*

Posts Tagged 'stress less'

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

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/mlwRB9

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.

 

Did you enjoy this post?

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

You might like:

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

How might we sabotage ourselves?:

Quantum Transformational Coaching—all your questions answered

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

 

 

 

The Surprising Benefits of Working With Purpose

Thursday, July 16th, 2020

 

 

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

~ Mother Theresa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Benefits of creating with purpose include:

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

What experiences give your life meaning and purpose?

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

Available for pre-order now>>AMAZON

Good characters are complicated

Monday, July 13th, 2020

 

 

“I’ve always found beauty in flaws. No one is perfect. We’re all fighting a battle and Marcella is real, a mix of strength and vulnerability, doing her best which is all any of us can do.”

Anna Friel

Aristotle’s storytelling principals, derived from the Poetics of Space, shed light on the human condition and provides a framework for creating unconditional characters.

Above all create characters which make an audience feel: The audience should be able to feel pity for a tragic hero—that means you have to create a situation which the audience can understand in the context of their own lives.

How many times have you read a book or watched a movie and felt nothing for the character? Connoisseurs call this the one dimensional or cookie-cutter profile. Bland, boring, and frequently too perfect. As Anna Friel, the super-compelling actress renown for playing tough roles, says, beauty is to be found in flaws. Most recently she played the mentally-fragile murder detective Marcella in the same-named Netflix series.

 

Good characters are complicated.

Marcella is super complicated: she cares too much, suffers when someone she is protecting dies, hates it when villains get away with mayhem and murder; her husband cheated on her for over three years, her young baby died in her arms, her children love her ex’s new girlfriend and their father more than her—and she suffers from Complex-Trauma (as I’m sure many good cops do.) This plays out in uncontrollable rages, close calls with her own murderous mind, blackouts, and more.

Yep, good characters are complicated. Isn’t this something we can all relate to, in some way?

The most emotionally engaging movement, according to Aristotle, is when a good person with certain shortcomings meets with tremendous suffering. A flawed hero/heroine is someone we can all relate to, and his downfall will fill us with pity and fear.

Ultimately, we’ll be cheerleading from the sidelines, rooting for her or him to emerge triumphantly.

Like, Jenny, raised as a child by fundamentalist preachers, dragged from her extended family, and told the world was about to end. Emotional and physical abuse and profound neglect continued into her adult years. Recently she, too,  was diagnosed with complex trauma and suffers from angry outbursts and uncontrollable rages.

Or Cathy, whose narcissistic mother continually puts her down, shames her and is excessively critical. Her childhood and later adult years were plagued with chaos and upheaval. She suffers from acute self-doubt, fear of abandonment and disempowering people-pleasing. These are just some of the things she is working through in therapy.

Think, Oprah, sexually abused a child, and continually put down—even being told she would have to change her name to succeed. Through the grace of God, she says, she knew was born with a higher purpose.

Many people who suffered childhood trauma are walking wounded. They are seldom accurately diagnosed, much less treated. Complex trauma can affect children, and later, adults, in a multitude of ways. Below is an article exploring some common effects.

COMMON EFFECTS OF COMPLEX CHILDHOOD TRAUMA

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

Attachment and Relationships

The importance of a child’s close relationship with a caregiver cannot be overestimated. Through relationships with important attachment figures, children learn to trust others, regulate their emotions, and interact with the world; they develop a sense of the world as safe or unsafe, and come to understand their own value as individuals. When those relationships are unstable or unpredictable, children learn that they cannot rely on others to help them. When primary caregivers exploit and abuse a child, the child learns that he or she is bad and the world is a terrible place.

The majority of abused or neglected children have difficulty developing a strong healthy attachment to a caregiver. Children who do not have healthy attachments have been shown to be more vulnerable to stress. They have trouble controlling and expressing emotions, and may react violently or inappropriately to situations. Our ability to develop healthy, supportive relationships with friends and significant others depends on our having first developed those kinds of relationships in our families. A child with a complex trauma history may have problems in romantic relationships, in friendships, and with authority figures, such as teachers or police officers.

 

Physical Health: Body and Brain

From infancy through adolescence, the body’s biology develops. Normal biological function is partly determined by environment. When a child grows up afraid or under constant or extreme stress, the immune system and body’s stress response systems may not develop normally. Later on, when the child or adult is exposed to even ordinary levels of stress, these systems may automatically respond as if the individual is under extreme stress. For example, an individual may experience significant physiological reactivity such as rapid breathing or heart pounding, or may “shut down” entirely when presented with stressful situations. These responses, while adaptive when faced with a significant threat, are out of proportion in the context of normal stress and are often perceived by others as “overreacting” or as unresponsive or detached.

Stress in an environment can impair the development of the brain and nervous system. An absence of mental stimulation in neglectful environments may limit the brain from developing to its full potential. Children with complex trauma histories may develop chronic or recurrent physical complaints, such as headaches or stomachaches. Adults with histories of trauma in childhood have been shown to have more chronic physical conditions and problems. They may engage in risky behaviors that compound these conditions (e.g., smoking, substance use, and diet and exercise habits that lead to obesity).

Complexly traumatized youth frequently suffer from body dysregulation, meaning they over-respond or under-respond to sensory stimuli. For example, they may be hypersensitive to sounds, smells, touch or light, or they may suffer from anesthesia and analgesia, in which they are unaware of pain, touch, or internal physical sensations. As a result, they may injure themselves without feeling pain, suffer from physical problems without being aware of them, or, the converse – they may complain of chronic pain in various body areas for which no physical cause can be found.

 

Emotional Responses

Children who have experienced complex trauma often have difficulty identifying, expressing, and managing emotions, and may have limited language for feeling states. They often internalize and/or externalize stress reactions and as a result may experience significant depression, anxiety, or anger. Their emotional responses may be unpredictable or explosive. A child may react to a reminder of a traumatic event with trembling, anger, sadness, or avoidance. For a child with a complex trauma history, reminders of various traumatic events may be everywhere in the environment. Such a child may react often, react powerfully, and have difficulty calming down when upset. Since the traumas are often of an interpersonal nature, even mildly stressful interactions with others may serve as trauma reminders and trigger intense emotional responses. Having learned that the world is a dangerous place where even loved ones can’t be trusted to protect you, children are often vigilant and guarded in their interactions with others and are more likely to perceive situations as stressful or dangerous. While this defensive posture is protective when an individual is under attack, it becomes problematic in situations that do not warrant such intense reactions. Alternately, many children also learn to “tune out” (emotional numbing) to threats in their environment, making them vulnerable to revictimization.

Difficulty managing emotions is pervasive and occurs in the absence of relationships as well. Having never learned how to calm themselves down once they are upset, many of these children become easily overwhelmed. For example, in school they may become so frustrated that they give up on even small tasks that present a challenge. Children who have experienced early and intense traumatic events also have an increased likelihood of being fearful all the time and in many situations. They are more likely to experience depression as well.

 

Dissociation

Dissociation is often seen in children with histories of complex trauma. When children encounter an overwhelming and terrifying experience, they may dissociate, or mentally separate themselves from the experience. They may perceive themselves as detached from their bodies, on the ceiling, or somewhere else in the room watching what is happening to their bodies. They may feel as if they are in a dream or some altered state that is not quite real or as if the experience is happening to someone else. Or they may lose all memories or sense of the experiences having happened to them, resulting in gaps in time or even gaps in their personal history. At its extreme, a child may cut off or lose touch with various aspects of the self.

Although children may not be able to purposely dissociate, once they have learned to dissociate as a defense mechanism they may automatically dissociate during other stressful situations or when faced with trauma reminders. Dissociation can affect a child’s ability to be fully present in activities of daily life and can significantly fracture a child’s sense of time and continuity. As a result, it can have adverse effects on learning, classroom behavior, and social interactions. It is not always evident to others that a child is dissociating and at times it may appear as if the child is simply “spacing out,” daydreaming, or not paying attention.

 

Behavior

A child with a complex trauma history may be easily triggered or “set off” and is more likely to react very intensely. The child may struggle with self-regulation (i.e., knowing how to calm down) and may lack impulse control or the ability to think through consequences before acting. As a result, complexly traumatized children may behave in ways that appear unpredictable, oppositional, volatile, and extreme. A child who feels powerless or who grew up fearing an abusive authority figure may react defensively and aggressively in response to perceived blame or attack, or alternately, may at times be overcontrolled, rigid, and unusually compliant with adults. If a child dissociates often, this will also affect behavior. Such a child may seem “spacey”, detached, distant, or out of touch with reality. Complexly traumatized children are more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors, such as self-harm, unsafe sexual practices, and excessive risk-taking such as operating a vehicle at high speeds. They may also engage in illegal activities, such as alcohol and substance use, assaulting others, stealing, running away, and/or prostitution, thereby making it more likely that they will enter the juvenile justice system.

 

Cognition: Thinking and Learning

Children with complex trauma histories may have problems thinking clearly, reasoning, or problem solving. They may be unable to plan ahead, anticipate the future, and act accordingly. When children grow up under conditions of constant threat, all their internal resources go toward survival. When their bodies and minds have learned to be in chronic stress response mode, they may have trouble thinking a problem through calmly and considering multiple alternatives. They may find it hard to acquire new skills or take in new information. They may struggle with sustaining attention or curiosity or be distracted by reactions to trauma reminders. They may show deficits in language development and abstract reasoning skills. Many children who have experienced complex trauma have learning difficulties that may require support in the academic environment.

 

Self-Concept and Future Orientation

Children learn their self-worth from the reactions of others, particularly those closest to them. Caregivers have the greatest influence on a child’s sense of self-worth and value. Abuse and neglect make a child feel worthless and despondent. A child who is abused will often blame him- or herself. It may feel safer to blame oneself than to recognize the parent as unreliable and dangerous. Shame, guilt, low self-esteem, and a poor self-image are common among children with complex trauma histories.

To plan for the future with a sense of hope and purpose, a child needs to value him- or herself. To plan for the future requires a sense of hope, control, and the ability to see one’s own actions as having meaning and value. Children surrounded by violence in their homes and communities learn from an early age that they cannot trust, the world is not safe, and that they are powerless to change their circumstances. Beliefs about themselves, others, and the world diminish their sense of competency. Their negative expectations interfere with positive problem-solving, and foreclose on opportunities to make a difference in their own lives. A complexly traumatized child may view himself as powerless, “damaged,” and may perceive the world as a meaningless place in which planning and positive action is futile. They have trouble feeling hopeful. Having learned to operate in “survival mode,” the child lives from moment-to-moment without pausing to think about, plan for, or even dream about a future.

 

Long-Term Health Consequences

Traumatic experiences in childhood have been linked to increased medical conditions throughout the individuals’ lives. The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is a longitudinal study that explores the long-lasting impact of childhood trauma into adulthood. The ACE Study includes over 17,000 participants ranging in age from 19 to 90. Researchers gathered medical histories over time while also collecting data on the subjects’ childhood exposure to abuse, violence, and impaired caregivers. Results indicated that nearly 64% of participants experienced at least one exposure, and of those, 69% reported two or more incidents of childhood trauma. Results demonstrated the connection between childhood trauma exposure, high-risk behaviors (e.g., smoking, unprotected sex), chronic illness such as heart disease and cancer, and early death.

 

Economic Impact

The cumulative economic and social burden of complex trauma in childhood is extremely high. Based upon data from a variety of sources, a conservative annual cost of child abuse and neglect is an estimated $103.8 billion, or $284.3 million per day (in 2007 values). This number includes both direct costs—about $70.7 billion—which include the immediate needs of maltreated children (hospitalization, mental health care, child welfare systems, and law enforcement) and also indirect costs—about $33.1 billion—which are the secondary or long-term effects of child abuse and neglect (special education, juvenile delinquency, mental health and health care, adult criminal justice system, and lost productivity to society).

A recent study examining confirmed cases of child maltreatment in the United States found the estimated total lifetime costs associated with child maltreatment over a 12-month period to be $124 billion. In the 1,740 fatal cases of child maltreatment, the estimated cost per case was $1.3 million, including medical expenses and productivity loss. For the 579,000 non-fatal cases, the estimated average lifetime cost per victim of child maltreatment was $210,012, which includes costs relating to health care throughout the lifespan, productivity losses, child welfare, criminal justice, and special education. Costs for these nonfatal cases of child maltreatment are comparable to other high-cost health conditions (i.e., $159,846 for stroke victims and $181,000 to $253,000 for those with Type 2 diabetes).

In addition to these costs are the “intangible losses” of pain, sorrow, and reduced quality of life to victims and their families. Such immeasurable losses may be the most significant cost of child maltreatment.

The NCTSN is funded by the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and jointly coordinated by UCLA and Duke University.

 

Good characters are complicated—but this makes them no less lovable. With the right help, professional healing, and unconditional love, many traumatised children go on to lead significant meaningful lives.

 

I tell stories I find interesting and which deal with issues that need a light shone on them

Like, the actress Anna Friel, I tell stories I find interesting and which deal with issues that need a light shone on them.

Which is why I wrote book 8, in the Transformational Super Kids series.
“Cathartic and empowering. Not a topic often discussed, sometimes not even admitted. For those that had an upbringing that lacked empathy and love from a parent, the effects are long-lasting. Cassandra creates the perfect blend of compassion and practicality in tackling the subject which results in a gentle but powerful reminder to give ourselves as adults what we might not have received by others when we were children. Cathartic and empowering.”
Laura Virgo

Why Doesn’t Mummy Love Me?

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

Audible coming soon

 

 

 

 

Tears tell truths. Heal your heart.

Feeling angry, depressed or traumatized? 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.

Children cannot choose their parents. Unfortunately, many individuals grow up suffering the life-shaping adversities of having emotionally immature, neglectful parents. With wisdom and compassion, Cassandra Gaisford, an extremely experienced and gifted child, and adult therapist enables readers to recognize and better understand these toxic relationships and to create novel, healthy paths of healing. This book provides a powerful opportunity for self-help and is a wonderful resource for therapists to recommend to clients in need.

Former holistic therapist (BCA, Dip Psych) and best-selling author of The Little Princess, Mid-Life Career Rescue, Stress Less and How to Find Your Passion and Purpose, offers the ‘emotionally lonely’ a step-by-step journey toward self-awareness and healing. A powerful, inspiring, and practical book about boosting self-esteem, creating more resilience, overcoming obstacles and moving forward in the aftermath of toxic parenting.

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.

Finally, the book provides solid guidelines for interacting with one’s emotionally immature parents in a manner that avoids painful and damaging recreations of the past. Readers will find relief from recognizing that they are not alone and that they are understood by this remarkable clinician.

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

Find out what strategies are sabotaging your happiness and success. Heal your heart—find and follow your purpose and joy faster.

Bonus: Free Excerpts from the first book in the series, The Little Princess and Cassandra’s 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

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

~ Alma Hammond, Author

“Sadly beautiful and a real reflection of our current society…
Which if we are really honest has lost direction, particularly with regards to 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

 

To enjoy your copy from Amazon: getbook.at/TheBoyWhoCried

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

To enjoy your copy from Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ebook/the-boy-who-cried-1

AUDIOBOOK

AUDIBLE

USA

https://www.amazon.com/Boy-Who-Cried-Transformational-Super/dp/B07VTRNT61

UK

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Boy-Who-Cried-Transformational-Super/dp/B07VWCX163

AU

https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07VB6G6VK

KOBO

Coming soon

Is it time to bring out your playful side? Unleash your inner child

Monday, July 6th, 2020

Dear readers, has life got too serious, too full of fear, drama, and terror. I can certainly testify to that. As Tim Ferris shares,

“Getting into my body, even for 30 seconds, has a dramatic effect on my mood and quiets mental chatter.” 

Which is why I love to paint.

Below are a few tips from How to Find Your Joy and Purpose—the book my daughter and I wrote when she hit a mental health crisis…big time!

 

 

 

“A moment of joy can erase months of uncertainty and sorrow for a Human who is desperate to see the light of laughter.”

Kyron

Joy is the staple of children, who seek it out, demand it, and use it to its fullest. Their natural state is laughter. The energy of the Inner Child belongs to us all.

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—for yourself and others.

“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 that 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 Cassandra plays include: ‘wagging’ work sometimes and taking her inner child on a playdate to the movies, going for a massage, or indulging in her hobbies and playing with her paints. While travelling internationally recently, she watched the Disney children’s movie Frozen. She hadn’t laughed so much in years.

For Hannah listening to music or singing is playful and brings levity. She also loves hanging out with her good friends.

“I can’t express the joy I have with my amigos here,” agrees Dr Bruce Lipton.

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.

How can you unleash your inner child? Who or what brings out your playful side?

 

 

Art is The Highest Form of Hope: Joy in The Little Black Gallery in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand

 

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

 

 

New Release!

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!

ENJOY THE FIRST TWO CHAPTER FOR FREE>>

PAPERBACK AND EBOOK LINKS:

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

 

Did you enjoy this post?

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

You might like:

Point of Change. Rewriting his Career in His 60s and Beyond—Brett’s Reinvention Story

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

Emotional alchemy—the spontaneous healing power of joy

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

 

Here are three more things you might like:


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


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


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

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

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

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

Why Ugly Is Where the Magic is

Sunday, June 21st, 2020

 

“I’ve always found beauty in flaws,”

Anna Friel

 

I’ve been having fun embracing my shadow side and working with things I regard as ‘ugly’. As I wrote in an earlier post, (How to take something ugly and make it speak up for you….)  I was listening to an audiobook by Nancy Hill M.D., The Artist’s Journey: Bold Strokes To Spark Creativity. Nancy offered an exercise where, rather than turn away from ugly, we embrace it and love it. When I lived near Peter Jackson in Wellington I used to hate graffiti. I also hated black – Wellingtomnians wear TOO much of it (in my humble opinion). I also loathe rubbish people chuck out their cars and a host of other things.

Here is a list, of things I have, and may still do, consider ugly, in no particular order:

  • The colours Grey, White, Black, and Red (nothing personal! – and often changeable)
  • Grafitti
  • Rubbish
  • Chaos
  • Sludge
  • Crime
  • Bullying
  • Drunks
  • Nastiness

 

I rose to the challenge and created some new works, embracing the ugly. Many of my works are inspired by abstract expressionists. For example, the beauty of bold crawls and graffiti-inspired works of CY Twombly. Also the colour field intuitive paintings of Helen Frankenthaler. And where would I be had I not experienced the pure joy of training with Max Gimblett in Maui who introduced me to the spiritual flow of Sumi ink, quatrefoil and the shine of Expoxy resin?

I’m happy to say, my experiment with embracing ugly has heralded unexpected joy – and beauty. Just as Nancy promised.

