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I love Woman Crush Wednesdays because I have the ability to feature incredible women from all industries.  I cannot express how grateful I am to meet such strong, motivating and inspiring women making a difference in this world, loving what they do and being happy! It inspires me to continue along my path, to keep growing and to support other kick-ass female entrepreneurs because that’s what strong women do – we pull each other up in life and remind one another how amazing we are!

It is my pleasure to introduce this incredibly talented young woman Lauren Fernandez.  Lauren is the owner of Raw Beauty Bar located at Kipling and Bloor (3830 Bloor St W) in Etobicoke just 3 minutes from my wellness studio!  Yes this is super convenient for me! Those of you who know me well, know that I often have my nails painted (ahhh my love affair for nail polish is lifelong) so you can imagine how excited I was to find out about Raw Beauty Bar.

This beauty bar is a trendy and funky establishment with not only knowledgeable staff but really cool girls! You are made to feel welcome the moment you walk into their doors. The vibe here is great and will make any age group feel at home and pampered.

Lauren is a passionate woman who started off with an idea; a dream and has brought to life Raw Beauty Bar — a love she can now share with all of us.  Thank you Lauren! We all love it at Raw!

With time to spare while enjoying my manicure and pedicure, I created a list of questions for Lauren. Enjoy the read!

** For ALL of my amazing followers, use the code: RAWLISA10 to receive 10% off your first visit at Raw **

Q: What ignited the spark in you to start Raw Beauty Bar?

A: I’ve always been an entrepreneur. I used to knit these two-toned coloured ear warmers and at first, it was just for friends and myself. Then it became more than that. At the time it was during the holiday season so friends, friends of friends and even strangers that saw my facebook page started placing orders. I made over $1,000 in one month! Sales were just crazy! I even had my mom knitting at work so I could get all of the orders ready in time. The feeling of completing a project and having people love your product is so fulfilling. That feeling made me realize that I could not only create a successful product, but create a business in an industry that is so saturated in this world, and offer a one of a kind service just like my two-toned ear warmers. I know what you’re thinking, “One of a kind”? I say one of a kind because it’s not what you’re doing, it’s how you do it and the kind of service you’re providing. At Raw Beauty Bar, I’ve created a team that not only is certified in what they do but actually have that passion that some salons are lacking. When you get your nails or waxing done, you make physical contact with your esthetician. I really believe in positive energy and positive vibes and that’s what I like to promote here at Raw, not only to our clients but within our Raw Family as well. This has our clients leaving not only looking great but feeling amazing too! That idea, is what sparked Raw Beauty Bar.

Q: Tell us about Raw Beauty Bar

A: Raw Beauty Bar is an urban to suburban style nail salon that offers mani/ pedi’s, waxing, facials & massage. We encourage the natural growth of nails and we focus on retailing Canadian born retail products such as LoveFresh, Province Apothecary & Parkdale Butter.

Our staff, or as we call “The Raw Fam” are certified, passionate estheticians that love what they do. Right now, we have 9 estheticians who are super awesome and are different and creative in their own way. It’s funny, if you were to come into the shop, you would not expect us to all get along, but we do. Our different personalities are actually what makes us such an amazing team!

Q: What motivates you? 

What motivates me is the idea of being able to provide for my future beyond Raw Beauty Bar, such as buying my first home, my first car, my wedding or my children (God willing). What also motivates me is also the future for my girls at Raw, whether it’s to open their own salon one day, or to help me open other Raw locations. I just want the best for myself, my family, and my Raw family.

Q: How do you define success? 

A: To me, there are two different meanings of success. Feeling successful, and being successful. I definitely feel successful and blessed of what I’ve accomplished so far. But if you’re talking financial success, then I definitely still have a long way to go!

Q: Who has been your greatest inspiration?

A: My greatest inspirations would be my family. It’s hard to chose one inspiration because my mom, dad, sister have been my biggest support. My parents of course, raising me and inspiring me to be the best person I can be, and accomplish anything I want to do in life. My sister, for making me tough emotionally because I definitely think with my heart more than I do with my head. She’s helped me adjust in becoming the person I am today. I am definitely in my element, thanks to those three!

Q: What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

A: The most satisfying moment I’ve experienced in business, would be the positive feed back from clients. Nothing is more rewarding than hearing clients tell me how they love their nails and that they feel amazing, or that one of my girls did an amazing job and how lovely they are!

