Settling in to the new

Blog Settle Photo


“Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and the stars mirrored in your own being.”



Each day my heart swells with more joy as I see all “the new and different” people, experiences and opportunities filling up my life since relocating to Scottsdale, Arizona, two months ago.

Grateful that Facebook and LinkedIn have enabled me to stay connected with so many people who I love and care about back East, the moments of grief from letting go of my life in Newburyport, Mass., to move cross-country are lessening. It helps, too, that my son just spent four days visiting with me (and thank God he landed safely back in Boston last night through the storm)!  That storm and the brutal Boston winter has certainly added to my feelings of gratitude for moving West when I did.

Slowly and with the discernment that comes from a greater sense of peace and inner grounding, I am making new connections. I met many of these like-minded people through Meet Up, another social media outlet that is even more popular here for my age group than I experienced back East.

I joined the Scottsdale Society of Women Writers, where I instantly connected with other published authors and many helpful people who shared resources related to launching my book in development.

Twice monthly, I stay committed to personal growth goals by attending a spiritual group led by a facilitator who guides retreats in Sedona, Arizona. The energy of this group of diverse and intriguing people heightens my sense of aliveness.

A diversity of social activities, from dining at a plethora of great restaurants (with many chefs from the famed Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts which has a Scottsdale campus)  to driving to the desert to partake in artists’ studio tours, are within minutes of my home. In the words of another East Coast transplant, Scottsdale is “peaceful, but not boring.”

My passion for teaching wellness concepts is welcomed here, with local spas and exercise centers open to my facilitating a unique workshop series I developed.

I also have been on a few job interviews, which seem easier to get here due to the more expansive regional economy and less age discrimination.   As one neighbor where I live remarked, “If they didn’t look at people over age 50 they would have a difficult time hiring as that’s the age of so many in this area.” Plus, I have been told the East Coast work ethic is greatly admired here.

Another notable difference that feels more in alignment of how I have evolved these past few years is the more open-minded, progressive and nurturing approach to health care in the Scottsdale area.  Doctors’ offices feel warmer and more inviting than many of the sterile environments I experienced in the East—and the health professionals seem less hurried, making me feel as a patient that I matter and that I am seen and heard.

I am unsure how I will cope with 116-degree temperatures in the summer (although I am told it is “dry heat” so not nearly as bad as the humid, 100-plus degree weather elsewhere). Yet, this move and life transition have reinforced my intention to live more and more in the moment—better tuning into what feels good and right as my days unfold and redirecting my choices as needed.

I also am staying increasingly open to “gap time”—moments of doing nothing—to see what grace brings to me. Many surprises have appeared when I keep this level of openness.

With this renewed perspective, I more fully appreciate that this move was not just an adventure of the heart, but my soul’s calling to a new way of being. When I look at my reflection, the woman I see has claimed the self-love she taught so many others to embrace.

Scottsdale is just a new venue to more fully express that love. I needed a clean slate from which to experiment in sharing all the wisdom I gained from the inner soul searches I embraced back East.

Time to soar now, gently and calmly, as I envision even more possibilities for joy during my walks by new still waters (as pictured above at Lake Marguerite near where I live).

COMING NEXT WEEK, 2-17-15: A guest blog, “How to Enjoy More Love in Your Life—What God Asks You in Heaven, ” by Keith Varnum, who leads the spiritual group I attend.




1. I allow myself to shift perspectives by doing something “new and different” every day.

2  I allow myself to create moments of stillness for inviting in the gifts of grace.

3. I allow myself to expand by connecting with like-minded others who share my vision for living in peace and love.




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  • Carrie says:

    Dear Gail,

    This blog entry makes my heart swell with happiness! You are a kind, intelligent, loving woman who is finally realizing her dreams! You give your readers such hope! You deserve all good things, and I’m beyond elated to watch them come to you! Life really is good!


    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Carrie: Your beautiful words, loving support and joyful embrace of life touch me deeply. Thank you, dear friend. Love, Gail

  • Jill says:

    Welcome to Arizona. I relocated here from the midwest, 4 years ago, and continue to find new and exciting things to do. Enjoy!

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Jill: Thank you for my warm welcome to Arizona and the kindness you have shown me in getting acclimated to the area. Blessings, Gail

  • dick joseph says:

    Hi Gail,

    You certainly picked the right winter to make your move. Cleaning up more and more and more snow is certainly pushing the limits of patience. They closed the City of Boston….and another storm is due on Thursday-Friday. On my Facebook page I have a picture of a sign at a church saying, “Whoever is praying for snow, please stop.”

    I’m so happy that everything is going great for you in AZ, Gail. Nobody deserves happiness more than you. You are a sweetheart!


    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Dick: There is something profoundly sweet when a person from “back East” who saw me maneuver through so much adversity–and publicly share my challenges as I grew through them–stops to write such a kind and encouraging comment. Thank you very much. And thanks also for sharing the snow update and your humor about it by posting the church sign on FB. Stay safe and warm. I will pray for “no more snow.” Love, Gail

  • bill says:

    Thank you, Gail, for all of the beautiful words to live by. Yes, it is a wonderful journey…

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Bill: It’s amazing what happens when one surrenders the illusion of control and embraces “the new and different” in life and stays open to wonder:)

  • Ann marie says:

    I feel the Goddess of light emanating from you.

    Thank you for being vulnerable to assist others on their personal journey

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Wow, Ann Marie: Thanks for appreciating the way I use my own vulnerabilities to inspire others to embrace theirs…to growing in more joy by sharing our journeys and knowing we are all “one.” Xo, Gail

  • Andrea says:

    “Share my vision for living in peace and love” my new mantra! Thank you Gail!

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Just imagine the possibilities for our world if everyone lived from the same mantra…keep shedding YOUR beautiful light, Andrea!!!

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