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.





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>> 



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




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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



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



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




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




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

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:



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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Monday, August 21st, 2017

How to do it scared—even if you don’t have the courage of a lioness

Most of the successful people I know made massive leaps toward more fulfilling futures despite their doubts, fears, and anxieties.

I know I did. When I started my business I had no idea whether anybody would even come to me for guidance—let alone pay me.  I was a single mum struggling to pay my mortgage. I didn’t have a safety net. When I look back on my life I’m amazed at how far I’ve come. I built several successful businesses, uprooted my life and moved to the end of New Zealand and I’ve reinvented my career as an author and intuitive coach. But guess what? Everything that I do, I still do scared.

What gave me the courage and confidence to change? An obsessive desire to follow my passion to prosperity.

Does this resonate with you? One of the simplest ways to boost your courage and confidence is to read a book that guides and empowers you to make changes. It worked for me and it will work for you. Talking with a career coach made a massive change too. Suddenly I had somebody on my side, cheerleading me along.

Right now, I’m super excited to be coaching amazingly, incredible men and women who want to live lives of significance. Women, like Lynnie Galloway who is training with me to become a Worklife Solutions Certified career and life coach. It’s so much fun helping her develop her brand and business, The Treasure Chest. And importantly, it’s rewarding to share my passion and skills with her and know she will be helping others follow their passion to prosperity too. Read more about Lynnie’s story here—http://www.cassandragaisford.com/rebirthing-a-new-career-lynnies-reinvention-story/

And then there’s the amazingly energetic and uber-inspiring young woman, Lucy O’Connor who is reinventing her career and recreating her business Monday Hustle. ““Stop overthinking and take the leap. You’re never too young for a career change!” she says. And she’s walking the talk—and she’s doing it scared! Read more here>>http://www.worklifesolutions.nz/lucys-reinvention-story-hustling-her-way-into-a-new-career/

One of my biggest tips to help you have the courage of a lion is to follow your obsessions. Check my latest blog post here>> http://www.worklifesolutions.nz/become-audaciously-obsessed-how-passionate-obsessions-empower-your-productivity-and-prosperity/

Or be inspired by other phenomenally talented men and women—and who better to spotlight as we bask in the energy of the Leo new solar eclipse than Coco Chanel—born under the sun-sign of Leo. Here’s a small excerpt from my book, The Art of Success: How Extraordinary Artists Can Help You Succeed in Business and Life (Book Two: Coco Chanel)


If you were born without wings, do nothing to prevent them from growing

~ Coco Chanel

Several years ago when I was in New York I stumbled on a book that was to change my life—Psychic Living: Tap into Your Psychic Potential, by Andrei Ridgeway.

“In this technological day and age filled with busywork,” Ridgeway writes, “many of us neglect our psychic potential. Our instincts are repressed and our inner voices buried.

“For many people, the word ‘psychic’ is so titanic, they can’t accept it. They don’t realize it’s a normal state of being, that as a lover, and a friend, we use this part of ourselves all the time.”

Some people claim Coco Chanel was intuitive to the point of being psychic. She could see into the future, spot needs for which there would later be demand, and had a brilliant knack for creating the right product at the right time.

Some ways to awaken your psychic potential include:

  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Aromatherapy
  • Mindfulness
  • Prayer
  • Heart-based spiritual practices
  • Free-writing/journaling
  • Reading oracle or tarot cards—something which Coco did regularly


Your Challenge

How could you awaken or strengthen your psychic potential?

Engage all your senses so you can feel, taste, touch, smell and hear your future.

I have always been able to see what others were unable to see; and what they did, I did not see

~ Salvador Dali, artist


To succeed, we need role-models..”The Art of Success” inspired by Coco Chanel gives you that! The Art of Success: How Extraordinary Artists Can Help You Succeed in Business and Life (Book Two: Coco Chanel) is available in print and eBook from Amazon – navigate to here getBook.at/CocoChanel



Or does your mindset need a boost? I know my mine does. I’ve been working like a trojan this year. As I write to you now, I’m excited to share that n just a few hours I’ll be boarding a plane and flying to Bali, Indonesia with my mum. For two glorious weeks, we’ll be doing girl bonding. I can’t wait to tell you all about my travels to this magical, mystical island.

