Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

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

    

The Passion Pack was where one of my most popular books, How to Find Your Passion and Purpose, all started. A simple idea with a powerful message – follow your passion!

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

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

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

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

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

Orders flooded in from global recruitment consultancies, primary schools, colleges, universities, not-for-profit organizations, financial institutions, and other multi-national commercial entities. I was asked to speak at conferences around the world about the power of passion. It was amazing to see how popular and successful The Passion Pack became, transcending age, gender, and socio-economic differences.

In this era of information obesity, the need for simple, life-affirming messages is even more important. Which is why I resurrected The Passion Pack and transformed the tips and tools from the wisdom of words on cards to those on pages – both digital and paperback. I’m so excited to soon be releasing an audio version of How to Find Your Passion and Purpose.

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

Clive, a 62-year-old man who had suffered work-related burnout, did! He initially thought that creating a passion journal, Tip 10 in this guide, was childish—something other stressed executives in his men’s support group would balk at. But once he’d taken up the challenge he told me enthusiastically that, “They loved it!”

These men, and others who have applied this easy and fun manifestations strategy, used their passion journals to visualize, gain clarity, and create their preferred futures. Clive did too. He manifested a very successful purpose-driven coaching business.

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. Honor the messages from your intuition and follow your path with heart.

Laura, who at one stage seemed rudderless career-wise, did just that. She was guided to Tip 14: Who Inspires You? Following that, her motivation to live and work like those she looked up to sparked a determination to start her own business.  It was that simple.

 

Following your passion is the key to success

The feedback I’ve received over the years has been a validation of my deepest belief that following your passion is the key to success. This, combined with strengthening your creativity and imagineering skills, is one of the most magical, empowering and practical things you can do to manifest your deepest desires.

As I did back in 2015 when I pursued a dream to publish my books on Amazon. Within days of the release of my first book in the Mid-Life Career Rescue series: ‘The Call For Change’ my book became a #1 bestseller on Amazon in the category of Work-Related Health.  The link to the paperback and eBook is here >> 

And four years on, it’s still selling strong and helping thousands of people all around the world.

Book two, Mid-Life Career Rescue series: ‘What Makes You Happy’  was met with similar success. In less than 24 hours of release, it also became a #1 bestseller. The link to the paperback and eBook is here >>

It’s also confirmation of the benefits of working with purpose and the importance I place on helping people feel happy. Your health is everything! Be sure to value it. Now.

 

Finding joy – the path to success

“Aren’t you setting people up for failure?” a disillusioned career coach once challenged me when I told her my focus was not on helping people find any job but finding one that gave them joy. I couldn’t help but wonder if she needed a career change.

Thirty years of cumulative professional experience as a career coach and counselor, helping people work with passion and still pay the bills, answers that question. I’m setting people up for success. I’m not saying it will happen instantly, but if you follow the advice in my books, it will happen. I promise.

I’ve proven repeatedly with the successes I’ve gained for clients that thinking differently and creatively, rationally and practically, while also harnessing the power of intuition, and applying the principles of manifestation, really works. In all my books, but particularly in How to Find Your Passion and Purpose I’ll show you why and how.

A large part of my philosophy and the reason behind my success with clients is my fervent belief that to achieve anything worthy in life you need to follow your passion. And I’m in good company.

As media giant Oprah Winfrey once said, “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”

 

Passion’s paycheque

By discovering your passion you will tap into a huge source of potential energy. Pursuing your passion can be profitable on many levels:

  • When you do what you love, your true talent will reveal itself; passion can’t be faked
  • You’ll be more enthusiastic about your pursuits
  • You’ll have more energy to overcome obstacles.
  • You will be more determined to make things happen
  • You will enjoy your work
  • Your work will become a vehicle for self-expression
  • Passion will give you a competitive edge
  • You’ll enjoy your life

“New Zealander’s aren’t ready for passion,” an international publishing company told me when I first approached them with my book idea. Incredible! Without passion, you don’t have energy, and without energy you have nothing.

I didn’t let their rejection daunt me. Like Peter Jackson did when people balked at his concept for Lord of the Rings, I backed myself. I answered the call for courage—and with it came media interest. The same thing happened years earlier too—”Self-made story an inspiration to others” the headlines read. Check out the article here>>

I was told a similar thing when I was accepted to speak at an international careers conference in San Francisco. “Selling passion to Americans is like selling coal to people in Newcastle,”  I was warned. Yet I spoke to a full capacity crowd.

Let my experience guide you—other people aren’t experts in your life. Act on your own conviction. Let love, desire, and passion, not fear or ambivalence or apathy, or other peoples projections, propel you forward.

Yet worryingly, research suggests that less than 10% of people are following their passion. Perhaps that’s why there is so much unhappiness in the world.

Again this is why I wrote my latest book, How to Find Your Passion and Purpose.

And it’s why passion and purpose are core themes in all my books. And in my life. And why I’m dedicated to helping those who want more passion and purpose too.

 

An inside look at the cover

 

The emphasis on energy is so vital that I decided to create my cover using a Sumi ink painting I created in Maui with Zen Buddhist artist Max Gimblett http://www.maxgimblett.com/.  I had won the Supreme Art Award for another painting and decided to reinvest the money to study Sumi ink painting with Max.

The original color was black, and the painting hangs in my hall, along with three other paintings I created at the time—called The Three Joys.

 

 

The 2000-year-old art form of Japanese brush painting is spiritually rooted in Zen Buddhism. Sumi-e’s earliest practitioners were highly disciplined monks.

I can still recall the energy and power of loading the brush with rich red ink and with ‘all mind, no mind,’ breathing deep from my core, and meeting the page.

It’s been great to receive feedback about the cover from readers. “It’s fabulous. Eye-catching and inspirational’, wrote one person.

“I feel I want to read this book now! The red energy swirl suggests an invitation to enter a journey of discovering one’s passion.”