Q: What three pieces of advice would you give to anyone wanting to become an entrepreneur? 

A:

1. Love what you do.

2. Do not compete with others, but compete within yourself to be the best you can be.

3. Stay Humble.

Q: What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time? 

A: If we’re being honest, I do not have any hobbies right now, all I do is work. And when I’m not working, I am at home with my dog Louie, watching Netflix and eating pizza. I love pizza.

Q: What makes you happy? 

A: A lot of things make me happy. I could go on and on but if I could sum it all up into one thing, it would be where I am in my life right now.  As a young entrepreneur, doing what I am most passionate about, making people look good and feel good and making a difference in peoples lives, emotionally and physically.  Being selfless and making a difference.  That’s what makes me happy.

Today is Wednesday and, as you know, I like to feature a different inspirational woman on Women Crush Wednesdays and since today happens to be my birthday I thought I would feature myself!  Many of you send me messages asking me questions about ME and my lifestyle and so I decided to take your amazing questions and create a list of 10 things to know about Lisa Manzo – this is RAW people haha.

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Are you a vegan or vegetarian?

NOOOO I am neither.  Many people often think that I am one or the other but I am not.  In fact if I had to say I am anything it would be a Flexitarian.  What the heck is that you say?  My diet consists of wholefoods including high quality fish and meat. Yes I eat a lot of vegetables (mainly a plant based diet) but I am in tune with my body and what it wants (which is different each day).  This has come after many years of eating the wrong foods FOR ME and not feeling my best.  After years of eliminating this and that and going on this diet and that diet, I have come to really understand my body and grow a loving relationship with food.  I choose to live my live without labels and without restrictions.  So although I steer away from the foods that are offending to me, I really focus on living a balanced lifestyle when it comes to my diet.  As a food and lifestyle blogger, I hope to inspire you to do the same.

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What does a typical day look like for you?

I don’t know if I want to answer this question with HOW I want a typical day to look like for me hahaha.  Well most days I am woken up by my baby girl around 9am.  Some mothers might roll their eyes here (lol) as I have heard most 18 month olds wake up between 5:30am and 7am – yikes! How!? When my hubby is home, I like to bring Savannah in bed with us for 30 minutes as we start our day with cuddles and kisses in bed.  Then after feeding Savannah a nutritious breakfast I begin to make mine. Once breakfast is in me I am ready to take on the rest of the day with high energy.  I head to my Health and Wellness studio in Toronto (PurEnergy Wellness Lofts) where I teach an energizing fitness class filled with beautiful clients living a holistic lifestyle that they absolutely love. In between classes and clients I return home to spend time with Savannah (I do not like to be away from her for more than 3 or 4 hours – she is my happy place) and cook something up for lunch while also preparing dinner.  My evenings, after Savannah’s bathtime and bedtime, are spent writing my blog, writing in my personal journal, reading or (when hubby is home) cuddling on the couch watching a comedy.  After washing up I put on a relaxing sleep meditation and in bed for 8 hours I go.

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What is your daily beauty regime?

I am pretty simple when it comes to my beauty regime.  It is all in my morning and evening washing routine.  Because I love my followers, I will give you 5 key steps to a healthy beauty regime to get you that glowing skin we ALL want (naturally of course!).  However, you must wait for this in my upcoming blog post this week! Sorry!! I will tell you this – I love my lipgloss and wont leave the house without it! I find it brightens my face and makes me happy. There are a few brands that I really love and will post about these in my next post as well. OH and I absolutely dislike naked nails.  Anyone who knows me well, knows that I love having my nails painted.

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What was your inspiration for writing your book Healthy is Sexy?

In the past I worked for a few large companies (which I am unable to disclose the names of) marketing beauty products.  After understanding what harmful ingredients are placed in these products, I quickly realized that there was a need for me to inspire women all over the world to adopt a cleaner beauty lifestyle.  Longing for a more natural approach to beauty myself, I started experimenting and creating natural beauty recipes.  This allowed me to steer away from commercial beauty products while getting the results I desired naturally.

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Have you always been healthy?

