Wednesday, 20 December 2017

A Forgotten Art... & Why THIS Is So Important

It's not out there.

Despite many of us still searching. 

Often learning from a young age that to seek validation, confirmation and answers outside of ourselves is the way to go. Sure we can benefit learning from others, especially when we're growing up - in some respects it's absolutely necessary. Though by doing so with blind ignorance of what gems lie within too is where some issues can arise.

It's then why, often as adults many still feel unsatisfied.

Something missing.

Feels empty.

Mainly because we're ignoring the wealth of knowledge within us. We're stood in the empty spot between our light and shadow. Back turned to our light (who we really are, our Soul, our energy) and eyes focused on our fears of our shadow (which are much smaller than they initially look... and some say even an illusion).

Being brought up by holistic parents, aware of the the spiritual and self-awareness world from day one, I've seen and heard a few things in this field especially in the realm of teachers, gurus and coaches. Some beautiful. Others not so. Same goes for many industries. 

I soon learnt that using discernment & intuition is fundamental in this human experience we call life, especially when seeking guidance and support from a teacher. This was one of the many things NLP taught me too.

To both question things AND find answers within.

Not to question from a basis of scepticism, looking to prove something or someone wrong. Or with an arrogance that 'I don't need to learn from anyone else' attitude. Rather, with a loving, curious child-like mindset. Seeking to understand the world we live in whilst also trusting there's deep wisdom inside ourselves too.

It can be a wonderful gift to receive support and guidance from a teacher. What we need to be mindful of is not to follow a teacher blindly without checking within too. To exercise our discernment  & intuition, recognising what resonates for us.

It can be common, especially in the spiritual/self-awareness world when we resonate with the teaching's of someone that we start to place that person on a pedal-stool. I certainly have at times, and I've been on the receiving end too. Seeing that person as perfect, without flaws, which can create some form of distance between 'me' and 'them'. The issue here is that by doing so we can minimise our self and our capabilities in the process.

Believing that we'll never be able to be like them or do what they do. Whereas it's that very belief that can prevent us.

This is one of the many reasons why I became a NLP Trainer. I want people to feel empowered to look within, to know how to create changes for themselves for the rest of their life whenever they need to and find the answers. Not to solely rely on outside support from a coach or therapist. 

No outside Teacher, Mentor, Coach, Guru, whoever... can ever completely replace the wisdom we have within too. Even if we're struggling to access that wisdom inside of us, doesn't mean it's not there. We just need to slooow our lives down to hear it, trust it.

I used to think all Spiritual Guru's where unnecessary. It wasn't until I discussed this topic with a dear friend that I realised I too was limited in my thinking at that time. Seeking support from a teacher can serve a purpose, it can be a lot easier for some people to start a journey of discovery by seeking guidance outside first, before looking within. What's vital though is that we keep our feet on the ground during the process and remember that they too are human, even if they display certain gifts.

An outside teacher can provide support, comfort and guide... yes, of which during challenging times can be so valuable.

Though when we place someone on a pedal-stool we're viewing our projection of them, not the real them. And we can become attached and fearful of what might happen if one day that thing or person may disappear from our life. This is common in the initial stages of romantic relationships too. The honeymoon period ends when we realise that person has flaws, unhelpful habits and is human too.

Tony Robbins often talks about 6 Basic Human Needs, and mentions that the more needs something or someone fulfils, the more desired it can become...

  1. Love & Belonging (Connection)
  2. Significance
  3. Certainty (Perceived certainty... such as comfort, safety, security)
  4. Variety (Uncertainty)
  5. Growth
  6. Contribution

One of the reasons why smart phones can be so addictive... they fulfil many needs! 

The good news is, is that we can choose how we fulfil these needs. Finding helpful ways to generate these feelings within without the sole dependency on outside sources to do it for us. For example, choosing to create a feeling of connection when we connect to our body during exercise or to our Soul when we do an activity we love. The more we do that the less we might search for the feeling of connection from others.

This is one way we can live an empowered life and become our own Guru. Each and every one of us is so worthy, and capable. More than we may initially realise.

