*

Archive for the 'Excerpt' Category

Coping with Isolation: How to Love your Life in Lockdown

Monday, April 27th, 2020

Dear readers,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

About BILLY IS A BALLOON

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

“This book shares a powerful message”

 

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

 

* * * FREE AUDIOBOOK * * *

Readers are using books to cope in different ways

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

Billy is a Balloon

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

Motivated to finish the book she is writing.

Motivated to practice self-care.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CHAPTER ONE

 

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

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

He goes outside and stretches wide.

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

 

CHAPTER TWO

 

Deep, deep, deep into his lungs.

Deep, deep, deep into his heart.

Deep, deep, deep into his belly.

Deep, deep, deep into his feet.

 

CHAPTER THREE

 

Then whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!

Billy draws the air up, up, up.

Up, up, up from his feet.

Up, up, up through his belly.

Up, up, up through his heart.

Up, up, up through his lungs.

 

CHAPTER FOUR

 

But Billy didn’t stop there.

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

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

The air swirled through his body like a magic train.

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

 

CHAPTER FIVE

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

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

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

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

I can float, flip, and fly.

Or I can drag, dip, and die.

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

 

CHAPTER SIX

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

CHAPTER SEVEN

I love to do the im-possible.

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

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

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

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

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

Like fears and frights and feelings of failure.

Like meanies and critics and complainers.

Like too much distraction that sucks my energy.

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

 

 

CHAPTER EIGHT

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

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

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

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

 

CHAPTER NINE

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

Billy smiled and waved and flew out of reach.

Out of reach from those who pulled down.

Out of reach from those who only frowned.

Out of reach from his own mistaken beliefs.

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

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

AND SO DO YOU! What colour is your balloon?

*** THE END ***

* * * FREE AUDIOBOOK * * *

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

BREATH BEHAVIOUR

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Much love

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

Saturday, April 18th, 2020

 

 

Dear readers,

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

 

Looking in the Review Mirror

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daisy Werthan: No, when was that?

Hoke Colburn: Oh, a few minutes ago.

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

 

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

 

 

Available for pre-order now>>AMAZON

Breakfasts, lockdown, and breaking the procrastination virus

Tuesday, April 7th, 2020

 

 

 

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

~ Coco Chanel

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

~ Coco Chanel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The encounter and my mood that day challenged me to reprioritize what is truly important.  As I wrote in The Art of Success: Coco Chanel, she once said,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My intention to be in lock-down from 2 to 4 protected me.  I just took a little mind spa break and I did a micro clean in 10 minutes which cleansed eyestrain and mental overload and mopped away any guilt. The old, non-quarantined me might have mopped the floors, cleaned windows or dusted with procrastination whip until I had cleaned the whole damned house.

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

 

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

Available for pre-order soon!

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

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

 

“All things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light” l Leonardo da Vinci l

 

Shinethlight Motu Kōkako — SOLD*

My mixed media (pastel, pencil, acrylic) was inspired by Motu Kōkako), an island (also known as Hole in the Rock) located not far from my home in the Bay of Islands.

Motu Kōkako is extraordinarily beautiful and powerful. It lies off the north coast of the North Island of New Zealand and is at the very northern tip of Cape Brett in the Bay of Islands. It is Māori freehold land, which is administered by the Motu Kōkako Ahu Whenua Trust for the benefit of the descendants of the traditional owners. The island is of great cultural significance to the Ngāpuhi iwi (tribe) and was historically associated with a range of sacred customary activities. Motu Kōkako was said to be the landing place of the canoe Tūnui-a-rangi before it went to Ngunguru and Whangarei.

It was a great honour and thrill to me today when the purchaser, who had discovered by painting via a hashtag on Instagram, collected the painting today and told me he was one of the trustees for the island.

Like him, I like the reference others mention about this rock bringing to mind the whakataukī (proverb) “Te toka tū moana” (“the rock standing in the sea— referring to a person who stands against all adversity, just as a rock resists the power of the sea.

There is a message for all of us during this massive global sea-change. Stand strong. Cast your roots deep. Be the rock that resists adversity.

In this post, I’d like to share some of the many things that help me stay strong. Like you, there are times I feel anxious, depressed, defeated. But then I go back to my well-being practices and I again stand strong. It may be as simple as remembering to breathe!

 

Food for the soul

I just finishing a call with a coaching client today. Which reminds me to be grateful that I embraced technology and created a location-independent business many moons ago. It fills my soul to be a beacon of light for others during this dark time for many. When my client, Jo* and I first began our coaching sessions last year, the Coronavirus was yet to hit, she was tearful, paralyzed, suicidal.

But now she is shining bright. She’s learning to embody higher ways of thinking, feeling and being. She shared with me an affirmation printed on her coffee cup, “Let your energy be used to build, not destroy.”

The coffee cup and sentiments inspired this post. Inspiration is everywhere, we just need to be open.

How are you nourishing your mind, heart and body? How are you going to keep your vibrations high?

We all need to be mindful not to gorge on fear-mongering news. Find your own trusted, and uplifting sources of information.

I promised Jo I would share some of mine. Instead of tuning into mainstream media I like to absorb the teachings of the following people (either by reading and/or listening to their books, listening to their podcasts, following them on social media. I like that they blend spirituality with science. From my own experience of most Government-funded mental health services, they are woefully negligent when it comes to mind-body-soul approaches.

I write about this, in How to Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love. This book of hope, heart and healing was co-written with my daughter who endured a horrific experience following alcohol-fuelled psychosis.  Hannah also narrated the audiobook.

 

Back to holistic-evidence based approaches….here are my go-to-high-vibe-tribe

Dr. Joe Dispenza.

https://drjoedispenza.com/

“Becoming a new personality produces a new reality,” writes Dr. Joe Dispenza in his book Breaking Free of Being You.

Dr. Dispenza’s postgraduate training and continuing education has been in neurology; neuroscience; brain function and chemistry; cellular biology; memory formation; and ageing and longevity. He is an invited member of Who’s Who in America, an honorary member of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners, the recipient of a Clinical Proficiency Citation for clinical excellence in doctor-patient relationships from Life University, and a member of Pi Tau Delta – the International Chiropractic Honor Society.

 

Dr. Bruce Lipton

https://www.brucelipton.com/

https://www.facebook.com/BruceHLiptonPhD

Bruce Harold Lipton, is an American developmental biologist best known for promoting the idea that genes and DNA can be manipulated by a person’s beliefs. I share how his journey to healing unblocked my creativity, unleased my purpose and give my life more meaning in Mid-Life Career Rescue series.

Here’s a wee excerpt:

 

So if you want to reduce your stress levels you need to change the way you view stress and the things that cause you to feel stressed. It’s the old glass half full or half empty battle! Here are a few helpful ways to do this:

a) Reframe—change the way you see stressful things and situations, e.g., if a colleague at work is hassling or bullying you, instead of feeling threatened you could be grateful that you have an opportunity to learn and master assertiveness skills and to put these into practice; when you think you have problems, see them as challenges.

b) Do a reality check—look at the here and now: will the things you are worrying about or stressing over ever happen? Where or what is your evidence? If it did happen, what would be the worst-case scenario? Is that so bad? Will it kill you? Is there a way to minimize the risk of a bad outcome?

c) Self-talk—thought is energy, so it’s critical to think and talk positive. Compelling research by Dr. Bruce Lipton, a developmental biologist best known for promoting the idea that genes and DNA can be manipulated by a person’s beliefs, reveals that thoughts really do become things. If you want to create a positive outcome you must grow and foster positive beliefs – even if in the short-term you have to fake-it-to-make-it.

Resist saying things you don’t want to make real. Instead of saying, “I can’t cope,” try replacing it with, “I can do this; I’ve handled change before,” or, “I trust myself to be able to handle this.

To see confirmation of the power of language on your DNA view this clip on YouTube, where a water researcher from Japan, Dr. Emoto, demonstrates how thoughts really do change things. His water demonstration shows without doubt how your thoughts and intentions shape the physical world.

Positive messages create shiny, diamond-like reflective qualities while negative thoughts create deformed, collapsed structures with black holes and yellow-tinged edges. We know this intuitively every time we’re around someone who is negative but many stressed-out people don’t realize their negative, complaining, or angry energy is toxic to those around them. As Einstein once said, “everything is energy.”

Gregg Braden

www.greggbraden.com

https://www.instagram.com/Gregg.Braden/

https://www.facebook.com/GreggBraden

Gregg Braden is esteem as a rare blend of scientist, visionary and scholar with the ability to speak to our minds while touching the wisdom of our hearts. He offers a message of hope, healing, and peace.

“Consciousness informs itself through its creations” Gregg Braden. “There is some untapped potential within us, which if realized empowers us to embrace, not just survive through a difficult time, but thrive and evolve into something very new and very different.”

Truth and Fiction Coronavirus | Gregg Braden

This is the best video I have found that clarifies what this virus is and how to stay healthy—I highly recommend watching it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwiS37SYE6k&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR1_fYrKXpx1W_GkhdmaO1DniquLo8HI8AzhMuqUmMJyOl3XIwvUZnRHCmU

 

Deepak Chopra

https://www.facebook.com/DeepakChopra

www.Deepakchopra.com

“I gave up alcohol in 1980. I enjoyed it far too much, to the point where I frequently get intoxicated. Everything in my life changed for the better stopped. It was the right decision.” ~ Deepak Chopra

Deepak’s words spoke to me—reminding me that it’s not that alcohol is intrinsically evil, but rather it just too darned tempting. The fact that a professional man as astute and competent as Deepak Chopra is could only control alcohol by completing stopping sustains my own quest for success. Deepak is a medical doctor, spiritual guru to movie stars and also the founder of an alcohol treatment centre, http://www.chopratreatmentcenter.com/programs/

 

His teachings reminded us that we cannot separate our minds from our bodies and that we need to embrace mind-body holistic medicine, including meditation.

 

“One way to respond in a crisis is to reduce its threat,” he writes on his blog.

“The other way is to add to the threat. The coronavirus COVID-19 might be the first collective crisis that many people have faced, and it poses an uncertain future in every country that confronts it. But this doesn’t change the two choices just mentioned. Know that your individual actions will have an impact on countless other people.

No matter how the COVID-19 pandemic resolves itself—something no one can predict—you can personally choose right now to reduce its threat. If you consciously make that choice, three positive things will happen. You will feel more in control; you will be on the side of healing; and you will add to the meaning of your life.

How to be more in control:

This begins by acting responsibly, following what the experts in disease control advise. By now everyone is aware of the need to stay at home, self-quarantine if you show any symptoms, keep 6 to 10 ft. away from other people in public, don’t take long plane flights, and wash your hands frequently (the medical school routine for scrubbing up applies here: Wash your hands vigorously while singing “Happy birthday to you” twice—and don’t forget your thumbs and between your fingers). The active ingredient in effective hand sanitizers is isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, which you can also use by itself in at least a 60% solution with water.

 

This is all useful advice, but it doesn’t address where being in control comes from, which is mental. Positive thinking isn’t enough. Feeling safe and secure is a state of awareness. It exists in us when we reach deeper than the everyday self. The everyday self cannot feel permanently safe. Outside forces loom too large and threatening. This is the time to take up meditation or return to it if you have lapsed. Your goal is to connect with your deeper awareness, the place where self-control and security comes from.

 

The superficial part of everyone gets involved in a crisis by staying glued to the news, attaching itself to worst case scenarios, and dwelling on the terrible things other people are going through. None of this behavior puts you in control. It does just the opposite by fueling fear, uncertainty, and insecurity. Looking at updates once a day is more than enough. The rest of the time, remain centered in yourself and keep doing the sensible thing.

 

How to be on the side of healing:

Bad things happen to everyone. It is how you react that determines whether you come out healed or wounded. In all of us, the healing response is natural, innate, and powerful. More than the immune system is involved. Healing is a mind-body process. If you are sad, stressed, depressed, anxious, helpless, hopeless, panicky, or feel out of control, every cell in your body gets that message.

 

Therefore, do everything you can to send the opposite message.  We’ve already mentioned meditation, which has a strong effect in restoring mind-body balance. But you also need to be vigilant on two other fronts: sleep and stress. Good, sound sleep maintains homeostasis and prevents a cascade of imbalances that can occur in hormones, for example. Stress is a powerful trigger for hormone imbalance, among other things. It has been linked to chronic inflammation, for example, which seems to be present in acute and chronic disease.

 

Besides doing all you can to sleep well and reduce immediate stresses, there is vagal breathing, which has become widely publicized in recent years. Centered on stimulating the vagus nerve, which runs from the brain to heart, lungs, intestinal tract, and elsewhere. By breathing in to a count of four, holding your breath for a short pause, and breathing out to a count of four, you tell the vagus nerve that you are in a calm, balanced state. In response, it helps maintain mindbody balance.

 

You can do more to be on the side of healing by following the positive lifestyle choices you already know are good for you in terms of a healthy diet and avoiding or greatly minimizing alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. The good things you are doing contribute to boosting your immune response, or at the very least doing your best to keep it from being compromised. So far as anyone knows, the victims of COVID-19 are most likely to be immune-compromised. If you aren’t, your risks seems to be drastically lowered.”

Read more, on Dr. Chopra’s fabulous and informative blog>> https://www.deepakchopra.com/blog/article/6375

 

Gregg Braden-Bruce Lipton (and all Spiritual/Scientific teachers) Fan Group>>

 

Russell Brand

www.russellbrand.com

https://www.youtube.com/user/russellbrand

Russell Brand is an award-winning comedian, actor, author, public thought leader, and a passionate activist for mental health and drug rehabilitation. He has written and spoken for many years about the need for a revolution. Perhaps the time has come.

Be sure to watch this informative discussion on Russell’s YouTube channel, Pandemics & Infodemics – Wisdom In The Time Of Covid-19 | Russell Brand & Dr. Gabor Mate>>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FEoQOurpGo

 

And also Corona Revolution: Plagues & Power | Russell Brand & Philosopher Brad Evans>>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIScK4o67jU

 

Imposed social conditions? What is the real agenda? What is the new normal? Creeping authoritarianism or an awakening of those who are truly vulnerable?

Be sure to watch>> Coronavirus – A Long Planned Excuse To Transform The Economic System>>https://newsvideo.su/video/12461013

https://youtu.be/whWPogluwPA

 

 

 

How the virus can give your life new meaning

“I believed there was something bigger, greater, more for me,”

Oprah Winfrey

 

Oprah grew up with the stories of the bible before she even learned nursery rhymes or fairy tales. In the run-up to OWN’s groundbreaking seven-part series Belief, Oprah shares how those Bible stories taught her what it really means to believe in something bigger than yourself.

“I learned what it meant to stand strong, what it meant to rely on Jesus and something bigger than yourself.. I learned real fear is relying only on yourself.” ~ Oprah

 

So many of us are being offered or having our face thrust into the need to adapt. As I share in many of my books, often we don’t have the finances, or we don’t feel we have the skills, or, OR, OR…but. but…but….we can, and we will make change happen. Often it begins with the belief—even if it means faking it until we make it big.

 

Dream big

“I got sidetracked into law for a while. That’s because I didn’t think I had what it takes to be a writer.” ~ James Scott Bell, writer

My client Jo* has been parking her dreams for years. Settling for less. Busy being busy. As we head into lock-down here in New Zealand she was tempted to the same. I encouraged her not to settle. I urged her not to stay small. If anything, what this virus awakens us to, is the possibility there may not be much time left at all.

During her coaching sessions with me and in particular her Akashic Soul Reading with me, she wanted to know, “Why do I suffer from the health condition of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem/self-worth and weight issues?”

The answers came to me quickly. “You are being asked to embody light. Yours is a path of kindness, compassion, caring, love. Stop feeding yourself SHIT.”

The challenges she faced, as for so many of us, teach us what we must overcome to move from victimhood to survivor and thriver. Jo has to learn what she most needs to know. Which is why she has come to be to coach, teach and mentor her. Now is not a time to go it alone.

“Stop sabotaging yourself. Fight for your dreams. Go for what you want.”

Today, along with other things we did a guided mediation, it’s something you can do easily too. I share it below.

You may also enjoy Oprah’s interview with Elizabeth Gilbert on Finding Your Passion: “Expect to Be Challenged”

Watch it here: http://www.oprah.com/own-super-soul-sunday/elizabeth-gilbert-on-finding-your-passion-video#ixzz6HeuwCASX

 

 

Infuse Your Body With Healing Light Meditation

Step 1. Breath in for 6 seconds, breath from deep in your belly, breathe the energy of green (or whatever colour you feel drawn to and which embodies what you want to feel or be.)

Draw this breath up through all the energy centres (chakras) of your body, up through your third-eye, up through the top of your head, up through the layers of the sky.

Step 2. Release your breath, slowly as you count to 4. As you release, close your eyes and see and feel the old, stagnant energy being released. Notice what colour that is. It may be murky, grey, or darker.

Repeat step 1 and 2 six times or until your breath expels clearer, brighter, lighter.

