The Path to Service

“If you light a lamp for someone else it will also brighten your path.”


Some are born to serve. Others feel an intuitive nudge later in life, or are called to “give back” after a major curveball.

Think of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), which was founded in1980 by Candace Lightner after her 13-year-old daughter, Cari, was killed by a drunk driver. There is now at least one MADD office in every state of the United States and at least one in each province of Canada.

Not everyone will make such a significant impact, for as Sister Cheryl A. Esplin says, “Service doesn’t have to be big and grandiose to be meaningful and make a difference.”

Yet, many believe there is a direct link between happiness and serving others, as noted in this Time Magazine article.


Nine years ago, my world was blown open by hearing those dreaded three words no one ever wants to hear: “You have cancer.”

I was determined to see my healing journey moving forward as a life sentence, not the death sentence that the “C word” was once thought to mean.

Still, like many who had cancer, I sometimes continue to deal with fearful thoughts of recurrence that pop up now and then.

For what many on the outskirts cannot always comprehend is this: The psyche is often changed forever by hearing that one scary “C” word—no matter the stage of the disease or the projected outcome.

Life continues with a heightened sense of gratitude, but there is a loss of innocence about mortality that jolts many who have been touched by cancer at unexpected moments. Even as we embrace positive expectations, many of us occasionally lie awake at night in bed frightened, wondering: “Will ‘IT’ come back?”

My counter to those scary thoughts is to focus on love. As Dr. David Hawkins, author of Power vs. Force, and others like Dr. Bernie Siegel and Dr. Joe Dispenza have shared, living at love consciousness heals. I now teach others how to reach that higher energy level by first detoxing and releasing negative emotions stuck in the body, then creating empowering new beliefs.


My mantra early on became “Say yes to life.” And, I immediately seized life in new ways—taking risks I would not have embraced before my diagnosis, like moving cross-country twice and starting over from scratch. There was no more waiting for the perfect moment to take a chance on love or explore more of the world.

Waiting for ideal scenarios wasn’t an option once the soul made a choice to live fully.

Life became a new adventure, not just physically. Emotionally and financially I was consistently tested.

Investing in myself and health became a priority, for I knew that I could not go back in ten years, and give myself the greatest options for a recovery that were best done initially.

I declared I was worthy of that investment, despite the huge financial challenges complicated by a recession, money withheld that was owed to me, and paying out-of-pocket for alternative medicine approaches not covered by insurance. Plus, I was bootstrapping a book, which was one of the ways I was called to give back.


Cancer was a humbling experience that taught me four crucial life lessons:

1. Claim my worthiness to live and thrive despite external circumstances.

I created a new mindset that renewed my health and helped me start to rebound financially. To achieve the latter, I rebranded my 20-year coaching business around worthiness based on all I learned from a deep inner dive and nine years of research. My extensive trainings with world-renowned neuroscientists and other leading healers are also now included in my coaching practice.

As I’ve noted before in previous blog posts, it is my dream to bring my worthiness platform to kids and young adults, so they don’t make poor choices or live in scarcity from not believing, through no fault of their own, they are enough. (See the 3-minute video of me on the home page of my website,, to learn more about how our core beliefs are formed in early years.)

2. Embrace grace as my teacher.

That full story of learning to allow in guidance is in my next book in development, Space for grace: The way out is in. The lessons within pertain to many others beyond those who have been health challenged—including people dealing with life-altering transitions or upheavals from the pandemic. I am trusting there will be a publisher or investor/philanthropist forthcoming for this divinely guided book. My days of “bootstrapping’” are over.

3. Choose to be around loving and supportive people, who compassionately embrace, champion and welcome me, where it feels safe and warm to belong.

I was once motivated by harsh or critical people who challenged me, responding or performing for them through fear. You may be familiar with that “people pleasing” approach that slowly withers away at your sense of self. It leads to exhaustion, not fulfillment.  Sadly, being too much other-centered is common to many women, particularly breast cancer survivors as I note in my book.

4. Serve. Use the gifts of wisdom, that often come through adversity, to help others.

In fact, one of the eight characteristics of long-term cancer survivors is this: They are altruistically involved with other persons with cancer. To learn the other seven characteristics, email me at Or, you can find the full list in my recent book, Cancer as a Love Story: Developing the Mindset for Living.

