Archives for the month of: February, 2014

There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in. ~ Leonard Cohen

I recently had my apartment painted, which is basically like moving  without actually moving. The main reason I did it was to force myself to  go through all of my belongings and see what should stay and what  should go, clean all the nooks and crannies that never get looked at and  rearrange things in a better way.  Well, it’s working, but for various  reasons has been happening s-l-o-w-l-y….and I just need to be okay with  that.

In my post The Present of Presence, I mentioned that out of chaos comes clarity.  And I’m always talking about process, how patience is a virtue and the consistent effort needed to make lasting change, One Step at a Time.  I’m certainly getting some good practice right now!

It’s been a great exercise to dismantle my external life since most  days I live and work on the internal side of things.  Just like with  physical surgery, sometimes you gotta literally open up, get in there,  dig around and rid yourself of and/or fix whatever is not working in  order to begin healing and functioning more optimally.  Like my client’s  ostrich with its head held high on her Vision Board, we have to deal with what is and take action, instead of keeping our heads buried in the sand expecting things to change.

With all the graduations, series, season and competition finales, and  loss of some famous folks, it’s  a reminder to say goodbye to life as a  student, to an era, to characters and storylines, and perhaps jobs,  people, places and things, and especially old personas that we’ve  outgrown. There are just times in our lives when we need to let it all go to make way for the new.

What needs to be opened up, dismantled, re-examined in your life?  What is old and tattered and/or has served its purpose and should be  released? What can be put back together in a new and improved way so that you can more easily integrate ALL parts of yourself and more  effortlessly move forward in the most positive way on this journey  called life?

Whatever area you feel stuck in, be sure to Ch-Check it Out – because only when we look at things from a different perspective can we make different decisions.

Having a hard time letting go of anything that’s not Hot Stuff?  Give me a buzz and I’ll help you face the music and get you Stayin’ Alive in the best version of yourself now and beyond!

(Today’s PGG was originally posted on May 22, 2012)

If you like what I write, you’ll love what I have to say in person!  Scroll down for info about my coaching and speaking services and contact me today.

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Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. ~ Jimi Hendrix

If you have been receiving PGGs for a while, or have worked with me individually or come to one of my group sessions, you know that I talk a lot about love. But the love that I talk about is not some airy-fairy, nambi-pambi, hippie-dippy notion or one that has been misused, watered-down, misunderstood or simply lost its meaning with lip service.

Real love is the real deal. As Mahatma Gandhi says “Love is the strongest force the world possesses and yet it is the humblest imaginable.”  Fifty years ago we witnessed an era where our Civil Rights leaders and all those who were part of that struggle dug deep and called upon this force within themselves to withstand the immense opposition and cruelty they experienced on a daily basis in order to transform society as it existed at the time.

More recently we could not have had a more immediate, direct and tangible example of this phenomenon when one single woman, Antoinette Tuff, used it to save the lives of over 800 people, most of them children, from a lone, heavily loaded mentally ill gunman in Decatur, Georgia.  If you do not know the story, or haven’t seen this extraordinary woman talk about what happened, you must learn about her. (Google the numerous stories, or watch this interview and  listen to the entire 911 call).

As humans we are all built from the same stuff.  Love doesn’t know race, sexual orientation or religion – if you are human you can love.  If you are human you respond to love.  As Antoinette and Michael Stipe say, Everybody Hurts sometimes. Everyone needs connection and affection.  Compassion and empathy are palpable and are the best antidotes to fear and pain.

If you’ve seen me speak, you know I am always mentioning the fact that the root of the word for courage is Latin for ‘heart’.  Which means that true bravery is about connecting to that part of yourself, knowing its innate power, and having faith in a force greater and wiser than yourself (or beyond your ego/brain).

So the next time you find yourself in a challenging situation or being attacked in some form, whether it be mental, emotional, or yes, sometimes even physical, instead of using violence to counteract violence, why not call upon the most powerful weapon at your disposal: L.O.V.E.

