images.jpg   As we prepare to welcome in 2018, many feel relief that the tumult and distress of 2017 are moving into the review mirror. We hope for a kinder, gentler new year and most of us even dare to dust off our dreams and resolutions and look forward to a brighter tomorrow.  Yet, my sense is that we may not quite be done with the quaking and shaking that LIFE is bringing our way here on dear Planet Earth. We are weary from all the shocking revelations and disruptions that rattle our sense of safety and even break our hearts.

So as we prepare to welcome 2018 I wish to offer you a reminder.    Now more than ever, it is essential to remember the purpose for our lives here.  On some level, whether we know it or not, we agreed to come to a world where “forgetting” and “separation” were the name of the game.  Metaphorically we agreed to move into a field of awareness that is able to block the deep truth.  HOWEVER,  We also agreed that the point of such a game was to REMEMBER!  To find our way through the illusions and to melt back into what is REAL.

SO if you are truly ready to proclaim Happy New Year for yourself and for others, I ask that you begin by reflecting on this one simple message.


Spend just a few minutes sincerely reflecting on, breathing into, relaxing into this message and discover what difference it makes, in your body, your mind, your heart and your soul.    And then consider spending your year looking for proof that this statement is really true!  Look into the ease in your body that occurs from just a few slow, calm breaths. Look into your mind and find the steadiness that occurs when you choose to watch what you see rather than judge it or react to it. Look into your heart and feel the relief when you name and embrace your feelings. And look into your soul, dare to ask: “Even me?  You are here? Embracing Me?  You have never let go?”  I promise you that the answer will be YES!!!!!

And then go out in your world and spend your day finding all the small and magnificent ways the Force of Love is moving in our world.  It is so so easy to keep focusing on the tragedies and terrors of the day or even the stresses and frustrations.  I invite you to find even just ONE sign of proof that LOVE IS HOLDING US FAST.  And when you do, share it with someone.  Be bold,  grab someone’s hand or their attention and say: “look! look at the sunshine glistening on the frozen pond!  Look at the baby laughing!  Look at the frail elder being helped across the street by a stranger! Look at the courageous uprising of multitudes of voices, standing up to power and telling the truth.  Look at the outpouring of generosity and neighbor helping neighbor after catastrophes.”

And in so doing, you will be LOVE’s emmisary.  What a fun and fulfilling way to spend the New Year!   Will you join me?  And if you are needing a little help finding and feeling that Embrace of Love, please call me.  It is my GREATEST JOY to help you find your way HOME!

Blessings of Embracing Love to each and every one of you.  And HAPPY NEW YEAR!




From Upheaval To Uplevel

HI Everyone,

I am honored to be included in this amazing on line event that begins tomorrow, April 27th.  I am inviting you to join us- for free.  Here is the link to sign up.

If you have experienced a big upheaval in your life ( or a series of them) and would like some inspiration and insight in how to use these often devastating experiences to create a gateway into powerful transformation and quantum shifts in your life, please join us as a powerful team of experts share their own stories and life learnings.  My interview is on May 2nd and I will be sharing about “The Angel of Struggle”  – sometimes the greatest treasures in our lives are delivered by the angel of struggle.

There is also a facebook page that you are invited to join to share in on going conversation with kindred spirits who are also learning how to Uplevel!

Trusting Nudges and Persistent Impulses

Here is a fun story about how trusting in Intuition guides our lives in surprising and delightful ways.   It was written as a guest blog post for Hellogems, an on line newsletter that supports young women (and men) in their journey of empowerment. G.E.M. – Girl Empowerment Movement.


By Grace MacLeod



I have a fun and hopefully, inspiring story to share with you about how I came to be here guest blogging on the GEM’s newsletter. It is about Listening to Intuition or what I like to call “trusting nudges and persistent impulses”

The gift of intuition is one of the greatest we have as human beings, yet many of us don’t tap into or trust this powerhouse ability to guide us in our personal lives, our professional goals or life direction.

Intuition is that ability to KNOW without dependence on reason, calculation, analysis or any of the other left-brain functions. The signposts of the presence of intuition occur most often in the body, the emotions and the subconscious mind. Signals such as sudden flashes of heat or cold, goose bumps on the skin, a gripping in the stomach or chest, hair standing up on the back of our neck, prophetic dreams and even voices in our head.