“And when the “ugly” painting emerges, will you value it? Will you see that “ugly” paintings come into your life bearing gifts if only you’ll receive them? Make room for both the paintings you love and the paintings that scare you—the ones you see as threatening. Make room for “ugly” paintings so you can create the deepest work of your life. Trust yourself to explore the things that scare you. These are the unexpressed, unexplored parts of yourself where your unlived dreams reside. This is the realm of play, improvisation, and pure creativity. This is where the magic is.” *

 

“Autumn Rhythm (Number 20) – After Jackson Pollock, 2020.”
Gesso, acrylic and vinyl polymers, epoxy, aqua size, Japanese ink, coloured pigment, epoxy resin on board

 

“Scribe”

hanging on my wall at home waiting For a lucky new owner who loves this mixed media creation as much as I do

 

 

“Let Go”

“Every line is the actual experience with its own unique story” ~ Cy Twombly

Mixed media, oil crayon, acrylic, passion

 

Scribble⠀

“I never really separated painting and literature” ~ Cy Twombly

Mixed media, oil crayon, gold leaf, acrylic, passion

Canvas 760mm x 1200mm

Handcrafted in New Zealand

GOLOV-20

Do what you love! One of the things I love most about encaustic painting, molten beeswax, is the way the honeybees comes to the studio while I am working. This is a close-up of a new work created during global ‘rest time’. Called ‘GOLOV-20 In honor of the new movement sparked by Dr. Joe Dispenza. So much loving energy! So much healing:) so much joy

 

“Rhapsody – After Helen Frankenthaler 2020″

Another from my Word Painting series, I’ve included it in my ‘uglies’ because of the imperfection. But do you know what, I love, love, love this ‘blemish.” This was my first attempt at using epoxy resin, which turned from disaster to delicious. Well, I think so anyway. (it set too fast because I warmed it out and used a plastic vessel for the pour)

Gesso, acrylic and vinyl polymers, epoxy, aqua size, Japanese pink coloured pigment, epoxy resin on board

 

 

Oh, I received some lovely feedback about my ‘ugly” paintings:)

 

“Your beauty shines through even in your ‘ugly work’!!”

 

Would one of these paintings look fab in your home or office? All paintings are for sale. Find out more and check out more of my work here>>https://www.cassandragaisford.com/gallery/

 

 

Are you a black sheep?

And another thing about falling in love with black. I wrote and illustrated a children-adults-book called, Lulu is a Black Sheep.

This book was inspired by the realisation that I too am a black sheep. I’ve never felt I belonged in my family. I was always, and still am, criticised, shunned, and blamed when I don’t walk to their beat. And I’m nearly 55 years young! Sometimes they’re good. And sometimes they’re not. But love them anyway, and I’ve learned to act in a different way.

I woke in the night in the early hours of day three of the COVID-19 lockdown in New Zealand, and I heard a kiwi outside.  Hearing the kiwi call out last night, reminded me that they must feel like black sheep too. Our national birds are not like other birds. They have funny bodies, are nocturnal and they cannot fly. I love that kiwis embrace who they are and don’t try to change.

They’ve learned to adapt to stay alive, and at night they forage, and shuffle, and sing with great happiness and joy.

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

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

Stay in your bubble, dear readers. Follow your truth. But most of all keep being your beautiful self.

Much love

 

 

 

 I am proud to find beauty in ‘ugly’ and to help others do the same in my 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.

 

 

Did you enjoy this post?

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

 

How to take something ugly and make it speak up for you….

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

Emotional alchemy—the spontaneous healing power of joy

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

 

  • Nancy Hills, The Artist’s Journey: Bold Strokes To Spark Creativity (p. 61). The Artist’s Journey. Kindle Edition.

 

 

Lulu is a Black Sheep

To purchase on Amazon, click here>>getbook.at/LuluBlackSheep

To purchase on Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/lulu-is-a-black-sheep-1

To purchase on iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/mqvO66

 

AUDIOBOOK

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/audiobook/lulu-is-a-black-sheep-2

Audible . . .coming soon

Mind Your Drink—How to Pep Up Your Peptides and Feel Stronger, Happier, and Lighter Fast!

Tuesday, May 12th, 2020

 

“As our feelings change, this mixture of peptides travels throughout your body and your brain. And they’re literally changing the chemistry of every cell in your body,” says neuroscientist Dr. Candace Pert.

 

So many people are turning to alcohol during COVID-19 to numb their feelings of anxiety.  Numerous studies show problem drinking is on the rise. Which is worrying, not only due to alcohol’s toxic impact on your immune system, but also the side-effect of increased anger for many.

Other’s have always sought happiness in a bottle, mistakenly turning to booze to fuel a happy-high. But there are happier and healthier options to feel more joy—minus hangover hell and drinkers remorse. You can trick your brain and stimulate the reward networks by losing the booze and pepping up your peptides—your body’s natural feel-good opiates.

As I share in Mind Your Drink: The Joy of Sobriety, alcohol just adds more stress. Smart people are turning to savvy strategies. Like Mike, a successful businessman in his 60s who wrote to me, ” I woke up, after a summer of drinking, made a decision that day, have no idea why, never looked back. Still don’t know why but nor do I regret it”

Intuitively, Mike knew he could feel better. Much better. And he does. “I am on my fifth month without a drink! Biggest gap in 34 years!”

What you feel has a powerful effect on your mind and your behaviour, attracting, or repealing from you what you desire—including health and vitality. Call it the law of attraction, the law of manifestation, or whatever you like, but know that the mind-body connection is backed by strong empirical science.

Dr. Candace Pert, formerly the chief of brain biochemistry at the National Institutes of Health in the US, revolutionized her field by discovering that emotions create biochemical compounds called peptides that serve as messengers in the brain; her team’s work won the prestigious Albert Lasker Award, which is often a precursor to the Nobel Prize.

Pert’s breakthrough discovery changed the way scientists understood the mind-body connection.

Her discovery of the opiate receptor, the mechanism by which a class of chemicals (peptides) alters the mind and body, and subsequent research, led her to an understanding of the way emotions function as a regulatory system in the body.

Because of her revolutionary work on emotions and the mind-body connection, Dr. Pert appeared in the film, What the Bleep Do We Know, and her work helped shift the paradigm from “emotions as neuroscience” to “emotions as biology, ” and “emotions as physics.

So, what does all this mean for you and your quest for sobriety?

Many people use alcohol to numb their emotions and mask their pain. But as Dr. Pert’s research highlights repression creates imbalance and leads to ill-health.

“My research has shown me that when emotions are expressed—which is to say that the biochemicals that are the substrate of emotion are flowing freely, all systems are united and made whole. When emotions are repressed, denied, not allowed to whatever they may be, our network pathways get blocked, stopping the flow of the vital feel-good, unifying chemicals that run both our biology and behavior,” says Pert.

As you’ve already discovered alcohol is a depressant and aggravates anxiety and other mental imbalances. Too often, when people start to experience low mood or suffer mental illness they head to the doctor or schedule an appointment with a therapist.

However many psychologists and western doctors treat the mind as “disembodied, a phenomenon with little or no connection to the physical body,” says Pert. “Conversely, physicians treat the body with no regard for the mind or the emotions. But the body and mind are not separate, and we cannot treat one without the other.”

I endorse this professionally and personally and have seen many people return to good health when they stop ingesting toxins, particularly alcohol. My daughter was too-quickly diagnosed as having bipolar and prescribed medication. She was never asked about external events that may have been triggering acute stress, nor asked about her health behaviours (or rather, non-health behaviours) that may have exacerbated her condition. Nor was she counselled in any way so that she could process and transcend feelings that kept her blocked.

After a period of counselling, particularly trauma therapy following a violent assault and attempted strangulation by her then-partner, Hannah is now alcohol-free and healthy.

Extensive counselling, having a constructive outlet for her feelings, changing her environment and removing herself from negative influences, and working on her self-esteem has transformed her life. Dr. Pert would no doubt say that she has ‘pepped up her peptides.”

“I’ve always kind of known that the energy you emanate from within attracts the situations and people that you need,” Pert explains.

“We’re not just little hunks of meat. We’re vibrating like a tuning fork—we send out a vibration to other people. We broadcast and receive. Thus the emotions orchestrate the interactions among all our organs and systems to control that.”

Emotions are meant to be felt temporarily, flowing through and out of you so they don’t become stuck in your cells and tissues. This is why having an outlet to express your emotions healthily is so vital—especially when painful emotions keep replaying through your conscious and subconscious mind.

Memories are emotions tangled with thoughts, and these can become implanted not just in your brain but in your body too. There are different theories about how exactly this works, but Dr. Pert explains that memories can be found stored biochemically in the synapses where neurons (brain cells) connect to each other.

“The sensitivity of the receptors are part of memory and pattern storage,” she once said. “The peptide network extends beyond the hippocampus, to organs, tissue, skin, muscle and endocrine glands. They all have peptides receptors on them and can access and store emotional information. This means the emotional memory is stored in many places in the body, not just the brain. The autonomic nervous system is pivotal to this entire understanding.”

 

We are all a bundle of nerves

The autonomic nervous system is where you experience the flood of physical reactions to your emotions—it’s the system that switches hormones on and off, changes your breathing and heart-rate patterns, and more in response to fear and stress.

As Colette Baron-Reid, a survivor of rape and a recovering alcohol and drug addict, shared in her book, Uncharted: The Journey Through Uncertainty to Infinite Possibility, “Even if you haven’t studied the science of how energy affects and forms patterns in the physical world, you have experienced it, as I have. Once, I ran into an old friend with whom I had severed ties years before. My relationship with this person had been constantly in chaos, unhealthy, and not serving either of us, so we had grown apart.

“I had tremendous anxiety whenever I was around this friend, triggered by the friend’s history of anger and my history around abuse. Over and over, I found myself back experiencing the energy of my 19-year-old self and the rape, when I couldn’t defend myself and capitulated out of fear.

“After the friendship ended, I rarely thought about this person, and I assumed I had simply moved on, but when I saw this person approaching on the sidewalk, I felt a sense of panic and quickly crossed the street. I asked myself, “When am I?” (not where but when) and realized I wasn’t present in the now; I was experiencing the energy of the past.

“Deep breathing and tuning into the Observer reconnected me to my soul and small self. I imagined myself in the hand of God, surrounded by love and light, and I sent my former friend the intention of compassion. The nightmare ended as the energy in my body shifted. I was no longer disempowered by the stored energy that had infused the memory.”

Pep up your peptides—find a healthy outlet for your emotions. Make finding a way to release all those stuck energies your mission.

Journaling and writing morning pages are some of my favourite ways to express any stinky feelings that bog me down in a rut. Meditation is another—it’s an amazingly alchemical tool that helps me stress less, and eliminate so much unnecessary negativity from my life. They are all some of the daily rituals I share in the next chapter, Magic Mornings.

 

Test Your Knowledge

“Drinking worked in the beginning: I felt wonderful, warm, and fuzzy… almost pretty…What I didn’t know was that I was in a prison of my own making,” says former addict Colette Baron-Reid—now a sober intuitive counsellor and author.

If you’re worried about your drinking or have had a heavy drinking problem for a while chances are you’re well aware of the significant health implications, and how alcohol ruins many areas of your life.

But many people aren’t. They binge drink like it’s a sport, scull drinks like there’s no tomorrow. Ignoring the wake of devastation they leave in their path, they resist making a change for the better. Sometimes they leave it until it’s too late to undo their mistakes.

If you feel that it’s time to rethink the role and purpose of alcohol in your life. Test your current knowledge by answering the questions below:

• Do you know what alcohol really is?

• How is alcohol made? What process creates stronger spirits?

• Is alcohol a known cause for more than 60 different health conditions? Do you know what these are?

• Do you really understand the damage you’re doing to your body when you’re hungover?

• Why can a 5 per cent beer make you twice as drunk as a 4 per cent version?

• What about an 8 per cent craft beer? Is wine safer to drink than vodka?

• What is the definition of binge drinking? Can it kill you? Why can’t you stop?

• Which country says it’s fine to drink three pints a night?

• What is a unit of alcohol? What is a standard drink? Why does it matter?

• How many units of alcohol are deemed safe daily? Weekly? Why?

• Is it true that women should drink less than men?

• What are the health effects and risk factors if you drink more than the recommended guidelines?

• Does alcohol depress the central nervous system at high doses?

• Did you know that alcohol can offer a short-term high, followed by deep lows, depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts?

• Did you know that many alcoholic drinks include compounds called congeners that add to the taste, smell or colour of the drink? Why do they increase the likelihood and intensity of suffering a hangover, and other undesirable side effects?

• Do you really know what the labelling on the bottles you buy really means?

• Do you know that lobbyists influence governments so they can maximise the sale of alcohol to minors, and society’s most vulnerable people?

• Do you even care? Are you happy remaining blissfully blind?

 

You’ll find the answer to these questions in the pages that follow.

 

This is an edited extract of Cassandra Gaisford’s book Mind Your Drink: The Surprising Joy of Sobriety (Control Alcohol, Discover Freedom, Find Happiness and Change Your Life), available in print and eBook from all good bookstores, including:

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

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>> https://books2read.com/u/bQBLj0

To grab your copy from Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/mind-your-drink-the-surprising-joy-of-sobriety-1

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

 

 

You’ve got to see this. Anthony Hopkins gives his best performance yet—an incredibly courageous, vulnerable and humorous story of his battle with alcoholism
 

 

 

 

Did you enjoy this post?

You might like:

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

Emotional alchemy—the spontaneous healing power of joy

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

 

Detox of South Florida (https://detoxofsouthflorida.com) has published a comprehensive article on “Drug and Alcohol Addiction During a Pandemic” which I think you will truly appreciate. You can check it out here: https://detoxofsouthflorida.com/drug-and-alcohol-addiction-during-a-pandemic/

 

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 GOLOV-20? Spread The Love Bug!

Tuesday, May 5th, 2020

 

 

Have you heard of GOLOV-20? I first heard of it around 3 am when I woke with a little insomnia. 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

 

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.

My mid-life clients like Brett, who at the young age of 60 recently enrolled in my Certified Career and Life Coach training course, inspire me tremendously. “I want to make the next decade the best one yet,” he shared with me prior to enrolling.

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

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, then living in Hawaii, who reached out to me initially offering to edit my self-empowerment books for free. I helped her turn her passion into a rewarding career as a business owner. If you need an excellent proof-reader look no further.

“It has been an extremely valuable experience. You are a terrific coach and support!”

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.
How are you? I hope you are staying well during this tragic pandemic. I want to thank you for your help back in 2017 with career coaching and with providing the opportunity to edit for you. I recently established my copyediting business, Stokes Edits, and published my website, StokesEdits.com. Please check it out! You will find the testimonial you wrote for me and the images you shared of the books I edited.
With gratitude,
Amy

 

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!

 

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.

“Hi there Cassandra, Your book passion and purpose changed my life. I wanted to say a Big thank you to you!

 

Simon, is now working with me to rebuild his life. (Funny, he was once a builder!) He’s 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 you and thankful you reached out to me to help.

 

Elevate your energy

 

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.

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!

 

P.S.

GRAB YOUR FREE BOOK – my gift to you

 

 

FREE eBOOKGrab 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

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/mlwRB9

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

Coping with Isolation: How to Love your Life in Lockdown

Monday, April 27th, 2020

Dear readers,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

About BILLY IS A BALLOON

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

“This book shares a powerful message”

 

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

 

* * * FREE AUDIOBOOK * * *

Readers are using books to cope in different ways

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

Billy is a Balloon

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

Motivated to finish the book she is writing.

Motivated to practice self-care.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CHAPTER ONE

 

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

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

He goes outside and stretches wide.

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

 

CHAPTER TWO

 

Deep, deep, deep into his lungs.

Deep, deep, deep into his heart.

Deep, deep, deep into his belly.

Deep, deep, deep into his feet.

 

CHAPTER THREE

 

Then whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!

Billy draws the air up, up, up.

Up, up, up from his feet.

Up, up, up through his belly.

Up, up, up through his heart.

Up, up, up through his lungs.

 

CHAPTER FOUR

 

But Billy didn’t stop there.

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

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

The air swirled through his body like a magic train.

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

 

CHAPTER FIVE

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

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

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

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

I can float, flip, and fly.

Or I can drag, dip, and die.

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

 

CHAPTER SIX

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

CHAPTER SEVEN

I love to do the im-possible.

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

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

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

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

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

Like fears and frights and feelings of failure.

Like meanies and critics and complainers.

Like too much distraction that sucks my energy.

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

 

 

CHAPTER EIGHT

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

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

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

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

 

CHAPTER NINE

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

Billy smiled and waved and flew out of reach.

Out of reach from those who pulled down.

Out of reach from those who only frowned.

Out of reach from his own mistaken beliefs.

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

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

AND SO DO YOU! What colour is your balloon?

*** THE END ***

* * * FREE AUDIOBOOK * * *

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

BREATH BEHAVIOUR

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Much love

Last chance…how to come out of this lockdown with some idea of what direction you want to head in

Thursday, April 9th, 2020

 

 

 

“I would like to come out of this lockdown with some idea of what direction I want to head in.”

Can you identify with Laurie? Is your career in a flux? Has the job you’ve always had disappeared? Or do you wish it would?

Whatever your reasons for seeking a career change you’ll find a range of creative, practical, and inspirational strategies in my new release.

The clock is ticking.

You’ve got less than a few hours left.

This is one final reminder that your opportunity to grab my new release at the reduced price ends very soon.

How will Happy at Work help you?

I’ve divided Happy at Work into three vital stages: Dreaming. Discovering. Succeeding. Be wary of rushing to succeeding. Stages one and two will help ensure you are excelling at something worth living for. Stage three will help you market your skillset successfully so you can land the job you want.

If anything, COVID-19 has taught us all that nothing remains the same. But, with proactive planning, that may turn out to be a good thing.

Here’s one of my favourite strategies from Happy at Work:

Imagination is more important than any other skill and vitally important now. Many jobs are disappearing by the day and new ones must and will be created.   This can feel challenging if all you’ve known is one career or job path, or thinking creatively doesn’t come naturally to you.

As I shared in Mid-Life Career Rescue: The Call For Change, discovering your great joy and the work you were born to do requires allowing yourself to dream and explore. It requires tuning down the rational mind for a while and engaging the right side of your brain, and listening to your intuition and the stirrings of your heart.

It requires allowing yourself to dream and imagine a reality that doesn’t yet exist. It requires being creative.

To do this, you have to be prepared to challenge current assumptions and allow yourself to dream about what could be possible.

The Heart Of Creativity

Many people get caught up in the classical definitions of an artist when they think about creativity, but you don’t have to be an artist, painter or sculptor to be creative. Imagining what doesn’t yet exist and then bringing it into being lies at the heart of creativity.

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines the ability to create as: “to make or cause to be or to become; bring into existence; pursue a creative activity; be engaged in a creative activity; invest with a new title, office, or rank; create by artistic means; create or manufacture a man-made product.”

Creativity is about…

• Imagining what could be

• Dreams, hopes, and desires

• Challenging the status quo

• Being willing to change

• Thinking outside the square

• Drawing outside the lines

• Bringing something into existence

• Innovation and new ideas

• Taking risks, trials, and errors

• A wish for something better

• Tailoring for changing needs

• Uniqueness

• Producing something

• Designing new products and services.

Lighten Up!

Let go of needing to know all the answers, finding a cure for cancer, ending hunger, solving problems or creating the job you know for sure you will love.

Creativity, dreaming and exploring is simply a brain-dumping process that helps stimulate new ideas and connections. Start with an open, playful attitude—you can always get serious about your choices later.

Here is one of my favourite exercises to help you unleash a sense of possibility and generate possible career options.

