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What Lies Beneath
by Kristina Leonardi
enlightened universe
From the sculpture "Enlightened Universe" in honor of the UN 70th Anniversary

***Please note:  I realize this is much (way) longer and perhaps more political than my average PGG - apparently I had to get a few things off my chest! So bear with me, will be back to more regular fare next week...***

Wisdom and folly both are like meats that are wholesome and unwholesome, and courtly or simple words are like town-made or rustic vessels - both kinds of food may be served in either kind of dish.

The inclination to seek the truth is safer than the presumption which regards unknown things as known.

We sin when we have our loves out of order.
~ All quotes courtesy of St. Augustine of Hippo (last one paraphrased via David Brooks)

Over these past few weeks it feels like once again we've been kicked in the gut, bamboozled and sucker-punched. We have been experiencing an assault on our senses that takes extreme discipline and vigilance to filter and sift through, lest we become casualties of a different sort; reacting out of fear, being dragged into a divisive tornado, or simply unable to function due to the overwhelm of it all which affects us physically, emotionally and/or mentally. Or we pretend nothing is happening because it's just too much.  We can't seem to catch a break.

We are interconnected and impacted by each other more than ever; events everywhere are harder to ignore even if we wanted to, as social media only amplifies all that is happening. On the other hand, there are legions and layers of news - or narratives - that barely, if ever get to see the light of day from whatever story has hijacked the news cycle. And for a while now that's been a revolving door of mass shootings, climate change/extreme weather, police brutality/racism, reproductive rights, domestic and foreign terrorism, refugees, and a Kardashian - interspersed with ads telling us to buy, buy, buy, now, now, now - all having their moments interchangeably ad nauseam. The fear-and-war-mongering is relentless.

It's easy to feel powerless during these times but we can do our part as I always say, to "create peace in our piece of the pie."  The first thing you can do is check your own thoughts and perceptions and consider the source of the information you are receiving; what is behind, what is underneath what has occurred - look beyond face value and put yourself on both sides of the equation:

Just because you behaved badly doesn't mean you are a bad person; perhaps your behavior is controlling you due to an addiction, personality, disorder or mental illness.

Just because you are Muslim doesn't mean you are fundamental extremist, and just because you are a Christian doesn't mean that you are not.

Just because you are a police officer doesn't mean you are innocent, and just because you are a poor person of color doesn't meant that you're not.

Just because you don't have an abortion doesn't mean that you are pro-life and just because you did doesn't mean that you aren't.

Just because you were incarcerated for a crime doesn't mean that you were, or still are, a criminal.

Just because you have a lot of money or a fancy title doesn't mean you are right, and just because are poor or uneducated doesn't mean that you're not.

Just because you are a nation with a dictator doesn't mean that you are entirely evil, and just because your nation's motto is the land of the free doesn't mean that it entirely is.

Just because you wear baggie pants or a hoodie doesn't mean you're a crook; just because you wear a suit and tie doesn't mean that you aren't.

Just because you don't believe in climate change because it affects your bottom line doesn't mean that it is indeed changing and affecting the ocean line.

Just because you produce a slick TV commercial that uses pleasant images and soothing music doesn't mean that you are selling a product that is benign, helpful or necessary.

Just because there is loud music, bold fonts, and special effects, doesn't make a topic urgent; just because it barely makes the news doesn't mean it isn't.

Just because you are beautiful on the outside doesn't mean that you aren't ugly on the inside and if considered unattractive, not possess a beauty within.

Just because you are a talking head on a major media outlet doesn't mean you know what you are talking about.

Just because you believe in a God doesn't make you moral, just because you don't doesn't mean you are not.

Just because a picture is worth a thousand words doesn't mean those words are correct without first knowing the context or the curator.

Just because your are an immigrant or a refugee doesn't mean you're a terrorist, just because you are a citizen doesn't mean that you aren't.

Just because you read something on the interwebs doesn't mean it's true, and then again, it could be the only place to find the truth.

