Photo credit: Kristina Leonardi

As a holistic coach, speaker and writer, I look at the big picture and connect dots for a living, observing things from many vantage points to get to the root of whatever is at hand. My coaching and speaking helps get folks unstuck, find their paths in career and life, and trust that if they do that, the world will be better off as a result. My writing takes into consideration the current events and zeitgeist of the day and attempts to make sense of it in a way that acknowledges you are not alone, advances our individual and collective evolution, and encourages positive change in the world.

My degree is in International Relations (a combination of history, political science, economics and geography), so I have always had a global interest, outlook and understanding. (For more about me, read All Roads Same Place) My intention with all my PGG essays is to be thought-provoking and allow you to see things from a different perspective. I want to empower you in how to think, not what to think.

Much of my work also has to do with getting you out of your head and into your heart and gut — where real wisdom lies — so you can know what feels right, what RESONATES, which bypasses any external programming fed directly into your noggin.

All of which is to say, it is in this spirit that I share this PGG with you today.

For over two months now I have watched, observed, researched and looked at our current situation from many different angles, using a variety of primary and secondary sources as well as my own ability — both innate and developed over years of doing this work — to recognize patterns and read between the lines. SO, as I write this on May 7, 2020, I offer this conclusion as food for thought to ponder, and to use to draw your own:

Operation COVID-19

At the beginning of this crisis, officials often used the rallying call of a “wartime effort” to “rally the troops” and get us in line — without physical force — with shutting down the economy and implementing social distancing. Our President even authorized the Defense Production Act and NYC saw the National Guard and a Navy ship called in. The speed and compliance with which everything happened on a national and global level was not only bizarre, but eerily smooth with very few questions, and enacted on an unprecedented scale. Many solutions seemed to be fast-tracked, as if they had already been in the works.

OK, so let’s think about this entire situation in a broader context:

How many times in our history, and the history of the world, have wars been declared or justified under false pretenses?

What role has propaganda played to gain public support and keep the effort going? Are nice, neat narratives being used to keep everyone on the same page and muster enthusiasm for any sacrifices and, most importantly, the control of behavior?

How many times have we hailed and honored our soldiers as heroes, even as they serve in unjust or illegitimate wars? What have we done to conscientious objectors?

How many times have those same heroes come back from war with severe PTSD and other psychological and physical traumas they must process, often exacerbated by unethical actions they may have been ordered to take?

How are whistleblowers and defectors treated?

Other factors that describe components of or are a corollary to war:

  • Divide and conquer.
  • Shock and awe.
  • Fear tactics and bullying.
  • Regardless of knowing the underlying hows and whys of a war, many people sincerely enlist in the effort to do what they feel is the right thing in their hearts and are genuine about their service. Others might not have a choice.
  • The majority of casualties are poor people, mostly poor people of color.
  • Morals either go out the window, are reinforced to a toxic extreme, or tested to the max.
  • People start to brand each other, scapegoating is rampant, anything “other” is the enemy.
  • The mainstream media use the same or doctored images repeatedly. They are the eyes and ears for anyone who is not on the front lines, and therefore in some ways serve as a proxy for the war itself.
  • Human interest stories, real or fabricated, are used to manipulate the populace’s emotions.
  • Dissenting views or anyone who doesn’t toe the party line or official narrative are not allowed; they are censored heavily, completely banned and/or worse.
  • Persecution with no due process.
  • Spies/ special ops/ agents/ covert operations
  • Unusual alliances and strange bedfellows.
  • Human and/or constitutional rights are suspended, abused, revoked or freely relinquished
  • Political prisoners/ house arrest.
  • Surveillance of civilians using a variety of methods, including each other.
  • War profiteers.
  • Psychological warfare and torture.
  • Biological and chemical warfare.
  • Development of new technologies and/or weaponizing of current technology.
  • Crimes against humanity.

Why are wars fought in the first place?

FOR THE TRANSFER OF RESOURCES, WEALTH AND/OR POWER. It’s never for humanitarian reasons or even ideological ones. Those are only cover stories to gain the buy-in for the transfer of resources, wealth and/or power.

Now apply that to Spring 2020:

This is not an analogy for war; it is one.