If you can’t get away, rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul with my new book, The Prosperous Author: How to Make a Living With Your Writing, Book One: Developing A Millionaire Mindset

“While my book may be complete and receiving more traction than I could possibly have hoped for, I now find myself worrying about my ability to do the promotion and ‘selling’ of it that I’m led to believe is expected of me. Self-Doubt.  This is more scary to me than having the book read and I will use your inspiration to teach myself the confidence I am going to have to find and deliver on in the coming months. Your book is brilliant work,” wrote author Heather, whose soon-to-be-released book The Tattooist of Auschwitz wrote, after reading my book, The Prosperous Author: How to Make a Living With Your Writing, Book One: Developing A Millionaire Mindset.

Heather also shared the below, including how her daughter-in-law, who is not a writer, benefitted from reading, Developing A Millionaire Mindset:


I started reading this when you first sent it to me, got sidetracked quite early on, too much going on over here both with family and publishers.

I went back to it on Wednesday in the right frame of mind and couldn’t put it down.  Not only could I not stop reading but when I had finished it I went back to page 1 and read a second time.   I just knew I’d only fully absorbed 50% of your wonderful advice and wanted it all.   My son and daughter-in-law, plus 2 little ones were around today and at one point my daughter-in-law was lamenting the pressures on her both at work and as a mother.  She is a very senior economist for the state government working outrageous hours and with immense pressure on her as she manages the State health budget, the biggest in the government.  I gave her my ipad and told her to flick through your manuscript and read what she thought might help her.  She disappeared into another room for an hour and came back thanking me and saying she felt empowered to make changes, not for financial reasons, but to get her life back on track and determining what is really important for her and her family not her employer.

Part of my pressure has been getting my manuscript, again, into a publishing mode.   Dymocks, the largest bookstore franchise in Aust are having their annual conference in Sydney in 2 weeks time and they asked if they could showcase my book.  This put the pressure on to get an ARC ready and to the printers.  This happened only on Friday.   Attached the ARC cover FYI.

While my book may be complete and receiving more traction than I could possibly have hoped for, I now find myself worrying about my ability to do the promotion and ‘selling’ of it that I’m lead to believe is expected of me.   Self-Doubt.  This is more scary to me than having the book read and I will use your inspiration to teach myself the confidence I am going to have to find and deliver on in the coming months.

Brilliant work girl.


These comments and those below in response to my questionnaire have been incredibly fulfilling to receive, but they are also a reminder of how books can literally change lives—one word at a time.


Question 1.a.)

What did you like about the sample/book and why? (if anything!) 



How you brilliantly tied together your opening quote on each chapter with your own thoughts, expanding on the statement in a fun and totally digestible manner.


Question 1.b.)


Would you be willing to write a short comment that I can use to help market The Prosperous Author Just one or two sentences—or more.

Your reader testimonial and comments for marketing:

Cassandra has crafted a book that is not only easy to read, digest, provoke self-evaluation and encouragement, but is entertaining and enjoyable to read on every level, in every chapter.  You just know she has ‘walked a mile in your shoes’ and is willing to share her experiences and invites you to ‘walk a mile in hers.’  She motivates and inspires while challenging the reader in a gentle way to seek the best in themselves and go for it.  Love your passion Cassandra, you have my admiration for what you have achieved and for what you encourage others to achieve.


Question 2.

Do you have sense of what is at the heart of The Prosperous Author How does this feel, as a reader? Could this be improved? What suggestions would you like to offer?

Your response:

Giving each reader the permission to be themselves.  Yes learn from your many amazing anecdotes, look for and find what is hindering or stalling you, the reader, from advancing, always staying true to your individual passions, beliefs, faith.  At all times in the writing process dream big, find ways to obtain and maintain self-belief in your abilities, and push to expand them.  Don’t wait for opportunities to present themselves get off your butt and seek them out


Question 3.