 

 

 

Why breathwork matters

As share in Bounce: Overcoming Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy, in a state of joy and relaxation, you breathe in a deep circular pattern, your heart comes into coherence, and you begin to produce alpha brain waves, giving you access to your own natural tranquillizers and antidepressants.

But under stress, your breathing is reversed. Instead of breathing slowly and deeply, your breathing tends to become shallower and more rapid. During times of extreme stress, you can forget to breathe at all!

You may even hyperventilate—breathing in an abnormally rapid, deep, or shallow pattern.  You will exhale too much carbon dioxide, and as the level of carbon dioxide in the blood drops, the blood vessels narrow, allowing less blood to circulate. If too little blood reaches your brain, you’ll become dizzy and may faint.

Calcium in the blood also decreases, causing some muscles and nerves to twitch. The twitching may result in a tingling or stabbing sensation near your mouth or in your chest. These symptoms include a tight feeling in the chest, as though your lungs cannot receive enough air.

This sensation leads to faster and deeper breathing. The heart may begin to pound, and the pulse rate may rise. Experiencing these symptoms will increase anxiety in some people, which can make the condition worse.

 

Humour

“In the States, they are calling at the Kung-flu, one medical doctor told me recently. Not everyone feels like laughing during times like these, and some jokes may make people wild, but humour is a great antidote to stress. This is one of the reasons I love the wise, spiritual, and often funny counsel offered by Russel Brand as he shares his philosophy on the coronavirus pandemic and other things, with the world.

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

Laughter, humour, and play are great tonics during stressful times. Taking yourself or your life too seriously only increases stress. When you learn to laugh despite your difficulties, you light up the world.

“When people just look at your face,” the Dalai Lama said to the Archbishop Desmond Tutu in The Book of Joy, “you are always laughing, always joyful. This is a very positive message. It is much better when there is not too much seriousness. Laughter, joking is much better. Then we can be completely relaxed.”

Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, your brain’s feel-good chemicals, setting off an emotional reaction which makes you feel better.

“Discovering more joy does not, I’m sorry to say, save us from the inevitability of hardship and heartbreak. In fact, we may cry more easily, but we will laugh more easily, too,” says Archbishop Tutu.

“Perhaps we are just more alive. Yet as we discover more joy, we can face suffering in a way that ennobles rather than embitters. We have hardship without becoming hard. We have heartbreak without being broken.”

You may not feel like it, but give laughter a go. Watch a funny movie, stream a stack of whacky comedies, go to a comedy show, or watch a video on YouTube. Hang out with people who know how to have a good time, go to a Laughing Yoga class, or ask someone to tickle you!

Inject some more laughter and playfulness into your life.

Playfulness is bounciness at its best. Cultivate your inner child. Act up a little, goof-off, experiment, relax and detach—if you find yourself in trouble, smile.

 

Benefits of play include:

• Increasing your productivity

• Boosting your creativity and problem-solving skills

• Reducing stress, anxiety, and depression

• Improving your relationships and connections with others

• Bringing more balance, fun, lightness, and levity into your life

• Diminishing your worries

As play researcher and psychiatrist Stuart Brown says in his book Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul, “A lack of play should be treated like malnutrition: it’s a health risk to your body and mind.”

The Dalai Lama agrees. “I met some scientists in Japan, and they explained that wholehearted laughter—not artificial laughter—is very good for your heart and your health in general.”

Some of the many ways I play include: ‘wagging’ work sometimes and taking my inner child on a playdate to the movies, going for a massage, or indulging in my hobbies and playing with my paints. Listening to music from the 70s is also playful and brings levity. While traveling internationally recently, I watched the Disney children’s movie Frozen. I haven’t laughed so much in years.

I also love reminding myself of the magic of writing and reading. As novelist Caroline Gordon once wrote, “A well-composed book is a magic carpet on which we are wafted to a world that we cannot enter in any other way.”

Author Deepak Chopra confirms the power of lightening up,  “When we harness the forces of harmony, joy, and love, we create success and good fortune with effortless ease,” Chopra says.

Check out my blog for some strategies to reinforce play and create more bounciness in your day—https://www.cassandragaisford.com/how-to-stress-less-and-play-more/

 

I hope you’ve found some good places and resources to get your daily fix of inspiration and healing. Remember, don’t let fear give you a fright!

 

I will NOT act like I have the virus

 

Purchase links for books recommended in this blog

Bounce: Overcoming Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy

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

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

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

Audiobook, written and narrated by me, coming soon

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

Cassandra has a great spirit and passion for life. That passion comes through in her writing and her storytelling style is easy to relate to every day life. Each Career Rescue book is very helpful in guiding you to the next step in your career. One book helps you uncover your gifts and talents. Another helps you start your own business (if that is your desire) and they all help you change your life for the better! Highly recommended!

 

 

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

Check out the following written and narrated by me.

 

Mid-Life Career Rescue: The Career For Change

USA

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

 

UK

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

 

Australia

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

 

 

How to Find Your Passion and Purpose

 

USA

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

 

UK

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

 

Australia

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

 

 

The Little Princess

USA

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

UK

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

Australia

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

 

 

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

 

In less than 15 minutes you could be listening to your way to a new life!

 

*mock up of painting framed

* Name changed to protect privacy

 

 

Did you enjoy this post?

You might like:

Emotional alchemy—the spontaneous healing power of joy

 

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

How stepping away from your work can boost your mood, reduce anxiety and spark joy

The fastest way to go from stress to joy without being overwhelmed

 

Here are three more things you might like:


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


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


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

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

 

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

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

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

Monday, March 9th, 2020

 

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

~ Patanjali, Yogi and Mystic

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Passionate Obsessions Empower Your Productivity and Prosperity

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

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

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

• Rocket-fuel tenacity to persevere and succeed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

What Do You Collect?

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

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

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

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

 

Mining for Gold

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

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

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

 

Dive Deeper. . .

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

 

 

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

Do less and earn more today!

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

 

 

 

 

Did you enjoy this post?

You might like:

Where’s Your Joy

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

 How To Find Your Passion and Purpose

 

Here are three more things you might like:


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


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


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

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

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

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

How to stay true to your vision

Monday, February 24th, 2020

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

~ Coco Chanel

 

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

 

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

Signage, my intuition answers. Show people the way.

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

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

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

 

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

Just for today, I will be good enough.

just for today, I will do what sparks joy.

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

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

 

 


Your Challenge

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

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

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

 

 

Gaisford, Cassandra. The Art of Success: Coco Chanel: How Extraordinary Artists Can Help You Succeed in Business and Life

To grab your copy of the Art of Success from Amazon, click here>>
https://buff.ly/2Pjsy83

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

The Art of Success: Be Inspired by Leonardo da Vinci

Sunday, January 26th, 2020

Dear Readers,

Fight the good fight

Mollie MathewsRemember—we always have to fight for our dreams….but it’s a fight worth winning.

  • Elton John was told to be a bank worker by his father.
  • Lady Gaga was bullied and treated like trash.
  • Oprah Winfrey was told she’d never make it unless she changed her name.

Be inspired by your muses, dive deep into a good book, listen to a podcast or create a passion and purpose journal to keep your dreams alive.

How can you fight for your dreams?

 

How I fight for my dreams…

As a writer, word by word I fight for my dreams.

Sometimes I don’t like writing. Sometimes writing doesn’t like me. But there is something upon which writing and I can agree—we love finishing.

Finishing a sentence

Finishing a scene

Finishing a page

Finishing a book

. . .And sending it out into to the world

Whatever you begin—finish.

One step at a time. One word at a time. One job interview at a time. . .or nothing happens.

Something else, that sustains me is the joy of finishing and knowing my works of heart have brought joy, wisdom, healing, inspiration or comfort to others. Check out the video below to see one happy recipient of a book I gifted to one of my readers. Joy begets joy.

Leonardo is one of my favorite muses. I hope you enjoy this wee excerpt from The Art of Success: Leonardo da Vinci

 

Find Your Element

Leonardo’s father recognized his exceptional gift for drawing and helped him hone his talent by apprenticing him to Andrea del Verrocchio, a master painter, sculptor, and engineer.

However, Leonardo also self-taught his way to excellence, learning new skills and tackling subjects he passionately wanted to understand but had little knowledge of.

Have you found your point of brilliance? Maybe you’re exceptional in drawing, dancing, cooking, or some other field. If that talent is combined with your deepest interests, values, ambitions, and joy that’s where you ought to focus.

Whether you know your elemental strengths already or you’re at a loss, it’s equally important to try new things.

If you don’t branch out from what you have already mastered you cannot grow. You may discover a point of brilliance you never knew you possessed. In humans, as there is in hills, sometimes there’s a vein of gold that you never knew you owned.

Your Challenge

One way to discover your strongest skills and natural talents is to ask people close to you, “What’s my superpower?”

Notice all the things you love to do while expressing your unique talents and list past activities and accomplishments that accurately reflect these abilities

What are some possible ways that expressing your qualities, talents, and skills may fulfill current or future needs? How can you serve?

Pick the places that you want to be great, that you want to focus your energies on and do that—understanding that you’re probably not going to be great at everything.

~ Ursula Burns, CEO

 

 

The Power of Passion

~ 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 immobilized 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 labor 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

 

 

Teach What You Want To Learn

Leonardo found purpose and fulfillment in teaching. As have other extremely successful men and women in possession of curious minds, and ennobled with a love of learning. Polymath Tim Ferris, for example, sees himself not as a wealthy entrepreneur but as a teacher.

“It’s not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between nine and five. It’s whether or not our work fulfills us. Being a teacher is meaningful,”  Malcolm Gladwell writes in Outliers: The Story of Success.

Leonardo’s feathers of higher learning were the quills with which he wrote his notes. He believed, and knew from experience, the tremendous power of books and words to create miraculous flights of the mind.

He wrote about what he wanted to learn, and found extraordinary success, sharing that knowledge with others.

In coaching and counseling sessions with clients when they say they don’t know how to get unstuck, or how to find answers, I gently encourage them to consider writing a blog post I, or they, could share with other people who may also be stuck. It’s incredible how the thought of helping others motivates them. And in turn, they help themselves.

Your Challenge

Teach what you want to learn—blog, video, paint, write a song or piece of music, write a book or create some art, create a course, host a seminar or speak at a conference or forum, Youtube or anything else that inspires and challenges you

Enjoy the ‘helper’s high’—the flow of positive endorphins when you step out of your comfort zone and inspire others

Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, 

and one teacher can change the world.

~ Malala Yousafzai, Noble Peace laureate

 

 

Embark on a Life-Changing, Scientifically Proven Fast-Track to Happiness—in Only Minutes a Day!

Tame anxiety, manage stress, overcome depression, change careers—and more. Success is living life on your terms and no one knows this better than the ultimate freedom-fighter Leonardo da Vinci.

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

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://www.draft2digital.com/book/323151

 

Discover the health benefits of glorious gratitude

Wednesday, January 8th, 2020

Glorious Gratitude

“I learned about the inextricable connection between joy and gratitude, and how things that I take for granted, like rest and play, are as vital to our health as nutrition and exercise.”

Brené  Brown

When you feel love, joy, gratitude, awe, curiosity, bliss, playfulness, ease, creativity, compassion, growth, or appreciation, you’re in your beautiful mind.
Your beautiful mind is in a stream of transcendence and flow. Your spirit and your heart are aligned, and your best self comes alive. Nothing feels like a hassle, everything feels peaceful. You feel no fear or frustration. You’re in harmony with your true essence.

Your Suffering Mind

When you’re feeling stressed out, worried, frustrated, angry, anxious, depressed, irritable, overwhelmed, resentful, or fearful, your suffering mind has taken control.

 

Negative feelings and emotions—the uglies—become the norm, even if you’d prefer they weren’t.

 

His Holiness the Dalai Lama reminds us, “Nothing beautiful in the end comes without a measure of some pain, some frustration, some suffering.”

 

Reframe your uglies. Take back control, find and prioritize the beauties—the things that spark joy, that give you pleasure and bring deep satisfaction to your mind, body, and soul. Express gratitude for these and other things that are going well in your life.

 

These may be everyday things you take for granted, like kind friends, or being able to walk or a warm, or a comfy bed in which to rest. Or sensory delights, like the smell of fresh coffee, or freshly cut grass, or a whiff of your favorite perfume. Perhaps a stunning photo or a painting that sparks joy or a fabulous piece of architecture. Or, the vivid blue of a summer sky.

 

Look for the beauty within things you may associate with ugliness. Acknowledge any pain, frustration, and suffering as a rite of passage and celebrate what’s beautiful in your life to reclaim your joy.

 

When you’re grateful for joy, joy spreads.

 

Wrap your day in gratitude.

Tell someone you’re grateful they are in your life.

Compliment or thank a stranger who sparks joy.

 

Every day I list my gratitudes in the notes section of my phone. It’s a great well-being boost. I also include images. See below for an example.

Today, for example, Sheree Clark, invited me for an encore performance on her upcoming summit—It’s YOUR Time: Turning the Midlife Crisis into Your Midlife Awakening

I can’t wait. I share Sheree’s story of mid-life career invention in my book, Mid-Life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself. She’s also dropped me a note to say that she wants to talk about my latest book on TV and has ordered How to Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love.

 

Listen to Sheree Clark, a healthy living life coach, sharing her story of mid-life career reinvention—from despairing business owner to joyful solopreneur. Scroll to this interview here—http://www.cassandragaisford.com/podcast/

 

 

This is an edited extract from  How to Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love.

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

To purchase a print, hardback or audiobook version visit your favorite retailer.

 

Did you enjoy this post?

You might like:

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

How stepping away from your work can boost your mood, reduce anxiety and spark joy

The fastest way to go from stress to joy without being overwhelmed

 

Here are three more things you might like:


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


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


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

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

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

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

Why Comparison Robs Joy

Sunday, December 8th, 2019

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Theodore Roosevelt

 

Constantly thinking what others are doing, stalking others on social media, and berating yourself for feeling inadequate in comparison drains your energy and robs your joy. Yet it can be addictive.

Like any addiction again it’s a harmful habit if taken to extremes, comparison can be self-sabotaging and a form of self-abuse. It’s also a hard pattern to stop. But stop you must if your joy is to be returned to you.

We’re curious, social beings. We are drawn to others, we like to know what people are up to, and we like to follow successful people.

But we don’t see everyone’s entire life. We only see one glance—and often it’s a carefully curated one.

We don’t befriend ourselves enough and acknowledge our difficult journey, and how we have triumphed over trauma, or how far we’ve come. Some of what we have experienced others may never have experienced—much less survived.

Instead of comparing ourselves to others negatively, to reclaim joy we need to think about where we are now and compare this to where we have been—yesterday, last week, last month, last year. This is especially important when we are recovering for illness or a setback of any kind. Traumatic experiences or mental health challenges can make us especially vulnerable.

 

Use aspirational comparisons

Compare yourself to people similar to you or who have been in the same spot and are now flourishing. 

Think of someone you aspire to be like. Oprah? Drew Barrymore? Your mother? Or a dear friend?

 

Surround yourself with your mentors. People who are inspiring and smile in the face of adversity are like vitamins for our souls.

Look back at a time you felt joy and compare yourself to that person. But be careful you don’t hold onto the old you and forget to feed the new emerging you.

 

 

 

This is an edited extract from  How to Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love.

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

To purchase a print, hardback or audiobook version visit your favorite retailer.

Why tomorrow is a very special day for me…

Monday, November 11th, 2019

 

Tomorrow my daughter, Hannah Joy, and I release the first book that we have written together…

I feel like pinching myself! It was 27 years ago that I separated from my relationship with her father.

Dark days and hard times followed as I became a single mom and struggled to pay the weekly groceries and mortgage and keep a roof over our heads.

Raising a child on my own with no support, I went to university at the ripe young age of 27, to try and make a better life for us. After trying to work fulltime when I graduated I decided to start my own business so that I would have the freedom to work from home and be with my daughter when she needed me.

I had no social life because every spare ounce of energy was going into building my business.

Single mom’s have massive drive to succeed because there is no safety net from another person. We have to make it happen. We can’t allow ourselves the ‘luxury’ of falling into despair. And believe me, there were plenty of dark and depressing times.

But I keep going. I kept following my passion and found purpose helping other single mum’s and stressed out salary slaves who were being bullied like me.

I put years into building my previous business but after doing incredibly well, it didn’t work out the way I planned. People were double-dealing, and I wasn’t making ends meet and there was just not enough demand for what I was offering. There wasn’t enough of me!

With only a few dollars left in my account, I decided to completely stop what I was doing and change directions even though I had invested so much time, effort and money into my business.

If I didn’t do something different, I would have to give up my entrepreneurial dream.

I decided to use my writing skills and create an online business for myself and help other people do the same and everything started to change…

Suddenly it was a big YES from the Universe, people really wanted what I had to sell!

Fast forward 5 years and so much magic has happened!

I became an Amazon bestselling author and moved with my new partner to a new luxury property in the Bay of Islands, where we both run our businesses and can travel freely overseas.

