Pesticide in your food Report: Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen

b12ba7fc-d1a5-4db4-b2de-6c6dbcac3b15The beLiving Well Program is designed to empower you with your optimal health and wellness food shopping. We know that many of us have a food budget, so it is convenient to be able to make an intelligent choice about where we put our money. “Every year, the EWG breaks down which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticides in their Shoppers Guide to Pesticides and which have the fewest. Their mission is to make food supply more transparent in order to help you decide when it’s worth spending extra for organic produce.”–Mind Body Green

This list I found on is for you to make more informed choices about what foods you choose to buy organic and which you choose to buy “conventional” (not organic, not pesticide-free). The “Dirty Dozen” includes produce with the most amount of pesticides. Most of the produce in the dirty dozen has traces of 13-15 different pesticides in one single serving. The “Clean 15″ are fruits and veggies with the least amount of pesticides. Print this out, and put it on your Refrigerator!

The fruits and veggies with the most pesticides (the “Dirty Dozen Plus“) are:

  1. Apples
  2. Peaches
  3. Nectarines
  4. Strawberries
  5. Grapes
  6. Celery
  7. Spinach
  8. Sweet bell peppers
  9. Cucumbers
  10. Cherry tomatoes
  11. Snap peas (imported)
  12. Potatoes

The “Dirty Dozen Plus” includes:

  1. Hot peppers
  2. Kale / Collard greens

And the fruits and veggies with the least pesticides (the “Clean Fifteen“) are:

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Cabbage
  5. Sweet peas (frozen)
  6. Onions
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangos
  9. Papayas
  10. Kiwi
  11. Eggplant
  12. Grapefruit
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Sweet potatoes
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Living Daily Health: Your Diet can Effect our Environment

By Alana Bray Barrey

salat tellerWhat we eat doesn’t only effect our health, but it effects the health of our planet as well. The typical “Western diet” depends largely on meat, and it is taking a big toll on the environment. While raising animals for food is a main contributor to pollution of rivers and streams, C02 emissions, deforestation, and the extinction of various species of plants and animals, I am mainly concerned about the tremendous waste of water involved with eating animals. I live in California, and the drought is becoming a palpable, scary reality in my everyday life. Choosing to be mindful of how I use water isn’t just about turning the faucet on and off, it also has to do with what I consume.

Today, raising animals for food is the topic. Raising animals for food is inefficient because animals eat large quantities of grain, and only produce comparatively small amounts of meat, dairy or eggs in return. Between watering crops for feed, drinking water or cleaning the filth, the high demand of our carnivorous diet is a strain on our water supply. Here are some mind blowing facts to put things in perspective.

  • HALF of the water in the US is going to raising animals for food (
  • It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat. You save more water by not eating a pound of meat than you do by not showering for 6 months. (
  • The water footprint of any animal product is larger than the water footprint of a wisely chosen crop product with equivalent nutritional value (
  • meat eaters consume the equivalent of about 5,000 litres (1,100 gallons) of water a day compared with 1,000-2,000 litres used by people on vegetarian diets. (

It is understandable to feel helpless in the face of these complex realities, but in this case, there is a clear and accessible action that us as citizens can take. According to the New York Times, “Changing one’s diet to replace 50% of animal products with edible plants results in a 30% reduction in an individuals food-related water footprint. Going vegetarian, a better option in many respects, reduces that water footprint by almost 60%.”

Clearly, this is not an all or nothing approach. The first step is to be mindful of your meat and dairy intake. How many times a day or week do you eat animal products? Even reducing that amount by half will have a drastic impact on your water footprint. Remember, when you reduce one pound of meat out of your diet, you are saving 2,400 gallons of water! It is understandable that considering changing your diet is a big transition, and we are here to help. We have designed the beLiving Well Program, a complete 12-day detox program, to help you learn how to nourish yourself without meat. Even 12 days of no animal products will save thousands of gallons of water, and learning how to live like this as home base is a substantial action you can take to be the change.

