Threshold moments: Island author’s debut mixes pictures, poetry, philosophy to inspire and educate

Threshold, despite being relatively short letter-wise, is a deceptively big word.

It is the point at which an effect begins; a level above which something is true or will happen and below which it is not or will not; the point of entering or beginning; and also an end or boundary.

It’s also the subject of island leadership guru Amba Gale’s debut book “Crossing Thresholds,” a collection of poetry, prompts and photographs available now through Eagle Harbor Book Company and www.gale

In it, Gale touches upon themes that are relevant to making personal change and progress, including the personal “thresholds” people must move across and ways to live our lives with meaning, gratitude, and wonder.

Through photographs, poems, and reflections taken and written in the Isle Royale area of Lake Superior, where her husband’s family has long had a summer home, she also shares her own story of tapping into the power of silence and connecting with the natural world.

From there, and in light of suddenly finding herself a reluctant empty-nester, Gale crossed a personal threshold which necessitated embracing impermanence, letting go of resistance to what is, accepting change, making room for endings, creating completion, and opening up space for new beginnings.

“I just want to make a difference and contribute to people,” Gale said. “The work that I do … is not for everybody. It’s for somebody who is out to cause a breakthrough in their lives and who is out to kind of think newly and rethink and reimagine their lives and be willing to go into development and perhaps let go of some areas of their life that are not working for them.”

As a leadership coach, Gale often crafts compelling prompts, which she calls “reflections,” designed to promote thoughtful living. It’s a practice she replicates in the book, pairing meditative poems with scenic landscapes to promote personal reflection, inquiries which allow the reader to engage with their own journey.

“I do transformation work with people,” Gale said.

“There is an approach which is called inquiry, where you ask a question which is an unusual question [and] it’s a question that is not to be answered,” she explained. “Most questions are to be answered and then once you’ve answered them it kind of closes down everything because you got the answer so you can shut it in a nice box. But this is a kind of question which is an opening and a question that you want to live rather than get the answer to. And the question itself informs your days and kind of brings you into a greater awareness and a greater sense of the wisdom that comes from the larger whole.”

Gale moved to Bainbridge from California in 1990, attracted to waterfront living and the abundance of nature.

For more than 40 years she has been working with companies, teams and individuals, crafting conversations, both real and internal, which allow for people to create completion and healing in their lives, awaken to a new spirit of awareness, wakefulness, consciousness, listening, joy, gratitude, and wonder, and generate accomplishments.

Gale will be holding a virtual launch for the book on Saturday, July 11, between 10 and 11:30 a.m. Attendees will get a good sense of the book, its themes, and how it came to be.

Go to up to three days prior to the launch to receive a link to the event.