Holy Fools 2024

Have you met your inner Holy Fool? That wild, world-changing risk-taker who lives within you? I have! Holy Fools Day is upon us, and it’s the perfect time to ditch the ordinary and celebrate with this powerful “What If?” challenge.

Ask yourself: What If? What if we create a world based on our wildest dreams?

For 25 years, I’ve taught Transformational Speaking, helping you break free from your old ways and words to embody a new story. I’ve encouraged you to catch up to who you’ve become, so Life itself can speak through you.

But here’s the nudge: Lately, I’ve been calling on you to expand. Go beyond your personal story. Imagine a collective new world.

Many declare Transformational Speaking
to be life changing.  
It is … and there is more.  
For me. And for you.

My own madness has caught up to me and impaled me on a New Edge of possibility. I see the disruption in our world as a full-on invitation to a Holy Fool movement, driven by a Rumi quote that’s been whispering in my ear for a decade:

“Speak A New Language so the World May Be a New World”

Words can inspire yet they often divide us. I sometimes wonder if words have taken us as far as we can go unless and until we tap into a deeper well of wisdom. It’s time to listen to the languages beyond words: the whispers of nature, the wisdom of dreams, the synchronicities and signs and symbols (cymbals!) that can take us to new ground. And the body — of course, the body!

Curious about harnessing this New Language of intuition, energy, and the natural world? I am, so I am embarking on a Listening Experiment™.

The “What If?” Challenge

What If by listening, we discover a path forward, together? What if we create a world beyond our wildest dreams? One that works for all of Life?

Don’t know how to get there? That’s the beauty! The question itself opens the field of possibility.

“A new world is not only possible
She is on her way.
If you listen carefully,
you can hear her breathing.”

– Arundhati Ray

Listen. Imagine the unseen guiding you. Then take your first Holy Fool Act and share your “What If?” to inspire others. Please post it here.

Together, let’s listen a new world into existence, one Holy Fool at a time.

P.S. This Listening Experiment is asking me for a new rhythm to follow its lead. For now, I have one more open enrollment Immersion in Santa Fe this year. This is my first announcement and there are two openings of six for July 18-21.  

The Immersion is the opportunity to get out of jet lag and catch up to who you have become in the journey so that Life can speak through you now. Together, we’ll listen for the new story that’s emerging for you, without the trap of old ways and words. If it’s on your bucket list, please apply.

Books by Transformational Speakers 2023

“Shopping is so tempting. You get to abdicate your throne for a bit and let China and New York dictate your life.” — Janice Haynes

That was my sister Janice’s response when I winced at what I’ve spent on stuff I’ve never used after months of clearing out what no longer serves. Yet I’m finding that the books I love are the “keepers” and I can return to their wisdom again and again.

We all need fresh and inspiring ideas for our holiday gifts, so last year I started a new tradition: highlighting the books of my Transformational Speaking clients. Here it is for 2023 and beyond. It’s as diverse as my amazing clients are, and I’m confident you’ll find just the right book for anyone on your list!

This year I have added a new category to honor a particular group of change artists:


And of course, there’s a story about that! Here’s our April 2021 Transformational Speaking Immersion group where the name originated.

L to R: Katy Shannon, Dinah Lin, Sheila Ohlsson Walker, moi, Esther Jantzen, Lindsay Quinn, Mika Barber

L to R: Katy Shannon, Dinah Lin, Sheila Ohlsson Walker, moi, Esther Jantzen, Lindsay Quinn, Mika Barber


To my right in the photo is Esther Jantzen, who has walked the Camino several times and coined the phrase “kick ass elder” during class. With Esther and I in our 70s and Dinah at 80, Sheila made us Kick Ass Elder t-shirts, with “Elder in Training” shirts for the rest of the group. Dinah did the Chinese lettering, “Wisdom is earned.


Wisdom is earned for all of these authors, and I want to especially highlight the elders who continue to thrive by living their purpose and bringing their gifts to the world.