This is a scary time, but it calls for ACTION! From one of my favorite “creating awareness for change” instagram accounts @theglobalmovement:
“Massive movements about health, nutrition, activism, on many levels are blooming. The world is changing. The darkness is growing just as fast- but that does not mean we stray from doing our part or getting down in our hearts- we are a human family. We are in this together. We can change the world. First we must question our thoughts 24/7 contemplation and an end to impulsive lower mind living…There’s always enough time for the important things in life. Open the eyes, feel the heart, and do good. Be light.”

Our beLiving Well Program will have a huge impact on your personal health and the health of your environment. This will lift your vibration, your awareness and your contribution to the positive change that is happening in this world. You can do our program from near and far, with 3 different program options customized to what will help you succeed! Join us this Spring! April 13-24. Email for more information.

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Questions everyone should ask their Yoga Teacher Trainer before signing up


Kristina Kuzmich

Kristina Kuzmich

With so many  200-hour Yoga Teacher Trainings popping up in San Diego each year, I often wonder who is taking on this HUGE responsibility of leading teacher trainings and creating new Yoga teachers. While I’m not here to name names, I have come across many 200-hr teacher training programs in the San Diego area, where the people leading the programs have only been teaching for a couple of years at the most, and their teaching resume is equally unimpressive.

An important aspect of all trainings and mentorships is the connection you have with the person who is leading the program, and if their leadership is going to help you fulfill your goals. An important question to ask yourself is Why did you choose THIS training? This is a big investment of your time and money and it is important to investigate the curriculum and even more important, the philosophies and background of the teacher leading it. Just because the studio is close to your home, the timing is right or you like the teacher, doesn’t mean you should invest your money in them. While these are all feasible reasoning points, ask more questions!

We believe that you have a right to know the answers to the most important questions, which is why we asked Kristina Kuzmich, our mentor in our Yoga Teaching Mentorship Program, for her answers. Our Mentorship Program begins Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at 1:30p! It’s not too late to sign up! Email for more information.


1. How do you live your Yoga?

Living Yoga is more than what we do on the mat, it is how we live off the mat as well. The on the mat practice is a personal journey to deepen the overall practice. My living Yoga is a choice in how I See the world, myself and others. Yoga teaches us to pause and See things for what they are. Everyday is an amazing opportunity for me to wake up, show up and keep practicing living mindfully and truthfully. Some days this comes with ease and some days it is more challenging. Whatever is presented, is a way for me to be honest with what is coming up and to hold space for its realness. 

2. Why do you teach yoga?
I have always been a teacher. I think I was born into this life as that :) I find joy in helping others find their own inner voice and guidance; their own empowerment and Self-Love. Yoga is a way of living my life and therefore, my choice to teach yoga is to teach people how to live free in mind, light in heart and accept all of who they are (physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually). I teach yoga to help others live a life that is authentic and true to their hearts. I believe that the more we love ourselves and live a light-hearted life, the better the world is. The connection of mind and body, that rich relationship, that deepens in the yoga practice lends way to the heart path, so that we each can find ourselves and love who we are. In turn, we inspire others to do that same.

3. Who is your teacher(s)?
You. Me. Everyone. Ever day is my teacher. Every moment is an opportunity to open up and See; the learn. However, I do have great teachers who have taught me this viewpoint. My teachers from Naropa University who taught me the practices of Mindfulness in Meditation. Thich Nhat Hanh in all his simply explained realizations on mindful living. Annie Carpenter has been my teacher since 2010 and I have learned so much from her dedication and discipline to the practice. My husband. My mother. My father. My siblings. My cat, Oscar. My friends. The earth. My mistakes. My rudeness and quick to react demeanor. Myself. My life. 

4. How do you practice self study (svadhyaya)
I am a study nerd. I love to study, read books, take notes, write articles, share information with others. Everyday is nearly a self study experience for me. Some times I delve in for hours on end, while other days a simple one page reminder on mindfulness by one of my many wonderful meditation teachers will suffice. To me, svadhyaya, may fill more time in my life than my asana mat practice. 

