Braving Life’s Journey: Discovering Fierce Love and Courage with Katrina Hart

Braving Life’s Journey: Discovering Fierce Love and Courage with Katrina Hart

In a world where inspiration is often found in unexpected places, Katrina Hart stands as a beacon of courage and resilience. From her transformative journey away from the corporate world to her commitment to wellness, Katrina’s story is a testament to the power of self-love and the pursuit of purpose.

I first had the privilege of interviewing Katrina back in 2015, during the early days of Hills & West, and even then, her story resonated deeply. Over the years, Katrina has continued to evolve, channeling her personal experiences into the creation of Hart & Soul Retreat—a sanctuary where women can embark on their own journey of healing and self-discovery.

As a dear friend and fellow believer in living life bravely and loving fiercely, I am thrilled to share Katrina’s story with you. Join me as we delve into the heart of Katrina’s beautiful journey, and discover the wisdom and inspiration she has to offer.

Fiercely loving yourself and embracing fierce courage is the most life changing thing you’ll do.


Tell us a little about Hart & Soul Retreat

My business has evolved greatly over the last 6 years. I first started out as a health coach as I saw a need to support women on their health journey after my own journey with breast cancer. My vision evolved over the next couple of years to offer retreat experiences when I saw the need from my clients to have extended time and space away from the stressors of life to work through the challenges they were sharing with me in their coaching sessions. I launched my first retreat in 2019 just prior to Covid. My message and retreat offerings hit a nerve, and despite covid my business grew rapidly and I have welcomed over 300 women since then and taken out an award at the Ausmumpreneur Awards in 2021.

Travel and creating transformative experiences for people is one of my greatest loves and it’s what drives me. From the beginning of my working life at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games where I discovered my love of events and travel, to a career in fundraising which saw me find a fierce passion for helping others and being involved in something much bigger than myself.  

Hart and Soul Retreat is the beautiful combination of all my experiences over the last 25 years.

But it’s been my personal experiences over the last 10 years that has created the most profound changes and been the driving force behind my work. Becoming a mum, being diagnosed with breast cancer twice and navigating the sudden and unexpected loss of my husband Rob, the practice of retreat and my guiding principles of living life bravely and loving life fiercely, have taken on a whole new meaning and depth.

I am deeply passionate about helping others, making a difference and helping to make the world a better place. My work leads women on a journey from feeling lost and disconnected, to living life bravely and loving it fiercely.


The woman you have become

I thought motherhood would be the most life altering event that would shape my life but the sudden and very unexpected death of my husband has been the most significant event to shape my life. I never imagined being a widow at 45. Nothing can prepare you for the loss of a loved one, especially at such a young age.  

My life and my business has changed so much as a result of my loss. I’m not the woman I used to be before my beautiful husband died, and I’m now not the woman I was just after he died. 18 months on, I’ve grown into the woman I’ve become because he died.  

Over the last 18 months I’ve had to find so much courage, bravery and vulnerability. I’ve also had to find the anger, frustration and sadness too – and I had to let it all in. The outcome of all that expressed grief was one I didn’t expect, I found joy, beauty and a profound love for myself, that has been quite extraordinary. 

My husband’s death has shown me how fragile life is, and I realised that I never want to walk through life on autopilot, feeling numb to life. I want to feel all of life. I want to feel the true power of possibility, and bring that magic into every aspect of my life. 

Life doesn’t always give you what you want, but in terrible ways it sometimes gives you what you need.  And I’m deeply grateful for the woman that is emerging. It has allowed me to live from an energy that is so powerful and so beautiful, it has allowed my life to open up in the most incredible and unexpected ways.


Living fiercely

Living fiercely is not just a personal philosophy but a driving force in my business. To inspire and encourage women to be bold, passionate, and true to themselves as they navigate life’s journey. For me it’s about approaching life with a sense of purpose and determination, and refusing to be held back by fear or society’s expectations or perceived constraints of how I think my life “should” look like. 

We need to stop self-silencing and being agreeable. We need to break free from the good girl/wife/mother and that feeling of being trapped by society’s expectations. It’s about being radically honest with ourselves and taking personal responsibility for our life decisions and choices we make each day. Making sure they are in alignment with how we truly want to live our lives.  

Every part of life is worth living fiercely, even the parts we want to hide from and avoid.

As Brené Brown says, it’s about showing up in our vulnerability and courage and being both fierce and kind. 


Your butterfly effect

The butterfly effect is a metaphor for a woman’s own transformation. I believe it beautifully captures the profound and intricate process of personal growth and change that women go through at different stages of their life. 

A woman’s transformation involves a series of subtle yet powerful shifts that collectively bring about a remarkable metamorphosis. Just as a caterpillar undergoes a transformative journey into a butterfly, a woman’s life journey involves stages of growth, shedding of old patterns, and emerging as a more evolved version of herself. Small, intentional changes in a woman’s life—whether in mindset, habits, or relationships—can have a significant and far-reaching impact on her overall well-being. 

We all undergo several transformations in our lifetime and we have to learn to navigate the twists and turns of life, adapting to challenges and leaning into adversity and challenges. 

