Hello. My name is Gordon MacKay and I am a Certified Integral Master Coach™. I have been working in the field of human development for more than twenty-five years. Coaching is not a job for me, it is what I love to do. I specialize in helping people to develop balance and clarity in their lives by guiding them to cultivate the inner resources necessary to move through, and to grow from, life’s difficult challenges.

I have a small practice with a heartfelt focus on the uniqueness of each client and their needs.


Integral Coach TM is a registered trade-mark in Canada owned by Integral Coaching Canada Inc. and licensed to Gordon MacKay.



“Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished.”
– Daniel Gilbert, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University






photo credit: Kalman Green

The Coaching Process

Personal Coaching for Life's transitions

The International Coaching Federation defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”

I use Integral Coaching Canada’s™ method as my basic approach to coaching. This method is based on a comprehensive map of human development. It provides a powerful and systematic understanding of adult development and produces results that are sustainable over time. Detailed information on Integral theory and coaching methods can be found with the following link: https://www.integralcoachingcanada.com/

As your coach, I can help you bring balance to your life by guiding and supporting you to tap into your own abilities and potential. This involves working with thoughts and emotions rather than trying to get rid of them. We start from wherever you are and move towards wherever you would like to be.

I can help with many types of life’s challenges. Typical coaching topics might include: transitioning into retirement, changing career direction, navigating major changes in a relationship, dealing with stress and anxiety, coping with the death of a loved one and re-establishing meaning in life. Life’s challenges are as unique as the people who face them.

Coaching is a confidential one-on-one relationship between the client and the coach. Together we will create a unique “coaching program” based on where you are in your life and the nature of the transition that you are going through.

The process involves a series of coaching conversations generally an hour in length. The number and frequency of the sessions depends upon your needs. You are directly involved in your own development by engaging in practices and exercises to build the “muscles” that are required for you to move forward. The pace and direction of the coaching program is guided by events in your life and by your discoveries and learning from doing the coaching practices. Coaching is an experiential process.

I coach in person, on-line, or by telephone.



“How many coaches does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, but the light bulb really, really has to want to change.” – Unknown






My Coaching Style

My Coaching Style

Synonyms for transition include change, passage and transformation. Transitioning may be something that you have decided to do or it might be something that changing circumstances are dictating. Either way, transitions can sometimes be challenging.

Our problems often feel like they are something outside of ourselves – “If only he or she would change.” “If only the situation were different, then I wouldn’t have this problem.” While the outside factors may be real, focusing solely on them diverts us from looking at how our internal reactions may be limiting our responses to the situation. You can’t change other people. The real goldmine is within us when we cultivate freedom and balance in our inner world.

The human journey can be one of continuous learning and growth. More importantly, it is often the challenges in our lives which push us to make the changes that we need in order to make new and healthy adjustments. I use the word “personal” in my business title to emphasize that in my approach, I pay particular attention to my client’s inner world – emotional, mental and physical. What are you thinking and feeling? How do these emotions and thoughts show up in your body? How does all of this impact what you are trying to achieve?

Our inner life is often shaped by self-limiting patterns from our past. These can create roadblocks in our ability see clearly and to respond effectively. Our old patterns of reactivity can close us down to the development of new strategies and coping skills. Working with our reactive patterns, rather than fighting them or ignoring them, brings us an inner stability and the ability to change our relationship with the old patterns that run our lives. This brings the freedom to respond to a given situation in new and productive ways.

I bring a long life’s experience to my work. Past training includes Gestalt Therapy, Focusing, Buddhist meditation practice, palliative care support, dementia care-giver support, shamanic practice, Therapeutic Touch and Twelve-Step sponsorship. My marriage of more than 35 years has been a reciprocal growth process based on continuous self-examination and adjustment. I know from personal experience that life can be difficult and that we sometimes need outside help. I bring all of this to my coaching practice.


“With every gust of wind, the butterfly changes its place on the willow.”
– Basho, 17th century Japanese poet



Contact a Coach

Contact a Coach

Mutual openness and trust are the essential ingredients of a successful coaching relationship. If you are looking for a coach, I suggest that you speak to more than one. Get a sense of what it would be like for you to build a relationship with each of the coaches that you talk with. Choose a coach who you sense can see you, hear you and value you for who you are.


If what you have read on this site speaks to you and you feel that coaching might be useful, I invite you to take the next step in your transitioning by contacting me for a free exploratory conversation.

Coaching Fees

I have a sliding rate scale aimed at meeting the financial circumstances of my clients. We can discuss this in detail if you choose to have a free exploratory consultation.



Gordon W. MacKay
Certified Integral Master Coach™
Personal Transitions Coaching


(Integral Coach TM is a registered trade-mark in Canada owned by Integral Coaching Canada Inc. and licensed to Gordon MacKay.)

About Me

About Me

I live in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada with my lovely wife. We have one adult son who is now a father supporting his own family. I worked at Statistics Canada for thirty-five years. For part of my career I was the manager of a communication and client services area before moving into Human Resources Development. There I provided executive coaching services, ran group coaching circles, designed and delivered soft-skills management training courses, and led team development processes. I have been a Certified Master Integral Coach™ since June 2005.

