Episode 004

Kate’s Awakening Story

Ego Death & The Dark Night of the Soul

In this episode Kate shares her awakening journey, which began with the realization of her ego and its unhealthy impact on her life. She shares with us how the events that followed sparked an intense ego death and dark night of the soul that completely transformed her life.

In this conversation we explore the healing power of nature, how awakenings deepen our connection with our authentic selves and the importance of trusting, surrendering, and embracing the human experience.

We reflect on our own journeys of awakening and how every moment of our lives, is leading us to lessons, growth edges and experiences our soul wants us to have so that we can live into our full potential.

And finally we delve into understanding how to heal the unhealthy ego, our limiting beliefs and stories by cultivating compassion for it, so that we can live our lives as our authentic, soul selves.

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Episode 4
Awakening Conversations
004. Kate’s Awakening Story - Ego Death & The Dark Night of the Soul

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In this episode...


  • Recognizing and taking responsibility for our unhealthy ego expression is a crucial step in personal growth and self-discovery.
  • Nature can be a powerful healer and teacher, reminding us of our connection to the world and the truth of who we are.
  • A deep sense of presence, inner peace, and connectedness are some of the gifts of the awakening experience. 
  • Learning to trust and surrender to the force of life that is guiding and supporting us is made easier through our awakening
  • Developing compassion for the ego and approaching it with love can allows us the fully understand and heal our limiting beliefs and stories


Amanda (00:00)

Hello, we are here today with our third episode of, actually our fourth episode, of the Awakening Conversations podcast. I’m Amanda and Kate is here with me. We are going to be exploring her awakening journey today. Last episode we dove into my story and I’m looking forward to hearing more in depth how she, how her journey has been. We, as we mentioned before, have only known a glimpse of each other’s stories. And so I’ll be enjoying, as you enjoy, what her process has been. And I know that we’re going to have the opportunity to take away some nuggets of insight and wisdom just from her experience and what she’s been through.


Welcome Kate and welcome everyone to today’s episode. To dive in, I think letting people know a little bit about the backs, briefly, what’s the backstory of your awakening journey? Then we’ll dive into some deeper details once we kind of hear the gist of it. 


Kate (01:14)

Okay. So my awakening journey is what we call an ego death. And I think I’ve also used the term, uh, the dark night of the soul. For me, it was an experience of my life, the events of my life leading up to this experience really being quite stressful and intense. And I had a lot of, I had a lot of fear and worry and anxiety. To give context to that, I had moved to Japan from Hungary and left a life that I really loved to come to Japan to do something completely crazy and different with my husband, which was to open a hotel in a ski region. And we bought a building that had been closed for 12 years. And we had nine months to renovate 12 hotel apartments, build a cafe, and a restaurant in the building, then open it for a winter season. 


So we moved here, or Ricky moved here in the May. I was really reluctant to come with him because I had built a business in Budapest. So I had a few things to do there and eventually got here. And over that period, we were really working hard to get this building renovated, operational.


And facing all the challenges of doing such a thing in a foreign country where nobody knows who you are and trying to find builders and architects and all of the resources we needed was super challenging because it’s a lot about relationship here and we didn’t know anyone, we didn’t live here, we didn’t speak Japanese. 


So the experience in and of itself became this catalyst of taking me in my mind from a place where I felt like I had, you know, stability, let’s say control of my thoughts, let’s say, and enough space to be able to apply tools whenever I noticed myself, you know, get myself maybe worked up with fear or doubt. I could really work with the fears and doubts I had prior to that. But as life got more and more intense here and the renovations and you know, the budget started to get blown out and we couldn’t find the workers or the materials and some of the staff that we had working for us or the builders. They were just the wrong people to have in our lives. 


And then it was such an intense experience that I describe it as like literally every day, just putting a seatbelt on to strap into the roller coaster. And really not knowing what was ahead of us. Because sometimes you do one second, it’s all sweet. And the next second you’re like plummeting and the next thing you’re like doing the actual loops. And it was so intense. And I can remember at some point, you know, doing physical renovations myself with zero experience. I was actually waterproofing a bathroom and I’m standing on a ladder with a roller in my hand. And I’m so in my head because I’m also alone, which I think compounded that right.


Kate (04:21)

Uh, anytime I’ve spent a fair bit of time on my own, I really noticed the negative voice in my head, but I was spending a lot of time on my own with my thoughts, like thinking about how we’re going to do this, you know, where are we going to find extra cash for this next thing we’ve got to do? And, you know, painting this wall with a brush and seeing how my fear was rising in me and I was worrying and worrying, and I was having this internal battle where I was trying to apply all of these tools that I have to help me stay open, help me, you know, be positive, help me stay in the potential, help me trust. 


And I could just feel this fear building and building and building, and it just was getting stronger and stronger and kind of just like, was like a dark cloud rolling into my mind to the point where I just, it got so intense that it took over. And it really then just became that I couldn’t detach from the fear. I couldn’t detach, I lived in a state of fear. Fear of how everything was going to turn out. We had all our money in it, we had friends and family invested in it. So, you know, this timeline to get things done and then it looked like we wouldn’t open and it’s like, well, we can’t open, we can’t not open because we’ve got to wait a whole nother year to then even make money. What are we going to do? 


So it was just like, you know. We opened. Then we had to run it. And so then we had this three month intense period of running a restaurant, a cafe and a hotel, never having done any of that again, with me hiring staff for the first time and actually doing a pretty shit job of it. They knew what to do, but they weren’t the right people to have. So we ended up doing, I don’t know, probably 20 hour days for three months and every job and Ricky got sick. He got hospitalized in the middle of it. 


