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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Mindful Communication Skills with Jayaraja and Jenny Owen

Mindful Communication Skills with Jayaraja and Jenny Owen

Join Jayaraja and Jenny Owen in this series of six free Mindful Communication workshops.

We’ll be discovering:

– How to work with our triggers and traumas

– How to give heart-opening, conscious compliments

– How to respond consciously to aggression using Mindful Communication

Jayaraja with his 'right and wrong' hat, where one hand is pointing to him and the other is pointing outwards

And lots more.

The tools that Jayaraja and Jenny share here have been transformational to my relationships and particularly in conflict situations.

Jayaraja has been teaching Mindful Communication for more than two decades and trained under Marshall Rosenberg – the founder of Nonviolent Communication (or NVC) for more than six years.

Jenny Owen comes from an education background as a teacher, and now teaches Mindful Commuication in schools. She provides mediation and conflict coaching to young people and adults and runs a mediation charity.

You’ll find all six free videos on this page:

Video 1

1. How to deepen your relationships with Mindful Communication

Video 2

How to work with our triggers and traumas using Mindful Communication

Video 3

How to expand our language and involve the heart in Mindful Communication

Video 4

How to give conscious compliments using Mindful Communication

Video 5

How to make conscious requests (without a needy or demanding energy) using Mindful Communication

Video 6

How to consciously respond to judgement or aggression using Mindful Communication


If it would bring you joy to donate to the restoration of Alfoxton Park House as a retreat centre…. you can send a donation to Jayaraja’s team at

A huge thanks to Jayaraja, Jenny and all the participants and hope you enjoyed these sessions.

Love Emma x 

Jayaraja wearing a hat with hearts pointing out in different directions
Mother and child hugging showing positive parenting and conscious relationships

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The needs underneath our triggers

The needs underneath our triggers

Jayaraja is known for his playful style in teaching Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and Mindfulness (in these free videos we get to see four of his crazy hats!).

I’ve found his teachings deeply transformative, particularly when trying to find win-wins with my kids… but also in every relationship in my life.

In these videos Jayaraja explains:

What are the seven categories of needs… and how are they essential to understanding why we get triggered?

Mindfulness and embodiment tools we can use to calm our bodies when we’re triggered

Jayaraja also takes us through a meditation.

Jayaraja with his 'right and wrong' hat, where one hand is pointing to him and the other is pointing outwards

Video 1

Aaargh! I’m Triggered: Mindful communication tools to bring us back to compassion 

Video 2

Mindful and Nonviolent Communication: How to find strategies that meet everyone’s needs

In Part 2, we see live examples of Mindful and Nonviolent Communication in action…

Resources and links mentioned in the videos

We’re running more free Mindful Communication Skills workshops with Jayaraja.

If you’d like to join us for those free workshops and ask your questions live, please see our Events and Workshops page.

Here’s Jayaraja’s Facebook page so you can befriend him and get notified of his other courses and events.

How about you?

What did you find useful in these videos?

Is there anything more you’d like to know about Mindful Communication or Non-Violent Communication (we’re running further free sessions)?

Please do share below in the comments!

Jayaraja and I would love to hear from you!

Love Emma x 

Jayaraja wearing a hat with hearts pointing out in different directions
Mother and child hugging showing positive parenting and conscious relationships

The fun way to heal

From one-on-one coaching to free workshops and housework dance parties, find our more about how you can heal through happiness and play.

Time management tools for self-love

Time management tools for self-love

Do you want to get through your to-do list with both efficiency and self-compassion?

Would you like to make more space for your passions, purpose and/or rest?

I really enjoyed this video interview with holistic time management coach, Becca Rich.