5. How long have you been teaching?
I began teaching at a young age. In high school I was the caption of my cheerleading squad (yeah, I did that) and I started teaching dance routines and stunting techniques to my fellow squad members. It came natural to me to lead and to bring people together. By the time I was in college, I knew I wanted to teach, but wasn’t always sure as to what. Being in the fine dining restaurant business for many years, I dabble with thinking this was my career. So I became a Sommelier and directed a wine program, leading classes on wine education for a few years. But it wasn’t until I actually took my meditation practice to the mat, in moving meditation, that I realized I wanted to be a teacher of mindfulness and yoga. The eight years of progressional massage therapy education and application accompanied with my yoga teachings helped me to See what my true passion was – to share the lineage of Yoga with others through teaching. Therefore, in a round about way, to answer this question, I have been teaching/leading for over 16 years but of those, six years I have dedicated to teaching mindfulness and yoga. 
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Yoga Teaching Mentorship Program: The only one like it in San Diego

Kristina in Parsvakonasana - SIde Angle Pose!Our Yoga Teaching Mentorship Program starts in less than one week! Did you know that there are at least twelve 200Hr Yoga Teacher Trainings happening in North County between now and September 2015? This is a lot! This means that more people are becoming exposed to Yoga which is great, yet, teaching Yoga is a big responsibility. As you take on this huge responsibility, a 200hr training is not enough. It gives you a wonderful and necessary foundation, but a 200hr training is a tease. It’s like buying a rich, creamy moist piece of chocolate cake and only eating the crust. There is so much more yet to come!

Last night I heard someone say “It’s teacher training season”, referring to the plethora of opportunities to pay someone thousands of dollars to get certified to teach Yoga, yet only learn the basics. It seems like there are more teacher trainings popping up each year in San Diego, while there are close to NONE that are mentorships. I’m also not talking about a 300 hr “advanced” Teacher Training. I am talking about a Mentorship Program. A program that is within an intimate group of people with the same intention, a sangha; where you can be guided with love, and be thrown into the thick, emotional, sticky, rewarding and raw aspect of being a Yoga Teacher. Not only will you get a more in depth look at anatomy, sequencing intelligently, therapeutics, subtle body awareness, and smart adjustments; but you will get honest and real feedback so that you can learn to find your own voice and your niche as a teacher.

Leading Yoga Teaching Mentorship program, Yoga Bound’s studio manager Kristina Kuzmich says,

“The point of a mentorship is to teach you as a teacher how to look at students and see them where they are energetically stuck, physically congested and be able to guide them to listen and find their own teacher inside, realizing that they are the ones who can shift themselves. We don’t know all the answers, but the anatomy, alignment, and energy piece are so valuable because we can look at a student and see where they are expanded and contracted and help them feel empowered. This is the goal of all of us as a teacher.”

We are not going to be part of the “let’s make more Yoga teachers” movement just yet. We want to invest in people who have already invested in their Yoga teaching evolution. Through our mentorship, they are able to taste the best part of the cake: Finding your voice as a successful, passionate and thorough yoga teacher.

Spring Mentorship Program

April 1-May 20

Weekly Meetings
Wednesdays 1:30 – 5p
Investment = $750
$150 non-refundable deposit (holds your spot)
$600 by April 1 (can be divided into 2 payments)
If you have any questions, please inquire with Kristina at
Space is limited.
Learn About Kristina
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Living Daily Health: A Talk about Fermented Foods with Health Coach Alana Bray Barrey

unnamed-6Where have all the fermented foods gone? What was once a staple in many traditional diets, is close to being extinct in our current food system. Here is Alana Bray, the Holistic Health Coach in our beLiving Well program, discussing the topic of Fermented Foods! And don’t forget to join us for our workshop where you will learn all the details of Fermented Foods, as well as make your own batch to take home!

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Living Daily Health: A Talk With Kristina Kuzmich Bengala


Studio Manager and Co-Founder of the beLiving Well Programs recently shared her 6 minute talk on where to start with Health & Wellness. This short talk offers three simple steps to begin on the path of mindfully living. She plans to keep sharing her insight and knowledge weekly. Look forward to more audio talks to fill your car rides with inspiration and insight!

Check out our next beLiving Well Program starting April 6!


