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Princesses and Toads: Love Is In The Air

In my upcoming Valentine’s Day release Word by Word: Some Thoughts on Writing, Love, and Life I set out to tell you every single thing I know about creative unblocking, but I’m also going to tell you every single thing I know about princesses, partially because the longings and the magic and anxieties are so similar.

I think this will also show you how shining brightly, writing short, just free-flowing, and producing what could be a shitty first, second and sixty-eighth draft can yield a bounty of marvellous memory, meaningful material and crazy-cool characters.

There are always outside forces, external and internal, unhelpful thoughts and endless taunts, pressuring you to finish what you started, to publish or display the final work, to get things over and done with so that you can move on the next fascinating project. 

It can be difficult to see the virtue of sitting on something for a while, to wait for the moment you know is right. Especially in the times, we find ourselves now. We are in an era of instant gratification, where albums are released online the moment they are sung, paintings are produced while the paint drys, people producing average works garner legions of fans on Instagram.

Part of us rushes to completion because we crave immediate feedback and approval. But with the need for approval can come instant attack. Your work may not be up to scratch, or people may even be jealous of it because it’s simply so fabulous. 

Such was the experience that led me to later write and publish The Little Princess…the book I wrote following an experience of bullying. As I share in the book’s Afterword, 

The Little Princess is a timeless charm that tells the story of a young woman who leaves the safety of fitting in with everyone else, to follow her heart. Her personal odyssey culminates in a voyage of self-belief, passion, and purpose. 

It’s autobiographical and tells the story of how I was criticised and shamed when I first shared my idea for The Passion Pack (which later became one of my popular non-fiction books, How to Find Your Passion and Purpose.) Importantly, it shares what I did to overcome obstacles, heed the call for courage and dare to lead.

Here’s an excerpt from when I fictionalised what happened when I shared the project that was in my heart too early designing, of all things a pack of inspirational cards called The Passion Pack to help others find their purpose and calling.

Chapter One

“Once upon a time there was a young woman who wanted to make a difference in the world.

She wanted to help others. She wanted to help people overcome depression, anxiety, and feeling sad.

She wanted to help them feel inspired, joyful and happy.

She just wasn’t sure how.

One day she had an inspired idea. “I can help people find their passion and purpose,” she thought.

Her heart fluttered then soared higher and higher and higher—far, far, far away.

Almost beyond the reach of her doubts and fears.

She felt so excited—but also scared. She decided to feel the fear and create something anyway.

She knew people often struggled to find the time to read, and she wanted to make it easy and fun for people to find inspiration and help.

She decided to design a pack of inspirational cards that would enable people to help themselves and become empowered to transform their lives.

The cards would give people ideas, encourage them to dream, and give them hope.

Chapter Two

One day she was invited by a friend to a dinner party. “What do you do?” a guest, who was a nurse, asked.

It wasn’t an easy thing to answer because the young woman did many things to earn her living.

“At the moment I’m developing a set of cards to help people find their passion and purpose,” she replied, quietly.

“People like you make me sick,” the older woman spat.

Her words were like spears.

The young woman felt her face burn and her chest burst. She didn’t know what to say. She went into shock.

“What makes you think you can go around telling people what to do?” the older woman hissed.

“I’m not,” the younger woman stammered, her voice a squeak. “I’m just trying to help people. They don’t have to read it if they don’t want to.”

The older woman glared at her. “My, aren’t we a little princess.”

Author’s note

I learned so much from my experience in the wake of the other woman’s attack. I learned to stay true to myself, and realised that there were always going to be people who didn’t like what I did or who I was.

It would have been easy to be stopped in my tracks. It would have been easy to stay small. It would have been easy to have done nothing at all.

But then what sort of life would I have had?

Creating The Passion Pack and writing How to Find Your Passion and Purpose opened so many doors and galaxies for me.

So many people have written to me and told me how those cards and that book changed their lives. It continues to change mine.

Importantly, my experience that night so many moons ago, made me realise that finding our passion and purpose is not simply about being inspired.

It’s also knowing how to conquer obstacles. Sometimes it’s not possible to obliterate the things that block our path. What’s important is the determination not to let barriers stand in our way.

I hope by sharing my story, you realise how wonderful it is to be a little princess. Isn’t that every girl’s dream!

The moral of the story? Follow your bliss dear readers—don’t let anyone stop you from sharing your passion and purpose with the world.

My daughter experienced similar bullying in a work environment where she was contracting. Her boss became nasty and narcissistic when Hannah said she didn’t want to pursue a full-time job there. “Oh yes, we’ve all got to follow our dreams don’t we, Hannah?” she jeered.

Umm…yes. At least we owe it to ourselves to try. As Dr Seuss once wrote, “It’s kind of fun doing the impossible.”

So what can the little princess teach you about finishing your book, or any project close to your heart? It can teach you to just show up. It can teach you to just keep going. it can teach you to not be too quick to share your idea, or your book, or your project, or your dreams with the toads in the world.

I have friends, close friends, that roll their eyes and say “When are you going to finish that fucking book?” They mean well (mostly). If you choose to mine below the surface, the frustration that I feel that I am not producing my work faster, lurks—and also disbelief —which then both pressures and discourages me. I have to forge forward, I have to rule over the kingdom of my dreams.

To follow our hearts takes great courage. We have to bravely choose to be encouraged, emboldened, empowered. Toads teach us that we have to accept that not everyone will rejoice in our endeavours or our successes. 

As Denzel Washington stays in the movie The Pursuit of Happyness, “You’ve got a dream, you’ve got to protect it.”

And I would add, “Kiss your toads. Sometimes they turn into priceless princes.”

Keep going—second by second, step by step, word by word. Little gestures leave lasting impressions.

In 2022  I released a second pack of cards—this time inspired by my dual passions: uplifting art and words, The Art of Life Inspiration Deck. Each card features a work of art created by me and paired with an insightful quotation to uplift and inspire.Take a peek on my website:https://shop.cassandragaisford.com/product/the-art-of-life-inspiration-deck/

word by word


Download in your preferred format here: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/f023y6l7zw


The Little Princess

The Little Princess

To purchase on Amazon>> 


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









How to Find Your Passion and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love.

#1 Amazon Best-Seller. Focus your energy and time to achieve outstanding personal and professional results—getBook.at/Passion


How to Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love









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Princesses and Toads: Love Is In The Air

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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