Kate Messmer said it was her own battle with anxiety that lead her to start a new career as a spiritual counselor.
As part of her treatment, “I started getting involved in spirituality in general and connecting with myself,” Messmer said.
Drawn to the holistic field, she earned a master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica.
In late 2013, she started her own spiritual counseling business called Peace of Kate.
“I teach people the tools to navigate through life with inner peace, love and compassion,” she said.
Messmer is also a new contributor to the Thursday Pulpit column in The St. Helena Star.
What’s the difference between religion and spirituality to you?
To me, religion is about rules. It’s more black and white.
Spirituality is an understanding that we are all connected. We are all one. It’s about learning from life and moving forward with compassion.
In addition to your counseling business, you also work as a bartender at the Oxbow Cheese & Wine Merchant. Do the two have anything in common?
Absolutely. Bartending is counseling in the sense of connecting with people.
Which three people would you most like to have dinner with?
Viktor Frankl was the sole survivor of his immediate family in the concentration camps. His life’s work was focused around finding meaning in all forms of existence, even the most horrifying ones.
When I first began my exploration of spirituality I came across the author Carolyn Myss. I kept her books by my bed and would refer to them on a regular basis. Her writings inspired me to accept my darkness so I can live fully in the light.
Frank Messmer. One more moment with my father would fill my heart with immeasurable joy.
What was your first job?
I was a busser at South Side Café in St. Helena when I was 14.
What’s the worst job you ever had?
I was a server at a high-end restaurant in New York. The management was unsupportive and critical, which made the infrastructure of the staff shaky at best.
How did you get into this business?
I suffered from severe anxiety attacks for three years in my late 20s. Through learning to use certain tools, I gained a clearer understanding of what is happening within while I am experiencing stress. We all have different triggers, but by understanding ourselves and applying an introspective approach; healing is a beautiful experience.
What was your childhood ambition?
To be a counselor at an adolescent drug and alcohol facility.
What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?
I’m deeply disturbed by fruit salad. All of those juices mixing together? It’s just weird.
If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?
On a safari in Africa. To see magnificent wild animals in their natural habitat would move me into a sense of awe.
Which other Napa County business person would you like to see featured in “10 Questions for…”
Nancy Barbash-Lerner, certified personal trainer.
Bonus questions for the web:
What job would you like to try/not try?
Try: Being a talk show host. This requires approachability, authenticity and comedic timing… It would be a serious challenge.
Not try: Cold calling. I don’t enjoy feeling like I am invading someone’s personal space.
Who do you most admire in the business world?
Oprah Winfrey is an amazing and dynamic leader. She has created a billion dollar industry that has allowed for people such as myself to work with others to live their best life. She can stand in her own power and yet has the ability to be humble. Those are qualities of someone who has looked at themselves and found the peace with who they are.
What is one thing you hope to accomplish in your lifetime that you haven’t yet?
To have a family of my own.
If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
I can’t identify any one thing I would change. I am excited to see how Peace of Kate will grow and change as I continue down this path.
What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
What’s on your to-do list?
Learn more so I can share more.