Looking back, I’ve always believed that there is a greater purpose in life, but I never imagined that advocating health and wellness would become my most passionate calling. I’m originally from Russia (which explains my accent). I moved to the US in 2001 after graduating from the International Institute of Economy and Law in Moscow with a Masters in Jurisprudence.
While I was in school, I had many plans to continue my career and contribute to Russia’s justice system. I thought the right laws and proper enforcement would keep society safe, free of corruption and that peace and harmony inevitably would follow. As I continued paying attention I became aware how rampant the corruption and violence were. Poverty, intimidation and crime were out of control. The changes needed would take decades. During my last year I felt frustrated and helpless, and my disillusionment led to dreams of traveling abroad and seeing the world.
As fate would have it, a friend was leading an effort to give aid to foreign families trying to find refuge in Russia from oppression in their home countries. They were denied help and even humiliated from the government. I took the opportunity to make a difference. In 2000, I made several trips to West Africa and stayed with struggling families while they waited for refugee approval in Europe. This experience expanded my perspective, and it was a time I would never forget.
I realized that a government can’t solve all of a country’s problems through force or by merely changing laws. A powerful difference can be made by helping one individual at a time. By simply educating, showing care and giving someone support, it can trigger positive domino effects.
‘It is amazing what one ray of sunshine would do for a man!’ – Fyodor Dostoevsky.
After I graduated, I travelled Europe by bus and lived in France before finally moving to Austin with my mother in 2001. Its warmth and hospitality was something I craved for a long time. It still took years to adjust to this new culture and its many customs while learning the English language.
Two years later, my mother became very sick. She was adamant that alternative health therapies were the only solution. This ended up being the spark that would permanently change the direction of my life and career .
I began researching everything I could about holistic health and developed a new fascination with the body’s self healing capacity. My curiosities often lead to trying countless treatments with my mother; some of them were pretty extreme. Regardless, her symptoms worsened. In 2006 we moved to Tijuana, Mexico. This city was the mecca of alternative health care. She became a patient of Dr. Hulda Clark and we spent tens of thousands of dollars on one of the most controversial treatments in the field. The good news is, her condition stabilized; the bad news is that we ran out of money.
After returning to Texas, I continued to travel back and forth to Tijuana to learn from Dr. Clark and her primary assistant, Dr. Canez, helping with different patients and understanding more and more about the causes of human health disorders. Though Dr. Clark focused on parasites and heavy metal toxicity as the source of every disease, I always felt she understated other important factors, namely: nutrition, exercise and state of mind. She was an extraordinary inventor and scientist , but taught little about balance.
In 2008 we moved to Portland Oregon. I was reluctant and loved Austin, but my mother needed the fresher air and cooler climate. Looking back, I couldn’t sense destiny approaching. After 4 months and pure chance, I met Matt. I was so surprised how similar our pursuits and interests were. He was lecturing at an Institute in Portland and led weekly meditation workshops at his house. I had never met another person who believed in others like he did. I fell deeply in love, and our relationship began. The way our mind’s and heart’s complimented one another was beautiful. I discovered love is pure vitality. : )
Soon, Matt and I each arrived at a crossroads in our lives. He was planning to resign from his job, and my mother decided to go back to Russia for a few years to spend time with her sons and grand-kids. Matt and I spent the next few months discussing the future. We both wanted to follow our passions and devote time to create something noble, to pay forward the things that transformed us on to others. This was the birth of Vitality Advocate.
After Matt sold his house, it opened an opportunity for us to move south. We both missed the ocean and sunshine, but more importantly we both wanted to be in a perfect environment to realize our dream.
So here I am writing this now.
I hope you will enjoy our creation, find useful information in our videos, and make positive changes in your life. I truly believe we all have incredible potential, and you can bring it to life with the right kind of effort.
If you want to reach me or ask a question, my email is katya [at] vitalityadvocate.com.