And, you know, so that was, that was what kind of began this process. I described the end of that first season as being chewed up and spat out. And I literally feel like I just got, like a tumbleweed, got thrown out in life. And then I just was, what on earth was that experience? And I didn’t really recover from it before we were back into hiring for the second season and doing it all again. I’ll say that I learned a lot about how to hire and I did a much better job the second time around.


But it was just as intense. And it was through that second season that I just started to crack and my fears and my stress and my anxiety got worse to the point where I then in my mind started to turn it all around to then project that very much so onto Ricky and like blaming him for how I felt. You bought us here, this was your idea.


Kate (07:10)

You’ve got to do this and you’ve got to do that. And, and just, you know, I was, if I wasn’t looking someone in the eye, I was in tears. You know, I was, I was, it was either dealing with people face to face or I was alone and I was in tears or I would go down to wash towels at the local laundromat. Cause you know, they needed to be washed before more guests arrived. 


And I just can remember I was just completely miserable. And so disconnected from this person that I’d been when I lived in Budapest that I just didn’t know myself. I couldn’t access joy. I couldn’t access happiness. I couldn’t access any of that. 


And by the time we got to the end of that last season or that second season, I was a shell of myself. And the only thing I knew is like, I have to leave this place to go and find myself again. Cause I can’t do it here because I just, that’s all I knew. I was like, I have to go. I don’t know how long I need to go, but I just know I have to go.


So it was a really challenging thing to have to even say to my husband, I need to go. And I don’t really know what’s going to happen. Like, I don’t know. Um, and so I did, I ended up leaving and I, I went, I had to decide where am I going to go? I needed to, all I knew is that I needed to be somewhere where I didn’t know anyone. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I need to be alone, I need to be able to do yoga, I need to meditate, it needs to be in nature. And you know, we’ve, we’re still financially challenged by all of the things we’ve gone through. So it’s like, well, and it needs to be cheap. I need to be able to like stay for some period of time and it not cost me a fortune. 


So interestingly, as a synchronistic event had a month before been a suggestion when I’d had an Akashic record reading at the end of this, there was just this message that came through about Bali and I, at the time that I received that I was like, well, I don’t want to go back to Bali. I’d been there 20 years before and had no desire. And so it was in this moment of trying to decide where to go that that came back to me. And I was like, okay, well, I can afford that. I can, you know, it’s close to home.


So I went home for a little bit, saw my family and then I headed there and I booked, you know, a two month stay so I could go to the yoga barn and just do yoga. All I wanted to do was move my body and just be in that place where it connects me to who I am. And so it was when I got there that I was like, okay, that’s helpful. You know, this movement is really helping me reset my nervous system, let’s say, and to bring that back to a state of balance. But my mind was still, you know, in this awful place. And I was like, well, I know I need to talk to someone. So I, you know, Googled counselors and psychologists thinking, oh, yeah, it’s probably a long shot. And it was, but everything kind of kept leading me back to where I already was practicing yoga at the yoga barn and that there were teachers, there are counselors of sorts, spiritual counselors. And I went to their like office where they offer the, you know, wonder ones. And they had all the pamphlets of the people who offer readings and sessions and things. And I narrowed it down to two people. And I was like, you know, which one of these people am I supposed to see? And I really let my intuition guide me and ended up picking this, this guy called Kion.


And so I thought I’d suss him out first. I did a course that he offered and through that course I was like, okay, I’m going to book this session with him. And I remember walking into that session thinking I was going to tell my story of, you know, how wronged I’d been by my husband’s choices and how miserable it made my life and how it got me to this place in my head. And he was just like, you know, he wasn’t having a bar of it and everything I kept saying to him is like, you’re not telling me the truth. You’re not telling me the truth. And I was just like, what are you talking about? He’s like, you’re not telling me the truth. Not telling me the truth. And they tell me again. And I was just like, all right. 


So I’m trying to tell this same story layer by layer. He’s wearing me down to get me to this point where he’s showing me I’m telling a story. My ego is telling a story. And there was this moment where I then had to dig so deep below all these stories that I said something that I was just like, oh, that felt really uncomfortable to say. And he’s like, okay, now you’re telling the truth. And I was just like, what on earth is this? 


And so from this moment, he then began to really like have his finger on my ego pointing out to my ego how, you know, what it was doing, how it was talking or how I was speaking very much from that place. And I left that session feeling like I’d just got into a fight, literally like I’d been punched up and that I’d lost the fight. But I really wanted another round of the fight. And I realized in that moment that it was my ego that had been in the fight. My ego had put up a fight that this, what is this guy talking about? And it was the first moment that I ever realized or knew in my life that I had an ego. 


And again, another way I described that experience of that conversation, that back and forth, his insistence was like being punched so hard that a whole other part of me had fractured, like punched me in the belly and like part of me popped out. And I can remember leaving the session, like feeling like I could sense and see this thing that I’d never known I had or had any awareness of before and I was like, what on earth is that? And started to have that sense of like, that’s not me, that’s not real. 


And I’ll just say one more thing, but it was, it was that experience that I went back to my, my room where I was, had rented to stay where I was just like, I can see for the first time how we make up our thoughts. Like we can create a thought about something or a story about something that completely flavors how we experience something and yet we can totally make that story up, right? We can totally tell ourselves anything and it may not even be the


And it was quite a shocking realization that my thoughts and these stories had so much power to inflict these kinds of intense emotions on me that really was like, okay, I’m onto something here.


