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Posts Tagged 'depression'

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.


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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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10 things you can do to stay positive despite fearing failure

Tuesday, July 28th, 2020

Dear friends,

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

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

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

George Burns, Comedian

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

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

When was the last time you tested your fears?

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

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

 

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

 

The Eight Principles of Success

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

What Is Success?

I wish to work miracles.

~Leonardo da Vinci

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

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

Success is living life on your terms.

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

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

Your Challenge

What does success mean to you?

How will you know when you have succeeded?

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

~ Arianna Huffington, businesswoman

 

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

 

Tip 1. Ask yourself empowering questions

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

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

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

Tip 2. Read an empowering book

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

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

 

Listen to How to Find Your Passion and Purpose

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

 

Tip 3. Become greater at gratitude

 

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

 

Tip 4. Hire a Career Coach

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

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

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

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

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

Tip 5. Volunteer

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Tip 6. Do what you love with who you love

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

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

Tip 7. Find a way to feel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Draw an animal,” he said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“She doesn’t want to stand out.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The ABCDEF Method

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

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

B – the person’s beliefs about ‘A’

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

D – disputing ‘B’ irrational beliefs

E – the effect that disputation has on the client

F – new feelings and behaviours

 

Example:

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

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

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

 

B – the beliefs about ‘A’

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

He doesn’t speak to me again that evening.

 

D – disputing ‘B’ irrational beliefs

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

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

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

 

E – effect that disputation has

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

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

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

 

F – new feelings and behaviours

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Tip 8. GOLOV

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://youtu.be/bYOHHLLuaMg

 

Tip 9. Trust your heart

Courage is the Gateway to Freedom

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

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

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

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

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

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

…AND I MEAN IT… 

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

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

Tip 10. Elevate your energy—nourish your joy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Every day I fight for my dreams.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

P.S.

GRAB YOUR FREE BOOK – my gift to you

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

Learn more about Cassandra from reading Testimonials to her work.

 

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

Life transformed by faith in the stars

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

Mid-Life Career Rescue: Job Search Strategies That Work

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

* name changed to protect privacy

 

 

 

How might we sabotage ourselves?

Thursday, July 23rd, 2020

Love yourself unconditionally

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nor should you.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

6 Signs You Have A Toxic Mother

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

Mean Mothers: Overcoming the Legacy of Hurt

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

The Power Is Within You

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

https://youtu.be/LA4AXvz9AHc

Reprogram Your Mind Through Affirmations

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

https://youtu.be/L57HYnWVNfk

5 Ways Being Too Nice Can Hurt You

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

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

How To Fail With Elizabeth Day

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

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

Complex Trauma

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

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

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

Read more here>>

And here’s a few thoughts from me:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Much love
xxxx

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

WHAT THIS BOOK IS ABOUT

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

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

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

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

This book is especially for you if you’re:

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

What readers say

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

~ Laura V.

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

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

THOSE PAPERBACK AND EBOOK LINKS AGAIN:

To enjoy your copy from Amazon, click here:

viewbook.at/WhyDoesntMummyLoveMe

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

To enjoy your copy from Kobo, click here:

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

ENJOY!

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

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

Amazon:

getbook.at/TheLittlePrincess

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

https://books2read.com/u/b5709p

To purchase the eBook on Kobo >>

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

AUDIOBOOKS

USA

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

UK

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

Australia

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

 

 

 

Did you enjoy this post?

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

You might like:

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

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

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

 

Here are three more things you might like:


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


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


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

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

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

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

 

Have you heard of Whoop Therapy?

Thursday, May 21st, 2020

Transform your life in minutes!

Laughter really is the best medicine! I just got off a coaching call. We laughed and giggled and whooped. “I felt stuck before my coaching with you,” my client shared. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do. But now I have direction.”

Her feedback made me smile. Helping others is such a joy. I love and appreciate my clients so much – their courage, their vulnerability, their willingness to reach out and ask for help.

“What helped?” I asked.

“Talking out loud with someone who is practical and inspirational.”

To schedule a session or discover how I can help you, email cassandra@cassandragaisford.com, text or call +64 21873833

I offer a range of transformational life and career rescue remedies, including:

Quantum Transformational Coaching (QTC) to rapidly breakthrough limiting beliefs, sabotaging thoughts, subconscious blocks, and outdated scripts that are holding you back. Laugh therapy optional!

For more details or to schedule a call, please visit

https://www.cassandragaisford.com/wellness-therapies/

 

 

Quantum Transformational Coaching—all your questions answered

A therapeutic approach as unique and multifaceted as you are

Quantum Transformational Coaching (QTC) is a life-transforming therapy created by Cassandra Gaisford (DipPsych; Dip Counselling) with a proven ability to create self-empowered change rapidly. QTC integrates a number of modalities including—not limited to CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), Hypnosis, Reiki, Interactive Drawing Therapy, Solutions Focused, Appreciative Enquiry, Rogerian (feeling based therapy), Choice Therapy, Positive Psychology, and hypnosis. By combining these modalities, rather than being limited by one dominant approach, incredible transformation, tailored to your unique needs occurs at all levels essential to your well-being— mind, heart, body, soul, and in your relationship with others.

 

QTC offers a holistic smorgasbord of therapies to create transformational change rapidly

The two-hour life-transformational therapy with Cassandra; anywhere in the world via Skype, with an optional 1-hour upgrade available.

QTC Therapy can successfully recalibrate and treat:

  • Feelings of not being good enough
  • Worrying what others think of you
  • Addictions and substance abuse, incl. alcohol, sugar, over-eating
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Money blocks and financial worries
  • Fear of public speaking
  • Stress, burnout, and overwhelm
  • Feeling stuck, blocked, or self-sabotaging behaviour
  • Anger, rage, and resentment
  • Sleep issues
  • Relationship issues

Anything that holds you back from being the best version of yourself can be reset in one personalized two-hour session. Feel free of old emotional issues, patterns, and scripts affecting your behaviour. Feel empowered, motivated, self-empowered and more certain of your passion, purpose, and direction. Feel better equipped to deal with situations constructively with less stress and better results. Immediate results guaranteed.

My Personal QTC Therapy Story

 

As I share in my Mid-Life Career Rescue books,  I once was in a job that was so stressful it gave me shingles. I worked with a career counsellor who employed IDT as part of her tool-kit. I drew the picture of the bird (I now use on the covers of my books) trapped in a cage with the door open but she didn’t think she could fly. My coach cried.

But then she and I developed possible solutions, including applying for a minimum of six jobs even if I didn’t think I had a hope of getting them.

And I didn’t think I had a hope.

I really felt nobody would employ me. But my coach kept me focused on my dreams. She helped me realize what I really needed it in a job to feel happy—at work and in life.

And she helped me believe that even though I thought it was impossible…that maybe – and that was a tiny, tiny maybe for me at the time with how I felt – that maybe I could make my dream career come true.

So I applied for these jobs – even ‘far out’ ones I didn’t think I could get. But I still only had five job applications in my career basket.  So on a wing and a prayer, and because I needed one more to keep my coach off my back, I made a “cold call” (they didn’t know me and I didn’t know them) and approached an organisation that I thought had the integrity and true commitment to caring for people in the workplace that I really needed and which was lacking in my current role.

And blow me down – if I didn’t get offered the job I never thought I would get. Plus the company I really wanted to work for didn’t have a job but they created one for me—actually, we co-created it, because I was so clear about what I needed and what I could offer. And they were clear about how I matched what they needed to. Proof that when passions collide expect to get hired. In fact, they said to me, “Thank you so much for walking in the door.” (so if you’re nervous and feel you’re imposing on people—don’t be! They’ll be glad you showed initiative – and if they’re not? Move on.)

I became the National Manager of Careerlines for an Employer Assistance Programme provider, a new division which complemented their personal and crisis counselling services. They let me develop a new business, with all the tools and approaches I wanted and felt was important to help people make good career decisions, over stress and trauma in the workplace and find their happy place. My first client was suicidal—so I promptly asked for training to become a professional counsellor – just to be sure I was keeping people safe.

While studying for my counselling qualification a prerequisite was that I had to receive counselling myself from an experienced practitioner. Makes sense! I wanted to get the most from this requirement so set out to experience as many therapeutic approaches as possible…even ones I thought (at the time) sounded weird—like energy healing, body-talk, and more.

My father (pictured above) in his later years was a noted researcher and healer. He was an early pioneer in the field of apitherapy. As Wikipedia so excellently sums up, “Apitherapy is a branch of alternative medicine that uses honey bee products, including honeypollenpropolisroyal jelly and bee venom. Proponents of apitherapy make claims for its health benefits which remain unsupported by evidence-based medicine. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apitherapy.)”

The last line (“health benefits which remain unsupported by evidence-based medicine”) is especially pertinent to my father. He was a tireless campaigner who fought to have alternative approaches to healing accepted by the medical establishment. Many of the treatments that were then regarded as unconventional, ‘woo-woo’ cures —including acupuncture, are now widely accepted, and in many cases have been validated using evidence-based techniques. In large part, it is not that the cures did not work, it is the humankind lacked the technology to evidence or measure the results.

You can read more about him and how his interest in Chinese medicine and holistic approaches influenced me here—http://www.cassandragaisford.com/celebrating-the-life-and-legacy-of-an-extraordinary-man-graeham-william-gaisford/

Anyway…

While I am an advocate for alternative approaches to healing, I also value evidence-based techniques. My evidence is gained both from the extensive work I have done with clients, and also the transformational change I have created in my own life including:

  • Leaving a job I hated and creating one I love
  • Finding a loving relationship after years of loneliness
  • Raising a daughter as a single parent
  • Overcoming social anxiety and my fear of public speaking and presenting my passion-driven work model to a global audience
  • Bouncing back from suicidal ideation following a failed engagement
  • Supporting loved ones through periods of extreme despair, including substance abuse, relationship abuse and attempted suicides
  • Releasing my fear of judgment, standing out from the crowd and failure
  • Breaking free of self-sabotaging behaviour—including not being able to finish my books (now, in less than two years, I have written and published 28 best-sellers. My self-published book, ‘Mid-Life Career Rescue’ was an Amazon.com 2015 #1 bestseller. You’ll find many of my other self-empowerment books here—Author.to/CassandraGaisford

 

QTC Works! It Has Worked For Me and It Has Worked For My Clients

‘Thank YOU!  Our coaching was immensely helpful, and I have renewed hope for finding my way.  You are simply lovely, and brilliant, and wise.  So glad our energies aligned and I found you!’

~ Lisa Webb, artist, New York

 

‘Cassandra has been great to work with. She’s flexible in her approach, but also keeps the coaching sessions focused and productive. I was unsure about having the coaching via Skype, but it hasn’t been a problem at all. I still feel a strong sense of immediacy and connection and come away from our sessions feeling energized and empowered.’

~ Jan, communications professional, New Zealand

 

“A coaching session with Cassandra is like a light switch to a light bulb. My ideas were there but without that light switch I wasn’t able to see them and manifest my dream of running a holistic business from home. Straight away, Cassandra was able to get to the heart of my core values and how to put them into a dream business. I now have the sense of purpose and drive to achieve my business goals. Cassandra’s warm personality and positive approach make her a joy to work with. I recommend her to anyone who wants to unlock their personal and professional potential.”

~ Shelley Sweeney, writer & Reiki practitioner, New Zealand

 

QTC therapy is available via phone or Skype, anywhere in the world.

Become the best version of yourself now. Book your session by emailing me Cassandra@cassandragaisford.com

You might like:

Does talk therapy actually work?

Savvy Sobriety: The new happiness trend you need to know

Spiritual approaches to the treatment of alcohol addiction

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

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

Life transformed by faith in the stars

 

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.

