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Archive for the 'Creativity' Category

The Surprising Secret Covid and Creativity Have In Common

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

 

Here are three more things you might like:


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


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


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

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

For personalised help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

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

How guavas and working from home is the ultimate refuel strategy

Sunday, September 27th, 2020

 

“That should put more lead in your pencil.”

~ Lorenzo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

free guided hypnosis meditation

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

DID YOU ENJOY THIS POST?

You may also like:

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

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

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

 

Here are three more things you might like:


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


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


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

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

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

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

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

Saturday, September 26th, 2020

 

 

“Only do what your heart tells you.”

Princess Diana

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chapter One

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

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

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

She just wasn’t sure how.

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

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

Almost beyond the reach of her doubts and fears.

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

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

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

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

Chapter Two

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

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

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

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

Her words were like spears.

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

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

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

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

Author’s note

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

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

But then what sort of life would I have had?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 Available soon

 

FREE GUIDED MEDITATION

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

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

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

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

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

 Other books mentioned in this post

 

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

Amazon: getBook.at/Passion

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

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

AUDIO

USA

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

UK

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

Australia

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

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

Amazon:

getbook.at/TheLittlePrincess

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

https://books2read.com/u/b5709p

To purchase the eBook on Kobo >>

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

The Little Princess

USA

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

UK

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

Australia

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

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

 

DID YOU ENJOY THIS POST?

You may also like:

How to love, not leave, your career during the Coronavirus crisis

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

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

 

Here are three more things you might like:


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


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


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

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

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

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

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…

 

How to overcome impostor syndrome and things that keep you stuck

Tuesday, August 11th, 2020

 

 

The truth is nothing is born without pain. Creating anything, a painting, a story, a dream—a baby—invites discomfort. The sooner we accept this, the stronger and more resilient we will be. Buddhist principles can teach us a lot here. Life is suffering. Full stop. But there is something we can control. Our reaction—and with this our mindset.

Sometimes this is easier espoused than done. Many of us have shelf-esteem. We read about what it takes to boost our self-esteem, to polish our believing mirrors, to varnish our fragile, weathered hearts. We read the instructions, the books, the manuals, but sometimes we fall short. We talk, talk, talk; feel, feel, feel, but we don’t do, do, do.

“I used to paint, I used to create, I used to….” shared one of my coaching clients during our session.

“It sounds like you used to do a lot of things,” I said. “What’s the new you going to say? What would show the ‘I used to girl’ that things are different in the future.”

“I’m not sure,” she said. “Honestly, I don’t know. That’s why I’m here… to figure it out.”

There’s wisdom there. During many turning points in my own life, I have turned to therapists, career counsellors, astrologers, mediums—and oracles. Too often we are too close to the surface to see our authentic self clearly. Very often those closest to us have seen where our heart, talents and gifts shine most clearly and either through envy, deliberate attack, or a mistaken belief that they are protecting us, have stripped our joy with coat-upon-coat of blistering criticism, sarcasm, and shame.

This has been my experience and it has been many of my clients. It’s a theme that appears in all my books, most recently Why Doesn’t Mummy Love Me.

Go figure! Too often people are like Common Borer, also known as Woodworm and Furniture Beetle. The larvae of the beetle eat wood; not just the wood of your house such as weatherboards, floorboards, joists, etc. They eat any wood left untreated. Adult beetles, unless stopped, repeat the cycle, laying larvae who gnaw their way through the wood’s interior for 2-4 years and lay in wait. Pupating just below the surface they emerge as adults and eat their way out creating a new flight hole. The damage is done. Until we say, “Stop! I no longer want your rot!”

Then we must rebuild, renovate, repair. At some point in our lives, we need to seek wise counsel. Someone impartial. A guide, a mentor, a believer. Someone who can help treat the damage done by those who feed on our dreams. Someone who can provide creative, yet practical pest advice to stop boring borers from eating our fabulous, fun, and fulfilling futures. We need some to spark the curative power and audacity of hope.

“What if— “ I asked my client, “—what if you had a theme song. What would it be?”

She thought for a moment then said, “Abba’s. I do, I do, I do, I do, I do.”

Excellent! What fun! I remember dancing with my school friends to this song. I loved her suggestion and made a mental note to add it to my own Spotify Mental Health playlist.

Showing up for my client, as it does for so many of us, means overcoming imposter syndrome. It means getting out our wisdom wax, dusting off our passion polishers, and relishing our restoration rituals and enjoying envisioning our before and after shots.

“My inner light is shining bright with joy!” my client wrote to me shortly after the final of our three sessions. “There are a few bucket dippers out there for sure, but I’m actually having so much fun, the negativity doesn’t get me down for long! I have been experimenting with watercolours, writing more and the voice work is very very empowering for me. I sat an online exam on Saturday towards my Speech and Drama qualification and bashed out 2000 words in 70 min…all that practice from the university days paid off! I better jack up the meeting with the principal to keep that fire burning, but always interesting the way the universe guides the energy too eh? I am just trying to be very open-minded to all possibilities and to not worry about the ‘what next’. And I think in that goal I am doing really well.”

Bravo to her. And bravo to me and bravo to you too. The Universe rewards those who show up. She yelps for joy when you don’t let some passion-killer take the gloss of your gleam. She claps with delight when you continue to shine bright. She presses her golden palm to your and high-fives your commitment to fight the good fight

As his holiness, the Dalai Lama reminds us, “The planet does not need more successful people. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storyteller and lovers of all kinds.”

Without walking in the rain at some point in our career, and creating art that uplifts our water-logged soul, we don’t get to be rainbows in people’s lives.

To do this we must affirm, “I love you. I can’t deny it. I do, I do, I do, I do, I do,” and do our work.

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

 

 

 

 

Enjoy this video where artist Catherine Roberts shares how she overcame impostor syndrome—specifically her mistaken belief that without formal qualifications she could not succeed as an artist.

 

Did you enjoy this post?

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

You might like:

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

How might we sabotage ourselves?

Emotional alchemy—the spontaneous healing power of joy

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

 

Here are three more things you might like:


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


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


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

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

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

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

 How To Find Your Passion and Purpose

Friday, August 7th, 2020

 

The Passion Pack was where one of my most popular books, How to Find Your Passion and Purpose, all started. A simple idea with a powerful message – follow your passion! How to Find Your Passion and Purpose, a concise guide to making the most of your life, began its journey as a set of 40 cards created to help people live and work with passion. The vision was simple: a few short, easy to digest tips for time-challenged people who were looking for inspiration and practical strategies to encourage positive change.

From my own experience, I knew that people didn’t need a large wad of words to feel inspired, gain clarity and be stimulated to take action. In coaching and counselling sessions I’d encourage my clients to ask a question they would like answered. The questions could be specific, such as, ‘How can I make a living from my passion?’ Or vague, for example,  ‘What do I most need to know?’ Then I’d ask them to pick a card at random. Without fail, they were astounded by the card’s potent relevance. Disbelieving eyes widened in astonishment as they read either the quote or the main message they received. Many would say, “These cards are magic.”

Orders flooded in from global recruitment consultancies, primary schools, colleges, universities, not-for-profit organizations, financial institutions, and other multi-national commercial entities. I was asked to speak at conferences around the world about the power of passion. It was amazing to see how popular and successful The Passion Pack became, transcending age, gender, and socio-economic differences.

In this era of information obesity, the need for simple, life-affirming messages is even more important. Which is why I resurrected The Passion Pack, and transformed the tips and tools from the wisdom of words on cards to those on pages – both digital, paperback, and hardback – and I also narrated the audiobook.

 If you are looking for inspiration and practical tips, in short, sweet sound bites, How to Find Your Passion and Purpose is for you.

Similarly, if you are a grazer, or someone more methodical, this guide will also work for you. Pick a page at random, or work through the steps sequentially. I encourage you to experiment, be open-minded and try new things. I promise you will achieve outstanding results.

Clive, a 62-year-old man who had suffered work-related burnout, did! He initially thought that creating a passion journal, Tip 10 in this guide, was childish—something other stressed executives in his men’s support group would balk at. But once he’d taken up the challenge he told me enthusiastically that, “They loved it!”

These men, and others who have applied this easy and fun manifestations strategy, used their passion journals to visualize, gain clarity, and create their preferred futures. Clive did too. He manifested a very successful purpose-driven coaching business.

Let experience be your guide. Give your brain a well-needed break. Let go of ‘why’, and embrace how you feel, or how you want to feel. Honour the messages from your intuition and follow your path with heart.

Laura, who at one stage seemed rudderless career-wise, did just that. She was guided to Tip 14: Who Inspires You? Following that, her motivation to live and work like those she looked up to sparked a determination to start her own business.  It was that simple.

 

Following your passion and purpose is the key to success

The feedback I’ve received over the years has been a validation of my deepest belief that following your passion is the key to success. This, combined with strengthening your creativity and imagineering skills, is one of the most magical, empowering and practical things you can do to manifest your deepest desires.

As I did back in 2015 when I pursued a dream to publish my books on Amazon. Within days of the release of my first book in the Mid-Life Career Rescue series: ‘The Call For Change’ my book became a #1 bestseller on Amazon in the category of Work-Related Health.  The link to the paperback and eBook is here >> 

And four years on, it’s still selling strong and helping thousands of people all around the world.

Book two, Mid-Life Career Rescue series: ‘What Makes You Happy’  was met with similar success. In less than 24 hours of release, it also became a #1 bestseller. The link to the paperback and eBook is here >>

It’s also confirmation of the benefits of working with purpose and the importance I place on helping people feel happy. Your health is everything! Be sure to value it. Now.

 

Finding joy – the path to success

“Aren’t you setting people up for failure?” a disillusioned career coach once challenged me when I told her my focus was not on helping people find any job but finding one that gave them joy. I couldn’t help but wonder if she needed a career change.

Thirty years of cumulative professional experience as a career coach and counsellor, helping people work with passion and still pay the bills, answers that question. I’m setting people up for success. I’m not saying it will happen instantly, but if you follow the advice in my books, it will happen. I promise.

I’ve proven repeatedly with the successes I’ve gained for clients that thinking differently and creatively, rationally and practically, while also harnessing the power of intuition, and applying the principles of manifestation, really works. In all my books, but particularly in How to Find Your Passion and Purpose I’ll show you why and how.

A large part of my philosophy and the reason behind my success with clients is my fervent belief that to achieve anything worthy in life you need to follow your passion. And I’m in good company.

As media giant Oprah Winfrey once said, “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”

 

Passion’s paycheque

By discovering your passion and purpose you will tap into a huge source of potential energy. Pursuing your passion can be profitable on many levels:

  • When you do what you love, your true talent will reveal itself; passion can’t be faked
  • You’ll be more enthusiastic about your pursuits
  • You’ll have more energy to overcome obstacles.
  • You will be more determined to make things happen
  • You will enjoy your work
  • Your work will become a vehicle for self-expression
  • Passion will give you a competitive edge
  • You’ll enjoy your life

“New Zealander’s aren’t ready for passion,” an international publishing company told me when I first approached them with my book idea. Incredible! Without passion, you don’t have energy, and without energy you have nothing. I didn’t let their rejection daunt me. Like Peter Jackson did when people balked at his concept for Lord of the Rings, I backed myself. I answered the call for courage—and with it came media interest. The same thing happened years earlier too—”Self-made story an inspiration to others” the headlines read. Check out the article here>>

I was told a similar thing when I was accepted to speak at an international careers conference in San Francisco. “Selling passion to Americans is like selling coal to people in Newcastle,”  I was warned. Yet I spoke to a full capacity crowd.

Let my experience guide you—other people aren’t experts in your life. Act on your own conviction. Let love, desire, and passion, not fear or ambivalence or apathy, or other peoples projections, propel you forward. Yet worryingly, research suggests that less than 10% of people are following their passion. Perhaps that’s why there is so much unhappiness in the world. Again this is why I wrote my latest book, How to Find Your Passion and Purpose.

And it’s why passion and purpose are core themes in all my books. And in my life. And why I’m dedicated to helping those who want more passion and purpose too.

 

An inside look at the cover

 

The emphasis on energy is so vital that I decided to create my cover using a Sumi ink painting I created in Maui with Zen Buddhist artist Max Gimblett http://www.maxgimblett.com/.  I had won the Supreme Art Award for another painting and decided to reinvest the money to study Sumi ink painting with Max. The original colour was black, and the painting hangs in my hall, along with three other paintings I created at the time—called The Three Joys. The 2000-year-old art form of Japanese brush painting is spiritually rooted in Zen Buddhism. Sumi-e’s earliest practitioners were highly disciplined monks.

I can still recall the energy and power of loading the brush with rich red ink and with ‘all mind, no mind,’ breathing deep from my core, and meeting the page.

It’s been great to receive feedback about the cover from readers.

“It’s fabulous. Eye-catching and inspirational’, wrote one person.

“I feel I want to read this book now! The red energy swirl suggests an invitation to enter a journey of discovering one’s passion.”

Of course, not everyone loves the cover. But that is my point. Not everyone will endorse what you feel passionately driven to be or do. Do it anyway. As I did, when I first created The Passion Pack.

 

31: Fear Of Success. It’s a timely reminder of just how far following my passion has taken me – the shy girl who was once afraid of being seen. The quote is as apt for me as I feel it may be for you:

“Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.”

Don’t waste another day feeling trapped. Don’t be the person who spends a life of regret, or waits until they retire before they follow their passions. Don’t be the person too afraid to make a change for the better, or who wishes they could lead a significant life. Make the change now. Before it’s too late.

Here’s to living with passion and purpose!

 

How To Find Your Passion And Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want and Live The Life You Love, is available from all good bookstores, including Amazon, in paperback, hardback, ebook, and audio

 

 

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

To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>> getBook.at/Passion

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

To grab your copy from Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/ebook/how-to-find-your-passion-and-purpose

AUDIO

USA

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

 

UK

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

 

Australia

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

 

 

You might like:

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

How might we sabotage ourselves?

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

 

Here are three more things you might like:


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


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


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

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

 

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

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

 

10 things you can do to stay positive despite fearing failure

Tuesday, July 28th, 2020

Dear friends,

How does fear of failure show up for you? A recent comment by someone on one of my Facebook page brought this question home. In a random comment following a post I have shared from a clinical psychologist, they called me a failure—and the psychologist too! At first it stung. Of course, it stung. Let’s be real about toxic criticism. But then I thought, “how could this be useful to me?” And things got better.

As I share in chapter 30 of How to Find Your Passion and Purpose

“I’d rather be a failure at something I love than a success at something I hate.”

George Burns, Comedian

In our Western culture, we often spend more time thinking of ways we could fail rather than ways we could succeed.

People also don’t give themselves permission to make mistakes or to learn.

When was the last time you tested your fears?

If you felt the fear and failed anyway what’s the worst that could happen?

Look for and collect examples of people who have turned “failure” into success.

