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Archive for the 'Blog' Category

Landscapes of my mind—how to make 2021 your most exciting year yet

Sunday, January 3rd, 2021

 

My intention for 2021 is to feel excited. Excited about me. Excited about you. Excited about art, writing, life—the ups and the downs. I’m feeling particularly excited about living in the energy of Midlife Magic…getting over the stresses of 2020 and making this next decade my best yet.

It feels exciting to be a discovery painter and to allow my art to speak to me and take me to places I have never been. I credit lyrical abstract artist Emily Mason for this insight.

 

“I want my paintings to take me to a place I’ve never been”
~ Emily Mason

 

 

“Waves whisper to the solid coast: “All will be made whole.”

~Pablo Neruda

 

I am working on a new series inspired by nature and the poetry of Pablo Neruda. On my Kindle I have a book, “Sublime Blue: Selected Early Odes of Pablo Neruda. I love his poetry. It’s lyrical, sensual and heart-filled. Merging painting and poetry feels exciting. Also healing on so many levels. The power of Neruda’s language, (without doubt stronger in Spanish) the sheer alive energy of it, and by the way it speaks to something deep within me awakens my soul.

And I have always loved blue! Green was Pablo’s favourite color, he always wrote in green as he believed it was the colour of hope. I feel the same way about blue. Neruda’s father opposed his son’s interest in writing; but Neruda found support in his school teachers. As http://www.chileculture.org/biography-of-pablo-neruda/ writes:

At age 15 Neruda met Gabriella Mistral who was a teacher in the local girl’s school. She introduced him to the work of European poets and particularly Russian literature which influenced him the most. Because Neruda wanted to hide his publications from his father he chose the pseudonym of Pablo Neruda, all future publications after October 1920 were published under that name. A Czech poet Jan Neruda (1834-1891) inspired the young poet from whom he took his last name. Later he legally changed his name to Pablo Neruda.

Some many great artists were not encouraged by their family—it is their courage to persevere which gives me hope and is in part why Pablo Neruda is such an inspiration to me.

Neruda’s father wanted him to become a teacher. In 1921 when he was 16 and after graduating from high school Neruda moved to Santiago to study Education and French at the University of Chile. He had no interest in pedagogy; his passion was in learning French so that he could read French literature in that language. Upon his arrival he published a series of poems in the university magazine “Clarity” signed as Pablo Neruda. During this period as a student he produced some of his best known work and established his reputation as a poet, he also met Rosa Albertina Azocar who was his inspiration for a series of poems in Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair. It was clear that Pablo wanted to pursue a career in writing so his father stopped sending money. In July 1923 the first edition of “Crepusculario” – “Book of Twilights” was published by Clarity Editions of the Student Federation of Chile. The following year, 1924, the first edition of “Veinte Poemas de Amor y una Cancion Desesperada” – “Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair” was published by Nascimiento Editors, which would become one of his best-known and most translated works. The publication of “Twenty Love Poems” was notoriously controversial due to its eroticism which led to the publication in “La Nacion” of a letter titled “”Exegesis and loneliness”. This letter explained the creation of the love poem and his frustration at the lack of understanding within the literary critics.

In 1925 he became the director of the magazine “Knights of Wands”. The following year two books were published by Nascimiento; ”Tentativa y su esperanza” –  “The habitant and his hope” and “Anillos” – “Rings”. “Crepusculario” – “Book of Twilights” goes on a second edition.

 Diplomatic career 1926

As a writer Neruda was facing poverty so he began to look for a job as a consul. Because of his literary achievement and relationships he cultivated as a writer he was able to obtain a consular job in Burma.

So you see, Pablo like many artists, had what I call, a ‘career combo’. While holding down a salaried role, he kept writing, he kept penning the poems that would later make him world-famous.

During the Spanish Civil War and the rise of communism he lost his post because of his political views. He stirred controversy with his affiliation with the Communist Party and his outspoken support of Joseph Stalin, Fulgencio Batista and Fidel Castro. His poetic mastery was never in doubt, and for it he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971.

 

Detail of a painting I am currently working on, “Return to Love”

“Give me the sorrows of the world. I will transform it into hope”
-Pablo Neruda

 

I love that one line, one sentence, one heartfelt paragraph of prose can convey what the heart feels.

I am revisting my copy of Sublime Blue: Selected Early Odes of Pablo Neruda, and looking for lines I have highlighted and using these, combined with moments of reflection and walking in nature to inspire painting.

The following highlight has sparked my curiosity.

the poet’s role as explorer was to discover and rediscover the many forms of wealth native to the spirit and to return it all mysteriously gleaming to those closest to the source.

“As an active poet,” Neruda recalled, “I fought against my own self-absorption and so was able to settle the debate between the real and the subjective deep within myself.”

Perhaps by drawing closer to Neruda’s poems I will grow closer to my own essence—and the landscapes of my heart and mind. I’m excited to see what I will discover as I merge poetry, painting, purpose and passion through creativity.

Artist Profile

 

“A fine work of art—music, dance, painting, story—has the power to silence the chatter and lift us to another world.” ~ Robert McKee

 

Painting, writing and creating, is an opiate for me. Even when I feel sad, when I create, I feel transported to a happier realm. My wish is that people who hang my paintings in their home, business or office will feel happy too.

I was born and raised in Wellington, New Zealand—once voted ‘the coolest little capital in the world’. in 2015 my partner and I left the ‘big smoke’ in favour of a 10-acre lifestyle property, overlooking the sea in the beautiful Bay of Islands. It is this sublime setting that inspires my creativity.

My artistic influences include the master colourists Pierre Bonnard, Max Gimblett, Helen Frankenthaler, Mark Rothko and more recently, Brian Rutenberg. I once had a business, The Colour Girl—inspired by the desire to bring more joy into a world that seemed enamoured with black.

One of my favourite quotes comes from Picasso, “Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” The power of creativity to positively impact people’s lives is the force that inspires me to create.

I am an award-winning artist, transpersonal art therapist, author, and Reiki master. I infuse my work with positive energy and light.

I was the supreme winner of the Wai Art Awards, and a finalist in the Adam’s Portrait award. Having participated in various overseas workshops including a Sumi–E ink painting workshop in Hawaii with ex-pat artist, Max Gimblett, my latest works embrace the simplicity of pleasure and personal experiences that create flow and incite joy.

As an intuitive artist with a passion for following my ‘inner joy’, I hope my work captures and celebrates the ‘life-giving’ aspects of art, and leaves viewers with a feeling of pleasure, contentment and peace.

 

Feedback from collectors

“Your work speaks to my soul in a major way.”

 

“The pieces inspire such positive feelings.”

 

“Wow! So amazing to see your pieces in reality. They have so much life in them.”

 

“Your work has a magical, spiritual quality. I just love them. Really love them.”

You can view my art and purchase my art here: https://www.cassandragaisford.com/gallery/

SOLD “My daughter loved it,” her father told me when he returned to purchase one of my earlier seascapes for her as a gift to take back to Canterbury. It was such a joyful day. It was the first time I had opened my gallery to the public and this man, along with three generations of his family, just happened to see my flag as they drove by on a sightseeing trip.

I love that he purchased the painting (a small diptych, approx 21 cm by 9cm each) as a gift and that it was a surprise and I imagined how excited she will be when she receives the painting she loves. Plus, it’s the painting I did of the view outside the gallery where we had such a great time laughing and talking about art.

This seascape was originally painted ‘en plein air’ (translated as on the paddock!) in 2018 during a stressful home renovation project. Painting is my stress-relief. I find it very meditative and it helps me to self-soothe and enter a different realm.

“Painting is how Spirit speaks to you,” a medium once told me. I try to infuse all my paintings with positivity and light and I feel this is what resonates with people when they see my art.

 

 

That makes me so happy. It also makes me happy to see how much joy people gain when they are able to buy direct from the artist. And I felt buckets of joy meeting my new collectors! I’m also super excited to see my Rothko-inspired painting in New Zealand House and Garden. It was another painting created during a stressful time. Except this one is super large. Check out the Feb edition of New Zealand House and Garden… you can see the paintings and it’s an inspiring read where we share how we upped sticks and changed our life.

 

How to make 2021 your most exciting year yet

This year some of the ways I intend to make 2021 my most exciting year yet—and you can too, is by setting audacious goals. You know, the ones that scare the heck out of you—but are exciting too. Several of my scary goals for 2021 include:

  • Opening my own art gallery
  • Showing and sharing my art with strangers! (who will become collectors and friends)
  • Building a new home

As always, I have no definitive plan, just a vision, a dream in my heart and a willingness to start.

 

As I share in Bounce: Overcoming Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy.

 

“Dream big,” encourages James Patterson, currently the bestselling author in the world. “Don’t set out to write a good thriller. Set out to write a #1 thriller.” 

Patterson, whose father was raised in a poorhouse, knows the power of big dreams and passionate perseverance.  His first book was turned down by 21 publishers and won The Edgar for Best First Mystery. He also quit a lucrative legal career because it didn’t make him bounce. 

Given that science has barely even begun to explore the real potential of the human mind, it’s a funny thing how easily we persuade ourselves of its limitations and settle for less.

You’ve probably caught yourself thinking about a big dream, some inspired course of action, and at some point talked yourself down by saying, “I could never do that!”

Or perhaps you’ve come up with a bright idea about something and then shelved it because somebody said dismissively, “You can’t do that!” or “That’s crap.”

Or perhaps, as I have so often said to myself before reconnecting with my millionaire mindset, “I can’t do this. I can’t write this book. It’s too big. Who do I think I am trying to write such a complex book?”

But how do you really know what you are capable of unless you try?

Paulo Coehlo, the author of The Alchemist, once said: “Know what you want and try to go beyond your own expectations. Improve your dancing, practice a lot, and set a very high goal, one that will be difficult to achieve. Because that is an artist’s million: to go beyond one’s limits. An artist who desires very little and achieves it has failed in life.”

Thinking big demands a long step outside the comfort zone of what you know.

It can feel scary to contemplate stepping out of the space where you feel you know what you’re doing and you feel fully in control.

It can feel frightening to explore what it would be like if you were to leave the comfort rut and attempt to climb toward a new summit. You don’t know for sure where it will lead. But everyone who’s ever made a success of anything started with a big dream.

And you can, too.

Tim Ferris dreams big by adopting and cherishing his beginner’s mind. Rather than succumb to the fear of failure, he changes his mindset, and affirms his love of variety and challenge and being a perpetual debutante.

“Think small, to go big” encourages Gary Keller in his book The One Thing. “Going small” is ignoring all the things you could do and doing what you should do. 

“It’s recognising that not all things matter equally and finding the things that matter most. It’s a tighter way to connect what you do with what you want. It’s realising that extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make a focus.”

When you think too big, achieving success can feel overwhelming, time-consuming, and complicated. Calendars can become overloaded and success starts to feel out of reach. So, people opt out and either quit or settle for less.

“Unaware that big success comes when we do a few things well, they get lost trying to do too much, and in the end, accomplish too little,” says Keller. 

“Over time they lower their expectations, abandon their dreams, and allow their life to get small. This is the wrong thing to make small.”

Every extraordinary achievement starts as someone’s daydream. Dream big, become audaciously obsessed, and fuel your verve—pursue the vision that sparkles and get ready to bounce!

 

 

Bounce: Overcoming Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy.

To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>> viewBook.at/Bounce

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/4DoeEO

To grab your copy from Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/bounce-overcoming-adversity-building-resilience-and-finding-joy-2

 

 

The Prosperous Author: How to Make a Living With Your Writing/Book One: Developing A Millionaire Mindset

To enjoy your copy from Amazon, click here>>getBook.at/TheProsperousAuthor

To enjoy your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>> https://books2read.com/u/38ZyeZ

To enjoy your copy from Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/ebook/the-prosperous-author-developing-a-millionaire-mindset

Did you enjoy this post?

You might like:

The Surprising Secret Covid and Creativity Have In Common

Why Ugly Is Where the Magic is

Emotional alchemy—the spontaneous healing power of joy

 

Here are three more things you might like:


Interesting interviews: Listen to my best interviews on topics like overcoming obstacles, finding joy in adversity, following your passion to prosperity.


Online Courses: 

Find Your Passion and Purpose with my best-selling self-paced course made for busy people>>

Play Dates: Online Creativity Workshop>> Have fun, explore, enrich your life 


Keynote speaking: Hire me to speak to your organization or team about Resilience, wellbeing, innovation, and motivation.

You can get more of my thoughts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to this blog and receive a free gift when you sign up for Cassandra’s newsletters and get more help to live your best life.

I look back and it seems like magic—2020 in review

Monday, December 21st, 2020

This year was hard, but my clients and I found creative ways to succeed. In what has been a hugely stressful year for all of us, I look back at some of the highlights of 2020 and it seems like magic. In March we were deliberating whether to go to Tonga. Signs of Covid-19 were distant rumblings on the horizon. We all thought it would blow over. A friend, who is very senior in the Foreign Ministry, said with no small degree of urgency, “If you are going to go, go now and hurry home.”

New Zealand customs were not what they are now. Everything was normal. Yet when we arrived in Tonga the customs people there were dressed in full-body blue protective suits. It seemed strange. Surreal. A little over the top. Someone close to our Prime Minister told us she had said, “It’s just media hype.”

So we continued on. As normal. So, yes, as I look back now at our wonderful time at Fafa Island Resort, it does seem like magic. Because it was! 

 

 

Playing with my watercolours, creating art in the most beautiful eco-resort, with very few people around and even fewer technological trappings was opium for my creatively parched soul. The Internet was intermittent, but we didn’t care. We just wanted to switch off. It was the first time my partner had been without his phone or email for DECADES.

 

You have been wonderful guests which Fafa Island needs and is there for and you really “got” our little island. Speechless to hear that Laurie didn’t turn on his phone once – that’s exactly what we want for our guests!! Go back to nature and enjoy BEING as you wonderfully said Cassandra.

I am personally very sorry, that we couldn’t say “See you soon” to each other as I went to town with my little one.

But we hope to welcome you in the near future back to Fafa Island

Till then we wish you all the best

Warmest greetings from our little island
Julia and your Fafa Family

 

Several months ago we learned the Island is to be sold. I doubt we will ever be back.

We returned to a still-in-denial-New Zealand rejuvenated and committed to BEING.

Which I’m sure helped when two weeks later New Zealand went into a tail-spin, sirens blazed, and cellphones quaked with emergency alerts. New Zealanders were now in lockdown and no one was to leave their homes—under threat of arrest.

There was very little warning. EVERYONE was thrown into a tailspin. Not all families handled it ‘kindly.’

Lockdown unlawful for first nine days, High Court finds

The first nine days of lockdown were deemed unlawful, the New Zealand High Court ruled. New Zealanders were not actually required by law to stay at home in their “bubbles” until April 3, more than a week into lockdown, the ruling found. Too late. We had been locked in by then.

You can read the rest of the article here: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/covid-19-coronavirus-lockdown-unlawful-for-first-nine-days-high-court-finds-but-says-action-was-justified

The decisions taken by the New Zealand Government in March to “go hard and go early” closed many businesses. Some people never recovered their livelihoods. Not everyone is agreed that the decision was the right one. Simply closing the border much, much earlier may have been better. Simply closing the border could have saved lives.

Simply closing the boarder may have meant that sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, nieces and nephews who lost their loved ones to stress-induced suicide would be hugging their beloved this Christmas and in the years to follow.

Simply closing the border may have deescalated the horrendous rise in New Zealand’s already shameful domestic violence statistics.  Stay-at-home orders, intended to protect the public and prevent widespread infection, left many victims trapped with their abusers. Alcohol sales spiked and so did rage.

For many, 2020 did not, and does not seem like magic.

LOOKING IN THE REVIEW MIRROR

Sometimes looking back provides perspective. My partner and I were discussing, how much of our stress was incurred in the decade prior. Check out 2018 in review for a snapshot of the good, the bad, and the ugly a mere two years ago. Below is an excerpt:

One of my clients described 2018 as annus horribilis, roughly translated this means it was an absolutely horrendous year. Perhaps you can relate to that. 

And I’d have to agree. What a beastly year! I had copyright craziness, scary moments with certain industry giants, and drama galore—including narcissistic bosses and bullying builders during our home renovation process. But, as I once read, “you need chaos to give birth to a dancing star.”

Through all the mayhem I’ve emerged stronger. Where others may have given up in despair or drowned their angst in a bottle or a sea of pills, I’ve gone through it all unmedicated and sober. I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression and even collapsed. But I bounced back and I’ve thrived and grown. And I have been blessed to have been both supported and able to support others.

I’ve benefitted from integrating and applying many of the strategies I share in my self-empowerment books—most importantly:

 Bounce: Overcoming Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy

Mind Your Drink: The Surprising Joy of Sobriety (Control Alcohol, Discover Freedom, Find Happiness and Change Your Life)

Stress Less. Love Life More: How to Stop Worrying, Reduce Anxiety, Eliminate Negative Thinking and Find Happiness

How To Find Your Passion And Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want and Live the Life You Love

and my Art of Success Series, inspired by Coco Chanel and my mentor Leonardo da Vinci.

 

 

It was ‘magical’ in 2020 to be ordered, enforced, and mandated to isolate in our little bubble—hard-won and well-deserved.

Sometimes, clients write to me and say with well-intended envy “I keep thinking of you up there in your piece of paradise.” I remind them that it wasn’t always this way—and as with anything you want, there is a price to pay.

 

 

 

Sometimes when life throws mud in your face you have to laugh. Laughter truly is the best therapy. I shared this in my one of my newsletters and a psychologist in America sent a toxic reply!

And now the house is finished, the lawn looks like a golf course and will be featured in New Zealand House and Garden in the New Year. The feature comes out 16 January and is the February edition. My advice to anyone embarking on a major (3-year) home renovation is…BUCKLE UP, BRACE FOR THE STORMS AND HANG ON FOR THE RIDE—IT’S WORTH IT!

 

And you need to surround yourself with people who believe in the beauty of you and your dreams.

During times of uncertainty, you need to surround yourself with people who believe in the beauty of you and your dreams. Which is what I try to do with my self-empowerment books. I try to share my story and those of other men and women overcoming obstacles to live and work with passion and purpose.

Some of the stories I share are about changing careers and finding happiness again.

 

 

 

Some of the stories I share are about breaking free of the tribe. 2020 marked the expansion of my Transformational Super Kids stories.

This year I wrote and narrated and painted the cover of Lulu is a Black Sheep—one of my favourite stories about ignoring people who try to discourage you and stomp on your dreams. As you’ll read toward the end of the blog, I released three new books in the series in 2020. 

 

 

 

 

In December 2020 I wrote a new book, Cassie is a Giraffe (for release in 2021). I share my love of giraffes and how they lead me to overcome fear, doubt, anxiety and shame—and start a publishing company, Blue Giraffe Publishing, in many of my self-empowerment books.

The logo was drawn by my niece when she was just six-years-old—playfulness and embracing your inner child is a hallmark of my spiritual approach to life and work. In 2020, I created a course, Play Dates to take my message to a global audience. It was exciting that a woman in the UK in her 70’s was the first to enrol!

 

As I share on my blog, Does talk therapy actually work?

 

I have trained in a technique called Interactive Drawing Therapy and have found it to be an incredible tool in my own life and in my sessions with others. The simplest of drawings, a line, a colour, a scrawled phrase or word can powerfully access parts of the psyche we often repress, bringing unhelp subconscious belief to light. In an alchemical process, wounds are spun into gold.

When I first trained in Interactive Drawing Therapy the teacher asked for a volunteer. No hands were raised so he picked me. What harm could it do, I thought, being as skilled as I was at keeping a lid firmly on my feelings.

“Draw an animal,” he said.

Sure, I thought. Great. Harmless. I drew a giraffe.

“Put some colour on the page,” the teacher gently guided.

My giraffe became pink with green, purple and yellow spots. What fun I thought.

“Where is she?” the teacher asked. “Draw this on the page.”

I drew large grey and black rectangles, symbolizing office blocks, cars belching smoke, and a road, not unlike Lambton Quay, in Wellington, New Zealand where I went to work in a job I hated every weekday.

“Put some words on the page,” the teacher whispered.

“She doesn’t want to stand out.”

And then it dawned on me, just as the words slipped onto the page. That giraffe was me. And the fact was I did stand out—naturally. I had always been different. And I had struggled unsuccessfully to belong.

“She can’t help but stand out,” my tutor affirmed. “It’s who she is.”

For me, this awareness was so new, so potent, so transformative, that I knew instantly there was work to do. I began to understand the deep social anxiety I had felt as a child and carried with me through adolescence—and with it the drinking and reckless behaviour I had adopted to belong, to bolster the confidence I never felt, to hide the discomfort of living in my own skin.

 

My greatest joy is helping you bring your dreams to life. One of my favourite quotes is, “passion is the fire that drives us to express who we really are.” Whether you’re 40, 50, 60+ it’s never too late to be happily, joyfully, beautifully you.

 

 

I’m a renaissance woman with many passions—artist, storyteller, intuitive guide & mentor—all united by a love of providing inspiring, whole-hearted worklife solutions which spark joy. I’VE HELPED HUNDREDS OF MEN AND WOMEN around the world free themselves from doubt, guilt and fear to achieve the life they wanted. I’ve created art for the soul that’s changed lives. Creativity is my superpower.

I believe in the transcendent power of beauty, joy, love, purpose, and creativity to change careers, elevate your health and transform your life. Why? Because it has mine.

 

 

I have created my Transformational Super Kids stories to appeal to both adults and children. If you, or your child, could do with an inspirational boost, Please accept my free gift—Billy is a Balloon. I hope you enjoy this short, empowering story. Click here for the free audiobook – written and narrated by me>> https://dl.bookfunnel.com/znooq2ocme

 

 

 

CASSANDRA THE PROPHET

People often call me visionary—it helps that my name is Cassandra (the ancient princess given the gift of prophecy). Besides envisioning our move from Wellington to the beautiful and warm Bay of Islands, and later our home renovation, I’ve enjoyed providing spiritual readings and sharing my love of oracle and tarot cards. I’ve loved reading the Akashic records for clients. And I’ve loved sharing the simple things that give joy.

 

 

 

 

GRATITUDE IS YOUR SUPERPOWER

I feel blessed that over a decade ago I made the decision to pursue a location-independent career—and have helped other passionpreneurs do this too. The picture below was taken on Fafa Island Resort in Tonga after I jumped off a coaching call with a client in Australia.

The great blessing of already being location independent was lockdown was less stressful. Clients, old and new, reached out from all around the world for help to manifest their dreams. Many new clients had read Mid-Life Career Rescue and wanted individual help, tailored to their dreams.

I love sharing everything I have learned—including how to create a publishing empire.  Several moons ago, a beautiful lady (but then frustrated) writer, Heather, contacted me for help to publish her children’s empowerment stories. She’d been penning her healing words for years but no one was able to read her beautiful stories. They were all in her head, her notebooks, her computer.

After her mentoring programme, she now has her own boutique publishing business and her books can be enjoyed by children, parents and teachers ALL OVER THE WORLD.

A beautiful side-effect has been the increased exposure as an expert that sharing her teachings has given her. She quit her salaried job and is now flying solo with her own business – Kaleidoscope Solutions.

 

2020, also the audiobook release of How to Find Your Joy and Purpose co-written with my daughter and narrated by Hannah Joy too! This is a fabulous book for anyone struggling right now. As you’ll read, (or hear) even tiny moments of joy can be healing.

 

 

 

 

After a 12-year-hiatus, I’ve started painting again. The gift of our blissful time at Fafa Island Resort was the quiet time to paint. I took a tiny box of watercolours, a few sheets of paper, and flowed! I was so inspired by the trees, the flowers, the birds, the sea, the climate, the people my output was prolific. Staff went in search of more watercolour paper. No easy feat to find on a remote island in Tonga pre-lockdown! Sunny, the assistant manager, was more thrilled than I was when the boat arrived with more paper!

 

Albert Einstein once said, “Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.” Genius! So I did just this with one of my artworks which I gifted in 2020.
I painted and named the painting, Te Ataroa (The Long Morning), after the beautiful baby born three months ago to a very proud young couple. Her name is Te Ataroa and she is the younger sister of the little girl who died before she was born. Te Ataroa is an added blessing. Translated her name means “the long morning”.
Their angel babies name is Te Ahikā Heta. Te Ahika translates to The Home Fire. Its meaning is to keep the home fires burning.
Traditional Maori believe that the spirit continues to exist after death and that the deceased will always be with them. Once someone has died they will go to the spirit world. Their loved ones do not disappear from their lives, or reincarnate as someone else, but live amongst them still, in the spiritual realm.
As I painted, I imagined Te Ataroa’s sister, Te Ahikā Heta, shining down on her from the heavenly realms sending her, her mum and dad, brothers and extended family her love and light.
I was so delighted that this painting was exhibited in The Beauty of Resilience exhibition and to have been able to gift it to Te Ataroa’s and Te Ahikā Heta’s mum and dad and to the family.
It was especially beautiful to receive this reply when I reached out to offer the painting,
“Awwww thank you soooo much we would absolutely love it! Im in tears right now it means sooo much.”
Originally they had planned to place it in Te Ataroa’s bedroom but are now planning to place it in the lounge because ‘we want everyone to see it when they walk in the house. And again thank you soooo much we deeply appreciate it and we love it soooo much.”
This is why I love to paint. Art heals, art connects, art sends love letters to the world.
THE SCIENCE OF HAPPINESS AND POWERFUL CREATIVITY
Neurobiologists have found that creating and viewing art results in the release of dopamine—your happy feel-good chemical. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that controls the brain’s pleasure and reward centres.
Isolation and stress caused by coronavirus have made many of us feel depressed, fatigued and despondent. Others feel overwhelmed. and lethargic, painting can calm the body to help you feel more grounded and clear in this confusing and overwhelming time.
Happily, scientists have found that creating and observing art can reduce cortisol, known as the ‘stress hormone.’ Creativity, whether you are the creator or the appreciator, releases uplifting endorphins and can even increase hopefulness and heighten your ability to problem solve!
If I’m to label myself it is as an abstract expressionist – expressing often feelings I wish to take away, or rather transcend, like sadness or grief or overwhelm. Replacing them instead with beauty, compassion and transcendence.
I hope that people who look at my works will feel the same sense of beauty that I have infused into them as they were created.
Here are a few examples, to illustrate:
“True love”
True love is complicated, multi-textured, layered. So it seems appropriate that my current work in progress is taking on multiple dimensions. I never know where or how the painting is going to end, I just work intuitively and try to put my feelings on the canvas. The definition of abstraction, I’ve come to learn, means to take away.
“Te Ataroa”
As I shared above, this painting was named after the beautiful baby born three months ago to a very proud young couple. They had lost a little girl earlier who passed before she could be held in their arms. Te Ataroa is an added blessing. Translated her name means “the long morning”.
I enjoyed transcending the feeling of sadness into those of spiritual protection, empowerment and joy.
“When our mother saw that painting she cried,” the couple told me.
“Serene and beautiful and makes me feel like I’m in a spring garden. Love it!” Another lady wrote.

“A fine work of art—music, dance, painting, story—has the power to silence the chatter and lift us to another world.” ~ Robert McKee

 

Painting, writing and creating, is an opiate for me. Even when I feel sad, when I create I feel transported to a happier realm. My wish is that people who hang my paintings in their home or office will feel happy too.
Commissions are welcome – especially for large scale work. I love BIG!
Discover the joy of your own creativity….check out Play Dates>>

 

 

 

 

As I share in Play Dates,

I love to write paint, take photographs and have dabbled in a great deal many other things during my life—including making stained glass Tiffany-style lampshades, pottery, knitting, crochet, cross-stitch. You name it, I’ve tried it. They take me out of this world, out of my mind, into the realms of the divine. I find great comfort there.

Get drunk on creating—yes, please! It’s a positive addiction I’m happy to feed.

“I love the chaos. I do everything I’m not meant to do. I used to drink like an animal, but now I use my art to express the chaos in my mind,” says Sir Antony Hopkins about the joy he finds in painting. “I used to take myself so seriously. I have an obsessive personality. I do everything fast. I want to do everything I can because time is running out”, he says. “I want to express colour. Maybe it’s reaching for some sort of divine.”

Don’t get caught up in the classical definitions of an artist when you think about creativity, you don’t have to be an artist, painter or sculptor to be creative. Expressing your thoughts or imagining what doesn’t yet exist and then bringing it into being lies at the heart of creative expression. You could harness the transformational power of creativity by:

• Imagining or dreaming what could be, for example, your life of sobriety

• Challenging the status quo, as I am in the writing of this book, or generating solutions and new ideas

• Designing new products or services, perhaps instead of drinking you will pour your heart and soul into creating something you are proud of

• Expressing thoughts and feelings, visually, that are too big or too difficult to put into words

• Or doing something else that helps you deal with life and creates joy in your heart.

One of the most liberating features of the creative process is that it triggers moments of vitality and connection.

“The arts address the idea of an aesthetic experience,” says Ken Robinson, an internationally recognised leader in the development of creativity.

“An aesthetic experience is one in which the senses are operating at their peak, when you are present in the current moment, when you are resonating with the excitement of this thing that you are experiencing, when you are fully alive.”

Being fully alive is part of the enchantment that creative expression holds. This transformational process connects you to your authentic self. But to free yourself you must act. As Shakespeare once said, “Joy’s soul lies in the doing.”

How can you harness the power of creativity in your own life?

In 2020, I illustrated several of my own books—playfully!

 

And, I gave Billy is a Balloon away too—making it free so children of all ages going through the challenges that COVID-19 has created had something to keep their spirits up.

It was awesome too, to see so many people reach out and seize the opportunity to truly transform their lives. People like, Brett—a tiler—with a passion for helping others who decided in his young 60’s he wanted to make life and career coaching part of his career.

I take to heart, “I like the diversity of projects Cassandra is involved in….a sense that Cassandra is constantly challenging herself but giving herself permission to grow and change.”

Giving myself permission means not all my seeds are ripening into fruit. Like you, I have to be patient, I have to keep watering my new career plants, and swiping the predators away. Recently, I’ve decided to open my own gallery—a major new direction. Like any new venture, it is unlikely to yield profits immediately. Long-term, as domestic tourism increases and the Bay of Islands continues to be a hot spot, the outlook looks good. The fact is, there are seldom iron-clad guarantees. Which is why so many people stay stuck in a rut.

 

 

If Brett Could Change His Career At 60, So Can You

“I feel like I can say to people in a huge range of situations – ‘Yes, I see you.'” 

~ Brett Muir, Point of Change

 Brett Muir’s personal story of reinvention is an inspiring call to action for us all. At a time in life when many midlifers believe they are too old to change, Brett is challenging convention. “I want to make this my best decade yet,” he told me when I asked, “Why now? Why change careers and train to become a Worklife Solutions Certified Career and Life Coach?”

As you’ll read, Brett first embarked on training with another provider, only to find it didn’t meet his growing needs. But that’s not the real story. The real story is his vision for her coaching business, Point of Change and his deep desire to help others make a change for the better. And within weeks of started his training, ran toward another aspect of his vision, a forum to bring like-minded people together. 

I will let Brett tell his career reinvention story, but one of the things I most love  (as you’ll read below) was the way he did his due diligence before making a leap—but more importantly, when life threw a few financial hurdles in his path he used out of the box thinking and found another way. Read how Brett change careers in his 60’s here>>http://worklifesolutions.nz/if-brett-could-change-his-career-at-60-so-can-you/

Who knows when we will travel again. But as I look back on 2020 (and those previous) I’m glad we chased our dreams. We didn’t wait for perfect timing, we took extraordinary risks, and we lived, and still do, with audacity. So many friends have said to us, “We’re waiting until we retire to travel.” These people now live with regret.

Clients have said to me, “Don’t you do what you love when you retire?”

After years of reaching out to me but never taking any action, Lisa*, Lisa is now midway through her transformational coaching programme with me.

 During our first session she was in such extreme anguish she spent most of the call crying and sobbing. 

 “I’m sorry. I’m sorry,” she cried.

 “Crying is great. Crying is therapeutic. Crying opens the floodgates to healing,” I told her.

 A common response to trauma is emotionally numbing. As I write in my short book, The Boy Who Cried,” some people are so buried in pain that they can’t cry.”

 I know, I was once like that myself. It took a Chinese acupuncture session to release the tears trapped inside. (the needles pinned around my eyes may have helped!).

 There are times Lisa feels as though she is not worthy, not living her purpose—not, not, not…

 Self-love is a major life lesson for her. Isn’t it for many of us?

 We have come into this life to learn love, compassion, and to know our own power. As I reminded Lisa, the fact she had the courage to contact me and ask for help—and then act on it—is a massive sign of strength. So many people are like a man I once met who told me,

 “I’ve spent 40 years looking out the window wishing I was somewhere else.”

 Courage is heeding the call of your weeping heart and embarking on the hero’s journey to transformational change.

 

SOME NEWS I DIDN’T CELEBRATE

Not everything was roses and chocolates this year. But nothing was fatal. I missed my self-imposed deadline for Word by Word: Lessons on Writing, Love, and Life and also my romance Love Me As I Am—and super disappointingly, I also missed my deadline for my humongous Rennaissance-inspired art-related fiction novel.

It’s important not to beat yourself up when things don’t go to plan, but acknowledge what you have achieved as well as the obstacles overcome. There’s plenty of time to make it big in 2021. Which is why I like keeping an Achievements or “I DID IT” section in the back of my Passion Journal. Grab your FREE passion journal tip sheet here>>

Here are just a few things I noted:

 

4 Feb Created and held “Creative Unblocking Course”

11 Feb Sold my watercolour “The Sun Also Rises” and two other paintings

14 Feb created the concept for my art gallery

14 Feb Released my RomCom Sex With Strangers (after ten years!)

 

16 Feb Created more “flow” paintings—The Cosmic Heart and Infinity and experimented with encaustic art using pure pigment and NZ beeswax

 

17 Feb Invited to join a group exhibition – later opening during COVID and called The Beauty of Resilience (my first group exhibition in 12 years)

Feb- March  Went to Fafa Island! Created many, many new works including ‘Waterflowers”

19 March sold my first painting via Instagram

23 March wrote and narrated published Jojo Lost Her Confidence

30 March wrote and narrated and published Lulu is a Black Sheep.

25 April  wrote and narrated and published Billy is a Balloon

18 May NZ House and Garden came to photograph our house

28 May Sold two more watercolours

11 June Commissioned to write two pieces for New Zealand House and Garden

15 July Started writing a screenplay

06 August Entered an art award

August Successfully set an intention and provided oracle readings for clients

8 September Beauty of Resilience exhibition opened and my painting was the lead. Sold three paintings

17 November Launched Play Dates course

20 November Exhibited paintings in Pure Day Spa and sold Sunday Surprise

 

So all-in-all, along with coaching clients, it’s been a tremendously creative year.

But a few dirtbags have sullied things. In our hood, a group of developers has embarked on an aggressive campaign of lies and bullying to promote their plan to profit at the expenses of locals. When I spoke up at a meeting I was targeted. Later, they resorted to calling me a ‘scary woman.’ That’s fine by me. Scary says, “don’t f*ck with me!” If you don’t stand up for things that are just plain wrong you may as well be a vegetable. What kind of vegetable? A cabbage! (I’m borrowing from a line I love in the movie The World’s Fastest Indian.)

 

I think it was around then that my ‘achievements’ took a bath. You’ll note above, between Sept and November I was less productive. A lot was going on—much of which I can’t share as it impacts others. What I can share is my lesson. As filmmaker and fellow Transcendental meditator, David Lynch wrote in his excellent book, Catching The Big Fish,

“It’s good for the artist to understand conflict and stress. Those things can give you ideas. But I guarantee you, if you have enough stress, you won’t be able to create. And if you have enough conflict, it will just get in the way of your creativity. You can understand conflict, but you don’t have to live in it.
In stories, in the worlds that we can go into, there’s suffering, confusion, darkness, tension, and anger. There are murders; there’s all kinds of stuff. But the filmmaker doesn’t have to be suffering to show suffering. You can show it, show the human condition, show conflicts and contrasts, but you don’t have to go through that yourself. You are the orchestrator of it, but you’re not in it. Let your characters do the suffering.
It’s common sense: The more the artist is suffering, the less creative he is going to be. It’s less likely that he is going to enjoy his work and less likely that he will  be able to do really good work.”
It’s been a good year, but a stress year with much uncertainty and some horrid behaviour. This year Laurie and I decided to stay in our bubble more and avoid getting caught up in people’s stress. We waved “ta-ta-see-you-and-your-drama-later” to some people.
And I said a big, giant hello to new friends and clients. I feel blessed to have connected with incredible people all around the world through my books, my courses, and my coaching programmes. You inspire me! Thank you for following me and reaching out and sharing your troubles and your joys. So many of the things I created this year, and those previous, were inspired by you.

GOOD NEWS TO END THE YEAR

In December we rescued a native wood pigeon… a Kereru… who flew into my studio and was thrown by the glass. There was no way we could leave her in the garden to await her fate. We live on 10-acres and there are many, many natural predators.
So we carried her into our bathroom and began the search for a suitable animal rescue person the following morning. After a round-trip of over an hour, we left her in the care of Raewyn, a retired lady with a passion for saving animals. To say my heart was glad was an understatement when we received the good news of ‘Kiri’s” speedy recovery. It was lovely to receive her feedback too.
💕💓 Makes my job worthwhile. Thank you for saving her”
Saving the baby Kereru was a team effort. We were so pleased to see Kiri fly like the wind. Especially as we saw her mother looking for her. The baby came home on the 18th of December and was released back where she belongs.

Raewyn did a fabulous job staying in touch with me and letting me know how things were going and then telling us what to do when we released her. I popped her on a branch and after a few seconds she just took off

On the 20th of December, I looked to the sky and at that moment she flew over my head:)Good news to celebrate!

WHAT DOES 2021 LOOK LIKE?

