Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Avoidance... And My Mosquito Bite Adventure

Avoidance. 

More common than we think. It's behind most sabotaging behaviours too. 

Yes there are positive intentions, things, feelings we search for unconsciously... there are also benefits and gains by avoiding what we want to move away from. 

It's all too common nowadays to bury our head in the sand. Technology makes this easier too. Facing an awkward silence in the lift with someone you don't know? 

Out comes the mobile. 



We often use mobile phones as an escapism... a jail free card... a way out. Rather than facing things head on, even if they're uncomfortable at first. Avoiding the present moment. I was reminded of avoidance as I was bitten for the 3rd time in a row one hot summer evening by a mosquito. 

Yes even mosquitoes can bring insights!

Angrily cursing... "what's the point of mosquitoes?" "its bad enough being bitten, why do we need to be left with an irritating bite mark too?"

"Presence" I heard within. 

My intuition was pointing how out of touch with the present moment I was at that time and the mosquito bites did have a silver lining... to reconnect with my body and the present moment. Even if it was an irritating reminder! This is not to say that every mosquito bite is a call to be present, each person and situation is different. It certainly seemed the case for me at the time. 

Looking within a little deeper (my curious mindset is often exlporing) all three bites were on the same side of my body even though both sides were visible to the mosquito. 

Interesting.

Some people say depending whether symptoms are displayed on the right or left hand side of the body it can give an insight to what contributing emotional conflicts are present. 

As far out as it may sound to some, emotions can contribute to physical symptoms that we experience... whatever the symptom. Making that symptom worse or better, as we create and influence our reality. 

For example... the left hand side of the body is generally considered to be connected to our feminine energy, female relationships, mother etc. Whereas the right hand side of the body is largely considered to indicate emotions about the masculine energetic side of ourselves, father figure, male relationships etc. There are many different theories and insights out there... though this theory in particular always stuck as it resonates with me. 

It made sense, I was annoyed about a particular situation and person at the time. And that matched exactly with which side of the body I had the mosquito bites on. I was experiencing an irritating physical reminder of how 'irritated' I was because I avoided the anger in the first place. I was being called present to the irritation I initially tried to avoid. 

This was another reminder, another wake up call to step even closer to authentic wholehearted living.

And let this be a lesson... emotions will always surface and manifest one way or another! If we suppress them now, they'll often bubble up in another form later on. 

Our experiences around us are a direct mirror into what is happening internally. 

We can observe and learn or we can avoid. It's our choice. We don't need to obsessively dissect every single thing we experience to find meaning... life is simply for living and having care-free fun too :-). It can help though at times to understand the meaning behind certain situations by tapping into that curious mindset. 





There are no right or wrong answers either, and many factors can come into play. Though by looking within, reflecting on possible meanings behind experiences can give us many insights and answers. 

Find the answer that resonates for you.


1) "I wonder, what is my current external experience highlighting about my internal world?"

2) "And how can I use this information with compassion to create the best outcome for myself and others?"


I realised after that experience how much I had avoided presence in many areas of my life. Presence with certain emotions, certain situations, and certain feelings sensations. By looking a little deeper into experiences we can gain insights into what beliefs, thoughts and emotions that may contribute. 

This is a common example I see with clients and in workshops too is the desire to avoid conflict at times. To avoid speaking our truth as often there is a hidden belief that it will create conflict if we do. Truth is, it's more about how we communicate rather that what we say. Only 7% of communication is based on actual words!

This calls for compassion. 

If you find that you have been avoiding certain situations and feelings first be kind to yourself. There's a reason behind every behaviour... find it, learn from it and then choose the direction you wish to go in. There are many insights to be had, and support around... we don't benefit from it though if we continue to avoid it. 

May each step on this journey be another deeper, compassionate stepping stone towards an even greater wholehearted life. Let's walk this path as one loving community.


If you'd like support in creating new habits and managing emotions and negative self-talk get in touch for online Wholehearted NLP sessions. Simply email... info@emmabradford.net.

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Monday, 22 May 2017

I Was Guilty... & The Truth About The Search For Happiness

I wrote the majority of this post flying at 35,000ft.

It's often where I get my best insights and ideas.

This time I was fuelled, seeing a magazine article in the airport titled 'How To Be Happy Everyday'. Those of you in my Facebook Community 'Compassionate Inner Light' would have seen my Facebook post as it happened. 

Maybe I misunderstood the article.

Maybe I didn't.

Often though, articles like that bring more pressure than pleasure.

Yes, we are the ones that attach meanings to situations... yes we create how we feel. However I feel the need to clarify a few things because there are so many misconceptions and misleading articles. 