 

So many of us are afraid, shamed and blamed for failure. We spend more time stoking our fear of failure than we do our dreams. Yet fear of failure has a role to play in our story. It’s the antagonist we must overcome to embark on the heroes journey and return with the golden elixir of success, however this is defined. As I share in the Art of Success series, we need to take a holistic look at what it means and what it takes to be successful.

 

The Eight Principles of Success

I’ve sectioned The Art of Success into a cluster of principles. Principles aren’t constricting rules unable to be shaped, but general and fundamental truths which may be used to help guide your choices.

Let’s look briefly at The Eight Principles of Success and what each will cover:

Principle One, “The Call For Success” will help you explore the truth about success and define success on your own terms. You’ll discover the rewards and ‘realities’ of success, and intensify success-building beliefs.

Principle Two, “Empower Your Success,” will help you learn why igniting the fire within, love, and heeding the call for passion is the cornerstone of future success. You’ll clarify who you really are and who you want to be, discover your elemental, signature strengths, and clarify your passion criteria.

Sight was the sense Leonardo valued above all else. Principle Three, “Empower Your Vision,” will help you clarify and visualise what you really want to achieve. You’ll then be better able to decide where best to invest your time and energy. You’ll also begin exploring ways to develop your life and career in light of your passions and life purpose, maintain focus and bring your vision into a successful reality.

Principle Four, “Empower Your Spirit,” urges you to pay attention to the things that feed your soul, awaken your curiosity, stir your imagination and create passion in your life.

Principle Five, “Empower Your Mind,” looks at ways to cultivate a success mindset. You’ll also identify strategies to overcome obstacles and to maximise your success, and ways to work less but achieve more to gain greater balance and fulfilment.

Your health is your wealth yet it’s often a neglected part of success. Principle Six, “Empower Your Body,” recognises the importance of a strong, flexible and healthy body to your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual success.

You’ll be reminded of simple strategies which reinforce the importance of quality of breath, movement, nutrition and sleep. Avoiding burnout is also a huge factor in attaining and sustaining success. When you do less and look after yourself more, you can and will achieve success.

Principle Seven, “Empower Your Relationships” will help you boost your awareness of how surrounding yourself with your vibe tribe will fast-track your success, and when it’s best to go it alone.

The Art of Success ends with Principle Eight, “Empower Your Work” emphasises the role of authenticity and being who you are. You’ll also learn how to ‘fake it until you make it’ and be inspired by others success. Importantly you’ll learn how following your own truth will set you free.

 

What Is Success?

I wish to work miracles.

~Leonardo da Vinci

Modern definitions of success are often too narrowly defined. Success is more than climbing up the corporate ladder. It’s more than a big shiny car, or owning the latest and greatest. It’s more than the number of likes you have on Facebook.

Success includes maintaining good health, energy and enthusiasm for life, fulfilling relationships,  creative freedom,  well-being,  peace of mind, happiness and joy. Success also includes the ability to achieve your desires—whatever these may be.

Success is living life on your terms.

Leonardo was driven to self-actualise—to fulfil his talents and potential and achieve his life purpose.

Success meant following his curiosity and the freedom to think, be and do as he chose. His success came from creatively expressing his most important beliefs and values, and sharing his knowledge with the world.

Your Challenge

What does success mean to you?

How will you know when you have succeeded?

Imagine how our culture, how our lives, will change when we begin valuing go-givers as much as we value go-getters.

~ Arianna Huffington, businesswoman

 

As one of my clients, Tom* shared with me recently,  “I’ve just been writing sitting for a day sitting at my computer writing budgets and farm plans… I know I’m learning. I  don’t know if I want to be anchored to a seat…you’ve got me thinking…with your emails and the other people that you work with. I’ve always chased financial security…that’s been my main driver…maximum dollar and then trying to find something with that I like doing. Is that the wrong approach? I just want to let my heart lead. I see a job weeding for Doc on the Pitcairn Islands or being a guide on the Milford Track In the fresh air. Yeeze my heart would sing. And I’d be in the fresh air. How do you balance that conundrum?

 

Tip 1. Ask yourself empowering questions

It’s a great question! To which I replied, “What would the worst thing be if you followed your heart….for the next 6months? A year? What could be worse (my made up word) still?

What would be the best thing if you followed your heart….for the next 6months? A year? What could be better still?

So often we live an unbalanced life. We prioritise our rational mind and neglect our heart.
Here is what Tom shared in response to the empowering questions exercise:
Journaling on your questions..
What would the worst thing be if you followed your heart….for the next 6months? A year? What could be worser still?
I fail – the first word that came up – but what is fail? For to have tried is no failure. I would have had a new experience under my belt but it might open a new door. But I would have to dig deep and find even more strength within to start something new, to pack up yet again and move, when all I crave right now is certainty, structure, calm in my current storm, to regroup heal and refocus.
For 4 months it would get me back into adventure, but it would be putting off what I feel I most need right now, to stop and regroup.
Worst would be going away for 4 months,  then not having a next step, or a place to return to, leading to more drifting. Worse would be walking away from current opportunities I have manifested before following them through to see where they lead and finding out if this is what I enjoy…environmental work…workplace training…seeing if I can create a new life for myself. Worse would be not knowing if I had taken the right step!
But what is “right”, as long as it’s a step forward, and I can always walk that path at another time. Or could I? Right now I am free. Worse could be missing this opportunity (If I even got a guiding job!) in a time when I have no commitments. Later on I may be locked into something and unable to get away for 4 months. Worst of all is missing out on finding a home, knowing I have a base to return to, a place to lay my head, somewhere to go back to once the adventure is over.
What would be the best thing if you followed your heart….for the next 6months? A year? What could be better still?
I would get to run away from my worries and go off on an adventure, be distracted by the magical beauty of nature, get fit, meet likeminded people who love the wild places, have an amazing life experience and increase my lifespan! My brain would not have to deal with learning a new technical job or finding enough income to pay the rent for that week. If I followed it for 4 months (that’s how long the work is) it might even open doors to other adventures, it might reset my worries about security, and it might allow me to feel where I am pulled to, to get clarity around my essence of who I really am. By being away from all I know, my next step would bubble up. And when I looked back on my life, I would have known I had honoured my gypsy calling and claimed boldness.
What I feel after writing this:
Certainty seems more important to me right now. My biggest worry is that I would push that further away if I went away. And I’m not sure I have the energy for that right now.
I would give up the current opportunities that have opened up, without giving myself a full opportunity to experience where it might lead to (even though right now as I am learning it is stressful)
So, I am still inclined to stay here, to try this role a little longer, and see if I can create a new life here. I need to find that calm point, to create a rhythm in my week and my work, which will allow calm and bring peace, which enables clarity to emerge. In that, I will find a calling rises up inside me.
Anyways, it was a good exercise!
I’m more feeling forward with my gut. I had decided to stay here till Xmas, giving me that time to see where things lead to. If by then there is no future here, I can move elsewhere. I certainly am being presented with many options, a job offer and an interview call! And more training requests. So things are moving there and I’m feeling into my heart to make a call.
I was offered a job in health and safety.  It would be a good secure safe role with a great bunch of people, But 45 hr weeks and sedentary. I’m not sure I can dig deep to do that. That was a real test – security vs flexibility. I am yet to decide!!
The point of this exercise is to challenge your assumptions. In time clarity returns and decisions dawn more definitively. Not now, does not mean, never ever. Tom, for example, was in the early throes of potential divorce. He realised what he needed right now was less change, more calm…and a roof over his head.

Tip 2. Read an empowering book

Like Simon, who for years toiled away as a builder but grew to hate the work more and more every day. His physical health was compromised…and then his mental health. He became depressed. Anxious., Suicidal at times. But then he picked up my book, How to FInd Your Passion and Purpose.

He wrote to me from Sydney Australia, in April 2020. “Hi there Cassandra, Your book passion and purpose changed my life. I wanted to say a Big thank you to you!

 

Listen to How to Find Your Passion and Purpose

Oh, my gosh! I am so excited that my most popular book, How to Find Your Passion and Purpose is now available as an audiobook. Listen to an excerpt here>>

 

Tip 3. Become greater at gratitude

 

Gratitude is a fantastic and easy tool to use to lift your vibration. It still amazes me why more people don’t use it. Reach out today and tell someone they changed your life.  

 

Tip 4. Hire a Career Coach

Simon, worked with me to rebuild his life. (Funny, he was once a builder!). He’s gone back to ‘school’ and is training to become a relationship and addiction counsellor. Working with me helped him avoid a very costly mistake. He nearly invested in a short-term course thinking this would provide him with the training he needed for his career rescue. I shared with him one of the strategies included in my book, Job Search Strategies That Work talk to experts working in the field. Ask your way to success. Draw up a list of questions and include, what training would you recommend?

I love that when you help one person, you help a family. When you don’t do what you love your relationships can suffer. When you love your job, when your career feeds your purpose and passion it enriches not just you but your loved ones and communities.

The New chapter.
Had a family outing to celebrate the start of the new career journey!
Living the dream with Passion!
Thank you!

Simon had the courage and also been inspired by How to FInd Your Passion and Purpose to quit a job he’s hated all his life and is embracing the love bug by retraining and doing something that fulfils his passion and purpose. Importantly, his career change is enabling him to turn his trauma into teachings to uplight the world. Go, Simon.

Like all my clients, I’m so inspired by him and thankful he reached out to me to help.

Tip 5. Volunteer

We have to be careful of chasing the wrong dream. This is where gaining some experience first by volunteering or shadowing someone who works in the profession or role we are interested in. I first met Amy when she emailed me from Hawaii and offered to edit my books for FREE. I later returned the favour and offered her some free coaching. Then later still we came to a financial arrangement to help each other.
Reinventing my career over twenty years ago and become a life and career coach has enabled me to meet and support inspiring clients like Amy. I helped her overcome her fear and turn her passion into a rewarding career as a business owner. She moved back to her hometown of Columbia, SC, had a beautiful baby and is now a professional. self-employed editor and proof-reader. If you need a great proofreader look no further>>www.StokesEdits.com
Amy emailed me during COVID-19 and also sent me a picture of her beautiful one-year-old daughter. Her vision had always been to balance family with career. I’m so happy because she was also able to future-proof her income by working from home and creating a service she could provide anywhere.

 

“It has been a long time since we’ve connected! And a long time since I helped with editing some of your books. I have since moved back to my hometown of Columbia, SC, from Hawaii. And we now have a little girl, Iona Delphine Stokes! She turned one on April 14.”

I was so thrilled to hear from Amy and so proud of her for what she has achieved. A beautiful wee girl and a beautiful business – one that fulfils her vision of being able to work from home and have a family.

A big shout out to all the fabulous women who raise businesses and babies! As I share in my Mid-Life Career Rescue series, it’s no easy feat but an extremely rewarding one!

As Amy shares below when you overcome your fear of not being good enough or whatever else is holding you back—IT FEELS GOOD!

 

 

 

I’m so grateful to Amy for allowing me to share a photo of her beautiful daughter Iona celebrating her 1st birthday. Does Iona look entranced by colour? A buddy artist? Soooooo adorable.

 

 

 

Tip 6. Do what you love with who you love

I saved this tip along with the link below in my inspiration file. You don’t have to be physical with someone to feel inspired by them. Just reading their stories, soaking up the wisdom on their blogs, following on social media and a whole bunch of other ways to connect, including meet-ups, can fire the fear of failure. Inspirational people are like vitamins for our soul. If you’re considering a change, take time to ponder the following, “How will it feel to be surrounded by, or in contact with similar people? Will they fuel your passions? John, an insurance broker asked himself this the other day. “God I hate those f*ckers. I couldn’t stand being in the same room with them.” Question answered.
What I enjoyed about Nessy’s story is who honest she is about the number of things she has tried and failed.
“Start something because you enjoy doing it, not because you think you’re going to make money out of it (unless you’re living la vida broka, in which case, obviously get a job on the side to pay some bills).”

Brett, who at the young age of 60 recently enrolled in my Certified Career and Life Coach training course  applied a similar strategy. Not because he was broke, but because he’s shifted his mindset toward his current job. My midlifer career changers inspire me tremendously. “I want to make the next decade the best one yet,” he shared with me prior to enrolling. You can read his full story, including how thinking outside of the square helped him overcome failure, here>>If Brett Could Change His Career At 60, So Can You

Tip 7. Find a way to feel

Sometimes, a simple but effective way to get unstuck is to explore a range of different thinking styles—ideally, ones that challenge crippled thinking, open up possibilities and move you into a state of inspired, solutions-focused action.

This is where working with a therapist can help. However, many people resist going to see a counsellor or therapist because they assume that all they will achieve from the session is ruminating on their problems and more navel-gazing.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. A skilled counsellor can not only provide much-needed support but also act as an objective, independent sounding board who can help you get to the root of your issues, add a liberal dose of much-needed empathy and understanding and support you to make the changes necessary to empower your life.

As one of my clients told me, “It wasn’t until someone listened to me, really listened, that I knew what I really thought.” Similarly, it wasn’t until a therapist diagnosed my life experiences as traumatic that I began my path of healing.

All too often, no one gives us the space to name, or express our emotions. Well-meaning family members, work colleagues, friends and even strangers may dispense advice—not all of it is helpful. Take the example of Simon whose wife of thirty-years had recently died. “You just need to suck it up and get on with it,” a friend told him. Working through his grief-related anxiety in therapy proved to be a much more helpful and healing approach.

“I thought I should be able to handle it. I told myself I wouldn’t get upset, ” he told me.

“Who told you that when you lose someone you love very, very much that you shouldn’t feel something?” I asked. He shrugged.

We both agreed it was natural to cry. I suggested that if he didn’t feel anything—if he didn’t feel loss, or grief, sadness or pain—he would be inhuman. Cognitively we can often fool our minds, but the heart is often our greatest, and most honest, teacher.

In our Western culture, so many people, particularly men, bottle up their feelings. So many negative emotions are stuffed down and repressed. Some experts say that these repressed feelings are contributing factors behind the escalating rates of depression, anxiety, alcohol addiction, drug abuse and suicide.

Tom, whose older sister took her own life when they were both in their thirties recalls his parents praising him for showing a lack of emotion, “Good boy for not crying,” they told him. Bottling trauma is neither helpful nor good.

Now in his fifties, Tom suffers from mood swings, anxiety, and depression. Rather than seek help releasing these feelings, including anger toward his parents, he abuses alcohol in an attempt to anaesthetize dark feelings. And he’s not alone. As I share in my books, Your Beautiful Mind: Control Alcohol and Love Life More, and Mind Your Drink: The Surprising Joy of Sobriety (Control Alcohol, Discover Freedom, Find Happiness and Change Your Life) a great many people drink alcohol to mask or numb the symptoms of their wounds.

No one escapes walking in this world without some degree of hurt. But for many people, this hurt is profoundly deep. The first cuts, experts (and songwriters) say are the deepest—very often these wounds are inflicted during childhood.

Tragically, what should be a happy time of innocence is one of incalculable pain. Incest, rape, physical abuse, emotional neglect—and many more horrid things happen to people growing up.

