Home » Blog

When I’m wounded here’s what I do…

“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 Persian poet Rumi once said, “The wound is where the light enters you.” It may not feel like it at the time, but I’ve found it to be true. The trick is, how to tend for the wound so that it heals, not destroys.

I look to many inspirational people for guidance. Today, as another woman ascends the British throne as Charles ‘queen’ I think of Diana, the people’s princess—the woman who should have been queen. Hurt by so many people she loved, she threw her heart into her life’s work, compassion and caring for the wounded.

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”.

During all the Covid rules, I followed my heart and swam against the tide—showing up for love, starving out the fear, and sharing the healing power of art with others. My little gallery in my converted farm shed became a place of refuge, love and light. When I feel wounded, it’s in my ‘art portal’ I seek refuge. The added bonus has been the company of like-hearted others who have visited, purchased my art or joined me for play dates and classes in the ‘happy gallery.’

In this video, I share how I created an art gallery during Covid and created more joy for others

6 weekly lessons art retreat

Intuitive art tutorial “Lovin’ Pink” and “Better When We’re Together.”

It’s always a beautiful day when a new custom canvas arrives for a special commission. It arrived one sunny day and has been marinating in the good vibes with my lady painters coming for weekly lessons. I love to imbue my work and my life with good vibes. Can’t wait to get out my violets and magentas for this super special abstract botanical created especially for my beautiful, loving couple. The working title is Lovin’ Pink because Jenny and Mike love the songstress Pink like me. Fun fact – when they came to the gallery, I had a new copy of Marie Claire with Pink in all her fabulousness on the cover.

Mike and Jenny left the studio with two other paintings tucked under their arms, and I started a playlist to listen I began to think about the piece they had commissioned. I’m especially enamoured with Pink’s Beautiful Trauma album and the philosophy, which is to look for beauty rather than focus on the dark

In this video, I share a clip from one of my FB lives where I created my gestural paintings. You’ll also see the pieces Jenny and Mike went home with. You’ll see the flowers which inspired the paintings and how I repurposed several paintings I no longer loved.

(Don’t forget you can adjust playback speed with the little wheel in the bottom right)

If you enjoyed this video, you may also enjoy:

Show up! In this video, I share how inspiration has to find you working. It’s so essential to show up even if you’re just an audience of one or you only have the strength to do tiny things …Tiny Paintings or tiny jobs to progress something forward. I also share inspiration from my muses, Helen Frankenthaler and Joan Mitchell.

A Happy Heart: How Trauma Can Inspire Beauty


  1. Write a story. Fictionalise your pain and make yourself the triumphant hero. You can find many examples in my Transformational Super Kids series, including Cassie is a Giraffe and my latest book: Selfish Sadie and the first book in the series, The Little Princess, where I share my experience of being bullied. Below is a little blurb.

Feeling stuck, depressed or demotivated? There are so many reasons why you should follow your dreams. If you need some motivation, look no further than this book.

Part moral allegory and part spiritual autobiography, The Little Princess is a timeless charm which tells the story of a young woman who leaves the safety of fitting in with everyone else, to follow her heart.

Be inspired by this journey to transformation and self-acceptance, and self-belief as she learns to overcome the vagaries of adult behavior. Her personal odyssey culminates in a voyage of self-belief, passion, and purpose.

From the best-selling author of Mid-Life Career RescueStress Less and How to Find Your Passion and Purpose: a powerful, inspiring, and practical book about boosting resilience, overcoming obstacles and moving forward after life’s inevitable setbacks.

Find out what strategies are sabotaging your success. Find and follow your passion and purpose faster.


2.) Release your feelings–anger, rage, pain, sorrow…and the good ones too!

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

Many of the most successful creations were born of pain. When you share what’s going on in your world, it resonates with others who feel the same way too. Think Adele, Eric Clapton, Amy Winehouse, Joan Mitchell and others.

In this video, I share how Amy Winehouse’s raw emotion and vulnerability inspire my work…if only she’d gone to rehab, and ditched the toxic parasites in her life.

