We had the good fortune of connecting with Christina P. Kantzavelos and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Christina P., is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
A feeling of purpose is the most important factor in my success. My purpose is finding solutions to challenges in my community. For example, the Begin Within Journal was born because a mind-body journal didn’t exist, especially for those moving through life with chronic illness. I, myself, needed a way to document my health, symptoms, mood, as well as my gratitude, with a practice of self-love and visualizations. Its creation has been a helpful tool for myself, and many who use it. In addition, each season, I donate 10% to an organization that conducts research, advocates, or provides resources to the chronic illness community. It’s a way for those who use the journal to take care of others while taking care of themselves. True symbiosis. Passion may light the way in my creativity and success, however, purpose sustains it.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Of my many hats, the largest one at the moment is my private practice, Begin Within Today, and my new wellness journal, Begin Within – A Daily Healing Journal. At Begin Within Today, I offer mind-body psychotherapy, life coaching, elder care planning, case management, and resources for those with chronic illness, and developmental, physical, and age-related disabilities. When I became couch-bound due to chronic illness, I completely transformed my life and dedicated everything to healing. One aspect of that was committing to journaling. My goal was to track my day-to-day symptoms, as well as what worked, what didn’t work, recognize when days were challenging, and honor my accomplishments (big or small). This was especially helpful during healthcare appointments to recall my symptoms. Journaling every night helped me realize that I was indeed on the road to healing, even if I was simply only able to breathe that day. I looked for a journal that offered prompts related to the mind-body experience (physical and emotional), but I couldn’t find one. Finally, I realized I needed to create it for both myself, and others. This is how the Begin Within: A Daily Healing Journal was born. And over a year later, it’s now available to all to use as a healing tool. One of my favorite parts of this project is that a portion of each journal sold is donated to a different organization each month, that provides support, resources, or research to those with chronic illness. To say it wasn’t easy is an understatement. Creating anything while experiencing chronic illness is a challenge, and generally takes longer than it would for our non-chronically ill counterparts. I knew little to nothing about marketing, or business (and I am still very much learning). I am grateful to my content designer, Stephanie Neutze, who learned how to design from scratch in order to help me out. She also encouraged me to use my own art for the covers. I am also grateful to my friends, and the chronic illness community who have organically helped me market this through social media, and word of mouth. This journal isn’t just for those with chronic illness, it’s for anyone looking for a wellness resource.

My other two hats are in writing and blogging. I am a professional content writer who curates custom content for brands and businesses in San Diego, and beyond. I am also an award-winning gluten-free food, travel, health, and lifestyle blogger, and writer @buenqamino. I thrive in being a ‘multipotentialite,’ and creating space for the endeavors that I am most passionate about.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m currently in-between San Diego and Joshua Tree.

In San Diego, I would recommend taking them to the best gluten-free restaurants and cafes, such as Nectarine Grove, and Healthy Creations. I would also recommend visiting museums, or hanging out at Balboa Park, and having a picnic at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas (maybe even watch the sunset), visit a farmer’s market, hike some of Torrey Pines, as well as a trail, or two in Mount Laguna. If it’s cool enough, I would also take them to Borrego Springs to check out the art sculptures there. My favorite part about San Diego is how diverse our landscape is. We have the desert, ocean, and mountains (even snow), all within a reasonable distance. You can literally go from sea level to 6,000 ft. (palm trees to pine trees) within one hour. I feel very grateful for it.

In Joshua Tree, I would take them for a hike in the national park, walk around, eat and listen to live music in Pioneer Town. Vintage and thrift store shopping throughout Joshua Tree and Yucca Valley. Visit the farmer’s market, an outdoor yoga class or sound bowl healing, and of course, stargaze around a firepit.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Stephanie Neutze

Website: www.beginwithintoday.com; www.buenqamino.com; www.christinakantzavelos.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/beginwithintoday; www.instagram.com/buenqamino
Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/christinakantzavelos
Twitter: www.twitter.com/buenqamino; www.tiwtter.com/bwtjournal
Facebook: www.facebook.com/beginwithintoday; www.facebook.com/buenqamino
Youtube: www.youtube.com/buenqamino

Image Credits
@stacykeck @lindsaykphoto_ @rana2.0

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