Reframing October

“Labels create beliefs about ourselves that can limit our sense of power and possibility. By focusing on our innate wholeness and unique gifts we can live as creators of our lives, no matter what our circumstances appear to be.”

— Gail Kauranen Jones, transformational leader and coach, wellness pioneer and author.



When my daughter, Catie, was a little girl she would cling to my legs as strangers appeared. At social gatherings she turned her head, hiding into my chest, if a person approached her. At age 3 or 4, her dance teacher warned me that it was unlikely she would perform in the recital. She fooled everyone and did dance in front of the audience (and quite well in line with others her age!!!).

Often, when I was out and about on errands with Catie, people would comment on her shyness. Immediately, I would respond: “And she’s so kind and nurturing.” I refused to let her be defined by a limiting label.

Fast forward several years: it was my daughter at her Girl Scout Mother-Daughter event who bravely grabbed the microphone and started singing when no one else would as her troop lost their place in the song. That moment was one of many that changed her life. Later in college, she came to the plate again, and won the national speaking championship, placing first in the entire country. Her college placed third. Now, she is a superstar in software sales. Her fierce determination and fearless spirit moved her beyond preconceived notions of who others thought she was.

I don’t share these stories to brag, but to make an essential point. Labels can limit us. Kind, loving and encouraging words can expand us.

So, I’m going out on a scary limb here and sharing why I (along with many other “survivors”) don’t connect with “Breast Cancer Awareness Month” and all the commercialization around a life-altering disease.

I don’t want to be reminded of the dreadful day I heard the “C” word, and how my psyche and life were altered forever. “Who” I am is not a survivor. My greatness, my divinity, and my purpose for living are much more expansive than the disease that gave me a wake-up call to change my life, down to the cellular level, and move cross-country to leave behind the “old” me.

I greatly honor all those who have “survived” and especially those friends I have lost as they courageously “battled” cancer.

Yet, more emphasis needs to be placed on offering hope to those newly diagnosed with cancer versus focusing on scary statistics.  If you would like to learn about the eight characteristics of long-term survivors, please email me at

Perhaps, the  big “C” word for October can be COMPASSION, or COURAGE, CARE and CONNECTION, which are healing words I learned to embrace as I focused on bringing my mind, body and soul into greater states of wholeness after my diagnosis four years ago.

COMPASSION is particularly important. Through my healing journey, I learned an insight rarely shared, from my second opinion breast surgeon and another renowned healer in Boston. Both of these women were seeing a trend in those newly diagnosed. The three years prior to a cancer diagnosis were “off-the-charts” stressful years for many. My life at the time certainly fit the bill.

Still, I knew to heal I had to go within. I embraced “energy as the new medicine,” which you will continue to hear more about as the new field of epigenetics continues to get recognized. My experience researching and practicing techniques from this explosive field of unlimited possibilities is detailed in my upcoming book, Cancer as a Love Story: Developing the mindset for LIVING, to be released this fall.

Whether you had cancer or were thrown another life curveball, is there some way you can make October a time to reframe your life in a new and positive way?

With fall upon us, many are experiencing major life transitions:

  • If you’re an “empty nester” as your last child left for college or got married and moved far away, can you focus on finding yourself in a new beginning, with a chance to claim yourself in new ways?
  • If you’re newly retired after decades in the corporate world, can you embrace the freedom and flexibility of unstructured time to “be” after years of doing?
  • If you’ve spent years being a caregiver to a parent or someone else, can you now discover who you are without the responsibilities of another’s needs? What are your needs now?

This October, pull out a journal and write about welcoming THE NEW YOU. What new, more empowering words or “labels” will help you thrive in this next step of your journey?

I am stepping it up and teaching others how to claim their greatness here in Arizona through a new meditation group, which continues to flourish steadily since I started it last year:

I’ve also bundled together some 6-and 10- session FALL COACHING PACKAGES on “Creating a new mindset for LIVING,”  sharing the latest advances from my intense training with leaders in neuroscience and my subsequent daily practices integrating what I learned.

Happy fall…may it be a time of great harvest for you personally and professionally.



Thank you my East Coast friend, Catherine Russell, for taking this photograph of the pumpkin at Colby Farm in Newbury, MA. I just couldn’t capture the right fall picture here in the desert. There is nothing like a New England fall which I miss so much (but a desert winter is the BEST!).



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  • Sue bajko says:

    All good thoughts Gail. Keep taking great care of yourself!
    Never liked how people can so easily label children!

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Thanks, Sue: I’m sure you of all people, a mom of twins who probably heard lots of “comparisons,” had to defer a few yourself. I hope you’re enjoying fall in New England and the beautiful Newburyport boardwalk. Gail

  • Sharon spector says:

    Thanks Gail for a beautifully written blog. I never resonated with being called a Cancer Survivor either…life is much more – about thriving!
    Loved your “C” words for October. Keep me posted

  • Cancer certainly is a word that many can relate to as they cringe at the mention of the word, but until it is eradicated we will need to face the word “Cancer” despite its negative connotations. So shrinking to it or dismissing it – I don’t believe is the answer. In fact…

    I think you’re on to something Gail!

