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Archive for the 'Creative Unblocking' Category

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 >>

 

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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

 

 

 

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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.

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.
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

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…

 

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.

 

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: 

Word by Word: Lessons on Writing, Love, and Life

Wednesday, July 8th, 2020

Chapter one: Discipline

“There are no miracles. There is only discipline.”

Danielle Steel

How does a book get finished? Word by word. Some authors write quickly. For others, the words form more slowly. A writer may take five years, 10 years, a lifetime to finish their book. Others right quickly in a matter of weeks and months. However long it takes the answer is always the same. The work gets finished one word, one sentence, one paragraph, one page at a time.

As long as you are moving forward is all that counts. Every day you do not write your ideas are dying on the vine.

For some writers, committing to a daily tally of words, or time spent at the keyboard works for them. Others need publishing deadlines. I have often self-imposed this time-bound pressure by creating a pre-order for any self-published books. You are reading such a book now. The deadline is looming. I must upload the final manuscript within 13 days. Lucky thirteen? You’ll be the judge of that. And I will too. But I know it’s not luck that finishes a book, it’s discipline. The challenge is greatest when writing without a deadline or a dream of finishing.

Whether a carrot or the stick works for you, the effort is always the same.  It is the discipline of showing up. “Show up, show up,” encourages Isabel Allende, “and then the muse shows up too.”

A mindset of procrastination is less about the failure to manage time, it’s actually a failure to manage your energy. Because we only procrastinate when we are in a jitney telling ourselves, “it’s too hard”, or “we can’t”, or “it’s no good” Add a layer of “I can’t write,” I’m too tired.” “Tomorrow I will be better,” and we’ve baked ourselves a failure cake. Perfectionism and her twin brothers Resistance and Fear will keep us starving.

Feed your muse. Woo her. Tell her, “I  will show you my love, I will do this one thing.” Whatever it is. Character is action, and we must be the characters we want our muse to love. We must show our commitment, our devotion, our discipline to love our muse in sickness and in health. Love weathers all storms.

Bale Syder, an American screenwriter, consultant, author and teacher reminds me life it too short to continue to procrastinate. I tell myself I am willing to write badly just to get the work done. Through his Save the Cat trilogy of books on screenwriting and story structures, became one of the most popular writing mentors in the film industry. He accomplished so much, yet, aged 52, died too young

Blake’s Last Blog on August 3, 2009, is a call to love. “The most important thing to do is to love what you’re doing. That way, getting better at it isn’t a struggle, it’s a pleasure.”

You know the saying, Out of sight, out of mind.” My one thing right now is to open up my laptop and take a look at my manuscript. To fall in love again, I need to be with my words.

Over lunch, my one thing was to look at one of my research books. This helped me get into the energy of the book. Love is energy—one of the highest vibrations on earth. I am writing again. We don’t have to make it difficult for ourselves. Discipline doesn’t have to be painful

Yesterday my one thing was to look through some of my notes and to follow up on a lead. I felt the excitement return. The passion return. The obsession return. I felt love.

Writing a book is like lovingly nurturing your garden. If we don’t prepare the soil, sow the seeds, fertilize the plants, if we ignore and neglect the joy of the bountiful crop that awaits, eventually rot sets in. All the weeds strangle over future joy. In their place a tangled mess of hate.

“So what are we missing? Ah, yes! My favorite! The subject we haven’t discussed, not overtly anyway, is that part of the process that is invisible — that part of “hitting the wall” that, like the hero of every good story, requires you to “dig, deep down” and find the inner strength that goes beyond the material world, that part of tapping into the big picture in which you too are touched by something you’ve heard of, but maybe don’t believe in. Yet,” writes Blake in Save the Cat! Strikes Back.

In eleven weeks it will be my birthday. In 11 weeks why couldn’t I finish my book? The book that has taken me 10 years to write. I can embrace the joy of finishing. “How?” you ask. Dear friend, follow me to the next chapter.

 

 

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

 Available 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?

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

 

You might like:

 Word by word…you can write a whole book that way!

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.

 

Why Ugly Is Where the Magic is

Sunday, June 21st, 2020

 

“I’ve always found beauty in flaws,”

Anna Friel

 

I’ve been having fun embracing my shadow side and working with things I regard as ‘ugly’. As I wrote in an earlier post, (How to take something ugly and make it speak up for you….)  I was listening to an audiobook by Nancy Hill M.D., The Artist’s Journey: Bold Strokes To Spark Creativity. Nancy offered an exercise where, rather than turn away from ugly, we embrace it and love it. When I lived near Peter Jackson in Wellington I used to hate graffiti. I also hated black – Wellingtomnians wear TOO much of it (in my humble opinion). I also loathe rubbish people chuck out their cars and a host of other things.

Here is a list, of things I have, and may still do, consider ugly, in no particular order:

  • The colours Grey, White, Black, and Red (nothing personal! – and often changeable)
  • Grafitti
  • Rubbish
  • Chaos
  • Sludge
  • Crime
  • Bullying
  • Drunks
  • Nastiness

 

I rose to the challenge and created some new works, embracing the ugly. Many of my works are inspired by abstract expressionists. For example, the beauty of bold crawls and graffiti-inspired works of CY Twombly. Also the colour field intuitive paintings of Helen Frankenthaler. And where would I be had I not experienced the pure joy of training with Max Gimblett in Maui who introduced me to the spiritual flow of Sumi ink, quatrefoil and the shine of Expoxy resin?

I’m happy to say, my experiment with embracing ugly has heralded unexpected joy – and beauty. Just as Nancy promised.

“And when the “ugly” painting emerges, will you value it? Will you see that “ugly” paintings come into your life bearing gifts if only you’ll receive them? Make room for both the paintings you love and the paintings that scare you—the ones you see as threatening. Make room for “ugly” paintings so you can create the deepest work of your life. Trust yourself to explore the things that scare you. These are the unexpressed, unexplored parts of yourself where your unlived dreams reside. This is the realm of play, improvisation, and pure creativity. This is where the magic is.” *

 

“Autumn Rhythm (Number 20) – After Jackson Pollock, 2020.”
Gesso, acrylic and vinyl polymers, epoxy, aqua size, Japanese ink, coloured pigment, epoxy resin on board

 

“Scribe”

hanging on my wall at home waiting For a lucky new owner who loves this mixed media creation as much as I do

 

 

“Let Go”

“Every line is the actual experience with its own unique story” ~ Cy Twombly

Mixed media, oil crayon, acrylic, passion

 

Scribble⠀

“I never really separated painting and literature” ~ Cy Twombly

Mixed media, oil crayon, gold leaf, acrylic, passion

Canvas 760mm x 1200mm

Handcrafted in New Zealand

GOLOV-20

Do what you love! One of the things I love most about encaustic painting, molten beeswax, is the way the honeybees comes to the studio while I am working. This is a close-up of a new work created during global ‘rest time’. Called ‘GOLOV-20 In honor of the new movement sparked by Dr. Joe Dispenza. So much loving energy! So much healing:) so much joy

 

“Rhapsody – After Helen Frankenthaler 2020″

Another from my Word Painting series, I’ve included it in my ‘uglies’ because of the imperfection. But do you know what, I love, love, love this ‘blemish.” This was my first attempt at using epoxy resin, which turned from disaster to delicious. Well, I think so anyway. (it set too fast because I warmed it out and used a plastic vessel for the pour)

Gesso, acrylic and vinyl polymers, epoxy, aqua size, Japanese pink coloured pigment, epoxy resin on board

 

 

Oh, I received some lovely feedback about my ‘ugly” paintings:)

 

“Your beauty shines through even in your ‘ugly work’!!”

 

Would one of these paintings look fab in your home or office? All paintings are for sale. Find out more and check out more of my work here>>https://www.cassandragaisford.com/gallery/

 

 

Are you a black sheep?

And another thing about falling in love with black. I wrote and illustrated a children-adults-book called, Lulu is a Black Sheep.