Of course, not everyone loves the cover. But that is my point. Not everyone will endorse what you feel passionately driven to be or do. Do it anyway. As I did, when I  first created The Passion Pack.

 

31: Fear Of Success. It’s a timely reminder of just how far following my passion has taken me – the shy girl who was once afraid of being seen. The quote is as apt for me as I feel it may be for you:

“Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.”

Don’t waste another day feeling trapped. Don’t be the person who spends a life of regret, or waits until they retire before they follow their passions. Don’t be the person too afraid to make a change for the better, or who wishes they could lead a significant life. Make the change now. Before it’s too late.

Here’s to living with passion and purpose!

 

 

How To Find Your Passion And Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want and Live The Life You Love, is available from all good bookstores, including Amazon, in paperback and eBook.

Amazon.com

Amazon.com.gb

Amazon.com.au

 

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

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

Guess what?! It’s autobiographical and tells the story of how I was criticized and shamed when I first shared my idea for The Passion Pack. Importantly, it shares what I did to overcome obstacles, heed the call for courage and dare to lead.

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

“I love everything Cassandra writes, the queen of uplifting inspiration!

This is a little book, the story basically teaches you to have faith in your dreams, stand firm and don’t let others rain on your parade.

We are all searching for purpose and passion, everybody hurts and sometimes we find ourselves on the receiving end of somebody else’s insecurities when they project their anger, jealousy etc onto us.

The old woman who puts the little princess down is really just jealous and stuck in her own life.

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

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

 

Grab Your Copy of The Little Princess. Available Now! 

To purchase on Amazon>> 

getbook.at/TheLittlePrincess

 

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

https://books2read.com/u/b5709p

 

ORDER THE EBOOK TODAY, EMAIL YOUR RECEIPT, AND RECEIVE YOUR BONUS GIFT—THE AUDIBLE VERSION FREE!

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Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

End Anxiety & Stop Panic Attacks!: A natural, fun, easy to implement approach to recover and regain control of your life

 

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.

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Saturday, September 16th, 2017

Stress Less – Sleep Your Way to the Top

“By helping us keep the world in perspective, sleep gives us a chance to refocus on the essence of who we are. And in that place of connection, it is easier for the fears and concerns of the world to drop away.”

~ Arianna Huffington, businesswoman

Time stays long enough for those who use it well and protect it fiercely. But many people either, find it difficult to switch off at night, or they sacrifice their sleep in the mistaken belief they’ll be more productive.

Sleep plays a vital role in your health and wellbeing. Getting enough quality sleep helps you maintain your mental and physical health and enhances your quality of life.

Modern science proves conclusively that if you skip out on sleep you’re compromising not just your productivity and efficiency, but also your health.

More than a third of American adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis, according to a February 2016 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Sleeping less than seven hours a day, they report, can lead to an increased risk of frequent mental distress, impaired thinking, reduced cognitive ability, and increased susceptibility to depression.

Lack of sleep also increases the likelihood of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. None of which will aid your quest for happiness and prosperity.

When stress becomes too much, is your quality of sleep affected? The next time you’re worrying and feeling anxious around bedtime, try one of these simple hacks to relax and quieten your mind enough to fall asleep:

Take time to unwind after a stressful day

Before going to bed, take some time out to unwind from the stresses of the day. Allow at least 30 minutes before bed for a quiet, ‘preparing to sleep’ activity. Enjoying a calming cup of herbal tea, listening to soothing music, reading a novel or book of poems (paperback), an aromatherapy bath with lavender and other scented oils, or even a relaxation or meditation practice.

Clear mental clutter

If you have the events of the day or other issues running through your head before bedtime, start writing them down in a journal for you to revisit later. The simple act of writing down your troubles – and noting how you feel about them in that moment – can help you make sense of the root cause of your problem and free up some space for more important activities like sleeping.

Schedule time to worry

If you want to sleep better, you need to empty your mind of all thoughts, tasks and stresses. Another way to clear your mental chatter is to ‘box your worries’ by scheduling in dedicated ‘worry time’. This is a programmed time that is dedicated to – you guessed it – worrying. A scheduled 30-minute window in your day allows you, and even encourages you, to think constructively through the problem.  Many of my clients tell me that when their ‘worry time’ comes around their issue has disappeared or become less important.

If the issue is still lingering, by granting yourself some time to focus on the issue worrying you, you’re forced to either formulate a solution, or to let it go.

Be proactive and create a to-do list

Another active way to clear your head and get to bed is with a master to-do list. Write down ‘things to do’ in a list in your diary so that you don’t need to keep thinking about them over and over. This is why planning your ‘tomorrow’ the day before is also an effective strategy. You can sleep well knowing that you have your bases covered. This also minimises decision fatigue.

Did you know that humans are only capable of keeping seven to nine different things in our working memory at once? When you try to recall all the tasks you need to complete, this uses up valuable mental energy and can prevent you from sleeping soundly.

Creating a list transfers your chores from your mind to the page (paper or digital), freeing up valuable brainpower. You’ll be better able to analyse tasks and prioritise, delegate, or even eliminate some of them. It’s a win-win success strategy.

Numerous studies reveal that a to-do list can also make you happier. Don’t sweat it if  you don’t manage to cross everything off your list, the act of compiling one can still help you reach your goals, manage your stress levels and help you relax enough to get some well-earned sleep time.

Disconnect

You can also enhance your sleep by turning off all devices and leaving them outside your bedroom.

“I will not sleep with my phone in my room,” Jessie Burton, the author of The Muse, shared on one of her blogs. After suffering from burnout and severe anxiety she created a not-to-do list to restore and protect her mental health.

In the next chapter, you’ll dive deeper and uncover the life-changing benefits of unplugging, taking control of technology and enjoying regular digital detoxes.

Call to Action

If lack of sleep is keeping you awake and night, and making you tired during the day consider reading and applying the strategies in Arianna Huffington’s book, The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life One Night at a Time.

