Although Kat has worked at Disney, cofounded a successful video game studio, and worked with startups, in the background she had always been into transformational work. She explains it best in her blog. She dedicated herself to that work, and dove deep into shamanic apprenticing, working with ayahuasca as a coach and helping people navigate through the integration processes.
After 11 Years, Why the Change?
When you invest 11 years in your journey towards shamanism, why would you make the decision to leave that life behind?
“I was on a path to be a healer, right? That’s essentially how we hold most shamans and facilitators of the medicine,” Kat explains. “I got to a place after working with her so long, that I felt like there was nothing left to heal, not just for myself, but for the world. That’s not to say that there isn’t a tremendous amount of suffering and chaos and pain, but I started really, really understanding the divine purpose of that.”
Kat wouldn’t give up any of the suffering on her own path, because that is what makes her who she is. “So I got to the place with the medicine, where I thought the way that I could work with her best was to help people integrate it, because there is a lot of shamans, a lot of facilitators, but there’s not a lot of people holding space for folks outside the ceremony.” Her work is now as a guide to holding place and healing, rather than the shamanistic work of trying to fix things. “Essentially, ayahuasca worked too well with me,” she explains, “and I gave up wanting to fix something.”
The Awakening Entrepreneur’s Unique Challenge
“For those of us who have mastered, on any level, this tangible world, it can be much harder to sit in the ceremony space and open our hearts to the wisdom, because we’ve got a lot to lose if we’re doing well in this world,” Kat acknowledges. “It’s in some ways easier for those people who haven’t yet figured out how to make money or create amazing businesses, or impact change in that way.”
One of the first recommendations Kat offers is that entrepreneurs develop a meditation practice and become skilled at sitting in stillness. This helps to teach the skill of being the observer instead of the manipulator. “If you’re good in this world, you’re used to being in control,” explains Kat, “and the medicine is going to take that control. At some point, she is stronger than we are, no matter what we’ve created in this world.”
She recommends that you go in with an open heart, and as little expectation as possible, “because it’s such a mysterious place, and this is not the place where you want to be the large and in charge CEO,” she cautions. “This is the place where you want to give up your power to something that’s bigger.”
Do Your Homework
“I see people going back in and dealing with the same issues over and over again, because they haven’t spent the time out of ceremony to do the homework,” says Kat. “Ayahuasca gave me this wisdom once, sitting in ceremony. She’s like, ‘please coach people to do their homework outside of the teacher’s desk’ because coming into the ceremony over and over again to do the same thing is not necessarily the highest use of your time or her energy.”
Kat believes that homework outside of the ceremony space is sacred. She cautions that if you’re feeling stuck, or even called to continue with the medicine, the first step is making sure your homework is covered.
The Company You Keep
“We have the expression misery loves company,” Kat says, “and a lot of us keep company with people that we just complain with and commiserate, and that will create stagnation. So, ayahuasca is very commonly giving us the insight that it is time to let people go. That’s painful. We resist that a lot.” She points out that it’s not a matter of rejecting people, rather, it’s the closing of one door so we can open the next, in our spiritual evolution. Sometimes loving people from a distance is best for all concerned.
Reconnect with Your Soul
Kat says that ayahuasca helps us realize what we came here to do, and to reconnect with our souls. “I’m a small-town girl from Montana,” Kat points out, “and I thought I had manifested the dream life, and her response to me was basically, ‘lovely life you have, too bad you hate it.’ That was true, and my success was not a reflection of my happiness.” In order to figure out what she was here to do, Kat relinquished her video game studio. If she had held onto it, she wouldn’t have been able to embrace life’s next adventure. “By letting that go,” she says, “I’ve been able to call in what makes my soul happy. So now I’m creating abundance for myself and others, and I’m overjoyed. Some people don’t have that problem. They’re already in their soul’s work, so they drink the medicine and they get the validation, the thumbs up, but for a lot of us, we are not doing our true calling. That’s tough news to receive, too.”
The Message for the Awakening, Successful Entrepreneur
For those who haven’t yet sat with the medicine, it’s common to fear that if you become spiritually open, you’ll have to give up the life that you love. “I’m here because I want more people that are really good at building things in the world to have these awakenings,” she says. “They don’t have to give up their money. What they may have to do is become more aligned with how to create greater good, in addition to being a rock star in the entrepreneurial space.” Kat believes that the more of us who are building that bridge, becoming good at being in both tangible and intangible worlds, the better that we can take care of each other.
For those, who have sampled the medicine, Kat says, there are no rules. If you are called to touch it again, go for it. If you are not, that’s okay too. She reminds us that we all have different callings. “Your calling may be to shovel manure at Disneyland, and that’s a divine calling, too. Not to feel like just because you had the oneness experience, you have to drop your business and go study in a monastery, right?” She points out that everything we do is spiritual, including shoveling manure, or starting a new company and making a million dollars. It’s all part of our evolution.
Some people come back from sitting with ayahuasca feeling fragmented, and Kat is no stranger to that experience. Thanks to her, there is now help to get you through it. “It’s a hazard of the job of being a spiritual explorer,” she says. “The good news is that the fragmentation is temporary, whether it be months, years, or lifetimes. You’re going to put yourself back together.”
To avoid that in the first place, Kat recommends being discerning about with whom you do this work. “If you feel called to dive right in, all good,” she says. “I dove right in. I have no regrets, but I’m really lucky that I dove in with people that knew how to help me navigate those intense spaces.” If you do find yourself feeling fragmented, reach out for help. That is not always the easiest thing for someone like an entrepreneur, who is used to being the boss. It’s not impossible to navigate on your own, but it’s not easy, either. Some help will smooth your path, and make the journey easier.
“We need more people that are good at this world, to expand into the intangible world, and be bridge-walkers. We need many people that can come back and create positive change for the earth, and for all its inhabitants, because we’ve got plenty of people who are causing destruction,” Kat says. “The more of us that are on the side of the light, the better. Take confidence in the fact that you had the courage to create a business from nothing, to play in this world in a big way. Clearly, you have a toolset to do the same in the intangible world, so I would highly encourage you to dive in.”
Connect with Kat on her website.
Click here for her blog, and her post titled, Why I Quit Ayahuasca Shamanism After 11 Years and 1,000 Ceremonies.