3. Share your Joy

Making other people happy, boosts your happiness too.

As I shared in my blog post last month: Take me home with you!

Pictured: The Flower Girl

I showed up for love in the middle of a storm and other people showed up too! My exhibition, “DANCING THROUGH FIELDS OF FLOWERS”, was full of feelings—sharing a flurry of colourful, love-infused paintings inspired by my artist’s garden, love of colour and flowers. 

I was in my happy place, a day after the exhibition opened, when a lovely couple wandered through my artist’s garden and headed for the gallery—my ‘portal’ as Karen who came to my art retreat all the way from Australia told me.

🔴 SOLD! I didn’t even have a chance to get these beauties onto my website. “Better When We Are Together”, and “Loving You Loving Me.” Perfect names and the perfect paintings for this beautiful loved-up couple who came to the gallery today during my DANCING THROUGH FIELDS OF FLOWERS exhibition. You can view the video of these works being created here:

Each painting is acrylic and gold leaf on canvas
76cm x 76cm x 1.5cm
They loved them so much they didn’t want to separate them.

As I’ve shared before, soft greens and blues make me feel so peaceful, calm and soothed, as do loving affirmations. My current go-to quote is: “The strong, calm person is always loved and revered. She is like a shade-giving tree in a thirsty land or a sheltering rock in a storm.”~ James Allen

This quote reminds me to be the peace I want to feel. I also invite love, not fear or anger, to guide my day. I’m not saying it’s easy—if it were, the world would be happier and healthier. When I paint, I create my artworks with kind, caring, loving energy. When people purchase and hang my loving pieces these emotions will pour into their life, home or office.

The paintings, as was the sister piece, Feeling Special, which I have sent to Hawera for the  Lysaght Watt Trust Art Award, were inspired by the gift of special flowers by a visiting family from Texas. They have decided to make New Zealand their new home. I was given the flowers in appreciation. “Thank you for making our children feel so special.” I replied, “They are special:)” and then later thought, how special it would be to paint this unexpected gift.

The titles for these paintings were inspired by a suggestion by one of my followers and also a Jack Johnson song. I’m also super grateful to Jenny and Mike for the additional purchase of a commission of my special poppy paintings that they have seen in loved in another collector’s home. I thanked them for loving my art and was so happy when they thanked me for creating the paintings. Love spreads love. Proud to be sharing joy.#golov-20.

Before they purchased their paintings we strolled through the garden and across the expansive lawn and Jenny turned to me, smiled and said, “We want to buy your paintings and take you home with us.” It was such a sweet moment and impacted me so profoundly that I gave her a big hug.

I feel so proud to be a part of something that people say so many nice things about. It’s so rare. I mean, for some people, it’s not that rare, but in my case, growing up I seldom received a compliment.

I can relate to Jennifer Aniston who once shared,

“…watching adults being unkind to each other, and witnessing certain things about human behavior that made me think: I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to be that. I don’t want to experience this feeling I’m having in my body right now. I don’t want anyone I ever come in contact with to feel that. So I guess I have my parents to thank. You can either be angry or be a martyr, or you can say, “You’ve got lemons? Let’s make lemonade.” 

I’m so grateful that what I do sparks joy, unites us and makes people smile.

Scroll to the end to hear one of my students, Karen from Australia, sharing her experiences after her Fun, Fab and Fearless art retreat. I was so proud of her courage and in love with what she painted (as I was the other students)

“Cassandra invites inspiration and then shows you how to make it happen. Informative and value-packed workshops. Her tuition and intuition are totally on point. This retreat furthered my mission to come into alignment with a more soul-based life and artistic expression. The studio itself is a portal to a world of active imagination and creativity. The magical landscape, view and location are the icing on the cake.I cannot wait to return and participate again.Thank you so much for a truly wonderful, magical few days.”

