How to Have a Successful Meltdown

How to Have a Successful Meltdown

In ‘How to Have a Successful Meltdown’, I share some of the tools that have deeply changed my life and the lives of my clients.

We’re talking Vulcans, roller coasters and the Stress Cycle.

I’m bringing out the Spock ears! 🚀

Group of people on a roller coaster

These tools bring me home again and again to a deep place of peace.

And laughter.

(We’ll be looking at how to find the ‘giggle point’ for overcoming fear!).

You’ll experience a movement meditation and I very much recommend moving and stretching throughout the whole thing if that feels good!

(And feel free to listen while doing the housework to liven it up!)

The ‘How to have a Successful Meltdown’ free workshop includes:

– How to complete the stages of the Stress Cycle (and why it’s so important for preventing trauma for us, for children and other loved ones)

– Fun ways to support children and ourselves during a meltdown, including how to release anxiety with play

– How to find the healing ‘Giggle Point’ when working with yourself, clients or loved ones

I hope the tools are really useful to you (hey, this lady looks like she’s super strong following her roller coaster ride!).

And if you feel the pull, here’s where you can find out more about the tools I use and work with me.​

Love Emma x 

Lady in strong pose in front of a roller coaster
Mother and child hugging showing positive parenting and conscious relationships

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Exploring Your Voice: Singing for meditation and for confidence

Exploring Your Voice: Singing for meditation and for confidence

Have you ever wanted to feel more confident in your singing?

In this video interview with professional vocal coach, Liuba Doga, we’ll discover the joy of singing like when we were children and find more confidence in our voice.

(Without the expectations, and maybe self-comparisons to Whitney Houston!).

Cat with its mouth wide open as if it is singing

In this interview you’ll learn one meditative singing exercise with the breath (I felt really calm after doing this one), and another exercise to grow our confidence and feel into the joy of singing.

 

Resources and links mentioned in the video

Here’s Liuba’s website www.singingattitude.co.uk.

There you can find out more about her workshops, including private one-to-one sessions, group sessions for adults, plus confidence workshops for children.

Here’s a link to her song which got to the Semi-Final of Eurovision selection, One Thought Away, which Liuba describes as a song she wrote about her spiritual connection.

In the interview Liuba talks about overcoming nerves to sing to 66,000 people… Here’s a link to that moment when she sang One Thought Away at Leicester Stadium.

Charity Playdance Meditation: Dancing with your Inner Child

And if you’re interested in exploring your voice and singing through Playdance Meditation, head on over to our Events and Workshops page.

And finally, you can sign up to get a free dance meditation below:

I hope you enjoyed this session as much as I did!

Lots of love Emma x 

Parent playing with her child lifting him into the air
Mother and child hugging showing positive parenting and conscious relationships

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Is Tantra All About Sex? A podcast with Jan Day

Is Tantra All About Sex? A podcast with Jan Day

Have you ever wondered what Tantra’s really all about? 

Is it seedy, or is it beautiful? Today we get to go deeper into what Tantra really is (and how it’s not all about sex) with relationships expert, Jan Day. 

Jan is one of the most well known and highly regarded Tantra teachers in the UK. 

Cuddly toy cat holding up cuddly cow in the Dirty Dancing 'Lift'

In this free podcast interview, you’ll discover:

– Why Tantra isn’t all about sex and how it can deeply support all of our relationships (not just our romantic relationships)

The five core needs we have as children and what happens in our relationships when these aren’t met (heads up, most of us have had at least one of these needs not fully met in childhood, if not more)

How to have a full body orgasm (okay, we do talk a little about sex!)

And Jan will also take us through a gentle, self-love exercise too.

You can listen below…

Important: In this podcast, we will talk about sex (as well as other topics) and while there are no graphic, sexy details, we do talk about the full body orgasm later in the podcast… so if you have children around, you may like to listen through headphones!

Sign up below to make sure you get free podcasts and meditations to your Inbox.

