I AM DR. CATE COLE
“What’s a nice girl like you doing in a place like this”, said an old man with a deeply cragged face in a gravelly voice, and a heartfelt belly laugh, as I handed over a parcel of food at the community stall I was working on, one hot steamy humid Brisbane summer.
Smiling, I responded smiling- “Well sir, this is my life! I like to share from my buffet of experience, community and connection”.
Mother, lover, peacemaker, lawyer, wife, storyteller, writer, mediator, friend, shamanic practitioner, healer…
These are just some of the labels that still hold onto this earthly body…
I grew up outdoors on the east coast of Australia kind of the middle on the land. Feet firmly planted in Gaia’s lustrous particles the deep red volcanic soil, the land of the Gureng Gureng people (also Gooreng Gooreng).
Outside, I was always free. I didn’t have occasion to wear shoes except when I was riding my horse, and even then that was optional…
Until I went away to boarding school.
For many many years, regardless of where I was, I was referred to as the Country girl leaving the nest for school and then during my days as a trainee registered nurse.
And then one day, I became the city girl.
The city girl from the country. The one whose life didn’t follow a conventional path.
For the longest time, I never felt a part of anything or anyone, except the earth. Growing up in tumultuous home life, I was always seeking a way to communing compassionately with others through connection - nursing, then later, law, mediation, always taking myself back, into nature, the wilderness of the Australian bush, across the circle of time, communicating with country and cycles, a path less trodden.
In 2000 deeply in love, I discovered I was pregnant with my first and much wanted child. Beside myself with happiness and brimming with possibility, I found myself unexpectedly raising this little being alone.
Facing criticism and judgment, pain and confusion in an unsteady work environment, a Ph.D student, I knew I was being shown a possibility, unimaginable to other incantations of myself.
Deep down, I knew I was being asked to do more, deep from within the spiritual world, a calling which I had, for those previous 34 years fought, ignored, hid, explained, buried, covered, masked, protected, withheld, shielded, suppressed. Navigating my way through powerful signs from guides – the suicide of my sister, a sudden and profound deafness, a debilitating accident and chronic illness and now life, as a single parent, I sat as uncomfortable witness to the capable woman I was and continue to be in this earthly realm, and the hugely powerful healer and shamanic practitioner who stands before you right now.
Now, 16 years later, from an ending and beginning, I continue on a path of consciousness, communication, commitment, community, compassion, creation, celebration and collaboration.
In 2016 I was struck by a life-threatening incident that completely upended life as I knew it,
For months and months on end, I lost privileges I had always taken for granted. My hair changed colour and my life irreparably changed forever.
I vowed to myself, and to the universe during my recovery that I understood my role as expansive and as wide it has been teacher, researcher, academic, shamanic practitioner, mother, lover, wife, lawyer, mediator, nurse, healer would come together for the benefit of those who need me.
I surrendered to my role, knowing, that my connection to country, the lifetime of soul and spirit weaving and the central focus of wholesome and sacred living, connection with nature and spirit and my complete integrity for truth, harmony, loving healing was opened widely for me to share. Traversing two worlds, this earthly plane and the other spirit world, I hold the space between the stories in sacred circle of shamanic practice where healing, change, growth, transformation and miracles happen.