If you put practicality aside for just a moment, dream a very large dream of what you would ideally like as an artist, an author, (insert your burning desire) with your career having gone in the direction you like. Imagine it is three or more years from now and everything has happened to you that you desire. What does that mean exactly? How much are you earning, where are you living, and all the details?
If you’re struggling to clarify your dreams or just don’t believe you can make them come true…

My biggest joy is making your dreams come true.

 

Until, then

 

Wishing you and those you love a very peaceful, happy, and healthy Christmas

 

P.S. The flyers for my gallery just arrived—in time for Christmas!
AND I HAVE SOME EXCITING NEWS TO SHARE WITH YOU IN THE NEW YEAR
Thank you Naomi, for emailing me the below feedback after you read the blog!
DID YOU ENJOY THIS POST?

You may enjoy:

Emotional alchemy—the spontaneous healing power of joy

 Why Being Inspired Matters: The Spontaneous Fulfillment and Healing Power of Joy

 

Online Courses: 

Find Your Passion and Purpose with my best-selling self-paced course made for busy people>>

Play Dates: Online Creativity Workshop>>

Have fun, explore, enrich your life 

Art by Cassandra:

Cassandra’s Gallery

 


Keynote speaking: Hire me to speak to your organization or team about Resilience, wellbeing, innovation, and motivation.

You can get more of my thoughts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

How I found my passion. . .and you can too

Sunday, December 6th, 2020

 

“Only when we are at our most playful can divinity finally get serious with us.”

 ~ Elizabeth Gilbert, Creative Living Beyond fear

During a visit to the United States, I was very lucky to have been able to stay in New York and to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I was even luckier because while I was there I unexpectedly rediscovered a passion I had forgotten. I share the following excerpt from my Passion Journal at that time (which, incidentally, was bright red!) in the hope that it illustrates some of the strategies I am encouraging you to try.


‘To see these paintings makes my heart sing, my eyes sparkle and a smile settle upon my lips. I feel a shortness of breath and my heart rate quickens. I want to take them all in. I love the ones with texture so rich you can almost feel the paint. I have to stop myself from reaching out to touch them. I am flushed with excitement and a thirst that cannot be quenched.’

 

And so it was that my ‘body barometer’ reminded me of the deep joy and love I feel when I paint with oil. I had traded my passion for the convenience of acrylic, but I found it joyless and plastic. I thought it was a great confirmation of the power of passion when an art gallery owner, who bought some of my paintings not long after I returned from New York, said to me, ‘You have a rare ability to capture an emotion.’

What makes your soul sing?

 

For many, many years I didn’t recognise myself as an artist. I painted, created, sculpted, made stained glass lampshades in the Tiffany style, crocheted, knitted, made pottery—you name any of the arts and chances are I have done it. But I still didn’t see myself as an artist.

It wasn’t until a violinist in Venice, Italy, told me, “you have the soul of an artist,” and I took stock of other feedback, that I woke up. “Oh, that’s what I am. I’m an artist.” And finally years of feeling so different from everyone else made sense! ‘That’s why I’m sensitive. That’s why colour affects me so profoundly. That’s why I am compelled to create. That’s who I am.”

But I still didn’t think I had a voice. By connecting the dots of my past I now value art for its healing power. It is this voice I bring to my creations—including art, coaching, and writing.

I encourage you to find a feedback partner or a way to engage with other people to talk about you, your natural knacks and talents—who you really are. 

Taking classes and working with a coach will always help the development of your authentic self. Conveniently many classes are provided online. Take a class just for fun. Sometimes doing something that doesn’t appear to be related to your career can provide significant shifts.

Come play with me and discover who you really are. Come play with me and upscale your health. Come play with meand forge a new, fab, career. Sir Antony Hopkins recently traded a negative addiction for a positive one by losing the booze and getting drunk on painting. “I love the chaos. I do everything I’m not meant to do. I used to drink like an animal, but now I use my art to express the chaos in my mind,” he says about the joy he finds in painting. “I used to take myself so seriously. I have an obsessive personality. I do everything fast. I want to do everything I can because time is running out”, he says. “I want to express colour. Maybe it’s reaching for some sort of divine.”

  

 

His collection of vibrant, wildly exuberant canvases has won fans across the world. “I had no idea that I’d end up being a painter and having exhibitions.” He explains his passion for painting as,  “Something I love to do. It’s a form of meditation.”

Join me for Play Dates—you never know, you may just discover a brand new, fun, kind of you.

ONLY THREE SPACES REMAINING.

ENROL HERE:

You can feel like Beth, “I feel excited about my journey so far.”

In fact, ‘exciting’ is my theme for next year! If it doesn’t feel exciting. I’m not doing it!

FEEL EXCITED TODAY
DON’T MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY TO PLAY

ENROL HERE:

 

Enjoy a preview

 

 

Why Trusting Your Gut Is The Only Way to Live

Tuesday, December 1st, 2020

 

“If my work seems difficult to someone not familiar with present trends in painting, it is none the less sincere and dedicated in its intellectual honesty” – Cy Twombly

Meet one of my muses  ….CY Twombly. I still remember seeing his ginormous paintings “the four seasons” when I was fortunate enough to visit New York. Wow! I was transfixed. That’s the power of art… to totally stop you in your tracks. Art floats my boat, rings my bells, puts wind in my sails. Who or what does this for you?

One of my clients, I’ll call her Jane, burst into tears during our Zoom coaching session. 55-years young, she sobbed, “Time is running out.”

Yep. It is. Enjoy this week’s blog and discover who and what you truly want to become—before it’s too late.

 

 

“There is a voice within, if only we would listen to it, that tells us so certainly when to go forth into the unknown.” ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

What do Cy Twombly Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey and Richard Branson have in common? The answer is, they trust their intuition. Each one of these people credits this wise “inner guide”, in part, to their personal and professional success, as is the case with so many other successful people.

Just like love, intuition is challenging to define, despite the huge part it plays in our everyday lives. Steve Jobs called it, “More powerful than intellect.”

While Webster’s defines intuition as “quick and ready insight,” you may know it as: a gut feeling, a natural mental skill, a sixth sense, an inner knowing, a feeling, an instinct, a hunch, a premonition, wisdom from a Higher power, a still, quiet inner voice, an inner compass that points you to success and abundance; a gift from Spirit. But however people define it, we all intuitively know just what it is.

“Intuition is a resource that, if nurtured, can lead to increased sales, profitable investments, creative inventions, successful hires, advantageous negotiations, bigger profits, and increased accuracy in forecasting business trends,” writes Lynn Robinson in her book, Trust Your Gut.

You are born with this inner knowing and when you listen to it and act on its wisdom you are guided unfailingly towards your hopes and dreams. Whether you act on your intuition is another thing.

 

Why don’t some people listen to their intuition in business?

In a world that seems to value logic and facts over emotions and feelings, to follow one’s heart, or listen to your intuition, can seem foolhardy to many people. Perhaps this is because intuition, like spirituality, can’t be seen or scientifically measured.

Many people may tell you that you need to think rationally and use your head, not your heart, in order to gather the “facts” and “evidence” you need to make “sound” decisions.

But the truth is that your mind can’t always be relied on, especially when you are about to make big changes in your life. The rational mind likes to play it safe.

It can “fool” you into doubting your abilities or make you catastrophize about how things will turn out. Things can get out of control and the smallest concern becomes a mountain of anxiety.

“If I start my own business I won’t make any money, I’ll lose my house, I’ll be out on the street, the kids will starve,” and other similar negative thoughts. Thus the unhelpful, self-sabotaging script may come into play.

This is where intuition can help. Your ‘in-tuition’, is your inner teacher, your wisest counsel, your most supportive ally.

Some of us have the ability to tap into intuitive guidance more easily than others. But, like any skill, the more you practice using it, the better you will get.

Listed below are just a few reasons why intuitive intelligence is a skill you should master.

 

Trusting your gut in business (creative or otherwise) will help give you:

  • Confidence when you have nothing to go on, and no concrete experience or information on which to base your decision.
  • Clarity in the face of a tsunami of choices and possibilities.
  • A faster ability to make the right choice, rather than becoming bogged down in months or years of analysis.
  • Awareness of self-employment opportunities you may not have considered.
  • Inspiration to get going.

 

The Infinite Intelligence of Your Subconscious Mind

“The infinite intelligence within your subconscious mind can reveal to you everything you need to know at every moment in time and point in space, provided you are open-minded and receptive”, writes Joseph Murphy in The Power of Your Subconscious Mind.

“Within the subconscious mind, you will find the solution to every problem, and the cause for every effect. Because you can draw out the hidden powers, you come into actual possession of the power and wisdom necessary to move forward in abundance, security, and joy.”

Sounds great! How do you gain this knowledge? By tapping into the power of emotions and listening to your own infinite intelligence.

This is where the subconscious mind rules—it’s the storehouse of emotions, unlike the ego and conscious mind that rationalizes everything it can.

The rational mind has its place, of course. The trouble is, all too often it dominates, very often talking us out of or into things that rob of us of joy and fulfilment.

 

Is intuition better than concrete, measurable facts?

That depends! Some decisions require logic and analysis. The rational information necessary to easily make the right decision may be readily available or easy to source.

But there are times, especially when launching a business when you have nothing, or very little, verifiable information. That’s when knowing how to access, listen and act on your intuition can be most helpful.

When I launched my first product, a set of 40 inspirational cards which I named The Passion Pack, in 2011, my business partners asked me, “Do you think it will sell?” I had acted on an inspired idea without any market research. I honestly didn’t ‘know’, but in my heart, I felt The Passion Pack would inspire others too. “Yes!” I answered, more confidently than I truly felt.

And my intuitive hunch proved right. When speaking at a conference of teachers and educators about the power of passion, I briefly mentioned my idea, and we were swamped with advance orders before we’d even finished producing The Passion Pack. I’d never even thought about marketing it to schools.

In 2016 I listened to my intuition again and released The Passion Pack as a book, How to Find Your Passion and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want and Live The Life You Love. It’s available in print and paperback from Amazon if you are curious >> getBook.at/Passion

 

Steering you the right way

President and Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post Arianna Huffington writes in her bestselling book, Thrive: “Even when we’re not at a fork in the road, wondering what to do and trying to hear that inner voice, our intuition is always there, always reading the situation, always trying to steer us the right way.

But can we hear it? Are we paying attention? Are we living a life that keeps the pathway to our intuition unblocked? Feeding and nurturing our intuition, and living a life in which we can make use of its wisdom, is one key way to thrive, at work and in life.”

 

Tuning in to Your Intuition

Listed below are some tips and strategies that will help you feed, nurture, and tap into your inner success coach:

The body barometer. The body never lies. Your body language is one of the primary ways your heart and intuition guide you. When you are in tune with your intuition you are more likely to experience:

  • A feeling of limitless energy
  • A feeling of weightlessness and lightness
  • A feeling of being happy and motivated
  • Excitement, zest, and animation.

These signs are all clues to your passion. Passionate feelings are the ways your intuition guides your decisions about what is right, given who you are and who you want to be.

Action Questions

What signs does your body give you when you are being true to yourself?

What warning signs does your body give you when you are off track?

 

Meditation—for cultivating inner power

“Meditation is not just blissing out under a mango tree,” says French Buddhist monk and molecular geneticist Matthieu Ricard. “It completely changes your brain and therefore changes what you are.”

Quietening your overactive mind through mindfulness training techniques like meditation is a wonderful way to boost your intuition. Meditation helps you to take control of your mental chatterbox and create some quiet space, so you can hear the voice within. This changes how you respond to what’s happening in your life, and increases your ability to tap into a higher level of wisdom when making decisions.

Science has proven that when people meditate they alter their brains in a good way—lowering stress levels amongst many other important things. Ridding yourself of self-limiting thoughts, controlling your reactions, discovering an inner contact with a creative source, and having more creative insights are just a few of the other benefits that can flow. The whole experience is primarily one of wholeness, rightness, and power.

Steve Jobs, a lifelong practitioner of meditation, confirmed the connection between meditation, creativity and business success: “If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there’s room to hear more subtle things—that’s when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more.

“Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before. It’s a discipline. You have to practice it.”

There are many forms of meditation, including breathing meditations, walking meditations, Buddhist Meditations, Transcendental Meditation and more. Whichever form you choose, the main thing to remember is that its benefits are only a few breaths away and the only thing you need is your attention.

Meditation can be done in short bursts of time, even while on the bus or train. To really be of benefit many people recommend meditating first thing in the morning, and towards the end of the day, for 20 minutes each time. You may already feel pressed for time but the benefits of creating some space in your diary will pay dividends.

Strategies to quiet your mind and rejuvenate your soul
Get your FREE copy of Meditation Tip Sheet

 

Surf The Net

Meditation can shape our brains for the better. Watch this video on YouTube—you’ll see the incredible results verified by science. http://youtu.be/m8rRzTtP7Tc

I’ve been meditating for over 25 years now and love it. And while it can be challenging to find time during busy or stressful periods, it really is the key to boosting creativity, harnessing intuition, building resilience, and creating a calm and happier outlook in general. These are all important factors in maintaining the energy and focus to create and sustain business success.

 

Ask open, generative questions. Intuitive information reveals itself more easily when you ask yourself open questions such as, “How can I begin to bring more money into my life?” or “What business or self-employment opportunity could I choose that will be both fun and financially rewarding?”

Don’t try and force a reply. Your intuition will reveal the answer in a variety of ways.  There’s no one right way to receive its wisdom. It may come in the form of a hunch, a gut feeling, an inner voice, an image, or in a dream.

What questions do you want answers to? Prompt your intuition by writing down some good open questions. For instance, if your biggest concern about going into business is handling the legal and taxation matters, you could ask, “Where can I find someone to help me deal with legal and tax stuff?”

Pay extra attention over the next three weeks to special “go-incidences” or insights. For example, as I forge my artistic career, my gut told me to contact the owner of the local beauty spa. She loved my idea of having an exhibition in her spa and promptly helped hang the paintings. The one I created with her colour palette instantly sold. What are the odds! The others, inspired by my muse are in prime spots—easily enjoyable by her clients. I love that the paintings are hanging in an environment where beauty is the core philosophy.

 

 

 

And there’s more good news. Saatchi Art is showcasing my work! So exciting. The following quote by a fellow artist inspired my to take my work gloriously global

 

One of the things I was asked to do was to create a bio and share my story.

 

As David Lynch writes in his wonderful book, Creating Big Fish, “Life is filled with abstractions, and the only way we make heads or tails of it is through intuition. Intuition is seeing the solution—seeing it, knowing it. It’s emotion and intellect going together.” He further adds that stress kills intuition.

Create some space. If you’re constantly stressed and always wishing for more time, money, freedom, or energy, you need to create some time for “sacred idleness.” All those signs of stress are signals from your intuition that it’s time to slow down. Take a comfort break. Give yourself the rejuvenating gift of some time off to reflect on your life.

What do you truly want? What fills your soul? What can you let go of? What are the blessings in your life? These are all questions to ask your intuitive guidance system. Listen to the answers, reflect, and act.

Listen to inner wisdom now, pay attention to intuitions, feelings, and hunches. They’re not random responses generated by the brain and nervous system to keep them busy, but data from the unified field that surrounds you.

“Everything we ever need to know is in this field, to be revealed at exactly the right time. The more deeply we pay attention the quicker the messages are received and the more effectively we can act upon them,” says intuitive astrologer, Sarah Varcas. “There is a lot of information available to those willing to listen, watch and learn.”

Hot Tip! Taking the time to meditate, write, and dream new dreams will pay off in a big way and is an important step in creating the abundant, peaceful and prosperous life you deserve.

 

Action Questions: How Can You Meditate?

What steps can you take to learn more about meditation?

How can you create some space for “sacred idleness” in your life? What can you let go of?

 

Call Upon Your Archetypal Symbol

Another way to embrace your intuition is to call upon archetypal symbols. According to renowned psychologist Carl Jung, archetypes are inherited memories represented in the mind as universal symbols and can be observed in your dreams.

Jean Wiley, a self-employed Professional Intuitive Astrologer agrees. “10 years ago when I was really struggling with how to find my voice, swimming in that river of conformity, and hiding so much of myself for so long, what I would do was dream of David Bowie.

“He didn’t come to me in my dreams, but he was my symbol. He was everything that was authentic and envelope-pushing, and innovative and interesting, and thumbed his nose at everything that was conventional and conforming. And I would dream about David Bowie and I would wake up in the morning and I would feel better.”

Action Question: Who Can You Call Upon?

Who could you call upon to give you courage, direction, and strength?

If you’re looking for additional instructions on how to connect with your archetypal symbol I recommend the advice of Deepak Chopra, and especially his incredible book The Spontaneous Fulfilment of Desire: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence.

I would also recommend Lynn Robinson’s book Trust Your Gut: How The Power of Intuition Can Grow Your Business

 

What and Who You Truly Want to Become

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking,” said Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc. “Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. It already knows what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

The reality is that many people spend their lives ignoring their real calling, their passion, and their true path with heart. Decisions based purely on the analysis of the cold, hard, objective facts ignore what it is to be human, to be fully alive. If you want to wake every morning looking forward to your life, then getting in touch with your emotions is a vital part of any decision-making and planning process.

Intuition is the Gateway to Your Authentic Self

“Your sixth sense is your authentic self,” says intuitive author and business psychic Sonia Choquette. And this authenticity is the thing you want in business. It’s what attracts others to you, and it’s what sets you apart in the crowd. There’s no one else like you in the world. When you trust your intuition, you trust your SELF.

Intuition is the language of the soul speaking through the heart. Your intuition may not make logical sense, but it makes heartfelt sense and speaks to your need to be whole and have integrity. Intuition rather than logic offers a way to break out of old struggles, mindsets and limitations, and reach the clouds.

 

Look For and Heed the Signs

There’s a lovely scene in a movie called Man On A Wire about a high-wire walker Philippe Petit, who, while reading the newspaper in France, experienced a lightning flash of insight.

Staring down at an article about the proposed building of the World Trade Centre he knew what he wanted to do and become—the first, and the only man, to walk across New York’s World Trade Centre, supported by nothing but a wire stretching across the twin towers. 1,368 feet above Manhattan!

At the time, the buildings, later destroyed in the 2011 attacks, were still only in the concept and design phase. But Philippe ripped out the newspaper cuttings and set about planning how he would make his dream come true.

Inspirational people are like vitamins for our souls. Philippe’s pursuit of passion is inspiring on so many levels. Not only did he succeed, but he also excited so many others.

Barry Greenhouse, for example, an insurance executive at the time, served as the inside man, spicing up his life in the process. His intuitive daring and courage also captured moviemakers, who later brought this amazing feat to international screens.

The film of Philippe’s quest was awarded the Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Festival. In February 2009, the film won the BAFTA for Outstanding British Film, the Independent Spirit Awards, and the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Philippe Petit’s, and the movie’s success is further testament to the power of passion and listening to your intuition.

You may not have such ‘lofty’ or death-defying aspirations, but if you listen to your intuition you will summon the courage, drive, passion, and fortitude to pursue your own path with heart. Perhaps you too will inspire people and meet with the success others only dream of.

What can Philippe teach you?

  • Listen to and follow your intuitive spark of excitement
  • Surround yourself with people who believe in your dreams
  • Minimize distractions—maintain absolute, unswerving focus
  • Be playful, whilst being safe
  • Let go of your safety net. Trust your skill and preparation
  • Commit your all—put everything on the line if necessary
  • Do what you love
  • Practice. Practice. Practice
  • Design a fail-proof strategy
  • Leave nothing to chance—this is your life we’re talking about
  • Just do it!

Trust Your Gut to Grow Your Business

Lynn Robinson, an international expert on intuition in business, speaks from personal experience how trusting her gut attracted clients overnight and gave her the confidence to quit her job. She writes in her book, Trust Your Gut:

“My fledgeling intuitive consulting business began 20 years ago as the result of intuition. I walked into a funeral service for a friend who had just passed away. I heard an inner voice saying, “Sit there.” My attention was drawn to an empty seat next to one of the few people in the room I didn’t know.

Always a believer in trusting these auditory messages, I sat next to her. The short version of the story is that my seat-mate turned out to be a reporter for The Boston Globe newspaper. She wrote a story about my unusual consulting business. As a result, over 300 people called me to request my services and my new career was born.

When I met the Boston Globe reporter, I was still working as an operations manager for a software company. Gaining over 300 clients virtually overnight might be some people’s idea of a dream come true. To me, it was anxiety-producing. I was fearful of giving up my “normal” job, with benefits and a weekly paycheck, to be out on my own as a consultant. “Could I keep both jobs?” was the question I asked myself as I drifted off to sleep.

When I awakened in the morning, I had to laugh. In my dream, I was out on a lake in canoes. Yes, plural! I had one foot in one canoe and the other foot in another canoe and they were headed in opposite directions! I took that as a very clear sign that I wasn’t meant to begin my consulting business while holding on to my day job. I gave my notice that day and never looked back.”

Listening to your inner self is a very important part of re-creating and strengthening your authentic or true self.

Knowing how to slow down and tap into your intuition or “inner knowing” will help you not only gain greater self-mastery and control but also give you some essential tools to have on hand to help you ride the winds of change and to strengthen your sense of self.

 

What You’ve Learned

  • Intuition is ‘knowing’ without having any idea why you know it. It’s different from thinking; it’s different from logic or analysis. It’s knowing without knowing
  • Many successful people trust their gut and act on their intuitive guidance in business
  • Your intuition is your inner guide and is more powerful than intellect. It will help you make good decisions
  • Intuition is a resource that, if nurtured, can lead to great business ideas, increased sales, profitable investments, creative inventions, successful hires, advantageous negotiations, bigger profits, and increased accuracy in forecasting business trends
  • Trusting your gut in business will help you have: confidence when you have nothing to go on, and no concrete experience or information on which to base your decision; clarity in the face of a tsunami of choices and possibilities; the ability to make the right choice faster, rather than becoming bogged down in months or years of analysis; awareness of self-employment opportunities you may not have considered; inspiration and courage to start
  • Strengthen your intuition by tuning into your body barometer, meditating, resting, spending time in nature, and asking your higher Self, open generative questions.

 

What’s Next?

To succeed in your career and business, you need to be visible and capture the mind and hearts of your customers. Marketing is one way of making sure people know who you are, what you do and how to find you. It’s not a dirty word. Done well, it’s an art.

Are you ready to show your work?

 

This is an edited extract from Midlife Career Rescue: (Employ Yourself): How to confidently leave a job you hate, and start living a life you love, before it’s too late” by Cassandra Gaisford. To purchase your copy and learn how to follow your passion to prosperity, from Amazon, click here: getBook.at/EmployYourself

To enjoy  your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here:  https://books2read.com/u/4EkWlM

To enjoy your copy from Kobo, click here: https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/ebook/mid-life-career-rescue-employ-yourself

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you enjoy this post?

If you like my work you can support me on Ko-fi>>ko-fi.com/youinspireme 

 

You might like:

Is it time to bring out your playful side? Unleash your inner child

Point of Change. Rewriting his Career in His 60s and Beyond—Brett’s Reinvention Story

 Why Being Inspired Matters: The Spontaneous Fulfillment and Healing Power of Joy

 

Did you know you can enjoy and be inspired by my most popular and successful books on audio? In less than 15 minutes you could be listening to your way to a new life!

Check out the following written and narrated by me.

 

Mid-Life Career Rescue: The Career For Change

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/Mid-Life-Career-Rescue-Audiobook/B07Z5CCD4C

 

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Mid-Life-Career-Rescue-Audiobook/B07Z5BL9NB

 

Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Mid-Life-Career-Rescue-Audiobook/B07Z5CDFKV

 

 

How to Find Your Passion and Purpose

 

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/How-to-Find-Your-Passion-and-Purpose-Audiobook/B07Z5C7YHK

 

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/How-to-Find-Your-Passion-and-Purpose-Audiobook/B07Z5BSXD7

 

Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/How-to-Find-Your-Passion-and-Purpose-Audiobook/B07Z5C4MS6

 

How to Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/How-to-Find-Your-Joy-and-Purpose-Four-Easy-Steps-to-Discover-a-Job-You-Want-and-Live-the-Life-You-Love-Audiobook/B08NWHSS4C

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/How-to-Find-Your-Joy-and-Purpose-Four-Easy-Steps-to-Discover-a-Job-You-Want-and-Live-the-Life-You-Love-Audiobook/B08NWJ7PSG

AU

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/How-to-Find-Your-Joy-and-Purpose-Four-Easy-Steps-to-Discover-a-Job-You-Want-and-Live-the-Life-You-Love-Audiobook/B08NWJ6S69

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/how-to-find-your-joy-and-purpose

 

The Little Princess

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Little-Princess-Audiobook/B07WPH2KML

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/The-Little-Princess-Audiobook/B07WXPMFGC

Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/The-Little-Princess-Audiobook/B07WYGKB5R

 

The Little Princess Can Fly

Audible UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Little-Princess-Can-Fly-Transformational/dp/B086VST2H6

Audible USA: https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Little-Princess-Can-Fly-Audiobook/B086VV4Y4G

Audible Australia: https://www.audible.com.au/pd/The-Little-Princess-Audiobook/B07WYGKB5R

 

I Have To Grow

 Audible UK:

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/I-Have-to-Grow-Audiobook/B07Z4NBMDR

Audible USA:

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/I-Have-to-Grow-Audiobook/B07Z4M81QY

AudibleAustralia:

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/I-Have-to-Grow-Audiobook/B07Z4M81QY

Kobo:

https://www.kobo.com/audiobook/i-have-to-grow-1

 

Audio versions are also available from all online bookstores and also libraries

 

 

 

Here are three more things you might like:


Interesting interviews: Listen to my best interviews on topics like overcoming obstacles, finding joy in adversity, following your passion to prosperity.


Online Courses:

Find Your Passion and Purpose with my best-selling self-paced course made for busy people>>

Play Dates: Online Creativity Workshop>>


Keynote speaking: Hire me to speak to your organization or team about Resilience, wellbeing, innovation, and motivation.

You can get more of my thoughts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to this blog and receive a free gift when you sign up for Cassandra’s newsletters and get more help to live your best life.

Happy Thanks Giving

Thursday, November 26th, 2020

Thank you for being you

Happy Thanks Giving. I love that my American readers celebrate all the things they are thankful for. We don’t do this in New Zealand—but we definitely should! There is one regular practice I do every day, though. MAGIC mornings. Meditation. Affirmation. Goals. Inspiration. Co-creation.

Meditation. A daily meditation practice keeps me sane and connected to Spirit. I first learned Transcendental Meditation over 22 years ago on the 28th of February 1998. I was 33 and my daughter was 7. Following a traumatic relationship bust-up, I credit meditation with saving my life, boosting my resilience and creating joy. I love my times of stillness.

Affirmation. Today, for example, I was affirming all the wonderful experiences I have had over the years. Things like travelling to Puglia and meeting the most wonderful bookseller—a woman in her 80s who told me,  “I don’t need a husband. I have a love affair with my books.” She took the photo of me (above left) in her bookstore in Bari.

Goals. I love to set long-term and short-term goals. Some I achieve on time, others I allow for divine timing. Which is why I have pushed back my release of Word by Word. The timing is just not right for me. My romance comedy Sex With Strangers was begun many moons ago at a romance writer’s retreat, facilitated by Mills and Boon authors Robyn Donald and Daphne Clair—both New Zealanders. The feedback from these wonderful passionate and experienced writers, and others on the writer’s retreat, was so encouraging.

“I love it!”

“We thoroughly enjoyed it”

“You’ve got the beginnings of a really good, hip, fun book”

“The chapter heads are just lovely”

“It was a riot. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Great fun!”

“I can see the movie now.”

“When are you going to finish it?”

I decided it was time for it to air! It was finally published 10 years later! Many of the events are inspired by true stories—both my and others’ experiences. I’ve encountered so many people over the years who are looking for love again, and just don’t know how or where to start.  I hope you giggle and laugh from deep in your belly as you read this story. Like I did, remembering and rewriting some of these scenes (and flashing back to events that were true.)

To enjoy on Amazon: getbook.at/SexWithStrangers

To enjoy on iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores: https://books2read.com/u/4EkM6z

To enjoy on Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ebook/sex-with-strangers-13

 

 

Audio

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/sex-with-strangers-14 

Audible

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/Sex-with-Strangers-Audiobook/B08BTKHJ61

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Sex-with-Strangers-Audiobook/B08BTSSB6L

Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Sex-with-Strangers-Audiobook/B08BTKDD8R

Inspiration? I’m inspired (in spirit) with so many things—even tragedies. I like to imagine how something terrible could lead to something good, something magical, something to heal the sadness. The photo on the right is the image I am using on the story about the White Island Volcano disaster that occurred in New Zealand last Christmas, Love All Of Me. Learn more about the inspiration behind the story, including my love of bees, on my Mollie Mathews blog

BEE Inspired…

https://wordpress.com/post/molliemathews.wordpress.com/1413

Not to be out-classed my nephew (then 5-years-young) created one too

I am also inspired by children. My niece created my logo for my publishing company, Blue Giraffe Publishing when she was 6! And this year I wrote a swag of childrens/adult self-empowerment stories, Transformational Super Kids

You’ll know from my self-empowerment books that when life dishes up sour lemons I love to make lemonade. Thank you to all my clients and readers who have shared their stories of transformation—and taken time to thank me too. Like Simon in Australia, who read How To Find Your Passion and Purpose and left his job as a builder to train as a counsellor. Discover other success stories here>>https://www.cassandragaisford.com/testimonials/

“I love getting your emails. What a great reminder to have Joy  And be mindful of it. I’m glad I met you in 2020, it’s been a better yr because of it.”

Co-Creation? I have always loved what Mother Theresa once said, “We are all pens in the hands of a writing God sending love letters to the world.” My books are always co-created with God.

As you know, reading (and writing) romance is the ultimate feel-good distraction. My ideas start with a character or an event, either a theme that intrigues me or sometimes a news event that captures me. The idea for The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Bride was sparked when I read about a very successful Italian fashion-tycoon who said, ‘My biggest regret is that I gave my life to my job.’ It struck me as very, very sad. Add to this, a childhood of abandonment and never being hugged! What sort of women could possibly thaw his hardened heart? Find out in The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Bride

To enjoy your copy from Amazon, click here>> http://getBook.at/ChristmasBride

To enjoy your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/3LpDa7

To enjoy your copy from Kobo>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/the-italian-billionaire-s-christmas-bride

 AUDIOBOOK

KOBO (and libraries)

https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/audiobook/italian-billionaire-s-christmas-bride-the

If you have read and enjoyed this book, it would help me so much if I could have at least another six reviews by the end of the day. Can you help?

 

P.S. To Celebrate Thanks Giving, please enjoy all these FREE books—from my heart to yours xxxxxx

No! Why ‘No’ is the New ‘Yes’ : How to Reclaim Your Life, Shine in the Sun, and Be Authentically You: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/2dm6wmqh6i

To enjoy your copy from Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/ebook/no-why-no-is-the-new-yes

 

 

 

Billy is a Balloon is zooming up the charts of Amazon. Grab your free copy and experience an immediate uplift. Suitable to children of all ages (yes, mid-lifers…us too!)

To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>>getbook.at/BillyIsABalloon

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/mlwRB9

To grab your copy from Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/en/ebook/billy-is-a-balloon-1

 

 

And yet another, a romance this time, set in my former home city, Wellington. To grab your free copy and leave a review on Amazon click here>>viewBook.at/TwistofFate

To grab your free copy and leave a review on other online stores click here>>https://books2read.com/u/mYrKwo

if you enjoy these stories can you please leave a review:)

HAVE A WONDERFUL THANKSGIVING!!!!

 

 

Why being yourself is the ultimate feel-good Christmas strategy

Monday, November 23rd, 2020

Watch and learn from pros

“Roses do not bloom hurriedly; for beauty, like any masterpiece, takes time to blossom.”
― Matshona Dhliwayo

If you’ve been following me for some time now you’ll know that I love to play. Play with reinventing my career. Play with improving my life. Play with flowering into my true potential. To do this I have watched and learned from pros—mentors, coaches and muses—and investing in my future.

Recently, I’ve taken up painting again. Mythologist and writer Joseph Campbell had it right when he wrote, “When you follow your bliss doors will open for you that don’t open for anyone else.” Or words to that effect.

Here’s a recent example evidencing how following your joy is the best way to live. Paintings from my Soften Series and also works from New Beginnings (pictured above, Sunday Surprise) are now currently on show at the fab Pure Day Spa, in the Bay of Islands. I couldn’t think of a more beautiful place to view art—and be pampered. Two of my passions! I’m exhibiting there – thanks to the fab encouragement of Karen, the owner, who said, ‘Yes! Yes! Yes! In fact, she was so enthusiastic that she helped me hang them right away. I love that several of her beauty therapists have fallen in love with one in particular. Love is my superpower. Is it yours?

Would you love to follow your bliss? Explore a new hobby or resurrect one you’ve neglected? Is stress draining your joy? Would you love to do something—just for fun? Or are you a pro who has lost their mojo?

Do you feel like Mary, a printmaker who shared, “I am struggling with finding a way of telling my story whilst being authentic and how to express myself.” Or Roberto, a successful, but frazzled businessman who told me, ‘I need to do something creative.”

Whatever your reasons, whatever your motivation, no matter how experienced or inexperience you feel Play Dates is perfect for you.

Would you love to play?

Investment: SPECIAL OFFER EXTENDED FOR THANKSGIVING. Reduced from $285 USD to $185 USD. Hurry. Offer must end!!

Enjoy a preview into the course:  Playful Ways To Bring Your Creative Vision to Life. Creating Your Passion Journal

Discover some of my many creative inspirations. This video is about the varied sources that inspires my creativity. As an intuitive artist with a passion for following my ‘inner joy’ I hope my work captures and celebrates the ‘life-giving’ aspects of art, and leaves viewers with a feeling of pleasure, peace and contentment. Discover more here:https://www.cassandragaisford.com

Please subscribe and follow my YouTube channel for more inspiration.

 

Success Stories…

SELL YOUR STORY ONLINE

Several moons ago, a beautiful lady (but then frustrated) writer, Heather, contacted me for help to publish her children’s empowerment stories. She’d been penning her healing words for years but no one was able to read her beautiful stories. They were all in her head, her notebooks, her computer. After her mentoring programme, she now has her own boutique publishing business and her books can be enjoyed by children, parents and teachers ALL OVER THE WORLD.

A beautiful side-effect has been the increased exposure as an expert that sharing her teachings has given her. She quit her salaried job and is now flying solo with her own business – Kaleidoscope Solutions.

“When it comes to healing children on an emotional level, I can’t emphasize the importance of Heather’s therapeutic stories enough”.  Jamie – Mother of 6-year-old daughter.

“I can’t speak highly enough for Heather and the impact the story has had. The tailor-made story truly helped Victor to understand the new feelings he was going through with this new life-form entering the home vying for mummy and daddy’s attention. Our son was very engaged listening to the story and he loved the special song included in the story too. Thank you so much for helping our kid through this difficult stage!” Chris – Father of 3-year-old son.

 

Check out Heather’s beautiful stories. Enjoy the first book in the Kaleidoscope stories here>>https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/ebook/bright-star-21. Also available as audio—narrated by Heather.

View her other books on Amazon, here>>https://www.amazon.com/Heather-Dodge/e/B0899NNR63

Do you have a story to tell? A book to share? Would you love to publish your own book or create another source of income?

Stay tuned for my new coaching programme: Love Stories.

In this intimate group coaching course, I share my secrets of how I built a successful self-publishing business and guide participants through all the steps that are essential to create and publish the stories they want to share with the world and ensures their online bookshop thrives.

Featured reader of the month—Mandy

I still remember the day Mandy rushed up to me in a hotel and cried, “Cassandra. I’ve got to give you a hug! You changed my life!”

We had never met. Not in person. We met in person. Through the power of story. My story of having the courage to change careers, confidently leave a job I hated, and start living a life I loved, before it was too late, inspired Mandy to leave her job, her marriage, her home—her life… and live her dream.

I share more of Mandy’s story in Mid-Life Career Rescue.

To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>> https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EG1L3D6

To grab your copy from Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/mid-life-career-rescue-series-box-set-books-1-3-the-call-for-change-what-makes-you-happy-employ-yourself

Your legacy can be like the one I created for Mandy (and many other men and women I’ve had the privilege to help like her), who in her 50’s, after reading the book I wrote as a result of my experience as a life and career coach, wrote to me and told me how the book had changed her life:

“To be honest, I couldn’t put the book down—it was as though Cassandra had got inside my head and written it specifically for me! It helped me process the what/where questions I was asking myself and discussed all the aspects that had been tumbling around in my head like a washing machine for many months.  It helped me process my thoughts, clarify my thinking, formulate a real plan and prepare myself for my new life.”

And what a new life it was. Mandy packed up her old life as a disillusioned consultant and unhappy wife in New Zealand and moved to outback Australia after successfully applying for a new role. She landed a three-year contract as an Infrastructure and Assets Manager, overseeing the construction of the Art Centre and new houses, as well as the commercialization of the airport and the development of major roads.

“I wanted a new adventure and I’ve found one!” she wrote to me. “I’m excited and terrified.” Others saw Mandy as an inspiration, paving the way for other mid-lifers to make courageous life and career changes.

Mandy has since made another massive change, settling back in Auckland with a new business and a new man!

My clients, and readers like Mandy, tell me they value the fact that my advice is gained from both my personal and professional experiences and is both practical and inspirational.

Work with me. I’d love to help.

One-to-One Coaching. Two Hour Intensive

Gift some dedicated time for yourself or someone you love.

If life has you by the horns and you would like to seize joyful control and create a plan for your life or business in 2021, that’s exactly what we do in a two hour intensive.

You receive a questionnaire prior to your Zoom call to help you clarify where you are now, where you want to be—your desires, skills and dreams. This helps me to tailor a coaching programme to maximise your success during our coaching call. You will receive a follow-up email with a dream achievement plan and a video recording of our session.

Investment: $ 600 USD

Get in touch with me to book your time or pre-purchase a gift voucher for someone you love…cassandra@cassandragaisford.com

 

Did you enjoy this post?