You’ll get a free dance meditation… I only send two emails a month, because I know you like to keep that Inbox free of clutter!

Resources from our Jan Day Podcast

You can find out more about Jan and her work at www.janday.com and here’s a direct link to Jan’s page showing all her workshops.

You can also find the Flow of Being Meditation mentioned in the podcast as a download from Bandcamp or as a physical CD.

And finally a reference to the five core needs in childhood mentioned in the podcast, Jan has passed us the reference to this book: 

Healing Developmental Trauma: How Early Trauma Affects Self-Regulation, Self-Image, and the Capacity for Relationship by Laurence Heller, PhD, and Aline LaPierre, PsyD.

Thank you, Jan ❤️.

I hope you enjoyed this podcast.

Until next time!

Love Emma x 

Parent playing with her child lifting him into the air
Mother and child hugging showing positive parenting and conscious relationships

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10 Easier Ways to Meditate

10 Easier Ways to Meditate

It’s January and a lot of us are setting intentions. Perhaps on your list you’d like to meditate more.

But for many, sitting in the Lotus position and focusing on the breath can feel hard and physically uncomfortable sometimes.

There are many types of meditation, some which are less well known, but deeply effective.

So here are 10 ways to meditate, none of which involve sitting in a way that causes you pain!…

FIrst up though, it’s important to ask the question, what is medtation?

In all honesty, there are a lot different viewpoints on this.

For me, the most helpful way of defining meditation is that it involves getting deeply into a moment with a sense of flow and being open to receiving, letting go of our fixed view of where things should go and what should happen.

Those moments can be in the past, present or future, as we’ll describe in a moment.

This can make meditation a beautiful and playful experience, but we can also be open to feeling any emotion. 

Sometimes when we meditate, we can actually feel old emotions that have been stuck for a while. We can sit with sad or angry parts of us and hear what they have to say and discover the nuggets of wisdom beneath.

And we can deeply feel how holding onto old thoughts cause us pain.

So meditation isn’t just about sitting cross-legged and feeling a state of bliss.

In fact, when we push for that or expect that state it can actually cause our meditation experience to be stressful. We can get that ‘not good enough’ feeling, or simply our body isn’t enjoying being in that position when it’s tight from all that sitting in front of a screen.

So here are a selection of meditations to support you in becoming deeply in a moment, with an intention of being open and returning to a loving state (at some point – this doesn’t need to be instant!).

 

1. Play Meditation

This can be for adults or children. It could involve found objects, art materials, instruments or anything else.

The secret of a play meditation is to not have an outcome in mind, so it’s a little different from getting fully absorbed in painting a scene, for example, or trying to play a piece of written music. We’re open to receiving.

So perhaps you might just take a paintbrush and see where it takes you on the page. How do you feel? Or what mixture of feelings do you feel and how does that translate on the page?

Remember there’s no right or wrong here. And a beautiful way to do this is to listen to music as you draw or paint and see where the music takes you.

There’s something very freeing about letting go. About not thinking whether this piece is going to end up on your wall somewhere (though if it does, that’s nice too!).

 

2. Singing Meditation

Not so many people are familiar with singing meditation, but it can be incredibly powerful.

You can sing either on your own or in a group (keep an eye on the blog as we’re doing a podcast this year on singing meditation, including Heartsong, where you can join in at home!).

Sign up below to get the free podcast when it comes up…

Heartsong, which is one example of singing meditation, uses words and lyrics that invite in a sense of peace and love, but also welcomes all emotions.

You can sing beautiful lyrics or mantras, or go freestyle and improvise (and you definitely don’t need to have a perfect voice!). What works really well is that using words occupies our mind and gives it less space to go wandering.

You can also focus on sensations in your body, like the vibrations you feel as you sing.

 

3. Meditating on a Past Moment

Meditation doesn’t have to be all about getting into the present moment.

We can get fully into a past moment too (according to quantum physics, all times exist at once anyway!).

