Archive for the 'Transcendental meditation' Category

Instantly 4x Your Productivity Scientifically Engineered Hacks Proven to Increase Focus And Reduce Distractions

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020


“The mind that engages in subjects of too great variety becomes confused and weakened.”

~ Leonardo da Vinci

Distractions are like flies. They buzz around you discordantly driving your focus from your project of heart to shit. Shit tasks, shit goals, shit things to complete. You must swat them away.

Be vigilant. Know when your flies are most likely to land. First thing in the morning? Mid-afternoon? Close of the working day? “Away” you must say. “Be gone you pesky shit-sucking flies.”

I have challenged myself to dedicate the next three weeks to finish my book. It was a bumpy start. People around me are unhappy and downloading their stress on me.

I walked to the garden and then to my she-shed and did manage to get a good two hours of productivity done. But then some friends want to bring the date forward to come up and have a glass of wine with us.

On the one hand, it will be great to see our friends. On the other hand, having these friends up here earlier than planned is not going to help me finish.

I’m annoyed. Halfway into town to purchase wine and nibbles, I think of Paulo Coelho. He once said that his writing space became a bunker and no one could have access to him. I need to set firmer boundaries. Either that or, as my friend Heather Morris did, take myself away. I talk more about this in, No! Why ‘No’ is the New ‘Yes’: How to Reclaim Your Life, Shine in the Sun, and Be Authentically You

For now, I decide to talk to myself kindly. I can come back and I can claw back time later. I can let our friends stay late if they wish and I will go to bed early and wake up fresh.

Before the good-times begin and they arrive even if word by word I write for another 30 minutes it will be more than I feel inclined to finish.

While in my shed I glance up at my inspirational blackboard and see the words scrawled in soft white chalk, “I am willing to write badly. I am also willing to allow genius.” My soul feels soothed.

As Elizabeth Gilbert shares in Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, “The Greeks and the Romans both believed in the idea of an external daemon of creativity—a sort of house elf, if you will, who lived within the walls of your home and who sometimes aided you in your labours. The Romans had a specific term for that helpful house elf. They called it your genius—your guardian deity, the conduit of your inspiration.”

The ancients didn’t believe that an exceptionally gifted person was a genius; they believed that an exceptionally gifted person had a genius.

To seduce my guardian deity and protect her from shit-sucking flies I am running a distraction log for at least a week and then looking at the data I’ve gathered to look for patterns. Already, on day one, I have seen a theme. My distraction triggers mostly come from my monkey mind.

During a half-hour writing task, I’ve noticed my mind leaping from branch to branch like an ape and buzzing like flies in a high-density swarms. Spreading a diversity of pathogens that infect my focus, they alight first on thinking about posting a picture of one of my paintings on social media. Next, thinking about emailing a client. Then wondering about whether I should create a short story from the scene I have just finished.

Next, as my gaze swarms around the sitting room, it alights upon the couch. I wonder if I should wash the covers today. Then I recall the photos I looked at yesterday of our trip to Japan. ‘Perhaps I’ll share a few on Instagram or even load them to my Flickr account’, I think.

All the while I delude myself that I am focusing on my writing task. Only my mind is not at full capacity. It is like a radio station slightly off frequency. Static and shrilly discordant sound-bites arrest my creativity. My genius sulks. I am asking too much. I am asking my muse to share her with everyone else.

I continue at a crawl. ‘Oh,’ I think, ‘maybe I could learn Indesign and lay out my children’s book.’ Perhaps, I could start my How to Illustrate a Book course. Shall I email my other client with some tips about narrating her book?’

Then my darling partner comes in and reads the headlines from the news. Now my distractions are no longer internal. The external world has landed in my writing bubble is a big toxic heap. “Domestic violence is the second pandemic sweeping New Zealand in the wake of the COVID-19 lockdown”, he tells me.

I feel sick. Then angry at the brutality of humanity. My mind shifts to my idea for a crime novel where the heroine avenges all the nasties who get away with violent crimes against women.

I’m exhausted. I close my laptop. I’m done. I’m spent. Leonardo da Vinci is right. My mind has engaged in subjects of too great variety and has become tired and weak.