With 5 years of professional experience in the self-awareness world, I've seen a lot of rubbish out there and I've also seen many authentic, heart driven professionals. I've lost my way a few times too, trying to find the balance between putting the message out there without trying to make anyone feel broken. Sometimes successfully, sometimes not, and in the last year especially I've realised the importance of this. 

Professionals are not in charge of what the reader feels and what meanings they attach to things however I believe we have a responsibility to put out a message of hope, reassurance and support - emphasising that no one is broken. We may feel broken at times, though at our core, no one is. And it deeply saddens me that there can be individuals reading magazine articles like the one I saw, thinking 'I'm not happy every day... there's something wrong with me... I need what they're selling'.

Stop right there. 

There is nothing wrong if we don't feel happy ALL the time.




Click To Tweet: "We're not the emotions we feel... we're just experiencing them" Emma Bradford


For most of my life, I was caught up in what people call 'Spiritual Bypassing'. Only focusing on the light. Ignoring the shadow. Suppressing and ignoring heavier emotions. Probably why a few challenges came into my life to slap me in the face and 'wake me up' - so I could finally start acknowledging my fears.

I'll be honest, being a naturally optimistic person I still have my moments. Though thanks to NLP and great life challenges the steps towards wholehearted living are even more frequent. 

The most important being honesty with myself.

To live wholeheartedly avoiding spiritual bypassing doesn't mean we have to broadcast publicly every single time we feel an emotion (whether that's on social media or other) unless we feel called to do so.

What it means simply is being as authentic and honest as we can. Living with awareness towards our perfect messy humanness. To live wholeheartedly means that we acknowledge how we feel... being honest with ourselves and others, noticing, observing and expressing that as we feel the need, in a healthy way whether be it through creative activity such as (dancing, writing...) and/or heartfelt communication etc.

So that magazine article title got me thinking...

There's a HUGE difference between desperately searching for instant happiness every moment, running away from pain compared to creating long lasting satisfaction and happiness of life accepting the ups and downs.. 


1) Desperately searching for happiness, often invites us to use vices that bring only short lived pleasure or obsessively setting goal after goal seeking to improve our lives out of fear of where we are... never feeling happy with the current moment. "I'll be happy when I have___(fill in the blank)___". This state is fearful, future based and unappreciative of the gifts the present moment can bring.

2) Creating long lasting life satisfaction is actively connecting to what we love and what fills us with joy at a deep Soul level regularly. Engaging in uplifting activities that speak to us, and help us reconnect and enjoy life. Noticing what we feel grateful for, simple pleasures in life. This state is active, present and grateful.





Life has polarity.

We have Yin/Yang, night/day, light/dark. And I'm guessing it's so we can really appreciate one by experiencing the other. It's so we can really feel and learn from this human experience to the full, by appreciating all colours life has to offer. We can even see from recent films such as 'Inside Out'... Sadness has it's value.

In my humble opinion I believe much of life is about this fluidity, moving through the highs and lows finding our balance as we do. There's no need to remain stuck in heavier emotional states and fall victim to how we feel... blaming outside influences for it as we do.

That's where NLP comes in handy. We have the ability to influence how we feel anytime, anywhere. Remembering that we are not the emotions we feel... we are simply experiencing them.

There's also no need to suppress and ignore what the shadow brings up. This also includes constantly and obsessively using practises to feel happier and energised whilst ignoring the deeper messages challenging emotions have to offer. Spiritual Bypassing has long term consequences - I know... I'm still healing from years of it.

If you think you've been caught up in the desperate search for happiness or have been Spiritually Bypassing and feel the need to regain balance try this...

  1. Be kind to yourself. We have all been there, it's ok. 
  2. What fulfils you at a deep Soul level? What little things generate a sense of joy and satisfaction? Brainstorm a list, what I call the 'I love...' page. A few of mine would include cups of tea in the sunshine, flowers, taking photos of beauty in nature, listening to podcasts whilst creating in the kitchen, dancing like no one is watching etc.
  3. Chose ONE thing from that list and bring it into your life regularly noticing how that feels as you do. One simple thing... daily or weekly... you choose. As some would say, we often give ourselves enough pressures and duties in life... life is simply about being authentic reconnecting to what we love. Remembering what fills us up from the inside out and living life according to our true self as much as we can.

Now I'd love to hear from you! In the comment section below let me know one thing on your 'I love...' page. Studies show stating new habits and goals out loud increase our chances of actually creating that shift.

Have a friend that would find this useful? Please share and spread the love even further :-)

More information and FREE downloads on my website www.emmabradford.net

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Two NLP Hacks To Get Back On Track

That moment of frustration - you know there must be a better way to achieve something yet you can't quite see it. What do you do? 

