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17th Apr 2020

The Pursuit of Happiness

An article about Zelda, posted on Matie Media BY WILNÉ VAN ROOYEN

Zelda Bradshaw was an accountant for 10 years before she realised she was meant for something else. Wilné van Rooyen speaks to Zeldanow a holistic healer, who strives for the state of joy and who hopes to help guide others to the same joy.

* “I think sometimes people are born with a gift of healing. They’re born with a passion to make a difference and they sometimes discover that through their own trauma or they’ve just got a yearning for that,” says Zelda Bradshaw. 

Sitting in her healing room (as she calls it) you can hear the wind chimes when there is a slight breeze. Birds are chirping and there is a serene feeling to the space. 

Zelda studied BCom and practised as an accountant for ten years. She then realised that she wanted to heal others and followed her instinct to become an intuitive therapist. 

She says she is open to the whole healing spectrum, may it be medical or spiritual. Her belief is that people should find what works for them.

“I’ve always been a very middle of the road kind of therapist. This is what I do, if you get the benefit then that’s all the proof. I can’t prove to you that these things work. I’m not going to try and convince you. But after your session, if you feel a change then you know it works,” she says

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Part of Zelda’s healing room. Her certificates fill up the wall. PHOTO: Wilné van Rooyen

Learning how to heal

Zelda decided to study a BCom at Stellenbosch University as she was good with numbers. After completing her studies, in 1982, she left for Johannesburg to go work as an accountant. 

It was a high-stress job. One day, she complained of feeling this stress in her stomach and someone advised her to try yoga. She enjoyed it so much that she decided to train as a yoga teacher and also ended up studying Shiatsu, which is a Japanese pressure point technique. 

Yoga was the start of her healing journey. If you look at her website there is an extensive list of qualifications and training she did. Zelda says she studied all these little healing modalities but she never consciously thought of doing it for others at the time.

In 1997, after she returned to Cape Town, she met a Reiki teacher. At the time, she had no idea what it was, but when the person explained to her what it was, she knew she wanted to do it. 

“Reiki is basically the channelling of universal healing energy, to be very specific,” she explains. She trained in Reiki and qualified as a Reiki master in 1999.

According to Zelda, she has always been blessed with opportunities and doors just opening, because, in the same year that she became a Reiki master, she had the opportunity to be taught the Lindwall Releasing process by Dr Isa Lindwall himself. 

In 2001, in one of his visits to South Africa, Dr Lindwall asked Zelda to be a releasing teacher.IMG_9014

Zelda Bradshaw with Dr Isa Lindwall. PHOTO: Supplied

“I love that modality because that’s me,” she says about releasing. “Reiki I can just teach and understand and I love energy work. But releasing, I can say, this is my gift.”

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The process of releasing she explains by using a computer as an example. She says memories are like programmes on a computer, they take up space. So if we can imagine deleting negative memories that cause fear or doubt (like a program) it frees up space and a computer will operate so much better. 

She thought her training was complete; however, her passion for healing encouraged her to go further. She decided to study Kinesiology (the art of muscle testing) from Dr Lindwall and registered as a Specialised Kinesiologist in 2007. 

This stimulated her accountant mind because it relies on facts and details. Then, in 2010, she became an internationally qualified Neural Organisation Technique practitioner (NOT).

Zelda tried and learned all these different modalities and realised that it has benefited her life and that she should take her knowledge and help others. 

“I’ve seen the benefit in my own life. So I will never do anything that I haven’t had benefits from. That’s very important to me. I don’t want to take something on board because it looks flashy. I will take something that I know I have benefited from,” she explains.Photo 3

Bottles used as decoration in her healing room. Zelda makes use of colour therapy and likes to have colour around her. PHOTO: Wilné van Rooyen

Helping Others

“After I had my kids, I thought to myself I’m not going back to accounting because I discovered the healing world and that was just so much more enticing for me. I realised I can apply myself better here than in the accounting world,” she says.

However, Zelda says accounting has definitely helped her in her healing journey. “Accounting is about managing a company’s resources, like giving feedback on the resources.” 

Just like how an accountant would get a summary, she gets a different kind of summary of a person’s body and energy. “We are born with a certain amount of power. We get given a certain amount of energy a day. And how do you spend it?” she says. 

So just like how one manages a company’s resources in accounting, she applies this to her clients. Zelda looks at how her client spends their energy, how they can clear out those bad habits and function in a more productive or happier way.

She states that she likes to empower people at the same time. “I always say to clients – you know, at 12 o’clock at night when you are miserable – what are you going to do? You can’t go see your therapist. You’re going to feel terrible calling me. What are you going to do? You’ve got to find homegrown remedies so that you can help yourself at that moment. Even if it’s just to escape,” she says.

It is not wrong to sometimes just need to escape for a bit, Zelda mentions and then confesses that she also needs to escape sometimes. “[I]n that time, your mind is captured by whatever you are doing. And the body says, yeah, I’ve got time to relax.” 

A person does not always have what they need at that moment and it is about having and finding alternative tools to assist you at that moment she says. Photo 4

Zelda’s healing hands. She mentions that they resemble butterflies and butterflies symbolise transformation. PHOTO: Wilné van Rooyen

Happiness is…

Zelda loves telling stories. With her words, she paints a picture of a beautiful sunny day where she is lying next to a river with a friend. Her friend just returned from India and told her all about her trip. 

She mentions how great it felt, just to be in that moment, listening to the flow of the river and spending quality time with her friend. She realised then that she really enjoys small moments like that one because it makes her happy. 

“You know the media tells you what is supposed to make you happy: The nice car, the money. But I like these moments,” she says thinking back about the memory.

“So, if I look back at what really makes me happy, it is all those little moments. So, I thought to myself, ‘I’m going to have more of these moments’,” she continues. 

One should create those happy moments in life, according to Zelda, because it builds up like a huge arsenal of happy moments, creating bliss molecules within your body. 

Gesturing to her heart she says, “It’s not just you taking it in here, your whole body feels it.” 

Her philosophy in life is that one needs to realise that life isn’t always smooth sailing. There will be ups and downs. One must just realise that this is part of life. 

“[J]ust accept that there are going to be difficult times, but there are better times ahead. Have the tools in the meantime to work with,” she says.

It’s not about never having emotions or negative emotions because those emotions guide you, she says. “Instead of giving in to that emotion, getting on that wild horse and creating chaos, say ok what is this emotion telling me.”Photo 5

Zelda Bradshaw sitting in her healing room with different healing charts hanging behind her. PHOTO: Wilné van Rooyen

The journey of life

Zelda talks about happiness quite a lot. On her website, she states that joy is the ultimate state she strives for and she also wants to help others find joy in their lives. 

“My journey is to remind people that we are born to flourish and not just manage life,” she says.

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She advises that people should follow what makes them happy, build up healthy habits and build up a healthy lifestyle.

Zelda is not just trying to live her life to the fullest but wants to help others as well and to help her clients realise their own power. 

“I think most of us want to make a difference in this world. Be it in a small or big way. And for me, when I do service, that makes me feel like I’m fulfilling my journey in this life,” she says.

Her advice is to go on your own happy, merry way. Go for what you want in life and if that door shuts, then reevaluate.  “[T]rying is better than not trying,” she states. 

“[A]t the bottom line, I think we’ve been given life and we’ve got to use this life. And living a happy life for ourselves, making a difference in this world and making the world a better place. Just the mere fact that we’ve got a body and we’re here… we’ve got purpose. And that’s our journey,” says Zelda.

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