What was your favorite chapter? Could this be improved? What suggestions would you like to offer?

Your response:

Your Health is your Wealth.   Maybe because I’m at the older end of the spectrum I took this chapter on board and realized I need to do more for not only my physical health but mental health.


Question 4.

Did I miss anything? Was there a topic that you would have liked included? What suggestions would you like to offer?

Your response:

You aced it girl.  Nothing missing from my perspective


Question 5.

Are they any places where I went on too long? Was anything boring? Repetitive?

Your response:

  1. Short, sharp, succinct and to the point.


Question 6.

Were any sections too short?

Your response:

Maybe the one on Allow no Doubt.  Attitude, attitude, attitude plays a huge part in how I approach everything in life, my writing in particular.


The Prosperous Author: How to Make a Living With Your Writing, Book One: Developing A Millionaire Mindset is available in print and ebook for Amazon here—


Read more of Heather Morris’s inspiring journey to global publication and how she summoned her inner-lioness here>> http://www.cassandragaisford.com/how-to-finish-a-book-film-script-or-any-other-stalled-project-knock-the-bugger-off/

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Monday, May 23rd, 2016

Podcasts to listen to

The Cassandra Gaisford Show*** The Cassandra Gaisford Show ***
I’m so excited to be re-introducing the podcasts I started 8 or so years ago. Technology has moved on – and I’m moving on with it. Thank you to Olivia Gamber, a career expert in the US for giving me some great tips – and interviewing me for her own show. I’ll let you know when this goes live.
The Cassandra Gaisford Show is where I interview inspiring men and women from around the world and tell you THEIR story of finding, launching, and growing their own passion-driven life and career. I call these people – Passionpreneurs Now let the journey begin…
I’m super excited to be interviewing Vesna Hrsto tomorrow. Vesna is a Melbourne-based naturopath and life coach who specialises in helping women have it all without burning out! Many of you will remember Vesna from that amazing sumitt she interviewed me for, “The Woman Reinvention Project: Fire Up Your Energy, Work With Passion & Enjoy More Freedom Now, By Doing Less.”
Screen Shot 2016-04-09 at 10.24.34 am
You can re-listen to this interview here
But before the show goes live here’s your chance: If you could ask Vesna anything what would it be?
Post your replies below in the comments section and I’ll do my best to weave them in to my interview or have them answered later.
To out find more about Vesna navigate to her site here www.vesnahrsto.com. To listen to some of my earlier (pre-historic but still inspiring) podcasts navigate to here: www.worklifesolutions.co.nz/media/podcasts
Some of my favourite podcasts currently include The Creative Penn Podcast, by Joanna Penn; The Self Publishing Formula, co-hosted by Mark Dawson and The Tim Ferris Show, hosted by the author of the 4-Hour Work week (and other amazing feats).

I love listening to passionate people share amazingly interesting things with others all around the world. And listening to a podcast is a great way to maximum limited time. I often listen to them while driving, doing shopping and many otherwise mind-numbing tasks.

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Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

At a crossroads? It’s time for a fresh approach

This most beautiful card is from a set of oracle cards, called Nature’s Whispers, illustrated by Josephine Wall. An oracle is a potent guide that can you make better choices. Throughout history people have turned to an oracle to help them choose the best course of action. In historical times an oracle was believed only to be accessed via a high ranking priest or priestess. In some cultures certain landmarks were designated as oracles.

A deep belief in the powers of an oracle has spurred many famous people in history to achieve seemingly impossible goals. Kings, queens, geniuses and business people, including Coco Chanel  have founded careers based on oracles like tarot cards. The divinations that were ascribed to oracles were not viewed as ‘fluff,” ramblings or coincidence. They were regarded very seriously. These revelations were not from mere mortals, but believed to come directly from the gods.

In modern times where nothing seems certain, millions of people are turning to oracles once again to help them chart their personal course through life.

Is it time to step out of the box?

It’s time for a fresh approach, to step out of the box and old ways of doing things, the oracle card whispers. Does this speak to you?

