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How to keep flowering into your true potential

How to keep flowering into your true potential when people, situations and things beyond your control knock you about? That’s the challenge, isn’t it? It’s amazing how the simplest of things can spark joy, like a Rose in Bloom. The name, and painting, were inspired by the following quote and my reverence for roses:

“Compare the serene and simple splendour of a rose in bloom with the tensions and restlessness of your life. The rose has a gift that you lack: It is perfectly content to be itself. It has not been programmed from birth, as you have been, to be dissatisfied with itself, so it doesn’t have the slightest urge to be anything other than what it is. It possesses the artless grace and absence of inner conflict that among humans is only found in little children and mystics.” ~ Anthony de Mello

Recently, I’ve been reading a book, Stop Fixing Yourself. Wake Up. All Is Well. by Anthony de Mello. Growing up and well into my late 50s, I was constantly criticized and told I wasn’t good enough. My mother once posted on my Facebook page that I was a failure. It was such a shock to me that I deleted it immediately. I felt like I’d been punched. Perhaps I should have kept it and asked her about it…but that, I know, would have made things worse. As I’ve shared before, like many daughters and their mothers, we had a complicated relationship. I can’t imagine anything making me post something hurtful like that on my daughter’s social media page or anyone else’s. I’m not saying I have always succeeded, but show me someone who has…and I’ve had the courage to stand out from the crowd. Not because I wanted to, but because I was compelled to follow my passion—and help others too.

For years, I’ve been trying to fix myself. To be better. More likeable. More loveable. In my youth, when I was so sad and anxious, a psychic suggested I train to be a counsellor. Helping people would help me feel happier, she said. It did and it does, but now I counsel, console, uplift and inspire through the healing power of my art and art retreats, art workshops, books and other creative pursuits—which I love. Largely I have the Covid response from many World ‘leaders’ to thank for that and my rebellion against their pandemic of fear, division energy and repression. I chose to join Dr. Joe Dispenza, Pam Gregory and others I follow, and be a rebel and show up for love. I share more about this on my blog.

When my mum died in August 2022, I was glad I had a special time caring for her and making peace. I finally gave up the fight to prove myself worthy. I am worthy. I am a rose—with thorns. I’m not perfect, and I don’t profess to be. Nor do I want to be. I just show up for joy, love and beauty and try to make the world a happier place. And sometimes, recently, if people provoke me, I get angry and wield my thorns. Oh my Lord, how freeing to finally express myself more fully. As my virtual mentor, Dr Jordan Peterson says, “If you’re too nice, you’ll get killed.” Killed by toxic people, events and circumstances, especially if you are fragile and super-sensitive. I credit my trauma therapist for that. In my last session, she said, “It’s like there’s a furball in your throat chakra. I wonder what will happen now I’ve removed it?” 

I’ll share more in an email to my followers:) But let’s just say a lot has happened—and been expressed. Growing up, I was the peacekeeper in a home that was less than peaceful. That came at the cost of truth.

“Only the adult human being is able to be one thing and pretend to be another. Think of the sad history of your self-improvement efforts—they either ended in disaster or they succeeded only at the cost of struggle and pain. You are always dissatisfied with yourself, always wanting to change yourself, always wanting more. So, you are full of violence and self-intolerance, which only grows with every effort that you make to change yourself. Thus, any change you achieve is inevitably accompanied by inner conflict. Now suppose you stopped all efforts to change yourself and ended all self-dissatisfaction.” ~ Anthony de Mello

Take it from me, it’s liberating!

art collector Cassandra gaisford
Sweet Surrender, 2022, Cassandra Gaisford, https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product/sweet-surrender/

I love it when a painting sparks delight. ….best feeling ever… when someone takes a day off work, especially to come and see your art in person on their birthday and says, “you make me feel so happy. I can’t stop smiling.” How many world leaders and heads of state can say that? #letsmakepeoplehappy

Flowers speak a universal language of love. A rose is a rose…she doesn’t concern herself if a cactus wants her to be something else. Layered in sultry, juicy globs of love-infused acrylic, A Rose in Bloom embodies love, joy, happiness, beauty and peace.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

Anais Nin


I love that quote above. Don’t you? So many people close to me are in the throes of change. My partner included. He recently sold his business and is excited (not without some trepidation) about the future. After 22 years (and more) in the financial services industry, he’s hung up his abacus. Burn your ships, I once heard. Sometimes the ships are burnt for you—illness, redundancy, Covid or something else. Whatever happens, have faith in yourself. You will blossom.

