Archives for the month of: December, 2013

When I started this newsletter in January 2010, I wasn’t really sure what I was doing or how it would develop, but four years and more than 125 original essay/posts later I continue to find my voice, observe common themes and muse upon life’s lessons, sharing what I know to be true in a unique and entertaining way. This is my art, and one of my gifts to the world – who knew?

I am not one of those quick, effortless writers or fancy wordsmiths. I am moderately dyslexic. I barely read books. But I do have something to say – so these little 500-700 word essays take me on average 8+ hours each to write and edit (as best I can!). They are a creative labor of love.

Between my clients, friends, family and own personal journey, along with paying attention to the planets and current events, I gain a special birds-eye view and insight into many lives (and want to assure you you are not alone in having gone through a lot of inner and outer ‘stuff’ in 2013!). Through my weekly PGG’s I connect the dots and try to articulate and illuminate what we’re all experiencing to make your days a little better and brighter.

I am grateful to have this vehicle to express my thoughts, and am honored that they are read by so many of you. As we come to the end of the year, as part of my own reflection, I wanted to ask:

Do you look forward to getting PGG every week? Has a PGG inspired or motivated you to do something positive, gain a different perspective or improve your life in some way?

Regardless of how many you’ve read, if you feel you have benefited from my writing at all I am kindly requesting your feedback and support, so here are 3 easy ways to show your appreciation and share the love for PGG:

1. Send a “PGG Present” via PayPal to kristina.leonardi@gmail.com

Think of it as a monthly/annual subscription, tip in the tip jar, or simply a holiday/thank you gift – any amount is valuable ūüôā

2. Share PGG by LIKING PGG’s Page on Facebook ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† AND then tell all of your friends to ‘Like’ it, too – maybe by sharing a favorite post or quote from one of them, AND/OR encourage them to sign-up to be on my mailing list by going to the Contact Page of my website.

(Ditto for my TwitterPage!Please follow and Retweet often ūüôā )

3. Use or recommend my coaching and/or speaking services

If you like what I write, you’ll love what I have to say in person, either one on one or in front of your company, organization or group!

Of course your comments and suggestions throughout the year are always welcome and mean the world to me, but any one of these actions would let me know that I should continue writing on a regular basis as we move into 2014; it would demonstrate how much of an impact I’m having, and allow me to receive your gratitude and enthusiasm for my work in a more tangible way.

THANK YOU for your support and feedback, however you choose to express it!

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Wishing You a Joyful Holiday Season and a New Year filled with Peace, Prosperity, Love & Magic!

One of the things I learned when I was negotiating was that until I changed myself, I could not change others.~ Nelson Mandela 

Revolution is the evolution of humans into a higher humanity. ~ Grace Lee Boggs                                      

Those of you who know me or have been reading PGG for a while know that my passion and mission in life has always been to contribute to world peace, mostly through my work best expressed in my mantra that personal transformation is the key to social transformation.

So it should come as no surprise that I profoundly relate to and revere the lives of these two nonagenarians, the late 95 year old Nelson Mandela and the 98 year old activist and author Grace Lee Boggs, who literally embody this philosophy in every cell of their beings; who have demonstrated it both externally with their activism and sacrifice for racial equality and social justice, and internally by the wisdom they have gained and generously share from nearly a century of experience, observation, and most importantly, reflection.   

Both started out as ‘radicals’, and even Mandela up until 2008, were branded as terrorists with the requisite FBI/CIA files because they initially saw the only way to overthrow the entrenched power structure was by employing the more literal and sometimes violent tactics of revolution through organized movements and a spirit of rebellion. But through trial and error, incarceration and maturation, eventually evolved – which means they gave themselves permission to change their minds, learn and grow in light of new information, experimentation and once again, reflection – ultimately coming to the conclusion that in order to change the world they would have to change themselves.

They came to understand that indeed humanity is made up of humans and that humans were going to have to deal with other humans in order to get anything done. So we better be the best we can be as individuals and we better try to get along and get past our differences and disagreements, because the reality is that we must co-exist harmoniously – whether in a racially divided African country, a rundown bankrupt American city or in your very own household.

We are living in extraordinary times and it is no accident that you are who you are at this moment in history.

What does your humanity mean to you?¬† As our world continues to go through turbulent changes and upheavals, it will be up to us individually and collectively to do our part to ‘tear down’ where necessary and rebuild a more enlightened society that reflects our evolved humanity.¬† But we have to start with ourselves, and do what we can in our immediate¬†environments to demonstrate our own personal evolution – which, by the way, does not happen overnight, with a magic pill, silver bullet or special app.