This book was inspired by the realisation that I too am a black sheep. I’ve never felt I belonged in my family. I was always, and still am, criticised, shunned, and blamed when I don’t walk to their beat. And I’m nearly 55 years young! Sometimes they’re good. And sometimes they’re not. But love them anyway, and I’ve learned to act in a different way.

I woke in the night in the early hours of day three of the COVID-19 lockdown in New Zealand, and I heard a kiwi outside.  Hearing the kiwi call out last night, reminded me that they must feel like black sheep too. Our national birds are not like other birds. They have funny bodies, are nocturnal and they cannot fly. I love that kiwis embrace who they are and don’t try to change.

They’ve learned to adapt to stay alive, and at night they forage, and shuffle, and sing with great happiness and joy.

I created this book for my younger self. I made this book for you and your children. I wrote this book with love, and happiness, and glee.

Read this book at bedtime, at times of stress or pain or joy! I hope you find this book a great treasure trove of comfort. This book is always here for you—no matter what!

Stay in your bubble, dear readers. Follow your truth. But most of all keep being your beautiful self.

Much love

 

 

 

 I am proud to find beauty in ‘ugly’ and to help others do the same in my wellness-based approach to my work as a holistic therapist, energy healer, Reiki Master, artist and self-empowerment author who is not afraid to challenge the status quo. I believe, as Picasso does, that “art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life” and is healing for the soul.

 

 

Did you enjoy this post?

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

 

How to take something ugly and make it speak up for you….

 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

 

  • Nancy Hills, The Artist’s Journey: Bold Strokes To Spark Creativity (p. 61). The Artist’s Journey. Kindle Edition.

 

 

Lulu is a Black Sheep

To purchase on Amazon, click here>>getbook.at/LuluBlackSheep

To purchase on Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/lulu-is-a-black-sheep-1

To purchase on iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/mqvO66

 

AUDIOBOOK

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/audiobook/lulu-is-a-black-sheep-2

Audible . . .coming soon

Transcendental Meditation, Consciousness, Creativity, Career Change and the Brain

Sunday, June 14th, 2020

If you’ve followed me for a while you’ll know I love variety. I’m an artist, which includes painting, sculpting, writing, interiors, architecture, fashion, furniture, photography, lifestyle coaching… and more!

I love being in control. If I had kept working for someone else, I would have to focus in one field, whereas I would rather work in more than one field. I am an awesome multi-tasker.

I have what I call a ‘career combo’ – how about you? Are you stuck in dinosaur thinking—believing you have to be and do one thing?

David Lynch (born January 20, 1946) is an American filmmaker, painter, musician, singer, sound designer, photographer, and actor. He is most known for writing and directing films such as Eraserhead (1977), The Elephant Man (1980), Blue Velvet (1986), and Mulholland Drive (2001), which are regarded by many critics as among the best films of their times. He is also well known for his television series Twin Peaks (1990–1991, 2017).

What, perhaps, is less known is his tremendous work in the area of promoting individual and global world peace—in particular, his reverence for the bliss found in the practice of Transcendental Meditation.

Check out this wonderful Youtube talk, David Lynch: Transcendental Meditation | Consciousness, Creativity and the Brain, where he shares his experiences, takes questions, and partners with world-renown quantum physicists, Drs. John Hagelin, Ph.D., and Fred Travis, Ph.D.

 

I share many of my own career change strategies and why I learned Transcendental Meditation (TM)  in many of my books. You don’t have to learn TM to learn how to still your mind. I have taught children and adults how to cultivate inner peace by listening to guided meditations, or purely focusing on their breath. “Wow, that’s like being on another planet one 9-year-old Maori boy told me after learning to meditate. Sometimes feeling like we’re on another planet is just what we need!

 

Here’s a wee excerpt from Bounce: Overcoming Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy.

 

Mindful Meditation

Our brains never get a break and the results can be increased stress, anxiety, insomnia and if left unchecked, even depression. But there is something you can do—meditate.

Meditation changes brain patterns, soothes and connects you to your Higher Self. It’s one of the most powerful bounce strategies you’ll ever discover.

“It’s the Swiss army knife of medical tools, for conditions both small and large,” writes Arianna Huffington, the founder of The Huffington Post and author of Thrive.

So, what’s the buzz? Recent research published in New Scientist has revealed that meditation can help to calm people and reduce fear. The research found that regular meditation can tame the amygdala, an area of the brain which is the hub of fear memory.

People who meditate regularly are less likely to be shocked, flustered, surprised, or as angry as other people, and have a greater stress tolerance threshold as a result.

By meditating regularly, the brain is reoriented from a stressful fight-or-flight response to one of acceptance, a shift that increases contentment, enthusiasm, and feelings of happiness. Here are a few of the many ways a regular meditative practice will help you bounce:

 

• Decreased stress and anxiety

• Improved focus, memory, and learning ability

• Heightened recharging capacity

• Higher IQ and more efficient brain functioning

• Increased blood circulation and reduced hyperactivity in the brain, slower wavelengths and decreased beta waves (Beta State:13—30Hz) means more time between thoughts which leads to more skilful decision making

• Increased Theta State (4—8Hz) and Delta States (1—3 Hz) which deepens awareness and strengthens intuition and visualisation skills

• Increased creativity and connection with your higher intelligence

 

When Tim Ferriss, who practices transcendental meditation, sat down with more than 200 people at the height of their field for his new book, Tools of Titans, he found that 80% followed some form of guided mindfulness practice.

It took Ferriss a while to get into meditation, he says in a podcast episode about his own morning routine. But since he discovered that the majority of world-class performers meditated, he also decided to follow the habit.

His practice takes up 21 minutes a day: one minute to get settled and 20 minutes to meditate.

Ferriss recommends two apps for those wanting some help getting started—Headspace or Calm.

“Start small, rig the game so you can win it, get in five sessions before you get too ambitious with length,” says Ferriss.

“You have to win those early sessions so you establish it as a habit, so you don’t have the cognitive fatigue of that practice.”

Many people find that meditating for 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes at the end of the day yields remarkable benefits.

Regularly take time to focus on the present moment. Make meditating for at least 20 minutes a day part of your daily routine for optimum success and well-being.

 

Feel-Good Books to Read Right Now

 

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

 

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

Amazon>>getbook.at/MindYourDrink

iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores>> https://books2read.com/u/bQBLj0

Kobo>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/mind-your-drink-the-surprising-joy-of-sobriety-1

 

Anxiety Rescue: Love Your Body: live a life free from fear

Amazon>>https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07P7TY77F


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

Amazon>>getBook.at/StressLess

iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores>> https://books2read.com/u/31MzrD

Kobo>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/stress-less-love-life-more

 

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

Also available in Audio from Audible

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

 

 

 

COMING SOON

Word by Word: Lessons on Writing, Love, and Life

 Available for pre-order now>>AMAZON

How to take something ugly and make it speak up for you….

Saturday, May 23rd, 2020

 

 

Scribe

“Every line is the actual experience with its own unique story” ~ Cy Twombly

Acrylic, oil crayon and mixed media.
760 h x 1200 w

 

This new work was once a painting I had ‘ruined’ and made ‘ugly’. Recently I was listening to an audiobook by Nancy Hill M.D., The Artist’s Journey: Bold Strokes To Spark Creativity. Nancy offered an exercise where, rather than turn away from ugly, we embrace it and  love it. When I lived near Peter Jackson in Wellington I used to hate graffiti. I would paint it out whenever someone ruined a beautiful wall. But now this painting is both an ode to the American abstract artist CY Twombly and also the beauty of bold scrawls.

Twombly used to use ‘common’ house paint. In a flash of insight, he gave me permission to do this too. I went to my studio, took several canvases that I thought were ‘ruined’, fetched Resene’s “Double Masala’ from where we stored our house paint and began to create. everything flowed. I took some old oil crayons and scrawled.