Be ruthless about prioritising your well-being. Remind yourself of the benefits that flow while you sleep, and when you enhance the length and quality of your sleep.

 

 

This is an edited extract from Stress Less. Love Life More: How to Stop Worrying, Reduce Anxiety, Eliminate Negative Thinking and Find Happiness by Cassandra Gaisford. To purchase your copy and learn how to stress less and love life more, click here to go to your online bookshop.

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Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Are you ready to quit a job you hate? How to stop overthinking and take the leap

Are you ready to quit? Read this inspiring post by a woman I am training to be a Worklife Solutions Coach—Lucy O’Connor from Monday Hustle.

The day I did what people tell you not to

Monday Hustle’s Diary

Today, I resigned.

It’s fine. I’ll be fine. We’ll survive this. Me AND my bank account. I’ll have to suffer through a few ‘better not’ moments at the dairy counter, dissuade my friends out of a coffee catch up in favour of a ‘lovely walk’ (I hate walking),  and take the T out of TopShop for a while. But it ain’t all about the money honey. It’s about the flippin’ Dream. And I’ve always been a firm advocate for The Dream (spelt with capital letters cause that’s how important it is). I buy into all those clichés (not literally, cause I can’t afford any more) – life’s too short, the world is your oyster, you can be anything you want to be. Because sister, what else is the point??!! I’m 25 now and I gotta give the dream some room to move. I’ve spooned The Dream while it slept for too long. It’s time to gently shake it awake, welcome it into the real world, and let it get on with what it needs to do to not only survive but thrive (first Bridesmaids reference).

Right now, I have a great job in sales, which any beginner would kill for – I am working for a great company, around great people, doing something that society says ‘I should be grateful for’ because someone would kill to have my job. But therein lies the problem. Someone else would love to have my job. Overall, I’m not happy with my situation. I have been working in the role for a year which isn’t that long in the scheme of life, but you know what? That’s a year of not being 100% happy, a year of waiting for something else to happen, a year of my where I have been distracted from putting my dreams into action.

So many people get ‘stuck’ on a path because they keep getting opportunities, they are good at something, they don’t back themselves to do something else. But I’m determined to give The Dream a chance. We each have a certain uniqueness to offer and no two of us are exactly alike. So we have an opportunity – to be the best possible version of ourselves and try to crack whatever it is we actually want to do with our lives. We can’t be the best possible version of someone else’s Dream. But we are the masters of our own. For most of us, we aren’t going to get that golden ticket lying down and waiting for it.

So today, I decided to practice what I preach. I’m going out into the real world with my passion, my drive and the small amount of money I have in my bank account. I’m starting the chase right bloody now. If I commit myself to being the best possible version of me, and direct my energy towards The Dream, that surely is the recipe for a fulfilling life with very few regrets. It’s not going to always be easy, and it won’t always be fun, but it will always be alive – and hopefully, eventually, something’s gotta give. Will you join me in the hustle to be your best self? Cause girl, you gotta hustle. Even on the most uninspiring day of the week. #MondayHustle

#MondayHustle

“Stop overthinking and take the leap.”

Read more about Lucy’s inspiring career change here >>http://worklifesolutions.nz/lucys-reinvention-story-hustling-her-way-into-a-new-career/

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Thursday, May 11th, 2017

Lucy’s reinvention story: Hustling her way into a new career

“Stop overthinking and take the leap.”

You’re never too young for a career change! I’m excited to share Lucy O’Connor’s personal story of reinvention. She’s preparing to morph her business Monday Hustle into something even more beautiful by becoming a life coach. As you’ll read we first connected many years ago when Lucy was a teenager. I was thrilled to hear from her again and awed by all that she had achieved.

I was also excited to learn she wanting me to help her become a Worklife Solutions Certified Life Coach, but that’s not the real story. The real story is her vision for her coaching business, Monday Hustle and her deep desire to help others increase their resilience, mental wellness and give birth to their entrepreneurial dreams.

Check out Monday here Hustle www.mondayhustle.com. Pretty impressive, right? I will let Lucy tell her story, but one of the things I was surprised to hear was that Lucy doubted she might have anything to offer! But in saying that, I also know self-doubt is common prior to embarking on transformational change. That’s where partnering with a mentor helps.

Plus, every great story is drawn from intentions and obstacles. To be the hero’s and heroines of our own stories is what makes life rewarding.

Many of the questions I asked Lucy are drawn from screenwriting legend Christopher Vogler and his guide to story structure (inspired by the work of Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s (and heroine’s) Journey. I’ve put some of the stages in brackets.

Why did you decide to train to be a life coach? Describe your everyday existence work wise (The ordinary world)

My everyday work existence was typically one completely starved of inspiration and fulfillment! But it wasn’t for lack of trying. After studying psychology at Uni, I received an internship at an advertising agency, which I took because society told me I would be stupid not to. At 21, I had literally no interest in the advertising world, but taking on that role shaped the employment positions I would receive for the next 5 years.

I worked in PR, sales, media, promotions, radio, yet not one of those roles felt any closer to whatever it was I was destined for.

At 26, I’d had enough. After receiving a promotion in my then advertising sales role, I realized not only that I didn’t want to step up the ladder but I had to make a clean break for the last time!

I had nothing to go to and had little else but my savings, my contacts and lots of fresh optimism – but something told me it was now or never – so, I trusted my gut, and took the leap.

I decided to start a blog as a way to keep accountable for my new chosen path, and named it ‘Monday Hustle’. I used the word ‘Monday’ to try and give people a fresh excitement about that day, and ‘Hustle’ to give the feeling of momentum, growth, and resilience.

Little did I know that Monday Hustle would manifest into my calling!

I wrote a blog post each Monday which covered what I had done, learned and experienced that week, and after a year and a half of authentically sharing my story, I realized that maybe I had some extra value to provide my ever-growing audience.

