Solar Flares, Summer Sojourns & Salsa Fun

kristina leonardi
7 min readMay 31, 2024


Photo credit: Ronni Siegel

Not quite sure how we made it to Memorial Day weekend already, but here we are!

We had some historic and rare activity from our sun earlier in May; besides the beautiful skies it brought (especially if you were lucky enough to see them IRL!) and maybe some tech issues, we are being affected on other levels you might not be aware of.

Because the sun is bursting, releasing and birthing new parts of itself, and since we are a microcosm of the Universe, you might be feeling that in your body and your life in general. But for anyone who has ever given birth to any kind of creation, this is not always pleasant! It also requires detoxing, getting rid of what no longer serves you — whether that is a belief, habit, relationship, job, or literal toxins you might have been carrying for years. And lots of rest and deep breaths too!

So be open to whatever is trying to process through and around you, and be open to accessing newer, shinier, brighter parts of yourself as a result.

And as we enter the unofficial start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s a perfect time to commit to experiencing new people and vistas, even if right in your backyard. Walk down a different street, change up your routine, explore a new part of town or one you haven’t been to for a while. Spend a few hours in a park or on a bench and watch the passersby. Stretch yourself with new activities, meet the people in your neighborhood; do more things in person, like dinner parties or BBQs.

Sojourn to new places in your mind and perceptions too. See what you can learn about yourself and your fellow humans in making or renewing connections. After all the intensity and isolation we’ve been through the past couple of months and years, we need to let in some metaphoric fresh air!

One of the best parts about NYC in the summer is the many free outdoor dance and/or live music opportunities that bring together people of every background in a positive way.

For as long as I can remember, dance has been a part of my life and it is one of the things, if not the thing, that bring me the most joy. I particularly learned how to partner dance in college; first standard ballroom, then salsa and merengue at parties with my Venezuelan and Colombian friends. This continued in the ’90s as a regular salsera on the scene, way before it became as trendy as it is today at many venues throughout the city. I’m so glad the interest is there and growing to a more and more diverse crowd.

As I talked about last summer, I think these dance gatherings — especially salsa ones — are more important than we can imagine in helping create peace and positive change in the world. Events like those in Bryant Park (you can see yours truly in action here), or the house/electronic music ones found on Daybreaker and elsewhere— or any dance event, particularly those that are free and outdoors — demonstrate a reality with people that is completely different from the one you see on the nightly news.

Are there problems in the world? A million. Are there bad actors everywhere? Sure. Does crime happen? Since time immemorial. But there is also JOY and people feeling good in their bodies, enjoying music, connecting to one another soul to soul.

And if you’re not a dancer, I recently learned about a group called Gaia Music Collective that does something comparable with singing. And if you’re neither, I also recently discovered the brilliant Jacob Collier, who creates cohesion with his audiences becoming a choir, and “Loop Daddy” genius Marc Rebillet. He brought his infectious, bodacious positive-outrage energy to neighborhoods in his “We Outside series and improvised on the spot, which is beyond encouraging and such a feel-good gift. Just watching their videos will uplift you and give you hope for the future. Imagine if they showed them 24/7 on CNN!

Complete strangers who would never otherwise interact coming together physically to create in harmony, love and joy. Artists and events like these give me hope in humanity. They are a potent salve for the ills of the world and are pure balm for my soul.

There are, of course, many other important and urgent gatherings of people, like the recent war protests, and I am grateful for all those who bring attention to a situation. They are important to participate in when you feel called to, and I personally have at various times for various causes throughout my life. But I also feel that we can be just as effective by gathering in joy to generate more of that energy into the quantum soup.

In other words, as someone with a degree in International Relations who founded a nonprofit inspired by a desire to work for the ideal of the United Nations, I now more strongly believe it is about the power within ourselves and how we can contribute in the smallest ways that add up to a paradigm shift. With so many seemingly intractable and corrupted systems and situations where most of us as individuals possess little clout or play no official role in - hence have zero control over - being in JOY has become my way to protest and mitigate the madness.

Of course I have empathy for those directly affected by the horrors and very real crises on our planet, but there is not much I can do with that energy if I am not there. However, while the powers that be relentlessly try to sow fear, hatred and division among humanity — being fully expressed and sharing my joy is a way to say NO, I will not succumb to the negativity that is often amplified, framed or magnified to manipulate a populace for someone’s gain.

I will not add fuel to the fire or let myself be consumed by a narrative that in my real-world experience is not what is being portrayed in the zeitgeist. I believe and have observed that we are better than that when given the encouragement and opportunity.

If what you focus on grows, I would rather focus on and celebrate the joy, connection, creativity and goodness I know is within humanity and contribute to growing THOSE qualities.

So this summer make a conscious effort to let your inner sun flare, expand your local horizons, and experience collective fun with others in a way that floats your boat.

(Originally published via my PGG Newsletter May 24, 2024)


Need a little inspiration? You can see many video clips and shorts about joy and connecting to your heart on my YouTube channel and Instagram. (Follow my IG stories for what I’m sharing and experiencing on a regular basis and be sure to subscribe, like and follow to all the socials ;)

Looking for some clarity and support to help you find and express your joy and contribute to making the world a more beautiful, peaceful place? Book a coaching session with me via my website where you see all current options.

Looking for a great tool to create a positive mindset through any challenges at work or in life? It was so thrilling to find out how a client uses my book Say It To Make It: Affirmations to Empower Your Heart, Mind, Spirit and Soul. He let me video him talking about it, which you can watch here, and you can purchase your copy here :)


Kristina Leonardi is a nationally recognized career and life coach, speaker and author who for over 16 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 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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kristina leonardi

Speaker,Coach,Writer.Very Tall. Expertise:People. All kinds, what makes 'em tick, how they fit into the world, how they can best connect to themselves + others.