The work was in part, my attempt to make sense and transform something ‘ugly’ or what Trump might call “a nasty’ comment a psychologist in the US emailed me after receiving my recent newsletter, reprinted below:

 

As you’ll see, I included feedback from a client who was so happy with what she had achieved in her coaching. And she also followed up with another email to thank me for my help.

 

This is the email I received:

 

 

A couple of things concerned me:

 

  1. The psychologist had signed up to my newsletter in order to receive a free eBook
  2. Mailchimp, my newsletter subscriber enables people to opt-out
  3. She has accused me of sham coaching which is dangerous to people – and states that she is a ‘trained psychologist who does ‘real therapy’
  4. She doesn’t recognise or hasn’t bothered to find out, my substantial training and qualifications – including psychology and my work also backed by research.

But worse, she is, like me, in the helping profession. I expect better from people registered as psychologists. I don’t expect to be attacked. I wrote back to her, “Can you please send me confirmation of your membership body as I wish to lodge a complaint with them regarding your unethical and unprofessional correspondence.”

She didn’t come back to me!

And I didn’t pursue it. Because I don’t need to waste my time and energy.

But of real concern was how much her email knocked me. Initially. It was my partner’s birthday. We were just getting ready for a lovely day together. I didn’t need a nasty email. I wish I hadn’t read it.  I share my experience with you because we all have to learn to speak up and speak with truth and integrity when people are toxic to us. Many of my clients are afraid of putting their work ‘out there’ because they fear being vulnerable. They fear being shamed. They fear being attacked.

Being attacked hurts – but not nearly as much as being a person who attacks others.  Being attacked can sting like a bee. Being attacked can pierce like a poisonous dart. But it needn’t last. It needn’t strike its mark. We can learn to self-soothe. We can learn not to digest fake news. We can learn to channel toxic, negative experiences into something good.

Which is what I did when I went to my studio that day. I took a colour I don’t normally paint with, grey, and as I made my graffiti marks, I laughed, I giggled, and I whooped.

“I love that painting more than the Max Gimblett,” my partner said to me when I placed my artwork on the wall.

Something ugly was transformed into something filled with light, love and laughter.

 

 

Love Language

Here is another piece I created

 

“Love Language”⠀

“Kind words are like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body” ~ Kenn Butler

Mixed media, molten New Zealand beeswax, encaustic, oil crayon, passion

Pro-panel artboard 400mm x12mm

Handcrafted in New Zealand

New work created during global ‘rest time’.In honour of the new movement sparked by Dr. Joe Dispenza, called GOLOV-20  So much loving energy! So much healing:) so much joy

 

 

And also this piece – a reminder about the power of letting go

 

“Let Go”

“I had my freedom and that was nice” ~ Cy Twombly

Mixed media, oil crayon, acrylic, passion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and this one….

“Scribble”

 

 

 

So really, I have a lot to be grateful for. Those ugly comments from the registered psychologist sparked a flourish of creativity!

An email I received from an attorney in the STATES also affirmed what I have know to be true —some of the craziest, most unenlightened people I have met are psychologists – many of whom regard themselves as morally superior.

 

Sadly, my interactions with psychologists have been largely negative. Re the below definition of a sociopath, I believe we all have a moral responsibility to lift each other higher in the wake of COVID-19. Emails from readers have been uplifting. Thank you:)
sociopath:

noun Psychiatry.

a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.
Another client also reached out:

Cassandra

That is a powerful knockback. I like how you responded. When I was first starting out in a new role, I did a job right before Christmas when I didn’t have all the materials I would normally use. It wasn’t my finest work. They sent me a note urging me not to “inflict myself on anyone else”. It knocked me. But I saw the importance of self-talk like, “everyone makes errors”, everyone has to start somewhere”, “if I don’t carry on, what will I miss out on in the future”, “my mistake was much more minuscule than the guy who sailed the liner in near the coast to boast to a friend and capsized” etc. Once I had gained a new perspective, I was good to go, but toxic words do deliver a blow, so definitely a strategy is needed.
We must remember that no one is immune from criticism. Even my muse CY Twombly was harshly criticised. Cy Twombly (1928-2011) created art that was remarkable for its versatility, sensitivity and originality. Throughout his career, he followed his own artistic pathway, independent from contemporary trends, and for a long time, his work went unnoticed by a wider audience. By the time of his death in Rome, at the age of 83, he was internationally recognized as one of the greatest and most idiosyncratic artists of the 20th and early 21st century.

“Twombly’s recent paintings are based on drawings made in North Africa, but there is nothing specifically African about them. Large, streaked expanses of white with straggling black lines scrawled across them, they resemble graffiti, or the drawings of pre-kindergarten children. The contours of the white area enclosed by line suggest rows oftottering, crudely fashioned spikes or totems. Presumably the feeling-content of this art is ugliness: shrillness, conflict, cruelty. There is something that resembles a crown of thorns. Fine. The artist is clearly a sensitive man and this is what he finds in the world. Does he have to express it clumsily?

The answer is ‘yes’ writes, Joshua Rivkin in his biography of Twombly, Chalk. “The rough unfinished edges were no accident but a careful performance, a stance against perfection.” Twombly’s style was a very conscious refusal of technique in favour of spontaneous expression.

 

 

THANK YOU

 

“Kind words are like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body” – Kenn Butler

Thank you Ken and all my readers who send me loving words of gratitude after reading this post. Readers like Hloni who wrote to me from Africa, “Wow….thank you so much for such an inspiring story Cassandra. You have no idea how it feels to have you in my corner. Someone I call “Guardian Angel”, a friend and confidante.
Whenever I get your email my eyes light up and smile you bring to my face is unimaginable. I thank God that our path have crossed in this world of technology. Thank you so much for everything. You’re truly are a Godsend.”

 

Ken, a leadership coach and company director, also sent me a link to his blog  in incredible flow he had just created a post about ‘words”

 

Here it is with his permission
 Words

Greetings dear friends & welcome to my world again this week. Today, I would like to speak about words. Words create worlds. Every single one of us could give testimony to the truthfulness of those words from someone or somewhere.  We can go back in our minds to the teacher or coach or grandparent who spoke life-giving words to us.  We can remember how much wind it put in our sails when they said those four magical words to us… “I believe in you.”

We can also go back in our minds to hurtful & attacking words which scarred us.  And even though it may have been years ago, we can remember it & still feel the emotion of it like it was yesterday.

The words in our past echo in our present & they continue to shape our lives today.  Words have incredible power. And this is doubly true for a leader.  As a leader, your words carry more weight & they have more staying power.  Your words get amplified & magnified.

Through the years I have been amazed how many people have come up to me to thank me for something I said to them which impacted their lives. The scary part is how often I did not even remember saying anything to them.

We need to become experts at speaking life-giving words. Let us be honest.  It is tough out there in the world, especially at the moment, & I feel it will not get any better quickly. We do not live in a world filled with grace & love.  In this world, you get what you pay for (sometimes).  NO free lunch.  NO cutting in line.  Eye for an eye.  Tooth for a tooth.

Like the great philosopher, Norm, from Cheers said “It’s a dog eat dog world and I’m wearing milkbone underwear.”

But as a leader, we get the privilege of speaking life & hope & encouragement into the lives of people. Kind words are like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.  [1]

And here is the great news.  It does not cost you typically anything to do this & it does not require a line item in your mission & vision statement. It should be simply a part of your culture & values.  And this is not about personality. This is about sensitivity, love & kindness. Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.  [2]

I remember when I was in a particularly tough season of my life. It is a long story, but take my word for it, I was not doing well.  And one day one of our team handed me a personal letter for me.  I did not recognize the name on the return address.  I opened it up & it was a two page hand-written letter from the mother of one of the girls who had been on my team.