I have always been health-conscious but not to the extent of what I am today.  Coming from a European background, I am lucky to have grown up with a Mediterranean diet filled with lots of vegetables and wholefoods.  However don’t kid yourself there are ‘not so great’ choices with Italian cuisine as well (pizza, pasta, white refined foods, etc.) but I have learned to steer clear of these and switch up the recipes to a healthier version (quinoa or cauliflower crust pizza, brown rice pasta, homemade goodies, etc.)   As a teenager I was, what my parents called, disobedient and I liked to live life on the wild side (little did I know then that this was the early stages of my healing – I will leave this for a separate post lol).  I will admit to drinking, smoking and over exercising to be a certain weight.  As the years went on, I learned more and more the value of loving myself, not abusing my body and being true to my emotions (this is a workin progress).

What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?

I am a people pleaser – even if it means not being true to myself and my values.  I was the girl who even though I had a bad day would walk into a room with a big smile and act like nothing is wrong not to have others feel uncomfortable or have to spend their time talking to me about it. I would constantly go over and beyond and over extend myself to please others (family friends and even acquaintances).  I am the girl everyone calls on because I never say ‘no’ and I will support and be everyone’s cheer leader.  Is anyone reading this drawing similarities? Overtime I have come to understand that by pleasing others and sparing their feelings, I lose a little bit of myself.  This is a learned trait and I work very hard at recognizing when I am doing this and setting the intention to honour myself at all times.  I have made a promise to myself to always stay true to my values, desires and wants regardless of the outcome.

What makes you happy?

Simplicity. I feel that there is a heavy emphasis on finding happiness.  Happiness is trendy right now. Is pursuing happiness going to make you happy?  From what I have seen in my line of work, the more people pursuing happiness the less they seem to obtain it.  Too much focus on striving for happiness in itself can be actually self-defeating.  I have been working on building acceptance of myself NOW (whatever it may be) and fostering kindness towards myself.  It is truly the simple things in life that make me happy.  Doing what I love, living my life purpose, having my incredible husband and daughter in my life and my beautiful friends/soul sisters. I challenge YOU.  Spend some time alone and get to know YOU, write down what you desire in life and the things that make YOU happy.  Write down anything or anyone that stops you from attaining this and make choices and decisions to change things so that you are getting closer to this happiness.

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Who has been your greatest inspiration?

Oh wow this is a tough one!  I feature different women on my blog for Women Crush Wednesdays and they are ALL so inspirational.  These women have made an impact in my life, in one way or another, and surrounding myself with these women have made me aspire to be a better version of ME. I cannot express the importance of surrounding yourself with positive good people.  YES this is something you should think about the same way you think about what you eat. There are people who lift you up in life, who support, love and care for you and then there are people who put you down, criticize and judge you (this is always based on their own insecurities).  This is YOUR life; YOUR story.  When you surround yourself with inspirational beautiful people, you find more joy in things and in turn you are surrounded by life.

 

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How is it being a mom?

I LOVE it!!!!  Some of my previous blog posts have expressed the difficulty I had transitioning from single to motherhood but once I made the mental switch it has been beautiful.  Savannah has been an absolute blessing in our lives and I am so honoured she has chosen me to be her mother.  She teaches me everyday and I attribute many of my learnings and growth to her. She radiates happiness and truly sparkles from the inside-out.  I must be doing something right! Haha.

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FUN FACT about me:

I am a twin!!  YES!  I always love to see people’s facial expressions when I tell them this haha.  I have a twin brother who is technically my soul mate.  We speak everyday on the phone (sometimes two or three times lol) and although we are not telepathic I am in tune with how he is feeling on any given day.  I do have another brother and he is just as amazing and we are just as close.  I am very fortunate to have the siblings that I do and they both married incredible beautiful (inside and out) women – WIN!!

What is next for you?

I have been trying my best to live life in the moment and see where my path takes me – it is exciting!! However the planner in me has a few surprises up  my sleeve 😉 I look forward to sharing them with you very soon xo

For my next Inspirational feature on Woman Crush Wednesday is Dr. Jessica Liu.

Jessica Liu ND is a Board-certified Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, practicing general family naturopathic medicine since 2006 with a clinical focus in fertility, women’s health, children’s health, pregnancy, and mental-emotional wellness.  Specifically, her interest in women’s reproductive health came about after her own reproductive health challenges were remarkably improved with the help of natural medicines.  Dr. Liu is the founder of Lakeside Natural Health Clinic located in Port Credit Mississauga.

