time, I couldn’t understand anyone’s accent, and I was so mesmerized by the tantalizing smells in the kitchen that I was about to get fired.
Farm-to-Table Chef Training
As fate would have it, a gastropub in a nearby town was hiring. I lived above the pub for about a year and trained under a talented chef. I’d enjoy long morning runs through the English countryside, work all day and into the night, then stay up late taking notes and writing recipes. It was like going to culinary school and getting paid to do it. I loved the farm-to-table approach and was excited to expand my skills with this healthy connection.
The Beginning of a Wellness Coach
After my work visa expired, I traveled around the UK and Europe before moving to Scottsdale, Arizona. I found work at a high-end restaurant and volunteered at a permaculture garden. I wanted to connect more with my health and body, so I enrolled in Yoga Teacher Training. As I was immersed in various classes, I discovered a Holistic Nutrition Program that complemented my wellness and culinary experience. In 2009, I started my Wellness Coaching company. Before I knew it, I was a full-time nutritionist, grocery and local food guide, cooking coach, and personal chef for busy moms, wealthy families, retired athletes, and even celebrities.
Is Life Better at The Beach?
Within a few years, my husband got offered a job in Pebble Beach, CA. After frequenting golf tournaments in Pebble as a kid and spending several summers there, I’d fantasized about living in such a beautiful area. It seemed like a dream, so we sold our home and moved to the beach.
Although I felt pretty healthy until this point, after moving to Pebble, my health rapidly declined. My husband and I rented a beautiful older home on the Monterey Peninsula Country Club. It was just off the scenic 17-Mile Drive, within walking distance to the beach. We were beyond excited! We got everything unpacked and decorated, but the next day, I didn’t feel like myself. I felt fuzzy-headed, bloated, and inflamed, and the symptoms kept coming. I wasn’t getting better, and it wasn’t due to a lack of trying.
About seven months later, some workers came by to patch up a roof leak, and they shared that many of the previous tenants had moved out (and even been hospitalized) because they were sick from mold in the house. Lab tests confirmed toxic levels of mold within the structure. To make matters worse, we had to go to court to get out of our lease and get rid of nearly everything we owned that couldn’t be washed. We found mold under furniture, mattresses, and other belongings. It was gruesome! We moved around the area three times and found another rental high in Stachybotrys, a toxic black mold. We got rid of most of our belongings again.
Wack-a-Mole Health Care
To regain my health, I started seeing specialists throughout the Bay Area. After extensive and expensive testing, my doctors said I had a “genetic defect” to detox mold. This meant that my immune system wasn’t reacting correctly, allowing mycotoxins (mold toxins) to be stored throughout my body, where they could wreak havoc on my health. During that time, I was diagnosed with Mold Illness, Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Lyme, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, pathogenic infections, hormone imbalances, nutrient deficiencies, and more.
Brain Rewiring Boost
Unfortunately, things got worse. I lost my beloved golden retriever to cancer during this time. Shortly after, I got into a car accident in dense Bay Area traffic. It took time to get out of shock. I felt so much sadness, anger, and frustration, and the stress did NOT support my health. When doctors began discussing disability options, I decided to dig deeper into different wellness modalities. After experimenting, I found Dynamic Neural Retraining System, which allowed me to start rewiring my brain to get back to a healthier state. Although this program provided great relief, it wasn’t practical and I needed more.
Inspiration to Make an Impact
After working remotely for Laird Superfood, a health food company founded by big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton, I was invited to Bend, Oregon, to create a cookbook with Laird’s Chef. Before I knew it, I was working as Product Development Director, and we were moving to the mountains. Being in a corporate environment wasn’t in alignment with the health or life I wanted. Within a few months, I resigned. I returned to Wellness Coaching but was determined to take it to the next level. I felt inspired to help people in a deeper and more meaningful way. Although I wasn’t sure how this would unfold, I started exploring.
The Call from Mother Ayahuasca
Before experiencing plant medicine, I had everything that should make me happy, and although I was happy much of the time, it felt like something was missing. I felt stuck in old stories and blocked by feelings that I wasn’t “good enough.” This desire for drastic change sparked my dark night of the soul. A few months into my process, I came across a documentary with Deepak Chopra recommending Ayahuasca for all sorts of ailments. I’d never heard of this psychedelic brew or had much experience with psychedelics, but I instantly felt my soul WAKE UP. The more I researched, the more I knew I had to experience plant medicine. I decided to embrace this calling and set my intention to “lose my mind and find my soul.” And so my jungle journey began.
Welcome to the Jungle
In 2018, I immersed myself in a deep healing experience that transformed my perspective on health and life. I ventured to the Amazon jungle outside of Iquitos, Peru. My destination was a bumpy bus ride and an exotic boat ride deep into the rainforest. For a couple of weeks, I attended an intensive healing retreat within an indigenous community. There was no Wi-Fi or cell signal (except on top of a shoddy water tower). It was a rugged setting, abundant in some of the most beautiful and brutal wildlife on this planet. As you can imagine, the intensity of this hot, humid, and rainy environment amplifies your senses.
