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Archive for the 'Creativity' Category

 How to Fulfill Your Dreams—Why Giving Joy to Others Leads to Success

Wednesday, September 4th, 2019

 

 

“What we seek with deep longing, here and there, outside and beyond; we find at last within ourselves and we give with joy to others.”

Cassandra Gaisford

What do you care deeply about? What are your deepest beliefs?

Your values are your deep, personal needs, and the things that are truly important to you. They represent who you are, who you want to be and what you want to contribute to the world.

You may have a deep need to be creative, to help others, to entertain people or to change the world. Anything.

When your values are met there can be an incredible sense of joy, but value conflicts can also be a powerful clue to your joy and purpose.

Discovering all the things that you feel strongly about is not always easy. Look for some clues to your beliefs by catching the times you use words such as  ‘should’ or ‘must.’  Or, even the times you find yourself saying or feeling that you really ‘want to’ do something.

I did this today when I felt ‘compelled’ to donate a second painting to the local hospice who are holding an art auction next month to raise much-needed funds.

I felt a surge of joy as I drove along the country roads of The Bay of Islands and drove 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 and me, “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 said. “I know how healing creativity can be.”

I shared with her the memory of my step-father Ted, a military man, who in the final stages of brain cancer, began to paint watercolors. Brilliant watercolors 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, for Hospice Mid-Northland.

And we agreed.

My values are my beliefs and they are woven through who I am and what I do.

“Cassandra believes in magic and the power of beauty, joy, love, purpose, and creativity to transform peoples’ lives,” I say on my website. “On this site you’ll find resources she’s created to uplift, encourage and inspire.”

Real joy is more than a fad or fleeting enthusiasm. It can’t be turned on and off like a light switch. It’s a full-bodied belief or commitment to something.

What do you really believe in? It might be honesty, openness, freedom, equality, justice, compassion, generosity, kindness—or something else.

 

“If you want joy, give joy to others.”

“If you want joy, give joy to others,” encourages Deepak Chopra. It is the intention behind your giving and receiving that is the most important thing. The act of giving should always be joyful. It should always be to create happiness for both the giver and the receiver—then the energy behind the giving multiples, spreading seeds of joy among the world.

 

Identify and acknowledge your values.  What do you really need to feel satisfied and fulfilled?

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.

Record your insights in your joy journal.

 

This has been an excerpt from How to Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love—COMING SOON.

New Release: Coco Chanel:Life Coach

Monday, August 19th, 2019

Those on whom legends are built are their legends.

~ Coco Chanel, businesswoman

 

Dear friends,

 

Please join me in celebrating Coco Chanel’s Birthday (19 August 1883). To celebrate, I’m so delighted to be releasing a new book in her honor, “Coco Chanel: Life Coach.”

 

Learn Her Secret Recipe For Enduring Success and Gain Daily Motivation For the Best You Ever

Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel. Coco had to overcome obstacles to success just like you and me. She suffered many hardships, including the death of her mother when she was young, being abandoned by a father who didn’t love her, growing up in an orphanage, and the stigma of her early years which plagued her throughout her life.

She suffered extreme poverty, self-doubt, low-self esteem and craved love. People jealous of her talent also spread malicious rumors and tried to undermine her success.

But she didn’t let obstacles stop her from doing the work she loved. The pursuit of excellence born from her experience, fueled by her determination to be an independent woman, and the desire to liberate others, ultimately led to her success.

Her boundless imagination, strength of purpose and courageous spirit are an inspiration to young and old.

I created Coco Chanel: Life Coach (the second book in the Master Life Coach series to reveal how the success secrets and strategies of extraordinary artists like Coco Chanel can help people like you and I succeed—personally and professionally.

Successful artists have always struggled, but they persevered anyway. And it is this willingness to pursue their calling in the face of many challenges that holds lessons for us all.

 

Who Is This Book For?

If you want to challenge conventional definitions of success and live life on your own terms, this book is for you.

If you’re an aspiring creative, or an accomplished one, Coco Chanel: Life Coach will provide support and encouragement to continue the journey.

If you suffer from fear, doubt, procrastination, or overly seek validation from others, Coco Chanel: Life Coach will come to your rescue.

If you’re a Type A personality looking for the fastest route to success, Coco Chanel: Life Coach will challenge you to experiment with going quickly slowly, to avoid burning out.

Or overrunning the turn-off that would lead you down the path less traveled—the route that may lead you to your most enduring success.

Or you might, like me, be passionate about Coco Chanel and all that she achieved, and want to discover her success secrets.

Your Concise Guide to Success

Coco Chanel: Life Coach is a concise guide to succeeding in business and in life. My 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.

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?’ They were always amazed at how readily answers flowed.

In this era of information obesity, the need for simple, life-affirming messages is even more important. If you are looking for inspiration and practical tips, in short, sweet sound bites, this guide is for you.

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

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

At the time of writing I’ve just turned to Principle Three: Invent Your Life. It’s a timely reminder that I can transcend the things I dislike and create a life that fills me with joy—no matter what seemingly insurmountable obstacles block my path. The following remark from Coco may also speak to you: “I invented my life by taking for granted that everything I did not like would have an opposite, which I would like.”

How This Book Will Help You

Whenever I’m in a slump or needing an inspirational boost I turn to people who are smarter or more skilled than me for good advice.

I’ve done the same with the qualities I’ve wanted to develop, like patience. “What would Mother Theresa do now?” I asked many years ago. Mother Theresa wouldn’t shout! She wouldn’t lose her cool. She’d send loving kindness and smile. And that’s what I did whenever I got frustrated.

Coco Chanel was super smart! I have applied the strategies I’m sharing with you in my own life—personally and professionally.

If you’ve been procrastinating, experiencing self-doubt, feeling fearful, or just getting in your own way, you’re in good company, Coco’s been there. I’ve been there too—as have many successful people. Guess what, getting in your own way is normal!

I promise there are solutions to the problems you’re currently facing—and you’ll find them in the pages that follow.

Dig into this book and let Coco Chanel be your coach, mentor, inspiration, and guide as she calls forth your passions, purpose, and potential.

Through the teachings of Coco, extensive research into the mysteries of motivation, success, and fulfillment, and my own personal experience and professional success with clients as a former holistic counselor and therapist, Coco Chanel: Life Coach will help you accelerate success. Together, Coco and I will guide you to where you need to go next and give you practical steps to achieve success.

I was once told that I had the soul of an artist. Actively discouraged in childhood, for a long time I’d closed off that side of me. I began my career as a bank-teller, then as an accountant, then as a recruitment consultant, followed by more ‘business-minded’ careers. I even spent time in prison…on a work assignment.

Each time I went further and further away from who I truly was and the things that gave me joy. Like Coco Chanel, I wasn’t encouraged to pursue my natural inclination. My hope is that after reading Coco Chanel: Life Coach you will be!

Whether your calling is the world of fashion, commerce, or seeking answers in the stars, it’s never too late to be yourself.

Step into this ride joyfully and start creating your best life today.

In the first book in Master Life Coach series, I shared how Leonardo da Vinci was a systems thinker who recognized and valued the interconnectedness of everything. He can teach us many lessons, including the link between passion and inspiration, mental strength, emotional resilience, spiritual power, health, and well-being, empowering relationships, smart goals and authentic success.

The Coco Chanel: Life Coach takes a holistic look at what it means, and what it takes, to be successful.

 

The Eight Principles of Success

I’ve sectioned Coco Chanel: Life Coach 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 Coco valued above all else. Principle Three, “Empower Your Vision,” will help you clarify and visualize 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 maximize your success, and ways to work less but achieve more to achieve greater balance and fulfillment.

Your health is your wealth yet it’s often a neglected part of success. Principle Six, “Empower Your Body,” recognizes 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 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.

Coco Chanel: Life Coach ends with Principle Eight, “Empower Your Work” and emphasizes the role of authenticity and doing what 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.

 

How To Best Enjoy This Book

Think of Coco Chanel: Life Coach like a shot of espresso. Sometimes one quick hit is all it takes to get started. Sometimes you need a few shots to sustain your energy. Or maybe you need a bigger motivational hit and then you’re on your way.

You’re in control of what works best for you. Go at your own pace, but resist over-caffeinating. A little bit of guidance here-and-there can do as much to fast-track your success as consuming all the principles in one hit.

Skim to sections that are most relevant to you, and return to familiar ground to reinforce home-truths. But most of all enjoy your experience.

 

Your Challenge

I love your works to date—provocative and supportive at the same time,” a gentleman who’d read my Mid-Life Career Rescue books wrote to me recently.

To provoke is to incite or stimulate. It’s the reason I’ve included open-ended questions and calls to action in each guide. The best questions are open, generative ones that don’t allow for ‘yes/no’ answers; rather they encourage you to tap into your higher wisdom, intuition, or go in search of answers—as both Coco and Leonardo did.

 

Dive Deeper With The Coco Chanel: Life Coach Workbook and Audio

Coco Chanel: Life Coach will also be available as a workbook, with space to write your responses to the challenges and calls to action within the book.

Subscribe to my newsletter and follow me on BookBub to be the first to know when it is released—and stay tuned for news of the audiobook (narrated by me).

 

Expand Your Learning—Follow My Blog

Gain more insights—signup to my newsletter and follow this blog—navigate to here www.cassandragaisford.com

 

Inspirational Quotes To Support and Empower

Sometimes all it takes is one encouraging word, one timely bit of advice to awaken your power within. Throughout Coco Chanel: Life Coach I’ve balanced Chanel’s wisdom with other feminine and masculine strength—choosing from a wide range of super-capable men and women, historical and current, young and old. Men and women who shared Coco’s interests and also had to overcome significant obstacles on the way to success.

 

Be Empowered

Empowerment is defined as giving power or authority to someone or something—who better to decide who assumes this power and sovereign authority than you.

Empowered people do what they need to do to assume mastery over their thoughts, feelings, emotions, and things that affect their lives.

Empowered people are successful people because they live life on their terms. They do the things that really matter to them and those they love.

Empowered people are resilient in the face of setbacks, disappointments or attacks and they’re flexible enough to tackle obstacles in the path.

Like Coco Chanel, they recognize they are the experts and sovereign authority in their lives. They learn from and surround themselves with other empowered successful people. They back themselves even when they don’t succeed.

Are you ready to heed the call for success and define success on your own terms?

 

Let’s get started!

 

 

 

How To ‘Do a Coco Chanel’ and Achieve Success: Follow Your Passion

 

 

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.

 

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

 

 

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.

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Did you enjoy this post?

You might like:

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

How to Age Positively in Your 40s, 50s, 60s and Beyond

 How To Find Your Passion and Purpose

Here are three more things you might like:


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


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


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

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

 

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to this blog and sign up for Cassandra’s newsletters to get more stories like this.

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

 

 

How to Age Positively in Your 40s, 50s, 60s and Beyond

Saturday, August 10th, 2019

Embrace The Changing World of Work!

It is a great time for mid-lifers to make the leap to a new career, but for some people, this means reframing their expectations of employment. 

Embracing the new world of work, where it seems likely that many people will continue to work in paid employment into their late 60s, 70s and beyond means a mindset change for not just employers but also, more importantly, for individuals themselves. 

Many countries and organizations are facing a critical skills shortage as fewer and fewer younger people enter the workforce and mature workers continue to opt-out of mainstream employment. 

Among these messages of impending disaster at a conference I attended in Italy it was refreshing to hear delegates from France, Italy and Australia reframe the issues from a problem to an opportunity and to speak about positive aging and the “gift of longevity.”

But so many of the more ‘mature’ clients I coach still feel their age is a problem. They worry that they are too old to change careers, and despair they have left it too late to change. 

“My life has been a life of regret,” one of my clients said. At the ripe young age of 45, he couldn’t see much hope of improving his situation. 

Similarly, Mike, a professional man in his late 50s told me he was too old to change career. He also worried that employers would feel the same way. After reading this book and some follow up coaching he changed his mindset and opportunities flooded his way. 

He’s now working in a role that his friends say looks like it was tailor-made just for him.

You’re never too old to learn new skills and you may even discover a new talent.

If you feel your age is against you it’s time to get a mindset shift. There are numerous ways to maintain a positive approach to increasing age. Here are just a few examples:

 

1.) Start collecting evidence of positive aging. Compile an inspirational mid-life file and add clippings, photos, quotes, and ‘case studies’ of people who have made it big, or are happy at work, in their twilight years. Look for your role models.

Gather at least 10 examples of successful people in your age group and above. You’ll see a few of my favorite examples further below.

2.) Create an image board or journal. Paste inspirational quotes, pictures, and clippings which celebrate maturity in the workforce and life. Motivate yourself by adding to it and looking at it regularly.

3.) Turn age into an asset. Don’t be disheartened by people who think your age is against you. Write down a list of the benefits of hiring a mature worker. Widen your awareness of the positives by asking others to add their views. Armed with your own self-belief and a few powerful strategies to market yourself, you’ll be unstoppable.

4.) Network with other like-minded people. Talk to other mature job seekers, check helpful websites, and network with organizations that provide tips and examples to help you succeed and stay positive.

5.) Get career fit. Learn a new skill or get up to date with new technology that will help you gain the job you want. You’re never too old to learn, and you may even discover a new talent.

 

I’ve reinvented my career numerous times, and a big factor in my success has been my willingness to learn new skills and invest in my development.

Recently, I’ve entered the brave new world of audiobook narration and creation.  The wonderful thing about being an author is that there is absolutely no age discrimination and it’s a role you can enjoy well into your twilight years.

I’m currently editing my audiobook file (narrated by me) of Midlife Career Rescue: The Call For Change, and I’m super excited to have found out today that The Boy Who Cried is now available in audio. Check it out here, and listen to an excerpt for FREE!

To check out an excerpt for FREE and grab your Amazon, click here>> getbook.at/TheBoyWhoCried

 

“A wonderful tool…

This book is a wonderful tool for anyone seeking to begin the journey to self-reflection and healing from difficult childhoods. Therapists will find this book useful for their patients young or old. To return as a child to discover where the source of the pain begins has always been valuable, but actually relating it to present day is key to understanding. Highly recommended.”

~ Alma Hammond, Author

6.) Rekindle a sense of adventure. Re-awaken dormant creative skills and adopt a playful approach to life. Take on some FTEs – first-time experiences. Can you think of anything you’d love to try? Like Carla Coulson, who in her 40’s gave photography a go, found a new passion and has now made it a rewarding career.

7.) Challenge your assumptions. Divide a page into half. List any negative assumptions you might have about your age and on the other side write some counter statements. Here’s an example to get you started

Negative Assumptions

Employers prefer younger workers

Affirming Counter Statements

Demographic research shows that companies are going to need to recruit from a more mature labor pool

“There is no substitute for bravery, creative thinking, and imagination if you want a rewarding career.”

~ Peter Biggs, Former CEO of Creative New Zealand

Plenty Of Time To Make It Big

The encouraging news, according to some experts, is that life begins in the late 40s. Evidence suggests that many people don’t reach their potential until well into their 50s and 60s.

American grandfather of motivational books, Napoleon Hill, whose best-selling book, Think and Grow Rich, was published for the first time in 1937, discovered from an analysis of more than 25,000 people that those who succeed seldom do before the age of 40, and usually do not strike their real pace until well beyond their 50’s.

This data should be encouraging for those who ‘fail to arrive’ before 50 and offers compelling evidence that people should approach the mid-years with hope and anticipation!

It’s never too late

Here are just a few people who have achieved success in their later years:

1) Author Helen Hoover Santmyer was 88-years-young when her book And Ladies of the Club was published. It stayed on the New York Times Best-sellers list for eight months. It was her first novel in 50 years.

 

2) A failure at 65, Colonel Sanders was world-famous and wealthy at 80. His father was a miner and his mother worked in a shirt factory. Harland Sanders had to give up school in the sixth grade because he was so poor.

He eventually opened a small home-town restaurant in the Kentucky hills. All looked well until the highway was rerouted and he lost everything. He was 65 at the time and faced with a future barely surviving on social security, his motivation to try again kicked in.

“My government is going to give me a hundred and five dollars so I can eke out an existence. Surely there is something I can do for myself and other people.”

Tapping into powerfully creative questions like this unlocked the key to what would be his major success—his mother’s secret chicken recipe.

Turned down by numerous restaurants at the time he turned potential failure into another inspired idea—franchises. It was an instantaneous hit, and the rest is history!

 

3) Fifty-five-year-old Rhonda Byrne’s life was at an all-time low. Twice divorced, her father had just died and her career was in crisis.

That was until, acting on an inspired thought, she created the DVD The Secret and later produced a book, both of which went on to become some of the biggest-selling self-help resources of all time.

At the heart of Rhonda’s inspirational series of products and resources is the law of attraction.

“Everything in your life is attracted to you by what you are thinking,” Rhonda says. “You are like a human transmission tower, transmitting a frequency with your thoughts.

 

If you want to change anything in your life, change the frequency by changing your thoughts.

Action Questions: How can you think positively?

Take a leaf from Rhonda’s secret to success and change any stinkin’ thinkin’ that may be lingering. Answering the following questions may help:

What results are you currently experiencing that you would like to change?

What thoughts would you need to change?

What thoughts would remain the same?

What things have supported you in maintaining a positive state of mind in the past? How could they be helpful now?

Can you think of some other strategies to help you keep your mind on what you want and off what you don’t want?

“We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance.”

~ Harrison Ford, Actor

Client Success Story: From Unemployed to Franchise Manager

Aged 48, Ngaire returned to New Zealand after running a business in outback Australia. Things had not gone well after an economic downturn in the rural economy and she walked away from her business. Ngaire tried her hand at a few other things but realized there were few prospects for her in Australia so came home.

She returned penniless and alone with no work prospects. She was unsure if her skills were suitable for more modern careers, and initially thought about learning computer skills.

However, a friend encouraged her to read this book and work through a career coaching process. This helped her recognize and value her experience and realize how her current skills could transfer into other jobs.

Ngaire had always walked easily into work because she had lived in a town where everyone knew her and there was plenty of work.

After learning how to value and communicate her transferable skills and experience she re-wrote her resume and was successful in getting a job as a shop manager for a national food franchise. Her new employer valued her prior experience, maturity and management potential.

Ngaire achieved great success in her role and turned around many problem stores. She was quickly promoted and given more responsibility. Her pay packet received a nice boost too!

It takes courage and strength of character to leave a situation and start over again. Ngaire’s secret to success was drive, determination and a solid work ethic.

Initially despondent and fearful, she is now happy, confident and not worried about her future. Ngaire realizes that there are more opportunities out there and that she has the power to create her own luck and seize opportunities that come her way.

Her employer had the foresight to take on a mature person, and together they benefit in ways they hadn’t foreseen.

Robert Kiyosaki, multi-millionaire entrepreneur and author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, is right when he says, “There is no one in your way except you and your doubts about you. It is easy to stay the same. It is not easy to change. Most people choose to stay the same all their lives. If you take on your self-doubt and your laziness you will find the door to your freedom.”

 

A Time Of Renewal

You are as old as you choose to feel. I know many people in their 70’s and 80’s who are still leading active work lives and enjoying a more healthier existence as a result.

“If you retire you expire,” says 88-year-old Boyd Klap who vows never to stop contributing.

Check out this video (https://vimeo.com/122707475) and watch the value of being mutually inspired and inspiring, and of maintaining a spirit of curiosity through and beyond your middle ages.

You’ll see Mandy Scott-Mackie who had just embarked on a mid-life career adventure in outback Australia and hear Boyd Klap who tried retiring many times and got bored! I apologize for the sound quality—Wellington’s infamous wind got the better of us.

 

Action Task! Visualize Your Future

For some, getting older can herald more opportunities. While for others, especially those without a nest egg, or a working partner to fall back on, seeking help to reinvent their lives and careers is critical.

Whatever situation you find yourself in, going with the flow and waiting for life to ‘happen’ won’t provide the emotional and financial security you seek. Actively plan for your preferred future, because that’s where you’re going to be spending the rest of your life.

The following sensory visualization exercise will not only help you clarify your preferred future, but it will also help you power up your subconscious mind:

 

1) Draw a timeline and put yourself on it.

Project yourself toward your preferred future – 10, 15, or 20 years from now. How old will you be? Note this down. Now create your ideal life in your mind’s eye. Engage all your senses and record your responses to the following questions (try visually displaying your responses on an image or dream board).

What sights are around you? Are you surrounded by people who love you, or enjoying the solitude of nature? Are you living overseas in an elegant, romantic, calm environment or are you somewhere more high energy, bustling and commercial? What colors and things surround you? What do you see?

What can you hear—the peacefulness of the country, cries of acclaim for something you have done, laughter, live music, birdsong or something else?

What smells fill the air? The smell of your partner’s cologne, or perfume as you work from home? The sweet aromatic smell of freshly picked grapes from your vineyard? What does your preferred future smell like to you?

How does your preferred future feel? Is it like the warm, smooth earth surrounding the lifestyle home where you live and work? The silky coats of the horses you train? The fine linen of your business suit, or the smooth denim of your jeans as you turn up to deliver a seminar? Notice all the textures that surround you.

How does your ideal life taste? Are you enjoying the foods from your organic garden? Fine cuisine on your overseas travels? Amazing meals out dining with clients as you travel the world? Or something else

By visualizing your preferred future and engaging your senses you have taken the first step in making your dreams your reality.

2) What’s stopping you from living your dream now?

Note these things down, but resist the feeling of being stuck by actively willing your mind to create solutions. Ask generative questions like: How can I make my dream real? Where can I get help? How can I make a change?

Look back along your timeline and think about all the steps you would have to do to make things happen.

Who would you need to talk to? What information would you need to know? What finance would you need to acquire? How can you acquire it? What training or new skills would you need?

3) On your timeline begin to map out the stepping stones to your success and do something every day, no matter how small, to move you closer to your dream.

Don’t worry if you don’t have all the answers. This is only the beginning of your career adventure. The rest of the exercises in this book will help you fill in any gaps.

Preparing For Success

There is only one security in this life—the ability to manage change. Below are a few strategies to help you prepare for a successful change:

1.) Increase your self-awareness. “Pause for a cup of tea, David Lange, former Prime Minister of New Zealand once said, when people were rushing prematurely into critical decision-making that affected the country’s future. Increase your self-awareness. Take time out to clarify what it is that you really want—and why.

How can we have a knowledge economy if we lack self-knowledge? Listen to my interview on Radio New Zealand about this and other issues related to changing careers—http://www.cassandragaisford.com/media.

