Marilyn Bradford: Thriving Beyond Addiction

What if addiction was not about the alcohol, sex or other people’s problems, but about a choice to go unconscious? Are you willing to make a different choice … a choice for consciousness and you? What if you could have the freedom to be the person you’ve always known or hoped you could be? Whether its food, a substance or overspending, your future does not have to reflect your past.

Marilyn Bradford, therapist, teacher and author of “Right Recovery For You,” offered “Living an Elevated Existence Mind, Body & Soul Summit Season 2,” participants tools and techniques to facilitate them in choosing and reclaiming themselves.

“You don’t have to buy into all these so-called expert points of view about what’s right for you and what’s not right for you,” she said. “A lot of addiction counseling is focused on the idea that the experts know and you don’t—but don’t judge yourself as less than and give yourselves over to them thoroughly.”

Addiction takes many forms, and while most think of drugs and alcohol, addiction can also involve shopping, gambling, cigarettes, sex, over-eating, overworking, or even being addicted to drama, or to playing a victim. However it manifests, Bradford believes addiction is a default we go to in order to forget, to go unconscious for a time.

“It’s a kind of coping skill we use because nobody gave us other coping skills. We use addiction to escape our realities,” she said.

Because of this, she does not look at addiction as a disease but rather as something we fall into—and something we can escape from. We weren’t born into the world with addictive behaviors. We acquire them, and we can get rid of them.

“This isn’t about someone who does a lot of drugs going cold turkey,” she cautioned. “But it is about rethinking how we deal with addiction.”


The Root Cause of Addiction
But first, how do we know if we have addictive behaviors? When should we be worried that a behavior is negatively impacting our lives? “The way you can tell that something is an additive behavior is if when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed it’s what you go towards. It’s a default place where you don’t really have to exist,” she said. “If you feel a compulsion to do a certain thing and you don’t feel okay unless you do that, then it’s probably an additive behavior.”

She asked us to consider, “If I wasn’t about to do ‘blank’ then what would I be aware of?” It’s about discovering what we’re trying to escape from that she says is the first key to recovery. All addiction has a root cause—usually stemming from a sense of being wrong or different, along with a tendency to judge ourselves unmercifully all the time. This root cause is what Bradford calls, the “primary addiction.” The secondary addiction is the one people tend to address, which is the actual addictive behavior and how the primary addiction manifests itself, but we can’t ignore the root cause if we want to fully recovery, she said. The more we ask questions about the root cause of our addiction the more we can work towards resolving it, she encouraged.

As an example, she shared a story of a woman she worked with who drank two bottles of wine a day—but the drinking was her secondary addiction. She finally revealed the drinking helped her deal with the fact that her marriage was falling apart. The woman could “receive” what she was missing from her life and marriage via the alcohol—it filled a need.

The first step is to look at what the behavior is contributing to you. Then look at how you can fill those needs in other ways, Bradford shared. One of the first questions she asks of her clients is, “How would you like to create your life?”

As a tip she also advised we should never take on the identity of an addict because we are putting that intention out there. “If you say I’m a smoker or I’m an alcoholic you become that,” she said. “But, if you say, currently I’m drinking more alcohol than I would like to, but I’m changing this behavior,” then we are separating our identify from the behavior.

“What I discovered…is that anyone whose truly willing can walk away from any addictive or compulsive behavior,” said Bradford. “Recovery is not about stopping a substance…true recovery for me is about stepping into the greatness of you, and looking at where you’ve created limitations, and then clearing those so you can have more and be more.”

For more from Marilyn and the other 25 experts in mind, body and spirit topics, sign up FREE to Season 2 of the Living an Elevated Existence Summit.


Rikka Zimmerman: Activate Your Dream Life

by Jennifer McCartney

Learning to activate our higher mind can give us access to a whole new set of vibrations and energies, allowiing our lives to flow with ease, joy, and love like never before.