Click to tweet: "The answer is within" Emma Bradford

Learning to trust our gut feeling is where we can access our Inner Guru*, the guidance that is always there for us to access. Sometimes we may believe we're not intuitive, we don't get the messages like others do. Looking back most of us can pinpoint at least one time when something felt right or not. 

We do receive the messages.

It's simply our analytical mind that then doubts the message and confuses us in the process. Fear of acting according to our intuition as sometimes initially it doesn't make sense.

When we act on the intuitive feelings though, everything unfolds and can make perfect sense.

Bringing it back to love...
To practice tuning into our intuition we can start to notice how we feel in situations, around certain people. Being aware of sensations and feelings we have in the present moment. 

What is our body telling us?

Are we making decisions based on what everyone else thinks or are we taking a moment to notice what feels right for us too? 

Now I'd love to hear from you! What's your Inner Guru within telling you today? And if you're unsure... if you were to know, what would it say? Let me know in the comment section below.

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*If you haven't seen the documentary called 'Kumaré' yet, do!

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Emotions Uncovered: The Hidden Benefits of Anger, Sadness & Fear


Painful? Uplifting? Two sides of the same coin.

There are many different shades of anger... deep, red hot rage to a light red/pink hue of mild irritation. A rainbow of emotions within the human experience, and only experiencing the sunny yellow of joy doesn't allow us to experience the full rainbow. 

As with day and night... if we continuously experience daylight, wouldn’t it get a bit boring? Notice how after a cold, dark, wet winter, spring arrives with more light and warmth. Feels good right? 

We truly appreciate the light when we've experienced darkness too. 

To appreciate the wonderful nature of joy and happiness, we also need to understand what sadness and grief feels like. Doesn't mean we need to wallow in self-pity and grief for days and weeks. It simply means when an emotion arises - acknowledge it, feel it, learn from it and then let it go.  

All emotions are valid. This goes for ourselves too... all parts are valid.  

Emotions (Energy in MOTION) are messengers giving us an invitation. Presenting a door that leads onto something else. If we decide to suppress, ignore, avoid certain emotions it's as if we keep the door closed unable to connect to the wonderful experience on the other side.

We miss out.

Often what prevents us to fully embrace emotions are our beliefs about them from past events. If we believe that crying our sadness or expressing anger is 'wrong' then whenever we feel sadness or anger we'll want to avoid or suppress it. 

It's not the emotion itself... it's the meanings we've attached to them from past experiences.

Afraid of what others might think - fear of showing our vulnerable side in case we're rejected. Vulnerability actually creates deeper bonds. 

Afraid of how it may feel - as we've attached a meaning that __x__ emotion always = pain. As a society we often search for instant pleasure rather than long term happiness. There's a difference between the two and often it's the latter that we really want even if we don't realise it. Searching for instant pleasure and avoiding certain emotions in the process won't bring us long term happiness. 

By opening ourselves to emotions, we open ourselves up to a whole world of experiences and insights. Emotions invite us to experience something else completely different and wonderful in and beyond them. 

Anger can lead to...
  • Passion... creative fuel for new projects, missions and new rights.
  • Self-esteem... by teaching us about our boundaries, our value and lead us to greater self-worth if we choose to observe the messages and act accordingly.
  • Motivation... to create change.
  • Etc..

Sadness can lead to...
  • Understanding... of what we're experiencing.
  • Gratitude... for what we had and have and to fully appreciate the uplifting times. Any sadness I've experienced, acted among many things as a reminder to appreciate what I have and become more present. To truly appreciate the wonderful joys that life has to offer that we can easily take for granted or miss in daily life.
  • Connection... with others when we open up and share how we feel. The film 'Inside Out' is a wonderful example of this.
  • Etc...

Fear can lead to...
  • Courage... to feel the fear and do what we want anyway, recognising how brave we can be.
  • Safety... so we can get ourselves out of risky situations if need be.
  • Awareness... recognising our priorities and increasing our focus.
  • Etc...

In other words it's not the hammer, it's the intention and action we choose to do with the hammer that's important. 

