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Natural Awakenings NYC & Long Island

Words To Live By in 2022

New Year’s Wisdom and Inspiration from 

Natural Awakenings Readers

Positive change begins with inspiration and motivation. Whether you’re working to improve yourself, your community or your world, we hope these words from fellow New York City–Long Island Natural Awakenings readers will uplift you through 2022.

WADE BELFON  - Owner, strength, and conditioning practice


Life’s mission: Having recovered from a serious injury through exercise, my mission is to empower others to realize their highest fitness potential and to trust their own bodies. I encourage my tribe of fitness participants to set goals, practice good form and maintain a healthy diet.

Favorite quote: “Don’t underestimate yourself. You are capable of more than you can ever imagine.” —Less Brown

RACHEL ENGEL - Business development manager 


Life’s mission: My mission in life is to help people in any way I can, bringing happiness, laughter, love, kindness, empathy and compassion together to create a better tomorrow. I lead with truthful transparency in my life to be able to create an environment that everyone can feel comfortable in. I am still learning and evolving as I go.

Favorite quote: “Be your own reason.” Levi’s used it back in the ’90s in an ad that stuck with me all these years. Every time I question anything, that quote pops into my head and helps me clarify my thoughts.

JENNIFER FRAGILE  - Website creator, digital strategist


Life’s mission: My mission is to live an authentic life by making decisions with the greater good in mind, not compromising my values, and leading by example. 

Favorite quote: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” —Maya Angelou



Life’s mission: My life’s mission is to be open to new experiences and to catch myself when I say things such as “I don’t like this,” or “I’m not sure I can do this,” or “I’m scared,” and go deep within and ask myself why—and then challenge myself to try it. Instead of thinking about what can go wrong, I choose to think about what can go right.

Favorite quote: “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” —Rumi

SELMIN KARATAS - Co-founder, haircare products business


Life’s mission: My father and I started a family business called Kazani Hair Care, clean beauty products made from age-old recipes and plant-based ingredients. My mission is to enhance women’s and men’s self-confidence and create sustainability for future generations as we donate part of our proceeds to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. I am dedicated to the preservation of plants around the world.

Favorite quote: “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” —Albert Einstein

KARINA KLEIN - Pilates teacher


Life’s mission: My mission is to help people feel good in their own body, getting stronger and more confident from the inside out. Movement is what I use to meet and communicate with people. My clients are my inspiration. Their trust in me makes me want to get better and better at what do.

Favorite quote: “Movement is my therapy.”

CALLIOPE LAPPAS - Writer, positive psychology coach


Life’s mission: My mission is to continue my own work in personal growth and transformation and to share ideas and practical tools with others, helping them find ways to positively improve their everyday lives.

Favorite quote: “Our deepest challenge is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” —Marianne Williamson

PAULINE LEONG - Optometrist; founder, eyewear company


Life’s mission: Helping people to see—literally and figuratively.

Favorite quote: “Do not dwell on the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” —Buddha

JENNY LU - Yoga, meditation, tai chi and qigong teacher; energy healer


Life’s mission: My mission is to help people get healthier, happier and more peaceful through teaching and sharing healing energy.

Favorite quote: “When each of us learns to love and accept ourselves without judging, this world will be a place full of love and compassion for generations to come.”

MICHELLE MARSHALL - Co-founder, speaker training service; NYC parks site administrator


Life’s mission: As a personal development junkie, I’m constantly striving for improvement while being open to expressing my true authenticity. I continually seek out various modalities of learning about the mind, body, and spirit. I also enjoy pouring into people and helping them discover their authentic selves.  

Favorite quote: “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be." —Ralph Waldo Emerson

TANI THOMAS - Community coordinator, NYC civil service employee


Life’s mission: My mission is to support, protect and maintain our natural environment through education, horticulture, gardening, and farming. 

Favorite quote: “All great changes are preceded by chaos." —Deepak Chopra

JASON TRACTENBURG - Playwright, songwriter, dog walker, volunteer 


Life’s mission: To spread the beneficial impact of self-health and plant-based nutrition by means of music, comedy, theater, and personal interactions.

Favorite quote: “The love you take is equal to the love you make.” —The Beatles.





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