I went back and assessed what aspects of myself had grown the most, and found that the main difference between 2015 Lucy and 2017 Lucy was her ability to feel resilient in the face of change, transition and when looking after her mental wellbeing. I thought it would be an incredible thing if I could help others to develop their own skill set in these areas, and thought the best way to do this was to train to be a coach! And here I am at another transitional phase of my life – which I am super excited about.

What factors influenced your decision to train with Worklife Solutions/Cassandra? (call to adventure)

I had already worked with Cassandra when I was 17, and she was fab. She helped me settle on a degree which set me in great stead for life because it was one that kept my interest and has always been relevant no matter what I do (psychology).

It felt only natural to go back and train with Worklife Solutions because I had been through the process and benefited greatly!

You initially considered training several years ago? Why did you delay? (Refusal of the call)

I refused to answer the call because of my age and my lack of confidence in myself and the wisdom I had to offer. However, after writing Monday Hustle and assessing the response, I think there is a great need for young influencers, coaches, and thought leaders to work with other young people who may be challenged with similar things. It is through empathy and understanding that we truly connect – and the more we can do that, the better the world will be.

Who or what encouraged you to train? (Meeting the mentor)

As I was going through a semi-life-crisis (see below), I started chatting with a few mentor-type people I had met through my Monday Hustle journey. At that point, I was nearly ready to throw in the towel, give it all up and move to a remote village in Bali I was so starved of inspiration; however, luckily a few people pulled me back to earth! They said, Lucy, you have this captive audience who want you to succeed, why on earth would you give all of that up?? You have skills to offer, wisdom to share and life experience that could really assist young people who are going through similar journeys – so what can you do to help?

I thought that over for a while, and then something happened that would really cement my decision – which naturally leads to the answer to the question below!

What was the pivotal moment, turning point or catalyst to saying ‘yes” now and committing to action i.e. enrolling, paying your fees and locking in a start date (crossing the threshold)

As I was going through that life crisis last December and feeling resentful towards everything I had created, I snapped my Achilles tendon. This, of course, forced me to step back and assess where I was at in life. I think that snapping my Achilles was the universe’s way of saying ok, don’t just slow down, STOP, review and gain some clarity.

My mother suggested I look at online courses as a way to keep interested and pass the time while I healed, and suddenly it all came together!! I had worked with Cassandra when I was 17, and she popped back into my head when I was thinking about what I might like to study. As they say, the stars aligned, and I just had to act on that gut feeling!

What challenges did you face? (Tests, allies and enemies)

I experienced the challenge of whether or not I had the cash, the resources, doubt as to whether or not it was really the right thing to do. I thought about all the people I knew in the life coaching space and wondered whether there was room for me. I questioned whether it all made sense, both for me and for my audience. And then I stopped overthinking and took the leap.

The final destination lies ahead—what steps are you taking to prepare for successful completion? (Approaching the innermost cave)

Time management is key for me right now!! I am effectively in the process of setting up two businesses at once because of my decision to steer Monday Hustle in the direction of life coaching, so it really is going to be a case of staying disciplined, focussed and keeping the motivation levels high!

What fears, if any, do you feel you must overcome? (The crisis/supreme ordeal)

I think I have to get over the fear that I will have nothing to offer, and that my skill set isn’t valuable. Believe it or not, before Monday Hustle I was intensely private and kept everything as close to my chest as possible (to the point where I wouldn’t even tell my mum about auditions I had unless I got the role!) My idea of success was to just make it, and have no one see the journey you took to get there. It’s bizarre to me that now literally every single win and every single fail is recorded for anyone to see – so I guess when it comes to valuing myself, I still have a bit of scar tissue from that past life!

Crossing the threshold—describe what you and your life will look like when you return with your treasure:) (Seizing the reward, The Road Back.)

My life will be one which has more direction, excitement, fulfillment and momentum. With a honed focus comes clarity, and I have no doubt that once I get on this path, opportunities will present themselves more and more frequently. If I can help one person to feel more confident in the fact that they are capable of overcoming their battles, then I will feel very stoked indeed.

What last tests do you feel you may face? How will you know you are reborn into a new and beautiful form ( The Climax/resurrection)

The last tests I will face are resistance and doubt, which will stem from me internally, and try to throw me off course!!

I will know I’m a beautiful form when getting up in the morning is so exciting that I never hit snooze, where I am when I am meeting people from all walks of life and we are working together to create some serious magic.

Finally, the treasure is yours. Begin with the end in mind – what does this look like, feel like, what can you hear etc – engage all of the senses to make your vision/treasure real. (Return with the elixir)

This treasure smells like freshly cut grass. It sounds like a bird harmonizing with Lauren Hill. It feels like the kind of joy that a child experiences when they are running under the sprinkler in summer. 

What a wonderful future Lucy is manifesting! Feeling the beauty of who you are and what you do, harmonising with Lauren Hill and feeling the joy of a child running under a sprinkler is definitely a sign of alignment with spirit energy, passion and purpose.

Did you love this story. Check out Lynnie’s reinvention story here—from midwife to life coach >>

If you’d like to learn more about how you can follow your passion and purpose and create a rewarding career, click here http://www.worklifesolutions.nz/coach-training

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Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

How to hatch a job when all the odds seem stacked against you

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket during your job hunt, spread the quest for success and have a minimum of 6 different options on the go. This will help minimise anxiety and disappointment. I recall being given this tip by a career coach I worked with when I was really unhappy at work and had developed shingles.

The same coach who got me to draw how I felt during the job search process. And, as I shared in my mid-life career rescue books,  I drew the picture of the bird trapped in a cage with the door open but she didn’t think she could fly. My coach cried.

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

And I didn’t think I had a hope.

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

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

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

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

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

A few years later, with the experience behind me, I began my own business on the side – then went solo a year or so later! Yay!!

So long story short – you gotta dream – you gotta protect it. Even if it means faking it until you make it and applying for jobs when all your feel is despair. Stepping stones not quantum leaps to success!