I have had the privilege to serve and assist thousands of people from over 41 different countries all over the world.

The best bit is, I get to share SOOOO much love with my readers and clients and receive so much love back…

Which is why I’m excited to be co-creating my latest book on the power of joy to create a life truly worth living…How to Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love.

Whatever you are going through, whatever tough times you might be in, things can change and turn around and your dreams can manifest right before your very eyes…

When life knocks you down, you have the power to rise up and succeed.

Even though you may be going through a hard time, there are better, amazing experiences waiting for you ahead on your path…

Magic can happen when you least expect it.

Joy can be found in the most unexpected ways. Sobriety, crochet, potatoes, pets, and traumas…how does joy show up for you?

Cassandra xoxoxoxo

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

AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW AND RELEASES TOMORROW. To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>>getbook.at/FindYourJoy

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

Sunday, September 22nd, 2019

 

“Verily the lust for comfort murders the passion of the soul,

and then walks grinning to the funeral.”

Kahil Gibran, Writer

Are you stuck in the comfort rut? Many people trade off their deeper joy for material comforts and status that can only ever give fleeting satisfaction. They get stuck in the comfort rut. They settle for their actual self—what’s easy, comfortable, or an area of competence they know. They settle for a stagnant plateau that doesn’t stretch or fulfill them or enable them to grow. Outwardly, they may appear happy and successful but in fact, they are bored, frustrated, and flat.

We all like to be comfortable, to do well and feel a sense of safety and security, but the comfort rut is a bit like staying in bed—you just keep lying around because it feels comfy and familiar. You may convince yourself that you’re happy in maintenance mode, but in your heart you know it’s zapping your energy and it’s time to make the leap to an invigorating change.

Sometimes the signs of being in a rut are not obvious. But there may be other warning signs—emotionally, mentally physically and spiritually—that you should pay attention to. Do any of these sound familiar?

• You don’t feel inspired about your life or work

• You have trouble keeping your focus

• You feel tired, and find it hard to get motivated

• You reminisce about the past, or

• Brood about your future

Can you think of some rut-busters you used in the past to pull you out of a rut in your career or life? What helped you recharge and find new inspiration? Perhaps it was a change in location; making new friends; rediscovering what intrigues you; stepping away from it all; revisiting your goals; taking on a new challenge or learning something novel.

Sometimes the best way to gain a fresh perspective on your career is to step away for a while. Take a long vacation where you unplug from the world and enjoy some time to yourself. When you provide some distance from your life, everything looks clearer and summoning the courage for change is easier.

Security is mostly a superstition designed to keep us sadly safe. As Helen Keller once said, life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.

Making a leap into a new life and being true to your ideal self can be the most comfortable, joyful, liberating feeling of all.

How could any discomfort you may be feeling now serve you if you push through?

What rut-busters would help support and invigorate you?

 

When I first started publishing my writing over 15 years ago, I felt completely out of my comfort zone. I couldn’t structure my writing or write succinctly. At first, I compared myself to everyone else, but gradually I learned to relax and enjoy the process of being a beginner again. Now I own my own publishing company, am a bestselling author, and incorporate many helpful writing and creative principles into the way I run and manage my business. But none of this would have happened if I hadn’t found the courage to try writing professionally for the first time.

Everyone gets into ruts. But the best way to pull yourself out is to acknowledge why and when they occur and never pretend the danger-zone isn’t there. A rut can be a wake-up call and a golden opportunity to lean out and lift yourself higher toward a new, exciting direction.

 

This is 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.

If you’d love to: 

  • Relieve stress and quit worrying easily
  • Create more happiness, peace, and joy
  • Keep your brain and body strong and ready for joyfully, focused work
  • Rescue and enrich your relationships
  • Increase your success, health, and happiness with a few simple steps

You’ll find the answers in How to Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love.  

 

This is an edited extract from How to Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love.

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

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

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

Also available in audiobook and hardback

Create The Ultimate Happiness Mindset: The Holistic Blueprint to True Success

Thursday, September 12th, 2019

“The very essence of diamonds is to bring joy into the lives of people.”

William Goldberg

Who or what inspires you? Think about the sorts of books and magazines you love to read, or people and things you love to listen to, learn about, follow or be around.  What about them is interesting to you? How do they bring joy into your life?

Look for your heroes and heroines and allow others’ enthusiasm and passion to excite you! Play detective. Do some research, go and talk to people who are joyful and purposeful about some aspect of their life, read books about inspiring people or themes that really capture your imagination. Listen to podcasts, watch Youtube, and other uplifting sources of inspiration.

As I write this chapter, I’m inspired by the 2020 US Presidential candidate Marianne Williamson. I love the values she espouses. I love her tenacity and eloquence. I love her inclusiveness and willingness to use her voice to create positive change. I love her powerful spiritual manifesto.

She has inspired me to become more active in my community to reduce alcohol harm. This is just one example of how she has inspired me.

I began planning my three billboards to increase awareness of safe alcohol consumption leading up to and during the Christmas season.  At such times drinking spikes and so does domestic violence, sexual assault, drink driving deaths, suicides and other forms of harm.

Today I met with the police, my local MP and set up a meeting with my Mayor and spoke to a major booze retailer to gain support, and began to build awareness of my initiative. I was encouraged when the policeman in charge of reducing alcohol harm said: “I’m really looking forward to seeing your billboards.”

I was inspired by the movie Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri about a mother who was frustrated nothing was being done to find her daughter and so she created billboards to build awareness of her plight. And also my friend Christine who said, “Gosh that billboard woman reminded me of you.“

That was three years or so ago. Now I have finally become passionately angry enough and joyfully sober to do something about it. I’m not talking about teetotal I’m talking about safe drinking.

Because nothing is being done by the government who only seem to talk, talk, talk I have decided to do something myself.  As I write in  “Mind Your Drink: The Joy of Sobriety” and “Your Beautiful Mind” the booze barons and litigious lobbyists currently yield more political and economic power than those whose lives they destroy.

I give thanks and gratitude to presidential candidate Marianne Williamson for her activism and encouraging us all to be the change we want to see and reminding us that we as a people can and do wield power.

What could you do to get more inspired? How can you, too, become a source of inspiration for others?

 

 

If you’d love to: 

  • Relieve stress and quit worrying easily
  • Create more happiness, peace, and joy
  • Keep your brain and body strong and ready for joyfully, focused work
  • Rescue and enrich your relationships
  • Increase your success, health, and happiness with a few simple steps

You’ll find the answers in How to Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love.  Available for pre-order NOW!

 

Finding Joy—Why High Vibe Energy is Health and Happinesses New Superstar

Tuesday, September 10th, 2019

“We store memories in our bodies. We store passion and heartache. We store joy, moments of transcendent peace. If we are to access these, if we are to move into them and through them, we must enter our bodies.”

Julia Cameron

Our bodies are storytellers. Like any great story, there are chapters with villains and heroes, plot twists, hidden dangers and deeper truths within the pages. Our storytelling body never lies, however, many people soldier on ignoring the obvious warning signs their body is narrating.

When you don’t do the things you love your health can suffer. Common signs of neglecting your joy and purpose can include, headaches, insomnia, tiredness, depression, anger, frustration, and irritability. It’s easy to ignore or rationalize the feelings of discomfort, but the reality is your body—and your soul—is screaming out to be saved.

When we enter our bodies, we enter our hearts. Have the courage to say ‘enough’ and pursue more satisfying alternatives.

 

When you feel unfulfilled, or frustrated where and what do you notice in your body? How does this differ from times when you are joyful?

 

 

Listening to The Signs—How I Avoid Burnout

Looking back now I count myself lucky that I developed shingles when I was a stressed-out employee. The company offered me a lot of support—albeit reactively, including career counseling, time off to see the doctor and wellness leave.

None of this is available when you are your boss, at least not without directly affecting your pocket. Having had shingles and being warned that I might go blind, and also witnessing people have heart attacks at work, I knew this was a place I didn’t want to revisit.

So I am super vigilant to heed the early warning signs and put preventive strategies in place, and draw on these (topping them up when I need an extra boost) during times of heavier-than-normal workload.

I’m as guilty as anyone of having a propensity to over-work. I love what I do with such a passion it doesn’t feel like work at all. I’d happily work weekends and nights if need be. But I know I’m not a machine. I know I need to rest. I know that working long hours is not smart.

Some of the things I do to look after my health include:

• Regular massages

• Meditating twice daily

• Taking regular breaks

• Working only with clients I click with

• Taking time out for my passions and hobbies

• Making time for my relationships

• Writing morning pages

• Writing my daily gratitudes in a journal

• Looking at and updating my passion journal

• Switching off from technology

• Surrounding myself with inspirational people whenever possible

• Reducing, and at times, eliminating alcohol

• Eating healthily

• Tuning in to the spiritual realm

• Spending time in nature

• Regular silent retreats

• Eliminating negativity

• Exercising regularly

• Following my mantra, “If it’s not fun, I’m NOT doing it!” Sometimes this requires an attitude shift.

• And making room for joy

It may look like a long list, but in reality, most of these things only take a few minutes—many can be batched. Others, like meditating and going for massages take more time out of my day; but they replenish my energy and allow my mind and heart and spirit to work more effectively.

 

What can you do to stress less, and laugh more?

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

Deepak Chopra

Recently, I felt ‘compelled’ to donate a second painting to the local hospice who were holding an art auction to raise much-needed funds.

I felt a surge of joy as I drove along the country roads of The Bay of Islands and 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.

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.

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.

The photo above is me feeling joyful at work—successfully narrating my story of how I overcame bullying, The Little Princess.

Sharing my story to help others, is the same joy I experienced when I donated my paintings.

Grab a free sample or purchase from your favorite audiobook retailer. To listen on Amazon, click here>>getbook.at/TheLittlePrincess

 

 

If you’d love to: 

  • Relieve stress and quit worrying easily
  • Create more happiness, peace, and joy
  • Keep your brain and body strong and ready for joyfully, focused work
  • Rescue and enrich your relationships
  • Increase your success, health, and happiness with a few simple steps

You’ll find the answers in How to Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love. 

 

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

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

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

Also available in audiobook and hardback

 

How Finding and Following Your Joy Can Create a Life of Peace

Wednesday, September 4th, 2019

 

“Peace is the gift you give yourself when you wake up and chose joy.”

Cassandra Gaisford

Joy does not always come easily. Life is challenging—sometimes overwhelmingly so. Like anything worthwhile, finding and following your joy often involves great commitment, courage, and sacrifice.

Joyful people are prepared to give up things they once enjoyed or people they may have endured to live a more peaceful life. They’re prepared to wave bye-bye to addictions that keep them boringly distracted, disconnected, or toxically numbed. They commit daily to waving farewell to deep diving into narcissism, drama, and negativity.

They affirm with joy ‘yes’ to letting go of pain, fear, and judgment. ‘Yes’ to embracing unconditional love, vulnerability, taking risks and coping with the possibility of failure. “Yes!Yes!Yes! To embracing their essence and being who they truly are.

Joyful people aren’t always chasing ‘happy.’ Contribution, compassion, and caring—for self and others—are more important virtues.

The compensation for being ‘real’ is a bigger, richer, more fulfilling life.

What are you prepared to trade-off to be more joyful? What are you prepared to change in your life?  What or who would help you? What or who would stop you?

 

This is an edited extract from How to Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love.

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

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

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

Also available in audiobook and hardback

 

 

Did you enjoy this post?

You might like:

Emotional alchemy—the spontaneous healing power of joy

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

Finding Joy—Why High Vibe Energy is Health and Happinesses New Superstar

The fastest way to go from stress to joy without being overwhelmed

Here are three more things you might like:


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


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


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

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

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

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

How You Can Travel With Your Trauma and Lead by Example With Hope—Never Fear

Monday, September 2nd, 2019

 

“I want our young people to know that they matter, that they belong. So don’t be afraid. You hear me, young people? Don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered. Empower yourself with a good education. Then get out there and use that education to build a country worthy of your boundless promise. Lead by example with hope; never fear.”

—Michelle Obama

We live in traumatic times, but traveling with our traumas we can navigate our way to understanding ourselves and other people a little better. We can delve deep into psychological awareness and educate and empower ourselves by understanding what’s happening for ourselves and others.

We have a choice when it comes to taming trauma. We can run from it and let it defeat us or we can embrace it and allow it to become something better.  You can use that education to extend compassion, sympathy, and understanding and journey into the mind of someone who is going through something you have suffered and survived yourself.

Trauma comes to us for a reason and a purpose. It comes to teach us more about ourselves, about our resilience and our capabilities beyond the trauma itself. We are so much stronger than we give ourselves credit. It’s seeing past the fog to the strength beyond that illuminates the way through these trauma times.

We have a choice. We can choose to let these things overwhelm us or we can fight back and be more positive for it. We can see the silver lining around any circumstance and choose positivity.

Finding joy in trauma is no easy task but with daily well-being practices like meditation, journaling, creative expression, essential oils, and other health behaviors, including counseling, you can find yourself returning back to your usual self.

The other side of trauma is connection and hope. When you heal yourself, you shine a light for others to follow in your steps.

How can you travel with your trauma and lead by example? If you got out there and used your experience and education to build a country liberated from trauma, how would that feel? How would it feel to help people thrive? Do that!

Caste Fear Of Fumbling Out—How FOFO Can Change Your Life

Sunday, September 1st, 2019

 

“I try to focus not on the fumbles, but on the next plan.”

Barak Obama

In our Western culture, we often spend more time thinking of ways we could fail, fall, and fumble rather than ways we could succeed, soar and shine.

Focus is everything. By being kind to ourselves we give ourselves and others permission to make mistakes, grow and learn.

The hardest lessons and biggest fumbles often yield the biggest fruits. When was the last time you tested your fears?

If you felt the fear and fumbled anyway what’s the worst that could happen? Embrace FOFO—cast fear of fumbling out and make room for intentional joy.

How could you shift your focus from fumbles to fortuitous fortune? What’s your next plan?

Look for and collect examples of people who have turned ‘failure’ into joyful success.

Stress Less. Sense More

Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

“Rejoice in the pleasures of being a personality in a sensual physical body, occupying a world that provides enjoyment alongside the hardships we face.”

Sarah Varcas astrologer.

 

If stress, anxiety, or depression has stolen your joy looking for things that nurture you and sanctify and awaken your senses can be a great tonic.

Surrounded yourself with things that spark joy. For example, incense or essential oils for smell; Crystals around you for sight; Hearing wonderful flute music and Arabian and Oriental tunes for sound; Tasting fruits, if you find it hard to stomach much else. For touch, you may love to draw in a mindfulness coloring book.

Regularly ground yourself with meditations, journaling your thoughts and feelings and being in your own safe, sacred, snuggly sanctuary.

Limit the things that trigger stress, like over-work, email, social media and stressful communications on your phone.

What little steps can you take to spark joy?

For me, looking at beauty, like these orchids which have JUST burst into bloom, makes me feel elated.

 

 

This is 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, by Cassandra Gaisford and Hannah Joy. Coming Soon!

 

 

 

Did you enjoy this post?

You might like:

 How to Overcome Anxiety, Panic, and Stress and Reclaim Joy

Tame the Email Monster: How to Manage Stress, Anxiety, and Email Overload

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

Here are three more things you might like:


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


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


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

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

 

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 >>

Survival Tips From Anxiety Experts—‘Do a Coco Chanel’ and Dress Joyfully

Thursday, August 15th, 2019

Lorenzo and I dressing ‘joyfully’, Valentine’s Day 2016

 

The grand problem, the most important problem, is to rejuvenate women. To make women look young. Then their outlook changes. They feel more joyous.

~ Coco Chanel

 

Anxiety can feel like cancer—all invasive and equally as disruptive. But it’s not cancer. You can’t cut it out, section it, or annihilate with chemical warfare. Anxiety is a feeling. It’s got plenty to say and very often a lot to teach you.

You can ignore it, befriend at, or tackle it—but you can’t repress it for long. Somewhere, somehow your body keeps the score. The best approach is a multifaceted one, as you will discover, in many of my books, including The Anxiety Cure and The Art of Success, and Coco Chanel: Life Coach.

Shame, guilt, blame, loss, grief, privilege, insecurity, addiction, identity, love—anxiety feeds off them all. Anxiety is part of being human. It tells us we’re still standing. It tells us we’re still alive.

But too much anxiety, like too much of anything, is toxic to our mind, body, and soul.

 

What is Anxiety?

Definitions of anxiety vary. Anxiety to me is a crawling, ever-circling predator that feeds on fear and devours the things I love. It’s an overwhelming feeling of worry and sense of dread that can spiral out of control sometimes. Which is why I put a lot of time and energy into self-care.

Anxiety is the big brother of stress, toxic stress. It’s good to know this because, as you’ll discover proactively managing your stress levels and engaging in activities that increase resilience can help you tame this bully easily.

Most of us feel worried at some point in our lives and experience situations that can cause us to feel anxious. While the ‘right’ amount of anxiety can help us perform better and stimulate action, too much anxiety can tip things out of balance.

