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Archive for the 'Word by Word Book' 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

 

Did you enjoy this post?

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

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 >>

 

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

How guavas and working from home is the ultimate refuel strategy

Sunday, September 27th, 2020

 

“That should put more lead in your pencil.”

~ Lorenzo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

free guided hypnosis meditation

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

DID YOU ENJOY THIS POST?

You may also like:

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

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

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

 

Here are three more things you might like:


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


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


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

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

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

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

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

Saturday, September 26th, 2020

 

 

“Only do what your heart tells you.”

Princess Diana

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chapter One

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

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

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

She just wasn’t sure how.

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

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

Almost beyond the reach of her doubts and fears.

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

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

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

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

Chapter Two

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

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

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

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

Her words were like spears.

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

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

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

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

Author’s note

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

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

But then what sort of life would I have had?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 Available soon

 

FREE GUIDED MEDITATION

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

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

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

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

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

 Other books mentioned in this post

 

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

Amazon: getBook.at/Passion

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

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

AUDIO

USA

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

UK

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

Australia

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

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

Amazon:

getbook.at/TheLittlePrincess

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

https://books2read.com/u/b5709p

To purchase the eBook on Kobo >>

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

The Little Princess

USA

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

UK

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

Australia

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

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

 

DID YOU ENJOY THIS POST?

You may also like:

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

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

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

 

Here are three more things you might like:


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


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


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

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

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

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

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

Saturday, September 19th, 2020

 

 

“If you want to be a novelist, write. Everyday. Faithfully, serenely, and diligently. You have to want to write so badly that nothing, not jobs, not friends, not family, not TV or the movies will stop you. You want it so badly that you will not be deterred.”
~ John Dufresne

I’ve heard it said that resistance shows up when your closest finishing, but I actually find from experience that shows up all the time.  It’s the thought of sitting down to write that is often the hardest and less I just say just for today word by word I’ll just write one word or maybe two words or perhaps I’ll sit down in front of my computer just for an hour.

It sounds easy but it’s often not. Suddenly watching Netflix is more compelling or perhaps it’s a good time to phone a friend. Or perhaps I could just spare myself the pain and tell myself, “I don’t know what to write. I won’t even be able to finish. This book is not good. What am I thinking even starting such an ambitious project?”

Resistance often shows up when there is drama is around me and I convince myself that I have to sit down and peace and write. Gosh if only I had that luxury.

But if I am to make writing my career and not give in to the voices telling me to go looking for a job, sign onto the recruitment websites, go live with my mother, or some other dire remedy—I must show up and write.

If I feed fear and say ‘you’re never going to make it’ that just lowers my vibration and brings that intention into being.
So I just make a commitment to write small.

Like now I’m going to open my manuscript and my Scrivener file and just locate one chapter and see what I need to do to carry the story forward.

And then I open it up and my first thought is ‘gosh where do I start?’’ But I can just set the intention to start somewhere, anywhere, perhaps it’s somewhere I am interested in particularly. And, voila, the magic starts and I am in the story.

Right now I have gone to a scene about a character that I need to flesh out a little bit more detail on so that I can add some more texture to the scene. Little is good. Small steps mean I’m moving forward.

Before I know it I’m really into things and it’s hard to stop. This is what some people call flow. It’s like a meditation. You are just completely unconscious of all those fearful thoughts that ruminated in your mind and stopped you from turning up in the first place.

Nora Roberts once said, “A writer never finds the time to write. A Writer makes it. If you don’t have the drive, the discipline, and the desire, then you can have all the talent in the world, and you aren’t going to finish a book.”

You don’t have to know what you’re going to write. You just have to have the desire, the drive, and the discipline to show up and write word by word.

And now I’m feeling excited so if I can keep the momentum which I will, I already know what I want to write tomorrow.

That’s the gift of keeping on keeping on. I know that because I’m writing short. I’d like to write more description which I’ve just discovered in my research file and weave that into this one scene.

And it’s not that I had completely exhausted thinking about my more arresting financial problems. Or why my relationships always seem to have so much drama. Nor whether the orchids will flower.

