Neal Grace Author Website

About Neal Grace

Neal Grace Portrait |Bay Area Author - Bay Area Poet - Headshot

Since graduating high school in 1966 in Worcester, Massachusetts, my life has been on an accelerated, wondrous, torrid ride through many changes and illuminating revelations about me and the world. It was as though I had been shot out of a Cosmic cannon into a never-ending vortex of stimulation mixed with joy, beauty and astonishment! The three years after high school were filled with fun activities and play; I went to three colleges but never took them too seriously.

I instinctively gravitated toward relational experiences with people. I loved dating and diving into the romantic waves of love. In 1969 I participated in many antiwar marches in Boston, New York City and Washington D.C. With the burgeoning of the counter culture movement, I began to examine my own values and started to peel away the layers of society’s powerful conditioning processes. I always maintained a strong sense of myself, learning to trust my intuition and my inner guide that allowed me to express myself passionately in most situations.

I pursued psychology and liberal arts at the University of Massachusetts, receiving a B.A. in 1973. I went to graduate school at the University of Maryland. But after a short stay while focusing on the museums of Washington D. C., I found myself pulling away from the monotony of the academic world, yearning for more earthly adventures.

I fell in love with poetry and writing, beginning a serious immersion into creative realms.

This inspired me to travel the world. I hitchhiked across the continent several times. I landed in unique places, doing things I never before imagined. I made my way to visit many National Parks as I loved Nature in all her variations. I earned meager monies doing various menial jobs. My thirst for adventure intensified with every passing month. I lived in Las Vegas, Colorado and Texas. But it was the wild freedom personified in California that fanned the flames of my spirit. I lived in Big Sur, California where I had a plethora of unique experiences.

I went to live in a cabin in the magical, alpine mountains of New Mexico, forty miles from Santa Fe. I lived in an idyllic environment next to the wild Pecos River where mountain lions, bears, deer and other creatures lived. I joined a wonderful friend as we hitchhiked and took local buses into the heart of Mexico. A friend at the time was an artist and illustrated some of my poetry. We had several books published and began the arduous task of selling them to stores across the country. We also started our own greeting card business. The sales of the books/cards and my part-time teaching job at a local high school enabled us to survive financially. Later we traveled to Massachusetts to live with my parents for nine months. My situation in life changed dramatically as I set out for new adventures.

I traveled with little money around the western United States, trying to learn about people and society. I settled in Mendocino, California, an artistic and timeless village on the coast of Northern California. The irrepressible wanderer in me could not stay still for too long. After four months in Mendocino, I embarked on a circuitous journey to Alaska with my thumb trying to get rides up a dirt road for over 1,500 miles through the sparsely-populated areas of British Columbia and the Yukon Territory. I made it to my destination through rain storms, lack of good food and the kindness of some of the people who gave me rides.

After teaching as a long-term substitute for six months back in Massachusetts, I joined a dear friend on a trip around the world.

With our backpacks and a decent amount of money I had saved as a teacher, I began a trip for which I was not fully prepared. Asia was remarkable, but the food and living on a very limited budget created some inescapable challenges that were difficult to overcome. I loved Nepal and India.  I had a remarkable private meeting with Indira Gandhi in New Delhi. Later I got very sick from untreated water in the Kashmir and soon ended up in a Russian hospital that had bars on the windows. When I recovered, I continued to travel the world. Getting lost in the Sinai Desert was terrifying yet exhilarating. I fell in love with Europe, especially Italy and Greece. I ended up importing gorgeous rugs to the United States and eventually made my way back to my country after having lost about thirty pounds from my slender body.

Back in the USA, I had a variety of unusual jobs. I was an intuitive soul reader at a holistic faire, a caretaker of a very old man and got paid to lecture about life. In 1980, fourteen years after graduating from high school, I landed my first traditional, full-time job, selling printing supplies and equipment. This was in the San Francisco Bay Area. My new position required an immediate transformation in my attitude as well as in my life style. As I strained to adjust to working full-time, I was also the beneficiary of earning good money for the first time in my life. The sudden flow of money offered me opportunities I had never before experienced. Yet, at the same time, I continued to write feverishly and played even more enthusiastically in the world. Now I could travel in class and enjoy the comforts that had eluded me when I was traveling on a low budget. I attended weekend workshops dealing with self-empowerment and growth, settling in to a nice milieu of security and comfort.

After several years of continued success as a sales person in the printing industry, I accepted a transfer to San Diego where I lived for five thrilling years until 1988. I left my company for a two-year hiatus, once again traveling, writing, putting on theatrical events and learning more about the mystery of life. But as my savings began to precipitously decrease, I decided to go back to sales in the corporate world.

In 1989 I moved back to the San Francisco Bay Area. Then my life changed dramatically. In 1992 I met a glorious, brilliant, spiritual, creative and dynamic woman who had a profound impact on me in many ways. We became inseparable, engaging in great discussions and playful adventures. We traveled to beautiful places and shared our hearts and souls together. After five years, we bought a lovely home together in San Rafael, California in 1997 and got married soon thereafter. Simultaneously, my career began to soar, and a greater breadth of opportunities opened up for both my wife and me. My spiritual journey took on a deeper and more pervasive role in my life under my wife’s guidance. I found my heart opening more to other people and to the world. Compassion and kindness were offered more easily by me to all life. And I learned to be comfortable with my own vulnerability.

I had some incredible experiences as the years unfolded with my wife. We traveled to Europe, Central America and the Caribbean in style.

Neal Grace poetry reading
I published about a dozen books; gave talks at various venues; put on performances with outstanding musicians; was a guest six times on the local television show in Marin County; was interviewed by Wisdom Network and KEST Radio; performed at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco in the same performance with a world-renowned opera star. I have been diligent in keeping my body healthy by maintaining an organic, plant-based diet for decades. I play rigorous basketball every week. I produced a CD of some of my poetry with melodic music in the background. I have loved many live performances of musicals and shows that have dazzled me and left me stunned with gratitude for human ingenuity. I have been the main facilitator of a retreat for men desiring an uplifting, spiritual experience.

In 2016 my career in the business world had changed when I became an independent contractor doing consulting work for my previous employer, which I still do to this day. I love life more joyously than ever and try to live from my heart all the time. I am grateful for the gift of life and want to share with others how I came to cherish this world through my newest book, Fresh Eyes Upon The World…Making Life A Spectacular Journey!