Perhaps you’re like me, you’ve achieved success in one path but your soul aches for something new. Perhaps you’re like Cate whose job was so suffocating she quit. She’s definitely up for a new experience!

The card above, challenges us not to default back to the comfort rut, but to look for ways to create more magic in our world.

How to create more magic in your world

How can you create more magic in your world? Do you even believe in magic? Are you a person who refers to the spiritual realm of creativity and imagination as ‘fluff’? Or do you embrace the unseen world of feelings and all things spiritual?

“Do you want me to fluff it up?” A hard-headed, rational man once asked me when I asked him if he had considered my feelings when he made an autocratic decision without talking with me first.

“Oh, you fluffy types,” a boss in my workplace scoffed, when she was unwilling to consider other peoples feelings.

What about you? Do you honour your feelings? Do you listen to your heart? I hope so, this is where magic happens!

To create more magic in your life:

  1. Create with the intention of filling your life with joy, passion, love and happiness etc. Feelings!
  2. Work toward your desires by experimenting and maintaining the wide-eyed, open-hearted curiosity of a child. Try new things. Do new things. Feel new things.
  3. Give up being right. Give yourself permission to make mistakes. Magic is lost in the mire of excessive perfectionism. Mistakes bring lessons opportunities, and eureka moments!
  4. Choose love not fear as your decision making criteria. When faced with a choice ask, “Which choice is lighter?” This is one of the ways your intuition speaks to you. “If you could see what’s shimmering in your soul waiting to be set free what would it look like?” Questions like these open up a sense of possibility. Find a quiet space and let your spirit speak to you.
  5. Find your muse and feed her. Venus the goddess of beauty and Isis, goddess of magic are my muses. I feed them by looking for beauty and opportunities to create more magic in my life every day. Dabbling with oracles, aromatherapy, reading metaphysical and spiritual books are just some of the many ways I open my mind and heart to magic. Which god or goddess are you? You may like to take the goddess quiz and find out.

  6. Who is living a magical life? It may be someone past, present or future who inspires you to follow their path to success. In my writing life I aspire to write as Isabel Allende does, with magical realism.
  7. Value your imagination. This month’s Pisces new moon offers a great gift by strengthening your creative imagination. As Astrologer Kathy Pagano notes, “We spend so much time in our Waking Mind, our rational-deal-with-the-outer-world-mind that we don’t leave any time (except for when we sleep) for our Dreaming Mind.”

    Your dreaming mind works in the magical realms of imagination. Give yourself the gift of time and sit in waking silence. Step into the multi-dimensional worlds where symbols, images and metaphors are the language of magic and where life glitters with meaning and purpose. What does the image above say to you. Really look deeply at Josephine’s beautiful creation – there’s a lot of wisdom waiting for you. Do the butterflies urge you to break free of your cocoon? Does the rainbow encourage you set forth in search of your pot of gold? Does the ocean beckon you to leave the safety of the shore and to swim toward your dreams? Or something else

    It’s the perfect new moon to give rise to your dreams and visions. Pisces, a water sign, forms a doorway to other realms, say Kathy, a way of being which lets you shape-shift into your true, authentic self.

“Each day is like a painting, ” writes Andrei Ridgeway is his book Psychic Living. “When we get out of bed in the morning, we are faced with a blank canvas. We can make anything we want, a Rembrandt, a Picasso, a cartoon. Many of us aren’t aware of this. We reach for the same brush, dip it in the same colour, and add another layer to the picture we have been painting for the last ten years.

“A psychic wakes up differently.  she knows that today she is a different person, that she has grown during sleep, that her cells carry new information. Instead of dipping into the green she used yesterday, she plunges her brush into the pastel blue or the cherry red. She lives as instincts guide her rather than old fears. She might end up in the same office, sitting at the same desk, but she walks and fresh, knowing that within the parameters of her responsibilities, she can be whatever she wants.”

Do you know what you want? What you really, really want?

Everyone has psychic potential. As children this was the realm in which we walked. But all to soon we were scolded to “grow up.”