If you like my work you can support me on Ko-fi>>ko-fi.com/youinspireme 

You might like:

Do you feel guilty for wanting more from your career and life?

10 things you can do to stay positive despite fearing failure

 Why Being Inspired Matters: The Spontaneous Fulfillment and Healing Power of Joy

 

Here are three more things you might like:


Interesting interviews: Listen to my best interviews on topics like overcoming obstacles, finding joy in adversity, following your passion to prosperity.


Online Course: Find Your Passion and Purpose with my best-selling self-paced course made for busy people.


Keynote speaking: Hire me to speak to your organization or team about Resilience, wellbeing, innovation, and motivation.

You can get more of my thoughts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

For personalised help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to this blog and receive a free gift when you sign up for Cassandra’s newsletters and get more help to live your best life.

 

NEW! PLAY DATES: ONLINE CREATIVITY WORKSHOP

Thursday, November 19th, 2020

NEW! PLAY DATES: ONLINE CREATIVITY WORKSHOP

 

For those ready to explore the playful freedom of Abstract Art. Play Dates is my 6-week online course that I’ve created just for you!

I invite you to join me on this self-paced abstract adventure across 6 different units and over 20 different lessons. The 6 units will inspire you with the following teachings:

  • Stories to tell—speaking with paint
  • Finding your voice—discovering your authentic essence
  • Courageous with colour-being brave and bold with vividly contrasting colours
  • Inspired Intuition—allowing your heart to rule
  • Playful-not perfect—letting go of perfection
  • Expressing feelings and healing through art

The course includes videos, resources and audio files you can enjoy over and over again.

You don’t need to be an experienced artist to enjoy this course. I am self-taught all the way! Learning for yourself is one of the great joys and freedom of creativity. The University of Life has taken me a long way—winning prizes, selling work in galleries to important collectors;  solo and group exhibitions and finalling in the prestigious portraiture award with my first-ever portrait; and learning the spiritual art of Sumi painting in Maui with internationally celebrated, New York-based, artist Max Gimblett.

And, guess what? All the time I was playing. Experimenting. Trying things out. Just for fun! Joseph Campbell was right when he said, when you follow your bliss, door open for you wouldn’t open for anyone else.

About 3 years into my painting journey…

…I remember thinking ‘I’ve lost my mojo. My art isn’t speaking to me.”

The incessant comparing myself to others who had some kind of “voice. ” I just couldn’t express myself. In 2012 won the Supreme Prize in a prestigious art award. I had a successful exhibition, selling several thousands of dollars of art. People loved the Sumi ink series but I KNEW there was something more inside me, something I wanted to articulate with my painting…something more joyful.

I looked around the art world and found myself drawn to paintings that oozed fresh, fluid, fun energy, paintings that were both mysterious and compelling, paintings that told a story—without sharing their secrets. Paintings that intrigued, entranced and danced. Paintings that spoke to peoples hearts.

Fast forward another 8 years, I’ve held successful group and shows, explored a million possibilities, shipped my works to buyers across the globe, travelled the world teaching workshops, made a truckload of mistakes (or happy accidents), shared with my passion and purpose with students online and honed my skills and passion as an artist and as a teacher whose burning desire is to have her students succeed in whatever way is right for them.

I would so love to play with you.

I’m excited to show you so many things!

Whether you are a beginner, experienced or a pro who has lost their flow, I can show you how to loosen up, how to create art that speaks, art you love. I can help you take your art to the next level.

  

Would you love to play?

 

Investment: Reduced from $285 USD to $185 USD for a limited time. 

Get in touch with me to play Cassandra@cassandragaisford.com

 

 

 

Follow Me And Continue To Be Supported, Encouraged, and Inspired

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www.youtube.com/cassandragaisfordnz

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www.twitter.com/cassandraNZ

What’s the perfect gift?

Tuesday, November 17th, 2020

“A book is a gift you can open again and again,” ~ Garrison Keillor

Hello happiness…

Mollie Mathews

There are so many pressing issues in the world aren’t there. Which is why I love a good distraction.

Right now, besides my normal career-combo of coaching, writing and reading love stories, I’ve been painting. I received a new commission the other morning. I was so delighted. The short brief was compelling…”I would love to commission you to conjure up an exquisite piece of art…Love all the vibrant memories my special lady brings. Love, sea, sand, salt and pohutukawas.”

People often ask where do I grab my inspiration from. In this case, it’s the beautiful image of the abstract pattern on the dress of the gentleman’s beloved wife. She passed several years ago from cancer. This has been such a joy to paint as I know the healing power art can bring, a loving hug during times of sadness and a big vibrant reminder of love which endures.

So, while for many Christmas may not feel like reason to celebrate, the resilience and endurance born by many of us this year is celebration enough. We are still standing—and importantly planning ahead. As one of my clients said to me yesterday, somewhat incredulously “How many people plan out 5 to 10 years?”

The truth is that very few people do. But the ones who dream of a better life and come to me for coaching always do. “Begin with the end in mind,” is one of my favourite maxims from success guru, Stephen Covey. That and “sharpen the saw,” which is why investing in your growth and development is so important. It’s where the winners part from the losers because the losers stay stuck.

This week’s newsletter is here with a gift guide to help you or (someone you love) get unstuck and create a life and career that enables you to express who you truly are and who you truly want to be. Chose joy…it will never lead you astray!

Start your dreams today..

WORK WITH ME…One-to-One Coaching. Two Hour Intensive

Gift some dedicated time for yourself or someone you love.

If life has you by the horns and you would like to seize joyful control and create a plan for your life or business in 2021, that’s exactly what we do in a two hour intensive.

You receive a questionnaire prior to your Zoom call to help you clarify where you are now, where you want to be—your desires, skills and dreams. This helps me to tailor a coaching programme to maximise your success during our coaching call. You will receive a follow-up email with a dream achievement plan and a video recording of our session.

 

Investment: $ 600 USD

 

Get in touch with me to book your time or pre-purchase a gift voucher for someone you love.

Gift now

ONLINE COURSES

Follow Your Passion to Prosperity

What if you could increase your success, health and happiness with a few simple steps? How would your life be different if you had more energy, motivation, confidence and self-belief? What if you could hit your business, personal and financial targets easily? Imagine waking up every morning looking forward to your day, working and living with purpose, passion and profit.
If you’re like many people who don’t know what they are passionate about or what gives your life meaning and purpose, this course will help provide the answers.

If you have been told it’s not realistic to work and live with passion, this book will help change your mindset.

If you’re too busy, too tired, too stressed out to read a lengthy book, this concise guide comes to your rescue.

Quit just existing and start really living! Start this course now to start achieving outstanding personal and professional results with absolute certainty and excitement.

Start your dreams today. Special price! $210 USD. Buy Now


CAREER RESCUE

It’s Not Too Late to Change Careers (Here’s How)

Practical, inspiring and empowering tips and strategies every job hunter and career changer needs to know

Are you showing signs of job dissatisfaction? Did you wake up this morning excited to face the day ahead? Or did the thought of getting up and going to work make you wish you could stay in bed? If Monday mornings are a low point in your week, it may be a sign that it’s time for a new career.

Thought-provoking, guided exercises made this 5-part email series personal to your own journey. It’s always great to self reflect and revisit your thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and assumptions from time to time.

Quit feeling trapped. Reclaim your power! Find a job you love and finally live the life you want. Special price! Only $33 USD. Enrol now.

Books That Keep Giving

OMG! It’s been five years since I first released, Mid-Life Career Rescue and it’s still one of my most popular and life-changing books.
My story from stress to satisfaction may be an old story but it still rings true. In Midlife Career Rescue I share inspiring and practical career-change and job-hunting tips and strategies, I’ve used successfully herself and with clients.

Mid-Life Career Rescue will help you:

* Discover a job you love
* Boost confidence, courage and self-esteem
* Flame the embers of inspiration and passion
* Identify areas of strength
* Overcome stress and doubt
* Break free of a job you hate
* Work with your passion

Whether you love the idea of the 4-hour workweek, want to find a job that reflects who you are and what’s important to you, or thinking about starting a business, changing careers and finding a new job can be yours.

As Richard N Bolles, author of ‘What Colour Is Your Parachute’, once said to the author, “sometimes all it takes is one book, one sentence to transform your life.”Available in ebook, paperback and hardcover and audio

 

To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>>

getbook.at/ChangeCareers

 

 

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>

 https://books2read.com/u/bwvVK0

 

To grab your copy from Kobo, click here>>

https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/ebook/mid-life-career-rescue-the-call-for-change-2020

 

AUDIOBOOK

AUDIBLE

US

https://www.audible.com/pd/Mid-Life-Career-Rescue-Audiobook/B07Z5CCD4C

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Mid-Life-Career-Rescue-Audiobook/B07Z5BL9NB

AU

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Mid-Life-Career-Rescue-Audiobook/B07Z5CDFKV

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/audiobook/mid-life-career-rescue-the-call-for-change-1

 

Looking for something inspiring for the kids?

“Beautiful!”

So many people, including children, feel anxious, fearful, and stressed right now, but there is something we can do. We can feed our soul. Which is what I did when I wrote my new release, the 5th in the Transformational Super Kids Series, Jojo Lost Her Confidence.

Jojo Lost Her Confidence is the 5th story, in this 8 book transformational education series. Fun focused, and fearless stories of empowered change suitable for ‘kids’ of all ages. Check out the series and purchase here>>Transformational Super Kids Series

 

* * * MY GIFT TO YOU. . .FREE AUDIOBOOK * * *

Readers are using books to cope in different ways

“The coronavirus crisis has impacted the kinds of books readers, and particularly parents, are seeking out,” wrote BookBub in a recent newsletter. ” It’s been widely reported that sales of books for kids, and especially nonfiction and learning books, have skyrocketed in response to school closures. Religious holidays in early April contributed to this even further — in the week ending April 11, juvenile nonfiction print sales rose 16% over the previous week, and juvenile fiction rose 26%, both driven by increases in the “holidays/festivals/religion” book categories.

 

I have created my stories to appeal to both adults and children. If you, or your child, could do with an inspirational boost, Please accept my free gift—Billy is a Balloon. I hope you enjoy this short, empowering story. Click here for the free audiobook – written and narrated by me>> https://dl.bookfunnel.com/znooq2ocme

 

WHO DOESN’T LOVE FLOWERS

Especially exciting for me is Flower Power, which is a small gift size hardcover and paperback that has taken me a lifetime to put together. I have collected poems and quotations I have loved all my life, from the Persian Mystic Rumi. The book of my favourites is now coming your way, with gorgeous photography of New Zealand flowers taken by me! Who doesn’t love flowers? It’s a little jewel of a book with quotations that will inspire you, give you hope when you need it, comfort you on a bad day, or make you laugh out loud. The topics I touch on are Love, Hope, Courage, Faith, Life, and Laughter. This book means the world to me, and I really hope it does to you too. I hope you give it as a gift this holiday season, it’s a book to share and to give and to adore. It really is a very special book.

Hardcover Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/Flower-Power-Cassandra-Gaisford/dp/199002050X

Ebook:
https://www.blurb.com/ebooks/660219-flower-power

Instant PDF version:
https://www.blurb.com/b/8638155-flower-power

 

More inspiring books!

GIFT A PAINTING

I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.”

Monet.

 

Paintings and bespoke artworks create the ultimate gift. In fact recently, I gifted the painting below to the couple who shared their story of losing a daughter and being blessed with a new baby…which inspired me to create.

 

I think you are going to love my new series, “New Beginnings.”

If you’ve read my book, The Art of Success: Leonardo Da Vinci, or Coco Chanel, you’ll know that artists can teach all of us, no matter what your career trajectory so much about passion, perseverance and grift

“New Beginnings,” is inspired by spring here in NZ,  it’s the season to throw caution to the wind and experiment with pops of vibrant colour.

Bold and beautiful – it’s time to have some fun.

Gone are the pale, restful shades of my Soften series, “new beginnings” ups the ante with pops of painterly colours to brighten and beautify.

Spoiled for choice when it comes to the colours we can play with, “new beginnings” is inspired by fresh spring blooms. Think lime and new growth greens, fragrant yellow freesias,  flaming coral-reds, and more

The response has been brilliant—reminding me of the early excitement when I first shared my idea to create a Passion Pack—the forerunner to my bestselling book, How to Find Your Passion and Purpose.

“Such happy work.”

“Love it.”

“Lovely colours and painterliness. Nice melding of the realistic and abstract, too. These are spirit lifters!”

Check out my gallery or email me to commission a beautiful piece – there’s just enough time!

View beautiful art

 

Did you enjoy this post?

If you like my work you can support me on Ko-fi>>ko-fi.com/youinspireme 

 

You may also like

How to know what passion is in easy, simple actionable steps

Is it time to bring out your playful side? Unleash your inner child

Point of Change. Rewriting his Career in His 60s and Beyond—Brett’s Reinvention Story

 

Here are three more things you might like:


Interesting interviews: Listen to my best interviews on topics like overcoming obstacles, finding joy in adversity, following your passion to prosperity.


Online Course: Find Your Passion and Purpose with my best-selling self-paced course made for busy people.


Keynote speaking: Hire me to speak to your organization or team about Resilience, wellbeing, innovation, and motivation.

You can get more of my thoughts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to this blog and receive a free gift when you sign up for Cassandra’s newsletters and get more help to live your best life.

 

 

I did a Trump last night…

Monday, November 9th, 2020

There is something we can all control…our attitude

(Sneak peek in the studio. Did you know that limes, yellows, and pinks some of the many colours of joy? That’s why I love painting with them.)

Dear friends,

I did a Trump last night. Something was on my mind, something I was frustrated by, something I wanted to fix. Immediately. Right then. On the spot. At 2:15 am.

Unlike the President, I didn’t summon others to witness my frustration. I didn’t spread any conspiracy theories. I didn’t blame others. I simply lifted the canvas that wasn’t working and started repainting.

Big mistake! Instead of creating a legacy piece, I ended up with a big mud puddle. The light was poor. The paint wouldn’t dry. The conditions were less than optimal. But I couldn’t let go. I couldn’t quit. And things went from bad to worse.

Is there something in your life right now that’s frustrating you? Does an impulsive drive to fix things make things worse?

Definitions of frustration include:

“the feeling of being upset or annoyed as a result of being unable to change or achieve something.”

“the prevention of the progress, success, or fulfilment of something.”

I was getting frustrated because what I was trying to do was important to me. I wanted to create something beautiful. The action I took made me question whether I wanted to continue to be an artist. I felt like throwing away my paints.

What I needed to do was change my attitude. Here are a few things I’ll do next time frustration creeps in:

  • Remind myself that something beautiful can come from mistakes
  • Work with energy—2:15 am is not my optimum time
  • Step away. I don’t have a golf course to retreat to, but I did have a nice warm bed.
  • Be playful. In the total scheme of life, even a bad day at the easel is better than the worst jobs I’ve ever had
  • Be grateful for the successes I have achieved
  • Remember to balance work and life. Painting is part of my career-combo. Sometimes I need to paint just for me
  • Share my feelings with others who can help me recalibrate
  • Set some rules—like not painting after midnight!

And last, but not least, remind myself that I am the Joyful Painter. Always, always, always work with joy. I’ve set up an Instagram page. If you’d love to see my work as it evolves please follow me here>>https://www.instagram.com/joyful.painter/

 

Whatever life gives you, you can respond with joy. Joy is the happiness that does not depend on what happens. It is the grateful response to the opportunity that life offers in this moment.”

Brother Steindl-Rast

We spend too much time at work to give up on joy and purpose, but some people think that you save the things you love for a hobby or for when you retire.

The truth is you are unlikely to find real fulfilment or meaning in your work unless it engages you as a person and delivers some kind of buzz.

Joy-filled employees are good for business too. People who love their work are productive, happy, engaged and inspired.

If you can’t find joy in salaried employment, embrace a side hustle, volunteer, elsewhere or spark excitement by considering the freedom and fulfilment of being your own boss.

Numerous people have found tremendous joy in the most unexpected places and very often it has been born from a place of great pain.

Here are just a few examples:

• Novelists Danielle Steel, Isabel Allende, and many others—who overcame difficult childhoods

• Drew Barrymore, especially in her new business, Flower Beauty—who overcame addiction

• Trauma Therapist Dr. Edith Eger—who survived Auschwitz concentration camp

• Neuroscientist Dr. Joe Dispenza—who overcame paralysis

• Motivational author Gabby Bernstein—who overcame alcohol addiction

• Comedian Billy Connelly—who overcame sexual abuse

How will you handle frustration? What role could joy play in your working life? By avoiding reacting during times of annoyance you’ll avoid derailing your career.

I share more about how to find your joy—even in the worst circumstances in the book I co-wrote with my daughter

To grab your eBook or Print copy from Amazon, click here>>getbook.at/FindYourJoy

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>> https://books2read.com/u/bzoawZ

To grab your copy from Kobo, click here>>www.kobo.com/ebook/how-to-find-your-joy-and-purpose-1

Audiobook

Also available in audiobook and hardback

 

 

What I’m working on now…

I’m loving my coaching calls and training sessions with clients all over the world—including the UK, Canada, South Africa and here in New Zealand. The fab thing about being a life and career coach is the variety and all the ways my clients inspire me.

Like Shirley, 78 years young who scheduled an oracle card reading with me to help her find her true essence and guide her during times of change.

And Mary who contacted me to help beat her creative blocks and fears and is now up and flying with her children’s book career. I helped her set up her own publishing company.

And all the men and woman who have reached out to me for mentoring and support to achieve a lifestyle career as career and life coaches.

“That’s not work,” I tell them, when I finish a call, “that’s fun!”

(names changed for privacy)

Discover more

 

Enter & WIN!

Schedule a coaching call today and go in the draw to win three sessions—free

Enter now!

 

Featured reader of the month: Shirley

I was so thrilled when Shirley reached out for an oracle card reading. I love working with these cards. The word oracle comes from the latin ‘Orare’ which means ‘to pray’ or ‘to speak,’ and refers to communication from the divine. Oracle cards are a more modern interpretation of tarot cards. They vary greatly from deck to deck, but their purpose is to help us have a direct dialogue with your soul and the soul of the Universe.

Over the years I always dreamed about creating an oracle deck of my own. So far the closest I have ever come is the creation of The Passion Pack, a set of cards designed to help people discover their passion and purpose. These cards are the foundation of my most popular book, How To Find Your Passion And Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want and Live the Life You Love. The pack of cards is out of print now. It was so popular and I hope to create another oracle pack using my paintings.

Shirley, 78 years young was facing a big move and was feeling apprehensive. She wanted clarity about what she needed for her wellbeing, her relationship, and her art.

I was delighted to receive her feedback. It’s early days, as I have given her a lot to think and dream about and additional resources too—including an astrology report and an MP3 recording her oracle reading so she can listen again and again.

I love people like Shirley who are young at heart and always open for new ways to develop.

The reading did seem true for me

I feel that it is true that I am an intuitive person and am trying to listen to that part of myself even more.

I would love my art to speak for me, so I have to think how I could bring that about.

Schedule an oracle card reading

 

Need help finding your joy? Schedule a session with me today

For personalised help schedule a session here >>

 

Did you enjoy this post?

You might like:

Why training to be a life or career coach is the go-to-career change strategy

Point of Change. Rewriting his Career in His 60s and Beyond—Brett’s Reinvention Story

Would you love to be a life or career coach? Discover how to be your own boss the affordable, fun, purposeful way

 

If you like my work you can support me on Ko-fi>>ko-fi.com/youinspireme 

 

Here are three more things you might like:


Interesting interviews: Listen to my best interviews on topics like overcoming obstacles, finding joy in adversity, following your passion to prosperity.


Online Course: Find Your Passion and Purpose with my best-selling self-paced course made for busy people.


Keynote speaking: Hire me to speak to your organization or team about Resilience, wellbeing, innovation, and motivation.

You can get more of my thoughts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to this blog and receive a free gift when you sign up for Cassandra’s newsletters and get more help to live your best life.

How Beauty and Love Can Help You Change Careers and Love Your Life Again

Monday, October 19th, 2020

 

Creating beauty is one of the best things we can do to cultivate our souls and enrich the lives of others. Recently, I’ve been drawn to painting again. A beautiful baby inspired my painting above. Recently I gifted the painting to the family whose story of resilience sparked the idea. Creating art is an obvious way to create beauty. But you don’t have to be an artist to let the beauty you love be the work that you.

I am drawn to beautiful oracle cards and I love to do readings for people look for hope and guidance. I love the beautiful feedback I received recently:

“It amazes me how on point the cards are,  how even the sequence and what it relates to interpreting me so accurately… I am able to gain strength to keep moving forward.”

I listened again!  Wow!  Even several months later I can see how relevant it was to what was going on in my world back then but is strangely still relevant to me now. It amazes me how on point the cards are,  how even the sequence and what it relates to interpreting me so accurately.  This was quite an unexpected experience for one who tends to let her logical brain lead!  It helped me see the bigger picture behind what is going on for me. And in that,  I am able to gain strength to keep moving forward.”

People sometimes ask me how I began reading oracle cards. For many years I kept my spiritual light in the dark. But I was encouraged by the things I knew and the feedback from others, including my favourite intuitive astrologer, Marianne O’Hagan, “You’re more psychic than me.” And also world-acclaimed medium Tabash. “you are highly psychic and instinctive.”

If you are looking for confirmation of your beautiful gifts start collecting feedback and record it in a special journal and in Evernote. If you’d love to schedule an oracle reading email me here>>Cassandra@cassandragaisford.com

I also love helping men and women create beautiful businesses. Currently, I am working with a beautiful woman in Canada who is inspired to create her own business to share her love of learning the beautiful Spanish language and her love of beautiful places. I’m looking forward to sharing her success story with you. Take a peek at some of the beautiful people who have reached out to me for coaching and the gorgeous businesses they have created as a result:
www.significantlives.com
www.SheLovesLifeOver50.com
https://www.thetreasurechest.co.nz/
https://www.boxofchocolates.co.nz/

You can find out more about the training these beautiful men and woman did here >> http://www.worklifesolutions.co.nz/coach-training

In this week’s blog, I share some more inspiring and practical ways following beauty can lead you to the work you were born to do. Discover your beauty spot and point of brilliance—click here>>. I hope you enjoy it.

 

 

This quote and the photo I took reflect what gives my life meaning and purpose. I’m drawn to all things beautiful and the people who create and nurture beauty. This gorgeous lily is the one that inspired Monet to paint his famous waterlily series. The lily is this photo has been loving cultivated by David Styles of Te Horo in one of many bathtubs! Oh,  I do so love people with healthy obsessions—passionate people are vitamins for the soul. David Styles is nuts about water lilies. It’s such a beautiful passion that he’s nearly run out of room for them all—so now he has bathtubs overflowing with all his loves. Check out this fabulous ‘bathhouse’ and more about how a healthy obsession can be a liberating thing here http://www.cassandragaisford.com/david-loves-lilly/

 

Here is the rest of Rumi’s poem:

 

Today, like every other day,

we wake up empty

and frightened.

Don’t open the door to the study and begin reading.

Take down a musical instrument.

Let the beauty we love be what we do.

There are hundreds of ways to kneel and

kiss the ground.

 

~ Rumi, 13th-century Persian, poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic

 

Creating beauty is one of the best things we can do to cultivate our souls and enrich the lives of others. Sadly, in some cultures, it is an extremely undervalued skill. My story will not be dis-similar to others – it’s a story of being steered away from my creativity, of being channelled into studying economics and accounting and other supposedly ‘virtuous’ skills. My first job was as a bank teller – to say it nearly killed me is an understatement. Later after finishing my commerce degree I found work as a recruiter – and not long after developed shingles. Slowly I found my way back to creativity, to painting and photography, poetry and writing, colour consulting and many other creative endeavours. I also developed a love of coaching – inspired by helping find and follow their passions, creative calling and soul purpose.

 Increasingly I’m guided by the mission and life purpose statement I created seven years ago – it helps me stay focused on the areas of life and work that give life and which I feel compelled to do. I’m sharing it with you here in the hope that something may resonate with you, or that it may inspire you also to let the beauty you love be the work that you do.

 

Cassandra’s life purpose statement

 

 

I am a creative and inspiring author and intuitive artist who creates enduring beauty that inspires and uplifts.

My values-driven work benefits my partner, my daughter, family and those who enjoy the things I create.

Using my favourite skills, I work with passion, purpose and profit to help people feel happy, inspired and uplifted. I am financially free and enjoy huge wealth (financially, emotionally, spiritually). My books, creations and works of heart benefit others. I am pursuing my passion for helping others.

I benefit personally because I am doing something I feel passionate about and developing new knowledge to share with others. I am spiritually aligned with my life purpose and passion.

 

June 12, 2013, Wellington, NZ

 

In the Art of Success, I share the following:

 

 

 

What induces you, oh man, to depart from your home in town, to leave parents and friends, and go to the countryside over mountains and valleys, if it is not for the beauty of the world of nature.

~ Leonardo da Vinci

 

Your Beauty Spot Is Your Point of Brilliance

If you’ve read my other books you’ll know that I’ve always loved what the artist and philosopher John Ruskin once said, “Where talent, interest and motivation intersect expect a masterpiece.”

Using this as your guide, you may like to draw three circles. List your areas of motivation in one (passion, purpose, values, goals etc.); Your interests and obsessions in another; Your favourite skills and talents in the third.

Note where they overlap. This is your internal world, and what I have in the past called your PassionPoint, or Point of Brilliance.

It’s also your beauty spot. It’s where love lives. It’s the union of your soul—your path with heart which leads you toward your higher purpose. As Leonardo said, without love, what then? It’s where your light shines brightest.

Surround these three circles with a fourth to enclose them. This symbolises the external world—both the practical earth and the higher heavens. So many people have speculated on and sensationalised Leonardo’s greatest works, looking for clues to interpret and break codes to discover sacred mysteries.

But as Leonardo said himself, the truth is best left in the open. That which is above is the same as that which is below. And this is where beauty and success unite.

Leonardo remains an enigma. But we do know he communed with the Universe, saw into the future, and worked damned hard to master his talents and bring his visions into living realities.

 

How Can Your Point Of Brilliance Serve?

To generate career options, knowing what will be needed or in demand, now and in the future, can yield gold.

What needs can you fulfil when you’re aligned with your beauty spot? What economic, demographic, social, environmental or other needs can you serve? This is the work you are called to do and where you will truly shine.

It doesn’t need to have a massive job title, or be about saving the world. But whatever you choose to do has to fulfil a need. Economics 101—no need, no demand.

Of course, if money is no barrier, you are freer to pursue your own needs without this added focus. By doing this you may just create a demand, or make the world a happier place. Importantly, you’ll be happy.

 

Remember Your Criteria for Success

So many people embark on one path only to find it cuts or suffocates other choices. Others mistakenly believe that you can’t have a multitude of passions.

Be clear about who you are, what success means to you, your criteria for fulfilment and begin with this end in mind. Work backwards from the future to implement your success strategy.

 

 

OTHER HELPFUL TIPS TO FIND YOUR BEAUTY SPOT

What beautiful things, places, people, situations, or causes inspire you?

If you let the beauty you love be the work you do, what would you be drawn to?

Consider creating your own life purpose statement. Look for the themes.

Gather examples of people who make a career from their beauty. The point is not to chose or select what you would do but to open your awareness of all the possible options. Generate ideas beyond the more obvious careers (beautician; beauty therapist etc.) For example, creating beautiful books is something I discovered recently. In one of my first photobooks, I combined the beauty of flowers, the beauty of soulful poetry into a coffee table book, Flower Power: How Extraordinary Beauty Can Change Your Life.

 

I hope this has inspired some helpful and beautiful career or life redesign options. If you haven’t already, check out Midlife Career Rescue for more empowering and inspiring career change solutions. Another thing I love is helping people leave jobs they hate and also helping others build beautiful businesses as a Worklife Solutions Certified Career and Life Coach.

 

 

BOOKS MENTIONED IN THIS POST

 

The Art of Success: How Extraordinary Artists Can Help You Succeed in Business and Life

To grab your copy of the Art of Success from Amazon, click here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IR11NAO

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here: https://books2read.com/u/bPJqYJ

To grab your copy from Kobo, click here: https://www.kobo.com/ebook/the-art-of-success-5

 

 

 

 

 Midlife Career Rescue: The Call For Change

To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>>

getbook.at/ChangeCareers

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>

 https://books2read.com/u/bwvVK0

To grab your copy from Kobo, click here>>

https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/ebook/mid-life-career-rescue-the-call-for-change-2020

 

AUDIOBOOK

AUDIBLE

US

https://www.audible.com/pd/Mid-Life-Career-Rescue-Audiobook/B07Z5CCD4C

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Mid-Life-Career-Rescue-Audiobook/B07Z5BL9NB

AU

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Mid-Life-Career-Rescue-Audiobook/B07Z5CDFKV

KOBO

https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/audiobook/mid-life-career-rescue-the-call-for-change-1

 

 

 

Flower Power: How Extraordinary Beauty Can Change Your Life

Ebook:

https://www.blurb.com/ebooks/660219-flower-power

Instant pdf version:

https://www.blurb.com/b/8638155-flower-power

Hardcover Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Flower-Power-Cassandra-Gaisford/dp/199002050X

 

 

 

ONLINE LEARNING—Follow Your Passion to Prosperity

To start achieving outstanding personal and professional results with absolute certainty and excitement. Click here to enrol in my online course. Find out more: https://the-coaching-lab.teachable.com/p/follow-your-passion-and-purpose-to-prosperity

 

 

Did you enjoy this post?

If you like my work you can support me on Ko-fi>>ko-fi.com/youinspireme 

 

You might like:

 

Point of Change. Rewriting his Career in His 60s and Beyond—Brett’s Reinvention Story

Easy, Inspiring Ways to Whip Yourself Out of a Rut in Your Life, Relationships and Career

What 14 Self-Employed Business Owners Wish They Knew at the Start of Their Career

 

The Surprising Secret Covid and Creativity Have In Common

Thursday, October 15th, 2020
Albert Einstein once said, “Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.” Genuis. So I did just this with one of my artworks which I gifted last weekend.
 
I painted and named this painting, Te Ataroa (The Long Morning), after the beautiful baby born three months ago to a very proud young couple. Her name is Te Ataroa and she is the younger sister of the little girl who died before she was born. Te Ataroa is an added blessing. Translated her name means “the long morning”.
 
Their angel babies name is Te Ahikā Heta. Te Ahika translates to The Home Fire. Its meaning is to keep the home fires burning.
 
Traditional Maori believe that the spirit continues to exist after death and that the deceased will always be with them. Once someone has died they will go to the spirit world. Their loved ones do not disappear from their lives, or reincarnate as someone else, but live amongst them still, in the spiritual realm.
 
As I painted this I imagined Te Ataroa’s sister, Te Ahikā Heta, shining down on her from the heavenly realms sending her, her mum and dad, brothers and extended family her love and light.
 
I am so delighted that this painting was exhibited in The Beauty of Resilience exhibition and to have been able to gift it to Te Ataroa’s and Te Ahikā Heta’s mum and dad and to the family.
 
It was especially beautiful to receive this reply when I reached out to offer the painting, “Awwww thank you soooo much we would absolutely love it! Im in tears right now it means sooo much.”
 
Originally they had planned to place it in Te Ataroa’s bedroom but are now planning to place it in the lounge because ‘we want everyone to see it when they walk in the house. And again thank you soooo much we deeply appreciate it and we love it soooo much.”
 
This is why I love to paint. Art heals, art connects, art sends love letters to the world.
 
On the right, Te Ataroa (The Long Morning),
 
1200 mm x 900mm
 
Acrylic on panel
 
 
On the left, The Awakening Dawn SOLD
 
Encaustic, oil crayon, pastel, mixed media on board
 
400mm x 400mm

 

Here are three more things you might like:


Interesting interviews: Listen to my best interviews on topics like overcoming obstacles, finding joy in adversity, following your passion to prosperity.


Online Course: Find Your Passion and Purpose with my best-selling self-paced course made for busy people.


Keynote speaking: Hire me to speak to your organization or team about Resilience, wellbeing, innovation, and motivation.

You can get more of my thoughts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

For personalised help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to this blog and receive a free gift when you sign up for Cassandra’s newsletters and get more help to live your best life.

Instantly 4x Your Productivity Scientifically Engineered Hacks Proven to Increase Focus And Reduce Distractions

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020

 

“The mind that engages in subjects of too great variety becomes confused and weakened.”

~ Leonardo da Vinci

Distractions are like flies. They buzz around you discordantly driving your focus from your project of heart to shit. Shit tasks, shit goals, shit things to complete. You must swat them away.

Be vigilant. Know when your flies are most likely to land. First thing in the morning? Mid-afternoon? Close of the working day? “Away” you must say. “Be gone you pesky shit-sucking flies.”

I have challenged myself to dedicate the next three weeks to finish my book. It was a bumpy start. People around me are unhappy and downloading their stress on me.

I walked to the garden and then to my she-shed and did manage to get a good two hours of productivity done. But then some friends want to bring the date forward to come up and have a glass of wine with us.

On the one hand, it will be great to see our friends. On the other hand, having these friends up here earlier than planned is not going to help me finish.

I’m annoyed. Halfway into town to purchase wine and nibbles, I think of Paulo Coelho. He once said that his writing space became a bunker and no one could have access to him. I need to set firmer boundaries. Either that or, as my friend Heather Morris did, take myself away. I talk more about this in, No! Why ‘No’ is the New ‘Yes’: How to Reclaim Your Life, Shine in the Sun, and Be Authentically You

For now, I decide to talk to myself kindly. I can come back and I can claw back time later. I can let our friends stay late if they wish and I will go to bed early and wake up fresh.

Before the good-times begin and they arrive even if word by word I write for another 30 minutes it will be more than I feel inclined to finish.

While in my shed I glance up at my inspirational blackboard and see the words scrawled in soft white chalk, “I am willing to write badly. I am also willing to allow genius.” My soul feels soothed.

As Elizabeth Gilbert shares in Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, “The Greeks and the Romans both believed in the idea of an external daemon of creativity—a sort of house elf, if you will, who lived within the walls of your home and who sometimes aided you in your labours. The Romans had a specific term for that helpful house elf. They called it your genius—your guardian deity, the conduit of your inspiration.”

The ancients didn’t believe that an exceptionally gifted person was a genius; they believed that an exceptionally gifted person had a genius.

To seduce my guardian deity and protect her from shit-sucking flies I am running a distraction log for at least a week and then looking at the data I’ve gathered to look for patterns. Already, on day one, I have seen a theme. My distraction triggers mostly come from my monkey mind.

During a half-hour writing task, I’ve noticed my mind leaping from branch to branch like an ape and buzzing like flies in a high-density swarms. Spreading a diversity of pathogens that infect my focus, they alight first on thinking about posting a picture of one of my paintings on social media. Next, thinking about emailing a client. Then wondering about whether I should create a short story from the scene I have just finished.

Next, as my gaze swarms around the sitting room, it alights upon the couch. I wonder if I should wash the covers today. Then I recall the photos I looked at yesterday of our trip to Japan. ‘Perhaps I’ll share a few on Instagram or even load them to my Flickr account’, I think.

All the while I delude myself that I am focusing on my writing task. Only my mind is not at full capacity. It is like a radio station slightly off frequency. Static and shrilly discordant sound-bites arrest my creativity. My genius sulks. I am asking too much. I am asking my muse to share her with everyone else.

I continue at a crawl. ‘Oh,’ I think, ‘maybe I could learn Indesign and lay out my children’s book.’ Perhaps, I could start my How to Illustrate a Book course. Shall I email my other client with some tips about narrating her book?’

Then my darling partner comes in and reads the headlines from the news. Now my distractions are no longer internal. The external world has landed in my writing bubble is a big toxic heap. “Domestic violence is the second pandemic sweeping New Zealand in the wake of the COVID-19 lockdown”, he tells me.

I feel sick. Then angry at the brutality of humanity. My mind shifts to my idea for a crime novel where the heroine avenges all the nasties who get away with violent crimes against women.

I’m exhausted. I close my laptop. I’m done. I’m spent. Leonardo da Vinci is right. My mind has engaged in subjects of too great variety and has become tired and weak.

“In ancient Greek, the word for the highest degree of human happiness is eudaimonia, which basically means “well-daemoned”, whispers Gilbert from her book. My daemon has forsaken me. She is keeping company with someone devoted to her. I am unhappy. No, correct that, I am in despair. I want her back. ‘Give me another chance. I’ll be better. I promise,’ I plead.

I meditate, go for a walk have a coffee break and decide to lock myself in my room for a productivity burst. Wish me luck! Before I go I remind myself of something I read in The Book of Joy by Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu:

“Focus is so important that neuroscientist Richard Davidson found that one of the four neural circuits of well-being was dedicated to our ability to focus the mind.”

Despite this sage sound-bite my mind wanders again. Why is it so hard?

There are divergent thoughts on what it means to be focused. Some people believe you should focus on only one thing, one task, one priority, one book at a time.  Only when you have finished that task, they say sagely, do you move to the next. Great! If that works for you, you have your success strategy.

But some people thrive on variety. Seeing one thing through to the end often bores them—stifling their creativity and productivity. That’s me.

If a lack of focus is something getting in your way, really drill down into the causal factors. Play the role of a scientist. Discover the cause, identify the effect, hypothesise solutions, and experiment until you find a strategy that works. Perhaps the issue is less about focus and more about self-discipline.

Eckhart Tole, author of The Power of Now, advocates surrender. Whatever is holding your attention now—surrender to it. Focus on what you ‘should’ be doing at a later date.

Juggling too many balls? Prioritise them, set a timer, and allocate segmented time for all the competing activities you feel must get done. Practice creative procrastination. Ask yourself, “What is the best use of my time right now?” Put off everything else.

Gary Keller, in his bestselling book The One Thing, advocates going small—narrow your concentration at any one time to one thing. Ask yourself, “What’s the ONE thing you can do this week (or whatever time period works for you) such that by doing it everything else would be easier or unnecessary?” Sometimes I go small by setting the timer and dedicating myself to my one task by working in 15-minute sprints. I talk more about this in The Prosperous Author: Productivity Hacks: Do Less & Make More.

