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Life & Work with Dragana Krstic

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dragana Krstic. 

Hi Dragana, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.

Grew up in southern-east part of Serbia, Europe, up to an age 16. As the war hit in early 90’s on the Balkans, everything shifted. The separation between the countries of Yugoslavia had a huge impact on the Balkan population. There was a lot of grief, sourness and bitterns amongst the different ethnicities. (I can’t speak much of this how is today, because I haven’t lived there since 2001).

In ’96 after my family’s business collapsed, my parents decided to make a transition and permanatly relocate us in America. My mom first initially moved to Michigan, where her brother and uncle were living for many years prior. As much as I remember, life was very simple in Serbia. A strong sense of community, sharing of resources, and everyone knowing one another. Music, dancing folklore, summer soccer tournaments, and roasting corn by the keo (riverside) has been carried through generations. For about five years, our family had to wait for all immigration papers to be approved so we can transition smoothly and permanently. During these five years, my mom was working 3 jobs in America, chasing the system and lawyers for citizenship. Meanwhile, my father, brother and I had to stay and wait in Serbia.

This transition and my mother making sacrifices for her family had taught me lot (I was able to understand much more in-depth of this in my 30’s). Early fall of 2001, we got green light to finally come to America. Coming here was a cultural shock and total language barrier. Luckily, my mom was guiding us as to how to transition into a new life and understand the new reality. Finished high school, university, worked many different jobs, traveled, and continuously learned. However, once I hit my 30’s, I realized the confusion, the lack of love i had for myself, the anger I felt, the guilt, and fear of living overall. I asked for guidance and decided to go inwards, deep within. Started healing and started understanding my true self, my sense of awaking, my purpose. Continuously asking, what is my intention? What do I want to experience in life? Completely transformed my life, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the life lessons, the people that have crossed my path, the awareness I gained, the impact I have made and inspired others to honor life as is. We all have this power within to grow, to love one another, to understand, to limit the non-sense and silence the mind when is needed. Today, I continuously do the work on myself. I am a mother, writer, self-believer, achiver and giver. I do lots of meditation, dancing, hiking, painting, cooking, and I am a business professional currently living in Arizona.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Some of the challenges I had encountered throughout my lifetime were struggles within myself. Not being good enough, fear of speaking my truth and afraid of criticism. Emotionally i was struggling, because I was hiding my true self and holding it all inside. I wanted to blend in and be liked by everyone. And in reality, that’s not the case.

During my 5-year healing journey, I was able to recognize the trait I was holding within, seeing everyone as equal, no separation, united humanity. Understanding and accepting my past and letting go of what no longer serves me, was the main focus. This was not a smooth ride, however, I do say destination is most important, so it’s been liberating. The mind is what is controlling most of us, not the heart. Society, environment, educational systems, materialism had limited us from what’s important in life. So, when compassion, kindness, and empathy started coming naturally to me, I knew I reached my transparency.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I do see myself as very creative personal. Whether is painting, rearranging the furniture in my home, writing a poem, creating a new recipe, hosting family dinner, planting, dancing, playing outside with my daughter, it’s all form of an art for me. I am publishing my website with upcoming poetry book release and many writings about my transformational journey and overall lifestyle. Also, in the midst of writing a inspirational novel, which I am visioning spring of 2023 to be completed.

On the analytical side of me, accounting is something I have been doing for the past 6 years. I did have my own retail business in my early 20’s, however, I was horrible staying within the budget, so I had to close it down. I do see myself as a restaurant owner in the future, so we shall see where it takes me.

In terms of your work and the industry, what are some of the changes you are expecting to see over the next five to ten years?
I do think everything is changing so drastically, and people are becoming more aware of their health and lifestyle overall. I am going to continue my journey on pursuing my vision, achieving optimal health, emotional, physical, spiritual, mental stability. In the next year, whatever I do will set me where I want to go in life. Financial abundance, to build my own home, to create community with like-minded individuals, and help those that are in need. I don’t follow trends much. I did in the past and it didn’t work for me. It’s seasonal, and I prefer to follow my own path and stay true to myself in a long run.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Nataliya Galius

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