I’m Ok; I’m NOT Ok
Although I have over 70 pages of notes I wrote after my Ayahuasca ceremonies, there are no words to describe what I experienced. I won’t go into detail here. However, my ceremonies were painful, awakening, beautiful, and loving. Mixed in with vomiting and other lovely forms of purging, I experienced such truthful sensations of inner and outer connectedness. It was a rollercoaster of “I’m ok,” followed by “I’m NOT ok!” After six or more hours of ceremony, you think you’re getting out barely alive, but feel reborn. I had a couple of ceremonial re-births that were traumatic yet transformative. Although everyone has a different experience, most share a beautiful bond of unconditional love and connection.
Space for a Break
And it wasn’t just the ceremonies that were healing. I finally had the space to go within. After being free from the never-ending stimulation and distractions of the modern world, I realized how depleted I was on all levels. For the first time in a decade, I didn’t have a to-do list to tackle. Relaxing was challenging. I was addicted to overdoing, over-giving, and over-achieving. Having time to go inward was immensely beneficial. The more I connected with myself, the more clarity, wisdom, and guidance flowed through.
My Divine Intro to PSYCH-K
When I returned to Bend, I began integrating my lessons. The more I slowed down and got present; the more things unfolded naturally. One day while walking my dog along the river, I looked up at three tall ponderosas, and over the middle tree was an eagle and a condor-looking bird flying in unison in a circle. It was DIVINE! Shortly after, an integration coach mentioned PSYCH-K. Out of curiosity, I went to the site and saw the logo of an eagle and condor flying in a circle! PSYCH-K deeply resonated, so I went through the training.
Beyond Self-Help With PSYCH-K
As my experience with PSYCH-K grew, I found it to be MUCH more successful than any healing modality I’d used. I admit that I was skeptical at first, and even that was a programmed belief I was able to change! The process is simple, easy, effective, and proven.
The more I used PSYCH-K to remove the limiting subconscious b.s. (belief systems) and release buried emotions, the more I noticed BIG improvements. My health issues resolved, my energy became more grounded, and I was less emotionally reactive. The anxiety, worry, fear, and other low vibes I frequently felt before were no longer aligned. I started taking action to create the life I wanted. I set healthy boundaries, prioritized my needs, and created a more loving relationship with myself. Everything was clicking into place on my healing journey.
Follow Your Heart
Suddenly, I had more effective tools, but I wasn’t sure how everything fit together. My intuition kept directing me back to the jungle. I decided to take an intensive two-month Shaman Training to build my skills to best serve others. To fully commit to my purpose as a healing guide, I decided to give myself the freedom to explore, which meant being on my own. Although it was a loving divorce, it was painful. I didn’t want to give up everything I loved, but I needed to follow this calling. So I embraced the journey, packed up a few suitcases and a couple of boxes, sold my car, and donated the rest. It felt liberating and just what my soul needed.
Back to the Jungle, I Go
When I returned to Peru, I spent 3 weeks volunteering at an Ayahuasca retreat and research center. Then, I visited Cusco and Sacred Valley and rented an apartment in the slums of Iquitos for a few weeks. Of all the things I’ve done, this was one of the MOST transformative. Living amongst others in a third-world country gives you perspective on what’s important. My empathy skyrocketed, while my complaints plummeted. It was challenging, especially because I didn’t speak Spanish. Let’s just say I have many entertaining stories!
Shaman Initiation Training
I was ready to return to the jungle when the time came. I took a long bus ride from Iquitos, followed by a muddy hike into the rainforest, where I trained under indigenous Shipibo Curanderos and alternative healers. During my Shaman Initiation, I gained extensive knowledge on the healing power of plant medicine, plant diets, purgatives, protective baths, soplaying (energy cleansing and protection), Icaros (healing songs), and other healing remedies. My training involved a restrictive diet, periods of silence, days of fasting, and more.
Mosquitos, Chiggers & Parasites, Oh My!
The jungle is full of mysterious beauty and creatures that want to eat you. The mosquitos are relentless and even bite through clothing. While I was there, the wife of one of my Shamans got Malaria. The safest place is under your mosquito net, but even that gets holes and becomes a home for other critters. The worst was getting chiggers from my bed sheets on day one of my training. These tiny biting, burning, itchy buggers covered much of my body, including up my “front” and “back door.” The hardest part was that itching causes them to spread and burrow under the skin. Sounds fun, right?
Then, you’ve got even smaller problems, like parasites. I picked up three nasty parasitic infections in the jungle. Over half of my camp got sick, including our facilitators. I hadn’t been able to keep food or water in for five days and felt a sharp pain in my kidneys, urinary tract, and heart. As you can imagine, having a fever in the jungle during the hottest months wasn’t pleasant. I picked fresh Malva plant leaves to make an electrolyte drink, but it went right through me. My weight dropped below my already low body fat, and my energy plummeted. My lips were cracked and purple, and my eyeballs felt like sandpaper. I spent days and nights laying under my mosquito net, going back and forth to the toilet.