However, I urge those prompted to serve to be sure they fill themselves up first. No one can fully or continually give from an empty tank.

Know your reasons for serving:

  • Is focusing on others a distraction from dealing with your own challenges, and not doing the courageous work of looking within to heal some of your own issues or improve upon your shortcomings?
  • Or, does choosing to serve come from a higher purpose where you feel aligned and/or called to support others?


In April, I was honored for my commitment to serve. Listen in here to my interview on THE SERVICE HERO SHOW (With Tamara L. Hunter):

Click Here To Watch The Interview

I suspect there are a few tidbits of information within that may inspire you into focusing on greater health or instilling a deeper sense of worthiness.

Tamara, the host, also included some tender, vulnerable clips of mine that I didn’t even know still existed.

She surprised me with an introduction given by my friend Barbara Hopkinson in Boston, who nominated me as the “Service Hero” for this segment. (Barbara also found a way to serve after her son died in a motorcycle accident. She started a non-profit, A Butterfly’s Journey, to help individuals and families struggling with grief to find hope and resilience.)

Here’s to expanding in life through service—with rich, kind and loving connections.

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

~Mahatma Gandhi

With love, gratitude and blessings,


I took the above photo of the bridge path at my magical lakeside spot in Cary, N.C., where I go to replenish so I can continue to serve as guided from within.



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  • Doug Campb says:

    As always, such a poignant and insightful blog!
    We can never hear enough times how important it is to Claim our Worthiness!

    “ The way out, is in!” Space for Grace!, such an important tool to use, when searching for answers!

    And, find the positive people in your world to surround your self with. Eliminate the negative, accentuate the positive! Gravitate towards the love, and freely accept it!

    You have taught me much over the years!

    Congratulations on your Service Honor! It was well deserved! I look forward to new growth opportunities in my own life, as I try to follow the exemplary example that you set for others to follow!

    • Gail Kauranen Jones (“Coach Gail Jones”—Your worthiness expert) says:

      Thanks, Doug. It has been an honor to be your coach and friend over the years. It’s exciting to know my teachings have prompted you to grow in new ways, and I love watching you soar from a renewed sense of worthiness. Blessings, Gail

  • Barbara J Hopkinson says:

    Excellent blog Gail – I’m so proud of how far you have come and appreciate how you have helped me. Thanks, too, for the mention of my grief work/nonprofit. Helping others does help me heal after the loss of 3 children, a husband, both parents and sight in one eye. You are also very RESILIENT!
    Thank you – hope to see you soon ??

    • Gail Kauranen Jones (“Coach Gail Jones”—Your worthiness expert) says:

      Thanks, Barb, for your kind words and nominating me for that Service Hero honor. Glad my coaching has helped you, and that I could be a sounding board to you, who also serves so many others. Appreciate you finding me resilient. Time for some more fun and play, too…not sure about coming to Boston this summer, though. Nice to know I’d have a place stay if/when I’m called to play at the beach again. Blessings, Gail

  • Lynn M Marn says:

    Congratulations on your Service Hero award Gail! So deserving.

    You truly have expanded in life through service, walking your talk, and leading others through your inspiring “Claim Your Worthiness” program!

    May your desire to get this life changing message out to children and a book publisher for, Space for grace: the way out is in, be divinely realized.

    You certainly have said, “Yes to Life!”

    • Gail Kauranen Jones (“Coach Gail Jones”—Your worthiness expert) says:

      Lynn: Thank you for your note of congratulations. I am also grateful for your holding my intentions to spread my work further, to impact the next generation and help all those feeling challenged through the pandemic or something else to align with their self-worth, not their circumstances. Blessings, Gail

  • Lisa May says:

    Deep, rich wisdom once again, Gail! I am so grateful for your authentic expression as you generously help others by sharing your journey…’s truly beautiful. I especially love your comment at the end about the reason for serving…I completely agree and appreciate the reinforcement as I’m finding that the deeper I go, within, the more intense the higher purpose calling and regenerative alignment become. Truly a blessing. Thank you for being the bright light that you are!

    • Gail Kauranen Jones (“Coach Gail Jones”—Your worthiness expert) says:

      Thank you, Lisa. And, I appreciate the depth of your response and encouragement for sharing my journey. Love your words “regenerative alignment.” Well said. I look forward to hearing more of your higher purpose calling as it conntinues to unfold from going deep with. Blessings, Gail

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