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#BEYOUROWN MEETS ALISHA BRADLEY

Alisha Bradley helps you access the best version of yourself. As a Lifestyle Curator, she uses life coaching, image consulting, and space revitalisation to help you break down the barriers that are blocking you from reaching your highest potential. She has an MA in Clinical Psychology, a BA in Education, is a Certified Life Coach, Image Consultant, and a trained Domestic Violence Counsellor  Her background gives her the ability to thoroughly assess and design comprehensive action plans, while providing effective tools to educate and motivate you to tap into your inner creative genius; ultimately designing the lifestyle you desire.

Alisha provides an individualised holistic approach to each of her clients. She believes in meeting them where they are, taking into consideration their various styles of learning and communication. She caters her coaching to the unique personalities, cultures, and stories each client brings. Alisha’s worked with individuals, couples, and families from a plethora of cultural backgrounds dealing with various life issues. She’s combined all of her knowledge and skills to help foster inner and outer healing and transformation. Her ultimate goal is to help people understand their innate creative abilities to become the expert artists of their own lives!

Can you talk us through a typical 24 hour day as an entrepreneur?

The entrepreneur life can be quite hectic, but so fulfilling! As a single mom entrepreneur, my days are pretty jam-packed. First thing in the morning, I’m awoken by my 3 and 5-year-old sons, Ariele and Adrien. I’m usually greeted with a party in my bed involving lots of jumping, wrestling and tickling lol. I try to get in my early morning meditation while in the shower, in the dark, with a lit candle, listening to 432Hz tone music to raise my vibrational frequency to take on the day ahead. During our ride to school we are usually listening to classical music or jazz, and discussing topics like: what we are grateful for, what we believe God is trying to communicate to us, and identifying our intentions for the day. At 8:00am I drop them off to school and am ready to master the day ahead of me.

I’m usually seeing my life coaching and image consulting clients in-person, through FaceTime, or over the phone during the daytime. Before and after clients, I try to do prep and release meditations to maintain my energy for myself and my clients. The information shared during sessions can get really heavy, and it’s so important for me to be mindful of my absorption and transmission of energy. I make sure to always bring my computer with me during downtime to focus on the various projects I’m usually working on. Starbucks and Whole Foods Wifi have saved my life! There are also times I’m facilitating workshops/ training, and fit those in during the hours my boys are in school. Thank goodness my oldest has an elementary school that stays open until 6pm!

Around 4:30pm I’m headed to get the boys and start the second shift of the day. I try to get all of my work done during the day so I can be 100% present for my sons in the evening. Once they’re down around 7:30, I usually get a workout in, and depending on the day, I may need to continue working on things like social media marketing, website development, sending out emails, creating youtube videos, etc. As I explain it, it sounds totally overwhelming haha. But, getting in the right headspace in the morning, and continuing to be intentional about my goals throughout the day helps to keep me fueled.

Can you talk us through your career path as a certified life coach so far?

It has been such an amazing experience to be a part of my clients’ life transformations! I launched my business, ReFind You, in 2012. I started out super part-time because I was a brand new mom and completely stressed out with many aspects of my life. I also wasn’t in the most ideal space mentally, physically, and spiritually; and was dealing with an extremely emotionally abusive partner. I knew, in order to help people improve their lives, I had to get myself together and create my own transformation. As I began prioritizing my own development, I gradually started attracting paying clients. Over the years, the more I’ve distanced myself from unhealthy people and environments and got aligned with my purpose and my creative genius, the more people have seen value in what I offer. I chose to quit my day job in 2015, as a Domestic Violence Program Coordinator in a rehabilitation hospital, and solely focused on building my business. It was the best decision I’ve ever made! I went from charging $30/hour for clients who could barely afford my services, to working with executives and highly successful entrepreneurial clientele.

What is the best advice you have received recently?

When you’re confused about your next moves, get quiet, get still, and do absolutely nothing. God will bring you the answers you need at the perfect time. Until then, focus on your self-care and heightening your vibrational frequencies in order to receive what’s next for you.

What are you currently learning about in business?

I’m currently learning how to develop a quality training curriculum and certification program for people interested in coaching. It’s very involved and multi-layered and requires an understanding of the various theories of psychology related to adult learning and information processing. This is necessary for me to know to launch a couple exciting projects I have coming in 2018.

What are your 5 goals for the next 6 months and how are you striving to achieve them?