Many wounded souls never receive therapy. Reasons vary. For some, it appears too costly, for others they think that talking to a therapist make them weak. Tony Soprano, one of the toughest characters to storm across our TV screens in the award-winning show, The Sopranos, sought therapy to deal with repressed emotions which contributed to his anxiety attacks.

In 2017 movie superstar Brad Pitt revealed he had a shocking drinking problem that wrecked his marriage and tore his young family apart. “I feel retarded when it comes to expressing my emotions,” he said as he opened up about his battle with alcohol. To help him kick the alcohol habit he opted to face his demons and learn how to express and handle emotions by seeking the services of a qualified and skilled counsellor.

Asking for help, whether this is addiction counselling, relationship therapy, coaching to deal with stress at work, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, or something else, isn’t easy for many successful people. However, it’s often what you need to gain a fresh perspective, overcome obstacles, heal wounds and expand your life.

As a qualified counsellor and holistic therapist, I know that very often integrative talk-therapy which draws on an eclectic range of techniques such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) and other modalities, including creative and art-based techniques can be extremely effective.

Therapy needn’t be gloomy. A lot of healthy healing can be achieved using playfulness and fun. Personally and professionally I believe in magic and the power of beauty, joy, love, purpose, and creativity to transform peoples’ lives. These are also scientifically-validated tools that enhance spiritual health and aid recovery.

Creativity in its various guises is a natural antidote to stress, anxiety, and depression, which explains why art therapy is such a potent and popular tool. Art therapy is a form of experiential therapy, an approach to recovery and healing that addresses emotional and spiritual needs through creative or physical activity. People don’t need to have a background in the arts or any artistic talent to participate. They need only to be open to experiencing and engaging actively to benefit.

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

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

“Draw an animal,” he said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“She doesn’t want to stand out.”

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

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

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

When I completed my counselling training many years ago I was also introduced to Albert Ellis’s Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT). REBT originated in the mid-1950s as Ellis became increasingly aware and frustrated by the ineffectiveness of traditional psychoanalysis to produce a change in his patients.

The REBT worldview is that people often make themselves emotional victims by their own distorted, unrealistic, and irrational thinking patterns. Ellis takes an essentially optimistic view of people but criticizes some humanistic approaches as being too soft at times and failing to address the fact that people can virtually “self-destruct” through irrational and muddled thinking.

According to Ellis and the REBT worldview, all people are born with self-defeating tendencies. When something goes against your goals, your values or desires, feelings of failure, rejection, etc., can set in; but you have a choice.

You have a choice of feeling terrified, panicky, depressed, self-pitying, self-doubting, etc.—and succumbing to these emotions.

But these feelings can prevent you from making positive changes—and may drive you to drink, for example.

Which emotion you choose, according to REBT practitioners, is thought to mainly depend on your belief system—not your goals and values, but what you tell yourself when your goals and values are thwarted or blocked.

We all have a rational set of beliefs called “preferences.” In this context, “rational” means self-helping beliefs, such as, “I don’t like what is going on.” “I wish it weren’t so.” “How annoying?” “Let’s see what I can do about it.”

Many people very frequently pick irrational beliefs, referred to as “demands,” such as, “Because I don’t like what is going on, it absolutely should not be allowed.” “It can’t happen.” “I can’t stand it.” “Everyone should love me–if they don’t, I am worthless.” “It’s horrible, I think I’ll give up” (or, when taken to the extreme, “I’ll kill myself”).

Ellis’ therapeutic approach is not to challenge the clients’ goals and values, but instead attack their absolute demands about achieving these values. The emphasis of the therapy is on changing the way the client thinks about the behaviour or the upsetting event, rather than on changing the behaviour itself.

This is a critical point—it is not the actual event but our view of the event that is critical.

The task of the REBT therapist is to help clients’ challenge and self-correct thought patterns and minimize irrational ideas, while simultaneously helping them to change their dysfunctional feelings and behaviours. Challenging the irrational statement is key to changing an entire philosophy of life.

 

The ABCDEF Method

Perhaps Ellis’s most important concrete methodological contribution is his A-B-C–D-E-F theory, which can be summarized as follows:

A – the “objective” facts, events, behaviours that an individual encounters. (I call this, ‘the activating event’).

B – the person’s beliefs about ‘A’

C – the emotional consequences, or how a person feels and acts about ‘A’

D – disputing ‘B’ irrational beliefs

E – the effect that disputation has on the client

F – new feelings and behaviours

 

Example:

I helped a friend apply the ABCDE method following a Boxing Day alcohol-fuelled drama which impacted his son. The following is an edited extract (I have changed names to protect people’s privacy):

A – the activating event and “objective” facts, events, behaviours encountered.

Following Boxing Day, Tim, who is nineteen, rang and told his father, Simon about an alleged assault between him and his mother’s new boyfriend. Tim says both his mom and her boyfriend were drunk.

 

B – the beliefs about ‘A’

Simon is waiting to speak to the ‘old-one’ (his ex) to determine the facts but believes his son’s account of what happens. The ‘old one’ is not returning his call.

He believes the reason she is not returning his call is because she is at fault, and that an assault did occur.

 

C – the emotional consequences, or how Simon feels and acts about ‘A’

Simon’s emotions are heightened. He’s feeling frustrated, powerless, angry, resentful, anxious, and fearful for his son’s safety. Yet, aspects of his son’s version of what happened concerned him. He feels confused as to what really occurred.

Simon drinks 3 bottles of beer and goes to the bottle store to buy more.

Simon believes alcohol relaxes him, minimizes stress, and helps him stay calmer and in control while he waits.

Over the course of the evening (3 hours), he drinks five 500ml bottles of beer (11 standard drinks.) Feeling stressed, I join him—minimizing my drinking by consuming small quantities in six crystal glasses (in total 500 ml, or 2.2 standard drinks.)

After speaking to ‘the old one’ and his son on a three-way call, and resolving all misunderstandings, I asked how he feels now that he knows his son is not at risk. He shuts me down and says, “I don’t want to talk about it.”

He doesn’t speak to me again that evening.

 

D – disputing ‘B’ irrational beliefs

Rather than work myself into a state, I challenged my belief that by drinking with Simon we would both be relaxed. Alcohol is a depressant, it depletes your energy, and increases symptoms of stress already triggered by external events, I reminded myself.

It increases anxiety, melancholy, gloom, and aggression, which is why Tim’s mom and her partner argued, and why Tim ‘lunged’ at this stepfather when he told him to mind his business.

I counsel myself, “Alcohol is ethanol, a flammable, colourless chemical compound—it’s poison, also used to fuel cars, masquerading as a happy drink.”

 

E – effect that disputation has

The episode strengthened my resolve never to drink during times of stress, and my conviction that I don’t want to ingest poisons.

Simon’s knowledge that his ex is an alcoholic causes him to question his own dependency on alcohol during times of stress.

This change in thinking affects Simon by making him more committed to controlling his drinking and being a role model to his son.

 

F – new feelings and behaviours

Simon and I felt calmer and more optimistic about the benefits of not drinking.

Simon felt more empowered and in control now that he has discovered the truth about his ex’s drinking and how her relationship with a man who drinks excessively affects his son.

He decides to take control by helping Tim find a way to gain his independence and leave home, knowing that despite urging his ex to seek help for her drinking that, as with other times, this may have fallen on deaf ears.

Tim successfully finds work that he loves which means he is seldom at home and tells his father that alcohol has no place in his own life. Tim is happier sober!

As a holistic practitioner and life coach I also know there is a wide range of alternative healing approaches that yield remarkable, extremely quick results. It concerns me, and a lot of other health professionals, that too often people turn to antidepressant medication, Despite research that cites the lower effectiveness, for many people this still appears to be the solution of choice prescribed by many medical professions.

“Pills are cheap,” my doctor told me when I asked her why counselling wasn’t recommended to more people. It may be cheap, but worrying it is not always effective and the side-effects can also do more harm than healing. Rather than offer short-term help very often people come to rely on medical prescriptions for decades. In an extract from his book, Lost Connections: Uncovering The Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected SolutionsJohann Hari, who took antidepressants for 13 years, says masking the pain does not offer long-term relief and calls for a new approach.

“I was a teenager when I swallowed my first antidepressant. I was standing in the weak English sunshine, outside a pharmacy in a shopping centre in London. The tablet was white and small, and as I swallowed, it felt like a chemical kiss. That morning I had gone to see my doctor and I had told him – crouched, embarrassed – that pain was leaking out of me uncontrollably, like a bad smell, and I had felt this way for several years. In reply, he told me a story. There is a chemical called serotonin that makes people feel good, he said, and some people are naturally lacking it in their brains. You are clearly one of those people. There are now, thankfully, new drugs that will restore your serotonin level to that of a normal person. Take them, and you will be well. At last, I understood what had been happening to me, and why.

However, a few months into my drugging, something odd happened. The pain started to seep through again. Before long, I felt as bad as I had at the start. I went back to my doctor, and he told me that I was clearly on too low a dose. And so, 20 milligrams became 30 milligrams; the white pill became blue. I felt better for several months. And then the pain came back through once more. My dose kept being jacked up, until I was on 80mg, where it stayed for many years, with only a few short breaks. And still the pain broke back through.”

You can read a summary of his views, including his claims of an over-riding profit motive by pharmaceutical companies, in his interview with The Guardian. ‘Is everything you think you know about depression wrong?”

A good therapist will often share strategies that can help you rebalance the hormones in your brain, or refer you to other health professionals like nutritionists and dieticians. There are a great many ways to increase serotonin in the human brain without drugs, including meditation, exercise, sunlight, vitamins and other low-cost approaches. Many will save you money, boost your health, help you reduce weight and improve your relationships—here I’m talking about eliminating or cutting back alcohol consumption.

Alcohol has been found to significantly reduce serotonin 45 minutes after drinking. As this article in SpiritScience claims, there is also a clear link between alcohol consumption and violence or other types of aggressive behaviour. Aggression is also heavily linked to low serotonin levels and may be due to alcohol’s disrupting effects on serotonin metabolism.

In an article which appears in  Psychology Today, F. Diane Barth, a psychotherapist, and psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City, cites research confirming the ineffectiveness of antidepressant medication compared with other therapies, including talk therapy. In the November 2010 issue of Scientific American Mind: “Getting to Know Me: Psychodynamic therapy has been caricatured as navel-gazing, but studies show powerful benefits,” claims Jonathan Shedler. Shedler, is an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and director of psychology at the University of Colorado Hospital Outpatient Psychiatry Service. As Barth notes, Shelder ‘combines anecdotes from clients and therapists with fascinating research to explain something that those of us who have practised “insight” therapy (sometimes also called “talk” therapy) have known for a long time: psychodynamic psychotherapy works. It helps clients find solutions not only to specific symptoms but also to difficulties at work, in their social lives, and with self-esteem.

For example, Shedler writes, “One major study found an ‘effect size’-a measure of treatment benefit – of 0.97” for psychodynamic psychotherapy. “For CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), 0.68 is a typical effect size. For antidepressant medication, the average effect size is 0.31.”

Barth describes seven features that researchers have found contribute to the power and effectiveness of psychodynamic psychotherapy: “exploring emotions, examining avoidances, identifying recurring patterns, discussing past experience, focusing on relationships, and examining the patient/therapist relationship.”

As a result of counselling, many people choose to connect or reconnect with lapsed spiritual or religious rituals. I love integrating spiritual approaches into my ‘talk therapy.’ Many people have lost their union with God because of the hypocritical dogma which has polluted many faith systems. However, prayer, for example, comes in many shapes, colours, and textures.

Many anxious people, recovering alcoholics, prosperous creatives and successful business people, including Deepak Chopra, Julia Cameron, Wayne Dyer and Louise Hay, refer to prayer in several forms, including describing it as the voice of God, intuition, higher self, inner goddess, or their Sacred Divine.

In her book Illuminata: A Return to Prayer, Marianne Williamson, who also shares her early dysfunctional relationship with her mother, speaks of prayer as a way of “focusing our eyes,” dramatically transforming our orientation, releasing us “from the snares of lower energies,” and aligning “our internal energies with truth”.

Prayer, or invoking a higher power, is revered by many for its power to help them reclaim their strength, find their inner power and overcome tragedy. You may enjoy reading my blog post on spiritual approaches to the treatment of alcohol addiction—http://www.cassandragaisford.com/spiritual-approaches-to-the-treatment-of-alcohol-addiction/

Whether you elect to seek the services of a therapist, put your faith in God, divine wisdom, spirituality or something else, the truth is very often that safety, guidance, and strength comes from a place within. The right therapist can act as a much needed and much-valued guide who supports you to find solutions to your problems and develop strategies you can apply yourself to regularly to stay well.

 

Tip 8. GOLOV

Have you heard of GOLOV-20? Spread The Love Bug! 

https://www.cassandragaisford.com/have-you-heard-of-golov-20-spread-the-love-bug/

Have you heard of GOLOV-20? I first heard of it around 3 am when I woke with little insomnia during the onset of COVID-19. The truth is I love the quiet of the night and I love to use this time to be inspired. I never worry about not being asleep, I just use this time to nourish me. I write more about this in my short story, Lulu is a Black Sheep.

Below details from Dr. Joe Dispenza, a super amazing and spiritually connected neuroscientist, on GOLOV-20 – the movement he has started as an antidote to all the fear-mongering spread by the INFOVIRUS of COVID-19

A big part of this message is sharing inspiration and reaching out to tell people that inspire you that they create love in your heart. Dr Joe Dispenza explains it better than I.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrWI55RA58k

The link below has Dr. Joe’s full guided meditation

https://youtu.be/bYOHHLLuaMg

 

Tip 9. Trust your heart

Courage is the Gateway to Freedom

Who inspires me? Dr. Joe, but also my partner and my daughter, and all my amazing clients who inspire me with the courage, determination and desire to make a difference. I share more about my daughter’s amazing healing journey using the vibration of joy and love in the book we wrote together, How to Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love.

15 years ago, as a single mother, with a hefty mortgage and no one to support me, I made some of the most major shifts in my life… 

  • I rekindled a friendship that I thought I’d lost. 
  • I healed myself from a serious health condition. 
  • And I boosted my courage and left a job I hated to employ myself. 

The way I was able to create this change was by healing one major issue: SELF-DOUBT. Instead, I trusted my heart.

I followed the method in my training programme http://www.worklifesolutions.nz/coach-training/

If you’re ready to learn the six most powerful tools to clear EVERYTHING in the way of manifesting your dream life… 

…AND I MEAN IT… 

Then join this very special training and let me mentor you every step of the way.

Reinventing my career has enabled me to meet and support inspiring clients like Amy, Brett, Simon and many more besides.

Tip 10. Elevate your energy—nourish your joy

As I share in The Anxiety Cure: Love Your Body: live a life free from fear, everything is energy, and energy is everything. Without it you have nothing. But you don’t want sad, bad, defeatist energy—that won’t help at all. As I shared earlier, tell someone they changed your life. Gratitude is a fantastic and easy tool to use to lift your vibration. It still amazes me why more people don’t use it. Reach out today and tell someone they changed your life.  Like, Simon, who wrote to me from Sydney Australia, in April 2020.

