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Photo credit: Kristina Leonardi

I LOVE my country, which is exactly why this year was not a “Happy” Fourth.

It was a somber day, like when you love someone who is struggling with a serious illness and they may or may not make it. We can be grateful and positive, but jubilation is just not appropriate.

This is because when you zoom out from all the petty, salacious and direly serious details and disturbing discourse to look at the big picture, you can see that our nation is dis-eased in three ways:

1) Like when you have an aggressive virus or cancer that is wreaking havoc and is currently resistant to treatment. It’s probably been there awhile and was latent or in remission, but it’s now activated and rearing its ugly head for you to deal with, mitigate, and then keep in check.

2) As in being so sick and feeling like you’re going to die because you’re going through a detox process — have you ever seen what a heroin addict goes through? In other words, there’s hell to pay before the purification and relief. But then there will be a need for constant monitoring so as not to relapse.

3) Because the harsh reality of our country’s karma is manifesting in full force. Karma is a boomerang; it’s gobsmacking us and asking us to LEARN THE LESSONS and pay our debts. In other words, the actions (or inaction) we have put out there either in our own country or elsewhere are coming up for review and accounting.

If you love this country too, and especially if you’re a praying/visualizing/affirming type of person, you can use your tools to seek healing and unity with the least amount of collateral damage. Because everyone has a part to play, and everyone will have a price to pay.

Please know my thoughts here are meant to be uplifting — it’s been a rough ride and things are ramping up, so my goal is to improve how you are feeling by suggesting you tap into a different perspective on how you look at what we’re going through. We need both, of course, but sometimes it’s more helpful (and wiser) to look at things in the macro/metaphorical sense rather than in the micro/literal one.

As a nation we are sick, so the most immediate and practical thing we can do is to take extra care of ourselves and each other physically, mentally and emotionally, with conscious compassion and intelligent love. In this way we contribute positively to the ocean of energy we share with each other, because whether you like it or not — red, blue, white, black, purple or polka dot — we are interdependent and thus in this TOGETHER: E pluribus unum!

Life is an inside job: We must get things right with the inner to make the most of the outer. Remember that we ALL contribute to the fabric of this beautiful experiment in organizing humanity, whether we are aware of it or not.

My motto for years, and the thread in all my work, has been “personal transformation is the key to social transformation.” So what have you done this Independence Day week to bring yourself out of the darkness and into the light? If we each take responsibility for that, then we will all be doing our part to make America truly great.

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Kristina Leonardi is a career and life coach who helps people 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. Known as a dynamic, inspiring and down-to-earth speaker with unique yet practical perspectives on the topics of career development, work/life wellness and personal growth, she has presented to organizations such as Saatchi and Saatchi, UBS, HR Association of NY, American Women’s Business Association, and New York’s Science, Industry & Business Library.

Kristina offers individual, corporate and group coaching privately, as well as in affiliation with The Muse and New York Women in Communications. She is the founder of The Women’s Mosaic (TWM), a nonprofit organization that produced over 100 unique events over 10 years for more than 2000 women of diverse backgrounds to connect to themselves, each other and the world around them. She holds a B.A in International Relations from Boston University, and has taught extensively for NYU’s Center for Hospitality, Travel and Tourism and the Center for Career and Life Planning. Kristina was listed as one of Hispanic Magazine’s Top Latinas of 2004, received Tango Diva’s 2007 Diva Visionary Award, was honored by the WNBA’s NY Liberty as part of their 2009 Inspiring Women Night, and has been featured as a career expert in Forbes.com, Inc. Magazine, Psychology Today, Money and The Huffington Post.

Kristina is also the author of Personal Growth Gab (PGG), Volume One: Thought-provoking, inspirational and entertaining essays to keep you connected with yourself and make sense of this journey called Life, a beautifully designed and practically organized compilation of nearly five years of weekly blog posts that both stimulate and address the questions of who we are, where we are going and how we can get there in today’s rapidly changing, fast-paced world.

For more information visit www.kristinaleonardi.com and follow her on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter for up to date posts, helpful articles and inspirational thoughts. Text CLEARLYKRISTINA to 22828 to be added to her mailing list.

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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.

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