The moment I met Jessica I felt an immediate connection.  She is gentle, kind, loving, compassionate and truly cares about each and every one of her patients.  Jessica taught a course at the Nutrition school I attended (it was one of my favourites!!).  I approached her after the course asking to ‘shadow’ her once a week.  Not knowing, entirely, Jessica’s focus I was immediately intrigued, and confused, that the majority of her clients were either beautiful babies or women seeking to get pregnant.  I instantly knew then that the universe had more in mind for me than simply learning from Dr. Jess.  I became pregnant with my daughter 5-6  months after ‘shadowing’ Jessica.  Jessica and I became close friends and I had the absolute honour of having Jessica as my doula for the birth of my beautiful baby girl Savannah.  I could not have done it without her loving support, compassion and guidance.

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Jessica has become our family doctor and she is most definitely my sounding board when it comes to any insecurities I may have with my parenting decisions both nutritionally and emotionally.  Everyone who encounters this special soul has the same warm and loving feeling that my family and I do.  We are grateful to have her in our life.

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She continues to be my inspiration and the inspiration to so many.  As a mother of two and an entrepreneur herself, we are able to have some ‘real’ talks surrounding balance and letting go of the expectations we as women can sometimes put on ourselves.

If you’re looking for a doctor who takes the time to get to know her patients, cares for them deeply and is incredibly talented you must meet Jessica she will change your life.

Make sure to checkout my next blog post on Rubimed Therapy that I am doing with Jessica.  It is a treatment that works through emotional experiences that, over time, have been stored in the subconscious.

 

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Q: How did you get into your current career/what made you decide to peruse this career?

A: I was lucky to have grown up in a family where natural medicine was the preferred way to address health issues. My father was an engineer turned Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor who always preferred to use acupuncture needles and herbs whenever I had an ailment, so he was definitely a key source of inspiration for me.

When I was in my 20’s, I suffered from severe menstrual irregularities and symptoms and responded very poorly to medical treatments. I was told early on that I would have difficulty conceiving.  It was through working with my naturopathic intern while in naturopathic school that finally things shifted for me and I was blessed to conceive my two healthy children!

Q: Do you have a special focus/specialization in your practice? Is there a reason why you have this focus in your practice?

A: I love having a general family practice, but one of my true passions is in the area of fertility, pregnancy, and babies. There is no greater joy for me than seeing a family bring a healthy baby into the world and to be able to support them on the right path to helping their baby grow to be strong, resilient and happy!

My other focus is in mental/emotional wellness. I believe that we all carry within us the potential to live to our fullest capacity for joy and it’s about providing gentle care and support to help a patient make the necessary shifts needed to heal on a deeply emotional and spiritual level.  Many of my fertility patients experience trauma throughout their journey, and helping them to heal and process that experience is a key part of their success in conceiving.

Q: What is your #1 health tip?

A: Love yourself. Be kind to your body, nurture your needs and make time for laughter.

Q: What is your favourite thing about your practice?

A: I get to work every day with the most amazing group of practitioners, each with their own incredible gifts and such great positive energy.  This place feels like a second home and it’s how we’d love our patients to feel when the walk in to the moment they leave.  I’m also blessed that part of my job entails cuddling babies all day long!

Q: What do you like to do for fun (any hobbies, activities etc.)? Why do you enjoy these things?

A: There’s always time for play! I love to get silly with my kids.  I love to putter around in my garden and get my hands dirty! I also try and make time for self-care – yoga, meditation, and exercise – to keep me balanced.  And when we can, my husband and I love to travel with the kids.

Q: What do you value most in your life? Why?

A: My relationship with my husband and my family. They have always been the solid foundation that has kept me grounded and encouraged me along the path in pursuing my passion to help people.  They have sacrificed so much for me to pursue my dream and when my work is done every day, I can’t wait to see them and nurture that love that keeps me going.

Q: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?

A: I would love to spend a year in a country where I can’t speak the language and immerse myself into a completely different culture. Japan has always intrigued me with its history and its culture, and oh, the food!

 

Connect with Dr. Jessica:

www.lakesidehealthcentre.com

905.274.4375

This first lovely lady that I have decided to feature and interview is someone who is very close to my heart.  Her name is Christina Prokos.  Christina is a Life Coach and Spiritual Healer.  She helps you connect with your authentic self and true desires, helping you create a positive life.