What do bees, art, happiness and healing have in common? New works: Custom art made with molten beeswax

Monday, April 20th, 2020

Peace, love, joy


Custom beeswax art made with molten beeswax applied on canvas board, fused with sultry flame, finished with love. Art that smells divine and soothes the soul

 

 

 

Wisdom of the golden snake

Another new work. Feeling inspired during COVID-19
beeswax and fire. Custom-made on hardboard

Colour field painting in my studio and outside

Available now. Shipping worldwide

 

I absolutely loved the honey bees flying all over the studio today when I was doing my beeswax painting and here is a lovely wee soul on the edge just looking and studying and absorbing. My father was a beekeeper, so this is even more special to me. It is to my father that I owe my love of research and a deep commitment to, and interest in, alternative forms of healing—now commonly known as (and increasingly accepted by those against ‘non-conventional’ medicine and forms of treatment) as holistic health.

My father dedicated his later years to helping others and was an early pioneer in the field of apitherapy. As Wikipedia so excellently sums up, “Apitherapy is a branch of alternative medicine that uses honey bee products, including honeypollenpropolisroyal jelly, and bee venom. Proponents of apitherapy make claims for its health benefits which remain unsupported by evidence-based medicine. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apitherapy.)”

The last line (“health benefits which remain unsupported by evidence-based medicine”) is especially pertinent to my father. He was a tireless campaigner who fought to have alternative approaches to healing accepted by the medical establishment. Many of the treatments that were then regarded as unconventional, ‘woo-woo’ cures —including acupuncture, are now widely accepted, and in many cases have been validated using evidence-based techniques. In large part, it is not that the cures did not work, it is the humankind lacked the technology to evidence or measure the results.

 I am proud to continue his tireless campaign today in my holistic, health and wellness-based approach to my work as a holistic therapist, energy healer, Reiki Master, artist and self-empowerment author who is not afraid to challenge the status quo. I believe, as Picasso does, that “art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life” and is healing for the soul.

 

 

 

Check out more of my work here>>https://www.cassandragaisford.com/gallery/

Commissions Welcome.

 

Did you enjoy this post? You may also like:

 

Feel the heat>>https://www.cassandragaisford.com/feel-the-heat-new-works/

What inspires me>> https://www.cassandragaisford.com/what-inspires-me/

Celebrating the life and legacy of an extraordinary man—Graeham William Gaisford>>http://www.cassandragaisford.com/celebrating-the-life-and-legacy-of-an-extraordinary-man-graeham-william-gaisford-2/

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.

What can you do?

Saturday, April 4th, 2020

 

 

 

I’m keeping busy during confinement at home under ‘lockdown’!!! I just finished writing and narrating Lulu is a Black Sheep, and Happy at Work for Mid-Lifers.

Both books are designed to support people who are going through life challenges including loss of income, the detonation of their careers, and rejection and abandonment by their family. As always the message is one of self-empowerment, resilience, and divine guidance.

Both books are available for pre-order (release date 8 April) now at a REDUCED price to celebrate the launch and to also make them affordable for people worried about their finances.

I’m also a third through narrating Sex With Strangers…a romantic comedy with an x-rated life coach!

It’s taking me a lot longer to knuckle down than usual (daily stories of how many people are suffering and concerns about my own family worry me.) But keeping busy is a great way to distract ourselves mentally.

I just learned that Shakespeare wrote King Lear and Macbeth, and F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway were in quarantine in France for the Spanish Flu in 1918. It can be a worrying time but a productive time if we turn our hearts to what makes our soul sing.

I hope wherever you are in the world you have someone to share your joy, your heart, your angst, and your healing.

I’m so grateful to all my clients and my readers who share their longings with me and reach out for support and comfort and inspiration to keep going with their dreams and deepest longings and pursue the things that make their soul sing.

 

I hope you enjoy this wee excerpt from How to Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love.

“It’s a circle—the more you know, the more you remember. It’s a circle. So yes, it gets easier, it gets better, it becomes more joyful.”

Neale Walsche

When you’re feeling stressed, depressed, forlorn or lonely it can feel as though it’s impossible to summon the energy to do anything you love. But it is possible. It’s possible to do a little thing. A small thing. A tiny thing.

Whether it’s just taking one deep breath. Taking five extra steps. Or signing up for a class you’re curious about and just sitting there absorbing the creative energy.

Hannah did this recently when she learned to crochet. One stitch at a time, she slowly felt her joy return. And as she waited, a new joy was created. A beautiful, happy hobby.

During low times in Cassandra’s life, she loves to sit in places of sacred silence. This may be the beach, the forest or the sanctuary of her bedroom. When she returned to Wellington to support Hannah after her release from hospital recently, she decided to spark joy by going with her daughter to the healing harmony of Saint Mary’s of The Angels. They lit a candle, said a prayer, and sat in sacred silence.

Then they went as planned to their health appointment and said what they needed to say and listened to what they need to hear.

They closed their ears to toxicity, negativity, and fear and opened their hearts to love, light, and learning. Learning how to grow. Learning how to flow. Learning, again how to listen to the wisdom of divine intelligence that resides within.

As above, so below, we are reminded. Spirit soars in heaven and on earth.

With one foot in front of the other, we must keep moving forward.

What can you do?

How can you remind yourself that whatever you are going through will pass and the sun will come again?

 

What seems impossible to you? To write a book? To find your joy? To wake up happy? Rebuilding your life after a tsunami of stress? To forge a stellar career despite seemingly serious handicaps or a major accident or health crisis? Look closer. Look closer still. Look closer at the word IMPOSSIBLE? Do you see what is hiding in plain sight?

I’m possible.

Look again.

I’m possible.

Yes!Yes!Yes!

I’m possible!!!!

Shout it with glee.

“If it’s to be, it’s up to me.”

 

When you do the I’m possible you inspire others to follow their joy too.

Achieving the unachievable tastes delicious—like swiss chocolate infused with strawberry-scented gold-dust. It doesn’t have to be huge. Making our bed after a period of depression. Going for a walk after a period of incarceration or self-isolation. Reaching out to a friend. Or staying sober after a year. What matters is that what you do matters to you.

 

“Every man has a quiet place in his soul,

where everything is self-evident,

a place to which he likes to retire from the confusing possibilities of life,

because there everything is simple and clear, with a manifest and limited purpose.”

~ Carl Jung, The Red Book

 

Stay home, stay safe, stay healthy and be kind to yourself and those you love.

 

Take care xxx

 

 

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

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.

Emotional alchemy—the spontaneous healing power of joy

Friday, March 20th, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

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

Deepak Chopra

 

 

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

I felt a surge of joy as I drove along the country roads of The Bay of Islands and headed toward the township of Kerikeri with my painting, ‘Blossom’ in the backseat. I felt delighted when the Fundraising and Awareness Manager, for Hospice Mid-Northland greeted Blossom, “Wow. That’s brilliant,” she said. “Thank you so much. I love it.”

“Everyone needs cheering up at moments like these,” I said, referencing the fact that the people they care for are dying. “I hope it brings a few moments of happiness and joy. I know how healing creativity can be.”

I shared with her the memory of her step-father Ted, a military man, who in the final stages of brain cancer, began to paint watercolours. Brilliant watercolours they were too—surprising everyone who had known him.

Painting brought Ted a few precious moments of joy and peace, and escape. And when he left this world, we had them framed and they were the gift that kept on giving.

“Love. Joy, Prosperity. Hope,” I said, reading out the words I had painted in French, to the Fundraising and Awareness Manager.

It is the intention behind your giving and receiving that is the most important thing. The act of giving doesn’t always have to involve giving something away for free, but it should always be joyful. It should always be to create happiness for both the giver and the receiver—then the energy behind the giving multiplies, spreading seeds of joy in the world.

What can you gift or do to give joy to others? It doesn’t have to be a physical thing, it may be by volunteering, dressing joyfully, sending a kind thought or a prayer, or the willingness to forgive.

Go do that:)

 

During the trauma of the Coronavirus creating such havoc in people’s lives, there have been times when it has felt frivolous to be creating art and sharing these images on Instagram. But then I remind myself that art is one of the highest forms of hope, healing, and happiness. Whether this is in creating art of in gazing at something uplifting. Art is the goddess that keeps giving and giving and giving. So many people have healed themselves of addictions, transcended traumas and found peace during times of pain. Personally and professionally I find so much joy when people feel joy through the creations I have brought forth from my heart.

If you are suffering, if you are stressed, if you are feeling the strain of current times I encourage you to find comfort in art.

 

Yellow is the colour of hope, happiness, optimism and the life-giving sun. For me, yellow is the colour of joy. Below are just a few of the many creations, with healthy splashes of yellow, that people have taken with them to their homes and offices and countries, and in the knowledge of the joy they have carried, I feel great joy and gratitude.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

Did you enjoy this post?

You might like:

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

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

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

 

Here are three more things you might like:


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


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


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

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

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

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

Slay the ‘nasties’ and intensify the ‘kind-ies’

Friday, January 31st, 2020

 

Look after your mental health by keeping a feedback file so when someone says something unkind and untruthful about you, you can remind yourself of your integrity. I received this lovely feedback the other day and was reminded to re-read it after a woman texted me the most horrible thing. I am less rattled these days by, what my 10-year-old counseling client calls, the ‘nasties.’

“I’ve worked with Cassandra for more than ten years. When I feel I need some expert advice and guidance she is the first person I think of. I know she understands where I’m coming from and gets results. I always finish sessions with new ways of thinking about situations and feeling better about where I’m at plus achievable action items. Currently, I’m working with her while I’m outside New Zealand and although I know face-to-face is always preferable I still feel I get what I need to get on and reach my goals. It’s nice to know this distance coaching approach works as I really value the connection that I have developed over time and get a lot from working with her. Try it and see if works for you!”

Rob A. Melbourne, 2020

I love, love, love coaching people and encouraging and inspiring them to reach their dreams—so it’s always upsetting when some spreads ‘fake-news.”  But as I told the 10-year old girl, who was feeling anxious about starting high school…there will be bullies, there will be teachers who you don’t like—that’s life. But what counts is your ability to be your beautiful self inspire of them.

Today in our ’emergency’ counseling session we created ‘a box of worries’ and popped the thoughts giving her anxiety into it. On the other side of the worry, my client created ’empowering’ counter-thoughts.

 

She was worried that high-school people would call her a baby because she liked wizards and fairies and unicorns.

 

 

 

 

Her ‘unicorn’ thought (happier thought) reminded her about J.K Rowling and also Dr. Suess and all the other creatives that take their ‘babyish’ imagination and create something profitable that uplifts the world.

 

Now that’s powerful creativity.

 

One of my favourite quotes comes from Picasso, “Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” The power of creativity to positively impact people’s lives is the force that inspires me to work creatively.

 

You’ll find more creative, scientifically engineered tips and holistic strategies to beat stress and boost happiness in Resilience Plus: 5 Book-Bundle Box Set: How to Overcome Adversity, Build Resilience and Be Happy

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

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/3LDr1M

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

 

Too busy to meditate? Maxed out with stress? Discover why meditation is the survival strategy for 2020

Monday, January 20th, 2020

 

Do you suffer from stress or anxiety?
Do you need to turn off your frazzled mind?

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 skillful decision making

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

• Increased creativity and connection with your higher intelligence

• Resilience plus!

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.

 

 

This is an excerpt from Resilience Plus.

Tips for Everyday Mental Health and Wellness Inspired by the World’s Most Successful People

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

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/3LDr1M

Save time and money and change your life

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020

 

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 your way to a new life!

How to discover the freedom of working joyfully: make a career change for the better in 2020 (and beyond)

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019

 

 

  • Do you feel trapped in a job that pays the bills but fails to give you a buzz?
  • Do you yearn for something more from your work and your life but can’t see any alternatives?
  • Have you ever been told it is unrealistic to expect job satisfaction?
  • Are you feeling uninspired, lost and uncertain about what you can offer and how you might move forward?
  • Deep down do you feel you’re too old to change, or trapped by your current circumstances?
  • Perhaps you’re a mum returning to work, or you’ve been made redundant and looking for a new job.