1.Aligning with more like-minded, ambitious people

2.Completing a few projects I’ve been working on

3.Expanding my brand to include individual and group executive/leadership coaching

4.Doing more public speaking engagements

5.Exposing my brand to further help people around the world

How you juggle your professional life, being a working mother?

The most effective strategies I’ve used to create work/life balance as a single mom include removing all negative people from my life, Incorporating daily morning and evening meditation sessions (for a least 5 minutes) I am also staying in a positive and faithful mindset through affirmations, reading and listening to motivational literature. Being super mindful of my energy levels, and when to take it easy and indulge in self-care, also not feeling guilty when I tell my children I need some time for myself, just as they need time for themselves. I used to struggle with this but realized it’s necessary to dedicate “you-time” every day as a mom. My boys now enjoy having their own “you-time”, where they’re able to do their own thing and enjoy their own company.

Do you want to share with us your experience in an inpatient mental health facility and why you felt it was necessary for your health to do so?

Back in 2010, I was in a very dark space. I was in a tumultuous and emotionally abusive relationship with the father of my children (at the time we had no kids), had just quit my full-time job to enroll in graduate school for Clinical Psychology, and was feeling scared, overwhelmed, and insecure. During the time, I was taking Zoloft, an anti-depressant medication, due to my recurring spurts of depression. I had recently stopped taking the drugs, cold turkey, which is definitely not a good idea when taking an SSRI classified medication. The combination of my withdrawal symptoms from the drug, a horrible argument I had gotten into with my boyfriend (related to infidelity), on top of being subjected to his horrific verbally abusive outbursts, it took my anxiety to a level I had never experienced before. I felt so out of control of myself and my actions and felt a severe panic attack coming on. The only thing I knew to do was to go to the ER and seek professional medical assistance.

As I was in the ER, they asked me various screening questions. Based on my answers, they concluded I was suicidal and sent me to the local inpatient mental health facility. At that time I had just quit my job and had no health insurance, therefore, I was sent to a community inpatient facility (which is nothing like the ones you see with surrounding beautiful plant life, aesthetics, and passionate medical staff). Frankly, it was a dump, where the forgotten and underserved in society were sent. It was horrifying to see the low-quality care of the patients (including myself), all because we weren’t able to afford insurance. Keep in mind, I never agreed to admit myself to the in-patient facility. The doctor said it was his legal duty to admit me based on my answers to his screening questions. I wanted to go home immediately after I had recovered from my panic attack, but I was stuck.

My experience there was completely eye-opening! It felt like a prison where they stuffed medication in you and left you to fend for yourself all day amongst a large group of severely mentally ill patients who weren’t being properly treated. A few months later, that facility was shut down due to lack of funding and a wide range of other issues.

To top it all off, I found out I was pregnant with my oldest, Ariele, while in this facility. Learning that only made me want to go home even more, but I couldn’t. The lead psychologist didn’t approve my discharge until 8 days later, claiming it was protocol to keep all patients for at least 7 days. Once I was released from that hell hole, I immediately started my graduate school classes. I had missed the first 2 days of classes due to being in the facility.

That experience expanded my perspective drastically! It not only helped me understand how normal my feelings were during the breakdown moment that led me there in the first place, but it also helped me understand how the lack of access to quality healthcare due to one’s socioeconomic status can change the direction of one’s life forever. There were women in there who, if given the opportunity to receive effective mental health care, would be in completely different positions than they were. It was heartbreaking and motivated me to one day create a non-profit for women with mental illness to access quality mental health care, life coaching, and other services that can help them create sustainable and successful lives.

Why do you think many young women struggle to ask for help when going through difficult personal situations?

Based on my personal experience, it was fear of exposing my issues to people who I felt would judge me. For young women out there going through difficult times, it is ok to not have it all figured out. None of us do! Even when we have a better handle on our lives, we are still counting on faith to get us through. You are not alone! If you can find someone you trust has your best interest at heart, please reach out to them and let go of your fear of being exposed and judged. If you feel you have no one to turn to, focus your attention upward and release your pain, guilt, and all other burdens onto God. You are always safe and protected if you’re able to connect with your Higher Power. It’s not all on you, and you don’t have to figure it all out. Understanding this can be difficult, but yet so freeing!

Regarding emotional and verbal abuse, if you are with someone who demeans you, belittles you, isolates you from your friends and family, does and says things that make you feel bad about yourself, then you are in an abusive relationship. It can be hard to identify emotional and verbal abuse since they aren’t as overt as physical abuse. However, the scars from verbal and emotional abuse can last a very long time and could potentially lead to feelings of hopelessness and not wanting to continue life anymore. I was definitely close to giving up, but am so glad I saw the light! You do not have to be a victim, and it is not your fault! Reach out to a local domestic violence agency, or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

What did you learn from this experience and how have you taken what you have learnt and applied it to this current day?