Amanda (13:42)

That’s quite the journey to begin to see an aspect of yourself that you weren’t quite aware of previously. So I have some questions about specific things that you shared, but I’m curious if you wanna go into what happened next, like now that you see the ego, like what happened?


Kate (13:53)

So initially, as I said, you know, there was this realization that it existed, there was this realization that this aspect of me, this part of me, this thing, I called it a thing, had this capability to get so in my mind and infiltrate my mind in such a way that it could create a story about what I was experiencing and then I could buy into that and believe it and then that would be my experience of my life. And so standing outside of it, looking at it, I was just like, wow, like what on earth? 


So initially I was just like, I need to continue whatever just started. I have to commit to this because, you know, this is where I’m going to find myself again, or at least, you know, figure out what just happened. And so I ended up having two more sessions with this guy. And it was actually the way I can describe it, what he asked me to then do. I had to write this list of taking responsibility for not just where, you know, where I’d got myself with these beliefs, but like basically my whole life, through different things that happened to me since, when I was younger, I was bullied. And it really tore me apart in terms of my self-esteem and my confidence and my own liking of myself. I hated myself for a very long time. 


And so from that really awful place within me, again, I realized this was my ego telling me a story about who I was, how lovable I was, how good enough I was because these people didn’t like me anymore. So it’s clearly something wrong with me that back then, even my ego was present in an unhealthy expression telling me that, you know, do this and people will like you and or you should be like this. And people will like you or, you know, I made choices that weren’t really very good choices throughout my life because it was this will get you attention, this will get you love, or this will get you affection, you know? And yet I used this as a, I did this because that happened to me. I did this because that happened to me, you know? And nothing really crazy, but just didn’t actually make me love myself anymore. Didn’t get me external, you know, the thing I was seeking, which to feel like I was lovable is something I had to give myself. 


But I had to go back over my whole life to reclaim all of that, that no, you didn’t do that because X, Y, and Z happened to you or because you were bullied or because you, you know, you had low self-esteem. You chose those choices. You put yourself in those positions. You did those things. You were in full power and full choice. And it was just like, Whoa. And I had to write this list. And I can remember sitting in a cafe two days before my second session, trying to, I chose to blah, blah. I chose to… whatever. 


And even now, when I think about it, there’s a physical clenching and reaction in my body that I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t write it. Like my body didn’t want to do it. My ego, my whatever was the feeling like, oh, I didn’t want to. I felt, you know, the mouth was watering. And eventually it was about probably three hours before the session. I was like, I have to do this. And so I wrote this list claiming all these choices, all these decisions, all these actions.


And it was just, even now I can feel it. It’s like, it was like pulling out something from my system, this claiming, this taking responsibility that it was, you know, then I had to go to my session and read him the list and stand there. And like, he kept saying to me, you’ve got to put your ego on the altar. You’ve got to put your ego on the altar. Evil things grow in the dark or how he described it. Like he described it as, you know, if you put germs in a petri dish and you leave it in the dark, they’re gonna fester. So put them in the light. The light is what is going to, you know, bring the dark to its knees and like purify the dark, is gonna cleanse you of these things essentially. 


So, you know, I read this list to him and it was, it was in some ways like an exorcism, you know, and it was painful, it was excruciating. It was, you know, it was so challenging to, to claim those things. And I can remember even writing the sentences and I could feel my ego come back in and like soften it. I was like, wait, no reverse. Like, I’ve got to like, go there. I’ve got to go there. And, and I can’t quite remember if it was after that session, I had one more with him. 


But, you know, I went back to my room and I just cried in a way that it was like that deep, deep sob of just like, I don’t even know, like, you know, when you’re in that hole, that place where you’ve hit the rock, rock bottom and you know, you just sob and feel all of the things, the guilt and the shame and the like, you know, realizing, I guess in that’s, in some ways it was a grief. It was a dying, that was the dying part. It was this, these stories dying, these beliefs dying, you know, there was this actual movement of this energy, I guess, when I think about it now. 


And, you know, after that, when I really then had to forgive myself for that, and then return to that place of compassion, which is something that really opened for me from that experience, I did, I just felt, I felt reborn. I felt completely vulnerable as well, of course, like this massive part of who I’d been in an intense way for two years, in some ways for a lot of my life up and down, but it got super intense in that sort of Japanese time, it disappeared, you know, like 80% of the noise it, from the two year period that was in my head all the time, it was gone. And so I was in this place, in this place of myself, in this place in Bali, where I was just like, it was quiet, it was silent. And it was just like, so that there’s a vulnerability in that pure silence of like, well, what now? Like, who am I now? Like what’s, what just happened? Um, and so yeah, that, that was sort of what ensued afterwards. And, I did then return back to Japan and it was like, my eyes were open.


And, you know, this is where I think I came to understand that I’d had an awakening because I literally did feel like I’d just woken up to how we work, how an ego in its unhealthy expression can work and how it can then like literally be like this, you know, lens is probably not even a strong enough word, but like movie I created that I was like, this is what my life is like.


This is it, you know, and I would live in this box like this. And, and the stories and the thoughts and the beliefs that were justifying, you know, things, this is my life. And yet when that was gone, as I actually know, it’s not, that’s just thoughts. That’s just beliefs, the stories. I had an understanding that I could change my thoughts prior to that. Of course, you know, we, I can turn a negative thought into a positive one, but this was different. This is the stories, the beliefs, the ingrained stuff, the things we hold as truths about who we are through our experiences in our lives. And with that gone, I don’t know, I did, I just saw life, my heart was open. I came back to Japan and I would look out the window of our hotel and I would see the mountains and then just the water and the grass. And I would just be moved to like absolute tears of like, this is real.