In the letter she talked about how much I had influenced her daughter. The letter came at just the right time. I folded it up & put it in the pocket of my planner & over the next few months I read the letter several times.  I cannot even begin to tell you how much life I took from this two-page letter. And it was all because someone took the time to speak revitalising words.

The biggest enemy of blessing people with your words is not meanness or selfishness, it is HURRY.  So, slow down today and speak into someone’s life.

What is the difference between a good pitcher & a great pitcher? DELIVERY, & maybe steroids but this is for a different article.

To use another analogy, the most dangerous part of any airplane flight is the landing.  And just before the airplane lands, they will talk about the plane being “on approach”.  The approach is critical for a successful landing.  Your approach with words is critical to successful relationships.

It is the “right words” which bring satisfaction.  It is not just the right words, it is also the right delivery of the right words.  Patience can persuade a prince, & soft speech can crush strong opposition.   [3]
Learn to be soft with your words. When you have to have a hard conversation, think ahead of time not just about “what” you want to say, but “how” you want to say it.

By the way, you can be clear & still be soft.  In my life, the biggest roadblock to soft words is an empty soul.  When I am running on fumes, my words are cutting, not kind.  When I am leading on empty, my words are too often cynical, not soft.

In concluding this week, I am reminded of the words from Robin Gibb & the Bee Gees song:                                                                                                              Talk an everlasting words and dedicate them all to me
And I will give you all my love I’m here if you should call to me
You think that I don’t even mean a single word I say
It’s only words and words are all I have to take your heart away.

So, today, steward the power of your words well.  And remember, what you say matters!

I hope my comments each week are helpful dear readers; & again, provide just an opinion, from my world. Thank you for taking the time to be with me, I hope my journey may encourage you also. This is Kenn Butler in Paradise, Nelson. With my best wishes, I look forward to connecting with you again soon.

www.kennbutler.com


[1] Proverbs 16:24 (NLT)
[2] Proverbs 12:25 (NLT)
[3] The point Solomon is making in Proverbs 25:15

Trust your talent, not your credentials

 

I will leave the final closing thoughts with branding specialist Cat Conroy

 

“Sometimes we can be too credentials orientated in our culture.

If your Soul came to earth to inspire, uplift and help people, have confidence and go out there and do what you came here to do.

You don’t need the credentials, if you want them, great, go get them, but it’s who you are as a person that people will be attracted to.

~ Your energy.

~ Your talent.

The way you inspire your tribe is why they are pulled to and want to work with you, not necessarily because of the letters after your name.”

 

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

To grab your copy of the Art of Success from Amazon, click here>>getBook.at/TheArtofSuccess

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?

You might like:

Does talk therapy actually work?

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

 How to be the rock that resists adversity—mind, body and soul food during COVID-19

 

 

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.

 

P.S. You may enjoy reading or listening to my personal story of being bullied and how I overcame criticism, in my short book, 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

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

 

Coping with Isolation: How to Love your Life in Lockdown

Monday, April 27th, 2020

Dear readers,

What were you doing before the world pressed pause in the wake of COVID-19? Me, I was still coaching and training passionate people to become life coaches, but I was also planning to open my art gallery.

Like so many people, the global shutdown has caused many of us to rethink our passions. I read recently of a Paralympian who, because the Olympic Games planned for 2020 were postponed, turned his mind away from what he could no longer do – train for the Olympics – and made room for new passions. In his case, inspired by Leonardo da Vinci, he began sketching human anatomy. I guess this passion also feeds his athletic mind which loves to know how to work to optimum performance.

I have turned into an old love which I had as a child and teenager—sketching cartoons and writing fiction. When I was a teenager I often asked to illustrate the school magazine. My parents wouldn’t let me study drawing and art at school so it remained a hobby and then died as I ‘grew up,’ and ‘got a real job.’

Perhaps, you heard that growing up too. But look now. Many of the ‘real jobs’ have disappeared.

Recently I thought how much fun it would be to have someone illustrate the books in my Transformational Super Kids series.

I was dismayed at how expensive it would be to have my books professionally illustrated. One of my coaching clients love the drawing I did for fun for my book, Lulu is a Black Sheep.

“I love your drawing. There is rawness and realness to it,” she told me.

 

So, emboldened and encouraged and not dissuaded by the need for ‘perfection’ I created another drawing/cover for my new book, which I released for FREE on Anzac Day—Billy is a Balloon

About BILLY IS A BALLOON

 

Soar High. Love Who You Are and Who You Can Be

 

When Billy feels blue he doesn’t know how to think pink. He feels stuck, demotivated and alone. Until he remembers he can fly like a balloon. He jumps up from his sadness and loneliness and lifts his thoughts high, high, high into the sky. High above his doubts and fears. Higher still until he is surrounded by colour, courage, and cheerfulness.

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 be courageous, happy, and empowered.

Billy is a Balloon is an inspiring story and personal development guide for girls and boys with themes on self-esteem resilience, and self-reliance.

“This book shares a powerful message”

 

“That was so inspiring. I felt so much better instantly.”

 

* * * 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

 

 

Below is the original artwork for a new story for adults and kids, “Billy is a Balloon.” The key theme is how to find joy when you feel worried, anxious, or down in the dumps.

 

“AWWWWW. I love it! How cool is Billy. Love the bright happy clothes and the purple balloon. (My son’t fav colour.”

Billy is a Balloon

I wrote this book as I have so many of my books, for my daughter Hannah Joy. She messaged me on Anzac Day, during COVID-19, week six, feeling a little blue and saying she felt like it was Groundhog Day and it was hard to be motivated.

Motivated to finish the book she is writing.

Motivated to practice self-care.

Motivated to appreciate the gift sometimes hidden while the world is on pause.

One of the greatest gifts we can give our children and ourselves as the gift of self-reliance, fortitude, perseverance and courage.

Yes, we may be sociable people but we also have great power and resourcefulness to do things alone.

We can’t wait for approval. We must give it to ourselves.

We can’t wait for perfect timing. We must find it to ourselves.

We can’t wait for inspiration. We must inspire ourselves.

We must, and we can, and we will, be a bright, beautiful, brilliant balloon.

We must fill our head, our heart, our lungs, our life, with all the things that feed our heart, nurture our minds, and nourish our souls. And we mustn’t forget to breathe!

I created this book for my younger self. I made this book for you and your children. I wrote this book with love, and happiness, and glee.

Read this book at bedtime, at times of stress or pain or joy! I hope you find this book a great treasure trove of comfort. This book is always here for you—no matter what!

CHAPTER ONE

 

Billy is a balloon when he goes to sleep he releases all the old stagnant air.

When he wakes up, he lets all the old energy escape.

He goes outside and stretches wide.

He takes a great big gulp of fresh air and inhales it deep inside.

 

CHAPTER TWO

 

Deep, deep, deep into his lungs.

Deep, deep, deep into his heart.

Deep, deep, deep into his belly.

Deep, deep, deep into his feet.

 

CHAPTER THREE

 

Then whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!

Billy draws the air up, up, up.

Up, up, up from his feet.

Up, up, up through his belly.

Up, up, up through his heart.

Up, up, up through his lungs.

 

CHAPTER FOUR

 

But Billy didn’t stop there.

He inhaled his big, beautiful breath up, up, up through his mouth, his lips, his nose.

Up, up up through the middle of his eyes, his brows and his brain.

The air swirled through his body like a magic train.

Wow, look at me now! Look at me go!

 

CHAPTER FIVE

Everything needs nurturing, especially me, he affirmed to himself, as he drew the air through the top of his skull and sent it sailing into the sky.

I am a balloon, he said, as he watched his beautiful, bright, breath fly by.

I can soar high, high, high up into the sky.

Or I can flop, low, low, low into the ground.

I can float, flip, and fly.

Or I can drag, dip, and die.

Die of boredom. Die of fatigue. Die of feelings I can never fly.

 

CHAPTER SIX

Billy bent down and touched his toes, then swung his body up and waved his hands into the sky.