Mother Nature has not played a cruel trick on us. Whether man-made, naturally occurring, or some combination of both, the misuse/manipulation of this virus has been intentional. Who the players are on any given “side” varies depending on the lens and bias you bring to the table, which is part of the current problem. As long as “they” keep a smoke screen and campaign of fear, disinformation, censorship, confusion, and/or brainwashing and pitting factions against each other, this will continue to be one of the most heart-wrenching and dangerous aspects of the “operation.”

The most important, and most challenging, thing you can do is leave your politics and labels at the door, because this is bigger than all of that. Have an open mind to make informed decisions based on your own discernment and seek out multiple sources of information. (I am aware that if I took a survey of people reading this and asked what blanks they filled in about who is doing what to whom, we would have many different versions projected here, yet each person, including me, would be sure they were right.) This is the crux of the current climate, which is so disturbing and seems even more intense than in 2016! We must find a way to compare notes calmly, dialogue and listen to and respect each other, even when we disagree.

In other words, based on everything I have observed, researched and experienced, war has been declared — the complexity of the who, what, where, when, how and why may never be fully known — but regardless of the various factions engaged, we are the ones who are pawns in the game.

But we don’t have to be …

Change, in whatever form it might be forced upon us, is not always a bad thing in the end — but transformation is no joke. The caterpillar must disintegrate into complete goop and go through quite the struggle before it reforms itself into a butterfly. It would take a massive event — like war — to do that for an entire society.

We can think of this as our Reformation and Revolutionary/Civil/WWII/Iraq War rolled into one, and we must begin to understand and approach it as such so we can proceed knowing the bigger picture of what we are really dealing with, and stand to lose or gain in the process. We can avoid history repeating itself.

The good news:

This, like in any crisis, means we have the opportunity to rise to the occasion and muster the Highest and Best of who we are individually and collectively. We must strengthen ourselves in Mind, Body and Spirit and be empowered to stand for TRUTH, JUSTICE and FREEDOM in reforming the community, country and world we want — even if that means simply holding that vision with clarity and conviction.

We each have a role to play both in getting through this transformation, with as little harm and suffering as possible, and building the future we desire.

We must know that it is possible and strive to come together in UNITY THROUGH DIVERSITY, which includes diversity of thought.

We must know that we have the power to do so and are required to participate however we feel called.

We must have the courage to speak out to protect our sovereign rights, and uphold them for those who cannot speak for themselves.

We must pursue, express and maximize whatever talents, interests and passions we possess and integrate all of our life experiences that have led us to the “job” we are meant to do right now. By doing so, we will each contribute to getting us through this profoundly pivotal time in human history.

And remember, there are always silver linings. Life, like Nature, happens in cycles. There is a purpose and meaning in everything, should we choose to find it. And it is always darkest before dawn.

Know that you are who you are on this planet, at this extraordinary moment, for us to triumph victoriously in evolving our society to the next, more enlightened level.

Not sure what your orders are for this particular mission? Give me a buzz and I can help your work and life become the most aligned it can be, so you can conquer whatever battle you confront, and march on with Patience, Peace and Love in your heart, for yourself and your fellow humans. Because we are all #InThisTogether.


(Excerpted from my weekly PGG newsletter that went out on Friday, May 8, 2020)

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Kristina Leonardi is a nationally recognized career and life coach, speaker and author who for over 12 years has empowered individuals to make lasting professional and personal changes aligned with their true passions and talents while fulfilling their role in the world at large.With a holistic and personal growth-oriented approach, she has helped hundreds of men and women over the past decade improve their job performance, enter or re-enter the job force, change careers, better manage their time and stress, and live happier, more meaningful, balanced lives. Her specialty is working with people who feel stuck or are in transition and can help you clarify exactly what you want to do, identify blocks, issues, and patterns in your way, and offer proven ideas, resources, and action steps to get you there.

Click here for info about Kristina’s coaching and speaking services

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Check out her book Personal Growth Gab:Personal Growth Gab (PGG) Volume One: Thought-provoking, inspirational and entertaining essays to keep you connected to yourself and make sense of this journey called Life on Amazon