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Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

How to reinvent your career and your life: Pivot—change careers and live again

Creating Your Past and Your Future: Celebrate Your Audacity

What amazing feedback one of my client’s Lisa Conroy received! Incredible! So proud of her – living and working as she does with passion and purpose! Her success story is just one of many that have enriched my life this year – I’m thankful that having trained her to become a life coach that I have been able to play a small part in her success. Lisa proves that when you follow your bliss, life really can be a wonderful Box of Chocolates. Check out the feedback below.

As we near year end, it’s a great time to celebrate your wins, lick a few wounds, and resolve to create an extra-ordinary future.

The chances are high that you’re a lot like me—I didn’t inherit a fortune, I’ve had more than my share of challenges, and like waves in a storm, there’s always more hurdles to surf. But successful people, like Coco Chanel and Leonardo da Vinci, and the guy on the street corner praying he can make his mortgage, we keep swimming against the tide of mediocrity.

So take a moment, recollect, note and recall all the things you’ve achieved, all the dreams you’ve dared to dream, all the trials you’ve weathered—and most of all celebrate just how fabulous you are.

Like the lady who wrote to me (below) and reminded herself she already was successful—she has a wonderful husband, beautiful children….and a kind and generous heart.

Fortune favors the kind…and the audacious!


Are you looking for more inspiration or the ultimate Christmas gift?

if you still need a career rescue, or know someone that does, you’ll love my new books – plenty of inspiration for young and older


Career Rescue: The Art and Science of Reinventing Your Career and Life

To preview this book or purchase navigate to here:
getBook.at/CareerRescue

The Art of Success: How Extraordinary Artists Can Help You Succeed in Business and Life (Book Two: Coco Chanel)

To preview this book or purchase navigate to here: getBook.at/CocoChanel

I just received the most amazing feedback re The Art of Success – brought tears of joy to my blue eyes

“Hi Cassandra, I just had to tell you how much your Coco Chanel book means to me. I can’t even express all the emotions I am feeling right now. First of all, I never realized how much I have in common with her. Abandoned by my father, daughter of a narcissistic mother (which is like not having a mother at all). I’m also a Leo. Second, I relate to so many of her characteristics, as well. I’m fiercely independent and strong-willed, but riddled with doubts. Reading this book was like looking into a mirror for me; one that reflects both my past and my future. Your book is an answer to the prayer I’ve had in my heart recently. I will be referencing it often. I have so much to work on concerning myself, and I see this book as a much-needed tool to help me move past the limiting beliefs I can’t seem to let go of. The quote about living a life with a husband and children and people you love? That helped me to realize that I am already a success in Coco Chanel’s eyes. SO EMPOWERING!!!!! Thank you so much for the gift of this book.”

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Monday, December 21st, 2015

How to be happy with yourself – prioritising what’s important

PRIORITISING WHAT’S IMPORTANT

“Values are a matter of what guides you through every day, every task, every encounter with another human being. Yet we are often unaware of what our values are.” ~ Richard Bolles, Author

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Sometimes the job of your dreams may be the one least likely to pay the most. But it’s not always about the money. Right? There’s more to being rewarded for the work you do than the pay cheque you take home at the end of the week.

Job satisfaction, fulfilment, quality of family and private life and mental, spiritual, physical, and emotional health are too often left out of the equation when evaluating job opportunities.

Most people will say that having enough money to live comfortably is important to them. But not everyone is willing to work for less money in order to have other needs meet.

For these people what they value most is not money, it’s something else more important to them – such as working for a specific cause, helping people, being creative, being challenged or having great work-life balance and plenty of free time.

Being aware of what your non-negotiable values are, and proactively ensuring these needs are met at work is vitally important. A career choice that is in line with your core beliefs and values is more likely to be a lasting and positive choice. It allows you to be who you really are, and do what you really need, in order to achieve what you want.

What Are Values?

Your most important values are the things you feel very strongly about. Your values are who you are and who you want to be. They are the ideals that guide or qualify your personal conduct, interaction with others and involvement in your career.

Like morals, they help you to distinguish what is right from what is wrong, and good from bad. They’re signposts which direct you to your best-fit career and inform you on how you can live your life in a meaningful way.

Your values are formed in a variety of ways through your life experiences, the way you are uniquely wired and the choices you make. They’re who you are and who you choose to be.

Jilly’s Story

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Jilly left home when she was only 14. As she says, hers was not a conventional life. Now in her 70’s, her most important values centre around independence, autonomy, creativity and freedom. It’s not hard to understand why. Now living in a medieval village near to Menton, France, and working as a photographer and journalist, her life and work reflects who she is and the things most important to her.

Listening to Jilly’s stories of reinvention, it’s clear to me that variety, learning and new challenges are important values too. “I’ve always followed my dream – I wasn’t a mid-lifer who found what I wanted to do. I always took chances and jumped in with both feet!  I ran a drama school with a one-time husband, I was an actress, I owned two restaurants, one in London, one in Hobart, Tasmania.

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My grand passion though was dogs and bred and showed dogs for over thirty years and  during the 1980s, had one of the top breeding and showing kennels in Old English Sheepdogs  I also judged the breed all over the world. I’ve lived in America, in Australia, in Wales, in London, and, for the past 25 years, in France. I was never ever a person who needed a mid-life boost as it were.”

Jilly, says she always had what others call courage. “In fact had I not said ‘yes’ to every opportunity in life I knew I’d always worry what I’d missed. It seemed to me it took more courage to say ‘No’ than to say ‘Yes’.” When she was 67, new adventures beckoned, and she picked up a camera.

“I didn’t get into photography because it was something I’d always wanted to do – in fact, during my years showing Old English Sheepdogs, I was endlessly taking photos of the show dogs and puppies, so perhaps that was the beginning of my creativity in photography.

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But about eight years ago a blog about a town not far from me drew my attention, and I thought ‘I can do that!’ and so I did. My photography was woeful – crooked buildings, and horizons – not that I knew it at the time. But slowly by looking at other photographer’s work, I started to ‘see’ what I needed to improve.  I got inspired and gradually improved my skills (I still am!).