Maybe you’re still trying to figure out what you want to be ‘when you grow up.’ Or how to make a meaningful contribution as you contemplate retirement.

That was me once. I was a salary slave tied to an office, with no way to escape. A colleague once slipped me a note in another mundane, pointless meeting, “You’re wanted at your desk.”

Now I have the absolute freedom of working for myself and even better I can do this ANYWHERE in the world. Get off the treadmill. Break free of being a salary slave. Make the leap to a more fulfilling career in 2020 and beyond.

Consider training with me to become a Certified Career and/or Life Coach in 2020 (and beyond!). Start the foundation skills training online from the comfort of your own home and go at your own speed. Navigate to https://the-coaching-lab.teachable.com/p/worklife-solutions-coach-training-foundation-course

Or grab my new release Career Change 2020: Discover A Job You Want and Live the Life You Love will show you how to make a change for the better.
The Career Change 5 Book-Bundle Box Set includes my most popular and successful career-changing books. Available in print from all great retailers or from Amazon here>>getbook.at/CareerChange2020Box.

I’m excited to tell you that Mid-Life Career Rescue: The Call For Change 2020 is out now!  By far this has been my most popular book.

 

In both these books, I share my exact recipe for career nirvana!

Too busy or too tired to read?

Mid-Life Career Rescue: The Call for Change is available as an audiobook, narrated by me. From all good audiobook retailers and also from Audible>>

How to Find Your Passion and Purpose, is available as an audiobook, narrated by me. From all good audiobook retailers and also from Audible>>

Scroll to the bottom and CHECK OUT my latest Youtube video and see my office today. This could be yours!

It’s where my heart was today in my coaching session with a client.

When we ended our session she told me, “You’ve helped me immensely. It’s mindblowing!.”

That was a true joy – seeing how much she had grown and flourished. It was hard to believe that less than a month ago, when she first contacted me she had been in tears, – almost unable to speak. Now, she’s mastered the art of saying no, and yes, yes, yes to following her bliss.

 

WHOOO HOOOOO!

Here’s to more abundance in 2020 – may it flourish joyfully in our lives.

p.s. The real joy of 2019 was collaborating with my daughter and writing our first book together, How to Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love. As I’ve shared in earlier emails we wrote it as an experiment to see if joy could do what the pharmaceutical companies had failed. to do and heal her splintered mental health.

I was so delighted with the feedback Terry* sent us:

“I am so LOVING reading this latest from you and Hannah Joy. Cassandra first up, my heart goes out to you for what you have been through, both of you. I am gobsmacked at what I read about the mental health system, and their tunnel vision around natural wellspring options. I feel your passion in this area and support it, I have seen the same with a friend. How strong of you to offer Hannah a lifeline out of that dark downward doorway, and how special and powerful to capture that magic moment of transition through darkness in the writings (not that any darkness comes through by the way, it is a very uplifting and energising writing).

Back to the book.
There is such wisdom in these pages. I adore the bite-size morsels of advice and especially love the self-reflection questions at the end of each section. I’m sitting here stopped in my tracks going, yes yes yes as my mind ponders the questions deeply…

Who inspires me? YOU do. I see your evolution, and it so aligns with my own inner passions. I admire your grunt, tenacity, focus, authenticity, willingness to dive into new creative pursuits and what you even make a living from it! (My limiting belief!) I wonder what self-belief systems you were raised with, I aspire to speak my voice, find my authentic truth. I’m working on it, and energy is shifting. I’ve been invited to run a training on resilience for a training company tomorrow, hence going over my copious collections of information from my library. I did a health neuroscience course a couple of years back and blend that with Ikigai – my fave little blue book on longevity. But this feels like the start of an evolution, finally closer to my heartspace than ever before!”

*name changed to protect privacy.

I Am The Oracle—How Your Name Can Fit Your Calling and Life Purpose

Sunday, September 29th, 2019

 

 

It’s my birthday tomorrow and after nearly 54 years searching for my defining purpose in life I finally had an “aha” sparkly-light flash of insight.

And it was staring me literally in the face. However, it took the divine guidance of another lightworker to spotlight the obvious. Last night I purchased Rebecca Campbell’s book, LIght is The New Black. Here is the passage that spoke to me (notes in brackets are mine):

“My entire life I’d had this weird fascination with a thing called ‘nominative determinism’ – when people’s names fit their calling or purpose in life, like little clues from the heavens. For example, William Wordsworth was a writer, Larry Speakes is a White House speaker, Tracey Cox is a sex therapist, and Lisa Messenger is the founder of Collective Magazine. (Similarly, Joanna Penn is a writer) But I’d always felt a bit cheated by my name. In Hebrew, Rebecca means ‘knotted cord,’ or ‘to bind.’ I didn’t want to be a basket and I certainly didn’t want to be a knotted cord. Then it hit me. Up until this point, I had spent my whole life searching for meaning, trying to unbind myself from the knotted bundle of thoughts that makes me, Me.”

One of the challenges I’ve had in accepting my gift for prophecy and my accurate visions stem from the meaning attributed to my name. This from Wikipedia:

 

Cassandra†or Kassandra†(Ancient Greek: Κασσάνδρα, pronounced [kas̚sándra], also Κασάνδρα), also known as Alexandra, was a daughter of King Priam and of Queen Hecuba of Troy in Greek mythology. In modern usage, her name is employed as a rhetorical device to indicate someone whose accurate prophecies are not believed by those around them.

A common version of her story relates how in an effort to seduce her, Apollo gave her the power of prophecy: when she refused him, he spat into her mouth to inflict a curse that nobody would ever believe her prophecies. In an alternative version, she fell asleep in a temple, and snakes licked (or whispered in) her ears so that she could hear the future.[a]

Cassandra became a figure of epic tradition and of tragedy.

 

whose accurate prophecies are believed by those around them.

 

Instead of accepting the curse of a sexual predator’s ad would-be rapist, as I go forward into the year ahead I am focusing on the verifiable facts regarding the accuracy of my prophecies. I will no longer be undermined, nor deterred by those who choose not to believe. I will speak my truth and continue in my mission and purpose to bring more joy, peace, hope, and healing to this world. And I will also continue to shed light of the lies which masquerade as truths. Something I write about in my book, Mind Your Drink: The Surprising Joy of Sobriety Control Alcohol, Discover Freedom, Find Happiness and Change Your Life

 

More from Wikipedia:

 

Cassandra was the daughter of King Priam (Priamos) and Queen Hecuba (Hekabe) and the fraternal twin sister of Helenus and a princess of Troy.

On a conscious level, I didn’t know this when I wrote my story, The Little Princess, where I share my own story of being bullied and how I found the courage to follow my passion and purpose. Below is a short excerpt:

CHAPTER ONE

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

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

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

She just wasn’t sure how.

 

CHAPTER TWO

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

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

Almost beyond the reach of her doubts and fears.

 

The Little Princess details the inspiring story behind the creation of The Passion Pack—a little pack of inspirational oracle-like cards. The Passion Pack later inspired one of my most popular books, How to Find Your Passion and Purpose, all started. A simple idea with a powerful message – follow your passion!

How to Find Your Passion and Purpose, a concise guide to making the most of your life, began its journey as a set of 40 cards created to help people live and work with passion.

The vision was simple: a few short, easy to digest tips for time-challenged people who were looking for inspiration and practical strategies to encourage positive change.

From my own experience, I knew that people didn’t need a large wad of words to feel inspired, gain clarity and be stimulated to take action.

In coaching and counseling sessions I’d encourage my clients to ask a question they would like answered. The questions could be specific, such as, ‘How can I make a living from my passion?’ Or vague, for example,  ‘What do I most need to know?’

Then I’d ask them to pick a card at random. Without fail, they were astounded by the card’s potent relevance. Disbelieving eyes widened in astonishment as they read either the quote or the main message they received. Many would say, “These cards are magic.”

 

More about the guiding light my name inspires: According to legend, Cassandra was both beautiful and clever, but considered insane.

Cassandra’s perceived insanity was the result of being cursed by the god Apollo. Many versions of the myth relate that she incurred the god’s wrath by refusing him sex, sometimes after first promising herself in exchange for the power of prophecy.

 

I love Meryl Streep and her take on the need for more ‘Bullshit detectors’ — “these modern-day Cassandra’s to report to us what they see, what they hear, and which way leads over the cliff, so we can swerve to avoid it…”

Thank you, Meryl (and Rebecca), for validating me, and other truth-tellers like me who wish to lead the world away from harm and guide them to the light of love and peace, strength and empowerment!

 

My daughter is named Hannah Joy (Joy after her grandmother, my mother). It seems fitting that the first book we collaborate in writing is called, How to Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You LoveHere is a wee excerpt from a chapter Hannah wrote, called Push Through. If you only knew what she has had to endure over the last 28 years. But that is her story to tell.

 

Push Through

“Once you choose hope, anything is possible.”

Christopher Reeve

Can you imagine how depressing it must have felt to have once played superman and then to become confined to a wheelchair for the rest of your life? Such a fate befell actor Christopher Reeve following a horse-riding accident.

Perhaps life has paralyzed you. Even though you might not feel like standing after a fall, it’s important to push through.  Feel the fear and play the game of life anyway.  Your power play may be pulling yourself out of your little rut and soaking up some sunshine. We truly do run off solar-batteries.

Here’s what Hannah wrote before finishing this chapter:

I don’t really feel like writing anything right now but I will because I am making a conscious choice to contribute towards this book.  To push through my lack of inspiration and find inspiration where I am.

Mustang Sally is playing in the background of the cafe where I am and that’s funny as it’s actually my little theme song and I have chosen to find some joy in that.

It’s not possible to feel joyful and inspired all the time but it’s really about choice. Choosing how you want to feel and not falling prisoner to negative feelings.

I could’ve gone back to bed but I have decided to stick to my routine and come down to Prefab cafe and work on this book. Committing to some sense of routine and wonderment.

Joy at play is where the light shines through the cracks.  This is where hope reaches us. Diving into dreams can be playful too.  Hannah dreamed that she went live inside her Facebook group and did a proper live video.  It was really inspiring and soul serving. It was a sweet dream of showing up after a long period of hiding in the shadow.

This is where the light comes in and the joy becomes more self-fulfilling. “I can overcome anything from this space. I can be filled with wonder and enlightenment,” Hannah says.

Anything can be achieved when are filled with hope and wonder and joy. Who is the first person to achieve this? The internal, ideal you. The actual self, the lower version of ourselves that might usually struggle, wakes up and realizes they she can, in fact, achieve anything and everything. The ideal, actualized self is that part of you that is no longer clingy. That rises above the supposed suffering and becomes a better version—an ideal self. You can find her from deep within, she is there. Forever and always. Invite her out to play.

Believe in your playful, inspired dreams.  Dream them and bring them into being.  Dream your new-found confidence into being. Don’t compare yourself to others and measure where they are at within their own growth process. You’re not going in that direction. You’re forging your own path.

Feel the fear and play the game of life anyway. 

Be playful with your self-talk, “You’ve got this. You can do this. I believe in you. I love you. Let’s play.”  Things like that.

 

I share Hannah’s story of being bullied and the magic that helped her still shine brightly in I Have to Grow.

As I share in the foreword:

I know now that my spirit guides, helpers and intuition spoke lead me to the ancient handwritten manuscript because the timing was divinely guided

“I originally wrote I Have to Grow twenty-four years ago when Hannah was four-years-old and was experiencing some very horrible bullying. When I look back, this really was my first book and heralded all those that followed with the focus on self-empowerment and overcoming shitty things that happen to good people.