Woman sat on a sofa looking cosy with a mug of hot water with a heart floating in the mug

I personally find Becca a fountain of knowledge and compassion. We learn practical techniques to help us follow through with our self-love, our passions and purpose, including:

– how to be both practical and forgiving

– how to celebrate with our inner child

– a variety of tips to help us make progress and find balance

In this interview you’ll experience a self-loving meditation and an exercise to support your time management:

Resources and links mentioned in the video

Here’s Becca’s website

There you can find out more about Becca’s work, get the ‘Have Done list’ exercise for free, and receive other top time management tips. Plus you can follow Becca on social media:

Find Becca on Facebook 

Follow Becca on Instagram 

Watch Becca’s videos on You Tube

Subscribe to get the free Have Done list

How about you?

What was your experience of doing the exercises in the video?

What do you find challenging when it comes to managing your time?

Have you got any great time management tips?

Please do share below in the comments!

Becca and I would love to hear from you!

Love Emma x

Lady walking towards the beach
Mother and child hugging showing positive parenting and conscious relationships

The fun way to heal

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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

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

The fun way to heal

From one-on-one coaching to free workshops and housework dance parties, find our more about how you can heal through happiness and play.

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 

Mother and child hugging showing positive parenting and conscious relationships

The fun way to heal

From one-on-one coaching to free workshops and housework dance parties, find our more about how you can heal through happiness and play.

Delicious zero sugar chocolate orange brownies

Delicious zero sugar chocolate orange brownies

This holiday season treat yourself to guilt-free chocolate brownies with two secret (but healthy) ingredients to make this recipe completely sugar free, but still utterly delicious…

It’s a super simple and quick recipe, and if you have kids, you can easily get them involved too. All the ingredients are healthy.

They’re vegan, gluten free, coconut free and paleo.

Want to know what the surprising secret ingredients are?

Read on!

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

The Healthy Brownie Ingredients (yes, honestly, these are healthy treats!)

1. Raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder if you don’t have cacao)

Up to 80% of Americans have been shown to be deficient in magnesium due to the way our food is processed and grown, which generally leaves it magnesium poor.

Raw cacao, however, is a great source of magnesium. Magnesium helps calm the body and helps to build strong bones. It’s also a great source of zinc, iron and antioxidants.

2. Almond butter and almond flour

I love good fats. Almond butter is a mono-unsaturated fat, so it can help to reduce the risk of heart disease. It’s also a good source of calcium and magnesium.

Don’t have almond butter in the cupboard? You can also do a peanut butter version – it just tastes more peanut buttery, which is tasty too.

3. Coconut flour (sub for more almond flour if you have an intolerance to coconut)

The fat in coconut flour is a medium-chain tryglsoride, which has been shown to help with cholesterol and can have anti-inflammatory benefits. Coconut flour also absorbs a lot of moisture (if you choose not to use it as part of this recipe, your brownies will be a bit more sticky, but still yummy!

4. Orange rind

Orange rind works so well when we want to reduce the sugar in a recipe and contains anti-oxidant properties too.

5. Sweet potato (secret sugar substitute number 1)

Sweet potatoes sweeten these brownies instead of processed sugar and if you’re into zero sugar, you can even do a version even without the monk fruit sugar (I’ve tried this with kids who like pop tarts and the sweet-potato-only versions have gone down well – though monkfruit sugar makes them extra yummy!).

Sweet potatoes are also a source of calcium, selenium, B vitamins and Vitamin A (so these brownies will even help you see at night!).

6. Monkfruit sugar (secret sugar substitute number 2) or use coconut sugar if you don’t have any

This ingredient has quite honestly revolutionised my sugar-free baking.

Monkfruit sugar is a source of antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and it’s potentially cancer-fighting too (see below).

If you don’t have monkfruit, you can use coconut sugar or normal sugar if you wish.

I use the brand Lakanto Monkfruit Sugar which I can get in the United Kingdom.

Never come across monkfruit sugar before?  You’re in super for a pleasant surprise! Read on for a few fun facts…

(i) Monkfruits have been used for centuries

Monkfruit was cultivated by Buddhist monks in the 13th century and is also known as the ‘Buddha fruit’.

