An adventure of the heart

Heart blog photo copy 2“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life and in change there is power.”

— Alan Cohen


(First of a three-part blog series)

“How do you know when it’s right?” a client recently asked me, curious about my decision-making process in embarking upon a major life change.

“I feel an incredible sense of peace and calm,” I told her.

Moments earlier, after talking of my many life transitions and coaching expertise in guiding others through change, I shared with her that I am now moving to Scottsdale, Arizona in “an adventure of the heart.”  I didn’t plan for this change at this point in my life.  It was one of those curveballs –a happy one at last –that thrust me in a new direction.

As I pondered her question further in the days ahead, I realized that while this move seems quick on a calendar basis, it has long been in development from a spiritual perspective.  In fact, falling in love at age 57 is a culmination of years of inner work, readying myself for the “right” relationship. I also anticipate expanded professional opportunities for living “bigger” will emerge out West, where I have made some inspiring connections.

While there are no guarantees in life, there is a sense of grace that surrounds this move, from the way I met my boyfriend (which will be in next week’s blog post) to a “knowing” that something larger was working on my behalf.  Sometimes, I even feel that I am experiencing a miracle.

The contrast from earlier years, when I tried to do it “my way” by pushing and trying harder, is dramatic.  That approach led to many fear-based choices around not having enough money or fear of being alone.  Ignoring ‘red flags’–and they are always there at the beginning of poor choices–causes angst.

Most recently, I also spent two-and-a-half years grounding into the “new me,” after a scary health challenge which forever altered my psyche and helped me more fully honor each moment as sacred.  Actor Michael Landon had it right when he said:

“Somebody ought to tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit every minute of every day. Do it, I say, whatever you want to do, do it now.”

Both my children have always lived large in that way, bravely grabbing opportunities for growth as presented to them. When I was first deciding whether to risk moving cross-country or not, my daughter said, “YOLO (the acronym for You Only Live Once). Go for it!” My son dittoed the choice, encouraging me to follow what makes me happy.

Ironic that it is my kids’ support that has helped launched me on this latest adventure after all my teary good-byes when they spread their own wings.  Even though I had this saying below hanging on my fireplace for years, I still think of myself as one who is better at building nests than setting offspring free:

“There are two things you give your children.  One is roots; the other is wings.”

Who would have thought that it is I who would be ”taking wing” as a good friend from high school lovingly encouraged?  Ah, the gods of surrender knew.  For it is when I truly “let go” that this amazing connection arrived, and with it a sense of contentment that beats by far the temporary adrenal rush of reaching.

Is there anything you, my reader, needs to let go of to thrive in the new?

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Mark Twain

To new dreams in the wonderful, wild and “warm” West,


P.S.—Thanks to all my clients who so joyfully supported me in this move.  I am so grateful my coaching is done mostly by phone these days so we can continue our work together.

NEXT WEEK’S BLOG (Part 2 of 3-part series):  “How I met my boyfriend.”


1.    I allow myself to release the familiar and stay open to the unknown.

2.    I allow myself to move beyond fear to thrive in “the new.”

3.    I allow myself to surrender to a dream larger than my own.

My friend, Barbara Hopkinson, sent this ‘desert art’ photo pictured above, which she thought fit in perfectly with this post about my adventure to the West. Created by artist Laurie Pallpeter Eskanazi, the handmade heart sculpture comes from the Utah/Arizona area.  The art was given to Barbara as a gift from a renter who got married at her Plum Island beach house!



Share this post

  • Margi says:

    I wish you well my friend, my heart is so full of happiness for you and I look forward to staying in contact even though you are miles away. Thank you always for your wonderful coaching skills. I STILL have my Intention Statement and Gratitude Statement taped to my office wall. I refer to it on occasion to remind myself of my heart centered intent to Pursuing my Purpose and Passion in life. With gratitude and friendship and support for your journey, happiness is wished your way.


    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Margi: Your very kind and loving words of support touched me deeply…so deeply that I had to sit and let a gentle tear of tenderness run down my cheek. I am so grateful to hear, too, that my coaching impacted you (and still does). I know we will stay in touch and continue to enjoy the expanse in all of our lives. Maybe we can plan “a lifers” retreat in Scottsdale!!!! With joy and gratitude, Gail

  • Gail, you & I are often learning similar lessons at the same time! A recent one for me is to effort less & surrender more. I appreciate how you describe your inner knowingness as a sense of peace & calm. It really is a different feeling than the sense of urgency I have when I’m pushing my will. And I appreciate that this move has been in process for many years as you’ve continued to work so hard to become the woman you needed to be to have the love relationship you longed for. I look forward to continuing to learn through the life experiences and wisdom you so generously & lovingly share with all of us! xoxo Lyndra

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      My oh my, Lyndra–coming from one of the best relationship coaches out there, I am touched by your kind words and your own “knowing” of the many years I have been “in process” for a move as grand as this. I so look forward to continuing sharing our gifts learned from “surrender.” Much continued joy and happiness to you as well. Love, Gail

  • Linda says:

    So happy for you, Gail! Now the west coast gets to receive the gift of Gail, live and in person, and all she has to offer through her tremendous insights and kind heart. You walk your talk and that, in my humble opinion, is the most powerful statement a coach, such as yourself, can make! Blessing to you and your new adventure in life.