Eventually, I was able to make the trek into town to see a doctor. I was instantly hooked up to an IV for hydration. My tests confirmed parasitic infections and blood in my stool. I already felt so weak and depleted from weeks of ceremonies, purgatives, fasting, restrictive meals, and plant medicinals that getting parasites was incredibly challenging.
Recovery & Realizations
With lots of rest, fluid, and papaya, I returned to the jungle. However, I knew that to complete my training; I needed to enjoy it. So I slowed down, brought more laughter into each day, and made friends with the cockroaches in my room. This lesson was a crucial part of my healing journey. I realized that I don’t have to suffer to help others. The more I feel good, the better able I am to help others. Like plants, some people grow best in the dark/shade, while others grow best in the light. I was ready for some light.
When training ended, I was offered a retreat leader position but declined. I realized that I could support myself and others BETTER when I enjoy my life. Enjoying life brings you back into the flow of the present moment. We often think that we’ll enjoy life after a particular outcome, such as when we achieve a health goal or have a certain amount of money. This is how we get it backward, and our lack of self-love plays a significant role. Rather than enjoying life in the now, we postpone it until we feel more worthy. In my experience, my SUCCESS in all areas of my life DEPENDS on my ENJOYMENT of life.
The Self-LOVE Secret
When you focus on what you enjoy, you live from a place of love instead of lack. Love heals everything, and it all starts with self-love. When you love yourself, who you’re with, and what you do, you connect with joy. The world needs more people who experience and spread love and joy. Although love is a powerful healer, you must eliminate the blocks preventing you from loving yourself and enjoying life. I’ve found my unique blend of modalities to do just that. First, release any limiting subconscious b.s. (belief systems), buried emotions, and incoherent energy. Getting the gunk out allows you to connect more with your authentic self and the present. From this space, you can create the most EPIC life/love story.
Integration = MAGIC
As I integrated my experiences, I realized that everything I went through happened not TO me but FOR me to create the health and life I wanted. I don’t look at any past experiences as “bad,” but “badass builders!” Even trauma has transformed into some of my best lessons and greatest gifts. If I hadn’t been courageous and open, I wouldn’t have found these effective methods for true wellness. I was guided to do this work and make these realizations so I could best guide others on their healing journey. The coolest part of my story is that from the time I first went to the jungle to when I last left was nine months. I let the old stories, patterns, and parts of me die to birth a new way of living. As a result, my life continues to unfold in ways that are better than I could have imagined!
Synchronicities & Sound Therapy
When I returned to Oregon, I wanted to help others transform without having to take such drastic measures. My dad also passed away during this time and he was very musical. He wrote songs, loved to sing, and played guitar and harmonica. As fate would have it, I was at the PSYCH-K Divine Integration Retreat when Biofield Tuning found me. My connection to sound therapy and my dad have expanded ever since.
What About Jeff?
I knew there was no one I enjoyed life more with than Jeff. He’s my soul mate and has been a blessing in my life since 2008. But, I realized that for us to work, we needed to enter it from a space of wholeness. Luckily, Jeff had been doing deep transformational work too. When I returned, we started dating and fell in love in a new and nourishing way. Thanks to PSYCH-K, we’ve removed many blocks to create what Bruce Lipton calls “The Honey Moon Effect.” Life is much more enjoyable as we continue to evolve and co-create a beautiful life together.
The Gift & What This Means For YOU
I hope you see that I was the person who “tried everything” without getting the results I deserved. I ended up finding solutions by working with my subconscious mind. As I removed the limitations within my body, mind, and soul, I naturally began to heal. I started enjoying my life more and creating a new relationship with myself that was based on love instead of lack. Now, I experience more signs, synchronicities, magic, and miracles than ever.
Everything happens for a reason, and everything is connected. We’re all souls here sharing this crazy and wild human experience. We’re not meant to be perfect, and life is supposed to be messy. That’s what makes this adventure so fun, interesting, and exciting. There’s a lesson behind every symptom, pain, and challenge you experience. When you learn the lesson, you overcome it and reach new levels of healing and enjoyment. When you see life from the perspective that everything is a lesson designed for us, the “problem” becomes the gift.
Although we live in a complex world, the solutions are simple. You CAN and deserve to heal and create the life you want. Your wellness is essential to healing others, this planet, and beyond. Join me in co-creating your beautiful healing journey!
Ready to Start Your Transformation?
Cate lives in Bend, Oregon, with her partner, Jeff, and golden retriever, Penny. She’s never felt better or enjoyed life more, and she’s passionate about helping you feel the same!
My Ayahuasca Disclaimer
Although my ceremonial work was beneficial, I don’t recommend it to everyone. Ayahuasca ceremonies can be traumatizing and dangerous. It was part of my path. But with the right tools and guidance, you don’t have to go to the jungle. That’s the beauty of PSYCH-K; you can find incredible gain without the pain. However, if you’re called to have a ceremonial experience, please contact me for support.
Cate is in the 2023 InnerTrek Facilitator Training Program in Oregon.