Around May 20, 2019, following the galactic success of my own story of being bullied in The Little Princess, I prayed and prayed that I could find my original handwritten manuscript.

I rated my chances as slim. After all, twenty-four years is a long time to keep pieces of paper. Thankfully, when it comes to keeping words that inspire me I’m a hoarder.

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

I hope by sharing Hannah’s story (both in I Have to Grow and How to Find Your Joy and Purpose you realize how important it is to unearth and share your gifts. Whether you have a talent for singing, helping others or solving puzzles—whatever it is that sparks joy within you is your gift.

You may or may not want to share it with the world but what matters most is to do what makes you happy and never ever listen to anyone who tries to steal your music.

 

It’s exciting finally waking up to the truth of who I am. And it all began with my name. And it also began with reminding myself of the standout moments in my life. Some crappy, others shiny. Some of them mentioned here, and on other blog posts, and many in my books. But just as a compass doesn’t always point north, those days south of my true magnetic potential have carried me along the path to one else has traveled and which has made me uniquely me.

I wasn’t always happy being who I am. I hated my sensitivity. I tried to block it out. I tried to be who other people wanted me to be. I tried to live in a false identity. But just as at times it hurt so much to feel, it hurt more to pretend I didn’t care. I love Drew Barrymore for helping us keep things real. Only by being real ca we heal. As you’ll see below, I suffer when people take their lives. I truly suffer. But it also drives me to be the change I want to see in the world. As Michelle Obama said:

“We need to fix our souls. Our souls are broken in this nation. We have lost our way. And it begins with inspiration. It begins with leadership.”

This video was taken an hour after I learned I young landscape gardener, an exceedingly beautiful young man, had taken in his life. I knew him less than several hours (over the course of a week) – yet his death, like those of others I have never met, hurt profoundly.  It has taken me over fifty years to befriend my sensitivity and to use this to bring more hope and healing and truth into the world.

 

I was once told by a violinist in Florence, that I have the soul of an artist. I see that now. I own that now. I celebrate that now. I celebrate the woman who is super-sensitive for it is this sensitivity that I gift the world in the light-inspired creations that I have created and now devote myself to creating whole-heartedly in the future.

Wayne Dyer once said, “You can’t give what you do have.” I am so grateful to give thanks for being blessed with the soul of an artist and being able to give the world the gift of my creative, prophetic expression.

Thank you for supporting and believing in me.

Below are images of the two paintings I gifted to the local hospice – the inspiration for the words is in the video above.

 

 

 

What does your name mean? What career or life path does it suggest your follow? Whatever your name, remember we are all oracles. We all possess divine wisdom inside our heart. And if we don’t like our names we are free to choose another!

 

RESOURCES BY CASSANDRA MENTIONED IN THIS ARTICLE

The Little Princess

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

Amazon>> getbook.at/TheLittlePrincess

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

Now available in audio

How to Find Your Joy and Purpose

To Pre-order How to Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love.

Amazon>> getbook.at/FindYourJoy

 

I Have to Grow

To read the second book in Cassandra’s Transformational Super Kids series, I Have to Grow>>
getbook.at/IHavetoGrow

 

Mind Your Drink

Mind Your Drink: The Surprising Joy of Sobriety Control Alcohol, Discover Freedom, Find Happiness and Change Your Life, Amazon>> getbook.at/MindYourDrink

How to Find Your Passion and Purpose

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

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

 

 

Did you enjoy this post?

You might like:

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

Life transformed by faith in the stars

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

 

Here are three more things you might like:


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


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


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

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


For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra.

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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

 

 

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


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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.

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!

 

 

 

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


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

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

 

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

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 How to Choose Joy When Happiness Isn’t Enough And Free Giveaway to Celebrate Coco Chanel’s Birthday

Monday, August 19th, 2019

 

“I’ll be forever changed by Dr. Eger’s story…The Choice is a reminder of what courage looks like in the worst of times and that we all have the ability to pay attention to what we’ve lost, or to pay attention to what we still have.”—Oprah

 

It can be hard to feel joyful when so many things impact our lives: brutal people, toxic media, narcissistic friends and family, sociopathic leaders or just the everyday blips that happen to us all. Which makes it even more important to proactively choose joy.

Dr. Edith Eva Eger is my kind of heroine. At the age of sixteen, Edith Eger was sent to Auschwitz. She survived unspeakable horrors and brutality and was barely alive when she was pulled from a pile of corpses when the American troops liberated the camps in 1945.

But rather than become a victim, victimize others’ or let her painful past destroy her, she chose to transform it into a powerful gift—one she uses to help others heal and find joy from their trauma.

People, situations and circumstances can do many things to us but the one thing nobody can steal from you is your attitude. You always have a choice. Choose joy—because sometimes happiness isn’t enough.

You can choose joy by:

  • Affirming joy
  • Doing something joyful
  • Looking for joy even in the most stressful circumstances
  • Paying attention to what you still have
  • Helping others find joy

If something troubling or traumatic is happening in your life how can you choose joy?

As I share in my new release Coco Chanel: Life Coach, joy was something Coco sewed a career from. She once said, “The grand problem, the most important problem, is to rejuvenate women. To make women look young. Then their outlook changes. They feel more joyous.”

It’s Ms. Chanel’s birthday today (as I write this post) to celebrate I’m giving away the first five chapters of Coco Chanel: Life Coach FREE. Click the following link to grab your copy today! https://dl.bookfunnel.com/biauir7zgy

Like many of us, Coco Chanel was not born with a silver spoon in her mouth. She wasn’t the rich daughter of a billionaire or tech tycoon. She wasn’t an heiress. For much of her life, she didn’t even have parents. Her mother died when she was little and her father abandoned her to be raised by strangers in an orphanage.

This is why Coco Chanel is so inspiring to me. She suffered extreme poverty but that didn’t prevent her from thinking big. She refused to be a victim. She refused to stay small. She refused to allow people to stop her.

Perhaps it was because her fate was born in the stars—being a courageous Leo may have helped. Who knows! But what is certain is that her ability to spot an opportunity, her determination to be an independent woman, and her desire to bring joy to others, ultimately led to her success.

 

Redefine success and create a happier life. Achieve profound and meaningful change. Discover how Coco Chanel can mentor you and help you succeed.

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

To enjoy the first five chapters of Coco Chanel: Life Coach FREE. Click the following link to grab your copy today>>https://dl.bookfunnel.com/biauir7zgy

 

 

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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 >>

 

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…

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

Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

Yay! I am so excited….beyond excited! I am about to release audiobook versions of all of my self-empowerment books—first off, the two books in the Transformational Super Kids series, The Little Princess, and I Have to Grow.

Check out the video below to see what inspired these books. Perhaps you’ll relate to the common themes re bullying, envy, toxic shame and more—AND, importantly to answer the call for courage anyway. Yesterday I read I Have to Grow to a 10-year-old girl I am counseling. She was nine-years-young when she first came to see me.

When her mom referred her for counseling, she wrote:

“My daughter has experienced a lot of bullying at school over the last two years and it is manifesting itself is sought tummies, anxiety issues and resulting in time off school (and work for us). Do I need a doctor referral?”

So often, talking about your feelings is a better remedy than what a doctor can offer. The young girl told me in her first session about what had been happening to her (name-calling, being ostracized, pushed and shoved, toxic shaming, and told she was fat).

The little girl shared with me how she was sad and lonely. When I asked her what she would like to learn in counseling, she said that she wanted to learn:

 “How to deal with bullies, how to deal with time alone, how to grow resilience, stress strategies, and how to feel happier.”

It was so exciting to see her yesterday, for the first time this year, and she is so confident and strong.

Don’t let things that make you sad get in the way of being happy

But she was a little anxious about started high school next year. In our session, I read her I Have to Grow and she said to me “There are so many inspirational words in that book.”

It was very grown-up!  I asked her what she learned from listening to the story. And she said, “Don’t let things that make you sad get in the way of being happy.”

Then she paused, and said very seriously,

“I have to keep going and shine brightly.”

Amen.

In  I Have to Grow I share The Star Strategy that I encouraged my (then) four-year-old daughter to try when she was bullied.

Yesterday, the little girl completed her own star—focusing on and writing down the skills, talents and qualities you value is a great boost to self-esteem. I love that being “joyfull” is something she values—and being unique.

Can you see the unicorn in the left-hand corner? Unicorns are unique, too. When the little girl has sad or bad thoughts she uses a technique (CBT) that I taught her—she talks to her bad thoughts with her ‘unicorn voice.’

Her unicorn voice is the kind, compassionate, courageous self.

 

 

 

I Have to Grow is available in print and eBook from Amazon

Amazon. Audiobook coming soon!

getbook.at/IHavetoGrow

 

 

 

 

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New Release! The Little Princess

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.

And the winners are…

Wednesday, May 29th, 2019


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

Harley Christensen

Kenn Butler

and Brigette Blackman

Congratulations!!!!!!!!

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

“Who am I NOT to PLAY BIG?” 

Harley shared with me how my book was so timely.

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

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

Be courageous. Be bold. Be you!

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

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

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

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

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

#1 Amazon bestseller!

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s a timeless charm which tells the story of a young woman who leaves the safety of fitting in with everyone else, to follow her heart. Be inspired by this journey to transformation and self-acceptance, and self-belief as she learns to overcome the vagaries of adult behavior. Her personal odyssey culminates in a voyage of self-belief, passion, and purpose.

 

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

To purchase on Amazon>>getbook.at/TheLittlePrincess

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

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

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

A Little Book with a Powerful Message…

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

~ Harley

The Little Princess is my hero…

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

~ Sheree Clarke, Midlife Courage Coach

“The Little Princess is ‘brilliant…

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

~ Kenn Butler, CEO

 

“Very uplifting and inspiring…

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

~ Reviewer UK

“A reminder of the truth in all of us…

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

~ Maartje Jager, Designer

To purchase on Amazon>>getbook.at/TheLittlePrincess

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

 

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

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

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

Monday, April 8th, 2019

 

Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty. ~ Coco Chanel

 

 

Like me, Coco Chanel loved to be surrounded by flowers and to spend time walking amongst, or gazing upon, nature to replenish.

“I often found her alone sitting at her dressing table, gazing down into the garden, looking at the chestnut trees,“ recounts Claude Delay, now an imminent psychoanalyst who once knew Coco in her youth.

We all know the physical benefits of nature—being amongst plants and flowers boosts mental well-being. A series of published studies have shown clear links between gardening and positivity.

One study found levels of the stress hormone cortisol in those who gardened were considerably lower those who people who relaxed by reading.

Even the simple act of looking out a window to green space has been linked to reduced stress levels and faster recovery from illness.

“The garden brings stillness,” says Lisa, a marketing executive who says she couldn’t have survived her working life without a garden.

“Touching the soil is one of the most reenergizing things I can do. Everything slows down. My mind works differently. I don’t set out to solve problems but the answers seem to come.  These days if ever I am stressed it will be because I haven’t been in the garden.”

Similarly, Cathy who suffers from anxiety and depression finds solace in a small vegetable garden she started behind her flat.

“When I become immobilized by my anxiety, the garden gives me something achievable to get started on. Gardening is methodical I can go out there and think, ‘What does my garden need?’ It could be as simple as pulling caterpillars off some broccoli. Tuning in to this helps me get more in touch with things outside of myself.”

As I share in my latest book, Anxiety Rescue: How to Overcome Anxiety, Panic, and Stress and Reclaim Joy, I have suffered from social anxiety a great deal of my life. Since my move to a lifestyle property immersing myself in nature has been one of my favorite rescue remedies. Just look at these wee beauties my partner and I grew and harvested this autumn.