Passion, joy, and love are the highest vibrations you can feel. They’re the rocket-fuel feelings that will catapult you to success.

“The two most inspiring life forces are anger and joy,” singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette once said. “I could write 6 zillion songs about these two feelings alone.”

As you’ll discover in my earlier book, Find Your Passion and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover a Job You Want and Live the Life You Love, and in other books in this series, anger can be a constructive force for positive change.

But the more moments you spend being happy and joyful, and allowing yourself and your work to be infused with this positive energy, the closer you are to being the God-force of all life. You create a natural antidote to anxiety, and you evoke the power of the laws of attraction and abundance, and you attract prosperity.

“If you will live your life in such a manner—that everything you pursue is to make yourself happy—you will live your life to its grandest destiny,” writes Ramtha in The White Book.

“Joy begets joy, for when you accept the joy that is pressed to you, that joy heightens the joy of your tomorrows and opens you up for even greater receivership.”

Co-creating with joy, passion, Spirit, and love, and creating and maintaining a positive mindset are essential ingredients in raising your productive energy.

Don’t worry if you don’t know what makes you happy or feel joyful or you haven’t figured out where your passions lie. You’ll find plenty of help in my other books.

What matters now is that you begin with the end in mind and make a commitment to only invest in things that make you feel good and create positive vibrations.

This may require doing some inner work, increasing your self-awareness and committing to further personal development. It may mean regularly checking in and monitoring your calibration. Or it may involve some tough action.

Many successful people choose to walk away from soul-sucking jobs and relationships to elevate their energy. Paulo Coelho, Isabel Allende, J.K Rowling, Nora Roberts, James Patterson, and Jessie Burton, for example, may not have read Ramtha’s sage words which I have quoted below, but they found success by pursuing the love, joy, and purpose they discovered when following their passion.

Importantly, in the process of following their bliss, they all rekindled a deep love for themselves.

“There is no greater purpose in life than to live for the love and fulfilment of self, and that can only be achieved by participating in this life and doing those things which bring you happiness regardless of what they are, for who shall say it is wrong or that it is not good for you?” writes Ramtha in The White Book.

What daily practices, routines, or habits fill you with joy? Notice the times you feel marvellous.

What soul-sucking jobs, relationships, or situations depress your energy? How can you manifest feel-good vibrations? Develop a plan to restore positivity to your daily diet.

 

 

Don’t forget your love of laughter. Be a little silly—or a lot. Laughter lifts your vibration higher. Laughter is the language of love. It works even when you’re stuck in the mud!

 

My partner and I recently survived a horror renovation that nearly ended up in massive failure. But we dug deep (literally), leveraged off others’ abilities and got through it. And now it feels great. The fact is that you have to face your fear of everything turning out horribly. Within reason, nothing is fatal. The road to success is often strewn with ruins.

But those that dare not, dream not, risk not, will never taste the true victory—the knowledge you threw caution to the wind and tried!

As author and filmmaker Michael Moore said, “I want us all to face our fears and stop behaving like our goal in life is merely to survive. Surviving is for game show contestants stranded in the jungle or on a desert island. You are not stranded. Use your power. You deserve better.”

I took these words to heart many years ago. Anxiety and depression run in my family—as does a tendency to place a stop-cap on dreams. As you’ve read, my grandmother grew up in foster care. Her father murdered a man. I’m sure that her upbringing had an impact on my mom, and in turn, my mom’s ability to give me the love I craved as a child.

My dad was dumped in a boarding school when he was only four. He never knew his father, and only found out when he was in his 70s that he had a sister. Growing up, he never experienced a hug or knew true affection.

Like Amy Winehouse and so many others with wounded childhoods, I never felt loved. I’ve worked hard to overcome the wounds of my childhood.

You should, too. Your past doesn’t need to stop you.

“A lot of people feel like they’re victims in life, and they’ll often point to past events, perhaps growing up with an abusive parent or in a dysfunctional family,” writes Rhonda Byrne in The Secret.

“Most psychologists believe that about 85 per cent of families are dysfunctional, so all of a sudden you’re not so unique. My parents were alcoholics. My dad abused me. My mother divorced him when I was six . . . I mean, that’s almost everybody’s story in some form or not,” she says.

Author Jack Canfield also speaks to this point: “The real question is, what are you going to do now? What do you choose now? Because you can either keep focusing on that, or you can focus on what you want. And when people start focusing on what they want, what they don’t want falls away, and what they want expands, and the other part disappears.”

In hindsight, you will see your life experiences as a gift. As Isabel Allende once said, “Without my unhappy childhood and dysfunctional family, what would I have to write about?”

I channel my life experiences into my books. I pay it forward and share how I learned to empower my mind, body, and soul. I studied Buddhist philosophy. I learned Transcendental and mindfulness meditation.

I devoured nearly every self-help book on the planet—and beyond. I went to healers and sought counselling.

I trained to be a hypnotherapist, counsellor, and psychologist and gained other therapeutic skills. I continue to pass on the knowledge I’ve learned to my clients and readers like you to help empower them to live your best lives.

Every day I fight for my dreams.

 

We all enter this life, and leave it, with different challenges. Different parents, siblings, life experiences. The pain of your past doesn’t need to define you. If you are prepared to be honest and vulnerable and to do the work, you know what you need to do to empower your life and your work.

As Buddha once said, “It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.”

If fear, wounds of the past, victim thinking, destructive health behaviours, or anything else detrimental to living your best life has a grip on you, prioritize breaking free.

Seeking help doesn’t have to cost a fortune. You may heal your life with writing, work with a coach or therapist, or self-help your way to success.

When you seize the reins of control and take responsibility, you will empower your life—and your prosperity.

Let experience be your guide. Give your brain a well-needed break. Let go of ‘why’ and embrace how you feel or how you want to feel. Honour the messages from your intuition and follow your path with heart.

 

 

P.S.

GRAB YOUR FREE BOOK – my gift to you

 

 

Grab your free copy and experience an immediate uplift. Suitable to children of all ages (yes, mid-lifers…us too!)

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

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

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

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

 

 P.S. if you enjoy this story or any of my books can you please leave a review where you purchased:)

 

 

Cassandra is a holistic therapist integrative counsellor, life coach, and author. To book an appointment or learn more about her wellness-therapies, including how QTC can help you achieve rapid, lasting, transformational change click here >>

Learn more about Cassandra from reading Testimonials to her work.

 

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Life transformed by faith in the stars

http://www.cassandragaisford.com/why-pursuing-your-passion-not-your-pension-is-the-ultimate-mid-life-career-change-strategy/

 

 

 

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

To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>> getBook.at/Passion

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

To grab your copy from Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/ebook/how-to-find-your-passion-and-purpose

 

 

Mid-Life Career Rescue: Job Search Strategies That Work

Beat ageism and discrimination—easily and skillfully tap into the hidden job market and get the job you want.

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

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

To grab your copy from  Kobo, click here>> https://www.kobo.com/en/ebook/mid-life-career-rescue-job-search-strategies-that-work

 

 

 

Feeling depressed? Connect with your with spirit. Align with purpose to create a life of joy, passion, prosperity, and fulfilment. Finding your passion and purpose is the ultimate, medication-free stress and anxiety cure.

In this video, a blast from the past, I share some simple and practical strategies to help you tap into the power of passion. I later adapted these cards into my bestselling book, How to Find Your Passion and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love.

* name changed to protect privacy

 

 

 

How might we sabotage ourselves?

Thursday, July 23rd, 2020

Love yourself unconditionally

“The wound is the place where the light enters you” ~ Rumi


I wish to address the “stigma and misconceptions” surrounding mental health and in particular the trauma, often untreated, of the wounds of childhood, and offer hope and strategies to help.

As a child therapist, I have had the privilege of hearing from boys and girls, young and old, who told me that their mummies didn’t love them as they should.

“If I was my mother, I wouldn’t drink,” one 8-year-old said. His father was in prison and his mother was at the pub. Luckily he had an excellent GRAND-mummy who was raising him and bringing him to therapy to help with his anger issues.

“My mother wanted custody of my sister, but she didn’t come for me. She doesn’t want me. She doesn’t love me. I’m no good,” a 12-year-old boy referred, also for anger issues, told me.

“I want to kill myself,” a 10-year-old boy sobbed. “My mother is always yelling at me. The more I try to do to make her happy, the more chores she gives me and then she shouts when I can’t do it all. She wouldn’t care if I died.”

Look into their mother’s history, as I helped these children do, and as I have done to heal my own wounds, and they discover that their mothers are walking wounded. Their mummies (and daddies) rather than learn from their childhoods victimise all or some of their children.

One woman, now in her mid-fifties, was the daughter of a mother raised by an alcoholic. “I don’t remember my mother ever being sober,” her mother once confided in her. “And my father flew into violent rages” (and so did her husband).

A child of divorced parents once said to her mother, “If you don’t love my dad that means you don’t love half of me.”

I can see the logic, but also the mistaken belief – because her mother had raised her on her own and had given her more love than 202 fathers ever could.

Reflecting now, I wonder if a mother doesn’t or can’t love her daughter perhaps there is 50 per cent or more about herself that she doesn’t love either. Perhaps because of the damage inflicted by her mummy (or daddy) too.

Only love loves. It’s often a hard lesson to learn. So many unloved children suffer from mental illnesses, which if left unexamined extends into adulthood.

“I was four or five I ran away from home. It’s my earliest memory of wanting to find someone to love me,” a client shared with me. “I think my mother-story started at birth. I was the first-born— a girl. Not the son my parents wanted. But perhaps the daughter upon whom my father doted. They quickly tried again. My brother, my mother’s favourite, arrived with lungs that never stopped yelling, 11 months after I was born.”

“Don’t show off,” her mother scolded my client, then a child, when she would come home from school with A’s. “Don’t do so well, you know your three brothers find school hard.”

She told me that all of her siblings later excelled commercially.

“Don’t do this. Don’t do that. Don’t be that. Don’t wear that. Don’t say that. Whack! Don’t be left-handed,” she was told with smack and smack.

“Don’t! Don’t. I soon lost myself. I became a mummy pleaser. Or, rather, I tried. Bending over to try to be loved, keeping quiet when I wanted to cry or share something that made me happy. I pursued careers in accounting and banking to make my parents happy—at the cost of my own mental and emotional health.”

I can assure you people-pleasing is not a winner’s strategy. If someone has taken a dislike to you, sometimes, like a person who hates eating fish, their distaste never changes.

Nor should you.

If you can’t be loved by your mother unconditionally then love yourself unconditionally. Warts, pimples, freckles, flaws and extraordinary talents and all.  Because you are a star. We all are. Some stars live in dark galaxies, and others need to live in the light to shine brightly.

 

Promise me you won’t play small to make others feel tall. Be greater today than the story of your past. 

In John Dufresne’s excellent guide to writing a novel, Is Life Like This? he writes:

“We read novels because we need stories; we crave them; we can’t live without telling them and hearing them. Stories are how we make sense of our lives and of the world. When we’re distressed and go to therapy, our therapist’s job is to help us tell our story. Life doesn’t come with plots; it’s messy and chaotic; life is one damn, inexplicable thing after another. And we can’t have that. We insist on meaning. And so we tell stories so that our lives make sense.”

Everyone’s mean-mother story is unique. As one of my clients shared, “My issues with my Mum were a bit different.  She definitely had a victim mentality and while she would say she was proud of me and my brother with our achievements, there was always a little dig about how much luckier we were than she was.   She ‘took umbrage’ (her words) to everything and always seemed to turn an innocuous comment into a personal attack on her.   Threatened suicide several times which meant every time I had a fight with her, I had to ring one of her friends afterwards to check in on her to make sure she hadn’t done anything stupid.   I think when Dad left (when I was 15), she defined herself as a divorced woman and never recovered.”

Of course, it’s not just mums that can be mean, or manipulative. There’s plenty of mean and toxic dads out there.  If you think you were or are unlucky to have your mum or dad, I promise you one day you’ll look back and you’ll understand why you had your parents.

Like my book coaching client Heather who channelled her lack of love into teaching and later became a children’s self-empowerment author.

Similarly, author and creator of Hay House books, Louise Hay who was sexually and emotionally abused as a child, transformed her wounds into wisdom. Hay’s success lay in highlighting the power of our words to both heal and harm.

David Chase, the creator of The Sopranos, based Livia heavily on his own mother, Norma Chase. He described her as being paranoid, sharp-tongued, abusive, and disregarding her son’s career achievements. Many of Livia’s memorable lines, such as “Poor you” (something my mother said whenever I tried to tell her how I felt) are what Norma Chase would say. Rather than be victimised he spent time in psychotherapy and channelled his experiences of growing up with a narcissistic mother into the mother of gangster Tony Sopranos.

Kiwi songbird, Kiri Te Kanawa, shared how her childhood wounds taught her an important life lesson. Kiri was born in Gisborne, New Zealand, on March 6, 1944, into a family that was too poor to keep her and she was adopted. “I learned early on to be self-reliant,” she once shared.

Actress Drew Barrymore divorced both her parents when she was fifteen.

In short, it’s easy to imagine who you may have become had your mother (or father) been kinder, nicer, sweeter.


But what if the real tragedy is, who would you not have become had life treated you differently? What if your life unfolded exactly as it should? What if there was a divine plan? There’s magic in believing that!

“Go laugh in the places you cried. Change the narrative. Everything aligns.

Which is why I write my books, especially those in the Transformational Super Kids series. Doesn’t the girl on my cover looks so happy!

If you’ve suffered at the hands of a mean or deranged parent here are just a few of some of the helpful resources I have found:

6 Signs You Have A Toxic Mother

https://www.bustle.com/articles/123975-6-signs-you-have-a-toxic-mother

Mean Mothers: Overcoming the Legacy of Hurt

Drawn from research and the real-life experience Peggy Streep has channelled her childhood experiences into an eye-opening exploration of the darker side of maternal behaviour and offers support.

