I really let go this time…

“If you surrender to the wind, you can ride it.”
~ Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon

Walking through the near-empty Raleigh airport about to board a flight to Boston, I knew I was leaving behind more than just my fear of flying during a pandemic.

I was releasing a behavior that I mistakenly thought kept me safe: Trying to control life by working harder at EVERYTHING—career, relationships, and even my leisure time of leading hikes in North Carolina two to three evenings a week.

Upon boarding the plane, I sat in my socially distanced window seat, completely opposite the passenger on the other side of the aisle at her window seat.  Once seated, I chose to become totally unplugged for the 12-day vacation.  No checking email, social media, or the news.  I was determined to go with the flow, not manage anything.

Like the airport itself, I was encountering a new type of emptiness.

The beginning of letting go

After picking me up at the airport in Boston, my vacation host, Barbara, took me on a tour of the blossoming sunflower field en route to her home.  I was hoping to unwind from traveling and go directly to the beach.  Yet, her choice proved to be the better one. We saw one of the last blooms of the season that day.  Later in the week, the field was empty of sunflowers.

Staying in the flow, I also chose to release less-than-perfect moments or irritations that could have impacted the carefree approach to this vacation. The first day, I cut my finger deeply while grabbing the side of my razor.  Rather than panic and go to the emergency room, I tended the wound carefully, trusting it would heal.

I also opted to say “yes” to the moments before me that felt right, and “no” to anything not aligned with my need for respite, fun and connection with those I love. There were so many friends to see, and so little time.  I had to balance solitude with socially distanced visits on the deck.  Meeting people, wearing a mask without hugging out of respect for their safety needs, felt awkward, especially after not seeing some of those I care about in three years.

And, sadly, I could not fit in seeing everyone I wanted to catch up with, as I prioritized seeing my son first and foremost and honoring his work schedule.

On the plus side, the limits ignited my creativity.  I decided next year, I will return and stay longer, perhaps renting my own beachside summer home to better balance the tugs at time—one of the perks of having a virtual business.

Surprise Number One

On my second day of settling in, sitting on the sofa looking at the mist above the ocean on a cloudy morning, I received a text.  It contained an invitation to go sailing from someone I knew 14 years ago.  “Umm, a little adventure and stepping out of my comfort zone in more playful ways might be a good mix to this vacation,” I thought to myself.  My host could come along.

Remembering my mantra post cancer, “Say yes to life,” I agreed to go after we worked out safe logistics.

That sail trip on Boston Harbor by Rowes Wharf was a life-defining moment.  As we moved out of the dock area and into the sea, I silently released my old stories of trying so hard. I literally felt how the wind, like life, carries us.

After years of pushing through so much fear to claim my worthiness to live, I also savored the moments at sea remembering all the boating adventures of my childhood, times when I felt invincible and free.  I want many more of those moments now, inhaling the gifts of being alive.

Surprise Number Two

On day eight of the vacation, I broke my rule of staying offline.  I was about to load a guided meditation from my laptop, when my emails popped up. “Holy S—, I have been spammed,” I thought to myself.  All of a sudden there were 60-plus new sign-ups for my blog, a slew of emails requesting a coaching session with me, and several voicemails on my phone.

“No, this cannot be happening.  Nothing is ruining this vacation,” I kept repeating silently.

Then, I remembered, in August I had sent my book with a letter to internationally renowned Christiane Northrup, M.D., a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field women’s health and wellness, and a NY Times bestselling author, multiple times.

I found that on September 6th, Dr. Northrup showcased my book and read my entire letter to her 1.2K followers via Instagram and Facebook as part of her “Great Awakening” series.

Here is a clip of that video with Dr. Northrup endorsing my message of claiming your worthiness to live, halfway down on this page of my site:

Grateful for the increased visibility, I also am cherishing one of the most profound healing moments of my life:  In letting go, after eight years pushing hard for someone to understand the messages of my book, I am finally seen, validated, acknowledged and honored for the courageous pioneering journey upon which I embarked to embrace “energy as medicine.”

I never took the journey lightly.  It was an arduous and lonely path to honor my intuitive nudges with very little external support and validation.

Other lessons of “letting go”

Learning to receive is a huge part of letting go, and sometimes we have to become vulnerable to allow in the kindnesses of others.  The act of giving is sometimes so much easier for many, but also it unconsciously can be used to provide a sense of control.

In continuing to let go, I have learned, I must be open more to reciprocity, to let others shine their unique gifts.  In doing so this vacation, I witnessed the magic of genuine care with my dear friends who brought meals (as I was quarantined with no car to go see them), and from my host who is the best chef ever and knows how to have fun.

And, I understand, if you are like other hard-working people I know, you many find that initially letting go is not easy.