For too long certain emotions have been given a bad reputation, seen as something to be avoided whereas it's simply HOW we express them that's key. Expressing anger by dancing or painting how we feel is very different to punching someone in the face and spreading the anger further. The first transforms the energy, the second multiplies it.

So if anger (for example) isn't 'bad' why do we need to transform it? 

When we remain stuck and attached to certain emotions we interrupt the flow and they can build up within. A mild irritation at first may later become red hot rage if we don't see it for what it is, learn from it and express it in a healthy and productive way from the beginning. Plus I think most of us can agree that a little more peace, love and healing on this planet could be somewhat helpful!

It´s finding a balance, allowing ourselves to go with the flow, without remaining stuck to heavier emotions for too long. That's where NLP and the many other useful techniques and practices out there come in handy. Remaining stuck in certain emotional states can keep us demotivated, dis-empowered and affect our health.

Notice I use the word heavier instead of negative. If we label and judge certain emotions as negative, the more we interrupt the flow. Heavier emotions are the ones where we want to contract and withdraw... lighter emotions are the ones where we feel expansive and open.

By ignoring the knocking on the door of an emotion we miss the insight and gift... and it will only come back louder and stronger another time. 

As they say... what we resist, persists!

If we're learning something through the experience of an emotion can we really label that emotion as negative? Surely gaining new insights can be a wonderful thing, right?

So I wonder... what really lies beyond that door.

I'd love to hear from you, if you're experiencing a particular emotion what is it inviting you to connect with right now? What door is being presented to you? Let me know in the comment section below.

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Wednesday, 18 October 2017

How To Make Peace With Change & Find Comfort That Heals

How do we respond to uncertain times?

With fear? Anxiety? Anger? Or perhaps we're calm, optimistic and open to change?

Uncertainty (variety) is one of the 6 Basic Human Needs according to Tony Robbins...

1) Love & Belonging
2) Significance
3) Certainty
4) Uncertainty (Variety)
5) Growth
6) Contribution

To have a feeling of uncertainty in life is essential so we don't feel bored. Imagine what it would be like if we knew exactly what will happen every minute, every day of our lives before it happens. I don't know about you, I'd certainty crave some uncertainty just to add some variety in life!

Each individual has their own personal preference, some crave lots of uncertainty, going with the flow and unexpected surprises. Whilst others prefer more certainty in the form of routines, organisation and predictability. When we experience too much certainty for our preference, life can become a bit dull, and when we experience too much uncertainty for our liking, this can trigger higher levels of anxiety.

Each individual has their own threshold.

In my work over the last 5 years I noticed that when high levels of uncertainty were present in clients lives this was a common trigger to reach for comfort food... looking for a feeling of comfort when anxiety levels rose high.

Sometimes we might not even realise that we are affected by uncertainty... yet we can gain deep insights into what is going on unconsciously by looking at our behaviour. Our behaviour is a great insight into what thoughts, emotions, beliefs and values are in play at a deep unconscious level. Are we responding angrily to a change of plan (I know I have at times before!), are we experiencing anxiety bubbling up within? Or perhaps we're in a state of fear... what may or may not happen... worries playing on loop within our mind. 

Habitually many human beings are creatures of comfort, not wanting to move out of the comfort zone, our familiar surroundings and if anything pushes us out of it it can trigger more uncertainty in our lives sometimes leading to overwhelm and anxiety. 

The thing is, life is constantly moving and changing. 

Life IS change. 

We cannot avoid uncertain times completely. There will be moments when unexpected events occur in life.. so how about we make peace with change instead?

How To Make Peace With Change...
These following 3 steps are not the only ones out there in the world of self-awareness, though these steps can be a wonderful starting point to shifting our perspective...

1) ACKNOWLEDGE: First of all, what are we currently thinking and feeling about uncertainty and change? What does it mean for us if uncertainty and change are present?

Are we fearing the worst case scenario? 
Fear of losing what we currently have? 
Angry that things have changed? 
Anxious of what may or may not happen?

2) SHIFT THE PERSPECTIVE: We can start transforming things by challenging the Limiting Belief and acknowledging the emotions.