    COMPASSION, COURAGE, CARE and CONNECTION truly are positive words and we CAN use them to empower each other. So re-framing October may not be exactly what I’ll do because I don’t want to define October with one set of words let alone a single word. To me it is Breast Cancer Awareness month and more, much more…

    Like myself, what is in a name or a label if we can’t continually push the boundaries of definitions that pertain to us or any other matter. Still, just as yourself, we draw from the past memories and experiences both good, bad, and indifferent; and we paint a picture of what we wish to see, sometimes blotting over the painful because it’s just too much for us to accept or we simply wish to avoid the memories; and other times we paint a different picture using colors like COMPASSION, COURAGE, CARE and CONNECTION and our days shine brighter and our portraits smile back at us as if to say “we can do this!” Bring on the Pink and enshroud it with these words of empowerment!

    After all, October is just a month or.. October is now and now is a
    the only month that we have at hand to define or redefine ourselves, and Pink is just a color.. Pink commercialized or not is still just a color, so paint with all the colors you can and create something beautiful; create something uniquely You!

    I guess what I’m trying to say is… don’t leave out the Pink. You’re right it’s just a part of you…

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Jeffrey: Thank you for sharing your perspective with such eloquence. You’re a gifted writer! I am sure there are many who will resonate with your thoughts. I’m glad we can use so many “colors” to express ourselves in the process of redefining ourselves beyond a disease. I also appreciate the time you took to write such a thoughtful comment. Blessings, Gail

  • Flo says:

    Courage takes boldness sometimes and you have that without a doubt! Going contrary to conventional awareness on breast cancer awareness/survival to challenge all of us with a different perspective. I would add that C word to your other four : Challenge . Perhaps it is the first Quality needed after hearing that diagnosis. What I saw you do throughout your struggle was challenge prevailing medical perspective and treatment. Finding those practitioners, doctors and supporters who are striking out into the field of energy medicine. You boldly went where few choose to go to plumb the depths of your psyche, your heart and spirit to find the core, the foundation of who you are beyond a disease that could wreck your life and wrack your body. And from these depths you stepped forward with a deep caring compassionate connection to yourself.
    Gail you are a trailblazer! Bushwhacking your way through both the inner jungle and the outer one that sometimes distracts us from taking that inner journey that we all must take to find our own true self and live whole. Carry-on my friend! You have dared to live!

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Flo: Thank you for your kind words and consistently being a source of encouragement as I reinvented myself down to the cellular level honoring “a calling.” Being a pioneer can be a lonely journey and is certainly not for the faint-of-heart. Still, my choosing to live from love versus fear helped me “dare to LIVE” — into an even bigger mission. More to come in future blog posts– concepts that may PREVENT someone else hearing those scary words of a diagnosis! Bless you for honoring my journey. With much love and gratitude, Gail

  • Marj says:

    Words are so powerful. Becoming aware of how we talk about ourselves and others is so important. Thanks for the reminder, Gail.
    May our mantras be positive and uplifting.

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Marj: Yes, may our mantras be positive and uplifting!!! The words we say (and think and write) have a powerful affect on our wellbeing. We now know from the latest in neuroscience that those words can form beliefs in our minds that direct the outcomes of our lives. In line with setting the tone for COMPASSION this month, I love these words from a daily meditation I have used: “Kindness heals, judgment separates. Kindness unites, judgment separates.” Have a blessed day, Gail

  • Gail, thank you so much for bringing Dr Joe Dispenza’s work to me. I absolutely love the effect the meditations have. I am experiencing wonderful profound shifts.

    Thank you! Scott

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      You are most welcome, Scott. I am glad you have enjoyed the introduction to guided meditations based on the latest in brain science. The gains I have witnessed others like yourself who participate in my groups achieve are attributed to another fact I believe: The power of the group energy. It is scientically proven to create shifts. When I was in the renowned Mind Body Program for Cancer at Massachusetts General Hospital four years ago, I learned this: Those who are in a mind body program can live up to 2 to 2.5 times longer. Bringing people together in groups to prosper and heal has since become my passion! We all thrive better in connection. Thank you, Scott, for being one of the pioneers in my groups when I brought my work from Boston to Arizona! With gratitude, Gail

  • Hi Gail, thanks for another beautiful and uplifting blog. I know it’s good to have words beginning with “C”, but the word that I felt was missing is LOVE. Not just the giving, but especially the openness to receiving LOVE. I feel your love and I invite you to feel mine. Michael

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Well said, Michael. And of course I’ll take in your love–the greatest healer of all! And I appreciate your reminder that love involves both giving AND receiving. Keeping my heart and arms open wider these days, thanks to you, a gifted healer yourself and dear friend “across the seas.” With love and gratitude, Gail

  • John M Dodge says:

    The Colby fields are all around me and their vegetable stand is a couple of miles away. I went to school with several in the Colby Farming family. You did manage to use a lot of C words in your post! Nice work, Gail.

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Yes, John. Colby Farm is beautiful. I remember it myself from the days when I lived in Wedt Newbury and later Newburyport. They have the most gorgeous sunflower fields, too. Glad you enjoyed my post and all my empowering “C” words. Happy fall. Gail

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