This way we can heal past hurts and gain new wisdom from past situations, but again we go in without expectations.

One incredibly effective way of meditating on a past moment is The Work of Byron Katie.

The Work is a transformative process of routing out and releasing old, festering thoughts that no longer serve us.

You can revisit a moment, like a 5 second snapshot, that you found triggering at the time. You explore what stories and thoughts you held, how they caused you suffering, then through a process of enquiry, see if you can find another truth (for me, the truth is a return to unconditional love).

You can do this alone (following the online guidelines), but to start with it really helps to do The Work with someone else, ideally a trained facilitator.

As trained facilitators, we support you in going through the process of enquiry with a negative thought.

Other ways of meditating on the past that I use with clients include visualisation, such as balls of light and forgiveness and rewriting past moments, or revisiting them as an adult. Again I’d recommend doing this with a trained facilitator, particularly if the past hurts you’re working on involve trauma.

 

4. Meditations for Love and Positive Emotions

I’ve found that many clients who struggle with ‘classic meditation’ love using HeartMath techniques instead.

HeartMath involves a focus on positive emotions, for ourselves and others.

These breathing techniques are designed to help balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, bringing the body into a state known as heart coherence (which basically, when you experience it, feels lovely!).

HeartMath meditation and breathing techniques are backed by a lot of scientific research and are even used by NASA and top Fortune 100 companies, such as Sony.

Just 5 or 10 minutes a day has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression and support sleep as well as general performance.

The best way of understanding HeartMath is to simply experience it.

You can experience a free HeartMath meditation and creative visualisation called Peace Tree when you sign up to the blog (and I’ll only send you an email twice a month, since I’m a big believer in peace!)…

5. Movement Meditation

Yoga is a common movement meditation… Less well known, but extremely effective is dance meditation or conscious movement.

You might bring awareness to different parts of your body as you move or dance with thoughts or emotions.

You can dance or move without music, but the music can be extremely supportive.

You can experience a free dance meditation here to beautiful piano music (yes, I know I keep popping these in – it’s because I really want you to have the free meditations and I believe they really will help you feel good! Plus, if you haven’t done them yet and they’re waiting in your Inbox, you could even go and do them right now!).

I also run events and workshops and online programmes involving dance and movement meditation.

Worldwide Community Dance Parties!… In Routine Revolution, you can experience a Healing Dance meditation in the Health and Healing Week, plus Community Dance Parties where we have a playlist playing 3 times a day with meditation invitations for different tracks, so wherever you are in the world you can virtually dance with others. Find out more here.

6. Sensory Meditations

You can look around right now, with your ears, eyes and sense of touch. Let your fingers fall on fabric and textures (go on, have a go, even if you feel a bit weird!).

It’s a beautiful experience to combine sensory meditation with gratefulness. For example, right now you can find something to touch, see or hear that you’re grateful for. Let your senses land on one thing. It could be in the environment around you or your own body.

Another sensory meditation is a walking meditation, which is particularly effective in nature.

You can focus on a small patch of ground and find miniworlds of animals and plants.

You can focus in on the hairs on a leaf, the sounds of nature, or the way the grass moves in the wind. We can see these things as little miracles of life.

Did you know we have seven senses (not five)?

And we can use every sense, including the feel of the ground beneath our feet, the pressure through our legs as we walk (this is known as proprioceptive input), or the feeling of movement as we walk or spin (this is known as vestibular input).

It can be nice to mix up our nature walk, so we move more like children, weaving in diagonals, jumping on mole hills or in puddles, sometimes walking, sometimes running, sometimes gently spinning.

Again we can bring in gratefulness, for the sounds we hear or the things we touch.

I also like to send love to the plants and trees as I’m a modern day hippy! I really feel like I’ve got to know the trees around me!

And of course, you can do sensory meditation mindful eating, touch meditation (yes, including sex! – with that key meditation aspect of letting go of expectations).