Have you ever heard yourself say, ‘after the fact’ I knew that was the choice I should have made, I just didn’t listen!

Have you ever found yourself unexpectedly and perhaps embarrassingly sprouting tears, as you listen to someone, your whole being responding with resonance to the presence of TRUTH?

Have you ever felt a sudden impulse to call someone and it leads to a really important conversation?

Have you ever had tightening in your chest that felt like you couldn’t breathe but are told by a physician that there is nothing physically wrong?

These are the ways our Intuition communicates with us, yet so often we doubt or dismiss them. Our critical mind tells us we are imagining things, being overly sensitive or surely must have some REAL health issue going on. Sadly, the more we ignore the persistent nudges and impulses that are signaling us from this extraordinarily wise part of our nature, the more extreme and overt the signals will become. From faint whispers and inner prompts, to sleepless nights and upset stomachs, to full-blown life crises, our Intuition will persist until it is heard.

I refer to it as the voice of the soul, the part of us that knows us and is connected to the invisible intelligence that informs every single part of creation. It ALWAYS has our best interests at heart.

My discovery of the power of intuition came in my early twenties when I was deeply impassioned in my career goals to be an agent of change in the world. At

the same time, I began my practice of yoga and meditation. The more I came to recognize, listen to and act on the nudges and persistent impulses that would arise in my practice sessions or simply while I was being quiet, the more my life changed.

It is true, that indeed I am on this planet to be an agent of global change, but instead of focusing on external social systems, as I first aspired to do, I came to understand that my path was one of change from the inside out.
One of my first really big experiences of intuition and inner guidance came while I was on what was supposed to be a round the world trip to see this beautiful, but beleaguered planet and her people. As I sat in meditation after my yoga postures, in a friend’s home in rural England, I suddenly “saw” in front of my eyes a list of all my life goals. Financial success, happy marriage, powerful career accomplishments etc. In a slow moving arc they slipped behind my left shoulder and heard in a clear voice:

“Your entire life is about transformation!!!”

To make a very long story short I will simply tell you, I cancelled my world tour, went home, quit my job and moved to a yoga and holistic health center. Over the next 12 years, I developed my abilities as an agent of global change by focusing on my own transformation and becoming a facilitator and teacher for thousands of others who came to our center seeking peace, health, happiness and fulfillment in their lives.

Since leaving the center, almost twenty years ago, I have been the sole proprietor of my own spiritual counseling, leadership coaching and retreat practice. As all of us know, with any enterprise it is necessary to broadcast our product or service to the world if we wish to share our gifts and be successful. Over the years I have learned and used all the tools and tricks of marketing, from brochures and business cards to websites and even a YouTube channel. While I am certain that all of these have contributed to the connections that have allowed people to find me and access my services, it is utterly clear to me that something all together different has been at work.


In the early days of building my independent practice, I would often find myself in a pocket of no work. Have you ever been there, fellow entrepreneurs? TERRIFYING!
I would amp up all my broadcasting efforts, spurred by fear and deep anxiety. Eventually my body would be come so tight and my breath so shallow that doing my beloved yoga would become excruciating. Eventually I would come to my one saving posture, YOGA MUDRA, literally the posture of surrender. Sitting on my heels, arms slowly floated behind my back, hands clasped, deep exhale and head bowed low to the ground. A conscious choice to LET GO!

What would happen next, is that very clear nudges would occur, some as simple as a guidance to call someone I had not talked to for a long time, others, as innocuous as “go to the grocery store”, and some life changing like “move to Sedona, there are clients waiting for you there”.

And what would happen next? You guessed it? Just the right conversation, the unexpected bumping into someone, the new client waiting: “I have been looking for someone to help me for so long. I have even prayed about it.”

One day after this exercise in surrender, I went for a walk and I saw a gleaming, white, stretch limousine drive by my street with a lovely woman with long blond hair in the driver’s street. I was close enough to see a smartly dressed businessman in the back and I had a flash. Hey! Those are my potential clients she is driving to the airport. And I heard that clear voice again!

“DO IT! Be a taxi driver.”

I kind of laughed under my breath and said back in offended defiance: “Are you crazy? I am a spiritual counselor and executive coach NOT a cab driver!”

As I mentioned earlier, intuition does not go away once it has a message for us. And this one certain has persisted. Over the past twenty years, I cannot count the number of times I have had the nudge from within. “Be a cab driver!” My reply always the same.

