Healing Journey of a Wellness Coach
Join me as I share my ever-evolving and deeply transformative healing journey with you. 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 a 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 back story. What I’m about to share is the general path that led me to where I am today as a healer and the revelations that have helped me facilitate the healing in others around the world every day. I find this important to express, as embracing commonality in one’s challenges can be a great source of healing in itself. Like most of us, my experience in life has been exciting, interesting, and at times… chaotic. Amidst the frustration, confusion, and chaos, however, lie the answers. Frustration begets determination, confusion leads to discovery and, in the end, we realize, the “problem” is the gift. I hope by sharing a little about myself, you’ll find a sense of hope and renewed determination to make the shift from blocked to blissed in mind, body, and soul.
Where do I begin? My path has been full of challenges and pain, but also love and adventure. I’ve lived in three different countries, been a traveling nomad, experienced and even facilitated Ayahuasca ceremonies in the remote Amazon jungle, lived in the slums of Peru, lost loved ones, gone through a divorce, and gotten rid of nearly everything I owned (3 times, but who’s counting?). I’ve been chronically ill and I know how frustrating it is to try lots of different practitioners, healing 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 more. Like many of my clients, I struggled with weight gain, fatigue, hormone imbalances, anxiety, and digestive issues. I was diagnosed with Mold Illness or Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, Lyme disease, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, hypothyroidism, and the list goes on.
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 2 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 and 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. Lakehead had and still does have 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. Now, 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, lots of stress, and pressure to get a full-ride golf scholarship to college. From the age of 8 to 18, I played well over 300 junior golf tournaments all over 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 many of my emotions. And even though I was a healthy weight, I didn’t have amazing health. My diet and lifestyle were far from ideal. I was in unknowingly moldy environments a lot and spent most days on chemically sprayed golf courses. Although my parents cooked a lot of whole foods, we still ate processed foods too.
Lakehead to Long Island
I chose Hofstra University because New York City and the surrounding areas were so different than 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 freshman 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 normal 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
Quitting the golf team was a life-changer. 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, I didn’t know how to change on a deeper level. So I ended up re-focusing my perfectionism and over-achieving in school. During my first semester without golf, I got a 4.0 while taking 19 credits, working two part-time jobs, writing a 44-page Honors Thesis on Shakespeare, and volunteering as a tutor for kids after school. I graduated from college in 3 ½ years (and it would have been 3 if all of my credits had transferred).
Waitress in Walberswick
After college, I decided to work abroad and travel after. 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 thick British 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. For about a year, I lived above the pub and trained under the talented head chef. I’d enjoy long runs through the English countryside in the mornings, work all day and into the night, then I’d stay up late writing recipes, cooking tips, and anything else I’d learned. It was like going to culinary school and getting paid to do it. Over time, I advanced to Sous Chef and became the ultimate foodie. I loved the farm-to-table approach and was excited to expand on this healthy connection.
The Beginning of a Wellness Coach
After my work visa expired, I traveled around England, Scotland, and Europe before making my way to Scottsdale, Arizona. I found work at a high-end restaurant and even did some volunteering at a permaculture garden. With a desire to connect more with my health and body, I enrolled in Yoga Teacher Training. As I was immersed in various classes, I discovered a Holistic Nutrition Program that was the perfect compliment to my wellness and culinary experience. In 2009, I started my Wellness Coaching company. Before I knew it, I was working full-time as a 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 many summers there, I’d always fantasized about living in such a beautiful area. It seemed like a dream come true, so we sold our home in Arizona 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 prestigious 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 within the next day, I didn’t feel like myself. I felt fuzzy-headed, bloated, inflamed, and the symptoms kept coming. I wasn’t getting better and it wasn’t due to a lack of trying.
About 7 months later, some workers came by to patch up a roof leak and they ended up sharing that many of the previous tenants moved out 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 we had to 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 three more times around the area and found another rental high in Stachybotrys, an extremely 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 were able to wreak havoc on my health. During that time, I was diagnosed with Mold Illness or Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Lyme Disease, 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 me a long time to get out of shock. I felt so much sadness, anger, and frustration. The stress did NOT support my health either. When doctors began discussing disability options, I decided to dig even deeper into different wellness modalities. After experimenting, I found Dynamic Neural Retraining System which allowed me to begin rewiring my brain so that I could get back to a healthier state. Although this program provided great relief, it took over an hour a day and wasn’t the big shift I needed. So I continued searching for something more effective.
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 fast-paced corporate environment wasn’t in alignment with the health or life I wanted to create. Within a few months, I decided to resign. I returned full-time to Wellness Coaching but was determined to take it to the next level and impact ALL areas of wellness. 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, I always felt like something was missing. I didn’t feel fulfilled. 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 transformation 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 a part of my soul WAKE UP. The more I researched, the more I knew I had to experience plant medicine. I decided to embrace this crazy calling and set my intention to “lose my mind and find my soul.” And so my journey to the jungle 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 remote 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 wifi and no 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 definitely amplifies your senses.