For example... if we believe that change is painful or difficult, then perhaps we might resist change to avoid pain. Whereas looking at things from a different perspective... perhaps it isn't the change that causes the pain, just our resistance to it that does?

We can notice beliefs as they pop up and challenge them by asking ourselves this question... 'What else could this behaviour mean? What haven't I noticed yet?'

Simply by shifting the perspective we can create a profound shift in how we feel... after all thoughts can create emotions. For more on how to shift emotions specifically join the Facebook community here.

3) CONSTRUCTIVE COMFORT vs DESTRUCTIVE COMFORT: Comfort is not a bad thing, we can absolutely benefit from downtime and an extra boost of oxytocin filled hug. What is unhelpful though, is when we use unhealthy vices to give us that feeling of 'comfort' on a regular basis. Often this can come in the form of food, alcohol and social media scrolling etc.

So the beneficial question to ask ourselves is how do I find comfort and is this constructively helping me both in the short and long term?

For example... if I'm going through a challenging time and I find myself scrolling too long on social media... I'm simply looking for looking for a form of comfort, a distraction from the challenging situation. This isn't necessarily helpful in large periods of time both short and long term so we could say it's a form of Destructive Comfort.

On the other hand, if I'm going through a challenging time and I meet up with a friend to chat about the situation this can be considered as a form of Constructive Comfort as not only can talking with a loved one be comforting, it can also support us in understanding whatever situation we're in and gain clarity on our next chosen steps of action.

Are we constructively finding comfort or are we tapping into destructive comfort seeking patterns? And if the later, what can we start doing to transform that?

Time for change, don't you think?

I'd love to hear from you... what actions of constructive comfort help you? Let me know in the comment section below.

Have friends going through a challenging time? Share this post and help to spread the love even further.

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Monday, 25 September 2017

Whatever The Situation, There Is Always This...

No one can ever take this away from us... only ourselves. 

I was reminded of this on a recent adventure in the northern tip of Menorca. Waiting at the bus stop after a scorching hot yet awesome day on the beach with a dear friend. 

37 degrees.

Yes, the hottest day I've ever experienced... aside from August in Morocco many years ago. Lesson number one, don't ever go to Morocco in August unless you like living in an oven!

In Menorca we waited, and waited and waited... only to discover that the late bus was only for local hotel guests and not the public. 


No car... no bus... I started to contemplate sleeping on the beach. Sure it was an option, though ideally at the time I wanted to get back to the flat. My mind started running through possible options...

1) Sleep on the beach 
2) Walk (might loooong walk... despite being a keen walker)
3) Hitch a ride with a passing car (I was feeling safe as I was with a friend)
4) Call a taxi (though might cost more than a flight home)

So it was decided, for the first time in my life (yes really!) I stuck out my thumb at the side of the road and waited to see if any passing cars were heading in our direction. No cars stopped. 

My friend and I were now considering sleeping on the beach.

I said out loud as I often do when I want something... "Universe, we'd like a lift back home tonight please". 

We saw a couple of late night hotel staff members getting into a car, and asked them if they were headed back to the city where we could get a connecting night bus... no, they weren't though they said a man in a white car round the corner was. 

I felt like I was part of a detective team... 'look for the white car, ask for help'. Back to reality, we found the white car, father and two sons and he said he'd drop us back to the main city.


"You're an Angel!" I said to him... he then decided to drop us back not just to the city for a connecting night bus but direct to our town. "I would only be half an Angel if I didn't take you all the way" he laughed. 

We made it home, feeling blessed and grateful for the extreme generosity of the locals on this little island. 

No matter what we think at the time, we always have options. There is always choice. Even if we feel we're in the depths of despair in challenging situations in life, even with situations we cannot change such as a loss of a loved one... everything falling apart around us... there are still options. We can see things from a different perspective and make the most out of a challenging situation. 

By remaining fixated on the problem we miss the solutions and possibilities that are available around us. A closed mindset doesn't see the whole panoramic. An open mindset has the flexibility to open up to new experiences and opportunities. 

And it just so happened, the car journey home was a great insight into local life too, quizzing the locals about the best things to do on the island, hearing direct from the islanders mouths. 