But the key to living a magical life is to recapture the spirit of childhood, maintain a playful curiosity (as Leonardo da Vinci did), tune into your instincts and listen to your heart. Follow your interests and enthusiasms and  be open to new pathways to learning.  Above all, trust your path with heart. She will never fail you.

Manifesting dreams

Many people dream of working in the sanctuary of their home, or while travelling the world. I’ve shared a few of these realities in my four #1 Amazon bestselling books – Midlife Career Rescue and How to Find Your Passion and Purpose all accessible from my author’s page here http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B016LGWES2

So much magic has happened in my life since writing these books and being inspired by the lyrics song an Eagle’s song  and using this as my guiding mantra, “I dream I’m on vacation, it’s the perfect career for me.”

Tomorrow I’m being interviewed by The Travelpreneur Club  in The States – their mission, as mine is, is to inspire others to start, launch, and grow their own location independent business. Freedom! Fun! Passion, purpose and profit – are all possible while working in inspiring locations around the world.

Last month I was interviewed by Vesna Hrsto a Melbourne-based Naturopath, Mind-body Medicine specialist and Life Coach, for her Woman Reinvention Project. You’ll be able to listen to a range of inspiring experts – including me – providing strategies to help you life your best life, when it goes live on March 28th. For more details visit  www.thewomanreinventionproject.com

My story was also included in Jeanette Martin’s very fabulous book, Write Your Book at 50.

All these things happened as if by magic. I didn’t have to leave my idyllic lifestyle property overlooking the Bay of Islands! You’ve heard the saying, when you follow your bliss, doors open for you….

Enter the passion zone and let the doors to magic open for you!

If you’d love some help manifesting more magic in your life, consider scheduling a one hour coaching session with me. Simply email  me cassandra@worklifesolutions.co.nz. I’d love to work with you.

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Sunday, January 17th, 2016

To fulfil your potential you have to step out of the comfort zone

shoot for the stars by Kimberly Gordon ReelandWhilst it’s commonly stated that we should do what comes naturally, this may not be the best advice!

To fulfil your potential you have to step out of the comfort zone of doing what you do well and embrace the uncertain world of trying something new.

In doing this you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing whether you swim on a new current of fulfilment and success – something others refer to as ‘flow”.

Just as Jilly did, the wonderful lady in her 70’s who has become a photographer, and whose story I shared in Mid-Life Career Rescue: (What Make You Happy).

Listening to Jilly’s stories of reinvention, it’s clear to me that variety, learning and new challenges are some of her most important values. “‘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!” She said. 

Read her inspiring story in Mid-Life Career Rescue: (What Make You Happy), or 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.



But what if you  don’t swim? What if you sink? At least you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you tried, and the great fortune of implementing your lessons learned in your next attempt!


Refresh Your Life With Change

Sticking with what you do well can be the worst thing to do if you want to live a meaningful life. To develop new skills, new ways of being to become someone other than who you believe yourself to be takes a willingness to change.

As astrologer Sarah Varcas shares, “It takes courage and fortitude, a willingness to be a new-born again, discovering life from scratch, adopting a new perspective and fresh guidelines. Of course we can take our strengths and abilities with us on the journey. They’ll come in more than handy! But to see them as the be-all and end-all, the extent of our ‘tool kit’, is to live a half-baked life in the shadow of who we could actually be if we allowed ourselves to grow.”

Here’s a few questions to ponder, the answers may prove liberating:

  • What would you be willing to try if you were 10 times bolder?
  • What would you try if you knew success was guaranteed?
  • How could trying out new ways of being or working enrich your life?


Finding My Passion and Purpose

I put into motion my own advice late last year and published my first two books in the Mid-Life Career Rescue series on Amazon. What fun! I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner.

Since embarking on change I’ve published a book a month and recently penned my third book: How To Find Your Passion And Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want and Live The Life You Love, is more of guide, than a book – a nice short, easy to implement tool kit to help you live and work with passion and purpose.

The Amazon details and link are here: http://amzn.to/1W0IreR

A new thing I did for the first time was creating my own cover – using my own art work too. The feedback I’ve received about both the book and the cover has enriched my life in ways I couldn’t have perceived. I gain from the satisfaction and fulfilment of being fully autonomous in all aspects of publishing and gaining from the immediacy and intimacy of the feedback from readers.

