Don’t Just Pout, Hug It Out

Cultivating conscious connection during these times of physical separation and political division will help you feel better in mind, body and spirit.

Photo credit: Kristina Leonardi

Yes, last week was Friday the 13th, and in 2020 that shouldn’t be a big deal, right? Well, we may still be sorting out the presidential election, but no matter who is officially inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2021, as the famous quote goes: “Houston, we have a problem.”

As I mentioned in last week’s note (which you can read as a separate essay here on Medium), the political, cultural and mass communication divide in our country is not good for anyone, regardless of who sits in the White House, and that’s why my dominant emotion upon hearing the declared winner was melancholy. Add to that the prolonged (and seemingly increasing) forced isolation and separation of family, friends, work colleagues and humans in general, which is completely unnatural, unrealistic and detrimental to one’s physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health — the exact opposite of what these extreme measures are supposed to do to save lives.

Messages and mandates that only magnify fear, sow division and overtly or subliminally suggest that we are the indirect or direct enemies of each other are taking a bigger toll on our humanity than any chart can measure — besides the obvious economic impact and subsequent effects. They are stripping away the joys that make us human, like being able to see each other’s faces and smiles, or to enjoy performing arts and live music or each other’s company. We need more humanity and connection in the midst of this political health crisis — both the health of our body politic, and the politics of our bodies — not less.

I know many of you may not agree with me, or might have very specific circumstances that inform your level of interaction and caution with your fellow humans, and I respect that. But no matter what you feel about any of these issues, as illustrated in this previous essay, I wanted to emphasize the importance — both psychologically and physiologically — of what keeps us rooted in being a healthy human, no matter whom you voted for, what skin color you have or what decisions you make about your body or business.

In other words, we really need to double down on our love and connection game — and one of the simplest ways to do that is with a hug! If you’re unable to physically hug somebody, you can always visualize giving or receiving one, or when talking with them on a phone or video call, or when socially distanced. And do it with the same energy and emotion as if the person were in front of you. (All of you out there who have worked with me over the past 13 years can attest to the fact that I hug my clients this way at the end of EVERY session — which has generally been remote — and involves actually outstretching my arms whether on the phone or video call :)

I know that virtual hugs may not be the same as the real deal (which you should do as often as possible), but they will certainly help, as well as add to the collective field of unity from which we will all benefit. So for the good of all humans everywhere, I hope you do your part. ❤


This essay was published as the introductory note my PGG eNewsletter. (Text CLEARLYKRISTINA to 22828 to join mailing list!)

Looking for more inspiration? The PGG Video of the Week reminds us to be the change you wish to see in the world, and this Instagram post reminds us to connect heart to heart. For something a little more in-depth about what I think we need to do as individuals, check out this podcast-style interview with Rick Young of What’s in Your Hand Radio Show.

And in case you missed these, you can read my PGGs that specifically address the current crises: Quality Control: How to make the best of these times of quarantine and questioning, How to cope with (and benefit from) what you can’t see during the time of corona, United We Stand and Anatomy of Awareness. You can also check out The Pain of Being, which talks about the George Floyd/BLM protests. Feel free to share those links (or any others) with anyone who could benefit.


Kristina Leonardi is a nationally recognized career and life coach, speaker and author who for over 13 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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