2.) Play. Approach the career planning process with an adventurous, curious spirit. In the early stages remind yourself that you are exploring. Deciding can come later. Nurture and encourage curiosity and allow yourself to dream. Ask yourself, “what if…”

It’s also interesting to note the increasing emphasis being given to adults now to embrace their inner, fearless child. Tap into the ‘kidult’ trend to help with modern-day challenges, advocate a range of experts, and work towards an idealized world, free of restraint. You may just surprise yourself.

3.) Spend time researching your options and generating alternative possibilities. Actively challenge any assumptions that may be holding you back.

4.) Affirm the positive. Keep your mind on what you do want and off what you don’t. Your truest beliefs become your thoughts, your deepest thoughts become your words, your spoken and unspoken words become your actions, your concrete actions become your habits, your conscious and unconscious habits become your values and your values become your destiny.

5.) Get inspired! Surround yourself with all the things that give you joy. Sidestep the things that give you stress and look after your health so you have energy to make changes.

6.) Plan for success and set yourself free. Know when it’s time to stop thinking about changing and time to take concrete steps toward your preferred future.

Work through the exercises in this book and buddy up with someone who believes in the beauty of your dreams and can help you stay on track.

 

Client Success Story: From IT Account Manager to Travel Agent

Bill Kwan’s wake-up call happened in his 40s when increasing stress levels made a career move not just a nice thing to do, but a necessity. As his wife said, “If you don’t leave now it will kill you.”

Some people may have taken the easier option by taking stress leave or an extended holiday, but Bill chose to take a career leap and shift from a senior account management role with an international IT company to work in an area that had always interested him —travel.

He initially worked as a travel consultant for a local travel agency. However, changing careers did come at a price.

“I didn’t just take a salary drop—it was a salary plummet,” he says. However, what he sacrificed in salary was made up for in personal fulfillment. “I gained more time to spend with my wife and daughter, play golf and work in an area that I love.”

“Follow your desire, but make sure you plan for success,” Bill says.

Bill already had his eye on his longer-term goal when he accepted the junior role as a travel agent. Two years after making his first move he purchased his own agency.

“Often people try to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you really need to do, in order to have what you want.”

Margaret Young, Author

 

This is an edited extract for Mid-Life Career Rescue: (The Call For Change):  How to Confidently Leave a Job You Hate, and Start Living a Life you Love, Before It’s Too Late​

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

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:

What Makes You Happy? The Success Secret Midlife Career Changers Need to Know

Why Pursuing Your Passion Not Your Pension is The Ultimate Mid-Life Career Change Strategy

 My story: how my dark nights of the soul awakened my passion and purpose

 

Here are three more things you might like:


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


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


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

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


For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to this blog and sign up for Cassandra’s newsletters to get more stories like this.

Don’t Just Live Your Passion—How To ‘Do a Coco Chanel’ and Achieve Success

Monday, August 5th, 2019

 

In honor of the fashion icon’s birthday this month, I’m celebrating with her most famous words of wisdom.

Those on whom legends are built are their legends.

~ Coco Chanel, businesswoman

 

Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her family tree. She wasn’t endowed with a fortune with which to build a fortune. She didn’t even have a family to support her. It’s for these reasons and many like these that I regard her as one of my master life coaches.

Coco had to overcome obstacles to success just like you and I. She suffered many hardships, including the death of her mother when she was young, being abandoned by a father who didn’t love her, growing up in an orphanage, and the stigma of her early years which plagued her throughout her life.

She suffered extreme poverty, self-doubt, low-self esteem and craved love. People jealous of her talent also spread malicious rumors and tried to undermine her success.

But she didn’t let obstacles stop her from doing the work she loved. The pursuit of excellence born from her experience, fueled by her determination to be an independent woman, and the desire to liberate others, ultimately led to her success.

Her boundless imagination, strength of purpose and courageous spirit are an inspiration to young and old.

I created the Art of Success and series to reveal how the success secrets and strategies of extraordinary artists like Coco Chanel can help people like you and I succeed—personally and professionally.

Successful artists have always struggled, but they persevered anyway. And it is this willingness to pursue their calling in the face of many challenges that holds lessons for us all.

Who Is The Art Of Success: Coco Chanel Book For?

If you want to challenge conventional definitions of success and live life on your own terms, this book is for you.

If you’re an aspiring creative, or an accomplished one, The Art Of Success will provide support and encouragement to continue the journey.

If you suffer from fear, doubt, procrastination, or overly seek validation from others, The Art Of Success will come to your rescue.

If you’re a Type A personality looking for the fastest route to success, The Art Of Success will challenge you to experiment with going quickly slowly, to avoid burning out. Or overrunning the turn-off that would lead you down the path less traveled—the route that may lead you to your most enduring success.

Or you might, like me, be passionate about Coco Chanel and all that she achieved, and want to discover her success secrets.

 

Your Concise Guide to Success

The Art of Success is a concise guide to succeeding in business and in life. My 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.

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?’ They were always amazed at how readily answers flowed.

In this era of information obesity, the need for simple, life-affirming messages is even more important. If you are looking for inspiration and practical tips, in short, sweet sound bites, this guide is for you.

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

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

At the time of writing I’ve just turned to Principle Three: Invent Your Life. It’s a timely reminder that I can transcend the things I dislike and create a life that fills me with joy—no matter what seemingly insurmountable obstacles block my path. The following remark from Coco may also speak to you: “I invented my life by taking for granted that everything I did not like would have an opposite, which I would like.”

 

How This Book Will Help You

Whenever I’m in a slump or needing an inspirational boost I turn to people who are smarter or more skilled than me for good advice.

I’ve done the same with qualities I’ve wanted to develop, like patience. “What would Mother Theresa do now?” I asked many years ago. Mother Theresa wouldn’t shout! She wouldn’t lose her cool. She’d send loving kindness and smile. And that’s what I did whenever I got frustrated.

Coco Chanel was super smart! As I wrote The Art of Success, I applied the strategies I’m sharing with you in my own life—personally and professionally.

If you’ve been procrastinating, experiencing self-doubt, feeling fearful, or just getting in your own way, you’re in good company, Coco’s been there. I’ve been there too—as have many successful people. Guess what, getting in your own way is normal!

I promise there are solutions to the problems you’re currently facing—and you’ll find them in the pages that follow.

Dig into this book and let Coco Chanel be your mentor, inspiration, and guide as she calls forth your passions, purpose, and potential.

Through the teachings of Coco, extensive research into the mysteries of motivation, success, and fulfillment, and my own personal experience and professional success with clients as a former holistic counselor and therapist, The Art of Success will help you accelerate success. Together, Coco and I will guide you to where you need to go next and give you practical steps to achieve success.

I was once told that I had the soul of an artist. Actively discouraged in childhood, for a long time I’d closed off that side of me. I began my career as a bank-teller, then as an accountant, then as a recruitment consultant, followed by more ‘business-minded’ careers. I even spent time in prison…on a work assignment.

Each time I went further and further away from who I truly was and the things that gave me joy. Like Coco Chanel, I wasn’t encouraged to pursue my natural inclination. My hope is that after reading The Art of Success you will be!

Whether your calling is the world of fashion, commerce, or seeking answers in the stars, it’s never too late to be yourself.

Step into this ride joyfully and start creating your best life today.

 

How I Use This Book  and Coco Chanel’s Wisdom to Fuel My Own Success

I love to choose a page at random. Before I do, I ask my higher self, “What do I need to know today?” And then I open a page. If it’s on my Kindle, I see where it opens naturally, or I close my eyes and skim to a page.

Today, I was guided to the following chapter:

Make  A Passion Action Plan

Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.

~ Coco Chanel

Some people think that fate will take care of their future. The winners in life know that failing to make plans is committing to a plan of failure to make your dreams come true.

Instead, success in life is a mixture of good luck and skillful planning. Written goals, with action points and time frames are essential if you really want to achieve a more passionate life.

Of course, not everyone agrees. As you read earlier, some transformational change experts advocate letting things unfold.

It’s a balancing act. Only you will know what helps you and what holds you back. And very often the task at hand will determine just how detached you can be.

It’s hard to imagine Coco preparing for a collection without a finely executed plan of delivery. So if you are a ‘go with the flow’ type and aren’t getting the results you desire, quit beating on the ’no planning wall’ and find the door to your success.

Your Challenge

Fuel your burning desire—make a passion action plan. Create a definite outline for carrying out your desire, and begin at once whether you are ready or not, to put it into motion.

Write out a clear, concise statement of your desired state. Read your written statement allow, twice-daily, once just before retiring at night, and once after rising in the morning. As you read it, see and feel and believe yourself already in possession of your desire.

Do something every day to help move you closer to your goal of leading a more passionate life.

Don’t forget to tick off and celebrate your achievements along the way to reinforce feelings of success.

You may say that it is impossible for you to ‘see yourself in possession of money’ before you actually have it. Here is where a burning desire will come to your aid. If you truly desire money so keenly that your desire is an obsession, you will have no difficulty in convincing yourself that you will acquire it. The objective is to want money and to become so determined to have it that you convince yourself you will have it.

~ Napoleon Hill, author

It was amazingly accurate. As a result, I’m creating some timelines for my most significant passion projects. In this way, their completion won’t be left to chance.

One of my mentoring clients, Kate a woman in her 60s, was inspired to do a similar thing. She had been struggling to find time to write and wanted to publish her first book to help women struggling with depression. I encouraged her to experiment with daily fifteen-minute writing sprints. I talk more about these in my book, The Prosperous Author: How to Make a Living with Your Writing: Productivity Hacks: Do Less & Make More.

“The words just flowed,” she told me. “I don’t even remember writing them.” Not only had she overcome writer’s block but she was so so happy with what she had written.

The next step in her passion action plan was outlining her book. She followed my lead, by using post-its to draft her chapter ideas and thoughts and sticking these on the back of the door.

 

As Coco Chanel said, beauty begins the moment you decide to show up as yourself.

 

“This book is a work of art. Art with words. The headings alone got me all jazzed up. ‘Failure is not Fatal,’ Sharpen your most Potent tool,’ ‘Flee False Love,’ Barking up the wrong tree,’ ‘Perfume your life,’ ‘Stay sparkly,’ ‘Dress Joyfully,’ ‘Make Mistakes,’ ‘Your Body Barometer,’ and plenty more where this came from. Each heading got me curious and keen to turn the pages and none of the chapters disappointed, quite the contrary. The author is a word artist in the best possible way. This is a delightful guide with simple, life-affirming messages that will help anyone succeed in business and in life. How’s this for a simple yet extremely powerful affirmation (from Coco herself) “I invented my life by taking for granted that everything I did not like would have an opposite, which I would like. I was down in the dumps about something in my life and reading just a few pages of this book lifted me completely out of it. LOVE it!”

~ Amazon Review

“I loved this book. I have always admired Coco Chanel and this book helped me relate to her in a way that will be very helpful to me as I work towards my own goals. I especially appreciated the fact that this book showed both her successes AND her flaws, which makes her more accessible and relatable. This book is inspiring and I will be using it as a reference going forward!”

~ Cindy Alvey Stagg

 

“In the Art of Success Cassandra Gaisford presents the idea that being successful does not just involve the financial issue. It also concerns health, happiness, intimate relationships, and living life significantly. A REAL LUXURY READING!”

~Manu Berger, CEO

Did you enjoy this edited excerpt?

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

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

And the winners are…

Wednesday, May 29th, 2019


I’m so excited to announce the winners of a signed copy of The Little Princess!

Harley Christensen

Kenn Butler

and Brigette Blackman

Congratulations!!!!!!!!

The response to The Little Princess has been truly royal. So many people have told me how sharing my story of being bullied and summoning courage has helped them be brave.

“Who am I NOT to PLAY BIG?” 

Harley shared with me how my book was so timely.

Sometimes, it’s easy to fall back into ways that keep us “safe”…like playing small because we fear judgment, failure…even success. If we stay in that rut, though, we deprive ourselves (and others) of our gifts. At the end of the day, I have far more to lose by not owning my creativity. The book was a great reminder to ask myself: “Who am I NOT to PLAY BIG?”

Absolutely! If we all play big then we are all winners!

Be courageous. Be bold. Be you!

I did…I shared my story in The Little Princess and now my book is #1 bestseller. And best of all, it’s empowering people of all ages around the world.

But what I really loved, is when someone wrote to me and shared how, where once she would have been jealous and envious of other peoples success, now she was inspired.

“I thought, if they can do it, I can do it too!” she told me.

She also shared how learning about my upcoming trip to the Caribbean (yes! I leave today!!!) inspired her to book her trip to India. No more putting it off, and saying she couldn’t afford it, she told me. “I’m going to find a way.”

I have a dream. One day there will be no toxic envy. One day there will be no sinister shaming. One day we shall encourage everyone to shine like stars.

#1 Amazon bestseller!

The Little Princess is #1 on Amazon…incredible! I’m not sure how it got into these categories…but The Little Princess rules supreme over Time magazine and Tom Cruise! How’s that for female empowerment!

Thanks again to the following people who left their honest (and heartfelt) reviews

Sheree Clark
Maartje Jager
Kenn Butler
Harley
Bridgette
and Vesna…who shared this on Amazon

“A Beautiful and Life-Changing Message…
This book shares a powerful message for all women of any age, I wish I had this when I was growing up. Today more than ever, we have to stay true to ourselves, follow our Spirit and do the work we’re here to do – amidst disapproval and criticism. The simple steps in this book will guide your way, and help you to navigate through the confusion, uncertainty, and inner blocks, so you live your one precious life in a big way.”
~ Vesna Hrsto, Naturopath and Coach

Reviews make such a huge difference—many people have no idea just how truly influential and far-reaching they are.

I’m super excited about the new release of The Little Princess.

It’s 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. Be inspired by this journey to transformation and self-acceptance, and self-belief as she learns to overcome the vagaries of adult behavior. Her personal odyssey culminates in a voyage of self-belief, passion, and purpose.

 

Discover more in The Little Princess and learn how you too can stand strong and overcome bullying to live a life of passion and purpose.

To purchase on Amazon>>getbook.at/TheLittlePrincess

To purchase on Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and other online stores>> https://books2read.com/u/b5709p

Stay tuned for news of the audio version—narrated by yours truly. As a child, I loved listening to stories. Every Sunday morning my brother and I would sit around the radio and listen to the children’s program. It was my favorite time.

I’m so happy that people all around the world are enjoying my little story.

A Little Book with a Powerful Message…

An important reminder to always be true to yourself and summon the courage to follow your passions… Only you can live your life…GO live it!”

~ Harley

The Little Princess is my hero…

I am a Midlife Coach, which means I help women find their moxie to do what they might not have done in the first half of their lives…I think The Little Princess needs to be a “required reading” text book for us all…she cuts to the heart of the lesson all of us need to hear, over and over again. The Little Princess embodies courage. She is my hero.”

~ Sheree Clarke, Midlife Courage Coach

“The Little Princess is ‘brilliant…

Short concise & full of tremendous vision & wisdom, expressed lovingly. Many of the comments read true for my own journey. I recognize my passion to be different than many others, my persistence to succeed, & the pure joy I have at the end of each day when I lay down my head & give thanks.”

~ Kenn Butler, CEO

 

“Very uplifting and inspiring…

I love everything Cassandra writes, the queen of uplifting inspiration! This is a little book, the story basically teaches you to have faith in your dreams, stand firm and don’t let others rain on your parade… We are all searching for purpose and passion, everybody hurts and sometimes we find ourselves on the receiving end of somebody else’s insecurities when they project their anger, jealousy etc onto us…The old woman who puts the little princess down is really just jealous and stuck in her own life.”

~ Reviewer UK

“A reminder of the truth in all of us…

The Little Princess is a great short story as a reminder of the truth in all of us; Don’t judge, take loving kindness as a guideline in life, but stay true to yourself; A powerful message! Like all the books by this author, it is a guideline to live a wise life.”

~ Maartje Jager, Designer

To purchase on Amazon>>getbook.at/TheLittlePrincess

To purchase on Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and other online stores>> https://books2read.com/u/b5709p

 

Learn more about the second book in The Transformational Super Kids series, I Have to Grow here >>

It’s inspired by my own daughter’s experience of bullying—and released in time for her birthday!

New Release and Free Giveaway: ‘I Have to Grow’

Sunday, May 26th, 2019

28 years ago today I created Hannah Joy! Giving birth to such a beautiful angel was, and continues to be my greatest achievement.

To celebrate Hannah’s birthday today my new release, ‘I have to Grow’ is my gift to you.

Download for FREE only on Amazon. But be quick. Today only!.

Click the universal link for Amazon here—getbook.at/IHavetoGrow

About this book

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 there focus on self-empowerment and overcoming shitty things that happen to good people.

Last week, 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 am a hoarder.

After tearing through my old filing cabinets in the garage I found it!

Thankfully, also, technology upgrades and advancements in publishing have made it so easy to share my creations with the world. I’ve made a few minor enhancements to the hand-written story and have also included some of my original hand-drawings for fun.

As you’ll see, my cover was cute but needed a professional’s touch.

Sing Your Song! Heed the Call for Courage

Feeling discouraged, bullied, sabotaged or held back?

Part moral allegory and part spiritual biography I Have to Grow is a timeless charm which tells the story of a young girl who leaves the security of playing small, to follow her heart and heal the world.

Little Hannah, is a beautiful and kind-hearted child, with a very special voice. When the cruel and jealous Angie tries to rob Little Hannah of her gifts she believes the answer is to stay small. But, things go from bad to worse.

Bullied and taunted Little Hannah doesn’t stand much of a chance. Until a magical creature appears and encourages her to stand tall and shine like a star.

As my good friend Vesna Hrsto, a Naturopath and Holistic Life Coach, said I Have to Grow is so fitting for any woman of any age. Always a good reminder to step up and become the woman we are meant to be, and always follow our Spirit for guidance as it will lead us to the best version of ourselves.

However, I Have to Grow has a universal, genderless, and ageless message too—which I’m thrilled about.

Such a powerful message.…

 This is a splendid little book for any person aspiring to reach another level, with such a powerful message. Of never, ever listening to anyone who steals your light. Cassandra is a shining example of turning every situation, including setbacks, into learning & growing opportunities.

As one who has taken advantage of the wisdom, knowledge & ability of Cassandra, to communicate, over a number of years, I would encourage you to read this book thoroughly & think deeply on your own situation.

For her daughter Hannah, with the voice of an angel & heart of God, you have indeed been blessed.”

~ Kenn Butler, CEO

 

Based on a true story

My daughter Hannah was born with an exceptional and innate gift which was later honed into an accomplished skill as a soprano singer.

But when my daughter was four the little girl next door told her that she couldn’t sing and that she had no talent.

When the little girl next door didn’t stop Hannah from singing, she tried to take something else from her. She cut Hannah’s beautiful long hair.

But guess what? Her hair grew back! And so did her talent!

Hannah’s talent grew and grew and grew—and it is still growing. As a teenager, she successfully auditioned for a place with Dame Malvina Major’s singing academy.

“She kept her eyes shut,” Hannah said enthusiastically, after her audition, “all the way through my song.”

Apparently, this was a good sign.

You can learn more about Dame Malvina’s passion to share her dream and help other gifted singers take their voices out to the world, here—http://www.dmmfoundation.org.nz/

Hannah decided not to pursue a career professionally as an international singer. But, as a hobby, she went on to enjoy a lot of success with her voice, including winning the lead role in a musical movie produced in Peter Jackson’s studio in Wellington.

Peter Jackson is best known as the director, writer, and producer of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Hobbit trilogy. The fabulous New Zealand Symphony Orchestra played the background music.

Importantly, Hannah now uses her voice in the art of healing as a spiritual conduit and counselor—sending love songs to the world.

Many moons ago, Hannah and I enjoyed a magical time on the Pacific Island of Samoa. A newly married couple asked Hannah to sing and she gifted them a beautiful performance of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa’s, Ave Maria.

A European man was sailing his large yacht and heard her voice and came to shore. “I heard the voice of an angel,” he told us. I share more about this story in my travel memoir, Four Days Out of the World (to be released in 2019).

The European man’s feedback inspired my cover—Hannah as an angel.

When the resort owners in Samoa heard Hannah’s song, they asked her to sing for the whole resort. We found some old footage Hannah had saved on Youtube—https://youtu.be/tqri33bDzKU.

The video also has a wonderful performance of Hannah singing solo at Queen Margaret College.

 

src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/tqri33bDzKU” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen>

 

I hope by sharing Hannah’s story, you realize how important it is to 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.

Read to the end of I Have to Grow for an excerpt from the first book in this series—my #1 bestselling book The Little Princess. As a special thank you for reading my book I have also included an excerpt from my popular book How to Find Your Passion and Purpose. I’ve included some of my favorite chapters. Please note these aren’t in the order that they appear in the book.

To learn more about the inspiration behind this book and the series please subscribe to my blog. You may also enjoy my regular inspirational newsletters—with sneak peeks, advance reads and free giveaways. Be the first to know when the audio version is released!

Liberate the music inside

Life is about learning to have the courage, confidence, and self-belief to follow your inner voice, live your truth and share your gifts. It is also about reclaiming your power, not hanging back, playing second best and being discouraged.

Find and cherish your unique abilities and raise your voice to the heavens. Liberate the music you have inside. Share your song.

Reconnect with your magnificent soul self and don’t allow self-doubt or the envy of others to hold you back—you will reach your potential.

There are so many reasons why you should follow your dreams. If you need some inspiration, look no further than this book.

 

JOIN ME IN CELEBRATING HANNAH’S BIRTHDAY & DOWNLOAD FOR FREE TODAY ONLY

getbook.at/IHavetoGrow

This is a book for ‘kids’ of all ages—and super short for the time challenged!

P.S. if you come across this post too late and miss the free giveaway, you’ll be able to pick up a copy for less than a double-shot latte!

If you love I Have to Grow would you leave the ultimate gift and write a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. It would be such a blast for Hannah to wake up and read how her story touched your heart.

 

Author’s Update! We Are Jumping For Joy

Thank you! As I write this post it’s Hannah’s birthday today and she’s woken up to the news that I Have to Grow, inspired by her experience of being bullied, is #1 on Amazon in all three categories. And important categories they are to Hannah too as they are all centered on spirituality.

Thank you to those of you who have downloaded and left reviews. Still free today – but only for the next three hours….my gift to the Universe for Hannah’s birthday.

 

 

 

If you are opened minded and curious about the power of sound to heal check out the following—https://youtu.be/5CAnnkx4eXQ. So much flow too, re this message about the ills of telling people they can’t sing, and the benefit of raising your voice.