The famous saying “important encounters are planned by the souls long before the bodies see each other” (Paulo Coelho) rings particularly true when it comes to my growing friendship with Christina that began three years ago in a coffee shop.  On the surface, Christina looks like an ordinary beautiful woman but there are layers and depths to her soul.  Have you ever witnessed a clairvoyant perform mediumship?  Christina came to meet with me to discuss eating healthier, control her sugar cravings and overall live a healthier lifestyle.  We discussed these topics and didn’t get through 10 minutes before she was reading me, providing me with heartfelt messages from past loved ones and providing me with closure, healing and a new direction in life.

I sat down with Christina to talk about what it’s like being a Spiritual healer and very powerful influencer in the Holistic and Spiritual industry.

Lisa:  When did you recognize that you had spiritual gifts?

Christina:  I believe I was about 2 years old and I remember thinking to myself I am looking at different perspectives far more than other individuals and I was really sensitive to my environment and everyone around me.  But what I realize now is that it wasn’t that I was being sensitive it was that I was showing vulnerability and I was just trying to make people see that if you just let yourself show these emotions you had the ability to be in your own space and grow from that.  However it became more and more of a contrast for me growing up so I was forced to cope with my gifts and dim them down.  It was not until about the age of 11 when I was confident I was psychic.  I was well aware at that age that I had the ability of clairvoyance, clearaudience and clairsentiant.  It seemed normal for me, up until high school, until I realized that no one knew nor understood what intuition was all about.  I fell into trying to fit in versus using my gifts and putting them into a skill set however I have always been a teacher.  I have always, always, always helped. I always made sure people, regardless of their circumstance, were helped and finding solutions to their problems or giving advice.

 

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Lisa:  You truly change peoples’ lives, what part of your practice do you love the most?

Christina:  I do not look at what I do as ‘work’ so when I am in my space and in the zone of what I am doing it is innate in me and it becomes a part of me expressing myself.  So it gives me the ability to be real and to see individuals accept me the way I am.  The best part of my practice is me being ME and allowing myself not to get lost in the perspective of it being work.

Lisa: You often say that everyone has the ability to be intuitive.  How can someone tap into their natural clairvoyance and intuition?

Christina:  I believe that there is an organic process when it comes to intuition.  We all have an internal guidance system and its very important that we understand how feelings are.  Its important to get in tune with your feelings far more than you trying to master being clairvoyant or clairsentiant or clairaudient.  Everyone has their own unique gifts which means even if you are an artist you have the ability to express yourself intuitively through your art because you are using your felt perception.  When I say how to tap into your specific gift and your intuition, it is listening to your emotions/feelings and allowing the process to guide you organically.  You will then find that your guides, angels and the team you have with you, will help you go towards your path.  Healing comes in different forms for everyone – one may give healing through Reiki, another through food or even a simple hug can provoke healing to another being.  It is about you knowing who YOU are and staying true to your ‘self’ by taping into your felt perception.  Remember that your internal guidance system is never wrong and that in itself is your innate intuition.

Lisa: People search for their true purpose in this life, how would you suggest that someone communicate with their Higher Self for inspiration and guidance?

Christina: When it comes to ‘true purpose’,you need to stay in your true joy.  I come across many who feel unsatisfied in their current work situation or role or maybe it is dissatisfaction at home regardless of the situation many people do things because they feel it is correct.  This very little thing pulls them away from their true joy and causes them not to recognize what their true joy actually is.  You must realize that, the older you get, the more you are pulled away from your joy and most importantly from aspects of yourself.  In order for someone to communicate with their higher ‘self’ or be guided you must be in a state of relaxation, calm and allow your energy to be raised naturally.  Be aware that if you are in a very toxic environment you will not be able to connect with your higher self.  Higher self being is your true aspect of who you truly are.  It is the version of yourself that is whole, pure and beautiful and it already exists in unity with you.  It is a matter of you remembering to connect to that essence.  Inspiration only comes from a place of joy so if you are in the state of wanting to be creative, you are already in alignment to receiving the guidance that you need. So make sure to always think ‘what brings me joy’; ‘how do I move into the space of what brings me joy’.