Despite the doubt, it’s just that for now I’ve parked my worries and entered into the energy and excitement of the book.
Just knowing that finishing a book just takes a word followed by another word, followed by another word, can overcome the tremendous sense of overwhelm I and many of my students and other writers experience.

Writing can be a pressured, stressful, infuriating and thankless endeavour. We can load so much expectation on ourselves and take ourselves far too seriously. So here is another story I tell often.

A wonderful counsellor who I trained to be a Worklife Solutions Certified Life Coach recommended the book The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles, by Bruce Lipton.

Lipton is an American developmental biologist best known for promoting the idea that genes and DNA can be manipulated by a person’s beliefs.

In his book, he shares how he experienced a paradigm shift while at a conference. Back then, Lipton, like so many of us, didn’t fully realise the crucial role the subconscious mind plays in the change process.

“Instead, I relied mostly on trying to power through negative behaviour, using positive thinking and willpower. I knew, though, that I had had only limited success in making personal changes in my own life.

“I also knew that when I offered this solution, the energy in the room dropped like a lead balloon. It seems my sophisticated audiences had already tried willpower and positive thinking with limited success.”

Fate intervened for Lipton, as it did for me when I was guided to his book. So often life whispers to us, but we fail to tune in. In Lipton’s case, the messenger he needed to hear was sitting right next to him; psychotherapist Rob Williams, the creator of the self-help tool PSYCH-K, was presenting at the same conference.
“Rob’s opening remarks quickly had the entire audience on the edge of our seats. In his introduction, Rob stated that PSYCH-K can change long-standing, limiting beliefs in a matter of minutes,” Lipton wrote.
In his book The Biology of Belief, Lipton shares how, in less than 10 minutes, a woman paralysed by her fear of public speaking transformed into a confident, excited, and visibly relaxed person up on the stage. The transformation Lipton witnessed was so astounding, he has since used PYSCH-K in his own life.
“PSYCH-K has helped me undo my self-limiting beliefs, including one about not being able to finish my book,” Lipton wrote at the end of his book.

That struck a chord with me. I felt a thrill of excitement. Not a thrill, but a trill—a song deep in my heart. Lipton was like the Pied Piper and I was happy to follow. At the time, I had so many unfinished books and had published nothing.

A month after working with a PSYCH-K trained practitioner, I finished the first two books in my Mid-Life Career Rescue series. Soon after, I released my third, Midlife Career Rescue: Employ Yourself, followed quickly by a fourth book, How to Find Your Passion and Purpose.

At the time of writing, I have since also published eleven romance books under my pen name, Mollie Mathews.
Now, you’re reading my thirtieth book—all completed within the last three years. All because, despite feeling sceptical (and a little vulnerable), I sought help to reprogram my mindset.

If traumatic memories or unhelpful beliefs are ingrained, or you keep sabotaging your own success, seeking help from a qualified practitioner with expertise in reprogramming stubborn, disempowering beliefs may be a game-changer.

You may not need to see a therapist to move beyond self-limiting beliefs; but if you do, go and get help. There’s magic in that.
You can also learn from some of the most powerful, effective, and simple techniques used by practitioners working in the realm of positive psychology and mind reprogramming. This includes hypnosis—something you’ll discover later in this book.

This is not a bad line to have taped your writing desk:
“The moment you change your perception is the moment you rewrite the chemistry of your body.”

Talk to yourself in the kindest possible way. “Darling, you can do this. All we have to do is make a little bit of progress. It will be so much fun. Let’s write a description of a young art curator at a fancy museum who’s just discovered her biological father is the world’s most notorious art thief. Are you okay with that? We’re going to find something that will help us write that.

“That’s all we’re going to do for this present moment. We are just going to take this little by little, word by word. But we are going to finish this one short task.”

 

 

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

 COMING SOON

 

FREE GUIDED MEDITATION

 

Is writer’s block, procrastination or self-doubt holding you back? The cure may be as simple as shifting unhelpful beliefs. So often, we aren’t even aware of what our self-limiting beliefs are.
If your unhelpful thoughts are ingrained, or you keep sabotaging your own success, reprogramming stubborn, disempowering beliefs may be a game-changer.
Harness the power of your superconscious with this guided hypnosis meditation. Create the optimum state of mind for your writing or creative projects.
You’ll be subscribed to my newsletter and receive helpful tips and inspiration to live your best life. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Click here to receive your free guided hypnosis meditation—Creating An Optimum State of Mind>>https://dl.bookfunnel.com/v3ul0lajve

How to overcome impostor syndrome and things that keep you stuck

Tuesday, August 11th, 2020

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

Did you enjoy this post?