“Simply delightful, witty quick read, packed with excellent information. I’m actually believing now, I could change my career after 18 years!” Wrote one Amazon reviewer.

“I feel I want to read this book now! The red energy swirl suggests an invitation to enter a journey of discovering ones passion,” shared another person when she first saw the cover.

Of course, sometimes when you try new things, even successful new things you can attract criticism. I did when I wrote my second book. A reviewer said,  “I loved the inspiration, content, and message. There book rambles a lot though.”

Ok, I thought. I won’t ramble in my next book – I’ll be more concise!

How To Find Your Passion And Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want and Live The Life You Love is available through Amazon at the special introductory price of $.99 for a limited time. http://amzn.to/1W0IreR


P.S. Sometimes losing is actually winning. As Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D wrote in the Biology Of Belief, “I sincerely want to thank the New York publishers who turned down the book proposal. Without you, I was able to create my own book – just as I wanted to do.”


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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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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


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Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Commitment to action – just do it!

the choice is yours


“You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.” ~ C.J. Jung

As motivational author James Clear writes in his eBook on creativity people don’t just get lucky, they earn the chance to be lucky because they keep showing up. “Show up, show up, and soon the muse shows up too” writes best-selling author Isabel Allende. And it’s not just creative people who share this sage wisdom –  mega successful business giant Nike shouts their mantra from the billboards, ‘Just do it!”

“Dreams do not come true just because you dream
them. It’s hard work that makes things happen. It’s
hard work that creates change…
Ditch the dream and be a doer, not a dreamer.

Maybe you know exactly what it is you dream of
being, or maybe you’re paralyzed because you have
no idea what your passion is. The truth is, it doesn’t
matter. You don’t have to know. You just have to
keep moving forward. You just have to keep doing
something, seizing the next opportunity, staying
open to trying something new. It doesn’t have to fit
your vision of the perfect job or the perfect life.
Perfect is boring and dreams are not real. Just …
~ Shonda Rimes

misty morning at Summer Hill


The photo above is a shot I took on the first morning we woke up in our new home – 10 acres of country paradise just outside of Kerikeri. For years I’ve been dreaming of living in the country, for many more I’ve been taking baby steps to make my dream a reality. Am I lucky – heck, yes 🙂 Did I work hard for it – you bet. Did we have to overcome numerous obstacles to make Summer Hill ours? Sure! And there’s still more to come. The house has been neglected, the land left to go wild – it’s not perfect, but it’s pretty close. Every day we’re moving forward to make more of our dreams real. What about you?

What do you dream of? How can you keep moving forward? In this post I’ll share just a few of my favourite ways, (and timely reminders!) to keep moving toward your dreams.

The commitments

Review your vows. How committed are you to realising your dreams? I like to think of commitment as a promise – your promise to do what it takes to make your dream a reality. It sounds easy, but this is where actions speak louder than words.

Committed people are not half-hearted, hesitant or apprehensive. They are dedicated and decisive. They passionately and enthusiastically pursue their dreams with tenacity, resilience, and a zest for life and for living.

Committed people focus on the future and begin with the end in mind. Their words, thoughts and actions are congruent with who they are, who they want to be and what they want to achieve with their lives. They take focused action every day to help them get one step closer to their dreams.

Staying committed

“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.” ~ Mario Andrett

You may have set off with the best of intentions, a sense of clarity about what you want to do with the rest of your life and a passion to achieve it, only to find several weeks or months down the road you’ve stopped dead in your tracks.

Motivation, focus and empowerment come from seeing life from the future rather than from the past. Identifying with the self you are heading towards, rather than your history, holds the key to getting back on track.

Despite knowing in their heart what they want to achieve and armed with all the best intentions many people stall when it comes to following through on their goals. As a career and life coach I play an active role in helping people stay on track when circumstances derail them.