You can connect with Hannah and find out how she has been inspired to use her voice for the well-being of others here—https://www.hannahjoyspirit.com

Grab your copy of the first book in the Transformational Super Kids series:

THE LITTLE PRINCESS

A Little Book with a Powerful Message…

Follow your heart!

Feeling stuck, depressed or demotivated? There are so many reasons why you should follow your dreams. If you need some motivation, look no further than this book.

Part moral allegory and part spiritual autobiography, 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.

Be inspired by this journey to transformation and self-acceptance, and self-belief as she learns to overcome the vagaries of adult behavior. Her personal odyssey culminates in a voyage of self-belief, passion, and purpose.

Reader Reviews

 

“A Beautiful and Life Changing Message…

This book shares a powerful message for all women of any age, I wish I had this when I was growing up. Today more than ever, we have to stay true to ourselves, follow our Spirit and do the work we’re here to do – amidst disapproval and criticism. The simple steps in this book will guide your way, and help you to navigate through the confusion, uncertainty, and inner blocks, so you live your one precious life in a big way.”

~ Vesna Hrsto, Naturopath and Coach

The Little Princess is ‘brilliant.’

Short concise & full of tremendous vision & wisdom, expressed lovingly.

Many of the comments read true for my own journey. I recognize my passion to be different than many others, my persistence to succeed, & the pure joy I have at the end of each day when I lay down my head & give thanks.

~ Kenn Butler

Available Now in eBook and Paperback!

To purchase on Amazon>> 

getbook.at/TheLittlePrincess

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

https://books2read.com/u/b5709p

Did you enjoy this post?

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The anxiety cure: How I avoid depression, get energized, find joy, and stay inspired

Why Pursuing Your Passion Not Your Pension is The Ultimate Mid-Life Career Change Strategy

Hooked on A Feeling—Trust Your Gut to Choose and Grow Your Purposeful Business

Anxiety Rescue: How Coco Chanel and Leonardo da Vinci Can Help You Overcome Anxiety and Reclaim Youthful Joy

My story: how my dark nights of the soul awakened my passion and purpose

 

Here are three more things you might like:


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


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


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

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


For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

Destiny Decided: The Minute That Changed My Life—2018 in Review

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

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

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

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

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

 Bounce: Overcoming Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy

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

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

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

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

A lot can happen in 60 seconds. The minute that altered my life forever.

“Nobody speaks to God these days.“Maybe its time to let the old ways die,” sings Bradley’s Cooper character in the lyrics of A Star is Born. 

I couldn’t agree more—emotional, mentally, spiritually, it’s time for a rebirth in 2019. In 2018 nearly dying physically was my wake up call. In his book, How to Know God: The Soul’s Journey into the Mystery of Mysteries, Deepak Chopra sums at beautifully how fate can come calling when god the protector intervenes.

“A miracle Ìs a display of power from beyond the fìve senses…Any miracle involves direct contact with spirit.” Level one of the seven levels of miracles that Chopra summarises is the Flight-or-Flight Response. “Miracles involve surviving great danger, impossible rescues, a sense of divine protection.”

This was my experience in late 2018.

I don’t know why but as I was driving back from Auckland after a particularly traumatic experience I fell asleep at the wheel. Miraculously, I woke up as my car careered across the road. I was 60 seconds away from driving down a steep ravine.

I didn’t panic as instinct would normally dictate I didn’t grab the wheel and swerve. I didn’t do anything. I recall an intense feeling of peace and a deep knowing that I should surrender.

I felt a presence, as though someone took the wheel and gently guided me back onto the main road to safety. I just allowed God to take the wheel and lead me back to the safety of the right side of the road.

I look back now and see the deeper meaning of staying in my own lane, of following my authentic path and my soul’s purpose.

I’ve had that experience once before when I nearly drowned after being encouraged by a friend to go free-floating down a river. Not long after I got into trouble. Serious trouble. Somehow I became entangled in a whirlpool.

I was being sucked under the water, trapped in the maelstrom of opposing currents. I was struggling to get free when I heard a voice say “relax it’s not your time.“

And even though every part of me instinctively wanted to fight because I was drowning, even though every cell in my body biologically kicked into the stress-response, I forced myself to relax.

I allowed my body to go limp, I talked to the memory cells in my body and recalled past knowledge of letting go, I surrendered. And when I let go and let God, when I put my faith in the Divine Intelligence, when I trusted that the Universe had my back, I floated to the top of the water.

Further downstream my friend, sensing something was wrong, lay await in a tree. As I sped past in the racing current, he reached in and pulled me out of the water. I put my faith in God and I put my faith in my friend.

It’s a moment I had forgotten until some 15 years later when I nearly drove to my death. So, 2018 was a game changer for me. This experience, and all the hurtful behaviors I have personally experienced, and those I witnessed as my counseling clients shared their wounds and their pain, transformed my life.

Perhaps, like me, you’ve become less enamored with the fear and the aggression directed at so many. Perhaps, like me, you’ve found it incredibly exhausting fighting a daily battle to ward off lower energies that incessantly attack all that is good.

In 2018 I made a decision to let go of the wheel. I made a commitment to stop trying to control everything and allow. This is not allowing in a victimized, passive sense. This is allowing in a spiritual sense. In some ways you may consider, as I have, loving what shows up. Because what shows up guides us back to our soul purpose—to heal our wounds and help others in return.

As I share in my soon to be released book Anxiety Rescue: How to Overcome Anxiety, Panic, and Stress and Reclaim Joy, trying to control everything is a learned behavior I have somewhat unsuccessfully employed to keep myself sane. But I have discovered that the greater power is to let go and let God.

Two months ago, in November of 2018, I reinforced this commitment to allowing the old ways to die in a session with renowned Psych-k therapist, Jane Bromley. I stated my intention, “I’m just going to allow, I’m just going to stop needing to be in control, and I’d like your help getting rid of old programs that are preventing that.”

That exact day, less than three hours after our session a contract that I thought would be mine for several years was terminated. My manager’s behavior was vindictive, malicious, and clearly designed to destroy me. I won’t go into this in too much detail here. In fact, it may well become a book on its own because I know how many of my followers and readers of my Mid-Life Career Rescue series of books suffer at the hands of narcissistic bullying bosses.

Enough is enough. 

I see it now, with the benefit of time and therapy, as divine providence. After all, hadn’t I asked for the old ways to die? I wasn’t meant to be there. I had allowed myself to be dishonored the moment she reneged on our agreed terms of employment. The people pleaser and the victim was still in residence.

I was forced to accept that which felt unacceptable.

The Archbishop Desmond Tutu speaks beautifully about of the power of acceptance in The Book of Joy, co-written with The Dalai Lama. Below is an excerpt from this book:

Prayer practice involves reading quotations from the scriptures as well as quotes from the saints and spiritual masters throughout history. One of his favorites is the Christian mystic Julian of Norwich, whose Revelations of Divine Love, penned shortly after she recovered from a life-threatening illness in 1373, is believed to be the first book written by a woman in the English language. In it, she writes, . . .

“Deeds are done which appear so evil to us and people suffer such terrible evils that it does not seem as though any good will ever come of them; and we consider this, sorrowing and grieving over it so that we cannot find peace in the blessed contemplation of God as we should do; and this is why: our reasoning powers are so blind now, so humble and so simple, that we cannot know the high, marvelous wisdom, the might and the goodness of the Holy Trinity. And this is what he means where he says, “You shall see for yourself that all manner of things shall be well.”

As if he said, Pay attention to this now, faithfully and confidently, and at the end of time, you will truly see it in the fullness of joy. Acceptance—whether we believe in God or not—allows us to move into the fullness of joy. It allows us to engage with life on its own terms rather than rail against the fact that life is not as we would wish. It allows us not to struggle against the day-to-day current. The Dalai Lama had told us that stress and anxiety come from our expectations of how life should be. When we are able to accept that life is how it is, not as we think it should be, we are able to ease the ride, to go from that bumpy axle (dukkha), with all its suffering, stress, anxiety, and dissatisfaction, to the smooth axle (sukha), with its greater ease, comfort, and happiness.

The experience, or rather my treatment by others was hurtful and traumatic. Healing my wounds lead me back to therapy.

I discovered the teachings of Dr. Jordan Peterson and through him rediscovered the teachings of Carl Jung. I earned about the shadow side and the importance of healing trauma, especially releasing it from the body.

I also learned about the power of community and reaching out to others and talking, just talking, and of honesty. Sharing my vulnerabilities, my wounds, and my sorrows. (You may also like my post, Does talk therapy actually work?)

I also placed value on the importance of taking responsibility. I had asked God to lead me. I had affirmed, “thy will be done.”

And I was clearly shown the door. Coincidentally I came across the below which I had written in the tiny book of wisdom I keep by my bed

I was reminded that I hadn’t trusted my intuition. From the beginning, God had told me something was wrong. I write more about  spotting narcissists and overcoming narcissistic abuse in my book, Anxiety Rescue: How to Overcome Anxiety, Panic, and Stress and Reclaim Joy

People told me to stand up. Important people came to my aid and told me they wanted to support me. Where once I had just thought I don’t need the drama or allowed myself to be victimized I decided, in spite of the intense feelings of stress that I was still working through, that I had to take a stand.

In this respect, I took strength from the teachings of Jordan Peterson who urges us all to “Grow some teeth and bite. Bite hard.” Peterson is not urging us to attack with violence, he is urging us to integrate the shadow side so many of us kinder souls may have been taught to disown. Check out his lecture here—https://youtu.be/iDQ8DiP_Y_A.

When you allow bullying you become a victim and you set yourself up to be bullied again. In a perverse twist, you effectively bully yourself into believing you are worthless and powerless, and you’re colluding in this mistruth and this abuse with the perpetrator.

I also took wisdom from the Dalai Lama, “You must not hate those who do harmful things,” he has explained. “The compassionate thing is to do what you can to stop them—for they are harming themselves as well as those who suffer from their actions.”

I put the matter to the attention of my professional ethics committee, to my local member of Parliament, and the perpetrator’s professional supervisor. It’s what my intuition guided me to do.

Again, as the Dalai Lama sagely teaches in The Book of Joy, “We stand firm against the wrong not only to protect those who are being harmed but also to protect the person who is harming others, because eventually they, too, will suffer. So it’s out of a sense of concern for their own long-term well-being that we stop their wrongdoing. This is exactly what we are doing. We do not let anger and negative feelings develop toward the Chinese hard-liners, but in the meantime, we strongly oppose their actions.”

And so rather than allow a wrong to continue I have begun the journey of seeking justice… for myself and for those who may follow.

My energy and intention is not born from vindictiveness or a desire to punish my narcissistic manager. My desire is to stand up for myself, to honor the truth and bring light to darkness.

Bullying affects self-esteem, your identity, your perception of, “am I safe in the world?” It affects how you view yourself, your skills and abilities, it cripples your growth and diminishes your ability to shine brightly in a world that needs your light.

 

Bullying and narcissistic abuse and other hateful, hurtful behaviors needn’t be a life sentence, But it does require you to show up, stand up, speak out. Something we all witnessed in 2018 as the pandemic of sexual assaults was finally called “time” in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

Enough is enough. More than enough!

A similar thing happened when I received an email out of the blue accusing me of trying to leverage off another woman’s brand when I released my title Sexy Sobriety containing sobriety recipes.  The email was aggressive, intimidating… designed to strike fear.

I sought advice from my writing community. Many authors told me there were no grounds and told me this was just bullying.

“Aggressive grandstanding,“ one best-selling author wrote. “They should have trademarked the name if they wanted to lay claim to it..(I imagine they are in the process of doing that). Otherwise, you could probably fight and win this—if it was important to you.”

But the aggressive emails threatening financial penalties, keep coming. I asked them if the term, “Sexy Sobriety” was trademarked. They told me it wasn’t. Several weeks later they filed for copyright.

I decided this wasn’t important enough for me to fight. Unlike, the issues arising from the narcissistic boss.

 

Income wise, for sure, the road was rocky. With the benefit of being able to look back in review, this was understandable for several key reasons.

Firstly, our home renovation was a nightmare. The tradespeople were great, the finish fantastic, the end result, a dream come true. But the cost, both personally and professionally, fuelled by the budget blowout was beyond belief. Our troubles lay largely at the feet of the main contractor—of course, he didn’t see it that way. Another bully. Another narcissist—as others who had the misfortune of working with him also revealed. But he seemed so nice. So agreeable. Narcissists always do—until you’re screwed.

As I share in Anxiety Rescue: “Narcissistics are fear-based people. They tell a lot of lies and they put a lot of these lies onto you”, says psychotherapist Dr. Les Carter. “As you engage with a narcissist, you quickly realize that person has an agenda for you.”

Things unexpectantly took a turn for worse toward the very end of the rebuild. Thankfully we were back in the house and were in this respect back under control. We only just narrowly avoided a nasty and potentially costly litigious battle (I’ve learned, as you may have, that the only people who really win are the lawyers). We arrived at an uneasy compromise. Better uneasy peace than the stress of warfare waging on.

If only some of our world leaders would act similarly.

Needless to say, all this chaos made it nearly impossible to write and I was nowhere nearly as industrious and prolific as I was in the previous years.

Secondly, USA Today bestselling author Kristine Kathryn Rusch summed up some of the changes which affected many authors like me.

“Amazon shook up the industry first by a shift to favoring paid advertising over organic search results, then with policy changes that led to decreased revenue

Other interesting turns included dubious trademark claims, leading to the addition of terms like Cockygate being added to every indie author’s lexicon. Some authors attempted to trademark generic cover layouts and common words to (allegedly) protect their intellectual property. In general, it was a year filled with questionable practices on the IP front.”  

Many lessons were learned, and I have attempted to adapt with the times.

However, December was my best ever month, ending the year on a high as my best year yet author-wise.

It wasn’t always like this, and like any new endeavour, there was a lot to learn. Baby steps, passion and perserverennce and a big wallop of tenacity and self-belief  (often feigned) were key.

2016, my first year as an indie author. I remember being thrilled with my first royalty payment—$136. I was so cuffed, I pasted the notifcation in my Passion Journal. I’m still proud of that result. 

2018, also heralded a greater focus on my counseling work, and it was an absolute honor and joy to have worked with so many varied and beautiful people—some as young as eight. I developed a new passion for working with trauma and child therapy, as long as the other areas of passion I have—all unified by my purpose to help create more love in this crazy world.

As you’ll discover from reading Anxiety Rescue, I believe the best solutions integrate mind, body, and soul. Whichever way you define spirituality you’ll benefit from tailored approaches that feed and nourish and empower your spirit.

As Kiri*, one of my New Zealand-based clients shared with me recently,

“In Maoridom for me, I will relate to you as a  Kaitiaki, meaning ‘guardian’. How I became to have you in my path was purely by spiritual contact—a nudge an inner tiny voice directing me to you. Cass, you don’t realize the great healing you have in the pit of your soul and you were born to spread compassion. You have those who watch over you, and mine in return, and yet they all speak the same language to us who are willing to hear and feel.  In such a long time have I never met a beautiful soul who finally understood me who went within and helped me grow from our sessions.”

 

This feedback made my heart glad—especially when I was going through such a toxic work situation.

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.

Kiri, who came to see me following a period of grief and trauma, had become so unwell she could no longer work, and struggled to find meaning in her life. In just one session, where we ‘played’ with crayons in a session of Interactive Drawing Therapy, she experienced a complete transformation. In her picture, she drew vibrant threads of colorful energy and empowering words that encouraged her to seek joy.

As the sessions continued I introduced her to the healing power of meditation. And of course, we talked. Or she talked, and I listened. Very often, all we need is someone to listen to our story and help us reintegrate who we truly are.

Or, you may find, as many of my clients have, that working with a life coach, rather than a counselor is the most effective strategy.

A problem shared can lead to a problem solved. Talking with someone objective is often what you need to gain a fresh perspective, overcome obstacles, heal wounds and expand your life.

To learn more about my approach or to schedule a session I invite you to visit—http://www.cassandragaisford.com/wellness-therapies/

 

If there is only one insight you take away from my year in review, I hope it is a newfound belief in the importance of being yourself. This often requires embracing the shadowy aspects of our personality and shedding alll the layers of debri that prevent you from being authentically you. It also involves clearing away the crap that may have been thrown at you, and baring some teeth at those who try to attack you. But even more importantly it means remembering who you truly are.

The doorway to this is co-creating with spirit in the energies of passion, purpose, and love.

I can personally testify for the life-transforming effects of this philosophy.

With hard work and inspired products and services created with passion and purpose, miraculous things are possible.

Good luck in 2019.

Did you enjoy this article? Sign up for Cassandra’s newsletters to get more stories like this and be the first to know when her new book, Anxiety Rescue: How to Overcome Anxiety, Panic, and Stress and Reclaim Joy, will be released.

You might like:

Why Pursuing Your Passion Not Your Pension is The Ultimate Mid-Life Career Change Strategy

6 Things Successful People Do To Become & Stay Motivated & Happy

The anxiety cure: How I avoid depression, get energized, find joy, and stay inspired

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

How to say no to abusive workplaces, schools, homes, and circumstances

Why passion is a powerful healing tool

 

* named changed to protect privacy.

what are you grateful for?

Monday, November 19th, 2018

 

Happy Thanksgiving! Where ever you are in the world it’s a fabulous time to celebrate the things we are most grateful for.

I’m really grateful to you and to all my clients who teach me so much. I love witnessing the transformation and change and I’m honored when my clients, and people who read my books, reveal their deepest longings, and all the hurts and vulnerabilities they feel stand in their way. And I’m so thankful to have people able to help people discover freedom, find happiness and change their lives.

I’m grateful that in my work as a holistic therapist I’ve been lead to become very passionate about helping others to do their shadow work—bringing to the surface those parts of ourselves we don’t like or deny.

Sometimes shadow work also involves bringing to light the gifts, talents, and deepest desires that have been shamed or forbidden throughout our lives.

Discovering the spiritual path and spiritual gift of shadow work and realizing why for so long I denied so many aspects of me (and in turn, why they often acted out and sabotaged my success) has lead me to revalue and reclaim my truest self.

Shadow work shone a healing light on the repression of my own creativity and spirituality. Even now as I prepare to more fully embrace these parts of me, I feel the flickering flame of judgment. But now that I more fully understand the source, and also the soul purpose of loving my shadows, I’m also feeling empowered, energized, and elated!

I’m thankful for how liberating and freeing it is to embrace my shadow side and my light!

I am grateful to have been guided to this work to the work of Jordan Peterson, a Canadian author, clinical psychologist and a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. Dr. Peterson has exploded onto the world-stage, shining a spotlight on what others have turned our “addiction to happiness”. Listening to his impassioned call to embrace and take responsibility for the darkest aspects of ourselves I’m reminded of Buddhist wisdom, “Life is suffering.” It’s how we react to the suffering that enables us to flourish and transcend our pain.

So many people are in denial of this aspect of our reality, running away from the shadow—self-medicating or numbing through alcohol and drugs, prescription medicines, and doing whatever it takes to run from the shadow which evokes those feelings of unworthiness, sadness, anger, guilt, shame—and regret.

But escapism provides no long-term sustainable relief. It only entrenches the shadow deeper—given depth to an aching sadness, or madness, that can’t even be alleviated truly through medical intervention.

The only true healing can come by bringing the shadow into the light and Integrating those aspects of our personalities that we have denied, or in some cases, trauma has disembodied.

I’m grateful that America celebrates a day of thanksgiving. And I’m especially grateful for all the suffering I’ve experienced—the transcending of which has enabled me to grow spiritually and emerge a kinder, more compassionate, happier person.

I’m thankful for the talent God has given me to use my gifts to help others down the path of healing, love, life, death, and the rebirth of a better version of themselves. Like John, 25 who has kicked a 10-year habit of drug abuse. Or, Callum, aged 10, who now has tools to manage his anger. Or, Hannah who has embraced her spiritual soul self and has set up a spiritual practice. And Justin Raj who posted the following feedback after reading Your Beautiful Mind—I’m so thankful he won the fight after a lengthy battle with alcohol addiction (something historically people said was incurable)

5.0 out of 5 stars.Discovering my beautiful mind!

21 May 2018

Cassandra Gaisford’s book- Your beautiful mind – is the first book I read after completing my three day counseling session at a major alcoholic rehabilitation center in Indian state of Kerala. Her straightforward way of writing hooked me and motivated me to hold on to my decision- to quit alcohol- strongly. She handled the menace of alcoholism from the level of basics to the level of an expert in a language even a layman can understand.

‘Your beautiful mind’ inspired me to think beyond my alcoholic lifestyle, which wasn’t possible before and helped to transform my mind completely. She motivated me to take up my passions- reading, writing, stock market analysis- as fruitful additions rather than following self-destructive addictions like alcohol, nicotine and drugs. Today, I can enjoy my life more and feels like I have been freed from a prison – a self-created prison of addictive behaviour. Keep inspiring and keep up your great work, Cassandra!

~ Justin Raj, journalist and investment banker

I’m grateful to my clients who are seeking my help to save their relationships and to do the inner work of healing childhood traumas that infect their sense of self today.

 

work with me!


If you’d love to transcend whatever is holding you back, work with me!

Whether your relationship needs rescuing, you need a career rejuvenation, or anxiety and depression are pushing you to despair, or perhaps addiction has you in its grip… I’d love to help.

Perhaps you just need someone to talk to—someone skilled and objective.. Schedule your personalized counseling session TODAY and enjoy a limited time offer …all sessions booked prior to 27 November will receive another session absolutely free. Saving you USD $100!

 

 

Or perhaps some of my self-empowerment books are calling you——or you feel they’d be perfect for someone you love, as this Amazon reviewer of Mind Your Drink wrote when he left his 5-star review.

I have been going through a tsunami of stress! Right now, my favorite go-to ones to help me self-soothe, include:

 

Mind Your Drink: The Surprising Joy of Sobriety

If you’d like to experiment with a period of sobriety or you need help to you moderate your drinking, Mind Your Drink: The Surprising Joy of Sobriety, available as a paperback and eBook will help

getbook.at/MindYourDrink

 

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

Focus your energy and time to achieve outstanding personal and professional results. Find your point of brilliance and purpose in life. Available in print and eBook—getBook.at/Passion

The Art of Success: Leonardo da Vinci

The 8-Step Blueprint to True Success for Your Relationships, Your Bank Account, Your Body and Your Soul. Leonardo da Vinci had to overcome obstacles to succeed just like you and I. Be inspired by his blueprint for success. I know I am! Available in print and eBook—

getBook.at/TheArtofSuccess

 

Bounce: Overcoming Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy

Bounce features the most essential and stirring passages from my previous books, exploring topics such as meditation, mindfulness, positive health behaviours, and working with fear, depression, anxiety, and other painful emotions.