(ii) The sweetener is safe and apparently ‘autistic friendly’

It was declared safe by the FDA in 2010, including for pregnant and nursing women, and has been shown to be safe in animal studies in large amounts (though as a vegan I’ll admit I’m not into animal testing!). Use your own guidance though as always for what’s right for you. I recently did a coconut sugar version for my pregnant friend, Corrina Gordon-Barnes, just to be on the safe side.

(iii) Contains zero calories and won’t raise blood sugar levels

Monkfruit sweetener can be perfect for those on a keto diet or anyone with diabetes. Though please, as always check with your medical practitioner first. Some people need to raise their blood sugar levels at times too… I like the sweet potato in this recipe for providing slower release carbs.

(iv) Contains anti-oxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties

Monkfruit extract is super sweet (100-250 times stronger than sugar). This sweetness comes from its unique antioxidants called mogrosides.

(v) Monkfruit may have anti-cancer effects

In animal and test tube studies monkfruit sugar has also been shown to inhibit cancer cells (though no human studies have been done as yet).

Also, monkfruit doesn’t have the same aftertaste of stevia, so often people prefer it. My chocolate orange brownies have gone down super well, with no one realising that they don’t contain normal sugar.


7. Pecans and walnuts (optional, if you like nuts in your brownies)

These nuts are also a source of mono-unsaturated fat, as well as iron, zinc and magnesium amongst many other nutrients… plus walnuts are a great plant source of Omega 3 fatty acids.

8. Dark Chocolate (optional)

You can also add chocolate chunks in the brownie itself, or top with melted chocolate. Dark chocolate is high in flavenoids, which are antioxidants and is a great source of iron.

Quantities and Instructions
(Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Nut and Coconut Free)

I wholly recommend doubling up this recipe, which is what I usually do, then I freeze a batch. They make great breakfast bars and snacks. I’ve even enjoyed them straight from the freezer, a bit like a frozen dessert base!

  • 1 cup of cooked sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup of almond butter (drippy is best) –  you can also use peanut butter, which has a stronger taste to it, but yum in a different way. or any other nut or seed butter
  • 1/3 cup of cacao powder (or cocoa powder if you don’t have cacao)
  • 1/4 cup of almond flour
  • 1/4 cup of coconut flour (or more almond flour if you don’t tolerate coconut
  • Grated rind of two oranges (I like to use organic oranges which don’t have wax on, but go with what you’ve got)

Optional extras

  • 1/3 cup chopped or bashed pecans/ walnuts (I like to use soaked and dehydrated nuts which are more airy and biscuity, but again go with what you’ve got!)
  • 100g bar of dark chocolate – break up however much you’d like into your Brownie and/or melt and drizzle over the top with a few extra gratings of orange for effect

Easy-Peasy Instructions

If your kids are getting involved, just a note that grating the orange can result in shaved fingers if not careful, so take extra care to show kids how to hold the orange so as not to get scraped. (And as my friend pointed out, finger shavings technically make this recipe non-vegan! Plus are painful for kiddies!)

1. Cook a batch of sweet potatoes

My favourite, zero prep way to do this is to the pop them in the oven with skins (pricked with a knife to prevent explosions. I cook mine at 200 deg C/ 180 fan (or 390/ 355 fan if using Farenheit), When the potatoes cooked, let them cool, then you can just peel off the skin – super easy.

2. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C/ 140 degrees C fan (or 320 degrees F/ 285 degrees F fan)

Note: You can cook these brownies at a higher heat for crispier edges, but cook for a shorter amount of time. I like mine a bit more fudgy the whole way through.

3. Mix the sweet potato, almond butter, cacao powder, almond flour, coconut flour and orange rind

You can use a large mixing bowl (or you can use a blender, but I like to double up so use a bowl, and it’s fun to use a bowl with kids).

Mix the 1 cup of sweet potato, 1/2 cup almond butter, 1/3 cup cacao powder, 1/4 cup of almond flour, 1/4 cup of coconut flour and grate two oranges into the bowl. Mix all together.