You get the point...(I hope! I'm dyslexic and don't have an editor) The world, and life, has never been black or white, but man, that grey is getting more grey and muddled day by day.

Because what I do for a living with my clients is connect dots, see what isn't being seen, and hear what isn't being said, and my core belief that personal transformation is the key to social transformation, I can't help but apply the same process to these world events. This "client", let's call her Gaia, is at crossroads and going through some stuff  - all of it resulting in violence,  anxiety and disease of one kind or another,  I think the best question to ask is why, what is the common thread of the discontent and imbalance and then dig deep beneath the surface, as things are never what they seem or what we are told.

We need to constantly think beyond what is fed to us; see how things are framed and who is shaping the narrative and to what end? Who is trying to influence you for what agenda and why? What are we being asked to focus on to distract from what is going on behind the scenes or in another place?  We must use our critical faculties. I know this takes work. I know this is not like scrolling through Instagram. I know the truth is sometimes hard to swallow - but as the saying goes, "Know the truth and the truth shall set you free."

We must fight for our right to understand the story based on truth and facts - but unfortunately it is getting more and more difficult to find unbiased sources for either.  Therefore, it's up to us to get the cobwebs and pixels out of our brains, activate our common and Spidey-senses and be our own Sherlock Holmes, CSI crew in order to see beyond the veil, toupe, skintone, flatscreen and mortgage-backed securities.  What is the track record of the message or the messengers?  How much is history repeating itself, i.e. same boyfriend, different name?

It's also up to us to find the clarity first in our own reality and situation, to set the foundation for us to perceive to the best of our ability accurately what is really happening around us - not some twisted, perverted version of what was, is or may become.

Look at the roots in your own life  - what is your motivation and how might that have led you to lie to yourself or others either to achieve an false objective that shouldn't be there in the first place, or instead stray from the course of your most enlightened destiny? What delusions do you use to fool yourself or others into thinking things are things are okay when they're not, or instead to create drama when they really are fine?

What is the cost for keeping the peace and what is the cost for going to war in your own life - keeping in mind the best answer will vary depends on the circumstances. Peace is almost universally preferred,  although sometimes we have to fight for who we are, what we love and to protect those very things from those who would destroy them - remembering that it is not always who you think it is.

In other words, analyze the intel of your life and the world carefully - don't draw hasty conclusions, and choose your actions wisely.  Our humanity, this planet, your life, depends on it. Just that.

We are living in precarious times, whether Japanese, Jewish, Communist - oops I meant Muslim, Mexican, Gay, Black, Poor, Female, Transgender.  Who is the real enemy here?

Anger and frustration, sadness and despair won't get us anywhere - like renewable energy, we must convert these states into constructive use - emotion is, after all, energy in motion,. We can make a positive change to the climate - by generating unity, truth, and justice examined and defined with as much integrity as is possible. If not, then we will continue to be subjected to misinformation, sensationalism, and outright lies that incite confusion and fear in a public that can then be controlled even more.

We are stronger than that. We are better than that. And no matter what you do in your personal life, you will not be immune to what is going on around you, especially at this extraordinary time in the evolution of our planet.  So what do you do?

When I connect the dots of all that is going on in the world today, I see that the root cause is greed -  of money and power.  Therefore, the antidote, and something we can all do to counter against that is by mobilizing and recognizing our GENEROSITY.  Be generous in spirit, in time, money, health, love, compassion, presence and kindness. Let generosity, not greed, be your underlying force - and when looking at others' actions try to understand theirs - it will give you much more information than appears and help you separate the wheat from the chaff.

When each one of us takes responsibility to create positivity and not consume negativity, to operate from a place of abundance and unity, we can write our own healthy headlines and make this beautiful world a place we are proud to call home, and be part of a diverse and dynamic family called humanity. Who's in?


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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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!  

Click here to get an idea of what it's like working with me from past clients

...And watch this video to give you an idea of my approach especially if you have never worked with a coach before 


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 


             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *    

"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

Thursday, December 10th 12noon-1:30pm
Staying Motivated Throughout the Job Search Process
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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newspaper boy

 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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