Give up? 

Keep going doing the same thing over and over? 

Or do what toddlers do? (And no I don't mean a tantrum).

Behaviour flexibility - Toddlers are experts at it. If they can't get what they want, their behaviour moves from begging, crying, shouting, throwing things. Whilst these behaviours might not be appropriate as adults in most situations... it's the mindset that's invaluable. If one thing doesn't work whilst moving towards a goal, try something else. Still moving in the same direction though changing the tactic, the approach.

I was reminded of this whilst playing Trionimos with my Grandmother recently. You can learn a lot from this game and my patience and determination was certainly tested many times! To fit all the tiles together it takes behaviour flexibility, finding new ways to readjust the tiles so all of them connect. 




One of the BIGGEST reasons why people don't achieve the goals they desire aside from the limiting beliefs and fears... is the lack of consistency. 

It's easy to give up. 

It's easy to give up and say it didn't work. Quite often we do this just before the results arrive too.

Giving up doesn't bring you what you want though. 

If one approach doesn't work... try another. If two Trionimo tiles don't fit together, move a few others around so they all can. 

It sounds simple, and often the most beneficial things are. These things can often get overlooked for their simplicity and then many wonder why some people have 'all the luck' and they don't. 

Digging a little deeper, it isn't a question of luck at all. 

By adopting behaviour flexibility we can TRANSFORM situations, discover new solutions, gain new skills and so much more. It just requires us to tap into that flexible, curious mindset. "Mm I wonder, how can I make this work?"

Sometimes we can become stuck thinking that if we let go of the way we've been doing something that means we've failed in some way. And this couldn't be further from the truth. It's not a failure to change the approach. Some would say it's a failure not to try, or even still to continue repeating the same behaviour even though it's not working. 

So this month, if you have something you'd like to bring into your life for example...

  • Learning a new skill
  • Regaining your healthy natural weight
  • Maintaining a regular yoga or meditation practice
  • Increasing the amount of wholefoods consumed
  • Etc...

And you feel like giving up, use these next few points as a reminder...

1) What is your WHY. Why do you want to bring this into your life? Use this as motivation when you feel like giving up. What will that that new yoga or mediation practice give you for example? What will you be able to let go of? 

2) Boost your emotional state. When we feel good, we naturally feel more energised to continue learning that new skill or maintain a regular practice. Regularly connect with music that you love, images that inspire and energise you, inspiring podcasts etc (and if you haven't checked out The Life Manual podcast you can do so here).

These two points can help whenever you need to re-adjust, try a different approach and keep moving forward. It doesn't matter if we hit a obstacle. It matters what we do consistently that counts. And slip ups teach us a wealth of wisdom... IF we tap into that behaviour flexibility and keep moving forward. 


I'd love to hear your thoughts! What new practice or goal are you bringing into your life now and what will help you? And if you'd like to read further on motivation check out my previous blog post here

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Tuesday, 21 March 2017

How One Post-It Note Propelled Me Into Change...

It's of the biggest lessons I've learnt in life.

That no matter how bleak a situation may seem. There is always one thing that remains.

Choice. There are many options in life and often we forget how many are available to us. Not only that, also we're the ones in control whether we're aware or not. 

NLP has been a loving 'kick up the backside' and reminder for me many times whenever I've felt like a victim. And yes being a victim is more common than we think...

Finding every excuse and reason why...

  • We can't do something - even though we know we'd benefit by doing it.
  • We need to hold onto a problem, remaining focused on the problem not open to considering different perspectives.
  • We're not to blame and the other person or outside force is and they have inflicted us (this includes blaming the government for how we feel!)
  • We need to hold onto a grudge... even if it's something from years ago (move on, for your sake and if you need help letting go check out this previous blog post). 
  • We need sympathy from others believing that life always throws us the worst.
  • Everyone else is better than us or has what we want and lack.
  • We don't deserve good things, yet other people do.
  • We always have such bad luck or always fall ill. 
  • We need to use the phrases 'If only I had done___x, y, z___' - self blame is also being a victim!
  • And much more...

So how does NLP shake us out of this? 

If we create our emotions through our thoughts, behaviour, lifestyle etc then nobody can force us to feel a certain way. It may feel like they can, though we are the ones attaching meaning to that situation and influencing how we feel no matter how uncomfortable that might be to hear. 

And if we're creating how we feel surely we can create a different response right? 

Yes! And this is where NLP (or any other method that works with the unconscious mind) comes in handy. It helps us to let go of emotional triggers and consciously create how we wish to feel.


First, let's be clear...

