Be Another Kind of Super Spreader

We can each resolve to be a hero in 2022 and beyond

Photo credit: Kristina Leonardi

Happy 2022! If you ended the first week of the New Year with the expectation that like magic, presto-chango you’re going to be a whole new person, remember that the acorn does not become an oak tree overnight. There is a process to transformation and growth, which takes consistency and effort; plus the energy feels a little like walking through molasses and fog at the moment, so be gentle and patient with yourself, and know that this is a good time to practice presence and take things one day, or two hours, at a time.

And with extreme weather, lockdowns/mandates, illness/death and the stoking of various forms of fear and division in relentless cycles that will likely not end any time soon, we have to be more self-reliant and empowered than ever, and remember: We are the ones we are waiting for.

That means that we can all do our part to add a little ease and grace to our day and the days of others. Turn off the news and filter what social media and entertainment you expose yourself to. Play music that makes you feel good. Dance. Laugh more. Be conscious of smiling (whether you are masked or not); make some human contact with “strangers” by looking them in the eyes, saying hello, and having a nice chat about something silly (then they are no longer “strangers”). Especially to the everyday neighborhood workers, the delivery people, cashiers, and anyone you pass on the street, or if you’re in the car you can look at the person next to you at the stop sign or red light. No matter what the situation: Smile and send some good vibes their way.

Kindness, empathy and connection — to ourselves, each other, and something greater than ourselves — are the only things that will get us through these times. Many are scared, tired, fed up, dealing with stressful circumstances, and managing anxiety in the face of an uncertain future. Everyone seems to be silently struggling to keep it together in one way or another.

They might not be sharing it, or even realize it themselves, but many are quietly suffering, feeling isolated and alone — whether they live and work with others or not. The entire Covid environment has exacerbated issues that have been lingering for a while … If this is you, you are not alone. We need to be more vulnerable with each other, and of course if you are in crisis, please seek professional help (one free option: text HOME to 741741).

Things are not easy right now for anyone, and the mental and emotional toll of what has transpired these past couple of years has been just as devastating as the physical one — but where is the public-health push on that? There is no silver-bullet pill or jab that can solve any of this, and such a remedy is often only temporary or the very thing that makes it worse, but I digress …

With so much out of control, we need to reach deep within us and do the things we can control. So we have to make time to nurture, heal and rest; find and/or create pockets of joy; and tap into and use the elixir of LOVE for ourselves and others.

For more thoughts on this topic, read my essay Love Saves the Day

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Kristina Leonardi is a nationally recognized career and life coach, speaker and author who for over 14 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.

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