I love life. I love living. I love. I love. I love, he cried. Love is the brightest energy ever to have lived.

I am a balloon and these are the things I love to do.

I love to write. I love to paint. I love to sew. I love to try things and do things I never thought I’d know.

 

Billy bent down and touched his toes, then swung his body up and waved his hands into the sky.

I love life. I love living. I love. I love. I love, he cried. Love is the brightest energy ever to have lived.

I am a balloon and these are the things I love to do.

I love to write. I love to paint. I love to sew. I love to try things and do things I never thought I’d know.

 

CHAPTER SEVEN

I love to do the im-possible.

I’m possible to get up early out of bed.

I am possible to eat my breakfast of warm porridge and toasted bread.

I’m possible to fix my mind on places afar and dream and do the things that lift my horizons high and feeds my heart.

I fill my heart, my hope my happiness on all the places I want to go.

I float away from all the things that take me low.

Like fears and frights and feelings of failure.

Like meanies and critics and complainers.

Like too much distraction that sucks my energy.

I am a balloon. I need uplifting energy—not stagnant air.

 

 

CHAPTER EIGHT

“You are not a balloon. You’re a stupid boy,” Bella said one day.

Billy just smiled and floated away. Nope, he wasn’t going to play with Bella today.

“You look silly,” Sally said pointing at his yellow shirt and orange pants.

“I feel happy,” Billy said as he floated away. Sally looked sad and mad, he thought as he looked down at her black shirt and black pants and the angry lines that darkened her face.

 

CHAPTER NINE

“Don’t fly so high,” Billy’s mother scorned, as she tried to yank him down.

Billy smiled and waved and flew out of reach.

Out of reach from those who pulled down.

Out of reach from those who only frowned.

Out of reach from his own mistaken beliefs.

Out of reach of all the toxic thoughts that limited his dreams.

“I can fly. I can fly high, high, high. I have limited potential…

AND SO DO YOU! What colour is your balloon?

*** THE END ***

* * * FREE AUDIOBOOK * * *

 

Click here for the free audiobook – written and narrated by me>> https://dl.bookfunnel.com/znooq2ocme

 

 

 

A key message in Billy is a Balloon is also the importance of breath for wellbeing, mental health and vitality. Below is an excerpt I read somewhere (apologies to the author is I did not keep the source.)

 

BREATH BEHAVIOUR

Breathing is not just for oxygen; it’s now linked to brain function and behaviour. Scientists have found the rhythm of breathing creates electrical activity in the human brain that enhances emotional judgments and memory recall. These effects on behaviour depend on whether you inhale or exhale and whether you breathe through the nose or mouth.

In the study at Northwestern University, Illinois, individuals were able to identify a fearful face more quickly if they encountered it when breathing in compared to breathing out. Individuals also were more likely to remember an object if they encountered it on the inhaled breath than the exhaled one.

The effect disappeared if breathing was through the mouth. “If you are in a panic state, your breathing rhythm becomes faster,” said lead author Christina Zelano, assistant professor of neurology at Northwestern.

“As a result, you’ll spend proportionally more time inhaling than when in a calm state. Thus, our body’s innate response to fear with faster breathing could have a positive impact on brain” function and result in faster response times to dangerous stimuli in the environment.”

The research also shows the basic mechanisms of meditation or focused breathing. “When you inhale, you are in a sense synchronising brain oscillations across the limbic network,” Zelano noted. The limbic system” deals with emotions, motivation, learning, memory and smell.

 

 

Stay in your bubble, dear readers. Soar High. Love who you are and who you can be.

Much love

Word by word…you can write a whole book that way!

Saturday, April 18th, 2020

 

 

Dear readers,

I’m currently working on a passion project of mine that I’ve been a mid-wife for during the last nine years. As I write this work of fiction set in Renaissance Italy I’m also reflecting on my creative process and penning the lessons I’ve learned in a new creative memoir, non-fiction book, Word by Word: Lessons on Writing, Love, and Life I hope you enjoy this excerpt and it fuels your own creative unblocking.

 

Looking in the Review Mirror

 

Writing, you may think is moving forward, word by word. But the truth is, sometimes we have to look in the rear-view mirror. By glancing backwards, we check how far we’ve come, measure the miles, and go over the piles. The piles of drafts, the piles of false-starts, the piles of creative U-turns.

Which is why I keep a draft folder, including scenes I’ve deleted and also those I’m still working on. I’m a big fan of using Scrivener, rather than relying on Word documents to store scenes and drafts.

Scrivener is both my car, the road I’m travelling and the roads less travelled. I can see in a glance the journey ahead and glimpse in the rear-view mirror the completed drafts and those in the final stages.

Like today, I sat down in a bit of a blank. I’d set aside an hour to write. I know, it should be two hours—2 pm to 4 pm as a wrote in my previous chapters, right? But sometimes life gets in the way. Sometimes an hour-long drive is more productive than leaving the car in the garage.

Often when you sit down to write your mind can go blank, or it can overheat up with so many options and choices. Then your anxieties and fears and creative blocks can jump in the car and put their muddy footprints all over your writing. Or they can wrench you out of your flow like a carjacker pulling you out of the driver’s seat and flinging you into the ditches of despair. Or, more likely, driving you to the fridge, the laundry, or whatever procrastination habit you block your writing days with.

What I do at this point after I’ve thrown myself to the ground, crying, “I’ll never finish this book,” is set my timer and methodically review my scenes. I open my trusty Scrivener file and began at the bottom, sifting through drafts and notes and reuniting with scenes I’d forgotten I had written.

Then voilà, I’m travelling down unexplored lanes, journeying into new landscapes – driving away from my despair into familiar and exciting new territory. It reminds me that all I have to do is ride with my manuscript by my side.

I don’t always have to be adding words. All I have to do is work with as much as I can see through my 15-inch laptop frame. That’s my window screen. I can forward, and I can look back. This is all I have to bite off at the time being. It’s all I am going to do right now. Right now, I’m going to review my drafts and then when I’m done reviewing, I’m going to write with word by word. I may add one more paragraph, or add some notes about things I need to add, or scenes I need to write.

E.L. Doctorow once wrote, “Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as you headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”

I’m reminded of the scene in the movie Driving Miss Daisy. It’s a film about a relationship that improves the more time the characters spend together. Its central theme is the passage of time. The film presents us with small vignettes connected to the seasons of the year. It charts the growing relationship between the characters Hoke and Daisy. As they age, we see every wrinkle on their skin and sense, without it being pointed out too strongly, how fragile and fleeting this thing called life really is.

Hoke Colburn: [Hoke is driving Daisy to Mobile] Did I ever tell you about the first time I ever been outside the state of Georgia?

Daisy Werthan: No, when was that?

Hoke Colburn: Oh, a few minutes ago.

When you feel creatively blocked, say to yourself in the kindest possible way, “Darling, all we are going to do now is take a drive through the story. We can stop if you like, take a break, write a few words, then set off again on the road less travelled. But right now, this is as far as we’re going to travel today. We’re just going to take it word by word. But we are going to get outside the state of inertia. We are going to show up and get in the car.”

 

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

 

 

Available 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.

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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 >>

 

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Breakfasts, lockdown, and breaking the procrastination virus

Tuesday, April 7th, 2020

 

 

 

A simple life, with a husband and children—a life with people you love—that is the real life.”

~ Coco Chanel

A simple life, with a husband and children—a life with people you love—that is the real life.”

~ Coco Chanel

I know I set out to tell you every single thing I know about writing, but I’m also going to tell you every single thing I know about breakfast, partly because the dynamics and disruptions are so similar.

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 was—if I chose to see it that way, which I did at the time—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 porridge.

The last thing I wanted to do was to be dragged kicking and screaming to my highchair and 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 isolated, unloved writer. “But we love your books,” I hear you say. “You are the queen of uplifting inspiration.” 

I am not unloved, but I want to share my life with an actual person. One that makes breakfast for me!