Fast forward to Christmas 2016. The cyclical nature of my private practice is doing its thing and the predictable lull at the holidays is in full force. I also have decided to not travel to see family this year and so I am sitting in my home, wondering what I will do for the next month or so and here it comes again, persistent as ever and adapted to meet the times.


I guess it is true: ‘To everything there is a season and a time for everything under heaven.’
All my inner signals went green light! Suddenly this upside down, inside out, crazy non-compute message makes perfect sense to me and I KNOW it is right.

I live on a sweet, safe, beautiful island, a mere five mile ferry ride from Seattle Washington. We have horrible cab service and the whole world arrives at our ferry terminal to experience our charming, natural sanctuary and come home from work and travels.

Within a week I was approved and out on the road. I spent the Christmas holidays driving neighbors and visitors to and fro and having the time of my life. I was blown away by the joy I was experiencing. Remember that thwarted global

trip of mine from decades ago and my dream of seeing planet earth and her people? Here they all are, sitting right in my car, from twelve countries and counting in two short months, sharing their stories as we travel along together. As a work from home, invisible entrepreneur, suddenly I am meeting my neighbors and community members and supporting them in their lives. Helping them arrive home to sit with a dying mother, race to catch a ferry with little kids and baby carriages in the pouring rain, or get home from work when their car is in the repair shop, and even the executives, home from their business trips and delighted to have their “cab driver” talk shop and offer appreciation for their accomplishments.

I have handed out more business cards in the past two months than I have in the past two years, have had awe inspiring conversations with others who are also passionate about making a difference in the world and suddenly my community and a growing collection of people from around the world know of Graceful Living Coaching Classes and Retreats from direct experience.


I am getting paid to market myself and do what I was born to do in such a profoundly simple way, lighting me up and giving me this delightful means to offer a “touch of grace” to so many people.
Each day before I turn on the app, I begin with a prayer. “May those who are seeking me, find me, just as I am seeking them.

And so it came to be on a grey, late afternoon a few weeks ago that a lovely, dark haired woman entered my car and off we went for a tour around the island. An hour later, I had learned that I had just met none other than Pryinaka Deo, one of the creators and visionaries behind Hello Gems. In our conversation, I had mentioned that I was a meditation teacher, life and leadership coach. I told her that I had been getting some guidance to do more public speaking and that I was especially focused on meeting and serving the young people who are rising up to become the leaders and change agents of our world. Priyanka shared some of your stories with me and I had that all over visceral response of “YES!” This is a match.

And so here I am, saying “Hello” GEMS. I am so delighted to meet you. I salute you for your passion and commitment to being empowered and wish you great fulfillment in your personal and professional lives. Our world needs each and every one of you. I urge you each day to eek out a few moments or hours of respite from the constant noise and break neck speed of life. In the quiet, turn your attention within and listen to those nudges and persistent impulses, dear GEMS. They really are your divine GPS system, guiding you to be the most beautiful radiant SELF you can be and to do what you were born to do. Blessings of grace to you all.

Grace MacLeod
Graceful Living Coaching, Classes and Retreats – facebook







Here is a beautiful article that will have meaning for both leaders and anyone who sincerely wants to follow a path of profound self transformation. The path of devotion in yoga is called Bhakti Yoga.  Most think it is about worshiping a deity.  Here Sadguru explains brilliantly what true devotion is and why it is especially necessary in the call to leadership. To lead it is necessary to be so completely absorbed in what or whom is in front of you that YOU transform and the highest possible action comes through you.  WOW!



Dear  Leader, Yes Especially YOU, in positions of great power and global influence!

I am so glad to see you succeeding and rising up to the heights in the world.  However, I am here to deliver a message to you.  Unless you have everyone’s best interests at heart, not just your own or your Share Holders, the world is going to come for you.

It is no accident that you are one of those at the thrilling helm of our global economy and governance. You have the skills, the smarts and the creative courage to be exactly where you are.  It is also no accident that you are leading in a time of instant and utterly complete transparency.  Everyone in the world is watching you by video and on social media.  And everyone is responding with either a yea or nay for you with the power of their voices, their dollars, their choices, and their votes.