 

 

Eating organics, time in nature, meditating daily and doing my best to stress less, are some of the many strategies I share in

 

As Coco said, Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty. This year I’m turning 54. Last year, when the photo was taken of me flying a with a friend I was 53. I think, all things considered, I do merit the face I have in my 50s. I don’t smoke, rarely drink, don’t take drugs and invest in wellbeing lifestyle strategies daily. I’ve worked hard and continue to work hard to be of service to myself and others—and to be of service to my vege garden.

 

Your Challenge

Experience the healing power of nature. Whether you’re blessed with green fingers or not, it doesn’t matter what you doing—just that you get outside in some green space every day.

Monitor how much time you spend indoors. Schedule regular fresh air time.

Beauty surrounds us, but usually,

we need to be walking in a garden to know it.

~ Rumi, Persian poet

 

My story—living well with anxiety

I’ve experienced some horror work experiences during my life and career—everything from toxic shaming, acute bullying, and being physically threatened. As recently as last year, I experienced the ruthless, underhand, malicious tactics of a narcissistic woman who tried to destroy my career.

Unsurprisingly, all of these experience increased my anxiety levels. Had I not trained to be a therapist and invested so much time and energy in self-care and resilience strategies I’m not sure I could have coped. Many of these strategies, and those that have helped my clients, I share in Anxiety Rescue: How to Overcome Anxiety, Panic, and Stress and Reclaim Joy

For most of my childhood, and well into my adulthood, I suffered from what I now know was social anxiety. For many, many years it remained undiagnosed and untreated.  Were it not for the wise counsel of a psychic when I was in my teens who encouraged me to turn my wounds into healing by training to become a counselor, I may still be suffering silently. Yes, folks, there is such a thing as the ‘helpers high.’ Helping others feels good.

The source of my anxiety can be attributed in part to narcissistic abuse and toxic shaming. Some healers have attributed it to a past-life trauma that I carried forward into this life. They told me that I walk the path of jealousy and that relationships are my greatest challenges, but also my most powerful avenue of healing.

You may not believe in past lives or reincarnation and you do not need to in order to benefit from the help contained within this book and others in the Anxiety Rescue series.

But, in the spirit of authenticity, it feels important to share how I have experienced much healing by journeying into the mystery of mysteries—both the body’s and the soul’s journey. It is for this reason, amongst others that I have devoted a whole section to spiritual health.

I learned later in life, and continue to learn, that healing my family trauma and helping others is my soul purpose in this lifetime.

My purpose can be summed up in one word—love.

To help others love and be loved in return, including self-love and valuing ourselves more than the poisons we may have ingested from people, experiences, circumstances, as we go through this lifetime, is a great joy.

However, it took me many years to find the gift of my anxiety. My hope is that by writing Anxiety Rescue, I may speed up this journey for you.

My anxiety was so bad for most of my teens I tried to drink my way to confidence and numb my anxious feelings with alcohol. In fact, for many years I was so acutely self-conscious I wore green foundation under my makeup to try to hide my blushing face.

People used to call me ‘beetroot’ and laugh at me. I was also mercilessly body shamed during my childhood and teenage years. Honestly, for so much of my life all I wanted to do was hide. Often I didn’t care if I lived or died.

Anxiety will do that to you—until you befriend it and learn what it wants you to know.

When I was planning my wedding in my late twenties,  I wanted a table down the back where no one could see me. Have you ever been to a wedding where the bride wanted to hide?

That’s why, untreated, anxiety is so cruel. It can make us want to stay in the shadows. It can prevent us from standing in the light. Anxiety left unchallenged can deny us from acknowledging our gifts. It can also leave us splintered, in denial or fear or shame, of those aspects of our personality we need to wield from time to time—but have been taught to devalue and deny.

Saying no to denying who we really are and who we truly want to be and showing up, warts and all reduces anxiety. Self-acceptance and integration of the polarities within us—the light and the dark, the fear and the courage, the sadness, and the anger, the anger and the joy, and the other dualities that, unless befriended wage war within, is the road to inner peace.

We’ll dive deeper into the value of integrating shadow work in Anxiety Rescue.

For many years I didn’t live authentically. I tried, somewhat unsuccessfully, to be someone else. I tried to be who others wanted me to be. Sometimes this was an act of self-preservation driven by fear. Often it was a mistaken belief about my value and the value of my gifts.

As I’ve shared in many of my other self-empowerment books, 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.

Each time I went further and further away from who I truly was and the things that gave me joy.

As you’ll discover in Anxiety Rescue, reclaiming joy and living on purpose is a powerful antidote for anxiety. It offers holistic, integrated healing on so many levels—mind, body, and soul.

Recently, in my early fifties, I was been diagnosed with generalized trauma. All I can say is “Wow! What a relief!”

No wonder life has felt such a struggle,

Generalized trauma is similar to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, except that rather than being caused by one traumatic event, it covers a multitude of traumatic events.

Essentially, as Dr. Diane Langberg, Clinical Psychologist and Co-Leader of the Global Trauma Recovery Institute,  says if you suffer generalized trauma you’ve effectively been marinated in trauma from an early age.

Talk about toxicity in the body.

I count myself lucky. Which may surprise you. But as you’ll discover in Anxiety Rescue, when we befriend our anxiety we can find great fulfillment, purpose, and joy.

As the Persian poet and philosopher Rumi once said, “Our wounds are where the light comes in.”

Light, love, kindness, hope—these positive energies provide the healing balm we all need.

My trauma,  my anxiety, and my depression have led me to my Dharma or my purpose in life. My hope is that all that I share in Anxiety Rescue will help you too.

Much love to you

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this wee edited excerpt from Anxiety Rescue: How to Overcome Anxiety, Panic, and Stress and Reclaim Joy.

Midlife can be magic—it’s largely determined by you. We can make midlife a mess or we can invest in creating something truly remarkable. If anxiety, depression, despair or any other cloud of negativity is robbing you of the life you truly want, take heart. There is a cure.

Join me in learning the success strategies of successful men and women throughout time—including two of my favorite muses, Leonardo da Vinci and Coco Chanel.

 

 

Praise for Anxiety Rescue

“Cassandra’s book is for anyone interested in ending anxiety issues, but also, for those who seek deeper meaning in their lives. Anxiety Rescue covers a range of healing methods and a variety of topics, from self-acceptance to prosperity. It’s a book about total well-being. Cassandra restates the wisdom of Leonardo Da Vinci, Coco Chanel and other important historical and modern-day figures who have much to teach about authenticity and success. An uplifting, informative and inspirational work! I highly recommend Anxiety Rescue.”

~ Valeria Teles

Author of Fit For Joy

 

“Cassandra explores the nature of anxiety and the effect it has on our physical, emotional, and spiritual self. She draws on much of her research and writings from others of her self-help books. In true Cassandra Gaisford style of practical application—this book is for committed self-helpers.”

~ Catherine Sloan

Counselor

 

“Lighthearted and uplifting! Anxiety Rescue is a book with a catalog of ideas, intertwined with the historical endeavors of Leonardo da Vinci and Coco Chanel. Learning about these two people while navigating how to rid my life of anxiety was fun and playful. I’m grateful to the author for taking this approach as I feel like I have a path that can easily be followed now. I highly recommend this book!”

~ Chelsea Behrens

Creator of Leading with Authenticity

#1 in Four Categories

 

 

 

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 post?

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

 

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 >>

Anxiety Rescue: First Aid in a Bottle—The Surprising Joy of Essential Oils

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

The use of essential oils for emotional well-being is what we often first think of when we hear the term ‘aromatherapy.’

Although aromatherapy should not be considered a miracle cure for more serious emotional issues, the use of essential oils can assist, sometimes greatly, during times of stress and bring healing to certain emotional issues.

For example, lavender is a well-known mild analgesic, useful for healing headaches, wounds, calming the nerves, insomnia, and mild depression.

Rosemary, on the other hand, is a mild stimulant and is used to treat physical and mental fatigue, forgetfulness, and respiratory problems among other ailments.

Although many people may think of aromatherapy as part of a spa or beauty treatment, medical aromatherapy is popular in Europe. Some medicinal physicians prescribe and use the oils therapeutically as part of complementary medical care.

About 100 different essential oils are used for medical aromatherapy in Austria and other European countries, Dr. Wolfgang Steflitsch, a chest physician at Otto Wagner Hospital in Vienna, and vice president of the Austrian Association of Aromatherapy and Aroma Care, said in an article in Live Science.

Emotional and Mental Healing

Along with your skills and capabilities, it’s your state of mind and emotional health that determines how happy you will be.

There are many ways to empower both—working with essential oils is one of the most effortless. Essential oils, with their natural ability to stimulate neurotransmitters, offer a natural high—one that is validated by scientific research.

Smell plays a big role in how essential oils may affect the body: When breathed in, these oils derived from plants stimulate smell receptors in the nose that send chemical messages through nerves to the brain’s limbic system, which affects moods and emotions, and may have some physiological effects on the body, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The process of smelling is called olfaction and is incredibly complicated, taking place in several areas of the brain including the limbic system which itself has approximately 34 structures and 53 pathways.

The limbic system is linked to sensations of pleasure and pain, and emotions—both positive and negative, including fear and confidence, sadness and joy and other feelings that can either erode or boost feelings of calm, happiness, and joy.

Scientists now believe that all our emotions are the result of neurochemicals such as noradrenaline and serotonin being released into the bloodstream, and mood swings are thought to be a result of these influences, particularly when they are in the extreme.

Noradrenaline, also called norepinephrine or noradrenalin, is an organic chemical that functions in the brain and body as a hormone and neurotransmitter.

Similarly, serotonin is also a neurotransmitter—also known as the happy hormone. Serotonin plays a crucial role in means mental illnesses—and the drugs that are used to treat them.  It contributes to feelings of well-being and happiness. Its biological function is complex and multifaceted, modulating cognition, learning, memory, and numerous physiological processes. Low levels of serotonin in your brain can contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety.

Given these facts, it’s not hard to see how essential oils can help balance and influence our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

“Feeling educated about essential oils is such an empowering experience because there are so many different oils you can work with,” writes Clinical Aromatherapist Andrea Butje in her book, The Heart of Aromatherapy: An Easy-to-Use Guide for Essential Oils.

“They all offer the nourishment of the plant they are distilled from in a single drop, and education helps you understand which oils to reach for at which times. Nature works holistically…and so do we.”

As I share in my book, The Art of Success: How Extraordinary Artists Can Help You Succeed in Business and Life, Coco Chanel knew the alchemical potency of flowers and plants. She surrounded herself with nature’s elixir and amassed a fortune from the essential oils which helped make her perfume Chanel N°5 famous.

The transcendent alchemy of the potions that went into the Chanel N°5 formula was not left to chance. Grieving after her lover Boy Chapel’s death, Coco drew upon the essences of Neroli, Jasmine, Ylang Ylang, vetiver, and other restorative scents to imbue Coco’s Chanel N°5 with hope, healing, and the sensual confidence that love lost would be found again.

Aromatherapy, using the scents of plants and flowers, is one of many ancient remedies validated by modern science today. It’s the Swiss army knife of all things healing—physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.

There are so many different essential oils that can help you. Here are a few essential oils and natural therapeutic remedies to help win the war against anxiety, ward off depression, boost happiness, and rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit:

Neroli

This is my current favorite. Derived from a flower, this oil takes its name from an Italian Princess who used it as her favorite perfume. I use Neroli this way, dabbing a few drops behind my ears, and rubbing it through my hands when I need a lift.

Neroli is valued for its ability to arouse the senses and promote feelings of euphoria. It’s especially talented in reducing states of anxiety as it soothes worries and concerns.

The seductive sweetness of this oil disperses intense emotions, brings reassurance and security during stressful times.

Some of the many conditions it helps with include: depression, emotional frigidity, anxiety, hysteria, apprehension, nervous butterflies, insomnia, menopause, nervous tension from overwork, and exhaustion.