Feelings of worry or anxiety are part of a healthy emotional experience. Feeling anxious can warn you and urge you to take care. But when it comes to an intense, prolonged experience, anxiety can be excruciating, unbearable and even debilitating.

In the absence of panic attacks, we may think we are just worrying too much. Our struggles of constant worry may be ignored, minimized or dismissed and, in turn, not properly diagnosed, healed or treated. This is also the case for those with undiagnosed trauma.

You may be surprised to learn how dismissing the impact of traumatic events is negatively impacting your anxiety. You may feel, as I once did, that things that have happened to you are, “normal” and “just a fact of life.” You may be heartened to discover that in no way has your life been normal. Sometimes unearthing the truth provides tremendous clarity and healing. It did for me. It will for you.

Actress Glenn Close recently revealed how her childhood gave her ‘a kind of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)’. Only in her sixties did she seek help to heal the emotional trauma of being raised within a right-wing religious cult for thirteen years when she was just seven.

“I visited a childhood trauma specialist not too long ago—even at my age which is kind of astounding. But it establishes these trigger points that affect you for the rest of your life,” Close revealed in an interview in 2018.

“I think anybody who has gone through any kind of experience like that doesn’t want to be affected by it. I think it really is interesting how deep it runs,” she said.

Similarly, a client of mine who had suffered childhood sexual abuse as a young boy, waited forty years before seeking therapy. He felt so liberated finally purging those wounds and regaining his life.

We’ll look more closely at the intersection of trauma and anxiety, and discover strategies to heal in the chapter inThe Anxiety Cure which I have called, Trauma Triumph.

 

Symptoms

Anxiety can quickly spiral out of control and contribute to a range of mental health challenges.  The primary source used to classify mental illnesses is provided by the American Psychiatric Association and their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders known as the DSM.

Professionals referring to the DSM look for factors like excessive, hindering worry paired with a variety of physical symptoms, then use assessments to make a diagnosis and rule out other possibilities.

The DSM-5, for example, outlines specific criteria, or symptoms, to help professionals diagnose Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and, in turn, create a more effective plan of care. While some professionals may prescribe medication, as you’ll discover in this book, this is not the only, nor always, effective way to treat anxiety.

When assessing for GAD, clinical professionals are looking for the following:

1. The presence of excessive anxiety and worry about a variety of topics, events, or activities. Worry occurs more often than not for at least 6 months and is clearly excessive.

2. The worry is experienced as very challenging to control. The worry in both adults and children may easily shift from one topic to another.

3. The anxiety and worry are accompanied with at least three of the following physical or cognitive symptoms (In children, only one symptom is necessary for a diagnosis of GAD):

• Edginess or restlessness

• Tiring easily; more fatigued than usual

• Impaired concentration or feeling as though the mind goes blank

• Irritability (which may or may not be observable to others)

• Increased muscle aches or soreness

• Difficulty sleeping (due to trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, restlessness at night, or unsatisfying sleep)

Many people suffering from GAD also experience the following symptoms:

• Sweating

• Nausea

• Diarrhea

However, diagnosis can be an imperfect science, and other medical conditions, lifestyle choices (including excessive alcohol consumption, cannabis, and drug use, and undiagnosed traumas) can also lead to similar symptoms.

 

Your Anxiety Cure

If you are struggling with excessive worry, which makes it hard to carry out day-to-day activities and responsibilities or increasingly leads you to feel depressed, some of the solutions that follow may be just the rescue remedy you need.

But like any medicine, you do have to take action.

For example, part of my self-care plan includes many of the things we’ll discuss in The Anxiety Cure, including regular:

• Massage

• Talk-therapy or counseling

• Time alone

• Prayer

• Meditation

• Low consumption of alcohol

• Defragging from social media regularly

• Journaling

 

One of my other favorite strategies is inspired directly by Coco Chanel—dressing joyfully. Here’s an excerpt from my books, The Art of Success: Coco Chanel and Coco Chanel: Life Coach.

 

Coco was a trailblazer in women’s fashion. When she arrived in trousers in Venice people were shocked, but shock quickly turned to awe. Women wanted what she had—and Coco was only too happy to sell it to them.

Her joyous color was black. She loved its simplicity and understated elegance. Perhaps it reminded her of the habits the nuns, who so tenderly cared for her, wore.

Whatever the catalyst was, Coco had the vision to turn black, the color of mourning, into the symbol of independence, freedom, and strength. She also created the now iconic little black dress!

Your joyous color may be yellow, blue, or gold. Or it may be multi-patterned and have all the colors of the rainbow. Floating dresses in the finest silk may instill you with confidence, or perhaps you prefer something more tailored.

Whatever you color, whatever you wear be sure that it makes you feel joyful.

Your Challenge

Act as if. Take a job or lifestyle idea you are considering, or have always wondered what it would be like, and act as if you are living that role. Dress the part.

Have your colors professionally confirmed by a trained image consultant—when you dress in the colors that suit your skin tone you’ll look younger and feel fabulous.

Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.

~ Coco Chanel

 

To grab your copy of the Art of Success: Coco Chanel 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you enjoy this post?

You might like:

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

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

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

Here are three more things you might like:


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


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


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

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


For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

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

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

Did You Have a Traumatic Childhood? New Release: The Boy Who Cried

Thursday, July 18th, 2019

 

Tears tell truths. Heal your heart.

There are so many reasons why you should look for the gift buried within your pain. If you need some help, look no further than this book.

Part moral allegory and part spiritual biography, The Boy Who Cried is a timeless charm which tells the story of a young boy who turns his traumatic life into golden treasure.

Be inspired by this journey to vulnerability, courage, transformation, radical acceptance, and self-love as he learns to overcome the vagaries of adult behavior. His personal odyssey culminates in a voyage of self-belief, passion, and purpose.

Following on from the success of The Little Princess and I Have to Grow, The Boy Who Cried is a powerful, inspiring, and practical book about boosting resilience, overcoming obstacles and moving forward after life’s inevitable setbacks.

Slay feeling angry, depressed, and traumatized.  Discover what strategies are sabotaging your happiness and success. Heal your heart—find and follow your passion and purpose faster.

Bonus: Free Excerpts from the first book in the series, The Little Princess and my bestselling book How to Find Your Passion and Purpose. Overcome common obstacles to happiness and success easily (including the power of passion, caring deeply, fear of regret—and others)

Advance Praise

“Sadly beautiful and a real reflection of our current society, which if we are really honest has lost direction, particularly with regards family values. Training in family values is an absolute pre-requisite before change will occur. I took pleasure in finding out the Boy who Cried not only survived but was blessed following the day the tears stopped and he found contentment, grace, and peace. My prayer is we can only attempt to save many more such boys.”

~ Kenn Butler, CEO

 

 

 

FOR YOUR IMMEDIATE BENEFIT and ENJOYMENT NOW!

 

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

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/bPR1Dj

Audio, print, and hardcopy coming soon…

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

Sunday, June 30th, 2019

 

“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

 

Dear friends, I am currently re-editing one of the books in my popular MidLife Career Rescue series, What Makes You Happy.  It doesn’t matter how often I cast my eye over the text looking for pesky typos, sometimes, like mosquitos in summer, a few manage to slip through the net. But, happily, I am enjoying reacquainting myself with this book—and in the process, I’m reminding myself of what makes me happy too.

Here’s an updated look at one of my favorite chapters, including the true career change story of one of my favorite authors, Annie Featherston. Annie is a former New Zealand school teacher who left a job she no longer loved and upgraded her life as the bestselling historical author Sophia James.

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 the things they are truly passionate about.

I hope you enjoy this excerpt

JOB DISSATISFACTION

Fully alive

Being passionate is a vital part of being human. Passion is love—hard to define, but easy to see and feel when it is alive. Passion is about emotion, feeling, zest and enthusiasm. Intensity, fervor, ardor, and zeal. Passion is about fire, eagerness, and preoccupation.

Passion is about excitement and animation. Passion is about determination and self-belief. Passion is about being willing to change. Passion is about following your heart’s desire. Passion is about doing something you love.

It’s not an intellectual thought. It’s a feeling. Feelings matter, and feelings are where the real power is. But Western society tends to predominately value thoughts, reason, logic and clear thinking more highly than feelings, intuition, spirit, and soul.

Perhaps because of this, people have become desensitized to the clues and callings of their own passions.

Some of the strategies I’ll share with you in this book may be criticized as ‘fluff’ or ‘snake oil.’ People often fear that which they don’t understand. I was attacked in this vein when I once offered a doctor some lavender oil to help reduce her mental strain. But understand this, the heart has its own reasons, its own desires, its own magical way of making itself heard.

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 at all, 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.

If you are serious about being happy, if it’s your desire to be the best that you can be, then the integration of your mind, body, and spirit is essential. Make a commitment to working and living with passion—I’ll show you where to look!

Passion’s Pay Cheque

Pursuing your passion can be profitable on many levels:

When you do what you love, your true talent will reveal itself; passion can’t be faked

You will be more enthusiastic about your pursuits

You will have more energy to overcome obstacles

You will be more determined to make things happen

You will enjoy your work

Your work will become a vehicle for self-expression

Passion will give you a competitive edge

New Zealand motorcycling legend Burt Munro proved that passion 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 bought 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.

Obsessions Boost Health

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

1) Life niche—creating a breath of fresh air and giving you a competitive edge

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

3) Your point of excellence—unleashing dormant talents and natural gifts

4) Your life purpose—spreading seeds of joy and inspiration and benefiting others.

Authentic Happiness: Love Is Where The Magic Is

Love is where the magic is. When you love what you do with such a passion you’d do it for free, this is your path with heart. You’ve heard the saying, ‘when you do what you love, you’ll never work again.’ It’s true. Work doesn’t feel like a slog, it feels energizing.

From Teacher to Romance Writer

As Annie Featherston, writing as Sophia James, shares below, when you combine your favorite skills with doing something you completely and utterly love, you come home to your true Self and find your place of bliss. The result? Contentment—and more often than not, producing something highly marketable.

“I’d taught for fifteen years and loved it. And then I didn’t.

It wasn’t the students or the workload. It wasn’t the noise or the constant worry of, ‘was I doing enough’ that pushed me out either.

I was a good teacher but underneath was a passion that I couldn’t ignore any longer. I wanted to be writer, a historical romance writer, and I was beginning to get offered some wonderful opportunities that did not meld with the structured teaching year and the constant pressure of it.

I felt like a juggler with a hundred balls in the air. I was teaching half time, taking tours to Europe with my husband to help him, running mentorship programs…. and writing.

Writing was my complete and utter love and yet it was always taking a secondary place. I wrote at night. I wrote in the weekends. I wrote when the kids were asleep. When I wrote I didn’t think of the time or the problems, all I saw was the joy and passion of it. I loved forming characters and thinking of stories. I lay in bed at night asking my protagonists questions and spent many hours trawling over history books to place them into a context.

I have a degree in history so it was as if all the things I had enjoyed were coming together at last. History and writing. I knew that at 54 I couldn’t be patient any longer.

I needed to be in a field that I felt fully aware in, that I loved beyond the weekly paycheck and that filled my spirit with lightness.

I’d just won a New Zealand based competition for a completed romance and it was validation, I suppose. If I didn’t make the jump and do it now perhaps I never would. And if I never gave myself a chance I would feel bereft.

I penned my resignation letter and left to Australia to be a mentor on a five-day intensive scheme the Romance Writers of Australia were running. It was scary and hard but when I finished it successfully I remember standing alone in front of the mirror, a cold sore from exhaustion and worry on my lip, but my clenched fist punching the air in triumph.

To feel like that is to know you live.

When I got picked up by Harlequin Historical and published it felt like all the dreams I had hoped for so long were finally happening. I had visualized this. I had walked the lonely windy beaches of Gisborne and shouted my hopes for it into the wind. I had sat in the mall with three crying children in the car and written scenarios on the back of the supermarket docket because the story just wouldn’t wait until I got home.

If I had not been paid one cent for my writing I would still have done it somehow. But the strange thing is that money does follow passion and suddenly I was making as much as I ever did in part-time teaching.

Writing is hard work. A book does not come fully formed from thin air or dreams for me. But I’ve persevered and sat and written. I’ve made deadlines. I’ve written blogs. I have delved into social media and stood there with a smile on my face when the reviews have not been what I wanted.

But I have always believed in myself and my stories. I’ve kept going. I have never given up.

And I have loved my writing life, my freedom, the creativity, the possibilities.

If I had my time over I would have left my teaching career earlier. I would have been braver and less worried by all the sensible advice others were giving me. I should have listened to my heart and taken the jump into a lifestyle that is my perfect fit and even if I had never succeeded I would have known that at least I tried.”

I love Annie’s story of reinvention. So-called sensible advice is no replacement for the wisdom of your heart, your soul, your intuitive knowing about what choices are right for you.

“When you show a bit of courage, The Universe rewards you. ~ Laurie Wills, Change-maker

Action Task! Find Your Passion

Real passion 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 are most passionate about:

1) When does time seem to fly? When was the last time you felt really excited, or deeply absorbed in, or obsessed by, something? What were you doing? Who were you with? What clues did you notice?

2) What do you care deeply or strongly about? Discovering all the things that you believe in is not always easy. Look for the clues to your deep beliefs by catching the times you use words such as ‘should’ or ‘must.’

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

4) What pushes your buttons or makes you angry? How could you use your anger constructively to bring about change?

5) Which skills and talents come most easily or naturally to you? Which ones give you a buzz or a huge sense of personal satisfaction?

6) What inspires you? Passion goes in all directions. It could be as tangible as a job or a person, or as intangible as a dream or an idea. List all your obsessions and the things that interest you deeply. If you’re struggling to identify your interests and inspirations, you’ll find some handy prompts in the next chapter

7) Keep a passion journal. It’s staggeringly, and dishearteningly, true that many people don’t know what they are passionate about, or how they can turn it into a rewarding career. Some research suggests that only 10% of people are living and working with passion. Hence my passion for passion – to bring about positive change in the world. Creating a passion journal is one simple but powerful technique to help achieve this.

This is where manifesting your preferred future really happens. I’ve been keeping a passion journal for years and so many things I’ve visualized and affirmed on the pages, are now my living realities.

Client Success Story: From Manager to Visual Merchandiser

Jane wanted to change her profession from a background in retail sales and management to something more creative and hands-on. She was struggling to identify how her passion for fabric could be combined into a new career.

I encouraged her to gather clues to her preferred future, by collecting examples of others who enjoyed successful careers working with fabrics. She began a passion journal, which she covered with her favorite fabric, and regularly updated her journal with aspirational images, inspirational quotes, confirmation of her strengths and clues to her passion.

After focusing on all the facets of her passion, including her natural gifts and talents, the laws of manifestation, focus and intention kicked into gear, and she successfully transitioned into her dream job.

“I have just been offered the position of visual merchandiser for a furnishings chain. This job is going to enable me to use all those key skills that I have and a huge bonus is that I also get to work with fabrics, which is just perfect. I know I came across with confidence and the right attitude thanks to you reminding me that I need to ‘blow my own trumpet’ and allow my passion to shine.”

Jane’s story is a powerful reminder of how you can manifest your preferred future by making passion your priority, allowing no doubt and visualizing your dreams into reality.

What Were Your Childhood dreams?

“Persevere with your mid-life, bring into consciousness your childhood dreams for they will become your living realities.”

~Max Gimblett, Artist, and Zen Buddhist Monk

At the age of eight, Donna Hay skipped into a kitchen, picked up a mixing bowl and never looked back. She later moved into the world of magazine test kitchens and publishing, where she established her signature style of simple, smart and seasonal recipes—all beautifully photographed.

Her unique style turned her into one of the first celebrity chefs—an international food-publishing phenomenon and best-selling author. Like many passionate business people, Donna has many outlets all unified by her abiding passion for food. Along with publishing cookbooks and producing her own magazine, she’s created a line of homewares, a food range, and at the time of print, now has her own general store.

Many experts say that your passion reveals itself early on in your life. If you’re lucky, someone close to you will have noticed your natural inclination and encouraged you towards your true vocation.

Chances are, you weren’t that lucky. Many baby-boomers weren’t encouraged to follow their childhood bliss. Pay it no mind. It’s not too late to follow it now.

Action Questions: What did you love as a child?

What were your childhood dreams? What did you love to do as a child? What steps can you take to make these your living reality? Perhaps a hobby could be a stepping-stone toward a new career.

As you contemplate making changes in your life, how can you maintain a spirit of curiosity, and allow yourself to be childlike?

Never Grow Up

“…stay in part a child, with the creativity and invention that characterizes children before they are deformed by adult society.”

~ Jean Piaget, Educational Psychologist

“When will you grow up?” asks Jenny Regels’ husband, affectionately. While visiting Russell in the astoundingly beautiful Bay Of Islands in New Zealand, I had the great fortune of wandering into Jenny’s crystal and spiritual haven—aptly named ‘Peace and Plenty.’

We immediately connected and I had a great time ‘playing’ with one of the many pendulums she has for sale. I gained confirmation from Spirit that the choices I was considering were right.