Need a little help harnessing the heft of your heart? Give me a buzz and I will show you how to give it a good work-out, because at the end of the day love like is a muscle – the more you use it, the stronger it will become – and who knows what miracles will occur in your life or the lives of others because of it!

(Today’s PGG was originally posted on August 28, 2013)

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If you like what I write, you’ll love what I have to say in person!  Scroll down for info about my coaching and speaking services and contact me today.

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Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival. ~ C.S. Lewis

Despite what Simon & Garfunkel once sang, we are not rocks, nor islands, as many of us (especially those drawn to live in the metropolis that is New York) might want to be. The irony of course is that the very nature of being human means we are part of a greater whole and must interact with other human beings on many levels. Yet a sense of connection and belonging doesn’t always come from the family, tribe or culture we are born into so we must create that connection authentically first within ourselves and then with others.

Relationships are one of the most difficult areas for us homo sapiens to navigate, and they are the biggest source of our pleasure as well as our pain.  The past three years or so we have had an advanced course in them; I for one can say as difficult as it’s been, have learned some new and deeper versions of lessons I know will serve me well in the future, all of which culminated in a super-summer intensive, with this harvest season reaping the wisdom culled from that journey.

Some of those nuggets include: finding the balance between losing ourselves/being co-dependent versus isolating and becoming a monk (or a psychopath); having boundaries and not taking on/feeling responsible for another’s emotional or other type of well-being; nurture yourself, no one can know exactly what you need but you; see a person and a relationship as they really are, not how you’d like them to be. And regarding those close/intimate relationships that are more difficult or challenging, keep in mind that person – whether parent, boss, spouse, sibling, lover, friend, child – is just the actor playing the role in a scenario you have created in order to heal and grow.  

Lastly, the people you choose to allow into your life – your friends/boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse/partner should meet certain criteria. The word ‘friend’ especially has been so diluted and watered down with the use of Facebook and social media you need to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff and discern the  Apples from Oranges.

The foundation of a relationship with anyone deserving of your time and energy must include understanding, appreciation and respect – you should be able to check off at least two of these to be considered a friend, and if you are fortunate to have someone in your life who truly understands, appreciates and respects you, you are very, very lucky and should treasure and honor that relationship for the special gem that it is.

The bottom line is, You Gotta Have Friends, and making time for friendships and your most important relationships is not a luxury but a necessity. It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day busy-ness of life, but we need to discipline ourselves to create space for connecting with the people who love and accept us, who know and understand us, with whom we share interests and history, and have grown together, not apart.

Not sure who are your buds and who are the duds in your life? Give me a buzz and we’ll see which relationships are ripe for the pickin’ and which ones have taken a lickin’!

(Today’s PGG was originally published on October 2, 2012)

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If you like what I write, you’ll love what I have to say in person!  Click above for info about my coaching and speaking services and contact me today.

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Those of you who have known or worked with me for a while are aware that I have never been comfortable being the center of attention, and am an introvert by nature.  But I do have something to say, and have been saying stuff in public now for many years!

As I mention in my seminars, Eleanor Roosevelt, one of my heroes, famously encouraged us to “Do the thing you fear the most.”  One of those things for me besides being ‘on stage’ is being in front of the camera.  Another thing I talk about is once you figure out who you are, own it.  I’m also always saying that we teach what we need to learn (and write what we need to read), and since I do my best to walk my talk and practice what I preach…

Last week I had someone videotape my Who Are You and What Are You Supposed to Be Doing with Your Life? seminar at SIBL. They very kindly put together this little excerpt, so for this week’s PGG I thought I would share it.  (For all of you who were at my talk – over 70 of you! – welcome, sorry for the repeat so soon, and usually these are essays 🙂  I’ll be back next week with something to read, but this week here is something to watch.  What can you do today to own who you are?

Need a little help figuring out who you are? Scroll down for info about my coaching and speaking services and contact me today to work together!

 Looking for a PGG to read? Remember all past posts can be found on my website www.kristinaleonardi.com  and many are now on Facebook

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