Rikka Zimmerman, creator of Adventure In Oneness, acclaimed international speaker, successful author and singer/songwriter, spoke with Tammy Mastroberte, founder of Elevated Existence Magazine during the “Living an Elevated Existence Mind, Body & Soul Summit Season 2” to share how we can reach a higher level of vibration in order to create great relationships and financial abundance, and achieve a happier state of being.

And it all starts with love. However, activating and receiving love isn’t a case of looking outside ourselves, Zimmerman told listeners.

“This universe responds to love,” she said. “Activation is really activating who you already are — it’s not something that you’re not or something you’re missing or something that’s isn’t actually a part of you.” It’s through activation of our higher selves that we can awaken a part of ourselves that’s always been there. “Activating your dream life, the way I see it for each of you: your dream life is here. It isn’t a year away or five years away.”

So how can we find this love and energy within ourselves? It’s all about connection, explained Zimmerman, and opening ourselves up to experience that connection. “What we need to do is get you connected and allow yourself to experience that vibration so that you can live within the dream life you were meant to have. Maybe up to this moment you haven’t allowed yourself to experience that light,” she said, explaining some people may feel stuck or trapped in their current situation. “Part of it is about opening up and allowing ourselves to live a whole different universe of love.”

Opening oneself can be scary, but nothing bad is going to happen to us, said Zimmerman. Any pain we feel when we open our hearts is simply old pain that’s been trapped—and which we have the opportunity to accept and turn into love. “The fear and the hurt come from our past, and opening up to it allows us to heal, and increases possibility,” she told listeners.

To listen to Rikka’s interview, along with 26 other top experts in mind, body & spirit topics, sign up for the FREE summit now! 


We also need to examine any negative patterns in our emotions. “Say you’re having a bad day…you’re mad at your boss…ask that actual pattern, ‘are you actually from now, or are you from a past time?’” Often, these negative emotions we experience are actually old patterns that come back to us, to be with us in new ways. Recognizing this allows us the opportunity to release and let go of these patterns.

“As these experiences come up in your life that you used to have resistance to, as you begin to experience them and let them go,” you will inhabit a whole different universe, Zimmerman explained—one without resistance and without separation. “Every meal, every dive in the ocean, every waking dream, [will begin to feel] wildly magical,” she promised listeners. “You have command over this entire universe, you always have…if you embody the vibration of fear or separations, there’s brakes on your system.”

As a practice for how to take command of our universe and release the “brakes” we’ve placed on ourselves—she walked listeners through a process to open themselves to their highest energy vibration—to breathe in, to open up to the God that we are already.

“Fully awaken and fully open, knowing that all there is, is love,” she said. “Releasing the concept of fear, because fear is actually a concept, it’s not a truth” and “allowing yourself to be loved by that love, feeling that support.”

Experiencing Activation
She invited listeners to imagine their body as pipes filled with space—room for vibrations to flow through them. “Then bring your awareness up—bringing your mind and heart up to the lightest and most spacious vibration you can find. Allow yourself to feel the vibrations coming down from heaven, and bring the vibration into your body with a deep breath. Allow the beautiful vibration to move through your system, opening yourself to the flow of that river of love and life.” Finally, she issued a command: “I command that every cell in my body absorb all of the light of God and love of God on my next in breath.” She then played a series of tones to help listeners achieve that higher state.

Our molecules hold two possibilities, “one of the old paradigm and one of the new,” Zimmerman said. “All of the molecules are waiting for that activation of love…as soon as that happens that amazing awesome future begins to happen.”

Benefits of receiving love and the activation of that love will manifest itself in every facet of our lives. “Sales will goes up like crazy, clients will show up,” she noted. “Everything is attracted to you,” including both money and love. She called this “receiving into existence” rather than “projecting it into that distance.” As we receive it we will find it anchors us more into the physical structure of this world.

For more from Zimmerman and the other 25 experts in mind, body and spirit topics, sign up FREE to Season 2 of the Living an Elevated Existence Summit.