Christina Kantzavelos is Creating a Safe Space for Chronic Illness Warriors
Christina P. Kantzavelos, licensed psychotherapist, writer and chronic illness warrior believes in the power of self-love, affirmations and daily gratitude. With confidence in the power of growth and healing, Kantzavelos created Begin Within Today. This online platform provides a guide to emotional stability through links to mental services and resources, a daily healing journal, a blog answering chronic illness questions and even a direct link to schedule a counseling session with Kantzavelos herself. After talking to Kantzavelos, it was easy to understand that she created this platform to offer support and guidance to people at a time where those reassurances might seem impossible.
When talking about her career path and how she started working in psychotherapy, Kantzavelos acknowledges the importance of offering people a space to feel safe and respected. “I’ve always had an affinity with helping others. It just made sense that I would consider social work,” Kantzavelos tells Love Peace Organic. “In continuing to do deep inner work, I pursue a myriad of paths which includes but is not limited to mental health on a macro, mezzo and micro level, holistic health, art/creativity, writing, and entrepreneurship.” She incorporates her human sympathy and understanding into every other aspect of her life.
Begin Within journal started when Kantzavelos found herself lost within the world of surviving chronic illness. She needed support when she was fighting her chronic illness. In order to visualize the changes she was going through everyday; emotional, physical and medical, Kantzavelos wrote down her daily life in a journal. When recalling how she incorporated journaling into her chronic illness journey, Kantzavelos realized: “it was a combination of needing a way to document what I was going through, whilst understanding the therapeutic benefits of documenting such information, and focusing on gratitude, self-love and visualizations.”
Kantzavelos says journaling can help someone on a healing journey clarify thoughts and emotions, follow their health and growth, work through interpersonal and intrapersonal concerns, and gain new understandings as it’s a mindful activity rooted in self-love.
She researched daily journals for chronic illness warriors and there was no result. So, through hard work and recognizing her own healing journey, she decided to develop her own product with the goal of helping other people in similar situations to hers. By using her psychotherapy techniques as well as the knowledge of struggles she personally experienced, Kantzavelos believed that she would be able to create a product that offered an emotional outlet for healers. “I believe having a personal and professional understanding of therapeutic techniques helped shape the journal,” Kantzavelos tells Love Peace Organic.
Kantzavelos describes the Begin Within Journal as a “daily healing and wellness journal for those living life with chronic illness, mental illness, or other health-related challenges.” The Begin Within Journal, available in hardcover or an eco-friendly spiral bound edition, allows you to document your nutrition evolutions, your mood each day, challenges you face throughout the day, symptoms, as well as accomplishments and achievements — encouraging you to focus on expressing gratitude everyday.
Kantzavelos uses her journal at night, along with her bedtime routine. “The Begin Within Journal provides me space to process the day, while visualizing tomorrow. It's one of my favorite therapeutic tools,” said Kantzavelos. With ninety days of prompts, the journal can help you hold yourself accountable on your emotional or physical — following your growth throughout the course of three months. Kantzavelos said “journaling daily brought me to the realization that I was indeed on the road to healing, even if I was only able to breathe that day.”
When developing the Begin Within Journal, Kantzavelos referenced her work as a psychotherapist and the relationships she established with her clients. “My clients are able to understand their concerns and experiences from a different or self-informed perspective, and often find the deeper meaning from there.” This element can be expressed in the challenges aspect of the journal.
The journal allows you to write down the difficulties you face as well as how they affected you that week. Kantzavelos’ clients can take their passages and share them with her and get her psychological opinion. Kantzavelos recommends “sitting with your feelings” until you understand why they’re affecting you the way they are.
In order to make a healing journey more easily accessible, Kantzavelos is developing an app reflectant of the material in the Begin Within Journal. The app will be more long-term, allowing you to reflect on days, weeks, months, years past. “I am excited that the app allows you to see data over time, and therefore, helps you connect dots in your health via the information you provide,” Kantzavelos tells Love Peace Organic.
The creator of Begin Within Today views journaling and therapy as a form of self-love. Everyone has different definitions of self-care; journaling, exercising, getting a manicure or even the simple act of developing a daily skin-care routine. Kantzavelos practices self-love through “Epsom salts and CBD baths, hydrosol sprays, oil-based cleansers, toners, various moisturizers, castor oil, eye creams, masks, cupping, gua sha, dry brushing, and body oil.” Clean organic products from Love Peace Organic as well as the Begin Within Journal can support your journey to personal healing.
Christina P. Kantzavelos hopes her journals and services “empower and support you to find confidence, freedom, balance, joy, peace, independence and clarity from within.” Kantzavelos acknowledges the true courage it takes to take that first step toward healing within. By recognizing sensitivity, compassion, and holistic understanding of the growth process associated with chronic illness, Kantzavelos is changing the way mental and physical health coexist.