“I took workshops, (Carla Coulson and Nick Danziger – both life changing) photography friends helped me, I read endlessly on the subject and watched training videos. Eventually, instead of writing about my town with photos, I was taking photos for their own sake.”

I love Jilly’s motivation, ‘I could do that!’ How many times have you said that. But how many times have you acted on it?

“I do think life experiences have made me a better photographer – the technical side had to be learned, but it’s in what I choose to photograph that defines my work. I love, for instance, the world of street photography. For me, a good photograph needs to make the photographer and the viewer ‘feel’ something.

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Jilly’s most recent creative endeavour blends her love for dogs with her passion for photography. “During my years as a dog breeder, exhibitor and judge, I always photographed my dogs in show pose. I think that gave me an ‘eye’ for a photo, as I had an eye for a dog, as we say.”

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Check out her website – her work is really, really special. Her natural affinity for dogs, and the skills she’s developed with the camera, creates something truly magical. She has now had several exhibitions with two more coming up next year. Also she has been invited to join Getty Images.

Jilly is currently working on two books, one about the medieval hill village where she lives – not a book for tourists, as such, but one that will follow the daily lives of the people who live there and who have made her so welcome. The second book will be called Riviera Dogs.

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Saying yes to opportunities, makes your life richer

As Jilly’s story highlights, saying ‘yes’ to opportunities as they appear has made her life richer.


Jilly Bennett Photography: 
www.jillybennett.com

Facebook: Jilly Bennett Photography  http://on.fb.me/1QGkeLz

Jilly’s Photography Blogs: Menton Daily Photo www.mentondailyphoto.com

Riviera Dogs www.rivieradogs.com

This is an excerpt from career expert Cassandra Gaisford’s Amazon #1 best-selling book, Mid-Life Career Rescue: (What Makes You Happy) How to confidently leave a job you hate, and start living a life you love, before it’s too late.

To celebrate the release of her new book she’s giving you something for FREE!

Click Here to Download Your FREE Find Your Passion Workbook

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Friday, December 4th, 2015

Faith in the Stars – Astrology For Career Change and Self-Awareness

Marianne ohagan“I liked the idea that astrology believes we all are special and have unique gifts. It was at that moment that my love of astrology was born.” ~ Marianne O’Hagan, Astrologer

So many people put their faith in psychometric tests, many of which are resounding failures in predicting job satisfaction, happiness or superior performance. Why not put your faith in the stars?

Whether you’re a believer or a non-believer, taking a peek at your astrological profile can boost awareness, confirm areas of potential strength, fuel belief and instil confidence.

Many years ago, bogged down by family dramas and workplace stress I sought the help of Marianne O’Hagan, a very accomplished, but also very science based astrologer. I was blown away by how much she knew about me. I later wrote, what became a very popular, article for the business and careers section of the New Zealand Herald,“An astrologist uses mathematics to predict success.”

For convenience, and inspiration, I’ve included it below. If you’re a skeptic. Great. So was I. Are you open-minded? Good, then give it a try

Despite having endured more than her fair share of suffering, Marianne O’Hagan is a woman who exudes warmth, compassion and a zest for life. Her traumatic childhood experiences, deep love of humanity and multiple job losses have guided Marianne to her true purpose in life, where she has carved out an impressive niche for herself as an astrologist.

“My twin sister and I were born into poverty during an air raid in south London at the time of the Second World War. Unlike my sister, I was born with clubfeet. My mother’s first words, ‘Oh what a shame’, plagued me for years where I felt constantly ashamed for not being a ‘normal’ child,” she says.

Lengthy, frequent and painful trips to the specialist to correct her feet meant she missed much of her schooling, and this along with an accident that left her deaf in one ear meant for most of her childhood she was told she was stupid. Naturally left-handed, raps on the hand designed to “encourage” her to use her right hand further hindered her ability to communicate.

Born under the sign of Taurus, Marianne dug her heels in and fought her way to success. She caught up on her schooling and mastered the ability to walk. But the trauma of her childhood scarred her self-esteem.

Marianne clearly remembers the day, during a period of deep questioning, that astrology became her life’s purpose. “Mother was reading her daily horoscope.

I asked her what it meant, and she told me that everyone had a star sign and that mine was Taurus the Bull. I suddenly realised that I was the same as everyone else – we all had star signs and we all belonged. I felt a deep sense of knowing. I liked the idea that astrology believes we all are special and have unique gifts. It was at that moment that my love of astrology was born.”

Marianne read voraciously on the subject; she coupled her reading with her love of mathematics and natural ability with numbers, and soon began drawing up astrology charts for her friends. She had an uncanny ability to predict people’s behaviour and forecast how their patterns and planetary activity influenced their lives.

Marianne’s passion for astrology remained a hobby for many years while she pursued more traditional careers. Initially she started her career as a hairdresser. Although she loved it she couldn’t stand on her feet all day and after six months reluctantly had to give it up.

“At that time I thought, what do I want to do with my life? I knew I loved maths so I set my sights on being a comptometer operator (the first commercially successful key-driven mechanical calculator). In those days it was a pretty prestigious job. I targeted a company who used these things, started at the bottom and was offered the opportunity to train. At first I was shocked. All my life I’d been told I was stupid and wouldn’t amount to anything and then my boss offered me the chance to train in an area I’d dreamed of. I cried.”

Later she up skilled as an accountant. She was good at the work but missed contact with people. While doing a stint as a recruitment agent she met a New Zealander, who she later married. They moved to New Zealand where she secured a top job working in a chartered accountancy. Two years later the company folded. She soon found another role but several years later she was made redundant again. As the economy worsened, work became less secure and Marianne faced six redundancies over a 15-year period. “I decided God was telling me it was time to start my own business,” she recalls.