To have the occasional moan means we're human. No need to beat ourselves up. Though to remain stuck in a victim mentality, using any of the above list on a regular basis keeps us dis-empowered, stuck and in a state of lack and fear. 

Not to mention pretty miserable. 

The easy option is to blame. The happier option is to accept personal responsibility for our life and empower ourselves into the life we desire. If we desire change we need to take inspired action and influence what we can... ourselves and how we respond to things. 

One thing that can help is observing what we're really looking for. Our behaviour is a clear indication of what is going on unconsciously - some say our unconscious mind controls more than 95% of our behaviour! By observing our behaviour we can gain an idea of what our unconscious wants. Quite often with victim behaviour, it's a desire to feel loved with a sense of belonging. If you catch yourself doing any of the above behaviours ask yourself this...

1) What am I really looking for? 

2) And how can I generate some of this myself? 

For example, if we're looking for love, we can find ways to connect to that feeling rather than expecting others on a daily basis to generate that for us. Because that's how we experience love - it's a feeling and there are many ways to create how you feel. Loving words, thoughts, sights, sounds, smells, environments etc that don't solely depend on other people. 







Try this... 

In the past if I wanted to make changes, bring something new into my life and felt resistance cropping up... I would write the following words on a post-it note and place it somewhere I could see it everyday.


Option 1: Stay the same 

Option 2: Make a change




That reminder, noticing what life would be like if I remained the in the same situation for years and years, along with removing any necessary limiting beliefs and inner conflicts, meant desired experiences were a lot easier to bring into my life. 

And when I say make a change, it's about aligning ourselves with our authentic self, so we can receive what we truly desire, re-framing situations so they no longer bother us and seeing things from another perspective. 

When we remove limiting beliefs its as if the glasses we wear become a little sharper, a few scratches removed so we can see things with a clearer perspective. It's about remembering who we truly are, letting go of all the false beliefs of 'not being good enough' we may have picked up along the way.


Because you are, absolutely good enough, without a doubt to experience the life you desire.

Use this as a reminder.



Found this useful? Offer a helping hand to others and share this post.

If you'd like more support in removing unconscious blocks and letting go of those emotional triggers contact me on info@emmabradford.net for 1:1 empowerment sessions - available worldwide. 

Also last chance for the EXCLUSIVE transformational Menorca retreat 26-28th May 2017. Closing date 15th April! More info here

Monday, 20 February 2017

Where The Feeling Of Joy REALLY Comes From... And How To Manage 'Failure'

There's a saying we often say in NLP.

One I've repeated time and time again in seminars, workshops and coaching sessions. 

I use this phrase as a reminder that it's not the end of the world if something doesn't go 'according to plan'. 

Before I dive straight into the phrase, I'd like to mention one common mistake in the self-development field (or what I prefer to call self-awareness field) and most importantly how to rectify it. 

Often we can get so caught up with a desired outcome, setting goal after goal so much so that we miss what's in between and within the process in getting there. 

I certainly fell victim to this during my first few years within this industry. Feeling that I needed to achieve more, do more, have more, be more. That put me in a very unhappy place indeed as I was so out of balance with the other side of the coin. Being an ambitious, determined Taurus by nature I still need a reminder time to time though slowly and surely over the last few years I've learnt how to balance things out. 

It's great to have goals, a desire to grow, expand and experience new things in our lives. What's not so great is doing so and forgetting to be present along the journey too. Smelling the flowers along the way as they say. 

That's where our joy comes from. 


Those little moments, experiences and gems that we experience day to day whilst we move towards x, y or z. 

Not the sole actualisation of x, y or z. 


Menorca 'Reclaim Your Inner Strength' Retreat May 26-28th 2017


And if, for whatever reason we strive towards a goal and things turn out differently than expected, how we choose to move in the lead up to the goal plays a HUGE role in how we experience 'failure'. 

For example, say there are two friend's... A and B.

  • Friend A desperately wants to achieve x, all focus is 100% on achieving x and nothing else will do. Currently feeling a lack, a sadness because they have yet to achieve x.
  • Friend B also wants to achieve x and whilst the goal is within focus they're also mindful and present about what they're learning along the way. Feeling more content about themselves and the world as the journey progresses appreciating the experiences they've gained so far.


Now, if neither one successfully achieves x first time round, which friend do you think will bounce back quicker and still feel good regardless? Which one would be more willing to give it another shot and try a new tactic?

Friend B right? 

This brings me back to the NLP phrase I mentioned... "There's no failure, only feedback" or as Marie Forleo says... "I may win or I may learn... though I never loose"

If there is something you are working towards in your life take a moment to reflect how you are moving towards that goal.