Bounce encourages a more playful approach to the seriousness of life and the ever-present stressors we all face. Through the course of this book, you will learn practical, creative and simple methods for heightening awareness and overcoming habitual patterns that block happiness and joy and hold you back.

Available in print and eBook—viewBook.at/Bounce

 

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

If you need more help to you manage stress my book, Stress Less, available as a paperback and Ebook will help. Navigate to here—getBook.at/StressLess

 

Mid-Life Career Rescue: The Call for Change

If your job is the stress-causing culprit you’ll find plenty of practical and helpful strategies in Mid-Life Career Rescue: The Call for Change, available as a paperback and eBook. Navigate to here—getBook.at/CareerChange.

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

 

Amazon reviewer of Mind Your Drink—getbook.at/MindYourDrink

What’s stopping your version of extraordinary?

If you’re feeling thankful for the wisdom and encouragement I’ve shared above and would like more personalized help to discover, embrace, rejoice in your shadow and live your best life, I really would love to work with you—what are you waiting for? Schedule your session now and receive an additional session for FREE. http://www.cassandragaisford.com/schedule-an-appoi…

   

Powerful Creativity: How Making Room For Hobbies is The Ultimate Cure For Addiction, Stress, Anxiety, Depression and More

Thursday, June 7th, 2018

Very few happy, healthy people are naturally born this way. Dig into their pasts and you will find that they have cultivated optimism by learning and applying techniques that help them transcend negativity and keep it at bay.

Throughout my book Bounce: Overcoming Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy I share a wide variety of ways to overcome adversity, build resilience and find joy. Regular exercise, good diet, relaxation exercises, and rest are a few of the many techniques covered. Holistic and self-empowered strategies to feed your soul and achieve your highest potential also including following your passion, engaging in activities you love and ways to bounce back from setbacks are also included.

As several reviewers noted:

“Loved the fact it is an easy read and is so incredibly comprehensive in its spectrum of tools covered: eastern and western/physical and psychological/science and esoteric. It’s hard to find books that capture this in one space–a comprehensive manual containing a tasting platter of techniques.”

~ Tina Drummond, Health and Safety Consultant, Wellness Motivator

“Cassandra has mastered the art of speaking in clear and simple terms and has presented Bounce as an easy to read, concise—yet completely comprehensive guide to overcoming all the obstacles that stand between yourself and your passion. She has taken a truly holistic approach and leaves no stone unturned. She lays out all the facets of overcoming your obstacles in a no-nonsense fashion and covers everything … Mind, body and soul … the physical, the spiritual, and the scientific. She evens touches on topics that may be considered ‘airy-fairy’ with believable and inspiring confidence.

 While Bounce is a concise presentation, do not be fooled by its quick two-hour read, it is incredibly comprehensive astoundingly holistic—and effective.”

~ Niki Firth, Amazon Review

Listed below are some helpful reminders of some of the many holistic coping strategies you’ll find in Bounce that you can call upon during times of current or anticipated need.

Physical

• Learn to listen to your body       

• Adequate exercise                 

• Physical touch/massage          

• Muscle relaxation         

• Sleep     

• Warmth

• Relaxation breathing                

• A healthy diet, i.e. reducing stimulants (coffee, nicotine etc.), increasing water, and eating organic non-processed foods

• Yoga

 

Behavioral

• Balanced lifestyle        

• Support groups / Counseling          

• Sharing with friends and family

• Humor        

• New interests / activities      

• Hobbies        

• Socializing

• Entertaining          

• Taking time out       

• Music / dancing / singing/creative expression    

• Meditating

• Yoga

• Being proactive and taking control of the situation

• Change careers

• Reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption

• Making time to do nothing at all

 

Cognitive / Perceptual (thinking)

• Rational thinking techniques to help change the way you interpret the stressful situation

• Positive thinking/cultivating optimism      

• Self-assertion training      

• Personal development

• Building self-esteem      

• Realistic goal planning      

• Time management

• Learning to say “No”       

• Priority clarification      

• Reflection

• Mindfulness

• Acceptance

• Hypnosis

 

Emotional

• Releasing emotions and expressing feelings (laugh, talk, cry, write in a journal, paint etc.)

• Learning how to “switch off”

• Taking time out          

• Solitude and space           

• Intimacy

• Counseling and support

• Challenging your emotional reactions to situations

• Passion/Joy

 

Social

• Scheduling time to spend with important people in your life

• Making plans with friends, family and loved ones in advance

• Sharing your experiences of stress with certain people in your life, especially letting them know the ways that stress has been affecting you, so they understand

• Practicing assertive communication within your significant relationships to decrease conflicts, while also continuing to find ways to show people around you that they are important

 

Spiritual

• Prayer and mediation—scheduling regular time

• Helping others (talking, writing, supporting)

• Reiki and other energy healing techniques

• Talking with a spiritual confidant or leader to explain any spiritual issues or doubts that you may have encountered

• Forgiveness (of self or others)

• Compassion / loving kindness

• Continuing to read and learn about your faith, belief or value system

• Connecting with others who share your beliefs

 

 

The above list is by no means exhaustive; however, you may note a reoccurring theme—the power of creativity.  Many people have that that making room for hobbies is the ultimate cure for addiction, stress, anxiety, depression and more.

Recently, after experiencing a tsunami of stress I realized my hobbies had been horribly neglected. But not anymore! What looked like a horrible situation of having to leave our home during renovations turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The accommodation we rented was owned by a wonderful lady and talented artist and jewelry designer.

I’m not sure how Anna Hamilton discovered that many years ago I had painted and exhibited my art but she quickly asked if I would be interested in exhibiting alongside her during the upcoming Koast Art Trail in The Bay of Islands—http://koast.org.nz/koast-artists-jewellers-potters-kerikeri/.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t say yes straight away. I hadn’t painted for years. “When was I possibly going to kind time to create? And where?” Everything was in storage. Nothing was organized. Everything was chaotic.

But Anna was persistent and persuasive. And my weary soul began to sing. I began to feel excited. I felt encouraged, excited…and Koast was still some few months off.

“Yes, “ I said. “I will do this,” I agreed, feeling a bit of fear and deciding to act anyway.

And then Anna asked if I had any paintings to share in her gallery?

And now I have three paintings hanging in her beautiful gallery. And I feel so excited. And all that stress and tiredness has floated away. And most exciting of all, I’m looking forward to creating a new body of work for the Koast exhibition in October.

 

 

 

 

So what is it about creativity? Why is it such a potent tool of healing?

It’s not easy to overcome many of the things that hold you back. But you can do it—if you’re willing to be strong and fight for your dreams. Within many of us lies an innate seam of strength, which, when mined skilfully, will produce an endless source of pure gold. Part of this strength is our ability to create infinite joy—and creativity fuels that.

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

When you follow your bliss, do things you enjoy, seize the reins of control and take responsibility, you will empower your life, your joy, and your health.

 

Jumping with Joy

Joy has phenomenal energy and incredible versatility. In The Book of Joy the Dalai Lama shares that Paul Ekman, a longtime friend, and famed emotions researcher, has written that joy is associated with feelings as varied as:

• Pleasure (of the five senses)

• Amusement (from a chuckle to a belly laugh)

• Contentment (a calmer kind of satisfaction)

• Excitement (in response to novelty or challenge)

• Relief (following upon another emotion, such as fear, anxiety, and even pleasure)

• Wonder (before something astonishing and admirable)

• Ecstasy or bliss (transporting us outside ourselves)

• Exultation (at having accomplished a difficult or daring task)

• Radiant pride (when our children earn a special honor)

• Elevation (from having witnessed an act of kindness, generosity, or compassion)

• Gratitude (the appreciation of a selfless act of which one is the beneficiary)

 

Buddhist scholar and former scientist Matthieu Ricard has added three other more exalted states of joy: rejoicing (in someone else’s happiness, what Buddhists call mudita) delight or enchantment (a shining kind of contentment) spiritual radiance (a serene joy born from deep well-being and benevolence).

When you tap into your joy, you tap into an unlimited reservoir of energy and enthusiasm.

The French take it further—of course! Jouissance, literally means orgasmic joy. It’s derived from the word from jouir (“to enjoy”). Jouissance is to enjoy something a lot!

One of my favorite creativity experts Mihaly Czikszentmihaly, refers to this as a state of  “flow.”

In a popular YouTube talk, he asks, “What makes a life worth living? Money cannot make us happy,” he says. Instead, he urges us to learn from people who find pleasure and lasting satisfaction in activities that bring about this state of transcendent flow.

Many years ago I held an exhibition of the paintings I did after I participated in a Sumi Ink workshop in Maui with Max Gimblett. Our exhibition was held in Wellington, New Zealand with two other artists. We named the exhibition, Joy’ance. (One of the artists didn’t like the association with ‘orgasmic!)

 

 

Gosh, it was fun! And best of all I received wonderful feedback:

“Beautiful images for a dreary day”

“What a warm surprise: joyful! Thanks for an uplifting visit amongst this wonderful art!”

“Great to see and feel the enterprise and the energy.”

“Inspiring” 

“This has really made my day. I’m quite cynical—but you have achieved what I would expect from something like this (my sumi_e ink Gimblett inspired works). They are so beautiful and simple Their simplicity inspired so much emotion”

“Wonderful art in a wonderful city”

“What a surprise! Joyful! Thanks for an uplifting visit amongst this wonderful art.”

“Thank you, beautiful artwork! Love the bright colors – you have brightened up a dark, gloomy day.”

 

Find something that sparks joy and keep hugely interested in it by feeding and nurturing your jouissance every day.

It’s what I’m doing now—by planning my exhibition, reading books about art, and following some of my favorite artists. I don’t necessarily need to make my living from my art, but I do need to make room for creativity in my life. Do you?

This is an edited extract from Bounce: Overcoming Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Cassandra Gaisford

If you’re interested in reading more about how to boost your happiness and, overcome obstacles and elevate your success read the book here—myBook.to/Bounce.

 

For more tips to lift your spirits during times of adversity grab your free tip sheet

If you loved this post you may like to check out Justin Raj’s Journey to Joyful Sobriety

http://www.cassandragaisford.com/true-stories-your-beautiful-mind-control-alcohol-discover-freedom-find-happiness-and-change-your-life-justin-rajs-journey-to-joyful-sobriety/

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

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

The other day while celebrating my partner’s birthday, and while seeking refuge from a considerable period of stress, I noticed a tourist deeply entranced in capturing an image of a local child with his Canon camera.

 

I took this snapshot on my phone and then showed it to him. He was very surprised and exclaimed, “You got me!”

 

The energy was infectious, pure, spontaneous joy – or as Deepak Chopra writes in his book The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire: Harnessing The Infinite Power of Coincidence—divinely inspired.

The man I spontaneously photographed was Suresh Lala, who I later discovered was on the last day of his trip to New Zealand from Mumbai. He also spontaneously reciprocated his joy by taking an image of me which he entitled, “Me photographing the photographer who photographed the photographer.”

“I shall certainly cherish this memory. Keep that high wattage smile going!” he wrote to me. Little did Suresh know that my partner and I have been experiencing a time of profound stress. Suresh’s passionate camera-presence was a gift to me, and immediately boosted my deflated spirits.

As I write, I am not sure where this coincidence will let. Yet it is remarkable that yesterday I also received my first truly spine-tingling review on Amazon India for my newly released book Your Beautiful Mind: Control Alcohol and Love Life More

 

5.0 out of 5 starsDiscovering my beautiful mind!

21 May 2018

Cassandra Gaisford’s book- Your beautiful mind – is the first book I read after completing my three day counseling session at a major alcoholic rehabilitation center in Indian state of Kerala. Her straightforward way of writing hooked me and motivated me to hold on to my decision- to quit alcohol- strongly. She handled the menace of alcoholism from the level of basics to the level of an expert in a language even a layman can understand.

‘Your beautiful mind’ inspired me to think beyond my alcoholic lifestyle, which wasn’t possible before and helped to transform my mind completely. She motivated me to take up my passions- reading, writing, stock market analysis- as fruitful additions rather than following self destructive addictions like alcohol, nicotine and drugs. Today, I can enjoy my life more and feels like I have been freed from a prison – a self created prison of addictive behaviour. Keep inspiring and keep up your great work, Cassandra!

Now, I am hoping to visit Mumbai too! And loads of other places in India too.

Thank you Justin Raj—I’m so thrilled to have been able to help. Justin’s feedback is even more significant because, as I share in my books, one of the main reasons I wrote Your Beautiful Mind: Control Alcohol and Love Life More, and also my follow-up book, Mind Your Drink: The Surprising Joy of Sobriety, was following the desperate plea for help by a beautiful woman I met on a wellness retreat.

“I’m an alcoholic,” she sobbed, “I can’t stop drinking and they’re going to take my kids.” At the time I felt powerless, ‘How could I possibly help you? I wondered. What did I know about treating addictions?

Little did I know that my frustration and feelings of inadequacy would spur me to find answers. So to know that Justin, not only found self-empowered healing, but that in the process he also reawakened dormant and neglected passions is especially poignant. As he shared on his Facebook page and blog he is looking forward to replacing a negative addiction with a positive obsession with writing and researching and has rekindled his then-dormant blog.

Coincidentally – or what I call ‘go-incidentally’ my dream has been to visit Kerela one day. I hope we can meet!

Are you struggling with anxiety or feeling overwhelmed? Have negative addictions and substance abuse claimed your creative power? Below is a powerful reminder about the life-enhancing magic of creativity—a short edited excerpt from Your Beautiful Mind.

 

Powerful Creativity

Creative expression and communicating what you truly feel is one of our greatest joys and freedoms. It is a simple and effective way to inject more happiness into your life without needing alcohol. Creativity in its various guises is also 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 color, a scrawled phrase or word can powerfully access parts of the psyche we often repress, bringing it 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 color 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 to belong, to bolster the confidence I never felt, to hide the discomfort of living in my own skin.

I wonder, if you were an animal who would you be and why? Asking this question so directly, often yields substantially different, more rational, carefully considered choices, than those which arise through the techniques of tools like Interactive Drawing Therapy (IDT). The strength of IDT is its ability to access what is repressed, hidden and buried in the subconscious and bring it to light for healing.

Job stress, as we have discussed briefly, is a major reason many people over-drink. Again, drawing came to my rescue. I had become quite accomplished at pretending I loved my job—I couldn’t afford to admit the truth.

As I share in my book, Mid-Life Career Rescue The Call for Change, “I was a single mum, the only one able to support my young daughter and myself. I used to go home with a brave face, but inside I was tired and depressed. My self-esteem was so low I thought no one would hire me. I tried to go to work, grit my teeth and bear it.

I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. But that wasn’t what my boss wanted from me. “You could make a lot of money here,” he said. “You just need to be more selfish.”  For a while, I tried to be someone else—motivated only by money, but every day my values were compromised, and the skills I loved weren’t used.

My job started making me ill. It got so bad I got shingles—a painful virus affecting the central nervous system. I felt trapped and unable to leave. My colleagues at work had similar experiences. It really was such a toxic workplace. Several people had heart attacks, and the amount of alcohol people consumed after work to numb the pain was staggering.

I needed a career rescue. In desperation, I agreed to see a career counselor. During my first session, I was asked to draw a picture. I drew a grey bird in a black cage.

“The door is open, but she’s forgotten how to fly,” I told her.

This drawing brought tears to her eyes. Although I didn’t understand why at the time, I can see now that she felt my pain at feeling so caught and trapped by my situation.

Through our sessions and the structured exercises we completed together, I rebuilt my confidence and strengthened my awareness of my skills, and most importantly, I learned how to dream.

The work the career counselor did with me was so important, so vital—saving me from despair. It led me to not just finding a job I loved, but later creating one that gave me a sense of purpose.

What she taught me literally gave me my life back. Happily, I can now serve others in this way too—as an author, qualified holistic energy psychologist, career counselor, life and career coach, and a trainer of other coaches who also aspire to make a difference in other people’s lives.

If you’re reading this book and recognize yourself in my story, if job stress or a toxic workplace is causing you to over drink, don’t wait too long for help. I promise that your happy place is out there—it may even mean employing yourself. Now, that’s ultimate freedom!

 

Therapy Can Be Fun—and Free!

Many addiction and rehab centers use art therapy as part of their therapeutic offering, and report that clients find engaging in creative arts highly satisfying and fun. It’s a playful way of relaxing and an enjoyable way to address some of the more complex aspects of rehab.

Creative activity provides a way to process some of the stressful emotions and anxieties that can emerge during treatment. After rehab, activities like painting, sculpting or drawing can be used throughout the individual’s life as a way to express feelings, explore creativity, and reduce stress.

Best of all, it’s a tool anyone can access, anywhere, at any time, and the effects are long-lasting. You can engage in creativity whenever you feel the need to escape the madness of this world.

But you don’t need to go to rehab or analyze how and why creativity works to understand it’s magic.

Art in all its guises heals and empowers. Have you ever wondered why silencing or controlling peoples creative expression is the first things marauding tyrants and dictators silence or destroy?

Leonardo da Vinci, a great scientist once said, “Art is the queen of all sciences communicating to the world.” Art permeates the inner and outer worlds and elevates our soul.

My grandmother Molly was a naturally gifted and self-taught artist. Her escape, when she needed one, was painting flowers and landscapes in oil colors.

Molly also loved to play the piano, the accordion, and even the banjo and sing for others. Perhaps it was her Irish ancestry which unleashed the happy, confident entertainer. I can still hear her beautifully manicured nail tapping along the ivory keys of the piano. Art banished her heavy episodes of drinking—when she sang, painted, created she never needed a drink.

I have a tiny painting of Molly’s in my shed, a small bunch of violets framed in a custom-made frame my grandfather made for her. Reg Fairweather (beautiful name) was a talented wood turner and furniture maker. This was a hobby, a beautiful retreat he found great joy and personal expression in.

I wonder now, was that his way of escaping and coping when my grandmother’s drinking got out of control? Or was it Reg’s way of coping or distancing himself from his own pain? At the time of writing, I’ve only just learned that Reg’s mother, my great-grandmother, died not long after giving birth. It’s a trauma that had until now, remained a secret.

“I write songs to deal with things I otherwise might not be able to,” a young woman once said about her budding music career, hobbies and dreams.

“For me to be happy is about pleasing only my heart and not worrying about what others think,” says Interior designer Olimpia Orsini about her magically surreal lair in her home away from home in Rome’s bohemian Campo Marzio.

“I love what a camera does,” says landscape photographer Alicia Taylor. “It opens up people to connect with you, it can take you on an amazing journey, and probably is the only time I feel I’ve got the guts to do something is when I’ve got the camera in my hands. I feel like it’s a key to the world.”

“Knitting saved my life,” the waitress at my local cafe told me recently. She told me how her hobby has provided the ultimate cure for her anxiety, and of the joy she finds in knitting for friends.

Without the anxiety of feeling different, author Isabel Allende, says she wouldn’t have been driven to create. “Writing, when all is said and done, is an attempt to understand one’s own circumstance and to clarify the confusion of existence, including insecurities that do not torment normal people, only chronic non-conformists.”

What do these people all have in common? They harness the power of creative expression to rise above the challenges of life.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the next chapter, we’ll explore more deeply the transformational power of pepping up your peptides and changing the way you feel naturally.

 

This is an edited extract of Cassandra Gaisford’s new book Your Beautiful Mind: Control Alcohol, Discover Freedom, Find Happiness and Change Your Life, available in print and Ebook here—getBook.at/Controlalcohol

The Truth Every Perfectionist Should Know

Monday, May 14th, 2018

 

Perfectionism will keep you poor.

~ Carla Coulson, photographer

 

“All of us failed to match our dream of perfection. So I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible,” wrote author William Faulkner. “In my opinion, if I could write all my work again, I am convinced that I would do it better, which is the healthiest condition for an artist. That’s why he keeps on working, trying again; he believes each time that this time he will do it, bring it off,” Faulker said. “I believe that all artists are possessed by this silly ambition: they want to do something no one else has done before. They want to create something that’s perfect. And they try, again and again, and they always fail. It seems to me that this is what truly motivates us. We keep on writing because nothing we write is good enough, or at least, as good as we think it should be. Or as good as we think it deserves to be.”

No story, no painting, no work of art is ever ‘finished.’ There’s always something to change, to add, to remove. Good art pulsates with living energy—just like we do. There’s always room for growth.

I know writers who have been “polishing” the same novel for tens of years. I was once one of them.

The challenge is knowing when to let go. Your task is to know when to stop editing and editing, reading and re-reading your work, over and over again.

The truth is if you overwork your creative project you can ruin its vibrancy, its essence, the energy that inspired you to create it in the first place. You run the risk of becoming paralyzed by perfection, becoming sick of your creation, and losing your passion.

Someone once said, “It’s like an itch you don’t have to scratch, because every time you read your story, you’ll always find something that needs to be changed. And if you feel like your story is perfect, just take a few weeks’ off and then read it again. Suddenly, it won’t feel as good as you previously thought.”

Adopt a new mantra—the good enough mantra. Remind yourself that your work is “good enough.” Know that you can always go back and improve it later. But for now, get things done, finish your work, and release your gifts and talents to the world.

Just like blowing bubbles, some projects will fly just for a few seconds, some will never get off the ground, and others will soar eternally towards the sky.

But working on the same project for much longer than is healthy is just as bad as starting a hundred different things and never finishing any of them.

I used to be afraid to let go of my work. I was terrified of what people might think of my books; I was worried they weren’t good enough.

I still care, but I care less. I think it was Leonardo da Vinci who said that those who don’t doubt their ability will never reach their heights.

We all want to be better, but I know from experience that advancement is made only by moving forward. We learn most from experience—not ruminating, overthinking, and over-perfecting.

If people like the books I write, great. If they don’t, then I know that I have done the best I can do right now.

I know from experience that I only get better at writing by writing a lot, not by editing the same project for two decades.

 

Mining for Gold

Done is better than striving for the impossible—perfect. Avoid over-working your projects—let your work go out into the world knowing it is as good as it can be right now.

Set a definite date for completion.

Adopt a growth mindset. Commit to continual improvement—in your new work and the projects that follow.

 

 

For more tips to lift your spirits during times of adversity grab your free tip sheet

The Tattooist of Auschwitz—his secret love and one woman’s passion and purpose behind telling his story

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018

I first met Heather Morris when she came to the Bay of Islands in New Zealand from her home in Melbourne to visit her brother, and my friend, who had been given a terminal diagnosis of cancer.

As you can appreciate, this was a very distressing time. Yet, as we discovered we all had a passion for telling stories, and as we shared our writing inspiration, we all felt encouraged, emboldened, and filled with light.