The Power Is Within You

Louise Hay, who suffered emotional and sexual abuse as a child, narrating an excerpt from her Audiobook

https://youtu.be/LA4AXvz9AHc

Reprogram Your Mind Through Affirmations

My favourite hypnotherapist Marisa Peer shares empowering affirmations and examples from her life, including being told that she was ugly and wasn’t as smart as her brother. Learn to break the emotional blueprint of your parents; Discover the healing power of expressing your thoughts in a believing mirror – and making it funny.

https://youtu.be/L57HYnWVNfk

5 Ways Being Too Nice Can Hurt You

Kindness is always cool, but being a pushover can hurt you. Here’s a great article to help

https://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/5-ways-being-too-nice-can-hurt-you.html?fbclid=IwAR1hUyHwI9ADea7lVbHUXT9Z8nn9sQ1vU1ii3LTVxuA9OA1z_KwzXScnW4w

How To Fail With Elizabeth Day

Many people with mother-wounds battle a failure mindset. This podcast celebrates the things that haven’t gone right. Every week, a new interviewee explores what their failures taught them about how to succeed better.

https://overcast.fm/itunes1407451189/how-to-fail-with-elizabeth-day

Complex Trauma

Many children whose mummies don’t love them can suffer from mental health challenges later in life. This article explores how ‘complex trauma’ can affect children and common effects. So often diagnosis sparks the beginning of healing. If you or someone you know has suffered from childhood neglect seeking the help of a  skilled therapist can be life-changing.

https://www.nctsn.org/what-is-child-trauma/trauma-types/complex-trauma/effects

Why would a mother sabotage her daughter’s success? You may be surprised how common it is

Read more here>>

And here’s a few thoughts from me:

  • Do what you love – joy boost your natural feel-good chemicals
  • Reading books or watching movies is a very good distraction
  • Say no to other peoples’ drama, affirm, “It’s not my monkey, this is your circus.”
  • Visualise what toxic behaviour looks like and summon the image when you need reminding of your own goodness. My image is a bulging, black rubbish bag (inspired by the three bags of crap someone threw from their car). People love hurling their own toxic shit at others
  • Don’t buy into other peoples lies. “You’re a failure” “You’re no good.” “You’re a disgrace.” “You’re selfish”. Or whatever toxic waste your accuser spews from their rancid mouth.
  • You do not need permission to remove yourself from an abusers tirades
  • Remember, it’s not you, It’s them. Be on guard for people with untreated NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) – it’s as pervasive as COVID-19 and just as toxic. As I shared in The Little Princess:

Happy people don’t attack others, the young woman reminded herself. Happy people don’t talk like this.

The little princess suddenly felt grateful for what the nurse was teaching her.

The little princess knew she would never be able to find and honour her soul purpose if she kept trying to please others.

The little princess would never be true to herself if she feared disapproval.

The little princess would never share her gifts and talents and passion with the world if she stayed small and showed no courage.

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

Much love
xxxx

To enjoy your copy from Amazon, click here: viewbook.at/WhyDoesntMummyLoveMe

To enjoy  your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here: https://books2read.com/u/38MdW6

To enjoy your copy from Kobo, click here:
https://www.kobo.com/en/ebook/why-doesn-t-my-mummy-love-me

AUDIOBOOK
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/why-doesn-t-mummy-love-me

 

 

 

WHAT THIS BOOK IS ABOUT

Love yourself unconditionally. Be a magic mummy!
When Annie’s mummy is mean to her she tries harder to please her, but nothing works. She believes she’s unlovable and thinks she’s bad. Until her friend, Lulu shares her story and tells Annie that some mummies don’t know how to love.

This is a classic, empowering book that every child, teenager and adult should have the joy of reading.
With a unique combination of beautifully simple stories, comforting words, and powerful uplifting messages, Cassandra has been delighting young children, teenagers and adults for over fifty years.

Cassandra cuts to the heart of the lesson we all need to hear, over and over again, helping us learn to self-soothe, surround ourselves with positive influences, be empowered and love ourselves unconditionally.

Creator of the delightfully beautiful and courageous, The Little Princess, Cassandra Gaisford is a global best-seller.
Why Doesn’t Mummy Love Me? is an inspiring story and personal development guide for girls with themes on self-love, self-esteem, self-reliance and resilience.

This book is especially for you if you’re:

  • The child (young or old) of an abusive parent, narcissist or a mother with borderline personality disorder, this book will aid hope and healing
  • A therapist—this book will help empower your clients
  • A caregiver or friend of an abandoned child, this book will aid understanding

What readers say

“A really good story. Very real and relatable…
I love that the Transformational Super Kids stories have a real rhythm to them that makes for easy reading for a child. Too often, I think stories along these lines still put the onus on the reader to change themselves to somehow appease the other person. Cassandra did not. In a very subtle way she has got across that the mother’s behaviour was unacceptable and that Annie caring about herself was not selfish but necessary. And lastly, the talk of being a magic mummy has a real sparkle to it – something a child could imagine doing and a helpful way out of a difficult situation.” 

~ Laura V.

I’m super excited to let you know the audio version of my new release. Why Doesn’t Mummy Love Me, is now available from Kobo (and other retailers and libraries too>>https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/why-doesn-t-mummy-love-me.  Listen to a free sample or purchase today:)

Suitable for children of all ages…yes, big kids too!

THOSE PAPERBACK AND EBOOK LINKS AGAIN:

To enjoy your copy from Amazon, click here:

viewbook.at/WhyDoesntMummyLoveMe

To enjoy  your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here: https://books2read.com/u/38MdW6

To enjoy your copy from Kobo, click here:

https://www.kobo.com/en/ebook/why-doesn-t-my-mummy-love-me

ENJOY!

P.S. Are you being bullied? Heed the call for courage. You’ll love the first book in the series, The Little Princess.

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

Amazon:

getbook.at/TheLittlePrincess

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

https://books2read.com/u/b5709p

To purchase the eBook on Kobo >>

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

AUDIOBOOKS

USA

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

UK

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

Australia

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

 

 

 

Did you enjoy this post?

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

You might like:

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

How Not to Let Things That Make You Sad Get in the Way of Being Happy

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

 

Here are three more things you might like:


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


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


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

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

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

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

 

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

Friday, July 17th, 2020

Do you dream of being a rock star—but never learn how to play an instrument, write songs, or join a band? Do you endlessly listen to Lada Gaga and imagine yourself in her place on stage? Are you stuck in a job or situation you hate, so you fantasise your escape?

It’s awesome to have goals. It’s empowering to have a vision to get you through the most frustrating parts of developing yourself. It takes a long time to master new skills.

There are going to be times when you feel like giving up. Times when you think you’re not making any progress at all. Times when you tell yourself that you’ll never get to the level of your dreams.

But you can leverage that fantasy image of adoring fans, and sell-out shows; of you performing your heart out—to help convince yourself to stick with it anyway.

Ask yourself whether your ideas of where you want to end up is fantasy or whether it’s imagination empowering you to take action. The only way to be sure is to see how much real work you’re putting into your development.

But watch out. Sometimes, we’re so busy focusing on what we haven’t achieved, we forget to acknowledge tiny steps of progress.

A wee habit I find handy is to keep an “I did it,” list. Yesterday my list included, ‘I trialled Final Draft and wrote my first screenplay scene.’

So many people, agents and publishers who I pitched the idea of my art-related novel of historical fiction had told me they could see the movie, I thought, “why not have a go at writing the screenplay?”

I’d never done it before but gave it a go. And I loved it. I really loved it. And I’m glad that I wrote it down in my “I did it list”, because the next day when I berated myself for not achieving anything, I could go to my list and pep up my peptides with evidence of my achievement.

I can empower the feel-good vibes even more by creating empowering affirmations—the best tense is 3rd person, “you.” So often we’re told, “you’ll never be a writer, rockstar—insert your dream—you’ll never make it.” Turn the tables of your inner critic and affirm what you want to be true, do it with feeling. For example, I could empower my experience by affirming, “You love screenwriting. You love making progress. You love taking inspired action—you especially love making baby steps.”

What’s one thing you could do right now, such that by doing it you’ll feel proud to add it to your “I did it,” list?

Like my client Heather, who always dreamed of being a children’s author. She’d been writing stories forever but never took the action that really mattered—sharing her stories and becoming a published author. So often, we need to reach out, as Heather, did to a mentor who has been there before and can guide, encourage and nurture our dreams. And yes, at times, be our nag buddy and remind us to take inspired action to express who we really are.

That, my friends, is what passion is….the fire that drives us to express our essence.

 

Still stalling? What’s keeping you? Fear of failure?

Here’s something you may not know. I am an award-winning artist and best selling author, but I failed my school exams and I never studied art. I failed English but I passed French. I went back to university as a mature student close to my 30s. I failed my first exam and only got 16 per cent. I set an intention on my next exam I would get 86 per cent. And I achieved it.

I have failure careers and been fired by toxic bosses.  For most of my life, I failed at all my romantic relationships. But now in my mid-50s, I have been in a decade-long partnership with the most passionate and beautiful man.

I have a successful entrepreneurial career. I live a millionaire life in a beautiful ocean-side property in The Bay of Islands.

Failure doesn’t have to define us. We have to be the change we want to see. Keep going! Feel the action needed and do it anyway.

“I want to know what passion is.

I want to feel something strongly.”

~ Aldous Huxley

 

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

 Available for pre-order now>>AMAZON

To enjoy your copy from Amazon, click here:  getbook.at/WordByWord

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

 

 

P.S.

Find Your Passion and Purpose with my best-selling self-paced course made for busy people. Click here to learn more>>Online Course: 

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

Wednesday, July 8th, 2020

Chapter one: Discipline

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

Danielle Steel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 Available soon

free guided hypnosis meditation

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

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

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

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

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

 

Did you enjoy this post?

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

 

You might like:

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

Emotional alchemy—the spontaneous healing power of joy

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

 

Here are three more things you might like:


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


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


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

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

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

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

 

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

Saturday, July 4th, 2020

 

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

~ Brett Muir, Point of Change

 

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

As you’ll read, Brett first embarked on training with another provider, only to find it didn’t meet his growing needs. But that’s not the real story. The real story is his vision for his coaching business, Point of Change and his deep desire to help others make a change for the better. And within weeks of starting his training, he’s up and running with another aspect of his vision, a forum to bring like-minded people together. If you’re in Christchurch, New Zealand—or can make it there—be sure to check it out.

I will let Brett tell his career reinvention story, but one of the things I most love  (as you’ll read below) was the way he did his due diligence before making a leap—but more importantly, when life threw a few financial hurdles in his path he used out of the box thinking and found another way.

Every great story is drawn from intentions and obstacles. To be the hero’s and heroines of our own stories is what makes life rewarding.

Many of the questions I asked Brett are drawn from screenwriting legend Christopher Vogler and his guide to story structure (inspired by the work of Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s (and heroine’s) Journey. I’ve put some of the stages in brackets.

 

 

Why did you decide to train to be a life coach?

It became apparent that this occupation was ideally suited to my personality, my direction, my psyche. I find no greater joy than helping people take another step forward, over, through or around obstacles. There is nothing like it. I have enjoyed the various stages of my career, but I am at my most energised when I am helping someone taking a giant step of personal growth.

Wherever I am, I am aware of the people around me. I am inevitably involved, you may say immersed, in deep, in profound conversations with people in my everyday world. I often feel like I want to adopt people – mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters. I connect in a way that leaves me amazed. Yes, I am one of those who chats to passing strangers, to the annoyance of my family at times.

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

 

What factors influenced your decision to train with Worklife Solutions/Cassandra?

I talked to someone else, who at a similar age and stage to myself, had worked with Cassandra and for whom it had been a new beginning. I liked the framework which was available to lean on, as I began a new journey. I liked the diversity of projects Cassandra is involved in. I like having a clear base of workbooks, of tools. There was a sense that Cassandra was constantly challenging herself but giving herself permission to grow and change. I saw Cassandra as a great resource person. Early days yet but I am enjoying the start of my most transformative decade yet. That’s the goal, that’s the plan.

 

You initially trained with someone else? Why did you delay training with Worklife Solutions?

I see that a diverse training is helpful so I plan to be part of two Life Coaching organisations, being part of a range of ongoing training opportunities. My initial week-long course was fantastic, a great place to begin the Life Coaching journey. I saw that for me, a coaching call every 2 weeks after that would enable me to assimilate all the new informations, the new learnings. I do like a week-long course and the enjoyment of working with others on the same journey. I do also enjoy a step by step approach.

 

Who, why or what encouraged you to train with Worklife Solutions?

I talked to a friend of a friend, who had worked with Cassandra. That gave me enough confidence to follow up with a call and make a training commitment, or should I say, learning commitment, to work with Cassandra.

(That friend was Lynnie Galloway. Despite her fear of letting go of a career that’s been familiar to her for over two decades, she wanted to transition from midwifery to becoming a career and life coach. She now has what I call a career

You can read Lynnie’s reinvention story here>>https://www.cassandragaisford.com/rebirthing-a-new-career-lynnies-reinvention-story/

 

What was the pivotal moment, turning point or catalyst to saying ‘yes’ now and committing to action i.e. enrolling, paying your fees and locking in a start date?

I saw that I had invested in other business and learning opportunities through my life. If I wanted to make a major shift, then there was no better time than now. As I had already decided that this was to be my most transformative decade of personal growth, I saw that it was time to commit, time to get started, as I have a whole lot of learning and growing to do.

 

 

 

What challenges did you face?

I decided to get a loan but the bank said ‘no’. So then it was a matter of working out the options and making it happen. I do find it easier to recognise other people’s amazing qualities than recognise my own authentic star quality. I just decided to start without knowing where it would all end.

 

The Final Destination – Steps I am preparing to take:

  • I am engaged in a training block with Worklife Solutions Coach Cassandra Gaisford.
  • I am facilitating a Point of Change Forum
  • I am thinking re other Forums that I would like to co-ordinate in the future
  • I am talking to my tile maintenance clients about Point of Change
  • I have resigned from BNI to give me more time
  • I have begun coordinating a once-monthly business ‘After 5’ in conjunction with another business person
  • I will begin to read helpful and inspirational books rather than just novels, which are my norm

 

What fears, if any, do you feel you did and must overcome? (The crisis/supreme ordeal)

I think I need to really believe in my future and in my own part to play in that. I still at times say, “Who Am I”? Technology and grappling with that is something I tend to put off doing as it seems just too hard.

 

Crossing the threshold – describe what you and your life will look like when you return with your treasure (Seizing the Reward – The road back)

  • I will continue to work 1-2 days a week doing tile maintenance because I enjoy it and it does provide a steady income.
  • I will coach 5 people a week.
  • I will co-ordinate 3 Forums a year on a variety of topics
  • I will join 2-3 groups of like-minded people
  • I will write a blog
  • I will write poetry regularly
  • I will exercise 2-3 times a week
  • There will be key partners who I will meet with regularly
  • The level of confidence will be much greater

 

 

What last tests do you feel you may face? How will you know you are reborn into a new and beautiful form (The Climax/resurrection)

Possibly relationally as Jenny and I work out where we each are going and how the new scenario works out. Financially as I work out what to charge and what ‘I am worth’ in the market Church – How much time and which activities I will participate in. The challenge of the organisation of resources. The challenge of learning new technology. The challenge of regularly producing content.

 

 

What a wonderful sense of clarity Brett has about the challenge we all face seeing our star qualities. A deep sense of delight in helping others and honouring our soul gifts of being able to see and bring forth the strengths in others is definitely a sign of alignment with spirit energy and being guided toward your purpose. Delightfully his purpose is tied to a goal which is to help others achieve transformational change. What a great role model!

 

If Brett can change his career at 60, so can you.