When we drop the resistance and surrender to the process of transformation, there is a sense of freedom as we break free from limiting beliefs, societal expectations, and self-imposed constraints, allowing our true self to soar. 

I believe that the butterfly effect describes the intricate, interconnected, and beautiful nature of how women evolve and transform and is a reminder that even the smallest changes can lead to profound and positive changes in all areas of our life.


The next chapter

There are some exciting changes happening in my life which I’m not ready to share just yet but let’s just say it involves more travel, creating more amazing experiences, and bringing in more love, more joy, and continuing to find the magic in the everyday. 

I have 2 beautiful retreat opportunities coming up in the next couple of months. 


My 3 night butterfly effect retreat on the Sunshine Coast. 

We have been taught that everything we need to make us feel good comes from outside of us, the butterfly effect helps to shift the paradigm and help us realise that everything we need to feel happy and fulfilled comes from within us, and everything that happens outside of us is just a bonus to help enrich our lives! 


Transformation at The Butterfly Effect Retreat’ and ‘Bali Soul Retreat

My other retreat is my 6-night Bali retreat where the focus is on reconnecting women with their authentic selves. The experience is designed to help them feel empowered to fiercely love themselves so they can step back into their life with fresh insights, renewed inspiration, and a profound sense of confidence. With this newfound self-awareness, they can make choices that align with their heart and soul.  


Why is self love so important for women?

Over the last 4 years I have sat with hundreds of women on retreat and I have heard the same familiar story of how exhausting it is to keep up with the constant pressure and demands of being a high achieving woman in this modern world. I see a generation of incredible women who have lost themselves into societal roles that are supposed to define them. They struggle to prioritise themselves, because at the core they don’t truly love themselves. 

I am part of that generation of women and it took losing my husband and getting cancer twice to truly understand that at the heart of it all, it’s the depth of love we have for ourselves that has the biggest impact on our life. 

If we want to fiercely love our life, we have to fiercely love ourselves first. To me, fierce love is a commitment to embracing and accepting every facet of yourself. It is acknowledging your strengths and talents alongside your shadows, challenges, limitations, and vulnerabilities. 

It’s choosing to live from a place of deep self-worth, valuing yourself, and prioritising your needs—even if it means disappointing others. It’s about forgiveness, being your own best friend, and remaining your own unwavering cheerleader through both the good times and bad. 


A little about Kat and her loves…


Favourite places in the world
  1. Bali – it’s my spiritual home
  2. Paris – it’s the place I lived in for the most formative years of my life and the place I formed my core beliefs of how I see the world(4-9 years)
  3. Olympos – the place I met my husband and a place that will always hold a special place in my heart. 


Inspiring people
  • My kids – witnessing them navigate the death of their father over the last 18 months has been awe inspiring
  • YOU – You were one of my biggest inspirations when I was starting my own business all those years ago (Ahhh I am blushing now *-*)
  • Victor Frankl – He wrote a famous quote that says “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves”. These words helped me a lot after my husband died. 


Books to add to your wishlist
  • Untamed by Glennon Doyle – this book confirmed everything I had been thinking for years. To stop people pleasing and start living.
  • Start With Why by Simon Sinek – this was one of the first books I read when I started my entrepreneur journey. It taught me that it’s not what you do, it’s why you do it.
  • The boy, the mole, the fox and the horse – this book was given to me on the first anniversary of my husband’s death. This book was a beautiful reminder to live courageously, to spread my wings and follow my dreams. 


Dinner with 3 guests, who would they be and why
  • Brene Brown – I’d love to talk to her about vulnerability and courage and how it’s shaped her life experiences
  • Mel Robbins – I love how real and honest she is
  • Julia Roberts – People say I look like her. I’d love to chat to her about her life, her movies and motherhood. 


Things you can’t do without
  • Music – the quickest way to help me shift my mood and raise my vibe 
  • Sleep – I’m an 8-9 hours of sleep kind of girl. Anything less than that and I struggle 
  • Diving into a body of water – a pool or the ocean, I don’t mind but I need to be submerged in water to satisfy my mermaid energy.


3 lessons you would share
  • Don’t let your challenges define you
  • This life is yours, every day it’s an honour and a privilege for you to live it bravely and love it fiercely.
  • Life is extraordinary, if you choose to see it that way. 


Life is extraordinary, regardless of the pain and challenges life throws at you. I now live by my guiding principle that life is short and moments are precious and that’s why we must live it bravely and love it fiercely.  

I love collaborating with inspiring women who share the same values as Hart and Soul Retreat. To Love Fiercely, Live Bravely, Grow Freely and Connect Deeply and I feel you encapsulate these values beautifully. And I couldn’t think of anyone better to help capture so many life changing moments on retreat.


I am excited to have the opportunity to join Kat and the courageous women embarking on her retreat in Bali this May. When women unite, magic unfolds, and I am honoured to capture these moments through photography and storytelling, which brings me immense joy. Thank you, Kat, for extending the invitation to be part of this experience.

I have no doubt that her upcoming retreats will be nothing short of transformative. With endless love and admiration, I eagerly anticipate witnessing Katrina’s ongoing growth and impact in the months and years ahead.


With heartfelt gratitude and anticipation,

big love,

Aisha xox

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