Esther Jantzen - Walk

An award-winning history, mystery, and travel tale about the missteps, adventures, and heroism of a boy who walks the ancient Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in Spain with his home-schooling family. WALK is in special edition for home schoolers, and Esther has been approached by a producer about optioning WALK for a TV series! For the children and young person on your list, this is the book!

Susan B. Eirich, Ph.D. - Whispers from the Wild: An Invitation

I met Susan through a Social Venture Network conference when we were paired up to share a room because we both stretched financially to even get there! Later I visited Earthfire Institute, the sanctuary for rescued wildlife which Susan founded in 2000. These whispers from the wild vividly illuminate the incredible connection of these animals to each other and the humans who care for them and provide a taste of the laughter, joy, love and insight they generate. They are indeed ambassadors for their species.

Gladys McGarey, MD - The Well-Lived Life

Dr. Gladys was my doctor back when I lived in Phoenix and was an inspiration 30 years ago. Known as the “Mother of Holistic Medicine,” she is now 102 years old and still in practice. I still remember her stories from my fledgling Real Speaking program in the mid-90s, and her book is full of practical wisdom that will transform your relationship to your body. Reading it brings me to tears as I recognize how much Dr. Gladys has influenced my path.

Dinah Lin -Daring to Dream Once Again - It’s Never Too Late!

Dinah, along with her mom and two siblings, escaped on the last boat out of Shanghai in 1949. Be inspired by Dinah’s courage, determination and grit, from growing up in a small town in Ohio as the only Asian family, living in five countries in Asia as a young wife and mom, getting her MBA at age 40, to finally ‘break the glass ceiling’ as VP, International Business Development of a Fortune 500.

New Releases

 Kris Carr -

I’m Not a Mourning Person

 Alex Howard -

It’s Not Your Fault

 Erin Leider-Pariser -

Get Lost

 Margaret Graziano -

Ignite Culture

 Gregg Brown -

Spark Action: How to
Lead Change That Matters

 Cynthia Jurs -

Summoned by the Earth

 Terri Cole –

Boundary Boss

 Emma Jarrett -

Grace, Sophia and Me

 Tricia Dietrich Amara -

Rooted in Purpose

 Katrina McGhee -

Taking a Career Break
for Dummies

 Ronna Detrick -

Rewriting Eve

 Maya Shetreat MD -

The Master Plant

Inspiration for the Life You Want to Live

 Elizabeth B. Crook -

Live Large

 Donna Bond -

Original Wisdom

 Kate Eckman -

The Full Spirit

 Danielle LaPorte -

How to Be Loving

 Rebecca Campbell ?-

Letters to a

 Gabrielle Bernstein -

Super Attractor

 Ruby Warrington -

Sober Curious

 Leah Pearlman -

Drawn Together

 Nancy Levin -

The Art of Change

 Patty Lennon -

Make Space for Magic

 Nancy Pickard -

Bigger Better Braver

 Kate Sutherland -

Make Light Work: 10
Tools for Inner

 Kate Sutherland -

We Can Do This!

