Archive for the ‘Guts Grace and Gusto Misc’ Category

the winning spirit, winning attitudesThe Olympic medal winners around the world are now basking in the glow of their success. As the Olympic coverage has reported, glory often taking place in just a few moments. Yet, often the path paved to the victory stand is riddled with challenges, crushing defeats, exhaustion, disappointments and more.

Yet, the winning spirit, of giving it all they’ve got, is keeping focused with their eye on the prize, until being put to the test with the whole world watching. Read the rest of this entry »

From July 26, 2010 interview on WASH-FM, Washington, DC
How To Face Life’s Challenges With Grace, Guts & Gusto
Maybe you’ve lost your job, gone through a divorce or are facing a variety of life’s challenges. Sandra Strauss, speaker, coach and author presents strategies for 97.1 WASH FM listeners on keeping your wits and well-being through times of transition, turbulence and personal and professional transformation.

By Marilyn Thompson of

Q. Sandra what led you to become an author, speaker and coach?

A:  Perhaps that career path was paved by my early fascination with butterflies. As a kid, I spent summers chasing after them; the ultimate symbol of transformation. Life is all about movement, sometimes desired and other times dealing with the forces of change and that takes tools to manage all our dreams, desires and detours. Helping people take charge of their destinies and creating life in tune with their desires has been a lifelong pursuit—witnessing transformations by clarifying goals, getting out of comfort zones, overcoming obstacles, and building and sustaining nourishing relationships, and the thrill of achieving what some might consider impossible.

Writing, speaking and coaching are all connected—inspiring movement toward what is desired, and heeding those inner rumblings and awakenings to move in the direction of those desires. We often know, even if deep down and unspoken, what we need or want to do, but it may take reading something that resonates right down to your bones, or perhaps a story of a courageous soul who made choices to act that’s the starting point for change to happen. The speaking, writing and coaching are all tools for assisting those seeking greater well-being, in harmony with their inner vision. I think of them as needed power tools for shaping our destinies.

Q:  You speak about facing life’s challenges with resilience and courage. Would you share your journey?

A:  We all face life-changing times in our lives which will tap our inner resources, and we must hunker down and hang on through both planned as well as uninvited twists, turns and detours. Even as much as I had written and presented programs about the fragility of life, I was lulled by the illusion that life would simply carry me into my carefully crafted future. I embraced that life doesn’t always go according to our plans, but with my “take charge” philosophy never considered that mine wouldn’t go as I had envisioned. Then, bam! My plan, with all its expectations, exploded when my husband who was never sick in the nearly 30 years of knowing him, became acutely and mysteriously ill in 2004. He was stricken with so many symptoms that defied diagnosis, affecting both his body and brain. It was a terrifying journey into the unknown, suspended for an unbearable time without any answers. Ultimately the degenerative condition was linked to multiple and chronic exposure to environmental toxins and that has further fueled my passion to be of service supporting wellness and well-being. Read the rest of this entry »

Intro to My Blog

Posted on December 30, 2008 in [Guts Grace and Gusto Misc]

Welcome to my blog, dedicated to all who seek slices of serenity in their ever-changing worlds. Whether you’re not sure what moves or changes you want or need to make, or perhaps your life is on full tilt right now, come blog with us for connecting on issues with kindred spirits.

This is a forum for travelers of transitions, whether by choice or chance. It features topics related to the wide world of relationships, personal growth, wellness and well-being.

As a professional speaker, author and coach helping to uplift people through the twists, turns and transitions of life, I’m committed to providing connection. . . to share from the heart, gain wisdom, encourage growth, sustain spirits in the process, while traveling through life’s turning, learning and yearning points.

The Guts, Grace & Gusto spirit—Learning to take a step at a time

Ironically, while writing and collecting stories for Dancing through Life with Guts, Grace & Gusto, as its three co-authors, we were experiencing major heartquakes–sheer shake-ups of our individual worlds. It was as if our strategies were being tested directly in the line of fire, shaking our paths, uprooting our plans and shifting priorities. We reeled in uncharted spaces which threw us off balance, yet we kept taking a step at a time, holding to our guts, grace & gusto spirit, until we found balance again and landed in new ground with a totally new map.

Here’s a brief summary of the unimaginable twist which dramatically changed my life and tested my guts, grace & gusto spirit. The book detailing the stories of my coauthors and other women is available in our book and posted in the Products section.

Sandra Strauss: My “never sick” husband of 27 years was stricken with a mysterious illness in Spring 2004, severely affecting his body, brain and behavior. After more than a year of exhaustive tests, he was finally diagnosed with toxic encephalopathy, a condition resulting from a “body burden” from exposure to toxic agents, including chemical solvents and biotoxins (mold & post-Lyme disease) coupled with a genetic susceptibility making him unable to process them out.

As the disease progressed, his dementia caused wildly uncharacteristic and irrational behaviors—he moved out without supervised care, continued driving on a revoked license jeopardizing his safety and others, blocked my access to his medical and mental health care, and revoked my legal rights to help him. Although he was urged continually by family, friends, colleagues and even his doctors to get treatment, with insufficient mental health laws in Virginia, he wasn’t required to do so without his permission, until the court system finally intervened.

As a result, my eyes have been opened to what’s now termed, “the 21st century silent epidemic.” Toxic exposure is commonplace in today’s world and causing a multitude of health problems including brain problems. Thousands of toxic agents are impacting millions with all the symptoms and effects not easily or properly diagnosed or treated.

I will be sharing more about this in future blogs, as well as my other favorite topics of creating quality relationships, sustaining yourself through transitions, going for your dreams and finding time to do what makes your heart sing, even when swept into chaos and confusion, exactly when your heart needs, more than ever, to belt out its tune.


The Guts, Grace & Gusto philosophy is founded upon living life in authentic expression. It’s recognizing life is filled with lessons that can take your breath away. It’s remembering to breathe your way through them, one breath and one step at a time–when you may wonder what’s next, wander for what may seem like an eternity in the “What Now? Zone” and wish you could just get on with it. Your courage, wisdom, resilience, perseverance and other qualities will guide you through whatever is yours to deal with and lift you to a place of greater well-being and happiness.

When faced with unexpected or undesirable situations, you may not exactly feel like dancing through them, but you do have the guts, the grace and the gusto to land on the other side, with grace and a greater sense of well-being. You’ll likely look back at some point and know how much you’ve grown, with renewed purpose and passion. That’s what this blog is all about—the genuine journey of authentic living. Join in the journey and share your insights.

Join in the journey. – Sandra Strauss

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