This is what reality is. This is real. Like I had this kind of strange connection of looking at nature, feeling the love in my heart and knowing that I was that, you know, that was me. This is what it’s really about, you know? And I say that was when I really found God. And I mean, when I say God, I don’t mean a man in the sky. I just mean this, you know, energy, this force, this what life really is, right? My heart had opened. I think Ubud has an energy as well that really plugged into me and supported me in that time that just everything was different. Like I was different and I could, I could. It was so silent in my head. The presence like you spoke to last week was so profound and so deep that I was like, I never wanna leave this state. Like this feels, this feels so amazing.


So I sort of then began to cultivate, okay, well, you know, what is here now? And, you know, there’s a greater access to intuition, to knowing, to, you know, divine timing, this pace of life that really exists beneath or under all of that, or around all of that, however we want to describe it. But yeah, that sort of began then this completely new trajectory of my life where I really opened up to the spiritual part of myself and spirituality and my connection to life. And it’s been an unfolding, more and more of an unfolding from that point.


Amanda (23:55)

Well, it seems to me, you mentioned control and stability with regard to your life prior to moving to Japan. And it seems like that felt safe and familiar. And then you got thrown into this adventure that, maybe you agreed to, but you know, you passed on the responsibility to someone else. So when it got hard, you know, it was like, oh, that wasn’t my choice. Like this isn’t my choice. 


And, but really it was an opportunity, you know, it’s, it could be seen as, some people might say, oh, it’s like spiritual bypassing to say that we’re, you know, we put ourselves into these situations intentionally for a reason, but you know, in order for you to have this awakening experience, you had to be tested, right? You had to be out of your comfort zone and really how we can like make our, like imprison ourselves by our perception of our circumstances, right? Like, so, you know, believing like this is hard. This is, you know, the scarcity, what happens with looking at the situation from a scarcity mindset, not trusting that things are gonna work out, everything can spiral and devolve, like a downward spiral essentially. And once you get in that place, it’s really hard to get out, but you made the choice, right? That was the first step in reclaiming your power was making the choice to leave to choose something differently, right? 


And then recognizing how you’ve been making choices all along, but not really owning that or acknowledging that or when it gets difficult reverting back, reverting to the place of I didn’t do this, right? This wasn’t me. And then from that, it’s like how do we believe we can believe we’re powerless, right? If we’re thinking that we didn’t create this ourselves.


And so it’s quite interesting how, well, I think it’s cool to see, you know, you, as I know, you stayed, you know, you’ve been in the, you were in your, with your hotel for seven years total. So you were able to do it for five more years. And like, that’s a humongous feat to create, like do what you did in those nine months. Like, obviously like that can cause burnout in people.


But it’s like you created that, you and your husband created that, and then to be able to like come back and appreciate that experience and experience it from a new lens, that’s like a really cool contrast to see like the two sides of the experience. How was running the hotel after you got back?


Kate (26:51)

So what was really interesting is that, you know, nothing outside of me had changed in terms of the workload, the stress, the financials, you know, like we were still, you know, trying to get ahead to, to get ourselves into, you know, making profit and being able to pay back investors and things like that. And so I have this experience and come back to, you know, life as it is, but it is completely different. You know, I have, as you say this now, this access to being able to hold this larger experience in a new way. And what I mean by that is that I had access through this experience to an inner peace, an inner sense of calm, an inner sense of connectedness that I could, and presence.


Presence was a major piece of it that, okay, here I am, here I am, this is my life. And I could, the experience really felt like I had such a greater access to this and I use my hands around my head like this in a really big way, like this presence really radiated out to me. And the more I actively engaged in being present with, anytime someone spoke to me, I looked them in the eye and I held their gaze the entire time they spoke to me. You know, I used my life to maintain that presence, to truly listen, to not be thinking. I enjoyed all this not thinking. Um, so I really allowed myself to hold onto that presence. And so what that meant was the external circumstances that still would have normally been the triggers for me to have fears and all the stress, I could see them and they were still there, but there was this space.


You know, I could, it was kind of like standing in a room and yes, they were in the room, but they were like up against the walls. They were further away instead of like right here in front of my face screaming at me. And so that kind of…


Amanda (28:52)

It’s like you created a boundary of like, where they can’t penetrate you like they were, like you’re porous and they were just able to infiltrate you.


Kate (29:12)

Yeah. Mm hmm. And so it was that, you know, that inner connection, that, that opening to realize that’s not me that gave me the space to say, okay, yes, fear can be here. Doubt can be here. Your anxiety can be here. Like I recognize you, I’m not gonna wrong you. But, you know, there was, yeah, it was this massive buffer to be like, no, okay, I don’t need to go there, right? My power is in the present. And I mean, I didn’t think that I cognitively understood that in that moment, I just had this experience of this radiating presence that gave me that boundary. 


So I was able to come back and you know, I blamed Japan too, for all of my problems. Prior to this experience, I used to say that I was an avatar, trying to walk around with my tail, trying to find somewhere to plug it in and that I couldn’t, couldn’t connect to this place. You know, my tail didn’t have anywhere to plug into. And, and so, you know, Japan and I created a new relationship as well. Um, where I’ve fallen in love with it. And I, and nature was a major, major part of my healing after that time, you know.


I live in a mountain town, in a ski town, and when it’s not snowing, it’s this beautiful, beautiful place with flowers and running water and just, it’s wild. And I’ve, Japan has 72 micro seasons, you know, it’s literally day by day, something’s changing, something’s happening, something’s shifting, it’s alive. And so I just, with this presence that I had, began to like pay attention to nature in such a new way that I don’t know, it really, I still sound crazy, but I communed with nature. 