“In ancient Greek, the word for the highest degree of human happiness is eudaimonia, which basically means “well-daemoned”, whispers Gilbert from her book. My daemon has forsaken me. She is keeping company with someone devoted to her. I am unhappy. No, correct that, I am in despair. I want her back. ‘Give me another chance. I’ll be better. I promise,’ I plead.

I meditate, go for a walk have a coffee break and decide to lock myself in my room for a productivity burst. Wish me luck! Before I go I remind myself of something I read in The Book of Joy by Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu:

“Focus is so important that neuroscientist Richard Davidson found that one of the four neural circuits of well-being was dedicated to our ability to focus the mind.”

Despite this sage sound-bite my mind wanders again. Why is it so hard?

There are divergent thoughts on what it means to be focused. Some people believe you should focus on only one thing, one task, one priority, one book at a time.  Only when you have finished that task, they say sagely, do you move to the next. Great! If that works for you, you have your success strategy.

But some people thrive on variety. Seeing one thing through to the end often bores them—stifling their creativity and productivity. That’s me.

If a lack of focus is something getting in your way, really drill down into the causal factors. Play the role of a scientist. Discover the cause, identify the effect, hypothesise solutions, and experiment until you find a strategy that works. Perhaps the issue is less about focus and more about self-discipline.

Eckhart Tole, author of The Power of Now, advocates surrender. Whatever is holding your attention now—surrender to it. Focus on what you ‘should’ be doing at a later date.

Juggling too many balls? Prioritise them, set a timer, and allocate segmented time for all the competing activities you feel must get done. Practice creative procrastination. Ask yourself, “What is the best use of my time right now?” Put off everything else.

Gary Keller, in his bestselling book The One Thing, advocates going small—narrow your concentration at any one time to one thing. Ask yourself, “What’s the ONE thing you can do this week (or whatever time period works for you) such that by doing it everything else would be easier or unnecessary?” Sometimes I go small by setting the timer and dedicating myself to my one task by working in 15-minute sprints. I talk more about this in The Prosperous Author: Productivity Hacks: Do Less & Make More.

You may find that too much environmental mayhem is hindering your winning writing mindset. Studies have shown that a cluttered environment restricts your ability to focus. Consider streamlining your environment to create the ultimate mindset.

Remind yourself of a time when you struggled to focus. What worked then that you could apply now? Focus your energy on the things that are important to you. What is the ONE thing you can do this week which will make doing everything else easier or unnecessary?

As I share in the Art of Success, take a holistic swipe at things holding you back from living your best life. Declutter your emotional, physical and spiritual environment. And keep swatting those dis-ease riddled flies.



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

Available in 2021


Helpful resources mentioned in this post


The Prosperous Author: Productivity Hacks: Do Less & Make More

To enjoy your copy from Amazon, click here>>getBook.at/AuthorProductivityHacks

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

To enjoy your copy from Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/ebook/the-prosperous-author-how-to-make-a-living-with-your-writing-productivity-hacks-do-less-make-more


No! Why ‘No’ is the New ‘Yes’: How to Reclaim Your Life, Shine in the Sun, and Be Authentically You

To enjoy your copy from Amazon, click here>>getbook.at/NoTheNewYesBook

To enjoy your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/3JDK5P

To enjoy your copy from Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/ebook/no-why-no-is-the-new-yes


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

To grab your copy of the Art of Success from Amazon, click here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IR11NAO

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

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


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You might like:

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

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

The Surprising Benefits of Working With Purpose

Here are three more things you might like:

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

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

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

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

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>


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

Sunday, June 14th, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


Mindful Meditation

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

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

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

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

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

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


• Decreased stress and anxiety

• Improved focus, memory, and learning ability

• Heightened recharging capacity

• Higher IQ and more efficient brain functioning

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

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

• Increased creativity and connection with your higher intelligence


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Feel-Good Books to Read Right Now


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

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

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

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


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


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



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


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


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



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

Amazon>> getBook.at/Passion

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


Also available in Audio from Audible











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

 Available for pre-order now>>AMAZON