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NEXT WEEK! GROUP COACHING: Tuesday Talk, July 14th 6:30pm-8:30pm  Click here for more info and RSVP here.  *Please note if you would like to receive  weekly group session reminder emails(click here for most recent)about this meeting and other special events and separate offers, scroll to the bottom of this email, click on the Update Profile/Email Address link and be sure the "Thursdays at Three/Tuesday Talk" list is checked off.

Peace Out
by Kristina Leonardi ocean waves
Well hello. Yes, it's been three weeks since you last heard from me - the longest PGG pause in 5 1/2 years! So much has happened in the world recently that I would have liked to comment on through these missives, but allow me to take a more personal note at this time since my focus has been intensely elsewhere these past couple months.

Many of you know my mom had been dealing with several health issues for quite some time now. Some of you might have met her years ago at a Women's Mosaic event, or remember the PGG about her amazing spirit in What's Your Number? You might have also read about when she had open heart surgery in Heart & Soul and The Patience of Patients.

Today I am writing you about the loss of one of the most generous, beautiful and vibrant women I know, Juanita Doris Leonardi, as she passed peacefully last week after deteriorating health and much suffering due to complications from the lymphoma she was diagnosed with in October. 

It is not easy to watch someone die, let alone someone you love, and someone who was such a force of nature.  As with many mother/daughters, we did not have the smoothest of relationships and were built quite differently, but learned as adults to adjust to each others' personalities, lifestyles and communication styles best we knew how and ultimately came to admire and respect each other. She always supported whatever I did, and we shared our love of dancing and connections with people of other cultures! (Yes, she was a regular at a salsa club on LI and a Haitan joint in Queens...) Perhaps the best way to describe our relationship was when her friend came up to me after the funeral and said to me, "Your mother didn't understand you, but she loved you.  She thought you were very brave. You were in territory she was completely unfamiliar with."  That meant a lot to me.

The last several years, and especially months, have been some of the most stressful of my life, as any caregiver could relate. Because I practice what I preach, I was miraculously able to get through the intense ups and downs of caring for someone so ill, dealing with doctors and siblings, hospitals, rehabs and ICU decisions, and somehow gave a near-perfect eulogy that I delivered effortlessly.  I did my daily meditations, exercised, ate decently and took vitamins; I was grateful for what I could be (which was a lot, believe it or not); I allowed myself to rest and cry and process as I needed and spent time in nature; I asked for help; I gave and got A LOT of hugs; I came to realize my limitations and forgave myself. I am still recovering, but I feel I am, and will be, okay going forward as time and my continual self-care heals the trauma and intense interactions of the past couple weeks and months.

Over the years I had worked through most of the complex issues with my mother in stages/various levels - some more painful than others - so by the time we got towards the end I could just be present with her and be compassionate without letting any 'stuff' get in the way. This is not to say being present and compassionate was easy, mind you, as she was quite sick and a difficult patient - but I got to the point where I didn't take any of the backlash personally, which was a big deal!

Despite the stress and sadness of it all, the last two weeks have actually been quite special.  First of all, the Universe works in mysterious ways.  After eight long weeks between hospitals and rehabs we were not happy with, she ended up in a different, much smaller hospital, in an ICU that was like a suite at the Hilton for her final ten days. As awful as her condition was, she could not have received better care, and this comforted me and my brothers tremendously; the peace it brought us can not be underestimated, and in fact I cried and hugged the doctor and all of the nurses in gratitude when it was all over.

Also, after not having been in my apartment for over a week, and knowing I would have to be out on Long Island for at least another, I came back to the city for one night and one day to be in my own space and take a day off of going to the hospital. On that Saturday afternoon, a dear client of mine who I had not seen in three years, who was in a really bad place, randomly called - not emailed - me to see if I might be available for a session.  

My initial reaction was that in my mental, physical and emotional exhaustion and knowledge of my mother's imminent passing, how could I possibly work with anyone?!?  But then I thought - the Universe knows better - what are the chances she would call me on the one day I was in town and technically did have the time? And that she was the same sun sign as my mother so I knew what she was also dealing with - more of a metaphoric death - and that I couldn't help my mom, but perhaps I could help her?  And the fact that I profoundly love what I do and always feel really good after a session with clients.  So we met. And it was just what the doctor ordered for us both! 
You know you are doing what you are supposed to be doing with your life when something like this happens. It's no joke. 

