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2023 Quotes to Live & Love By

look pain in the eye and turn it into something better

Sometimes, one word, one sentence, one inspirational thought can change your life. Welcome to my work in progress—2023 Quotes to Live By. In this post I’ll be sharing the phrases that have helped uplift, soothe, encourage and inspire me. I’ll be adding more as they come to mind. Scroll to the bottom for the most recent entries.

As I share in Bounce: Overcoming Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy  (and the chapter entitled Journal Your Way to Joy:

In 2018, while tackling a mammoth writing project, I talked myself into a bit of a funk. I knew that what I really needed were some positive reminders of my intentions and a way to encourage perseverance.

I recalled a strategy Anne Gracie, a successful romance author, once shared in a newsletter, “I love my writing journal. It’s my partner in writing, there for me whenever I need it, my confidant and my supporter and my record of where I’ve been.” 

Prior to this, I had noticed anxiety building—as it always does when I don’t have a special book in which to purge and reshape my thoughts.

Instead of saying “I quit” and “I am so over this,” and retelling the story that allowed for failure, I went online and purchased a beautiful unlined leather-bound sketchbook.

With my gold pen, I wrote empowering and encouraging quotes from other authors who have also struggled to maintain a prosperous mindset while writing an epic book.

Top of my list was Jessie Burton’s empowering words, “Always picture succeeding, never let it fade. Always picture success, no matter how badly things seem to be going in the moment.”

These words reminded me that I was picturing failure. I was telling myself messages of failure. I was feeling like a failure.

Jesse Burton, the author of The Muse and The Miniaturist, is very inspiring to me because she is so honest about her own battles with mental health—including anxiety.

“In February, I was publicly honest about how difficult it had been to handle, process and assimilate in real time some of the changes in my life. Namely, the strange and wondrous effects of The Miniaturist. I wrote about anxiety, my first tentative foray into putting that mental morass into words,” she wrote in one of her newsletters.

As Burton highlights, blogging and sharing your thoughts with your fans is another form of cathartic journaling.

I hope you find something helpful to you

“Nothing brings me more happiness than trying to help the most vulnerable people in society. It is a goal and an essential part of my life—a kind of destiny.”

~ The people’s queen, Diana

The people’s queen—Diana, queen of hearts…I often wonder how different the world would be if Diana hadn’t had a ‘fated’ car crash. Did she predict her death?

Bombshell revelations state that Diana called her legal adviser Victor Mischon in 1995 for a very secretive meeting in which she said that something tragic would take place — “it could be a car crash or anything, and it’s all being planned.”

The shocking revelations are said to have come from a very “reliable source,” whom Diana had not disclosed during the meeting, who had informed her that by April 1996, efforts would be made to “get rid of her”.

For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.

Luke 8:17

oh yes, I was thinking “gosh NZ how far you’ve fallen” but now I’m reminded… It’s up to all of us to reverse the harm caused by lies, corruption and greed so we can ALL experience heaven on earth… regardless of race, sex, belief

So many painful things have come to light following my mother’s sudden death last year. I flew home to the Bay of Islands the day after the funeral and immediately channelled my sorrow into making art. In fact, the day I learned of her death, before I flew to her funeral, I also created a special piece—beeswax infused with frankincense. I share more on this blog>> The quote below reminds me to keep showing up for love.


“Let life be beautiful like summer flowers,” Vincent van Gogh

The painting accompanying the quote above is Let It Go.

420 mm x 297 mm

acrylic on paper

I created this piece with fun visitors who came for a spontaneous playdate, Ella (6 yrs) and her grandmother. Ella introduced me to new music The Fun Squad… I loved the song “Never Grow Up” and “Let it Go.” I introduced Ella to dancing and singing while you paint and reintroduced her to finger painting.

Ella has a special relationship with her grandmother, which I did with mine, who taught me how to paint and it was a nice trip down memory lane, as I watched the two of them co-create together. This special piece oozes love, fun and play—just the high vibes to pop on your walls. View in my gallery here>>

St John The Baptist by Leonardo da Vinci and words from a copy of the The Holy Bible, which my father had owned.

“He that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”

St John he that doeth truth cometh to the light

“Here’s the thing about people with good hearts:

They give you excuses when you don’t explain yourself.

They accept the apologies you don’t give.

They see the best in you.

They always lift you up, even if that means putting their own priorities aside.

They will never be too “busy” for you.

They make time, even when you don’t.

And you wonder why they’re the most sensitive people, the most caring people, why they are willing to give so much of themselves with no expectation in return.

You wonder why their existence is not so essential to your well-being. It’s because they don’t make you work hard for the attention they give you. They accept the love they think they deserve

– and you accepted the love you think you’re entitled to.