I have been through many transitions in my life and I expect to go through more. I know from personal experience how difficult transitions can sometimes be. I also know that it is possible to move through situations that seem insurmountable and to grow stronger from the experience. My thirty years of sobriety as a recovering alcoholic is one example of a successful transition in my own life. I have also been confronted with life-threatening illnesses and understand intimately the fear and stress that this can generate for oneself and for the family.

I have been helped enormously through various periods of change by family, friends, coaches, therapists, teachers and many other resources. Seeking outside support has been critical in helping me to negotiate many of the difficult challenges in my life.

While I have worked for many years as a corporate coach and trainer, I am now drawn to support those who are desiring to engage fully in life by stepping into their life challenges.


(Integral Coach TM is a registered trade-mark in Canada owned by Integral Coaching Canada Inc. and licensed to Gordon MacKay.)

Further Reflections

Further Reflections


“As we willingly enter each place of fear, each place of deficiency and insecurity in ourselves, we will discover that its walls are made of untruths, of old images of ourselves, of ancient fears, of false ideas of what is pure and what is not.” – Jack Kornfield


JOHN O’DONOHUE, excerpt from his book, Eternal Echoes
There are no manuals for the construction of the individual you would like to become. You are the only one who can decide this and take up the lifetime of work that it demands. This is a wonderful privilege and such an exciting adventure. To grow into the person that your deepest longing desires is a great blessing. If you can find a creative harmony between your soul and your life, you will have found something infinitely precious. You may not be able to do much about the great problems of the world or to change the situation you are in, but if you can awaken the eternal beauty and light of your soul, you will bring light wherever you go. The gift of life is given to us for ourselves and also to bring peace, courage, and compassion to others.



Fighting the Instrument, by Mark Nepo

Often the instruments of change
are not kind or just
and the hardest openness
of all might be
to embrace the change
while not wasting your heart
fighting the instrument.

The storm is not as important
as the path it opens.
The mistreatment in one life
never as crucial as the clearing
it makes in your heart.

This is very difficult to accept.
The hammer or cruel one
is always short-lived
compared to the jewel
in the centre of the stone.


“Solace is not an evasion, nor a cure for our suffering, nor a made up state of mind. Solace is a direct seeing and participation; a celebration of the beautiful coming and going, appearance and disappearance of which we have always been a part. Solace is not meant to be an answer, but an invitation, through the door of pain and difficulty, to the depth of suffering and simultaneous beauty in the world that the strategic mind by itself cannot grasp nor make sense of.”   – David Whyte

“Nobody can get into the heart of your experience and fix anything for you. If you want to make your own internal experience more hospitable, only you can do that work.”
—Ethan Nichtern,

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” – Lao Tzu

“I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being.” – Hafiz

“Life is a brief excursion; death is always the destiny.” – Graham Woodhouse

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.” – T.S. Eliot

“No problem can ever be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”
– Albert Einstein

“Love is not about getting what we want. Love is about how we live with what we are given.” —C. W. Huntington Jr.


TO GLOW, Mark Nepo

Like light in the sun

spilling out of the sun,

the spirit within

beams its way

through all our cracks

till our most treasured

walls come down.


The coming down

of those walls is the

blessing we crave 
and resist.


The coming down of

those walls—so the light

of the soul like the light

of the sun can help the

world grow—this is

the call of calls.



“Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, “Grow, grow.”
— The Talmud

“There is no path without straying, there is no life without devastations, no success without many errors.” – Dogen Zenji

“A goal is not always meant to be reached; it often serves simply as something to aim at.”
– Bruce Lee

“Before we can know what natural warmth really is, often we must experience loss. We go along for years moving through our days, propelled by habit, taking life pretty much for granted. Then we or someone dear to us has an accident or gets seriously ill, and it’s as if blinders have been removed from our eyes. We see the meaninglessness of so much of what we do and the emptiness of so much we cling to.” – Pema Chodron

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but with seeing with new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

“The Taoist symbol of yin and yang is a circle which is half dark and half light. In the midst of the dark area is a spot of light, and in the midst of the light area is a spot of darkness. Even in the depths of darkness, the light is implicit. Even in the heart of light, the dark is understood, acknowledged and absorbed.”- Sharon Saltzberg

“There’s nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man. True nobility is in being superior to your former self” – Ernest Hemingway

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything—all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” – Steven Jobs, former chairman of Apple Computer


Fear, by Khalil Gibran

It is said that before entering the sea
a river trembles with fear.

She looks back at the path she has travelled,
from the peaks of the mountains,
the long winding road crossing forests and villages.

And in front of her,
she sees an ocean so vast,
that to enter
there seems nothing more than to disappear forever.

But there is no other way.
The river can not go back.

Nobody can go back.
To go back is impossible in existence.

The river needs to take the risk
of entering the ocean
because only then will fear disappear,
because that’s where the river will know
it’s not about disappearing into the ocean,
but of becoming the ocean.


“If we cannot hear silence, we do not know how to listen.” —Mark C. Taylor

“Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know.” – Pema Chodron

“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” – Carl Jung

“No matter what happened in the past,…we are now solely responsible for our own freedom. —John Kain