And then the Universe worked it out the next day where me and my two brothers, in an unusual gathering sans their spouses, (who are my sisters, but it's not quite the same as just being the three of us who grew up together with this solid rock of a woman), had a serendipitous moment with her alone. That afternoon she was the most lucid as she had been thus far, and although unable to speak, nodded the most emphatic yes when my brother (the non-spiritual one no less!) asked if she had seen Dad yet.  We looked at each other in awe and relief and knew it was time for her to end this suffering and finally reunite with him after almost 18 years.  The next day was particularly poignant as we all spent time together in the room with her for more than six hours as she began to make her transition.

Luckily, because my mom had such a strong personality there was no doubt about what she would and wouldn't have wanted as we sent her off, which made it incredibly easy for us to agree on all the arrangements, including the sparkly leopard print blouse we buried her in and luncheon at Havana Central we had in her memory after. (And btw, my brothers and I could not be more different from each other, but in general, because of this, our skill sets and schedules complemented each other and we made a great team. We do share a sense of humor and much love and affection - I am so grateful for them and our parents would be proud! :)

I'm not a big fan of the whole ritual of wake/funeral, but as I mentioned in my eulogy, I have a new found appreciation for it. Between the hundreds of photos my sister-in-law put together in collages and a slide show, and all the people who shared their love and fond, fun memories of her, it truly helped me to remember who my mom really was. Because she had been sick for such a long time and I had been so close a witness to that sickness, I had completely forgotten - and she was indeed resurrected for me as a result.

Lastly, it has been overwhelming and amazing to experience all the love and support my brothers and I have received.  We have a small family, so are friends ARE our family.  Her friends Anna and Susan became like second moms to me and were there for her and us every step of the way; my closest friends, even if they could not all be physically present, were constantly in touch with me via text, email and phone and checking in to see how I was and have provided both rides and release for me throughout this journey. And although I'm not a big user of Facebook, it was extremely comforting and heartwarming to read all the comments and likes of our posts. The love and support in whatever form it came was palpable and real; it literally buoyed me up. I am so thankful to you all, you know who you are! xoxox

So this week, I have no catchy tune or clever twist to close with. I simply wanted to share with you my experience, and thank you for giving me this opportunity to express myself, as this PGG, too, has been part of the therapy I need in order to heal in the most healthy, peaceful way possible. Thanks for listening...


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.


Looking for a PGG? Remember this and all past posts can be found on my website
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"From her calming voice and beautiful perspective to her ability to connect the dots and provoke "ah-ha!" moments, her words will change you for the better."

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Thinking about working with me one-on-one?
Here are a few ways my services can help you with your career and life, as most of you fall into one or a combination of the following categories:

Executive Coaching:

Who:  Managers, Business Owners, Directors, C-Suite Executives 

What: Authentic leadership, motivate staff, cultivate teamwork, facilitate communication, inspire vision and culture, increase employee engagement, manage stress, improve work/life wellness

ROI/Why:  Productivity, People and Profit!


Career Coaching:

Who:  Career Changers, Career Climbers, Job Searchers, Moms, Dads, Grads

What:  Exploration, discovery and attainment of meaningful work and lifepath, improve job performance, professional development and advancement, enter or re-enter job force, time/stress management and work/life wellness 

ROI/Why:  Purpose, Peace and Promotion!  


Life Coaching:

Who: Anyone feeling lost/at a crossroads, unsatisfied, stressed, blocked, confused, passionless   

What: Life transitions, identity issues/crisis, body/mind/spirit wellness, authentic expression, improve relationships   

ROI/Why:  Balance, Bounty and Bliss!  


Contact me by email or give me a buzz at 917-816-0834  for more information and to schedule your session today!