A powerful way is to keep your dreams visible. When we were ‘manifesting’ our new home and lifestyle we created a ‘manifestation fridge’ by pasting images and affirmations that kept our desired vision in sight. How could you make your dreams and goals more visiible?

Find the cure

“Every problem contains within itself the seeds of its own solution.” ~ Stanley Arnold

What’s the Problem? Perhaps you’ve worked out what you wanted to do with the rest of your life, tackled some of your obstacles and set off with a plan to achieve your goals. But something caused you to lose your way?

Don’t worry, getting off track is not the end of the line; Sometimes it can be the pause you need to refuel and get steaming again. Spend some time really clarifying the problem. Did you lose focus? Did fear or doubt erode your confidence or was it something else?

Highlight which of the common derailers apply to you then tap into your intuition and problem solving skills to generate possible solutions:

• Losing sight of goals
• Inspiration depleted
• Chasing shiny new goals
• External interruptions – ‘urgent but not important’
• External interruptions – ‘urgent and important’
• Lack of discipline
• Feeling overwhelmed
• Procrastination
• Fear
• Self-doubt/Lack of confidence
• Giving up
• Lack of motivation
• Difficulty establishing concrete steps needed to make your ideas happen
• Insufficient pressure
• Listening too much to your critics
• A perfectionist streak – not wanting to make a mistake
• Other


Re-igniting commitment

All solutions begin with problems. Here are some key factors in reigniting the flames of motivation and commitment:

  1. Remind yourself of your goals – and more importantly, the positive difference that achieving them will create. Out of sight, out of mind – keep your goals visible at all times. Act as if you have already achieved your future intent and challenge reality to catch up!
  2. Categorise. Making a list of things you need to do to achieve your goals is a great first step to getting back on track. Help make a long list more manageable by breaking it down into categories. For example, if your dream is to have your own business, the categories may include: market research, product/service design, branding, marketing and systems, etc.
  3. Write it down, make it happen. Many people keep their lists in their heads. Getting things on paper and out of your head is half the battle. By writing your goals and sub-tasks down you have taken a major step to achieving them.
  4. Set micro goals. Chip away at sub-tasks bit by bit (things are less overwhelming that way). Include a time for completion.
  5. Prioritise. Get clear about what matters most. Ask yourself the following question before acting, “What difference will doing this now make to the achievement of my preferred future?”
  6. Practice active avoidance. Stay away from things that distract you from your major intent.
  7. Reward yourself. Bribe and reward yourself each time you complete each task that helps you achieve your main goal.
  8. Share your ‘completion challenge’ with others. This can help you feel more accountable and spur you into action. Plus, you may find that people rally to support you. We all love to cheer on someone we care about. While trying to finish this book I posted daily updates on my blog and with a group of supporters online. Feeling accountable to people who paid for the book before it was finished also helped.
  9. Go on an excuse-free diet. Examine any and all excuses that stand between you and your preferred future. Now get creative – change your focus and look for all the ways you can get around the things that stand in your way. Remind yourself of all the people with similar or bigger obstacles in their way who went on to succeed.
  10. Maintain the balance. Being overloaded can really tip the balance out of favour. Whip stress into shape by making room for the things that give you joy.
  11. Listen to your intuition and look for synchronistic support for your dreams. This will help you determine where best to put your time and energy.
  12. Turn adversity into triumph. Hard knocks and big setbacks can really put some wind in your sails. While some people give up at the first sign of a setback, to others trouble is an incentive that motivates them to try harder. William A Ward says it well: “Adversity causes some men to break and others to break records.” Turn adversity into triumph and have the satisfaction of telling people, “I told you I could do it!”
  13. Surround yourself with supportive people. Get a life coach or professional mentor if necessary. Join a group of like-minded people with similar goals and aspirations for motivation, information and support.
  14. Get inspired. One of the most powerful sources of motivation is spiritual motivation. What do you feel you have been called to do? Remind yourself of the aspects of your goal that give you meaning and purpose. What fills you with a sense of inspiration, energy, passion and fulfilment? These are all signs of spiritually aligned motives.