 Sheila Whittington -

The Daily Seed

 Victoria Price -

Living Love

 Maryse Cardin ?-

5-Minute Morning

 Sandra Joseph -

Unmasking What

Living and Working with Intention

 Gayle Colman -

The Body of Money

 Sheila Ohlsson
Walker ?-

Wise Decisions

 Beth Kempton -

The Way of the
Fearless Writer

 Ezzie Spencer -

Lunar Abundance

 Lynda Monk -

The Great Book of

 Kimberly Napier -



Bonny Meyer -

Perfectly Paired

Linda Durham -

Still Moving

Geneen Roth ?-

This Messy
Magnificent Life

Julie Jacky -

On the Other Side

Anne Heck -

A Fierce Belief
in Miracles

 Kelly Snider -

Your Story Your Strength

 Kathy Elkind -

To Walk It Is to See It

 Kathe Crawford -

Unlocking Secrets

For Youth and Children

Esther Jantzen -


Monique Gray Smith -

Braiding Sweetgrass

Monique Gray Smith -

I Hope

Michelle Spalding ?-

Nathaniel's Journey

Annmarie Chereso ?-

Little Seed's Journey

Health and Healing

Elisa Hallerman PhD -


Margaret Paul -

6 Steps to Total

Gabby Bernstein -

Happy Days

Azita Nahai -

Trauma to Dharma

Kimberly Ann Johnson -

Call of the Wild

Merina Ty-Kisera -

Acupressure with
Essential Oils

Robyn Youkilis -

Reset your Gut

Relationships and Transitions

Terri Cole -

The Boundary Boss

Nancy Rose -

Raise the Child
You've Got — Not the
One You Want

Amy Chan -

Breakup Bootcamp

MaryAnne Howland -

Warrior Rising

Martha Jo Atkins -

Sign Posts of Dying

Sylvie Thiffault ?–

Choisir et
être choisie

Especially for Women

Geneen Roth -

Women Food & God

Ruby Warrington -

Women Without Kids

Pasha Hogan -

Third Time Lucky:
A Creative Recovery

Sylvia Theisen -

Break the Rules

Susanna Liller -

You Are a Heroine

Lee Irwin -

Radiant Wise Woman

Sandra Felt -

Beyond the
Good-Girl Jail

Business & Entrepreneurial Success

Joel Solomon -

The Clean Money

Hamza Khan -

Leadership, Reinvented

Diana Chapman ?-

15 Commitments of
Conscious Leadership

Susie deVille -


Tia Graham -

Be a Happy Leader

Anna Tsui -

Shadow Magic

Michelle Spaulding ?-

Glitter, Duct Tape
and Magic

Beth Cougler -

Design to Engage

Juanita Brown and
David Isaacs -

The World Café

Shamanism, Nature, Animals

Renee Baribeau -

Winds of Spirit

Carol McClelland -

The Seasons of

Bauer -


Linda Bender -

Animal Wisdom

Lori Robinson -

Saving Wild

Debra Rosenman -

The Chimpanzee Chronicles

May this list tempt you to shop with purpose and give gifts of lasting value to delight and inspire the people you love!

And for you, right now, might I suggest…

Beth Kempton – Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year

Beth’s book will help you celebrate a new kind of holiday season this winter — one where you radiate calm and cultivate delight.

That is my wish for us all.

May we radiate calm and cultivate delight.



P.S. Transformational Speaking continues to reach a global audience. Here’s why:

Transformational Speaking “When Danielle LaPorte recommended I attend the Transformational Speaking Immersion, I first bought the book to get clarity on what I needed to say – and how to say it. Traditional models give you script. Gail’s book and the Immersion helped me uncover my own. To keep this profound teaching alive, I downloaded the book and went for a walk listening to it every morning for about a year. I still pull it open on digital or hardcopy or audio when I need reminders to reconnect to my authentic way of speaking and storytelling—what Gail calls the HomeZone™!” – Gregg Brown, Professional Speaker on Change & The Future of Work

“I’ve dog-eared your book Transformational Speaking so much that I’m tempted to walk it before going to bed, and give it its own water bowl. I want so badly to plagiarize from it, but I know that’s naughty so I restrain myself. It’s just that when something is said in such a way that it can never be said any better, what am I to do?” – Esther Luttrell


An emergence story for these times … and all of time

Once upon a time I was working with an extraordinarily gifted woman and seer who had an image of me standing on the edge of a cliff. I was looking across a wide divide where I could not see my way to the other side, and a step forward would lead to certain death. But I was not alone. I had two allies supporting me: a skunk at my left foot who was creating a boundary so I would not step over the edge, and a hawk on my right shoulder.

As I stood there, I was blowing kisses to an unknown future. The hawk would follow the energy of those kisses, fly across the horizon, and return with what I was to know. Only then could I act.