So next time you find yourself feeling stuck in a challenging situation ask yourself this...

1) What are ALL the options available here? List them all... even the ones you know you won't take. This act simply reminds us that there are always options and choices... rather than feeling like we're stuck with only one and falling into the victim mentality.

2) What can I learn here? What can these insights help me with? 

Choose one of all the possible options and notice what happens... incredible things can happen when we open up to it. 

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Tuesday, 22 August 2017

How We Can Transform Fear Into Love

I feel I write about this more and more lately, and it's too important to stop.

This time it came closer than ever. 

Barcelona, my home, my beautiful city was attacked. I was in shock when I first heard, and at the same time there was a feeling for a while that Barcelona might be a prime target with Las Ramblas welcoming millions of people every year.

It's with tears, deep sadness... yet a deep knowing and optimism that I wrote this following words to my dear Barcelona meetup members. I felt the need to share some words to my community, knowing some had to run for their lives, to show support, and however much or little we are connected to recent events - these words can be applied to virtually anything.

The shadow of this world is not easy to experience, yet we don't need to let it stop us from continuing to believe and act according to what many of us value in life - love & peace. Just as I say with the Inner Critic... let us observe, learn and continue regardless creating positive change as we do. 

It's challenging times like these that can bring up varied responses... naturally we're all different. Some use their anger and hate to fuel more hate and hurtful actions, others want to avoid talking about the challenging emotions all together and only talk about love and light. 

First let us remember this...

It's OK to experience sadness... let's use that sadness and transform it when we connect, find understanding and share support.

It's OK to experience anger... let's use that anger constructively to create meaningful actions and community projects that create positive change in society.

It's OK to experience fear and pain when we hear of events like these... let's use it as a reminder to reconnect with loving words and actions as much as possible and not remain stuck in the vibration of fear as we continue our lives.

There's a difference...
Experiencing and passing through certain emotions is completely different to brushing over and avoiding them because they are a 'lower' vibration. Spiritual bypassing gets us nowhere. Yes, as much as we connect to love the better... though without acknowledging the current situation as it is first and any emotions that may be present we miss a wonderful opportunity to transform the collective fear at many levels.

Some might say, we cannot transform something without knowing, acknowledging and understanding what we want to transform first. 

Emotions are fuel... let us USE the pain, anger and sadness we feel to propel us into creating more love in whichever way feels right for us.
  • Acts of kindness to those in the streets, affected to show that despite fear, love remains.
  • Volunteering and offering support... the plus side of Facebook is that there is a huge amount on offer right now for those in need in our city. Beautiful to see how the city is coming together.
  • And simply by stepping out of our houses, regardless of any fear and continuing with our life because we believe in something better.
  • And so much more.

We're in this together, whether we're from Barcelona or not. This is a worldwide issue. A doorway of opportunity is being opened to us now... as a society we are called to face, learn from and find the gifts in the shadow using our combined light. Rather than reject it completely.

This is both within ourselves at a personal level and in whats going on in the planet right now. 

Everything is connected. We're being called to bring more connection, understanding, peace and love into our daily lives and communities on a regular basis... not just when difficult times occur. 

Connection, support, conversation, positive action.

Let's do all that we possibly can to ACKNOWLEDGE what happens, LEARN from it and then bring even more LOVE into society... even if it's simply to offer support and comfort to those deeply affected by challenging events.

This is how we can transform fear into love.

Spreading the love further
Here are a few options to choose from if you wish to spread the love further...

I'd love to hear from you... what loving action will you take today?
Have a friend that would find this useful? Please spread the love and share this link.
Want more? Check out the latest post on how we can find the gifts in the shadow here.
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Thursday, 20 July 2017

This Could Be The Most Powerful Thing You Do...

'Nothing will change so why bother'

'There's no point even trying'

Have you thought either of these in your life before? I certainly have, and I know many of my clients have too. 

It can feel pretty awful seeing the disheartening news stories, fear based marketing and manipulative tactics out there. Being an entrepreneur I've seen the in's and out's of what goes on in the coaching world... paid likes, sneaky social media tactics, fear based marketing pointing out why people are so flawed they need to buy the product... the list goes on.