You may find that too much environmental mayhem is hindering your winning writing mindset. Studies have shown that a cluttered environment restricts your ability to focus. Consider streamlining your environment to create the ultimate mindset.

Remind yourself of a time when you struggled to focus. What worked then that you could apply now? Focus your energy on the things that are important to you. What is the ONE thing you can do this week which will make doing everything else easier or unnecessary?

As I share in the Art of Success, take a holistic swipe at things holding you back from living your best life. Declutter your emotional, physical and spiritual environment. And keep swatting those dis-ease riddled flies.

 

 

This is an edited extract of Word By Word by Cassandra Gaisford

Available in 2021

 

Helpful resources mentioned in this post

 

The Prosperous Author: Productivity Hacks: Do Less & Make More

To enjoy your copy from Amazon, click here>>getBook.at/AuthorProductivityHacks

To enjoy your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/banDDq

To enjoy your copy from Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/ebook/the-prosperous-author-how-to-make-a-living-with-your-writing-productivity-hacks-do-less-make-more

 

No! Why ‘No’ is the New ‘Yes’: How to Reclaim Your Life, Shine in the Sun, and Be Authentically You

To enjoy your copy from Amazon, click here>>getbook.at/NoTheNewYesBook

To enjoy your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/3JDK5P

To enjoy your copy from Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/ebook/no-why-no-is-the-new-yes

 

The Art of Success: How Extraordinary Artists Can Help You Succeed in Business and Life (Book One: Leonardo da Vinci

To grab your copy of the Art of Success from Amazon, click here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IR11NAO

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here: https://books2read.com/u/bPJqYJ

To grab your copy from Kobo, click here: https://www.kobo.com/ebook/the-art-of-success-5

 

Did you enjoy this post?

If you like my work you can support me on Ko-fi>>ko-fi.com/youinspireme 

You might like:

How To Find Your Passion and Purpose and Heed the Call For Courage

Why Little By Little Is The Fastest Way to Finish a Book

The Surprising Benefits of Working With Purpose

Here are three more things you might like:


Interesting interviews: Listen to my best interviews on topics like overcoming obstacles, finding joy in adversity, following your passion to prosperity.


Online Course: Find Your Passion and Purpose with my best-selling self-paced course made for busy people.


Keynote speaking: Hire me to speak to your organization or team about Resilience, wellbeing, innovation, and motivation.

You can get more of my thoughts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to this blog and receive a free gift when you sign up for Cassandra’s newsletters and get more help to live your best life.

Believe! Your Secret to Attract Money, Love, Success, and Happiness in Your Life Now

Wednesday, September 30th, 2020

 

What are some of your fav ways to boost beautiful belief? Me? I love inspirational quotes like the one above, which I print and place in strategic locations in my room. I also harness the mind-programming power of hypnosis. In fact, I tune in to a great many things to hitch me to my dreams.

“You must believe in yourself to reach your true potential”  ~ The Matrix

So many famous stories are about having belief in yourself and learning how to overcome obstacles to fulfil your potential. But in many of us there is a hesitant part of ourselves that knows, “I probably should believe in myself more, but what if I’m kidding myself. What if I’m just not good enough?”

The opposite can also be true. Some people can be overconfident – leaping into the unknown without preparing adequately or trusting too easily and losing money in a hoax. There are times when being cautious and sceptical is good. But when we try to be cautiously realistic about ourselves, we often misjudge how far to take our disbelief.

The fact is you can never be completely objective about yourself. Which is why so many people reach out to someone impartial, like a coach or mentor. But there are other ways to tame your fear of not being good enough (or being overly confident). For example, many author’s, both new and experienced, rely on arc readers to cast their objective eyes over their nearly completed manuscripts. Sometimes it’s hard to see the words for the trees.

Thoughts and beliefs are living entities. Your attitude towards yourself changes who you are at a cellular level and therefore how well you perform.

To amplify your belief one of many things you need to harness is the power of expectation. Beliefs about how well something will turn out for you so often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I used to, and sometimes still do, sit down with an intention to write and then walk away. Why? Because I told myself, “It’s too hard. Who are you kidding? What makes you think you can write this book.” OR, “I’m just not in the mood.” Who says we have to be in the mood? That’s a big, fat lie.

We have to cheerlead ourselves on like you wouldn’t believe. Scratch that. We have to cheerlead ourselves on so we will believe.

If you have faith in yourself you become more likely to succeed. You tip the odds in your favour.

Why don’t we have faith in ourselves? From the day we enter this world, and arguably, before, our subconscious mind is bombarded with messages from our family, our culture our other influential sources. The function of our subconscious mind is to store and retrieve data. Its job is to ensure that we respond exactly the way you are programmed. By the time we reach the age of 21, we’ve already permanently stored more than one hundred times the contents of the entire Internet, and much of this information is rubbish, false, incomplete, or obsolete.

I came across this excerpt from Steven Pressfield’s book, ‘Turning Pro” the other day. I wonder if it speaks to you as it does to me:

“It took me a long time to come to terms with the idea that I had ambition. I felt guilty about it. Who was I to aspire to “rise above” my brothers and sisters or to aim to be “better” than anybody else? The reason I keep a photo of that house is that it changed my life. To find that house and to move into it was my first act, as an adult, that embraced the idea of ambition. Ambition, I have come to believe, is the most primal and sacred fundament of our being. To feel ambition and to act upon it is to embrace the unique calling of our souls. Not to act upon that ambition is to turn our backs on ourselves and on the reason for our existence. Those first stirrings of ambition saved me and put me on the path to becoming an artist and a professional.

Sometimes, when we’re terrified of embracing our true calling, we’ll pursue a shadow calling instead. That shadow career is a metaphor for our real career. Its shape is similar, its contours feel tantalizingly the same. But a shadow career entails no real risk. If we fail at a shadow career, the consequences are meaningless to us.

No one is born a pro. You’ve got to fall before you hit bottom, and sometimes that fall can be a hell of a ride. So here’s to blackouts and divorces, to lost jobs and lost cash and lost self-respect. Here’s to time on the street. Here’s to years we can’t remember. Here’s to bad friends and cheating spouses —and to us, too, for being guilty of both. Becoming a pro, in the end, is nothing grander than growing up. What exactly are shadow careers? What is the amateur life? What are addictions and obsessions and displacement activities? How can we learn from them, and profit from them, when we finally put our days on the street behind us and begin to live our real lives?”

I know what’s it’s like to live in a shadow career. For years I denied my true calling. But not any more. I’m fully embracing my childhood dreams now that I’m in my fifties. I’m an artist and a story teller…and it’s by using the power of out of the box thinking that I help my clients reinvent their lives. Like Pressfield, I remember being told to settle for less and to hide my achievements.  I grew up being shamed for excelling. I was raised believing that it was sinful to aim to be better.

But not anymore. Which is why I write my books, especially those in the Transformational Super Kids series. As I share in these books, these young heroes and heroines tackle modern-day problems with the passion and gusto of warriors. They defeat cruel critics, they slay savage self-esteem demons, and they show people—jealous of their kindness, talent, and beauty—that their biggest superpower is staying true to themselves. These books are suitable for ‘kids’ of all ages. After all, aren’t we all still children at heart?

Writing my first self-empowerment book, Mid-Life Career Rescue, and those that followed has given me the confidence, the security, the faith, the power of belief, and the validation that following your passion and purpose is the only way to live. I feel freer, less burdened, less caring, in an empowered way, of what people think or feel. I write what I believe. I write what I feel. I write what I want to read. And I write to help myself. Words are my sacred sanctuary.

If my words inspire you, if my words make a difference, if my words empower you to make a change for the better, then I am happy. Thrilled. Elated. But it will not have been because of me – it will have been because of you. You are the one who has changed. I will have had the privilege of providing a spark, a light, a beam to shine along your sacred path. But you will have taken the route less travelled. If not now, soon 🙂

Be supportive and encouraging about yourself and stay strong, even when you are faced with discouragement, or criticism from others. Because when you really start to believe in yourself, and your potential to grow and develop, that kind of positive attitude will bring out the very best in you. You will be better able to draw on all the strengths and resources you have as a human being.

Remember, expectation can become a believing mirror and herald reality. Like those people on trial for a brand-new drug. They take the drug every day and they truly believe it’s working for them. Their blood pressure normalises—telling them the drug has worked. But in reality, they weren’t taking the drug at all. They were part of the group who were given the placebo, the inert sugar pill that alters nothing. All it does is amplify the power of their belief. It’s amazing, during scientific trials, what a high percentage of people will improve anyway. Measurably, quantifiably, objectively improve.

So much so that many drug companies keep the life-changing magic of placebo-effects super quiet. They want you to believe you need their drugs to heal. But the evidence-based truth is that positive expectations trigger the unconscious healing mechanisms deep within your body and mind.

Reprogramming Your Subconscious Beliefs

You may not even be aware of limiting beliefs that are holding you back or placing a cap on your ability to earn a living from your writing.

One of the most important things you can commit to realising is that you exist in more than the physical world. The mental world, the emotional world, and the spiritual world all exert a powerful influence over you—whether you are consciously tapping into them or not.

“What most people never realise is that the physical realm is merely a ‘printout’ of the other three,” writes T. Harv Eker in The Secrets of The Millionaire Mind. Any limiting and unhelpful beliefs or repressed experiences preventing you from becoming a prosperous author cannot be changed in the physical world. They can only be changed in the “programme”—the mental, emotional, and spiritual worlds.

Which is why my book The Prosperous Author: Developing a Millionaire Mindset takes a holistic approach to success. Passion, joy, faith, prayer, dreams, purpose, and mindfulness practices are some of the strategies I discuss in this book.

To succeed you need to learn how to develop a rock-solid belief in your ability to succeed. Building firm self-confidence will help you beat the nay-sayers and weather the inevitable setbacks with ease. At this point, you may have many questions, including those that follow. How can I harness the power of the mental, emotional and spiritual worlds to reprogram my beliefs? What evidence-based explanations do I have for the beliefs or rules I follow? How might the opposite also be true? How can I adjust my thinking?

To boost your belief, tailor-make your own affirmations. I record mine using the Voice Memo app on my iPhone. I have also gained great value from purchasing and listening to downloadable hypnosis scripts. Some of the reprogramming topics have included Self-Belief, Laser-Focus, Think Big, and Gain Confidence and Self Esteem. The best time to listen to recordings are mornings or at night when you are more likely to be relaxed. I make these rituals part of my Magic Morning Routine. I share this strategy in The Prosperous Author: Developing a Millionaire Mindset.

See yourself merging with your future self, internalising positive suggestions and positive expectations about yourself in a way that really works for you, noticing a wave of deep comfort and rest washing through you as you reprogramme your beliefs and expectations. Give yourself a fair chance in life.

There are times when you want to do something but you’re not sure you can, where you’re not sure how it will turn out. Your wounded unconscious mind knows just the times I mean. A specific set of circumstances where in the past you might have felt a bit hesitant, where you felt you weren’t ready, where someone objected to your plans or criticised you. A time when you crumpled and abandoned your own truths in the face of their doubts. And in times like that, it’s so important to remember that your expectations have tremendous power, that there are childlike energies within you of creativity, of hope, of belief, of tremendous capacity to learn and change that need protecting, that need to be given a fair chance.

Speak to yourself as you would a friend, with the kindly tone of voice that you would use, to warmly encourage and support someone you love to say, “Yes, if you work hard at this you will find a way to make this work. Keep going.”

Kindly protect and nurture those seeds of potential within you to allow those seeds of potential to firmly take root and grow. To give yourself the warm sun and thirst-quenching water to be able to grow and develop as a person, like a sapling growing into a tree, its branches stretching up to the sky, its trunk, its core becoming ever stronger, with protective bark keeping it safe, its roots deep and secure. When you give yourself a fair chance like this, life becomes a glorious experiment where you can really get you’re all to find out what is possible.

Don’t be half-hearted, you must focus completely on it, you must give your all to it, to be completely present and committed. Make writing your discipline, make writing your art. It’s not whether you succeed, it’s about the quality of attention and dedication you bring to whatever you’re doing.

And in the days and weeks ahead, you will find yourself adopting a much more encouraging attitude toward yourself, being much more supportive of yourself where you stay strong, firmly rooted like a tree, where you protect the energy within you to give it time to branch out and where you commit to running an experiment in your life to find out what possible you.

If you go for something with all your soul what might you be capable of achieving 30 days from now, or 3 months from now, or three years from now? Commit to running that experiment in your life. And just for a moment, you can see a future you, staying firm, focused while taking action while dealing with a challenge, a calm focused clarity as this future you runs that life experiment, and finds out how much they are capable of surprising yourself with all the strength and capability you are discovering within you right now.

Take a moment or two to enjoy watching that future you focused and absorbed in whatever they are doing there, getting a sense of how that’s going to feel to be you now. Every cell of your body making a clear memory of how it feels to be so committed, passionate and believing.

Harness the power of belief. Your faith is your fortune.

 

 

 

What I’m working on now…Despite The Odds

I was super excited to receive an invite to be interviewed for Mark Vander Ark’s podcast called “Despite The Odds”. On his podcast, Steve interviews people who have overcome all kinds of adversity and I cover a broad range of topics from domestic abuse, financial collapse, to being shot and paralyzed etc. “The news is full of information, but what a lot of people are starving for right now is hope that is found in the inspirational stories of people who have been through adversity and the lessons that they have learned,” Steve wrote to me.

Yes, I thought. This is exactly what I love to talk about and share with people. “Your email lit me up,” I wrote back. “Especially when I listened to your trailer. I haven’t been giving interviews but I’m really excited about your story and purpose. It’s so true people are looking for hope and they’re looking for stories of other people that have turned failures or setbacks or traumas into triumph.

Below are some links, including a link to Steve’s podcast trailer which is only 7 minutes long and goes a little more in-depth into why he is doing what he is doing and what he is trying to accomplish…Also included is a recent interview Steven did with the author of “The Miracle Morning” Hal Elrod.

We are going to have our 30-45 minute interview in a few days and I’ll send you links when it goes live.

“It only takes a match to start a fire” – Michael Jordan, Steve shares at the bottom of his email. It’s so true. Passions fuel passions! Including simple passions for affirmations and inspirational quotes. Steven came across me via Amazon and my book, Bounce: Overcoming Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy.

To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>> viewBook.at/Bounce

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/4DoeEO

To grab your copy from Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/bounce-overcoming-adversity-building-resilience-and-finding-joy-2

Audiobook, written and narrated by me, coming soon

Despite The Odds Episode 1 Trailer

https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9kZXNwaXRldGhlb2Rkcy5saWJzeW4uY29tL3Jzcw/episode/OWNiYWFmZGEtNDE5Yy00NmQ5LWJmYzctZTc2OTBiYTEwNDIx?hl=en&ved=2ahUKEwiCiuDCs9DrAhW2HDQIHWF1BSAQjrkEegQIDBAF&ep=6

Despite The Odds Episode 13 Hal Elrod

https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9kZXNwaXRldGhlb2Rkcy5saWJzeW4uY29tL3Jzcw/episode/ZDVlNWQ3MDUtMGE5YS00MThiLTgxNmUtZWI1YWE1YjVmMDM5?sa=X&ved=0CAUQkfYCahcKEwjY84Pgs9DrAhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQAw&hl=en

Did you enjoy this post?

If you like my work you can support me on Ko-fi>>ko-fi.com/youinspireme 

You might like:

10 things you can do to stay positive despite fearing failure

How to overcome impostor syndrome and things that keep you stuck

https://www.cassandragaisford.com/how-to-overcome-impostor-syndrome-and-things-that-keep-you-stuck/

Good characters are complicated

 

 

Here are three more things you might like:


Interesting interviews: Listen to my best interviews on topics like overcoming obstacles, finding joy in adversity, following your passion to prosperity.


Online Course: Find Your Passion and Purpose with my best-selling self-paced course made for busy people.


Keynote speaking: Hire me to speak to your organization or team about Resilience, wellbeing, innovation, and motivation.

You can get more of my thoughts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to this blog and receive a free gift when you sign up for Cassandra’s newsletters and get more help to live your best life.

How guavas and working from home is the ultimate refuel strategy

Sunday, September 27th, 2020

 

“That should put more lead in your pencil.”

~ Lorenzo

When you visualise something, you imagine it in your mind. When I visualise breakfast, I conjure the dynamics and disruptions making and eating it entails. I am tempted to find everything that takes me from my writing as a distraction. This morning I resented being pulled away by my partner who was happy, and in a good mood, and wanted to make breakfast for me. He wanted us to go together into the garden and pick fresh guavas from the tree.

“So what’s the problem?” I hear you ask. The problem—if I chose to see it that way, which I did at the time— was that I was in full creative flow. Stopping for breakfast was the last thing I felt like doing.  My writing was being fed. My writing was being nourished.  My writing was chomping down, after days of famine, on a plate full of word-porridge.

The worst thing anyone could possible do was to drag me kicking and screaming to my highchair. I didn’t need to be fed. I was happy. I was productive. I was writing.

I had to do a quick mindset shift. Or rather, I chose to, because I don’t want to be a lonely, solitary, unloved writer. “But we love you. We love your books,” I hear you say. “You are the queen of uplifting inspiration.”

To inspire others I need to inspire my self. And love sustains that. I know not everyone agrees. Many creatives are adamant that they need to live on their own to create great art. But I don’t. I want to share my life with an actual person. One that makes breakfast for me!

I know with Lorenzo by my side life it is a whole lot easier. It’s a lot, lot easier to do my work. Well sometimes.

The encounter and my attitude to Lorenzo’s cheerful request challenged me to reprioritise what is truly important.  As I wrote in The Art of Success, Coco Chanel once said, “A simple life, with a husband and children—a life with people you love—that is the real life.”

Chanel shared that one of her biggest regrets is that she didn’t spend more time devoting herself to love—instead she chased the wrong dream.  Wealthy, lonely, and childless, she died by herself in The Ritz.

So I affirmed to myself, “This is good. This is fine. This is time to be together and nourish my mind.”

Later as we ate together my king said, “That should put more lead in your pencil.” And it’s true. Having a loving partner and eating good food should not be seen through the lens of distraction. Instead, it should be celebrated as fuel for our creative soul. I write more about powering your creativity with nourishing choices in The Happy, Healthy Artist.

The truth is that there are greater, more dangerous demons, masquerading as distractions.

Deadly distractions are also created by manic multi-tasking, all-consuming emails, frequent family dramas and other demands on your energy and time. Even seemingly reasonable requests can deter you from your course. Like my king suggesting today that I should create a blog about working from home.

It’s not an unreasonable idea. Especially, as I write this chapter, the whole world is in lockdown during the COVID-19 crisis. His suggestion may even be profitable. But I don’t want to write about working from home.  I want to write about creative unblocking. And then I want to create some art and put into practice what I’m sharing with you.

So here’s the thing that worked for me today. I have to say it’s a beautifully simple and effective strategy, but it’s also one I actually haven’t been doing.  I just simply said to myself, “I am in lockdown from 2 to 4 and I am not to be distracted.”

I took myself to a non-distractive place, which was sitting outside in the garden. And I wrote.  In this case, it was dictating into my manuscript something I had handwritten during a restless night of insomnia.  Dictating is the perfect strategy when you feel blocked because you have something you can actually do. You can just engage the other side of your brain and put some flesh on the bones of your ideas.

That’s not to say I wasn’t tested. The thing about working from home is there are always distractions.  Especially when your home is a 10-acre property and you live with a perfectionist.  The wonderful thing about living with Lorenzo with his distaste for chaos is that there is not a blade of grass out of place and everything is manicured—perfectly.

It’s a beautiful serene non-chaotic place to create.  The truth is that when I feel everything is getting messy and chaotic, it does my head in to be surrounded in mayhem. I find it hard to focus.

When my king approached my little locked-down bubble of writing mirth in the garden later that day and told me he was going to spray some weeds between business calls. I felt guilty. I should be doing some housekeeping and cleaning. I should be helping!

My intention to be in lock-down from two to four protected me.  I just took a little mind-spa break and I did a micro clean. In 10 minutes I dusted and wiped and swiped, which cleansed eyestrain and mental overload and mopped away any guilt. The old, non-quarantined me might have mopped the floors, cleaned windows or flogged the linen with my procrastination whip until I had cleaned the whole damned house.

But no, I had an important appointment.  I had a non-negotiable time blocked out in my calendar. And it felt great. Empowering. Freeing. Validating. But  I doubt it would’ve felt so great if I was hungry, famished, my blood sugar levels plummeting because I hadn’t eaten breakfast.

Okay, maybe this could be a blog about working from home.

This has been an edited excerpt of Word by Word: Lessons on Writing, Love, and Life. COMING SOON

 

free guided hypnosis meditation

Is writer’s block, procrastination or self-doubt holding you back? The cure may be as simple as shifting unhelpful beliefs. So often, we aren’t even aware of what our self-limiting beliefs are.

If your unhelpful thoughts are ingrained, or you keep sabotaging your own success, reprogramming stubborn, disempowering beliefs may be a game-changer.

Harness the power of your superconscious with this guided hypnosis meditation. Create the optimum state of mind for your writing or creative projects.

You’ll be subscribed to my newsletter and receive helpful tips and inspiration to live your best life. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Click here to receive your free guided hypnosis meditation—Creating An Optimum State of Mind>>https://dl.bookfunnel.com/v3ul0lajve

 

 

DID YOU ENJOY THIS POST?

You may also like:

How Princesses and Toads Can Teach You What You Need to Know

What 14 Self-Employed Business Owners Wish They Knew at the Start of Their Career

Why Little By Little Is The Fastest Way to Finish a Book

 

Here are three more things you might like:


Interesting interviews: Listen to my best interviews on topics like overcoming obstacles, finding joy in adversity, following your passion to prosperity.


Online Course: Find Your Passion and Purpose with my best-selling self-paced course made for busy people.


Keynote speaking: Hire me to speak to your organization or team about Resilience, wellbeing, innovation, and motivation.

You can get more of my thoughts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to this blog and receive a free gift when you sign up for Cassandra’s newsletters and get more help to live your best life.

How Princesses and Toads Can Teach You What You Need to Know

Saturday, September 26th, 2020

 

 

“Only do what your heart tells you.”

Princess Diana

I know I set out to tell you everything single thing I know about creative unblocking, but I’m also going to tell you every single thing I know about princesses, partially because the longings and the magic and anxieties are so similar.

I think this will also show you how shining brightly, writing short, just free-flowing, and producing what could be a shitty first, second and sixty-eighth drafts can yield a bounty of marvellous memory, meaningful material and crazy-cool characters.

There are always outside forces, external and internal, unhelpful thoughts as well, pressuring you to finish what you started, to publish or display the final work, to get things over and done with so that you can move onto the next fascinating project.

It can be difficult to see the virtue of sitting on something for a while, to wait for the moment you know is right. Especially in the times, we find ourselves now. We are in an era of instant gratification, where albums are released online the moment they are sung, paintings are produced while the paint drys, people producing average works garner legions of fans on Instagram.

Part of us rushes to completion because we crave immediate feedback and approval. But with the need for approval can come instant attack. Your work may not be up to scratch, or people may even be jealous of it because it’s quite simply so fabulous.

Such was the experience which led me to later write and publish The Little Princess…the book I wrote following an experience of bullying. As I share in the Afterword,

The Little Princess “is a timeless charm which tells the story of a young woman who leaves the safety of fitting in with everyone else, to follow her heart. Her personal odyssey culminates in a voyage of self-belief, passion, and purpose.

Guess what?! It’s autobiographical and tells the story of how I was criticised and shamed when I first shared my idea for The Passion Pack (which later became my one of my popular non-fiction books, How to Find Your Passion and Purpose.) Importantly, it shares what I did to overcome obstacles, heed the call for courage and dare to lead.

Here’s an excerpt when I fictionalised what happened when I shared too early the project that was in my heart… designing, of all things a pack of inspirational cards called The Passion Pack to help others find their purpose and calling.

Chapter One

“Once upon a time there was a young woman who wanted to make a difference in the world.

She wanted to help others. She wanted to help people overcome depression, anxiety, and feeling sad.

She wanted to help them feel inspired, joyful and happy.

She just wasn’t sure how.

One day she had an inspired idea. “I can help people find their passion and purpose,” she thought.

Her heart fluttered then soared higher and higher and higher—far, far, far away.

Almost beyond the reach of her doubts and fears.

She felt so excited—but also scared. She decided to feel the fear and create something anyway.

She knew people often struggled to find the time to read, and she wanted to make it easy and fun for people to find inspiration and help.

She decided to design a pack of inspirational cards that would enable people to help themselves and become empowered to transform their lives.

The cards would give people ideas, encourage them to dream, and give them hope.

Chapter Two

One day she was invited by a friend to a dinner party. “What do you do?” a guest, who was a nurse, asked.

It wasn’t an easy thing to answer because the young woman did many things to earn her living.

“At the moment I’m developing a set of cards to help people find their passion and purpose,” she replied, quietly.

“People like you make me sick,” the older woman spat.

Her words were like spears.

The young woman felt her face burn and her chest burst. She didn’t know what to say. She went into shock.

“What makes you think you can go around telling people what to do?” the older woman hissed.

“I’m not,” the younger woman stammered, her voice a squeak. “I’m just trying to help people. They don’t have to read it if they don’t want to.”

The older woman glared at her. “My, aren’t we a little princess.”

Author’s note

I learned so much from my experience in the wake of the other woman’s attack. I learned to stay true to myself, and realised that there were always going to be people who didn’t like what I did or who I was.

It would have been easy to be stopped in my tracks. It would have been easy to stay small. It would have been easy to have done nothing at all.

But then what sort of life would I have had?

Creating The Passion Pack and writing How to Find Your Passion and Purpose opened so many doors and galaxies for me.

So many people have written to me and told me how those cards and that book changed their lives. It continues to change mine.

Importantly, my experience that night so many moons ago, made me realise that finding our passion and purpose is not simply about being inspired.

It’s also knowing how to conquer obstacles. Sometimes it’s not possible to obliterate the things that block our path. What’s important is the determination not to let barriers stand in our way.

I hope by sharing my story, you realise how wonderful it is to be a little princess. Isn’t that every girl’s dream!

The moral of the story? Follow your bliss dear readers—don’t let anyone stop you from sharing your passion and purpose with the world.

My daughter experienced similar bullying last year in a work environment where she was contracting. A woman, her boss, became nasty and narcissistic when Hannah said she didn’t want to pursue a full-time job there. “Oh yes, we’ve all follow our dreams don’t we, Hannah.”

Umm…yes. At least we owe it to ourselves to try. As Dr Seuss once said, “It’s kind of fun doing the impossible.”

So what can the little princess teach you about finishing your book, or any project close to your heart? It can teach you to just show up. It can teach you to just keep going. it can teach you to not be too quick to share your idea, or your book, or your project, or your dreams with the toads in the world.

I have friends, close friends, that roll their eyes and say “When are you going to finish that fucking book?” They mean well (mostly). If you choose to mine below the surface, the frustration that I am not producing my work faster, and also disbelief lurks, which then both pressures and discourages me.

We have to bravely choose to be encouraged, emboldened, empowered. As Denzel Washington stays in the movie the pursuit of happiness, “you’ve got a dream, you’ve got to protect it.”

And I would add, “Keep going for it, second by second, step by step, word by word. Little gestures leave lasting impressions.”

 

 

This has been an edited excerpt of Word by Word: Lessons on Writing, Love, and Life

 Available soon

 

FREE GUIDED MEDITATION

Is writer’s block, procrastination or self-doubt holding you back? The cure may be as simple as shifting unhelpful beliefs. So often, we aren’t even aware of what our self-limiting beliefs are.

If your unhelpful thoughts are ingrained, or you keep sabotaging your own success, reprogramming stubborn, disempowering beliefs may be a game-changer.

Harness the power of your superconscious with this guided hypnosis meditation. Create the optimum state of mind for your writing or creative projects.

You’ll be subscribed to my newsletter and receive helpful tips and inspiration to live your best life. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Click here to receive your free guided hypnosis meditation—Creating An Optimum State of Mind>>https://dl.bookfunnel.com/v3ul0lajve

 Other books mentioned in this post

 

How to Find Your Passion and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love.

Amazon: getBook.at/Passion

iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores: https://books2read.com/u/3Roqyn

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/ebook/how-to-find-your-passion-and-purpose

AUDIO

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/How-to-Find-Your-Passion-and-Purpose-Audiobook/B07Z5C7YHK

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/How-to-Find-Your-Passion-and-Purpose-Audiobook/B07Z5BSXD7

Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/How-to-Find-Your-Passion-and-Purpose-Audiobook/B07Z5C4MS6

To read the first book in Cassandra’s Transformational Super Kids series, The Little Princess:

Amazon:

getbook.at/TheLittlePrincess

To purchase the eBook on Apple, Barnes, and Noble, Kobo and other online stores>>

https://books2read.com/u/b5709p

To purchase the eBook on Kobo >>

https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/ebook/the-little-princess-7

The Little Princess

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Little-Princess-Audiobook/B07WPH2KML

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/The-Little-Princess-Audiobook/B07WXPMFGC

Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/The-Little-Princess-Audiobook/B07WYGKB5R

Audio versions are also available from all online bookstores and also libraries

 

DID YOU ENJOY THIS POST?

You may also like:

How to love, not leave, your career during the Coronavirus crisis

Easy, Inspiring Ways to Whip Yourself Out of a Rut in Your Life, Relationships and Career

How To Find Your Passion and Purpose and Heed the Call For Courage

 

Here are three more things you might like:


Interesting interviews: Listen to my best interviews on topics like overcoming obstacles, finding joy in adversity, following your passion to prosperity.


Online Course: Find Your Passion and Purpose with my best-selling self-paced course made for busy people.


Keynote speaking: Hire me to speak to your organization or team about Resilience, wellbeing, innovation, and motivation.

You can get more of my thoughts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to this blog and receive a free gift when you sign up for Cassandra’s newsletters and get more help to live your best life.

What 14 Self-Employed Business Owners Wish They Knew at the Start of Their Career

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020

How to create a passion-driven career or business—Fourteen individuals tell you their stories of transformational change

 

“Wild horses wouldn’t drag me back
to working for someone else.”
Alan Sugar, Entrepreneur and host of The Apprentice, UK

Fourteen Individuals tell you their stories…

Their backgrounds and dreams are as unique as you are. What unites them is their creativity, passion, and integrity. In my latest book Mid-life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself they share their fears, their struggles and their joys as they overcame obstacles and pursued their dreams of self-employment.

They were doing something they love; their passion drove them.

The list below is what they have in common. As you read this list think how many strategies could apply to you:

  1. Making money was not their sole motivation. Their businesses grew from a desire to serve others; they were not trying to force something on others or to make a killer sale. Instead, they wanted to make a positive difference and create something of value. They didn’t badger people into buying their goods or service.
  2. They cared about whether or not they could help a prospective client. If they could, great. If not, they were either quietly persistent until they were needed, or they moved on.
  3. They planned for success. Their business and marketing plans were living documents and they managed their finances extraordinarily well.
  4. They shared. They communicated their vision, goals, and plans with those important to them, and they researched their clients and stakeholders constantly to learn how to do things better together.
  5. They listened. They listened to their staff, their families and their clients. Then, and only then, when they understood their issues, fears, needs and desires did they offer a solution.
  6. They started smart. When employing others, whether on contract or as salaried staff, they hired the right people for the right job. And, when necessary, they gave their people the training, systems, environment, and recognition to do their job well.
  7. They took calculated risks. They always looked before they leapt, but they leapt nonetheless. Courage and confidence were something they built as they went.
  8. They believed in themselves, or faked it! Even professionals doubt themselves – but they don’t let self-doubt win.

“You have to believe in yourself. Even when you don’t, you have to try,” encourages Serena Williams, tennis super-star and 21-time Grand Slam champion.

“There are moments when I am on the court and I’m like, ‘I don’t think I’m going to be able to do this’. But then I fortify myself and say, ‘I can, I can’ – and it happens. If you believe in yourself, even if other people don’t, that really permeates through and it shows. And people respect that.”

If the strategies above sound like things you can do, or are willing to try, chances are self-employment is right for you. Be sure to get off to a good start, and be inspired by those who have walked the path of success.

 

Client Success Story: Business Can Be a Wonderful Box of Chocolates

Lisa Conroy, Director and Empowerment Coach for women’s lifestyle, career, and wellness. Box of Chocolates, www.boxofchocolates.co.nz

Lisa Conroy’s passion for helping others led her to start her coaching business. The seeds of change were also cultivated during a stressful time in her former job.

Leading up to my coaching training I had been working for a major sporting organization for eight years. They were going through massive change and unsettling times. I was up to my fourth restructuring with this company, and management informed us that they were moving the organization to another city. It was an eight-hour drive away, and an expensive place to transport my family to live.

It had been a toxic environment for some time, HR was non-existent, and I saw first hand during this time of transition amongst the team, the effects of stress and uncertainty. I knew going to the new venue was not in my family’s best interest, so I had to think about my options, which led to a call for change. The idea of coaching and helping others with their life and career goals appealed and seemed to be a growing industry.

I did some investigating and found Cassandra Gaisford and her Worklife Solutions Career and Life Coaching certification programme. Her personality, variety of skills and zest for life just really resonated with me. I realized becoming a life coach would allow me the freedom, flexibility, and independence to do work that I loved in an industry that seemed very rewarding and much needed. I knew it would be a steep learning curve, but I love a challenge and felt this was the perfect fit for my interests, skills, and goals.

My new coaching journey began, which led to a career combo. I decided to start my own business within three weeks of starting my coaching programme and haven’t looked back since…

 

Do something you love

I have always wanted to have my own business doing something I loved. Once I started my coaching training, I felt this was the perfect match for me to be able to utilize my skills and help others to reach their lifestyle, career and wellness goals.

I also wanted the freedom to be able to work on new ideas and create my own style by offering a unique service in the Wellness industry through my combination of coaching, art therapy workshops, wellness retreats, Reiki healing, and aromatherapy pamper parties.

 

Deciding what to do

My initial focus was purely on the lifestyle, career and wellness coaching but realized it would take the time to build my brand, Box of Chocolates, along with gaining trust with clients and networks.

I went into this with a realistic view that it would take twothree years to build to a point of going full time with my business ideas. I also believed that if I had a few alternative strings to my bow, it would assist me in offering a variety of services to a wider audience and give me alternative sources of income.

I was drawn to running wellness retreats where my event management skills, love of wellness and creative activities, and relevant workshop topics would help me attract the right women. Women who wanted to feel empowered and find new inspiration for their lives, and be able to share and learn from others in a safe and nurturing environment.

I was also interested in gaining a certification in Reiki healing as I felt this would complement my coaching and retreats/workshops, which then led me to becoming an aromatherapy consultant too.

 

Finding an idea that would be successful

A belief in my abilities, along with a determination to be of service and offer a solution to key problems facing many women helped me find an idea I thought would be successful. When you can tap into understanding who your niche market is and what they need, you can then build a strong foundation of core services to assist them.

I took a leap of faith but I knew in my heart that every time I coached someone it didn’t feel like work to me, it was so rewarding seeing my clients grow from strength to strength and be able to reach their true potential with a boost in confidence. When you are coming from the heart and follow that guidance, you will always be supported to find the people and resources you need. However, that doesn’t mean sitting back and waiting for it to happen. Action and dedication are required to build momentum, along with commitment and trust in your abilities to manifest your dreams and goals.

I also knew that there were not many people holding retreats that offered a unique Zen and creative style that my programme offers – you have to think outside the box and run with it! I went along to lots of Wellness industry events, seminars, network meetings and got a feel for what people were needing and built my strategies around that.

 

Finding the right product for the right market

I did my research, I talked to successful coaches in the industry and I asked for feedback from all my clients, I went online to see what trends were coming through and what topics were hot, locally and internationally. I read lots of industry-related books and blogs and signed up to sites that inspired me to keep my finger on the pulse on what was working successfully for others that I could leverage off.

 

Keeping your energy levels high

I’m not a big fan of the saying ‘hard work’ as it has stressful connotations. You need to be passionate about your services and ideas, and you need to have the ability to encourage others to use them. It is also important that you make time to promote yourself and get your messages across to your targeted market through various avenues.

Start small and take your time to build confidence, so that when you realize you’re onto a good thing, it doesn’t feel like ‘hard work’ but is exciting to see your business and ideas coming to fruition. When you are coming from a place of authenticity, it will always come through and people will naturally want to refer your services because they benefit from your genuine concern and skills. This is always going to be your best source of repeated business and will quickly amplify your brand through referrals you can use in your marketing material…

 

 

To be inspired by other mid-life men and woman who dreamed of freedom and became successful entrepreneurs, and gain practical strategies to help you plan your beautiful business, purchase your copy of Mid-life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself  TODAY! Mid-life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself is available in hardback paperback and e-Book from Amazon. Audio coming soon

Train with me to become a certified career or life coach, or contact me for your bespoke, individually tailored passion-driven mentoring programme.

 

Did you enjoy this post? You may also enjoy

If Brett Could Change His Career At 60, So Can You

Why Pursuing Your Passion Not Your Pension is The Ultimate Mid-Life Career Change Strategy

Hooked on A Feeling—Trust Your Gut to Choose and Grow Your Purposeful Business

Interesting interviews: Listen to my best interviews on topics like overcoming obstacles, finding joy in adversity, following your passion to prosperity.


Online Course: Find Your Passion and Purpose with my best-selling self-paced course made for busy people.


Keynote speaking: Hire me to speak to your organization or team about Resilience, wellbeing, innovation, and motivation.

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to this blog and sign up for Cassandra’s newsletters to get more stories like this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Little By Little Is The Fastest Way to Finish a Book

Saturday, September 19th, 2020

 

 

“If you want to be a novelist, write. Everyday. Faithfully, serenely, and diligently. You have to want to write so badly that nothing, not jobs, not friends, not family, not TV or the movies will stop you. You want it so badly that you will not be deterred.”
~ John Dufresne

I’ve heard it said that resistance shows up when your closest finishing, but I actually find from experience that shows up all the time.  It’s the thought of sitting down to write that is often the hardest and less I just say just for today word by word I’ll just write one word or maybe two words or perhaps I’ll sit down in front of my computer just for an hour.

