Very few happy, healthy people are naturally born this way. Dig into their pasts and you will find that they have cultivated optimism by learning and applying techniques that help them transcend negativity and keep it at bay.
Throughout my book Bounce: Overcoming Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy I share a wide variety of ways to overcome adversity, build resilience and find joy. Regular exercise, good diet, relaxation exercises, and rest are a few of the many techniques covered. Holistic and self-empowered strategies to feed your soul and achieve your highest potential also including following your passion, engaging in activities you love and ways to bounce back from setbacks are also included.
As several reviewers noted:
“Loved the fact it is an easy read and is so incredibly comprehensive in its spectrum of tools covered: eastern and western/physical and psychological/science and esoteric. It’s hard to find books that capture this in one space–a comprehensive manual containing a tasting platter of techniques.”
~ Tina Drummond, Health and Safety Consultant, Wellness Motivator
“Cassandra has mastered the art of speaking in clear and simple terms and has presented Bounce as an easy to read, concise—yet completely comprehensive guide to overcoming all the obstacles that stand between yourself and your passion. She has taken a truly holistic approach and leaves no stone unturned. She lays out all the facets of overcoming your obstacles in a no-nonsense fashion and covers everything … Mind, body and soul … the physical, the spiritual, and the scientific. She evens touches on topics that may be considered ‘airy-fairy’ with believable and inspiring confidence.
While Bounce is a concise presentation, do not be fooled by its quick two-hour read, it is incredibly comprehensive astoundingly holistic—and effective.”
~ Niki Firth, Amazon Review
Listed below are some helpful reminders of some of the many holistic coping strategies you’ll find in Bounce that you can call upon during times of current or anticipated need.
• Learn to listen to your body
• Adequate exercise
• Physical touch/massage
• Muscle relaxation
• Relaxation breathing
• A healthy diet, i.e. reducing stimulants (coffee, nicotine etc.), increasing water, and eating organic non-processed foods
You may also find great relief from turmeric and other natural sources.
• Balanced lifestyle
• Support groups / Counseling
• Sharing with friends and family
• New interests / activities
• Taking time out
• Music / dancing / singing/creative expression
• Being proactive and taking control of the situation
• Change careers
• Reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption
• Making time to do nothing at all
• Rational thinking techniques to help change the way you interpret the stressful situation
• Positive thinking/cultivating optimism
• Self-assertion training
• Personal development
• Building self-esteem
• Realistic goal planning
• Time management
• Learning to say “No”
• Priority clarification
• Releasing emotions and expressing feelings (laugh, talk, cry, write in a journal, paint etc.)
• Learning how to “switch off”
• Taking time out
• Solitude and space
• Counseling and support
• Challenging your emotional reactions to situations
• Scheduling time to spend with important people in your life
• Making plans with friends, family and loved ones in advance
• Sharing your experiences of stress with certain people in your life, especially letting them know the ways that stress has been affecting you, so they understand
• Practicing assertive communication within your significant relationships to decrease conflicts, while also continuing to find ways to show people around you that they are important
• Helping others (talking, writing, supporting)
• Reiki and other energy healing techniques
• Talking with a spiritual confidant or leader to explain any spiritual issues or doubts that you may have encountered
• Forgiveness (of self or others)
• Compassion / loving kindness
• Continuing to read and learn about your faith, belief or value system
• Connecting with others who share your beliefs
The above list is by no means exhaustive; however, you may note a reoccurring theme—the power of creativity. Many people have that making room for hobbies is the ultimate cure for addiction, stress, anxiety, depression and more.
Recently, after experiencing a tsunami of stress I realized my hobbies had been horribly neglected. But not anymore! What looked like a horrible situation of having to leave our home during renovations turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The accommodation we rented was owned by a wonderful lady and talented artist and jewelry designer.
I’m not sure how Anna Hamilton discovered that many years ago I had painted and exhibited my art but she quickly asked if I would be interested in exhibiting alongside her during the upcoming Koast Art Trail in The Bay of Islands—http://koast.org.nz/koast-artists-jewellers-potters-kerikeri/.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t say yes straight away. I hadn’t painted for years. “When was I possibly going to kind time to create? And where?” Everything was in storage. Nothing was organized. Everything was chaotic.
But Anna was persistent and persuasive. And my weary soul began to sing. I began to feel excited. I felt encouraged, excited…and Koast was still some few months off.