7. Journaling

Gone are the days of Adrian Mole and journals being the things of teenagers (and something to hide from our parents about our escapades and who we fancied!).

There are many ways to meditate through journaling.

You can do gratefulness journaling for your day, or free-writing where you just write whatever comes to mind, whether it’s dull or super interesting, from you or from some other guidance. It just comes out! Many people have had very deep insights this way, with the freedom it brings.

You can even write a question at the top of your page, like ‘I’m open to receiving ideas about how to deal with my stress at work’ and then let your pen flow. You can expect, like any form of meditation, that some days this will feel easier than others and it definitely gets easier with practise.

Sometimes the answers might not come on the page, but just by asking, the answers might come later, particularly when you’re feeling relaxed or even during a dream. Some people feel like these answers come from their deep, inner guidance or depending on your spiritual beliefs, a greater consciousness or power.

I also do guided journaling in Routine Revolution where we take you into a deeper meditative state, so you can answer questions and set intentions and visions for your life from this deeper place of consciousness.

8. Creative Visualisation

Visualisation can be a beautiful way of meditating.

You can take yourself into a beautiful woodland where birds are singing and the light is shining through dappled leaves, or go hang out on a hammock on a warm, sunny beach, or create any kind of safe space in your imagination.

Our sub-conscious can’t tell the difference between reality and what’s imagined, so when we tell it that we’re safe and happy, our body can feel the same sensations and emotions.

There’s even research that shows that imagining a plentiful supply of white blood cells can significantly boost the immune system, so visualisation can support healing and even help to reduce nausea or inflammation.

Creative visualisation is particularly effective when all the senses are used in your imagination.

We can also use this meditation technique to support us in creating our future and changing our beliefs (it’s used by many top athletes and high performers), and send love to ourselves and others. I use creative visualisation in my meditations. Again you can find examples in my free meditations.

9. Body, Emotions and Parts Scan

Some people swear by body scans for their calming ability.

You can bring your consciousness each part of your body, perhaps tensing it and then releasing.

For me, my mind tends to wander during the basic version of this technique, so I like to give my mind a little more to keep it occupied. So if you’re like me, you can add in extra points of focus.

I might bring my consciousness to each body part and send it love and gratefulness, really recognising what it’s done for me today and every day.

You can choose a body part right now and do this. So think of your hands, for example, or your feet. What do they help you to do every day?

You can also scan your body for tension, emotions or any part of you that wants to be heard and perhaps has some wisdom to offer you (like your inner child, your inner critic, your inner anger).

You might see tension in you, for example, like a colour, shape, texture or movement.

You might identify parts of you in the same way, or as little caricatures. With parts work, it can help to have a coach or Parts Work facilitator support you in this. From my experience, every part of us always has good intentions, can always be held with love and can evolve with new tools (and these parts can offer us wisdom too). 

10. Life as a Meditation

We can meditate in our relationships, while doing the washing up, while having sex.

At any point we can choose to be fully present, invite in love and set the intention of letting go of exactly how we expect things to be.

We might send love to our washing machine for all its work, focus on the feel of fabric as we hang out the washing (while we sing a mantra!), send love to people in other cars as we drive.

As we’re talking to a friend, we can do HeartMath as we listen, releasing judgement and seeing even more of this person’s beauty.

We can visualise our emotions and parts of us as colours, shapes, textures or caricatures. We can talk with them, dance with them, draw and paint them.

And when we join our partner or simply ourselves in sex, we can simply let go of how we think it ‘should’ be and allow ourselves to play, exploring what we don’t want and what we do want. I love that Byron Katie says that when we meet ourselves or a partner in sex without an agenda or stories, it becomes truly sensational.

Really, anything in our life, and all of our life can be a form of meditation.

All we need to do is to invite in the feeling of letting go… and sometimes even let go of trying to let go!

And an important note, letting go doesn’t mean that we just let anything happen to us. Quite the contrary. It just means we can let go of old stuff so that we’re free to make decisions about what makes us and others happy. What we truly want in our heart.