When you are on the top of your game and the ground beneath you starts to rumble and, more quickly than you could ever imagine, gives way to a full blown landslide it is me, LIFE coming to give you a wake up call.  Every action creates a reaction and yours are bringing to you, like it or not, a very potent and real message.  Change or move over, someone is ready to take your place.  Someone with their pulse on the people,  in tune with their sentiments and values, someone with the heart and courage to serve in ways that are instinctively recognized as equitable, authentic, respectful and even generous of spirit.

Even as we have watched the rise to presidential power, a man with very old school values of free enterprise, survival of the fittest and brash arrogant demeanor, I would suggest to you that this  model of leadership is on its way out.  The world, and especially the young people, are ready for and insisting in leadership that is trustworthy, heart centered and demonstrating that all lives matter.  The business of doing business is now governed by the masses as much if not more so than the boardroom.

So “what is involved in this so called Wake Up Call?” you ask.

Oh not much, Just a complete over haul of your personal and professional life. 🙂

To begin with, it is time to take an honest inventory of your core values, your belief systems and want drives you.   Second, answer a few VERY important questions:

* Who are you?

*What is a purpose worthy of who you are?

*How can you bring the best of who you are to what you do?

*What are your clients, customers, stockholders, colleagues saying about you?

*Would you be willing to ask them to tell you directly how you can be a better leader for them?

Then you will need to seek out someone you trust, someone who is modeling the practices and way of being that you want to emulate. Someone you can learn to let your guard down with and dig deep to find the authentic human being that you are.  Someone who can give you the practices and skill sets for aligning with that authenticity every day. Someone who can help you access the purpose that lights you up and evokes a “YES! this is who I am and this is what I am called to be and do as a leader!! ”  Someone who can teach you how to communicate with true listening and empathic responding. Someone who can show you how to  inspire and empower the most important resources at your disposal – your employees!  Someone who can help keep you centered and resilient with your pulse on not only your bottom line but the needs and values of your customers and the global community.

Are you ready?  I hope so.  You are in a position to make such a difference in this world and I am cheering for you.



The Power of Intuition

Here is a link to an amazing film called Inn Saei.  It is the Icelandic word for Intuition. What a beautiful inspiring and uplifting message about our gift of intuition and how to cultivate it and allow it to infuse our lives with meaning, purpose, clarity, wisdom and connection with others, the world and the universe.

INN SAEI – The Power of Intuition
WOW!!!!! I just stumbled across this lovely film made by two Icelandic women about Intuition.  It is available on Netflix.
So beautifully created and such affirmation about the profound place, purpose and need for all of us to cultivate and care for our gift of intuition. If you have netflix please consider watching and sharing with others.
Here is the link to the trailer.

Forest Bathing for Health and Well Being

The Japanese practice of ‘forest bathing’ is scientifically proven to improve your health


I am infinitely blessed to live on an island that is quite literally a shore to shore forest. I have always felt drawn to the silent depths of a dense forest, some final layer of subtle clenching in my inner ear letting go in the profound relief of a complete and utter lack of man made sound.

Many walks in my beloved forests begin with the purpose of completing a “work out” trudging, huffing and puffing up hills and down in a concerted effort to raise my heart rate and induce calorie burning and contribute to my health.   Yet almost every single time, this purpose driven pursuit shifts into a softer, slower, experience of simply BEING.  BEING WITH the trees, the ferns, the babbling brooks, the moss covered rocks, the birds and hidden treasures that surely look like evidence of fairies and gnomes that have passed by.

And inevitable I return to my point of departure not only having exercised but having filled my heart and soothed my soul. Perhaps a few calories and drops of sweat are left behind yet the rewards of upliftment, inspiration, illumination, connection, creative joy and true WELL BEING have replaced any worry, stress, agitation that were the hidden motivations in the first place.

I hope you have the great blessing of a forest near by, or even a city park with a few trees.  I sincerely encourage you to take a few minutes or a few hours to stroll, wander, or sit in this most magical of Wellness Centers.  Even if you live in the desert or in the middle of a concrete jungle, find your way to a sand dune, or dry river bed, a flower shop, landscaping nursery or arboretum. Nature will be waiting there for you and you will be so very very glad you did.

And if you need any hard evidence for taking a walk in the woods, here is a compelling article complete with research findings about all the actually physiological, psychological and spiritual effects of communing with trees, rocks, ferns, and flowing rivers.

The Japanese practice of ‘forest bathing’ is scientifically proven to improve your health