With its effusive yellow-orange origins Neroli aids issues related to our third chakra. The third chakra, located at the solar plexus, houses organs of the digestive and endocrine systems, as well as our self-esteem, perception and intuition, intellect, and personal power.

Dysfunctions of the Third chakra may affect the stomach, liver, pancreas, adrenal glands, and the upper intestines, as well as the mid-to upper-spine. The emotional and mental effects are that you may begin to question your own intuition, to give away personal power, and to lose self-respect. You may feel an absence of will, or discouragement—making it challenging to implement self-care strategies and following your dreams.

One its own, or combined with Lavender, Neroli is an excellent anxiety rescue remedy.

Lavender

To relieve stress, which disrupts the adrenal glands, Lavender has a long history of healing. Ideal for physical and emotional support, Lavender as a whole is an ‘adaptogenic’ essence with a relationship to all Body Systems. It is called the first aid in a bottle oil.

Emotionally, Lavender helps support a calm composure and self-expression. It reduces irritability, insomnia, nightmares, apprehension, panic attacks combined with uncontrollable shaking, stress, nervous tension, hysteria and is generally balancing to the psyche, as well as the body.

Incredibly, when I suggested Lavender oil to a doctor had sought my services to counsel her through a period of stress, she hissed at me, “Take your snake oil away from me.”

The truth is not everyone is willing to believe what healers throughout time have known, and which science no longer refutes.

As one article in the US National Library of Medicine, entitled Lavender and The Nervous System, cites:

“There is growing evidence suggesting that lavender oil may be an effective medicament in the treatment of several neurological disorders. Several animal and human investigations suggest anxiolytic, mood stabilizer, sedative, analgesic, and anticonvulsive and neuroprotective properties for lavender. These studies raised the possibility of a revival of lavender therapeutic efficacy in neurological disorders.”

This same article confirms that the alleviation of anxiety and mood improvement was reported in thirty-six patients admitted to an intensive care unit, who received lavender oil (diluted to 1% concentration) aromatherapy. Further clinical investigations pointed to the antidepressive effects of lavender.

But don’t take it from me, or anyone else. If in doubt, experiment with Lavender and any of the other essential oils I suggest.

Vetiver

When feeling anxious, or depressed, two to three drops of  Vetiver applied directly to the solar plexus in a counterclockwise motion will help dissolve energetic blockages, and strengthen your sense of peace and security with yourself.

Ylang Ylang

Ylang ylang oil has a euphoric and sedative effect on the nervous system. It helps with anxiety, tension, shock, fear, and panic. I love its sweet, sultry scent.

Rosemary

Instills confidence during periods of self-doubt and keeps motivation levels high when the going gets tough. It is also said to help maintain an open mind and to make you more accepting of new ideas.

Cardamom

Stimulates a dull mind, dispels tensions and worries, and nurtures and supports the brain and nervous system. Many people find it of great support during challenging times.

Peppermint

With its refreshing scent peppermint works like a power boost for your fatigued mind, making you feel sharper and more alert.

Investigate the power of aromatherapy. What scents imbue you with confidence? Courage? Productivity? Sharpen your most potent tools—your heart and your mind. Become a perfumer—experiment with essential oils until you find a winning blend.

Create your own wellbeing blend, or have an expert create one for you. Beginning with how you want to feel is a good place to start. There are many ways to harness their power, including inhaling a few drops on a tissue; placing some essential oils in your bath; dabbing some on your wrist, soles of your feet, or another pulse point;  using a diffuser, placing some drops in massage oil.

A Word of Caution

Unlike many other essential oils used in aromatherapy, lavender oil, for example, can be applied undiluted to the skin. Along with Neroli, this is how I like to use it.

Some oils may cause skin irritation or allergic reactions, which is why you should test your sensitivity to an oil on a small patch of skin. Some citrus oils wh, when applied to the skin,n increase sun sensitivity, and some essential oils may be risky for pregnant women.

When selecting and using oils, be sure to follow all safety precautions and remember that aromatherapy is part of a holistic cure and should not be used as a substitute for proper medical treatment if symptoms are severe.

 

The Natural High

Aromatherapy has become an essential part of my anxiety rescue cure. I make a daily habit of either placing my favorite blends in a diffuser, or dabbing a few drops onto my wrist.

In my counselling and coaching sessions,  I often invite clients who have never used essential oils to experiment. I place a few drops of Neroli or Lavender onto a tissue, or pass over the bottle so they can inhale a few drops.

I’ve yet to find a client yet who didn’t gain an immediate sense of wellbeing, including children and teenagers who often ask their parents to purchase some so they can use essential oils at home.

I’ve yet to find a client yet who didn’t gain an immediate sense of wellbeing, including children and teenagers who often ask their parents to purchase some so they can use essential oils at home.

After the shock of my experience with a client who was a stressed-out doctor who virtually accused me of witchcraft, I’m always mindful of respecting peoples beliefs. However, if you’re after instant relief and a great way to pep up your peptides throughout the day.

The sense of smell is the most basic and primitive of all our senses and is of vital importance to your well-being. The simple truth is that even if you are unaware of the power of aroma, smell affects your mood. As does color—something we’ll explore in the next chapter.

 

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.

 

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

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

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

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

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

Monday, October 29th, 2018

 

People often compliment me for my sunny disposition and bubbly, passionate nature. So it may surprise you to learn that I don’t always feel up-beat and inspired. I’m just like you. Sometimes I feel despondent, depressed, and stressed. Like many of my clients and people who are drawn to my self-empowerment books sometimes my outlook can be intensely bleak.

These are not feelings I like to stew in, so I’ve learned a few simple strategies to help my soul and spirit soar.

It often surprises me when people say to me, “It’s easy for you, Cassandra. You’re always happy.” Or, when people criticize me, as a former colleague once did. “You know your problem? You’re too happy.”

As I read somewhere recently, “Being positive is an act of courage—it’s easier to be negative.”

Thank you, whoever you are— I found your words inspiring.

Below are just a few of my favorite ways to spark joy and become inspired—even when I felt like s**t. If you’re feeling down, flat, discouraged, fatigued or beaten up by life, I hope you find some encouragement in my words which follow.

 

Lost your mojo? Heed the early warning signs

I’m super vigilant to heed the red flags that warn me that I’m heading for a depressive or anxious state. I 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 or life hassles.

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 a job 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 lack of balance between work and play is not a smart success strategy.

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 enjoy
  • 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 into the spiritual realm
  • Spending time in nature
  • Regular silent retreats
  • Eliminating negativity
  • Exercising regularly

It may look like a long list, but in reality, most of these things only take a few minutes and 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.

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

I also remind myself to follow my mantra, “If it’s not fun, I’m NOT doing it!” Sometimes this requires an attitude shift. 

Someone asked me recently what my strategy for handling job stress was. One of my winning strategies is to list all the things that are causing me stress and find a way to minimize their impact. For me – the biggest change happened when I took control of my career and planned for my future. That helped me let go of taking everything in my old job so seriously.

If you, or someone you love, is impacted by work stress I have loads more tips – instant access and all for less than the price of coffee:

Mid-Life Career Rescue (The Call For Change: How to change careers, confidently leave a job you hate, and start living a life you love, before it’s too late Take the stress out of making a change, confirm your best-fit career and move toward your preferred future. Available in print and eBook from Amazon—getBook.at/CareerChange

Work can be your greatest joy

I am continually inspired by my clients. Work is my greatest joy. They inspire me with their courage, their tenacity, their incredible resilience and tremendous ability to open themselves up to me and reveal their vulnerabilities. I love that they come to see me to free themselves of blocks and to plow through obstacles that are holding them back. So many people never seek help. Too many people go it alone or stay stuck.

Many of my clients have said they could do anything if they only knew what it was. Finding the job of your dreams and standing out from the crowd begins with an idea, a dream or a hunch about what you would love to do and why.

However, this is not the way that many of us have been conditioned to think about careers.

Traditional methods used to choose careers like checklists and assessments are being transformed by some creative thinking. If you haven’t listened to my interview on Radio New Zealand, check it out on my media page—we’re discussing this very thing.

As Nick Williams, author of The Work You Were Born To Do, shares in the foreword of my book, Mid-Life Career Rescue, “Too few of us have been bought up to believe that it is possible to make our living doing something we love, that lights our hearts up and stirs our passions. This is what I call the work we were born to do, and is our true work. To find your true work is a great blessing, one of life’s greatest blessings I believe. And to be paid for your work rather than work for pay is one of life’s greatest joys.“

Are you ready to find your greatest joy?

 

Darkness can herald great light

I once counseled a young girl who had been sexually assaulted five years earlier and who had tried to take her life the night before her family called for support.

Not fun. Not fun at all.

At first, I felt overwhelmed by the horror and enormity of what this beautiful soul had suffered. But then inspiration struck—to me inspiration is all about being in spirit. It’s source energy, it’s God essence, it’s a higher vibrational power. It’s love.

I began to think, “How could I help this child rediscover joy? How could I help her feel fun and find laughter again? I drew inspiration from the work of Viktor Frankl, best known for his inspired book, ‘Man’s Search For Meaning’, and also the teachings of Dr. Edith Eger which I discovered in her book, ‘The Choice: Embrace the Possible.’

Both therapists draw upon the life survival lessons gained in the most horrific of places. Auschwitz

In 1944, Edith Eger was sent to Auschwitz. wrenched from her parents on arrival, she endured unimaginably evil experiences. When Auschwitz was finally liberated, barely alive, she was pulled from a pile of bodies.

But she refused to let the horrors of the Holocaust to break her. She refused to let evil rob her of joy. Instead, in the process of healing herself, she found her purpose.

During her healing, Dr. Eger also discovered the work of Viktor Frankl and he later became her mentor.  Slowly and with great power she learned to live again with a life-affirming strength and a truly remarkable resilience.

The Choice is her unforgettable story. It shows that hope can flower in the most unlikely places.

Rather than let her painful past destroy her, Edith chose to transform it into a powerful gift. It’s a gift she uses in her work as a therapist to help others heal and to recover from all kinds of hardship.

As Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate writes in the foreword to her book,

The Choice is a gift to humanity.  One of those rare and eternal stories that you don’t want to end and that leaves you forever changed.  Dr. Eger’s life reveals our capacity to transcend even the greatest of horrors and to use that suffering for the benefit of others.  She has found true freedom and forgiveness and shows us how we can as well.”

“Even in hell hope can flower,” her book blurb reminds us.

Dr. Eger’s experiences and those of many other great souls’ who have endured unthinkable hardship provides an empowering message for us all. I am particularly encouraged by Dr. Eger’s belief in, and driving purpose, the knowledge that the greatest wound, can with guidance, herald the greatest joy.

And it is this central message and way of working with clients that I wish to use as my guiding philosophy. For joy, not hatred, fear, vengeance, guilt or shame, is (along with love) the greatest healing power there is.

I am also inspired in my work the performer Lady Gaga who has spoken so openly of her struggles. She was sexually assaulted when she was just nineteen. Check out her emotional speech on surviving sexual assault and mental health—https://youtu.be/14KX7xOJsqE

I am also inspired and encouraged in my work as a self-empowerment author and therapist to help people find joy and purpose by Oprah, who credits her strong sense of spirit as her greatest transformational tool. “Turn your wounds into wisdom,” she says.

I have been very, very lucky not to have been sexually assaulted. But I have escaped many, many attempts—including a man exposing himself to me when I walked to school  when I was around six; a known rapist climbing in my bedroom window when I was a teenager; a stranger breaking into my bedroom; a guy trapping me in his car and masturbating; a man exposing himself to me when I sat on a beach in Wellington; and an Arab man asking me if I would like to “make love in the caves” when I had (naively) accepted his offer to take me into the desert to look at ruins.

