Inspiration Series: Kathryn McIntosh, Re:treat Aberdeenshire

The final interview in our Inspiration Series is with the lovely Kathryn McIntosh of re:treat Aberdeenshire. Rosie met Kath and her husband John whilst they were both working for the Silver Naga Hotel in Vang Vieng, Laos. Rosie was dealing with some terrible tummy troubles in between teaching yoga classes, Kath healed her with her healing hands, and a beautiful friendship was born!

Kathryn has recently gone full-time with her Complementary Therapy business, re:treat Aberdeenshire, and offers a multitude of wonderful therapies including Clinical Aromatherapy, Deep Tissue Massage, Reflexology and Hot Stone Massage. She was also a guest on one of our 2017 Radiance Retreats in Portugal, and brought a whole lot of sunshine and positive energy to the group.

We feel lucky to have a network of such inspirational people following their hearts and doing what they love, and hope you find some inspiration in hearing Kath talk about how she is living her best life.

Take us through your average morning routine..
I’m not a fan of routine! However I am an early riser and like to make the most of it. A good breakfast is essential (I’m not nice when I’m hungry!) and if I am working from home all day I make an effort go to for a morning walk to get some fresh air and stretch my legs. If time allows, a bit of yoga practice and a soak in a stimulating aromatherapy bath and I can take on the world!

What’s your hot beverage of choice?
Ooo I love tea! Matcha, roobois, chai, I love it all. Whether it’s carefully brewed with freshly picked herbs or a stewed flask of builders tea on a windy Scottish hillside – you canna beat a cup o tea!

What are your non-negotiables? The things absolutely key to your happiness?
As you can probably tell already, keeping my belly happy keeps me happy! If you had asked me this question a few years ago I would have given you a long list, however since then a year of backpacking really changed my priorities. And it was so liberating to realise I could be happy with so little! I know I find happiness feeling part of a community, moving my body, embracing new experiences, supporting others, expressing my creativity and a good dose of relaxation. If I can team those with a happy belly and the people I love, I’m pretty damn happy!

 What/who/where is your go-to when you’re in need of some inspiration?
Getting away. A new place with new sights, smells and tastes always does wonders for my energy and inspiration levels. Failing that, a fab yoga class and a reflexology session.

Who do you admire and why?
I don’t know if I admire anyone but I am constantly inspired by others. From my clients managing huge life challenges to my friends following their dreams – including the Whole and Happy ladies. I don’t say it to my friends enough – thank you for being you and inspiring me!

When was the last time you did something for the first time?
I love first times and am always seeking out my next one. At the weekend I took my first ever snowboarding lesson after years of struggling with skiing, and loved it! I also recently hosted my first Aromayoga event since returning to Scotland, it was a real joy to work with Jenny my yoga teacher friend. Both were learning opportunities for me, and I can’t wait to do them both again (not at the same time tho, I’m not Rosie!)

Was there a catalyst or turning point that made you decide to follow your heart and build your business?
I have been a Complementary Therapist for nearly 12 years and have always worked for myself in various forms. Before that I was actually a Mortgage Advisor, a job I fell into from school that definitely wasn’t for me! However I realised I loved working with people and took it from there.
My business is always changing and developing and I do, as my clients needs do and as the market does. I am enthusiastic about change, embrace it and see it as an adventure. I don’t know where I will be or what my business will look like in 3 years time – and I love the uncertainty. I expect there will be dozens more turning points along the way!

What has been the most challenging part?
Fear mostly! And when I throw myself into something I realise the fear was unfounded. This of course doesn’t mean everything is a success (my gazebo blowing away during a festival in a Scottish summer storm while I tried to massage people in a field, for example!) but I continually learn from my experiences, especially negative ones, and grow from that.
And I will admit working on my own can be challenging, for motivation and creativity. I get such a buzz partnering up with some brilliant wellbeing professionals and I am thrilled to be involved in new collaborations this year.

What has been the most rewarding part?
After 12 years, every single treatment is rewarding. I feel so honoured to support people when they are having a difficult time. Whether we are releasing back pain, trying to manage a stressful situation or just giving a client some space to be still, it is so special for me to be involved and I am grateful every day.

What are you most grateful for today?
It’s a snowy day in Aberdeenshire so I’m grateful for my wood burning stove to keep me toasty (and the smell of the cedar logs is divine!)

What does Whole & Happy mean to you?
I had a wonderful Whole and Happy experience with Rosie and Natasha last September in Portugal, so my memories there are now what it means to me! It is a huge concept but I see it as embracing, not denying.

What does balance mean to you?
I have learned that balance is a practice. It is not something that can be achieved, and that’s absolutely ok. Balance is always ongoing. It is about being mindfulof our body, mind and soul and listening to each of them. It is about our relationship with others and the planet. It is about living fully and living gently. It is the realisation that we are all one.

Do you have any words of wisdom or inspiration for our followers?
Erm, I thought that bit above was pretty good!

How can people find outmore about you and your work?

You can check out my website, Instagram and Facebook page below. Please do get in touch, I love to hear form new people! I am currently home in Aberdeenshire, Scotland offering a range of Complementary Therapies, workshops and events. However I love to travel and can be easily persuaded to buy plane tickets…
Website: www.retreataberdeenshire.com
Instagram: @retreataberdeenshire
Facebook: @retreataberdeenshire

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