You know, I would sit where I had a little chair in a space in the hotel that looked out to the mountain and I had a neighbor’s garden I could see. And I would journal every day because I really was connected to myself. So it was a journaling practice to really just keep processing. And I would look out at nature and just watch it and learn from it, like the pace of things, the timing, the trust that everything that you see in nature has its full potential. It doesn’t question, it doesn’t worry. It knows when to bloom, it knows when to hold the seed and it knows innately. And I remembered just, it was remembering that I am that, I have that. And so I really let myself contemplate nature and the way that nature unfolds and nothing is ever half-arsed or you know, a flower doesn’t just like half pop open or it’s only half beautiful. Like, I don’t know.  It just really was..


Amanda (31:40)

It doesn’t doubt itself.


Kate (32:00)

Yeah, it doesn’t doubt itself. It just knows. And it just was a really, this beautiful,b healer in my life to sit with that. And like, it helped me trust the timing of my own life, right? That there is the perfect moment when, you know, things will shift.


But in that time, be in this experience. How can I be fully present for whatever? And that particular year of coming back to Japan was as challenging, if not more, with different circumstances that played out with people in our lives. And again, it was kind of almost like I got to put to work and to test this new place straight away. And I navigated a very intense period, another intense period of this Japanese experience from this grounded, open, present place, making decisions that felt very aligned, that was really new, you know, and it was just as much intensity on the outside that could have easily taken me right back there, but you know, I just, that was the beauty of the gift or a gift that came from that experience of, you know, when we have that connection to ourselves or that center or life or whatever it is, you know, we can see things differently, we can hold them differently, we can anchor ourselves to this part of ourselves to move in more alignment with more love, compassion, kindness, forgiveness, and acceptance of life than we might have done before.


Amanda (33:07)

Yeah, it’s so interesting that so many of the things you’re sharing have been experiences that I’ve had through my process and through my journey. And it’s just magical and wild that it’s like this awakening process has us go through these lessons in very unique ways, right? But there’s these universal experiences that I think a lot of people go through in the healing process.


Amanda (33:34)

For example, you mentioned the presence and that was something I talked about last on sharing my journey, that presence that was there. And then the boundaries, right? Like part of my journey has been learning where I did not have boundaries at all. And so, you know, empathic people, which, you know, if many of us probably are listening to this.


Amanda (33:58)

We aren’t aware how we let everything in. And so when we let everything in, we don’t have that buffer, that boundary. We absorb all of the negative energies, frequencies of our environments, of our society and our world that we’re existing in, and we’re not even aware that we’re doing it.


Amanda (34:18)

And then you talk about immersion in nature. And that was a big piece of my journey as well. It’s like when we recognize the doubts and fears that were previously running the show. And you know, it’s a process to like, for you it seemed like a switch almost. I think for me it was more of a gradual thing, all these lessons, but recognizing that, like having this deep immersion into nature and like recognizing that we are nature and therefore these beliefs that are keeping us stuck in, doubting mode and fear, like that’s not, that doesn’t happen in the natural world. 


And so once we become more in tune with the natural world, it’s easier for those, like to recognize when those things come in, like, Oh, this is incongruent with who I am and what I am because I am nature. And so yeah, nature is such a huge part. And I it’d be interesting to see like what, what more of these themes come in as we talk to more people, you know, like how prevalent these concepts are and universal they are in the stories that we


Amanda (35:30)

So, you know, it’s easy or not easy, but it’s interesting to look back and in retrospect, look at our journeys and something like, see that something so hard that you went through, like I could feel how hard those first two years were for you, right? Like just feeling in this, like, what it felt like to me is like, you’re in this hole, you can’t get out of it, like, there’s no hope, like, what do I do? Like, I can’t keep going on living this way.


But now you are where you are, like, what is your viewpoint of how everything happened? And also like, Ricky bringing you to Japan. What is your perception on that now where you are after having gone through this?


Kate (36:18)

Yeah, I mean, we spoke to, I think, last week or even in another episode that, you know, our soul has a plan and the experiences that we want to have. And, you know, I do think about, you know, my relationship with Ricky and I do know that we chose to do this experience together, the whole lot, all of it. And so, while I think it was his choice, you know, it was such a, even the fact that we got here.


Neither of us had this on our radar. We were not ever talking about buying, going to Japan and ever talking about buying a hotel and renovating it and running a hotel and cafe. Like this thing happened out of nowhere in a sense. It just happened. And that’s a story I can tell you of just like, life was like, you guys need to be here and you need to be here now. And it like made everything happen. And it made it feel like, Oh, this is going to be amazing. And then we got here and it was like, okay, you guys are ready for, get ready for this next seven years, which is basically you’re gonna get schooled. And so looking back, that’s what we say is that we can see that life, God, universe, our souls, brought us here for this experience. Me to have my awakening, you know, Ricky to be part of that too because it changed our relationship, but also then what we learned through the process of running the hotel, the business, all of it, COVID, having to run one through COVID and like how we get crafty with that and keep it alive.


And then I will say also, like make it the number one hotel that we had the number one on TripAdvisor for six of these seven years that we ran it. But we realized, you know, when we look back, we were being prepared for something. Like we needed to have this massive, intense, like seven years, it doesn’t sound like, well, it sounds like a long time, but it’s not really.


