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I always thought I was pretty smart. But then I took a look at what I was doing to my body, my mind and my soul on a daily basis. We are constantly inundated with messages from television, magazines, the Internet and family as well as so-called well-meaning friends.

Recently, I started to take an internal temperature check on my gut. When I stopped “thinking”, and started thinking about what I was “feeling”, I noticed that some things that sounded right did not feel right. Of course, I had to slow down and limit my sensory input for this to happen. Not to go all Sheldon Cooper on you with a robotic analysis of my feelings, but I did notice that I really do need to pay attention on a daily or even hourly basis as to what I fill in my mind, body and spirit without checking in with what I feel about it. That’s a lot of I’s but you get the drift.

There is an unspoken message that we should be happy all the time in today’s media. Happiness! Happiness! Happiness! It’s in all the headlines. What is so bad with being unhappy or sad?

Okay, I admit it does not feel the best. It’s not the best state of being for long term, but when I am unhappy or sad or fearful or angry –with all those negative emotions I get off my duff and make changes. When I am happy, I don’t really change all that much and if I force happy with continual positive things, being in a state of gratitude, well, truth be told, I can get a little lazy.

In recent months, I have made changes in my health, my business and my personal relationships. And guess what, I am happier- not by focusing on happiness, but by focusing on what is not working in my life. If I am concentrating on happiness all the time I miss the gifts that negative feelings bring. The gifts of inspirational change, if we accept them, are one of the most powerful from those unhappy, sad or frustrating moments.

I think that when we are letting our life take flight, especially after loss, trauma or change, it’s worth it to stop everything for a few hours and just take your internal temperature. Many of the behaviors I was “choosing” were not choices at all but mere autopilot responses from an overburdened soul. How do we make a choice if we don’t stop every once in a while and think about our options? I know if I watch the news and hear discussions about Obamacare, the housing roller-coaster or some nut job in the news slicing women to ribbons, I am not productive in my home or office. So if I put that “news” in my head, I feel poorly and I perform even worse. Make sense?

Now I’m an over-thinker. I learned this early on when I was excited to learn how to rotate an object around an axis – turning a flat circle into a three dimensional donut. With that I realized I could examine the different sides. That spawned an activation of my over-thinking process. Oh look! I can inspect every single aspect of something, but just ‘cuz I can, does it mean I should?

Okay, I can hear you saying over-thinking vs. slow down and think about your choices. Where is the reasoning in that? The reasoning is that when we are over-thinking, we often disconnect from our feelings – from our heart, from our soul, from our spirit and we forget to think about what we feel. Feelings give us valuable insight into things not working in our lives.

I learned the hard way that disconnecting the thinking being from the feeling being gets me in a whole lot of trouble. It’s like listening to a motivational speaker who says all the right things, but you have this nagging feeling in your gut that he’s not what he is preaching. Then you see in the news some crazy thing he has done and you say to yourself , “I’m not surprised.”

So today I invite you to stop for a moment and do a gut check. Is that client a real client or is he full of hot air? Is that guy a great guy or is he another dope looking for a free ride? Is that deal real or does my gut tell me it’s gonna go sideways? There is valuable information to be found in a gut check that can be drowned out by the information overload that is our current condition.

Bouncing with Style is about listening to your mind, body and spirit to make the choices you need to get to do what you want in life, to be who you want to be and to create the gifts you were placed on this earth to give.

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Empowerment is the through-line in of all Sandra Beck’s work. Whether she is coaching a company owner to a million dollar commission goal, training a stay-at-home mom to perform SEO on web sites, or speaking to a group of women who are in recovery, Sandra's message is about what is possible and how to create the circumstances of your choosing.

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