1) Is this something I desire at all levels, that is congruent with my beliefs and values? 

2) Am I enjoying the process, learning and collecting experiences and stories along the way? If not, what can help me shift my focus?

For example... some may find placing a reminder their phone with one of the above quotes/phrases helps. Find what works for you.

The journey is where we can find little nuggets of joy. It's our relationship with the experience that makes all the difference. As Brene Brown says...

"I leap for the experience through the air... because I cannot predict the landing... (ask yourself)... what's worth doing even though I may fail?"


Have a friend that would find this useful? Forward on this post, offering a helping hand.

And if you'd love to transform how you manage unwanted emotions, negative self-talk and to experience a more accepting and loving relationship with yourself come and join my exclusive retreat in May!

Return home feeling refreshed, knowing you can handle whatever life throws at you. A weekend retreat that lasts a lifetime.

More details can be found HERE - earlybird price ends 15th of March 2017!



Tuesday, 17 January 2017

3 Ways To Transform How You Feel Right Now

Looking up at the cool, star filled country night sky, I breathed a sigh of relief. 

It had been a hard 6 months. 

A breakup, work & money stresses and day to day life struggles. I was  burned out, ready for a change. It was this that led me to book a weekend retreat over a year ago. A weekend just for me on one of my favourite islands, Menorca, to unwind, learn, reflect and reconnect. 

When we get caught up in the daily grind we can forget how disconnected we become. Continuing to run in circles on a hamster wheel out of fear rather than take a moment to step off, regain our balance and reflect on what is necessary. 

Are you currently in a state of fear or LOVE? 

Is what you are doing right NOW absolutely necessary for your current or future health and well-being? 

If not, how can you readjust your priorities so that you continue contributing to your health and well-being?

Sometimes a check-in or reminder is all we need. Sometimes a break-state exercise can work wonders (keep reading for more), and sometimes we need a complete break. A break to press the 'reset' button so we can regain alignment, and leap forward into new exciting experiences and opportunities in our lives.

I know that when I have felt stressed, anxious or in a state of fear in the past my focus was simply out of alignment with what I wanted. I was focusing on what I feared most, listening to the Inner Critic's spew of hurtful comments and forgetting to connect with what truly fills me with joy. 

You see, we can create our emotional state. Anytime, anywhere. In fact we do it all the time... just most the time we are not conscious of it. Emotions don't just happen to us. It can feel like they do if we live our lives unconscious of our thought processes. With awareness though we can notice that by tracing out thoughts back after a particular emotion arises... there you have the answer. 

There you have the root cause. 



There are many tools and techniques out there, it can be an overwhelming supermarket of self-awareness techniques. Which is why I have kept not all, though most of my focus on NLP. It works, it's simple and it gives us the emotional mastery tools that make any challenging situation so much easier to bear. 

That retreat a year ago on Menorca was one of the many experiences that inspired me to create my own so others could experience the same with some additional NLP techniques. If I could create a wonderful relaxing break PLUS the life tools to take home so to enjoy a happier, healthier life with less stress, now that would be something valuable indeed. 

And this is exactly what I have chosen to do. 

First, if you feel you need a SOS reset right now, feeling stressed and frazzled longing for an escape try one of these 3 BREAK-STATE exercises...

  • Dance to your favourite song, not only does your moving body help your physical well-being it also releases feel good hormones boosting your emotional state. And not forgetting that music is a powerful, powerful healer.
  • Take a brisk walk outdoors in nature, so you can soak up the negative ions (that are positive for the body). I don't know about you, I find it virtually impossible to not to feel grateful and uplifted when I'm surrounded by nature. Try it, you may you struggle to hold onto the stress too ;-)
  • Close your eyes and think of something that helps you to feel happy and calm... this could be a memory, a time in your past where you experienced that emotion. See what you saw, hear what your heard and notice that feeling becoming stronger with every breath. Notice what you say to yourself when you feel happy and calm. If you could give this emotion a colour what would that be? Notice how things start to steadily transform as you imagine that colour flowing through and around your body.
I encourage you to find what works for you, find feel good activities that can give you an extra boost in a healthy and productive manner. Choose to consciously create how you want to feel. 

Yes, it's possible!

And if you'd like to discover specific NLP techniques to effectively manage your emotions, transform your relationship with yourself and that critical voice within all whilst enjoying the beautiful tranquil Menorcan surroundings get in contact. 

This retreat has only 7 places. If you want to be one of those lucky 7, visit my website for more information on prices and to reserve your place www.emmabradford.net or send me an email at info@emmabradford.net. Earlybird price closing date ends 15th March 2017!


It's time for some radical self-care lovely - let's make 2017 even better.

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