This image has stayed with me for years. Now it speaks directly to me about:

  • The energy we bring to the unknown
  • The unseen allies who support us in an uncertain time
  • The importance of waiting and watching for the future to reveal itself
  • The need for action only when it is clear and true

Recently a colleague asked the question:  What do you know in your bones?

My answer was immediate:  That something wonderful is emerging and I just can’t see it yet.

In almost every conversation I have these days, there is a palpable sense that something is emerging that we cannot yet name, an energy that will take us to higher ground in our work and in our expression. Some feel a call to new expression. Others, whose work is demanding more of them, hear the call for less activity and more meaning. Fewer clients and more impact.

We are being called to new stories, for both ourselves and our world.

If you, too, believe something astonishing is emerging that has yet to find form, I invite you to join me and a small but mighty group of people who are deepening the conversation about these times and our contribution to the whole.

These conversations happen monthly in our Transformational Speaking Online community coaching calls where we’re discovering just how our personal stories and life experiences have prepared us to be part of the collective story that is emerging. And we’re devoted to that exploration so we can bring our gifts to a world that is calling for our Medicine.

There is something yet to be seen in all this disruption
as we give birth to a new story

Transformational Speaking Online

Join us as we dive deep into our
learnings, churnings and yearnings
and find new ground together!

  • Get out of jetlag and catch up to what your life wants to show you in this emergence
  • Identify, explore, and apply the learnings of this rare time in y/our history
  • Align with your HomeZone™ to connect with your truth and amplify your impact
  • Explore what may be calling you to a more authentic, aligned level of service
  • Build a strong foundation of embodied medicine, self-trust and personal power to go to the next level in your work and self-expression

If you have been waiting to come to the four-day live immersion, begin your Transformational Speaking adventure online now. You can then transfer your full online tuition to your registration for the full Immersion experience in Santa Fe in 2022.


My teacher Angeles Arrien always ended the stories she told with this: “And they lived well, and they died well.” Fall is the time of practicing honorable closure for that which is complete as well as honoring the ancestors who have gone before us. Those ancestors support us with the deep knowing in our bones of what it means to live well. May we listen for what our lives are asking and have the courage to believe in our dreams.

To Emergence, with Love!

Birthing the New Story! Imagining a World that Works for All of Life

In 1987 my sister was 40 years old and having her first baby. She chose a home birth with a midwife. I questioned her choice, but Janice is a smart woman and had done the research to understand that the approach of hospitals and doctors adds unnecessary layers of procedures for protection (often their own from malpractice suits) that can often result in harm to a newborn. That’s likely why the US is “the most dangerous developed country to give birth in” according to Newsweek in 2018*. Janice gave birth to her second healthy child at age 44, again at the home of her midwife.

Back in 1987, most of us put our trust without question in the promise of existing structures and heedlessly follow their protocols in an attempt to create lives that work within an established system. Unfortunately, even though our lives as a whole aren’t working all that well, we still do. But it is 2020 and we’re starting to break the spell of believing someone knows more than we do about how to create the world to which we want to belong. Our blind allegiance is faltering, and well it should. We’re in a time of health, political, environmental, racial and financial crises. The structures we’ve relied on are crumbling, and no election or single leader can change that.

What will it take to break the spell of believing in an old way and imagine a world that works for all of life?

For years, I have been captivated by the Rumi quote, “Speak a new language so the world may be a new world.” I’ve spoken about that as I’ve sensed that there are languages of the soul that can awaken us to new ways of seeing and being that open the way to the new world we trust is possible and want to co-create.

Continue reading

4 Ways to Work with Gail

Let’s stop watching the news

and make the news!

I invite you to join the unmistakable calling of our times

to bring your imagination and voice to a new story

that is being born in your heart!

Like many of us, I’ve been in a wait and watch mode since early March. I’ve sensed something is incubating that is not yet formed. With scheduled travel cancelled, it seemed like a good time to bring a new puppy into my life. What an adventure that has been–for both me and my 9-year old dog Paqo — who is sort of adjusting but remains less than thrilled!