This experience completely humbled me, reminding me of how grateful I am for my health, family, and freedom to be who I want when I want. It also helped normalize the obstacles I’ve faced. Just because I’m feeling sad, stressed or anxious doesn’t mean I need to down a ton of medication or have a mental illness diagnosis on my medical record for the rest of my life. (I’m specifically referring to the misdiagnosis and over-diagnosis of mental illness in people who may have just needed someone to process their feelings with). Sometimes life can cause us to react in ways we don’t recognize, and that’s ok. It’s about learning coping skills that will help us get through the hard times, and bouncing back when we have those bad days.

I’ve been able to use this with my clients, helping them learn daily strategies they can implement to cope with the stresses that come with being human. For some reason, there’s a stigma associated with feeling and releasing, especially in women. As if we’re supposed to always be happy, calm and nurturing to everyone around us. It’s ok to feel our bad feelings, and express them without being judged, shamed, or labeled.

You mention that one of the lowest points in your life was prior to being pregnant with your first child, have you had about any other challenging times you have faced since then? If so, how did you learn to overcome them?

I’ve definitely had challenges after my pregnancy, one of the major ones has been leaving that abusive relationship and navigating life and society as a single mom; while still attempting to co-parent with the same man who left such severe emotional scars. However, the strategies and daily routines I’ve implemented in my life help me handle the inevitable stressors that come up. I can confidently say I’m able to deal with anything that is presented to me. It may not be easy, but I’ll be able to cope and move forward. Nothing in life will ever take me back to the place I found myself 6 years ago.

Looking back would you of changed anything?

I wouldn’t change one thing about my life. If I were to change my past, then I’d be changing who I am now. I love the woman I’ve become, especially since I’m able to inspire and motivate others to be the best version of themselves!

How are you taking your own personal experience’s and helping other young individuals channel their inner strength and understand their own divine power?

My clients range from adolescence to early 60’s. I try to reach as many people as I can, whether that’s helping them with big or small goals. Each client has unique needs and desires, and I try to pull out my inner skills and resources to meet each client where they are. I feel very blessed to be able to connect with such a wide range of clientele by just being me. The number one thing I do is express 100% empathy for every person I work with. No matter the age difference, if someone feels you are completely in touch with their pain, their joy, and their vision; the power in that connection can move mountains! I’ve seen miracles happen in my clients’ lives, all because they were able to let go of the static of stress and fear, and get laser-focused on their goals and desires. It’s amazing what support and empathy can do for us and how it can make us tap into our own power!

What does it mean to you to truly #BEYOUROWN?

To truly #BEYOUROWN is to release any fear that’s holding you back from being the most authentic version of yourself; not allowing anyone or anything to convince you that you’re a powerless victim with no authority over your own life. There will be people who have negative things to say, distance yourself from them. There’ll be people who don’t fully understand you, surround yourself with people who get what you’re about. Some may not value what you have to offer, find the people who see how amazingly talented you are; and make sure to shut down any doubt or fear that comes up in the process. Owning who you are and never apologizing for it is the key to Being Your Own!

Finally, what can we expect from you in 2018?

I’m very excited to be releasing my Coaching Certification Training Program through ReFind You Institute. This certification program allows people who are passionate about helping others to have access to quality training where they can become Certified Personal Development Coaches, and potentially become affiliate coaches with ReFind You. Through this training program, I want to help people build their own life coaching practices while creating a sustainable stream of revenue as entrepreneurs doing what they love!

I’m also launching the Aesthetic L*I*F*E (Living in Faith Everyday) Creative Workshop Series. I’ll be facilitating Creative Vision Board Workshops alongside Chicago-based artist, Natàlia. The vision of Aesthetic L*I*F*E, is to help participants of all ages tap into their inner creative genius by combining meditation, empowering affirmations, community building, visualization techniques, and self-expression through a various art medium.

Lastly, I’ll be continuing to build my YouTube Channel, educating viewers on simple ways to improve their lifestyle, achieve their goals, and incorporate manifestation techniques in their daily lives. Please stay tuned for the exciting things coming in 2018!

 

Instagram: @refindyou

Facebook: www.facebook.com/refindyouchicago 

Website: www.refindyou.net