4. Add any optional nuts and chocolate chunks

Lastly add any chopped nuts (optional) and any chocolate chunks (optional)… you can bash them up a little in a pestle and mortar – my kids love doing that!

5. Pop onto a tray

You can arrange into a cake shape of your choice – rectangular, round, unicorn…this is also great for birthday cakes of all shapes and sizes.

I like to use a silicon sheet for totally easy washing up – you can use the same ones that you cooked the sweet potatoes on (though I tend to cook my sweet potatoes on a different day and use the leftovers for this recipe).

6. Cook in the oven for 40 minutes.

Keep an eye on them – you can give them a bit more time… or less time if you’re cooking at a higher temperature. I like to do:

– 25 minutes at 160 degrees C/ 320 F

– Then and extra 15 minutes at 180 degrees C/ 355 F (which gives them a crispy edge)

6. Leave to cool, then use a spatula to cut them into suitable size bars or squares

7. Optional topping

We melted orange chocolate onto our brownies – I found this yummy bar recently when I was staying in the ‘chocolate street’ in Bruges, Belgium (heaven!).


I wholly encourage you (and kids if you have them) to play with this recipe!

You could add a little cinnamon or ginger to make a fudgey ginger cake.

Perhaps you’d like raisins, dates or cranberries inside too.

Maybe instead of an orange flavour, you’d like to try peanut butter, plain or a mint chocolate version.

Let me know what you love!

You can also serve the mixture as a pudding, without even cooking it (getting the benefits of cacao powder completely raw). 

Over to you

Are you tempted to try out this super quick recipe for the holidays (or any time!)?

Hope you enjoy if you make them!

Love Emma x

Mother and child hugging showing positive parenting and conscious relationships

The fun way to heal

From one-on-one coaching to free workshops and housework dance parties, find our more about how you can heal through happiness and play.

No-Cook Chocolate Orange Brownie Balls

No-Cook Chocolate Orange Brownie Balls

Here’s a recipe which is both scrumptious and brimming with magnesium, calcium and other nutrients.

Magnesium can help with irritability, sleep issues and helps to build strong bones.

These raw brownie balls are super easy and make a perfect chocolatey (but healthy) treat for the family. (more…)

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

The fun way to heal

From one-on-one coaching to free workshops and housework dance parties, find our more about how you can heal through happiness and play.

What my ‘Time In’ Has in Common with Dirty Dancing

What my ‘Time In’ Has in Common with Dirty Dancing

I came across Dirty Dancing the other day.

Now you might think that Dirty Dancing is eighties’ drivel…

…Or you might be like me and spent your tween years memorising the  soundtrack, dancing ‘in hold’ by the screen, and coveting silver dance shoes (how I wanted to master those heel flicks)…

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

Anyone else love Patrick Swayze?

Here’s a little something from my childhood archive, found recently by my dad…

Emma's childhood picture from a photo booth with Patrick Swayze

How can you tell it’s not real? Does my comparatively gigantic head give it away?

Yep, sadly it’s one of those photo booth fakes.

More seriously, I’m so sorry that Patrick Swayze passed away. I remember watching an interview with him and his wife after he was diagnosed with cancer.

We need to enjoy every minute with our loved ones (cliché, but true).

Which brings me back on subject.

Like many parents, I used Time Out because that was the only tool I had.

How else could I deal with the hitting, the defiancy, the throwing of cutlery and porridge balls at the wall during a meltdown?

What’s bad about Time Out?

It may surprise you (it surprised me at the time) that many organisations, including many mental health and children’s charities, don’t recommend Time Out.

And there are many nurseries and schools who no longer use it.

Partly because children are more likely to spend their few minutes in Time Out being angry: I hate Dad. I hate my little sister. Is four minutes up yet?

Or ‘self-shaming’: I hit. I’m a bad kid. I can’t stop myself. What’s wrong with me?

Because young children aren’t developmentally ready to calm themselves, and use reason and empathy. 