About Kristina's Coaching
Work with her one-on-one or as part of a group


Kristina Leonardi is a career/life coach who has a proven record of getting "stuck" clients empowered to make changes aligned with their true passions and talents in a short time. She provides a practical framework for each individual to make the most of their personal and professional lives, allowing them to recognize, connect to, and fulfill their role in the world at large and live a life with clarity, balance and direction.   


Kristina's holistic, gimmick-free, and minimalist approach has earned her widely diverse and fiercely loyal following from all walks and stations of life, including savvy New Yorkers who have tried other coaches, approaches, and therapy with little or limited results.  Click here to learn more 


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"She has a laid-back approach, but don't let that fool anyone. Her ability to read people is amazing and her assessments of how a person can enrich their lives/careers are spot-on. After she asked me lots of questions, she was somehow able to give me an assessment that was frighteningly accurate and illuminating."      

Here's what a recent client had to say:  

I was fortunate enough to have worked with you as a career coaching client earlier this year. Since our time together, and our talks, I have landed a job as general counsel for a not for profit organization here in New York City. When we worked together you mentioned that you had a feeling I was meant for a larger destiny - that I was meant to be doing work for the betterment of others, and that I was meant to lead large groups of people. My work in the not for profit realm will combine those two things, and I feel in my gut that amazing experiences lie ahead. Now, the world is my oyster. Your coaching and influence had a profound impact on me, and I wanted to take a moment to express my deep gratitude to you for being a guiding light. ~ Vanessa M.  


What's it like working with Kristina? Click here for more info 


For more information visit www.kristinaleonardi.com or contact her to schedule a session today.

KML Speaking
About Kristina's Speaking
Attend an event or hire her to speak at y0ur company or  organization!

Known as a dynamic, 'inspiring' and 'down-to-earth' speaker with unique yet practical perspectives on career development, work/life wellness, and employee engagement, Kristina has been a featured speaker for many corporate seminars, non-profit organizations and conferences, including: UBS, Saatchi & Saatchi, HR Association of NY, Ogilvy & Mather, American Business Women's Association, the Junior League, NYU and the New York's Science, Business & Industry Library.
Click here for more info
Contact Kristina for full bio and a list of topics



About Personal Growth Gab
Kristina Leonardi's Weekly eNewsletter

Since launching Personal Growth Gab (PGG) in January 2010, Kristina has formed an avid and faithful following ("they're the only emails I read" "they really help me" "they help me start my week" "I save them until I get home and can read them with a cup of tea" "you're such a good writer!" ) of over 1500 who look forward to a 'weekly dose of thought-provoking, inspirational and entertaining helpful tidbits to keep you connected with yourself and make sense of this journey called life.

All past PGG posts can be found on the home page at www.kristinaleonardi.com


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"From her calming voice and beautiful perspective to her ability to connect the dots and provoke "ah-ha!" moments, her words will change you for the better."




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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 2015; 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.  For more on how I write PGG's click here.   


"I love your PGG newsletters - one of the only ones I actually read in its entirety.   

They are excellently written, and spot on. Thanks for being so inspirational and reflective!"  ~ Tom D

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

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 I've recently been featured in a few places:

 45 Pieces of Career Advice That Will Get You to The Top (The Daily Muse) 

(I'm #3 just before Marissa Mayer #4 and Jane Fonda #7, Mark Cuban #42, Steve Jobs #44)

The Ins and Outs of Casual Days at Work (CareerIntelligence.com)

Wherever You Go, There You Are (VidaVibrante.com)

A Body at Rest (Inspire Virtual Mag S.A.) 

 A More Perfect Union (Inspire Virtual Mag S.A.) 

Tiptoe Through the Tulips (Inspire Virtual Mag S.A)

 Scroll down for more articles written by or about me and be sure to tweet and share them all! :)

Kristina's Media Mix
Articles and videos by,  about or featuring Kristina Leonardi
What I Learned Working with a Career Coach
From Passion to Profit Career Transition Support Group - Episode 1
From Passion to Profit Career Transition Support Group
Daily Muse
6 Things You Can Get from a Not-Quite Dream Job (Besides the Paycheck)

Pink Slips: How Losing Your Job is a Good Thing (Video)
Huffington Post article
5 Simple Steps for Finding Your Life's Purpose.


You can also check out these interviews with me:
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