Don’t take them for granted.

Fear the day when a good heart gives up on you.

Our skies don’t become grey out of nowhere, our sunshine does not allow the darkness to take over for no reason.

A heart does not turn cold unless it’s been treated with coldness for a while”

Najwa Zebian

Don't think about art just get it done warhol
You are exhausted from living in survival mode
Leonardo quote Every obstacle yields to a resolve
to protect your energy

surrender into joy, gratitude and sacred passion

surrender into joy, gratitude and sacred passion

One who damages the character of another damages his own.

“One who damages the character of another damages his own.”

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”

Soren Kierkegaard – The Journals of Søren Kierkegaard, 1844.

my father taught me, “what is a man, if he does not tell the truth” Cassandra Gaisford

‘Put your feelings in there. Don’t just paint some shit like you don’t care.’ ~ Joan Mitchell

‘When the past exists, the future may flourish.’~ Peter Ackroyd

success quote

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” is also known as the “Golden Rule”. The actual quote from the Bible is from Luke 6:31, “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” Simply put, this phrase means to treat others the way we want them to treat us.

I love this permission by Dame Helen Mirren to tell certain people who do certain things to f*ck off

LOVE IS SUCH A BEAUTIFUL THING. inspirational quote 600 x 600

I received some wonderful feedback in my The Joyful Artists Facebook group today from one of the recent participants on my art retreats. “Thanks to you Cassandra for your wonderful support, encouragement, passion and joy that has enabled me to be brave and bold in my exploration of art. Trying out watercolours is my latest move. ( I’m sure there will be many more explorations )”

It reminded me of a quote I had seen by Mary Ann Evans (22 November 1819 – 22 December 1880, known by her pen name George Eliot. Although female authors were published under their own names during her lifetime, she wanted to escape the stereotype of women’s writing being limited to lighthearted romances.

The wonderful thing about being a woman today is that it’s never too late to do what you love.

George Eliot quote




The Art of Success: Be Inspired by Leonardo da Vinci


12 years ago my partner and I celebrated his birthday in Sicily, this photo was taken not far from Palermo. It was the most magical time. May and off season so lovely and empty of the normal crowds. I love this affirmation that I added to the photo “success is your ticket to a better place.” HAPPY BIRTHDAY LORENZO XXXX

In an interview iconic actress Helen Mirren said, “If there were advice for her younger self, it’d be to say “Fuck off” more and stop being so “bloody polite.”

“Creativity has the power to look pain in the eye and to decide to turn it into something better.”

As May drew to a close, after a fun catch up with my soul sisters I released a whole bunch of energy in my latest abstract, True Colours, oil in canvas. I absolutely love the freedom of creating the painting and the self-empowerment that is embodied in it’s creation. it makes a pivot moment in my life, the turning of a new leaf.

“I still go to the journals and read the research—but it’s just not good. Narcissists don’t respond to therapy…which means the focus has to be on you and what makes you feel good.” ~ Dr. Phil

I’ve learned more about the toxic side of selfishness recently in the wake of my mother’s death last year, and the deceit and greed by my family regarding the will and my mother’s assets, but similarly, I have learned the hard way, that being too kind can come at a punishing toll when those close to you exploit your good nature. I’m getting better at finding the balance, and feel freer…a background and qualifications in counselling and psychology and art therapy has paid dividends.

Ali magic testimonial

Feedback from appreciative others is always a powerful affirmation! During three beautiful days of art and magic making, I helped women rediscover their passion, creativity and courage. And they in turn help me during turbulent times in my personal life.

In June 2023 I released the 5th book in my The Joyful Artist series. I loved receiving this much-valued review. I do so appreciate knowing this short and sweet read speaks to people’s souls. I know how healing creativity is in our lives.

I love this reminder from Amanda “when people do the dirty on you”… “It’s through adversity that we grow and be the diamond light that we are. If nothing rocks our boat sometimes we don’t grow to our full potential. Judas is here to remind us that some people are catalysts in our life, but also of soul contract. In this card (from her Christ Consciousness Deck) he is clutching his bag of silver, there are three crosses in the background, and he is deep in thought and reflection and also regret as well, because sometimes the person who comes in as the catalyst has a very hard soul mission.”

I will be treat sacredly inspirational quote
create from inner stillness inspirational quote
be alone inspirational quote
we are women who will not be silenced inspirational quote
 Life could not continue without inspirational quotes
 When I am doing something creative I don't feel trapped I feel liberated inspirational quote
We Love It, Abstract landscape Commissioned by Lee and Cliff Whitelaw
pain cannot feed on joy - quote by Eckhardt tolle

“Your mother saved my life! She taught me passion—I really mean that.”

