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What’s gratitude got to do with finding your gifts?

Are you feeling blocked? Struggling to find your signature gifts? Lacking vitality…or something else?

Find your strengths and gifts in the areas you have a natural advantage. In this blog I share how gratitude, trying something new, and collecting feedback helps.

I came across this quote today and it really spoke to me. Take a read…what do these words awaken in you?

“If there are blocks, perhaps this is a sign that you’re not using all your gifts or that you lack gratitude for what you do have.”
~ Collette Baron-Reid, Intuitive

Are you using all your gifts? So often we aren’t aware what our gifts really are. We just view them as our natural knacks and talents and don’t realize how valuable they are.

Naomi Barton Trusted my passion

Like my client Naomi who found her voice, literally, and is now an audiobook narrator, author, and producer. So often a career combo is the best way to find and develop your gifts and maintain cash-flow certainty. Particularly if you employ yourself. Super excited to let you know that Mid-Life Career Rescue: (Employ Yourself) How to Confidently Leave a Job You Hate, and Start Living a Life you Love, Before It’s Too Late is now available in audio from Amazon and other great retailers.

Written by me and narrated by Naomi Barton who I helped to “employ herself” as a self-employed author and audiobook narrator. How to create a passion-driven career or business—Fourteen individuals tell you their stories of transformational change. Plus an extra bonus, only on the audio, Naomi’s Story from Stressed out Teacher to Passionate Creator. I share more about Naomi’s story in my blog post.

In  Mid-Life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself, you’ll learn:

  • How to decide what to do and find an idea that will be successful
  • How to find the right product for the right market
  • How to create a passion-driven business and still pay your mortgage
  • How to identify ways to beat any skills gaps
  • How to start a business with zero start-up capital and finance your career
  • How to maintain balance and avoid burnout
  • How to escape the 9-5 drudge, live and work anywhere, and join the new rich

Whether you are a start-up entrepreneur, want to earn money with a side hustle or a businessperson looking for a fresh start, Mid-Life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself will help you make the right moves to choose and grow your business with confidence.

Also available as ebook, paperback and hardcover


When “authorpreneur” Kevin Kruse made the move to self-employment, he decided to record his financial success, complete with the highs and lows, by publicly sharing his income reports on his blog. 

Like many business people, Kruse knew early on that having a variety of income streams would help him manage cash flow.  “I went into this whole thing knowing that to make the money I wanted to make I would need to diversify my income. I knew I’d need to spend time speaking, creating online courses, and marketing.” 

It is a common and successful strategy used by many business people, especially those working creatively. Ruth Pretty, for example, is a chef, newspaper columnist, cookbook writer, wedding venue provider, caterer, and cooking school tutor. The common theme? Her pursuits all centre around her passion for food.

Amongst other things, photographer Carla Coulson is a portrait photographer, magazine photojournalist, tutor, and travel photographer. At the time of writing, she has retrained as a life coach and now offers creativity coaching and wellness workshops. 

Italian designer Giorgio Armani has a flourishing clothing empire, a swag of luxury hotels, a music production company, and an interior design business. And these are just a few of his multi-billion-dollar revenue lines.

I am a self-empowerment author, award-winning artist, career coach, romance writer, brand manager, and novelist of art-related historical fiction. I also write marketing materials (blogs, newsletters, website content, etc.) for small businesses, and train people to become certified life and career coaches. And now I’m running art retreats and workshops from my beautiful Bay Of Islands property.

As my writing income grows, I’m making a conscious decision to spend less time in some of these areas and more in others. You may wish to focus on one income stream, but if this doesn’t work for you, consider diversifying. This will help you ride any fluctuating financial currents.

Remind yourself that money is not a measure of your true worth. Clarify what’s important to you. As business magnate Richard Branson said, “I don’t work for money, that’s too shallow a goal.” Lucky for him, his passion for having fun has netted him millions—as it has for James Patterson and other prosperous authors.

Whatever path you choose, be sure to work with love. Sonia Choquette, author of Your Heart’s Desire, echoes this view: “When you work with love you draw others to you. Embrace this truth. The reason for this is that love is the highest vibration on earth. When you work with love people feel it, are helped by it, and return to it. That’s why love is the best marketing tool around. Because it is so attractive, it pulls right to you what you need.”