testimonial art

🔴 I enJOYed the best Mother’s Day this year. First, I received a lovely call and message from my daughter expressing how proud and thrilled she was to see me painting again and making so many people happy and thanking me for encouraging her to follow her passion❤️💕

Then I met a beautiful new collector on holiday from Sydney visiting her family. They made a special visit to see me in the gallery to purchase “When Love First Tasted Your Lips.” People love meeting the artist I have found, and learning more about the Inspiration behind my paintings and my creative process

In this case, it was the writings of Anais Nin and the reminder that something better can emerge after a painful ending. It seems especially apt to share this today as it marks the closing of Ake Ake restaurant, here amongst the vineyards of Kerikeri, run so wonderfully by my dear friends Chris and Judy Owen. New joys await!

The painting had only recently been hung at Ake Ake restaurant and winery here in The Bay of Islands. Tracey, who took her new acquisition to Sydney, had been enjoying a divine meal (Judy and Chris, the owners of Ake Ake provided the ultimate dining experience.)

The painting was near their table and the purchase decision was made in a heartbeat. I love that my new collector shared that this is her first painting by ‘a serious artist.’

“My sister fell in love at first sight with your painting “When Love First Tasted Your Lips’” her sister, Claire told me when she called to buy it.

This painting has sold but you may love “Sweet Surrender.” Created in a moment of passion following the sale of When Love First Tasted Your Lips.

As an intuitive artist following my inner joy, I know the magic in painting (and in life) is to remember that you just have to surrender to it and just go with it. In the end, despite much frenetic energy, ( including reworking an earlier painting) there really is magic in the whole concept.

Last night, Friday 28 August 2022 marked the last night for diners at Ake Ake. Today I drew a card for Judy from my Art of Life Inspiration Deck and the card said, “Love all your vibrant memories and hold those you love close”. In part, this is why I am re-sharing this memory.


So many of us will have really special memories of happy times at Ake Ake surrounded by beauty, nature,  divine food,  gorgeous wine and of course, uplifting art.

I called around today to give them a hand in moving stuff out of the restaurant, and I’m now the happy owner of a couple of dining chairs that I’ve now placed in the gallery/studio Art@ Rangitane.

You might want to pop in over this long weekend, sit on the chair awhile, enjoy some high-vibe art… and create some more happy memories. Like my new collectors, who each purchased two beautiful botanical abstracts last week, and are excited to be coming to my “learn to paint amazing abstracts class in early November.

“Oh wow, I am so excited! So looking forward to it.“

Both are complete newbies which I ❤️


Abstract florals, positively blooming in a range of happy, uplifting colours. Take a peek and enjoy the garden while you’re here.

I hope to see you here  in our idyllic spot – 10 acres of trees, lawn and garden overlooking the sea

174 Rangitane Road, 12 km from Kerikeri

021873 833

Isolating? Live overseas or out of town? No worries. PM or shop online


How to keep flowering into your true potential when people, situations and things beyond your control knock you about?

Me? I love to paint! Come and join me and I’ll share my secret tips!

Paint yourself happy. Leave your worries behind, let go of perfectionism and unleash your inner, fun-loving child!

My art and creativity workshops are known for being colourful and fun, and ever-so-slightly messy. While I do lots of demonstrations, I don’t teach you to paint like me…I teach you how to paint like YOU! You’ll learn through the creative process to find your own voice and style in your art.

ALL LEVELS. NO experience is needed.



Will you make an artist date with me in my home city- Kerikeri, in The beautiful Bay of Islands!?

It doesn’t matter how much or how little skill you have as an artist, it doesn’t matter how old you are, it doesn’t matter what your background is… All that matters is giving yourself permission to connect with your Creative Spirit and express yourself.

Get all the details below and join me for a fun day of play!


Wednesday 09 November and/or Sunday 13 November (choose I or 2 days)


Art@rangitane (12 k from Kerikeri), New Zealand


All levels, newbies and artists of all experience levels welcome!


Join Cassandra Gaisford for an in-person art experience in her studio sanctuary on a beautiful 10-acre paradise to create some

Join Cassandra Gaisford for an in-person art experience in her studio sanctuary on a beautiful 10-acre paradise to create some really joyful art.


Well, my lovelies, as always, thanks for reading. I’d love to know what resonated with you. Keep flowering into your true potential:)



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Posted in: Blog

How to keep flowering into your true potential

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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