 

Clone yourself

Imagine you’ve just been cloned. You are now five people! Each of you has gone in a completely different career direction. There are no constraints—money is not an issue. You can get any job you want and you’re getting all the experience you need.

What would each person be doing or willing to try? Isolate and list the key elements —the skills, the values, the interests, the purpose, and other factors—that make each of the five careers listed below satisfying to each clone.

Carol a disillusioned counsellor whose role was made redundant, wanted to get away from always hearing about people’s problems. She came to me for coaching as she was finding it hard to identify roles which would excite her.

Before coaching, she wrote, “I’m starting to question whether I’m doing the right thing applying for jobs at the moment. It’s stressful and I’m afraid I may end up in a role that I don’t want. I’m feeling quite conflicted at the moment.”

I thought the cloning exercise would be a great way to stimulate her sense of possibility and remind her of the things that gave her joy. Joy, one of my other clients reminded me recently, is the fruit of your spirit.

At first, Carol was skeptical. It all sounded very impractical. I encouraged her to let go of her rational mind and play with possibilities. Once we had a few ideas down, I reassured her, we could look at ‘concrete’ career options then.

Her clones included: being a financially successful global coach; a non-fiction writer; an artist travelling the world; a creative educator; and the creator of a thriving community.

We then isolated all the elements that made these roles fulfilling to each clone and stretched the boundaries further by exploring how these clones could combine into what I call a ‘career combo’—a combination of careers strengthened by a core theme and united under one umbrella.

“I’m feeling excited,” she said, as together we set about planning how she could make her career combo a reality.

If you identified a role that combines many jobs or you have just invented a new job title, begin to think about where you could find a market or outlet for it. It may be that you do what I call a ‘career combo’—a little bit of this and a little bit of that and a splash of side-hustle!

 

GRAB YOUR COPY OF HAPPY AT WORK NOW FOR THE REDUCED PRICE of $3.99 USD (eBook). Available for pre-orders and purchases prior to midnight 9 April.

To purchase on Amazon, click here>>getbook.at/HappyAtWork

To purchase on iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>

 https://books2read.com/u/31G55D

To purchase on Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/happy-at-work-for-mid-lifers

AUDIO COMING SOON!

P.S.

I read a book once, it changed my life. But if you’re so stressed or overwhelmed reading a book right now may feel taxing. Other clients have said the same thing and found there was nothing better than a good old-fashioned personalised coaching session.

Remember, I’m here to help.

“If I hadn’t been having my sessions with you I don’t think I would have coped. What you have done for me is mind-blowing.”

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

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

This story will surprise and delight you. . .

Tuesday, March 24th, 2020

 

 

“Beautiful!”

So many people feel anxious, fearful, and stressed right now, but there is something we can do. We can feed our soul. Which is what I did when I wrote my new release, the 5th in the Transformational Super Kids Series, Jojo Lost Her Confidence. 

 

Book Blurb

 

Have you lost your confidence? Do you feel discouraged, stressed, or held back? Are you or your child suffering from low self-esteem?

Holistic therapist, award-winning artist, and #1 bestselling author, C. G. Ford is best known as The Queen of Uplifting Inspiration. C.G. Ford’s unique blend of counselling experience and qualifications (BCA, Dip Psych.), creative skills, and wellness and holistic training (Dip Counselling, Reiki Master Teacher) blends pragmatism and well-being savvy with rare and unique insight. Her strength is and out-of-the-box-thinking and empowering anyone wanting to achieve an extraordinary life.

When we are stressed, anxious, bullied, or overwhelmed our confidence can be one of the first things to be lost. Jojo Lost Her Confidence is a short, beautiful story which will help boost self-esteem for women, self-esteem for kids, and self-esteem in men and boy at all ages and stages.

From the bestselling author of The Little Princess comes the next in the brilliant Transformational Super Kids series. These modern-day heroes and heroines tackle modern-day problems with the passion and gusto of warriors.

They defeat cruel critics, they slay savage self-esteem demons, and they show people—jealous of their kindness, talent, and beauty—that their biggest superpower is staying true to themselves.

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

Be inspired by this journey to transformation and self-love, and self-belief as our heroine learns to overcome the vagaries of child and adult behaviour. Her personal odyssey culminates in a voyage of healing, self-esteem, and freedom to be who she truly is and who she wants to be.

Bonus: Free Excerpt from The Little Princess.

 

Suitable for ‘kids’ of all ages. After all, aren’t we all still children at heart?

 

Why I wrote this (tiny golden) book

 

I wrote Jojo Lost Her Confidence using my penname C.G.Ford for my daughter who messaged me in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.

“I’ve lost my confidence a little bit,” Hannah Joy shared.

When we are stressed, anxious or overwhelmed our confidence can be one of the first things to be lost.

I made the story up on the spot to comfort her and allowed the story to speak through me as I left a message for her on WhatsApp.

Hannah Joy is nearly thirty, But confidence places no boundaries on age. I hope this story is a reminder to all of us that, no matter how old we are, what is truly ours can never be lost. Sometimes we just need help bringing back the light.

If you’ve lost your confidence, consider remembering all the things you love about yourself, or that others love about you. Write these down, and look at your list regularly.

Empower this awareness further, by recording affirmations and positive feedback in a digital app on your phone. Listen to these feel-good thoughts daily.

If you are reading Jojo Lost Her Confidence to your child, or they are listening to the audio version, encourage them to do the same.

Introduce an element of play. Go and blow some bubbles and surround yourself with gorgeous prisms of light.

Learn more, sample, and purchase via the links below

Available in paperback, ebook, and audio (written and narrated by me!)

Amazon>>getbook.at/Jojo

iBooks and other great online bookstores here>> https://books2read.com/u/m2VJKR

Kobo>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/jojo-lost-her-confidence

 

 

 

Featured reader of the month: Alma Hammond

I’m so grateful to Alma Hammond who is in self-isolation with her husband in Southern France. I reached out to her as I would love to illustrate my Transformational Super Kids books. Alma has written and contracted illustrators for her fantastic series of children’s books. Check out Alma’s Website here>>https://www.sweetbeetbooks.com/

I reached out to her for help. Last night (her morning) we talked via FB live from my home in The Bay of Islands, New Zealand, to Alma’s in Southern France during the Coronavirus lockdown (23 March 2020).

Alma was so kind and generous and helpful. I ended our call feeling so excited.

Some moons ago Alama read and reviewed the third book in my series, The Boy Who Cried.

Curious?

Amazon, click here>> getbook.at/TheBoyWhoCried

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

Kobo>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/the-boy-who-cried-1

I’M HERE TO HELP.

 

Need someone to talk to? Is it time to plan a career change and stress less? If you go do with some help at this time please reach out. I’m here to help—wherever you are in the world.

“It was great to talk to someone objective who doesn’t have an agenda.”
Pete from South Africa

 

For personalized help schedule a session here >>

Who says we are isolated? There has never been a better time to be connected via our social media networks and other technologies.

 

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.

My creative process: How divine guidance can inspire you

Tuesday, February 18th, 2020

Many creative people turn to divine guidance as part of their creative process.

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

Coco was taught the precepts of theosophy by the first and foremost love of her life, the English playboy, Captain Arthur Edward “Boy” Capel (CBE). Theosophy is defined by some sources as, “A collection of mystical and occultist philosophies concerning, or seeking direct knowledge of, the presumed mysteries of life and nature, particularly of the nature of divinity and the origin and purpose of the universe.”

I love turning to oracles as part of my daily guidance. Like Coco, it’s a fascination that stayed with me throughout my life and which continues to provide inspiration courage and fortitude—both personally and professionally.

See more, including new works on my Youtube channel here>>https://youtu.be/sQ7lTiUyWP0

Be sure to like, comment and subscribe for regular inspiration

Be inspired by my muse Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel: Life Coach

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

 

 

 

Where’s your joy?

Saturday, January 18th, 2020

 

 

“Judge not about which you feel passionate.  Simply notice it, then see if it serves you, given who and what you wish to be.”

Neale Walsch

Joy goes in all directions. It can be as tangible as a job or car or a house or as intangible as a dream or an idea. You could be joyful about anything:

• A cause

• Analyzing things

• Books

• Magazines

• Sports

• Clothes

• Computers

• The future

• A belief

• A movie star

• An idea

• Astrology

• Saving the planet

• Your family

• Music

• Meditation

• Running your own business

• Crocheting

• Knitting

• Butterflies

• Bees

• Writing romance novels

• Coffee

• Growing plants

• Mental health

• Joy!

Or something else.

 

Lady Gaga, for example, finds joy and purpose in many things. Mental health reform is a long-term joy project and helping others have kindness and courage.

Feeling sad? blue? In need of inspiration? Here’s a show for you…listen to Lady Gaga talk about how she gives gratitude for pain… Oprah and Lady Gaga: Your Life in Focus episode of Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations>> 

 

What captures your interest and attention? List as many things as you can that you could be, or are, joyful, passionate, and purposeful about.

 

 

This is an edited extract of 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. To grab your 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

 

 

 

Did you enjoy this post?

You might like:

Here are five more things you might like:

 

Save time and money and change your life

Discover the health benefits of glorious gratitude

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

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

 How To Find Your Passion and Purpose


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.

Make 2020 your happiest year ever with help from Cassandra’s new release

Wednesday, January 1st, 2020

Mid-Life Career Rescue Series Box Set 2020 (Books 1-2): The Call For Change, What Makes You Happy: How to change careers, confidently leave a job you hate and start living a life you love

Practical, inspiring and empowering tips and strategies every career changer, job hunter and aspiring business owner needs to know

What if you could increase your income, health, and happiness with a few simple steps? How would your life be different if you had more financial freedom, time flexibility, energy, motivation, confidence, and self-belief? What if you could hit your business, personal and financial targets easily and make a huge difference in this world? Imagine waking up every morning with no boss, looking forward to your day, working and living with purpose, passion, and profit. Get set for a spectacular career and an extraordinary life!

Amazon #1 bestselling author and career expert Cassandra Gaisford (BCA, Dip Psych) provides simple but powerful and easy to implement ways to find or create a passion and purpose-driven business or career. Based on survey research, personal achievements and her professional expertise and success as a career and business start-up coach Gaisford answers the question: how to do what you passionate about, love your job, start a business and live more.

Book One The Call For Change, will help you:

  • Strengthen your creative, outside of the square, thinking skills to discover a job you love
  • Flame the embers of inspiration and passion
  • Overcome stress and doubt
  • Master how to overcome the fear of failure, boost your self-esteem and super-charge the confidence needed to make an inspired change

 

Book Two What Makes You Happy will help you:

  • Explore and clarify your passions, interests, life purpose, values, transferable skills, and natural gifts and talents
  • Build a strong foundation for career happiness and success by identifying your criteria for job and life satisfaction
  • Have the courage to quit, or fall back in love with a job, you’ve come to hate

Learn from the author’s real-world experiences and the successes of other people like you. Women and men in their mid-life who want to live and work with passion – and still pay the bills!

Whether you are a start-up entrepreneur, or a businessperson looking for a fresh start, The Midlife Career Rescue 2 Book Box Set will help you make the right moves to choose and change careers with confidence.

Quit just existing and start really living!

Pick up your copy today! Exclusive to Amazon. Free For KU READERS>>mybook.to/CareerChangeBox2020

“Cassandra Gaisford has written an excellent book for those of us who hate their job, have had enough of the long hours, have been made redundant, or just want a new career. She uses examples of many who have become successful in later years.

She uses excellent examples as well as exercises to guide you in the process of figuring out your new career. She has exercises that will help you decide what you want to do, exercises that will help you identify your talents, exercises that will help you with every aspect of a career change. You are never too old to make a change and everyone has talents whether they know it or not. We all have experiences and interests that can lead to a rewarding career.

She guides you through the process with action questions, step by step procedures on what to do to prepare for the change, and many quotes from people who have studied later life career changes and those who have made those changes. She gives you great examples of ways to motivate yourself to learn all you can about what it is you might want to do.

This is a book I needed. I have had enough of the long hours in a job that will take me nowhere. I am ready to move on and move up. I recommend it to anyone who is dissatisfied with their current career or job, or whose job has lost them or anyone who just wants something different. Get this book today and get the life you want before it is too late.”

Why Comparison Robs Joy

Sunday, December 8th, 2019

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Theodore Roosevelt

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Use aspirational comparisons

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

How to rejuvenate your life and change careers in four easy steps

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019

Yay – it’s spring here in New Zealand and fall for my friends on the other side of the world.

Spring and autumn are wonderful seasons for rejuvenation. They signal a time to begin life anew and release that which no longer brings you joy. They herald a time to reflect on what you wish to remain the same and the things in your life you wish to prune.

Rather than leap too far into your future, pause a while and consider, when you get to the end of the year and look back, what will tell you this has been a successful month?

Me? I’m co-creating more joy. And after a rocky 9 months full of much disruption it’s great to be collaborating with my daughter on 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. And it’s thrilling to be about to tell you that it’s available for pre-order NOW!

Success to us includes surrounding ourselves with people who spark joy and accept and love us as we are, believe in the beauty of our dreams, and who help them come true. And vice versa. Success to us is also helping our clients and friends achieve their dreams too. Which is why we wrote How to Find Your Joy and Purpose.

So it was heartening and soul-enriching today to receive this email from a client, who when she first came to see me was very depressed, and feeling hopeless about her work situation. She now has a shiny new job and has created what I call “a career combo” – making time for her creative passions, while still enjoying her bread and butter corporate job: “I am really excited about the role and kinda need to pinch myself that I have got it!! And I have just landed a paying client for my photography which is exciting!! I hope all is going well for you up north and you are living the dream! Once again thanks for setting me on this path!!”

I also leaped with joy when another client who has been training with me to become a certified life coach sent me the link to her website. I loved helping her make a few changes to make it really sing and to reflect her key brand and passion-driven message—we are all treasures and we all have gifts, sometimes we need help to bring our areas of brilliance to the surface.

I love, love, love that Lynnie is in her sixties. In  Lynnie’s case, she is transitioning by combining her skills as a midwife, offering supervision to other health professionals and offering coaching on the side.

It’s what I call a career combo—or others refer to as a side-hustle. Lynnie is living by example that you are never too mature to change careers and live again. I write more about this and offer more tips for mid-lifers wanting to move from a job that no longer fulfills them, or that they’ve even come to hate, in the Mid-Life Career Rescue series. Check out Lynnie’s gorgeous new website here>>www.thetreasurechest.co.nz.

You can also follow her story of career reinvention here>>http://www.cassandragaisford.com/rebirthing-a-new-career-lynnies-reinvention-story/

Rejuvenate your life

Perhaps you’re like my client and like me, you’re ready to make some changes in your life. As the buds begin to flourish on the trees I’m aware of all the potentialities that exist, and of all the things that can flower in my life. I’m also aware that I need to cultivate the things that matter most to me and extract myself from things, people and situations, which in the grand scheme of things, matter least.

As you prepare to let go of old ways of being and make way for your new life, here are just a few of many ways that you can rejuvenate your life:

Harness the power of your mind. There’s three things you need to know about the mind, says UK Hypnotherapist and author Marisa Peer, it only does what it thinks you want it to do; it responds to the pictures in your head and the words you say to yourself; and it likes what is familiar.

So if you really want to make a change, rather than procrastinate or make excuses or engage in activities that take you further away from your goal, it’s really important you do the things you say you want to do. No excuses! I put this into practice by making sure I do the things most important to me FIRST, before other demands or distractions crowd in.

It’s also important that you surround yourself with images and words that reinforce your goals and desires, and which enable you to see vividly how you will feel when you have made a change for the better.

This is where empowering, feeling-based affirmations come in too. If, as one of the clients does, you desire to be a photographer, instead of affirming, “I am a successful photographer,“ try affirming, “It feels amazing, joyful, and so much fun to be a successful photographer.”

Instead of saying, “I want to be a writer,” you could say, as Marisa Peer affirmed to herself when writing her book, “I love writing. This I what I’ve chosen to do.”

Prior to this she had been feeling isolated writing and feeling a little resentful that she was not out having a good time with friends – which of course told her mind that she wasn’t really wanting to write. So instead, she retrained her mind, saying repeatedly, “I love this. It’s like having a lover I can’t wait to come home to it and I’m staying up all night with it. When I wrote I would tell myself this book is great, this book is fantastic, this book is amazing. I constantly imagined people loving it. I’m really glad I told myself that when I was writing it, because if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have had the courage to keep doing it.”

Repeated practise produces outstanding results. Make your new desired state your habit. Practise. Practise. Practise. One of the things I do to create new habits and cultivate familiarity is to write at a regular time, in a regular place. I’ve also had great fun and success create a Star Chart, rewarding myself with stickers on my calendar when I achieve my daily goals.

“As you get into your groove, you find your faith.” ~Marissa Peer.

 

Cull bad habits. Aligned with adopting new behaviors is the need to eliminate any inappropriate effort, or habits, that create results you no longer want in your life. Watching TV, for example, creates the unwanted results of having less time to spend on more fulfilling creative endeavors or to improve the quality of your relationships. People’s growing addiction to Smartphones and social media updates is even worse. For me, having more spring in my step has meant embracing the joy of sobriety. I share my journey, tips, and strategies in Mind Your Drink: The Surprising Joy of Sobriety Control Alcohol, Discover Freedom, Find Happiness and Change Your Life

Sometimes personality traits you once valued also have to be culled. I can’t give you the recipe for success, but I can failure, try to please everyone, all of the time – some sage person once said. And never a truer word has been said. For me right now I’m working at letting go of trying too hard to please and accommodating others’ agendas and apologizing when others don’t like who I am and what I do and trying to make others feel better at the expense of my own happiness—and productivity. I’m also working on my ‘flaw’ of devaluing my own gifts and areas of genuis! There I said it. Genuis!

Instead, I’m placing a value on authenticity, joy, and happiness – as well as cultivating more mindful, compassionate assertiveness.

 

In my Free To Be Me life coaching programme (http://www.worklifesolutions.co.nz/services-for-individuals/life-coaching) we call these your Living Values. Living values replace outmoded values and behaviors that once may have served you, with those which allow you to be free to be you. Life’s too short and you’re too important not to live your best life.

Be a seer. Take a page from the Maestro’s book, and do as Leonardo da Vinci would. Commit to making new discoveries based on painstakingly detailed, amazingly acute observation. Study people you admire and emulate or copy-cat their success. If you aspire to be a published author you may wish to analyze what makes a great story with emotional impact. If you want to be a chef, travel the world via the Internet and find people who are experts in their field. Sign up for a class, interview them, or just start making some of their dishes to get a feel for what they do and how they do it.

Leonardo’s success strategies have been such an inspiration to me I wrote a whole book to share his wisdom with you: The Art of Success: How Extraordinary Artists Can Help You Succeed in Business and Life (Book One: Leonardo da Vinci). To purchase your copy and learn more from Leonardo navigate to here: getBook.at/TheArtofSuccess

If you want more confidence and self-esteem, think of someone you respect who possesses these qualities and when you find yourself in a situation that requires you to be more confident, ask yourself, ‘what would (this person) do now?” Then do that thing, even if you have to fake feeling confident in that moment.

If you want to change careers, or gain experience in a different field, when an opportunity comes up don’t turn it down because you feel your not ready, not good enough or any other self-limiting belief.

