Three life-shifting words

“Relinquish your attachment to the known, step into the unknown, and you will step into the field of all possibilities.”~Deepak Chopra

Being intentionally in the unknown is like a vacation.

You suspend expectations of everyday life and its routines to welcome in a new experience and perhaps some respite.

I am in that void now, embracing the three, life-shifting words my friends and clients are uttering these days: I don’t know. Many tell me how uncomfortable or disoriented they feel. Yet, underneath their words, I also hear whispers of new lives seeking to emerge, and long-lost expressions of their authentic selves unfolding.

I sense the same for myself.

After months rebranding my business, pulling together a media plan and creating new strategies for developing online classes, I am stopping briefly–choosing to be fully detached from all outcomes of these efforts.

Instead, I booked a thoughtfully planned trip, which I am calling, “A Journey of Love.”  As proud as I am that my son just got a job at Amazon in Seattle, I also feel a pang in my heart. I know if I don’t see him now while he is in Boston, it will be a long time before I make a trip cross-country again. And, it’s already been 10 months since I last saw him.  We would have been together, along with my daughter, son-in-law, granddaughter and former husband,  at his college graduation in May.  That event, like many others across the world, was cancelled due to the pandemic.


Loosening the grip on the known to enter this often, grace-filled space of uncertainty is no easy task.

Take it from me.  The same day I booked my vacation, I slipped on a root while hiking and sprained my right wrist. One friend immediately sent me a note from Louise Hay’s book on healing, which read: “The wrist represents movement…and handling all responsibilities with wisdom, with love, and with ease.”

Another friend, an energy healer, shared that spraining my wrist was symbolic of no longer grasping and stepping more fully into my power, by leaning in and receiving. She also noted that the wrist represents circulation, and that I will be in the world in new ways.

Like many others, I am unsure what those new ways will look like. I am creating the space for expansion without defining it, by first balancing myself with play, unstructured time, rest, quiet and special moments with those I love, including lifelong friends in Massachusetts.

You may not take a vacation like I am doing, and opt instead to soul-search at home.  Instead of fearing the words “I don’t know,” or trying to control the next steps, I encourage you to become curious. Ponder open-ended questions that help ignite the brain for new outcomes. Here are some examples:

  • What would my life look life if I knew I was worthy?
  • How will this urge to paint, garden, write a book, sing a song or indulge in creative inspiration fulfill me—and/or serve someone else?
  • Is there a nudge to do something different that keeps coming back? When is the “right time” to honor it?
  • Is there a lost part of myself longing to be expressed? What am I waiting for?
  • What would a life living without regrets look like?
  • If I were to take one small step, toward the thing I fear most, what might that be?
  • Where is my tribe (of like-minded others) who give me a sense of belonging?
  • What does living fully feel like?

Come up with some of your questions about not knowing. Be still and patient as you wait for your intuition and grace to guide you with clues, messages, signs, and synchronicities.

And, please make time to play. For many of us, it is long overdue.

To beach walks, bike rides and summer sunsets,


P.S.–Anybody else see a heart in that cloud above?  I sense it’s a sign for a lot more heart-centered living–what a way to start a vacation:).

Barbara J Hopkinson, who is generously hosting me for the next 12 days, captured the stunning photo above, from the deck of her beach home in Plum Island, MA.  Her home has become a sacred healing place for herself and many others.  Barbara is an author, Advanced Grief Recovery Specialist, and Founder & CEO of A Butterfly’s Journey ™ (a nonprofit for resilience after loss).  I was once her publicist.



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  • Can’t wait to see you Gail!!! You’ve been through many difficult transitions and are an inspiration. I’m very grateful for areas you have helped me with over the years, contributing much to my personal and professional growth! Thank you!

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      I appreciate your kind words. Now, it’s time for more play, Barb:) Looks like the weather will be perfect and the setting of course is gorgeous…great place to meet others on the deck and for beach walks socially distanced apart, making the best of these times…See you soon. oxo, Gail

  • Cynthia Thornton-Drost says:

    A heart in the cloud above – what a beautiful symbol. I feel that this is the time of my life – as I turn 70 – to embrace ambiguity. I am sure of nothing, yet I embrace everything. No striving any longer – just contentment. Maybe that is what “living fully” feels like.

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Cindy: I am so grateful my host, Barbara, captured that sunset at her beach home, with the heart in the gorgeous clouds. So perfect for the message, that nature always provides, even as we let go. I love your wise words on embracing ambiguity. It becomes more and more freeing to release all that striving into “living fully” from contentment as you suggest. Blessings, Gail

  • JOYCE says:

    The picture is gorgeous and I love the heart in the cloud. I have definitely been in that “i don’t know” space. Nice to know I’m not alone. These times are so isolating. Thank you, as always, for your insight, and sharing out of love and compassion. I’m so happy that you’re taking time to vacation. It is inspiring me to think about planning a trip myself to see family. Living in this fear of “what’s next” is no fun. Enjoy your “play time.” You certainly deserve it. Much Love, Joyce

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Joyce: It’s so funny that I noticed that “heart in the cloud” AFTER I named my vacation “A journey of love.” I love how synchronicities arrive, validating our choices or next steps. And, it took lots of prayer and meditation to make that choice to travel now. I opted, like after my cancer diagnosis eight years ago, to say YES to life, and live fully. If I stay totally isolated for several more months, not seeing those I love, is that living? I asked myself that question many times, and then did a lot of research to take necessary precautions. Now, like you said, it’s time to play. Thank you for noticing the ways I share out of love and compassion…life to me has always been about meaningful connection versus the numbers of people I reach. Glad I touched you. With love and blessings, Gail

  • Thomas Ogren says:

    Per the comment: No striving any longer – just contentment. Maybe that is what “living fully” feels like.

    Myself, I know plenty of older, retired people who fit this bill & more power to them.
    For me though, it is the opposite: I don’t want to be content; I want to keep on striving. I want to continually challenge myself both physically and mentally.

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Good for you, Tom: It’s nice to hear different perspectives on how each person chooses to live his or her best life. Curious when you sit with “the open-ended questions” at the end of this post, if you get any new promptings on how to continue challenging yourself physically and mentally. It’s always fun for me to observe what kind of “whispers of guidance” I receive in stillness, when I let go of “my way” and see what new things pop into being. Blessings, Gail

  • Bev Wax says:

    Your beautifully written post reminded me of my Mom who always said, “I don’t know”, like your friends and colleagues do today. Excellent picture too. And I’m so glad you mentioned the heart! I looked for it and saw. I just want to say thank you. Your question examples were right on target for me as well. As you know, I am trying to figure out who I am. Especially hard in these isolating and uncertain times. Have a wonderful getaway! You deserve it.

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Bev: I’m so glad you found the heart, and also enjoyed my examples of open-ended questions that help the mind expand into new possibilities. Just in from a beach walk. Airport was empty, and only 12 people on the plane. Breathing in sea air, so good for the soul…and it does not take long to unwind. Bike ride tomorrow. Nice to get such a sweet note of appreciation. Blessings, Gail

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