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Our next Yoga Retreat is only two weeks away! This special trip offers two daily yoga practices led by two very well educated and talented instructors, Kristina Kuzmich and Alana Bray Barrey. One of these practices will be an active practice, discovering the mind body connection on a deeper level through guided pranaymana (breath-work) and alignment-based vinyasa, while the other practices will be mellow, delving into meditation, Yoga Therapy, restoration and even yogic philosophy. All too often we forget that the practice of yoga derives from an eight-limbed system, and yoga poses (asana) is just one of the limbs. This retreat will have you learning and understanding the other limbs through our daily interactions with one another, mindful hikes, allowing space for the Self to be seen, unwind and be heard as well as through our health and wellness.
Kristina and Alana are passionate about “living yoga” everyday. Sometimes when we live our yoga in modern day life it can be challenging and may even feel like we aren’t be authentic or true to our nature. Kristina finds joy and feels it is her purpose to help guide others on their mats and in meditation to de-mystify our own self-limiting thought patterns and behaviors. She has been working and guiding people in both fields of fine dining restaurant work and in healing therapies for over 18 years. Kristina is a certifed Masasge Therapist and 500hr E-RYT, as well as a certified SmartFLOW® Yoga Teacher; she holds over 2,000 hours of study in yoga and masasge. She uses the practices of somatic alignment in yoga not as a means to be perfect, but as a way to direct the mind to attention and to find ease and freedom in the body. Kristina says, “this in turn, deepens the mind-body union lending a clearer pathway to the heart – where all our truth derives”. Similar to Kristina, Alana has a passion for others and using the practices of Yoga Therapy, a more subtle and gentler way to access the “yoking” (yoga) of the mind and body. Alana is a Certified Yoga Therapist and Holistic Health Nutritionist. She has been in the field for many years coaching individuals and working with large groups in her yoga studio, as well as on the corporate level. Both of these women together are bundled into our amazing retreat – one not to be missed!
In addition to plethora of yoga activities, talk and love, there will be waterfall excursions, surfing and lessons, cooking classes, dancing and enjoyable afternoons taking in the sun, the breeze and one another.
There are two spots left and we would love to share this experience with you. I know Kristina and Alana are really looking forward to sharing their knowledge and light with you!
Contact alana@yogaboundforlife for booking information!
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My Experience of a Yoga Retreat in Costa Rica

unnamed-2By Alana Bray, Owner of Yoga Bound

The day before I went on my first Yoga retreat (of which I was a participant) I wrote in my journal: “Alone in a life I do not recognize”. My father had just suddenly passed away. I was in Costa Rica where he lived, and where he had passed to take care of his unfinished business. I was there grieving, confused, overwhelmed and heartbroken. Something in me made me drop everything and go on a Yoga retreat. My dear friend Colleen flew down to Costa Rica and joined me where we submerged ourselves in a week long Yoga and cleansing food retreat. I learned in this week how to nurture the space of myself through conscious choices toward personal evolution. This was a foreign subject to me. Yet, in that week, my brokenhearted soul learned first hand the healing powers of clean food, rest, yoga, relaxation and meditation. Miraculously, the day after the retreat was over I wrote “I dive deep in the vast ocean that is my independence, my freedom”. Clearly, the emotional, mental and physical experience of this week long Yoga retreat in Costa Rica changed my perspective on my situation. Where before I wrote “someone else chose this for me”, pointing blame and turning away from my grief. After, I was expressing the release and vastness I felt as I turned towards everything that was happening. This shift in perspective was a release ultimately leading me to sustained healing and freedom that came from a profound loss. This important pause in the most overwhelming time of my life was the turning point. I made many important decisions from the information I received on this retreat; decisions which lead me towards continuous growth and evolution to this day. My experience was extreme and I decided to go on a whim. I didn’t analyze how, who or why…I just did. I was drawn to this, and did it, and it was if someone opened my eyes and gave me the answers. Now I can see that it was my soul speaking. If you are magnetized to anything, make it happen. Follow your curiosity. This is for your soul, your bliss, and your heart. My intention is to provide a safe, healing space for renewal, growth, presence and self evolution. My experience in Costa Rica was a game changer, and yours can be too!

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Benefits of Sound Healing

What is Sound Healing?

Journey into the world of Sound Healing!