The Money or Your Life
His Holiness the Dalai Lama once said, “Choose a job that allows the opportunity for some creativity and for spending time with your family. Even if it means less pay—it is better to choose work that is less demanding, that gives you greater freedom, more time to be with your family and friends, engage in cultural activities or just play. I think that is best.”

This really spoke to me and was one of the primary reasons I chose to scale back my successful international consultancy. Time is more valuable to me than money. I can always find ways to get more money, but it is impossible to find more than 24 hours in any one day.

Be careful what you chase. Is it more money, or a better quality of life? With planning, it just may be possible to do both, says Tim Ferris in his bestselling book The 4-Hour Work Week.

You may not have the cash at the moment, and the economy may not be ideal, but that doesn’t mean your mind can’t be working on your ideas and creating the way to a better future. Look for opportunities in every climate. That’s leverage.

sweet spot sorkin

How Gratitude Can Help You Find Your Signature Gifts

I regulary keep feedback I receive in a gratitude section on my iphone. Recently, Bev, 72, wrote to me:

“My art journey was revitalised with my oracle reading and the course I did with you.”

I felt so grateful to know that I helped reawaken her art career. Before scheduling her Oracle reading with me and taking my class, she shared, “I am struggling with: finding a way of telling my story whilst being authentic and how to express myself. I want to feel more confident of my work and not compare myself to others.”

I share more about how oracle cards can feed your inspiration in my blog post.

Keeping feedback like this and being grateful helps remind me of my signature strengths—inspiring others, motivating, teaching, and that my intuitive and the guidance I can offer others is my superpower.

I  received a lovely email today, which I’m grateful for:)

‘”The Art of Life Inspiration Deck has arrived! Stunning pictures – great advice. I like the glossy finish which helps the cards glide easily in your hand. First-day advice – “Give thanks! – Gratitude or what you have makes you the richest person on the planet”. I actually was in that frame of mind, and gave thanks last night. My blood pressure dropped from 217/101 yesterday morning to 173/83. Still a way to go. But it will go down.
Thank you so much.”‘

The previous day, another lady received her deck.

“I received your beautiful inspirational deck today, and tomorrow I am visiting a sick whānau member down south, so i will definitely be gifting a set. It’s going to be great to go through them with her 🙏”

As, I share in Mid-Life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself “You grow most in your areas of greatest strength. You will improve the most, be the most creative, be the most inquisitive, and bounce back the fastest in those areas where you have already shown some natural advantage over everyone else who has your strengths. This doesn’t mean you should ignore your weaknesses. It just means you’ll grow most where you are already strong.”

Marcus Buckingham, Author

I’ve certainly grown so much last year employing my creative skills in a wide range of endeavours. Including opening an art gallery during lockdown, art commissions and large scale works in New Zealand beeswax and pure pigment. Plus, creating my first oracle deck, The Art of Life Inspiration Deck.

Other experts in the realm of positive psychology such as Mihály Csikszentmihályi call this flow, also known as being in the zone. Achieving this state of flow and working to your strengths is where the magic is. It’s your point of passion and can lead you to the business you were born to create.

I love researching and writing. I look forward to sitting down at my computer, or grabbing a piece of paper and jotting down ideas and inspiration. When I’m using these skills I’m in the zone. I love sharing knowledge too. Combine these activities and I’m delighted. 

Which is why I am super excited to share my news…

Learn to paint colour, joyful abstracts with award-winning artist Cassandra Gaisford

Learn to paint colour, joyful abstracts with award-winning artist Cassandra Gaisford. Small, social, in-person workshops around the globe—and right here in the Bay of Islands! Next class Waitangi weekend!

Discover a new hobby or resurrect a slumbering passion.

Come and create something beautiful.

For July dates and details visit https://www.thejoyfulartist.co.nz/workshops-around-the-globe/

Classes will be small and fun!

If you can’t be here in person, be sure to check out my online classes,


 Why Being Inspired Matters: The Spontaneous Fulfillment and Healing Power of Joy

How might we sabotage ourselves?

How to create an art gallery from home

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 Courses: 

Find Your Passion and Purpose with my best-selling self-paced course made for busy people>>

Play Dates: Online Creativity Workshop>>

Have fun, explore, enrich your life 

Keynote speaking: Hire me to speak to your organization or team about Resilience, wellbeing, innovation, and motivation.

You can get more of my thoughts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to this blog and receive a free gift when you sign up for Cassandra’s newsletters and get more help to live your best life.

Posted in: Blog

What’s gratitude got to do with finding your gifts?

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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