There have been many times when I really doubted what I should be doing with the rest of my life. I remember attending a writers conference in 2007 where New York Times best-selling author Jennifer Cruise summed it up so powerfully: “Seventy-eight per cent of the population wants to write but you are called to write.” Not long after I saw two quotes, “Good books make good citizens,” and one from Mother Theresa, “We are all pens in the hands of a writing god sending love letters to the world.” All these sources reminded me of my goals and the soul purpose that underpins them.

Sweet are the uses of adversity.~ William Shakespeare

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Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Burn your ships – how to achieve your goals

may your choices reflect your hopes not your fears

The motivational power of setting constraints

“Setting limits for yourself — whether that involves the time you have to workout, the money you have to start a business, or the number of words you can use in a book — often delivers better results than ‘keeping your options open’.” ~ James Clear
Ok, so you’ve made your new years resolutions and you have your goals all listed out, you’re motivated to achieve them, but you’re still dragging your heels? The reassuring fact is that some people work better under pressure. Psychologists call this trait, ‘pressure prompted.’ This is where setting some constraints sets in.

You may have read in one of my life coaching modules (Step 11, Let Desire Not Fear Propel You Forward), Steve Pavlina’s advice to burn your ships. Here’s a recap:

“Burn the ships. If your goals are really important enough to you, then you can start by burning the proverbial ships, so that you have no choice but to press on.

For instance, if you want to launch your own business, you can begin by making the commitment to quitting your job. Write a letter of resignation, put it in a stamped envelope addressed to your boss, and give it to a trusted friend with firm instructions to mail the letter if you haven’t quit your job by a certain date.

One Las Vegas casino manager made the decision to quit smoking. He didn’t feel he had the personal willpower to do it alone, so he took out a billboard on the Las Vegas Strip with his photo on it along with the words, “If you catch me smoking, I’ll pay you $100,000!” Was he able to quit smoking? You bet! (Ok, bad pun.) This is called willpower leveraging. You use a small bit of willpower to establish a consequence that will virtually compel you to keep your commitment.”

Going unconditional

My partner and I did this recently when we found our dream home. Despite the fact that at the time we didn’t know how we were going to manifest the purchase price, and we had two properties to sell first, we went unconditional.

Our friends thought we were mad. Reckless even. But we’d done the math, we knew we could make it happen, and with a settlement date five months out we knew we had time on our side. We were also willing to face the consequences if it all went pear-shaped. In saying that, we put extra effort into making sure that didn’t happen. But we made peace with the possibility we could lose everything and decided far better to strive for a dream then regret a calculated risk never taken.

The truth is, if we didn’t go unconditional I doubt we would have got Summer Hill for the price we did, and I know for sure we would have got the speed wobbles and backed out. We both made the decision to ‘burn our ships’ and leverage off our willpower to make it happen.

Motivational author James Clear agrees and says that constraints can also provide benefits in health, business, and life in general. He says there’s two reasons why this occurs: (used with permission)

1. Constraints inspire your creativity.

If you’re five foot five inches tall and you’re playing basketball, you figure out more creative ways to score than the six foot five inch guy.

If you have a one-year-old child that takes up almost every minute of your day, you figure out more creative ways to get some exercise.

If you’re a photographer and you show up to a shoot with just one lens, then you figure out more creative ways to capture the beauty of your subject than you would with all of your gear available.

Limitations drive you to figure out solutions. Your constraints inspire your creativity.

2. Constraints force you to get something done.

Time constraints have forced me to produce some of my best work. This is especially true with my writing. Every Monday and Thursday, I write a new article — even if it’s inconvenient.

This constraint has led me to produce some of my most popular work in unlikely places. When I was sitting in the passenger seat on a road trip through West Virginia, I wrote an article. When I was visiting family for the 4th of July, I wrote an article. When I spent all day flying in and out of airports, I wrote an article.

Without my schedule (the constraint), I would have pushed those articles to a different day. Or never got around to them at all. Constraints force you to get something done and don’t allow you to procrastinate. This is why I believe that professionals set a schedule for their production while amateurs wait until they feel motivated.

What constraints are you setting for yourself? What type of schedule do you have for your goals?



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