I’m Ok, I’m NOT Ok
Although I have over 70 pages of notes that I wrote after my Ayahuasca ceremonies, there are no words to adequately describe what I experienced. I won’t go into too many details here. However, I will say 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 6 or more hours of ceremony, you think you’re getting out barely alive only to find you often feel reborn. I had a couple of ceremonial re-births that were traumatic, yet transformative. Although everyone has a different experience and no two ceremonies are alike, most participants share a beautiful bond with love and connectedness.
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 exhausted, drained, and depleted I was on all levels. For the first time in a decade, I didn’t have a lengthy to-do list to tackle. Slowing down and relaxing was challenging for me. I didn’t know where to begin. I was addicted to over-doing, over-giving, and over-achieving. Having this time to go inward and reflect was immensely beneficial. The more I connected with myself, the more insights and intuitive wisdom flowed through. As I received clarity and guidance, I got excited about moving forward in a new and more beneficial way.
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 with my dog along the river, I looked up at three tall ponderosa pines and over the middle tree, I saw an eagle and a bird that looked like a condor 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 signed up and 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 method I’d tried. I have to 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 improvements in ALL areas of my life. My health issues resolved, my energy became more grounded, and I became less emotionally reactive. The anxiety, worry, fear, and other low vibes I frequently felt before seemed to pass quickly as they were no longer in alignment. I started taking action on creating the life I wanted. I set healthy boundaries, prioritized my needs, and created a more loving relationship with myself. Everything was clicking into place as my healing journey continued.
Follow Your Heart
Suddenly, I had much more effective tools, but I wasn’t sure how everything fit together. I kept following my intuition and it 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 healer, I decided to give myself the freedom to explore and that meant being on my own. Although it was a loving and kind divorce, it was still sad and painful. I didn’t want to give up everything I loved, but it felt like I needed to follow this path. So I embraced this part of my healing 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 at that time.
Back to the Jungle, I Go
When I returned to Peru, I volunteered on a 3-week Ayahuasca retreat. Then, I visited Cusco and Sacred Valley and even rented an apartment in the slums of Iquitos for a few weeks. Of all the things I’ve done in my life, this was one of the MOST transformative. Living amongst others in a third-world country really gives you perspective on what’s important. My empathy for others skyrocketed, while my desire to complain plummeted. It was challenging to go anywhere and do anything, especially because I don’t speak Spanish. Let’s just say I have lots of adventurous and entertaining stories to share, now!
Shaman Initiation Training
When the time came, I was ready to get back to the jungle. From Iquitos, I took a long bus ride, followed by a muddy hike into the Amazon 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 dietas, purgatives, protective baths, soplaying (energy cleansing and protection), Icaros (healing songs), and other healing remedies. My training required a restrictive diet, periods of silence, days of fasting, and more.
Mosquitos, Chiggers & Parasites, Oh My!
The jungle was full of mysterious beauty and many 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 door” and “back door.” The hardest part was that itching causes them to spread and burrow under even more parts of your skin. Sounds fun, right?
Then, you’ve got even smaller problems, like parasites. I picked three nasty parasitic infections in the jungle. Over half my camp got sick, including our facilitators. I hadn’t been able to keep food or water in for 5 days and felt 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 at that time 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 just 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 felt so weak and depleted from weeks of ceremonies, purgatives, fasting, restrictive meals, and plant medicinals, that getting parasites was especially challenging.
Recovery & Realizations
With lots of rest, fluid, and papaya, I was able to get back to the jungle. However, I knew that in order to complete my training I needed to have fun and 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.
When my 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 weight loss goal or have a certain amount of money. This is how we get it backward and our lack of self-love plays a big role. Rather than enjoying life in the now, we postpone it until we feel more worthy. In my experience, I realized that my SUCCESS in all areas of my life (including health) 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 joy and love. Although love is a powerful healer, you must get rid of the blocks preventing you from loving yourself and enjoying life. I’ve found my special 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 of the way allows you to connect with yourself and the present more. From this space you can begin creating 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.” I look at them as “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 total 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 the time I last left was 9 months. I let the old stories, patterns, and parts of me die, to give birth to a new way of living. As a result, my life continues to unfold in ways that are better than I could have imagined!
What About Jeff?
I knew there’s no one I enjoy life more with than my ex, Jeff. He’s my soul mate and has been a blessing in my life since we met in 2008. But, I realized that for the relationship to work, that I needed to enter it from a space of wholeness and vice versa. Luckily, Jeff had been doing some big transformational work too. When I got back to Oregon, we started dating and it felt like our connection was stronger than ever. We fell in love in a new and nourishing way. Thanks to PSYCH-K, we’ve been able to remove many of our personal and collective 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
What I hope you see here is 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’s 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 “problem” you experience. When you learn the lesson, you overcome it and reach new levels of healing and enjoyment. When you see life from this perspective that everything is a lesson designed for us, then 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 the healing of 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 extreme, painful, and even dangerous. It was part of my path, but I learned that you don’t need the jungle if you have the right guidance and tools. Besides, the true transformation came after. That’s the beauty of PSYCH-K, you can find incredible gain without the suffering and pain. However, if you’re called to have a ceremonial experience, then contact me for support.