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

The encounter and my mood that day challenged me to reprioritize what is truly important.  As I wrote in The Art of Success: Coco Chanel, she 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. She died a rich and lonely woman, 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 distractions. Instead, it should be rejoiced as fuel for our creative soul. I write more about this in The Happy, Healthy Artist.

There are greater, more dangerous demons, masquerading as distractions.

Distractions are also created by multi-tasking, emails and other demands. Even seemingly reasonable requests like my king suggesting today I should create a blog about working from home.

It’s not an unreasonable idea. Especially as I write this chapter and the whole world is in lockdown during the COVID-19 crisis.  His suggestion may even be a salable idea. 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 actually you have something you can do. You can just engage the other side of your brain and put some flesh on the bones.

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 my perfectionist 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 2 to 4 protected me.  I just took a little mind spa break and I did a micro clean in 10 minutes which cleansed eyestrain and mental overload and mopped away any guilt. The old, non-quarantined me might have mopped the floors, cleaned windows or dusted with 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. 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.

 

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

Available for pre-order soon!

The Best and Easy Ways to Increase Motivation, Elevate Productivity and Improve Your Mindset

Monday, March 9th, 2020

 

When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds. Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties, and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be

~ Patanjali, Yogi and Mystic

 

Nothing boosts productivity more than a healthy obsession. A healthy obsession can be a liberating and clarifying catalyst to your true calling and career direction—especially for people in the mid-life zone. With maturity comes renewed confidence and determination to pursue, and write about, the things they are truly passionate about.

Passion, some say, can be difficult to find, but if you’re awake it will find you. Stay open-hearted and open-minded. Don’t be like so many adults who fail to discover it all together, and in the absence of any encouragement, give up.

“People pride themselves upon their willpower, their indomitable courage, upon the fact that nothing frightens them,” writes T. Lobsang Rampa, in his classic book You Forever. “They assured bored listeners that with their willpower they can do anything at all.” But the truth is there is no greater power than imagination, passion, and the incredible power of love.

“The Last Supper soon became my obsession,” writes Spanish author Javier Sierra in his book The Secret Supper, a dazzling historical thriller.

His novels all have a ‘secret’ common purpose: to solve historical musketries based on real documentation and extensive field research. Javier’s passion and his obsession have made him a bestseller author throughout the world.

Similarly, Joe Medeiros, a writer, and producer, known for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, developed an obsession for Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic portrait of the Mona Lisa after reading about its theft from the Louvre.

Medeiros’ obsession had a singular focus—discovering the truth. He first learned that the Mona Lisa was stolen when he was 25 and spent the next 30 years trying to discover the thief’s motivation—a simple Italian immigrant named Vincenzo Peruggia who worked as a house painter in Paris.

When asked why he was so fascinated by the story, and why he devoted over 35-years to his quest Medeiros said, “The fact that that I couldn’t solve the mystery. I wasn’t able to write it as a [fictional] screenplay] but once we started to make the documentary, everything started to fall into place. And I always wanted to know, was he crazy? Did he do it for patriotism, did he do it for money, did someone commission him? I had all these questions and that’s what kept me at it until I found the answers.”

Because of my own obsession with The Mona Lisa, and also with discovering the truth, I came across Medeiros’ wonderful documentary and have since reached out to him to help me with my research for my novel of historical art-related fiction set in Renaissance and modern-day Florence. (formerly known with the working title of Mona Lisa’s Secret).

Learn more about Joe Medeiros’s 35-year obsession here—http://www.monalisamissing.com/single-post/2015/07/19/The-Story-of-the-Film-A-35YearLong-Obsession.

Even better, visit his website and follow the links to view his fascinating documentary >>http://www.monalisamissing.com/ 

 

Passionate Obsessions Empower Your Productivity and Prosperity

A healthy obsession can lead you to many things, including:

• A state of divine flow—enabling you to write with mind-blowing productivity

• Your point of excellence—unleashing dormant talents and natural gifts

• Rocket-fuel tenacity to persevere and succeed

• Mentors, helpful allies and similarly obsessed people who will cheerlead and elevate your success

• A legion of devoted fans who are drawn to your impassioned writing

• Your passion and life purpose—spreading seeds of joy and inspiration and benefiting others

• Your life niche—creating a breath of fresh air and giving you a competitive edge

• True bliss—leading you to your vocation where being paid is the icing on the cake

New Zealand motorcycling legend Burt Munro proved that passionate obsession is the key to success. “All my life I’ve wanted to do something big,” he said. In 1967 Burt achieved something huge.

At the age of 68, against all the odds, he set a world record of 183.586 mph with his highly modified Indian Scout motorcycle. To qualify he made a one-way run of 190.07 mph, the fastest ever officially recorded speed on an Indian.

Like so many inspiring people the road to success was not an easy one—it involved much personal hardship and numerous setbacks, but armed with his passion and a compelling desire to “go out with a bang,” Burt Munro mortgaged his house and set out on the greatest adventure of his life.

His truly awesome achievements were brought to life in an inspiring and uplifting film, The World’s Fastest Indian.

The World’s Fastest Indian not only gives movie-goers an inside look at Munro’s passion, but it also gives them an idea of New Zealand filmmaker Roger Donaldson’s overwhelming desire to tell the story.

“This project has been a passion of mine since I completed a documentary about Burt Munro back in 1972,” Donaldson said. “I have been intrigued by Burt’s story for many, many years; some would say my obsession with this film matches Burt’s obsession with his bike.”

Donaldson’s passion for his subject has won him international acclaim from Academy Award-winning actor Anthony Hopkins. “I thought it was a terrific movie. It is a unique script…it is just so well written, very well written, beautifully written, and so refreshing. I’ve worked with a lot of great directors, Steven Spielberg and Oliver Stone, and Roger Donaldson is there with that lot, you know. He really is,” Hopkins said.

 

 

What Do You Collect?

Passionate obsessions, as you have begun to discover, go in all directions, and many times they are revealed in your collections. These could be as tangible as exotic butterflies, books, spoons, antiques, paintings, or as intangible as a dream or an idea.

I collect positivity and articles and stories related to people’s extraordinary passions. My collections have inspired many of my self-empowerment books.

As I mentioned, I also have a passionate obsession with all things related to Leonardo da Vinci, but particularly his portrait of The Mona Lisa, and I have a burning desire to reveal the truth being the mysterious life of the woman in the painting, Lisa del Giocondo. I am sure I own every single book every written about both Lisa and Leonardo. My partner once laughed, “There are three of us in this relationship—you, me and The Mona Lisa.”

It’s true, I am obsessed and enthralled with my research for my historical novel Mona Lisa’s Secret and with telling her story. Follow my obsession and sign up for my newsletter and be the first to know when this story will be published—http://eepurl.com/bEArfT. Sign up now and receive a welcome gift—your free ‘Find your Passion’ E-book.

 

Mining for Gold

Become audaciously obsessed. Real obsession is more than a fad or a fleeting enthusiasm. It can’t be turned on and off like a tap. Answering the following questions will help you begin to clarify the things you have a burning obsession for:

What do you value? What do you need to experience, feel, or be doing to feel deeply fulfilled?

What do you collect? List all your obsessions and the things that interest you deeply. How can your passions fuel obsessive productivity?

 

Dive Deeper. . .

If you’re struggling to identify your obsessions, you’ll find some handy prompts and true stories in my book Find Your Passion and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love. You’ll also find inspiration, including true transformational change stories by people like you in my Mid-Life Career Rescue series. Also avaiable from all good online bookstores. Avaiable in audio now.

 

 

This is an edited extract from The Prosperous Author: How to Make a Living With Your Writing (Book Two: Productivity Hacks: Do Less & Make More) by Cassandra Gaisford. ORDER THE EBOOK TODAY, SAVE and SEND YOUR ORDER CONFIRMATION AND RECEIVE YOUR FREE BONUS GIFTS—Click the Amazon link here getBook.at/ProductivityHacksDoLessMakeMore

Do less and earn more today!

