With the Grace of a Swan

kristina leonardi
7 min readMay 7, 2024


Photo credit: Kristina Leonardi

If you’ve been feeling “off” lately, perhaps extra emotional, unmotivated, frustrated, fuzzy or all of the above, know that you’re not alone!

We’ve been in the midst of some powerful astronomical events, and whether you are conscious of it or not, our little human bodies are affected by these big energies and can only process so much at a time.

So be gentle and compassionate with yourself and others, as everyone is impacted one way or another and may be challenged in deeply internal ways that might not be apparent even to them.

World situations are also in the mix, most of which you and I have no control over, other than to be the change we want to see by taking care of our own immediate worlds and flooding the quantum soup with as much peace, love and compassion as we can to mitigate the opposite.

Each of us, with awareness and intention, can create a tapestry of calm and connection to counteract the chaos.

Because as Bob Marley says in this reel I created from an interview (currently at over 53K views!), right now people are scattered and “the trouble on earth will never stop until the people return to themselves.

What does that mean? It means taking the time to be with yourself on a regular basis and live from a place of internal guidance and authority, in alignment with your highest nature — and ultimately, with that power that is greater than you, however you relate to it. And if you don’t relate to it at all, that’s fine too, but at least take time to be quiet in order to listen to that still, small voice within.

If you don’t carve out that time and space on a regular basis, you are just being moved this way and that by all the noise and voices outside of yourself, which may or may not be in your best interest.

And when things get to be “too much” out there, we can always find solace within our own hearts, as I talk about in this clip from my Heart & Soul talk in February.

I recently took some extra time to listen to myself and process all while out of the city (’cause y’all know I practice what I preach and take time every day, 2x a day to do this). After a little beach time watching the sun break through a cloudscape in a sky that reflected my feelings and overall energy of the time, I was grateful to watch a gorgeous sunset where a swan appeared as if right out of central casting to pass in front of the golden reflection on the inlet where I was watching. (You can watch that reel here with a soundtrack :)

When I looked up the symbolism of swans, I found this from Ted Andrews’ book Animal Speak: “They reflect the power and longevity that is possible as we awaken to the beauty and power within ourselves.

If we could each carry ourselves with the grace and majesty of that creature of Mother Nature, we, who are also creatures of this Earth, would be doing our part by standing in our power and reflecting the innate beauty within us that then radiates out to our own sphere of influence.

Moving with grace implies a certain lightness of being, which requires us to lighten our emotional load. So allow yourself to feel the feels of whatever is coming up and release them in an appropriate time and place (i.e., crying, movement, sound) — even if you don’t know why/where they are coming from.

As mentioned earlier, we are going through massive, transformative shifts and by letting go of the old, the lighter we can travel in the new direction life wants to take us. We will then have an expanded awareness and the energy to have a say in what that future looks like. Or better said, we will be able to have our future resonate with who we authentically are at our core, without any baggage from the past or what our ego thinks is best, based on outside influences.

Listening to yourself and applying your unique expression in the world has always been my approach and philosophy. But now more than ever in these changing times, we are being asked to step up and be who we came to be — whether that arises from an intuitive “calling,” a feeling of unease, being unfulfilled/unsettled, and/or getting kicked in the derriere by the Universe through job or other types of loss and challenges.

In other words, there is no better time than now to heed that call and make a bold move in the direction of your destiny.

As you start taking one step at a time toward that destiny and align with your flow, which is aligned with the Universe, you will eventually move as easily, effortlessly and gracefully as a swan (who is expending effort below the surface …). This is the “magic” feeling you can connect with, or what the Taoists refer to as wu wei. Even if you have challenges or roadblocks — which are inevitable along this journey of life — you can react in a way that is easy, effortless and graceful. Your power always lies in how you respond. (I always think of this great Taoist fable that helps with the acceptance of any situation.)

I have been walking in deep faith and trust in the unknown for a while now, and although it’s not easy and takes a tremendous amount of courage, this is the path that feels right for me, and it has been fruitful so far. I have always found that as long as I am being true to myself and what I need/desire/am directed to at any moment, I know I will arrive at where I am most effective and/or supported. Lately it’s been a doubling down of this faith and trust; what is apparent is that if I had stayed with the “logical” or conventional approach, I would never have developed all these parts of myself, nor would I have been able make a positive impact on so many over the past two decades.

Which brings me back to the fact that we all have a job to do at this particular moment in history. You have a unique combination of talents, skills, abilities, passions and experiences that will bring you fulfillment and benefit others that the world needs sooner rather than later. And btw, that may or may not be your “career.”

So how can you release any ugly-duckling thoughts and turn into the swan that you are? If you are unsure of what your next steps should be, so you can look back and glide into the final sunset of your life with confidence, gratitude and pride, reach out and book a coaching session with me via my website, where you can see all current options.

(Originally published via my PGG Newsletter April 19, 2024)


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 :)

Get essays like these delivered to your mailbox as my PGG newsletter when you join my mailing list at the top of the link.


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.


Get essays like this delivered to your mailbox as my PGG newsletter

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

Follow on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter for up to date posts, helpful articles and inspirational thoughts. Slowly building my YouTube channel so you check that out and subscribe too!

Check out my books 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 and Say It To Make It: Affirmations to Empower the Heart, Mind, Spirit and Soul both available on Amazon.

If you like what I write, you’ll love what I have to say in person!

Click here for info about my coaching and speaking services

Click here for some testimonials from past clients

Click here for a video that explains some ways in which I can help you


Read over 100-star “Yelp” style reviews here

Join Mailing List

Read more about me and my work in these past PGG’s:

15 Candles |All Roads, Same Place | And Now, A Word from Our Sponsor | Strong Medicine | 10,000 Hours | A Decade of Doing What I Do | Express Yourself



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.