At long last, science and western allopathic medicine are validating what shamans have known for millennia. Long before history and the written word, music and healing have been inseparable in the practices of shamanic healing and ofmantra as a musical prayer for healing. Contemporary holistic healers, spiritual healers, Reiki masters, shamanic healers, practitioners who work with crystal healingand chakra healing, and with the myriad other aspects of the alternative medicine healing arts: all are increasingly aware that with the introduction of the healing energy of sound, energy healing is catalyzed to potentate their healing abilities and the miraculous touch of their healing hands. Sound healing is increasingly embraced as the oldest, most gentle and most profound method of healing there is.

Whether you call it the Word, om/AUM, or something else, creation stories around the world identify sound as the creative force by which the Divine Sourcemanifested first light, and then the material reality. It follows: that which created all that is can also transform all that is. The unique, deeply relaxing (and therefore healing) benefits of harmonic overtones, which induce the rare state of Thetabrain wave activity while still conscious; the pizo-electric stimulation of meridian linesacupressure and acupuncture points by the vibration of sound (enjoyed in the comfort of your home and without needles); and the alleviation of energy blockages in the chakras as the karma you are ready to release disappears quickly and with minimal effort: all are reported benefits of sound healing with a gifted channel of this energy (testimonials). While we do not recommend ceasing or failing to consult with traditional health care practitioners, we have continuous reports of the work providing relief and cessation of acute and chronic mental, emotional and physical issues (including stress, insomnia, ability to concentrate, various immune system issues, emotional disorders and many more) as well as initiation and/or heightened clarity in direct contact with spirit guides and angels, finding life purpose, spontaneous past-life recall, increased ability to manifest, and MORE.


Join us, Friday, January 30th for “Bronze and Branch” at 7p. Experience deep meditation and enlightenment that comes from the healing vibrations of Tibetan singing bowls, gongs, and didgeridoo. The sacred sounds, of these beautiful instruments, produce a powerful tool to clear, shift and attune our luminous energy body. These ancient musical instruments easily transport you to a place of peaceful awareness where you can become one with the sounds
and vibrations. Classes are held throughout Southern California.

Register here:

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2015: The Year of Living Mindfully


If there was one resolution that could be the umbrella change that shifts the course of 2015, it is learning to live a mindful life. Every New Years resolution has one common purpose; to enhance our life. The idea of being mindful, and living a mindful life has to do with being present and being more conscious as life happens. Just like anything, mindfulness is a habit that is cultivated over time. Why not dedicate this next year as the year of Living Mindfully, and watch all your scattered misfit habits slowly fade into the distance. In holistic nutrition, we have a “crowding out” theory. The principle of “crowding out” suggests that you add more to your diet, instead of taking away. By adding healthy, whole foods, you will crowd out the unhealthy foods. Similar with living a mindful life. Rather than swearing off cheese, sugar, carbs, reality TV, smoking, etc, committing to live a mindful life will evolve your consciousness to be attracted activities and foods that raise your energetic vibration. This attraction, while gradual, will become sustainable. You will see, that once committing to a mindful living practice, all you will have to sustain is showing up for that practice on a daily basis. Over time you will have developed an instinct to be present with life as it happens, and how you choose to respond to everything that is presented to you. Without even trying, your mindful practice will evolve into mindful living. Sarah Varcas says “we do this by honing our focus on how we interpret the events of our lives, the behavior of those around us and the complexities presented each day merely by being human”. Our mindful practices will teach us how to respond vs. react, leading us to a profound sense of self awareness. According to Sara Varcas, “Knowledge about ourselves draws the highest price right now”.

To make it simple as well as sustainable, dedicate each month of 2015 to a different perception of mindfulness, while staying committed to the mindful practices of the month before. To give you some guidance, we have come up with 12 mindful practices for each month that build upon the next.

 January: Begin or commit to a Yoga practice. Yoga is a mindful based, mostly physical practice. Traditionally, Yoga postures were performed daily to prepare the body for a meditation practice. Today, Yoga is in almost every city and populated town. If you can’t find it in your town, there are a plethora of online videos for every level. January is the perfect time to start as many studios have amazing New Year specials, that give you long term packages for discounted rates. At Yoga Bound we are offering $360 for a 6 month unlimited Yoga package. Decide this January to commit to it at least 3x per week and watch your life change before your eyes. You will never understand how you were able to exist without it.