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

You might like:

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

How might we sabotage ourselves?

Emotional alchemy—the spontaneous healing power of joy

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

 

Here are three more things you might like:


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


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


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

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

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

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

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

Friday, July 17th, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

“I want to know what passion is.

I want to feel something strongly.”

~ Aldous Huxley

 

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

 Available for pre-order now>>AMAZON

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

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

 

 

P.S.

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

The Surprising Benefits of Working With Purpose

Thursday, July 16th, 2020

 

 

We are all pens in the hands of a writing God sending love letters to the world.

~ Mother Theresa

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

“It is in giving that I connect with others, with the world and with the divine”, says author Isabel Allende.

Tapping into higher levels of consciousness is how many prosperous authors of both fiction and non-fiction achieve phenomenal results.

As Dr. Joe Dispenza writes in his book Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind, “An innate higher intelligence gives us life.”

Centred around what you may call your divine, spiritual, or subconscious mind, Dispenza’s research has shown that when people tap into their inner power they connect with a greater mind and an elevated consciousness.

Others refer to this heightened super-consciousness as their soul or heart, and believe that we are all born into this life with a pre-destined life purpose.

It is in living this soul purpose, and consciously or unconsciously tapping into universal needs, that people forge connections that lead to their prosperity.

Very often the gifts that are bestowed to successful authors arise from some of the darkest nights of their souls. They use their writing to heal and transcend their pain and share what they have learned in the hope that it helps others.

J.K. Rowling escaped an abusive relationship and found comfort creating a fantasy world full of magic.

Elizabeth Gilbert left a loveless marriage and wrote Eat, Pray, Love.

Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl wrote Man’s Search for Meaning following his experience as a prisoner in German concentration camps.

Paulo Coelho wrote The Alchemist in less than two weeks following his own search for meaning. The book’s main theme is about finding one’s destiny. According to The New York Times, The Alchemist is more self-help than literature.

“When you really want something to happen, the whole universe will conspire so that your wish comes true,” an old king tells Santiago in The Alchemist. This is the core of the novel’s philosophy and a motif that plays throughout Coelho’s writing.

He speaks from experience—turning his back on the legal profession his parents wanted him to pursue, Coelho desperately wanted to become a writer.

“Books are not here to show how intelligent and cultivated you are. Books are out there to show your heart, to show your soul, and to tell your fans ‘I’m not alone’,” Coelho says.  “I hope you are not alone; you can identify yourself with my books, my words, as I can identify myself with your garden, your music—anything we do with love.”

Benefits of creating with purpose include:

  • Tapping into your life’s purpose gives you an edge; it stokes the flames of passion, enthusiasm, drive, and initiative needed to succeed
  • A sense of purpose can give you the courage, tenacity, and clarity of vision needed to thrive
  • Purpose fuels the embers of flagging motivation and latent dreams
  • A sense of purpose can lead you to the work you were born to do
  • Discovering your true calling opens you up to the dreams the Universe has for you—bigger than you can dream for yourself
  • Creating with purpose connects you with divine intelligence, universal energy, and the laws of attraction—magnetising people to you

What experiences give your life meaning and purpose?

How could writing, creating or working with purpose benefit you and others?

 

P.S. Do you need helping finding your purpose? You’ll love my Online Course: Find Your Passion and Purpose with my best-selling self-paced course made for busy people.

 

 

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

 

Available for pre-order now>>AMAZON

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

Wednesday, July 8th, 2020

Chapter one: Discipline

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

Danielle Steel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 Available soon

free guided hypnosis meditation

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

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

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

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

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

 

Did you enjoy this post?

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

 

You might like:

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

Emotional alchemy—the spontaneous healing power of joy

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

 

Here are three more things you might like:


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


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


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

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

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

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

 

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