INTERVIEW by Mai-Liis Renaud
I have always believed that everything happens for a reason and having listened to your story, through a few radio shows that you have been on, I detect that you think this as well because from what I see, the things that have happened to you in your past have helped shape who you are and also where you are today.
Katherine, Are you originally from Cornwall?
No I am not born and raised here in Cornwall. I was born in Thunder Bay and lived there until I was 17 years of age. I came only to Cornwall in 1994, to go to St. Lawrence College and work part time at A&P on 2nd St, which is now Food Basics. I had transferred to A&P, after working in Thunder Bay at A&P, all while completing my high school immediately after my family was killed.
I got married in Montreal, shortly after completing College and settled in Williamstown for 21 years. Now [I’m] living in Cornwall, which is huge change for me from living in the country. However, Cornwall is a small town where everyone likes to be friendly.
I have worked for the Upper Canada School board since 1998 upon completing the SSW program at St. Lawrence College. I take great pride in being an Educational Assistant helping support all ages of students learn within their abilities. I have always worked behind the scenes helping others rise up to achieve their goals, dreams and making their future bright, since I was a little girl at 10 years of age. To this day, I am very proud of all the students that I have been humbled and honored to support. They have all taught me how much perseverance, staying focused on one’s dreams and never losing sight on being grateful in all things.
I am passionate about preserving all students mental health. It has been my passion to save lives from the mental health stigma that is so prevalent but was never talked about enough until COVID hit. I have even been a witness to family members, colleagues and other professionals lives go all too soon by suicide, which has put me on a path to end the STIGMA. In fact, suicide is a taboo topic that needs to be talked more about to prevent it, instead of “sweeping it under the carpet” all together. I truly want to be an active member to help make suicide extinct. I actually know all too well how mental health can affect ones’ life.
I believe your journey has led you to your career in counselling. Please tell us about this, what kind of counselling do you do and what is your practice called?
Currently, I have been supporting people in Facebook groups, on Clubhouse and some people virtually, as they reach out for support. This has been helpful for many to not feel alone. I call my website Sacred Roots Coaching as I provide sacred space for people to be listened to, heard and validated maybe for the first time in their lives. I hold space for them to heal the inner child wounds and dive deep into letting go of forgiveness for themselves to be free. Forgiveness is not letting the other person off the hook but rather it is merely letting yourself be FREE of the shackles of anger, fear, shame and guilt.
While growing up before my mother died, she taught me the appreciation and value of giving back to those less fortunate. In fact, my mother died with missionaries, while giving of her time, resources and unconditional support. I am a mental health advocate on a mission to save a billion lives and make suicide extinct. My “mess” of my past has become my “message” to help save lives from suffering in silence and instead break the stigma of mental health. I choose consciously to be a beacon for others to see their full potential and RISE up too
The type of services I provide are one-on-one sessions walking people through powerful forgiveness processes, soul genesis healing and Neuro-Linguistic Programming and hypnosis that heals at the root all emotions attached to limiting beliefs. My website is www.sacredrootscoaching.com
How and when did you become an author?
I released my first book, Ignite Possibilities, on May 28-30th, 2021. My next book Ignite the Hunger in You with Les Brown is launching Dec 06-08th. “This book will ignite infinite possibilities, inspire and transform your life. Anything holding you back, you will see you can take action with all the steps at the end of each chapter!!”
In the New Year, once COVID restrictions lift, I will be organizing a book signing for both books at the Public Library. In fact, I am working on my 3rd book launching in the New Year too which is called Ignite Forgiveness.
What is your first book “Ignite Possibilities” about?
My first book, Ignite Possibilities is about my journey closing a very turbulent chapter of my life where I had to literally pick myself up off the ground after a “Perfect Storm”. I talk in this chapter how so much took place in a matter of a year, that I had the “wind” or “breath” knocked out of me! In fact, I was knocked down on my knees, after a tree fell on my head which had fallen on my home during a storm. I discuss how my journey to healing has brought me on a path of forgiveness, unlike anything I would not have imagined. I can honestly say I have forgiven the three men that took my family members from me. I decided I wanted to be FREE from the pain and suffering I was carrying over the years in my body.
Neither of these books are for profit of the 35 authors in each. All the proceeds go towards a school in Cambodia being built. (picture below) Both books can be purchased and downloaded on Amazon now.
You now have a second book, “Ignite the Hunger in you” which was released on December 6th. What is this book about? I believe it is written with Les Brown. For those of us who don’t know, who is Les Brown and what is his connection to you and this book?
This book is about my journey to embracing self-love after I didn’t love who I looked at in the mirror. I chose to go on a journey to love myself and show myself self-compassion and even do soul searching of forgiveness towards my deceased mother after she had broken my nose when I was a little girl. I share how this journey has helped me accept, let go and love again. At the end of the chapter there are actions steps for others to apply to their lives too, if they desire.
You also do public speaking. Can you tell us about this as I believe you have taken part in some very well known events?
Yes, I do public speaking and currently speak on all virtual events. I’m on many podcasts, radio shows, Summits, Cogeco TV, and Ticker News. I have an exciting virtual summit with Les Brown on December 10th.
If someone wants to publish a book, do you have any advice for them and how would they go about writing and publishing the book?
Yes, I have a 17-time International Best Selling publisher; JB Owen at Ignite Publishing, that I can recommend to anyone looking to get published. I have editors too to recommend personally too.
Reach out and I can personally connect you to both.
What is your contact info and if someone wants to purchase one of your books where can they be found in our area?
Kate Vrastak on LinkedIn and Facebook and my website at http://www.sacredrootscoaching.com You can text the words forgiveness, believe, or les brown for FREE resources at+17187013820. Here is a free code https://bit.ly/3FXiiKN, for a free pdf file of a personal roadmap to help people on their road to forgiveness.
Are there any events in the near future that you may be attending where people can come and meet you in person?
I have scheduled a book signing in the Cornwall public Library on January 22nd, once the COVID restrictions are lifted. The public library will carry both my books on the shelf too to borrow. For more info call the library at (613) 932-4796.
Still being interviewed on many podcasts, TV stations and Summits. Looking forward to being published in magazines and newspapers too.
What does the future hold for you? Any more books on the horizon?
Yes, I have another compilation book coming out in the New Year called Ignite Forgiveness. I am also working on a solo book of my own too.
Do you have any words of advice that you would like to leave us with?
I would really encourage people to reach out and not suffer in silence if struggling with mental health. Know you are NEVER alone.
Please remember my acronym of Forgive:
F-Freedom to let go of the pain from the past
O-Open your heart to allow love in
R- Reach out for HELP & receive from others
G-Gift to yourself 1st. Fill up your cup first and heal before you help anyone else.
I- “Intuition” / God whisper
V-Value yourself enough to respect yourself and your boundaries
E-Empathy for self and others as they are doing the best they can with the resources they have.
https://facebook.com/chatkat7 Kate Vrastak | LinkedIn
GREAT NEWS: On January 22nd join author Katherine Vrastak at the Cornwall Public Library where she will be signing copies of her newest books “Ignite Possibilities” & “Ignite the Hunger in You”!! For more info call the library at (613) 932-4796.