Free of old fears and what society tells us we ‘should’ do.

So that’s meditation in a nutshell.

I recommend taking this very moment to try some form of meditation suggested here, even if it’s just for a 3 minutes – you can even set a timer.

And you can be fully present with the voice that says, ‘I don’t have time…’, or ‘I just need to pop on WhatsApp quickly… maybe I could meditate on which emoji to use…’ or ‘I just need to read that other blog post about meditation…’.

Dance, sing, play, love, be present, if only for 30 seconds… (okay, I’m doing this now, setting a minute timer on my kitchen clock and challenging the voice that says, ‘just finish the blog post’… that was nice… I just ate a satsuma and drank some water with gratefulness and imperfect but lovely mindfulness)… maybe that voice that says ‘put meditation off’ is right… or maybe you can meditate right in this moment. If you want to.

You can try a free guided dance meditation right here now – a free gift from me to you!

Lots of love and have a beautiful day filled with presence, appreciation and maybe a nice satsuma!

Emma x 

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How to Declutter your Thought Wardrobe

How to Declutter your Thought Wardrobe

One of the most transformational things I’ve ever encountered in my life has been The Work of Byron Katie.

Struggling to find peace in my marriage, I turned to my friend and coach, Corrina-Gordon Barnes.

Corrina is a super talented and intuitive coach and facilitator of The Work. She was once described by NY Times Bestselling author, Tony Robbins, as a “passionate and articulate agent for change” (though she doesn’t talk about this – she’s humble like that!).

If you have any thoughts that don’t feel good, that feel like an old frumpy dress, a baggy pair of pants or an 80’s power suit that doesn’t fit… read on!

Cuddly toy cat holding up cuddly cow in the Dirty Dancing 'Lift'

Podcast interview with Corrina Gordon-Barnes – The Work of Byron Katie

In this free podcast interview, you’ll discover:

– What is The Work of Byron Katie and why can it be totally transformational?

– How Corrina used The Work to re-gain peace and happiness after some extremely challenging life events

And I’ll be doing The Work live with Corrina on a triggering situation with my ex-husband!

So tune in and listen below!

Important: Later in the podcast, Corrina uses the sh*% word in our discussion (our apologies if you find that offensive in any way), so if you have children around, you may like to listen through headphones.

Practising The Work didn’t save my marriage, but it did save the love beneath it.

And doing The Work combined with other practices, such as HeartMath, coaching, relationship work and dance meditation, I was able to explore what I deeply wanted, for me and my ex-husband and my kids…

I wanted us to be happy. I wanted what was in everyone’s highest good.

And now, down the line… both my ex-husband and I are in long-term relationships and we feel super happy where we are… and we’re genuinely pleased for each other too!

Our kids love our partners and our family does not feel like a broken one. It feels like an extended one.

I have friends in similar situations, where their families extend, where children may not be anchored in one home, but they are anchored in love from the adults in their lives.

Life isn’t perfect! Ha ha – I’m still doing The Work.

But I can honestly say, right now, life it’s beautiful beyond my imagination.

I hope you enjoyed the podcast! 

You can find out more about Corrina at www.corrinagordonbarnes.com ❤️

Love Emma x

And here’s the video mentioned in the podcast… 

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Mother and child hugging showing positive parenting and conscious relationships

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Why I’m talking like Mr Darcy

Why I’m talking like Mr Darcy

Well, I’m not diving into lakes in my undergarments and inviting ladies to dance…

I’m talking about Bridget Jones’s Diary here.

Because everyone’s talking about New Year’s resolutions – and if you’re not reading this at New Year, hey, our drive for self-improvement stays with us throughout the year… and it can cause us to not be peaceful. 

Maybe we’d like to eat more veggies, meditate more, or finally put our foot behind our head in our yoga practice (actually I’m just trying that in front of the computer and… no… I am WAY off).