Art Retreat June
NEW DATES  in-person fearless art retreat!
Next Fun, Fab and Fearless Women’s Art Retreat June 2023. To learn more: https://www.thejoyfulartist.co.nz/workshops-around-the-globe/

Who can paint?

It’s my belief that all of us can paint. It’s just that so many of us are afraid to face a blank canvas or pick up a brush. Fearful of being judged, fearful of looking foolish, we hang back…

But what if discovering your creative self is about finding the right teacher?

Come and paint with me. Cassandra, the joyful artist, award-winning painter and experienced creativity teacher. I’ve helped lots of want-to-be artists find their creative selves and create paintings they’re proud to hang on the wall

Enjoy the freedom of fearless abstract painting.

Come to my in-person art retreat and experience three days of wonderful fun and play in my studio overlooking the sea and surrounded by beautiful gardens

I have four spots left for my 3-day art workshop Friday 23, Saturday 24  & Sunday 25 June (Winter Solstice)
 The normal fee is $2997 but I am extending an EARLY BIRDIE special of $1495.  Offer expires 20 April. Don’t miss out! DM to take advantage of the special offer or email – feel free to forward to a friend

Flights and accommodation are in demand it would be advantageous to book ahead. 


There is a wide range of accommodation options in Kerikeri. Here are a couple of affordable accomodation options. 

1.) My friends Ken and Viv live only 5 minutes up the road, easy walking distance and run a sweet AirBnB Cottage – only $117 per night


2.) My friend Bill and his wife have a great arty motel, centrally located in the middle of town. You would need a car or to take a taxi to get out here (12km) away. The advantage is access to town and restaurants, although you can cook in many of the apartments. They also offer gorgeous studios. 

https://staykerikeri.co.nz/ – from $185 a night

3.) Wharepuke Subtropical Accommodation
My friends offer 5 one bedroom self-catering cottages set comfortably in lush established subtropical gardens.They are in a quiet location on the Stone Store Hill just 1km from the Kerikeri town

http://wharepuke.nz/kerikeri-accommodation/ – from $160 a night

We hope you join us and kindly help us spread the word! For more details>>
About The Bay of Islands:  The Bay of Islands is one of the country’s most popular holiday destinations, and for good reason. Stunning natural beauty and over 144 islands make for a fun and diverse playground. Located a short flight from New Zealand’s major city, Auckland it’s easy to get to. Be instantly transported by the magical landscape. Feel the coolness of the fresh-salt air and the beauty of the garden. See why the magic of the Bay of Islands is home to so many creatives and leaders in their field. Plus, check out my gallery, the happy gallery, Art@Rangitane, where the workshop will be held,


It all started with going offline!
In this video, I share some tips about overcoming artists’ block, hitting the wall, and how painting with passion improves your mood. You’ll see me working on two large abstract florals, inspired by the Crucifix Orchids that grow wild in the garden. I am painting them as part of my exhibition, DANCING THROUGH  FIELDS OF FLOWERS (details below) I love to listen to jazz as I paint and get into the flow as my muse Joan Mitchell did. I’m listening to Charlie Parker as I paint today:) I love to paint with happy, vibrant joyful energy and to infuse these into the paintings. I hope you love it. If you do, remember to like and subscribe to my channel.

“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.”
Vincent Van Gogh
910mm x 910mm x 35mm
Acrylic on canvas

In this video, I share the reaction when my clients see the painting they commissioned—another landscape from my mind. I love their reaction! Do you? You can learn more about the commission process here: https://www.thejoyfulartist.co.nz/commissions/
Thanks for reading and watching. I hope you found it uplifting and my musings brought a smile to your life! As always, I never stop appreciating you. Sometimes I forget to tell you that!

Karen found and created magic!

Feel free to share and repost. Spread the love  💕🌸🌞

Did you enjoy this post?

You might like:




Here are some more things you might like:

Uplifting Art by Cassandra

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 >>

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

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

When I’m wounded here’s what I do…

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


Facebook Instagram Youtube Pinterest

© 2023 The Joyful Artist
Website by Webstudio