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The Healing Cocoon Podcast

the wonder of rewilding with Fumescent Founder     Kat Villain

And not keeping calm and carrying on in the modern world.

Posted by:
Jacobie Gray

She was in the throes of accounting finals when Kat had to face derailing news—her grandmother had passed away. After her grandmother’s cancer diagnosis, Kat had watched the decline of her once sturdy life pillar at the hands of the chemotherapy and endless poking and prodding. This profound experience changed her perspective on life and the western medical system. 

Her trust in traditional medicine began to increasingly unravel as her experiences with the system grew. The cascade of these disillusioning events launched a wellness journey for Kat as she embraced the epiphany that she must take charge of her own health, actively caring for her body, soul and mind and not waiting for backend treatment. 

At 20, she moved to Vancouver, discovering a vegan lifestyle and yoga, and eventually quitting her job to travel for extended periods of time. Moderation in good foods and exercise has been at the heart of her journey, and her yoga practice has been a grounding element no matter what continent she’s found herself on. 

Deconstructing “Calm”

The path to an accounting degree is a distant one from her current outlook on life, but it echoed a childhood with an overarching value of logical IQ over emotional growth. As her journey progressed, she became acutely aware that this actually translated into the message that all of society peddled—“Keep calm and carry on.” Triggered by this notion, Kat’s impassioned response is, “No, we should not keep calm. No one that ever wanted change ever kept calm…[they have had] a fire inside. Keeping quiet never did anyone good.” She expresses her gratitude for being able to get in touch with her deep intuition that has charged her to speak up for herself and others, forging her own path in lieu of the well-paved. 

Growth Through Travel

Through her own extensive traveling, Kat has come to believe that it is an underestimated power as a growth tool. Traveling is freeing, as it allows you the rare opportunity to let go of the people you feel obligated to please, with all the fronts that accompany that act. It can become a delectable season for reinvention of self. Part of that journey is also being able to reconcile your newness when you go home, feeling the pull of familiar relationships back to the binds of how they knew you, even creating opportunities within yourself for a superior air. A key to that transition, Kat offers, is to be humble. Do not try to change anyone else’s beliefs. Accommodate space for them to do what they want to do, for their reality. Everyone is on their own path.

Journeying to Moderation

In the beginning of her journey, Kat traveled to Thailand where she meditated in temples and found a stride in fasting, cleanses and following temple meal traditions (read: meager portions). Although apropos for the season, this lifestyle was ultimately too austere to keep up with forever. Now a mother, she has evolved into a less strict and rigid, although disciplined, way of living. Kat’s yoga practice has remained a steady, sacred ritual as other things have shifted, particularly in the mornings when she can have time before her daughter wakes up.

The Art of Healing

Healing is an evolution of the soul, not an overnight red-eye to an arrival. Kat has realized that getting knocked off course is a path to embrace—just go off course! Don’t push through it. “You have to channel the energy you have into something that’s going to be useful…when you know how to direct the flow of your emotions you can use all of that to your advantage. The fiery emotions are so good for getting stuff done,” she encourages. Some of her best paintings have been born out of frustration, when she thought they looked their worst and would resort to smashing them with colors. Then suddenly she would realize their beauty. In the end, it was all part of the creative process. 

This can be a parallel to the healing process because often you can’t see why you go through certain things until you reach the other end. During the “dark nights of the soul” that can precede or accompany that journey, Kat has found that embracing her practices has eventually minimized these dark times. She has been able to come back to yoga and the joy-cultivating routines that ground her.

The Wonder of Wild

Kat has always had a love for roaming any wild spaces she can find. Her natural wonder and intuition of the land has served her well, even spilling over into crafting potions using her knowledge of plants to promote healing and wellness for her family and others. She has observed that society has successfully made things so complicated—and we can get that creativity back in the wild. “I do believe there is this piece of me and inside all of us that was birthed from the wild. Take me back,” she says.

Kat Villain is a three-time author, alchemist, and self-taught botanist. She lives on the coast of California with her husband, Charlie, and daughter, Plum, where they practice a sustainable lifestyle.

Learn more about Kat at and find her on social media at @kat.villain.

For the full interview with Kat, listen via the link on this page,, or find us on Instagram @thehealingcocoonpodcast.