And with this came renewed hope.

Not just for her brother, who was inspired to crack on with his own writing projects, but I was also reminded of the finality of life. This provided added motivation to crack on with my own writing projects.

For a small moment in time, we all escaped our worldly concerns and became excited by Heather’s “overnight” (not!) success with the publication and resulting worldwide interest in her novel, The Tattooist of Auschwitz (released to great acclaim in 2018).

The novel is based on the true story of Slovakian Jew Lale Sokolov, who was forced to tattoo the numbers on his fellow victims’ arms that would mark them for survival.

Sokolov used the infinitesimal freedom of movement that his position gave him to exchange jewels and money taken from murdered Jews for food to keep others alive. The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a remarkable love story.

“My book is the true story of the girl he fell in love with when he held her hand and tattooed a number on her left arm, and how they survived for two and a half years in that Dante-esque circle of hell, got separated, found each other, married, and lived very happily for over 50 years, ” Heather told me.

After first meeting Heather I invited her to share her story and she generously emailed me the following:

“I met Lale Sokolov in December 2003. I was 50-years old and had been dabbling in learning and writing screenplays; he was 87-years-old and his wife, Gita, had died two months earlier.

A friend of a friend of their son, Gary, asked me to meet Lale to hear the secret he’d kept for over fifty years and which he wanted to tell someone before he ‘hurried up and joined his beloved Gita.’

Over the next three years, our friendship grew as, slowly, his story was revealed to me piecemeal, often told at bullet pace with limited coherency and with no flow or connection to the many, many stories he told.

It didn’t matter. I fell under his spell.

Was it the delightful Eastern European accent? Was it the charm this old rascal had lived his life dispensing? Or, was it the twisted, convoluted story I was starting to make sense of—the significance and importance of which was beginning to dawn on me.

It was all of these things and more. I was spending time with ‘living history’ and was being given a story to tell for which I am honored and privileged to have been entrusted with.

Fast forward to 2017—14 years after my fateful meeting with Lale Sokolov. It took me two years to get the story I would eventually write into a screenplay. He got to read it and loved it.

I sat with him and held his hand and said goodbye to him the night he died. At that time, I vowed to never stop trying to tell his story.

A film production company optioned the script from me for three years, then another two years, but failed to ‘get it up’.

I took the option back and, after a rewrite, started entering it in screenplay competitions around the world. It did well, and was often a finalist and won the International Independent Film Award in 2016.

I was receiving comments from film executives that the story ‘not only should be told, but must be told;’ that it was ‘Oscar bait’. But still no-one came forward to talk production.

Then a light-bulb moment came when I decided to write it as a novel, something I had no experience with and had never written or studied as a writing medium.

On the advice of one of my sons to help with ‘free promotion,’ I did a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to self-publish. From this campaign, a local publishing company in Melbourne approached me and signed me up.

I attempted to write while working full-time in a large Melbourne hospital and being the accommodating grandmother to my son and his wife, my daughter and her husband and their three little ones.

I was getting no-where.

I’m lucky to have family living in San Diego, California, who have a holiday house on the top of Big Bear Mountain. In the middle of their winter, in six feet of snow, I squirreled myself away for four weeks and as Sir Edmund Hilary once said, ‘knocked the bugger off.’

The parent company of my publisher came to Melbourne in February and heard about my story. They have now taken over the publishing, sold foreign language rights to 13 countries, and done a deal with Harper Collins in the U.S. to publish there.

And the screenplay? Stay tuned—some heavy hitters in Hollywood are vying for it.

I am now 64 years old and about to embark on a journey beyond my wildest dreams as I travel promoting the book and hopefully, in two or three years’ time, a film.

Giving up on telling this story was never an option for me. Yes, months went by when I did nothing to further it as life got in the way. I told myself it was The Tattooist’s time, I had to hang in there, seek out avenues to have the story heard and eventually one paid off.

I don’t kid myself that I’m a great writer. I am privileged to have been given a great story to tell and I hope Lale and Gita would be proud of the job I’ve done telling their story. I have received the ultimate validation of my attempt from their son who doesn’t want a word changed.

A lot of very talented people/editors both in Melbourne and London will produce a book which I am honored to have my name on. My family keep telling me they wouldn’t be doing that if I hadn’t written it in the first place.

I have two quotes on the wall near my desk, the one mentioned above by Sir Edmund and one from one of my favorite screenwriters, William Goldman, who references the children’s book The Little Engine That Could.

‘Just get the @#%&% engine over the mountain.’”

 

Heather’s story is a powerful reminder not to give up on your dreams. Tenacity, perseverance, patience, and the ability to adapt are big factors in her success—and many other attributes as well, including talent!

Harper Collins came on board as the publisher in the U.S. and Canada, and, at the time of writing, major film companies are bidding for the movie rights. Stay tuned!

What’s also interesting about Heather’s story is that she adopted a growth mindset. She began with a film script and then taught herself how to turn a script into a novel. She also taught herself to fund her dreams via Kickstarter and the Internet—and then an opportunity came knocking. But, importantly, success came because she put her work out there.

It’s a reminder to us all that you grow into your dreams, and a commitment to continual learning is essential. As is hanging onto a success mindset.

As Heather said, giving up on telling this story was never an option for her. Heather also proves what Napoleon Hill so famously wrote in his classic book Think and Grow Rich—most people don’t achieve their success until their sixties and beyond.

Winners never quit and quitters never win, Heather’s brother John Williamson, a screenwriter, told me recently.

More good news came, too—her brother’s cancer has taken a “u-turn.” The medication he is on has slowed, and in one case slightly shrunk, one of the tumors in his lung and his oncologist is extremely happy with the slow progress of the disease.

Who knows what further miracles the future will bring? But we all agree—there is power in story and creativity!

Mining for Gold

Brainstorm or list as many ways as possible that you could finance your career. Seek suggestions from others to widen the possibilities. Ask your way to success.

Which of Heather’s success strategies could you experiment with? Going AWOL? Learning a new skill? Crowdfunding? Affirmations on the wall—or something else?

Read the BBC review of Heather’s book and meet the man who inspired this unexpected love story—http://www.bbc.com/news/stories-42568390

Check out Heather’s Kickstarter Campaign here—www.kickstarter.com/projects/thetattooist/the-tattooist

 

This is an edited extract from The Prosperous Author: How to Make a Living With Your Writing (Book One: Developing a Millionaire Mindset) by Cassandra Gaisford. ORDER THE EBOOK TODAY, SAVE and SEND YOUR ORDER CONFIRMATION AND RECEIVE YOUR FREE BONUS GIFTS—Click the Amazon link here getBook.at/TheProsperousAuthor

Develop A Millionaire Mindset Today!

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

 

 

 

Do you have a secret you’d love to share? A story of passion, hope, and survival? Or have you always dreamed of writing a book someday?

 

  • For anyone who has dreamed of becoming an author.
  • For anyone who wants to make a living from books.
  •  This is the book to make your dreams a reality.
  •  Follow your passion to prosperity.

 

 

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

 To purchase your copy and learn how to follow your passion to prosperity, click here to go to your online bookshop.

Daily Habits of Prosperously Productive Creatives, Writers, and Artists

Tuesday, May 1st, 2018

 

“We often assume that great things are done by those who were blessed with natural talent, genius, and skill. But how many great things could have been done by people who never fully realized their potential?” writes James Clear on his popular blog.

How can you pull your potential from within and share it with the world? By doing the work!

Professional authors have found that creating and committing to productive daily routines maximizes their output and minimizes their stress.

“Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines practiced every day,” says author Jim Rohn. “Top performers in any field, including writing, tap into something that goes much deeper than intelligence or talent. They possess an obsessive devotion to do the work that needs to be done,” Rohn says.

James Clear once profiled a few masters of their daily routines on his blog:

Novelist Haruki Murakami says, “The repetition itself becomes the important thing.” He gets up at four a.m. and works for five to six hours. No excuses. “I keep to this routine every day without variation,” he says.

“I write every morning,” said Ernest Hemingway. “When I am working on a book or a story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. “There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write. You read what you have written and, as you always stop when you know what is going to happen next, you go on from there.”

In 1932, the famous writer and painter Henry Miller created a work schedule that listed his “Commandments” for him to follow as part of his daily routine. This list was published in his book, Henry Miller on Writing.

Several of Miller’s tips that resonated with me include:

1. Work on one thing at a time until finished
2. Start no more new books, add no more new material
3. Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is at hand
4. Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
5. Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it
6. Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only

Some of the many daily habits I schedule include regular meditation, Morning Pages, and writing first thing in the morning until 12.

These routines and the many other little things I regularly do, when taken together, make an extraordinary difference to my energy levels and productivity.

 

Mining for Gold

What daily habits and routines would make a tremendous difference to your mindset?

This is an edited extract from The Prosperous Author: How to Make a Living With Your Writing (Book One: Developing a Millionaire Mindset) by Cassandra Gaisford. ORDER THE EBOOK TODAY, SAVE and SEND YOUR ORDER CONFIRMATION AND RECEIVE YOUR FREE BONUS GIFTS—Click the Amazon link here getBook.at/TheProsperousAuthor
Develop A Millionaire Mindset Today!

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

Hooked on a feeling—trust your gut to choose and grow your purposeful business

Monday, January 29th, 2018

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trusting your gut in business will help give you:

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

 

The Infinite Intelligence of Your Subconscious Mind

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

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

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

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

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

 

Is intuition better than concrete, measurable facts?

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

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

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

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

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

 

Steering you the right way

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

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

 

Tuning in to Your Intuition

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

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

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

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

Action Questions

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

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

Meditation—for cultivating inner power

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Surf The Net

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

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

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

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

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

Pay extra attention over the next three weeks to special “go-incidences” or insights. For example, as I edit this book, I am also releasing another book to help people who are suffering from alcohol addiction. The title of the book is Your Beautiful Mind: Control Alcohol and Love Life More, and one of the chapters is called, Hooked on a Feeling. I walked into a local cafe and the song, Hooked on a Feeling by the band Blue Swede was playing on the sound system. What are the odds!

The lyrics of the song also inspired me to write a chapter titled, High on Believing—spirituality, and faith is such an important part of peoples’ recovery. Maintaining a believing mindset is another critical factor in achieving goals of any kind—something I cover in my book, Millionaire Mindset

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

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

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

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

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

Action Questions: How Can You Meditate?

What steps can you take to learn more about meditation?

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

Call Upon Your Archetypal Symbol

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

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

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

Action Question: Who Can You Call Upon?

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

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

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

 

What and Who You Truly Want to Become

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

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

Intuition is the Gateway to Your Authentic Self

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

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

Look For and Heed the Signs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What can Philippe teach you?

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

Trust Your Gut to Grow Your Business

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

What You’ve Learned

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

 

What’s Next?

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

Are you ready to show your work?

 

This is an edited extract from Midlife Career Rescue: (Employ Yourself): How to confidently leave a job you hate, and start living a life you love, before it’s too late” by Cassandra Gaisford. To purchase your copy and learn how to follow your passion to prosperity, click here to go to your online bookshop—getBook.at/EmployYourself2018

 

How to develop more grit and perseverance – consult the oracle

Monday, November 13th, 2017

I don’t care what you think about me. I don’t think about you at all

~ Coco Chanel

Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel had to overcome obstacles to success just like you and I. She suffered many hardships, including the death of her mother when she was young, being abandoned by a father who didn’t love her, growing up in an orphanage, and the stigma of her early years which plagued her throughout her life.

She suffered extreme poverty, self-doubt, low self-esteem and craved love. People jealous of her talent also spread malicious rumors and tried to undermine her success.

But she didn’t let obstacles stop her from doing the work she loved. The pursuit of excellence born from her experience, fueled by her determination to be an independent woman, and the desire to liberate others, ultimately led to her success.

Her boundless imagination, strength of purpose and courageous spirit is an inspiration to young and old. Have you ever wondered what sustained her throughout her life and career?

Tarot and other subjects such as astrology, alternative healing, psychic phenomena, spirituality, and a fascination with the Goddess legends, captured Coco Chanel’s interest.

She, like many people, found great wisdom, peace, comfort and healing from an eclectic array of spiritual rituals.

As the astrologer, Jessica Adams, shares on her website, “Coco Chanel used the Lenormand oracle card deck to help her in business—as well as in her personal life. As my friend, Justine Picardie explains in her acclaimed biography of Chanel, ‘the cards still rest where she left them, lying in a moment frozen in time, in her apartment in Paris.’”

Coco was taught the precepts of Theosophy by the first and foremost love of her life, the English playboy, Captain Arthur Edward “Boy” Capel (CBE).

Theosophy is defined by some sources as, “A collection of mystical and occultist philosophies concerning, or seeking direct knowledge of, the presumed mysteries of life and nature, particularly of the nature of divinity and the origin and purpose of the universe.”

My first experience with psychic phenomena and the tarot was when I was a teenager in New Zealand in the late 70s. A friend had given her baby up for adoption and asked me to come with her to visit a psychic for a reading.

I remember feeling both apprehensive and excited. I was amazed that the reading revealed such true things about my life, and I knew then that there was something special about tarot cards.

Like Coco, it’s a fascination that stayed with me throughout my life and which continues to provide inspiration courage and fortitude—both personally and professionally. No one knows exactly how tarot cards originated. The earliest Tarot deck dates back to the 1400s Renaissance Italy.

‘I’ve come to believe that a lot of wisdom was incorporated in the tarot. I feel, as others do, that the ancient keepers of the old ways or earth-based spirituality, wanted to pass on information,” writes Karen Vogel in the introduction to her Motherpeace Tarot Guidebook.

‘As warfare increasingly became a way of life in the Dark Ages of Europe, old ways were lost as whole cities and civilizations were wiped out.

‘It was more and more difficult to pass on oral and written traditions since whole cultures were destroyed and ancient libraries burned. One of the traditional stories about the origins of the tarot is that the wisdom keepers in these cultures were the storytellers, artists, and healers.

They chose between writing a spiritual or philosophical text or putting the knowledge into a game. They decided that a game in the form of cards would last longer, be more accessible to everyone, and easier to hide.’

By the time of the Renaissance Christianity had dominated Europe as both a political and religious powerhouse. Millions of women, who were often the healers and spiritual leaders, were murdered during the Inquisition. Those who threatened Church authority or knew about ritual and healing, either died or went into hiding, taking certain information with them. It was in this atmosphere that tarot began and subsequently spread all over Europe.

Of all the psychological theories in the West, that of revered Swiss psychologist Carl Jung stands out as most applicable to Tarot.

Jung wrote about Tarot on several occasions, seeing it as depicting archetypes of transformation like those he found in myths, dreams, and alchemy.

He described its divinatory abilities as similar to the IChing and astrology, and late in life established a group who attempted to integrate insights about a person based on multiple divination systems including Tarot.

Jessica Adams also notes, “This connection with astrology is not something that the house of Chanel shies away from today. In fact, I vividly remember Karl Lagerfeld’s illustration of the zodiac sign Sagittarius, decorating my horoscope column in Vogue Australia.”

Astrology also played a major role in Lagerfeld’s campaign for the perfume Chance, where a lion plays a key role. The ‘Chanel-Leo’ is very important when understanding the house of Chanel, the woman who created it—and the fragrance.

Jessica Adams also suggests that one of the cards in Coco’s Lenormand deck inspired one of the secret ingredients contained in Chanel N°5, “…this card shows a beautiful green tree, seven love hearts, and the message… ‘A tree far away means good health—when near—illness there will be, many trees close together means things will turn out all right, you’ll see.’

As we now know, a naturally occurring tree moss is one of the secret ingredients in Chanel N°5 fragrance. A coincidence? Or did Chanel bring together astrology and the Lenormand, when choosing her blend?”

Your Challenge

Experiment with tarot—either have a reading with an experienced tarot card reader or study the cards and their meanings for yourself

Feed your curiosity—take note of the places and circumstances where tarot, astrological symbols and other mystical and occultist philosophies are used—in business and life

How could you blend astrology and tarot into your career and life?

He who has a mind to understand, let him understand

~ Mary Magdalene, in The Gospel of Mary

 

This is an edited extract from The Art of Success: How Extraordinary Artists Can Help You Succeed in Business and Life (Book Two: Coco Chanel) by Cassandra Gaisford. To order a copy for less than the price of coffee and cake click here to go to your online bookshop.

How You Can Think Like Leonardo da Vinci and Unlock Your Creative Potential

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

Whenever I’m in a slump or needing an inspirational boost I turn to people who are smarter or more skilled than me for good advice.

I’ve done the same with qualities I’ve wanted to develop, like patience. “What would Mother Theresa do now?” I asked many years ago. Mother Theresa wouldn’t shout! She wouldn’t lose her cool. She’d send loving kindness and smile. And that’s what I did whenever I got frustrated.

Leonardo da Vinci was super smart! As I wrote The Art of Success: How Extraordinary Artists Can Help You Succeed in Business and Life, I applied the strategies I’m sharing with you to help me finish this book and make progress with my historical novel, Mona Lisa’s Secret

If you’ve been procrastinating, experiencing self-doubt, feeling fearful, or just getting in your own way, you’re in good company, Leonardo’s been there. I’ve been there too—as have many successful people. Guess what, getting in your own way is normal!

I promise there are solutions to the problems you’re currently facing—and you’ll find them in the pages of this book.

Dig into The Art of Success and let Leonardo da Vinci be your mentor, inspiration, and guide as he calls forth your passions, purpose and potential.

Through the teachings of Leonardo, extensive research into the mysteries of motivation, success and fulfilment, and my own personal experience and professional success with clients as a holistic psychologist, The Art of Success will help you accelerate success. Together, Leonardo and I will guide you to where you need to go next and give you practical steps to achieve success.

I was once told that I had the soul of an artist. Actively discouraged in childhood, for a long time I’d closed off that side of me. I began my career as a bank-teller, then as an accountant, then as a recruitment consultant, followed by more ‘business-minded’ careers. I even spent time in prison—on a work assignment.

Each time I went further and further away from who I truly was and the things that gave me joy. Leonardo was luckier—he was encouraged to pursue his natural inclination. My hope is that after reading The Art of Success you will too.

Whether your calling is the world of commerce or seeking answers in the stars, it’s never too late to be yourself.

Step into this ride joyfully and start creating your best life today.

Here are just a few of Leonardo’s success strategies:

 

THE POWER OF PASSION

If there’s no love, what then?

~ Leonardo da Vinci

Without love you don’t have energy. Without energy you have nothing.

When people are pursuing something they are passionate about their drive and determination is infinite. They become like pieces of elastic able to stretch to anything and accommodate any setback. People immobilised by fear and passivity snap like a twig. They lack resilience.

Passion gives people a reason for living and the confidence and drive to pursue their dreams. Leonardo was a man of many loves and deep obsessions. These passions imbued him with infinite energy—powering his creativity, courage, resolve and tenacity.

As Leonardo once said, “No labour is sufficient to tire me”. Even when he was exhausted by life, his passion sustained him.

Your Challenge

What will passion do for you?

The really important stuff is not in my résumé. It’s what has gone on almost unnoticed in the secret chambers of the heart

~ Isabel Allende, author

 

YOUR SOUL’S DESIRE

Men who desire nothing but material riches are absolutely devoid of that wisdom which is the food and the only true riches of the mind.  So much worthier is the soul than the body, so much nobler are the possessions of the soul than those of the body

~ Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo described himself as an inventor—it was fundamental to his success. He was a visionary, always searching to understand what was and what could be.  In his quest to create and invent he sought knowledge and wisdom above all else. He sought to fill  his soul and he sought to be of service to the world, advancing science and other realms in the process.

Acquiring material riches wasn’t high on his list of priorities. In life as in chess, forethought wins. Decide what you really want, what you are prepared to give up for it and what your priorities will be.

Your Challenge

If you’re struggling to clarify what it is you really want notice the times your soul comes alive. Notice what excites and interests you, and keep these clues to passion in an inspirational journal.

Passion, love, bliss or joy—whatever name it goes by—is hard to define but easy to see and feel. Your body will change quickly when the richness of your soul finds you.

Here are just a few of her clues:

  • A burning desire, hunger, sense of excitement or feeling of inspiration
  • A state of arousal—a racing heart, light-headedness, sweaty palms, butterflies, breathlessness
  • A feeling of limitless energy
  • A clarity of vision
  • A sense of purpose and caring deeply
  • A feeling of contentment

I don’t believe you can ever really cook unless you love eating

~ Nigella Lawson, celebrity chef

 

LEAD DON’T FOLLOW

Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return

~ Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo combined what he loved with his vision and talent for fulfilling future needs. The threat of war made him design things that would protect cities. The desire for faster travel propelled his quest to find a way for man to fly. Illness and death drove him to understand the human body.

He once said, “The painter will produce pictures of little merit if he takes the works of others as his standard.”

His creations were original, and many artists of the time copied him—including Raphael. Many of Leonardo’s designs were spectacularly ahead of his time. So many of his ideas were impossible to build during the 15th and 16th centuries with the tools available and Leonardo’s financial constraints. However 500-plus years later he’s still regarded as a leader.

Your Challenge

Don’t chase the market. Create a need, or fulfil anticipated ones. Don’t be deterred if at first you don’t succeed. Do what you dream about and wait for the world to catch up. No one really knows what, or who, be the next hot thing.

Persevere with your vision. Let the beauty and imagineering you love be the work that you do. Cocoon yourself in the protective magic and power of creative, lateral, blue-skies thinking. Read and learn about other leaders and pioneers. And become the lead character in your own book of life.

You are the storyteller of your own life, and you can create your own legend, or not

~ Isabel Allende, author

 

This is an edited extract from The Art of Success: How Extraordinary Artists Can Help You Succeed in Business and Life (Book One: Leonardo da Vinci) by Cassandra Gaisford. To purchase your copy and learn more from Leonardo Navigate to here: getBook.at/TheArtofSuccess

The Gift of Longevity—how to change careers in your fifties, sixties and beyond

Monday, November 6th, 2017

 

It is a great time for mid-lifers to make the leap to a new career but for some people this means reframing their expectations of employment.

Embracing the new world of work, where it seems likely that many people will continue to work in paid employment into their late 60s, 70s and beyond means a mindset change for not just employers but also, more importantly, for individuals themselves.

Many countries and organizations are facing a critical skills shortage as fewer and fewer younger people enter the workforce and mature workers continue to opt out of mainstream employment.

Among these messages of impending disaster at a conference I attended in Italy it was refreshing to hear delegates from France, Italy and Australia reframe the issues from a problem to an opportunity and to speak about positive aging and the “gift of longevity.”