 

 

P.S. The friend that Brett spoke with was Lynnie Galloway. Despite her fear of letting go of a career that had been familiar to her for over two decades, she wanted to transition from midwifery to becoming a career and life coach. She now has what I call a career combo and has found fulfilment doing both. You can read Lynnie’s reinvention story here>>https://www.cassandragaisford.com/rebirthing-a-new-career-lynnies-reinvention-story/. We first connected many years ago when Lynnie approached me about training to become a Worklife Solutions Certified Career and Life Coach. But as you’ll read, she embarked on training with another provider, only to find it didn’t meet her needs.

Read an updated post and learn more about how in her sixties, Lynnie launched her new business and website! https://www.cassandragaisford.com/how-to-rejuvenate-your-life-and-change-careers-in-four-easy-steps/

If you’d like to learn more about how you can follow your passion and purpose and create a rewarding career, click here http://www.worklifesolutions.nz/coach-training

 

Listen to How to Find Your Passion and Purpose

Oh, my gosh! I am so excited that my most popular book, How to Find Your Passion and Purpose is now available as an audiobook. Listen to an excerpt here>>

Why Ugly Is Where the Magic is

Sunday, June 21st, 2020

 

“I’ve always found beauty in flaws,”

Anna Friel

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

“Scribe”

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

 

 

“Let Go”

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

Mixed media, oil crayon, acrylic, passion

 

Scribble⠀

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

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

Canvas 760mm x 1200mm

Handcrafted in New Zealand

GOLOV-20

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

 

“Rhapsody – After Helen Frankenthaler 2020″

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Are you a black sheep?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Much love

 

 

 

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

 

 

Did you enjoy this post?

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

 

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

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

Emotional alchemy—the spontaneous healing power of joy

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

 

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

 

 

Lulu is a Black Sheep

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

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

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

 

AUDIOBOOK

Kobo

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

Audible . . .coming soon

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

Sunday, June 14th, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Mindful Meditation

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

• Decreased stress and anxiety

• Improved focus, memory, and learning ability

• Heightened recharging capacity

• Higher IQ and more efficient brain functioning

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

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

• Increased creativity and connection with your higher intelligence

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Feel-Good Books to Read Right Now

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

Amazon>>getbook.at/MindYourDrink

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

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

 

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

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


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

Amazon>>getBook.at/StressLess

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

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

 

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

Amazon>> getBook.at/Passion

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

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

Also available in Audio from Audible

USA

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

UK

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

Australia

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

 

 

 

COMING SOON

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

 Available for pre-order now>>AMAZON

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

Saturday, May 23rd, 2020

 

 

Scribe

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

This is the email I received:

 

 

A couple of things concerned me:

 

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

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

She didn’t come back to me!

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Love Language

Here is another piece I created

 

“Love Language”⠀

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

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

Pro-panel artboard 400mm x12mm

Handcrafted in New Zealand

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

 

 

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

 

“Let Go”

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

Mixed media, oil crayon, acrylic, passion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and this one….

“Scribble”

 

 

 

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

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

 

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

noun Psychiatry.

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

Cassandra

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

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

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

 

 

THANK YOU

 

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

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

 

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

 

Here it is with his permission
 Words

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

www.kennbutler.com


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

Trust your talent, not your credentials

 

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

 

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

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

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

~ Your energy.

~ Your talent.

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

 

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

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

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

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

Did you enjoy this post?

You might like:

Does talk therapy actually work?

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

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

 

 

Here are three more things you might like:


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


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


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

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

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

Amazon:

getbook.at/TheLittlePrincess

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

https://books2read.com/u/b5709p

To purchase the eBook on Kobo >>

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

The Little Princess

USA

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

UK

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

Australia

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

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

 

Coping with Isolation: How to Love your Life in Lockdown

Monday, April 27th, 2020

Dear readers,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

About BILLY IS A BALLOON

 

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

 

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

This is a classic, empowering book that every child, teenager and adult should have the joy of reading.

With a unique combination of beautifully simple stories, comforting words, and powerful uplifting messages, Cassandra has been delighting young children, teenagers and adults for over fifty years.

Cassandra cuts to the heart of the lesson we all need to hear, over and over again, helping us learn to be courageous, happy, and empowered.

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

“This book shares a powerful message”

 

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

 

* * * FREE AUDIOBOOK * * *

Readers are using books to cope in different ways

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

Billy is a Balloon

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

Motivated to finish the book she is writing.

Motivated to practice self-care.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CHAPTER ONE

 

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

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

He goes outside and stretches wide.

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

 

CHAPTER TWO

 

Deep, deep, deep into his lungs.

Deep, deep, deep into his heart.

Deep, deep, deep into his belly.

Deep, deep, deep into his feet.

 

CHAPTER THREE

 

Then whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!

Billy draws the air up, up, up.

Up, up, up from his feet.

Up, up, up through his belly.

Up, up, up through his heart.

Up, up, up through his lungs.

 

CHAPTER FOUR

 

But Billy didn’t stop there.

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

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

The air swirled through his body like a magic train.

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

 

CHAPTER FIVE

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

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

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

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

I can float, flip, and fly.

Or I can drag, dip, and die.

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

 

CHAPTER SIX

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

CHAPTER SEVEN

I love to do the im-possible.

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

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

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

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

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

Like fears and frights and feelings of failure.

Like meanies and critics and complainers.

Like too much distraction that sucks my energy.

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

 

 

CHAPTER EIGHT

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

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

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

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

 

CHAPTER NINE

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

Billy smiled and waved and flew out of reach.

Out of reach from those who pulled down.

Out of reach from those who only frowned.

Out of reach from his own mistaken beliefs.

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

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

AND SO DO YOU! What colour is your balloon?

*** THE END ***

* * * FREE AUDIOBOOK * * *

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

BREATH BEHAVIOUR

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Much love

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

Saturday, April 18th, 2020

 

 

Dear readers,

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

 

Looking in the Review Mirror

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daisy Werthan: No, when was that?

Hoke Colburn: Oh, a few minutes ago.

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

 

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

 

 

Available soon

 

free guided hypnosis meditation

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

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

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

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DID YOU ENJOY THIS POST?

You may also like:

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

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

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

 

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Breakfasts, lockdown, and breaking the procrastination virus

Tuesday, April 7th, 2020

 

 

 

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

~ Coco Chanel

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

~ Coco Chanel

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

I am tempted to find everything that takes me from my writing as a distraction. This morning I resented being pulled away by my partner who was happy, and in a good mood and wanted to make breakfast for me. He wanted us to go together into the garden and pick fresh guavas from the tree.

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

The last thing I wanted to do was to be dragged kicking and screaming to my highchair and fed. I was happy. I was productive. I was writing.

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

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

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

The encounter and my mood that day challenged me to reprioritize what is truly important.  As I wrote in The Art of Success: Coco Chanel, she once said,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My intention to be in lock-down from 2 to 4 protected me.  I just took a little mind spa break and I did a micro clean in 10 minutes which cleansed eyestrain and mental overload and mopped away any guilt. The old, non-quarantined me might have mopped the floors, cleaned windows or dusted with procrastination whip until I had cleaned the whole damned house.

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

 

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

Available for pre-order soon!

Awesome new ways to change careers are waiting for you…

Monday, April 6th, 2020

“Keep dreaming in colour

And drawing your dreams

On cement floors

Until they are realised.”

~ Alicia Keys

For years  I have been passionate about passion. For a long time, I made a career from this by working as a career and a life coach. Something I still do – but less and less. Largely because my other passion is writing. It wasn’t until mid-life that I finally figured out how to generate income doing what I love – writing, researching and helping others.

I got my first break when one of New Zealand’s largest newspapers the Dominion Post ran with my idea to share career advice with their readers. What started as a short-term gig ran for over four years. During this time many people wrote to me asking me to compile my career advice into a book.

Voila. Here it is. Short, sweet articles that combine practical tips with inspirational true-life stories of how people have applied the strategies I’ve shared in my columns and in coaching sessions.

“I say we change through desperation or inspiration,” says Nick Williams.”The idea that you could do something joyful, that you love, that you’re happy doing and get paid for it is just not in most people’s consciousness.”

As I write, the world is in lock-down. The Coronavirus has forced a rethink for many people around the world. Careers once thought enduring have disappeared and may never return. It seems no one is untouched.

It would be easy, but dangerous, to give up on feeling happy at work. Being unhappy at work is bad for our health, our relationships, and our careers. Now more than ever we need to reinvent our careers and our lives and place happiness centre-stage.

You may feel like Laura, who wrote to me, “I just thought this was a good opportunity for me to re-assess work options as I think my priorities have changed over the last few years.”

Or, Ray, who is a pilot and about to be laid off. “What else can I do?”

Perhaps you are blessed with financial security but yearn to do something meaningful and find your calling and purpose.

Whatever your reasons, you’ll find plenty of practical and inspiring career changing tips and job hunting strategies in Happy at Work—including employing yourself.

We’re all getting older. And bolder. We want to feel happy, not insecure and stressed. We know we have more in our mid-life tanks. We want to do what we love when we ‘grow up’ and still pay the bills.

I’ve always found reading about other people pursuing their passions, and overcoming significant obstacles in the process, has inspired me to act on my own heart’s desire. I hope reading Happy at Work will inspire you to make some positive and fruitful changes in your life too.

For convenience, I’ve divided Happy at Work into three vital stages: Dreaming. Discovering. Succeeding. Be wary of rushing to succeeding. Stages one and two will help ensure you are excelling at something worth living for.

If anything, COVID-19 has taught us all that life can be short. While we’re here let’s give living our best life a serious shot!

GRAB YOUR COPY OF HAPPY AT WORK NOW FOR THE REDUCED PRICE of $3.99 (eBook). Available for pre-orders and purchases prior to midnight 9 April.

 

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

To purchase on iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>

 https://books2read.com/u/31G55D

To purchase on Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/happy-at-work-for-mid-lifers

AUDIO COMING SOON!

 

 

Be Happy at Work!

What readers are saying

“I have recently been told my role has been disestablished and I will be made redundant – what an awful term. I have found Happy at Work very useful in terms of information provided and tools available for self-awareness and future planning. This is an awesome book and one I would recommend to anyone looking to change their career, not just mid-lifers. I feel energised every time I pick it up and I go back and re-read sections I have already read. I thank you for your foresight in writing this book and the energy and enthusiasm you pass on through the book.” ~Keith Lewis

“We have been thumbing through Cassandra’s new release, certainly a much-needed guide for so many out there today, inspirational, I am already soaking up some of her wisdom. Like good wine, it makes the heart glad.” ~ Joan W.

“Today I went for an interview at the hospital for the two positions I have applied for. I have read lots of your book and it helped me hugely. I let my passion shine, had a great answer when they asked about my weak points and I definitely let them know I wanted the job…and I got it!” ~ Julie Millar

“Guides are necessary throughout mid-life, this book is a guide. Teachers to face and touch are guides. Mid-life will not be rushed. Everybody experiences mid-life. It is a sacred journey, a sacred path, the Way. I know Cassandra as a fellow spirit and friend. She was with me on the island of Maui participating in my Sumi ink workshops. I have experienced with her some of her mid-life passages. I trust her, respect her, and understand that her book is invaluable. I urge you to utilize this book as an inspirational tool and carry it as a treasure. Persevere with your mid-life, bring into consciousness your childhood dreams, as they will become your living realities.” ~ Max Gimblett, visual artist

“In this book, Cassandra helps you find your work, inspiring you to consider new possibilities, gently guiding you beyond limiting thinking, and helping you find your own true self and authentic work. Those who have found what they were born to do usually have usually developed a generosity of spirit and want to hold a hand out to others who are still searching. In this book, Cassandra has done just that. Out of the blessings she has won for herself, she shares generously with you where to look, and what signposts to follow. She guides you to trust yourself to be able to bring your inner and outer worlds together, so that how you make your living in a way that reflects who you are and what is precious to you.

Enjoy this book and let it guide you to the work that is in your heart to do.” ~ Nick Williams, author and work philosopher, London, UK

Your new book looks really EXCITING and INTERESTING – so well done! It’s full of EXCELLENT material, pitched at a practical level, which will be the key to its success” ~ Paul, HR manager

Really good stuff, needed stuff. Cassandra helps you to learn who you are and what you want to be ‘when you grow up.’ This book is of maximum benefit.” ~ Joe Gutje, investment banker, New York

WOW! Happy at Work is fantastic so far. It’s so easy to read.” ~ Wendy.

Your book looks incredible! Very inspiring” ~ Anne, registered occupational psychologist

“I like the layout. There are not big blocks of text which could bore the reader. The material flows nicely and your use of quotes is really effective. Cassandra makes you think and reflect. I think it is really good and interesting. I showed it to my boyfriend and it has got him thinking about what he really wants to do with his life.” ~ Sophie, systems analyst, London

This is excellent and very timely. I can already think of several clients that can benefit from this book.”~ Beth Gallego, career practitioner

“You have probably heard all this many times before, but at 55 yrs and with 38 yrs of full-time work behind me, the biggest thing I am dealing with is a hit to my self-worth. I am a proponent of the law of attraction and have proved this law many times but that does not stop me having serious doubts about my ability to pull above the “mind chatter”. Your book, the Michael Hill biography and Lyn Grabhorn’s Your Life is Now are a great resource for boosting my energy and confidence. Then there are a few good friends who at the moment have become very important to me. Honestly, your book Happy at Work is a treasure.” ~ Keith Lewis

Good on you for doing this project – it will take peoples attention off what is and place it upon what they would like – doing so you have given them a helping hand – how very cool.” ~ Mark Olsen, artist

 

 

GRAB YOUR COPY OF HAPPY AT WORK NOW FOR THE REDUCED PRICE of $3.99 (eBook). Available for pre-orders and purchases prior to midnight 9 April.

 

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

To purchase on iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>

 https://books2read.com/u/31G55D

To purchase on Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/happy-at-work-for-mid-lifers

 

Available in EBook, paperback —AUDIO COMING SOON!

 

Emotional alchemy—the spontaneous healing power of joy

Friday, March 20th, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

“If you want joy, give joy to others.”

Deepak Chopra

 

 

Prior to writing this chapter, I felt ‘compelled’ to donate a second painting to the local hospice who were holding an art auction to raise much-needed funds.

I felt a surge of joy as I drove along the country roads of The Bay of Islands and headed toward the township of Kerikeri with my painting, ‘Blossom’ in the backseat. I felt delighted when the Fundraising and Awareness Manager, for Hospice Mid-Northland greeted Blossom, “Wow. That’s brilliant,” she said. “Thank you so much. I love it.”

“Everyone needs cheering up at moments like these,” I said, referencing the fact that the people they care for are dying. “I hope it brings a few moments of happiness and joy. I know how healing creativity can be.”

I shared with her the memory of her step-father Ted, a military man, who in the final stages of brain cancer, began to paint watercolours. Brilliant watercolours they were too—surprising everyone who had known him.

Painting brought Ted a few precious moments of joy and peace, and escape. And when he left this world, we had them framed and they were the gift that kept on giving.

“Love. Joy, Prosperity. Hope,” I said, reading out the words I had painted in French, to the Fundraising and Awareness Manager.