Surrender can be especially challenging for:

  • single parents juggling multiple roles solo.
  • those who became super-responsible from lack of adequate early life nurturing, and later tenaciously fought to overcome difficult childhoods, or
  • others who faced another trauma or curveball later on that rocked their trust in life supporting them.

I fit all of the above descriptions at one point in my life.  Each time, I responded to those challenges by trying to control life as much as I could by doing what I thought I was best: Pushing harder (not necessarily smarter, as I had not yet learned how to fill myself up before extending to others).  Self-care MUST be a priority. It has become my number one lesson of healing from cancer.

Replenished from 12 days away, I am now moving forward taking inspired actions, feeling a new sense of fierceness for life and my worthiness mission, with a strong team behind me.

Solo adventures–and proving my independence–are not so appealing anymore.  I look forward to leaning into mentors and others’ gifts and talents as well.

Here’s some inspiration for loosening the reins of control, or better yet, unfurling the sails:

“Surrender is like a fish finding the current and going with it.” ~ Mark Nepo

* * *

“Resistance keeps you stuck.  Surrender immediately opens you to the greater intelligence that is vaster than the human mind, and it can then express itself through you.  So through surrender often you find circumstances changing.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

* * *

“Surrender is deeply misunderstood as an act of weakness.  Surrender is the bravest and most lucid thing a human ever does, and that’s why it’s so precious to the Divine.” ~ Andrew Harvey

* * *

“The moment of surrender is not when life is over, it’s when it begins.” ~ Marianne Williamson

* * *

“The greatness of a man’s power is in the measure of his surrender.”~ William Booth

* * *

In renewal, with love and blessings,

Gail

Barbara J Hopkinson, my vacation host, and I took the above photos sailing with a friend in Boston Harbor by Rowes Wharf.  I am grateful Barbara caught the picture of me seizing the moment, before I even knew I’d be writing this blog post.

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  • Susan Whelton says:

    Gail thank for sharing this as always .
    So happy that you got this time and benefitted from it.
    You are an amazing person.
    Susan Whelton

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Susan: So very happy to hear from you–one of the perks of posting my blogs. I was hoping you transitioned smoothly to my new coaching platform. And, I will never forget your many kindnesses as my realtor, helping me sell my marital home and venture into a new world. Bless you, Gail

  • Gail!! I’m so blown away by all that has been happening in your life!! You have been faithful to do the hard and lonely work – I know that from firsthand experience! But it is paying off and your dream of impacting untold lives is being realized! Thank you for being so vulnerable and for sharing about your vacation- I loved the picture on the ocean – complete surrender! What a privilege to have walked some of the journey with you and to call you friend.

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Lisa Langaker: You walked so many of these brave and scary miles with me when I lived in Arizona and trained with Dr. Joe Dispenza and led related guided meditations, introducing new tools and aligning with the body’s innate ability to heal. I am forever blessed you believed in me–and for all the times you helped when I hit bottom, thinking I was alone on a desert (not surprising I was in AZ!). And then you loaned me your son to get my car to NC to top it off. With much love and gratitude, Gail

  • Lisa May says:

    Deeply inspiring, Gail! Thank you for sharing the arduous, personal journey to overcome, and “arrive” through surrender. So grateful to be an observer of this sacred path and the divine timing in which our lives intersected. No mistakes. Godspeed, keep riding the wind!

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Lisa May: It was divinely orchestrated that we should meet training with Dr. Joe Dispenza in Arizona. I am so appreciative of all the ways you so generously supported the production of my book, championing me to stay the course, even when the going got very, very tough. “Success” is never done alone. Yes, to more time riding the wind! With much love and gratitude. Gail

  • Lynn Marn says:

    Gail, an amazing, beautifully written testimonial and reminder on the magic to saying “Yes to Life”! What an inspirational recap of your “Letting Go” journey to Boston! I smiled all the way through….especially love the pictures! Thank you for sharing. I receive with gratitude, Lynn

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Thank you, Lynn: And I receive your feedback with gratitude, appreciating your belief in my teachings when I first relocated to North Carolina, and your own beautiful spirit that lights up a room. Blessed to know you. With love and blessings, Gail

  • Gail, I just watched Christiane Northrup, MD talk about you & your book. Awesome!!! So glad you’re getting the word out about the importance of claiming our worthiness to create a healthy & happy life. Hopefully one day it will be a topic of learning & discussion for children in pre-school. All the best to you! Lyndra

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Lyndra: I hold the same dream to reach kids early, as we know the first seven years are critical to forming their sense of worthiness based on WHO they innately are, not what they do. I always knew my book “calling” extended far beyond cancer, which was my wake-up call to claim my own worthiness so I could guide others. Grateful Dr. Northrup valued my book and so kindly shared my entire letter to her, offering her own insights that validated my mission. Such generosity…which is what I believe the “new world” unfolding is all about…thinking as a “we,” not a me, collaborating, and elevating together. Feeling so grateful your path and mine crossed when they did more than a decade go, and that we each found our unique ways to serve. With love and gratitude, Gail

  • Our work together has been transformational as it continues to evolve and assist me through trauma and with moving forward. No looking back! Grateful for your companionship on my journey and congratulations, how fun to watch your work ripple outward. So many new possibilities being invited in.

