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Archive for the 'Creative Unblocking' Category

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 for pre-order now>>AMAZON

 

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 Rennaissance 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 draft excerpt and it fuelled 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 still I’m 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 to 4 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 of 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 Hoke and Daisy. As the characters age, we see every wrinkle on the 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 for pre-order now>>AMAZON

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

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://buff.ly/32j5vjf

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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