When Jenny, then a youthful 69-year-old, shared with me the great joy she feels every day being childlike I asked her if she’d share a few words of wisdom with those of us, who at times, take life too seriously.

“It’s really, really important not to grow up, and to keep a young mind and be interested in everything going on around you. And keep your inner child active the whole time. Really active. And keep a positive outlook on life. Don’t be the glass half empty person. Be the one-half full. Always.”

I left feeling uplifted, reaffirmed in the knowledge that I want what Jenny’s got—ageless grace, peace and plenty.

Surf The Net

Take a peek inside Jenny’s crystal haven and listen to this delightful, ageless lady here https://vimeo.com/147984220

Tune Into Your Body Barometer

As Neale Walsch, the author of Conversations With God, says, “Judge not about which you feel passionate. Simply notice it, then see if it serves you, given who and what you wish to be.”

Notice the times you feel a sense of excitement, a state of arousal, a feeling of limitless energy, a burning desire, a strong gut feeling, a feeling of contentment, strong emotions or determination. Notice these feelings and record them in your passion journal.

During my time in the United States, I was very lucky to have been able to stay in New York and to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I was even luckier because while I was there I unexpectedly rediscovered a passion I had forgotten.

I share the following excerpt from my passion journal at that time (which incidentally was bright red!), in the hope that it illustrates some of the strategies I am encouraging you to try.

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

And so it was that my ‘body barometer’ reminded me of the deep joy and love I feel when I paint with oil. I had traded my passion for the convenience of acrylic, but I found it joyless and plastic.

I thought it was a great confirmation of the power of passion when an art gallery owner, who bought some of my paintings not long after I returned from New York, said to me, “You have a rare ability to capture an emotion.”

I later won the Supreme Art Award for an oil painting I did of my grandmother. It was the first portrait I had ever painted. I’m not a formally trained artist, more of a dabbler. So yes, magic can happen when you follow your passion.

“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, Singer, and Comedienne

 

This is an edited extract from Midlife Career Rescue: (What Makes You Happy):  How to Confidently Leave a Job You Hate, and Start Living a Life you Love, Before It’s Too Late​

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

To grab your paperback copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores go directly to your favorite retailer.

 

How to Find and Follow Your Passion and Purpose

Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

 

If you want to create more bounce in your life finding and following your purpose is another good place to invest time and energy.

However, this is an area where many people struggle. The US Center for Disease Control recently reported that 40% of Americans have not discovered a satisfying life purpose, and lack any idea of what makes their lives purposeful and meaningful.

It is well known that having purpose and meaning in your life increases not only life satisfaction but also promotes mental and physical health.

Many successful authors, for example, testify to the power of writing with purpose and sharing their stories and purpose-driven words.

So, where and how do you find your life purpose? “The wound is where the light comes in”, said the Persian poet and mystic Rumi. Many people have found their life purpose following their recovery from trauma or adversity of some kind.

“It is in giving that I connect with others, with the world and with the divine”, says author Isabel Allende. Following the death of her daughter, who fell into a coma in 1991 and never recovered, she poured her grief onto the page and wrote a memoir as a tribute to Paula’s life. She still receives letters from people who tell her how much her book, Paula, helped them through their own grief.

Self-help icon Louise Hay’s personal philosophy was forged from her tormented upbringing. Her childhood was unstable and impoverished, and her teen years were marked by abuse. Louise started what would become her life’s work in New York City in 1970.

Hay attended meetings at the Church of Religious Science and began training in the ministerial program. She became a popular speaker at the church and soon found herself counseling clients. This work quickly blossomed into a full-time career. After several years, Louise compiled a reference guide detailing the mental causes of physical ailments and developed positive thought patterns for reversing illness and creating health. This compilation was the basis for  Heal Your Body is also known affectionately as “The Little Blue Book.”

I forged a successful career helping people find their passion and purpose following negative work experiences that robbed my self-esteem and threatened my health and vitality. My purpose? To encourage and inspire others and help people live and work with beauty and joy.

Your life purpose may not evolve from the transcendence of your own wounds, but it’s incredibly fulfilling when your life purpose empowers others. That’s bounce!

If you need more help to find and live your life purpose you can read my book, Find Your Passion and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover a Job You Want and Live the Life You Love, 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—https://the-coaching-lab.teachable.com/p/follow-your-passion-and-purpose-to-prosperity.

 

Learn how to create a passion journal! Here’s one of many examples you’ll discover in How To Follow Your Passion to Prosperity—click here to enroll now and receive free bonuses! https://the-coaching-lab.teachable.com/p/follow-your-passion-and-purpose-to-prosperity.

 

This is an edited extract from Bounce: Overcoming Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Cassandra Gaisford. Available in print and paperback from all good online bookstores

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?

You might like:

New Release! The Little Princess

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 >>

New release! The Little Princess

Friday, May 17th, 2019

 

It’s Pink Shirt Day here in NZ. A day we all come together to stand unanimously against the tyranny of bullying.

Standing up for yourself and saying ‘no’ to bullies Are important in common themes and all myself empowerment books. It’s a key theme that weaves through my story “The Little Princess.”

It may surprise you to know that I’ve been bullied more times than I remember. I’ve had people threaten me in the schoolyard.  I’ve had bosses threaten to smash my head in, while I was at work. I’ve had older people throw verbal abuse at me when I just wanted to share my dreams and help people.

I’ve counseled children as young as four who were being bullied. I’ve helped myself and my clients win the war against bullies.

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

Someone gave me the ultimate compliment the other day—they told me I was prolific. That might not mean anything to you, but as someone who was the ultimate procrastinator, it means a lot. I’ve mostly been prolific in writing my self-empowerment books (as Cassandra Gaisford). But now I’m also dedicating myself to achieving the same quality and productivity in my love stories and romance novels. And I’m having fun writing short stories.

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.

 

I’m so thrilled with this early review by a reader in the UK.

“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.

The story itself is very short, but there is then a lovey poem to ponder.

Then excerpts from the best bits of Cassandra’s book “Finding your purpose and passion”.. .so you get two little books in one really. Very uplifting and inspiring. “

 

thankQ for the PDF copy of your little princes book this morning. In a word, ‘brilliant’, short concise & full of tremendous vision & wisdom, expressed lovingly. I have enjoy the read this evening on my couch relaxin

Kenn’s feedback was especially lovely to receive:) Now in his 60’s we first met many years ago, after (in his words), he “had been unceremoniously dumped by my employer of some 32 years @ 49 years & 10 months & still reeling from the grief & resentments to a degree.”

“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,” he wrote to me.

One of the things I love most about being an author is hearing from my readers and knowing how my words touched their hearts.

Kenn also shared the following observations:

 # 10 “the little princess suddenly felt grateful for what the nurse was teaching her” &

“the little princess knew she would never be able to find & honour her soul purpose if she kept trying to please others”

# 11 & then: Thank you the little princess said to the older women silently. Thank you for the gift you have given me”

Then, Fear of Disappointment ~  “you cannot possibly net the prize if you are thinking about all the ways you can miss”

& I just loved the comments:

‘Some people die with their music still inside. They opt to cling to the hope of their aspirations rather than the reality of a possible disappointment & the risk of a shattered dream.

What is worse ~ the disappointment of a few setbacks, or the disappointment of a life spent unfulfilled & filled with regret?

& especially:    ALL LIFE ARISES out of choice. What choices are you making now?

 

I remember when we meet some years back now Cassandra, & now, 15 years later 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.

I agree being passionate is an ongoing commitment which takes time & effort some days, however, I guarantee it is certainly worth the effort.

I still receive your regular emails, inspired by many. Thank you for being part of my journey.”

 

Kenn’s comments and other feedback from my readers makes my heart skip with joy.

Oh, Yeah, bring it on!” writes a reader in the UK in her Amazon review

 

“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.

The story itself is very short, but there is then a lovey poem to ponder. Then excerpts from the best bits of Cassandra’s book “Finding your purpose and passion”… so you get two little books in one really.

Very uplifting and inspiring.

I would just like to add that Cassandra’s books on beating the booze are absolutely brilliant, exceptional… There’s just something about the way she writes that hits home for me. 18 months on and still leading a healthy and happy life. I will never go back to my mind/heart/body numbing way of life ever again. Thank you 🙂

~ Amazon Review U

 

Here’s a wee excerpt from The Little Princess with my author’s note

The Little Princess was inspired by a true story. You may have already guessed that—especially if you have purchased and read my Amazon #1 bestselling book, How to Find Your Passion and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love.

I learned so much from my experience in the wake of the other woman’s attack.

I learned to stay true to myself, and realized that there were always going to be people who didn’t like what I did or who I was.

It would have been easy to be stopped in my tracks.

It would have been easy to stay small. It would have been easy to have done nothing at all.

But then what sort of life would I have had?

Writing How to Find Your Passion and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love opened so many doors and windows and galaxies for me.

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

Importantly, my experience that night, made me realize that finding our passion and purpose is not simply about being inspired, but also knowing how to conquer obstacles—sometimes we don’t obliterate them, we just don’t let them get in our way.

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

 

Special bonus:

Read to the end for a short poem called The Loving Tree and wee excerpt from How to Find Your Passion and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love. I’ve included some of my favorite chapters. Please note these aren’t in the order that they appear in the book.

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

Grab Your Copy of The Little Princess. Available Now! 

To purchase on Amazon>> 

getbook.at/TheLittlePrincess

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

https://books2read.com/u/b5709p

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

I HAVE TO GROW

Sing Your Song! Heed the Call for Courage

Feeling discouraged, bullied, sabotaged or held back? If you need some support, look no further than this book.

 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.

Reader Reviews

Courageous, compassionate and inspiring…

Courage is more than just standing up for yourself or doing hard things—it’s doing so with compassion. Little Hannah is courageous, compassionate, talented and inspiring!”

~ Sheree Clarke, Midlife Courage Coach

 

Available Now! 

To purchase the eBook exclusively Amazon>> 

getbook.at/IHavetoGrow

 

Other Resources Mentioned in this Post

 

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

Available in print and eBook from all good bookstores, including:

Amazon: getbook.at/MindYourDrink

Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Nook and iBooks: https://www.books2read.com/u/bQBLj0

Or direct from the author  http://www.cassandragaisford.com/product/mind-your-drink-the-surprising-joy-of-sobriety

 

 

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

Amazon Best-Seller. Focus your energy and time to achieve outstanding personal and professional results.

Available in print and eBook from all good bookstores, including:

Amazon: getBook.at/Passion

 

 

 

 

Did you enjoy this post?

You might like:

New release I Have to Grow

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

Life transformed by faith in the stars

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

From Chained to the Office, to Freedom in the Country—How to Manifest Your Dream Career or Business

Your Beautiful Mind: Control Alcohol, Discover Freedom, Find Happiness and Change Your Life: Justin Raj’s Journey to Joyful Sobriety

 

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.

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

Why ‘No’ is the New ‘Yes’: The All-encompassing Secrets to a Longer, Happier, Healthier life

Friday, March 29th, 2019

Like me, do you struggle with saying, ‘No’? Does people-pleasing, guilt or some other control strategy prevent you from doing and saying what’s truly best for you?

It’s amazing how such a tiny but liberating word can sometimes be so difficult to voice.

Everything in our world is made up of positive and negative charges, which together make a whole. You have been guided to choose this book by your soul because you are ready to question long held-beliefs and make choices in alignment with your sacred path.

By consciously affirming the Holy Trinity of yes’ you will move to the next level of conscious awareness.

No is a word of strength, and yes is the road to peace, purpose, and prosperity.

Yes, yes, yes. Set your intention on this day and forever more.

My new release, No! Why ‘No’ is the New ‘Yes’  will empower you with the life-enhancing ability to step into your authentic power.

Yes!Yes!Yes!

No! Why ‘No’ is the New ‘Yes’  is short on words but big on ideas and huge on transformational change.

This year I set an intention to say ‘no’ to procrastination and perfectionism and yes to releasing one new book every month. And so far, I’m on track. And guess what—achieving intentions feels great! Yes, yes, yes—it feels awesome!!!

At the time of writing this post we’re three months through 2019—what New Year intentions did you set? How are you tracking? Perhaps you’re like me, or Catherine who also needed to say ‘no’ to perfectionism and procrastination. Or Tim Ferris who needed to master the art of saying ‘no’ to FOMO and other things that distracted him from his goals.

“I’ve been burned enough times by FOMO-based and ego-based decision-making to know that I’ll always regret choosing to do something for the wrong reason,” Tim once said.

I share more of his tips in this book.

Or perhaps you can identify with Ces who lost his beloved wife Rolin to invasive cancer…and every day says ‘no’ to giving up the will to live without her…

…and who said “Yes, yes, yes I’d buy that book” because he still needs to get better at saying no. (Especially to the insensitive person who, as Ces’s wife lay dying, told Ces he needed to stop using his wife’s illness as an excuse.) Perhaps what Ces needed to say, “You know what? No, I can’t do your job. It’s a no because you care only about yourself—not me, or what I might be going through.”

Discover how this one little word will change your life.

Available in eBook and Print from Amazon here—getbook.at/NoTheNewYesBook

You can also use this link to download or scroll through sample chapters to see if this book is for you.

What others are saying

“No! Why ‘No’ is the New ‘Yes’: How to Reclaim Your Life, Shine in the Sun, and Be Authentically You is a beautiful collection of important parts of ourselves, our lives, how we live in this world and how we live with ourselves and with each other. 

Each page is dedicated to one thing we often say no to that keeps us stuck or hurt or procrastinating and turns the No into a vibrant Yes. 

Cassandra has again proven herself as the Warrior Woman of Positive Living, Loving, and Being. She reminds us to live in our truth with love compassion and boundless energy for the joy of life.”

~ Catherine Sloan, counselor

 

 

 

Reclaim Your Life, Shine in the Sun and be Authentically You

Available in eBook and Print from Amazon here—getbook.at/NoTheNewYesBook

Mind Your Drink—How to become sexier, slimmer, and healthier

Tuesday, February 26th, 2019

 

Me enjoying sobriety at Tisa’s barefoot bar in American Samoa in Feb 2019. Heavenly—and the coconut infused mocktail was divine!

 

Many people mistakenly believe drinking alcohol will increase their happiness. But alcohol is a depressant and in large quantities is draining on your body and mind.

Alcohol has been found in many studies to significantly reduce serotonin 45 minutes after drinking. The sleep rhythms of people who have drunk alcohol the day before are significantly different from control groups who didn’t drink alcohol but very similar to patients with depression.

Numerous studies suggest that low serotonin is the mechanism behind both depression and anxiety after alcohol consumption.

Experience may have already taught you that too much booze increases anxiety, muddles the mind, ignites aggression, reduces responsiveness, and ultimately depresses.

It’s also hard to quit—alcohol is one of the most addictive legal drugs on the planet.

It’s also a well-documented neurotoxin—a toxic substance that inhibits, damages, and destroys the tissues of your nervous system.

To improve their mental health many people limit their drinking or consciously decide not to touch a drop. Keeping their resolve often takes extraordinary willpower.

Author and public speaker Deepak Chopra gave up drinking. “I liked it too much,” he once said. Steven King, after almost losing his family and destroying his writing career, managed to quit.

Other people like Amy Winehouse devastatingly never made it. At only 27, she died of alcohol poisoning in 2011.

The risk of suicide also increases for stressed people who turn to drink. As I’ve already discussed, alcohol abuse and excessive drinking is a major cause of anxiety and depression, impairs mental reasoning and critical thinking—increasing the likelihood of making tragic and often impulsive choices.

There is also clear evidence between alcohol consumption and violence and other types of aggressive behavior. Aggressive behavior is also heavily linked to low serotonin levels. Some experts suggest that aggressive behavior after a period of alcohol may be due to alcohol’s disrupting effects on serotonin metabolism—as little as two standard drinks can ignite anger.

To better understand why people often become aggressive and violent after drinking alcohol, researchers in Australia used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to measure blood flow in the brain. They noted that after only two drinks, there were changes in the working of the brain’s prefrontal cortex, the part normally involved in tempering a person’s aggressive levels.

Risking ruining your relationships, ruining your career, sacrificing your sanity, and in the extreme, taking your life, is a massive price to pay for a mistaken belief that to be happy, or to numb your anxiety or cope with stress you need to drink more booze.

Boost your resilience beautifully by exploring your relationship to drink and approaching it more mindfully. Consider, a period of sobriety. Instead of focusing on what you may be giving up, turn your mind to what you may gain—a better, more energized version of yourself.

The many benefits of reducing your alcohol intake, or not drinking at all, include:

• A stronger ability to focus on your goals and dreams

• Improved confidence and self-esteem

• Increased productivity

• Increased memory, mental performance, and decision-making

• Better control of your emotions

• Sweeter relationships

• Greater intuition and spiritual intelligence

• Authentic happiness

Your body never lies, but many people soldier on, ignoring the obvious warning signs that it’s time to scale back their drinking or lose the booze.