To be honest I felt sick to my stomach with some of the things I saw and heard in the last few years. I felt ashamed and embarrassed to be part of what I saw at the time, a manipulative industry.

I felt like giving up. 

Starting anew. 
Changing career despite loving what I do and hearing gratitude and thanks from clients.

I realised that whilst this was all going on, I was simply seeing so much of it because I was focused on it. The grass is greener where we water it! I opened my perspective and realised that there are also so many wholehearted, authentic coaches that offer valuable support without actively promoting the 'you're broken' message.

By shying away, avoiding the industry all together, wasn't going to bring more light and change things. If I did, it would be one less person creating a positive change in an industry that needs it. If I gave up... using other people's negative behaviour as a reason to quit, I'd be running away from the shadow side of the industry and playing the victim.

And that's not what I teach.

Running away from what we find challenging doesn't change things. By running away or ignoring things it's as if we've given others (or the issue) permission to continue growing and growing. And this is applicable to everything... what we see in society, aspects about ourselves, issues in relationships... everything we find a challenge. 

Those of you who have been following my work for a while will know I talk a lot about light and shadow. This metaphor is the basis of what I teach - Wholehearted NLP. Using NLP with heart for the highest good of ourselves and others, to uncover the gifts and messages of the shadow (the parts we don't like) so we can reconnect to our light (our true essence). 

Light and shadow is within everything. You probably have heard of Yin and Yang right? Opposing energy forces. If you look at the image below you can see how connected the two forces are. We cannot have one without the other. Where there's night also comes day... when we can experience hot we can also experience cold.

Also notice that within the shadow side there is a little bit of light too. 

This light within the shadow can come in the form of gifts, insights, meaning, connection and support all of which can be found during challenging times and situations... if we dare to open up to it and face the shadow. I've come to realise that it's not one or the other. It's both. hand in hand. Light and shadow together that invite us to fully embrace, learn from and appreciate this human experience we call life. 

The light comforts, reminds us of our immense strength and supports us as we shine light on the shadow to uncover the insights.

The shadow provides gifts, deep insights and supports us to fully appreciate the light. 

Gaining Clarity...

1) INTERNAL: If we use this metaphor to look at ourselves... embracing both the parts we like (light) and the parts we don't (shadow) this can bring true wholehearted self-acceptance. Let's use our strengths to help us overcome what we find challenging within. 

2) EXTERNAL: If we use this metaphor to take positive action (light) regarding the horrors (shadow) we see in society... this is what starts to create more peace. Let's use positive behaviours and actions to create new projects, communities and experiences that support and generate wonderful change in the parts where the shadow is prevalent. 

Actionable Steps...

1) INTERNAL: What's your top strength? How can you use that to start transforming (even if it's simply transforming by perspective) a part of yourself you don't like? For example... my creativity is one of my strengths and this plays a key role in helping me express painful emotions from my shadow. 

2) EXTERNAL: One, simple act of kindness has the ability to completely transform someone's day. The receiver can feel wonderful and often feels inclined to spread it out further... creating a ripple effect. What simple act of kindness can you do today? For example... helping someone up the stairs with their suitcase or simply a smile as you go about your day.

The big changes in the world are calling us to take a good look within and outside of ourselves. To finally face whats been lurking in the shadow for a long time, whether that's personal fears or racism, hatred and inequality in society. We cannot destroy something with the same thinking that created it. Matching fear with fear does not create love. Time is calling us to look at the shadow head on, shine our light on it, find the gifts IN it and use those gifts to create positive change. 

It's up to us. 

Let's use what we don't like as fuel for creating loving change rather than running away and blaming. Let's be empowered rather than victims. 

It's time for change. 

Have a friend who would find this useful? Please continue spreading the love and share this post.. this could count as one of the acts of kindness!

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Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Avoidance... And My Mosquito Bite Adventure


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. 


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...

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For more... check out the FREE downloads, online community and podcast on my website

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 :-)

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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

Have a friend that would find this useful? Offer them a helping hand and forward on this post. 

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