Monday, August 17th, 2015

Your turning point: Career Rescue for Mid-lifers: Break free of the job trap

the choice is yoursSeveral years ago my good friend and artist Max Gimblett wrote a foreword for my book, Happy At Work for Mid-lifers. As I prepare to re-release an updated version of this book, to be available on Kindle late September, I thought his sage advice was a timely reminder. So many people think age is against them as they move through their 40’s and 50’s and beyond.

And it’s true – to a certain extent. As one of my mid-life clients told me. Yes, there is ageism. Yes, employers do seem to favour employees in their 20’s and 30’s.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. What’s needed, I told her, is a mindset shift. You have to be the change you want to see. You have to go forth and show the world what experience, passion and purpose can achieve. And you have to do this consciously.

As Max Gimblett wrote: “Mid-life is a crucial point in the life cycle. Childhood, the warrior and power decades are past. Mid-life is an invitation to resolve the complexes not yet made conscious and move forward into the so happy years of creativity and health, of full abundance…Persevere with your mid-life, bring into consciousness your childhood dreams, as they will become your living realities”

I love the sentiments Max shares and the hope and encouragement there for you as you persevere with aspirations to live your best life, marching bravely toward and beyond your mid years.

If it’s time to reawaken and recommit to your childhood dreams I hope this blog helps.

“Guides are necessary throughout mid-life, this book is a guide. Teachers to face and touch are guides. Mid-life will not be rushed. Everybody experiences mid-life. It is a sacred journey, a sacred path, the Way. I know Cassandra as a fellow spirit and friend. She was with me on the island of Maui participating in my sumi ink workshops. I have experienced with her some of her mid-life passages. I trust her, respect her, and understand that her book is invaluable.” ~ Max Gimblett


Your childhood dreams

When I was a child I always dreamed of being a writer. No, more than that – I actually was a writer. From as young as 9 I was submitting short stories and poems to the children’s section of the Sunday Star Times and being published. Like you, as I became older, I was ‘encouraged’ to do something more practical. I began training as an accountant and for a time even worked in a bank. Now, nearing 50, I’ve made a conscious decision to re-embrace my childhood dreams.

The take home point – it’s never too late to be yourself.

New Zealand fiction author Barbara Anderson, Lady Anderson,  became internationally recognized in her 60’s despite only starting her writing career in her late fifties. She once said, “I often wondered why did I leave it so late?”

“I’d love to follow my passion if my mortgage would let me,” one of my clients said.

Ever wondered what childhood dream jobs pay? Forbes magazine recently wondered the same thing – click here to find out the surprising results.

You may be heartened to see your pick on the list.

What makes you sparkle?

What makes you spark? What inspires you? What gives you so much satisfaction that you would do it for free? What are you passionate about and how can you translate this into a rewarding career?

These are questions many people changing careers never ask. The answers lie at the heart of the cure.

Many mid-lifers have had years of conditioning during which they were told that work was something to be endured not enjoyed. During The Great Depression of the 1930s people considered themselves lucky to have a job. School reinforced this scarcity mentality by channelling people into a limited range of gender specific roles.

But times have changed. Social, demographic, technological and economic changes have lead to greater opportunities for people. Many mid-lifers are working from the comfort of their own homes courtesy of the Internet, for example. Others have ‘brought themselves a job’ by starting their own businesses.

Gone are the days of a ‘job for life’ and the times when men and women were steered into a narrow range of career paths. People’s expectations about the role work should play in their life has changed too. Now more than ever increasing numbers of people are seeking satisfaction and fulfilment from their work. Even the word ‘career’ is going through a process of reinvention.

What does the word career mean to you?

‘Vocation, calling, heart’s desire, who I am, life purpose’ are words many happy people use to describe their careers.

Doing what you love and doing it well is also a cure during economic downturns. There will always be a demand for people who are good at what they do and who do it well.  The key to recession proofing your career and surviving and thriving in the face of uncertainty is knowing how to do what you love and still pay the bills. If you’re unsure how to do this – ask your way to success and look to others who are living and working with passion in their mid-life years.


The power of passion – something just for you

If you haven’t checked out our Facebook page yet, come on over. I’ve got a special video reading just for you!

If anything resonated with you in this blog I’d love to hear.

Until then,

Wishing you every happiness and success


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

3 super fast ways to stress less and get your energy back

Close-up of a heart balloon with a bandage on it

Close-up of a heart balloon with a bandage on it

If you’re like me you’re normally a powerhouse of productivity, but there are times when we all get fatigued. It may be because you’ve been putting in too many hours without a break, or it may just be the weather, the full moon – or anything else from an endless list of things that can zap your energy. Whatever the cause  may be it’s so important to listen to your body barometer. Feeling sluggish, lethargic, demotivated, depressed, overwhelmed forgetful, irritable or just plain stressed out are just a few of the many warning signs it’s time to make a change.

Why are we so stressed?