It sounds easy but it’s often not. Suddenly watching Netflix is more compelling or perhaps it’s a good time to phone a friend. Or perhaps I could just spare myself the pain and tell myself, “I don’t know what to write. I won’t even be able to finish. This book is not good. What am I thinking even starting such an ambitious project?”

Resistance often shows up when there is drama is around me and I convince myself that I have to sit down and peace and write. Gosh if only I had that luxury.

But if I am to make writing my career and not give in to the voices telling me to go looking for a job, sign onto the recruitment websites, go live with my mother, or some other dire remedy—I must show up and write.

If I feed fear and say ‘you’re never going to make it’ that just lowers my vibration and brings that intention into being.
So I just make a commitment to write small.

Like now I’m going to open my manuscript and my Scrivener file and just locate one chapter and see what I need to do to carry the story forward.

And then I open it up and my first thought is ‘gosh where do I start?’’ But I can just set the intention to start somewhere, anywhere, perhaps it’s somewhere I am interested in particularly. And, voila, the magic starts and I am in the story.

Right now I have gone to a scene about a character that I need to flesh out a little bit more detail on so that I can add some more texture to the scene. Little is good. Small steps mean I’m moving forward.

Before I know it I’m really into things and it’s hard to stop. This is what some people call flow. It’s like a meditation. You are just completely unconscious of all those fearful thoughts that ruminated in your mind and stopped you from turning up in the first place.

Nora Roberts once said, “A writer never finds the time to write. A Writer makes it. If you don’t have the drive, the discipline, and the desire, then you can have all the talent in the world, and you aren’t going to finish a book.”

You don’t have to know what you’re going to write. You just have to have the desire, the drive, and the discipline to show up and write word by word.

And now I’m feeling excited so if I can keep the momentum which I will, I already know what I want to write tomorrow.

That’s the gift of keeping on keeping on. I know that because I’m writing short. I’d like to write more description which I’ve just discovered in my research file and weave that into this one scene.

And it’s not that I had completely exhausted thinking about my more arresting financial problems. Or why my relationships always seem to have so much drama. Nor whether the orchids will flower.

Despite the doubt, it’s just that for now I’ve parked my worries and entered into the energy and excitement of the book.
Just knowing that finishing a book just takes a word followed by another word, followed by another word, can overcome the tremendous sense of overwhelm I and many of my students and other writers experience.

Writing can be a pressured, stressful, infuriating and thankless endeavour. We can load so much expectation on ourselves and take ourselves far too seriously. So here is another story I tell often.

A wonderful counsellor who I trained to be a Worklife Solutions Certified Life Coach recommended the book The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles, by Bruce Lipton.

Lipton is an American developmental biologist best known for promoting the idea that genes and DNA can be manipulated by a person’s beliefs.

In his book, he shares how he experienced a paradigm shift while at a conference. Back then, Lipton, like so many of us, didn’t fully realise the crucial role the subconscious mind plays in the change process.

“Instead, I relied mostly on trying to power through negative behaviour, using positive thinking and willpower. I knew, though, that I had had only limited success in making personal changes in my own life.

“I also knew that when I offered this solution, the energy in the room dropped like a lead balloon. It seems my sophisticated audiences had already tried willpower and positive thinking with limited success.”

Fate intervened for Lipton, as it did for me when I was guided to his book. So often life whispers to us, but we fail to tune in. In Lipton’s case, the messenger he needed to hear was sitting right next to him; psychotherapist Rob Williams, the creator of the self-help tool PSYCH-K, was presenting at the same conference.
“Rob’s opening remarks quickly had the entire audience on the edge of our seats. In his introduction, Rob stated that PSYCH-K can change long-standing, limiting beliefs in a matter of minutes,” Lipton wrote.
In his book The Biology of Belief, Lipton shares how, in less than 10 minutes, a woman paralysed by her fear of public speaking transformed into a confident, excited, and visibly relaxed person up on the stage. The transformation Lipton witnessed was so astounding, he has since used PYSCH-K in his own life.
“PSYCH-K has helped me undo my self-limiting beliefs, including one about not being able to finish my book,” Lipton wrote at the end of his book.

That struck a chord with me. I felt a thrill of excitement. Not a thrill, but a trill—a song deep in my heart. Lipton was like the Pied Piper and I was happy to follow. At the time, I had so many unfinished books and had published nothing.

A month after working with a PSYCH-K trained practitioner, I finished the first two books in my Mid-Life Career Rescue series. Soon after, I released my third, Midlife Career Rescue: Employ Yourself, followed quickly by a fourth book, How to Find Your Passion and Purpose.

At the time of writing, I have since also published eleven romance books under my pen name, Mollie Mathews.
Now, you’re reading my thirtieth book—all completed within the last three years. All because, despite feeling sceptical (and a little vulnerable), I sought help to reprogram my mindset.

If traumatic memories or unhelpful beliefs are ingrained, or you keep sabotaging your own success, seeking help from a qualified practitioner with expertise in reprogramming stubborn, disempowering beliefs may be a game-changer.

You may not need to see a therapist to move beyond self-limiting beliefs; but if you do, go and get help. There’s magic in that.
You can also learn from some of the most powerful, effective, and simple techniques used by practitioners working in the realm of positive psychology and mind reprogramming. This includes hypnosis—something you’ll discover later in this book.

This is not a bad line to have taped your writing desk:
“The moment you change your perception is the moment you rewrite the chemistry of your body.”

Talk to yourself in the kindest possible way. “Darling, you can do this. All we have to do is make a little bit of progress. It will be so much fun. Let’s write a description of a young art curator at a fancy museum who’s just discovered her biological father is the world’s most notorious art thief. Are you okay with that? We’re going to find something that will help us write that.

“That’s all we’re going to do for this present moment. We are just going to take this little by little, word by word. But we are going to finish this one short task.”

 

 

This has been an edited excerpt of Word by Word: Lessons on Writing, Love, and Life

 COMING SOON

 

FREE GUIDED MEDITATION

 

Is writer’s block, procrastination or self-doubt holding you back? The cure may be as simple as shifting unhelpful beliefs. So often, we aren’t even aware of what our self-limiting beliefs are.
If your unhelpful thoughts are ingrained, or you keep sabotaging your own success, reprogramming stubborn, disempowering beliefs may be a game-changer.
Harness the power of your superconscious with this guided hypnosis meditation. Create the optimum state of mind for your writing or creative projects.
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Click here to receive your free guided hypnosis meditation—Creating An Optimum State of Mind>>https://dl.bookfunnel.com/v3ul0lajve

Follow Your Bliss to Find Your Soul’s Path

Monday, September 14th, 2020

 

Dear Friends,

 

One of my coaching clients messaged me today,

“I know the food industry is tough in the best of times, and it might take every waking moment for the foreseeable future, which I am hesitant to sign up for. So…big decisions ahead.  I will continue to be patient. “

“Yes, waiting is good,” I wrote back to her. “Still dream, still visualise, still think and feel your way to freedom.”

Which I am doing by returning to my passion for painting. I now have a painting studio and have been part of a group show at a local Bay of Islands gallery, in Kerikeri, The Little Black Gallery. The gallery owner, Anna, rang me to see if I could assist by creating works to exhibit for a show called The Beauty of Resilience.

The exhibition’s name is a reference to the importance of beauty and art in these chaotic times and how needful it is for our resilience to have beauty around us.

You know this, right!

Comments from people who have seen my artworks “Your work speaks to my soul in a major way,”  mean the world to me. They speak to my heart. As does “Your art is so healing. I saw the flyer and just had to come and see the paintings in person.”

2020 has been just a huge year of unexpected twists and turns, so the feeling of helping someone feel good makes me feel good. When we uplift ourselves, we uplift the world.

Remember that when you are at a point of change and finally make a decision re what path to follow.

I think you are going to love my new series, “New Beginnings,” If you pop along and follow my Instagram page you will see the work as it evolves. (see @cassandraAnnerose). Below is draft 3 of a new large scale work, Good Morning.

 

If you’ve read my book, The Art of Success: Leonardo Da Vinci, or Coco Chanel, you’ll know that artists can teach all of us, no matter what your career trajectory so much about passion, perseverance and grift

“New Beginnings,” is inspired by spring here in NZ,  it’s the season to throw caution to the wind and experiment with pops of vibrant colour.

Bold and beautiful – it’s time to have some fun.

Gone are the pale, restful shades of my Soften series, “new beginnings” ups the ante with pops of painterly colours to brighten and beautify.

(Below: From Here to Serenity from the Soften Series).

Spoiled for choice when it comes to the colours we can play with, “new beginnings” is inspired by fresh spring blooms. Think lime and new growth greens, fragrant yellow freesias,  flaming coral-reds, and more

The response has been brilliant—reminding me of the early excitement when I first shared my idea to create a Passion Pack—the forerunner to my bestselling book, How to Find Your Passion and Purpose

 

 

 

“Such happy work.”

“Love it.”

“Lovely colours and painterliness. Nice melding of the realistic and abstract, too. These are spirit lifters!”

 

The whole planet needs spirit lifting. Art is the highest form of hope. And by returning to my passion I feel better aligned to my soul’s path—to beautify the world.

My current exhibition at Little Black Gallery talks to mental health and is centred on the brief, “beauty and resilience.” I was more than happy to lend a hand.

We all have soul gifts and God-given talents and this is the time we need to think how best to use them. Of course, you don’t need to be a painter. Help, hope and healing, can be offered in many ways. A kind word; listening to someone who is in pain; a beautiful garden—or baking a divine chocolate chip cookie!

There is so much evidence that confirms that helping others can benefit our own mental health, as well as significantly reduce stress and boost our self-esteem.

I’ve been an art therapist for many years and played on the edges, and now heading toward my 55th birthday I’m going to make a bigger splash in the cosmic paint puddle! One tiny step, and one large painting at a time. I love the comment sent to me in response by a more experienced painter, “Ha! I’ve jumped in the puddle feet first and splashed mud all over everything. :)”

If you are on the fence regarding a career change, don’t let fear of making a mess deter you. If the timing feels off, or you need more time to build your courage muscles, continue to be patient, focus on your dreams, let your soul be of service and uplift the world. It’s fantastic, fun, and fabulous for you.

P.S. Click here to become an inspired passionpreneur and join my Follow Your Passion To Prosperity Programme…

 

Are you a change agent? How the rise of modern-resilience will empower your success

Monday, August 24th, 2020

The pace of change in modern society can feel overwhelming at times. The resulting stress can affect your life and your health. Unless of course, you arm yourself with some savvy and simple strategies to create real resilience.

Very often, it’s not until life throws us a curveball that we go in search of answers. Like Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook chief operating officer and author of Lean In. Following the sudden death of her husband, she went in search of tools to help her better handle her grief and pain. When I was embarking on a career change, stressed out of mind, suffering shingles, I devoured every book and every strategy which could help me not only survive but thrive. I share many of these tools in my books, including Stress Less, Mid-Life Career Rescue and Bounce: Overcoming Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy 

Kristina Mastrocola, an editor with Woman’s World magazine in the States with a circulation of over 1.6 million readers, writes a weekly feature called “Ask the Ultimate Experts.” She regularly asks experts at the top of their respective fields for their tips and advice on everything from how to keep your brain young to how to lower your medical bills.

 Kristina is writing about surprising ways to help readers reduce the high cost of medical care—something I am personally and professionally passionate about. So, I was thrilled to hear from her. She came across my book Bounce: Overcoming Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy on Amazon and said she would love to share a few of my tips and insights with her readers.

 

Enjoy the following excerpt from Bounce: Overcoming Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy.

 

1. What  is bounce?

Dictionary.com describes ‘bounce’ as springing back from a surface in a lively manner.

This quality of liveliness, exuberance, and energy is important to keep in mind. The ability to rebound from setbacks, to possess resilience and maintain positive energy, even in the face of calamity, will not just help you survive but, importantly, to thrive in the face of setbacks.

Below are a few other words which encompass the term ‘bounce’. You may wish to consider using a few of these in your everyday conversations, to thus adding some pizazz to your day. Or perhaps you may try walking with more exuberance! That could be fun.

• Rebound

• Spring

• Leap

• Resilience

• Vitality

• Energy

• Liveliness

• Recover

• Animation

• Vivacity

• Life

• Spirit

• Pep

• Vigor

• Zip

• Pizazz

• Exuberant

• Bounce off

Whatever is causing you worry or distress, developing a bounce mindset, and increasing your coping skills, will help you reclaim your power and reboot your life.

Bounce your way to happiness. Bounce your way to success. Bounce your way to health… whatever you do, don’t stand still.

 

2. Real Resilience

Resilience in action is the ability to spring back to health and readily recover from illness, depression, and adversity. Bouncing back from setbacks is a critical determinant of success in business and life.

Resilience is that indefinable quality that allows some people to be bowled over by life and re-emerge stronger than ever. Rather than letting setbacks overcome them and drain their resolve, they find a way to rise from the ashes.

Psychologists have identified some of the factors that will make you more resilient, among them a positive attitude, optimism, the ability to regulate emotions, and the ability to see failure as a form of helpful feedback.

By strengthening your inner power, your ability to handle stressful situations, and your skill in persevering after setbacks threaten to fell you, you’ll develop real resilience—you’ll develop grit.

Grit comes in many shapes and sizes: courage, bravery, pluck, mettle, backbone, spirit, steel nerve, resolve, determination, endurance, guts, spunk, tenacity—and the strength of vulnerability. Add the flexibility and determination of resilience and you’ll have a powerful bounce strategy.

Life will keep throwing you curveballs—it may even, at times, drown you in a deluge of seemingly never-ending hassles—family dramas, environmental mayhem, world aairs, or some other toxin.

Many of the strategies I’ll share with you in this book will help you develop a resilient mindset and with it more staying power, passion, perseverance, and grit.

Mindfulness techniques, avoiding excessive alcohol consumption, keeping your thoughts positive, surrounding yourself with a vibe tribe of positive supporters, getting rid of toxicity (friends, family, or stinkin’ thinkin’), meditating, exercise, reprogramming your subconscious beliefs, and other strategies are just some of the things you’ll learn in Bounce: Overcoming Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy.

It’s not easy to overcome many of the things that hold you back. But you can do it—if you’re willing to be strong and fight for your dreams. Within many of us lies an innate seam of strength, which, when mined skilfully, will produce an endless source of pure gold.

As Buddha once said, “It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.”

When you seize the reins of control and take responsibility, you will empower your life, your joy, and your prosperity.

Creating a beautiful mind is one of the most important and effective places you can empower with more bounce.

 

3.Mind Power

Your mind is so incredibly vital to the success or failure of virtually everything you do, from relationships, health, work, and finances to overall happiness.

Thoughts do become things, and your body experiences what the mind believes. This is why challenging and conquering your fears and mistaken beliefs is so important.

Happily, you can trick your mind into gravitating towards what you want and away from what you don’t.

“I have learned how to deceive people into health for their benefit. Doctors can kill or cure with ‘wordswordswords’ when they become ‘swordswordswords.’ We all have the potential for self-induced healing built into us. The key is to know how to achieve your potential,” says Bernie Siegel, M.D., author of A Book of Miracles and The Art of Healing.

Many of the things that influence your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are invisible; a great many lurk in the realm of the subconscious mind.

The function of your subconscious mind is to store and retrieve data. Its job is to ensure that you respond exactly the way you are programmed.

“By the time you reach the age of 21, you’ve already permanently stored more than one hundred times the contents of the entire Encyclopedia Britannica,” says motivational writer Brian Tracey.

And much of this information is rubbish, false, incomplete, or obsolete.

Your subconscious mind is like a huge memory bank. Its capacity is virtually unlimited. It permanently stores everything that ever happens to you. What is limited is your ability to consciously recall many of the scripts programmed into your mind.

You may not even be aware of limiting beliefs that are holding you back. Boosting your self-awareness will change that, coupled with a willingness to grow.

One of the most important things you can commit to realizing is that you exist in more than the physical world. The mental world, the emotional world, and the spiritual world all exert a powerful influence over you—whether you are consciously tapping into them or not.

“What most people never realize is that the physical realm is merely a ‘printout’ of the other three,” writes T. Harv Eker.

Any limiting and unhelpful beliefs or repressed experiences preventing you from becoming a prosperous author cannot be changed in the physical world. They can only be changed in the “program”—the mental, emotional, and spiritual worlds.

Which is why Bounce: Overcoming Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy takes a holistic approach to health and happiness. Passion, joy, faith, prayer, meditation, courage, dreams, purpose, and mindfulness practices are some of the strategies we’ll discuss in this book.

 

4. Cultivate A Bounce Mindset

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama once said, “Negative thoughts are like weeds, but positive thoughts are like flowers—they need nurturing every day.”

Leonardo da Vinci proactively fertilized his mind and empowered his resolve by focusing on his dreams, goals, and aspirations.

“You cannot help being good, because your hand and your mind, being accustomed to gather flowers would ill know how to pluck thorns, he once wrote.

To steady himself against self-doubt or the attacks of others, he actively cultivated a bounce mindset by using armations, journaling, meditating, channelling and accessing the spiritual realms, and surrounding himself with like-minded, aspirational and inspirational people. By doing so, he developed grit and the ability to bounce back from extreme adversity.

If you actively cultivate a success mindset you automatically increase your ability to bounce because your mind will create a barrier to discouragement. This helps bounce back the thorns of self-doubt, procrastination, fear, and any of the other things toxic to your happiness and success.

Oprah once said that one of the best ways to cultivate a success mindset is to think like a queen: “A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.”

Similarly, J.K. Rowling encourages making failure part of your bounce strategy. “Failure is inevitable—make it a strength,” she says. We’ll dive deeper into how to fear less and bounce back from failure later in this book.

For now, impress this upon your mind—attitude is everything. As Buddhists say, life is suffering—it’s how you react to life that counts. “With our thoughts, we make the world,” Buddha once said.

Think royal—cultivate a success mindset and bounce through life like a king or queen.

 

5. Wonderful Wins

Pursue your dreams with the tenacity of a terrier chasing a ball. Create an inspired intention that would fill you with joy when it’s achieved.

It doesn’t have to be grandiose, it may be as simple as losing excess weight that’s dragging you down, taking up an interesting hobby, or asking someone out on a date.

Perhaps, it’s having the courage to quit a job you hate and find one you love before it’s too late. Or, following your heart’s desire and starting a purpose-driven business.

Are you lonely? Would a wonderful win be the willingness to be vulnerable and open your heart to love again?

What matters is that your intention is meaningful and will have a tangible impact on your life. It’s something you feel you’d get a lift from saying, “I did that. I did the thing I never thought I could.”

Or perhaps, it’s proving others’ limited expectations of you to be wrong.

If you’re unfamiliar with setting inspired intentions here’s a simple strategy to help you WIN:

W—What do you want to achieve? Be specific. Make your inspired intention concrete so you can almost see, touch, taste, feel, hear it as being your reality now.

I—Inspiration? What’s motivating and inspiring you to win? List as many benefits which will flow when you’ve achieved your inspired intention

N—Needs. What are the next steps? What do you need to do or put in place to win? What’s your success strategy to ensure you stay on track?

S—Sweet success. What riches or rewards will you reap when you’ve achieved your inspired intention? Reward yourself with a treat each time you achieve something significant on your journey to success. Dangle a grand prize in front of your nose that will further motivate you to persevere.

I’ve found this simple strategy really helps me create and sustain my bounce. Give it a go and see if it helps you achieve exceptional results too.

Empower your intentions by writing them down, creating a vision board and reviewing your intentions daily. Consider creating a Passion Journal to boost your bounce and manifest your intentions. You’ll find some helpful tips in the last chapter of this book.

Don’t be afraid to bounce too high. Amplify your feelings of satisfaction and success by dreaming big, achieving something audacious and lifting your sights even higher.

 

6. Dream Big

“Dream big,” encourages James Patterson, currently the bestselling author in the world. “Don’t set out to write a good thriller. Set out to write a #1 thriller.”

Patterson, whose father was raised in a poorhouse, knows the power of big dreams and passionate perseverance.  His first book was turned down by 21 publishers and won The Edgar for Best First Mystery. He also quit a lucrative legal career because it didn’t make him bounce.

Given that science has barely even begun to explore the real potential of the human mind, it’s a funny thing how easily we persuade ourselves of its limitations and settle for less.

You’ve probably caught yourself thinking about a big dream, some inspired course of action, and at some point talked yourself down by saying, “I could never do that!”

Or perhaps you’ve come up with a bright idea about something and then shelved it because somebody said dismissively, “You can’t do that!” or “That’s crap.”

Or perhaps, as I have so often said to myself before reconnecting with my millionaire mindset, “I can’t do this. I can’t write this book. It’s too big. Who do I think I am trying to write such a complex book?”

But how do you really know what you are capable of unless you try?

Paulo Coehlo, the author of The Alchemist, once said: “Know what you want and try to go beyond your own expectations. Improve your dancing, practise a lot, and set a very high goal, one that will be difficult to achieve. Because that is an artist’s million: to go beyond one’s limits. An artist who desires very little and achieves it has failed in life.”

Thinking big demands a long step outside the comfort zone of what you know.

It can feel scary to contemplate stepping out of the space where you feel you know what you’re doing and you feel fully in control.

It can feel frightening to explore what it would be like if you were to leave the comfort rut and attempt to climb toward a new summit. You don’t know for sure where it will lead. But everyone who’s ever made a success of anything started with a big dream.

And you can, too.

Tim Ferris dreams big by adopting and cherishing his beginner’s mind. Rather than succumb to the fear of failure, he changes his mindset, and affirms his love of variety and challenge and being a perpetual debutante.

“Think small, to go big” encourages Gary Keller in his book The One Thing. “Going small” is ignoring all the things you could do and doing what you should do.

“It’s recognizing that not all things matter equally and finding the things that matter most. It’s a tighter way to connect what you do with what you want. It’s realizing that extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make a focus.”

When you think too big, achieving success can feel overwhelming, time-consuming, and complicated. Calendars can become overloaded and success starts to feel out of reach. So, people opt out and either quit or settle for less.

“Unaware that big success comes when we do a few things well, they get lost trying to do too much, and in the end, accomplish too little,” says Keller.

“Over time they lower their expectations, abandon their dreams, and allow their life to get small. This is the wrong thing to make small.”

Every extraordinary achievement starts as someone’s daydream. Dream big, become audaciously obsessed, and fuel your verve—pursue the vision that sparkles and get ready to bounce!

 

holistic coping strategies

Listed below are some helpful reminders of some of the many holistic coping strategies you can call upon during times of current or anticipated need.

Physical

• Learn to listen to your body       

• Adequate exercise                 

• Physical touch/massage          

• Muscle relaxation         

• Sleep     

• Warmth

• Relaxation breathing                

• A healthy diet, i.e. reducing stimulants (coffee, nicotine etc.), increasing water, and eating organic non-processed foods

• Yoga

 

Behavioural

• Balanced lifestyle        

• Support groups / Counseling          

• Sharing with friends and family

• Humor        

• New interests/activities      

• Hobbies        

• Socializing

• Entertaining          

• Taking time out       

• Music/dancing/singing/creative expression    

• Meditating

• Yoga

• Being proactive and taking control of the situation

• Change careers

• Reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption

• Making time to do nothing at all

 

Cognitive / Perceptual (thinking)

• Rational thinking techniques to help change the way you interpret the stressful situation

• Positive thinking/cultivating optimism      

• Self-assertion training      

• Personal development

• Building self-esteem      

• Realistic goal planning      

• Time management

• Learning to say “No”       

• Priority clarification      

• Reflection

• Mindfulness

• Acceptance

• Hypnosis

 

Emotional

• Releasing emotions and expressing feelings (laugh, talk, cry, write in a journal, paint etc.)

• Learning how to “switch off”

• Taking time out          

• Solitude and space           

• Intimacy

• Counseling and support

• Challenging your emotional reactions to situations

• Passion/Joy

 

Social

• Scheduling time to spend with important people in your life

• Making plans with friends, family and loved ones in advance

• Sharing your experiences of stress with certain people in your life, especially letting them know the ways that stress has been affecting you, so they understand

• Practicing assertive communication within your significant relationships to decrease conflicts, while also continuing to find ways to show people around you that they are important

 

Spiritual

• Prayer and mediation—scheduling regular time

• Helping others (talking, writing, supporting)

• Reiki and other energy healing techniques

• Talking with a spiritual confidant or leader to explain any spiritual issues or doubts that you may have encountered

• Forgiveness (of self or others)

• Compassion / loving-kindness

• Continuing to read and learn about your faith, belief or value system

• Connecting with others who share your beliefs

. . . Excerpt from Bounce: Overcoming Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy, Cassandra Gaisford…

Amazon

Audio (coming soon)

 

“Gently, conversationally, and with humour, Bounce: Overcoming Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy offers strategies for seeing and thinking differently. For many people the approach is nothing less than transformational.”

~ Lawrence Ford

 

“I wouldn’t typically use the phrase “something for everybody” in reference to a book, but in this case, the description is apt. Each chapter is like a loving permission slip, and readers will be pulled to the ones they most need to receive. With titles like “Unplug,” “Laugh and Play,” “Massage,” and “Mood Food” the reader receives compelling reasons—followed by implementable steps—for acting on the self-care impulses that most of us dismiss daily. The author’s conversational style makes for easy reading. I am a life coach, and I just added this book to my suggested reading list for my clients.”

~ Sheree Clark, Healthy Living Coach

 

“While reading BOUNCE I felt that Cassandra had a unique ability to see deep inside me. She met me at where my fears reside, identified with the sources of my stress, and gently challenged me to break free and move through by providing a range of holistic and science-based tools. I especially loved the broad range of tools she covered – from east to west, and esoteric to scientific.

“Cassandra’s own explorations are evident in how she connects with the reader. Concepts like I’m broke, I’m lonely, I want to succeed. An easy read chokka full of useful tips for gaining control over your body’s reaction to stress. I especially loved the concept of making a list of ‘What Not to Do’ and developing a ‘Miracle Morning Routine’.

“Loved the fact it is an easy read and is so incredibly comprehensive in its spectrum of tools covered: eastern and western/physical and psychological/science and esoteric. It’s hard to find books that capture this in one space–a comprehensive manual containing a tasting platter of techniques.”

~ Tina Drummond, Wellness Coach

 

“Cassandra has mastered the art of speaking in clear and simple terms and has presented Bounce as an easy to read, concise—yet completely comprehensive guide to overcoming all the obstacles that stand between yourself and your passion. She has taken a truly holistic approach and leaves no stone unturned. She lays out all the facets of overcoming your obstacles in a no-nonsense fashion and covers everything … Mind, body and soul … the physical, the spiritual, and the scientific. She evens touches on topics that may be considered ‘airy-fairy’ with believable and inspiring confidence.

While Bounce is a concise presentation, do not be fooled by its quick two-hour read, it is incredibly comprehensive astoundingly holistic—and effective.I have been working on a website project for most of this year and over the last couple of months I have been saying that I am almost ready to get on with it, but I keep finding obstacles and excuses to not get real with it. These obstacles and excuses simply amount to allowing myself to listen to the voices of self-doubt that choose to argue in my head. But within days of finishing reading Bounce I now have secured my domain name, have my draft website ready to go and I now know that I will be launching it before the end of the year–maybe even within the next few days. As well as being inspiring, motivating and confidence building, Bounce also comes with useful activities and numerous helpful resources to assist you to overcome your obstacles and follow your passion. Cassandra definitely holds your hand but ultimately it is finally up to you to take action. I did, will you?”

~ Niki Firth, Amazon Review

 

“Bounce is like a pocket-sized life support that adds a little fun and magic to the experience. Cassandra Gaisford packs a lot of helpful, useful and thoughtful information into this book. Each chapter is sort and the reader can dip in as the mood takes them and find a gem at every stop. One of the many practical strategies I am implementing as a result of reading Bounce is removing all technology from my bedroom. This is a habit born 10 years ago when I was desperate for distraction every minute of my waking day. This is a challenge I am going to rise to.

~ Catherine Sloan, Counselor

 

“Bounce captures a whole range of meaningful topics, tips and strategies relating to empowering the reader to overcome obstacles build resilience and find their own joy. Simple and transformational … a personal bible for living ones best life! Cassandra gently supports the reader to ‘re-programme’ their own values and beliefs, creating new habitual ways of thinking from a default mode of operation. A powerful book for every bedside table!”

~ Heather Dodge, Founder and Program Director of Kaleidoscope Solutions

 

“Bounce does not disappoint!  It was just the turning point, and the encouragement I needed.”

~ Jane K, Amazon review

 

Bounce: Overcoming Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy.

To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>> viewBook.at/Bounce

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/4DoeEO

To grab your copy from Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/bounce-overcoming-adversity-building-resilience-and-finding-joy-2

Audiobook, written and narrated by me, coming soon

 

 

SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE…

With so much bad news being shoved down our throats, other than self-empowerment books where do we look for inspired support? Like Coco Chanel, Carl Jung, and many other successful people, I turn to oracles. And increasingly so do my clients.

 

Clients like Lisa, who’d literally been through hell and back. Within days of her tarot reading with me, an opportunity manifested that would involve Lisa’s deep desire to pursue a culinary consulting business.  She landed the contract and is doing creative work that feels like play and delights her soul.  She is earning more money per hour than she has ever earned, and she is truly excited to see where this creative adventure takes her!

If you need a bit of inspiration, and are open to inspired spiritual support schedule a reading with me and blaze your own trail.

In Greek Mythology, Cassandra was given the gift of prophecy and could see the future. Gain added value in a personalised oracle reading with me. I just did one with a lady in Texas and the results were dramatic!

“I wanted, from the bottom of my delighted heart, to thank you profusely for my reading.  It means more than you will ever know.  I did check out Psyche-K as you suggested, and it totally lit me on fire and excited me beyond belief!  It is what I have been desiring, and I am going to go to the September basic workshop weekend in Dallas!  You are truly being used to bless and help so many.  THANK YOU!”

“I listened to your reading,  wow wasn’t it awesome!  My first thought was very inspirational! It does confirm all we talked of. Confirmation to push on through into being of service.”

 

Transform your life for only $235. Schedule a reading—you’ll receive personalised guidance and an MP3 file you can listen to again, and again.
Cassandra@cassandragaisford.com

 

Why fortune favours those who take chances

Monday, August 17th, 2020

 

What have you done today to make you feel proud?

Every day I sit down at my keyboard, or stand at the easel, or provide a client with spiritual guidance I’m taking a chance.
Taking a chance on failure, taking a chance on success, taking a chance on walking the wrong path.

What matters is less whether you get it right, but the willingness to take a chance, and the courage to know that whatever happens, you’ll figure it out.

I received this lovely feedback from a client today. She took a chance on me—and we’re thrilled to say it worked out! Before our coaching, she was anxious, depressed, stuck and creatively blocked. Three sessions later she’s a completely different person, wife and mother.

“Working with Cassandra enabled me to listen to a voice who was listening to me without judgement.

Cassandra’s ability to listen reflectively, offer practical actionable advice about planning and resourcing change and to keep reminding me that my working life is allowed to be enjoyable and fun was exactly the empowering support I needed.

Thank you, Cassandra, for reminding me that the best teacher I have is myself – with all my experience and glorious potential!”

I also received lovely feedback from a client in Texas who contact me for an oracle card reading. Before reaching out she’d been flat, ill, lacking direction and low. After one reading she was on fire, inspired and had found her passion and purpose.

“I wanted, from the bottom of my delighted heart, to thank you profusely for my reading.

It means more than you will ever know.  I did check out Psyche-K as you suggested, and it totally lit me on fire and excited me beyond belief!

It is what I have been desiring, and I am going to go to the September basic workshop weekend in Dallas!  You are truly being used to bless and help so many.  THANK YOU!”

Fortune favours those who take chances. Why? Because everyone else is stuck in a rut waiting on the safe bet. Guess what, nothing is safe anymore. COVID taught us that. To find our sweet spot we have to reinvent our lives, reach out for help, and be inspired.

 

As I share in Coco Chanel, Life Coach:

 

A girl should be two things: who and what she wants.

~ Coco Chanel

In French chance means ‘luck’. Chanel and Chance sound so similar as if they were created for each other.

Coco Chanel deeply believed in the power of luck—taking chances, and following opportunities defined her—even when there was no guarantee of success.

She believed in harnessing the arbiters of good fortune and the power of dreams and oracles as oracles of future success.

When she was a poor young woman cloistered in a convent orphanage she dreamed of a romantic life, fuelling her dreams of happily-ever-after with romantic novels she read again and again.

When the chance came to live the life she had imagined she grabbed it—aligning herself with wealthy men who could provide the life she wanted.

So it’s no surprise that one of her most popular and enduring perfumes is named ‘Chance.’

“Unexpected. Unpredictable. Irresistible. Delicately sparkling, endlessly romantic, vibrant, fresh and spirited,” are just some of the words used to describe this popular perfume—it’s no chance that they also define the woman behind the brand.

Upon Coco’s death a pack of Tarot cards were discovered in her apartment, the number five, which was her lucky number, was on top. A collection of symbolic objects was scattered throughout her room. She looked for signs and symbols in the ordinary, a spray of roses, a pure white camellia, a Catholic icon, and also believed in theosophy. All of which boosted her belief in the power of chance and bolstered her confidence in taking inspiring action.

Your Challenge

What irresistible idea or opportunity could you take a chance on?

What signs, symbols or spiritual practice could you harness to boost your confidence?

Success is defined by the things you say yes to—what makes you happy.

#Takeyourchance

Women are always told, ‘You’re not going to make it, it’s too difficult, you can’t do that, don’t enter this competition, you’ll never win it.’ They need confidence in themselves and people around them to help them to get on.

~ Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid, architect

Work with me! Get your mojo back. Reach out to me for spiritual guidance, career coaching and more. Take a chance!

How to overcome impostor syndrome and things that keep you stuck

Tuesday, August 11th, 2020

 

 

The truth is nothing is born without pain. Creating anything, a painting, a story, a dream—a baby—invites discomfort. The sooner we accept this, the stronger and more resilient we will be. Buddhist principles can teach us a lot here. Life is suffering. Full stop. But there is something we can control. Our reaction—and with this our mindset.

Sometimes this is easier espoused than done. Many of us have shelf-esteem. We read about what it takes to boost our self-esteem, to polish our believing mirrors, to varnish our fragile, weathered hearts. We read the instructions, the books, the manuals, but sometimes we fall short. We talk, talk, talk; feel, feel, feel, but we don’t do, do, do.

“I used to paint, I used to create, I used to….” shared one of my coaching clients during our session.

“It sounds like you used to do a lot of things,” I said. “What’s the new you going to say? What would show the ‘I used to girl’ that things are different in the future.”

“I’m not sure,” she said. “Honestly, I don’t know. That’s why I’m here… to figure it out.”

There’s wisdom there. During many turning points in my own life, I have turned to therapists, career counsellors, astrologers, mediums—and oracles. Too often we are too close to the surface to see our authentic self clearly. Very often those closest to us have seen where our heart, talents and gifts shine most clearly and either through envy, deliberate attack, or a mistaken belief that they are protecting us, have stripped our joy with coat-upon-coat of blistering criticism, sarcasm, and shame.

This has been my experience and it has been many of my clients. It’s a theme that appears in all my books, most recently Why Doesn’t Mummy Love Me.

Go figure! Too often people are like Common Borer, also known as Woodworm and Furniture Beetle. The larvae of the beetle eat wood; not just the wood of your house such as weatherboards, floorboards, joists, etc. They eat any wood left untreated. Adult beetles, unless stopped, repeat the cycle, laying larvae who gnaw their way through the wood’s interior for 2-4 years and lay in wait. Pupating just below the surface they emerge as adults and eat their way out creating a new flight hole. The damage is done. Until we say, “Stop! I no longer want your rot!”

Then we must rebuild, renovate, repair. At some point in our lives, we need to seek wise counsel. Someone impartial. A guide, a mentor, a believer. Someone who can help treat the damage done by those who feed on our dreams. Someone who can provide creative, yet practical pest advice to stop boring borers from eating our fabulous, fun, and fulfilling futures. We need some to spark the curative power and audacity of hope.

“What if— “ I asked my client, “—what if you had a theme song. What would it be?”

She thought for a moment then said, “Abba’s. I do, I do, I do, I do, I do.”

Excellent! What fun! I remember dancing with my school friends to this song. I loved her suggestion and made a mental note to add it to my own Spotify Mental Health playlist.

Showing up for my client, as it does for so many of us, means overcoming imposter syndrome. It means getting out our wisdom wax, dusting off our passion polishers, and relishing our restoration rituals and enjoying envisioning our before and after shots.

“My inner light is shining bright with joy!” my client wrote to me shortly after the final of our three sessions. “There are a few bucket dippers out there for sure, but I’m actually having so much fun, the negativity doesn’t get me down for long! I have been experimenting with watercolours, writing more and the voice work is very very empowering for me. I sat an online exam on Saturday towards my Speech and Drama qualification and bashed out 2000 words in 70 min…all that practice from the university days paid off! I better jack up the meeting with the principal to keep that fire burning, but always interesting the way the universe guides the energy too eh? I am just trying to be very open-minded to all possibilities and to not worry about the ‘what next’. And I think in that goal I am doing really well.”

Bravo to her. And bravo to me and bravo to you too. The Universe rewards those who show up. She yelps for joy when you don’t let some passion-killer take the gloss of your gleam. She claps with delight when you continue to shine bright. She presses her golden palm to your and high-fives your commitment to fight the good fight

As his holiness, the Dalai Lama reminds us, “The planet does not need more successful people. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storyteller and lovers of all kinds.”

Without walking in the rain at some point in our career, and creating art that uplifts our water-logged soul, we don’t get to be rainbows in people’s lives.