Or perhaps we don’t want to get as triggered by our partner, our parent or our kids.

It’s so easy to try and improve ourselves constantly (my hand goes up to that) and forget about the Darcy factor.

Where he tells Bridget ‘I like you very much – just as you are.’

To which Moaning Myrtle/ her bestie says, “Not with slightly bigger breasts and a slightly smaller nose?”

But Darcy likes her just as she is (sigh).

And don’t we love Bridget with all her faults? I’d love to hang out with her watching rom-coms and eating chocolate in our pyjamas.

She’d love us with our imperfections, whether we had stretch marks or spider veins, or an addiction to tortilla chips.

Our whole lives we’ve been taught to strive towards perfection. Top grades. The ideal figure. The perfect home and family. Total self-love and fulfillment.

But maybe we can find more peace by simply sitting amongst all that imperfection with love.

That doesn’t mean we can’t change or grow, but we can also find peace in imperfection.

And maybe not just accept it. But delight in it. Re-frame our thoughts about imperfection.

That bit of mess you left somewhere which gives you exactly what you need at the right time.

That cobbled-together-in-five-minutes dinner that everyone loved.

The parent who snaps from time to time and shows her children how to apologise and repair (and that she’s human too).

Or like a leaf with a hole nibbled out so you can see the sun shine through.

And isn’t nature filled with perfectly imperfect things that are so often far more interesting than ‘perfectly’ formed plastic items?

Update: I took these leaf images a few months ago, remembering about this post… it was a lot of fun looking through the little hole and finding trees, plants, berries and the moon! Like a lens or focus… it was fun grown-up play!

I love this quote from Sue Fitzmaurice:

“You don’t inspire others by being perfect. You inspire them by how you deal with your imperfections.”

But the truth is, I’m still scared to tell you that I don’t live up to ‘perfect’ standards.

I don’t always do the right thing, say the right thing and my house isn’t in perfect order.

And sometimes I find myself deep in the darkness. My belief is that this stuff comes up when it’s ready to process… and sometimes it takes a little time and play, and love.

Sometimes I find myself in tears on the floor, feeling lost and alone.

As a single parent navigating through divorce and still living with my ex husband (yup, hardcore!), with two young boys (one on the spectrum), life is sometimes challenging.

I am so deeply grateful for the techniques that get me back on track, like The Work of Byron Katie, dance and movement meditation, conscious parenting, HeartMath and simply sitting in the darkness with love and compassion for all the parts of me, including the wounded parts.

I have tools and incredible friends who support me in returning to my best self time and again. And overall, I can honestly say that I feel more balanced and resilient than I’ve ever been.

Like everyone else in this world, I am a beautiful work in progress. And each of us are entirely and deeply lovable in this moment, exactly as we are.

My flaws and imperfections mean I can be more compassionate – with my friends, my clients, and that fellow mum whose child is melting down in the supermarket, shooting his water bottle over everyone.

I know how hard it is to find time for you, even though you know you’re supposed to do that to be a a whole person and a self-loving master.

I set up my coaching business because I wanted to support people in their most challenging times, the way I have been supported, to find their way and their inner wisdom (not because I’ve achieved perfection!).

I have tools to share that have totally transformed my life. These tools helped me find my inner wisdom and have taken me to some fun and deeply fulfilling places. And I’m so grateful to the people who shared their knowledge and techniques with me.

Ans a recovering perfectionist, I’m just going to leave this blog post as it is, even if it’s imperfect.

Step away from the keyboard!

My alternative New Year’s resolution?

Lovingly face my perfectionism and celebrate what’s beautiful about right now… and gently venture into personal growth where it brings me joy and peace.

How about you?

What’s imperfectly perfect about you? The less bendy/ possibly plumper/ imperfect version of you?

What can you celebrate right now about yourself?

What are you trying to perfect that you could do with stepping away from?

Wishing you a year filled with love and laughter.

Emma x

Mother and child hugging showing positive parenting and conscious relationships

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