Trust whatever happens you’ll handle it. Know that the best learning happens when you have a hands-on experience.

Like my client Lissie who dreamt of being a fashion writer.  I put her in touch with a Dutch fashion designer who wanted help with re-branding her business.

“I’m not trained. I’m not qualified, she said at first.

“Where’s your evidence that you’re not ready? You love fashion, you love writing, you’ll be a natural. Give it a go – you may surprise yourself,” I encouraged her. “Ok, she said, taking a gulp, “I’ll do it.”

“Just met with Lissie,” wrote back the fashion designer, “What a beautiful soul. She’s going to get started this week.”

 

 

Cultivate everyday poise and balance. Practise balance and grace in everything you do. Find your center, your core truth, and strengthen it. Rediscover your natural alignment. Listen to your body barometer. Feelings of tension are clear messages from your soul that you’re off center. Feelings of calm confirm you are in a state of natural flow. Like I am now as I sit outside immersed in the Bay of Islands, overlooking the serenity of the sea, surrounded by silence, but for the birds who sing contently in the trees.

Sounds blissful – and it is. But bliss is something I work at every day. Yesterday a storm raged – not literally, but recent traumatic events really rocked my equilibrium. As his holiness The Dalai Lama once said, “Negative thoughts are like weeds, they grow unattended. Positive thoughts are like flowers, you have to nurture them every day.”

So now I’m taking my peace back. Yesterday is history, and now is the gift of the present-centred awareness. It’s spring, and I have a wonderful rejuvenating vision for the future – one I intend on protecting from frosts that could destroy them, and nurturing so they may awaken and achieve their most beautiful potential.

I share the exact strategies I use to bounce back from stress, trauma, and anxiety in Bounce: Overcoming Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy

I hope a few ideas have resonated with you as you cultivate your own rejuvenation. Remember, obstacles don’t have to stop you, you just need to find a way to overcome them.

 

Wishing you every success

 

Best wishes

p.s.

 

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>>

Quotes to inspire

 

“I invented my life by taking for granted that everything I did not like would have an opposite, which I would like.” ~ Coco Chanel

“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.” ~ Louis L’Amour.

“Your power to choose the direction of your life allows you to reinvent yourself, to change your future, and to powerfully influence the rest of creation.” ~ Dr Stephen R Covey

“Perhaps one of the greatest distinctions between five-sensory and six-sensory people is that five-sensories worry about how they’re going to make it in the world, whereas six-sensories always know that the Universe will there to help them in every way.” ~ Sonia Choquette, Author

“The most important thing in a creator is inspiration. Inspiration transfigures human thoughts and passions. If the composer is but a virtuoso of writing, he will not attain true beauty, nor will his ideas be sublime. Pity the poor artist not driven by passion.”~ from the movie Mozart’s Sister.

 

HELPFUL RESOURCES AND TOOLS MENTIONED IN THIS BLOG

 

EMPLOY YOURSELF! TRAIN TO BE A COACH

Is your job stressing you out? Cassandra is passionate about helping people change careers and create businesses they love and still pay the bills! If you share her passion and are seeking work that is fulfilling, financially rewarding and flexible becoming a career and life coach may be just what you have been looking for!

Work with passion and purpose! Become an accredited:

• Career coach

• Life coach

• Happy at Work coach

• Creativity coach.

• Personal fulfilment coach

 

ONLINE CERTIFICATION COURSE NOW AVAILABLE

Discover how to make money as a life coach, earn extra income on the side, and easily create your own online business using the Worklife Solutions fail-proof system and attract your first paying client in weeks. All from the comfort of your own home or exotic destination.

Navigate to https://the-coaching-lab.teachable.com/p/worklife-solutions-coach-training-foundation-course

For more course options navigate to: http://www.worklifesolutions.nz/coach-training

 

FOLLOW YOUR PASSION AND PURPOSE TO PROSPERITY

Focus Your Energy and Time to Achieve Outstanding Personal and Professional Results With Absolute Certainty and Excitement.

What if you could increase your success, health, and happiness with a few simple steps? How would your life be different if you had more energy, motivation, confidence, and self-belief? What if you could hit your business, personal and financial targets easily? Imagine waking up every morning looking forward to your day, working and living with purpose, passion, and profit.

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

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

 

SELF-EMPOWERMENT BOOKS

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

Bounce: Overcoming Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy

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

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

y

How to Future-Proof Your Career. Why Mid-Life is Fab

Tuesday, October 1st, 2019

Fifty, Sixty, Seventy…and more! Midlife can be fabulous!

 

Thank you for your birthday wishes, everyone. I had such a lovely day and was spoiled fabulously. Plus, I found time to do what I love – fine-tune the narration of one of my most popular books,Mid-Life Career Rescue Isn’t it wonderful when you love what you do? I feel so blessed.

I love being an author. It means I can do what I love forever! Thank you to you!

Have you ever wondered how to age-proof your career? You’ll find plenty of inspiration in the midlife career rescue series.

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. Discover more and consider how your name may lead you to your best-fit career >> I Am The Oracle—How Your Name Can Fit Your Calling and Life Purpose

 

What I’m working on now…

My daughter and I are making great progress on our first book together. If you’ve lost your joy, you’ll love our new book, How to Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love.

If you’d love to:

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

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

I’m also super excited to announce that The Little Princess is now available as an audiobook for your listening ejoyment—narrated by me. If toxic bullying is crippling your self-esteem you’ll find plenty of help in this little book.

Amazon:
getbook.at/TheLittlePrincess

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

 

In between narrating, I’ve been painting. I’m so happy to be donating two pieces to the Hospice who are having an art auction to raise funds. It was a thrill to see my flower painting, ‘blossom’ on the cover! I  hope they make loads of money. It’s such an important charity to support.

 

Your Midlife Can Be Fabulous

Here are a few strategies that can help you regardless of your situation:

1.) Take what already exists and copy it.

Much of what we have learned we copied from people close to us, like our parents, or teachers, before we put our own unique own stamp on it.

Who could you copy? Identify someone who is working in a field you feel you would enjoy and learn as much as possible about what they did to achieve success.

When I was stuck in a career trap I was inspired by the career counselor who was helping me and I began to wonder, ‘how could I do that?’

I looked at her skills and background and asked her what it would take to be like her, and what training she would or wouldn’t recommend.

I then set out to forge my path in a similar way—even learning the interactive drawing therapy techniques I’d found so liberating when she first got me to draw that bird trapped in the cage yearning to fly.

 

2.) Manifest a Miracle

After you have gone to bed tonight, a miracle happens and the fear you felt and problems that have prevented you moving forward are resolved. But you are asleep, so you will not know that the miracle has happened.

When you wake up tomorrow morning what will be different that will tell you? What will you see yourself doing differently?

What will you see others doing differently that will tell you that the miracle has happened?

‘Imagineer’ your miracle and ‘act as if’ it is already done!

When I wanted to be a writer I told people I was a writer. When they asked what had I written I told them I was currently working on a work of non-fiction to help people live and work with passion and purpose.

This ‘acting as if’ motivated me to get moving and live with integrity by following through. While writing, I mocked up a book cover and imagined all the wonderful reviews I would receive.

It was nice confirmation when my first book in the Mid-life Career Rescue series became a #1 bestseller and received 5-star reviews from people who had felt inspired, hopeful and committed to pursuing their dreams as a result of what I had written.

When I wanted to pursue my creativity I developed a website www.cassandragaisford.com dedicated to all things creative. I created a business card which read, ‘artist, author, photojournalist’. Every time I opened my wallet I received a giant reminder and affirmation of the life I wanted to live and the work I felt inspired to do.

When I wanted to leave the city and move to the country I created a manifestation fridge! I pasted quotes, photos, and affirmations of where and how I wanted us to live. Above all, I allowed no doubt. I included the words from a psychic I had consulted, “You’ll be happier than you know is possible.” And guess what? We are!

‘Acting as if’ is simply using the power of your mind, engaging your senses—especially the magnetic power of your heart, and harnessing the power of intention to bring into reality your heart’s desire.

 

3.) Plan For Success

After Cate quit her job she contacted me for business coaching. She told me she never finished her projects. After implementing a planning strategy following a Skype coaching session she wrote to me, “Thank you SOOO much for this morning. It has certainly fired me up—and being able to see the end of a project before really starting is very helpful.

“Similarly, with a timeline, you can actually see the end before you begin. I can see that this has changed my mindset about ’starting’ on whatever it is I’m working on—look at the end date or envisage the end result (like a book cover to achieve my goal of being a published author). This seems to have freed up some of my perceived fears/blockages.” Cate’s new business is now up and running and she’s never felt more liberated.

As I shared with Cate, I like to think of all my goals as projects. That way I avoid feeling like things will take forever, plus I have deadlines to work to—ones that feel manageable. And I always like to visualize what it will feel like when I’ve actually finished a project. I don’t want to wait until the project is finished. I want that feeling of achievement and excitement now!

Building the House of Your Dreams

I applied this strategy when I visualized building a house on the back of my old villa in Wellington many years ago. At the time, everyone thought achieving my desire was an impossible dream. Even I knew it was audacious—I was a single working mother with no savings.

But I didn’t let that stop me from throwing my energy into seeing the house built. To feed my desire and overcome resistance I imagined how beautiful my home could be. I felt the evening sun on my face.

I heard the birdsong in the trees. I saw every aspect of what I wanted—the colors, the expanses of glass. I felt the lovely stone benchtops. I tasted the meals I would cook for friends. I fed my motivation to actually build a house from scratch.

To feed desire, generate ideas, increase clarity and fuel a sense of possibility I created image boards and gathered clippings of what I wanted to manifest.

I also broke the project into manageable chunks to avoid feeling overwhelmed and also to counteract my fears around cost escalations. I sourced my team—builders, architects, and other pros. In short, I began with the end in mind and broke the project into manageable steps and drew up a project plan.

Don’t get me wrong—I am no passionate planner. I am naturally organic and spontaneous. But when the need and the desires arise we are all capable of mastering the skills we need. But first I worked to my preferences and strengths and began creatively.

I like creating projects because they make things seem more manageable. They usually have beginnings and endings, and often tangible concrete results.

Some of my projects have included things like publishing books, building websites, beginning a blog, creating a company and personal brands, generating products and services, and customers.

As you start to surround yourself with tangible evidence of possibilities and to chart your progress, inspiration, desire, and love builds. Suddenly your dreams are no longer dreams but living realities.

Hot Tip! Be sure to include completion deadlines—these can flex if need be, but have a date to work to. Reward yourself each time you complete a milestone; much like builders do when they have the roof shout.

You’ll find loads more strategies in Mid-Life Career Rescue and other books in the series.

Good luck!!

 

Did you enjoy this post?

You might like:

Life transformed by faith in the stars

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

Rebirthing a New Career: Lynnie’s reinvention story

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.

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

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

Sunday, September 22nd, 2019

 

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

and then walks grinning to the funeral.”

Kahil Gibran, Writer

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

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

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

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

• You have trouble keeping your focus

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

• You reminisce about the past, or

• Brood about your future

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

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

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

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

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

What rut-busters would help support and invigorate you?

 

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

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

 

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

If you’d love to: 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Also available in audiobook and hardback

Did you know you can die of a broken-heart? Make sure you know the cure.

Friday, September 13th, 2019

“It was such a depressing time. I didn’t look very depressed maybe but it was really dire. I made a conscious decision not to stop, but it could have gone the other way.”

Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid

Did you know you can die of a broken heart? Science has recently validated what we know to be true. Only yesterday, I received the email below from a client whose daughter had been caught in New Zealand’s broken mental health system:

Dear cassandra,

my news is a sad one my daughter past away sunday the 8/9/2019 at Bay of Island hospital.
There’s no more suffering and dealing with the system any more. It was more the stress that mental health did within a year, and my daughters heart couldn’t take any more.
Thank you for been there when i needed someone who understood me the journey was tough but I have placed my self in the hands of heavenly father who keeps me safe and heals my wellbeing.

 

I’ll address the brutality of the mental health system in a separate post and share with you my intimate knowledge of what’s wrong and how it can be fixed. But first, I want to spotlight the very real threat to our health that emotional and physical stress can inflict. Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, also known as broken-heart syndrome, occurs almost exclusively in women, medical researchers say.

Harvard Medical School reports that the condition is caused by a weakening of the left ventricle, often as a result of emotional or physical stress—such as the loss of a loved one or a sudden illness.

When things we love or value end we can feel as though life itself has died. We can feel depressed, despondent, stuck in a wasteland of ‘nothing matters anymore’.

Life is a never-ending series of beginnings and endings. Life has its births and deaths. We have full moons and no moons—or new moons. An ending is not a failure, but an opportunity for a new, and often better, beginning.

It’s okay and healthy to ‘keep it real’ and allow yourself to feel bad. If your boyfriend cheats on you or tells you he no longer feels ‘the love,’ or friends abandon you, how could you possibly feel happy about that? It’s normal to feel sorrow. It’s okay not to succumb to toxic positivity and think that life is only about having ‘good vibes’ and feeling continually inspired.

When painful things happen in our lives, this adversity may temporarily dull our joy, but remember that joy is energy. Like the sun, it will rise again and charge and enliven our lives.

Sometimes, hanging onto the light during periods of darkness means cutting yourself some slack and cultivating serenity. “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference,” the Serenity Prayer encourages.

Ultimately, surviving life’s ups and downs involves being in touch with our Higher Power (God, The Divine, The Universe—whatever we believe in).

If we can practice radical acceptance, cede control, and hang onto the spirit of hope, every ending does bring a new and happier beginning. As sure as day follows night and spring follows winter, we can, and will, experience the joy of new and healthier jobs, careers, and relationships.

 

How can you heal any sorrow in your life? What worked in the past? What do you need to let go of? What do you need to hang onto?

What would it feel like, and what would it take to strengthen your connection to a Higher Power, cultivate courage and wisdom, and nurture the possibility of a fresh start?

 

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

If you’d love to: 

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

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

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

Thursday, September 12th, 2019

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

William Goldberg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

If you’d love to: 

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

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

 

Toxic Positivity – what is it?

Monday, July 22nd, 2019

 

 

“You’re gorgeous, you’re ambitious, contrarian, fiery, dogged and determined bullshit detectives. I thank you. We need those relentless, annoying questioners, these bullshit detectors, these modern-day Cassandras to report to us what they see, what they hear, and which way leads over the cliff, so we can swerve to avoid it…”

~ Meryl Streep

 

I learned a new term recently, Toxic Positivity. And I wondered what it was.

In short, it’s the poisonous impact of people who only present one face – “happy, happy, happy.” Here’s an example…..on social media all you ever see toxic people post is glam shots and stories about how awesome their life is. They tell you how they are making more money in a minute than they have in a year (okay, I’m exaggerating…it’s usually making more in a day).

They don’t allow any negative feedback, or questions to be raised..if they receive negative feedback or a concern they IMMEDIATELY block you and delete your comments. (they don’t reply or ‘challenge’ you on social.

That’s what I love about Amazon reviews. Reviews are reviews…from people who have purchased your products. They are public. They are not always fair or honest, but people can express them never the less. Viola Hug and Libby Wallace, self-promoted wealth and abundance coaches, blocked me recently when I voiced concerns about their ethics… People suffering from Toxic Positivity can’t handle criticism. Reasons are complex.

Here are two contrary reviews on one of my most popular books, How to Find Your Passion and Purpose – criticism is not always easy to take – esp when you can’t dialogue or reply…I don’t even know how to reach my one-star reviewer even to offer a refund. I’m open to feedback.

I’m open to criticism. I’m open to the side of me that is not always soft, and nurturing, and happy! happy! Happy! And I own that, because, as Lady Gaga once said, ‘You can do many things, but you cannot ignore me.”

And I will always fight and come out swinging when anyone preys on people who are kind and suffer from mental illness.

Yes people, hear me roar!

“Don’t buy it. Total Scam.” Wrote one anonymous person.

“This book opens your mind to new possibilities, allowing you to dig deep, get out of your comfort zone and explore creative ways to follow your passion and purpose. Great exercises, reflections, and guidance on how to move forward when you are feeling stuck and need that push to take some action. Enjoy the process Cassandra takes you on, you’ll be feeling bulletproof in no time!” wrote another.

 

What to do when toxically positive people show up in your life?

Avoid them like the plague. They will take your money, your confidence, your trust, and even your sanity.

Restore Your Energy. Awaken Your Passions. Experience Freedom

Sunday, April 28th, 2019

 

I’m knackered! Are you?

Need a rest. Fed up of the daily grind (It’s non-stop, isn’t it?)
 
Life has gotten you a little fatigued, and you need to feel re-energised, right?
 
We feel rushed all the time. The ol’ waistline keeps expanding, along with the to-do list. But, if we’re being really honest, nothing on that list excites us anymore.
 
If this sounds all too familiar, then we have a very special invitation, just for you…

Register now for The Woman Reinvention Project
 
The Woman Reinvention Project is for those who are ready to have the life they desire



 

Is it time for you to reinvent yourself?

What if I told you there was a way to get exactly what you want out of your life? An easier way to:

  • Go from frazzled to fabulous
  • Get your sexy body back and maintain your perfect shape
  • Reclaim your authentic self as both a woman and mother
  • Re-find your libido & have healthy, satisfying sex (at any age!)
  • Have a more meaningful life, on every level

What if I told you there was a way to create your very own version of a have-it-all life, and you could create that life by doing less, instead of more?
 
Would you be interested in that?
 
Well, lovely, there IS a way, and this opportunity is just a click away.


The Woman Reinvention Project is an online summit that will connect you to the world’s most inspiring speakers over 21 days, from the 6th May – 27th May.


I’m so excited to be catching up again with my good friend, Vesna Hrsto is an Australian – Melbourne based, Naturopath who has made it her mission to reinvent the modern (busy), woman. She’s created this event for smart, driven women, just like you, who want to find more balance and get (so much) more out of life.

If you’ve read my Mid-Life Career Rescue series you’ll have read about Vesna’s amazing story of reinvention—from burned out and depressed to fired up and energized! In Mid-Life Career Rescue she shares her exact career reinvention strategy.

It’s not good enough to have a great career or family, when behind it all you’re rushing around ticking off your to-do list, feeling frustrated, unsatisfied and burnt out.
 
Doing it all, and putting yourself last, is so old! It’s time for a change!

Click here to Register for The Woman Reinvention Project.
 
Vesna has found the top experts on reinvention, and I’m happy to say that I’ve been interviewed.
 
I’ll be sharing the (online) stage with over 21 vibrant leaders – who have been featured on TedX, Oprah Magazine, Cosmopolitan, and more – sharing how to get your inner spark back and have you feeling radiant again.

Oh and did I mention this unique event is entirely FREE? That’s right, you pay nothing, no strings attached. Why? Because we believe every woman should be able to lead her life free of guilt, overwhelm or burn out.
 
But you have to hurry, this special event starts on Monday 6th May, grab your spot here.
 
I’d love you to join me in what promises to be a full 21 days full of rejuvenation, positivity, and inspiration. Take time for yourself to digest this material… you deserve it.