To do this we must affirm, “I love you. I can’t deny it. I do, I do, I do, I do, I do,” and do our work.

This has been an edited excerpt of Word by Word: Lessons on Writing, Love, and Life

 

 

 

 

Enjoy this video where artist Catherine Roberts shares how she overcame impostor syndrome—specifically her mistaken belief that without formal qualifications she could not succeed as an artist.

 

Did you enjoy this post?

If you like my work you can support me on Ko-fi>>ko-fi.com/youinspireme 

You might like:

Do you feel guilty for wanting more from your career and life?

How might we sabotage ourselves?

Emotional alchemy—the spontaneous healing power of joy

 Why Being Inspired Matters: The Spontaneous Fulfillment and Healing Power of Joy

 

Here are three more things you might like:


Interesting interviews: Listen to my best interviews on topics like overcoming obstacles, finding joy in adversity, following your passion to prosperity.


Online Course: Find Your Passion and Purpose with my best-selling self-paced course made for busy people.


Keynote speaking: Hire me to speak to your organization or team about Resilience, wellbeing, innovation, and motivation.

You can get more of my thoughts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to this blog and receive a free gift when you sign up for Cassandra’s newsletters and get more help to live your best life.

 How To Find Your Passion and Purpose

Friday, August 7th, 2020

 

The Passion Pack was where one of my most popular books, How to Find Your Passion and Purpose, all started. A simple idea with a powerful message – follow your passion! How to Find Your Passion and Purpose, a concise guide to making the most of your life, began its journey as a set of 40 cards created to help people live and work with passion. The vision was simple: a few short, easy to digest tips for time-challenged people who were looking for inspiration and practical strategies to encourage positive change.

From my own experience, I knew that people didn’t need a large wad of words to feel inspired, gain clarity and be stimulated to take action. In coaching and counselling sessions I’d encourage my clients to ask a question they would like answered. The questions could be specific, such as, ‘How can I make a living from my passion?’ Or vague, for example,  ‘What do I most need to know?’ Then I’d ask them to pick a card at random. Without fail, they were astounded by the card’s potent relevance. Disbelieving eyes widened in astonishment as they read either the quote or the main message they received. Many would say, “These cards are magic.”

Orders flooded in from global recruitment consultancies, primary schools, colleges, universities, not-for-profit organizations, financial institutions, and other multi-national commercial entities. I was asked to speak at conferences around the world about the power of passion. It was amazing to see how popular and successful The Passion Pack became, transcending age, gender, and socio-economic differences.

In this era of information obesity, the need for simple, life-affirming messages is even more important. Which is why I resurrected The Passion Pack, and transformed the tips and tools from the wisdom of words on cards to those on pages – both digital, paperback, and hardback – and I also narrated the audiobook.

 If you are looking for inspiration and practical tips, in short, sweet sound bites, How to Find Your Passion and Purpose is for you.

Similarly, if you are a grazer, or someone more methodical, this guide will also work for you. Pick a page at random, or work through the steps sequentially. I encourage you to experiment, be open-minded and try new things. I promise you will achieve outstanding results.

Clive, a 62-year-old man who had suffered work-related burnout, did! He initially thought that creating a passion journal, Tip 10 in this guide, was childish—something other stressed executives in his men’s support group would balk at. But once he’d taken up the challenge he told me enthusiastically that, “They loved it!”

These men, and others who have applied this easy and fun manifestations strategy, used their passion journals to visualize, gain clarity, and create their preferred futures. Clive did too. He manifested a very successful purpose-driven coaching business.

Let experience be your guide. Give your brain a well-needed break. Let go of ‘why’, and embrace how you feel, or how you want to feel. Honour the messages from your intuition and follow your path with heart.

Laura, who at one stage seemed rudderless career-wise, did just that. She was guided to Tip 14: Who Inspires You? Following that, her motivation to live and work like those she looked up to sparked a determination to start her own business.  It was that simple.

 

Following your passion and purpose is the key to success

The feedback I’ve received over the years has been a validation of my deepest belief that following your passion is the key to success. This, combined with strengthening your creativity and imagineering skills, is one of the most magical, empowering and practical things you can do to manifest your deepest desires.

As I did back in 2015 when I pursued a dream to publish my books on Amazon. Within days of the release of my first book in the Mid-Life Career Rescue series: ‘The Call For Change’ my book became a #1 bestseller on Amazon in the category of Work-Related Health.  The link to the paperback and eBook is here >> 

And four years on, it’s still selling strong and helping thousands of people all around the world.

Book two, Mid-Life Career Rescue series: ‘What Makes You Happy’  was met with similar success. In less than 24 hours of release, it also became a #1 bestseller. The link to the paperback and eBook is here >>

It’s also confirmation of the benefits of working with purpose and the importance I place on helping people feel happy. Your health is everything! Be sure to value it. Now.

 

Finding joy – the path to success

“Aren’t you setting people up for failure?” a disillusioned career coach once challenged me when I told her my focus was not on helping people find any job but finding one that gave them joy. I couldn’t help but wonder if she needed a career change.

Thirty years of cumulative professional experience as a career coach and counsellor, helping people work with passion and still pay the bills, answers that question. I’m setting people up for success. I’m not saying it will happen instantly, but if you follow the advice in my books, it will happen. I promise.

I’ve proven repeatedly with the successes I’ve gained for clients that thinking differently and creatively, rationally and practically, while also harnessing the power of intuition, and applying the principles of manifestation, really works. In all my books, but particularly in How to Find Your Passion and Purpose I’ll show you why and how.

A large part of my philosophy and the reason behind my success with clients is my fervent belief that to achieve anything worthy in life you need to follow your passion. And I’m in good company.

As media giant Oprah Winfrey once said, “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”

 

Passion’s paycheque

By discovering your passion and purpose you will tap into a huge source of potential energy. Pursuing your passion can be profitable on many levels:

  • When you do what you love, your true talent will reveal itself; passion can’t be faked
  • You’ll be more enthusiastic about your pursuits
  • You’ll have more energy to overcome obstacles.
  • You will be more determined to make things happen
  • You will enjoy your work
  • Your work will become a vehicle for self-expression
  • Passion will give you a competitive edge
  • You’ll enjoy your life

“New Zealander’s aren’t ready for passion,” an international publishing company told me when I first approached them with my book idea. Incredible! Without passion, you don’t have energy, and without energy you have nothing. I didn’t let their rejection daunt me. Like Peter Jackson did when people balked at his concept for Lord of the Rings, I backed myself. I answered the call for courage—and with it came media interest. The same thing happened years earlier too—”Self-made story an inspiration to others” the headlines read. Check out the article here>>

I was told a similar thing when I was accepted to speak at an international careers conference in San Francisco. “Selling passion to Americans is like selling coal to people in Newcastle,”  I was warned. Yet I spoke to a full capacity crowd.

Let my experience guide you—other people aren’t experts in your life. Act on your own conviction. Let love, desire, and passion, not fear or ambivalence or apathy, or other peoples projections, propel you forward. Yet worryingly, research suggests that less than 10% of people are following their passion. Perhaps that’s why there is so much unhappiness in the world. Again this is why I wrote my latest book, How to Find Your Passion and Purpose.

And it’s why passion and purpose are core themes in all my books. And in my life. And why I’m dedicated to helping those who want more passion and purpose too.

 

An inside look at the cover

 

The emphasis on energy is so vital that I decided to create my cover using a Sumi ink painting I created in Maui with Zen Buddhist artist Max Gimblett http://www.maxgimblett.com/.  I had won the Supreme Art Award for another painting and decided to reinvest the money to study Sumi ink painting with Max. The original colour was black, and the painting hangs in my hall, along with three other paintings I created at the time—called The Three Joys. The 2000-year-old art form of Japanese brush painting is spiritually rooted in Zen Buddhism. Sumi-e’s earliest practitioners were highly disciplined monks.

I can still recall the energy and power of loading the brush with rich red ink and with ‘all mind, no mind,’ breathing deep from my core, and meeting the page.

It’s been great to receive feedback about the cover from readers.

“It’s fabulous. Eye-catching and inspirational’, wrote one person.

“I feel I want to read this book now! The red energy swirl suggests an invitation to enter a journey of discovering one’s passion.”

Of course, not everyone loves the cover. But that is my point. Not everyone will endorse what you feel passionately driven to be or do. Do it anyway. As I did, when I first created The Passion Pack.

 

31: Fear Of Success. It’s a timely reminder of just how far following my passion has taken me – the shy girl who was once afraid of being seen. The quote is as apt for me as I feel it may be for you:

“Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.”

Don’t waste another day feeling trapped. Don’t be the person who spends a life of regret, or waits until they retire before they follow their passions. Don’t be the person too afraid to make a change for the better, or who wishes they could lead a significant life. Make the change now. Before it’s too late.

Here’s to living with passion and purpose!

 

How To Find Your Passion And Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want and Live The Life You Love, is available from all good bookstores, including Amazon, in paperback, hardback, ebook, and audio

 

 

How to Find Your Passion and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love.

To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>> getBook.at/Passion

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/3Roqyn

To grab your copy from Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/ebook/how-to-find-your-passion-and-purpose

AUDIO

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/How-to-Find-Your-Passion-and-Purpose-Audiobook/B07Z5C7YHK

 

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/How-to-Find-Your-Passion-and-Purpose-Audiobook/B07Z5BSXD7

 

Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/How-to-Find-Your-Passion-and-Purpose-Audiobook/B07Z5C4MS6

 

 

You might like:

Do you feel guilty for wanting more from your career and life?

How might we sabotage ourselves?

 Why Being Inspired Matters: The Spontaneous Fulfillment and Healing Power of Joy

 

Here are three more things you might like:


Interesting interviews: Listen to my best interviews on topics like overcoming obstacles, finding joy in adversity, following your passion to prosperity.


Online Course: Find Your Passion and Purpose with my best-selling self-paced course made for busy people.


Keynote speaking: Hire me to speak to your organization or team about Resilience, wellbeing, innovation, and motivation.

You can get more of my thoughts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to this blog and receive a free gift when you sign up for Cassandra’s newsletters and get more help to live your best life.

 

10 things you can do to stay positive despite fearing failure

Tuesday, July 28th, 2020

Dear friends,

How does fear of failure show up for you? A recent comment by someone on one of my Facebook page brought this question home. In a random comment following a post I have shared from a clinical psychologist, they called me a failure—and the psychologist too! At first it stung. Of course, it stung. Let’s be real about toxic criticism. But then I thought, “how could this be useful to me?” And things got better.

As I share in chapter 30 of How to Find Your Passion and Purpose

“I’d rather be a failure at something I love than a success at something I hate.”

George Burns, Comedian

In our Western culture, we often spend more time thinking of ways we could fail rather than ways we could succeed.

People also don’t give themselves permission to make mistakes or to learn.

When was the last time you tested your fears?

If you felt the fear and failed anyway what’s the worst that could happen?

Look for and collect examples of people who have turned “failure” into success.

 

So many of us are afraid, shamed and blamed for failure. We spend more time stoking our fear of failure than we do our dreams. Yet fear of failure has a role to play in our story. It’s the antagonist we must overcome to embark on the heroes journey and return with the golden elixir of success, however this is defined. As I share in the Art of Success series, we need to take a holistic look at what it means and what it takes to be successful.

 

The Eight Principles of Success

I’ve sectioned The Art of Success into a cluster of principles. Principles aren’t constricting rules unable to be shaped, but general and fundamental truths which may be used to help guide your choices.

Let’s look briefly at The Eight Principles of Success and what each will cover:

Principle One, “The Call For Success” will help you explore the truth about success and define success on your own terms. You’ll discover the rewards and ‘realities’ of success, and intensify success-building beliefs.

Principle Two, “Empower Your Success,” will help you learn why igniting the fire within, love, and heeding the call for passion is the cornerstone of future success. You’ll clarify who you really are and who you want to be, discover your elemental, signature strengths, and clarify your passion criteria.

Sight was the sense Leonardo valued above all else. Principle Three, “Empower Your Vision,” will help you clarify and visualise what you really want to achieve. You’ll then be better able to decide where best to invest your time and energy. You’ll also begin exploring ways to develop your life and career in light of your passions and life purpose, maintain focus and bring your vision into a successful reality.

Principle Four, “Empower Your Spirit,” urges you to pay attention to the things that feed your soul, awaken your curiosity, stir your imagination and create passion in your life.

Principle Five, “Empower Your Mind,” looks at ways to cultivate a success mindset. You’ll also identify strategies to overcome obstacles and to maximise your success, and ways to work less but achieve more to gain greater balance and fulfilment.

Your health is your wealth yet it’s often a neglected part of success. Principle Six, “Empower Your Body,” recognises the importance of a strong, flexible and healthy body to your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual success.

You’ll be reminded of simple strategies which reinforce the importance of quality of breath, movement, nutrition and sleep. Avoiding burnout is also a huge factor in attaining and sustaining success. When you do less and look after yourself more, you can and will achieve success.

Principle Seven, “Empower Your Relationships” will help you boost your awareness of how surrounding yourself with your vibe tribe will fast-track your success, and when it’s best to go it alone.

The Art of Success ends with Principle Eight, “Empower Your Work” emphasises the role of authenticity and being who you are. You’ll also learn how to ‘fake it until you make it’ and be inspired by others success. Importantly you’ll learn how following your own truth will set you free.

 

What Is Success?

I wish to work miracles.

~Leonardo da Vinci

Modern definitions of success are often too narrowly defined. Success is more than climbing up the corporate ladder. It’s more than a big shiny car, or owning the latest and greatest. It’s more than the number of likes you have on Facebook.

Success includes maintaining good health, energy and enthusiasm for life, fulfilling relationships,  creative freedom,  well-being,  peace of mind, happiness and joy. Success also includes the ability to achieve your desires—whatever these may be.

Success is living life on your terms.

Leonardo was driven to self-actualise—to fulfil his talents and potential and achieve his life purpose.

Success meant following his curiosity and the freedom to think, be and do as he chose. His success came from creatively expressing his most important beliefs and values, and sharing his knowledge with the world.

Your Challenge

What does success mean to you?

How will you know when you have succeeded?

Imagine how our culture, how our lives, will change when we begin valuing go-givers as much as we value go-getters.

~ Arianna Huffington, businesswoman

 

As one of my clients, Tom* shared with me recently,  “I’ve just been writing sitting for a day sitting at my computer writing budgets and farm plans… I know I’m learning. I  don’t know if I want to be anchored to a seat…you’ve got me thinking…with your emails and the other people that you work with. I’ve always chased financial security…that’s been my main driver…maximum dollar and then trying to find something with that I like doing. Is that the wrong approach? I just want to let my heart lead. I see a job weeding for Doc on the Pitcairn Islands or being a guide on the Milford Track In the fresh air. Yeeze my heart would sing. And I’d be in the fresh air. How do you balance that conundrum?

 

Tip 1. Ask yourself empowering questions

It’s a great question! To which I replied, “What would the worst thing be if you followed your heart….for the next 6months? A year? What could be worse (my made up word) still?

What would be the best thing if you followed your heart….for the next 6months? A year? What could be better still?

So often we live an unbalanced life. We prioritise our rational mind and neglect our heart.
Here is what Tom shared in response to the empowering questions exercise:
Journaling on your questions..
What would the worst thing be if you followed your heart….for the next 6months? A year? What could be worser still?
I fail – the first word that came up – but what is fail? For to have tried is no failure. I would have had a new experience under my belt but it might open a new door. But I would have to dig deep and find even more strength within to start something new, to pack up yet again and move, when all I crave right now is certainty, structure, calm in my current storm, to regroup heal and refocus.
For 4 months it would get me back into adventure, but it would be putting off what I feel I most need right now, to stop and regroup.
Worst would be going away for 4 months,  then not having a next step, or a place to return to, leading to more drifting. Worse would be walking away from current opportunities I have manifested before following them through to see where they lead and finding out if this is what I enjoy…environmental work…workplace training…seeing if I can create a new life for myself. Worse would be not knowing if I had taken the right step!
But what is “right”, as long as it’s a step forward, and I can always walk that path at another time. Or could I? Right now I am free. Worse could be missing this opportunity (If I even got a guiding job!) in a time when I have no commitments. Later on I may be locked into something and unable to get away for 4 months. Worst of all is missing out on finding a home, knowing I have a base to return to, a place to lay my head, somewhere to go back to once the adventure is over.
What would be the best thing if you followed your heart….for the next 6months? A year? What could be better still?
I would get to run away from my worries and go off on an adventure, be distracted by the magical beauty of nature, get fit, meet likeminded people who love the wild places, have an amazing life experience and increase my lifespan! My brain would not have to deal with learning a new technical job or finding enough income to pay the rent for that week. If I followed it for 4 months (that’s how long the work is) it might even open doors to other adventures, it might reset my worries about security, and it might allow me to feel where I am pulled to, to get clarity around my essence of who I really am. By being away from all I know, my next step would bubble up. And when I looked back on my life, I would have known I had honoured my gypsy calling and claimed boldness.
What I feel after writing this:
Certainty seems more important to me right now. My biggest worry is that I would push that further away if I went away. And I’m not sure I have the energy for that right now.
I would give up the current opportunities that have opened up, without giving myself a full opportunity to experience where it might lead to (even though right now as I am learning it is stressful)
So, I am still inclined to stay here, to try this role a little longer, and see if I can create a new life here. I need to find that calm point, to create a rhythm in my week and my work, which will allow calm and bring peace, which enables clarity to emerge. In that, I will find a calling rises up inside me.
Anyways, it was a good exercise!
I’m more feeling forward with my gut. I had decided to stay here till Xmas, giving me that time to see where things lead to. If by then there is no future here, I can move elsewhere. I certainly am being presented with many options, a job offer and an interview call! And more training requests. So things are moving there and I’m feeling into my heart to make a call.
I was offered a job in health and safety.  It would be a good secure safe role with a great bunch of people, But 45 hr weeks and sedentary. I’m not sure I can dig deep to do that. That was a real test – security vs flexibility. I am yet to decide!!
The point of this exercise is to challenge your assumptions. In time clarity returns and decisions dawn more definitively. Not now, does not mean, never ever. Tom, for example, was in the early throes of potential divorce. He realised what he needed right now was less change, more calm…and a roof over his head.

Tip 2. Read an empowering book

Like Simon, who for years toiled away as a builder but grew to hate the work more and more every day. His physical health was compromised…and then his mental health. He became depressed. Anxious., Suicidal at times. But then he picked up my book, How to FInd Your Passion and Purpose.

He wrote to me from Sydney Australia, in April 2020. “Hi there Cassandra, Your book passion and purpose changed my life. I wanted to say a Big thank you to you!

 

Listen to How to Find Your Passion and Purpose

Oh, my gosh! I am so excited that my most popular book, How to Find Your Passion and Purpose is now available as an audiobook. Listen to an excerpt here>>

 

Tip 3. Become greater at gratitude

 

Gratitude is a fantastic and easy tool to use to lift your vibration. It still amazes me why more people don’t use it. Reach out today and tell someone they changed your life.  

 

Tip 4. Hire a Career Coach

Simon, worked with me to rebuild his life. (Funny, he was once a builder!). He’s gone back to ‘school’ and is training to become a relationship and addiction counsellor. Working with me helped him avoid a very costly mistake. He nearly invested in a short-term course thinking this would provide him with the training he needed for his career rescue. I shared with him one of the strategies included in my book, Job Search Strategies That Work talk to experts working in the field. Ask your way to success. Draw up a list of questions and include, what training would you recommend?

I love that when you help one person, you help a family. When you don’t do what you love your relationships can suffer. When you love your job, when your career feeds your purpose and passion it enriches not just you but your loved ones and communities.

The New chapter.
Had a family outing to celebrate the start of the new career journey!
Living the dream with Passion!
Thank you!

Simon had the courage and also been inspired by How to FInd Your Passion and Purpose to quit a job he’s hated all his life and is embracing the love bug by retraining and doing something that fulfils his passion and purpose. Importantly, his career change is enabling him to turn his trauma into teachings to uplight the world. Go, Simon.

Like all my clients, I’m so inspired by him and thankful he reached out to me to help.

Tip 5. Volunteer

We have to be careful of chasing the wrong dream. This is where gaining some experience first by volunteering or shadowing someone who works in the profession or role we are interested in. I first met Amy when she emailed me from Hawaii and offered to edit my books for FREE. I later returned the favour and offered her some free coaching. Then later still we came to a financial arrangement to help each other.
Reinventing my career over twenty years ago and become a life and career coach has enabled me to meet and support inspiring clients like Amy. I helped her overcome her fear and turn her passion into a rewarding career as a business owner. She moved back to her hometown of Columbia, SC, had a beautiful baby and is now a professional. self-employed editor and proof-reader. If you need a great proofreader look no further>>www.StokesEdits.com
Amy emailed me during COVID-19 and also sent me a picture of her beautiful one-year-old daughter. Her vision had always been to balance family with career. I’m so happy because she was also able to future-proof her income by working from home and creating a service she could provide anywhere.

 

“It has been a long time since we’ve connected! And a long time since I helped with editing some of your books. I have since moved back to my hometown of Columbia, SC, from Hawaii. And we now have a little girl, Iona Delphine Stokes! She turned one on April 14.”

I was so thrilled to hear from Amy and so proud of her for what she has achieved. A beautiful wee girl and a beautiful business – one that fulfils her vision of being able to work from home and have a family.

A big shout out to all the fabulous women who raise businesses and babies! As I share in my Mid-Life Career Rescue series, it’s no easy feat but an extremely rewarding one!

As Amy shares below when you overcome your fear of not being good enough or whatever else is holding you back—IT FEELS GOOD!

 

 

 

I’m so grateful to Amy for allowing me to share a photo of her beautiful daughter Iona celebrating her 1st birthday. Does Iona look entranced by colour? A buddy artist? Soooooo adorable.

 

 

 

Tip 6. Do what you love with who you love

I saved this tip along with the link below in my inspiration file. You don’t have to be physical with someone to feel inspired by them. Just reading their stories, soaking up the wisdom on their blogs, following on social media and a whole bunch of other ways to connect, including meet-ups, can fire the fear of failure. Inspirational people are like vitamins for our soul. If you’re considering a change, take time to ponder the following, “How will it feel to be surrounded by, or in contact with similar people? Will they fuel your passions? John, an insurance broker asked himself this the other day. “God I hate those f*ckers. I couldn’t stand being in the same room with them.” Question answered.
What I enjoyed about Nessy’s story is who honest she is about the number of things she has tried and failed.
“Start something because you enjoy doing it, not because you think you’re going to make money out of it (unless you’re living la vida broka, in which case, obviously get a job on the side to pay some bills).”

Brett, who at the young age of 60 recently enrolled in my Certified Career and Life Coach training course  applied a similar strategy. Not because he was broke, but because he’s shifted his mindset toward his current job. My midlifer career changers inspire me tremendously. “I want to make the next decade the best one yet,” he shared with me prior to enrolling. You can read his full story, including how thinking outside of the square helped him overcome failure, here>>If Brett Could Change His Career At 60, So Can You

Tip 7. Find a way to feel

Sometimes, a simple but effective way to get unstuck is to explore a range of different thinking styles—ideally, ones that challenge crippled thinking, open up possibilities and move you into a state of inspired, solutions-focused action.

This is where working with a therapist can help. However, many people resist going to see a counsellor or therapist because they assume that all they will achieve from the session is ruminating on their problems and more navel-gazing.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. A skilled counsellor can not only provide much-needed support but also act as an objective, independent sounding board who can help you get to the root of your issues, add a liberal dose of much-needed empathy and understanding and support you to make the changes necessary to empower your life.

As one of my clients told me, “It wasn’t until someone listened to me, really listened, that I knew what I really thought.” Similarly, it wasn’t until a therapist diagnosed my life experiences as traumatic that I began my path of healing.

All too often, no one gives us the space to name, or express our emotions. Well-meaning family members, work colleagues, friends and even strangers may dispense advice—not all of it is helpful. Take the example of Simon whose wife of thirty-years had recently died. “You just need to suck it up and get on with it,” a friend told him. Working through his grief-related anxiety in therapy proved to be a much more helpful and healing approach.

“I thought I should be able to handle it. I told myself I wouldn’t get upset, ” he told me.

“Who told you that when you lose someone you love very, very much that you shouldn’t feel something?” I asked. He shrugged.

We both agreed it was natural to cry. I suggested that if he didn’t feel anything—if he didn’t feel loss, or grief, sadness or pain—he would be inhuman. Cognitively we can often fool our minds, but the heart is often our greatest, and most honest, teacher.

In our Western culture, so many people, particularly men, bottle up their feelings. So many negative emotions are stuffed down and repressed. Some experts say that these repressed feelings are contributing factors behind the escalating rates of depression, anxiety, alcohol addiction, drug abuse and suicide.

Tom, whose older sister took her own life when they were both in their thirties recalls his parents praising him for showing a lack of emotion, “Good boy for not crying,” they told him. Bottling trauma is neither helpful nor good.

Now in his fifties, Tom suffers from mood swings, anxiety, and depression. Rather than seek help releasing these feelings, including anger toward his parents, he abuses alcohol in an attempt to anaesthetize dark feelings. And he’s not alone. As I share in my books, Your Beautiful Mind: Control Alcohol and Love Life More, and Mind Your Drink: The Surprising Joy of Sobriety (Control Alcohol, Discover Freedom, Find Happiness and Change Your Life) a great many people drink alcohol to mask or numb the symptoms of their wounds.

No one escapes walking in this world without some degree of hurt. But for many people, this hurt is profoundly deep. The first cuts, experts (and songwriters) say are the deepest—very often these wounds are inflicted during childhood.

Tragically, what should be a happy time of innocence is one of incalculable pain. Incest, rape, physical abuse, emotional neglect—and many more horrid things happen to people growing up.

Many wounded souls never receive therapy. Reasons vary. For some, it appears too costly, for others they think that talking to a therapist make them weak. Tony Soprano, one of the toughest characters to storm across our TV screens in the award-winning show, The Sopranos, sought therapy to deal with repressed emotions which contributed to his anxiety attacks.

In 2017 movie superstar Brad Pitt revealed he had a shocking drinking problem that wrecked his marriage and tore his young family apart. “I feel retarded when it comes to expressing my emotions,” he said as he opened up about his battle with alcohol. To help him kick the alcohol habit he opted to face his demons and learn how to express and handle emotions by seeking the services of a qualified and skilled counsellor.

Asking for help, whether this is addiction counselling, relationship therapy, coaching to deal with stress at work, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, or something else, isn’t easy for many successful people. However, it’s often what you need to gain a fresh perspective, overcome obstacles, heal wounds and expand your life.

As a qualified counsellor and holistic therapist, I know that very often integrative talk-therapy which draws on an eclectic range of techniques such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) and other modalities, including creative and art-based techniques can be extremely effective.

Therapy needn’t be gloomy. A lot of healthy healing can be achieved using playfulness and fun. Personally and professionally I believe in magic and the power of beauty, joy, love, purpose, and creativity to transform peoples’ lives. These are also scientifically-validated tools that enhance spiritual health and aid recovery.

Creativity in its various guises is a natural antidote to stress, anxiety, and depression, which explains why art therapy is such a potent and popular tool. Art therapy is a form of experiential therapy, an approach to recovery and healing that addresses emotional and spiritual needs through creative or physical activity. People don’t need to have a background in the arts or any artistic talent to participate. They need only to be open to experiencing and engaging actively to benefit.

I have trained in a technique called Interactive Drawing Therapy and have found it to be an incredible tool in my own life and in my sessions with others. The simplest of drawings, a line, a colour, a scrawled phrase or word can powerfully access parts of the psyche we often repress, bringing unhelp subconscious belief to light. In an alchemical process, wounds are spun into gold.

When I first trained in Interactive Drawing Therapy the teacher asked for a volunteer. No hands were raised so he picked me. What harm could it do, I thought, being as skilled as I was at keeping a lid firmly on my feelings.

“Draw an animal,” he said.

Sure, I thought. Great. Harmless. I drew a giraffe.

“Put some colour on the page,” the teacher gently guided.

My giraffe became pink with green, purple and yellow spots. What fun I thought.

“Where is she?” the teacher asked. “Draw this on the page.”

I drew large grey and black rectangles, symbolizing office blocks, cars belching smoke, and a road, not unlike Lambton Quay, in Wellington, New Zealand where I went to work in a job I hated every weekday.

“Put some words on the page,” the teacher whispered.

“She doesn’t want to stand out.”

And then it dawned on me, just as the words slipped onto the page. That giraffe was me. And the fact was I did stand out—naturally. I had always been different. And I had struggled unsuccessfully to belong.

“She can’t help but stand out,” my tutor affirmed. “It’s who she is.”

For me, this awareness was so new, so potent, so transformative, that I knew instantly there was work to do. I began to understand the deep social anxiety I had felt as a child and carried with me through adolescence—and with it the drinking and reckless behaviour I had adopted to belong, to bolster the confidence I never felt, to hide the discomfort of living in my own skin.

When I completed my counselling training many years ago I was also introduced to Albert Ellis’s Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT). REBT originated in the mid-1950s as Ellis became increasingly aware and frustrated by the ineffectiveness of traditional psychoanalysis to produce a change in his patients.

The REBT worldview is that people often make themselves emotional victims by their own distorted, unrealistic, and irrational thinking patterns. Ellis takes an essentially optimistic view of people but criticizes some humanistic approaches as being too soft at times and failing to address the fact that people can virtually “self-destruct” through irrational and muddled thinking.

According to Ellis and the REBT worldview, all people are born with self-defeating tendencies. When something goes against your goals, your values or desires, feelings of failure, rejection, etc., can set in; but you have a choice.

You have a choice of feeling terrified, panicky, depressed, self-pitying, self-doubting, etc.—and succumbing to these emotions.

But these feelings can prevent you from making positive changes—and may drive you to drink, for example.

Which emotion you choose, according to REBT practitioners, is thought to mainly depend on your belief system—not your goals and values, but what you tell yourself when your goals and values are thwarted or blocked.

We all have a rational set of beliefs called “preferences.” In this context, “rational” means self-helping beliefs, such as, “I don’t like what is going on.” “I wish it weren’t so.” “How annoying?” “Let’s see what I can do about it.”

Many people very frequently pick irrational beliefs, referred to as “demands,” such as, “Because I don’t like what is going on, it absolutely should not be allowed.” “It can’t happen.” “I can’t stand it.” “Everyone should love me–if they don’t, I am worthless.” “It’s horrible, I think I’ll give up” (or, when taken to the extreme, “I’ll kill myself”).

Ellis’ therapeutic approach is not to challenge the clients’ goals and values, but instead attack their absolute demands about achieving these values. The emphasis of the therapy is on changing the way the client thinks about the behaviour or the upsetting event, rather than on changing the behaviour itself.

This is a critical point—it is not the actual event but our view of the event that is critical.

The task of the REBT therapist is to help clients’ challenge and self-correct thought patterns and minimize irrational ideas, while simultaneously helping them to change their dysfunctional feelings and behaviours. Challenging the irrational statement is key to changing an entire philosophy of life.

 

The ABCDEF Method

Perhaps Ellis’s most important concrete methodological contribution is his A-B-C–D-E-F theory, which can be summarized as follows:

A – the “objective” facts, events, behaviours that an individual encounters. (I call this, ‘the activating event’).

B – the person’s beliefs about ‘A’

C – the emotional consequences, or how a person feels and acts about ‘A’

D – disputing ‘B’ irrational beliefs

E – the effect that disputation has on the client

F – new feelings and behaviours

 

Example:

I helped a friend apply the ABCDE method following a Boxing Day alcohol-fuelled drama which impacted his son. The following is an edited extract (I have changed names to protect people’s privacy):

A – the activating event and “objective” facts, events, behaviours encountered.

Following Boxing Day, Tim, who is nineteen, rang and told his father, Simon about an alleged assault between him and his mother’s new boyfriend. Tim says both his mom and her boyfriend were drunk.

 

B – the beliefs about ‘A’

Simon is waiting to speak to the ‘old-one’ (his ex) to determine the facts but believes his son’s account of what happens. The ‘old one’ is not returning his call.

He believes the reason she is not returning his call is because she is at fault, and that an assault did occur.

 

C – the emotional consequences, or how Simon feels and acts about ‘A’

Simon’s emotions are heightened. He’s feeling frustrated, powerless, angry, resentful, anxious, and fearful for his son’s safety. Yet, aspects of his son’s version of what happened concerned him. He feels confused as to what really occurred.

Simon drinks 3 bottles of beer and goes to the bottle store to buy more.

Simon believes alcohol relaxes him, minimizes stress, and helps him stay calmer and in control while he waits.

Over the course of the evening (3 hours), he drinks five 500ml bottles of beer (11 standard drinks.) Feeling stressed, I join him—minimizing my drinking by consuming small quantities in six crystal glasses (in total 500 ml, or 2.2 standard drinks.)

After speaking to ‘the old one’ and his son on a three-way call, and resolving all misunderstandings, I asked how he feels now that he knows his son is not at risk. He shuts me down and says, “I don’t want to talk about it.”

He doesn’t speak to me again that evening.

 

D – disputing ‘B’ irrational beliefs

Rather than work myself into a state, I challenged my belief that by drinking with Simon we would both be relaxed. Alcohol is a depressant, it depletes your energy, and increases symptoms of stress already triggered by external events, I reminded myself.

It increases anxiety, melancholy, gloom, and aggression, which is why Tim’s mom and her partner argued, and why Tim ‘lunged’ at this stepfather when he told him to mind his business.

I counsel myself, “Alcohol is ethanol, a flammable, colourless chemical compound—it’s poison, also used to fuel cars, masquerading as a happy drink.”

 

E – effect that disputation has

The episode strengthened my resolve never to drink during times of stress, and my conviction that I don’t want to ingest poisons.

Simon’s knowledge that his ex is an alcoholic causes him to question his own dependency on alcohol during times of stress.

This change in thinking affects Simon by making him more committed to controlling his drinking and being a role model to his son.

 

F – new feelings and behaviours

Simon and I felt calmer and more optimistic about the benefits of not drinking.

Simon felt more empowered and in control now that he has discovered the truth about his ex’s drinking and how her relationship with a man who drinks excessively affects his son.

He decides to take control by helping Tim find a way to gain his independence and leave home, knowing that despite urging his ex to seek help for her drinking that, as with other times, this may have fallen on deaf ears.

Tim successfully finds work that he loves which means he is seldom at home and tells his father that alcohol has no place in his own life. Tim is happier sober!

As a holistic practitioner and life coach I also know there is a wide range of alternative healing approaches that yield remarkable, extremely quick results. It concerns me, and a lot of other health professionals, that too often people turn to antidepressant medication, Despite research that cites the lower effectiveness, for many people this still appears to be the solution of choice prescribed by many medical professions.

“Pills are cheap,” my doctor told me when I asked her why counselling wasn’t recommended to more people. It may be cheap, but worrying it is not always effective and the side-effects can also do more harm than healing. Rather than offer short-term help very often people come to rely on medical prescriptions for decades. In an extract from his book, Lost Connections: Uncovering The Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected SolutionsJohann Hari, who took antidepressants for 13 years, says masking the pain does not offer long-term relief and calls for a new approach.

“I was a teenager when I swallowed my first antidepressant. I was standing in the weak English sunshine, outside a pharmacy in a shopping centre in London. The tablet was white and small, and as I swallowed, it felt like a chemical kiss. That morning I had gone to see my doctor and I had told him – crouched, embarrassed – that pain was leaking out of me uncontrollably, like a bad smell, and I had felt this way for several years. In reply, he told me a story. There is a chemical called serotonin that makes people feel good, he said, and some people are naturally lacking it in their brains. You are clearly one of those people. There are now, thankfully, new drugs that will restore your serotonin level to that of a normal person. Take them, and you will be well. At last, I understood what had been happening to me, and why.

However, a few months into my drugging, something odd happened. The pain started to seep through again. Before long, I felt as bad as I had at the start. I went back to my doctor, and he told me that I was clearly on too low a dose. And so, 20 milligrams became 30 milligrams; the white pill became blue. I felt better for several months. And then the pain came back through once more. My dose kept being jacked up, until I was on 80mg, where it stayed for many years, with only a few short breaks. And still the pain broke back through.”

You can read a summary of his views, including his claims of an over-riding profit motive by pharmaceutical companies, in his interview with The Guardian. ‘Is everything you think you know about depression wrong?”

A good therapist will often share strategies that can help you rebalance the hormones in your brain, or refer you to other health professionals like nutritionists and dieticians. There are a great many ways to increase serotonin in the human brain without drugs, including meditation, exercise, sunlight, vitamins and other low-cost approaches. Many will save you money, boost your health, help you reduce weight and improve your relationships—here I’m talking about eliminating or cutting back alcohol consumption.

Alcohol has been found to significantly reduce serotonin 45 minutes after drinking. As this article in SpiritScience claims, there is also a clear link between alcohol consumption and violence or other types of aggressive behaviour. Aggression is also heavily linked to low serotonin levels and may be due to alcohol’s disrupting effects on serotonin metabolism.

In an article which appears in  Psychology Today, F. Diane Barth, a psychotherapist, and psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City, cites research confirming the ineffectiveness of antidepressant medication compared with other therapies, including talk therapy. In the November 2010 issue of Scientific American Mind: “Getting to Know Me: Psychodynamic therapy has been caricatured as navel-gazing, but studies show powerful benefits,” claims Jonathan Shedler. Shedler, is an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and director of psychology at the University of Colorado Hospital Outpatient Psychiatry Service. As Barth notes, Shelder ‘combines anecdotes from clients and therapists with fascinating research to explain something that those of us who have practised “insight” therapy (sometimes also called “talk” therapy) have known for a long time: psychodynamic psychotherapy works. It helps clients find solutions not only to specific symptoms but also to difficulties at work, in their social lives, and with self-esteem.

For example, Shedler writes, “One major study found an ‘effect size’-a measure of treatment benefit – of 0.97” for psychodynamic psychotherapy. “For CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), 0.68 is a typical effect size. For antidepressant medication, the average effect size is 0.31.”