• Headaches

• Anxiety

• Depression

• Insomnia

• Aggression

• Blackouts

• Low energy and fatigue

• High blood pressure

…are just a few of many signs that it may be time to control alcohol before it controls you.

It’s easy to rationalize these feelings away, but the reality is that your mind, body,  and soul are screaming out for liberation.

Have the courage to say ‘yes’ to pursuing a more energizing alternative.

Your body is a great source of wisdom and counsel—one that is increasingly respected by psychologists and medical professionals. Somatic Psychology, a branch of traditional psychotherapy, addresses what for so long was missing in the field of talk therapy.

Soma is a Greek word meaning “the living body” and is grounded in the belief that not only are thought, emotion and bodily experience inextricably linked (creating a bodymind), but also that change can be brought about in one domain of experience by mindfully accessing another.

You may consider asking your body next time you feel tempted to drink or feel the first flush of alcohol hit your system, “what does this beer (or whatever you are drinking) want me to know?” This may seem weird, but stick with me!

When I tried this recently, my body told me, “This alcohol makes me feel sick. I don’t want it. Don’t drink any more of it.”

My mind, however, was telling me a different and conflicting story as it rattled through a range of old stories and false beliefs.

In this case, as in others, I trusted my body barometer.

Very often people don’t listen to their body barometers until it’s too late and health havoc can set in. Leonardo da Vinci once said that people were more motivated to act by fear than they were by love. I’ll let you decide, but whether the joy of health nirvana or the fear of health havoc rules supreme, as long as you heed the call for change you’ll always win.

Health Nirvana

Controlling alcohol consumption or quitting for good has numerous positive benefits. Everything is interconnected but let’s try to categorize a few of the health benefits you can expect with sobriety:

Physical Health

• Improved liver function and health

• Better sleep

• Better eating habits

• Younger, healthier looking skin, hair, and nails

• Improved vision and clearer eyes

• Weight loss or healthy weight gain

• Increased energy and vitality

• Strengthened immune system, warding off illness and disease

• Lower blood pressure

• Optimal digestive function

 

Mental Health

• Increased mental clarity

• Newfound motivation and determination

• Natural resilience

• Boost self-esteem and confidence

• Greater resilience to stress

• Improved memory

• Clarity

• Heightened intuition

• Heightened brain function

• Improved productivity

• Heightened sensory skills—everything looks, feels, tastes, sounds clearer and brighter

• Heightened willpower

• More truthfulness and honesty

• Long and short-term memory improves

• Aversion to negative thinking

• Improvement of coexisting conditions (anxiety, depression, bipolar, etc.)

• A desire to help others

 

Emotional Health

• Persistent and lasting feelings of joy

• Authentic happiness

• Improved relationships

• The increased joy of looking and feeling healthier and better about yourself

• Increased ability to create lasting, loving relationships

• Improved interactions with people

• Feeling younger

• Feeling empowered, in control and free

• More laughter and spontaneous joy

• An improved general sense of contentment and wellbeing

• Greater self-awareness

• Higher emotional intelligence and ability to self-regulate

• Improved sleep-related benefits

• Increased interest and engagement in new activities, hobbies or learning

• Feelings of freedom, hope, self-worth, and self-empowerment

 

If alcohol is a known cause for more than 60 different adverse health conditions, I’m betting sobriety is a known cause of more than 60 different positive health conditions—maybe even triple that. But finding data to back me up is hard to find. It seems more money is poured into measuring harm than keeping statistics related to health.

Keep your own stats and set yourself up to succeed. To support and maintain your sobriety, really absorb all the benefits.  Enjoy the anticipated positive results of sobriety at the start of your day, in the evening, or whenever you have a spare moment.

When you are sober, be sure to be mindful and really enjoy the results of your efforts. For example, as I write this chapter,  notice I’m feeling energized, clear-headed, purposeful, and excited. I have the youthful expectant energy of a child. I feel a sense of self-worth with all that I have achieved today. I think I may take a wee break now, reward myself and go out and play!

I also draw my attention to how much I appreciate and value my improved relationship with my partner and my mother, and I love, love, love that I’m a positive influence on my 26-year-old daughter who has chosen to go alcohol-free and is not only loving it but is positively influencing all her friends. Her anxiety has disappeared and she is glowing.

I have way more self-belief and am both less critical of others and myself, and no longer hypersensitive to others barbs and attacks when I don’t drink.

Did drinking less alcohol do all that? Not entirely. As I said earlier, controlling alcohol requires a systemic approach and making lifestyle changes both in health behaviors and other factors which I discuss throughout my sobriety books, Mind Your Drink and Your Beautiful Mind.

Putting the spotlight on the harm alcohol caused me, my family, my loved ones, within my community and the world at large also drives me. Negatives can be positives when seen in the right light and used constructively.

I no longer feel like the booze hag who once wrote this:

“Pretty much four months after I decided to say no to booze, but the little bugger has slipped into my psyche again. Last night and the night before I had two vodkas and orange—freshly squeezed. 4pm-ish. I watched myself, observed myself. The knowledge that I was tired, weary, that I needed to meditate.

But I wanted that quick fix.

That nice little forgetting of alcohol. But who’s paying now? 12:15 A.M. and I’m wide awake. I haven’t woken like this in months. I don’t feel flash either. Yesterday I was excited about my book Flight of Passion—now I feel like it’s crap. It’s the depressing booze, my head aches, my throat and chest burns.”

 

Instead, in my journal ‘sober me’ wrote:

Hello Sunday Morning! I’m so grateful for John’s drunkenness last night. It’s strengthened my resolve. I want nothing to with the poison of drink—unless it’s with a refined meal or a celebration. I’ve woken up clear-headed, clear-hearted, my energy bright, looking forward to the day.

“When you are full of food and drink an ugly statue sits where your spirit should be.” ~ Rumi

Even if people think it’s no big deal to drink a glass of wine at dinner it’s important to know your body’s reaction to alcohol and not just go along with the crowd.

I’d forgotten my assignment on spiritual approaches to the treatment of alcohol addiction. I must revisit it.

A blackbird rustles amongst Autumn leaves. John is at his desk. The door is shut. I walk past the front window. “Would you like an orange juice?”

No, he wouldn’t.

His eyes are dead, remorseful—as though regretting his foolishness. His skin is gray, pallid, like that of a dying man.

Rumi is right….an ugly statue sits where his spirit should be.

Even the Romans once ate and drank from a lead cup. Poison in poison.

 

You’ll find plenty of yummy, sexy, and sober recipes in Mind Over Mojitos: How Moderating Your Drinking Can Change Your Life—Easy Alcohol-Free Recipes for Happier Hours & a Joy Filled Life

 

Health Havoc

When you pollute your body with alcohol, a known carcinogen, and neurotoxin, it’s going to play havoc with your health. Big time. Perhaps not today, not tomorrow, but it will happen, and when it does, I doubt you’ll be happy about it.

You may even swear and curse your stupidity, as my step-father did when he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, “You bloody stupid fool,” he said, sadly and stoically accepting his fate when told he had a month to live. Having enjoyed smoking for many years, I know he would have done anything to undo the wrongs of the past.

Alcohol, as I have said, is a known cause for more than 60 different adverse health conditions, listed below are just a few:

 

Physical Health

• Carcinogenic—causes cancer in living tissue. Strong links between cancers of the liver, breast, bowel, upper throat, mouth, esophagus and larynx

• Negatively affects brain development in young people

• Depresses your entire nervous system

• Compromises your immune system, making you less resistant to illness and disease

• Interferes with the body’s ability to absorb calcium, resulting in bones that are weaker, softer, and more brittle

• Kills cells and disrupts cellular metabolic processes

• Distorts your eyesight, making it difficult to adjust to the differing light and compromising clarity

• Diminishes your ability to distinguish between sounds and perceive their direction

• Slurs your speech

• Dulls your sense of taste and smell

• Damages the lining of your throat

• Weakens your muscles

• Inhibits the production of white and red blood cells

• Destroys your stomach lining

• Poisons you and can cause death

• Disrupts your sleep cycle, reduces rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, creates insomnia

• Suppresses breathing and can precipitate sleep apnea

• Increases weight or causes unhealthy weight loss

• Strips your body of vital nutrients and causes malnutrition

• Increases the likelihood of indulging in risky, unsafe and unlawful behaviors

• Heightens suicidal thoughts

 

Mental Health

• Causes anxiety and depression and other mental disorders

• Lowers the levels of serotonin in your brain—a chemical that helps to regulate your mood

• Destroys your brain cells

• Increases suicidal tendencies

• Negatively impacts memory

• Causes permanent damage to your brain

• Alters your brain chemistry

• Escalates aggression

• Increases stress levels

• Triggers dormant mental illnesses (bi-polar etc.)

• Disruptions in REM sleep may cause daytime drowsiness, poor concentration, and low mood

• Depletes willpower

 

Emotional Health

• Undermines your self-esteem and self-respect

• Depletes your courage, confidence

• Undermines your relationships with your partner, family, and friends

• Contributes to depression

• Reduces self-control

• Increases the difficulty in maintaining healthy relationships, including with bosses, co-workers and, clients

• Creates financial strain, leading to more stress, worry any and anxiety

 

And that just a few ways that alcohol can play havoc with your health. The increased risk of developing arthritis, cancer, heart disease, hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, kidney disease, obesity, nervous disorders, and many psychological disturbances can all be attributed to alcohol abuse. And as you know, acute alcohol poisoning can cause death.

Find out more about short and long-term effects that drinking alcohol has on many different parts of your body here—https://www.alcohol.org.nz/alcohol-its-effects/body-effects.

Your mind and body may seem like separate entities but when you let your body override your craving mind you find a reservoir of unbridled power. Your body barometer never lies, and as we’ve seen, can save your life by expelling toxins from your system.

 

When you drink alcohol or feel hung over what do you notice? How does this differ from times when you feel sober?

If you fall off the wagon and start drinking again don’t be too hard on your beautiful self. Practice mindfulness and self-compassion and tune into your body barometer.

How do you feel? Have the headaches, nausea, depression, aggression or anxiety returned again?

Journal your experience as I did to reinforce your awareness and to strengthen your resolve to stop drinking again.

You’ll find helpful sobriety journalling tips in my book, The Sobriety Journal: The Easy Way to Stop Drinking: The Effortless Path to Being Happy, Healthy and Motivated Without Alcoholgetbook.at/SobrietyJournal

 

The Path to Sobriety

In my books Mind Your Drink and Your Beautiful Mind, I break down the path to sobriety in ways you can easily understand and apply to your own life.

Knowledge is power. Ultimately long-term success in winning the war on alcohol can be explained through medical science and psychology—and understanding the psychological warfare tactics of the world’s best marketers. You do realize that the booze barons act narcissistically to encourage you to act against your best interests, right?

Understanding alcohol from all angles offers substantive reasons for why it keeps you hooked.

Importantly, what I’d love you to take away from reading this book, and those focused on controlling alcohol is that there is no one path to sobriety. You may or may not be able to go it alone, you may need help, you may need therapy, but regardless of the approach you take, controlling alcohol is a long-term lifestyle change.

Very often, as I’ve said, it may mean spotlighting and healing the wounds of your past.

In my books Mind Your Drink and Your Beautiful Mind comedian and former addict Russel Brand shares his story of childhood sexual abuse in his book Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions. In his book, he reinterprets The Twelve Step recovery process and champions the call for abstinence.

Similarly, Duff McKagan, the former bass guitarist of Guns N’ Roses and one of the world’s greatest rock musicians, shares how he used alcohol to self-medicate his agonizing anxiety. The origin of his pain he says stemmed from being asked to lie to his mother about his father’s affairs, their subsequent divorce, and his father’s own heavy drinking.

McKagan devised his own program of anxiety treatment and alcohol recovery. Read the inspiring story of a man who partied so hard he nearly died, in his book It’s So Easy and Other Lies.

Anne Dowsett Johnson, a journalist and self-described recovering alcoholic, and the daughter of an alcoholic herself, urges us all to wake up to the willful blindness to the damages of drinking in our culture, and explores disturbing trends and false promises peddled by alcohol barons in her book Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol. For Dowsett, medical intervention through prescribed anti-depressants played an instrumental role in her recovery.

AA’s 12-step approach didn’t work for stressed entrepreneur Russ Parry. But years of therapy, couple counseling, renewing his faith and a program of recovery offered by his church did—alongside changing his relationship to work. He shares his journey to abstinence in his book, The Sober Entrepreneur.

These are just some of the many people and books I have come to admire as I embarked on my own journey to understand why I once drank so much and why I couldn’t stop.

For these people, sharing their stories was part of their healing process—that and the desire to pay-it-forward. In my book, Employ Yourself from my bestselling Mid-Life Career Rescue series, I share how health coach Sheree Clark numbed her anxiety, stress and job blues by over-drinking until she realized booze was never going to be a long-term sustainable solution.

She’s sold her business and created a new career as a healthy living coach. She still enjoys a drink—but that since her career change that she couldn’t be happier or healthier.

As the former addict and leading neuroscientist Marc Lewis writes in this book, The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction is Not a Disease, alcoholism, and addiction “can spring up in anyone’s backyard. It attacks our politicians, our entertainers, our relatives, and often ourselves. It’s become ubiquitous, expectable, like air pollution and cancer.”

Shaming, blaming and naming is not the cure, compassion understanding, and living life on your terms is.

As Lewis also notes, “Many experts highlight the value of empowerment for overcoming addiction. In fact, most former addicts claim that empowerment, not powerlessness, was essential to them, especially in the latter stages of their recovery. Sensitivity to the meaning of empowerment in recovery may be greatest for those who’ve been disempowered in their social world, including women, minorities, the poor, and those with devastating family histories.”

Abusing alcohol is not a disease. It’s a coping strategy—one, before reading this book, you may not have been aware of.

As you read this book, you’ll reclaim your power and decide whether alcohol has anything positive to contribute to your life at all, or whether you’d be better off putting your money, your energy, your time, your happiness and your health into something, or someone, who’s a less abusive lover.  Yes, you will decide—it’s that simple, and at times, that difficult.

Not everyone battles with booze. Whether you cut back or eliminate alcohol entirely, the choice is ultimately yours. Only you know the benefits alcohol delivers or the success it destroys.

You may enjoy reading my blog post on spiritual approaches to the treatment of alcohol addiction—http://www.cassandragaisford.com/spiritual-approaches-to-the-treatment-of-alcohol-addiction/

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.  You can also find a range of books and resources offering help to quit, including alcohol-free alternatives on my website—http://www.cassandragaisford.com/books-and-resources/control-alcohol/

 

My daughter, Hannah, and her fab partner Josh, enjoying alcohol-free wine at Christmas.

 

 

Did you enjoy this post?


You might like:

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

Why Sobriety is Cool, Sophisticated, and Savvy

How stepping away from your work can boost your mood, reduce anxiety and spark joy

The fastest way to go from stress to joy without being overwhelmed

The Life-Changing Benefits of Unplugging

Does talk therapy actually work?

 

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 >>

 

Discover the joy of sobriety. Listen to Cassandra’s interview with Melinda Hammond—https://writerontheroad.com/128-name-poison-writers-alcohol-creative-muse-cassandra-gaisford/

How to Overcome Anxiety, Panic, and Stress and Reclaim Joy

Monday, February 11th, 2019

 

If you suffer from generalized anxiety and panic attacks

If you suffer from stress or burnout If you lack confidence or self-esteem or fear failure……

If you’re a perfectionist or find the challenges of life overwhelming… …

then my new book, Anxiety Rescue is exactly the right book for you—because it will cheerlead, motivate and encourage you to fight for your dreams and achieve your goals.

 

Anxiety Rescue is the ultimate prescription and medication free cure. Using the timeless wisdom of other successful men and women who have suffered from anxiety, depression, and despair—and succeeded anyway,  Anxiety Rescue  reveals in six easy steps:

✓ How to define success on your own terms…

✓ How to find your truth and live an authentic life…

✓ How to set and achieve audacious goals…

✓ How to take strategic risks (rather than reckless ones)

✓ How to overcome your fear of failure, criticism, and change…

✓ How to make money, follow your passion and still pay the bills…

✓ How to beat low self-esteem…

✓ How to identify real priorities that are central to your life’s true meaning…

✓ And how to empower your business and personal life… There is not only wisdom on every page, but actionable, immediate steps you can take to make a difference in reaching your own goals and dreams.

Available in eBook for immediate download from Amazon

US—https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NKV6K9K

UK—https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07NKV6K9K

or your local Amazon store.

FREE for Subscribers of Kindle Unlimited

 

I take issues I am struggling with, or new learnings that have deeply impacted me, and share them in my books

It always really touches me when I realize that what I do has an impact on people. We’ve all been through tough situations. Not many of us escape childhood unscathed. Few of us survive working life or relationships without scars. I work from that experience. If what I say, write, or do inspires people or gives them strength, courage, or hope, I’m over the moon.

Like many of my books, I write to inspire myself. I take issues I am struggling with, or new learnings that have deeply impacted me, and share them in my books.