Joan Mitchell (regarding her teacher)

pink crazy is a badge of honour
inspiring quote cheerfulness
quote by cassandra gaisford
peach blossom

What joy! Yesterday was such a gray day and then, as I walked past the peach tree… look what greeted me

Peach blossoms are the delicate and beautiful flowers that bloom on peach trees. They are known for their stunning display of pink or pale pink petals, which often cover the tree branches in a breathtaking spectacle.

These blossoms typically appear in early spring, signaling the arrival of warmer weather and the start of a new season. The sight of peach blossoms is often associated with feelings of joy, renewal, and the promise of abundance. They are cherished for their aesthetic appeal and are often celebrated in various cultures and traditions.

Peach blossoms have a significant cultural significance in many parts of the world. In Chinese culture, for example, they symbolize longevity, prosperity, and romance. They are often featured in art, literature, and celebrations such as the Chinese New Year. In Japan, peach blossoms are associated with femininity and are frequently depicted in paintings and poetry.

Apart from their cultural significance, peach blossoms also have a practical aspect. They serve as pollinators for peach trees, allowing them to produce fruit. The delicate fragrance of the blossoms also attracts bees and other pollinators, contributing to the ecosystem and the continuation of the peach tree’s life cycle.

Overall, peach blossoms are not only visually stunning but also carry symbolic and practical meanings. They represent the beauty of nature, the arrival of spring, cultural traditions, and the potential for a bountiful harvest.

These beauties made my heart glad. Blossoms have inspired so many of my paintings

flowers move us quote Alain de Botton

I am loving reading this profound book 📕 (Anthony Mello, Stop Fixing Yourself) and being reminded of the simple, soothing, sage power of self-understanding, love, and acceptance. 

“Change will happen; you will not have to bring it about. If what you attempt is not to change yourself but to observe yourself—to study every one of your reactions to people and things without judgment, condemnation, or desire to reform yourself—your observations will be nonselective, comprehensive, never fixed on rigid conclusions, and always open and fresh from moment to moment. Then you will notice a marvelous thing happening within you: You will be flooded with the light of awareness. You will become transparent and transformed.”

“If you are setting out to be joyful you are not going to end up being joyful. You’re going to find yourself turned in on yourself. It’s like a flower. You open, you blossom, really because of other people. And I think some suffering, maybe even intense suffering, is a necessary ingredient for life, certainly for developing compassion.”

– Desmond Tutu, The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World

I do love this book and the sentiments expressed, and certainly have found it to be so. I also think flowers are more beautiful after the rain….do you agree? Comment below…I’d love to know.

P.S. Some of my beautiful paintings have been inspired by the fleeting beauty and fragility of poppies, and many of my most beautiful memories, the times when I have witnessed others open and blossom, have been meeting the visitors, collectors and budding artists in my gallery art@rangitane

home is a canvas for self-expression

Henri Matisse Quote eyes of a child

The things that don’t kill you make you stronger. And it’s something you metabolize over time. Today it’s easy to talk about what happened to me. But before, I was little more than a child swept away by the wave of a tsunami. In that situation, all you do is look for a gasp of air to breathe, even as sharks circled all around. Your first goal is to breathe.

Allegra Gucci

Osho quote

Fabio showed me what I felt inside myself but that I couldn’t find in my family: values, fairness in relationships, the importance of behaving properly. He was a pure, honest, impeccable man who had to fight this world of shadows that wanted to obscure him.

Allegra Gucci

You have seen all sorts of things. Is there something that still scares you?

My life always leads me to feel a bit of fear of the future.

Why did you decide to write this book only now?

I have two young children. Seeing the hype caused by the film House of Gucci, I didn’t want them to grow up without knowing the truth about the family they come from. I reconstructed the memories piece by piece, document by document. Sometimes I felt pain, other times a sense of liberation. Finding all the fragments of this story in adulthood, I understood even better how things went. And seeing them like this, in black and white, gave me an unexpected serenity.

What does your sister, Alessandra, think of this book? 

She is happy about it because the truth has finally come out. We have always waged this battle together. We were, we are, and we will always be united. And we love each other very much.

You are now a mother. A mother who has seen how deep the abyss of life can be. If one day your two children ask what you learned from all this, what would you answer?

I have learned that in life, you have to evaluate the people who are close to you carefully. You have to understand who you can trust and distinguish them from those who are around you just for their own convenience. Life is hard. But also beautiful. What you need to do is find the good in the bad. You have to be able to see those small, bright sparks of happiness in the midst of all this pain.