Put the 6th May-27th May 2019 in your diary now, and
register your free spot today:
 
 http://www.thewomanreinventionproject.com

 

Latest from my blog

Here’s a quick round-up of my 3 latest blog posts:

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

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

Discover Your Burning Desire in Life and Your Work with Cassandra Gaisford

As always, I hope you find something of value in them.

 

Enter & WIN!

Have you enjoyed one or several of my books? Word of mouth is the most powerful marketing force in the universe. If you found my books useful, I’d appreciate you leaving a review on Amazon or Goodreads. You don’t have to say much—just a few words about how the book made you feel or how it helped you learn something new.

I recently received these 5-star reviews on Amazon for my new release, Anxiety Rescue: How to Overcome Anxiety, Panic, and Stress and Reclaim 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, Counsellor

“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 Fit For Joy 

Amazon reviews are really important for independent authors like me to receive—they provide a morale boost and important social proof to people trying to find good resources. 

Vesna and I will be talking about this book and the easy peasy strategies that will help you get your groove back on her Reinvention Summit)

If you would like to grab a copy of Anxiety Rescue Click here – getbook.at/AnxietyRescue

Thank you so much for leaving a review for my books.  I appreciate you!

Send me a screenshot of your review and go in the drawer to win a FREE copy of my newest release:

No! Why ‘No’ is the New ‘Yes’: How to Reclaim Your Life, Shine in the Sun, and Be Authentically You—getbook.at/NoTheNewYesBook

 

Client success story

I can’t tell you David’s real name as that would be breaching his privacy, but I can tell you that I am so stoked for him. He contacted me for help to give up drinking and he’s now two weeks sober. It may not seem like a long time but anyone who has gone from a binge-drinking habit to zero can tell you it’s not easy—especially in a culture that worships alcohol as much as we do here in New Zealand.

Armed with a copy of Mind Your Drink: The Surprising Joy of Sobriety (Control Alcohol, Discover Freedom, Find Happiness and Change Your Life) and sobriety coaching with me, he’s recovered his relationship and found his waistline again!

Mind Your Drink is available in print and eBook from all good bookstores, including:
Amazon: getbook.at/MindYourDrink
Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Nook and iBooks: https://www.books2read.com/u/bQBLj0
Or direct from the author  http://www.cassandragaisford.com/product/mind-your-drink-the-surprising-joy-of-sobriety

 

 

Did you enjoy this post?

You might like:

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

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

Discover Your Burning Desire in Life and Your Work with Cassandra Gaisford

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.

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

Friday, March 29th, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes!Yes!Yes!

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

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

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

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

I share more of his tips in this book.

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

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

Discover how this one little word will change your life.

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

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

What others are saying

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

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

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

~ Catherine Sloan, counselor

 

 

 

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

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

New Release! Anxiety Rescue: How to Overcome Anxiety, Panic, and Stress and Reclaim Joy

Tuesday, March 12th, 2019

New Release!

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

 

Uplifting Relief. End Anxiety and Panic Attacks. Embark on a Life-Changing, Scientifically Proven Fast-Track to Happiness—in Only Minutes a Day!

Are you driving through life with the handbrake on? Is anxiety, fear, stress, or depression preventing you from finding happiness and achieving your fullest potential?

Is anxiety preventing you from having the ultimate career, loving relationship, excellent health?

End fear. Stop crippling anxiety and panic attacks now… easily and naturally—medication-free.

 

 

 

From the best-selling author of Mid-Life Career Rescue, Stress Less and How to Find Your Passion and Purpose, a powerful, inspiring, and practical book about boosting resilience, overcoming obstacles and moving forward after life’s inevitable setbacks. Everyday problems solved by history’s most remarkable men and women. Fresh, fun, perspectives to help you tame anxiety, manage stress, overcome depression, change careers—and more.

These successful people and others like them thrive by capitalizing on and leveraging off the power of their creative strength, resourcefulness, and optimistic, resilient ‘can do’ mindset.

Gently, conversationally, and with humor, Anxiety Rescue offers actionable strategies for seeing and thinking differently. For many people, the approach is nothing less than transformational. More than a collection of thoughts for the day, Anxiety Rescue offers a progressive program of holistic—mental, emotional, physical and spiritual—study, guiding you through essential concepts, themes, and practices on the path to well-being, joy, and happiness.

Bestselling author, award-winning artist, holistic therapist, and creativity expert Cassandra Gaisford (BCA, Dip Psych) shares strategies that have worked for her personally through many of her own life challenges, and for her clients in her professional work as a holistic therapist and self-empowerment coach.

If you suffer from generalized anxiety and panic attacks

If you suffer from stress or burnout

If you lack confidence or self-esteem or fear failure……

If you’re a perfectionist or find the challenges of life overwhelming…

…then Anxiety Rescue is exactly the right book for you—because it will cheerlead, motivate and encourage you to fight for your dreams and achieve your goals.

Anxiety Rescue is the ultimate prescription and medication free cure. Gaisford reveals in six easy steps:

✓         How to define success on your own terms…

✓         How to find your truth and live an authentic life…

✓         How to set and achieve audacious goals…

✓         How to take strategic risks (rather than reckless ones)

✓         How to overcome your fear of failure, criticism, and change…

✓         How to make money, follow your passion and still pay the bills…

✓         How to beat low self-esteem…

✓         How to identify real priorities that are central to your life’s true meaning…

✓         And how to empower your business and personal life…

There is not only wisdom on every page, but actionable, immediate steps you can take to make a difference in reaching your own goals and dreams.

Broken into small, bite-sized segments—you’ll soon find yourself jotting notes down, finding someone else so you can share the insights and experience, and resources made available to keep you happy, healthy, motivated and focused.

Dig into this book and let Leonardo da Vinci and Coco Chanel and other successful men and woman be your mentors, inspiration, and guides as they call forth your passions, purpose, and potential.

Say YES to happiness NOW! It’s never too late to end anxiety and follow your joy to live a life you love.

 

“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, Counsellor

 

Available Now 

Amazon: getbook.at/AnxietyRescue

 

ENJOY the First Three Chapters FREE—click here>>

Be your own boss: how to manifest your dream of running a holistic business from home

Tuesday, March 5th, 2019

Passion unites!

Mollie MathewsIs your job stressing you out? Do you dream of running your own holistic, location independent business? As you know, I’m passionate about helping people change careers and create businesses they love and still pay the bills!

If you share my passion for helping others and are seeking work that is fulfilling, financially rewarding and flexible becoming a career and life coach may be just what you have been looking for!

Work with passion and purpose! Become an accredited life coach.

As well as being an award-winning artist and bestselling authors I’m also the director of Worklife Solutions—we train passionate, purposeful people to become career and life coaches and I mentor counselors and life coaches to level up their business.

Manifest your dream of running a holistic business from home.  Learn more here >> http://www.worklifesolutions.nz/coach-training/

What others say…

I have always been passionate about empowering and motivating others and when I learned about life coaching as a career I knew it was something I was being drawn to pursue.

As you can imagine, a google search for life coaching courses brought up hundreds of providers all with their own content of what they believed life coaching to be.

I was lucky enough to come across Worklife Solutions and their Certified Life Coaching Course. I sent through an email requesting information as I had through other providers, but was pleasantly surprised when I received a response from Cassandra and not someone employed to help with enrolments/course advice, I found her to be very warm and helpful in answering all my questions.

As a mum and student I was looking for flexibility, content that would really help me develop my skills and confidence as a life coach, a personalised approach and for me to be able to learn from someone who not only has the skills and qualifications in the field of Life Coaching but tons of experience too.

The one on one mentoring was what really sold me as I will not have to contend with a large group of other students. And will be able to use that time to perfect the skills I learn in a way that some online courses could never assist. I am confident that with this course alongside Cassandra’s mentoring that I am on my way to my dream career as a life coach.

My Mid Life Crisis and Becoming a Coach

I was in my mid-30’s, a single parent, holding down a steady job when I started my first business, Worklife Solutions (worklifesolutions.co.nz). I was worried and fearful that I’d fail, but I did it anyway. It’s one of the most creative, joyful endeavors I’ve ever done. Since then I’ve created many more businesses and helped people all over the globe become successfully self-employed.

It’s hard to believe that I was ever an employee, feeling trapped and miserable in a job that gave me zero flexibility, capped my income and shackled my independence.

I know what it’s like to reach the middle of your life and yearn for something better, but wonder if you have what it takes to make it on your own. I was a single parent, with no one else to pay my mortgage. I wanted more time and freedom to balance child-care with my own desire to have control over my own destiny. And I wanted my income to be determined by my own efforts, not by the mood or whims or dictates of a boss. I wanted to be in control, riding the winds of fortune and navigating the fluctuating economic landscape.

More than that I wanted to rekindle my passion and creativity in both the workplace and home. And I wanted to make a living doing the work I felt born to do.

I was uncertain about how I could employ myself and create a coaching business I’d love with such a passion, that one day I would say, “This isn’t work; this is fun.” But it did happen, and it can happen for you too.

I’m not a risk-taker. Not a reckless, foolishly optimistic one anyway. I was afraid like you might be. I doubted anyone would hire me, or that I could convince others to buy my products and services. I worried that if I severed the safety chord of a regular wage I may not be able to pay my mortgage.

I’d lost my confidence, and worse, I’d lost my self-esteem, trading in my health and happiness for the ‘security’ of a regular pay cheque. I had a mortgage to feed, and a daughter to support on my own, and so I boxed on. But I never gave up on my dream.

I started feeding my soul by reading books by, and about, inspired entrepreneurs. I subscribed to entrepreneurial magazines and devoured articles. (Back then podcasts and YouTube weren’t alive and streaming.) I drew up a list of benefits I felt I’d gain from being self-employed, and trained myself to focus my mind and heart on what I hoped for, not what I feared.

I calculated my hourly rate as an employee and quickly realized I could work less hours and earn more if I employed myself. The final push I needed to take the leap came when my friends, who were turning fifty, encouraged me to join them on a girls trip to Italy. My boss turned down my application to go on leave. “You’re needed here,” she scolded.

“I quit,” I replied. And I haven’t looked back.

I share my personal story from stressed out salary-slave to self-employed nirvana in my Mid-Life Career Rescue series—check out my boxset – 4 books for one! Great value! Mid-Life Career Rescue Series Box Set (Books 1-4):The Call For Change, What Makes You Happy, Employ Yourself, Job Search Strategies That Work—getbook.at/CareerRescueBox4

Self Employed Bliss – Be Happy: Work With Passion

I have more freedom, work-life balance, creative control and autonomy, and greater work security as a self-employed worker. I get to choose the work I will or won’t do. I earn more than I did having my salary capped as an employee, but  I love what I do with such a passion that I would do it for free. “That wasn’t work, that was fun,” I said to a client recently

If you feel like I once did, wondering if being your own boss will ever happen for you, help is at hand. If you fear that if you leave a job you hate, you won’t be able to pay the bills, my latest book, Mid-life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself will help you start smart.

If you’ve bought into the mistaken belief that owning your own business will cost a bomb, or wreak havoc with your work-life balance, this book will set you straight. If worrying about the taxman or legal stuff is putting you off starting a business, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Or perhaps you worry running your own business will be all-consuming. If so you’ll love the section, “Burnout Blitz.”

If you dream of being happy and working with passion and joy, I encourage you to consider taking a calculated and inspired leap into self-employed bliss.

Self-employment is an excellent option for Mid-lifers

While some employers may consider your age or wealth of experience to be a liability, that same experience is an asset when you are running your own show.

Prospective clients and customers care more about the value you can provide than they do about your age. And running your own business can also offer you the freedom, flexibility, purpose, and autonomy you crave. Plus, if you structure things right from the outset you’ll end up with more money in your wallet.

In Mid-life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself you’ll be inspired by Leigh Johnson. After establishing a successful recruitment business, and following a period of depression Leigh yearned to help others. I share her story of reinvention in the book. She also contacted me to help her define her brand and gain the skills she needed as a wellness coach.“I want people to know how great they are already,” she says of her new mission.

“I give credit to Cassandra Gaisford (www.worklifesolutions.co.nz) for helping me unclutter my thoughts and clear the way to make the decision to become a Well-being & Transition Coach,” she shares on her blog.

Read the other stories of entrepreneurial rejuvenation I share in my book, Mid-Life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself (http://Amazon.com http://amzn.to/1SwgzAV) and learn from people who have felt the fear and become self-employed anyway! Let love, inspiration, and passion propel you forward.

I felt especially inspired by the true accounts of people who beat the odds by starting a business and how they became successful. The variety of examples of entrepreneur stories given makes you realize that anything is possible with enough will and determination! Cassandra paves the way for you to have belief in your ideas and to run with them. This book will have you excited about the future, dreaming big and living boldly…” ~ Amazon review

Employ yourself! Live the entrepreneurial life and create a product and service so good that people will pay for it.

I read a book once—it changed my life: The Work We Were Born To Do, by Nick Williams. My hope is that I can change yours. Whether you opt to train with me, or decide to chase another dream you’ll find plenty of additional support in my book,

Mid-Life Career Rescue (Employ Yourself): How to confidently leave a job you hate, and start living a life you love, before it’s too late, is available in paperback and eBook from:

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/1SwgzAV

Or Amazon.com.au  http://bit.ly/1OmXh9g

Passionately yours

Cassandra

 

Are you ready to quit?

Or perhaps, you’d like to do what I did, trained to become a coach and started coaching on the side until my income grew and I could make coaching my full-time gig.

Contact me for a free 30-minute discovery call to see if training to become a certified life coach is the right move for you.

 

If you’re not working with your authentic, compelling joy— you are not living your true purpose…and life is too short for that!

Check out my blog here and learn more about my story here>> http://cassandragaisford.com/my-story-how-my-dark-nights-of-the-soul-awakened-my-passion-and-purpose/

 

 

Did you enjoy this post?


You might like:

Rebirthing a New Career: Lynnie’s reinvention story

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

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

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

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

Life transformed by faith in the stars

 

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 >>

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

Tuesday, February 26th, 2019

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

• A stronger ability to focus on your goals and dreams

• Improved confidence and self-esteem

• Increased productivity

• Increased memory, mental performance, and decision-making

• Better control of your emotions

• Sweeter relationships

• Greater intuition and spiritual intelligence

• Authentic happiness

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

• Headaches

• Anxiety

• Depression

• Insomnia

• Aggression

• Blackouts

• Low energy and fatigue

• High blood pressure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Health Nirvana

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

Physical Health

• Improved liver function and health

• Better sleep

• Better eating habits

• Younger, healthier looking skin, hair, and nails

• Improved vision and clearer eyes

• Weight loss or healthy weight gain

• Increased energy and vitality

• Strengthened immune system, warding off illness and disease

• Lower blood pressure

• Optimal digestive function

 

Mental Health

• Increased mental clarity

• Newfound motivation and determination

• Natural resilience

• Boost self-esteem and confidence

• Greater resilience to stress

• Improved memory

• Clarity

• Heightened intuition

• Heightened brain function

• Improved productivity

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

• Heightened willpower

• More truthfulness and honesty

• Long and short-term memory improves

• Aversion to negative thinking

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

• A desire to help others

 

Emotional Health

• Persistent and lasting feelings of joy

• Authentic happiness

• Improved relationships

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

• Increased ability to create lasting, loving relationships

• Improved interactions with people

• Feeling younger

• Feeling empowered, in control and free

• More laughter and spontaneous joy

• An improved general sense of contentment and wellbeing

• Greater self-awareness

• Higher emotional intelligence and ability to self-regulate

• Improved sleep-related benefits

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But I wanted that quick fix.

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

 

Instead, in my journal ‘sober me’ wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

No, he wouldn’t.

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

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

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

 

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

 

Health Havoc

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

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

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

 

Physical Health

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

• Negatively affects brain development in young people

• Depresses your entire nervous system

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

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

• Kills cells and disrupts cellular metabolic processes

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

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

• Slurs your speech

• Dulls your sense of taste and smell

• Damages the lining of your throat

• Weakens your muscles

• Inhibits the production of white and red blood cells

• Destroys your stomach lining

• Poisons you and can cause death

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

• Suppresses breathing and can precipitate sleep apnea

• Increases weight or causes unhealthy weight loss

• Strips your body of vital nutrients and causes malnutrition

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

• Heightens suicidal thoughts

 

Mental Health

• Causes anxiety and depression and other mental disorders

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

• Destroys your brain cells

• Increases suicidal tendencies

• Negatively impacts memory

• Causes permanent damage to your brain

• Alters your brain chemistry

• Escalates aggression

• Increases stress levels

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

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

• Depletes willpower

 

Emotional Health

• Undermines your self-esteem and self-respect

• Depletes your courage, confidence

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

• Contributes to depression

• Reduces self-control

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Path to Sobriety

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As you read this book, you’ll reclaim your power and decide whether alcohol has anything positive to contribute to your life at all, or whether you’d be better off putting your money, your energy, your time, your happiness and your health into something, or someone, who’s a less abusive lover.  Yes, you will decide—it’s that simple, and at times, that difficult.

Not everyone battles with booze. Whether you cut back or eliminate alcohol entirely, the choice is ultimately yours. Only you know the benefits alcohol delivers or the success it destroys.

You may enjoy reading my blog post on spiritual approaches to the treatment of alcohol addiction—http://www.cassandragaisford.com/spiritual-approaches-to-the-treatment-of-alcohol-addiction/

If you’d like to experiment with a period of sobriety or you need help to you moderate your drinking, Mind Your Drink: The Surprising Joy of Sobriety, available as a paperback and eBook will help.  You can also find a range of books and resources offering help to quit, including alcohol-free alternatives on my website—http://www.cassandragaisford.com/books-and-resources/control-alcohol/

 

My daughter, Hannah, and her fab partner Josh, enjoying alcohol-free wine at Christmas.

 

 

Did you enjoy this post?


You might like:

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

Why Sobriety is Cool, Sophisticated, and Savvy

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

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

The Life-Changing Benefits of Unplugging

Does talk therapy actually work?

 

Here are three more things you might like:


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


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


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


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


For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

Discover the joy of sobriety. Listen to Cassandra’s interview with Melinda Hammond—https://writerontheroad.com/128-name-poison-writers-alcohol-creative-muse-cassandra-gaisford/

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

Monday, February 11th, 2019

 

If you suffer from generalized anxiety and panic attacks

If you suffer from stress or burnout If you lack confidence or self-esteem or fear failure……

If you’re a perfectionist or find the challenges of life overwhelming… …

then my new book, Anxiety Rescue is exactly the right book for you—because it will cheerlead, motivate and encourage you to fight for your dreams and achieve your goals.

 

Anxiety Rescue is the ultimate prescription and medication free cure. Using the timeless wisdom of other successful men and women who have suffered from anxiety, depression, and despair—and succeeded anyway,  Anxiety Rescue  reveals in six easy steps:

✓ How to define success on your own terms…

✓ How to find your truth and live an authentic life…

✓ How to set and achieve audacious goals…

✓ How to take strategic risks (rather than reckless ones)

✓ How to overcome your fear of failure, criticism, and change…

✓ How to make money, follow your passion and still pay the bills…

✓ How to beat low self-esteem…

✓ How to identify real priorities that are central to your life’s true meaning…

✓ And how to empower your business and personal life… There is not only wisdom on every page, but actionable, immediate steps you can take to make a difference in reaching your own goals and dreams.