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Sharon: It’s been an honor to be your coach, as you courageously have delved deep, fully embracing “the cleansing” that leads to lasting transformation. Love your line, “No looking back.” You have put a new stake in the ground, claiming new levels of worthiness, to move forward in magnificent ways. Excited to watch you continue to illuminate from your innate wholeness and worthiness. I also love that you are “inviting in” new possibilities. And thank you for expressing your joy for my own big leaps of late:) With love and deep respect, Gail

  • Debbie says:

    I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated your sharing. I, probably like a lot of people these days, can relate completely with this story.

    All of my retreats for 2020 (4 in total) have been postponed, which has left me in this ‘waiting in the dark hallway’ place, as I not so lovingly refer to it. That place where doors have closed, but others haven’t yet opened. The place of not knowing, and trusting that whatever shows up will be perfect.

    Thank you for sharing so beautifully in your unique and authentic way. Much love to you in all your adventures in life. And, thank you for inviting me to share my retreat website – http://www.pathsofpurpose.com. ~ Debbie

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Debbie: Thank you for sharing how much my blog resonated with you. “Waiting in the dark hallway” as you brilliantly call it is often THE most challenging stage of transition. Yet, if we stay open instead of pushing as you are now doing, it can also become what I call “space for grace.” When we invite in grace to take over, miracles often occur, but first we need to get out of the way and stop trying to control the timing of “the new.” Perhaps, there is an even bigger or more fulfilling plan for the precious work you do. The “waiting” is an inner time to clear blocks and create the foundation for a new empowering mindset, to choose feelings –and align with like-minded others–that help us stay elevated after the purge of what no longer serves us. I’m thrilled to share your retreat website, as “success” is much more fun when we collaborate and honor each other’s gifts. Many of the women I met while living in Arizona raved about your retreats abroad. The gift of the pandemic is watching the world shifting from a “me” consciousness to more “we” thinking. With love and gratitude, Gail

  • Vicki says:

    Congratulations Gail! May the uphill hill struggle be in your past! You continue to help those in your path with words of wisdom!
    It is my HONOR to have met you early on in your months in Raleigh. Blessings abound!! Shine On Dear One!

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Thank you, Vicki: The path of a pioneer is never an easy one. I’ve come to understand sometimes we don’t choose the path–it chooses us. Yet, when you hear the call it does not go away until you honor it…and it takes great courage to take the path less traveled:) I will always be grateful upon relocating to North Carolina that you gave me a chance to teach immediately. It was pure delight to teach at your business with you, and have our intimate soul gatherings there every Sunday. I’m especially thankful that you saw the value of my worthiness message and are aligned with my comprehensive approach to wellness, using neuroscience, EFT and other energy healing tools. With love and gratitude, and yes to great new light from which to shine, Gail

  • Lisa says:

    Well Gail – I was so happy to see all the wonderful social distance photos; however a bit sad not to share one with you! Time was clearly of the essence and you sure made the best of your time! I love that Christiane Northrup, MD video about you and your book – you seem to share the same kind of warm spirit and soul!
    Congratulations and as always you make me smile with pride!

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Sad on my end, too, Lisa. Thanks for your kind words on the video, and your pride in my work. You have championed me and my coaching for decades and “get” what I’m all about…a true gift when friends see the inner workings of our lives and how we manifest from them, and can stand by us. Bless you for always, always coming through for everyone you care about. With love and gratitude, Gail

  • Diane says:

    Gail, Thank you so much for these words of wisdom that resonate so well with me. Surrendering is one of my biggest life challenges. As my coach, you have helped me learn to release emotions that were holding me back, which no longer served me. Letting go is indeed one of the bravest acts anyone can do with a loving coach to guide the way (as you helped me do!). Thank you for all that you do in elevating me and others to live in a more peaceful and joyful state of being! I am so proud that your messages are spreading and look forward to hearing your podcasts and watching your messages spread into new arenas! You go girl!

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Diane: You are so very sweet, and it’s been such a delight to coach you. I am RECEIVING (as I teach my clients) your kind words and joy of my expansion. I am very excited to get my new podcasts going, which will complement the teachings of my blogs that I so love writing after spending hours before in deep reflection. They feel like “soul sharings” to me. What fun ahead aligning with “right” opportunities, as I continue to let go of “how” it all will unfold, while taking inspired actions. Stay elevated, knowing you are worthy of the best. With love and gratitude, Gail

  • Diane says:

    I love all of this Gail!! Thank you for sharing your words and wisdom !!

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