But so many of the more ‘mature’ clients I coach still feel their age is a problem. They worry that they are too old to change careers, and despair they have left it too late to change.

“My life has been a life of regret,” one of my clients said. At the ripe young age of 45, he couldn’t see much hope of improving his situation.

Similarly, Mike, a professional man in his late 50s told me he was too old to change career. He also worried that employers would feel the same way. After reading this book and some follow up coaching he changed his mindset and opportunities flooded his way.

He’s now working in a role that his friends say looks like it was tailor-made just for him.

“Some really great news—I’ve just heard I got the job I went after.  Can hardly believe it after trying to find a way into this area of work for a long time. For me it’s confirmation of the importance and power of managing my thought processes,” he wrote.

Worryingly it’s not just older workers that have pessimistic job expectations. “Don’t you do what you love when you retire?” one 25-year-old client asked me. I was stunned. “Where did you learn that?” I asked. “It’s what my mother told me,” she confessed.

“Mid-life is a time to reinvent ourselves and make new choices based on what we truly want. The challenge is to look at the changing energy with anticipation. We can throw away the roles that do not serve and open to ones that contain more freedom to be ourselves.” ~Barbara Biziou, Author

 

Are You Stuck In The Dark Ages?

Authors of You Don’t Make a Big Leap Without a Gulp: Having the Courage to Change Careers and Live Again, Mike Fitzsimons and Nigel Beckford, suggest that many people are trapped in a Depression-era mindset, thinking, “I’m lucky to have a job,” or “I’ll sit it out until I retire.”

An article in Time Magazine also confirmed the reality that many mature workers have been conditioned to expect less from the world of work. As a result, they often have negative views or expectations about the wealth of opportunity that now exists.

The reality is that there’s a huge amount of opportunity out there for people wanting more from their working lives than to grit their teeth and bear it, and for those who want to gain greater financial security. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

Breaking Free
The greatest challenge we mid-lifers have is to actively break free from narrow views of what is possible and embrace a sense of adventure.

To gain the courage to change careers and the skills to hunt for jobs successfully requires the ability and willingness to challenge assumptions.

Changing careers mid-life also requires a healthy dose of inspiration, a commitment to careful planning and the willingness to take calculated risks.

Fitzsimons and Beckford urge middle-aged workers to rekindle a sense of adventure and embrace the wealth of opportunity that exists now for mature people in the workforce.

Their research suggests that people spend lots of time looking after their teeth and monitoring their cholesterol levels, but neglect to spend time having regular career checks.

Does this sound like you? If so, where and how do you start planning your mid-life career transition?

 

Embracing the new world of possibilities

The Association of Career Professionals International says that adopting a creative and lateral approach to career and work choices is the key to embracing the new world of possibilities.

They urge vocational guidance practitioners to encourage clients to be imaginative when thinking about ways to combine skills, talents, and interests to secure paid employment.

But being creative isn’t the way many mid-lifers have been encouraged to think about careers! You may have experienced the old narrow model of career decision-making where you were told what you could do. For example, women were told their choices were severely limited to roles such as nursing, teaching, typing or being a wife.

Or perhaps you’ve been conditioned to think a job has to be just one thing, and that this one thing, is something you only do from an office, from 9-5 or longer.

Thankfully for people today there are almost unlimited career choices, and various ways to bundle the work week.

Helping people like you think laterally and creatively about careers is my strength and my passion, but first, let’s get you started thinking positively about your life stage.

The Changing World Of Work
Over the last 10 years, we have seen unprecedented change. Globalization and technological revolutions such as the Internet and mobile devices have made it so much easier for companies and individuals to generate income anywhere, anytime.

This has led to many benefits, including a wider variety of goods and services, and a diversity of employment scenarios. Now you have an increased ability to generate income from the comfort of your own home, and greater opportunities to live and work overseas.

Len, aged 54, runs a thriving recruitment business from the beautiful serenity of his lifestyle property. Sally lives on a neighboring property, using Skype, email, and her phone, is able to manage her very successful mortgage company.

And you don’t have to be self-employed to benefit from technological and global advancements. Numerous businesses offer flexible working arrangements to attract and retain staff.

The increased level of commercial and competitive pressures has also meant that companies, and their employees, need to constantly re-invent themselves to keep up. This is great news for mid-lifers wanting to make a positive change.

The Changing World of Work Table

The list below highlights how some of these changes have impacted on work and careers. Add to this list any changes that you or those close to you have personally experienced or know of.

Can you think of any other changes impacting how we live and work? What new opportunities might any shifts in the world of work create for you?

 

Action Tasks! Aging Positively

If you’re like Mike and feel your age is against you it’s time to get a mindset shift. There are numerous ways to maintain a positive approach to increasing age. Here are just a few examples:

1.) Start collecting evidence of positive aging. Compile an inspirational mid-life file and add clippings, photos, quotes, and ‘case studies’ of people who have made it big, or are happy at work, in their twilight years. Look for your role models.

Gather at least 10 examples of successful people in your age group and above. You’ll see a few of my favorite examples in the page that follow.

2.) Create an image board or journal. Paste inspirational quotes, pictures, and clippings which celebrate maturity in the workforce and life. Motivate yourself by adding to it and looking at it regularly.

3.) Turn age into an asset. Don’t be disheartened by people who think your age is against you. Write down a list of the benefits of hiring a mature worker. Widen your awareness of the positives by asking others to add their views. Armed with your own self-belief and a few powerful strategies to market yourself, you’ll be unstoppable.

4.) Network with other like-minded people. Talk to other mature job seekers, check helpful websites, and network with organizations that provide tips and examples to help you succeed and stay positive.

5.) Get career fit. Learn a new skill or get up to date with new technology that will help you gain the job you want. You’re never too old to learn, and you may even discover a new talent.

6.) Rekindle a sense of adventure. Re-awaken dormant creative skills and adopt a playful approach to life. Take on some FTEs – first-time experiences. Can you think of anything you’d love to try? Like Carla Coulson, who in her 40’s gave photography a go, found a new passion and has now made it a rewarding career.

7.) Challenge your assumptions. Divide a page into half. List any negative assumptions you might have about your age and on the other side write some counter statements. Here’s an example to get you started:

Negative Assumptions

Employers prefer younger workers

Affirming Counter Statements

Demographic research shows that companies are going to need to recruit from a more mature labor pool

 

“There is no substitute for bravery, creative thinking, and imagination if you want a rewarding career.”

~ Peter Biggs, Former CEO of Creative New Zealand

 

Plenty Of Time To Make It Big

The encouraging news, according to some experts, is that life begins in the late 40’s. Evidence suggests that many people don’t reach their potential until well into their 50s and 60s.

American grandfather of motivational books, Napoleon Hill, whose best-selling book, Think and Grow Rich, was published for the first time in 1937, discovered from an analysis of more than 25,000 people that those who succeed seldom do before the age of 40, and usually do not strike their real pace until well beyond their 50’s.

This data should be encouraging for those who ‘fail to arrive’ before 50 and offers compelling evidence that people should approach the mid-years with hope and anticipation!

It’s never too late

Here are just a few people who have achieved success in their later years:

1) Author Helen Hoover Santmyer was 88-years-young when her book And Ladies of the Club was published. It stayed on the New York Times Best-sellers list for eight months. It was her first novel in 50 years.

2) A failure at 65, Colonel Sanders was world-famous and wealthy at 80. His father was a miner and his mother worked in a shirt factory. Harland Sanders had to give up school in the sixth grade because he was so poor.

He eventually opened a small home-town restaurant in the Kentucky hills. All looked well until the highway was rerouted and he lost everything. He was 65 at the time and faced with a future barely surviving on social security, his motivation to try again kicked in.

“My government is going to give me a hundred and five dollars so I can eke out an existence. Surely there is something I can do for myself and other people.”

Tapping into powerfully creative questions like this unlocked the key to what would be his major success—his mother’s secret chicken recipe.

Turned down by numerous restaurants at the time he turned potential failure into another inspired idea—franchises. It was an instantaneous hit, and the rest is history!

3) Fifty-five-year-old Rhonda Byrne’s life was at an all-time low. Twice divorced, her father had just died and her career was in crisis.

That was until, acting on an inspired thought, she created the DVD The Secret and later produced a book, both of which went on to become some of the biggest-selling self-help resources of all time.

At the heart of Rhonda’s inspirational series of products and resources is the law of attraction.

“Everything in your life is attracted to you by what you are thinking,” Rhonda says. “You are like a human transmission tower, transmitting a frequency with your thoughts. If you want to change anything in your life, change the frequency by changing your thoughts.”

Action Questions: How can you think positive?

Take a leaf from Rhonda’s secret to success and change any stinkin’ thinkin’ that may be lingering. Answering the following questions may help:

  1. What results are you currently experiencing that you would like to change?
  2. What thoughts would you need to change?
  3. What thoughts would remain the same?
  4. What things have supported you in maintaining a positive state of mind in the past? How could they be helpful now?
  5. Can you think of some other strategies to help you keep your mind on what you want and off what you don’t want?

“We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance.” ~ Harrison Ford, Actor

 

Client Success Story: From Unemployed to Franchise Manager

Aged 48, Ngaire returned to New Zealand after running a business in outback Australia. Things had not gone well after an economic downturn in the rural economy and she walked away from her business. Ngaire tried her hand at a few other things but realized there were few prospects for her in Australia so came home.

She returned penniless and alone with no work prospects. She was unsure if her skills were suitable for more modern careers, and initially thought about learning computer skills.

However, a friend encouraged her to read this book and work through a career coaching process. This helped her recognize and value her experience and realize how her current skills could transfer into other jobs.

Ngaire had always walked easily into work because she had lived in a town where everyone knew her and there was plenty of work.

After learning how to value and communicate her transferable skills and experience she re-wrote her resume and was successful in getting a job as a shop manager for a national food franchise. Her new employer valued her prior experience, maturity and management potential.

Ngaire achieved great success in her role and turned around many problem stores. She was quickly promoted and given more responsibility. Her pay packet received a nice boost too!

It takes courage and strength of character to leave a situation and start over again. Ngaire’s secret to success was drive, determination and a solid work ethic.

Initially despondent and fearful, she is now happy, confident and not worried about her future. Ngaire realizes that there are more opportunities out there and that she has the power to create her own luck and seize opportunities that come her way.

Her employer had the foresight to take on a mature person, and together they benefit in ways they hadn’t foreseen.

Robert Kiyosaki, multi-millionaire entrepreneur and author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, is right when he says, “There is no one in your way except you and your doubts about you. It is easy to stay the same. It is not easy to change. Most people choose to stay the same all their lives. If you take on your self-doubt and your laziness you will find the door to your freedom.”

 

A Time Of Renewal

You are as old as you choose to feel. I know many people in their 70’s and 80’s who are still leading active work lives and enjoying a more healthier existence as a result.

“If you retire you expire,” says 88-year-old Boyd Klap who vows never to stop contributing.

Check out this video (https://vimeo.com/122707475) and watch the value of being mutually inspired and inspiring, and of maintaining a spirit of curiosity through and beyond your middle ages. You’ll see Mandy Scott-Mackie who had just embarked on a mid-life career adventure in outback Australia and hear Boyd Klap who tried retiring many times and got bored! I apologize for the sound quality—Wellington’s infamous wind got the better of us.

 

Action Task! Visualize Your Future

For some, getting older can herald more opportunities. While for others, especially those without a nest egg, or a working partner to fall back on, seeking help to reinvent their lives and careers is critical.

Whatever situation you find yourself in, going with the flow and waiting for life to ‘happen’ won’t provide the emotional and financial security you seek. Actively plan for your preferred future, because that’s where you’re going to be spending the rest of your life.

 

This is an edited extract from Mid-Life Career Rescue: (The Call For Change): How to confidently leave a job you hate, and start living a life you love, before it’s too late by Cassandra Gaisford. To purchase your copy and learn how to follow your passion to prosperity, click here to go to your online bookshop.

How to Overcome Writer’s Block Easily

Sunday, September 17th, 2017

Rewriting is a lot easier than writing because you have a problem to solve.

~ Aaron Sorkin, screenwriter

 

Many people blame writer’s block for their lack of productivity. But delve deeper and the chances are you’ll find other culprits, including perfectionism, “blank page syndrome,” stress, or lack of devotion. But there’s also a simpler cause and one that is easy to solve, trying to write with both sides of the brain.

“To be more productive, you need to learn how to write faster,” says Mary Jaksch, Chief Editor of Write to Done. “The key point is to separate the actions of creation and editing.”

This means allowing yourself to write terrible, horrid, amateur first drafts! Perfectionism will keep you poor.

“When you try to write your first draft well, you are creating and editing at the same time (activities which activate different areas of the brain). This is like being in a car and stepping on the accelerator and the brake at the same time. You won’t get anywhere fast!” says Jaksch.

Julia Cameron shares how she approaches first drafts in her book The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation Into the Writing Life. “Early in my writing life, I tried to polish as I went…. Writing this way was frustrating, difficult and disheartening…I learned to write, setting judgment aside and save the polish for later…

“For the first time, I gave myself emotional permission to do rough drafts and for those rough drafts to be, well, rough. Freed to be rough, my writing actually became smoother. Freed from the demand that it be instantly brilliant, perfect and clever, my writing became not only smoother but also easier and more clear.”

Many successful authors, including Julia Cameron, say it’s important to get out of your own way, to be a channel, or medium, for the stories which want to be told.

Show up! Show up! And soon the muse will show up too,” says Isabel Allende, author of The House of Spirits.

“What writing is,” announces Stephen King in the same-named chapter of his memoir, On Writing, “Telepathy, of course. It’s amusing when you stop to think about it—people have argued about whether or not such a thing exists, folks like J.B.Rhine have busted their brains trying to create a testing process to isolate it, and all the time it’s been right there, lying out in the open like Mr. Poe’s purloined letter. All the arts depend upon telepathy to some degree, but I believe that writing offers the purest distillation.”

Here are just a few simple ways to tap into your writing genius, get your creative juices flowing and love your first drafts more:

• Tap into your subconscious mind and write freely—write non-stop for three minutes. It doesn’t matter what you write, just don’t stop for three minutes! You may be surprised at the clarity and depth of ideas that flourish unhindered.

• Do a da Vinci and carry a notebook with you at all times to capture ideas, doodle in, collect snippets of dialog or jot down compelling descriptions around you, and use it to improve your craft and your daily writing practice. Or you may prefer to use a digital notebook or app like Evernote.

• Collaborate with other authors and do a sprint, or sign up for an organized event like Nanowrimo, National Novel Writing Month, in November, to write your book fast (http://nanowrimo.org). This is a month-long program that encourages writers of all ages to stop thinking about writing and just get it done.

• Affirm, “Done is better than perfect,” and remind yourself getting words on the page frees you up for the easier task of shaping them into something coherent. You can’t edit a blank page.

• Create your own sacred “receiving” place and channel your story.

• Write by hand and use technology to input your words later.

• Read the following chapters—particularly “Fifteen Minute Sprints” which follows.

 

Mining for Gold

How can you give yourself permission to write imperfectly?

Schedule separate time for right brain and left brain writing tasks.

 

 

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

Do less and earn more today!

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

The Life-Changing Benefits of Unplugging

Saturday, September 16th, 2017

“Setting aside protected time each day for direct interaction with people—or for solitude and meditation without the interruption of a Facebook feed or a stream of texts—instinctively feels like a good thing.”
~ John Swartzberg, M.D.

“We’re suffering a sleep crisis,” warns Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post and author of The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life One Night at a Time. The chronic need to be “plugged in” is hurting our health, productivity, relationships, and happiness.
Are you suffering from information overwhelm? Are you permanently attached to your device? Does the thought of unplugging send your anxiety spiraling? What if you miss something? What if….what if…

What if you shut it all down and stepped away for a day, a week, a month or more? Consider taking time out to unplug, take a step back, forget about what is expected, forget about what you may be missing, and think about you may be gaining.

Like any addiction, unplugging can be a struggle at first, but the benefits are worth it. Besides the main benefit of being able to enjoy much more hassle-free, uninterrupted time, here are seven other wonderful and lesser-known upsides you’ll notice from making the decision to unplug regularly:

Increased awareness. When was the last time you were fully aware of the beauty that surrounds you? When you unplug you blitz major distractions. You begin to notice small details in people, things, and places that you never really noticed before.

Clarity. Unplugging reduced brain overload. Technological over stimulation overwhelms your mind, reducing your cognitive reasoning skills.

Improved memory retention and mood. Even just detoxing from technology for a day once a week is enough to give your brain a reboot, which can improve your memory and lift your mood.

More brain power. Spending less time being a slave to technological stimulation, provides more time to focus on doing activities that can grow your brain cells—such as indulging in an enjoyable hobby, learning a new skill, visiting a new place, having new experiences, going for a relaxing walk.

Enhanced relationships. Disconnecting from your perpetual tether to iPhones and laptops can do all kinds of great things for your real-world connections with families and friends.This is a no-brainer, but one so many people seem to miss. Putting your device away and giving the people you are with, rather than your device, your undivided attention tells people they’re important to you.

Enhanced productivity. Do you really need constant access to your social notifications, Facebook updates, your email inbox, a bunch of tabs open in your web browser and all sorts of other things to feel in touch and in control? Accumulating interruptions steals peace of mind and minimises your ability to get things done. Any time you’re interrupted from a work-related task by something from your phone or computer, it can take as long as 45 minutes for your brain to refocus.

Mindfulness. When something interesting starts happening, what’s your first reaction? Do you whip out your phone, start snapping photos and begin sharing on social media? Or do you savor the moment and delight in being in the moment? When you unplug, you force yourself to be more present.

“A natural side effect of unplugging is that you stop missing out on what you should be enjoying for yourself, rather than trying to tell everyone on social media about it,” says author Elise Moreau.

Are screens the problem or a symptom?

“It’s become part of our culture to think that being too plugged in’ and too dependent on our devices is the root of our problems, rather than a manifestation of other problems,” says John Swartzberg, M.D.

“Is constantly checking your phone during dinner with your family causing you to be less close to them? Or are you constantly checking your phone because it’s a convenient way to avoid conversations? Are you anxious and having trouble sleeping because you’re spending too much time online? Or are you spending lots of time online to try to tune out your anxiety?” Swartzberg asks.

None of this is to say that Swartzberg thinks it’s a good thing that so many of us are so constantly connected to our devices. “If we spend too much time staring at a screen, the life that is happening right in front of us—our kids’ childhoods, conversations with our partners, work that we can do to help make the world better—may just pass us by.”

Call to Action

Get to the heart of why you’re spending so much time connected to technology. Isolate the benefits and issues, and then make a call whether you need to schedule the time to unplug.
Learn polymath Tim Ferris’s 4 steps to lifestyle design: definition, elimination, automation, and liberation. Watch it here: http://bit.ly/1nTs7jq

 

 

This is an edited extract from Stress Less. Love Life More: How to Stop Worrying, Reduce Anxiety, Eliminate Negative Thinking and Find Happiness

by Cassandra Gaisford. To purchase your copy and learn how to stress less and love life more, click here to go to your online bookshop.

Become Audaciously Obsessed: How Passionate Obsessions Empower Your Productivity and Prosperity

Sunday, August 13th, 2017

 

 

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

~ Patanjali, Yogi and Mystic

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Passionate Obsessions Empower Your Productivity and Prosperity

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

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

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

• Rocket-fuel tenacity to persevere and succeed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

What Do You Collect?

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

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

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

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

 

Mining for Gold

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

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

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

 

Dive Deeper. . .

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

 

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

Do less and earn more today!

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

Click here for instant access to your FREE Productivity Hacks Checklist

What Makes You Happy?

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017

 

 

What Makes You Happy? Many people find journalling or writing a book makes their soul sing.

When I don’t write I feel my world shrinking. I feel I am in prison. I feel I lose my fire and my colour. It should be a necessity, and I call it breathing.

~ Anais Nin

As Oprah Winfrey once said, “You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job, and not be paid for it.”

When you write with joy, everything is heightened. Your words have spring and bounce, liveliness and vivaciousness—that’s why good writing, even if the subject is dark, has longevity. Readers can feel this infectious energy in your books.

Writing is a powerfully transformative mode of self-expression. Not everyone agrees that you need to write with joy. Many authors write to get themselves out of a funk, to manage anxiety, or to write their way out of pain.

“A word is not the same with one writer as with another. One tears it from his guts. The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket,” the French poet Charles Peguy once said.

Some authors believe that to write well they must sit at the keyboard and bleed. This may be more to do with disciplining themselves to sit down and do the work.

But many prosperous authors say that when they enter the energy of their book, they transcend their worldly state of mind and commune with the divine.

“I write because it’s fun. Writing is play for me,” says James Patterson. “Do not torture yourself. That’s how people get blocked.”

I write joyfully when I write in 15-minute cycles, and when I write outside in the sun surrounded by the birds and the hills and the trees. I write joyfully when I affirm to myself that I love writing and tell myself that I’m an excellent writer. Sooner or later, even if I’m in a funk, reality catches up!

Mining for Gold

When are the times you feel happy writing?

How can you write more joyfully?

This is an edited extract from The Prosperous Author: How to Make a Living With Your Writing (Book One: Developing a Millionaire Mindset) by Cassandra Gaisford. ORDER THE EBOOK TODAY, SAVE and SEND YOUR ORDER CONFIRMATION AND RECEIVE YOUR FREE BONUS GIFTS—Click the Amazon link here 

How To Turn Rejection into Relentless Creativity

Friday, July 14th, 2017

 

Do you ever feel not good enough? I do. And so do many other successful, talented and capable people. My friend and fellow creative, Courtney Kennedy, the author of Creating Space to Thrive: Get Unstuck, Reboot Your Creativity and Change Your Life recently sent out a newsletter which I loved.

Courtney Kenney is a book launch consultant as well as the author of four books on creativity and writing.

Her undergrad studies in Psychology focusing on anxiety led to a fascination with how our minds work as well as what motivates us. Courtney spent sixteen years as a project manager working for high-tech companies in the U.S. and Australia.

After a layoff in 2015, she spent time exploring her creative side in addition to rediscovering her love of writing. Courtney writes about creativity, writing, and self-publishing. Finally, she recently, she started a consulting business where she helps authors launch bestselling books.

I hope you find her newsletter and podcast as inspiring and encouraging to read and listen to as I did. Here is it below:

 

Do you ever feel not good enough? I do. And so do many other successful, talented and capable people. t out the following newsletter. I hope you find it as inspiring and encouraging to read as I did. Here is it below

Do you know that feeling in the pit of your stomach when you’ve been laid off, dumped, or rejected? It’s fear and anxiety.