“Yes, “ I said. “I will do this,” I agreed, feeling a bit of fear and deciding to act anyway.
And then Anna asked if I had any paintings to share in her gallery?
And now I have three paintings hanging in her beautiful gallery. And I feel so excited. And all that stress and tiredness has floated away. And most exciting of all, I’m looking forward to creating a new body of work for the Koast exhibition in October.
It’s not easy to overcome many of the things that hold you back. But you can do it—if you’re willing to be strong and fight for your dreams. Within many of us lies an innate seam of strength, which, when mined skilfully, will produce an endless source of pure gold. Part of this strength is our ability to create infinite joy—and creativity fuels that.
As Buddha once said, “It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.”
When you follow your bliss, do things you enjoy, seize the reins of control and take responsibility, you will empower your life, your joy, and your health.
Joy has phenomenal energy and incredible versatility. In The Book of Joy the Dalai Lama shares that Paul Ekman, a longtime friend, and famed emotions researcher, has written that joy is associated with feelings as varied as:
• Pleasure (of the five senses)
• Amusement (from a chuckle to a belly laugh)
• Contentment (a calmer kind of satisfaction)
• Excitement (in response to novelty or challenge)
• Relief (following upon another emotion, such as fear, anxiety, and even pleasure)
• Wonder (before something astonishing and admirable)
• Ecstasy or bliss (transporting us outside ourselves)
• Exultation (at having accomplished a difficult or daring task)
• Radiant pride (when our children earn a special honor)
• Elevation (from having witnessed an act of kindness, generosity, or compassion)
• Gratitude (the appreciation of a selfless act of which one is the beneficiary)
Buddhist scholar and former scientist Matthieu Ricard has added three other more exalted states of joy: rejoicing (in someone else’s happiness, what Buddhists call mudita) delight or enchantment (a shining kind of contentment) spiritual radiance (a serene joy born from deep well-being and benevolence).
When you tap into your joy, you tap into an unlimited reservoir of energy and enthusiasm.
The French take it further—of course! Jouissance, literally means orgasmic joy. It’s derived from the word from jouir (“to enjoy”). Jouissance is to enjoy something a lot!
One of my favorite creativity experts Mihaly Czikszentmihaly, refers to this as a state of “flow.”
In a popular YouTube talk, he asks, “What makes a life worth living? Money cannot make us happy,” he says. Instead, he urges us to learn from people who find pleasure and lasting satisfaction in activities that bring about this state of transcendent flow.
Many years ago I held an exhibition of the paintings I did after I participated in a Sumi Ink workshop in Maui with Max Gimblett. Our exhibition was held in Wellington, New Zealand with two other artists. We named the exhibition, Joy’ance. (One of the artists didn’t like the association with ‘orgasmic!)
Gosh, it was fun! And best of all I received wonderful feedback:
“Beautiful images for a dreary day”
“What a warm surprise: joyful! Thanks for an uplifting visit amongst this wonderful art!”
“Great to see and feel the enterprise and the energy.”
“This has really made my day. I’m quite cynical—but you have achieved what I would expect from something like this (my sumi_e ink Gimblett inspired works). They are so beautiful and simple Their simplicity inspired so much emotion”
“Wonderful art in a wonderful city”
“What a surprise! Joyful! Thanks for an uplifting visit amongst this wonderful art.”
“Thank you, beautiful artwork! Love the bright colors – you have brightened up a dark, gloomy day.”
It’s what I’m doing now—by planning my exhibition, reading books about art, and following some of my favorite artists. I don’t necessarily need to make my living from my art, but I do need to make room for creativity in my life. Do you?
This is an edited extract from Bounce: Overcoming Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Cassandra Gaisford
If you’re interested in reading more about how to boost your happiness and, overcome obstacles and elevate your success read the book here—myBook.to/Bounce.
Check out my art gallery and be inspired by beauty>>https://www.thejoyfulartist.co.nz/gallery/
If you loved this post you may like to check out Justin Raj’s Journey to Joyful Sobriety
You may also enjoy this article on the health benefits of tumeric>>https://lyfebotanicals.com/health/turmeric-benefits/
To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>>viewBook.at/Bounce
To grab your copy from ibooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/4DoeEO
To grab your copy from Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/bounce-overcoming-adversity-building-resilience-and-finding-joy-2
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!
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