It is the intention behind your giving and receiving that is the most important thing. The act of giving doesn’t always have to involve giving something away for free, but it should always be joyful. It should always be to create happiness for both the giver and the receiver—then the energy behind the giving multiplies, spreading seeds of joy in the world.

What can you gift or do to give joy to others? It doesn’t have to be a physical thing, it may be by volunteering, dressing joyfully, sending a kind thought or a prayer, or the willingness to forgive.

Go do that:)

 

During the trauma of the Coronavirus creating such havoc in people’s lives, there have been times when it has felt frivolous to be creating art and sharing these images on Instagram. But then I remind myself that art is one of the highest forms of hope, healing, and happiness. Whether this is in creating art of in gazing at something uplifting. Art is the goddess that keeps giving and giving and giving. So many people have healed themselves of addictions, transcended traumas and found peace during times of pain. Personally and professionally I find so much joy when people feel joy through the creations I have brought forth from my heart.

If you are suffering, if you are stressed, if you are feeling the strain of current times I encourage you to find comfort in art.

 

Yellow is the colour of hope, happiness, optimism and the life-giving sun. For me, yellow is the colour of joy. Below are just a few of the many creations, with healthy splashes of yellow, that people have taken with them to their homes and offices and countries, and in the knowledge of the joy they have carried, I feel great joy and gratitude.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is an edited extract from How to Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love.

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

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

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

 

 

Did you enjoy this post?

You might like:

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

Finding Joy—Why High Vibe Energy is Health and Happinesses New Superstar

How Finding and Following Your Joy Can Create a Life of Peace

 

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.

Protect Yourself from Coronavirus. Boost your immune system naturally

Wednesday, March 11th, 2020

Presidential candidate Marrianne Williamson recently posted on Instagram a timely reminder that love is the natural antidote to fear. Like Marrianne and others, Leonardo da Vinci believed that we can heal our bodies and do so a holistic approach is vital. I found myself asking, why is healthcare so backward but then I found myself answering my own question, “profit-driven pharmaceutical companies.”

An integrated approach to health had to do with the body, the mind, the heart, and the spirit or soul. Even simple actions like eating a proper diet rich in fruits and vegetables, vitamins and zinc can have a powerful impact on your health and well-being and boost your tolerance to disease. But not much money is be made from that approach, says Willamson. So, “it’s all censored and it’s all vaccines and drugs for maximum profit.”

In the onslaught of the Coronavirus, fear is the real pandemic. I had a client who was given to suicidal thoughts, who told me, “I wish I would get Coronvirus and die.”

I wondered, if you weren’t afraid of the virus would it work? What if you wanted it? Or better still, what if you didn’t give it energy? What if instead, you chose to focus on wellness, health, and happiness? What if you boosted your immune system naturally? What if, just as you would if people around you had the flu, you did everything to protect your energetic field so that you were immune?

“Science is the observation of things possible, whether present or past. Prescience is the knowledge of things that may come to pass, though but slowly,” Leonardo da Vinci said over 500 hundred years ago. In the past, people believed they could heal their bodies. They believed in a marriage between scientific advancements and traditional healing way. Many in the West have lost our way. We look to profiteering drug companies to heal us, and we neglect to heal ourselves.

My suicidal client was given to drinking large quantities of rum and eating crisps for comfort. Other’s duck off for a quick-fix ‘happy meal’ at MacDonald’s. But the happiness seldom lasts. This kind of happiness is fake-news masquerading as truth. I write more about this, including the ways alcohol and sugar compromise your immune system in the chapter, Sweet Misery in my mindful sobriety books, Your Beautiful Mind and Mind Your Drink.

As with all my books and services I take a holistic approach to health, wellbeing, and happiness—including the spiritual aspect of our healing. Panic and fear are debilitating. They flood our bodies, minds, and spirits with stress hormones and decreases our immune system. They block our natural, positive, healing, energy.

One of the most important things you can do in the wake of the Conovirus is to learn to boost your immune system naturally.

There are many, many ways to do this. In my Art of Success series, and also Resilience Plus: 5 Book-Bundle Box Set
How to Overcome Adversity, Build Resilience and Be Happy I share some of the simplest, easiest, affordable and enjoyable ways to do this

One of my favorite strategies is meditation and also listening to a guided meditation. Marianne Williamson has shared a wonderful White Light mediation to fight off the Conovirus here>>https://www.instagram.com/p/B9ipwRVBRt3/

 

 

Another strategy involves the power of creativity and infusing your life with the light of fantasia.

Enjoy this excerpt from the Art of Success, and allow Leonardo da Vinci to be your life coach during these uncertain times.

What do you ask first? What’s realistic? Or what’s possible?

So many people want guarantees of success before taking action. But Leonardo’s health, happiness and success was primarily driven by his deep and fertile imagination—or what he termed fantasia. Fantasia he believed, was a core requirement for a successful creator. He fed his immune system by feeding his imagination with a diversity of sources. Records kept from his book lists showed that he owned chivalric romances, imaginative poetry, collections of tales, fables and jests, as well, as scientific and fact-based texts. To succeed, you need to establish a union between the intelletto, rational understanding, and fantasia, imaginative composition.

But in the beginning give yourself permission to let your mind, and spirit soar.

Don’t get bogged down by limited rational thinking.

Don’t succumb to fear.

This will stifle creativity, and narrow your capacity for out-of-the-orbit thinking. Numerous scientific studies show that creativity, passion, and joy boost your immune system naturally. Seeking novelty and ‘weird’ experiences stimulates creativity. Imagine, as Leonardo did, impossible things.

Daydream. Create or read about absurd things. And remember you are the divine physician—you can heal your body. When you are happy, healthy, and well no virus can you infect you. You will not be in a state if dis-ease.

 

Your Challenge

 

How can you create more fantastical ideas? How can you boost your immune system naturally? What’s impossible? What if it were possible? How could you make it come true? How would your future be different? Believe in the fantastic. ~ Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid, architect This is an edited extract from: The Art of Success: How Extraordinary Artists Can Help You Succeed in Business and Life

To grab your copy of the Art of Success from Amazon, click here>>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

 

 

Knowledge is power, friends.

Become informed. Don’t succumb to fear and manipulation. Why are the financial markets crashing? Who stands to benefit from the escalation of fear? Even China is floating a conspiracy theory (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/12/conspiracy-theory-that-coronavirus-originated-in-us-gaining-traction-in-china)

 
The population of Italy in 2018 was 60.48 million. 1000 people are reported to have died from Coronavirus (pneumonia) – how is this a pandemic?
 
“people aged 65 and over are at risk of getting pneumonia, as well as people with medical conditions such as diabetes, cancer or a chronic disease affecting the lungs, heart, kidney or liver, smokers, Indigenous Australians, and infants aged 12 months and under.
 
“Age is the major predictor of risk of death from pneumonia. Pneumonia is always serious for an older person and in fact it used to be one of the main causes of death in the elderly. Now we have very good treatments for pneumonia.
 
“It’s important to remember that no matter how healthy and active you are, your risk for getting pneumonia increases with age. This is because our immune system naturally weakens with age, making it harder for our bodies to fight off infections and diseases.”
 

 

Italy also has one of the oldest populations in the world.

 

The best protection is to strengthen your immune system, oxygenate your body, quit life diminishing habits and super-size love.

 

 

Did You Enjoy This Post?

 

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

How stepping away from your work can boost your mood, reduce anxiety and spark joy

The fastest way to go from stress to joy without being overwhelmed

 

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.

You may also enjoy

Survival Tips From Anxiety Experts—‘Do a Coco Chanel’ and Dress Joyfully

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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Creative Unblocking Women’s Creativity 1/2 Day Retreat

Wednesday, February 5th, 2020

Creative Unblocking Women’s Creativity 1/2 Day Retreat

Join me on Saturday, 8 February 2020 for a day 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.

 

Slay the ‘nasties’ and intensify the ‘kind-ies’

Friday, January 31st, 2020

 

Look after your mental health by keeping a feedback file so when someone says something unkind and untruthful about you, you can remind yourself of your integrity. I received this lovely feedback the other day and was reminded to re-read it after a woman texted me the most horrible thing. I am less rattled these days by, what my 10-year-old counseling client calls, the ‘nasties.’

“I’ve worked with Cassandra for more than ten years. When I feel I need some expert advice and guidance she is the first person I think of. I know she understands where I’m coming from and gets results. I always finish sessions with new ways of thinking about situations and feeling better about where I’m at plus achievable action items. Currently, I’m working with her while I’m outside New Zealand and although I know face-to-face is always preferable I still feel I get what I need to get on and reach my goals. It’s nice to know this distance coaching approach works as I really value the connection that I have developed over time and get a lot from working with her. Try it and see if works for you!”

Rob A. Melbourne, 2020

I love, love, love coaching people and encouraging and inspiring them to reach their dreams—so it’s always upsetting when some spreads ‘fake-news.”  But as I told the 10-year old girl, who was feeling anxious about starting high school…there will be bullies, there will be teachers who you don’t like—that’s life. But what counts is your ability to be your beautiful self inspire of them.

Today in our ’emergency’ counseling session we created ‘a box of worries’ and popped the thoughts giving her anxiety into it. On the other side of the worry, my client created ’empowering’ counter-thoughts.

 

She was worried that high-school people would call her a baby because she liked wizards and fairies and unicorns.

 

 

 

 

Her ‘unicorn’ thought (happier thought) reminded her about J.K Rowling and also Dr. Suess and all the other creatives that take their ‘babyish’ imagination and create something profitable that uplifts the world.

 

Now that’s powerful creativity.

 

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

 

You’ll find more creative, scientifically engineered tips and holistic strategies to beat stress and boost happiness in Resilience Plus: 5 Book-Bundle Box Set: How to Overcome Adversity, Build Resilience and Be Happy

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

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/3LDr1M

Why Comparison Robs Joy

Sunday, December 8th, 2019

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Theodore Roosevelt

 

Constantly thinking what others are doing, stalking others on social media, and berating yourself for feeling inadequate in comparison drains your energy and robs your joy. Yet it can be addictive.

Like any addiction again it’s a harmful habit if taken to extremes, comparison can be self-sabotaging and a form of self-abuse. It’s also a hard pattern to stop. But stop you must if your joy is to be returned to you.

We’re curious, social beings. We are drawn to others, we like to know what people are up to, and we like to follow successful people.

But we don’t see everyone’s entire life. We only see one glance—and often it’s a carefully curated one.

We don’t befriend ourselves enough and acknowledge our difficult journey, and how we have triumphed over trauma, or how far we’ve come. Some of what we have experienced others may never have experienced—much less survived.

Instead of comparing ourselves to others negatively, to reclaim joy we need to think about where we are now and compare this to where we have been—yesterday, last week, last month, last year. This is especially important when we are recovering for illness or a setback of any kind. Traumatic experiences or mental health challenges can make us especially vulnerable.

 

Use aspirational comparisons

Compare yourself to people similar to you or who have been in the same spot and are now flourishing. 

Think of someone you aspire to be like. Oprah? Drew Barrymore? Your mother? Or a dear friend?

 

Surround yourself with your mentors. People who are inspiring and smile in the face of adversity are like vitamins for our souls.

Look back at a time you felt joy and compare yourself to that person. But be careful you don’t hold onto the old you and forget to feed the new emerging you.

 

 

 

This is an edited extract from  How to Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love.

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

To purchase a print, hardback or audiobook version visit your favorite retailer.

How to Future-Proof Your Career. Why Mid-Life is Fab

Tuesday, October 1st, 2019

Fifty, Sixty, Seventy…and more! Midlife can be fabulous!

 

Thank you for your birthday wishes, everyone. I had such a lovely day and was spoiled fabulously. Plus, I found time to do what I love – fine-tune the narration of one of my most popular books,Mid-Life Career Rescue Isn’t it wonderful when you love what you do? I feel so blessed.

I love being an author. It means I can do what I love forever! Thank you to you!

Have you ever wondered how to age-proof your career? You’ll find plenty of inspiration in the midlife career rescue series.

After nearly 54 years searching for my defining purpose in life I finally had an “aha” sparkly-light flash of insight.

And it was staring me literally in the face. However, it took the divine guidance of another lightworker to spotlight the obvious. Last night I purchased Rebecca Campbell’s book, LIght is The New Black. Here is the passage that spoke to me (notes in brackets are mine):

“My entire life I’d had this weird fascination with a thing called ‘nominative determinism’ – when people’s names fit their calling or purpose in life, like little clues from the heavens. For example, William Wordsworth was a writer, Larry Speakes is a White House speaker, Tracey Cox is a sex therapist, and Lisa Messenger is the founder of Collective Magazine. (Similarly, Joanna Penn is a writer) But I’d always felt a bit cheated by my name. In Hebrew, Rebecca means ‘knotted cord,’ or ‘to bind.’ I didn’t want to be a basket and I certainly didn’t want to be a knotted cord. Then it hit me. Up until this point, I had spent my whole life searching for meaning, trying to unbind myself from the knotted bundle of thoughts that makes me, Me.”

One of the challenges I’ve had in accepting my gift for prophecy and my accurate visions stem from the meaning attributed to my name. Discover more and consider how your name may lead you to your best-fit career >> I Am The Oracle—How Your Name Can Fit Your Calling and Life Purpose

 

What I’m working on now…

My daughter and I are making great progress on our first book together. If you’ve lost your joy, you’ll love our new book, How to Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love.

If you’d love to:

  • Relieve stress and quit worrying easily
  • Create more happiness, peace, and joy
  • Keep your brain and body strong and ready for joyfully, focused work
  • Rescue and enrich your relationships
  • Increase your success, health, and happiness with a few simple steps

You’ll find the answers in How to Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love.  Available for pre-order NOW!

I’m also super excited to announce that The Little Princess is now available as an audiobook for your listening ejoyment—narrated by me. If toxic bullying is crippling your self-esteem you’ll find plenty of help in this little book.

Amazon:
getbook.at/TheLittlePrincess

To purchase the eBook on Apple, Barnes, and Noble, Kobo and other online stores>>
https://books2read.com/u/b5709p

 

In between narrating, I’ve been painting. I’m so happy to be donating two pieces to the Hospice who are having an art auction to raise funds. It was a thrill to see my flower painting, ‘blossom’ on the cover! I  hope they make loads of money. It’s such an important charity to support.

 

Your Midlife Can Be Fabulous

Here are a few strategies that can help you regardless of your situation:

1.) Take what already exists and copy it.

Much of what we have learned we copied from people close to us, like our parents, or teachers, before we put our own unique own stamp on it.

Who could you copy? Identify someone who is working in a field you feel you would enjoy and learn as much as possible about what they did to achieve success.

When I was stuck in a career trap I was inspired by the career counselor who was helping me and I began to wonder, ‘how could I do that?’

I looked at her skills and background and asked her what it would take to be like her, and what training she would or wouldn’t recommend.

I then set out to forge my path in a similar way—even learning the interactive drawing therapy techniques I’d found so liberating when she first got me to draw that bird trapped in the cage yearning to fly.