Available in eBook for immediate download from Amazon

US—https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NKV6K9K

UK—https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07NKV6K9K

or your local Amazon store.

FREE for Subscribers of Kindle Unlimited

 

I take issues I am struggling with, or new learnings that have deeply impacted me, and share them in my books

It always really touches me when I realize that what I do has an impact on people. We’ve all been through tough situations. Not many of us escape childhood unscathed. Few of us survive working life or relationships without scars. I work from that experience. If what I say, write, or do inspires people or gives them strength, courage, or hope, I’m over the moon.

Like many of my books, I write to inspire myself. I take issues I am struggling with, or new learnings that have deeply impacted me, and share them in my books.

Anxiety Rescue is one of these books. I’m tempted to say that it’s a concise guide to overcoming anxiety and making the most of your life. It is. And it isn’t.

As I wrote this book, so many factors which impact anxiety came to light. Many of them are ignored by general practitioners and doctors—the very people many of us go when we’re feeling stressed, anxious, or just plain unwell. Some, are viewed skeptically by psychologists and psychiatrists.

Yet times are changing, the old ways aren’t working. Prescription medication and pharmaceutical drugs are being consumed in exploding quantities, and still, anxiety rates and other mental illnesses are still soaring.

Increasingly science is validating what ancient wisdom has been telling us for years. You only have to consider how main-stream meditation, yoga, acupressure, and other holistic therapies have become, to witness the emergence.

Anxiety Rescue is based on clinically-proven techniques and integrates modern science with other healing modalities. Yet it also harnesses the magic of creative approaches to healing. Which is why I’ve turned to two of my greatest inspirations—Leonardo da Vinci and Coco Chanel. Anxiety Rescue summarizes their timeless wisdom and strategies to tame anxiety, quell despair, overcome obstacles and maximize health, wellbeing and success.

we can heal ourselves

From my own professional and personal experience, I know we can heal ourselves. A great deal many people don’t need pills to feel calm, happy, healthy, and inspired. Some do.

I am not against prescription drugs, but what concerns me, as it may you, is that many anxious, stressed, and depressed people are not offered a choice. Nor do they benefit from someone taking an inventory of their life and analyzing the traumatic events or stressors that may be impacting their anxiety levels.

Like Len, who, aged 42-year-old man who had suffered work-related burnout, and sought relief from his doctor. He was, quite rightly, alarmed that his doctor told him that the only cure was medication. He left his doctor’s office empty-handed.

Ten years later, a diagnosis of complex trauma, not only made sense but also provided a roadmap to lasting healing. I’ll be sharing more of his story in a book I plan to write called, Leaving Jehovah—Surviving the Cult of Toxic Control and Shame.

Or, Sarah, who’d been taking anti-depressants for years but had noticed her anxiety rates returning and no longer wanted to be on medication. Counseling and engaging in talk-therapy gave a voice to wounds she had repressed. When darkness was brought to light, and armed with new tools of self-care, including meditation and nutrition, her anxiety rates disappeared.

I’m not bagging medication. Not by any means. My purpose in writing Anxiety Rescue is to share alternative routes to healing—lasting ones that enable you to be empowered and chose the best course of action for you.

No two people are the same. We have not had the same childhoods, the same school experiences, or workplace trauma. I speak from my own experience—both what has worked for me, and what has worked for my clients.

With over twenty-five years of expertise working in therapeutic professions, most lately as a child therapist and relationship counselor, I know what works.

As you’ll read in the chapter, “My Story,” I’ve swum through a tsunami of trauma, hurts, and humiliations and drawn on a range of modalities to help me not just survive, but also thrive.

My hope is in reading this book, you will emerge stronger, happier, healthier, and more thankful too.

A large part of my healing has involved following my joy—something you’ll learn to discover for yourself in this book.

I use my passion journal to visualize, gain clarity, and create my preferred future—including my health goals. My clients find this works for them too—along with the other strategies I share in Anxiety Rescue.

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

Similarly, if you are a grazer, or someone more methodical, this guide will also work for you. Pick a page at random, or work through the four pillars of health sequentially.

I encourage you to experiment, be open-minded and try new things. I promise you will achieve outstanding results.

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

Laura, who at one stage seemed rudderless career-wise, did just that. Workplace stress was a major source of her anxiety. Finding her passion and following her joy sparked a determination to start her own business.She felt the fear and went for it anyway, emboldened by a desire to live and work like those she looked up to. It was that simple.

As with all of my books, many of the examples I share were inspired by true events in my own life. At the time of writing, I recalled one of the first times I trusted the spiritual realm. I was a teenager when my paternal grandmother was channeled by a psychic and my disbelieving and skeptical self was asked, “Your grandmother says you don’t believe she is here. But she is holding out a flower, and she is asking, ‘Do you remember the jasmine flowers growing over the house?’

I didn’t.

But when I drove home I called into to Araby Lodge, where my grandmother used to live, and where until her death, she bred and trained her beloved horses. At the time my father lived in her house. I asked him, “What is that vine growing over the house?”

I didn’t want to tell him anything about what the psychic had said because I was still skeptical and I didn’t want to influence the answer. My father said, “Oh, that old jasmine vine? That’s been there forever.”

My heart nearly leaped out of my chest. It was at that point that I began to believe in spiritual and psychic phenomena, and in time, many years later, to awaken my own gifts. These gifts weren’t awakened without considerable anxiety—something I talk more about in the chapter, “Shadow Work.”

It’s a timely reminder of just how far following my passion and being free to be me has taken me—the shy girl who was once afraid of being seen and was terrified of her ability to channel.

As I share in many of my books I hope the following quote is as apt for you as it was for me:

“Your staying in the shadows doesn’t serve the world.”

Here’s to learning from our anxiety and transforming our lives with passion, joy, and purpose!

Broken into small, bite-sized segments—you’ll soon find yourself jotting notes down, finding someone else so you can share the insights and experience, and resources made available to keep you happy, healthy, motivated and focused. Dig into this book and let Leonardo da Vinci and Coco Chanel and other successful men and woman be your mentors, inspiration, and guides as they call forth your passions, purpose, and potential. 

Say YES to happiness NOW! It’s never too late to end anxiety and follow your joy to live a life you love.

Anxiety Rescue is available in eBook for immediate download from Amazon

US—https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NKV6K9K

UK—https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07NKV6K9K

or your local Amazon store.

FREE for Subscribers of Kindle Unlimited

 

enjoy the free excerpt from Anxiety Rescue below

 

Your Body Barometer

The deeper the feeling, the greater the pain.

~ Leonardo da Vinci

 

The more you truly care about something, the deeper the consequences can be when you don’t act on your desires.

When you aren’t true to yourself and you don’t do the things you aspire to do your mental, emotional and spiritual health can suffer.

Common signs of neglecting the call for success and forsaking your ambitions can include: tiredness, depression, anxiety, irritability, and strained personal relationships. In short, you’re lovesick—starved of the things that spark joy.

The body never lies, but many people soldier on ignoring the obvious warning signs. It’s easy to rationalize these feelings away, But the reality is your mind, body, and soul is screaming out for more. Have the courage to say ‘yes’ to pursuing a more liberating alternative.

 

Your Challenge

When you feel unfulfilled, bored, unchallenged and demotivated what do you notice? How does this differ from times when you feel the fear but love life passionately anyway?

I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life—and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.

~ Georgia O’Keeffe, artist

 

 

THE POWER OF PASSION

If there’s no love, what then?

~ Leonardo da Vinci

 

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

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

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

As Leonardo once said, “No labor is sufficient to tire me.”

Even when he was exhausted by life, his passion sustained him.

 

Your Challenge

What will passion do for you?

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

~ Isabel Allende, author

 

 

DRESS JOYFULLY

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

~ Coco Chanel

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Your Challenge

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

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

 

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

~ Coco Chanel

 

 

 

 

“Love your work”

Prior to writing this post I had sent out news of my new book to my email subscribers. Immediately I received an email from one of my readers.

“When I read the first few sentences I could immediately relate – it’s exactly how I feel at this very moment (sadly).

I feel so tired and overwhelmed just trying to get through each day, let alone any curveballs that may come my way.
It’s so debilitating and I feel like this is ‘my lot’ and no happy ending.
I will be sure to download your ebook. I have your Passion Workbook sitting next to me in the car – yet to read… Too tired (always tired).
Keep being awesome! Love your work 🙂
Her email made me happy – and sad. Happy the words spoke to her. Happy that even though she felt so low, my email sparked some energy—the energy of love. I could sense some enthusiasm…even in the darkness. I also felt sad—sad that she feels this way. I know EXACTLY how this feels. Millions and millions of people feel this way. I know that there is a cure. I know you don’t need medication, drugs, or alcohol to rescue you. I know the difference that the power of love and healthy obsessions can make—I talk more about the power of positive obsessions in my sobriety books, Mind Your Drink: The Surprising Joy of Sobriety and Your Beautiful Mind.
As I wrote back to her, she also inspired me too also get moving with creating an audiobook. That way when she and others who also suffer from anxiety, fatigue, and despair, when they are driving can be fed some inspirational juice…
I also invited her to consider scheduling a coaching session with me—sometimes it’s just too hard to go it alone. If this sounds like something you could benefit from click the following link to schedule an appointment
http://www.cassandragaisford.com/schedule-an-appointment/

This is an edited extract of Anxiety Rescue: How to Overcome Anxiety, Panic, and Stress and Reclaim Joy by Cassandra Gaisford. To order a copy for less than the price of coffee and cake go to Amazon:

US—https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NKV6K9K

UK—https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07NKV6K9K

or your local Amazon store.

FREE for Subscribers of Kindle Unlimited

 

Did you enjoy this article?

Sign up for Cassandra’s newsletters to get more stories like this and be the first to know when her next book, The Anxiety Cure: Love Your Body, will be released.

 

Here’s a quick round-up of our 5 latest blog posts you may also enjoy:

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

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

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

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

The Life-Changing Benefits of Unplugging

 

Here are three more things you might like:

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

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

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

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra.

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

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

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

I applaud our Prime Minister’s recent sacking of former Government minister Meka Whaitiri following allegations of verbal abuse and physical assault. Jacinda Arden acted quickly and with great strength—signalling that regardless of any possible political repercussions to herself, she would not, could not, will not tolerate abuses of power.

Workplace bullying and assault is reaching epidemic proportions and past experience has taught me that very often the perpetrators are adept at avoiding the consequences.

My own experience of workplace bullying included a former manager yelling at me in an open plan environment and threatening to “smash my fucking head in.” And no, he didn’t lose his job. And no, there were no consequences. But what I did learn was, in the absence of anyone else stepping in, was how to stick up for myself and no longer tolerate such abuses of power. It’s not easy, but it does become less painful to deal with, as life goes on.

In the case of my angry out-of-control boss, who was enraged because I wanted to keep a job seeker, who had applied for a role with us, informed, I simply said, “I know you’re angry, but I’m going to ask you one more time, is my candidate going to get an interview?” I was terrified, but somehow my voice was calm, despite the volcano of emotions exploding through my body. I took a calculated punt—he wouldn’t really act on his threat to smash my head in, not in an open-plan environment with 100 + staff, would he? No, he didn’t—but what he did begin to do was systematically attempt to derail my career. As I reflect back now, at the time of his outburst, not one person came to my aid.

A similar experience happened to me when I went to a new high school following my parent’s divorce. Prior to this, I had attended an all-girls private Catholic school. Now, I was going to a mixed, or co-ed, public school with kids from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds. A boy, perhaps around 14 or 15 years-old came up to me, scrunched up some paper he was holding in his hand and dropped it at my feet. “Pick it up,” he demanded.

At that moment, that moment of choice, I recall thinking, ‘I would rather die than suffer the humiliation of being controlled and bullied’. “No, I said, more calmly than I felt. “I didn’t drop it, so I won’t pick it up.” And at that moment he lost his power, and at that moment he, perhaps, respected me. He grinned, and tossed his head slightly, as if to say, “yeah, you’re okay.” And he left me alone after that.

Perhaps I was lucky. Lucky no one touched me. Perhaps, like animals and predators who can sense fear, perhaps my defiance, my determination, my refusal to disempowered or disrespected created an energetic field of protection. I don’t know, but what I do know, is that these bullying behaviors didn’t magically disappear from my life. I continue to face situations where bullying, aggression, rage, or silent manipulation are present. Sadly, it’s an epidemic.

I’m sorry to say, abusive behavior appears to have become ‘normal’ behavior and with that is the implicit belief that bullies are immune to prosecution.

But Jacinda Arden’s stand today is an important one. It sends a strong signal that bullying behavior will not be tolerated—and more than this, that it will be punished. My hope is that as our leaders take a stronger, united stand, people will begin to have less tolerance for nastiness.

 

Whose behavior are kids modeling?

Even more troubling is the prevalence of bullying in schools—and some of it is truly horrific, including the rape of children as young as five, by older students.

  If you’ve been following the #BelieveSurvivors, or # MeToo movement, sexual assault is very much in the forefront of people’s minds.

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford has accused Donald’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, of sexually assaulting her when they were in high school. Her disturbing but, as yet, unproven allegation is the cause of a monumental political headache for the President.

Equally worrying, is the news I received recently that in some instances of bullying, teenagers are spreading rumors that girls have been raped, when no rape has occurred, in an attempt to humiliate, control, or punish.

Of course, there is much goodness in the world to celebrate, people that fight for justice, and positive advancements that are being made by people who are waging war on abuse, but it’s important to continue to spotlight issues and importantly, to provide solutions and support to those who suffer needlessly.

I applaud the work of women like Jess Tyson, who at the time of writing this, is the reigning Miss World NZ. Tyson has revealed a childhood involving alleged sexual abuse at the hands of someone known to her family. She has made it her personal mission to help young victims of abuse.

“I know that the topic of sexual abuse or violence is hard for people to talk about or heal from and people are often too afraid or embarrassed to ask for help.

“I would like to share my story to young New Zealanders that if they have been victims of any type of sexual violence there is support available to help them heal from it and I want to be there to help them,” Tyson says.

So many people who have experienced bullying experience great trauma and this leave a lasting stain on their soul. Personally and professionally, I believe and aim to help others believe that we can refuse to allow ourselves to become victims. We can refuse to let others rob our power. We can refuse to allow bullies and sexual predators, to steal our lives.

“Bill Cosby took my beautiful, healthy young spirit and crushed it. He robbed me of my health and vitality, my open nature and my trust in myself and others,” a woman wrote in the impact statement.

It takes great strength of spirit, great resilience, great determination—as people like Oprah Winfrey model in bucketloads to refuse to be a victim. But we can do it. We must do it.

United we can stand up to bullying, threats, and tormenting—in all its guises. But to do this, we have to be the change we want to see and empower each other.

 

Are you, or do you know of someone being bullied at school?

D’Arcy Lyness, PhD, provides the following advice

Bullying is intentional tormenting in physical, verbal, or psychological ways. It can range from hitting, shoving, name-calling, threats, and mocking to extorting money and possessions. Some kids bully by shunning others and spreading rumors about them. Others use social media or electronic messaging to taunt others or hurt their feelings.

It’s important to take bullying seriously and not just brush it off as something that kids have to “tough out.” The effects can be serious and affect kids’ sense of safety and self-worth. In severe cases, bullying has contributed to tragedies, such as suicides and school shootings.

Why Kids Bully

Kids bully for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they pick on kids because they need a victim — someone who seems emotionally or physically weaker, or just acts or appears different in some way — to feel more important, popular, or in control. Although some bullies are bigger or stronger than their victims, that’s not always the case.

Sometimes kids torment others because that’s the way they’ve been treated. They may think their behavior is normal because they come from families or other settings where everyone regularly gets angry and shouts or calls each other names. Some popular TV shows even seem to promote meanness — people are “voted off,” shunned, or ridiculed for their appearance or lack of talent.

Signs of Bullying

Unless your child tells you about bullying — or has visible bruises or injuries — it can be difficult to figure out if it’s happening.

But there are some warning signs. Parents might notice kids acting differently or seeming anxious, or not eating, sleeping well, or doing the things they usually enjoy. When kids seem moodier or more easily upset than usual, or when they start avoiding certain situations (like taking the bus to school), it might be because of a bully.

If you suspect bullying but your child is reluctant to open up, find opportunities to bring up the issue in a more roundabout way. For instance, you might see a situation on a TV show and use it as a conversation starter by asking, “What do you think of this?” or “What do you think that person should have done?” This might lead to questions like: “Have you ever seen this happen?” or “Have you ever experienced this?” You might want to talk about any experiences you or another family member had at that age.

Let your kids know that if they’re being bullied or harassed — or see it happening to someone else — it’s important to talk to someone about it, whether it’s you, another adult (a teacher, school counselor, or family friend), or a sibling.

Helping Kids

If your child tells you about being bullied, listen calmly and offer comfort and support. Kids are often reluctant to tell adults about bullying because they feel embarrassed and ashamed that it’s happening, or worry that their parents will be disappointed, upset, angry, or reactive.

Sometimes kids feel like it’s their own fault, that if they looked or acted differently it wouldn’t be happening. Sometimes they’re scared that if the bully finds out that they told, it will get worse. Others are worried that their parents won’t believe them or do anything about it. Or kids worry that their parents will urge them to fight back when they’re scared to.

Praise your child for doing the right thing by talking to you about it. Remind your child that he or she isn’t alone — a lot of people get bullied at some point. Emphasize that it’s the bully who is behaving badly — not your child. Reassure your child that you will figure out what to do about it together.

Let someone at school (the principal, school nurse, or a counselor or teacher) know about the situation. They are often in a position to monitor and take steps to prevent further problems.

Because the term “bullying” might be used to describe such a wide range of situations, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. What is advisable in one situation may not be appropriate in another. Many factors — such as the age of the kids involved, the severity of the situation, and the specific type of bullying behaviors — will help determine the best course of action.

Take it seriously if you hear that the bullying will get worse if the bully finds out that your child told or if threats of physical harm are involved. Sometimes it’s useful to approach the bully’s parents. But in most cases, teachers or counselors are the best ones to contact first. If you’ve tried those methods and still want to speak to the bullying child’s parents, it’s best to do so in a context where a school official, such as a counselor, can mediate.

Most schools have bullying policies and anti-bullying programs. In addition, many states have bullying laws and policies. Find out about the laws in your community. In certain cases, if you have serious concerns about your child’s safety, you may need to contact legal authorities.

Advice for Kids

Parents can help kids learn how to deal with bullying if it happens. For some parents, it may be tempting to tell a kid to fight back. After all, you’re angry that your child is suffering and maybe you were told to “stand up for yourself” when you were young. Or you may worry that your child will continue to suffer at the hands of the bully, and think that fighting back is the only way to put a bully in his or her place.

But it’s important to advise kids not to respond to bullying by fighting or bullying back. It can quickly escalate into violence, trouble, and someone getting injured. Instead, it’s best to walk away from the situation, hang out with others, and tell an adult.