Although this book was written for writers, the principles and strategies can be embraced by business entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, actors, dancers, painters, photographers, filmmakers, and thousands of others around the world who want to enhance their productivity, do less and make more.

 

 

 

 

Did you enjoy this post?

You might like:

Where’s Your Joy

How to create a passion-driven career or business—Fourteen individuals tell you their stories of transformational change

 How To Find Your Passion and 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.

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.

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

How to stay true to your vision

Monday, February 24th, 2020

“I wanted to give a woman comfortable clothes that would flow with her body. A woman is closest to being naked when she is well-dressed.”

~ Coco Chanel

 

Right now I am creating a new vision. I am moving my side hustle (art and painting) front and center, and my writing into the gap. It feels right. It feels inspiring. I am in flow. It’s not easy to take a creative u-turn, but I am modeling what I teach my clients. Stay in your own lane. Do what sparks joy. Work with a productive purpose.

 

Currently, I am working out how to start an art gallery from home. Every day I take little steps. Courageous steps. Inspired steps. Blind steps. I am not sure where or how. . .and yet bolding I go. I say, what do I need? Leonardo da Vinci would ask, Dimmi. Dimmi. Tell me. Tell me. Tell me what I need to know.

Signage, my intuition answers. Show people the way.

So I emailed a sign company the managers of The Plough and Feather here in Kerikeri told me about. They used to own Wharepuke, they are arguably the best chefs and business owners in the hospitality industry in the Far North. Colin was Ed Sheeran‘s personal chef when he came to New Zealand.

I drove along the roads wondering, how can I lead people to me. How can I show people the way? How can I lead the way? I imagine a sign here, there. . .and there.

It’s a start. I don’t wait for my vision to be perfect,

 

Distraction is the death of creativity. I stay focused. Just for today, I will focus on my signs.

Just for today, I will be good enough.

just for today, I will do what sparks joy.

Just for today. . . and every other day, I will commune with my muses. I adore Coco Chanel. She speaks to me through time and space.

Especially in these works, which I created in Maui when I attended a Sumi Art painting workshop with Max Gimblett.

 

 


Your Challenge

What are you clinging to that’s preventing you from seeing your potential clearly? How can you fortify your faith in your own vision, beliefs, and goals and stick to them Be your own cheerleader and do not wait for approval nor support from others, listen to your gut and go for it.

Following your dreams is not always practical, but not impossible. Most are attainable to some degree—it’s always fantastic to feel that your vision is being pursued in some way and not buried and forgotten.

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”
~ Helen Keller, author

 

 

Gaisford, Cassandra. The Art of Success: Coco Chanel: 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://buff.ly/2Pjsy83

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Feel the heat…new works

Wednesday, February 19th, 2020

 

“An interest in the subject; something you want to say definitely about the subject; this is the first condition of a portrait. The processes of painting spring from this interest, this definite thing to be said. Completion does not depend on material representation.”

Henri James, The Art Spirit

I’ve been deep-diving into The Art Spirit and it sustains and inspires my creativity. I agree with Henry something has to catch our interest in from there is something we want to convey. For me at the moment everywhere I look surrounded by nature I see paintings of trees and flowers and hills. They are like spirits calling to me to paint the essence; to share the light; to convey the beauty. Even my Valentine’s roses now trotting drooping and perhaps to others are beyond their best,  to me are even more beautiful then they were the day they arrived. I took a photo the other morning and tucked it in the notes app on my iPhone called, ‘painting ideas” and filed it under the name love blooms.

These are the paintings you see below.

Beauty is fleeting, so it’s a potent reminder of the moment when the man who loves me with all his heart delivered a dozen roses as I sat in the garden writing. It’s this moment the potent power of love I wanted to capture and infuse and share in my abstract pieces

 

Very cool – love them.”

 

It’s been hot, hot, hot up here in the Far North and many people are suffering. Which is exactly when I love to turn to art. As Picasso once said, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”

 

The day my Valentine’s roses arrived we had been devastated by the loss of some precious Nikaus due to a drainage issue. We had to dig up our hard-fought for grass.

 

 

I’m working on a new series called “a hot summer”. We are experiencing one of the worst droughts this century in The Bay of Islands and so many of the hills and pastures are golden tinder brown. Tempers are frayed with the horrendous heat, and as people run out of water, and the financial pressures that drought brings.

 

The painting on the right aims to express this mix of volatility but if you look carefully there are the violet and golden rays of compassion, hope, and healing. And that is the reality of life …we must express our anger, our hurts, and our fears, but we must not permit these low vibrations to overstay…This is why I have infused my paintings with the golden rays of healing, hope, and home.

Have you heard the saying “It’s like watching paint dry”?

What I love most about abstract colour field expressionist painting is akin to what photographers feel when they put their negatives into the developing emulsion and wait patiently as the image reveals itself. It’s quite exciting.

“Learn to trust and let things happen,” Abraham Hicks once said. This style of painting fits perfectly with my new resolution to cede control and place more faith in trust in the spiritual laws of the Universe.

Like when it rained on my painting—just when I thought it was ‘perfect’ and I had finished my drought inspired series. Guess what? The rain came!

What flow!!

 

The painting movement that most resonates is abstract expressionism, but also the French impressionists who strove to capture light.  And then there’s a spiritual aspect of flow which is why I love painting with fluid sweeping water infused with passion and pigment.

In my fiction and self-empowerment books, I created word paintings. And I was always delighted that people felt when they read my words that they were really there—wherever the scene was set. And I loved it (and still do) when people write to me and tell them how my words offer hope and healing.

“Just keep writing your love stories, it keeps me young at heart and I wish I could just start my life over to make the right decision about what you need in your life.” – Istella.

But now it is to painting I return for I tire of sitting before the computer all day. I want to sit amongst nature and be in my studio amongst paints and pigments and colour.

As my partner reminded me,  “the thing about beauty is it’s essence is it a momentary, fleeting thing, and not everlasting.”  I want to make sure I appreciate beauty more and relish it more and that by painting what touches my soul that I can try to preserve that fleeting moment and pass it forward to others who purchase my works of art and heart.

Most importantly, I want to paint with authenticity—to infuse my works with my spirit. My soul. This is the reason why, when people try to copy other people’s works, the art lacks soul. This one moment of transcendent beauty that the original artist created, is instead approached with an analytical brain that seeks to replicate. But a copyist can never replicate the magic that came from the cosmic heart from whence it was created.

 

I am thrilled to be represented here in Kerikeri by Anna Hamilton and The Little Black Gallery.

www.littleblackgallery.co.nz

How to overcome procrastination, redefine success and create a happier life

Sunday, February 16th, 2020

 

 

Passion goes. Boredom remains.

~ Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel’s extraordinarily passionate nature and her ambitious quest for success drove and sustained her throughout her life and career.

She once said, “To be irreplaceable you have to be different.” This is where following your soul’s code, and living and working with passion comes in.

Passion is a source of huge energy from your soul that enables you to produce extraordinary results. Remarkable people get noticed and find life interesting.

• Passion helps people lead bigger lives

• Passion is an indispensable part of success

• Passion helps people achieve

• Passion energizes people

• Passion liberates people

• Passion allows people to be themselves

• Passion opens up fresh horizons

• Passion is good for health and helps people live longer.

 

Passion is joy in action!

 

Your Challenge

What will passion do for you?

Be passionate in all that you do.

My intuition, my intention, and my passion have allowed me to be who I am and will take me to higher ground.

~ Oprah Winfrey, businesswoman

 

Me? I’m feeling inspired as I take passionate action to create an art gallery. Here is an early concept. And a few passionately joyous works of HEART.

 

 

I’m also taking passionate action toward holding more Creative Unblocking course. Join me in March!