And the intensity of the lessons that we learned, it was just, like I said, it was ongoing. There was never really a period where it was like smooth sailing. Um, so we realized and recognized that it’s this, this was, this was our master’s degree in life, business, all of the things. And, uh, that has, is, is very much in our awareness that, you know, from what we feel is next for us and we can see how we needed this intense period of our life to come to the place we are within ourselves to have the, you know, personally for me, you know, it was, I needed this, I knew I needed it. And it’s interesting the timing of it, just to sort of sidetrack here is that when I turned 39, I was like, this is the last year I am going to put up with this shit. Excuse my French. Like, you know, I was so tired. So this was like,


Amanda (39:11)

And that was when you went to Bali. Or no, was that?


Kate (39:17)

In the year I was 39, I went to Bali. So 39, journaled on my 39th birthday saying, I am not going to cross the threshold of 40, this version of me, I’m not. And so it was like a month before I turned 40 that I returned home from that experience. And so I celebrated turning 40 with that whole part of my life behind me, with a hike up the mountain, took a cupcake and some candles and like ate at the top of the mountain and like celebrated that, yeah, I literally didn’t, 40 has been like the year where I was like, okay, I’m not taking this any further. So, you know, I really know that there was some intention behind it. And I’ll also say there was this moment that back in Budapest before we moved here, I wanted to know how I’m here to serve. I wanted to know with the deepest sincerity and ‘what am I here to do?’. 


And I, and I, I prayed one night with like, show me, I’m so ready. I’m so ready. Like show me. And I literally did expect that I’d just wake up one day and be like, Oh, it’s this and, and here’s how. And now I realize also in retrospect that was another moment where I was like, okay, show me. And so then my life went into this spiral of, you know, to show me, you know, and I’ve come out the other side, like seven years later, seven years of that you know, here I am looking at it going, oh, okay, now I see. So sometimes life is you have to live our lives, right? To have to live into the answer. We don’t, aren’t going to have all these brainwave ideas. Like it’s life is telling us all the time. It is the experience of our lives that what that’s why it’s so important to show up for what is like you spoke about. This is it.


Kate (41:08)

It’s happening. You’re doing it. Like pay attention, bring as much presence as you can to everything that’s happening because your life is, this is it. This is it. You know, like it is the thing that’s telling you. And if you can tap into that intuition or listen to your intuition, no, you know, trust your own knowing and do the practices to help get your mind out of the way and the noise out of the way. Like you can hear it. You can feel your life living through you and just show up for it. Like.


Kate (41:38)

As we said, everything that happens to us is we wanted it at a soul level. We wanted it. So if we did, when you’re in those really challenging situations, why did my soul want this? What am I here to learn from this? You know, how can you open that door to everything in your life from a place of openness and curiosity is really a big thing that’s come out of, you know, the reflection on, on that, on it from this point.


Amanda (42:04)

So it’s really interesting how we might ask for something and we have an idea of what it might look like. And it’s like you having that prayer and you thinking of serving as, maybe you had an idea of what serving might look like, but really it’s like, okay, to prepare you to serve, you need to go through this boot camp first and what this boot camp looks like, it’s gonna give you skills that and it’s not something that you could have like logic yourself into. It’s not something you could have like planned. Yeah, I’m going to do this seven year plan and this like, it’s going to, I’m going to go through this program and it’s giving me the tools I need to do to go to like the, the serving. Um, in it. So it’s, um, it’s just wild to look back to, you know, for you to look back. I, and see that you’ve asked for this in some form, you just didn’t realize that it was gonna come to you in the way that it came to you because you wouldn’t agree to it if you knew that probably.


Kate (43:02)

Oh my God, no,


Amanda (43:10)

Okay, so you had this like big experience as far as like, you know, where it shift, things shifted really quickly for you. But from my experience, our awakening journeys are not done after we have that initial experience, right? So what was your life like, or what did you do to support yourself as you went back to your life in Japan? And did you have further awakenings once you started doing more personal, spiritual growth work?


Kate (43:43)

So first and foremost, I think the big thing that I did to support myself was, it was maintaining that state of presence and this connection that I had with myself because I had a lot of fear for a bit that it would happen again and I didn’t want that to happen again. Like be overtaken by my ego and the fear in such an intense way. And so the presence practices for me were pivotal. And as I said, I journaled every day to stay connected to that part of myself and ask it questions, and nature, as I said, and meditating and things like that. And then it was really just exploring, you know, what did happen to me? What, what now Learning about the ego.


There was an incredible book that I read by Adyashanti. I can’t remember the name of it, but we can link it. That was really helpful for me to understand ego from a spiritual lens, but then also how our ego can take our awakening experience and then turn into other forms of unhealthy ego expression, like the spiritual ego. And so it was this great awareness for me of like, oh, okay. I could easily shift into this pious place of like, I’ve had an awakening. And, you know, so, um, I think it’s called, you know, the end of your life or something like that, but it’s a great book. So I really did dive into the reading and the learning to unpack my experience. I also through the journaling realized that, you know, there were some major lessons that I’d taken away from that experience. I turned that into a course.


Kate (45:29)

And I facilitated that as a course, as I had a coaching business. And that really helped me, you know, solidify what I had learned and, and make sure that they were practices I was embodying and living by.


And so in terms of having other small awakening experiences, I would say that what it has been for me since then, and is, is a continuous expansion. I would use the word expansion. At this point, I don’t know that I’ve had, I think you, like you mentioned, you know, ahas, I’ve definitely had ahas and I’ve definitely committed to the path of unlocking more and more of you know, who am I really? Who is this authentic expression of me? Who, what is my soul here to do? Who am I when I’m being me? So my journey has been really about authentic expression. And so that has led me down many paths of understanding that I have intuitive abilities. I started to read the Akashic records and realized I’m clairvoyant. So I started to practice that and through the, you know, dedication to that practice and feeling so much like I came home to myself by finding that modality.