 

When we are rejected, we are threatened, and our brains go into defensive mode. Fear kicks in; we become sick with stress. But, there is a way to deal with the hurt.

 

Recently I appeared on the podcast, FEAR NOT: Living Beyond Your Fears with Billy Atwell, where I discussed my fear of not being good enough.

 

I explained how I got laid off a few years ago and channeled all my feelings of failure into writing.

 

Writing changed my life. By making space for creativity, the anxiety and stress were turned down.

 

Whatever fears you may be dealing with, pursuing creativity can help…

 

Instead of seeking empty pleasures, let’s pursue relentless creativity to chase away the fear. Writing, or however you choose to express your creativity, can be life-changing.

 

If you get a chance, check out the interview. It’s a quick one—just 12 minutes. Click here to listen: livingbeyondyourfears.com/courtney-kenney-feeling-failure-not-good-enough/

 

Takeaways include…

•    How making time everyday to be creative will help you with fear.

•    Being creative will increase your self-esteem.

•    The act of creativity will help you be more emotionally resilient.

 

Let me know what you think about the episode. What is your biggest fear? What did you do to overcome it?

 

Making Money With Your Writing

You may remember Cassandra Gaisford whom I featured as a case study in Creating Space to Thrive. She has a new book called The Prosperous Author: Developing a Millionaire Mindset.

 

For years, the fallacy of the starving artist has pervaded our culture, seeping into the minds of creative people and stifling their dreams.

 

But the evidence-based truth is that the world’s most successful authors and artists do not starve. In fact, they thrive by leveraging off the power of their millionaire mindset and capitalizing on their creative strengths.

 

Cassandra is a holistic psychologist, award-winning artist, and bestselling author. Her book is a must-read for anyone who wants to make a living from their writing, earn extra income on the side, or improve their mindset.

 

For one more day, Cassandra is offering a 5-Part Video Mini-Course and free copies of her Amazon bestsellers: Find Your Passion and Purpose, Box Set Mid-Life Career Rescue Series, and The Art of Success. Simply order the book: getbook.at/TheProsperousAuthor and send your receipt to cassandra@cassandragaisford.com to claim your bonuses.

Did you enjoy this post?

Subscribe to this blog, and sign up for Cassandra’s newsletter for inspirational tips and strategies to live your best life. Click here to claim a FREE copy of Find Your Passion and Purpose>> http://eepurl.com/bEArfT

How writing can save your life, boost your resilience and empower your warrior-spirit

Saturday, July 8th, 2017

Even if you’re not an aspiring writer there are loads of mindset strategies in The Prosperity for Authors Series to help you deal with life, build greater resilience and persevere with your dreams.

In fact, recently I put some of the strategies I share both in book two, Productivity Hacks: Do Less & Make More and the first book in this series, Developing a Millionaire Mindset, to good use after a terrifying encounter with a violent intruder.

Curiously, and thankfully, writing saved me—both before and after the aggressive trespass. I had woken around midnight and decided to check Amazon for one of my romances The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Bride.

I had only been in my writing room for five minutes when I heard a van come up the long drive on our semi-rural property in The Bay of Islands.

Immediately I sensed danger. I knew instinctively it was the stranger who had come to our door the prior evening pretending to be lost.

Now, he returned again. He drove toward the house with his lights off, determined to hide beneath the cover of darkness.

Strangely, the Kiwis, New Zealand’s native, flightless and nocturnal birds that roam our property screeched loudly—as though warning me.

I heard the intruder swear. Terrified, I ran to wake my partner—and counted my blessings that he is a very alpha male with a black belt.

A long night involving the police ensued. And for three days this man with we later discover had a violent past and mental health problems continued to harass us —insisting we were hiding his wife and children.

It took some doing, but I refused to let him infect our lives, or impact my productivity any more than he had. Anger is such a destructive force. The best coping mechanism I know is to channel potentially toxic emotions into something I love—writing.

So I picked up my pen.

As I write this chapter just days after the event even though I can still feel the fear, the anxiety, the terror—it is less now. This event triggered buried memories of previous traumas involving obsessive, controlling men with a propensity for violence.

However, I have successfully ‘counselled’ myself by writing and journaling my way through my emotions.

As Catherine Jones writes in her aptly named book, Heal Yourself With Writing, creativity is therapy. “Journaling is a creative inner dialogue with one’s Self,” she says. And she is right.

Rather than lose further productive time I wrote my way through my terror and cleared space to create.

Rather than say, “I’m too traumatized, too tired, too uninspired to write,” I wrote anyway.

I focused on my goal for the day—in this case, to finish the edits for the first book in this series, Developing a Millionaire Mindset.

And I bribed myself with the promise of chocolate when I had completed my task.

Writing is my joy. My passion. My great love. And nobody, I vowed, would rob me of that. I would stay drunk on writing, I affirmed so that reality could not destroy me.

In time, I know I will use this experience for scenes in my fiction books and perhaps even pen a self-empowerment book to help others who may have experienced similar trauma. And of course, I have used this truly frightening experience in my life to write this chapter.

The experience also reminded me that I  should complete a half-finished manuscript, Keeper of My Heart—a romantic suspense about a woman running from a violent past and the handsome lawyer who protects her.

 

Mining for Gold

Is reality sucking the joy from your day? How can you stay drunk on writing?

 

 

This is an edited extract from The Prosperous Author: How to Make a Living With Your Writing (Book One: Developing a Millionaire Mindset by Cassandra Gaisford. ORDER THE EBOOK TODAY, SAVE and SEND YOUR ORDER CONFIRMATION AND RECEIVE YOUR FREE BONUS GIFTS—Click the Amazon link here getBook.at/TheProsperousAuthor

Develop A Millionaire Mindset Today!

How to finance your writing career

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

FINANCE YOUR WRITING CAREER WITH THESE SIMPLE AND SAVVY STRATEGIES

You may not have the cash at the moment, and the economy may not be ideal, but that doesn’t mean your mind can’t be working on your ideas and creating the way to a better future. Look for opportunities in every climate. That’s leverage

~ Cassandra Gaisford

Many people dream of writing a book or making a living from their writing but say that lack of spare cash is holding them back. They prevent themselves from choosing what they want to do because they fear there won’t be the necessary money or support to allow it.

But money doesn’t have to be an obstacle to seeking more fulfilling work. Financing a career change, despite all the obstacles in your way, involves a conscious commitment to move forward, and a willingness to think laterally and pragmatically about a range of financial options.

There are many different ways to finance a career change including: consolidating debt, future-gazing and demand creation, career combo-ing, seeking investors, using equity, reducing outgoings, generating extra cash flow, and applying for funding.

The discipline needed to reprioritize your finances will be easier, and the sacrifices more bearable, if you allow your desire to drive you. Let’s take a closer look at some of the possible financing options:

 

Rewrite your goals. List all the benefits making a change will bring. These may include better health, more money in the longer term or improved relationships with loved ones.

 

Assess your current situation. Get an accurate picture of all your outgoings and expenses. Consolidate debt. Seek financial advice if necessary.

 

Get a reality check on your future plans. Is there a current or future demand for your writing? Could you create one? What is the true cost of making a change? Isolate costs against benefits: cash in against cash out. How much money do you really need to spend and create?

 

Earn more. Think laterally to create cash flow. A job doesn’t have to be a full-time thing. Can you finance your career by doing a career-combo, working in a variety of different ways or for several employers? As you’ve read, many people work at several jobs to earn extra cash.

 

Generate extra cash flow by increasing the money you earn. Some possible strategies include: negotiating a pay rise in your current position; taking on a new higher-paying role; or turning a hobby into cash flow.

New Zealand based, USA Today bestselling historical romance author Bronwen Evans, for example, took on a high-paying, high-pressure, one-year communications contract to allow her to take a year off so she could pursue her dream of becoming a full-time novelist.

 

Seek investors. Use other people’s money to create the momentum you need. Remember there’s good borrowing—borrowing to increase wealth, and bad borrowing—borrowing so you can consume more. Most people spend all their spare income on non-asset-producing consumption.

Banks, family members and friends are all possible sources of investment income. Sam Morgan, who established the on-line trading company TradeMe, convinced his dad to back him, and earned millions of dollars in return. You may not pay back millions, but if your idea is sound, your investors can sleep at night knowing they will be repaid.

 

Utilize equity. Burt Munro, whose story was made famous in the movie The World’s Fastest Indian, mortgaged his home. Could you use the equity in your own home to finance your career? If you don’t want to re-mortgage you could try asking for a mortgage holiday. Many banks allow 2–3 months of no mortgage payments.

As fashion designer Calvin Klein once said,  “I took the risk of putting my money on the line for the company.” Are you prepared to do the same thing?

 

Share the load. Who else has a stake in your success? Perhaps they may be able to inject more cash into your joint cash flow or pitch in and share the family load. New Zealand romance author Leanna Morgan asked her husband to take on the day-to-day family commitments so she could focus on her writing. Today she’s a USA Today bestselling author who sells up to 300 books a day and has legions of fans in America. She’s also the CEO of her own publishing company. In just two years, Morgan has gone from an unknown writer to one who earns over $200,000 a year, allowing the mother-of-two to give up her job as a Libraries and Arts Manager to concentrate on her writing. She recently shared with me that her goal is to make a million dollars, and more, from her writing.

“If anyone had told me two years ago that I’d be able to resign from a job I loved to become a full-time writer and publisher, I would have smiled and thought they were slightly crazy. But believe it or not, that’s what happened,” she told journalist Anna Kenna.

“Her success has not been without sacrifice, including little sleep and less time with husband Tim and her two children, aged 12 and 17,” Kenna writes in her article.

“I’d be up at 5.30am, getting in a few hours of writing before work, and writing in the evening when everybody else was asleep.”

So she could devote herself to writing, Leanna’s husband Tim shared more of their responsibilities.

“Tim took over running the house and organising our children,” Morgan says. “He did it to support me, but also because he could see the potential benefits of my success for the whole family.”

Sharing the load, hard word and commitment have yielded success beyond her and her family’s dreams.

“It’s taken away the financial stress, allowed us to take a nice holiday and to look forward to a future we never considered possible,” she says.

Find out more about Leanna Morgan here www.leeannamorgan.com and read the rest of this article, including why it’s a brilliant time to be an independent author, here >>

 

Reduce outgoings. Review your current commitments and expenditure. Proactively look around to make sure you are getting the best deal possible on your insurance, mobile phone plans, mortgages and other regular financial commitments. Take note of your savings and squirrel the extra money away for a rainy day.

John shopped around for a better deal on his household insurance and saved himself over $600 annually in premiums. He also negotiated an installment plan with creditors so that he could increase his credit debt repayments, saving over $5,400 in interest charges annually.

 

Get funded. Many people and organizations offer sponsorship and various forms of funding to help people pursue their dreams. Without the help of a grant from Creative New Zealand, author Lloyd Jones may never have written Mr Pip—the same book for which he won the prestigious and lucrative Man Booker Prize. The book was later made into a film.

Check out crowdfunding as an option, as Heather Morris initially shared in the chapter Knock The Bugger Off. Her attempts to finance her film script lead to a multi-national publishing deal.

 

Multiply your income streams. When authorpreneur Kevin Kruse made the move to self-employment he decided to record his financial success, complete with the highs and lows by publicly sharing his income reports on his blog. There’s lot of inspiration for anyone about to embrace change here:

http://authorjourneyto100k.com/income-report-december-2015-and-full-year/

Like many business people, Kevin knew early on, that having a variety of income streams would help him manage cash-flow.

“I went into this whole thing knowing that to make the money I wanted to make I would need to diversify my income. I knew I’d need to spend time speaking, creating online courses, and marketing.”

It is a common and successful strategy used by many business people, especially those working creatively. Ruth Pretty, for example, is a chef, newspaper columnist, cookbook writer, wedding venue provider, caterer and cooking school tutor. The common theme? Her pursuits all center around her passion for food.

Amongst other things, photographer Carla Coulson is a portrait photographer, magazine photojournalist, tutor, and travel photographer. At the time of writing, she has retrained as a life coach and now offers creativity coaching and wellness workshops.

Italian designer Giorgio Armani has a flourishing clothing empire, a swag of luxury hotels, a music production company, and an interior design business. And these are just a few of his multi-billion-dollar revenue lines.

I am a self-empowerment author, coach, holistic psychologist, romance writer, brand manager, and novelist of art-related historical fiction. I also write marketing materials (blogs, newsletters, website content etc.) for small businesses, and train people to become certified life and career coaches.

As my writing income grows I’m making a conscious decision to spend less time in some of these areas and more in others.

You may wish to focus on one income stream, but if this doesn’t work for you, consider diversifying. This will help you ride any fluctuating financial currents.

 

Remind yourself that money is not a measure of your true worth. Clarify what’s important to you. As Richard Branson said, “I don’t work for money, that’s too shallow a goal.” Lucky for him his passion for having fun has netted him millions—as it has for James Patterson and other prosperous authors.

Whatever path you choose, be sure to work with love. Sonia Choquette, author of Your Heart’s Desire echoes this view: “When you work with love you draw others to you. Embrace this truth. The reason for this is that love is the highest vibration on earth. When you work with love people feel it, are helped by it, and return to it. That’s why love is the best marketing tool around. Because it is so attractive, it pulls right to you what you need.”

 

The Money or Your Life

His Holiness the Dalai Lama, once said, “Choose a job that allows the opportunity for some creativity and for spending time with your family. Even if it means less pay—it is better to choose work that is less demanding, that gives you greater freedom, more time to be with your family and friends, engage in cultural activities or just play. I think that is best.”

This really spoke to me and was one of the primary reasons I chose to scale back my successful international consultancy. Time is more valuable to me than money. I can always find ways to get more money, but it is impossible to find more than 24 hours in any one day.

Be careful what you chase. Is it more money, or a better quality of life? With planning, it just may be possible to do both says Timothy Ferriss in his bestselling book, The 4-Hour Work Week.

His central premise is to automate everything so you can live and work independently, free from a fixed location. If this is something that appeals to you I highly recommend picking up a copy of his book.

We’ll also dive deeper into simple but savvy productivity strategies in Book Two, of The Prosperity for Authors series, Productivity Hacks: Do Less & Make More.

In this book, you’ll learn how to work less and produce more, including powerhouse productivity tools you can harness to help you finish what you start, create new books and take them to market so you can sell them faster.

 

Mining for Gold

Brainstorm or list as many ways as possible that you could finance your career. Seek suggestions from others to widen the possibilities. Ask your way to success.

Check out this interesting article http://tommorkes.com/the-complete-guide-to-crowdfunding-your-book/.

Read a copy of my book Mid-Life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself and find out how one man financed his career and reclaimed his life.

 

This is an edited extract from The Prosperous Author: How to Make a Living With Your Writing (Book One: Developing a Millionaire Mindset by Cassandra Gaisford. ORDER THE EBOOK TODAY, SAVE and SEND YOUR ORDER CONFIRMATION AND RECEIVE YOUR FREE BONUS GIFTS—Click the Amazon link here getBook.at/TheProsperousAuthor

Develop A Millionaire Mindset Today!

Click here for instant access to your FREE Productivity Hacks Checklist

NEW RELEASE. The Prosperous Author: Developing A Millionaire Mindset

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

For anyone who has dreamed of becoming an author.

For anyone who wants to make a living from books.

For anyone who wants to release the fear of failure, get motivated and achieve success. . .

This is the book to make your dreams a reality.

 

In my new book The Prosperous Author: Developing A Millionaire Mindset I reveal dozens of insights based on survey research, my professional achievements and the success secrets of extraordinary artists, authors and creative entrepreneurs like Tim Ferriss, James Patterson, Paulo Coelho, Nora Roberts, Arianna Huffington, Oprah, Isabel Allende, and many more.

It’s one thing to write a book, it’s another thing entirely to make a living at it.

Developing a prosperous mindset is the foundation skill from which all else follows.

So many famous stories are about having belief in yourself and achieving your potential.

But in many of us, there is a hesitant skeptical part of ourselves that knows, “I probably should believe in myself more, but what if I am deluding myself? What if I’m not good enough?”

I know this feeling very well. For many years I struggled with a negative mindset. I started books and other writing projects and never finished them. I told myself I wasn’t good enough. Who did I think I was writing a book? What if I failed? What if my books never sold? And loads of other messages that kept me stuck in a soul-sucking day job I hated. But, using the techniques I share in The Prosperous Author: Developing A Millionaire Mindset I’m not only making a living from my writing but I’m inspiring other people to follow their dreams too.

Perhaps you’ve bought into the myth that you can’t make money from your writing. For years, the fallacy of the starving artist has pervaded our culture, leaching into the minds of creative people and stifling their dreams.

But the evidence-based truth is that the world’s most successful authors and artists do not starve. In fact, they thrive by leveraging off the power of their millionaire mindset and capitalizing on their creative strengths.

The Prosperous Author: Developing A Millionaire Mindset is a blueprint for mastering five principles of success.

By fuelling your desire, mastering your subconscious mind, maintaining optimum health, empowering your relationships, making a commitment to turn pro and slaying obstacles, you’ll elevate your attitude to success itself and create the ultimate mindset.

 

Though it was written for writers, the principles and strategies can be embraced by business entrepreneurs, actors, dancers, painters, photographers, filmmakers, and thousands of others around the world who want to enhance their mindset

A must read for anyone who wants to make a living from their writing, or earn extra income on the side!

ORDER THE EBOOK TODAY AND RECEIVE YOUR FREE BONUS GIFTS—Click the Amazon link here getBook.at/TheProsperousAuthor

BONUS GIVEAWAYS

The Prosperous Author 5-Part Video Mini-Course

FREE copies of my Amazon best-sellers:

  • Find Your Passion and Purpose
  • Box Set Mid-Life Career Rescue Series
  • The Art of Success: Coco Chanel


Develop A Millionaire Mindset Today!

 

ORDER THE EBOOK TODAY AND RECEIVE YOUR FREE BONUS GIFTS—Click the Amazon link here getBook.at/TheProsperousAuthor

Creating Space to Thrive: Get Unstuck, Reboot Your Creativity and Change Your Life

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

“Your Challenge – Dream big. Everything starts as someone’s daydream. Fuel your verve—pursue the vision that sparkles. Become audaciously obsessed. Dream big but plan small. Baby steps will lead to bigger success. Anchor your dreams within your heart and feel as though they are already achieved.” – Cassandra Gaisford

I discovered author Cassandra Gaisford when I read her Career Rescue books. She writes inspiring non-fiction about how to live a creative life, pursue your passion, and make meaningful change in your life. A number one bestselling Amazon author, she also writes romance and historical fiction and is a coach and speaker.

Cassandra is inspiring because she leads by example—she follows her passion for writing and art, and she helps others find their creativity through her entrepreneurial writing business which includes coaching and speaking.

She is a fellow 9-to-5 job escapee. Read on to learn about Cassandra. You’ll find that she’s an inspiring example of a person who found space in her life to create.

Finding the place

Q: Where do you work on your business?

Cassandra: I run my business from home in a beautiful office overlooking the picturesque Bay of Islands, in Northland, New Zealand. I feel very fortunate to live and work in such an inspiring place. I also know fortune favors the bold! I’ve worked hard and made courageous and audacious decisions to get here.

I love variety. Sometimes I wander down to The Shed – an old building on the edge of our ten-acre property. Recently I’ve renamed it “the engagement room” – it’s where I work on the things I love.

Q: Did you have to clean up/clear clutter first?

Cassandra: I’m a collector. Recently I heard my partner tell someone that I collect anything related to positivity. In many of my books, I share that my deepest obsession is my passion for passion. My desk is often strewn with articles about passionate people, interesting things I have found and inspirational ideas that I’d like to work on later. This can lead to feeling overwhelmed at times, so I tend to favor clearing away distractions before working.

To stay inspired, and ignite motivation I love to place an inspiring book on my desk or an inspiring quote on my wall.

Currently, I have an open page from The Art of Success: How Extraordinary Artists Can Help You Succeed in Business and Life which is inspired by Leonardo da Vinci. I choose a new page daily to guide me and help set the tone for the day.

While responding to your questions, I’ve closed the book and reopened it intuitively at the section, “Empower Your Spirit.” I opened the page on the chapter Worship The God Within. This chapter reminds me how important spirituality and faith is to my creative practice—as it was to Leonardo, and is to so many other creative people, too.

One of my daily practices is to ensure I clear my desk at the end of the day, and write a few notes regarding the focus for the next day, celebrate my successes by writing them in my journal and acknowledging the things I’m grateful for.

This creates joy, and space in my mind, and enables me to approach the new day feeling inspired and focused—assuming I’ve also cleared my mind by meditating, completing my morning pages and walking in the morning too.

Q: How do you get inspired? Do you go anywhere to “fill your creative well?”

Cassandra: Inspiration is everywhere.  Movies, music, magazines, bookshops, on-line, in the garden. I can’t think of anywhere or anything that can’t be a source of inspiration. Even discordant things and situations can ignite a spark.  One of my wise writing friends once encouraged me to channel upsetting personal situations into my books—some of the scenes in my upcoming historical novel are my favorite because the emotion I poured into them is so intense. Nothing is wasted.

Recently I began thinking deeply about the notion of duty as a writer, as a woman, as a person in this world at this time. And I decided how thankful I am to people who have shared their creative journey—the heartaches and the joys. I am tremendously inspired by people who have to battle to be true to themselves. And I decided I wanted to ‘pay it forward’ by helping myself and others who dream of creative success.

And I wanted to do this by writing more self-empowerment books. Books in which I’ll share my journey to prosperity and the significant challenges I’ve had to overcome to be true to my art.

I’ve done this in part in my The Art of Success series of books. The Prosperous Author: How to Make a Living With Your Writing takes a more intimate look into my creative process and contains the success secrets that have helped me leave a job I hated to become a full-time author and creative entrepreneur, follow my passion and make a great living with my writing.

I also reveal dozens of insights based on survey research, my professional achievements and the success secrets of extraordinary artists, authors and creative entrepreneurs like James Patterson, Paulo Coelho, Nora Roberts, Arianna Huffington, Oprah, Isabel Allende, and other prosperous creatives.

It’s only recently I valued my writing as my gift, and it’s something I’ve struggled for over fifty years to prioritize.

Helping others also fills my creative well—I’ve heard this referred to as ‘the helpers high.’ It’s a lovely addiction to have.

I’m a woman of pristine intuition, and I work to keep it that way. Regular spiritual practice, looking after my well-being, spending time in nature, meditating, and a fascination and deep respect for the nuances of other people lives’—including their hobbies interests and obsessions and yearly overseas trips are some of the many ways I get and stay inspired.