 

 

 

 

If you need more help finding and living your passion my book, Find Your Passion and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love, will help. Available as a paperback and Ebook.

Here are the audiobook links- narrated by me:)

How to Find Your Passion and Purpose

USA

https://bit.ly/2FTLlli

UK

https://bit.ly/2QU8zhA 

Australia

https://bit.ly/3ai9Uqj

To find your joy,  How to Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love.

AVAILABLE NOW. To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>>getbook.at/FindYourJoy

 

Or, you may prefer to take my online course and watch inspirational and practical videos and other strategies to help you to fulfill your potential.

Click here to enrol or find out more—the-coaching-lab.teachable.com/p/follow-your-passion-and-purpose-to-prosperity

 

On two sides of my house is the pacific ocean. I step out of my studio and there is the sea. I am very aware of connected to nature when I paint. And now I’d excited to have the opportunity to share this beauty with visitors as I prepare to open Cassandra’s Gallery. Here’s a sneak peek into the creation process.

Share the love this Valentine’s Day… 

Wednesday, February 12th, 2020

I love people who come through chaos and find their calling. It’s worked for me…and it can work for you.

For so long I didn’t believe I was a creative and spiritual person. It was socialized out of me. Now in my midlife I’m grabbing it with both hands.

Tap into your purpose, find your soul gifts, and release wounds. Forget fear—embrace the power of love!

Discover more by accessing my video course this week.

On sale now. Only $78 until midnight 13 February 2020

https://the-coaching-lab.teachable.com/p/follow-your-passion-and-purpose-to-prosperity

You’ll find loads of inspiration, including how I manifested my ideal life (and man) and tap into some of these powerful creative techniques to help reduce anxiety, overwhelm, and stress EASILY.

https://the-coaching-lab.teachable.com/p/follow-your-passion-and-purpose-to-prosperity

BONUS GIFTS!!!!

FREE copies from a selection of my Amazon best-selling books:

  • Find Your Passion and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love
  • Boost Your Self-Esteem: Six Easy Steps to Increase Self-Confidence, Self-esteem, Self-Value and Love Yourself More
  • Stress Less. Love Life More: How to Stop Worrying, Reduce Anxiety, Eliminate Negative Thinking and Find Happiness
  • Mid-Life Career Rescue (Employ Yourself): How to Confidently Leave a Job You Hate, and Start Living a Life you Love, Before It’s Too Late

Plus, a complimentary copy of The Passion-Driven Business Planning Journal

BE QUICK. SALE ENDS MIDNIGHT 13 FEB 2020

GAIN INSTANT ACCESS NOW:

https://the-coaching-lab.teachable.com/p/follow-your-passion-and-purpose-to-prosperity

Head over to my YouTube Channel for a sneak preview>>

 

Be sure to subscribe!

What women want…

Tuesday, February 11th, 2020

I’m all about the happily-ever-afters…and passion! Passion! Passion!

Which is why I want to make sure you don’t miss this Valentine’s Day Special

I was clearing out some of my old journals the other day when I came across something I had written back in 2000. “I will live in a house that is elevated with lots of sun and which is surrounded by trees. It will be elegant and streamlined, with simplicity at its core and feng-shuied to make sure it is the best it can be.” What amazed me was not what I had written but the astonishing realisation that seven years later I am actually living in the house I had created in my imagination.

I have done the same thing in my career. Gathering images of the ingredients of career satisfaction helped me see my way to career success and directed my job creation activities much more efficiently. I even manifested my dream man!

Now, that’s powerful creativity! It’s also one of the principals of the Law of Attraction made infamous by the DVD The Secret. But guess what? There is no secret! What there is instead is a lack of conscious awareness about how to tap into the law of attraction to make your dreams and goals a reality.

Everything I have created in my life was first created on the page in my passion journal. I’ll share more examples throughout this course, including this video of my 2008 Passion journal. Watch it now and see and hear how I manifested my soul mate and a multi-millionaire property.

Celebrate the most romantic day of the year by giving yourself the gift of love!

Discover more by accessing my ‘Follow Your Passion to Prosperity video course this week.

On sale now. Only $78 until midnight 13 February 2020

https://the-coaching-lab.teachable.com/p/follow-your-passion-and-purpose-to-prosperity

You’ll find loads of inspiration, including how I manifested my ideal life (and man) and tap into some of these powerful creative techniques to help reduce anxiety, overwhelm, and stress EASILY.

https://the-coaching-lab.teachable.com/p/follow-your-passion-and-purpose-to-prosperity

 

BONUS GIFTS

FREE copies from a selection of my Amazon best-selling books:

  • Find Your Passion and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love
  • Boost Your Self-Esteem: Six Easy Steps to Increase Self-Confidence, Self-esteem, Self-Value and Love Yourself More
  • Stress Less. Love Life More: How to Stop Worrying, Reduce Anxiety, Eliminate Negative Thinking and Find Happiness
  • Mid-Life Career Rescue (Employ Yourself): How to Confidently Leave a Job You Hate, and Start Living a Life you Love, Before It’s Too Late

Plus, a complimentary copy of The Passion-Driven Business Planning Journal

BE QUICK. SALE ENDS MIDNIGHT 13 FEB 2020

GAIN INSTANT ACCESS NOW:

https://the-coaching-lab.teachable.com/p/follow-your-passion-and-purpose-to-prosperity

 

How to Overcome Creative Blocks—Creative Unblocking Women’s One Day Retreat

Monday, February 10th, 2020

 

I’m super thrilled to let you know that the next Creative Unblocking retreat is 14 March. Be quick…small group size only (yay!)
 
Artists, musicians, photographers, writers, frazzled mums—and aspiring creatives
* Burst through the barriers that stop you from creating
* Revitalize your creative soul
* Be inspired by like-minded people
* Overcome doubt, fear, procrastination and other blocks
* Relax, unwind, and destress in a magical coastal setting with views that will elevate your spirit.

Join me on Saturday, 14 March 2020 for a one day workshop of fun, fab, and creativity frivolity. Soak up the inspiring sea, sky, and sensual delights abundant on our 10-acre soul sanctuary 10km from Kerikeri.  10-4 pm.

 

SAVE 50 % EARLY BIRD SPECIAL Only $60.
book and pay before 14 February

$120 for enrollments outside this date

To book call: 021 873 833

or email: Cassandra @cassandragaisford.com

To book call: 021 873 833
or email: Cassandra @cassandragaisford.com

 

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING:

 

“Yesterday I attended the exceptionally talented Cassandra Gaisford’s Creative unblocking retreat which took place within the tranquil grounds of her stunning property overlooking the ocean.

We started the day with an initial relaxed chat over a refreshing glass of chilled spring water and then headed to the shade of a beautiful old oak tree where we settled down in hammocks and beanbags for a guided Lotus Heart meditation.Feeling blissfully relaxed we headed to Cassandra’s studio next to the pretty herb garden, where we were encouraged to choose colours, draw pictures and write words and phrases which related to the situations in our lives that were causing us anxiety, distress or blockages.

Despite initial hesitation from a few of us Cassandra was very patient and soon the images and words were flowing thick and fast onto large sheets of paper.I personally hadn’t ever done anything like this and it was incredibly insightful..how we bury so much and suddenly it’s all ‘out’ and in front of you.Cassandra then helped us interpret what we had produced from her counsellor’s perspective…we all found this exercise incredibly helpful.

Next, we headed to the kitchen garden where we picked our lunch from an abundance of rocket, tomatoes, peppers and salad leaves. After a cup of Kawakawa tea we headed back to the studio where we shared some healing sessions and discussions.

I left the retreat feeling wonderfully relaxed and energised and ready to move forward with my projects with a new vigour and insight.

I truly recommend attending one of Cassandra’s workshops when you have the opportunity.”

Trudie Smith

Psych-K facilitator

Creative Unblocking TECHNIQUE…How I manifested my soul mate and a multi-millionaire lifestyle property

 

 

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