Uncovering Gael’s Story

I’m Gael McCool – founder and president of FEEL, Inc., a thriving coaching enterprise that helps people transform challenges into a powerful source of purpose. My core philosophy is this:

Problems provide the gift of disruption, making us stop to consider what’s important.

When you look beneath the surface to see what those disruptions are really trying to teach you – including the painful experiences and life’s struggles – you become aware of a new way of being and that’s when you begin truly living.

But I didn’t always view life this way.

Like most people, I fought against those pain and struggles. I had to take my own healing journey to discover how to live and teach others to do the same. I never could have imagined the beautiful, peaceful life I now have. Nor could I have imagined the fulfillment I derive from facilitating others to make this amazing transition for themselves.

For over 35 years, I’ve worked with individuals, executives, and companies to engage the life-changing power of self-awareness, accountability, and conscious choice to make a difference in themselves and their world.

While I enjoy working with people one-on-one, I also recognize that our world is also an online one. Nowadays, the vast majority of my work is done in this manner. I send out emails occasionally to notify you of speaking engagements, workshops, coaching training, and other special events.

You can sign up for my emails at gaelmccool.com/meditation and you’ll receive a free three-part audio meditation series.  

My Story

“I promised myself that I would never do what I saw others doing: ignoring and overriding inner promptings, pretending not to know what I felt.”

Life can be messy. Life can be hard.

As a child, I was taught to respect authority and trust that truth and “answers” existed outside myself. I found it difficult to reconcile this advice with my own feelings of inner knowing.

Those authorities and others insisted that if I couldn’t explain how or why I knew something, then my “knowing” didn’t count and was not to be trusted.

My childhood home was left-brain oriented, competitive and testosterone-driven. A family of five brothers made that an inevitability. Logic, reason, and intellect reigned supreme in our household while feelings and intuition were looked down upon.

From an early age, I found myself drawn to adult conversation, trying to make sense of their interactions. Turns out, it wasn’t just my family that praised logic and minimized emotion. Saying one thing but meaning another was common. 

As I grew, I struggled to understand why others felt comfortable and weren’t disturbed by such an apparent schism.

I promised myself, this wouldn’t be how I would live my life. It felt out of alignment and dishonest. More than anything, it appeared incredibly unfulfilling to be incongruent or to portray a false self.

But as time went on, I found myself walking the same familiar path followed by so many others. I, too, began to override my own feelings and inner knowing. In my early twenties, I had a stark… reminder? of the consequences of denying my inner wisdom.

Post-Traumatic Story Disorder

“Something in my gut told me to run, I didn’t, and paid a terrible price for that inner betrayal.”

When someone asks for help, a “good person” shouldn’t turn them away. That was the story I told myself. And that story, combined with the refusal to listen to my own inner wisdom had dire consequences.

The attack itself felt unbearable.

But it also left behind a traumatic imprint. As I wrestled with my PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), I found myself experiencing a period of suicidal depression. It was during that time that I began to understand the full impact of what I now call “Post Traumatic Story Disorder.”
My new understanding of PTSD showed me the distorted way in which we interpret, manufacture meaning, and re-create our deepest wounds. The event itself is traumatic. The story we tell ourselves afterward, and how we interpret and assign meaning to that story can reinforce the trauma.

On one particular “dark night of the soul,” as I was struggling with despair and suicidal thoughts, I felt broken and angry. I was filled with fear and pain. My traumatic story had taken over my thoughts.

Suicide not only seemed the best option; it felt like the only option. 

My Story of Rebirth

That evening, as I paced back and forth in the Family Room, I grabbed a random book off the shelf. My hand found a hardcover volume that I had bought from a secondhand store sometime earlier but had never opened.

The Tibetan Book of the Dead was a prayer book meant to be a guide to the person transitioning from dying to rebirth. It seemed oddly fitting, so I took it to bed with me and read.

Through a long journey, my interactions with that book began a process of healing and recovery. Out of the many lessons learned, one stands out:

An undisciplined mind will tend toward dark thoughts, be pulled toward suffering, and would fixate on pain.

But my story is not one of being assaulted. That was one painful event, but it couldn’t define who I am or how I would live my life. When I investigated the trauma, I discovered that it was reinforcing long-held (incorrect) stories I already believed: that I was alone and powerless.

This discovery began my journey of understanding, believing, and relying on the inner wisdom that I had ignored that night.

After studying psychology, neurophysiology, counseling, and coaching, I became equipped to work with others. But it was actually through listening to the stories of thousands of clients that I learned the biggest lesson of all: 

Pain is always pointing you toward a deeper connection with your purpose.

This defined the work I would do with my clients. And eventually, those discoveries would form the foundational elements of Be Wise Now: A Guide To Conscious Living.

I include a more in-depth telling of my experience and explain the Multi-dimensional Model of the Self in the Introduction. You can download a complimentary copy below:

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Free Three-Part Meditation Series

Download my free audio meditation series designed to help you explore the important role that fear and self doubt can (and should) play in your life. 

"embracing the wisdom of your emotions"