The brain areas they need to do this are in the early building stages, and are completely shut down by stress.

So now most psychologists, paediatricians and mental health experts focus on prevention, so watching for the first signs of stress, and taking steps to lower anxiety.

And when all else fails, they use Time In i.e. supporting a child through the meltdown.

When I discovered Time In, it sounded super-duper.

But Time In didn’t go to plan either.

So I have discovered some great modifications…

1. Nobody puts Baby in a corner (unless they want to get headbutted)

I’d seen a photo in a book of Time In. There was a calm-looking mother holding her angry child on the stairs.

I tried to reproduce this image.

So when I first started Time In, it was pretty much like Time Out. There was a ‘calm spot’ at the bottom of the stairs. I’d take my eldest there. I’d make him sit with me. He’d be angry about that. I’d sit beside him and try to hold him lovingly.

He’d try to hit me. Bite me. Headbutt me.

Just getting to the Time In spot was escalating the problem. As was staying in it.

I went on a timely education course. The trainer said:

“Physical force escalates problems 99% of the time.”

Yep, even gentle restraint (because it’s not always perceived that way by our children).

So his advice, from working with the most challenging kids? As long as they’re not a danger to themselves or others – let the child run under the table, or run up the stairs. Let him come to you when he’s ready.

And you can remove other children away (children who are less likely to hit you). So you can pick up the sibling who got hit instead and give them a hug, and a natural consequence of hitting someone is that the person who got hurt needs attention.

Often a problem can be resolved there and then.

“You were angry because Alfie took your truck. I understand that you’re angry. The rule is no hitting when we’re angry. It hurts.” Then we can offer solutions for an immediate change in behaviour, “You want your brother to stop playing with your truck? Can you offer him another toy? Or play on the table where he can’t reach?”

We can find our children immediately respond to this.

Once we put their frustrations into words, often the anger just goes there and then. Because they feel heard and now they have another solution at their finger tips. So your child may instantly be calmed and co-operate just by feeling heard.

And because we haven’t manhandled them, they can calm down quicker.

The hitting stops because they have another solution. Which is what we want. This helps him to develop impulse control.

And of course want to follow up with repair – the consequence – which he may be ready to do there and then. Not just apologising, but genuinely repairing with the person that they’ve wronged. So we might encourage him to offer his brother a hug, or find him a toy that he loves, make a sorry card or pick up what she’s thrown across the room.

But what if the hitting continues?

2. Hey, spaghetti arms…

Wherever your ‘Time In’ ends up (perhaps you crawl under the table with them), your child is still in fight or flight, fending off attackers.

If we respect their personal space – their dance space – injuries to both parties are far less likely.

Say you sit beside her and she doesn’t like it, or goes to hit you, you can ease back. You can say, “I see you need more space. I’m going to sit further away. I’m here when you need me to help you calm down.”

And if he’s damaging something? Well that’s your call. You’ll want to weigh up the value of the item versus the value of not being hurt.

Because both adults and children can be hurt by well-meaning restraint. I know teachers who’ve had to take time off work because of injuries gained from restraining a three year old – it’s surprising how much little ones can damage us too (those heads are hard and the teeth are sharp!).

But what about when they come into your space and attack?

You’ll want to protect your dance space (and that of anyone else with you).

You can use your arms and body as a barrier, which is much less threatening than when you grab, move and manipulate your child’s body.

When my eldest son was at peak meltdown age (around 3) and tried to attack, I would crouch down at a safe distance (making myself look less threatening) with my hands out in front so he couldn’t get at my face or body, but often just moving to this body position, at his level, out of his personal space would do it.

I used my soft and calming ‘biter-whisperer voice’ to say something like, “You’re angry. No hitting. It hurts. When you’re ready for a cuddle to help you calm down, I’m here for you.”

Now you know your child best here. If you’re worried about your personal safety or that of others, especially with older, bigger children, you may want to remove yourself further away, even to a different room.