A Māori healer and seer once told me that I had a kaitiaki, or guardian angel protecting me. Kaitiaki is a New Zealand term used for the Māori concept of guardianship, for the sky, the sea, and the land.

Following these experiences, no human helped me. Nobody offered a guiding hand. They didn’t even point me in the direction of the mental and emotional healing I so desperately needed. It wasn’t until I trained to become a counsellor in my thirties that I finally received the help I needed. I had learned to suppress these memories.

But spirit helped me. Spirit protected me.

I remember when the man trapped me in his car—I felt my soul leave my body. I shut down. But then a great power came over me and told me clearly to break out of the car and run for my life. I ran to a house, and he chased me in his car. I knocked on the door and told them what was happening to me. They shut the door in my face. I was a terrified 19-year-old. But I knew I had to survive. So I pretended the people had let me in, and I hid in the bushes instead. I only emerged when I felt ’sure’ that it would be safe enough to walk the long road back to the backpackers where I was staying with a friend.

Everyone encouraged me to go to the police. I was reluctant. I feared judgment and blamed. I wondered if anyone would they believe me. At the time of this experience a young woman, Kirsa Jensen, had also gone missing. She was abducted in broad daylight, in the same city (Napier) that this man had taken me. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/98509935/the-lost-what-happened-to-missing-girl-kirsa-jensen

I wasn’t offered any help, any emotional healing, but the Police were good to me. And I was lucky. They found the man who had exposed himself. But his version of events was very different. He told them I had encouraged him. For me, it was enough that the police knew who he was. I hoped that perhaps by spotlighting his behavior, if he was the man who had taken Kirsa Jenson, that my willingness to tell them what had happened to me might save another.

“Beckon the world to kindness,” says Lady Gaga. “Turn kindness into plutonium and change the world.” It’s a wonderful mantra. Imagine how different people’s lives would be if more people adopted this call to action.

My favourite spiritual tools to reawaken inspiration, healing and kindness

Some of my favourite tools to reawaken inspiration (and healing) lie in the realm of spirituality.

Here are just a few:

  • Meditation
  • Prayer
  • Morning pages
  • Gratitudes
  • Sobriety
  • Helping others
  • The Akashic Records
  • Creativity
  • Writing
  • Inspiring others

One of my favorite strategies involves oracle cards. And I’m in good company. Coco Chanel and many successful people also turned to the invisible realm for inspiration. I share more about how Coco Chanel used oracles, including Tarot cards, in my book, The Art of Success: Coco Chanel.

As I share in my book, At the time of writing this post I referred to a new deck by Collette Baron-Reid, Postcards from Spirit. It was headed, ‘Your destiny’ today’s card revealed, “Is to be present to all life’s adventures, to discover your talents and full potential through allowing inspiration to lead you, and to risk standing apart from the crowd to listen to your soul.”

These words sparked the idea for this post and to share more of my personal story. Another spark came from a negative review one of my books received on Amazon, “Her story would be more interesting,” the reviewer wrote. I have been toying with a personal memoir for some time, and now (thanks to some unexpected encouragement) I’ve made a start.

I haven’t decided on the title yet. Here are a few ideas I am considering:

Living in this world: A Rational Woman’s Quest to Spiritualize Her Life.”

The Promise: A Rational Woman’s Journey to Reclaim Her Spirituality.”

Like many, mid-lifers it’s taken a long time, lots of reading and more than a drop of therapy, to shed past conditioning and the stigma of anything ‘woo woo.’’

Here’s a wee draft excerpt and a mock up of a cover

Introduction

2012, the year I truly embarked on my spiritual quest – (qualifying to become a Reiki Teacher) not realizing until many years later auspiciousness of that date, given changes to the Crystalline Grid.

A spiritual journey is an act of discovery. It is not always embraced by all those who you meet on your spiritual path. As Viktor Frankl said, “Those who give light may also be burned.”

That certainly has been my case. Take some of many work experiences where I was persecuted for shedding light on injustices or for doing my job too well—spotlighting others incompetence. 

“You walk the path of jealousy,” psychics have told me. ‘You have suffered many lifetimes of loss and persecution.”

Great I think? Why me? Why do I have this karmic atomic flame that sometimes makes living in their world so painful?

Back in 2012 as I began my spiritual quest. I was tired of feeling life was a constant uphill battle. I reflected on that recent work experience and others like it.

“You have denied for so long who you are that you have forgotten who you are,” wrote Neale Donald Walsch in Conversations with God.

His words spoke to my spiritual, intuitive self. He spoke to the soul I saw when I looked at photos of myself as a child with my grandmother and cousins—me, the child with the all-seeing eyes. Sometimes I see too much. Named, Cassandra, like my namesake, given the gift of prophecy and not always believed.

Life has taken me on a long journey to reclaim my creative self. Growing up I was never nurtured, never told I was loved. As an adult the dominant message is that I am a disappointment.

“Your thoughts about yourself is that you are not good enough, not wondrous enough, not sinless enough to be part of God, in partnership with God,” wrote Neale Donald Walsch in Conversations with God.

In 2012, when I began my quest, that phase spoke to me, shouting, ‘Who am I to lay claim to being spiritual?’

“You are spiritual,” Claire, another woman on my Reiki Attunement Course, said to me. I wrote it down and tried to own it. I struggled. I struggle still. But then, I have never liked labels.

Years later, as I write this book, it’s beginning to fit. Like a dress too sizes too large, something you hope to grow into when you grow up, my confidence and self belief and trust in Spirit has expanded.

 

Journal Entry July 2012

The winds of change

The wind raises its throat to the sky and roars. The rain sinks through the clouds and pours. Nothing remains the same, nothing is still. All is impermanent, restless, moving.

Get your essence back, find yourself, stand on your own two strong feet. You may be vilified, chastised, forsaken to the streets, but take comfort, know for evermore, your heart beats. Beats with the passion that infuses your body whole. For you have risen, transformed, discovered your soul.

I awoke in the night, just before midnight to the phone ringing. I pulled it from the wall but sleep won’t come still. So as the wind roars and unleashes its impatience upon stoic trees who refuse to yield, refuse to be swayed from the place, the purpose to which they are rooted, I awake. I am reminded by the following passage from Conversations with God (which I flicked open after initially ‘rejecting’ the call to pick up the book – putting it to one side instead):

“Life will ‘take off’ for you, then, when you chose it to. You have procrastinated, prolonged, protracted, protested. Now it is time that you promulgated and produced what you have been promised. To do this you must believe the promise and live it. You must believe the promise of God…”

I flicked to the page which spoke to me when the phone that rang in the night and was reminded that I can not let the winds of change deter me from my course, I cannot ‘fight’ but must surrender, go with the flow, flex and bend as do trees, and anchor myself to the true me…

…The Buddha within.

 

 

New stuff sparks inspiration

 

If you need to awaken your inspiration, check out this video…

It’s a sneak peek into how I manifested my 2016 goals

Very often inspiration lies at the edge of what we already know. This is something Leonardo da Vinci knew very well. Da Vinci was the ultimate experimenter and he allowed a child-like curiosity to lead. Yet so often we resist embracing the realm of the unknown. Either, that, or we don’t create space in our crammed schedules, distracted instead, by habits that take us nowhere interesting or inspiring.

Recently, a young man in his twenties came to me for anger management counseling. At the heart of his issues was frustration that he hadn’t achieved what he felt he was capable of. That and a ‘time-suck’ habit of substance abuse. He told me he was always getting in his way and struggled to maintain focus.

Amongst other strategies we brain-stormed together, (including kicking his drug habit) I suggested awakening inspiration by keeping a passion journal. I suggested that by keeping clippings and ideas that inspired him it would help create a clarity of vision.

“I don’t do that cutting out kind of stuff,” he said, looking at me as if to say, ‘that sounds babyish.’

“Have you ever tried?” I asked.

“No,” he said, softening a little as realization dawned.

“So how do you know it won’t work?”

He shrugged.

“Would you be willing to experiment?”

“Okay,” he replied.

Another client, who came to me for help moving past entranced feelings of grief, leaped at the idea of creating a Joy Journal. Similarly, a teenager who was feeling fatigued created an Energy Journal. She showed me it the other day and I noticed how her face lit up when she shared with me the images of the people and things that energized her and made her happy. She also added a section with mood foods—things to eat less of and those to eat more off (including drinking more water).

Whatever you call your book of inspiration, the important thing to embrace is a spirit of play.

You’ll find more tips to help you create a passion/joy/energy journal and manifest your dreams and goals easily in my books, The Passion Journal: The Effortless Path to Manifesting Your Love, Life, and Career Goals, Available in ebook and Paperback here—getbook.at/ThePassionJournal. And, if you long to create a business or begin a side hustle, The Passion-Driven Business Planning Journal: The Effortless Path to Manifesting Your Business and Career Goals. Available in ebook and Paperback here—viewBook.at/PassionBusinessJournal.

 

Your vibe tribe

Surrounding yourself with like-minded people is always a fantastic and simple way to spark joy, minimize anxiety and boost your inspiration.

The simplest definition of your Vibe Tribe is a group of supportive people that share the same values, beliefs, and aspirations. Sometimes to flourish you need to break free of your current tribe and find one that breathes fresh air into your life, lifts you higher and brings out the best in you.

Recently, for example, I tuned into the Being Boss podcast  https://beingboss.club/podcast. I listened to an awesome interview with Modern Mystic Kelley Knight https://beingboss.club/podcast/episode-197-modern-mystic-kelley-knight±

Check out Episode #196 if you’d love to learn more about using tarot in everyday life—https://beingboss.club/podcast/episode-196-everyday-tarot-biddy-tarot. You may also like #51 Getting Witchy with Carolyn Elliott—https://beingboss.club/podcast/podcast-episode-51-getting-witchy-carolyn-elliott

As you may have noticed, I find huge inspiration from collecting inspiring quotes. I either paste these in my journal and/or keep a file in my computer of inspiring quotes in differing categories. Whenever I need an inspirational boost I turn to these sources for timely reminders.

 

Follow your inspiration

After listening to the podcast I was inspired to know more about the people that Kelley Knight mentioned in her interview and who she was inspired by, one of whom was a Kundalini Yoga teacher Guru Jagat

As a result, and following inspiration when it strikes, I purchased the book,

Invincible Living: The Power of Yoga, The Energy of Breath, and Other Tools for a Radiant Life by Guru Jagat. Guru Jagat, as the time of writing, is the youngest senior Kundalini Yoga teacher in the world and the face of the new Kundalini movement. I love, love, love book and her philosophy.

“There is energy to beauty, a frequency, and it’s inherent in your human birthright to behold it, live it, and embody it.” ~ Guru Jagat

My daughter had also told me the previous day how she had recently discovered Kundalini Yoga and was loving it. Hearing this, and then the ‘go—incidence’ of hearing how Kelley Knight was inspired by Guru Jagat’s classes on her channel, RA MA TV, awakened a desire to learn it too. Said by some to be the “Netflix” of Kundalini Yoga, as a result, I signed up for a $15 monthly subscription to access her classes anytime, anywhere.

In Kundalini Yoga, there is no “beginner’s” or “advanced” yoga set. You can tune in to any class, at any level, and have your own experience. For students looking for a step by step introduction, our Beginners Series focuses on the foundational breaths, postures, and meditations of Kundalini Yoga.”

On the Being Boss podcast, Kelley Knight described the differences between other meditation and yoga modalities how a daily practice of Kundalini Yoga expands her capacity for success.

