Roots

Photo credit: Kristina Leonardi

With the release of films like Lincoln and Django Unchained, and BET’s bringing the acclaimed ‘70’s TV series Roots out of the vault, [and more recently 12 Years a Slave and Birth of a Nation], there’s been a spotlight on and discussion about this essential part of our nation’s history both on screen and off.

Whether or not you are a direct descendant of someone who lived or worked on a plantation in the 19th century, all of us in the 21st century, no matter who or where we came from, can check in to see which areas of our lives need to be emancipated from the tyranny of whatever is keeping us down, holding us back and making us feel “less-than” in both subtle and overt ways.

Oprah expressed it perfectly when she called slavery “A machine to create inferiority.” You can only imagine what amazing strength, utter self-belief and profound self-worth was required to break out of that mentality, to really know who you are and be able to simply exist, let alone thrive, despite others perceiving you and often treating you in, well, let’s just say a most unfavorable way. What it would take to preserve and protect your self, your spirit and your soul under such circumstances is beyond comprehension.

We certainly continue to struggle in a variety of ways with the legacy and repercussions of slavery in terms of race, while at the same time have come very far. But regardless of the color of our skin, there are more inconspicuous ways that we are judged — much of which has to do with what we think of ourselves when we look in the mirror, are alone with our thoughts, and by the choices we make in every area of our lives.

The foundation of who we are reaches far and wide throughout our work, relationships, health and everyday life, so the stronger and deeper your tree grows, the more you can weather even a storm like Sandy. Yes, you might lose a few branches along the way, but you won’t be knocked out for good! So take some time this month to connect to the root of who you are, using this last part of of the [summer] to develop, heal and love yourself so you can blossom more fully come [Fall].

You might have some family roots to dig up or some grass roots to build up in the process, but the bottom line is that if you look at any problem, challenge or change you want to make and trace it back to its ultimate root — if you’re honest with yourself — will find that the buck stops with you. 
Remember, this is always good news — because that means you can do something about it.

Having a little trouble connecting all the literal and metaphorical genealogical dots of your career and life? Give me a buzz, and I will help you get to the root the matter, so just like Alex Haley searching for Kunta Kinte in Africa you can shout, “I found you!”

Originally published on www.kristinaleonardi.com on February 13, 2013

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This past June 2017 when I had someone film parts of my New Attitude Summer School series, which resulted in this very-roughly-edited-not-the-best-quality video of uninterrupted remarks wrapping up the workshop “Lead Yourself to Success (in Work & Life!)

In this excerpt covering the final ten minutes, I summarize my thoughts about confidence, being a leader in your own life, maintaining your individuality and humanity in the times we live in, and why the world is relying on you to be successful. Enjoy & Stay Tuned for Fall Classes!

Click here to watch video

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About the Author:

Kristina Leonardi is a career/life coach and motivational speaker who has a proven record of getting “stuck” clients empowered to make lasting changes aligned with their true passions and talents in a short time. She provides a practical framework for each individual 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 and live with clarity, balance and direction. For more information visit www.kristinaleonardi.com or check out her profile on The Muse’s Coach Connect.

Click here to check out Kristina’s book of 131 “thought-provoking, inspirational and entertaining essays to keep you connected to yourself and this journey called Life” Personal Growth Gab (PGG) Volume One from Amazon.

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Read more about me and my work in these essays, which I refer to as PGG’s:

All Roads, Same Place | And Now, A Word from Our Sponsor | Strong Medicine | 10,000 Hours | Express Yourself

If you like what I write, you’ll love what I have to say in person! Click on above links for info about my coaching and speaking services and contact me today.