Instead of taking the easy option and setting up her on her own as an accountant she decided to choose the path with heart and follow her passion for astrology.

“I changed my name, changed my vocation and my life changed. I made more money then I ever did working for someone else and I’ve helped so many people,” she says.

Doors quickly opened. She was asked to run seminars, which were hugely successful, and was then approached by Radio 2ZB. During the following three years she popularised astrology through radio talk back and became Wellington’s leading astrological consultant. With over 34 years’ experience, she now attracts clients from all over the world.

Several years ago, a near-death experience following a cerebral haemorrhage gave Marianne a new lease on life and she focused her efforts on writing her first astrology book, Lunar Astrology from the Horses Mouth, which she says will revolutionise the way people look at astrology.

“We all know how the moon affects the tides. Drawing the water in or releasing it out. If we are 90 per cent fluid it makes sense that humans are affected by the planets too,” Marianne says.

“I began by applying the phases of the moon to people and characterising people born under the various phrases. After seven years’ research and hundreds of interviews I saw how accurate lunar astrology was. People really did respond to that phase.”

So just how can astrology help?

“Most clients come with financial problems or relationship problems,” Marianne says. “They come looking for the hope of happiness in the future.”

According to Marianne, predicting success in others is all based on mathematics. “It’s the mathematical positions of the planets that actually create events – as simple as the tides going out at high tide, twice a day, and it’s predictable.”

She asks people for the time and place of birth prior to meeting them and draws up their astrological chart so she can understand, and in turn help them to understand, the aspects influencing them. As a result of their personalised astrological consultation, clients who have come to Marianne under extremely difficult circumstances leave with a deeper understanding of themselves, their problems and how to solve them.

“All my life I prayed to God, ‘God please make me a normal child like all the other kids’. But I see now that all this time I was being groomed for my life purpose. I have tremendous empathy for people and a deep compassion. People come to me for readings but what I am really doing is counselling them. I love helping people.”

Now in her 70’s Marianne is still living and working with passion.

Lunar Astrology from the Horses Mouth is available from Marianne O’Hagan’s website, marianneohagan.com. You’ll also find her contact details there if you wish to book an astrology session in person, via phone or Skype.

 

This is an excerpt from career expert Cassandra Gaisford’s Amazon #1 best-selling book, Mid-Life Career Rescue: How to confidently leave a job you hate, and start living a life you love, before it’s too late.

Visit www.worklifesolutions.co.nz and get her free eBook, “Find Your Passion.”

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Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

Why I Wrote Mid-Life Career Rescue – the rise of the older worker

AA030453Why I Wrote Mid-Life Career Rescue 

Someone once asked me, “What was the catalyst for writing your book?” In part, it was my experience as a psychologist and career counsellor, and the  experiences of my clients. Like, those who were made redundant after 40-years of loyal service, and offered only 2 hours of support to help them rebuild their shattered lives.

Or the lady in her 50’s who told me, “My boss has offered me one hour of career counselling. She said, ‘If you can’t work it all out in that time, you’re more useless than I thought.’  Really? How could someone say that to another person? My client was so traumatised, so demoralised, so depressed, she’d lost all her self-esteem. “What say we do the skills exercises,” she said to me, ” and we find out my boss is right, I don’t have any talent.”

And, I’ll never forget my first client, who told me, all he wanted to do was die. I realised then that a career coach and career counsellor doesn’t just help people find a job, or minimise workplace stress, they help people reclaim themselves, their soul, their lives. They help people take control back and reclaim their power.

But the ‘why’ which motivated me to write was also the emails I received from people who read my newspaper columns in the New Zealand Herald and The Dominion Post, and the depth of their hopelessness and despair. Despair that stretched beyond them, affecting those who loved them. Many of them couldn’t afford to see me, or anyone else, professionally to get the help they so desperately needed.

Like the lady who emailed me, “No one will employ my husband because he was 55 and had been in the same job for 25 years until he was made redundant. He keeps being told that he has no skills employers would want.”

Career Rescue

It broke my heart every time I had to reply to emails like this with, “I’m sorry we are not taking new clients at this time.” Because I knew from experience it didn’t have to be that way. I knew what he needed to learn was how to find his passion and clarify what gave him a sense of meaning and purpose, and how to sell his age and experience as an asset.

It was the experience of this man and many others like him that resulted in my decision to write my first book Happy at Work for Mid-Lifers. And it was the success and the feedback from those that read it that that led me to release a revised and updated version as Mid-Life Career Rescue.

As a recruitment consultant, I’ve seen first-hand how employers and recruiters can be ageist when it comes to hiring decisions. In the search for employment, it’s not uncommon for mid-lifers to make over 500 unsuccessful job applications.

“It’s particularly hard being an unemployed, single  female in your late fifties, says Helen Walmsley-Johnson, a self-styled protesting middle-aged woman and the author of a new book, The Invisible Woman. ” I didn’t realise I had hit middle-age until until my wheels started to spin in the quagmire of ageism. What happens is your options narrow. If you say, ‘I’m a 60-year-old woman’ people can’t see you in front of them. Something pops into their head, which is how they envisage a 60-year-old woman. And that’s not how we are now – it’s now how I am.”

As a coach I’ve helped people overcome ageism and either get hired, or employ themselves.

But once again, I’m aware that not everyone can afford to see a professional coach. So I thought a book would be a more affordable, accessible option.

The Rise Of The Older Worker

Your life expectancy is on the rise, so if you don’t like your job at 50, change it. You don’t have to prove yourself or impress others, you’re freer now, than at any other time in your life, to be your true SELF.

Yet, so many people put self-imposed limits on what they believe is possible at their age. Even non mid-lifers do that! “Don’t you do what you love when you retire,” one 28 year-old once said to me! “I’m too old to change, “ said another man in his early thirties. I’ve helped people successfully challenge those limits.