Here are some other strategies to discuss with kids that can help improve the situation and make them feel better:

  • Avoid the bully and use the buddy system. Use a different bathroom if a bully is nearby and don’t go to your locker when there is nobody around. Make sure you have someone with you so that you’re not alone with the bully. Buddy up with a friend on the bus, in the hallways, or at recess — wherever the bully is. Offer to do the same for a friend.
  • Hold the anger. It’s natural to get upset by the bully, but that’s what bullies thrive on. It makes them feel more powerful. Practice not reacting by crying or looking red or upset. It takes a lot of practice, but it’s a useful skill for keeping off of a bully’s radar. Sometimes kids find it useful to practice “cool down” strategies such as counting to 10, writing down their angry words, taking deep breaths, or walking away. Sometimes the best thing to do is to teach kids to wear a “poker face” until they are clear of any danger (smiling or laughing may provoke the bully).
  • Act brave, walk away, and ignore the bully. Firmly and clearly tell the bully to stop, then walk away. Practice ways to ignore the hurtful remarks, like acting uninterested or texting someone on your cell phone. By ignoring the bully, you’re showing that you don’t care. Eventually, the bully will probably get bored with trying to bother you.
  • Tell an adult. Teachers, principals, parents, and lunchroom personnel at school can all help stop bullying.
  • Talk about it. Talk to someone you trust, such as a guidance counselor, teacher, sibling, or friend. They may offer some helpful suggestions, and even if they can’t fix the situation, it may help you feel a little less alone.

Restoring Confidence

Dealing with bullying can erode a child’s confidence. To help restore it, encourage your kids to spend time with friends who have a positive influence. Participation in clubs, sports, or other enjoyable activities builds strength and friendships.

Provide a listening ear about difficult situations, but encourage your kids to also tell you about the good parts of their day, and listen equally attentively. Make sure they know you believe in them and that you’ll do what you can to address any bullying that occurs.

 

Are you being bullied at work?

Sometimes the best cure if to free yourself from a toxic situation and make a move to career nirvana You’ll find plenty of help in my book Mid-Life Career Rescue: (The Call For Change): How to confidently leave a job you hate, and start living a life you  love, before it’s too late.  Available in paperback or for immediate download for less than the price of a cup of coffee.

In Mid-Life Career Rescue I share my own personal story of career reinvention and the strategies that have worked for my clients.

High Sobriety: Changing Our Relationship With Alcohol

Thursday, August 23rd, 2018

‘An ugly statue sits where your spirit should be.”

~Rumi

 

Do you know what the hottest trend in the social scene is at the moment—sobriety! Yes, folks, Sobriety is the new black. But some habitual drinkers are skeptical—others tragically, sometimes fatally, addicted. 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 drinking alcohol is taking over you 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?

I explore ways to help you discover your driving purpose in my self-empowerment books, but first here are just a few of the many 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
  • Higher vibration and an increased connection to your higher soul self

 

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. As I share in my book, Mind Your Drink: The Surprising Joy of Sobriety, many of the people we look up to, including writers, singers, and even our political leaders have a dysfunctional relationship with alcohol—no wonder it’s hard to control our drinking or implement laws aimed at reducing alcohol harm.

But if it’s cool to be high, why do so many of us want to quit? Why do thousands of people sign on for Dry July or make New Year’s resolutions to lose the booze only to be coerced or bullied into drinking again?

Giving up drinking can feel like losing your best friend, even your lover—until you remind yourself how alcohol is a  fickle companion who lets you down again and again.

Sobriety, now there’s a forever friend.

She won’t turn sour, she won’t piss you off, or get mad at you, and she won’t rob you blind. Sobriety won’t hijack your brain and make you say and do things you’ll wildly regret in the wake of hangover hell.

Sobriety is not seedy or unpleasant. Sobriety is a sophisticated, serene, stabilizer in a world gone mad.

And, sobriety doesn’t always mean giving up booze for good.

 

Sober

1. Synonyms

2. Not drunk

3. Thoughtful, steady, down-to-earth and level-headed

4. Serene, earnest

5. Not addicted

 

Thoughtful, serene, earnest—dependable—who doesn’t want a friend like that?

Sadly, the opposite is also true. Some of my best, most trusted friends turn into tyrants, either at the time of drinking or in the days that follow. These are just a few of the changes I notice when they drink alcohol:

• Overly critical

• Short-tempered

• Tyrannical

• Moody

• Solemn

• Angry

• Silent

• Withdrawn

 

Unlike alcohol-drenched friends, sober friends can be trusted.

 

Alcohol Unmasked

Do you know what’s in your drink? Booze barons do such a great job of disguising alcohol that many people don’t know what it really is.

Alcohol is ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol or grain alcohol, and is a flammable, colorless chemical compound. Yes, folks, everything can really go up in flames when you drink.

I fondly remember Christmases spent at my grandmother’s and the excitement we all felt when a match was held against the rum-soaked Christmas pudding and it burst into plumes of fire.

For some reason, until researching my books, Mind Your Drink: The Surprising Joy of Sobriety, and Your Beautiful Mind: Control Alcohol I never made the connection that booze was a flammable substance I poured down my throat.

Ethanol is also used in some countries instead of gasoline in cars and other engines. In Brazil, for example, ethanol fuel made from sugar cane provides 18 percent of the country’s fuel for cars.

In short, the alcohol or ethanol found in your favorite beer, wine, and spirits is a poison, masquerading as a happy drink. It’s so toxic that, when consumed too quickly or in huge quantities, your body’s default position is to expel it—usually in a totally unglamorous technicolor spray of vomit.  That’s if you’re lucky.

Alcohol poisoning can, and does, cause death—both directly and indirectly through liver disease, breast cancer, and a staggering amount of other alcohol-related diseases. We’ll explore the havoc caused by booze, as well as how sobriety leads to nirvana in the chapter, Health Havoc or Health Nirvana?

Yet, despite all the risks and dire health warnings, alcohol seems such a benign substance. Perhaps it’s the allure of its origins—a uniquely natural process.

Alcohol is formed when oxygen deprived yeast ferments natural sugars found in fruits, grains, and other substances. For example, wine is made from the sugar in grapes, beer from the sugar in malted barley, cider from the sugar in apples, and most vodka from the sugar in fermented grains such as sorghum, corn, rice, rye or wheat (though you can also use potatoes, fruits or even just sugar.)

Many people use alcohol as a way to self-medicate their way through life’s ups and downs. Peer into the history of alcohol and you’ll find that its medical origins enjoy a good pedigree. Gin mixed with tonic containing quinine, for example, was historically used to treat malaria.

 

“So it’s totally good for you,” writes one enthusiastic supporter in an alcohol forum.

Yeah, if you’ve got malaria perhaps, but not if you’re just sick and dog-tired of living.

Alcohol is classed as a ‘sedative hypnotic’ drug. That definition on its own may sound just like what you’re craving until you discover the true impact. Sedative-hypnotic drugs depress the central nervous system (CNS) at high doses.

Hmmm, that doesn’t sound so flash, especially if you’re prone to knocking back a few too many drinks. Your central nervous system controls a majority holding of the key functions of your body and mind. The CNS consists of two parts: your brain and your spinal cord.

As you know, the brain is the chief conductor of your thoughts, interpreting your external environment, and coordinating body movement and function, both consciously and unconsciously. Complex functions, including how you think and feel, and maintaining homeostasis, a relatively stable balance between all the interdependent elements in your body, are directly attributable to different parts of your brain.

Your spinal cord with its network of sensitive nerves acts as a conduit for signals between the brain and the rest of the body.

You definitely don’t want to mess with the way this important duo functions. But every time you ingest alcohol you do, weakening their ability to perform like virtuosos, interfering with maintaining a healthy balance and the finely tuned harmony which is so vital to your health, performance, and effectiveness, and causing all systems in your body to play horribly off key.

Would you love to possess an outstanding ability in your field? Excel in your chosen profession? Tap into higher knowledge? Hone a much-loved or admired skill? Be universally admired? Many people think alcohol aids the fulfillment of these desires—until they realize their beliefs were deceptively wrong.

Sobriety on the other hand… now there’s a different story.

 

It’s not all bad, right?

At lower doses, alcohol can act as a stimulant inducing feelings of euphoria, optimism, and gregariousness. Everything looks beautiful, your belief in yourself, your talents, and your ability elevates like a seductive piece of music. Your inhibitions float away, suddenly you imagine yourself to be far better than you really feel. Shyness disappears, in its place talkativeness.

For a little while.

But pour more and more drinks down your throat,  knock back liters of your favorite elixir and you’ll quickly find yourself confronted by the truth. Alcohol is trouble. I talk more about this (as well as the joys of sobriety) in my interview with Melinda Hammond—https://writerontheroad.com/128-name-poison-writers-alcohol-creative-muse-cassandra-gaisford/

Quite simply, alcohol knocks the life out of you. The more you drink, the higher the likelihood you’ll become drowsy. Recall the drunk in the corner, slouched against the wall, or the once vivacious life of the party, barely able to hold her head in her hands, as she sits slumped at the bar. I’ve been there—it’s a predictable rite of passage. In a culture that values drinking, this is normal.

Normal but definitely not glamorous, hip or cool.

But things get worse. Sometimes much, worse. Your breathing naturally slows into a state called respiratory depression. It can become exceedingly shallow or worse, stop entirely—what’s truly frightening is you have absolutely no control. No one chooses to fall into an alcohol-fuelled coma, but this is exactly what happens to far too many people.

Very high levels of alcohol in the body can shut down critical areas of the brain that control breathing, heart rate, and body temperature, resulting in death. And, tragically, far too many beautiful people needlessly die this way.

Can I scare you sober? It’s not my agenda, but I do know this—that’s exactly what happened to Amy Winehouse. And it’s exactly what’s happened to a great many other talented, beautiful, smart people. People who only wanted to feel high, but never intended to die.

As well as its acute and potentially lethal sedative effects at high doses, alcohol undermines every organ in the body and these effects depend on your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over time.

We’ll examine the dangers of drinking both large and small alcoholic beverages over a short period of time in the chapter, Binge Drinking Blindness.

We’ll also dive deeper into what constitutes safe drinking, including analyzing what constitutes a standard drink and why health authorities want you to control your drinking—assuming you don’t want to kick the alcohol habit for good.

But first, let’s stop to consider, how natural is alcohol really?

 

What’s Hidden in Your Drink?

Ethanol made be created via a naturally occurring process, but that’s not the end of the production cycle. The other thing to be mindful of is all the other hidden dangers lurking in your drinks.

Peer a little closer and you’ll find all sorts of nasty additives—not to mention toxic sprays, pesticides, fungicides, chemical fertilizers and other things that infiltrate many crops. But you won’t find many of these disclosed on the labels.

Sorry to spoil the party.

Health gurus cite dangerous levels of sulfites or sulphites (as it’s spelled in New Zealand) and warn of harmful side-effects, particularly for those with a low tolerance.

The term sulfites is an inclusive term for sulfur dioxide (SO2), a preservative that’s widely used in winemaking (and most food industries) for its antioxidant and antibacterial properties. SO2 plays an important role in preventing oxidization and maintaining a wine’s freshness. When used in high levels, because it’s considered harmful, it must legally be disclosed on product labels.

To be fair, many foods also contain sulfites. Some people claim the preservative is nothing to be alarmed by—unless of course, you include yourself in the numbers of people who are allergic. Sulfites cause bloating and itching in sulfite-sensitive people. Does your beloved have a beer gut or sulphite bloating?

Histamine High?

Some studies suggest sulfites and other additives, including compounds such as histamines and tannins, are connected to the pounding headaches many of us suffer after drinking. That, and our ballooning weight.

Fermented alcoholic beverages, especially wine, champagne, and beer are histamine-rich.

As the author and psychologist Doreen Virtue explains in her excellent book, Don’t Let Anything Dull Your Sparkle, many people binge drink when stressed, but most don’t realize that some of the excess weight may be attributed to stress-hormones and neurotransmitter responses. These biochemicals, Virtue says, are triggered by the fact when you’re stressed you often binge on food and drinks to which you may unknowingly be allergic to, or which are intrinsically unhealthy.

As I’ve mentioned, any product that undergoes fermentation contains high levels of histamine. What I didn’t know was that these histamines trigger allergic reactions in our body, especially if we’re under a lot of stress.

Histamines get you both ways, not only occurring in the food and alcohol you drink but also because when you’re allergic to something your body releases its own histamine, says Virtue. “Stress produces histamine. We’re all naturally allergic to stress,” she says.

When you consume a diet that’s high in histamine or histamine-inducing foods, your body becomes overwhelmed. Add a stressful lifestyle to the mix and it’s no wonder you feel less than perky.

Histamines are also manufactured and released by our bodies not only when we’re stressed but also when we’re dehydrated. Again, alcohol, because it magnifies dehydration, makes things worse.

Virtue explains, “The trouble is that histamine produces uncomfortable symptoms such as bloating, itchy skin, profuse sweating, hot flashes, runny or stuffy nose, and feeling cold all the time, as well as low blood pressure, arrhythmia, anxiety, and depression.”

Nice.

No wonder, we start to look and feel better when we lose the booze.

Other addictive beverages, like coffee and sugar-laden drinks, also trigger histamine reactions. The net result is a ‘histamine high.’ This boosted energy and elation you experience is always short-lived and is always followed by an energy crash, plus other painful symptoms discussed above.

Before publishing her findings Virtue decided to test her theory and embark on a 30-day histamine-free diet.

“Within two days of going ‘low-histamine,’ I felt a youthful energy and exuberance that I had never experienced before. I felt well. I felt happy. And I knew it was due to the low-histamine diet… you cannot return to the old ways of bingeing upon histamine once you realize the process behind these binges.”

Sugar Rush Anyone?

Submerged in many alcoholic drinks are dangerous and highly addictive levels of sugar. Research collated in a New York Times article stated, “Cravings induced by sugar are comparable to those induced by addictive drugs like cocaine and nicotine.”   

Latest research revealed in The New Zealand Listener in 2018 reveals the physiological and neurological reasons your brain makes you crave sugar.  I share some of these findings in the chapter Sweet Misery. It’s only since researching and writing this book that I realized I was more addicted to sugar than alcohol.

Whew! That’s a relief. But it’s also not—because both are tough habits to crack. Tough, but not impossible. Knowledge is power, right?

In summary, not only is alcohol a highly addictive poison, but your cravings, your weight gain, low energy levels and less-than-optimal mental and emotional health may be fuelled as much by additives and sugar, as it is ethanol or alcohol itself.

You can heal your life and it begins with examining the facts. Consider becoming an amateur sleuth and adopting the role of an investigative journalist. Discover how alcohol is made, including all the artificial things that are added to many products to make it tastier and more alluring—and potentially more dangerous to your health.

Perhaps this may be all the motivation you need to develop a healthy intolerance for alcohol.

Is Your Drinking a Problem?

“Not everyone who has a drinking problem will be able to see it,” says recovering alcoholic and author of Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol, Anne Dowsett-Johnston.

Perhaps you’re read what a recent article in The Sydney Morning Herald refers to as a ‘grey-area drinker’ – neither a falling over-over drunk, but nor is your relationship with booze healthy.

Is your drinking already cause for concern? How do you know if you have a real problem, versus a temporary itch that you’re using alcohol to scratch?

“If you want to know if you’re getting into trouble, ask yourself … are you drinking to numb? To numb feelings, to numb stress, to numb depression or anxiety?’” Dowsett Johnston says.

Alcohol makes us love life, we’re told. If this is true, why aren’t we a happier lot? Burnout, stress, anxiety have become worldwide epidemics—and with them alcohol and food addictions. We’re either eating or drinking our way to happiness—or both.

Granted, not everyone has a problem with alcohol. Some people say there are four types of drinkers:

• Light or non

• Weekend-non binge

• Weekend drinkers who get drunk

• Heavy drinkers where every night is party night

The problem with those in the latter two categories may not be the booze, but maladaptive attempts to mask the causal factors.

Addictions and consistent alcohol abuse, in particular, are essentially attempts to escape pain. The nature and causal factors of this pain and the scale of dependency will vary in specifics and severity from person to person. It could be the pain of not fitting in, the pain of boredom, or the pain of deep, unresolved trauma.

We all suffer painful experiences—but not everyone has learned to cope in a way that promotes, not depletes emotional, mental, physical and spiritual well-being, health and happiness.

Instead, too often developing and becoming dependent on unhealthy coping techniques becomes the norm—a norm that creates even more problems.

“Alcohol abuse can lead to major health problems—and can affect your ability to learn and function well.” says neuroscientist Dr. Susan Tapert.

 

If you’re going to successfully kick or modify the drink habit you’ll need some pretty compelling reasons to sustain your decision.

Many of us have bought into the cultural myth that drinking excessive amounts of alcohol makes us happy, cool, popular. But what if the opposite is also true? What if everything you have been told is a lie?

The truth about alcohol is that it is a highly addictive poison. Some people can handle it, but millions of people can’t. There’s no shame in admitting alcohol has you by its tail.

Booze impacts people differently. Your weight, height, the water composition in your body, your social group, unresolved traumas, and a whole host of other interesting factors all impact how quickly and how often you drink.

Do you truly know how it impacts you?

Do you become depressed or teary—sharing your tales of sadness, or wailing songs of melancholy,  with anyone close enough to hear?

Perhaps alcohol gives you the confidence boost you lack or dulls the thunder of social anxiety.

Do you become gregarious, hyper-friendly—willing and ready to go to bed with anybody?

Perhaps you become impulsive—driving recklessly at great speed or daring yourself to achieve impossible physical feats, like diving through the air or surfing dangerously across a crowd of strangers.

Or does alcohol summon forth the warrior, the mutinous murderer or the vengeful vixon? Under the influence do you harm the ones you love? As you’ve read, even good people are capable of unfathomable brutality and even murder.

“There is no inexplicable defect in our personalities, no elusive flaw in our bodies. Alcohol is simply a highly addictive drug,” writes Annie Gracie in her book This Naked Mind. “We find it hard to accept that we are all drinking the same addictive poison.

Alcohol weaves an often unpredictable, yet foreseeable path of harm in us all. Individual differences in brain chemistry, lifestyle choices, stress levels, upbringing, peer pressure, group-think and other factors trigger impulsivity, aggression, depression, and other emotional, cognitive and behavioral changes—all of which are seemingly beyond our control.

Alcohol changes who you are. These changes are hard, but not impossible, to predict.

“Anyone of us could be here,” a prison-officer once told me while I was working in the bowels of a maximum-security prison. “Take Hemi,” he says, gesturing to a young, good-looking guy aged eighteen, now in jail for life.  “He got pissed, got into a fight and the guy wound up dead.”

Yep, I know that story well.  I also know intimately the wide and bewildering range of effects triggered by alcohol abuse. Winding up in bed with strangers, euphoria which turns to dread, closeness that turns to rage, and feeling I no longer wanted to live—truly believing how peaceful it would be to throw myself from a cliff and fly through the sky. To die. I also know that’s the demmon of alochol talking – weakening my inhibitions and stoking the fantasy of relief from pain.

 

Take a moment and make a list of everything drinking steals or has stolen from you.

Here are a few areas to consider:

• Harmonious relationships?

• Happiness?

• Career success?

• Custody of your children?

• Liberty and freedom?

• Security and safety?

• Sanity and peace of mind?

• Health and well-being?

• Your waistline?

• Money?

• Or something else?