Doing ‘a combo’ is fabulous, as I did recently when my partner and I went to Fiji for two weeks, combining many wellness strategies. We completely disconnected from social media, gave up alcohol, and absorbed ourselves in local life and nurtured our relationship.

Living a passionate life committed to creativity naturally feeds my inspiration.

My creative well was replenished when I moved away from my home of close to fifty years, Wellington to The Bay of Islands. The climate, people, and pace of life here are a wonder tonic. I truly believe everyone has their soul space—the place that most feels like their spiritual home. Never give up searching for it.

I also love beautiful magazines—Urbis, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Mindfood and anything committed to beauty and stories of people living inspiring lives feeds my creativity.

Other inspirational people are like vitamins for my soul. Sometimes I’ll attend workshops like the one I did in Puglia, Italy with photographer Carla Coulson. It was fabulous. You can see some of my photos here >> I’ll also chat on social media or engage their services. I guess you could say that these people are my mentors in some way.

In 2016 I invested a significant amount of time and money forging my new career direction as a creative entrepreneur. This included downscaling my coaching business and corporate work, signing up for courses and attending conferences to learn from experts in their field.

A real highlight in 2016 was meeting Michael Hauge, a top Hollywood story expert, author, and lecturer who consults with writers, filmmakers, marketers, attorneys and public speakers throughout the world. My goal was to have him sign one of my books, but I ended up building a very special friendship.

I’m also going to consult Michael again—especially for my big (secret) project which has already been suggested by a top literary agent could become a movie. I know paying for these services will fast-track my success and feed my goal to be the best writer I can. I consulted with him when writing one of my romance novels The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Bride, and the feedback was invaluable.

Plus, I’ve signed up for a class with my guru Tim Ferris to boost my success and productivity further, How Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers Master Productivity.

One of the investments I’ve also made is taking a fiction writing class with James Patterson. As of January 2016, James has sold over 350 million books worldwide and currently holds the Guinness World Record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers. I’d love to achieve that kind of success!

Creating the time

Q: How did you find the time for working on your business?

Cassandra: When I started my coaching business, I was a single mother with a mortgage, but I didn’t let that stop me from chasing my dream. Being a single mom also fueled the desire, and the need, because I could never get enough leave to keep up with all my daughter’s school holidays!

I worked nights and weekends at first. Then when the money started to flow, I negotiated a four-day workweek. Not long after, as I began to feel more confident in my abilities to be self-employed AND pay my bills, I quit. It was a terrific day!

I, and other creatives, share more about our journey to self-employment and include a chapter about how to finance your career on a shoe-string in my book, 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.

Q: A theme of my book is giving up something else to live a creative life and go after what you want. Did you give up anything else to spend more time on the life you want to live?

Cassandra: I’m not a heavy drinker, but I was drinking more than I wanted. I decided to take a break from alcohol in the lead up to Christmas 2016. I felt so great that in 2017 I decided to experiment with my commitment to be alcohol-free for the whole year. My partner decided to also. Many people want to quit but struggle, as we did. I will share what I learned and what really works, in my new book, Your Beautiful Mind: Control Alcohol, Discover Freedom, Find Happiness and Change Your Life.

Alcohol addiction remains a hidden and stigmatic problem marked by denial and fear. It’s also an incredible time-waster and damaging to your long-term creativity.

Other things that I quit to allow more creativity in my life includes:

-Selling my television

-Downsizing my coaching business

-Less socializing. ‘No’ is a beautiful word, plus it helps that I’m no longer drinking and so much socializing is built around alcohol.

-Procrastinating and making excuses

-Checking emails and social media incessantly; I only check in at 12 pm and 4 pm with emails, and then for only 15-30 minutes, scanning for priorities.

-Hiding my spirituality and fearing that people might think I was spooky when I talked about my love and use of tarot, oracles, Reiki, energy work, and mediums. A turning point was when a client accused me of witchcraft when I suggested she try lavender essential oil to alleviate some of her stress.

These techniques and others were good enough for Coco Chanel and good enough for me! And I’ve been rewarded—so many people have sought me out because of the spiritual and creative side I bring, combined with strong business skills.

I also gave up doing projects that are easy and neglecting passion projects which sometimes are beyond my current level of expertise, but which would challenge me and enable me to grow, and which would provide greater fulfillment.

I quit short working days and two or three-day weekends. I want to work longer— but I still am mindful of balance, which is why I am careful to take time out during the day to reconnect with those around me, even if I chose to make up the hours on the other end. I gave up saying, “I have to.” I replaced this with “I choose to” – for this is a greater truth.

I gave up the comfort rut of certainty. I bought myself three months to finish my historical art-related novel. This is the novel I pitched to a top literary agent and also to Penguin Publishing over seven years ago. It’s the book I told myself I could never write. Both expressed an eagerness to see the finished book.

There is no certainty of a contract. There is no certainty that my book will sell, or in any way repay my investment. There is only the certainty that I shall not die with regret, wondering what if.

I have given up waiting for the timing to be right, I have given up waiting for excess money. I’ve given up living without discomfort and taking on work that pays well but that I don’t enjoy in the hope that I will make money I can store away for that ‘rainy day’ when the conditions are ‘perfect to write my book.

The greatest comfort of all is being true to yourself, to the passionate stirrings of your soul. For that reason, I decided to invest in myself this year. I have given myself the luxury of time. I decided to bankroll three months out of the world. You could say I bankrolled the space to complete what many people have told me will be my greatest work. We’ll see.

Q: How much time do you spend on your business? What habits did you need to put in place?

Cassandra: I love what I do, so like the author James Patterson, working seven days doesn’t feel like a slog to me. It’s a joy, a privilege; it’s playing. I also like his comment, “Do NOT sit there like ‘Oh I don’t feel like it today. I don’t feel like it tomorrow’. Feel like it! Do it! Force yourself.”

But keeping balance and knowing as I do that without a commitment to health and well-being it’s easy to burn out and be inefficient; I’ll be keeping an eye on outcomes versus hours spent. And I’ll be investing in smart daily habits like meditation, yoga, eating well, etc.

New habits also included greater discipline to maintain focus and eliminate all distractions when I write. I’ve developed a new habit which I love—writing in thirty-minute cycles. Using the timer helps keep me honest.

Right now, one of my favorite tools for this is focusatwill.com. The developers say this will work magic because it’s “scientifically optimized music to help you focus.” I’m a big fan. I love the music and love what it’s doing for my productivity. It is incredible how much you can achieve in thirty-minute bursts when you are focused.

I gave up watching TV over five years ago. This has been life changing. It’s such a time-zapper, and most times depressing.

Health is a priority. I’m half way to my next life—I want to make sure I arrive in good shape. Alcohol is gone, coffee too, sugar—on the way out. Coming in: green and clean and raw. Meditation needs to be more regular for sure. I’ve been a meditator for over twenty years, but sometimes I forget to prioritize it.

I’m going to get up earlier at 5 am and “just do it!” This is going to be challenging, but I’m determined to make this a joyful ritual.

My writing rituals will include five, 9-hour days per week dedicated to fiction, one to non-fiction and working with coaching clients and marketing/business activities. Day seven will be a passion day—whatever I decide that will be.

Included in these commitments is prioritizing balance—relationships, health and spiritual. Meditation, romance, chilling will all factor in—including a reward trip to Japan with my partner in September to defrag and re-top up our inspiration well.

Finding the energy/mindset

Q: Did you make any changes to your lifestyle to support your new business venture?

Cassandra: Mindset and managing energy is EVERYTHING.

Meditate, eat well, exercise regularly and make room for rest to keep energy levels high. Don’t take any devices into your bedroom at night—including your phone. Only read paperback books at night (for relaxation) – not work-related research. Switch off to switch on. No working after 10 pm – it’s hard to sleep if you’re all fired up and inspired.

Move—I force myself to get out and walk every day. It helps when I remind myself how many paraplegics would love to be able to stand on their legs and go for a stroll.

Last year I purchased a standing desk, which also lowers to be a normal workstation. I love the option to stand or sit.

I purchased Dragon software to use dictation to write, and GhostReader to check errors and improve flow by using this technology to read my work back out loud. I also use Scrivener to help me structure my thoughts and writing, and have greater control over my production and outputs. It’s wonderful to be in control of my publishing success.

But this has meant dedicating time to learning new technology—but once again, you need to invest in efficient systems and processes to reap the rewards.

Other great strategies to boost a positive, focused mindset: I keep a praise file—record and look at the feedback people give you regularly. I started fifteen years ago—originally to help me overcome acute self-doubt, but now, while I need it less, it is affirming and heart-stirring to read the unsolicited feedback others have said. And sometimes when people, family included, say something hostile about my work, (like my brother who said, “Great, just what we all need – more advice from you”), knowing I have touched someone’s life, and made the world a better place, reminds me of what gives my life meaning and purpose. It makes the tougher times worthwhile.

I’m a big fan of creating a Passion Journal every year—this keeps my mind on what I do want to create and empowers my ability to manifest by leveraging off the laws of Intention, Attraction, and Desire. I have a free gift for your readers, a Passion Journal Workbook for those who subscribe to my newsletter at www.cassandraGaisford.com.

Q: Any tips for managing your time?

Cassandra: Thirty-minute bursts of activity are amazing for getting into a productive mindset.

Be strong with others who want to zap your time. Push back and check if their demands on your time are urgent. “No,” is a beautiful word.

Be a creative procrastinator – put off until tomorrow things that don’t enable you to achieve progress toward your goals today.

Combine tasks. I listen to audio books while walking, podcasts while preparing meals or doing chores or when I am at the supermarket. This helps prevent resentment when I attend to some of the more mundane things that ‘take me away’ from writing or perfecting my craft.

Delegate and outsource. In our Kiwi culture, we have a ‘do it yourself mentality.’ In the past, I tried to do it all and found it way more efficient to hand things to the pros. It didn’t always cost me more money, and when it did, I often recouped it in increased sales—like great cover design or the improved professionalism of having a passionate proofreader look over my books. I’ve been fortunate to meet many skilled people who have read my career rescue books, including a lady who was inspired to quit her job and has started an editing business. I now outsource some of my work to her.

Q: What are some of the things you tell your clients if they want to make a change and lead a more creative life?

Cassandra: Prioritize your creativity. It’s that simple—and, at times that is challenging. Isolate the barriers, blocks, whatever is standing in the way. Take an inventory and then commit to problem-solving. Intensify your desire, remind yourself of your ‘why.’ What benefits will flow? How will you feel if you never try?

Be inspired by other people who have made the leap to creativity, read their stories— people like Coco Chanel, Leonardo da Vinci, Frida Kahlo and so many others. I can’t think of one successful person who hasn’t had to fight for their dream. Conflict and overcoming obstacles in the norm – but it’s also what makes for compelling viewing and dedicated fans.

Do it scared—most of the successful creative people I know started and continued to create despite their doubts, fears, and anxieties. Follow your passion to prosperity!

Q: What is the single biggest change you had to make to support your business?

Cassandra: Invest in me. As one of my creative clients sagely said, “You have to bankroll your dreams. In the beginning, the money isn’t there.” I go into how to finance your career (on a shoestring) in a big way in my book, 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.

I’ve also committed to a daily practice of feeding optimism, and aligning my thoughts with the outcome I desire, not fear. This has been a key part of my success and continues to be—it’s not something that comes naturally. This may surprise people, but I also believe it is true of many creatives.

And as I said before as I stopped waiting for inspiration, and I showed up every day to do THE Work, my muse began to take me seriously, and now she shows up too.

Find Cassandra Gaisford online, learn about her books, and read her blog: www.cassandragaisford.com and on her Amazon page: amazon.com/author/cassandragaisford

This is an edited excerpt from Courtney Kennedy’s book Creating Space to Thrive: Get Unstuck, Reboot Your Creativity and Change Your Life. Available from Amazon here >>

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mindset the new psychology of success-faith and the millionaire mind

Monday, May 29th, 2017

As Adam Markel writes in his book, Pivot: The Art and Science of Reinventing Your Career and Life, “Just because you can’t see the steps doesn’t mean they aren’t there. There’s a word for this type of behavior. It’s called faith.”

Keep your faith strong by reminding yourself of your purpose, stay positive and keep away from cynics.

Julia Cameron, an active artist and author of The Artist’s Way and another thirty or so fiction and non-fiction books, advocates relinquishing too much effort and turning energy instead from one of stressful striving, to cultivating faith and trust.

Prayer, gratitude, acceptance and unwavering belief that everything happens for a reason, are just some of the many strategies she encourages people to embrace.

If doubt is dampening your enthusiasm and confidence and faith is something you’d like to cultivate, you’ll find strategies to empower yourself throughout my Career Rescue series.

Mid-Life Career Rescue-Three Book Bundle-Box Set (Books 1-3): The Call For Change, What Makes You Happy, Employ Yourself—available from Amazon here—getBook.at/CareerRescueBox

You may like to check out Julia’s book Faith and Will or find your own sources.

Your Challenge

Tap into the awesome power of meditation, yoga and a spiritual faith-based perspective to help you maintain a positive expectancy, manage stress and increase your intuitive, creative powers.

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How to finish a book, film-script or any other stalled project: knock the bugger off

Sunday, May 14th, 2017

 

“Giving up on telling this story was never an option for me.” ~ Heather Morris

I first met Heather Morris when she came to the Bay of Islands in New Zealand from her home in Melbourne to visit her brother, and my friend, who had been given a terminal diagnosis of cancer. As you can appreciate this was a very distressing time. Yet, as we discovered we all had a passion for telling stories, and as we shared our writing inspiration we all felt encouraged, emboldened and filled with light.

And with this came renewed hope. Not just for her brother, who was inspired to crack on with his own writing projects,  but I was also reminded of the finality of life.  For a small moment in time, we all escaped our worldly concerns and became excited by Heather’s “overnight” (not!) success with the publication and resulting worldwide interest in her novel, The Tattooist of Auschwitz.

The novel is based on the true story of Slovakian Jew Lale Sokolov, who was forced to tattoo the numbers on his fellow victims’ arms that would mark them for survival, and who used the infinitesimal freedom of movement his position gave him to exchange jewels and money taken from murdered Jews for food to keep others alive.

As Heather said to me, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a remarkable love story.

“BTW my book is the true story of the Tattooist in Auschwitz concentration camp and the girl he fell in love with when he held her hand and tattooed a number on her left arm, and how they survived for two and a half years in that danteesque circle of hell, got separated, found each other, married and lived very happily for over 50 years.”

I invited Heather to share her story and she generously emailed me the below:

I met Lale Sokolov in December 2003.   I was 50 years old and had been dabbling in learning and writing screenplays, he was 87-years-old and his wife, Gita, had died two months earlier. 

A friend of a friend of their son, Gary, asked me to meet Lale to hear the secret he’d kept for over fifty years and which he wanted to tell someone before he ‘hurried up and joined his beloved Gita’. 

Over the next three years our friendship grew as slowly his story was revealed to me piecemeal, often told at bullet pace with limited coherency and with no flow or connection to the many, many stories he told.  

It didn’t matter.  I fell under his spell. 

Was it the delightful Eastern European accent?  Was it the charm this old rascal had lived his life dispensing? Or, was it the twisted convoluted story I was starting to make sense of, the significance and importance of which was beginning to dawn on me. 

It was all of these things and more.  I was spending time with ‘living history’ and was being given a story to tell for which I am honoured and privileged to have been entrusted with.

Fast forward to 2017—14 years after my fateful meeting with Lale Sokolov.   It took me two years to get the story I would eventually write into a screenplay.   He got to read it and loved it. 

I sat with him and held his hand and said goodbye to him the night he died.  At that time I vowed to never stop trying to tell his story.

A film production company optioned the script from me for three years, then another two years but failed to ‘get it up’.  

I took the option back and after a rewrite started entering it in screenplay competitions around the world.  It did well, often a finalist and won the International Independent Film Awards in 2016

I was receiving comments from film executives that the story ‘not only should be told, but must be told’; that it was ‘oscar bait’.   But still no-one came forward to talk production.

Then a light-bulb moment when I decided to write it as a novel, something I had no experience with and had never written or studied as a writing medium. 

On the advice of one of my sons to help with ‘free promotion’, I did a Kickstarter campaign to  raise funds to self-publish. From this campaign a local publishing company in Melbourne approached me and signed me up. 

I attempted to write while working full-time in a large Melbourne hospital and being the accommodating grandmother to my son and his wife, my daughter and her husband and their three little ones.  

I was getting no-where. 

I’m lucky to have family living in San Diego, California who have a holiday house on the top of Big Bear Mountain.  In the middle of their winter, in six feet of snow I squirreled myself away for four weeks and as Sir Edmund Hilary said ‘knocked the bugger off’. 

The parent company of my publisher came to Melbourne in February and heard about my story.  The have now taken over the publishing, sold foreign language rights to 13 countries and done a deal with Harper Collins in the U.S. to publish there.  And the screenplay? Stay tuned—some heavy hitters in Hollywood are vying for it. 

I am now 64-years-old and about to embark on a journey beyond my wildest dreams as I travel promoting the book and hopefully in 2-3 years time a film.  

Giving up on telling this story was never an option for me.  Yes, months went by when I did nothing to further it as life got in the way.  I tell myself it is The Tattooist’s time, I had to hang in there, seek out avenues to have the story heard and eventually one paid off.  

I don’t kid myself that I’m a great writer. I am privileged to have been given a great story to tell and I hope Lale and Gita would be proud of the job I’ve done telling their story.  I have received the ultimate validation of my attempt from their son who doesn’t want a word changed.  

A lot of very talented people / editors both in Melbourne and London will produce a book which I am honoured to have my name on.  My family keep telling me they wouldn’t be doing that if I hadn’t written it in the first place.  

I have two quotes on the wall near my desk, the one mentioned above by Sir Edmund and one from one of my favourite screenwriters William Goldman who references the children’s book ‘The little engine that could’.  

“Just get the @#%&% engine over the mountain.”

Harper Collins have come on board as the publisher in the U.S. and Canada, and major film companies are bidding for the movie rights. Stay tuned!

Heather’s story is a powerful reminder not to give up on your dreams. Tenacity, perseverance, patience and the ability to adapt are big factors in her success—and many other attributes as well, including talent! She began with a film-script and then taught herself how to turn a script into a novel. She also taught herself to fund her dreams via the Internet—and opportunity then came knocking.
It’s a reminder to us all that many times you grow into your dreams, and a commitment to continual learning is essential. As is hanging onto a success mindset. As Heather said, “Giving up on telling this story was never an option for me.”
Heather also proves what Napoleon Hill so famously wrote in his classic book Think and Grow Rich, most people don’t achieve their success until their sixties and beyond.
Later, more good news came too—her brother’s cancer has taken a u-turn. The medication he is on has slowed, and in one case slightly shrunk one of the tumors in his lung, and his oncologist is extremely happy with the slow progress of the disease. Who knows what further miracles the future will bring. But we all agree—there is power in story and in creativity!
So what are you waiting for? It’s never too late to make it big!

Blank bookcover with clipping path

This is an edited extract from The Prosperous Author: How to Make a Living With Your Writing (Book One: Developing a Millionaire Mindset) by Cassandra Gaisford. ORDER THE EBOOK TODAY, SAVE and SEND YOUR ORDER CONFIRMATION AND RECEIVE YOUR FREE BONUS GIFTS—Click the Amazon link here getBook.at/TheProsperousAuthor

Develop A Millionaire Mindset Today!

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

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How ambition and Leonardo da Vinci can fuel your success

Friday, April 21st, 2017

I wish to work miracles

~ Leonardo da Vinci
 
Many people struggle to achieve because they’re not ambitious. Being ambitious may stir your fears—fear of success, failure, regret, disappointment, or loss.
 
Or it may trigger a fear of standing out. You may associate ambition with negative traits, like aggression.
 
As Leonardo once said, “I want to create miracles.” If that’s not ambitious I don’t know what is. He wasn’t hard and aggressive—he was focused and he kept his vision fixed on success.
 
Your Challenge
 
Reframe ambition and look to your heroes and heroines.
 
When you think of someone ambitious that you admire who comes to mind?
What qualities do they possess? How could you copy-cat or borrow these qualities and apply them to help you succeed?
 
Keep your ambition a secret—avoid the critics and those who may knock your confidence. When you start to flap your ambition wings other people may feel threatened or jealous
 
It’s cool to be ambitious. People want to hang out with ambitious, successful people. Pursue your big audacious goals! Do the things you think you can’t. Achieve the impossible
 
“The world is in perpetual motion, and we must invent the things of tomorrow. One must go before others, be determined and exacting, and let your intelligence direct your life. Act with audacity.” ~ Madame Veuve Cliquot, businesswoman.
 
Sometimes we need a mentor to encourage us to follow a more creative path. Leonardo da Vinci shares how creativity can improve your happiness, health and success in The Art of Success: How Extraordinary Artists Can Help You Succeed in Business and Life by Cassandra Gaisford.
 
To read a free excerpt or purchase your copy and learn more from Leonardo Navigate to here: getBook.at/TheArtofSuccess

Find Happiness at Work: How to Create a Successful Career Strategy

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

Listen to Cassandra’s webinar presentation, for the Alumni Career Speaker Series – “Find Happiness at Work: How to Create a Successful Career Strategy” http://events.iteleseminar.com/?eventID=90661188 (The sound improves 20 minutes in – we were bracing for the worst storm in 20 years!)

Please feel free to cut and paste the above and share with anyone who needs a career rescue.

Here’s a few slides from the presentation, which includes strategies and tips to help you find happiness at work.

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes we need a mentor to encourage us to follow a more creative path. Coco Chanel and Leonardo da Vinci share how creativity can improve your happiness, health and success in The Art of Success: How Extraordinary Artists Can Help You Succeed in Business and Life by Cassandra Gaisford.

To read a free excerpt or purchase your copy and learn more from Leonardo Navigate to here: getBook.at/TheArtofSuccess

To read a free excerpt or purchase your copy and learn more from Coco Navigate to here: getBook.at/CocoChanel

OR download a range of Cassandra’s Career Rescue books from her Amazon page here

FIND YOUR NICHE – PURSUE YOUR PASSION.

Listen to Cassandra’s webinar presentation, for the Alumni Career Speaker Series – “Find Happiness at Work: How to Create a Successful Career Strategy” http://events.iteleseminar.com/?eventID=90661188 (The sound improves 20 minutes in – we were bracing for the worst storm in 20 years!)

Please feel free to cut and paste the above and share with anyone who needs a career rescue.

*