You can also look for a course near you to learn safe restraint to help reduce the likelihood of injury should you need to protect your child or others from danger.

But as my Safeguarding trainer said, physical force and restraint should be avoided wherever possible because they escalate the problem and can lead to injury. If you can help your child to calm down without the need for restraint, you’re onto a winner.

3. Curing the Overload

Now one of the mistakes I made when first starting out was talking too much. Particularly at the peak of my son’s meltdown. Ever found yourself doing this?

Reasoning. Trying to get them to see things from the other person’s point of view. Coming up with solutions.

When our children’s brains are in shutdown.

My friend likened it to trying to berate a drunk. You need to wait until he’s sober.

At the peak of a meltdown, when the brain is in complete shutdown, techniques you might find helpful are cuddling and gentle rocking when your child wants this (you can just give them space and let them come into your lap when they’re ready), and empathising and seeing thing from their point of view to help engage and wake up their brains.

So you could say with genuine empathy, “You didn’t like it when he took your truck. You felt angry.”

It’s so challenging to resist the urge to start correcting before he’s ‘sober’, but it’s so much easier to stay calm and collected when we’re not trying to restrain them, convince them, or physically force them into a spot.

4. Don’t you feel like cryin’?

Ever felt better after a good cry when you’ve been with someone supportive? (Crying by ourselves doesn’t always help though.)

We’ve been taught that big girls – and boys – don’t cry, but it’s healthy. Stress hormones actually come out through the tears. It’s what nature intended.

If we say ‘don’t cry’, our children can learn to stuff emotions away. But they’ll resurface later.

Crying is a release for a young child, because she can’t put into words, ‘I’m scared of the lady with the gigantic teeth at pre-school. I don’t like it when she tells me off.’ Often children are really crying about some underlying stressor. The lost Tigger cup was just the last straw.


A lot of parents struggle with this (I know I did).

Every child is different, and so is every day. Sometimes crying won’t come, or doesn’t help.

Sometimes cuddling or gently rocking is useful. Or he might need some play therapy, some time outdoors (log balancing, anyone?) and a giggle because laughter releases stress hormones too.


5. Dance

Because sometimes children, especially those who go into fight mode, need to MOVE to burn off the adrenalin.

Being stuck in a corner is the last thing he needs.

So he can dance for joy. To show anger. To giggle.

She can listen to her favourite song. Spin ribbons around. Or use makeshift drums.

Or he can use something out of their ‘Calm Down’ box, like bubbles or something to squeeze.

Dance, music and movement are therapeutic.

And they happen to be great preventative tools when it comes to meltdowns. Sometimes we call for a ‘dance break’ when someone’s feeling a bit grizzly, or when we’ve just been sat still for too long (or I’ve spent too long at the washing up ball).

And honestly, if you’re having a bad day and you’re a Dirty Dancing fan, try putting on ‘I’ve Had the Time of My Life’ – it’s pretty much impossible to stay in a bad mood.

But what about the punishment?

Haven’t our children just learned that when they hit they get cuddles, toys and fun stuff? They get to dance.

No. What they learn is that when they STOP hitting and ask for help they get cuddles, toys, fun stuff and dance. The hitting never needs to happen (and we can be clear on that).

They’re learning how to deal with emotions, without hitting.

And the consequence is repair with the person who’s been wronged. Alongside coming up with solutions to prevent it from happening again.

And believe me, I’ve seen this at home and at school, children are much more likely to genuinely apologise and repair if they don’t feel backed into a corner. Er, literally.

Instead of those post-Time-Out. forced apologies made through gritted teeth!

So let’s take a leaf out of Johnny’s book.

Let’s take Baby out of the corner – she might just surprise us.

If you’re faced with regular meltdowns, anxiety, or any other parenting issues that are causing you stress, you may like to come and join us in The Love Spa.

Love Emma x


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

The fun way to heal

From one-on-one coaching to free workshops and housework dance parties, find our more about how you can heal through happiness and play.

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