When thinking about which PGG to send this week, this one popped into my mind. I was astonished at how relevant it is today - I think even more so - than when I wrote it in back in November 2018.

The problems I refer to in the essay have only been magnified and exacerbated by the current crisis. On the one hand, our sacred seclusion (as I heard it referred to it recently, and prefer to "lock down"!) has forced us to confront ourselves more than ever due to the elimination of myriad distractions. As challenging as that might be, it's been a potent opportunity to reveal and heal some truths about yourself and your life. But we also need to balance the isolation with connection in the most organic way possible, to everyone’s comfort level - especially if you live alone. We also need to be aware how separation on many levels is used by the powers that be.

This PGG is quite long (but hey you should have more time to read it these days ;), and reflects much of my concerns about the current polarization as well as what we have been asked to do as a society. We need to consider, especially at this point, if the costs outweigh the benefits.

For this week's Instagram post , I share some positive affirmations I found from back in the day. For this week's PGG video of the week I talk about what we need to do to get through this time. And in case you missed it and are wondering what you can do to help usher in a better future , you can watch my answer to that question here . (Full recording of the talk here ).

Lastly, if you look forward to and benefit from these weekly missives and PGG essays and want to show your gratitude, any donations for my efforts are welcomed and appreciated here: And as always, please feel free to contact me with any comments about anything.

Please make sure you are taking good care of yourself, reach out to others when you need to and be extra kind and compassionate to yourself !
Big hug <3 Kristina

P.S. Need a little guidance and one-on-one support at this time? For info about working with me check out the website for my individual coaching services .
Also, since I have my first group Zoom talk under my belt and we haven't been able to meet IRL, I'll be offering virtual group coaching soon, so stay tuned for details!

And in case you missed these, you can read my PGG's that specifically address the current crisis: 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 <3
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" I love your PGG newsletters - one of the only ones I actually read in its entirety. They are excellently written, and spot on. Thanks for being so inspirational and reflective!" ~ Tom D .
Batteries, Bunkers & Bonding
Originally published November 2, 2018

The opposite of collective joy and collective pain is dehumanization, and we are in a time of rampant dehumanization . ~ Brené Brown

… [T]he truly free individual is free only to the extent of his own self-mastery. While those who will not govern themselves are condemned to find masters to govern over them. ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle. ~ Sun Tzu, The Art of War

A couple of weeks ago I realized that my phone was not lasting very long once charged, and instead of having to get a new one, I found out I could bring it in for a battery replacement, as it was indeed dying. It became more involved than just dropping the device off at the Genius Bar for an hour — I ended up having to go back three days in a row to have it resolved — but the two hours straight without it was unnerving to say the least: It was as if my link to being alive was cut off, and this was incredibly disturbing to me. Of course, I now have a new battery and my phone is refreshed and ready to text, email, photograph, talk, and mostly take on whatever Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook want me to pay attention to … #notaddicted?!

Prior to this tech episode, I had been through a pretty long stretch of very little interaction with folks who know me well. Of course there are clients and daily neighborhood exchanges (although my banker, whom I’ve hugged every time I go into my branch, just left!). These can be helpful points of human connection in their own ways, but connecting with a good friend or family member brings a different kind of nourishment that is generally much more nutritious and satiating.

When I get into these cycles and start to feel relationally malnourished, one friend and I have a code word for saying “I know you’re busy and don’t have time for a long conversation or catch-up, but I really need to at least hear your voice and connect for a few minutes.” (Relationally malnourished, by the way, is a perfect metaphor I just came up with since loneliness is a condition as primal as thirst or hunger, and is now just as dangerous a health threat as smoking or alcohol, if not more. ) That code word is “charge” — as in the bars in my soul are running low and I need to plug into another familiar human in order to get that percentage out of the red. I will text her and ask when she might be free because “I just need a charge.” It could be a 5-, 10-, 15-minute call to vent, discuss a particular issue, or anything, really, simply knowing we are linking up through our direct energy. It’s like taking a power nap — and then I can go back to my life feeling refreshed until a more luxurious, deeper sleep. It really helps.