“It’s meditation heavy. It’s not big on postures. You’ll do the same things for minutes and minutes on end. There’s also of mantras and chanting and mudras*, so it’s a very active meditation. I have a very hard time sitting in silent meditation. When I’m doing Kundalini Meditation, when I’m chanting or touching my fingers, there’s some movement, it helps me go deeper and move my energy. But the main philosophy, I would say, or the main benefit I get from Kundalini Yoga as opposed to other modalities I’ve tried is that it is focused on the aura, and it’s really focused on your electromagnetic field and that’s what makes you radiant and helps you attract success and actually lodge things and programme them in your aura as part of a manifestation practice. So it helps you, the stronger your aura gets the more you can hold and sustain success. It’s a business strategy for me.”

(*A quick search of Google tells me that a mudra is a “gesture that facilitates the flow of energy in the subtle body. Mudras help you draw yourself inward. Each is a symbolic gesture that can stimulate different areas of the brain transmitting an exact goal of channeling energy flow during meditation.”)

The first class was only 3.33 minutes long (or short!) I loved learning how, by using a mantra, it taps into the hypothalamus and boosts brain chemistry, and increases oxytocin, also known as the ‘love hormone’ which helps us feel happy. The ‘Tune In’ exercise, the video explains, begins with the mantra Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo. This translates as, “I am the Universal totality, I am a clear teacher for myself, and for others.” It’s a nice affirmation to empower intentions for the day.

It’s the first time I have experienced this kind of mediation, but I love the fact that it uses breath work and sound (and mudras)—rather than pure silence and stillness. Fast forward to around 29 minutes into the Being Boss interview with Kelley Knight for further details about the benefits.

 

Bliss of breath

Recently, I have had the pleasure of experiencing a stunning Bliss of Breath class with Shannon Rose, Breath of Bliss, Breathwork Facilitator. And highly recommend her work—http://byshannonrose.com/. Again, it was an FTE for me (First Time Experience) and I loved it.

Here’s a testimonial from her website,

“I went to Shannon’s breathwork ceremony and the transformative experience cannot even be put into words. It was truly two hours of deep emotional release and connection that has shifted things in me that I’ve been trying to deal with for such a long time. The exercises, the music, Shannon’s guidance was all so perfect, I could not recommend her ceremony any more to absolutely everyone, it is such a beautiful way to come back to feeling like a free and happy person.”

 

Following inspiration also includes reminding myself of the magic of writing and reading and watching movies. 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.”

Recently I came across an excerpt of Liane Moriarty’s new book, Nine Perfect Strangers. The story takes us inside the world of health retreats. Could 10 days of wellness really change your life forever? I’m intrigued…and inspired to read more. Reading the excerpt also reminded me of my love of writing fiction Something I haven’t been doing enough of.

I’ve also just watched Bradley Coopers inspired adaption of A Star is Born, starring himself and Lady Gaga. WOW! Great storytelling with a powerful message to share.  Cooper was on Time’s list of 100 most influential people in the world in 2015, and when you see this movie, his first crack at producing, it’s not hard to see why.

 

Golden moments

Another way I become inspired is by reminding myself of my most inspired times—including places I’ve been and people I’ve met. Like the time I met Zen Buddhist Monk and renown artist Max Gimblett (

http://www.maxgimblett.com/).In 2008 I was thrilled to meet Max Gimblett while he was exhibiting at the Paige Blackie gallery in Wellington. And even more thrilled in September of that year to attend his Sumi painting workshop in Maui, Hawaii. I used the money I won when I was notified that I was the Supreme Winner Wai Art Awards, for my artwork, “Love Stain” – a mixed media triptych to study this beautiful art form with him.

I also felt super inspired and zenned out after receiving my Reiki Master Teacher attunement and having a massage on the beach—at Balian Beach, near Tabanan, Bali. I named this photo my ‘Bliss Super Smile.

 

The flames of inspiration are also ignited when I share wonderful times with those closest to me—like my mom who took me with her to Bali.

 

Other golden moments included traveling with my partner to Sicily for his 50th. and also travelling one year with 12 fabulous photographers to Puglia, Italy to learn photography tips from the uber-inspiring Carla Coulson. definitely refueled my  waning inspiration. You can see some of my photos and  the other inspiration-seeking photographers here—https://carlacoulson.com/they-had-a-dream-and-look-where-it-took-them/

Finally got my panning shot…yay…red Vespa in Bari

I love food photography! Here’s my fig shot!

 

What’s Your Inspiration Plan?

Often when people are feeling stressed they tell me they don’t have enough time to do what they know will make them feel inspired. They tell me that they feel drained, sluggish and lack energy. Rather than default to a time management plan, consider creating a maximizing energy plan.

One of my client’s, who was recovering from serious depression, chose to call hers a sustainable energy plan. Things you may wish to consider including are:

  • What times of the day do you experience your peak mental energy?
  • What time of day is your physical energy at the optimum?
  • What foods give you energy? Which deplete you or only give a short-term benefit?
  • What people and situations give you energy? Which deplete your energy?

Plan to make changes to your daily schedule so that your energy flows rather than stagnates. No excuses! All the time in the Universe won’t help you achieve your goals if you’re too run down to achieve them. Manage your energy—and your sanity!

Here’s a brief sample of my new energy plan:

  • I will totally eliminate alcohol consumption for three months and journal how I feel
  • I will stop taking on new projects before I’ve finished current ones
  • I will increase my spiritual practices, including a daily practice of meditation and Kundalini Yoga, and listening to talks by spiritual teachers, and reading their books, to both strengthen and learn new skills.
  • I will rise early and begin my day with a walking meditation
  • I will do less listening to people rant and rage, and more self-care by walking away (respecting their right to express themselves and my right to protect my energy).
  • I will stop procrastinating by releasing my unreasonable demand for perfection and enjoy instead the creative process of alllowing
  • I will do more beckoning the world to kindness and follow the inspiration set by Lady Gaga to  Turn kindness into plutonium and change the world.”
  • I will stop trying to “fix” other people or get them to see and do things our way, instead of accepting them for who they are and accepting their choices
  • I will surrender to spiritual guidance

 

Could you do Christmas sober?

I stopped drinking booze two days before Christmas in 2016. Can you imagine Christmas sober? And New Years, and then the work week, the weekends with friends?

And guess what. I DO NOT miss it one little bit? What made it easier? Getting angry. Angry at the people killed by drunk drivers, angry at the increase in domestic violence and murders, angry at normally placid young men locked in prison for alcohol-related offences—and angry at the lies the booze barons tell to feed people’s addictions and line their own wallets.

Angry, and gutted and sad when Amy Winehouse drank herself to death.

I’m not angry in a negative way, I’m angry in an empowered way. And I’m glad my stand has encouraged my daughter, now in her 20’s, to give booze a break too. Last year she went to see Adele sing in Auckland. I’m gutted she’ll never get to see Amy Winehouse. That nobody will be to see Amy Winehouse—and thousands of other people whose lives are lost to booze.

“The world often continues to allow evil because it isn’t angry enough.” ~ Bede Jarrett.

Are you angry enough to control alcohol before it controls you?

Many people struggle to control alcohol because they’re not motivated by sobriety. But being sober isn’t just about not drinking.

Sobriety is achieved by putting energy and effort toward something you really desire.

Knowing why you want something is just as important as knowing what you want.

Why do you want to control your drinking? To feel better about yourself? To achieve wellbeing goals? Because you’re afraid that your drinking it taking over your body and your life? To inspire others? Because you’re curious that what you’ve been hearing is true—life really is better sober? Or something else?

Here are just a few benefits of achieving sobriety:

• Improved mental health and wellbeing

• Better physical health

• Improved emotional health

• Elevated spiritual health

• Saves money

• Enriches your relationships

• Is an indispensable part of fulfillment

• Energizes you

• Liberates you

• Will change your life and the lives of those who matter most to you

Being sober sounds great, and it is. But the challenge is that so many of us have been brainwashed into believing it’s awesome to be drunk.

 

If you’d like to trial a period of sobriety I write about the life-changing benefits of giving up alcohol in several of my books, including, Mind Your Drink: The Surprising Joy of Sobriety, Your Beautiful Mind, and Mind Over Mojitos: How Moderating Your Drinking Can Change Your Life. Sobriety is a superpower—when you detox your mind and body you free your soul.

 

Resilience Is the key to thriving

The key to being inspired and attracting everything we want to is master the art of resilience. As I say in Bounce: Overcoming Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy, resilient people are flexible, they bend with the winter gales and arc with the summer breeze. When the fury of a hurricane knocks them down, they get back up again— and it’s the getting back up that elevates your bounce.

In the absence of deflation, you become like a magnet for more greatness. This is your attracting power. When you feel good and align with inspired love, your energy radiates a signal to the Universe. Your energy vibrates the clear message that you’re aligned with joy and you’re up for more if it.

We need to be tough in a way that enables us to bounce back from setbacks, get up the next day, and start over again. Resilience is a mental, emotional and spiritual muscle—it’s one we can and must exercise regularly and make stronger.

To be resilient we must learn to set our own standards and have the confidence not to be distracted or disempowered by others who may try to set standards for us.

Resilience can be learned. There is a myriad of resources helping people create greater mental and emotional health, spiritual empowerment and personal strategies like exercise, relaxation, exorcize anger and frustrations and finding the positive.

Sometimes I’m more resilient than other times, and when the balance of power tilts in favor of the negative I amplify my resilience strategies.

It’s not easy to stay inspired, sometimes life is struggle, but a groundswell of research and personal success stories point to resilience as the key to survival.

That’s why I meditate every day, and kick off with my MAGIC mornings routine (meditation, affirmation, goals, inspiration, co-creation). As Tim Ferriss writes in his book, Tool of Titans. “When you win the morning you win the day.”

 

If you’ve lost your mojo, check out this video…

 

Reminding yourself of golden moments can rekindle a spark you thought you have lost, and remind you of things to do to get your mojo back.

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Bounce Your Knowledge

Monday, November 20th, 2017

 

Knowledge is power. No matter what your situation, no matter what your current level of expertise or knowledge is always, always be informed. Not everybody has your best interests in mind, and everyone is capable of mistakes.

When you empower your mind with the knowledge you need you’ll feel more in control and boost your capacity to bounce.

When I was building my home all the experts told me everything was fine. But I had heard of the planned changes in the building code and became alarmed. In short, I had to battle with my architect, battle with the local council, and battle with my builders during my quest to have them make changes to the design.

At the time of gathering all the knowledge I needed I didn’t feel like I was bouncing at all. I felt incredibly frustrated and overwhelmed. But then, when came to sell my home and the new owners found that the house met the new building code requirements I feel a spring in my step. My house easily sold. Other homeowners weren’t so lucky, and have been stuck with sub-standard homes they can’t sell and have had to try and recover damages from their architect, builders, and councils.

Similarly, when an intruder tried to break into my rural property the police told me not to worry. But the man kept coming back. The police said he was harmless. I told them harmless men don’t threaten me or my partner with violence.

I had to become informed about how to have a trespass notice issued correctly—the police kept telling me differing advice. Finally, I said, “I will not be the woman people read about in the paper—the one who was assaulted by an intruder and is dead.” In the process of finding out the right way to deter an intruder, I reclaimed my safety, my peace of mind and my power.

Many of my clients who have been experiencing bullying at work have done the same. They have found out their legal rights, either for themselves or with the help of an employment lawyer, and have taken back their power. Sometimes this has been by learning to be more assertive, or by realizing their job sucked and finding another one, or working for themselves.

Similarly, my partner recently queried the medical advice his doctor gave him recently. Often doctors are too quick to prescribe medication without having first completed a full diagnosis—including asking you about lifestyle factors that may be contributing to your poor health.

My partner had done considerable research into the side effects of medication he was given for his blood pressure, and was alarmed that his doctor’s response to his concerns was to prescribe more medication to reduce the side effects of the first medication. Google ‘scary side effects of medication’ and you may be alarmed. But a cautionary note, don’t stop taking any medication without checking—you may risk worsening your original condition.

Whatever your situation, bounce your knowledge—become informed.

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

 

 

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