Crossing the threshold of courage

“One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”

 –Maya Angelou

Lingering in the insights gained from a transformative three-day training with my health mentor, Dr. Joe Dispenza, I am redefining what courage means.

Outwardly, I embarked 18 months ago upon a brave, cross-country adventure from Boston to Arizona to start anew. It was “my time” to launch a new life after raising my children as a single mom.

Exploring Sedona, meeting many like-minded, health-conscious others, and hiking new desert terrain all expanded my worldview, and added much richness to my life.

Changing environments is quite powerful in writing a new life story. The “yesses” to life have been fun and exhilarating. The “nos” of setting new boundaries for myself and with others have been a lot tougher.

Crossing the river 2

Yet, the real courage has come in the recent inner dismantling of my life, un-memorizing past conditioning, and facing “a-life–in-review” with compassion, strength and forgiveness. This time of inner work, facing oneself head-on, is not for the faint of heart, nor is it easy to do alone. Solitude is needed; yet also being witnessed and supported by a carefully chosen tribe of other loving pioneers has helped me gain insights beyond my own narrower perspective.

I was fortunate to create what a dear friend has dubbed “an incubator,” which is a safe time and place to let go of the old and experiment with the new. I think of this soul work as an ongoing retreat, with space left open daily for meditation, reflection and intentional creation. Sometimes, I set aside whole days or weekends of “jammie time,” doing nothing but allowing myself to sink deeper into the unknown as I release the past (and my ways of being in it) that no longer serves me.

Like many others who come to the desert to start anew, I have been stripped to the core.

What is emerging slowly is the birth of a new, more inner-driven, joyful self, with a calling to serve in greater ways than I first imagined. I have formed a new group here in Phoenix, building community for others stepping into bigger versions of themselves using some powerful new tools.

Called “Live From Greatness: The Creative Genius Club,” we meet every other Monday evening. The next group meets June 20th. One of my goals is to help others shift away from the familiarity of survival (a mode of operating from which many have been conditioned to live) to thriving in creating anew through more empowering emotions and beliefs. For more information, email me at

Connections with like-minded others accelerates our growth. Open-ended questions also shift us into higher levels of being.

Here’s a few you can ask yourself if you choose to expand your life in new ways:

  1. What would my life look like if I knew I was worthy?
  2. How would you describe the feelings of abundance, love, or fulfillment?
  3. Is there some part of me longing for expression–and if so, what I am waiting for?
  4. Who is the greatest version of myself?
  5. Is there something I need to let go of, or welcome in?
  6. What is something new or different I could do each day?

In courageous expansion,


My son, Brendan, took the picture of me above “crossing the river” at the West Fork Trail in Sedona when we hiked together there this spring. Little did I know then what courage I would continue to step into and be guided to share.


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  • Cindy says:

    Beautifully written, Gail. I am so glad you are doing so well in Arizona. There couldn’t be a more soulful place than Sedona.

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Thanks, Cindy: Yes, my mid-life, cross-country adventure has turned out to be quite the soul journey. There are so many new riches to share with readers and clients, too, as I delve into living from the heart in new ways and training with my some of mentors, who have come to the Phoenix area. Miss you. Blessings, Gail

  • Michael says:

    Gail, I really admire your courage in facing up to your demons and being able to share your journey with others with such clarity and authenticity. You’re a great inspiration for me. Thank you!

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Michael: As a wise healer yourself, I appreciate your feedback. These immersions into and out of those “dark nights of the soul” that often accompany transition are important to share. It’s normal and healthy to have to do that “inner cleansing” to create a true new beginning. Choosing to leave the conditioning of the old self behind, making space to stay in the unknown and await the gifts of grace, and holding a picture in mind of the NEW hopes and dreams propel us forward, too. I feel so blessed for all those who “held” me in this precious time of reinvention. Looking forward to seeing YOUR new book. Talk about reinvention! With love and gratitude, Gail

  • Sue bajko says:

    Two beautiful children on their journeys and soooo happy you are on yours!!! You are a needed role model for many of us!!!! Hugs and love to you Sue

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Sue: Such a wonderful surprise hearing from you…it feels like only yesterday (well, almost, with decades of change in between) that we were celebrating being pregnant and all the new joys of motherhood. Happy summer to you in fun Newburyport–missing the ocean. Lots of love and big hugs back to you, Gail

  • Wayne Benenson says:

    Gail is the real McCoy. She walks her talk. Sometimes I get peeved at personal testimonials of life transitions. Too much “what” and not enough “how” for my taste. Gail does the “how” without a lot of hyperbole. She has a knack of being unrelentingly honest with herself while still recognizing the humor of her situation. And even better yet, she has the writer’s skill to put words around those moments of utter Mystery. What keeps me coming back for more moments with Gail is her fierce desire to let her humanity shine. And shine it does.
    Dr. Wayne Benenson, retired education professor (with a research interest in change as vocation)

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Wayne: Thanks for enjoying the “transparency” of my sharing–and all the insights I’ve gained from your own wisdom of the transitions process. With deep gratitude, Gail

  • Ann Marie says:

    You sound wonderful and living a balanced life.
    Thank you for reminding us that courage is always in the winds of change.

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Ann Marie: I love that line of yours “courage is always in the winds of change.” Happy summer to you at the beach…what a great place to “be.” Big hugs back, Gail

  • Sharon spector says:

    Gail, choosing the path of stripping away what is untrue and opting for authenticity and sharing vulnerability is not for the faint of heart. It is a courageous journey….Your heartfelt sharing of what is…is heart opening and inspiring for your readers…
    Thanks for sharing your journey with us…xox

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Thanks, Sharon. I have had so much fun sharing my adventures to the desert (and more are included in my new book in the works). Still, transitions like these involve a whole lot of inner rewiring when done consciously. Change is rarely about the external event. Rather, it is the inner cleansing (often prompted by the outer event) that leads to true transformation. My commitment to my self and readers is to live and share from the heart. Glad you appreciated my vulnerability. With love and gratitude, Gail

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