 

2.) Manifest a Miracle

After you have gone to bed tonight, a miracle happens and the fear you felt and problems that have prevented you moving forward are resolved. But you are asleep, so you will not know that the miracle has happened.

When you wake up tomorrow morning what will be different that will tell you? What will you see yourself doing differently?

What will you see others doing differently that will tell you that the miracle has happened?

‘Imagineer’ your miracle and ‘act as if’ it is already done!

When I wanted to be a writer I told people I was a writer. When they asked what had I written I told them I was currently working on a work of non-fiction to help people live and work with passion and purpose.

This ‘acting as if’ motivated me to get moving and live with integrity by following through. While writing, I mocked up a book cover and imagined all the wonderful reviews I would receive.

It was nice confirmation when my first book in the Mid-life Career Rescue series became a #1 bestseller and received 5-star reviews from people who had felt inspired, hopeful and committed to pursuing their dreams as a result of what I had written.

When I wanted to pursue my creativity I developed a website www.cassandragaisford.com dedicated to all things creative. I created a business card which read, ‘artist, author, photojournalist’. Every time I opened my wallet I received a giant reminder and affirmation of the life I wanted to live and the work I felt inspired to do.

When I wanted to leave the city and move to the country I created a manifestation fridge! I pasted quotes, photos, and affirmations of where and how I wanted us to live. Above all, I allowed no doubt. I included the words from a psychic I had consulted, “You’ll be happier than you know is possible.” And guess what? We are!

‘Acting as if’ is simply using the power of your mind, engaging your senses—especially the magnetic power of your heart, and harnessing the power of intention to bring into reality your heart’s desire.

 

3.) Plan For Success

After Cate quit her job she contacted me for business coaching. She told me she never finished her projects. After implementing a planning strategy following a Skype coaching session she wrote to me, “Thank you SOOO much for this morning. It has certainly fired me up—and being able to see the end of a project before really starting is very helpful.

“Similarly, with a timeline, you can actually see the end before you begin. I can see that this has changed my mindset about ’starting’ on whatever it is I’m working on—look at the end date or envisage the end result (like a book cover to achieve my goal of being a published author). This seems to have freed up some of my perceived fears/blockages.” Cate’s new business is now up and running and she’s never felt more liberated.

As I shared with Cate, I like to think of all my goals as projects. That way I avoid feeling like things will take forever, plus I have deadlines to work to—ones that feel manageable. And I always like to visualize what it will feel like when I’ve actually finished a project. I don’t want to wait until the project is finished. I want that feeling of achievement and excitement now!

Building the House of Your Dreams

I applied this strategy when I visualized building a house on the back of my old villa in Wellington many years ago. At the time, everyone thought achieving my desire was an impossible dream. Even I knew it was audacious—I was a single working mother with no savings.

But I didn’t let that stop me from throwing my energy into seeing the house built. To feed my desire and overcome resistance I imagined how beautiful my home could be. I felt the evening sun on my face.

I heard the birdsong in the trees. I saw every aspect of what I wanted—the colors, the expanses of glass. I felt the lovely stone benchtops. I tasted the meals I would cook for friends. I fed my motivation to actually build a house from scratch.

To feed desire, generate ideas, increase clarity and fuel a sense of possibility I created image boards and gathered clippings of what I wanted to manifest.

I also broke the project into manageable chunks to avoid feeling overwhelmed and also to counteract my fears around cost escalations. I sourced my team—builders, architects, and other pros. In short, I began with the end in mind and broke the project into manageable steps and drew up a project plan.

Don’t get me wrong—I am no passionate planner. I am naturally organic and spontaneous. But when the need and the desires arise we are all capable of mastering the skills we need. But first I worked to my preferences and strengths and began creatively.

I like creating projects because they make things seem more manageable. They usually have beginnings and endings, and often tangible concrete results.

Some of my projects have included things like publishing books, building websites, beginning a blog, creating a company and personal brands, generating products and services, and customers.

As you start to surround yourself with tangible evidence of possibilities and to chart your progress, inspiration, desire, and love builds. Suddenly your dreams are no longer dreams but living realities.

Hot Tip! Be sure to include completion deadlines—these can flex if need be, but have a date to work to. Reward yourself each time you complete a milestone; much like builders do when they have the roof shout.

You’ll find loads more strategies in Mid-Life Career Rescue and other books in the series.

Good luck!!

 

Did you enjoy this post?

You might like:

Life transformed by faith in the stars

6 Things Successful People Do To Become & Stay Motivated & Happy

Rebirthing a New Career: Lynnie’s reinvention story

Here are three more things you might like:


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


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


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

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


For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

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

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

I Am The Oracle—How Your Name Can Fit Your Calling and Life Purpose

Sunday, September 29th, 2019

 

 

It’s my birthday tomorrow and after nearly 54 years searching for my defining purpose in life I finally had an “aha” sparkly-light flash of insight.

And it was staring me literally in the face. However, it took the divine guidance of another lightworker to spotlight the obvious. Last night I purchased Rebecca Campbell’s book, LIght is The New Black. Here is the passage that spoke to me (notes in brackets are mine):

“My entire life I’d had this weird fascination with a thing called ‘nominative determinism’ – when people’s names fit their calling or purpose in life, like little clues from the heavens. For example, William Wordsworth was a writer, Larry Speakes is a White House speaker, Tracey Cox is a sex therapist, and Lisa Messenger is the founder of Collective Magazine. (Similarly, Joanna Penn is a writer) But I’d always felt a bit cheated by my name. In Hebrew, Rebecca means ‘knotted cord,’ or ‘to bind.’ I didn’t want to be a basket and I certainly didn’t want to be a knotted cord. Then it hit me. Up until this point, I had spent my whole life searching for meaning, trying to unbind myself from the knotted bundle of thoughts that makes me, Me.”

One of the challenges I’ve had in accepting my gift for prophecy and my accurate visions stem from the meaning attributed to my name. This from Wikipedia:

 

Cassandra†or Kassandra†(Ancient Greek: Κασσάνδρα, pronounced [kas̚sándra], also Κασάνδρα), also known as Alexandra, was a daughter of King Priam and of Queen Hecuba of Troy in Greek mythology. In modern usage, her name is employed as a rhetorical device to indicate someone whose accurate prophecies are not believed by those around them.

A common version of her story relates how in an effort to seduce her, Apollo gave her the power of prophecy: when she refused him, he spat into her mouth to inflict a curse that nobody would ever believe her prophecies. In an alternative version, she fell asleep in a temple, and snakes licked (or whispered in) her ears so that she could hear the future.[a]

Cassandra became a figure of epic tradition and of tragedy.

 

whose accurate prophecies are believed by those around them.

 

Instead of accepting the curse of a sexual predator’s ad would-be rapist, as I go forward into the year ahead I am focusing on the verifiable facts regarding the accuracy of my prophecies. I will no longer be undermined, nor deterred by those who choose not to believe. I will speak my truth and continue in my mission and purpose to bring more joy, peace, hope, and healing to this world. And I will also continue to shed light of the lies which masquerade as truths. Something I write about in my book, Mind Your Drink: The Surprising Joy of Sobriety Control Alcohol, Discover Freedom, Find Happiness and Change Your Life

 

More from Wikipedia:

 

Cassandra was the daughter of King Priam (Priamos) and Queen Hecuba (Hekabe) and the fraternal twin sister of Helenus and a princess of Troy.

On a conscious level, I didn’t know this when I wrote my story, The Little Princess, where I share my own story of being bullied and how I found the courage to follow my passion and purpose. Below is a short excerpt:

CHAPTER ONE

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

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

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

She just wasn’t sure how.

 

CHAPTER TWO

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

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

Almost beyond the reach of her doubts and fears.

 

The Little Princess details the inspiring story behind the creation of The Passion Pack—a little pack of inspirational oracle-like cards. The Passion Pack later inspired 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 counseling 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.”

 

More about the guiding light my name inspires: According to legend, Cassandra was both beautiful and clever, but considered insane.

Cassandra’s perceived insanity was the result of being cursed by the god Apollo. Many versions of the myth relate that she incurred the god’s wrath by refusing him sex, sometimes after first promising herself in exchange for the power of prophecy.

 

I love Meryl Streep and her take on the need for more ‘Bullshit detectors’ — “these modern-day Cassandra’s to report to us what they see, what they hear, and which way leads over the cliff, so we can swerve to avoid it…”

Thank you, Meryl (and Rebecca), for validating me, and other truth-tellers like me who wish to lead the world away from harm and guide them to the light of love and peace, strength and empowerment!

 

My daughter is named Hannah Joy (Joy after her grandmother, my mother). It seems fitting that the first book we collaborate in writing is called, How to Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You LoveHere is a wee excerpt from a chapter Hannah wrote, called Push Through. If you only knew what she has had to endure over the last 28 years. But that is her story to tell.

 

Push Through

“Once you choose hope, anything is possible.”

Christopher Reeve

Can you imagine how depressing it must have felt to have once played superman and then to become confined to a wheelchair for the rest of your life? Such a fate befell actor Christopher Reeve following a horse-riding accident.

Perhaps life has paralyzed you. Even though you might not feel like standing after a fall, it’s important to push through.  Feel the fear and play the game of life anyway.  Your power play may be pulling yourself out of your little rut and soaking up some sunshine. We truly do run off solar-batteries.

Here’s what Hannah wrote before finishing this chapter:

I don’t really feel like writing anything right now but I will because I am making a conscious choice to contribute towards this book.  To push through my lack of inspiration and find inspiration where I am.

Mustang Sally is playing in the background of the cafe where I am and that’s funny as it’s actually my little theme song and I have chosen to find some joy in that.

It’s not possible to feel joyful and inspired all the time but it’s really about choice. Choosing how you want to feel and not falling prisoner to negative feelings.

I could’ve gone back to bed but I have decided to stick to my routine and come down to Prefab cafe and work on this book. Committing to some sense of routine and wonderment.

Joy at play is where the light shines through the cracks.  This is where hope reaches us. Diving into dreams can be playful too.  Hannah dreamed that she went live inside her Facebook group and did a proper live video.  It was really inspiring and soul serving. It was a sweet dream of showing up after a long period of hiding in the shadow.

This is where the light comes in and the joy becomes more self-fulfilling. “I can overcome anything from this space. I can be filled with wonder and enlightenment,” Hannah says.

Anything can be achieved when are filled with hope and wonder and joy. Who is the first person to achieve this? The internal, ideal you. The actual self, the lower version of ourselves that might usually struggle, wakes up and realizes they she can, in fact, achieve anything and everything. The ideal, actualized self is that part of you that is no longer clingy. That rises above the supposed suffering and becomes a better version—an ideal self. You can find her from deep within, she is there. Forever and always. Invite her out to play.

Believe in your playful, inspired dreams.  Dream them and bring them into being.  Dream your new-found confidence into being. Don’t compare yourself to others and measure where they are at within their own growth process. You’re not going in that direction. You’re forging your own path.

Feel the fear and play the game of life anyway. 

Be playful with your self-talk, “You’ve got this. You can do this. I believe in you. I love you. Let’s play.”  Things like that.

 

I share Hannah’s story of being bullied and the magic that helped her still shine brightly in I Have to Grow.

As I share in the foreword:

I know now that my spirit guides, helpers and intuition spoke lead me to the ancient handwritten manuscript because the timing was divinely guided

“I originally wrote I Have to Grow twenty-four years ago when Hannah was four-years-old and was experiencing some very horrible bullying. When I look back, this really was my first book and heralded all those that followed with the focus on self-empowerment and overcoming shitty things that happen to good people.

Around May 20, 2019, following the galactic success of my own story of being bullied in The Little Princess, I prayed and prayed that I could find my original handwritten manuscript.

I rated my chances as slim. After all, twenty-four years is a long time to keep pieces of paper. Thankfully, when it comes to keeping words that inspire me I’m a hoarder.

After tearing through my old filing cabinets in the garage I found it!.”

I hope by sharing Hannah’s story (both in I Have to Grow and How to Find Your Joy and Purpose you realize how important it is to unearth and share your gifts. Whether you have a talent for singing, helping others or solving puzzles—whatever it is that sparks joy within you is your gift.

You may or may not want to share it with the world but what matters most is to do what makes you happy and never ever listen to anyone who tries to steal your music.

 

It’s exciting finally waking up to the truth of who I am. And it all began with my name. And it also began with reminding myself of the standout moments in my life. Some crappy, others shiny. Some of them mentioned here, and on other blog posts, and many in my books. But just as a compass doesn’t always point north, those days south of my true magnetic potential have carried me along the path to one else has traveled and which has made me uniquely me.

I wasn’t always happy being who I am. I hated my sensitivity. I tried to block it out. I tried to be who other people wanted me to be. I tried to live in a false identity. But just as at times it hurt so much to feel, it hurt more to pretend I didn’t care. I love Drew Barrymore for helping us keep things real. Only by being real ca we heal. As you’ll see below, I suffer when people take their lives. I truly suffer. But it also drives me to be the change I want to see in the world. As Michelle Obama said:

“We need to fix our souls. Our souls are broken in this nation. We have lost our way. And it begins with inspiration. It begins with leadership.”

This video was taken an hour after I learned I young landscape gardener, an exceedingly beautiful young man, had taken in his life. I knew him less than several hours (over the course of a week) – yet his death, like those of others I have never met, hurt profoundly.  It has taken me over fifty years to befriend my sensitivity and to use this to bring more hope and healing and truth into the world.

 

I was once told by a violinist in Florence, that I have the soul of an artist. I see that now. I own that now. I celebrate that now. I celebrate the woman who is super-sensitive for it is this sensitivity that I gift the world in the light-inspired creations that I have created and now devote myself to creating whole-heartedly in the future.

Wayne Dyer once said, “You can’t give what you do have.” I am so grateful to give thanks for being blessed with the soul of an artist and being able to give the world the gift of my creative, prophetic expression.

Thank you for supporting and believing in me.

Below are images of the two paintings I gifted to the local hospice – the inspiration for the words is in the video above.

 

 

 

What does your name mean? What career or life path does it suggest your follow? Whatever your name, remember we are all oracles. We all possess divine wisdom inside our heart. And if we don’t like our names we are free to choose another!

 

RESOURCES BY CASSANDRA MENTIONED IN THIS ARTICLE

The Little Princess

To read or listen to 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

Now available in audio

How to Find Your Joy and Purpose

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

Amazon>> getbook.at/FindYourJoy

 

I Have to Grow

To read the second book in Cassandra’s Transformational Super Kids series, I Have to Grow>>
getbook.at/IHavetoGrow

 

Mind Your Drink

Mind Your Drink: The Surprising Joy of Sobriety Control Alcohol, Discover Freedom, Find Happiness and Change Your Life, Amazon>> getbook.at/MindYourDrink

How to Find Your Passion and Purpose

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

 

 

Did you enjoy this post?

You might like:

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

Life transformed by faith in the stars

 Destiny Decided: The Minute That Changed My Life—2018 in Review

 

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.

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.

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