 

For example, many people have either perpetuated or experienced domestic violence, been hospitalized, lost custody of their children, derailed a much-loved career, destroyed their most important relationships, suffered from an inoperable disease caused by alcohol abuse, nearly died—or did.

Recent prison statistics reported in the New Zealand Herald revealed that over 54% of offenders have addiction issues, with 53 percent of women and 15 percent of men have experienced sexual assault. Dig deeper and it’s not hard to see alcohols role.

 

Controlling Alcohol and the Triggers that Compel You to Drink Takes Vigilance

‘There’s so much marketing about alcohol, but I can’t see any signs warning people of alcohol harm,” I said to the woman at my local electorate office.

“They’re silent,” she said.

“They don’t exist,” I replied.

It makes you wonder. Out of sight, out of mind, right?

Why?

 

Why is that you can’t escape the continual barrage of marketing messages inviting you to drink? Could it be there so much money spent on reactively fixing alcohol fall out and none left for proactive health initiatives—including education?

But you can right the imbalance and become more mindful of alcohol harm.

People who go to AA meetings, or other sobriety meet-ups, are continually reminded of how alcohol has no place in their life.

Many people who successfully control alcohol find other ways to remain vigilant.  For example, I counteract all the positive messages the booze barons and happy drunks spin about the wonders of booze by constantly reminding myself of the negative aspects of drinking.

I also remind myself that alcohol is a poison dressed up as lolly water, that it’s a neurotoxin, and that it makes me feel flat, discouraged and depressed. Affirming the negative is a simple way to counteract and rebalance the positive marketing spin.

As I shared in the opening of this book, keeping a Sobriety Journal is one of many strategies I share in this book, which works for me.

When I first created my Sobriety Journal I brainstormed and bullet-pointed some of the areas in which my excessive drinking was becoming problematic, personally and professionally.

As you read through this list give some thought to your own experiences.

 

Negative Physical Impact of Drinking Alcohol

Depression

Anxiety

Blackouts

Despondency

Cognitive impairments

Memory loss

Fearing for my safety

Negative Financial Impact of Drinking Alcohol

Reduced savings

Sucked away money that could be used to repay debt or diverted for a massage, flowers, beauty

Reduced productivity and work effectiveness

Diminished creativity that I can pour into money-making endeavors and things that spark joy

 

Negative Emotional Impact of Drinking Alcohol

Depression

Anxiety

Aggression—arguments with my partner

feeling blah

fear—especially when around other drunk people

Loss of confidence and self-esteem

 

Negative Spiritual Impact of Drinking Alcohol

Lower vibration

Dark Energies

Harmful spirits

Aggression

Shift from essence

Lack of mindfulness

Dis-ease

Disconnection from source energy

Reduced intuition

 

Negative Physical Impact of Drinking Alcohol

Aging

Weight-gain

Stress

Overload on liver

Increased likelihood of cancer—8 percent increase in risk for every standard drink you have

Ugliness—red eyes, pallid skin, bloating

Insomnia

Nutrient loss

Depletes almost every vitamin your body needs

Headaches

Eyestrain

 

Negative Relationship Impact of Drinking Alcohol

Increased arguments

Emotional distance and disconnection

Operating on different wavelengths

Breakdowns and meltdowns

Anger

Fear

Loss of love

Loss of respect

Neglect

 

I didn’t need a textbook or neuroscientist to warn me about alcohol harm, although further research illuminated the side-effects. But I did find it helpful to bring more mindfulness to the negative impact drinking was having on all aspects of my life.

As Rainer Maria Rilke once wrote (also in my Sobriety Journal): “Sickness is the means by which an organism frees itself from what is alien; so one must simply help it be sick, to have its whole sickness and to break out with it, since that is the way it gets better.”

Dr. Candace Pert, formerly the chief of brain biochemistry at the National Institutes of Health in the US, revolutionized her field by discovering that emotions create biochemical compounds called peptides that serve as messengers in the brain; her team’s work won the prestigious Albert Lasker Award, which is often a precursor to the Nobel Prize.

She urges us to honor all our feelings and look for the insight and hope of healing emotions provide. “When we don’t admit to or accept responsibility for these less comfortable emotions, they can be more dangerous,” she says

Take a moment and consider what alcohol steals or has stolen from you. Does this change how you perceive alcohol and addiction? Be grateful for the teaching.

Let’s Talk Numbers

How much is too much?

Your liver can only process a certain amount of alcohol per hour, which for an average person is around one standard drink.

Yes, but what is a standard drink? Is there even such a thing as a standard drink. Apparently not! Different countries set the bar lower and higher when it comes to determining the safest amount of alcohol to drink per hour.

Some experts say that the international guidelines for alcohol consumption are so confusing it’s no wonder people drink too much.

Scientists who studied drinking advice around the world concluded that there is a “substantial” risk of misunderstanding.

And it’s not surprising. One study found that the measurements of the amount of alcohol in a ‘standard drink’ ranged from 8 grams to 20 grams.

An article by the Daily Mail Newspaper in the UK reported the following anomaly, “In the most conservative countries, “low-risk” consumption meant drinking no more than 10g of alcohol per day for women and 20g for men. But in Chile, a person can down 56g of alcohol per day, the equivalent of three pints, and still be considered a low-risk drinker.”

 

Here’s the current Australian and New Zealand definition: “a standard drink is any drink containing 10 grams of alcohol. One standard drink always contains the same amount of alcohol regardless of container size or alcohol type, that is beer, wine, or spirit. A standard drink is a unit of measurement.”

Thankfully, in New Zealand, you no longer have to have a mathematics degree or a scientific calculator to work out what constitutes a standard drink. It’s now compulsory to clearly state how many standard drinks and how much alcohol per volume is contained in each product.

In the UK, at least at the time of writing, they’re still talking units. A unit is the measure of the amount of alcohol in a drink.

One UK unit is 10ml (8g) of pure alcohol and a typical pint of ale contains one or two units (20ml or 16g), while a glass of wine can contain anything from around one and a half to three units. This depends on the size of the glass and the strength of the wine.

Recently the UK changed its health guidelines to say that men should not drink more than 14 units of alcohol per week, the same as the limit for women. The previous guidelines were a whopping 21 units for men and 14 units for women per week.

The reason for the shift? The rising cost of healthcare stemming from alcohol-related disease is causing concern. In fact, alcohol is a major cause of the 25% increase in deaths from liver disease in the UK over the last decade. And figures show victims of liver disease are getting younger.

Many drinks now show the strength, measured as ‘alcohol by volume’ or ABV, on the label alongside the number of units.

Alternatively, people can calculate the number of units in their drink by multiplying the amount in milliliters (ml) by the strength (ABV) and dividing the result by 1,000, or by using a unit calculator.

Sounds complicated, and let’s face it, people are rarely that regimented to consume one drink an hour, let alone calculate how much is safe to drink.

If the liver can only process one unit of alcohol per hour what happens to all that excess alcohol?

 

The quicker you drink, the drunker you get

 

If over the course of one hour you consume two bottles of beer, that’s a whole lot of excess blood alcohol in your system—especially if you’re partial to one of the craft beers which can equal close to 3 standard drinks per bottle.

Because alcohol is a poison which your body can’t eliminate, your liver has the challenging task of processing it so we can eliminate it from your system. It’s a big job and it takes time—an hour to get rid of only 10 mls.

It’s a dangerous job too, with considerable health implications. When alcohol reaches the liver, it produces a toxic enzyme called acetaldehyde (as though poisonous ethanol wasn’t enough for it to handle).  Acetaldehyde can damage liver cells and cause permanent scarring, as well as harm your brain and stomach lining.

If you’ve upped the recommended safe quota all that unprocessed ethanol will be leaping through the blood-brain barrier and corroding your brain cells directly.

Oops…not good.

Your liver also requires water to do its job effectively. Again, alcohol puts your liver under strain—alcohol acts as a diuretic, thereby dehydrating you and forcing your liver to rob water from other sources.

The severe dehydration is part of the reason why, after a big night of drinking you can wake up nursing a crippling headache.

Regular or heavy drinking over time can disrupt the way alcohol is metabolized within the body, which can lead to alcoholic liver disease, along with other unhealthy side-effects.

In short, all that excess alcohol zooms in fast laps around your body, jumping the blood-brain barrier, again and again, impacting your blood-alcohol levels, which in turn impacts all the systems in your body— your physical coordination, your ability to think and speak, and your mood.

Alcohol changes your brain permanently—and not in a good way, either.

Enter the standards—an attempt, and non-too successfully, to encourage people to drink a maximum of one drink per hour. Yeah, right. Sure thing. When has anyone followed rules, particularly those that they have to self-regulate and which stand in the way of their ability to party?

 

Are You Standard?

Blood alcohol content (BAC), also called blood alcohol concentration, blood ethanol concentration, or blood alcohol level is most commonly used as a metric of alcohol intoxication for legal or medical purposes.

However, BAC does not correlate exactly with symptoms of drunkenness and different people have different symptoms even after drinking the same amount of alcohol. The BAC level and every individual’s reaction to alcohol is influenced by:

• The ability of the liver to metabolize alcohol (which varies due to genetic differences in the liver enzymes that break down alcohol).

• The presence or absence of food in the stomach (food dilutes the alcohol and dramatically slows its absorption into the bloodstream by preventing it from passing quickly into the small intestine)

• The concentration of alcohol in the beverage (highly concentrated beverages such as spirits are more quickly absorbed)

• How quickly alcohol is consumed.

• Body type (heavier and more muscular people have more fat and muscle to absorb the alcohol)

• Age, sex, ethnicity (eg, women have a higher BAC after drinking the same amount of alcohol than men due to differences in metabolism and absorption—since men have on average, more fluid in their body to distribute alcohol around than women do, some ethnic groups have different levels of a liver enzyme responsible for the break-down of alcohol)

• How frequently a person drinks alcohol (someone who drinks often can tolerate the sedating effects of alcohol more than someone who does not drink regularly).

Be Aware. Not All Drinks Are Created Equal

They make look the same, but they most definitely aren’t the same.

A tiny increase in strength in the percentage of alcohol can make a massive impact on intoxication. As a rule, if you want to drink safely, go slow and go low. Stay informed—be sure to check the labels

Take a closer look at this article which explains why a 5% beer can make you twice as drunk as a 4% version—http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3209119/Why-5-beer-make-TWICE-drunk-4-version-Calculations-reveal-tiny-increase-strength-big-impact-intoxication.html#ixzz4dPWZYzFv

Familiarize yourself with a standard drink: it’s probably not as much as you think.

I know I got a heck of a fright when I was invited at random to participate in a survey by Otago University. One of the questions in The Alcohol in New Zealand Communities Survey was, “How often have you had 6 or more standard drinks in one occasion in the last 12 months?” I was shocked to tick the highest category, “Six of seven times a week.”

Cripes, I was bingeing and didn’t even realize it. That’s how insidious alcohol is.

Know your limit. Monitor your BAC level, understand your reaction to alcohol, and how to influence it. Check out the documentary The Truth About Alcohol in the further resources section, and join British emergency room doctor Javid Abdelmoneim, and other experts, as they explore the benefits, risks, and science of drinking. If you’re determined to drink, you also discover ways to lessen the impact of alcohol.

While we’re talking numbers, did you know alcohol is a known health antagonist and a causal factor in more than 60 adverse health conditions? Would you rather not know? Skip the chapter Health Havoc if you prefer to be kept in the dark.

 

Are You Worried about your drinking?

I’ll discuss some of my strategies for living in a booze-soaked world, including how I keep my energy and vibration levels high and don’t allow alcohol or other peoples destructive relationship with alcohol to dull my sparkle, throughout this book.

One simple strategy I do find helpful, however, is to pin inspiring quotes somewhere visible to remind me to censure the tendency to demand others change or to judge.

Letting go of judgment creates peace, strength, and ultimately increases joy. Becoming judgment-free and leading by example is also one of the key sobriety steps recommended by many successful addiction programs. This includes self-judgment and self-criticism.

My current go-to quote is by Abraham Hicks, “Let others vibrate how they vibrate and want the best for them. Never mind how they’re flowing to you. You concentrate on how you’re flowing because one who is connected to the energy stream is more powerful, more influential than a million who are not.”

I also invite love, not fear or anger to guide my day. I’m not saying it’s easy—if it were the world would be a happier place. I work to remember how my loved ones are when they’re sober—how kind they are, how caring. This love extends to me too. I know I’m a nicer, kinder person sober than I am drunk.

Exercising self-love means, however, accepting that sometimes there comes a time when being around people who abuse alcohol becomes too toxic. Their drinking may undermine your health, threaten your resolve, or cause you to constantly fear for your life.  There are times you may have to quit not only the booze but people, places, and relationships that hold you back.

Finding joy in sobriety is a lifestyle choice—a very personal, and very empowered and empowering choice. It’s a choice you make eyes wide open, determined to celebrate and make the most of your one precious life in every way.

Humor, as you’ll also discover, goes a long way.

 

This man is giving birth to a six-pack…‘Father and beers are doing swell.’

It’s a picture I drew in my Sobriety Journal in part, to remind me how staying sober improves my waistline.

Call it like it is….would you like a shot of ethanol and a gallon of sugar with that?

Our soul, basically creative in nature, also longs to find self-expression. Creative expression and communicating what you truly feel is one of our greatest joys and freedoms. It is a simple and effective way to inject more happiness into your life without needing drugs, alcohol, or indulging frustration by allowing acts of aggression. 

Creativity in its various guises is also a natural antidote to stress, anxiety, and depression, which explains why art therapy, including writing, is such a potent and popular tool. Pep up your peptides—find a healthy outlet for your emotions. Make finding a way to release all those stuck energies your mission.

Many people say they drink to help them deal with negative feelings and emotions. But fighting fire with fire (remember alcohol is ethanol – a highly flammable liquid) is never going to be a winning strategy. Learning to channel your feelings constructively is.

Journaling and writing morning pages are some of my favorite ways to express any stinky feelings that bog me down in a rut. Writing my self-empowerment books has also been a fantastic and profitable way to share life lessons learned and ignite my passion and purpose. 

A recent example has been writing my book, “Mind Your Drink: The Surprising Joy of Sobriety – Control Alcohol, Discover Freedom, Find Happiness and Change Your Life. Writing this book has been healing for myself and others struggling with addiction.  

“I like the content of the book a lot. As an ex-drunk who quit for both mental and physical health reasons, it’s very affirming. I like her comment that she’s yet to meet an ex-drinker who preferred life as a drinker. I think it will appeal to both people who are considering change and people who have made a change to their drinking and want both affirmation and some information so they can explain why to their friends. I like its meandering style (it makes me think of sharing in a group). It’s too good a message to ignore.” ~ Andrew Nicholls 

 

This is an edited extract of Cassandra Gaisford’s book Mind Your Drink: The Surprising Joy of Sobriety, available in print and Ebook here—

Amazon: getbook.at/MindYourDrink 

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

 

“I work with people and their whanau/families on a daily basis who have, have had or have recovered from Alcohol and Other Drug issues.  The damage caused by AOD overuse and abuse is enormous and has ongoing negative effects on our society and future generations mainly due to observation and learned behaviours.  I really like the approach that this book takes in not attempting to stop drinking totally.  It instead explains and coaches how to manage and cope with consuming alcohol so that the damaging effects may be minimised.  This is a very useful supportive book for ‘drinkers’ and their families.  It is a book that is very easy to read and understand.  I really like the quotes, sayings and tools contained therein.  This book is much bigger than just the social and familial issues with alcohol – It is in a very big way about ‘Your Beautiful Mind’.  It fits very well with my style of practice and that is to start with the basics and move onwards and upwards from there. I see in the book an AHA (awakening, honesty, action) moment in the book.  I really get the reference to wisdom (The smart person knows what to say, the wise person knows when to say it) and the associated learning.  I will be recommending this ‘must read’ book to my clients and their whanau/families and anybody else who will listen”.

~ Philipe Eyton, Counsellor, Life and Leadership Coach, BSocP, NZAC (Stud)

 

“One thing that I like about this book is that the author doesn’t trash other recovery programs whether she agrees with them or not.  This approach is very different (and refreshing) from other books I’ve read that claim to be the “real or only solution” which involves tearing down other methods in the process, but as Cassandra’s book alludes—one form of recovery may work for some people and not others—it depends on the person, their physiology, background, life experience, etc. At first, I thought the segments about advertising would be boring but they actually really appealed to the part of me that loves science, facts, and proof.  Reading the explanations led to many “Aha!” moments! I also felt so relieved to read there is a sober/not drinking movement going on. I felt relieved and hopeful. How I wish this was going on when I started my own drinking career in my early teens. I’m feeling so grateful to Cassandra for writing it. There is so much vital information packed into this book and I wish fervently that it ends up on the best seller list!”

Lisa Ruggiero, Amazon 5-Star Review

 

“This is a book for anyone who is struggling with alcohol (or even overeating/comfort eating – it can be used for several addictions) as a way to encourage the reader to look at  their drinking (or other affliction) in a loving way, encouraging the reader to work with their intelligent self, on a loving level, it offers support, (you don’t feel alone), it offers stories of awareness, idea’s for moving beyond the clutches of alcohol and experiencing the joy of living a full, creative, and/or self-loving life.”

~ Catherine Sloan, Counselor

 

“I see people that I would love to give this book recommendation to.  They need this in their lives-a few of who would not consider, they have any problem with alcohol, nor have any desire to stop drinking – but I liked this book because the message is that you take control of how you steer the ship.  You can choose to decrease and manage your drinking or you can choose to omit alcohol altogether from your life.

Alcohol is abused and I know a few young people (18-25yrs) that haven’t a clue of what they’re drinking or the impacts on them physically, mentally or emotionally.  This is huge.  Yet each and every week they are returning to the bottle to find some solace in drinking or in fact getting pissed.

I love the connection Cassandra shares with herself in this book.  The Sobriety Journal she mentions and has created is a fantastic tool – and I would recommend people use conjunction with this book and your own journey- it will do wonders.  It’s a great reflective tool also to go back to down the track, as Cassandra has openly displayed herself.

I am quite surprised myself about the new knowledge I gained from what I read in this book.  And wondered why when I was drinking did I never stop to consider what I was drinking, what my drink was made of and how- never ever!  I can remember thinking, I wonder how many calories are in this beer.  Or how much sugar.  But never looked it up as such, as I didn’t actually want to know at the time.  I was in somewhat of a denial.  I just wanted to consume it anyway.  I quite often was sick on the evening or the next day after a binge.

So this information needs to be shared and is available in this book.  I think that’s fantastic.  It’s not too complex.  At first, I wondered if I would see my younger relatives reading this and relating to it.  And thought, maybe not.  But then when momentum picked up and the diverse realities were seen and heard – I thought it would relate to many soft spots they have and I hopefully allow them to take control of themselves and their drinking.

Loving what I read. I am seeing some home truths and common vulnerabilities which makes this book relatable to many.

~ Jo-Maitera

 

You might like:

 Discover the joy of sobriety. Listen to Cassandra’s interview with Melinda Hammond—https://writerontheroad.com/128-name-poison-writers-alcohol-creative-muse-cassandra-gaisford/

Savvy Sobriety: The new happiness trend you need to know

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

 

Did you enjoy this article? Sign up for Cassandra’s newsletters to get more stories like this.

 

*
*
*