Continue reading

It’s Holy Fools Day! Let’s Ditch Deadlines and Grab the Lifelines

I can’t let April 1 pass without greeting you! I know you’re out there and sensing at a deep level that–somehow, some way–we are in the awakening of a lifetime. And that we’re being asked to make history, not just watch it.

If you’re not yet familiar with Holy Fools Day, it was inspired by Joseph Campbell’s statement that the Holy Fool is the most dangerous person on earth and the most threatening to all hierarchical institutions. Holy Fools follow their own inner compass to do what needs to be done and do it, no matter what. Their actions make a difference in creating a more just and sustainable world in support of all of life. Since 2014, I’ve been hosting annual online events to shine light on the inspired action of Holy Fools in the Transformational Speaking community. (Meet them here.)

Now here we are at April 1, 2020, and I’m postponing the Holy Fools Challenge (and the grand prize that will thrill you … stay tuned.) Because the truth is, I am unable to whip up my annual Holy Fools fervor and face a deadline. My fierce and feisty oscillates to flat and feeble and–thankfully! sometimes!– back to festive. I’m deep in the Well of the JourneyWell® wheel as illustrated in my March 20 message to you about “A New Rhythm for New Times.” It’s time to grieve and withdraw for a bit to reflect on and integrate this non-negotiable life experience that has upended our lives. Continue reading

A new rhythm for new times

Some of you know that my customary way to just stop has been to break bones. Yes, sometimes two, or sprain both feet! All amount to a full stop. Enforced! No negotiation!

I’m not kidding. The day I was to start my Transformational Speaking book tour, I broke bones in both legs and was confined to bed for a week until the swelling subsided and I could be trussed up. (My friend Lisa called it “extreme avoidance.”)

Then when I launched Transformational Speaking Online, I broke my hip in the middle of our series of 8 weekly community calls. I didn’t see my home again for nearly 3 weeks.

When my dear friend Margaret died, I missed two stairs and her memorial service in San Miguel de Allende when I sprained both feet.

In the shamanic path, we know that breaking a bone is about breaking a pattern. It was clear to me in all the above cases that my pattern was to move too fast to pay attention to what my body and soul were telling me. 

Continue reading

Radical Self-Trust: Answering Your Call to Adventure!

A Holy Fools Day Conversation with Patrick O’Neill

Today’s my favorite holiday–partly because I got to make it up!

But even more celebratory, it’s a special day that invites you to answer the Call to Adventure and take an inspired action that your soul is asking of you.  

Holy Fools express what indigenous peoples call Original Medicine. You are formed for a singular purpose for which you have gifts and talents that are nowhere else duplicated. And if you don’t express those gifts, they are lost to the world for all time.

I first learned of this profound but simple teaching from cultural anthropologist Angeles Arrien, with whom I had the privilege of studying for over ten years.

Angeles left the earth plane five years ago and Patrick O’Neill, with whom she co-taught for 20 years, is continuing her great work. Both of us feel the best parts of ourselves were gained by osmosis by sitting so close to Angeles for so long.

I reached out to Patrick to mine his deep wisdom on the subject of: Continue reading

Realigning Inner Drive with Outer Doing: How Soul and Ego can Partner Up!

Everywhere I’m hearing about the intensity life is serving up these days. I’m feeling it . . . are you?

The times we’re in have me primed for a Soul Reset to look at life through an inspired lens. I’m much more inclined to align my inner drive with my outer doing when I’m guided by wisdom, poetry and beauty instead of, say, the daily news!.

So for a download of the good stuff, Danielle LaPorte has rallied a whole crew of her wise and witty friends to contribute to LETTERS FOR RENEWAL: 30 Days of Courage, Conviction, and Hopefulness.  It all starts September 1, and… it’s FREE. Registration is open:


Continue reading

Original Medicine – your expression to the world

This is the time to shine in the light of our
medicine and speak our truth.
The elders say we are the ones we have
been waiting for.

Give yourself and the world the gift of stepping
into the full experience of your power, presence
and magnificence.

Original Medicine

Continue reading

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