It is only through keen observation, deep reflection and inner and outer sweating effort and energy over a long period of time directed towards improving ourselves and serving others that true transformation¬†can take¬†place. Then, if we’re lucky, by the time we reach our 90’s can look back and see how our journey has positively and productively unfolded in both a personal and political way, and be proud of what we accomplished and the legacy we will leave behind.

Wondering how it will all go down if you take up the cause? Give me a buzz and I will incite a riot in your heart to make the most of what you got, so at the end of the day you know it’s gonna be alright!

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10 Things Nelson Mandela Said That You Have to Know

American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs 

My personal thoughts: Feeling the Legacy of Nelson Mandela

My journey: All Roads; Same Place

Audio interview:

 Voice x Voice: Kristina as one of the Inspiring Women and Peacebuilders Around the World  

Personal Transformation is the Key to Social Transformation: An Interview with Kristina Leonardi

Hello
I love myself
I love myself
I love myself
We are so happy to be alive
I love my life
Our lives are great
We love ourselves
We love being alive 

I Love My Life: Song & lyrics by my special friend Zachary Miles Lefkowitz, age 4 1/2, Sept. 2013

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When at a wake¬†recently with my 14 year old nephew, I recalled to him¬†the time¬†he was about¬†to turn¬†four and¬†I¬†asked if he was¬†excited about his¬†upcoming¬†birthday.¬†He began to cry hysterically saying he didn’t want to¬†have any birthdays – this was because he spent a lot of time¬†around my ailing¬†grandmother who had just passed away¬†in her 80’s¬†and¬†he made the very astute observation that getting older means you are one step closer to dying.

I asked now what it was about death that¬†bothered him most.¬†¬†He did not hesitate for even a second and simply, and very seriously,¬†said “Because you¬†won’t¬†have the¬†exhilarating feeling of being alive.”¬†

I thought this was a profound answer as folks around us were suffering at the loss of¬†our loved one –¬† Jake¬†honed right in¬†on¬†the¬†crux of the matter:¬†We are alive, and we¬†should experience and treasure¬†every moment that aliveness brings us.¬†

Over the weekend I had my first massage in over two years, and it really brought home to me these conversations in the most basic and visceral of ways.  Being alive means we are here, in a very physical body in a very physical world. Our body is our vehicle to experience all that life has to offer so we need to love, appreciate and take care of it Рand, we are also here with other human beings who we are meant to love, appreciate and take care of in a physical way.

Most of us tend to live in our heads, and are quite disconnected from our bodies and/or emotions.  Getting a massage, whether by a therapist, or having a friend or family member give you a little hands-on tender-loving care affirms our being-ness, our aliveness, and our connection to and need for one another.  Numerous studies have documented the necessity of touch especially for newborns and the elderly Рit is literally what keeps them alive and determines their health and longevity.

Diana Ross famously sang Reach out and touch somebody’s hand, make this world a better place, if you can.”¬† If you’re lucky, you have close relationships where you can exchange¬†physical, affectionate touch on a regular basis.¬†¬†If not, there are lots of¬†alternatives like¬†hugs and¬†various forms of bodywork¬†you can¬†receive¬†from¬†others in appropriate ways and settings.

And sometimes the most¬†special touch can come from a stranger, like from the tourist in Bryant Park¬†over the summer¬†who while having her photo taken¬†nearby sensed/saw me distraught and¬†crying (even though I thought I was incognito with my sunglasses, hair covering my face and downward glance!), and in one of the most generous,¬†kind moments¬†I have ever experienced, gently put her reassuring, healing hand on my shoulder for a few seconds as she walked by, saying with that one gesture, “I see you, I feel your pain; I don’t know you, speak your language or know why you are upset,¬†but I am¬†here to offer you what comfort I can as a fellow human being.”¬†

So as we go further¬†down this technological highway¬†with its¬†isolating side effects¬†and¬†embark¬†upon¬†the holiday season with¬†the increasing commercial madness it brings, remember the basics:¬† you are here, we are here, let’s love our lives and love one another and demonstrate that love and compassion in the most tangible and meaningful ways possible.

Not quite sure how? Give me a buzz, because like Robin Thicke says:       I got it. You got it. We got the magic touch.

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