I also have a deal with one of my brothers who doesn’t live in the city but works within walking distance of my apartment. He is extremely busy with his job and family, and he travels often, but he is one of my favorite people to hug, due to both his big size and big heart, and is the balm that I need from time to time to feel connected and loved . So sometimes I make a date to meet him outside his office or before he gets on the train for 10–20 minutes for the explicit purpose of getting a charge in the form of a big fat hug! #grateful

Just like monitoring your intake of food, drink and oxygen, connection is essential to human survival . We are an inherently social species and are becoming endangered in more ways than one because of this increasing perversion to our core DNA. And the condition of loneliness — which is a lack of consistent, meaningful connection, and a transient or temporary condition whose causes and effects I believe are more situational and physiological than mental — is becoming an epidemic; so much so that the UK appointed a Minister of Loneliness to study its pervasiveness and address it as a serious public health issue.

It’s the great irony of technology that so many people are feeling alone and isolated, because we have the appearance of being, and indeed are, more connected than ever, but generally only superficially. As with anything else, the internet and its accoutrements are a tool that can either enhance or hinder our lives, but the current reality is that many people are falsely assuming their “social” media consumption is like eating a home-cooked or delicious farm-to-table meal, when it’s really more like several stops a day at Mickey D’s . And just like our bodies would suffer on a diet made up mostly of Big Macs and fries, so goes our emotional selves and psyches that are chronically ill from these often crappy and distorted fumes of discourse and sharing that masquerade as genuinely satisfying relationships and interactions.

One way we can prove we are biologically wired to need human connection for our existence is by studying orphanages where children’s basic survival needs like food and shelter are met, but who are devoid of emotional attention, touch and interaction, and they become sick, autistic or even or die as a result. As adults in the modern world, we have to be more cognizant of and vigilant about this, as we can generally feed and clothe ourselves, and hence feel “fine,” but when we’re not connecting with other humans outside of the online world on a regular basis, we can find ourselves consciously or unconsciously depressed, anxious or sick at the least, and suicidal, brainwashed or radicalized at the worst.

We can see how this is profoundly affecting the fabric of society and creating even more “lone wolves” and people getting their sense of identity and belonging from an online tribe, especially if compounded by mental health or socio-economic conditions. It’s basically a tinder box for anyone on the outside who wants to manipulate us , and can foster extreme and irrational acts of violence and hatred.

Brené Brown, in this powerful guest sermon , talks about how we are living in a time in which “we have sorted ourselves by ideology into bunkers … and factions,” yet “the more sorted we become, the lonelier we are.” As it turns out, she says, “Behind the barricades of belief is not real connection — I think we just hate the same people.”

My life’s work, whether through The Women’s Mosaic or my coaching, writing and speaking , has been about helping people know, understand and connect to themselves and each other in order to create both inner and outer peace. There is no more urgent time for you to do the work to know yourself — who you are and what you’re supposed to be doing , as well as what you need to care for yourself, and take action or seek help when you need it. To acquire this self-knowledge requires introspection, which actually requires time ALONE; you just need to be mindful about using the alone time you have in a healthy way; to check in with yourself — your own thoughts and feelings — and separate them from what you’re shown or being told about how to think and feel, whether overtly or subliminally. This solitary activity is essential so we can come back to others and socialize in a meaningful way, and also be aware when we’ve crossed into the realm of loneliness.

Also, if you haven’t taken that time to build a firm foundation of knowing and checking in with yourself, the extremes of the religious and political spectrums, or even the cultural mainstream through Hollywood and advertising, would rather spoon-feed you with their agendas than have you think for yourself or question them — and you don’t want to be fertile breeding ground for anyone to grab hold of your mind or money . Besides, you gain a certain sense of dignity, self-sufficiency and confidence by doing your own observation and analysis, integrating what you know to be true for you rather than buying into someone else’s perceptions of what is right or wrong or makes someone dangerous, successful or powerful.

Only when you are solidly connected to yourself can you truly connect with another, and this is what the world needs now more than ever. Not quite sure how to charge your battery in order to cut through the BS and better bond with yourself and your buds? Give me a buzz and I’ll help you plug into the genuine juice that will make you both eclectic and electric, so instead of enabling the enemy, you’ll be able to excel in every way!

If you look forward to and benefit from these weekly essays and want to show your gratitude, any donations for my efforts are welcomed and appreciated here :

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