February: In February take up the mindful practice of doing less. Everyone is busy, yet, figure out what is really important and what is not, before you fill your day with numerous tasks. Pick 3 very important things to get done each day, and leave room between each task in your schedule.  If you do less, you can do things more slowly, more completely and with more concentration. The quality of how you do things will improve, and you will see yourself connecting to each day in a more present, satisfying and clear way.

March: Commit this month to doing one thing at a time. Single-tasking vs. multi-tasking. The first few days this month you might dedicate to noticing your multi-tasking habits. For example, when you are eating, you notice yourself reading a magazine. Or when you are walking, you find yourself browsing on your phone. Learn this month to follow the zen proverb “When walking walk, when eating eat”.

April: Your mantra for this month is “do it slowly and deliberately”. Notice when you tend to rush through things to get each task over with. As the month begins, what task usually makes you want to rush through it? Whenever you find yourself rushing this month, pause, and take your time with it. Make your actions deliberate and present. This might turn into one of your favorite things to do!

May: Spend at least 5 minutes each day doing NOTHING. Make space in your day to just be. Maybe its sitting outside after your lunch and watching the clouds pass by, the birds fly, the trees blow. Possibly watching a sunset, laying on the earth with your eyes closed. Find time each day for space of being and the joy of nothing.

June: Piggybacking on the month of may, June is the month to pick up a meditation practice if you do not have one, or lengthening the current one you do have. As a ritual, try to pick the same time each day in the same place to sit and be with your quiet. Start gradual; 5 minutes the first week, and add 1 minute each day after that. A simple meditation is focusing on your breath. Every time you inhale say to yourself “SAT” and every time you exhale, say “NAM”. This means nothing more than “I AM”. Whenever you notice your mind elsewhere, bring it back to the simple meditation mantra.

July: Become aware of your thinking–are you constantly worrying about the future? Learn to recognize when you’re doing this, and practice bringing yourself back to the present with a long, slow, deep, calm, breath. Every time you are conscious of yourself worrying about the future, turn your attention to what you are doing right now and the deliberate actions and joy you are receiving from being alive in your body with what you are doing NOW.

August: This month is all about how you connect to others. When you are talking to someone, be present. Do you ever notice that when you are talking with someone, you are thinking about something else, worrying about the future or even worse, on your phone? Instead, make it a choice to be present with who you are with, listen to their words and find joy in their company.

 September: This month is all about eating. Be conscious, every meal to eat slowly and savor your food. Have a moment of blessing your food and all the abundance and nourishment it provides your life. Try not to eat in a rush or cram it down your throat. Savor each bite, notice the flavors and the texture to get the most out of your food. You will also eat less and digest your food better.

October: Find time every day to walk as a meditation. 15 minutes each day, without your phone, notice the sensation of walking and all the lovely things you notice as you walk outside. Thich Nhat Hanh says “walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet”. Each step you take on your daily walks this month, your footsteps are like a healing prayer of gratitude for the generosity of the earth. There are so many more beautiful, and stabilizing images and walking practices in the book Walk Yourself Well by Sherry Brourman.

 November: Live Slowly and Savor your Life. Just as you are learning about the practices of eating mindfully and walking meditations, this month is dedicated to savoring the experience of everything you do. Allow cleaning, cooking, walking, eating, driving, listening, paying bills, be a slower experience and notice what it feels like to savor each and every moment. What happens when you really tune in to even the most mundane errand? This month, tune into the sights and sounds and awaken your senses to the world around you.

 December: This month, everything that you speak is kindness, and serves to uplift, support, and move forward. You might have to take time being aware of the lower vibration words that come out of your mouth for the first week. Once you notice what you tend to say, you are able to create space for responding instead with loving kindness. Eventually you will see it in your thoughts and your actions as well.

This is the year of transformation! There is nothing more powerful and healing as committing to your mindful life.

 Happy New Year! 

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