And that aspect of me that can see and can sense and feel felt like, you know, a really beautiful process of finding a part of myself that felt missing for a very long time. Um, and then through that pursuit, you know, I learned to channel and read different books from channelers that really helped me understand, you know, that greater sense that we are all connected that I had felt, but put words to, um, and


Yeah, it was this, the intuitive abilities opened and that pursuit of learning more about them has meant that it’s been this greater expansion. And then I’ll say one of the big things that really helped with this expansion was this last course that you and I met through the Energy Guide certification that we took with Vanessa, that what we learned in there felt like for me, probably another awakening, I would say, because I took this sort of things that I had sensed and come to learn and threw it up on this massive canvas of life and like really felt like it exploded things for me in terms of my awareness and my understanding and how it all worked and fit together. So for me, there’s come another level of growth, I would say through that process where I could put it all together and then that just kind of felt like another explosion. 


So, in a sense, I can say, yes, there’s probably another awakening experience, but way less intense, as you said, you know, and, and in a different flavor of sorts, I do sense that, you know, in the future, there’s some other parts of my life that they’re going to be some more unlockings. This was such a massive one for me though, that it took, you know, that very negative part of me away. So, you know, I do feel like I’ve got a much more grounded inner world now, that it’s just a refinement of these beliefs that I still have hanging around. And again, as I said before, life is constantly giving us the opportunities to do that. And even in selling our hotel, I had to deepen my trust once again and surrender.


And just trust, trust. You’ve only got trust. I have no control over that. And that was a major part of this journey too of selling the hotel was the deepening of the trust and then when it finally did, I could sense divine timing, you know, and I could see that the metronome of divine timing is a lot slower than we like it to be, but it’s there and it’s working, you know, and, um, yeah, I think just learning to trust and surrender is, is really a big part of the unfolding of an awakening that is a little, little moments of further awakenings we can have once we’ve had, you know, our own particular experiences and letting the process of learning and healing and growing continue to be, you know, like an unfolding of your awakening in a way.


Amanda (49:45)

Yeah, really I think that our lives are here for us to have those experiences where we can do what you just said, as far as working with our relationships to trust and surrender. And it’s like, we get put in these situations where we become fearful, where we doubt whether something’s going to work out. 


And it’s like, we start to clench, we start to, like that’s the energy I feel is that we start to worry and then it’s like the process of allowing ourselves to just let go and see what wants to come for us. It’s like, you know, I’ve had, I’ve had those experiences too where it’s like we are put in those situations so we can cultivate that relationship. And then the next time, you know, the next time there’s going to be other times where we need to do that. But it, because we’ve made it through to the other side by having that experience of letting go, it becomes a, oh, I’m in one of these situations again, let me be with that fear, let me be with that doubt and let me let go again and let’s see what happens. And a lot of times it works out like we’re meant to see that it works out, right? That things are working out for us. And that’s not to say that there’s not ever any, what might seem like unfavorable outcomes, but there’s usually something there for us, right? Like you can’t say to every


Kate (51:20)

Absolutely. And just to add something there as well, like even when we surrender and even when we trust, things are hard. Just because you trust, just because you’ve surrendered doesn’t mean the experience gets easy, is this, you hold that and allow the experiences to unfold in the right timing.


And you show up for them and you be the best version of yourself you can be through that process. You’re loving. You’re kind. You’re, you know, you’re not a bitch to your husband. Um, you know, you, you just, you’re accepting of life and the journey and you’re okay. You said, this is here for me too. You know, you mentioned something, uh, I think in your story about, you know, how a lot of your awakening has been this remembering to feel your emotions, you know, like we’re here to ride these emotions. This is the human experience. The fact that we can experience such high highs and such low lows. Like that’s what we came for. And it’s an emotional planet is something I’ve heard. And you know, this earth school exactly, like this is it, you know, like feel it all because wow, what a crazy experience that is. And, and I will say this too, just to wrap this up.


Kate (52:36)

Through those first two years of the hotel, the intensity of some of the things I felt on that spectrum of emotions that we deem negative or ones we don’t wanna feel made me feel so while they were negative quote unquote experiences, actually I felt so truly alive, like so in my body and so alive and like. There’s almost like when you meet that edge of an emotion in that intensity, it’s like, Whoa, you know, that’s actually kind of cool to feel this angry or this like, you know, like pushed to my edge. 


Amanda (53:11)



Kate (53:29)

Yeah. So sad, you know, and that’s, there’s a beauty in that. I think you mentioned that there’s a beauty in some of that. And, you know, I didn’t obviously have that perspective. Actually, maybe I did have a little bit of that perspective and at times in some of those intense moments that, wow, you know, this is life, like, I’m living on the edge of something I’ve never experienced before. So if we can embrace some of that as well, while we trust and surrender and listen, it’s, you know, it’s a, it’s a wild ride.


Amanda (53:42)

Yeah, and just remembering that it is a ride, it is a roller coaster and, you know, we can learn to, learning to like the roller coaster, right, is like part of the process. And maybe, maybe we choose to make the roller coaster, choose a roller coaster that doesn’t have so many ups and downs. And, you know, I think as we learn and grow, it’s like we can create that for ourselves, right? Like we can create a less intense learning experience because we don’t need to learn as much, right? We’re always going to be learning. But maybe we don’t have to have such intense experiences to learn the lessons that we need to learn because we’re learning them in other ways. Or we’re doing more, we’re paying attention to our needs and our wants and our desires. 