Like me, you probably have way too many things going on in your life and they’re not necessarily all bad. But even good things like having loads of passions, or loving your job so much you don’t want to stop, or being enthralled with all the fascinating threads on social media, can take a toll when done to excess.
So many of us are working too many hours, doing too many tasks, have too many activities, or are juggling several high stress jobs while raising a family. Don’t get me started on the crazy love-hate affair people have with their not-so-smart phones. Put simply, many of us are suffering from information overload – or what I call information obesity.
If you’re feeling stressed, if your energy is depleted, if you’re mojo needs some more juice to carry you across the finish line, then here’s something that will help.
Three of my favourite super fast ways to get your energy back. Many of the strategies require little time investment but have multiple benefits. If boosting mental performance and creativity, improving the quality of your love life and relationships and boosting your career and work success sounds good to you. Read on 🙂

hugh jackman meditation1. take a mind spa – meditate

“Meditation is not just blissing out under a mango tree,” says French Buddhist monk and molecular geneticist Matthieu Ricard. ”It completely changes your brain and therefore changes what you are.”

Science has proven that when people meditate they alter their brains in a good way – lowering stress levels and increasing energy and positivity amongst many other important things. If finding time to do two lots of 20 minute meditations sounds too hard, start small. Even giving your brain a break for 5 minutes can do wonders for your energy and sense of well-being.

Meditation is not just about distracting yourself from stress and pain; it literally changes you at the genetic level, writes Arianna Huffington in her best-selling book, Thrive.

“Meditation is the Swiss army knife of medical tools, for conditions both small and large.” ~ Arianna Huffington

“Meditation is the Swiss army knife of medical tools, for conditions both small and large.” ~ Arianna Huffington

Ridding yourself of self-limiting thoughts, controlling your reactions, discovering an inner contact with a creative source, and having more creative insights are just a few of the benefits that can flow from meditation. The whole experience is primarily an experience of wholeness, rightness, and power.

2. massage for mind, body and soul

One of my favourite ways to top up my energy is to lie back and let someone else do all the work. Massage – isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessary health behaviour for the busy person. You can’t beat a good therapeutic massage –  it’s up there with meditation when it comes to delivering multiple benefits. As I send out this newsletter I’m heading off for a hot stone massage, here are just a few on the health benefits:

+ Drains and cleanses the lymphatic system – riding the body of built up toxins and boosting the immune system that helps us fight illness and disease

+ Relieves built up tension and promotes flexibility in the body

+ Cleanses the liver-relaxing the ducts in the liver, promoting easier flow

+ Increases serotonin levels – the chemical responsible for healthy sleep. A one hour massage has been proven by scientific research to deliver benefits equivalent to sleeping for six-eight hours. Great for the sleep deprived!

Best of all for one blissful hour I get to do NOTHING. Be sure to tell your massage therapeutist not to babble away during your massage – make it your sacred time.

If you don’t like being touched, try a Reiki massage – it’s hands off, clothes on and all about restoring your energy.


3. smell your way to health with aromatherapy

I’m a big fan of the power of nature and for a quick boost you can’t beat essential oils. They don’t call the healing power of smell aromatherapy for nothing. Once again the benefits are endless.

Having said that, some people are strangely suspicious. One lady, a health care worker at Wellington Hospital accused me of peddling snake oil when I suggested a few drops of lavender oil would help alleviate some of her tension.
You have to find the solution that’s right for you, but it’s important to be open-minded. The proper use of essential oils can enhance your emotional outlook and provide support and help balance your emotions during the day. Without providing an intimidating lesson in olfaction (the science of the sense of smell), the inhalations of these naturally occurring synergistic chemicals provide triggers to our brain.  These triggers effect our emotions.  Inhalation of these wondrous molecules also provides physical benefits that can work together to aid in our emotional state.

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

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

Here’s few blends professional aromatherapists recommend for alleviating some of the symptoms of stress:

Three drops Clary Sage, one drop Lemon, one drop Lavender
Three drops Grapefruit, one drop Jasmine, one drop Ylang Ylang

Put on a tissue, or in a diffuser or blender, inhale and enjoy.


Stress workbook cover copyI love writing these blogs to share with you strategies that work for me and for the clients I coach. I hope they help you improve your happiness, well-being and success. If you would like more help on this topic you can order my Stress Busting and Building Resilience eBook for only $12.99 via my website:
Stress Busting and Building Resilience – eBook

Cassandra Gaisford’s Stress Busting and Building Resilience eBook will give you tools to proactively identify and eradicate stress from your life. What you’ll learn from this eBook will reactivate and regenerate within you the innate health and well-being we are all born with and deserve.
You will become energised, inspired, happier, empowered and more successful. It all beings with taking care of you – and your precious mind, body and soul.

Just read this eBook and start feeling better – today!

My book : Stress Busting and Building Resilience is only available through my website.

Cassandra Gaisford is a health psychologist, author and coach with a passion for helping people live their best life – full of joy, well-being and success. She was the resident life coach on Television New Zealand’s Good Morning Show and a columnist with two of New Zealand’s  largest national newspapers. She is the author of Happy at Work – now out of print and due for re-release in October 2015.

Tags: , , , , , ,