Anxiety Rescue is one of these books. I’m tempted to say that it’s a concise guide to overcoming anxiety and making the most of your life. It is. And it isn’t.

As I wrote this book, so many factors which impact anxiety came to light. Many of them are ignored by general practitioners and doctors—the very people many of us go when we’re feeling stressed, anxious, or just plain unwell. Some, are viewed skeptically by psychologists and psychiatrists.

Yet times are changing, the old ways aren’t working. Prescription medication and pharmaceutical drugs are being consumed in exploding quantities, and still, anxiety rates and other mental illnesses are still soaring.

Increasingly science is validating what ancient wisdom has been telling us for years. You only have to consider how main-stream meditation, yoga, acupressure, and other holistic therapies have become, to witness the emergence.

Anxiety Rescue is based on clinically-proven techniques and integrates modern science with other healing modalities. Yet it also harnesses the magic of creative approaches to healing. Which is why I’ve turned to two of my greatest inspirations—Leonardo da Vinci and Coco Chanel. Anxiety Rescue summarizes their timeless wisdom and strategies to tame anxiety, quell despair, overcome obstacles and maximize health, wellbeing and success.

we can heal ourselves

From my own professional and personal experience, I know we can heal ourselves. A great deal many people don’t need pills to feel calm, happy, healthy, and inspired. Some do.

I am not against prescription drugs, but what concerns me, as it may you, is that many anxious, stressed, and depressed people are not offered a choice. Nor do they benefit from someone taking an inventory of their life and analyzing the traumatic events or stressors that may be impacting their anxiety levels.

Like Len, who, aged 42-year-old man who had suffered work-related burnout, and sought relief from his doctor. He was, quite rightly, alarmed that his doctor told him that the only cure was medication. He left his doctor’s office empty-handed.

Ten years later, a diagnosis of complex trauma, not only made sense but also provided a roadmap to lasting healing. I’ll be sharing more of his story in a book I plan to write called, Leaving Jehovah—Surviving the Cult of Toxic Control and Shame.

Or, Sarah, who’d been taking anti-depressants for years but had noticed her anxiety rates returning and no longer wanted to be on medication. Counseling and engaging in talk-therapy gave a voice to wounds she had repressed. When darkness was brought to light, and armed with new tools of self-care, including meditation and nutrition, her anxiety rates disappeared.

I’m not bagging medication. Not by any means. My purpose in writing Anxiety Rescue is to share alternative routes to healing—lasting ones that enable you to be empowered and chose the best course of action for you.

No two people are the same. We have not had the same childhoods, the same school experiences, or workplace trauma. I speak from my own experience—both what has worked for me, and what has worked for my clients.

With over twenty-five years of expertise working in therapeutic professions, most lately as a child therapist and relationship counselor, I know what works.

As you’ll read in the chapter, “My Story,” I’ve swum through a tsunami of trauma, hurts, and humiliations and drawn on a range of modalities to help me not just survive, but also thrive.

My hope is in reading this book, you will emerge stronger, happier, healthier, and more thankful too.

A large part of my healing has involved following my joy—something you’ll learn to discover for yourself in this book.

I use my passion journal to visualize, gain clarity, and create my preferred future—including my health goals. My clients find this works for them too—along with the other strategies I share in Anxiety Rescue.

In this era of anxiety and distraction, the need for simple, life-affirming, health-enhancing 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 page at random, or work through the four pillars of health 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 has been mine. 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.

Laura, who at one stage seemed rudderless career-wise, did just that. Workplace stress was a major source of her anxiety. Finding her passion and following her joy sparked a determination to start her own business.She felt the fear and went for it anyway, emboldened by a desire to live and work like those she looked up to. It was that simple.

As with all of my books, many of the examples I share were inspired by true events in my own life. At the time of writing, I recalled one of the first times I trusted the spiritual realm. I was a teenager when my paternal grandmother was channeled by a psychic and my disbelieving and skeptical self was asked, “Your grandmother says you don’t believe she is here. But she is holding out a flower, and she is asking, ‘Do you remember the jasmine flowers growing over the house?’

I didn’t.

But when I drove home I called into to Araby Lodge, where my grandmother used to live, and where until her death, she bred and trained her beloved horses. At the time my father lived in her house. I asked him, “What is that vine growing over the house?”

I didn’t want to tell him anything about what the psychic had said because I was still skeptical and I didn’t want to influence the answer. My father said, “Oh, that old jasmine vine? That’s been there forever.”

My heart nearly leaped out of my chest. It was at that point that I began to believe in spiritual and psychic phenomena, and in time, many years later, to awaken my own gifts. These gifts weren’t awakened without considerable anxiety—something I talk more about in the chapter, “Shadow Work.”

It’s a timely reminder of just how far following my passion and being free to be me has taken me—the shy girl who was once afraid of being seen and was terrified of her ability to channel.

As I share in many of my books I hope the following quote is as apt for you as it was for me:

“Your staying in the shadows doesn’t serve the world.”

Here’s to learning from our anxiety and transforming our lives with passion, joy, and purpose!

Broken into small, bite-sized segments—you’ll soon find yourself jotting notes down, finding someone else so you can share the insights and experience, and resources made available to keep you happy, healthy, motivated and focused. Dig into this book and let Leonardo da Vinci and Coco Chanel and other successful men and woman be your mentors, inspiration, and guides as they call forth your passions, purpose, and potential. 

Say YES to happiness NOW! It’s never too late to end anxiety and follow your joy to live a life you love.

Anxiety Rescue is available in eBook for immediate download from Amazon

US—https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NKV6K9K

UK—https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07NKV6K9K

or your local Amazon store.

FREE for Subscribers of Kindle Unlimited

 

enjoy the free excerpt from Anxiety Rescue below

 

Your Body Barometer

The deeper the feeling, the greater the pain.

~ Leonardo da Vinci

 

The more you truly care about something, the deeper the consequences can be when you don’t act on your desires.

When you aren’t true to yourself and you don’t do the things you aspire to do your mental, emotional and spiritual health can suffer.

Common signs of neglecting the call for success and forsaking your ambitions can include: tiredness, depression, anxiety, irritability, and strained personal relationships. In short, you’re lovesick—starved of the things that spark joy.

The body never lies, but many people soldier on ignoring the obvious warning signs. It’s easy to rationalize these feelings away, But the reality is your mind, body, and soul is screaming out for more. Have the courage to say ‘yes’ to pursuing a more liberating alternative.

 

Your Challenge

When you feel unfulfilled, bored, unchallenged and demotivated what do you notice? How does this differ from times when you feel the fear but love life passionately anyway?

I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life—and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.

~ Georgia O’Keeffe, artist

 

 

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 immobilized 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 labor 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

 

 

DRESS JOYFULLY

The grand problem, the most important problem, is to rejuvenate women. To make women look young. Then their outlook changes. They feel more joyous.

~ Coco Chanel

 

Coco was a trailblazer in women’s fashion. When she arrived in trousers in Venice people were shocked, but shock quickly turned to awe. Women wanted what she had—and Coco was only too happy to sell it to them.

Her joyous color was black. She loved its simplicity and understated elegance. Perhaps it reminded her of the habits the nuns, who so tenderly cared for her, wore.

Whatever the catalyst was, Coco had the vision to turn black, the color of mourning, into the symbol of independence, freedom, and strength. She also created the now iconic little black dress!

Your joyous color may be yellow, blue, or gold. Or it may be multi-patterned and have all the colors of the rainbow. Floating dresses in the finest silk may instill you with confidence, or perhaps you prefer something more tailored.

Whatever your color, whatever you wear be sure that it makes you feel joyful.

 

Your Challenge

Act as if. Take a job or lifestyle idea you are considering, or have always wondered what it would be like, and act as if you are living that role. Dress the part.

Have your colors professionally confirmed by a trained image consultant—when you dress in the colors that suit your skin tone you’ll look younger and feel fabulous.

 

Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.

~ Coco Chanel

 

 

 

 

“Love your work”

Prior to writing this post I had sent out news of my new book to my email subscribers. Immediately I received an email from one of my readers.

“When I read the first few sentences I could immediately relate – it’s exactly how I feel at this very moment (sadly).

I feel so tired and overwhelmed just trying to get through each day, let alone any curveballs that may come my way.
It’s so debilitating and I feel like this is ‘my lot’ and no happy ending.
I will be sure to download your ebook. I have your Passion Workbook sitting next to me in the car – yet to read… Too tired (always tired).
Keep being awesome! Love your work 🙂
Her email made me happy – and sad. Happy the words spoke to her. Happy that even though she felt so low, my email sparked some energy—the energy of love. I could sense some enthusiasm…even in the darkness. I also felt sad—sad that she feels this way. I know EXACTLY how this feels. Millions and millions of people feel this way. I know that there is a cure. I know you don’t need medication, drugs, or alcohol to rescue you. I know the difference that the power of love and healthy obsessions can make—I talk more about the power of positive obsessions in my sobriety books, Mind Your Drink: The Surprising Joy of Sobriety and Your Beautiful Mind.
As I wrote back to her, she also inspired me too also get moving with creating an audiobook. That way when she and others who also suffer from anxiety, fatigue, and despair, when they are driving can be fed some inspirational juice…
I also invited her to consider scheduling a coaching session with me—sometimes it’s just too hard to go it alone. If this sounds like something you could benefit from click the following link to schedule an appointment
http://www.cassandragaisford.com/schedule-an-appointment/

This is an edited extract of Anxiety Rescue: How to Overcome Anxiety, Panic, and Stress and Reclaim Joy by Cassandra Gaisford. To order a copy for less than the price of coffee and cake go to Amazon:

US—https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NKV6K9K

UK—https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07NKV6K9K

or your local Amazon store.

FREE for Subscribers of Kindle Unlimited

 

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 next book, The Anxiety Cure: Love Your Body, will be released.

 

Here’s a quick round-up of our 5 latest blog posts you may also enjoy:

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

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

How stepping away from your work can boost your mood, reduce anxiety and spark joy

The fastest way to go from stress to joy without being overwhelmed

The Life-Changing Benefits of Unplugging

 

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.

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra.

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

Tame the Email Monster: How to Manage Stress, Anxiety, and Email Overload

Friday, February 1st, 2019

Are you suffering from information obesity? Subconsciously, are all your unanswered emails sending your stress levels soaring? Or have text messages become the source of your anxiety?

Email overload is frustrating—and sometimes terrifying. An over-crowded inbox is distracting and will divert your attention from what is important if you don’t take charge and do something about it. Your inbox can also house infectious contact from toxic people.

Email, or as my partner calls it, the Email Monster, is the source of many people’s anxiety.

 

Remember that anxiety feeds off fear, uncertainty, overwhelm, and overload. It also loves to distract you from doing the things you enjoy—burying you in a pyre of often meaningless distractions.

In the last few years, I’ve also noticed a level of toxicity creeping into emails. Some people are discourteous, and in some instances downright rude and inconsiderate. People rant and vent and type things they might not otherwise have had the courage or lack of manners to say in person.

I’m sure, rather than cowering behind their phone or computer and firing off emails if people stood face-to-face with someone before sending their tirade they wouldn’t feel so empowered and emboldened.

The rise in bullying has also led to a whole new malaise—cyberbullying.

Research by Swansea University in 2018, cites that children and young people under 25 who are victims of cyberbullying are more than twice as likely to self-harm and enact suicidal behavior.

The findings also suggest that the perpetrators themselves are at higher risk of experiencing these same suicidal thoughts and behaviors. It’s worth remembering that it’s the sick who vomit over others, so don’t ever take it personally. This is easier said than done.

I’ve experienced a few toxic battles provoked by others, and there’s nothing that spikes my anxiety than the thought of opening my email. It’s hard to escape and the scathing words do tend to linger.

Some people clients and customers also send incessant demands, often during the oddest of hours, that they might not request if sending an email were not so spontaneous and instantaneous. Some emails are also lengthy and often arduous to read.

I’ve also worked with clients, who rather than have honest and frank conversations with each other send emails and texts—corroding their communication with all the mixed messages words not spoken convey.

My partner Laurie feels anxious if he ends his day with one email remaining in his inbox. He receives over 1200 emails a week, and many of his tasks are deadline driven. He manages his anxiety by slaying the Email Monster. He doesn’t subscribe to erroneous marketing campaigns promising the golden elixir that will cure us all. Nor does he subscribe to marketing campaigns offering some redundant e-book he would never have time to read and does not care for.

Me? I’m an email hoarder or was. It’s stressful and anxiety-producing running my eye over old emails.

This year it’s time for the old ways to die.

Before writing this book I was storing over three thousand emails!

It was liberating to press delete. You may gasp in horror at this strategy. But I thought, ‘will it really matter, six months from now?’ If it does, I’m sure the sender will email me again.

My partner, who I consider to be the king of email efficiency, says you have four choices: answer, unsubscribe, file—out of your inbox and into a ‘to answer’ file—delete.

“If I don’t answer within the timeframe that I feel intuitively is acceptable,” he says about his parking strategy, “I go back and delete it. Clearly, it wasn’t as important as I first thought.”

Consider, simply picking up the phone, or, if you can meet in person, and deal with the issues in the old-fashioned way. It’s a myth to think that emails always lead to greater efficiencies.

Be on guard for the Email Monster’s equally insidious brother, “Text Dragon.” With the advent of voice activation software, I’ve noticed a lot of people sending lengthy texts.  In addition, many people are leaving voice messages on their phones saying, “I don’t pick up my messages, if you can’t reach me, text instead.”

Considerable bullying and abusive behavior, spiking not just anxiety, but also suicidal thoughts and behavior, is being triggered not just by email but text messages too.

Cyber-bullies and those they bully don’t just exist with the young, naïve, or immature. In 2019, New Zealand Police began investigating a ‘you deserve to die’ text sent by one Minister of Parliament to another Minister. Hardly, model leadership behavior.

The recipient received the text well before being sectioned to a mental institution months later, but said in an interview that he re-read the text that day and after texting the MP to say she was going to get her wish, he ended up contemplating suicide.

The text was sent at 1:19am on a Saturday morning—making it even more abusive.

“It was my children that actively stopped me from going through with hurting myself,” he told Newshub. “I was just lucky there were people looking for me and lucky that I thought about my little girl’s happy face – and not wanting to crush that.”

The text message is potentially a breach of the Harmful Digital Communications Act, passed under the then National Government in response to cyberbullying. The law regulated digital communications, including text messages, making it illegal to urge someone to self-harm.

Become skilled with how to block contact from malicious people, and become affirmed with new legislation which offers some protection. Be the change you want to see. Cut down on your digital communication and get real—if you wouldn’t say it in person, don’t text or email.

If you are ever the target of bullying or abusive behavior seek help and know your rights. Don’t horde abusive messages. Slay the Text Dragon and Email Monster and put them firmly in their place.

Think how great it will be with hardly any messages in your inbox. This is how to manage email overload or cyberbullies and reclaim your life!

 

This is an edited extract of Anxiety Rescue, due for release in February 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.

 

Did you enjoy this post?

You might like:

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

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

How stepping away from your work can boost your mood, reduce anxiety and spark joy

The fastest way to go from stress to joy without being overwhelmed

The Life-Changing Benefits of Unplugging

 

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 >>

Mid-Life Career Rescue: Job Search Strategies That Work

Tuesday, June 12th, 2018

 

Prompted by many of my clients who struggle with ageism and also mindset issues re their employability and who are struggling to find a job, I’ve written a new book in my best-selling  Mid-Life Career Rescue series: “Mid-Life Career Rescue: Job Search Strategies That Work”

In fact, just today I was coaching a client who confided, “I’ve been frightened and keep telling myself not to bother looking because employers want someone younger.”

True-Not-True! Yes, ageism exists, but enlightened employers know the value a mature worker brings to the job. Do you? Do you know how to find the jobs that are never advertised? Do you know how to help hiring managers say “yes! You’re hired!”

Successfully finding a job takes skill and confidence, but once you know the rules, you’ll feel more confident, more successful and a whole lot happier.

To increase your chances of getting the job you really want, this book will help you:

•Beat “age bias”

•Increase your awareness of the importance of self-marketing

•Highlight the appropriate attitudes, styles, and behaviors that you need to market your skills successfully

•Prepare you to use a variety of job search strategies, including Using recruitment agencies effectively; Responding to direct advertising, including newspaper and Internet mediums; Outline the steps to successful networking; Provide strategies that will help maintain a positive outlook

•Accelerate your job hunting success

Some people find job hunting very challenging. Perhaps years of conditioning that you should be seen and not heard, acute shyness or lack of practice and experience in the art of self-promotion may be affecting you.

 

In Mid-Life Career Rescue Job Search Strategies That Work you will also discover how to:

•Harness the law of attraction by focusing on areas of passion and purpose

•Tap into the hidden job market

•Let people know what you have to offer confidently

•Overcome stress and doubt

•Boost confidence, courage, and self-esteem

•Help you find and get the job or career you want

Whether you love the idea of the 4-hour workweek, want to find a job that reflects who you are and what’s important to you, or thinking about starting a business, career change after 50 and finding a new job can be yours.