And our emotions, right? So on a regular basis versus suppressing and ignoring, and then having to have these like wake up calls to like, hey, let’s shake you a little bit so you can get back in line with what your soul came here to do, came here to be.


So and that’s what all these practices, right, that we’ve talked about, whether it’s connecting with nature, meditating, journaling, you know, embodiment practices, those are really like daily cultivations that allow ourselves to listen to what our souls want to tell us. And therefore, when we are doing that, we can live, create lives more in line with what our soul came here to do. And then we don’t need to have those big, crazy, hard experiences to get us back on our path. Right. So.


Amanda (55:25)

Before we go, I’m interested to hear what you have to say about the ego in terms of what your perspective of what it’s here, like why do we have egos? What our relationships should be with our egos? Like what are your thoughts on the ego after having gone through this big impactful experience with your ego?


Kate (55:45)

So what I think is really important for us to know that while I’ve spoken about having an ego death, that the ego isn’t something that we need to die. Um, and that I still have an ego. It was what died for me in this experience was this really unhealthy expression of it. What died with it were these false beliefs, false stories.


All of the stuff I’d told myself that really held me back from an authentic experience and real true experience of my life. And so when it comes to our ego, we want to begin to be really aware of our stories and our beliefs and what are we thinking? What are we telling ourselves? And in that it’s also, well, where does that come from? What happened to me? Our ego develops through our first seven years and through our lives by taking the information of the experiences we have with the world, with our parents, with our loved ones, with our friends, and interpreting that data to say, did this bring me closer to affection and love and get me the right kind of attention or not? And so it computes all of that stuff and then decides, okay, well, this didn’t get you, this didn’t feel good, this didn’t feel loving, this didn’t feel safe. Don’t do these things or do this when this happens. And so, you know, we don’t have the understanding of what the outside world is. 


So, our very young minds form stories and beliefs. I know that even for me, that continued even into my teens, as I said, when I was bullied in high school. And, you know, it’s just kind of that added to that. And so it is the healing work to notice those stories we tell ourselves, discover where they come from. This is where the inner child healing work comes in and is so powerful to meet those parts of ourselves that have held these beliefs that have ingrained these stories in us and have been always pulling the strings for how we might act in a world based on those things. And doing what we need to do to address that. And when we do, we free our ego from those unhealthy, limited ways of thinking, being and talking to ourselves. 


And when we heal that, our ego then becomes in service to the soul. And our ego then allows us to have the expression of who we are authentically. So the ego is an essential part of who we are. It’s just noticing when it is in its unhealthy expressions being where we’re holding ourselves back and our limitations and bringing that back into balance so that it’s serving us to be our best and our highest version of who we are.


Amanda (58:21)

Yeah, beautiful. And I think that, you know, all of the practices also that, you know, we’ve mentioned help cultivate that relationship with the ego, which is, you know, something that we’re unconscious to until we have an experience where we can see it. And then the more once we see it, it’s a lot easier to work with it and like build that relationship. Right. So, is there something else you wanted to say before I wrap up?


Kate (58:48)

Yeah, I just want to say one more thing. Something that I think can help us when we are connecting with the ego to do that work is really just understanding it, that it did want to protect us, right? It is, it’s almost like seeing this unhealthy ego and those stories as, as the little child version of us, that’s the gateway to us touching those inner parts of self that are sad or hurt or were abandoned, you know, and, and, really approaching our ego even with a sense of compassion and love and really wanting to hold it of like tell me what you need me to know so I can address it to move forward so you don’t have to feel like that and talk to me like that but you know like just seeing it from that place of love as best you can to know that it’s not an evil thing that’s something to get rid of but it’s just something to understand when it’s working in those ways.


Amanda (59:43)

Yeah, understanding. I feel like so much of this process is like, being more of objective, neutral, understanders of our journeys, of our experiences, of our relationships with the people in our lives. Like, I think that’s something that we get to do when we begin doing this work is like understanding, right? And like the more we understand, the more we can’t not be so triggered, not be so attached. And yeah, we can we can live a more even keel balance ride, right, by understanding why things are the way they are versus being an unconscious, like, victim of our circumstances and our experiences. So lovely.


Amanda (1:00:35)

I, you know, I’ve loved, we could talk much longer, I know, about all of this and I would love to, but, and I’m sure more will come out in future conversations with people and as we have episodes where we are just covering some of these topics and concepts, which we’ll be doing in the future. 


Amanda (1:00:54)

So thank you everyone for listening. Please do subscribe if you haven’t already. That really helps us as we are a new podcast and it helps us reach more people with the whole podcast algorithm. Or if you are on YouTube, go ahead and like and subscribe. That would be amazing and helpful. And we look forward to talking with you, talking to you, with you on future episodes of Awakening Conversations. And we intend to have conversations with other people coming in really soon.


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Awakening Conversations Podcast

With Kate Megee & Amanda Richardson-Meyer

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Kate & amanda - Your hosts on this conversational journey!

Meet your hosts

Both Amanda & Kate have been through and are still going through their own awakening journeys, which, in fact, the creation of this podcast is a continuation of their awakening unfoldings.

While being located in very different geographical regions of Earth, they have brought their energy together through the gift of technology to explore the ideas and experiences of the awakening journey, which has transformed each of their lives in unique ways.

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No Glitter Brown GradientAmanda Richardson-Meyer
No Glitter Brown GradientKate Megee
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