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Dear Linda, as one of my dear inspiring coach mentors who also lives from the heart and “walks her talk,” I thank you so much for your loving comments and all the years you taught me, no matter what the challenging circumstance was before me, not to settle. “Waiting” wasn’t always easy, but finding my own center and offering myself to others personally and professionally from that grounded place of being, has certainly enhanced my life in many ways. Bless you friend for all the ways you’ve supported me. Love, Gail

  • MaryAnn Holak says:

    Hi Gail,
    Beautiful post and it goes without saying, I am so happy for your new adventure – wow! What an awesome role model for change and growth and transition. Love, MaryAnn

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      MaryAnn: Wow, back to you! I take your thoughtful words in with gratitude, coming from a woman like you who has embraced much change, growth and transition with grace. Love, Gail

  • Barbara says:

    Great blog Gail – can’t wait to read the next 2 parts!
    I am in awe of how you let go of everything, seized the opportunity & went for it!
    I do feel you made the right & exciting choice & will have a great new life while keeping in touch and taking with you what is important from the old … Good for you – it’s YOUR TURN! Enjoy! XO

    PS looking forward to helping each other from a distance!

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Thanks, Barb–It’s kind of funny that you, the adventurer who has traveled to 44 countries, is in awe of me:). Packing up only my clothes and books and letting all else go is incredibly freeing. I entered Scottsdale feeling light on all levels, with a huge openness to “the new” and a clean slate. To more seizing moments and living large (and helping one another stay in the joy of expansion)! Love, Gail

  • Cindy says:

    Wow! I was so happy to read this post and see that you have found happiness. Arizona is a beautiful place and how wonderful to grow a new relationship there. Such an adventure. Life is nothing if not an adventure. How terrific that your children are supporting you as well. You did a great job mothering them and now you can let them mother you a little. What is better than that? May you be In the embrace of peace, growth, and love.

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Cindy: So wonderful to hear from you. And as one mother to another, I appreciate your understanding of how special it was for me to feel my children’s support on this great adventure. We will be back East frequently for friends and family…would love to reconnect soon. And, if you’re ever near Scottsdale, please let me know…may you continue to blossom in “retirement.” Best always, Gail

  • sandra niemi says:

    Dear Gail
    How happy I am that you’ve found the love of your life. You deserve happiness and a new horizon. Thank you for all the help you gave me. In our client sessions you taught me to take care of myself first, to find peace of mind and soul. God Bless You.
    Hugs, Sandra

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Sandra: Thank you for that feedback, and all the care and friendship you have offered that extends beyond our coach-client relationship. So happy you have found peace of mind and soul. I know we will stay in touch and be sharing more joy in the days ahead…with deep gratitude, Gail

  • Maria says:

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! Gail, that is awesome! Who is going to be my Sunday night Downton Abbey companion? I guess we will have to text our reactions back and forth. I am hoping to be in AZ. come February. We will have to hook up. Good for you for following your heart. You will be missed.

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Maria: Yes, we can text our thoughts back and forth on the new season of Downton Abbey. As fun as it was watching the old seasons of the shows all those days we were snowed in in Newburyport, I am relieved to know I will be in warmth and sun this winter:). Thanks for your good wishes on this heart-based move and it feels both sad and sweet to know I will be missed. Warmly, Gail

  • gINA Dussi says:

    Hi Gail: I thought of you today when I went to the yoga center in Newburyport for the first time in a very long time. I remembered the first time I went to a class there and you were in class, so I was thinking maybe I would see you tonight. Obviously I didn’t see you, yet now as I checked today’s email, I received the email from Support Matters. Truthfully, sometimes I just don’t take the time to open the email (I do save them though), but tonight I did. I guess there was a reason for that. I now know where you are and I wish you the best with your new “adventure”. May you find peace, happiness and love in all you do and wherever you are. Gina

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Gina: So nice to hear from you. Yes, I will miss Rose’s yoga class and seeing people like you who share a similar healing journey. I am very grateful you took the time to write, and also open your email, including my blog from Support Matters. Your good wishes mean a lot to me. I feel blessed for such kindness and for this opportunity to create anew on many levels. Warmly, Gail

  • Bobby V says:


    Thank you for being a powerful example to me and so many other people. By you sharing your experiences openly and honestly you allow others to help find their true selves. I believe living one’s truth and sharing with others, like you are, is our purpose in life and for that I am grateful to you.

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Bobby: And I am grateful to you for writing such kind words– and inspiring others to live their truth, as you are doing. With appreciation, Gail

  • Gail,
    Congratulations! You are SHEDDING — big time!!! Welcome to Scottsdale! Glad to meet my cousin’s dear friend and my new neighbor!
    You are one courageous woman! Bless you! Travel safe.
    Kathy Dempsey

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Kathy: Yes, this has been THE biggest “shedding” of my life–all to let in some wonderful “new.” I look forward to meeting you in December. The work you do helping organizations adjust to change is so powerful and inspiring. I can’t wait to learn more. And of course, Susy, will be delighted we connect. Warm regards, Gail

  • >