Dr Masaru Quote
Always believe in your work
Be Selfish quote
Truth compassion love and joy quotes
Elvis quote
peace is our passion quote jefferson
I write my books quickly Paulo Coehlo quote

A myth in the creative world is that excellent work must be laboured over. Some of the most enduring, acclaimed and prized works arrive quickly. The soon-to-be-released album by the Rolling Stones is a case in point. In an interview, Mick Jagger says their new work was created in three weeks.

“We were lazy!” he claims when The Rolling Stones unveiled their new original album Hackney Diamonds after an 18-year wait. So they set a deadline, “It has to be finished by Valentine’s Day” and headed to the studio. The result is nothing short of brilliant. I especially love the song and video, “Don’t be angry with me.”

Check it out on YouTube if you haven’t already—and then go create something original quickly!

Mollie Mathews  what happens when inspiration  strikes

Orange Flower papblo neruda quote Spring Inspirational Instagram
pablo quote I lovely "to in this video with today for you and I hope you enjoyed the school all back from Dorada Artist take care
feedback your paintings speak
Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow quote
art class collage of paintings and lady painters Dec 2023

“Wonder is the feeling of a child in a world where everything is new.” – Patti Smith

I felt so blessed to have spent the most wonderful day with the lovely ladies who attended my one day art retreat. We embraced the wonder of play, experimentation, and fab, fun, fearless joy in a major way. Wonder is wonderful!❄️

33 Quotes by Female Artists on Wonder

1. “I wonder how many women are afraid to be alone, in their own company, in spaces that are unfamiliar to them.” – Tracee Ellis Ross

2. “The best way to know life is to love many things.” – Georgia O’Keeffe

3. “Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.” – Mary Oliver

4. “There are always flowers for those who want to see them.” – Henrietta Mears

5. “The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct.” – Carl Jung (quoted by Louise Bourgeois)

6. “I think it’s important to find the little things in everyday life that make you happy.” – Paula Cole

7. “I wonder if fears ever really go away or if they just lose their power over us.” – Jodi Picoult

8. “I find that the greatest wonder is often found in the smallest details.” – Yayoi Kusama

9. “Wonder is the state of mind that leads to discovery.” – Grace Hopper

10. “I wonder why people still underestimate the authenticity of women’s work.” – Yoko Ono

11. “There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature.” – Rachel Carson

12. “I wonder if the ocean smells different on the other side of the world.” – Diana Gabaldon

13. “Wonder is the foundation of curiosity, and curiosity is the gateway to knowledge.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

14. “The more I wonder, the more I love.” – Alice Walker

15. “I think it’s important to find the wonder in everyday life, even in the mundane.” – Agnes Martin

16. “I wonder how much of what weighs me down is not mine to carry.” – Aditi Rao Hydari

17. “Wonder is the feeling of a child in a world where everything is new.” – Patti Smith

18. “I wonder if it’s possible to have a love affair that lasts forever.” – Frida Kahlo

19. “There is wonder in the ordinary if we only have the eyes to see it.” – Carrie Fisher

20. “I wonder if it’s possible to have a conversation without mentioning one’s gender.” – Judy Chicago

21. “The world is full of wonders, waiting to be discovered by those who are open to them.” – Marina Abramović

22. “I wonder what life would be like if we embraced our flaws instead of trying to hide them.” – Amy Poehler

23. “Wonder is the spark that ignites our creativity.” – Yoko Ono

24. “I wonder if being your truest self is the bravest thing you can do.” – Ava DuVernay

25. “There is wonder in facing our fears and finding strength we didn’t know we had.” – Amanda Gorman

26. “I wonder if we will ever fully understand the power of love.” – Tracey Emin

27. “Wonder is the language of the soul.” – Maya Angelou

28. “I wonder if we will ever truly appreciate the beauty of diversity.” – Yayoi Kusama

29. “There is wonder in the process of creating art, in bringing something new into the world.” – Frida Kahlo

30. “I wonder if we will ever live in a world where kindness is the norm.” – Shirin Neshat

31. “Wonder is the key that unlocks the door to self-discovery.” – Tracee Ellis Ross

32. “I wonder if we will ever understand the interconnectedness of all living beings.” – Patti Smith

33. “Wonder is the foundation of hope, and hope is what keeps us going.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

vincent van gogh inspirational quote



2023 in review—fun, fab and fearless

How to welcome an expanded frequency of love

Posted in: Blog

2023 Quotes to Live & Love By

The Joyful Artist

I am an artist, storyteller, intuitive guide, mentor and Reiki master. All my creations are infused with positive energy , inspiration, and light. I believe in magic and the power of beauty, joy, love, purpose, and creativity to transform your life. My greatest joy is helping your realize your dreams. That makes my soul sing!

P: +64 (0) 21 873 833
E: hello@thejoyfulartist.co.nz


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