And there’s plenty of examples, if you look for them, of golden-oldies living and working with passion. Like Artist Jacqueline Fahey, who is just about to turn 86. She says this time in her life is friendlier to being creative than the years when she was being a wife and mother.

“I don’t have to prove myself any more,” she says. ‘There are plenty of people who disapprove of my painting, writing and what I hold forth about. I don’t like or dislike it; I just don’t care.”

When one of my clients, Marion, realised that unless she made some positive changes in her life now, people would not remember her as she wanted, she refound her appetite for life.

 “I don’t want people to say ‘she was a nice lady who played it safe.’ I want to be scandalous! I want my kids to say, ‘what’s mum up to now?’” she laughed.

Marion gave up the security of her teaching career in The States, moved to New Zealand and purchased her own beauty therapy business. Lonely, following the death of her husband 15 years earlier, she also plucked up the courage to date again. “I’m using my new experiences to show older woman that they can love and live again and I’m pampering them in the process!”

Viva la Mid-Life Revolution!

As a career coach and counsellor helping mid-lifers reclaim their lives after redundancy, rebuild self-esteem after workplace bullying, and bounce back from the depression that staying in the wrong job can create, I felt strongly that people needed both practical and inspirational ways to reclaim their lives.

I also believe that people need fewer check boxes and career assessment inventories and more creative, out-of-the box thinking to help them succeed. My views resonated with many – and I was interviewed on television and on the radio about this very thing. You can check these out on my media page here >>

I have also presented my unique Passion Driven Model of career design at conferences around the world. I’m not saying these things to boast – but to reassure you that, if you purchase Mid-Life Career Rescue from Amazon, or download Happy At Work For Mid-Lifers from my website, you’re in safe hands.

When I attended an international symposium of career practitioners in Venice, Italy, we were warned of the crisis an ageing workforce presented and were told that the greatest skill career coaches needed was – wait for it…

to help people have an imagination!

As an artist and creative soul myself, that was like candy to a child. And since then, I’ve proven over and over again, with the successes I’ve gained for clients that thinking differently and creatively, as well as rationally, while also harnessing the power of intuition, and applying the principles of manifestation, really works. In my books I’ll show you why and how.

A large part of my philosophy, and the reason behind my success in my own life and with clients, is my fervent belief that to achieve anything worthy in life you need to follow your passion. And I’m in good company.

As Oprah Winfrey said, “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” Without passion, you don’t have energy, and without energy you have nothing. You have to let desire, not fear, propel you forward. Yet worryingly, research suggests that less than 10% of people are following their passion. Perhaps that is why there is so much unhappiness at work.

Setting You Up For Success

“Aren’t you setting people up for failure?” a disillusioned career coach once challenged me when I told her my focus was not on helping people find any job, but finding one that gave them joy. I couldn’t help but wonder if she needed a career change.

Twenty-five years cumulative professional experience as a career coach and counsellor, helping people work with passion and still pay the bills, answers that question. I’m setting people up for success. I’m not saying it will happen instantly, but if you follow the advice in Mid-Life Career Rescue or Happy at Work For Mid-Lifers, it will happen. I promise.

Your Life Is Waiting

“I’ve spent 40 years looking out of the window wishing I was somewhere else,” one of my clients told me. That’s not only depressing but also such a huge waste of talent and precious time. Life’s too short to spend days, weeks and years in a job that robs you of energy, zest and enthusiasm.

We spend over 3,000 hours a year at work, and when we’re not at work we’re thinking about it. Work-related issues are major sources of stress and career unhappiness. Left unresolved they can spill over into other areas of your life, infecting your relationships with colleagues, family and loved ones.

Don’t waste another day feeling trapped. Don’t be the person who spends a life of regret, or waits until they retire before they follow their passions. Don’t be the person too afraid to make a change for the better, or who wishes they could lead a significant life. Make the change now. Before it’s too late.

Your story can be like Mandy’s, who in her 50’s, after reading my first book Happy at Work for Mid-lifers  wrote to me and told me how the book had changed her life:

“To be honest, I couldn’t put the book down – it was as though Cassandra had got inside my head and written it specifically for me! It helped me process the what/where questions I was asking myself and discussed all the aspects that had been tumbling around in my head like a washing machine for many months.  It helped me process my thoughts, clarify my thinking, formulate a real plan and prepare myself for my new life.”

And what a new life it was. Mandy packed up her old life as a disillusioned consultant and unhappy wife in New Zealand and moved to outback Australia after successfully applying for a new role. She landed a three-year contract as an Infrastructure and Assets Manager, overseeing the construction of the Art Centre and new houses, as well as the commercialisation of the airport and the development of major roads.

“I wanted a new adventure and I’ve found one!” she wrote to me. “I’m excited and terrified.” Others saw Mandy as an inspiration, paving the way for other mid-lifers to make courageous life and career changes.

My clients, and readers like Mandy, tell me they value the fact that my advice is gained from both my personal and professional experiences and is both practical and inspirational.

Keith was 55 when his position was made redundant after 38 years of loyal service. “The biggest thing I am dealing with is a hit to my self-worth,” he wrote to me.

“I am a proponent of the law of attraction and have proved this law many times but that does not stop me having serious doubts about my ability to pull above the ‘mind chatter.’ Your book is a great resource for boosting my energy and confidence.

“Honestly, your book is a treasure. I have found it very useful in terms of the information provided and tools available for self-awareness and future planning.  This is an awesome book and one I would recommend to anyone looking to change their career, not just mid-lifers.

“I feel energised every time I pick it up and I go back and re-read sections I have already read. I thank you for your foresight in writing this book and the energy and enthusiasm you pass on through the book.” (put feedback link into the web page for this book)

Reach For Your Dreams

Passion, happiness, joy, fulfilment, love – call it what you will but my deepest desire is that this book encourages you to reach for your dreams, to never settle, to believe in the highest aspirations you have for yourself. You have so many gifts, so many talents that the world so desperately needs. We need people like you who care about what they do, who want to live and work with passion and purpose.

 

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