As Richard N Bolles, author of ‘What Colour Is Your Parachute‘, once said to me, “sometimes all it takes is one book, one sentence to transform your life.”

Quit feeling trapped. Reclaim your power! Find a job you love and finally live the life you want. Scroll up and click “Buy Now” before it’s too late.

Available for immediate download for less than the price of a cup of coffee here>>getbook.at/JobSearchStrategies

 

I’m thrilled with this early review from an industry expert

Mid-Life Career Rescue: Job Search Strategies that Work

I was curious about the content of this book, Mid-Life Career Rescue: Job Search Strategies that Work, as I have worked as a careers professional for almost 20 years and with a few variations on job search strategies over the years, my practice and coaching in this area of career coaching has remained largely the same. I wondered if the ideas, the suggestions, exercises and the theories that support these that I learned all those years ago still held true. Did my ideas that I encourage my clients to undertake, still work, were they still in vogue even? Did my ideas need a complete overhaul? I looked to this book in the hope that it would help me face today’s practises and update my own knowledge. So, with my curiosity in full openness, I began to read.

First I was struck by the relevance of my knowledge to what Cassandra was suggesting in 2018. What I have been coaching my clients to do while exploring their own job search journey were still very useful.Second I was encouraged and even felt embraced by the strategies suggested in Cassandra’s book for my own professional re-development process that I am undertaking. Everything I am quietly doing to re-define my working and private life is here in black and white and gloriously celebrated as the way forward.

Never before have I felt so on-track with a major life change as I do right now. I tick off my own strategies as they appear on the pages of Mid-Life Career Rescue: Job Search Strategies that Work. From Dream and Explore to Developing visual plans in a Passion Journal to the exercises relating to Generating Idea’s – I am totally on track.

However, there is room for more ideas and Cloning was one I hadn’t thought off.I hadn’t ever offered that idea to my clients. So over the past few days with a careers client booked in, I decided to test this out. My client’s response, to begin with, was very hesitant, but with gentle encouragement to tap into her more creative and playful self, we had a great time coming up with, at first outrageous, clones for her. Then as the energy settled, she developed ideas for her 5 clones which gave her major leads on strands she could develop and even whole new ways of working. My client now has very solid career options to explore in future career coaching sessions because of this Cloning exercise.

As for me, I am balancing my excessive excited energy in re-creating my work-life balance by regular daily meditation, sitting in stillness, and daily yoga. Cassandra has beautiful ideas, encouraging real-life stories, and powerful and yet very accessible exercises to offer anyone who is either embarking on a job search journey or for anyone already on the journey but looking for further strategies to add new energy to their journey. Mid-Life Career Rescue: Job Search Strategies that Work is a book for job seekers and career professionals alike.

~ Catherine Sloan, Counselor

 

EXCERPT

Networking: Discovering the Hidden Job Market

About 80% of all the positions available at any time are NEVER going to be advertised by Recruitment Consultants or directly by companies looking to employ someone.

By far the most successful job search technique is the process of networking—using personal contacts to uncover the “hidden” job market.

Largely this technique is so successful because organizations also use their networks to find employees when vacancies occur. Advertising is often a last resort, partly because of the time taken to screen applicants, but also because of the additional financial costs.

 

What is Networking?

When you need a builder what do you do?  You ask a friend or an acquaintance if they know of anyone who’s good.   That’s networking!  We do it all the time; we just don’t “label” it. Trust or lack of it is a key reason we don’t rely on advertisements or the Yellow Pages.  There are a lot of phoneys and crooks out there.

Networking is the process of accessing personal contacts via word of mouth to achieve a particular purpose. For the job seeker, this purpose is to tap into the hidden job market. For the employer the purpose of networking is to find out if anybody knows of anyone that’s a) good and b) available.

In its simplest form networking is often called “keeping an ear to the ground”. Networking in the real world is nothing more than overcoming the fears of making contact with others.  It’s simply talk.

But it only happens through an orchestrated effort. You have to seek people out, get them to agree to meet with you, discuss your career aspirations and ask for more contacts. This is hard enough for some people to do face to face.

For so many that are new to Internet job seeking, it is nigh on impossible to do online.  Or so it would seem.

But a growing category of connecting tools are emerging online that will make job seeking-through-networking (or, Internetworking) not only easier—but essential in the years ahead.

REMEMBER, WORD OF MOUTH ADVERTISING IS ONE OF THE MOST EFFECTIVE  MARKETING TOOLS!

 

If Networking Is So Effective why Don’t the Majority of Job-Seekers do it?

FEAR!  One of the most common reasons people don’t network is because of fear of rejection or fear that others will think they are begging for a job.  Lack of confidence and assertiveness are often other factors. Laziness can also sneak in– job hunting is hard work!

It is for these and other reasons that most job hunters prefer to use the more passive job search strategies such as:

• Looking in the newspaper, or on the Internet

• Registering their CV’s online

• Approaching recruitment agencies

These strategies are passive because the job seeker is not taking control and out there actively hunting for a job.  Instead, they are passively waiting for a job to come to them.

The Rule of Thumb is: DON’T PUT ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET!  Employing a variety of job search strategies is the key to success.  If you rely on only the passive strategies you are missing out on 80% of the roles which either exist or which could be created for you.

 

Networking for Non-Networkers: A Guide to Feeling The Fear and Doing It Anyway!

Completing the following exercises will help equip you with the know-how to network effectively.

Remember this is the “active job-search strategy”—it does take energy and perseverance but the rewards are huge… finding the work you love, loving the work you found!

 

Call to Action! Prepare to Network Effectively

Some people have a negative mindset when it comes to networking. They think if they contact people they know that these people might think they are begging or hassling them.

Use your own words to describe the term “networking.” Think about the benefits to the other person. Things like saving them the hassle of advertising for candidates if you happen to be a good fit for who they are looking for.

List some of the skills and personal attributes that are required to network effectively, eg research, persuasion, optimism, perseverance, confidence.

What skills and attributes do you already possess?

What skills and attributes will you need to develop?

Prioritize in order of importance. List some ways that you can develop and nurture the areas that are more challenging for you, eg  affirmations, mentors, supportive friends, visualization, and self-help books.

 

The Aim of the Networking Meeting

Just like a fishing net, the aim of networking is to “catch” as much as possible. However, rather than fish, what the active job hunter seeks to gather is as many actual, or possible, job leads as possible.

The aim of the networking meeting is also predominantly about exploring information and gathering market research.  This shift in focus from “give me a job” to “I’m interested in finding out about…” should help to minimize the fear of rejection and to take some of the pressure off all parties.

Remember: just as you don’t like to be rejected, employers don’t like rejecting you!  The key things you are interested in “finding out” are:

• Whether your abilities, skills, and background match the employment needs in that business, industry or organization.

• If so, whether any employment opportunities either currently exist, or are likely to in the future

• If not, whether the person you have initially contacted knows of people within their own network that may benefit from your skill-set and experience. Just like the Internet or World Wide Web – the objective of the active job hunter is covering as much distance as possible in the most effective way. Leveraging off the networks of other people is one of the most effective and efficient ways to do this.

You may strike the jackpot and get a job, but if you don’t, remember:

• Timing is everything

• Your aim is to generate at least two additional leads from each visit, email, or phone call you make.

Identifying Your Network

This diagram below can be very useful in identifying the groups of people that you know.  It is by no means exhaustive!

(And you thought you didn’t have anyone to network with!)

 

Call to Action: Getting Ready to Chat!

From the networking diagram, including any other potential contacts you have added, identify and prioritize five people you could approach and arrange an appointment to see:

 

HOT TIP!

You may wish to set networking goals for yourself to help keep you motivated—for example, 10 networking phone calls per week, resulting in 5 networking visits per week. Don’t forget to include a reward for yourself when you successfully reach your goal.

 

Preparing for Success

Before you make your network approach you should:

Research the company and its senior people.  Some of the things you need to be aware of and may need to be able to talk about include:

• Industry issues

• Organization structure

• Company products and services

• Industry and company profitability

• Competitors

Remember:  people like talking about their jobs and if your interest is based on soundly researched information you are providing yourself with an instant hook to gain their interest.

 

Cold Calls Versus Warm Calls

When deciding on your list of contacts to call remember to distinguish between “cold” contacts and those which are “warm” or “hot”.

Cold contacts are those you have never met, nor know of no one who can introduce you. After moving cities recently I approached the local health board to inquire about their services and to see if they may need mine as a holistic psychologist. I didn’t know them and they didn’t know me. Despite my spontaneous meeting and arriving unannounced the timing was perfect. They told me they were very short-staffed and my skills and experience appeared to be just what they needed. It’s the old adage—if you don’t ask, you won’t get.

Warm contacts are those who someone you know personally knows the person you wish to contact. In this case, your friend, for example, may be able to refer you or at least allow you to mention their name. This gets the relationship off to a warmer start than if you tried to establish contact with no prior “history’ or connection

Hot Contacts are those who you know personally. For example, I know the owner of our local bookstore. Recently he advertised for casual staff. Had I been interested in the role (I love books!) I would stand a ‘hotter’ chance of nabbing that job than someone ‘cold’ who walked off the street.

Remember – even the best salespeople hate cold calling, mainly because the likelihood of “rejection” is increased ten-fold.  Where ever possible leverage off existing relationships!

 

Making a Telephone Approach

Prepare! Prepare! Prepare!  Every aspect of the job hunt process is about preparation – from writing your resume or CV, to preparing answers to questions that may be asked in an interview. Networking is no different especially when it comes time to pick up the phone and make that call.

You should have an outline script and responses to the most common objections prepared in advance.  Remember that most people respond to appeals for help, so your call should use the phrase “help me” as often as possible.

You may wish to use the script which follows as a guide.  It includes ways to respond to common objections.

It is important to remember that it is not so much what you say but how you say it that carries the most weight.  Smile as you speak and, if possible, to stand—these both help you to sound more confident.

 

Example Script:

CONTACT: “Mary McCrae speaking”

YOU: “Hello Mary, my name is John Farr.  I believe that you are the best person to help me.  Jake Evans from XYZ suggested that I give you a call.  I am looking at the career prospects in the Communications/PR industry and Jake suggested that you are the best person to help me.”

I wondered if I could talk to you about your industry before I make a move and would appreciate 15 minutes of your time.”

What follows are sample responses to possible objections:

CONTACT: “I’m not sure I’m the right person.”

YOU: “Jake spoke very highly of you and thought you would be the best person for me to talk to.  I’d be really grateful for your advice – if you could spare 15 minutes.”

CONTACT:“We’re not looking for anybody right now.”

YOU: “I understand.  Of course, I would like to get work inside the Industry, but not right now.  At present, I’m looking at opportunities in various areas and I need someone who could help me to find out more about your industry.  Could we get together this week or next week?”

CONTACT: “I’m very busy right now.”

YOU: “I appreciate that you’re busy but I’d be really grateful for 15 minutes of your time. Perhaps I could buy you a coffee as a sign of my appreciation for giving up some of your time to help me.”

CONTACT:“OK, next week then.”

YOU: “Thank you.  I really do appreciate it.  Which day would suit you best and would you prefer morning or afternoon?”

(Always go for non-core hours with late afternoon the best.  Always offer to leave at the end of 15 minutes – most likely your offer will be refused in which case the obligation to close the meeting passes from you to the contact.)

The above example may seem repetitive and it is.  It is important that you are persistent and don’t lose sight of your goal – to meet with the person face-to-face.

You are unlikely to encounter all the objections listed, although you may get others.

 

Call to Action! Overcoming Possible Objections

Either list three of your most “feared” responses or those objections that you think or feel you are most likely to encounter.

The techniques for overcoming objections used in the example above were: Acknowledge the objection

• Restate your objective

• Use the “15 minute of your time” technique

• Offer alternative time/dates and always leave it up to the contact to decide which option suits them best

Refer back to the objections you highlighted and prepare some responses using the technique above.  Record your answers. (If you couldn’t think of any “objections” ask your friends etc for their input).

 

Questions to Ask When Networking and/or Breaking into a New Industry

Listed below are some typical and effective questions people use when networking or “interviewing for information”. You may wish to adapt the ones below or to completely make up your own ones.  It is helpful to practise asking these questions out loud until you feel comfortable asking them.

How did you get into XXX, eg Public Relations/ HR, etc?

(People love to talk about themselves, and it’s flattering to think someone is interested in what we do and how we got to where we are.  This a great way to help build rapport and begin a relationship)

What advice would you give to someone wanting to get into the industry?

What do you see as the top 5 skills necessary to be effective now and in the future?

(This is a good question to check whether the skills you have now are valuable/marketable and to affirm areas you may need to develop in order to be successful)

What makes a successful (Public Relations/ HR, etc.) person?

What skills, attributes etc. do you look for in people you hire?

Why don’t some people make it in this industry?

(This is a good way of finding out potential pitfalls and how you may highlight your strengths in areas where others may be weak)

What are the values of this organization?

What makes this a great place to work? What attracted you here?

What keeps you here?

(All the above questions are designed to find out the pros and cons of working within the specific organization you have targeted.  Answers will confirm  areas of “fit”).

What issues is your organization likely to face over the next couple of years?

(A good question to identify future skills needs and also to convey interest and enthusiasm in the organization’s future.  Helps to convey less of “What can you do for me?” and more of “What can I do for you?”)

 

Closing Questions

Remember, the initial purposes of your meeting were to:

• Find out information

• See if there are any employment opportunities currently or in the near future

• Generate at least two additional leads

If you have established good rapport and built a good relationship with the person you have just been “interviewing” they will be only too happy to refer you to other contacts they may have.  Remember this is how networking works and why it is so effective. You‘d do the same, wouldn’t you?

Most people hesitate when it comes to asking the sorts of questions below.  Fear of “rejection” is a common reason why.  Remember if you don’t ask, you don’t get.  Besides most employers would be surprised, if not astounded, that you didn’t ask—nine times out of 10 they will be expecting it.

If you are still reluctant, you may like to think of a reward that you can give yourself when you “feel the fear” and do it anyway.  Purchasing a new music album or item of clothing is a good reward.  Each time you hear or wear it will remind yourself of the new, “courageous” you.

 

Some Closing Questions

Do you have any openings now? If the answer is NO: Is this likely to change in the future?

Do you know of anyone else in the industry/this organization that it may be useful for me to talk to? OR

Do you know of anyone else in the industry/ organization who may be looking for someone with my experience?

 

Ending on a Positive Note

You‘ve heard that first impressions count—well so do last impressions!  Be sure to leave on a positive, enthusiastic and grateful note.

You may like to conclude by using the example below or adapting your own:

“I really appreciate all the time you have given up to meet with me. I really like what I have heard.  This sounds like a fantastic place to work/ like a fantastic role/career path.  You must feel very lucky.  Thanks again—I’ve gained a lot.”

Key points to remember are:

• Thank the person you have met

Their time is valuable to them and there were probably half a dozen things they should have, or could have, been doing.  People like to be appreciated.

• Convey that you have really benefited from your meeting with them

People like to feel that what they do makes a difference.  Tell them what you have learned or gained as a result of their input. Your feedback to them is invaluable.

• Show your enthusiasm

The worse you can do is to leave the meeting looking unmotivated.  Even if the meeting hasn’t yielded the results you hoped for, remember the person you have just met may be your best advocate – advertising you by word of mouth to his/her own personal networks.

Follow Up

Out of sight does not necessarily have to be out of mind.  Even well-intentioned people forget – your job is to remind people that you exist.

Follow up one week after your initial meeting or phone conversation.  Include a copy of your Resume or CV, if you had not already left this behind, and a thank you note.

The thank you note should include the following details:

• Confirm the date and time of the meeting

• Highlight key knowledge and insights you gained

• Bullet point how your skills and experiences fit the organizations current and future needs

• A “thank you” statement for the initial meeting and your interest in any opportunities that arise

When to Leave Your CV or Resume

Always have your CV with you in case an employer should ask to have a copy.  It is also a useful “talking” document—while you are in your meeting you can point to your skills and experiences and talk about them in more specific detail than you may otherwise be able to.

The benefit of NOT leaving a CV at the first meeting is that you can further tailor it as a result of the new knowledge you gained. It also takes away the pressure you might feel about seeming like you are “begging for a job”.  We know you are not a beggar. You are an enquirer and an investigator—enquiring as to whether there are any employment opportunities and investigating what other opportunities might exist.

 

REMEMBER: 

Everything that occurs in life is always a matter of timing.  Be patient and have faith that when the timing and the situation is right the opportunity will appear.

Perseverance and maintaining a positive expectation is what separates successful people from unsuccessful people.

 

 

 

This is a review and edited extract from Mid-Life Career Rescue: Job Search Strategies that Work: How to Confidently Leave a Job You Hate and Start Living a Life You Love, Before It’s Too Late by Cassandra Gaisford. Available in paperback or for immediate download for less than the price of a cup of coffee here>>getbook.at/JobSearchStrategies

*
*
*