Barth describes seven features that researchers have found contribute to the power and effectiveness of psychodynamic psychotherapy: “exploring emotions, examining avoidances, identifying recurring patterns, discussing past experience, focusing on relationships, and examining the patient/therapist relationship.”

As a result of counselling, many people choose to connect or reconnect with lapsed spiritual or religious rituals. I love integrating spiritual approaches into my ‘talk therapy.’ Many people have lost their union with God because of the hypocritical dogma which has polluted many faith systems. However, prayer, for example, comes in many shapes, colours, and textures.

Many anxious people, recovering alcoholics, prosperous creatives and successful business people, including Deepak Chopra, Julia Cameron, Wayne Dyer and Louise Hay, refer to prayer in several forms, including describing it as the voice of God, intuition, higher self, inner goddess, or their Sacred Divine.

In her book Illuminata: A Return to Prayer, Marianne Williamson, who also shares her early dysfunctional relationship with her mother, speaks of prayer as a way of “focusing our eyes,” dramatically transforming our orientation, releasing us “from the snares of lower energies,” and aligning “our internal energies with truth”.

Prayer, or invoking a higher power, is revered by many for its power to help them reclaim their strength, find their inner power and overcome tragedy. You may enjoy reading my blog post on spiritual approaches to the treatment of alcohol addiction—http://www.cassandragaisford.com/spiritual-approaches-to-the-treatment-of-alcohol-addiction/

Whether you elect to seek the services of a therapist, put your faith in God, divine wisdom, spirituality or something else, the truth is very often that safety, guidance, and strength comes from a place within. The right therapist can act as a much needed and much-valued guide who supports you to find solutions to your problems and develop strategies you can apply yourself to regularly to stay well.

 

Tip 8. GOLOV

Have you heard of GOLOV-20? Spread The Love Bug! 

https://www.cassandragaisford.com/have-you-heard-of-golov-20-spread-the-love-bug/

Have you heard of GOLOV-20? I first heard of it around 3 am when I woke with little insomnia during the onset of COVID-19. The truth is I love the quiet of the night and I love to use this time to be inspired. I never worry about not being asleep, I just use this time to nourish me. I write more about this in my short story, Lulu is a Black Sheep.

Below details from Dr. Joe Dispenza, a super amazing and spiritually connected neuroscientist, on GOLOV-20 – the movement he has started as an antidote to all the fear-mongering spread by the INFOVIRUS of COVID-19

A big part of this message is sharing inspiration and reaching out to tell people that inspire you that they create love in your heart. Dr Joe Dispenza explains it better than I.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrWI55RA58k

The link below has Dr. Joe’s full guided meditation

https://youtu.be/bYOHHLLuaMg

 

Tip 9. Trust your heart

Courage is the Gateway to Freedom

Who inspires me? Dr. Joe, but also my partner and my daughter, and all my amazing clients who inspire me with the courage, determination and desire to make a difference. I share more about my daughter’s amazing healing journey using the vibration of joy and love in the book we wrote together, How to Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love.

15 years ago, as a single mother, with a hefty mortgage and no one to support me, I made some of the most major shifts in my life… 

  • I rekindled a friendship that I thought I’d lost. 
  • I healed myself from a serious health condition. 
  • And I boosted my courage and left a job I hated to employ myself. 

The way I was able to create this change was by healing one major issue: SELF-DOUBT. Instead, I trusted my heart.

I followed the method in my training programme http://www.worklifesolutions.nz/coach-training/

If you’re ready to learn the six most powerful tools to clear EVERYTHING in the way of manifesting your dream life… 

…AND I MEAN IT… 

Then join this very special training and let me mentor you every step of the way.

Reinventing my career has enabled me to meet and support inspiring clients like Amy, Brett, Simon and many more besides.

Tip 10. Elevate your energy—nourish your joy

As I share in The Anxiety Cure: Love Your Body: live a life free from fear, everything is energy, and energy is everything. Without it you have nothing. But you don’t want sad, bad, defeatist energy—that won’t help at all. As I shared earlier, tell someone they changed your life. Gratitude is a fantastic and easy tool to use to lift your vibration. It still amazes me why more people don’t use it. Reach out today and tell someone they changed your life.  Like, Simon, who wrote to me from Sydney Australia, in April 2020.

Passion, joy, and love are the highest vibrations you can feel. They’re the rocket-fuel feelings that will catapult you to success.

“The two most inspiring life forces are anger and joy,” singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette once said. “I could write 6 zillion songs about these two feelings alone.”

As you’ll discover in my earlier book, Find Your Passion and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover a Job You Want and Live the Life You Love, and in other books in this series, anger can be a constructive force for positive change.

But the more moments you spend being happy and joyful, and allowing yourself and your work to be infused with this positive energy, the closer you are to being the God-force of all life. You create a natural antidote to anxiety, and you evoke the power of the laws of attraction and abundance, and you attract prosperity.

“If you will live your life in such a manner—that everything you pursue is to make yourself happy—you will live your life to its grandest destiny,” writes Ramtha in The White Book.

“Joy begets joy, for when you accept the joy that is pressed to you, that joy heightens the joy of your tomorrows and opens you up for even greater receivership.”

Co-creating with joy, passion, Spirit, and love, and creating and maintaining a positive mindset are essential ingredients in raising your productive energy.

Don’t worry if you don’t know what makes you happy or feel joyful or you haven’t figured out where your passions lie. You’ll find plenty of help in my other books.

What matters now is that you begin with the end in mind and make a commitment to only invest in things that make you feel good and create positive vibrations.

This may require doing some inner work, increasing your self-awareness and committing to further personal development. It may mean regularly checking in and monitoring your calibration. Or it may involve some tough action.

Many successful people choose to walk away from soul-sucking jobs and relationships to elevate their energy. Paulo Coelho, Isabel Allende, J.K Rowling, Nora Roberts, James Patterson, and Jessie Burton, for example, may not have read Ramtha’s sage words which I have quoted below, but they found success by pursuing the love, joy, and purpose they discovered when following their passion.

Importantly, in the process of following their bliss, they all rekindled a deep love for themselves.

“There is no greater purpose in life than to live for the love and fulfilment of self, and that can only be achieved by participating in this life and doing those things which bring you happiness regardless of what they are, for who shall say it is wrong or that it is not good for you?” writes Ramtha in The White Book.

What daily practices, routines, or habits fill you with joy? Notice the times you feel marvellous.

What soul-sucking jobs, relationships, or situations depress your energy? How can you manifest feel-good vibrations? Develop a plan to restore positivity to your daily diet.

 

 

Don’t forget your love of laughter. Be a little silly—or a lot. Laughter lifts your vibration higher. Laughter is the language of love. It works even when you’re stuck in the mud!

 

My partner and I recently survived a horror renovation that nearly ended up in massive failure. But we dug deep (literally), leveraged off others’ abilities and got through it. And now it feels great. The fact is that you have to face your fear of everything turning out horribly. Within reason, nothing is fatal. The road to success is often strewn with ruins.

But those that dare not, dream not, risk not, will never taste the true victory—the knowledge you threw caution to the wind and tried!

As author and filmmaker Michael Moore said, “I want us all to face our fears and stop behaving like our goal in life is merely to survive. Surviving is for game show contestants stranded in the jungle or on a desert island. You are not stranded. Use your power. You deserve better.”

I took these words to heart many years ago. Anxiety and depression run in my family—as does a tendency to place a stop-cap on dreams. As you’ve read, my grandmother grew up in foster care. Her father murdered a man. I’m sure that her upbringing had an impact on my mom, and in turn, my mom’s ability to give me the love I craved as a child.

My dad was dumped in a boarding school when he was only four. He never knew his father, and only found out when he was in his 70s that he had a sister. Growing up, he never experienced a hug or knew true affection.

Like Amy Winehouse and so many others with wounded childhoods, I never felt loved. I’ve worked hard to overcome the wounds of my childhood.

You should, too. Your past doesn’t need to stop you.

“A lot of people feel like they’re victims in life, and they’ll often point to past events, perhaps growing up with an abusive parent or in a dysfunctional family,” writes Rhonda Byrne in The Secret.

“Most psychologists believe that about 85 per cent of families are dysfunctional, so all of a sudden you’re not so unique. My parents were alcoholics. My dad abused me. My mother divorced him when I was six . . . I mean, that’s almost everybody’s story in some form or not,” she says.

Author Jack Canfield also speaks to this point: “The real question is, what are you going to do now? What do you choose now? Because you can either keep focusing on that, or you can focus on what you want. And when people start focusing on what they want, what they don’t want falls away, and what they want expands, and the other part disappears.”

In hindsight, you will see your life experiences as a gift. As Isabel Allende once said, “Without my unhappy childhood and dysfunctional family, what would I have to write about?”

I channel my life experiences into my books. I pay it forward and share how I learned to empower my mind, body, and soul. I studied Buddhist philosophy. I learned Transcendental and mindfulness meditation.

I devoured nearly every self-help book on the planet—and beyond. I went to healers and sought counselling.

I trained to be a hypnotherapist, counsellor, and psychologist and gained other therapeutic skills. I continue to pass on the knowledge I’ve learned to my clients and readers like you to help empower them to live your best lives.

Every day I fight for my dreams.

 

We all enter this life, and leave it, with different challenges. Different parents, siblings, life experiences. The pain of your past doesn’t need to define you. If you are prepared to be honest and vulnerable and to do the work, you know what you need to do to empower your life and your work.

As Buddha once said, “It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.”

If fear, wounds of the past, victim thinking, destructive health behaviours, or anything else detrimental to living your best life has a grip on you, prioritize breaking free.

Seeking help doesn’t have to cost a fortune. You may heal your life with writing, work with a coach or therapist, or self-help your way to success.

When you seize the reins of control and take responsibility, you will empower your life—and your prosperity.

Let experience be your guide. Give your brain a well-needed break. Let go of ‘why’ and embrace how you feel or how you want to feel. Honour the messages from your intuition and follow your path with heart.

 

 

P.S.

GRAB YOUR FREE BOOK – my gift to you

 

 

Grab your free copy and experience an immediate uplift. Suitable to children of all ages (yes, mid-lifers…us too!)

To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>>getbook.at/BillyIsABalloon

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/mlwRB9

To grab your copy from Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/en/ebook/billy-is-a-balloon-1

Click here for the free audiobook – written and narrated by me>>https://dl.bookfunnel.com/znooq2ocme

 

 P.S. if you enjoy this story or any of my books can you please leave a review where you purchased:)

 

 

Cassandra is a holistic therapist integrative counsellor, life coach, and author. To book an appointment or learn more about her wellness-therapies, including how QTC can help you achieve rapid, lasting, transformational change click here >>

Learn more about Cassandra from reading Testimonials to her work.

 

Did you enjoy this post?

If you like my work you can support me on Ko-fi>>ko-fi.com/youinspireme 

You might like:

Do you feel guilty for wanting more from your career and life?

How might we sabotage ourselves?:

Quantum Transformational Coaching—all your questions answered

Your Beautiful Mind: Control Alcohol, Discover Freedom, Find Happiness and Change Your Life: Justin Raj’s Journey to Joyful Sobriety

Life transformed by faith in the stars

http://www.cassandragaisford.com/why-pursuing-your-passion-not-your-pension-is-the-ultimate-mid-life-career-change-strategy/

 

 

 

How to Find Your Passion and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love

To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>> getBook.at/Passion

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/3Roqyn

To grab your copy from Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/ebook/how-to-find-your-passion-and-purpose

 

 

Mid-Life Career Rescue: Job Search Strategies That Work

Beat ageism and discrimination—easily and skillfully tap into the hidden job market and get the job you want.

To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>>getbook.at/JobSearchStrategies

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>  https://books2read.com/u/mdzjKX

To grab your copy from  Kobo, click here>> https://www.kobo.com/en/ebook/mid-life-career-rescue-job-search-strategies-that-work

 

 

 

Feeling depressed? Connect with your with spirit. Align with purpose to create a life of joy, passion, prosperity, and fulfilment. Finding your passion and purpose is the ultimate, medication-free stress and anxiety cure.

In this video, a blast from the past, I share some simple and practical strategies to help you tap into the power of passion. I later adapted these cards into my bestselling book, How to Find Your Passion and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love.

* name changed to protect privacy

 

 

 

How might we sabotage ourselves?

Thursday, July 23rd, 2020

Love yourself unconditionally

“The wound is the place where the light enters you” ~ Rumi


I wish to address the “stigma and misconceptions” surrounding mental health and in particular the trauma, often untreated, of the wounds of childhood, and offer hope and strategies to help.

As a child therapist, I have had the privilege of hearing from boys and girls, young and old, who told me that their mummies didn’t love them as they should.

“If I was my mother, I wouldn’t drink,” one 8-year-old said. His father was in prison and his mother was at the pub. Luckily he had an excellent GRAND-mummy who was raising him and bringing him to therapy to help with his anger issues.

“My mother wanted custody of my sister, but she didn’t come for me. She doesn’t want me. She doesn’t love me. I’m no good,” a 12-year-old boy referred, also for anger issues, told me.

“I want to kill myself,” a 10-year-old boy sobbed. “My mother is always yelling at me. The more I try to do to make her happy, the more chores she gives me and then she shouts when I can’t do it all. She wouldn’t care if I died.”

Look into their mother’s history, as I helped these children do, and as I have done to heal my own wounds, and they discover that their mothers are walking wounded. Their mummies (and daddies) rather than learn from their childhoods victimise all or some of their children.

One woman, now in her mid-fifties, was the daughter of a mother raised by an alcoholic. “I don’t remember my mother ever being sober,” her mother once confided in her. “And my father flew into violent rages” (and so did her husband).

A child of divorced parents once said to her mother, “If you don’t love my dad that means you don’t love half of me.”

I can see the logic, but also the mistaken belief – because her mother had raised her on her own and had given her more love than 202 fathers ever could.

Reflecting now, I wonder if a mother doesn’t or can’t love her daughter perhaps there is 50 per cent or more about herself that she doesn’t love either. Perhaps because of the damage inflicted by her mummy (or daddy) too.

Only love loves. It’s often a hard lesson to learn. So many unloved children suffer from mental illnesses, which if left unexamined extends into adulthood.

“I was four or five I ran away from home. It’s my earliest memory of wanting to find someone to love me,” a client shared with me. “I think my mother-story started at birth. I was the first-born— a girl. Not the son my parents wanted. But perhaps the daughter upon whom my father doted. They quickly tried again. My brother, my mother’s favourite, arrived with lungs that never stopped yelling, 11 months after I was born.”

“Don’t show off,” her mother scolded my client, then a child, when she would come home from school with A’s. “Don’t do so well, you know your three brothers find school hard.”

She told me that all of her siblings later excelled commercially.

“Don’t do this. Don’t do that. Don’t be that. Don’t wear that. Don’t say that. Whack! Don’t be left-handed,” she was told with smack and smack.

“Don’t! Don’t. I soon lost myself. I became a mummy pleaser. Or, rather, I tried. Bending over to try to be loved, keeping quiet when I wanted to cry or share something that made me happy. I pursued careers in accounting and banking to make my parents happy—at the cost of my own mental and emotional health.”

I can assure you people-pleasing is not a winner’s strategy. If someone has taken a dislike to you, sometimes, like a person who hates eating fish, their distaste never changes.

Nor should you.

If you can’t be loved by your mother unconditionally then love yourself unconditionally. Warts, pimples, freckles, flaws and extraordinary talents and all.  Because you are a star. We all are. Some stars live in dark galaxies, and others need to live in the light to shine brightly.

 

Promise me you won’t play small to make others feel tall. Be greater today than the story of your past. 

In John Dufresne’s excellent guide to writing a novel, Is Life Like This? he writes:

“We read novels because we need stories; we crave them; we can’t live without telling them and hearing them. Stories are how we make sense of our lives and of the world. When we’re distressed and go to therapy, our therapist’s job is to help us tell our story. Life doesn’t come with plots; it’s messy and chaotic; life is one damn, inexplicable thing after another. And we can’t have that. We insist on meaning. And so we tell stories so that our lives make sense.”

Everyone’s mean-mother story is unique. As one of my clients shared, “My issues with my Mum were a bit different.  She definitely had a victim mentality and while she would say she was proud of me and my brother with our achievements, there was always a little dig about how much luckier we were than she was.   She ‘took umbrage’ (her words) to everything and always seemed to turn an innocuous comment into a personal attack on her.   Threatened suicide several times which meant every time I had a fight with her, I had to ring one of her friends afterwards to check in on her to make sure she hadn’t done anything stupid.   I think when Dad left (when I was 15), she defined herself as a divorced woman and never recovered.”

Of course, it’s not just mums that can be mean, or manipulative. There’s plenty of mean and toxic dads out there.  If you think you were or are unlucky to have your mum or dad, I promise you one day you’ll look back and you’ll understand why you had your parents.

Like my book coaching client Heather who channelled her lack of love into teaching and later became a children’s self-empowerment author.

Similarly, author and creator of Hay House books, Louise Hay who was sexually and emotionally abused as a child, transformed her wounds into wisdom. Hay’s success lay in highlighting the power of our words to both heal and harm.

David Chase, the creator of The Sopranos, based Livia heavily on his own mother, Norma Chase. He described her as being paranoid, sharp-tongued, abusive, and disregarding her son’s career achievements. Many of Livia’s memorable lines, such as “Poor you” (something my mother said whenever I tried to tell her how I felt) are what Norma Chase would say. Rather than be victimised he spent time in psychotherapy and channelled his experiences of growing up with a narcissistic mother into the mother of gangster Tony Sopranos.

Kiwi songbird, Kiri Te Kanawa, shared how her childhood wounds taught her an important life lesson. Kiri was born in Gisborne, New Zealand, on March 6, 1944, into a family that was too poor to keep her and she was adopted. “I learned early on to be self-reliant,” she once shared.

Actress Drew Barrymore divorced both her parents when she was fifteen.

In short, it’s easy to imagine who you may have become had your mother (or father) been kinder, nicer, sweeter.


But what if the real tragedy is, who would you not have become had life treated you differently? What if your life unfolded exactly as it should? What if there was a divine plan? There’s magic in believing that!

“Go laugh in the places you cried. Change the narrative. Everything aligns.

Which is why I write my books, especially those in the Transformational Super Kids series. Doesn’t the girl on my cover looks so happy!

If you’ve suffered at the hands of a mean or deranged parent here are just a few of some of the helpful resources I have found:

6 Signs You Have A Toxic Mother

https://www.bustle.com/articles/123975-6-signs-you-have-a-toxic-mother

Mean Mothers: Overcoming the Legacy of Hurt

Drawn from research and the real-life experience Peggy Streep has channelled her childhood experiences into an eye-opening exploration of the darker side of maternal behaviour and offers support.

The Power Is Within You

Louise Hay, who suffered emotional and sexual abuse as a child, narrating an excerpt from her Audiobook

https://youtu.be/LA4AXvz9AHc

Reprogram Your Mind Through Affirmations

My favourite hypnotherapist Marisa Peer shares empowering affirmations and examples from her life, including being told that she was ugly and wasn’t as smart as her brother. Learn to break the emotional blueprint of your parents; Discover the healing power of expressing your thoughts in a believing mirror – and making it funny.

https://youtu.be/L57HYnWVNfk

5 Ways Being Too Nice Can Hurt You

Kindness is always cool, but being a pushover can hurt you. Here’s a great article to help

https://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/5-ways-being-too-nice-can-hurt-you.html?fbclid=IwAR1hUyHwI9ADea7lVbHUXT9Z8nn9sQ1vU1ii3LTVxuA9OA1z_KwzXScnW4w

How To Fail With Elizabeth Day

Many people with mother-wounds battle a failure mindset. This podcast celebrates the things that haven’t gone right. Every week, a new interviewee explores what their failures taught them about how to succeed better.

https://overcast.fm/itunes1407451189/how-to-fail-with-elizabeth-day

Complex Trauma

Many children whose mummies don’t love them can suffer from mental health challenges later in life. This article explores how ‘complex trauma’ can affect children and common effects. So often diagnosis sparks the beginning of healing. If you or someone you know has suffered from childhood neglect seeking the help of a  skilled therapist can be life-changing.

https://www.nctsn.org/what-is-child-trauma/trauma-types/complex-trauma/effects

Why would a mother sabotage her daughter’s success? You may be surprised how common it is

Read more here>>

And here’s a few thoughts from me:

  • Do what you love – joy boost your natural feel-good chemicals
  • Reading books or watching movies is a very good distraction
  • Say no to other peoples’ drama, affirm, “It’s not my monkey, this is your circus.”
  • Visualise what toxic behaviour looks like and summon the image when you need reminding of your own goodness. My image is a bulging, black rubbish bag (inspired by the three bags of crap someone threw from their car). People love hurling their own toxic shit at others
  • Don’t buy into other peoples lies. “You’re a failure” “You’re no good.” “You’re a disgrace.” “You’re selfish”. Or whatever toxic waste your accuser spews from their rancid mouth.
  • You do not need permission to remove yourself from an abusers tirades
  • Remember, it’s not you, It’s them. Be on guard for people with untreated NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) – it’s as pervasive as COVID-19 and just as toxic. As I shared in The Little Princess:

Happy people don’t attack others, the young woman reminded herself. Happy people don’t talk like this.

The little princess suddenly felt grateful for what the nurse was teaching her.

The little princess knew she would never be able to find and honour her soul purpose if she kept trying to please others.

The little princess would never be true to herself if she feared disapproval.

The little princess would never share her gifts and talents and passion with the world if she stayed small and showed no courage.

Follow your bliss dear readers—don’t let anyone stop you from sharing your passion and purpose with the world.

Much love
xxxx

To enjoy your copy from Amazon, click here: viewbook.at/WhyDoesntMummyLoveMe

To enjoy  your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here: https://books2read.com/u/38MdW6

To enjoy your copy from Kobo, click here:
https://www.kobo.com/en/ebook/why-doesn-t-my-mummy-love-me

AUDIOBOOK
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/why-doesn-t-mummy-love-me

 

 

 

WHAT THIS BOOK IS ABOUT

Love yourself unconditionally. Be a magic mummy!
When Annie’s mummy is mean to her she tries harder to please her, but nothing works. She believes she’s unlovable and thinks she’s bad. Until her friend, Lulu shares her story and tells Annie that some mummies don’t know how to love.

This is a classic, empowering book that every child, teenager and adult should have the joy of reading.
With a unique combination of beautifully simple stories, comforting words, and powerful uplifting messages, Cassandra has been delighting young children, teenagers and adults for over fifty years.

Cassandra cuts to the heart of the lesson we all need to hear, over and over again, helping us learn to self-soothe, surround ourselves with positive influences, be empowered and love ourselves unconditionally.

Creator of the delightfully beautiful and courageous, The Little Princess, Cassandra Gaisford is a global best-seller.
Why Doesn’t Mummy Love Me? is an inspiring story and personal development guide for girls with themes on self-love, self-esteem, self-reliance and resilience.

This book is especially for you if you’re:

  • The child (young or old) of an abusive parent, narcissist or a mother with borderline personality disorder, this book will aid hope and healing
  • A therapist—this book will help empower your clients
  • A caregiver or friend of an abandoned child, this book will aid understanding

What readers say

“A really good story. Very real and relatable…
I love that the Transformational Super Kids stories have a real rhythm to them that makes for easy reading for a child. Too often, I think stories along these lines still put the onus on the reader to change themselves to somehow appease the other person. Cassandra did not. In a very subtle way she has got across that the mother’s behaviour was unacceptable and that Annie caring about herself was not selfish but necessary. And lastly, the talk of being a magic mummy has a real sparkle to it – something a child could imagine doing and a helpful way out of a difficult situation.” 

~ Laura V.

I’m super excited to let you know the audio version of my new release. Why Doesn’t Mummy Love Me, is now available from Kobo (and other retailers and libraries too>>https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/why-doesn-t-mummy-love-me.  Listen to a free sample or purchase today:)

Suitable for children of all ages…yes, big kids too!

THOSE PAPERBACK AND EBOOK LINKS AGAIN:

To enjoy your copy from Amazon, click here:

viewbook.at/WhyDoesntMummyLoveMe

To enjoy  your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here: https://books2read.com/u/38MdW6

To enjoy your copy from Kobo, click here:

https://www.kobo.com/en/ebook/why-doesn-t-my-mummy-love-me

ENJOY!

P.S. Are you being bullied? Heed the call for courage. You’ll love the first book in the series, The Little Princess.

To read the first book in Cassandra’s Transformational Super Kids series, The Little Princess:

Amazon:

getbook.at/TheLittlePrincess

To purchase the eBook on Apple, Barnes, and Noble, Kobo and other online stores>>

https://books2read.com/u/b5709p

To purchase the eBook on Kobo >>

https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/ebook/the-little-princess-7

AUDIOBOOKS

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Little-Princess-Audiobook/B07WPH2KML

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/The-Little-Princess-Audiobook/B07WXPMFGC

Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/The-Little-Princess-Audiobook/B07WYGKB5R

 

 

 

Did you enjoy this post?

If you like my work you can support me on Ko-fi>>ko-fi.com/youinspireme 

You might like:

Do you feel guilty for wanting more from your career and life?

How Not to Let Things That Make You Sad Get in the Way of Being Happy

 Why Being Inspired Matters: The Spontaneous Fulfillment and Healing Power of Joy

 

Here are three more things you might like:


Interesting interviews: Listen to my best interviews on topics like overcoming obstacles, finding joy in adversity, following your passion to prosperity.


Online Course: Find Your Passion and Purpose with my best-selling self-paced course made for busy people.


Keynote speaking: Hire me to speak to your organization or team about Resilience, wellbeing, innovation, and motivation.

You can get more of my thoughts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to this blog and receive a free gift when you sign up for Cassandra’s newsletters and get more help to live your best life.

 

The Smart Person’s Guide to Job Hunting and Changing Careers

Sunday, July 19th, 2020

Mid-Life Career Rescue: Career Change 3 Book Bundle

How to Confidently Find a Job, Change Careers, and Start Living a Life you Love, Before It’s Too Late

The Smart Person’s Guide to Job Hunting and Changing Careers

Save Now! 3 books that will change your life—for the price of one.

Mid-Life Career Rescue: Career Change 3 Book Bundle: How to Confidently Change Careers, and Start Living a Life you Love, Before It’s Too Late

Best-selling author, award-winning artist and holistic therapist Cassandra Gaisford (BCA, Dip Psych) reveals dozens of lateral, creative, and inspired ways to manage stress, change careers, and overcome obstacles to success.

The three books included in this bundle are her most popular and successful career change audiobooks:

  1. Midlife Career Rescue: The Call For Change
  2. How to Find Your Passion and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love.
  3. Think Outside The Box

The Mid-Life Career Rescue: Career Change 3 Book Bundle will cheerlead, support, encourage and inspire you to move toward health, happiness fulfilment and success. Loving your job and living a meaningful, happy life is within your reach. Listen to a free excerpt and grab it now from Kobo.

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/mid-life-career-rescue-career-change-3-book-bundle

Audio versions are also available from all online bookstores and also libraries

In less than 15 minutes you could be listening to your way to a new life!

How to know what passion is in easy, simple actionable steps

Friday, July 17th, 2020

Do you dream of being a rock star—but never learn how to play an instrument, write songs, or join a band? Do you endlessly listen to Lada Gaga and imagine yourself in her place on stage? Are you stuck in a job or situation you hate, so you fantasise your escape?

It’s awesome to have goals. It’s empowering to have a vision to get you through the most frustrating parts of developing yourself. It takes a long time to master new skills.

There are going to be times when you feel like giving up. Times when you think you’re not making any progress at all. Times when you tell yourself that you’ll never get to the level of your dreams.

But you can leverage that fantasy image of adoring fans, and sell-out shows; of you performing your heart out—to help convince yourself to stick with it anyway.

Ask yourself whether your ideas of where you want to end up is fantasy or whether it’s imagination empowering you to take action. The only way to be sure is to see how much real work you’re putting into your development.

But watch out. Sometimes, we’re so busy focusing on what we haven’t achieved, we forget to acknowledge tiny steps of progress.

A wee habit I find handy is to keep an “I did it,” list. Yesterday my list included, ‘I trialled Final Draft and wrote my first screenplay scene.’

So many people, agents and publishers who I pitched the idea of my art-related novel of historical fiction had told me they could see the movie, I thought, “why not have a go at writing the screenplay?”

I’d never done it before but gave it a go. And I loved it. I really loved it. And I’m glad that I wrote it down in my “I did it list”, because the next day when I berated myself for not achieving anything, I could go to my list and pep up my peptides with evidence of my achievement.

I can empower the feel-good vibes even more by creating empowering affirmations—the best tense is 3rd person, “you.” So often we’re told, “you’ll never be a writer, rockstar—insert your dream—you’ll never make it.” Turn the tables of your inner critic and affirm what you want to be true, do it with feeling. For example, I could empower my experience by affirming, “You love screenwriting. You love making progress. You love taking inspired action—you especially love making baby steps.”

What’s one thing you could do right now, such that by doing it you’ll feel proud to add it to your “I did it,” list?

Like my client Heather, who always dreamed of being a children’s author. She’d been writing stories forever but never took the action that really mattered—sharing her stories and becoming a published author. So often, we need to reach out, as Heather, did to a mentor who has been there before and can guide, encourage and nurture our dreams. And yes, at times, be our nag buddy and remind us to take inspired action to express who we really are.

That, my friends, is what passion is….the fire that drives us to express our essence.

 

Still stalling? What’s keeping you? Fear of failure?

Here’s something you may not know. I am an award-winning artist and best selling author, but I failed my school exams and I never studied art. I failed English but I passed French. I went back to university as a mature student close to my 30s. I failed my first exam and only got 16 per cent. I set an intention on my next exam I would get 86 per cent. And I achieved it.

I have failure careers and been fired by toxic bosses.  For most of my life, I failed at all my romantic relationships. But now in my mid-50s, I have been in a decade-long partnership with the most passionate and beautiful man.

I have a successful entrepreneurial career. I live a millionaire life in a beautiful ocean-side property in The Bay of Islands.

Failure doesn’t have to define us. We have to be the change we want to see. Keep going! Feel the action needed and do it anyway.

“I want to know what passion is.

I want to feel something strongly.”

~ Aldous Huxley

 

This has been an edited excerpt of Word by Word: Lessons on Writing, Love, and Life

 Available for pre-order now>>AMAZON

To enjoy your copy from Amazon, click here:  getbook.at/WordByWord

To enjoy your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here:  https://books2read.com/u/4AKvrk

 

 

P.S.

Find Your Passion and Purpose with my best-selling self-paced course made for busy people. Click here to learn more>>Online Course: 

The Surprising Benefits of Working With Purpose

Thursday, July 16th, 2020

 

 

We are all pens in the hands of a writing God sending love letters to the world.

~ Mother Theresa

Many successful authors testify to the power of writing with purpose and sharing their stories and purpose-driven words.

“It is in giving that I connect with others, with the world and with the divine”, says author Isabel Allende.

Tapping into higher levels of consciousness is how many prosperous authors of both fiction and non-fiction achieve phenomenal results.

As Dr. Joe Dispenza writes in his book Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind, “An innate higher intelligence gives us life.”

Centred around what you may call your divine, spiritual, or subconscious mind, Dispenza’s research has shown that when people tap into their inner power they connect with a greater mind and an elevated consciousness.

Others refer to this heightened super-consciousness as their soul or heart, and believe that we are all born into this life with a pre-destined life purpose.

It is in living this soul purpose, and consciously or unconsciously tapping into universal needs, that people forge connections that lead to their prosperity.

Very often the gifts that are bestowed to successful authors arise from some of the darkest nights of their souls. They use their writing to heal and transcend their pain and share what they have learned in the hope that it helps others.

J.K. Rowling escaped an abusive relationship and found comfort creating a fantasy world full of magic.

Elizabeth Gilbert left a loveless marriage and wrote Eat, Pray, Love.

Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl wrote Man’s Search for Meaning following his experience as a prisoner in German concentration camps.

Paulo Coelho wrote The Alchemist in less than two weeks following his own search for meaning. The book’s main theme is about finding one’s destiny. According to The New York Times, The Alchemist is more self-help than literature.

“When you really want something to happen, the whole universe will conspire so that your wish comes true,” an old king tells Santiago in The Alchemist. This is the core of the novel’s philosophy and a motif that plays throughout Coelho’s writing.

He speaks from experience—turning his back on the legal profession his parents wanted him to pursue, Coelho desperately wanted to become a writer.

“Books are not here to show how intelligent and cultivated you are. Books are out there to show your heart, to show your soul, and to tell your fans ‘I’m not alone’,” Coelho says.  “I hope you are not alone; you can identify yourself with my books, my words, as I can identify myself with your garden, your music—anything we do with love.”

Benefits of creating with purpose include:

  • Tapping into your life’s purpose gives you an edge; it stokes the flames of passion, enthusiasm, drive, and initiative needed to succeed
  • A sense of purpose can give you the courage, tenacity, and clarity of vision needed to thrive
  • Purpose fuels the embers of flagging motivation and latent dreams
  • A sense of purpose can lead you to the work you were born to do
  • Discovering your true calling opens you up to the dreams the Universe has for you—bigger than you can dream for yourself
  • Creating with purpose connects you with divine intelligence, universal energy, and the laws of attraction—magnetising people to you

What experiences give your life meaning and purpose?

How could writing, creating or working with purpose benefit you and others?

 

P.S. Do you need helping finding your purpose? You’ll love my Online Course: Find Your Passion and Purpose with my best-selling self-paced course made for busy people.

 

 

This has been an excerpt of Word by Word: Lessons on Writing, Love, and Life

 

Available for pre-order now>>AMAZON

Do you feel guilty for wanting more from your career and life?

Tuesday, July 14th, 2020

Becoming a pro, in the end, is nothing grander than growing up.

I came across this excerpt from Steven Pressfield’s book, ‘Turning Pro” the other day. I wonder if it speaks to you as it does to me.

“It took me a long time to come to terms with the idea that I had ambition. I felt guilty about it. Who was I to aspire to “rise above” my brothers and sisters or to aim to be “better” than anybody else?

The reason I keep a photo of that house is that it changed my life. To find that house e and to move into it was my first act, as an adult, that embraced the idea of ambition. Ambition, I have come to believe, is the most primal and sacred fundament of our being. To feel ambition and to act upon it is to embrace the unique calling of our souls. Not to act upon that ambition is to turn our backs on ourselves and on the reason for our existence. Those first stirrings of ambition saved me and put me on the path to becoming an artist and a professional.

SHADOW CAREERS Sometimes, when we’re terrified of embracing our true calling, we’ll pursue a shadow calling instead. That shadow career is a metaphor for our real career. Its shape is similar, its contours feel tantalizingly the same. But a shadow career entails no real risk. If we fail at a shadow career, the consequences are meaningless to us.

No one is born a pro. You’ve got to fall before you hit bottom, and sometimes that fall can be a hell of a ride. So here’s to blackouts and divorces, to lost jobs and lost cash and lost self-respect. Here’s to time on the street. Here’s to years we can’t remember. Here’s to bad friends and cheating spouses —and to us, too, for being guilty of both. Becoming a pro, in the end, is nothing grander than growing up. What exactly are shadow careers? What is the amateur life? What are addictions and obsessions and displacement activities? How can we learn from them, and profit from them, when we finally put our days on the street behind us and begin to live our real lives?”

I know what’s it’s like to live in a shadow career. For years I denied my true calling. But not any more. I’m fully embracing my childhood dreams now that I’m in my fifties. I’m an artist and a story teller…and it’s using the power of out of the box thinking that I help my clients reinvent their lives.

 

 

Like Shelly* whose husband told her on their wedding anniversary that he doesn’t love her any more, moved her stuff out the next day, and moved a Thai lady ‘friend’ in the next day.

WOW!

“What if,” I asked her, as story-tellers are want to do, “What if you could make the next years your best yet?”

Or Lilly, whose mother was narcissistic and cruel. Lilly’s mother played favourites with her siblings – tucking her sister into bed and reading her stories, but never Lilly. But that’s not where the cruelty stopped. She ran her down, told her she was useless and that she wished she had never been born.

Like Pressfield, she says “I remember being told to settle for less, to hide my achievements so that my brother and sister could rise. I grew up believing that it was sinful to aim to be “better”.

But not anymore.

 

It’s for Lilly and Shelly and John and James and all my clients and readers who have suffered stress and shame and blame in their lives, that I write my books, especially those in the Transformational Super Kids series.

These young heroes and heroines tackle modern-day problems with the passion and gusto of warriors.

They defeat cruel critics, they slay savage self-esteem demons, and they show people—jealous of their kindness, talent, and beauty—that their biggest superpower is staying true to themselves.

Suitable for ‘kids’ of all ages. After all, aren’t we all still children at heart?

 

I tell stories I find interesting and which deal with issues that need a light shone on them.

To enjoy your copy from Amazon, click here: viewbook.at/WhyDoesntMummyLoveMe

To enjoy  your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here: https://books2read.com/u/38MdW6

To enjoy your copy from Kobo, click here:
https://www.kobo.com/en/ebook/why-doesn-t-my-mummy-love-me

AUDIOBOOK
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/why-doesn-t-mummy-love-me

WHAT THIS BOOK IS ABOUT

Love yourself unconditionally. Be a magic mummy!
When Annie’s mummy is mean to her she tries harder to please her, but nothing works. She believes she’s unlovable and thinks she’s bad. Until her friend, Lulu shares her story and tells Annie that some mummies don’t know how to love.

This is a classic, empowering book that every child, teenager and adult should have the joy of reading.
With a unique combination of beautifully simple stories, comforting words, and powerful uplifting messages, Cassandra has been delighting young children, teenagers and adults for over fifty years.

Cassandra cuts to the heart of the lesson we all need to hear, over and over again, helping us learn to self-soothe, surround ourselves with positive influences, be empowered and love ourselves unconditionally.

Creator of the delightfully beautiful and courageous, The Little Princess, Cassandra Gaisford is a global best-seller.
Why Doesn’t Mummy Love Me? is an inspiring story and personal development guide for girls with themes on self-love, self-esteem, self-reliance and resilience.