 

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Lisa:  Many people live with fear, phobias, negative belief patterns, etc. how can one reprogram their unconscious mind?

Christina:  We never want to reprogram the mind what we want to do, again, is step into the felt perception.  Negative beliefs, negative patterns, phobias, etc. stem from inner child trauma.  It is important to look at your environment from childhood and really take notice of all the patterns that you have adopted.  As much as we are adults we are still children living with that perception of feeling.  This ‘felt perception’ occurs in womb until about the age of 8.  As a child you absorb your environment and that transpires to mimicking this behaviour and belief patterns in your adult life.  Those individuals who have severe fears and negative patterns have often suffered quite a fare amount of abuse and trauma in their lives.  This is often blocked in their memory and comes out as these fears, phobias and negative patterns.  Getting into the space of doing inner child work, would shift the feelings towards the phobias, the patterns and any negative thoughts.

Lisa:  Meditation is a very hot topic these days.  How should one implement meditation in their daily life?

Christina:  Meditation comes in various forms and is not the stereotypical seated position with legs crossed.  It can be movement meditation such as tai-chi or chi-gong or a simple act of gardening.  Meditation is anything that moves you away from toxic environments and toxic thought patterns and getting you into a space of calm.  Meditation is a beneficial practice and I would highly recommend beginning with guided meditations.  Begin lying down on your back and focusing on the language in these meditations and understanding what meditation is about.  From there, you may want to deepen your practice and find a meditation group or a workshop where you can connect with like-minded souls that are on the same energy frequency as you. If time is a factor, incorporate 5-6 minutes of deep breathing (also a form of meditation) at your desk, having a calming camomile tea and incorporating more calm into your life.  Mindfulness is being aware of your triggers and understanding the feelings that come along when triggered.  Setting an intention in the morning, before beginning your day, is often very helpful for many people. This could be a simple act like starting a gratitude journal to move you into a space of creating more joy.

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Lisa: What is the meaning of life and how can one feel completely fulfilled and happy?

Christina:  Here is the reality of the situation, we are species constantly evolving.  The whole purpose of life is to evolve, to grow, to expand, to learn through contrast and to align with everything you have always desired.  Happiness is a tricky word because happiness for everyone varies.  We are a species that always desires more (which is okay because it allows for more expansion!) and so even if we are in a state of being happy we are unaware of it because we are desiring more.  Feeling completely fulfilled is finding your joy and being more and more authentic with yourself.  Feeling happy is doing things that feel good, walking away from negative situations and toxic individuals (anything that doesn’t serve your higher good), honouring your boundaries, speaking your truth, being honest with yourself (which allows you to be honest with others) and being creative in YOUR OWN expression.  Refrain from mimicking others behaviours and patterns because you have the ability to be as authentic and creative as you need to be for yourself.  Honour your personal gifts which will raise the frequency of your energy and you will align with happiness.

Christina

 

Lisa:  What do you do in your past time when you are not with clients?

Christina:  Funny enough I am always teaching.  If I am not with clients or running a workshop, I am always listening to what is going on in my environment and paying attention to see how things are a reflection of me.  But I do have fun! LOL I really enjoy being creative so I paint and draw and I enjoy spending time with friends and going to the beach.  Anything that makes me feel good and makes me grounded and calm.

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To become more inspired connect with Christina:

Instagram: @christina_life_spiritual

Twitter: @ChristinaProkos

Facebook Page: Christina Prokos Life & Spiritual Coach

Youtube: Real Raw & Honest

Blog: christinaprokos.wordpress.com

Have you ever been incredibly inspired by someone or something that has changed your life in a significant way that made you healthier, happier and more fulfilled?  For those of who who have answered YES right away, you know the difference that positive inspiration can make in a person’s life.

 

I find inspiration all around me whether it be in nature, in art, in food, in my daughter.  I am the wellnesspreneur that I am because of the inspiration I have found in other amazing women in the health and wellness industry.

I am dedicating this portion of my blog to all the incredibly talented women in the world who help, love, inspire and motivate others to be a better version of themselves:  mind, body and soul. Inspiration is powerful and can sometimes help guide the most important decisions in your life.  I am looking to share these positive influencers with you so that you too can also benefit as I have.

 

Stay tuned for my upcoming interviews with those who truly inspire me