This book is especially for you if you’re:

  • The child (young or old) of an abusive parent, narcissist or a mother with borderline personality disorder, this book will aid hope and healing
  • A therapist—this book will help empower your clients
  • A caregiver or friend of an abandoned child, this book will aid understanding

What readers say

“A really good story. Very real and relatable…
I love that the Transformational Super Kids stories have a real rhythm to them that makes for easy reading for a child. Too often, I think stories along these lines still put the onus on the reader to change themselves to somehow appease the other person. Cassandra did not. In a very subtle way she has got across that the mother’s behaviour was unacceptable and that Annie caring about herself was not selfish but necessary. And lastly, the talk of being a magic mummy has a real sparkle to it – something a child could imagine doing and a helpful way out of a difficult situation.” 

~ Laura V.

I’m super excited to let you know the audio version of my new release. Why Doesn’t Mummy Love Me, is now available from Kobo (and other retailers and libraries too>>https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/why-doesn-t-mummy-love-me.  Listen to a free sample or purchase today:)

Suitable for children of all ages…yes, big kids too!

THOSE PAPERBACK AND EBOOK LINKS AGAIN:

To enjoy your copy from Amazon, click here:

viewbook.at/WhyDoesntMummyLoveMe

To enjoy  your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here: https://books2read.com/u/38MdW6

To enjoy your copy from Kobo, click here:

https://www.kobo.com/en/ebook/why-doesn-t-my-mummy-love-me

ENJOY!

P.S. Are you being bullied? Heed the call for courage. You’ll love the first book in the series, The Little Princess.

To read the first book in Cassandra’s Transformational Super Kids series, The Little Princess:

Amazon:

getbook.at/TheLittlePrincess

To purchase the eBook on Apple, Barnes, and Noble, Kobo and other online stores>>

https://books2read.com/u/b5709p

To purchase the eBook on Kobo >>

https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/ebook/the-little-princess-7

AUDIOBOOKS

USA

https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Little-Princess-Audiobook/B07WPH2KML

UK

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/The-Little-Princess-Audiobook/B07WXPMFGC

Australia

https://www.audible.com.au/pd/The-Little-Princess-Audiobook/B07WYGKB5R

Audio versions are also available from all online bookstores and also libraries

 

Writing my first book, Mid-Life Career Rescue, and those that followed has given me the confidence, the security, the faith, the power of belief, and the validation that following your passion is the only way to live.

I feel freer, less burdened, less caring, in an empowered way, of what people think or feel. I write what I believe. I write what I feel. I write what I want to read. And I write to help myself.

If my words inspire you, if my words make a difference, if my words empower you to make a change for the better, then I am happy. Thrilled. Elated. But it will not have been because of me – it will have been because of you.

You are the one who has changed. I will have had the privilege of providing a spark, a light, a beam to shine along your sacred path. But you will have taken the route less travelled. If not now, soon 🙂

 

Did you enjoy this post?

If you like my work you can support me on Ko-fi>>ko-fi.com/youinspireme 

You might like:

 How to be the rock that resists adversity—mind, body and soul food during COVID-19

Emotional alchemy—the spontaneous healing power of joy

 Why Being Inspired Matters: The Spontaneous Fulfillment and Healing Power of Joy

 

Here are three more things you might like:


Interesting interviews: Listen to my best interviews on topics like overcoming obstacles, finding joy in adversity, following your passion to prosperity.


Online Course: Find Your Passion and Purpose with my best-selling self-paced course made for busy people.


Keynote speaking: Hire me to speak to your organization or team about Resilience, wellbeing, innovation, and motivation.

You can get more of my thoughts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to this blog and receive a free gift when you sign up for Cassandra’s newsletters and get more help to live your best life.

* Names changed to protect privacy

Good characters are complicated

Monday, July 13th, 2020

 

 

“I’ve always found beauty in flaws. No one is perfect. We’re all fighting a battle and Marcella is real, a mix of strength and vulnerability, doing her best which is all any of us can do.”

Anna Friel

Aristotle’s storytelling principals, derived from the Poetics of Space, shed light on the human condition and provides a framework for creating unconditional characters.

Above all create characters which make an audience feel: The audience should be able to feel pity for a tragic hero—that means you have to create a situation which the audience can understand in the context of their own lives.

How many times have you read a book or watched a movie and felt nothing for the character? Connoisseurs call this the one dimensional or cookie-cutter profile. Bland, boring, and frequently too perfect. As Anna Friel, the super-compelling actress renown for playing tough roles, says, beauty is to be found in flaws. Most recently she played the mentally-fragile murder detective Marcella in the same-named Netflix series.

 

Good characters are complicated.

Marcella is super complicated: she cares too much, suffers when someone she is protecting dies, hates it when villains get away with mayhem and murder; her husband cheated on her for over three years, her young baby died in her arms, her children love her ex’s new girlfriend and their father more than her—and she suffers from Complex-Trauma (as I’m sure many good cops do.) This plays out in uncontrollable rages, close calls with her own murderous mind, blackouts, and more.

Yep, good characters are complicated. Isn’t this something we can all relate to, in some way?

The most emotionally engaging movement, according to Aristotle, is when a good person with certain shortcomings meets with tremendous suffering. A flawed hero/heroine is someone we can all relate to, and his downfall will fill us with pity and fear.

Ultimately, we’ll be cheerleading from the sidelines, rooting for her or him to emerge triumphantly.

Like, Jenny, raised as a child by fundamentalist preachers, dragged from her extended family, and told the world was about to end. Emotional and physical abuse and profound neglect continued into her adult years. Recently she, too,  was diagnosed with complex trauma and suffers from angry outbursts and uncontrollable rages.

Or Cathy, whose narcissistic mother continually puts her down, shames her and is excessively critical. Her childhood and later adult years were plagued with chaos and upheaval. She suffers from acute self-doubt, fear of abandonment and disempowering people-pleasing. These are just some of the things she is working through in therapy.

Think, Oprah, sexually abused a child, and continually put down—even being told she would have to change her name to succeed. Through the grace of God, she says, she knew was born with a higher purpose.

Many people who suffered childhood trauma are walking wounded. They are seldom accurately diagnosed, much less treated. Complex trauma can affect children, and later, adults, in a multitude of ways. Below is an article exploring some common effects.

COMMON EFFECTS OF COMPLEX CHILDHOOD TRAUMA

Source: https://www.nctsn.org/what-is-child-trauma/trauma-types/complex-trauma/effects

Attachment and Relationships

The importance of a child’s close relationship with a caregiver cannot be overestimated. Through relationships with important attachment figures, children learn to trust others, regulate their emotions, and interact with the world; they develop a sense of the world as safe or unsafe, and come to understand their own value as individuals. When those relationships are unstable or unpredictable, children learn that they cannot rely on others to help them. When primary caregivers exploit and abuse a child, the child learns that he or she is bad and the world is a terrible place.

The majority of abused or neglected children have difficulty developing a strong healthy attachment to a caregiver. Children who do not have healthy attachments have been shown to be more vulnerable to stress. They have trouble controlling and expressing emotions, and may react violently or inappropriately to situations. Our ability to develop healthy, supportive relationships with friends and significant others depends on our having first developed those kinds of relationships in our families. A child with a complex trauma history may have problems in romantic relationships, in friendships, and with authority figures, such as teachers or police officers.

 

Physical Health: Body and Brain

From infancy through adolescence, the body’s biology develops. Normal biological function is partly determined by environment. When a child grows up afraid or under constant or extreme stress, the immune system and body’s stress response systems may not develop normally. Later on, when the child or adult is exposed to even ordinary levels of stress, these systems may automatically respond as if the individual is under extreme stress. For example, an individual may experience significant physiological reactivity such as rapid breathing or heart pounding, or may “shut down” entirely when presented with stressful situations. These responses, while adaptive when faced with a significant threat, are out of proportion in the context of normal stress and are often perceived by others as “overreacting” or as unresponsive or detached.

Stress in an environment can impair the development of the brain and nervous system. An absence of mental stimulation in neglectful environments may limit the brain from developing to its full potential. Children with complex trauma histories may develop chronic or recurrent physical complaints, such as headaches or stomachaches. Adults with histories of trauma in childhood have been shown to have more chronic physical conditions and problems. They may engage in risky behaviors that compound these conditions (e.g., smoking, substance use, and diet and exercise habits that lead to obesity).

Complexly traumatized youth frequently suffer from body dysregulation, meaning they over-respond or under-respond to sensory stimuli. For example, they may be hypersensitive to sounds, smells, touch or light, or they may suffer from anesthesia and analgesia, in which they are unaware of pain, touch, or internal physical sensations. As a result, they may injure themselves without feeling pain, suffer from physical problems without being aware of them, or, the converse – they may complain of chronic pain in various body areas for which no physical cause can be found.

 

Emotional Responses

Children who have experienced complex trauma often have difficulty identifying, expressing, and managing emotions, and may have limited language for feeling states. They often internalize and/or externalize stress reactions and as a result may experience significant depression, anxiety, or anger. Their emotional responses may be unpredictable or explosive. A child may react to a reminder of a traumatic event with trembling, anger, sadness, or avoidance. For a child with a complex trauma history, reminders of various traumatic events may be everywhere in the environment. Such a child may react often, react powerfully, and have difficulty calming down when upset. Since the traumas are often of an interpersonal nature, even mildly stressful interactions with others may serve as trauma reminders and trigger intense emotional responses. Having learned that the world is a dangerous place where even loved ones can’t be trusted to protect you, children are often vigilant and guarded in their interactions with others and are more likely to perceive situations as stressful or dangerous. While this defensive posture is protective when an individual is under attack, it becomes problematic in situations that do not warrant such intense reactions. Alternately, many children also learn to “tune out” (emotional numbing) to threats in their environment, making them vulnerable to revictimization.

Difficulty managing emotions is pervasive and occurs in the absence of relationships as well. Having never learned how to calm themselves down once they are upset, many of these children become easily overwhelmed. For example, in school they may become so frustrated that they give up on even small tasks that present a challenge. Children who have experienced early and intense traumatic events also have an increased likelihood of being fearful all the time and in many situations. They are more likely to experience depression as well.

 

Dissociation

Dissociation is often seen in children with histories of complex trauma. When children encounter an overwhelming and terrifying experience, they may dissociate, or mentally separate themselves from the experience. They may perceive themselves as detached from their bodies, on the ceiling, or somewhere else in the room watching what is happening to their bodies. They may feel as if they are in a dream or some altered state that is not quite real or as if the experience is happening to someone else. Or they may lose all memories or sense of the experiences having happened to them, resulting in gaps in time or even gaps in their personal history. At its extreme, a child may cut off or lose touch with various aspects of the self.

Although children may not be able to purposely dissociate, once they have learned to dissociate as a defense mechanism they may automatically dissociate during other stressful situations or when faced with trauma reminders. Dissociation can affect a child’s ability to be fully present in activities of daily life and can significantly fracture a child’s sense of time and continuity. As a result, it can have adverse effects on learning, classroom behavior, and social interactions. It is not always evident to others that a child is dissociating and at times it may appear as if the child is simply “spacing out,” daydreaming, or not paying attention.

 

Behavior

A child with a complex trauma history may be easily triggered or “set off” and is more likely to react very intensely. The child may struggle with self-regulation (i.e., knowing how to calm down) and may lack impulse control or the ability to think through consequences before acting. As a result, complexly traumatized children may behave in ways that appear unpredictable, oppositional, volatile, and extreme. A child who feels powerless or who grew up fearing an abusive authority figure may react defensively and aggressively in response to perceived blame or attack, or alternately, may at times be overcontrolled, rigid, and unusually compliant with adults. If a child dissociates often, this will also affect behavior. Such a child may seem “spacey”, detached, distant, or out of touch with reality. Complexly traumatized children are more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors, such as self-harm, unsafe sexual practices, and excessive risk-taking such as operating a vehicle at high speeds. They may also engage in illegal activities, such as alcohol and substance use, assaulting others, stealing, running away, and/or prostitution, thereby making it more likely that they will enter the juvenile justice system.

 

Cognition: Thinking and Learning

Children with complex trauma histories may have problems thinking clearly, reasoning, or problem solving. They may be unable to plan ahead, anticipate the future, and act accordingly. When children grow up under conditions of constant threat, all their internal resources go toward survival. When their bodies and minds have learned to be in chronic stress response mode, they may have trouble thinking a problem through calmly and considering multiple alternatives. They may find it hard to acquire new skills or take in new information. They may struggle with sustaining attention or curiosity or be distracted by reactions to trauma reminders. They may show deficits in language development and abstract reasoning skills. Many children who have experienced complex trauma have learning difficulties that may require support in the academic environment.

 

Self-Concept and Future Orientation

Children learn their self-worth from the reactions of others, particularly those closest to them. Caregivers have the greatest influence on a child’s sense of self-worth and value. Abuse and neglect make a child feel worthless and despondent. A child who is abused will often blame him- or herself. It may feel safer to blame oneself than to recognize the parent as unreliable and dangerous. Shame, guilt, low self-esteem, and a poor self-image are common among children with complex trauma histories.

To plan for the future with a sense of hope and purpose, a child needs to value him- or herself. To plan for the future requires a sense of hope, control, and the ability to see one’s own actions as having meaning and value. Children surrounded by violence in their homes and communities learn from an early age that they cannot trust, the world is not safe, and that they are powerless to change their circumstances. Beliefs about themselves, others, and the world diminish their sense of competency. Their negative expectations interfere with positive problem-solving, and foreclose on opportunities to make a difference in their own lives. A complexly traumatized child may view himself as powerless, “damaged,” and may perceive the world as a meaningless place in which planning and positive action is futile. They have trouble feeling hopeful. Having learned to operate in “survival mode,” the child lives from moment-to-moment without pausing to think about, plan for, or even dream about a future.

 

Long-Term Health Consequences

Traumatic experiences in childhood have been linked to increased medical conditions throughout the individuals’ lives. The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is a longitudinal study that explores the long-lasting impact of childhood trauma into adulthood. The ACE Study includes over 17,000 participants ranging in age from 19 to 90. Researchers gathered medical histories over time while also collecting data on the subjects’ childhood exposure to abuse, violence, and impaired caregivers. Results indicated that nearly 64% of participants experienced at least one exposure, and of those, 69% reported two or more incidents of childhood trauma. Results demonstrated the connection between childhood trauma exposure, high-risk behaviors (e.g., smoking, unprotected sex), chronic illness such as heart disease and cancer, and early death.

 

Economic Impact

The cumulative economic and social burden of complex trauma in childhood is extremely high. Based upon data from a variety of sources, a conservative annual cost of child abuse and neglect is an estimated $103.8 billion, or $284.3 million per day (in 2007 values). This number includes both direct costs—about $70.7 billion—which include the immediate needs of maltreated children (hospitalization, mental health care, child welfare systems, and law enforcement) and also indirect costs—about $33.1 billion—which are the secondary or long-term effects of child abuse and neglect (special education, juvenile delinquency, mental health and health care, adult criminal justice system, and lost productivity to society).

A recent study examining confirmed cases of child maltreatment in the United States found the estimated total lifetime costs associated with child maltreatment over a 12-month period to be $124 billion. In the 1,740 fatal cases of child maltreatment, the estimated cost per case was $1.3 million, including medical expenses and productivity loss. For the 579,000 non-fatal cases, the estimated average lifetime cost per victim of child maltreatment was $210,012, which includes costs relating to health care throughout the lifespan, productivity losses, child welfare, criminal justice, and special education. Costs for these nonfatal cases of child maltreatment are comparable to other high-cost health conditions (i.e., $159,846 for stroke victims and $181,000 to $253,000 for those with Type 2 diabetes).

In addition to these costs are the “intangible losses” of pain, sorrow, and reduced quality of life to victims and their families. Such immeasurable losses may be the most significant cost of child maltreatment.

The NCTSN is funded by the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and jointly coordinated by UCLA and Duke University.

 

Good characters are complicated—but this makes them no less lovable. With the right help, professional healing, and unconditional love, many traumatised children go on to lead significant meaningful lives.

 

I tell stories I find interesting and which deal with issues that need a light shone on them

Like, the actress Anna Friel, I tell stories I find interesting and which deal with issues that need a light shone on them.

Which is why I wrote book 8, in the Transformational Super Kids series.
“Cathartic and empowering. Not a topic often discussed, sometimes not even admitted. For those that had an upbringing that lacked empathy and love from a parent, the effects are long-lasting. Cassandra creates the perfect blend of compassion and practicality in tackling the subject which results in a gentle but powerful reminder to give ourselves as adults what we might not have received by others when we were children. Cathartic and empowering.”
Laura Virgo

Why Doesn’t Mummy Love Me?

Love yourself unconditionally. Be a magic mummy!
When Annie’s mummy is mean to her she tries harder to please her, but nothing works. She believes she’s unlovable and thinks she’s bad. Until her friend, Lulu shares her story and tells Annie that some mummies don’t know how to love.
This is a classic, empowering book that every child, teenager and adult should have the joy of reading
To enjoy your copy from Amazon:
To enjoy your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores: https://books2read.com/u/38MdW6

Audible coming soon

 

 

 

 

Tears tell truths. Heal your heart.

Feeling angry, depressed or traumatized? There are so many reasons why you should look for the gift buried within your pain. If you need some help, look no further than this book.

Children cannot choose their parents. Unfortunately, many individuals grow up suffering the life-shaping adversities of having emotionally immature, neglectful parents. With wisdom and compassion, Cassandra Gaisford, an extremely experienced and gifted child, and adult therapist enables readers to recognize and better understand these toxic relationships and to create novel, healthy paths of healing. This book provides a powerful opportunity for self-help and is a wonderful resource for therapists to recommend to clients in need.

Former holistic therapist (BCA, Dip Psych) and best-selling author of The Little Princess, Mid-Life Career Rescue, Stress Less and How to Find Your Passion and Purpose, offers the ‘emotionally lonely’ a step-by-step journey toward self-awareness and healing. A powerful, inspiring, and practical book about boosting self-esteem, creating more resilience, overcoming obstacles and moving forward in the aftermath of toxic parenting.

Part moral allegory and part spiritual biography, The Boy Who Cried is a timeless charm which tells the story of a young boy who turns his traumatic life into golden treasure.

Finally, the book provides solid guidelines for interacting with one’s emotionally immature parents in a manner that avoids painful and damaging recreations of the past. Readers will find relief from recognizing that they are not alone and that they are understood by this remarkable clinician.

Be inspired by this journey to vulnerability, courage, transformation, radical acceptance, and self-love as he learns to overcome the vagaries of adult behaviour. His personal odyssey culminates in a voyage of self-belief, passion, and purpose.

Find out what strategies are sabotaging your happiness and success. Heal your heart—find and follow your purpose and joy faster.

Bonus: Free Excerpts from the first book in the series, The Little Princess and Cassandra’s bestselling book How to Find Your Passion and Purpose. Overcome common obstacles to happiness and success easily (including the power of passion, caring deeply, fear of regret—and others)

Advance Praise

“A wonderful tool…
This book is a wonderful tool for anyone seeking to begin the journey to self-reflection and healing from difficult childhoods. Therapists will find this book useful for their patients young or old. To return as a child to discover where the source of the pain begins has always been valuable, but actually relating it to present-day is key to understanding. Highly recommended.”

~ Alma Hammond, Author

“Sadly beautiful and a real reflection of our current society…
Which if we are really honest has lost direction, particularly with regards to family values. Training in family values is an absolute pre-requisite before change will occur. I took pleasure in finding out the Boy who Cried not only survived but was blessed following the day the tears stopped and he found contentment, grace, and peace. My prayer is we can only attempt to save many more such boys.”

~ Kenn Butler, CEO

 

To enjoy your copy from Amazon: getbook.at/TheBoyWhoCried

To enjoy your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores: https://books2read.com/u/bPR1Dj

To enjoy your copy from Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ebook/the-boy-who-cried-1

AUDIOBOOK

AUDIBLE

USA

https://www.amazon.com/Boy-Who-Cried-Transformational-Super/dp/B07VTRNT61

UK

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Boy-Who-Cried-Transformational-Super/dp/B07VWCX163

AU

https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07VB6G6VK

KOBO

Coming soon

Hooked on a feeling—trust your gut to choose and grow your purposeful business

Thursday, July 9th, 2020

 

“There is a voice within, if only we would listen to it, that tells us so certainly when to go forth into the unknown.” ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

What do Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey and Richard Branson have in common? The answer is, they trust their intuition. Each one of these people credits this wise “inner guide”, in part, to their personal and professional success, as is the case with so many other successful people.

Just like love, intuition is challenging to define, despite the huge part it plays in our everyday lives. Steve Jobs called it, “More powerful than intellect.”

While Webster’s defines intuition as “quick and ready insight,” you may know it as: a gut feeling, a natural mental skill, a sixth sense, an inner knowing, a feeling, an instinct, a hunch, a premonition, wisdom from a Higher power, a still, quiet inner voice, an inner compass that points you to success and abundance; a gift from Spirit. But however people define it, we all intuitively know just what it is.

“Intuition is a resource that, if nurtured, can lead to increased sales, profitable investments, creative inventions, successful hires, advantageous negotiations, bigger profits, and increased accuracy in forecasting business trends,” writes Lynn Robinson in her book, Trust Your Gut.

You are born with this inner knowing and when you listen to it and act on its wisdom you are guided unfailingly towards your hopes and dreams. Whether you act on your intuition is another thing.

 

Why don’t some people listen to their intuition in business?

In a world that seems to value logic and facts over emotions and feelings, to follow one’s heart, or listen to your intuition, can seem foolhardy to many people. Perhaps this is because intuition, like spirituality, can’t be seen or scientifically measured.

Many people may tell you that you need to think rationally and use your head, not your heart, in order to gather the “facts” and “evidence” you need to make “sound” decisions.

But the truth is that your mind can’t always be relied on, especially when you are about to make big changes in your life. The rational mind likes to play it safe.

It can “fool” you into doubting your abilities or make you catastrophize about how things will turn out. Things can get out of control and the smallest concern becomes a mountain of anxiety.

“If I start my own business I won’t make any money, I’ll lose my house, I’ll be out on the street, the kids will starve,” and other similar negative thoughts. Thus the unhelpful, self-sabotaging script may come into play.

This is where intuition can help. Your ‘in-tuition’, is your inner teacher, your wisest counsel, your most supportive ally.

Some of us have the ability to tap into intuitive guidance more easily than others. But, like any skill, the more you practice using it, the better you will get.

Listed below are just a few reasons why intuitive intelligence is a skill you should master.

Trusting your gut in business will help give you:

  • Confidence when you have nothing to go on, and no concrete experience or information on which to base your decision.
  • Clarity in the face of a tsunami of choices and possibilities.
  • A faster ability to make the right choice, rather than becoming bogged down in months or years of analysis.
  • Awareness of self-employment opportunities you may not have considered.
  • Inspiration to get going.

 

The Infinite Intelligence of Your Subconscious Mind

“The infinite intelligence within your subconscious mind can reveal to you everything you need to know at every moment in time and point in space, provided you are open-minded and receptive”, writes Joseph Murphy in The Power of Your Subconscious Mind.

“Within the subconscious mind, you will find the solution to every problem, and the cause for every effect. Because you can draw out the hidden powers, you come into actual possession of the power and wisdom necessary to move forward in abundance, security, and joy.”

Sounds great! How do you gain this knowledge? By tapping into the power of emotions and listening to your own infinite intelligence.

This is where the subconscious mind rules—it’s the storehouse of emotions, unlike the ego and conscious mind that rationalizes everything it can.

The rational mind has its place, of course. The trouble is, all too often it dominates, very often talking us out of or into things that rob of us of joy and fulfilment.

 

Is intuition better than concrete, measurable facts?

That depends! Some decisions require logic and analysis. The rational information necessary to easily make the right decision may be readily available or easy to source.

But there are times, especially when launching a business when you have nothing, or very little, verifiable information. That’s when knowing how to access, listen and act on your intuition can be most helpful.

When I launched my first product, a set of 40 inspirational cards which I named The Passion Pack, in 2011, my business partners asked me, “Do you think it will sell?” I had acted on an inspired idea without any market research. I honestly didn’t ‘know’, but in my heart, I felt The Passion Pack would inspire others too. “Yes!” I answered, more confidently than I truly felt.

And my intuitive hunch proved right. When speaking at a conference of teachers and educators about the power of passion, I briefly mentioned my idea, and we were swamped with advance orders before we’d even finished producing The Passion Pack. I’d never even thought about marketing it to schools.

In 2016 I listened to my intuition again and released The Passion Pack as a book, How to Find Your Passion and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want and Live The Life You Love. It’s available in print and paperback from Amazon if you are curious >> getBook.at/Passion

 

Steering you the right way

President and Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post Arianna Huffington writes in her bestselling book, Thrive: “Even when we’re not at a fork in the road, wondering what to do and trying to hear that inner voice, our intuition is always there, always reading the situation, always trying to steer us the right way.

But can we hear it? Are we paying attention? Are we living a life that keeps the pathway to our intuition unblocked? Feeding and nurturing our intuition, and living a life in which we can make use of its wisdom, is one key way to thrive, at work and in life.”

 

Tuning in to Your Intuition

Listed below are some tips and strategies that will help you feed, nurture, and tap into your inner success coach:

The body barometer. The body never lies. Your body language is one of the primary ways your heart and intuition guide you. When you are in tune with your intuition you are more likely to experience:

  • A feeling of limitless energy
  • A feeling of weightlessness and lightness
  • A feeling of being happy and motivated
  • Excitement, zest, and animation.

These signs are all clues to your passion. Passionate feelings are the ways your intuition guides your decisions about what is right, given who you are and who you want to be.

Action Questions

What signs does your body give you when you are being true to yourself?

What warning signs does your body give you when you are off track?

Meditation—for cultivating inner power

“Meditation is not just blissing out under a mango tree,” says French Buddhist monk and molecular geneticist Matthieu Ricard. “It completely changes your brain and therefore changes what you are.”

Quietening your overactive mind through mindfulness training techniques like meditation is a wonderful way to boost your intuition. Meditation helps you to take control of your mental chatterbox and create some quiet space, so you can hear the voice within. This changes how you respond to what’s happening in your life, and increases your ability to tap into a higher level of wisdom when making decisions.

Science has proven that when people meditate they alter their brains in a good way—lowering stress levels amongst many other important things. Ridding yourself of self-limiting thoughts, controlling your reactions, discovering an inner contact with a creative source, and having more creative insights are just a few of the other benefits that can flow. The whole experience is primarily one of wholeness, rightness, and power.

Steve Jobs, a lifelong practitioner of meditation, confirmed the connection between meditation, creativity and business success: “If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there’s room to hear more subtle things—that’s when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more.

“Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before. It’s a discipline. You have to practice it.”

There are many forms of meditation, including breathing meditations, walking meditations, Buddhist Meditations, Transcendental Meditation and more. Whichever form you choose, the main thing to remember is that its benefits are only a few breaths away and the only thing you need is your attention.

Meditation can be done in short bursts of time, even while on the bus or train. To really be of benefit many people recommend meditating first thing in the morning, and towards the end of the day, for 20 minutes each time. You may already feel pressed for time but the benefits of creating some space in your diary will pay dividends.

Strategies to quiet your mind and rejuvenate your soul
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Meditation can shape our brains for the better. Watch this video on YouTube—you’ll see the incredible results verified by science. http://youtu.be/m8rRzTtP7Tc

I’ve been meditating for over 25 years now and love it. And while it can be challenging to find time during busy or stressful periods, it really is the key to boosting creativity, harnessing intuition, building resilience, and creating a calm and happier outlook in general. These are all important factors in maintaining the energy and focus to create and sustain business success.

Ask open, generative questions. Intuitive information reveals itself more easily when you ask yourself open questions such as, “How can I begin to bring more money into my life?” or “What business or self-employment opportunity could I choose that will be both fun and financially rewarding?”

Don’t try and force a reply. Your intuition will reveal the answer in a variety of ways.  There’s no one right way to receive its wisdom. It may come in the form of a hunch, a gut feeling, an inner voice, an image, or in a dream.

What questions do you want answers to? Prompt your intuition by writing down some good open questions. For instance, if your biggest concern about going into business is handling the legal and taxation matters, you could ask, “Where can I find someone to help me deal with legal and tax stuff?”

Pay extra attention over the next three weeks to special “go-incidences” or insights. For example, as I edit this book, I am also releasing another book to help people who are suffering from alcohol addiction. The title of the book is Your Beautiful Mind: Control Alcohol and Love Life More, and one of the chapters is called, Hooked on a Feeling. I walked into a local cafe and the song, Hooked on a Feeling by the band Blue Swede was playing on the sound system. What are the odds!

The lyrics of the song also inspired me to write a chapter titled, High on Believing—spirituality, and faith is such an important part of peoples’ recovery. Maintaining a believing mindset is another critical factor in achieving goals of any kind—something I cover in my book, Millionaire Mindset

Create some space. If you’re constantly stressed and always wishing for more time, money, freedom, or energy, you need to create some time for “sacred idleness.” All those signs of stress are signals from your intuition that it’s time to slow down. Take a comfort break. Give yourself the rejuvenating gift of some time off to reflect on your life.

What do you truly want? What fills your soul? What can you let go of? What are the blessings in your life? These are all questions to ask your intuitive guidance system. Listen to the answers, reflect, and act.

Listen to inner wisdom now, pay attention to intuitions, feelings, and hunches. They’re not random responses generated by the brain and nervous system to keep them busy, but data from the unified field that surrounds you.

“Everything we ever need to know is in this field, to be revealed at exactly the right time. The more deeply we pay attention the quicker the messages are received and the more effectively we can act upon them,” says intuitive astrologer, Sarah Varcas. “There is a lot of information available to those willing to listen, watch and learn.”

Hot Tip! Taking the time to meditate, write, and dream new dreams will pay off in a big way and is an important step in creating the abundant, peaceful and prosperous life you deserve.

 

Action Questions: How Can You Meditate?

What steps can you take to learn more about meditation?

How can you create some space for “sacred idleness” in your life? What can you let go of?

 

Call Upon Your Archetypal Symbol

Another way to embrace your intuition is to call upon archetypal symbols. According to renowned psychologist Carl Jung, archetypes are inherited memories represented in the mind as universal symbols and can be observed in your dreams.

Jean Wiley, a self-employed Professional Intuitive Astrologer agrees. “10 years ago when I was really struggling with how to find my voice, swimming in that river of conformity, and hiding so much of myself for so long, what I would do was dream of David Bowie.

“He didn’t come to me in my dreams, but he was my symbol. He was everything that was authentic and envelope-pushing, and innovative and interesting, and thumbed his nose at everything that was conventional and conforming. And I would dream about David Bowie and I would wake up in the morning and I would feel better.”

Action Question: Who Can You Call Upon?

Who could you call upon to give you courage, direction, and strength?

If you’re looking for additional instructions on how to connect with your archetypal symbol I recommend the advice of Deepak Chopra, and especially his incredible book The Spontaneous Fulfilment of Desire: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence.

I would also recommend Lynn Robinson’s book Trust Your Gut: How The Power of Intuition Can Grow Your Business

 

What and Who You Truly Want to Become

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking,” said Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc. “Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. It already knows what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

The reality is that many people spend their lives ignoring their real calling, their passion, and their true path with heart. Decisions based purely on the analysis of the cold, hard, objective facts ignore what it is to be human, to be fully alive. If you want to wake every morning looking forward to your life, then getting in touch with your emotions is a vital part of any decision-making and planning process.

Intuition is the Gateway to Your Authentic Self

“Your sixth sense is your authentic self,” says intuitive author and business psychic Sonia Choquette. And this authenticity is the thing you want in business. It’s what attracts others to you, and it’s what sets you apart in the crowd. There’s no one else like you in the world. When you trust your intuition, you trust your SELF.

Intuition is the language of the soul speaking through the heart. Your intuition may not make logical sense, but it makes heartfelt sense and speaks to your need to be whole and have integrity. Intuition rather than logic offers a way to break out of old struggles, mindsets and limitations, and reach the clouds.

 

Look For and Heed the Signs

There’s a lovely scene in a movie called Man On A Wire about a high-wire walker Philippe Petit, who, while reading the newspaper in France, experienced a lightning flash of insight.

Staring down at an article about the proposed building of the World Trade Centre he knew what he wanted to do and become—the first, and the only man, to walk across New York’s World Trade Centre, supported by nothing but a wire stretching across the twin towers. 1,368 feet above Manhattan!

At the time, the buildings, later destroyed in the 2011 attacks, were still only in the concept and design phase. But Philippe ripped out the newspaper cuttings and set about planning how he would make his dream come true.

Inspirational people are like vitamins for our souls. Philippe’s pursuit of passion is inspiring on so many levels. Not only did he succeed, but he also excited so many others.

Barry Greenhouse, for example, an insurance executive at the time, served as the inside man, spicing up his life in the process. His intuitive daring and courage also captured moviemakers, who later brought this amazing feat to international screens.

The film of Philippe’s quest was awarded the Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Festival. In February 2009, the film won the BAFTA for Outstanding British Film, the Independent Spirit Awards, and the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Philippe Petit’s, and the movie’s success is further testament to the power of passion and listening to your intuition.

You may not have such ‘lofty’ or death-defying aspirations, but if you listen to your intuition you will summon the courage, drive, passion, and fortitude to pursue your own path with heart. Perhaps you too will inspire people and meet with the success others only dream of.

What can Philippe teach you?

  • Listen to and follow your intuitive spark of excitement
  • Surround yourself with people who believe in your dreams
  • Minimize distractions—maintain absolute, unswerving focus
  • Be playful, whilst being safe
  • Let go of your safety net. Trust your skill and preparation
  • Commit your all—put everything on the line if necessary
  • Do what you love
  • Practice. Practice. Practice
  • Design a fail-proof strategy
  • Leave nothing to chance—this is your life we’re talking about
  • Just do it!

Trust Your Gut to Grow Your Business

Lynn Robinson, an international expert on intuition in business, speaks from personal experience how trusting her gut attracted clients overnight and gave her the confidence to quit her job. She writes in her book, Trust Your Gut:

“My fledgeling intuitive consulting business began 20 years ago as the result of intuition. I walked into a funeral service for a friend who had just passed away. I heard an inner voice saying, “Sit there.” My attention was drawn to an empty seat next to one of the few people in the room I didn’t know.

Always a believer in trusting these auditory messages, I sat next to her. The short version of the story is that my seat-mate turned out to be a reporter for The Boston Globe newspaper. She wrote a story about my unusual consulting business. As a result, over 300 people called me to request my services and my new career was born.

When I met the Boston Globe reporter, I was still working as an operations manager for a software company. Gaining over 300 clients virtually overnight might be some people’s idea of a dream come true. To me, it was anxiety-producing. I was fearful of giving up my “normal” job, with benefits and a weekly paycheck, to be out on my own as a consultant. “Could I keep both jobs?” was the question I asked myself as I drifted off to sleep.

When I awakened in the morning, I had to laugh. In my dream, I was out on a lake in canoes. Yes, plural! I had one foot in one canoe and the other foot in another canoe and they were headed in opposite directions! I took that as a very clear sign that I wasn’t meant to begin my consulting business while holding on to my day job. I gave my notice that day and never looked back.”

Listening to your inner self is a very important part of re-creating and strengthening your authentic or true self.

Knowing how to slow down and tap into your intuition or “inner knowing” will help you not only gain greater self-mastery and control but also give you some essential tools to have on hand to help you ride the winds of change and to strengthen your sense of self.

 

What You’ve Learned

  • Intuition is ‘knowing’ without having any idea why you know it. It’s different from thinking; it’s different from logic or analysis. It’s knowing without knowing
  • Many successful people trust their gut and act on their intuitive guidance in business
  • Your intuition is your inner guide and is more powerful than intellect. It will help you make good decisions
  • Intuition is a resource that, if nurtured, can lead to great business ideas, increased sales, profitable investments, creative inventions, successful hires, advantageous negotiations, bigger profits, and increased accuracy in forecasting business trends
  • Trusting your gut in business will help you have: confidence when you have nothing to go on, and no concrete experience or information on which to base your decision; clarity in the face of a tsunami of choices and possibilities; the ability to make the right choice faster, rather than becoming bogged down in months or years of analysis; awareness of self-employment opportunities you may not have considered; inspiration and courage to start
  • Strengthen your intuition by tuning into your body barometer, meditating, resting, spending time in nature, and asking your higher Self open generative questions.

 

What’s Next?

To succeed in business, you need to be visible and capture the mind and hearts of your customers. Marketing is one way of making sure people know who you are, what you do and how to find you. It’s not a dirty word. Done well, it’s an art.

Are you ready to show your work?

 

This is an edited extract from Midlife Career Rescue: (Employ Yourself): How to confidently leave a job you hate, and start living a life you love, before it’s too late” by Cassandra Gaisford. To purchase your copy and learn how to follow your passion to prosperity, from Amazon, click here: getBook.at/EmployYourself

To enjoy  your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here:  https://books2read.com/u/4EkWlM

To enjoy your copy from Kobo, click here: https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/ebook/mid-life-career-rescue-employ-yourself

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You might like:

Is it time to bring out your playful side? Unleash your inner child

Point of Change. Rewriting his Career in His 60s and Beyond—Brett’s Reinvention Story

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Did you know you can enjoy and be inspired by my most popular and successful books on audio? In less than 15 minutes you could be listening to your way to a new life!

Check out the following written and narrated by me.

 

Mid-Life Career Rescue: The Career For Change

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How to Find Your Passion and Purpose

 

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The Little Princess

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The Little Princess Can Fly

Audible UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Little-Princess-Can-Fly-Transformational/dp/B086VST2H6

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I Have To Grow

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Kobo:

Coming soon

Audio versions are also available from all online bookstores and also libraries

 

 

 

Here are three more things you might like:


Interesting interviews: Listen to my best interviews on topics like overcoming obstacles, finding joy in adversity, following your passion to prosperity.


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