Lean back: I will be glad to tell you all aboutHafiz, ‘The Ear That Was Sold To A Fish’ translated by Daniel Ladinsky in ‘The Gift’
How it happened,
But first I must digress a bit,
Perhaps way beyond any logical sequence
We may ever again piece together.
We could start anywhere,
With any word,
In this fertile luminous world in which I live.
What is the first letter of your alphabet?
That will be just fine.
Hi there, it’s lovely to meet you! I’m Emma, the creator of Emma Mills London.
Many readers have asked me to share more about the way I work, why I started and how I ended up here, so I thought it was about time I shared a little ( long) wellness story with you.
But first a little preface.
It’s tricky to pinpoint a single cause for where I am now and for my love of all things wellness. I think one reason for this is that to find a cause I’d need to find the beginning of the story. And just how far back in time do I look?
To borrow a few lines from Arnold Bennet (1889)
(Each) Individual is a consequence of his father and mother and his environment, and his father and mother of theirs, and soArnold Bennet, 1889
to the single cell protoplasm. The individual is a result of the cosmic order, the inevitable product of cause and effect. A fact which the universe has been slowly manufacturing for millions of years. Just as much a fact of the universe as a shower of rain. backwards
If I review my memories, I can weave the most salient events from my life into a cohesive narrative that explains how I came to be who and where I am. Yet the personal story I end up with is flexible and changes often according to how I recall, think about and tell it.
With this in mind, I try not to place too much weight on my stories. And amazingly this affords me a wonderful sense of freedom! Without a story, I just am and awareness is just here now. When I’m not identified so tightly with my story, I’m free to be renewed in an instant. Without a story there is room for awareness to be here, unbounded and spontaneous. In the least odd way, for a new Emma to appear in each moment. So much room, so much freshness and such wonderful freedom. Hoorah!
Anyway, that’s quite enough of that. Now for the story….
London will always be home for me and it’s where I do most of my work, but 5 years ago I made the leap and moved out of the city to live at a farm in the countryside. It’s been a real change!
When I’m not working as a wellness writer and meditation and mindfulness teacher in London I love spending time with my friends and family. I’m also a lover of nature, yoga, poetry, art, travel, cycling, cooking, fashion, the beach, wild swimming, flowers, European cinema, painting and pretty much everything creative.
I once heard someone say that if you want to reconnect with your passions as an adult, you should look back at what you most loved to do as a child. Being creative was something I enjoyed as a child. Drawing, reading and writing. I also loved fashion and having an actress for a mother meant I had ample access to heaps of brightly coloured outfits to have fun with. It was during these early years that I began to look for the meaning of life and the source of happiness. Although I don’t think I articulated it quite like that at the time!
I feel very lucky to have had a tremendously loving childhood and a warm and supportive family. When we were children my brother was sick for a long time and sadly passed away. This formative experience gave me an early dose of existential curiosity. Later on, I became interested in holistic health, philosophy, spirituality and I studied politics and went off to work at The House of Parliament for a few MP’s. It wasn’t the right fit, so I took a psychology degree instead. I loved every minute of it and truly felt that I’d found my lane.
In the years that followed I worked with the mental health charity Mind in the UK, specialising in all sorts of lovely wellness interventions and working with hundreds if not thousands of people 1-2-1 and in groups. It was here, inspired by the work of Carole Leonard Morgan and Dr Jane Davis that I first fell in love with poetry as a medium of self-discovery, healing and self-expression. (And also because poetry is just so beautiful!)
Whatever role you play, teacher or student, life is always moving us toward greater understanding. Life is asking and answering its own questions through us and through all things and I’ve been lucky to have met many incredible teachers so far.
In 2010 I created Emma Mills London. A place where I could share self-help insights in a beautiful, stylish way with my friends in the city. At the same time I ran a successful wellness clinic in Shoreditch, I taught classes and practised several coaching and therapy modalities designed to help people step further into their fullness. I feel truly honoured to have met the people I have crossed paths with in this way. And of course the new people I continue to meet today.
I found psychology/self-help to be an interesting and effective medium to work with and it was when I began to work primarily with poetry and meditation that sparks began to fly. There are so many reasons why meditation is so complementary to regular coaching work. I’ll try to share another post going into more detail on that soon. But in short, where psychology can be quite cognitive and cerebral, focussing on how you think, the stories you tell and your smaller self, meditation and mindfulness help you get familiar with your larger self, which in many cases enables you to transcend mental stories and see the truth of things more clearly. So yep, both approaches are great.
Zoom forward to the here and now, 15 years after taking my first psychology class and I’ve written several books on the topic of meditation and hundreds of features here at emmamillslondon.com as well as many more for ladies health magazines and companies. I’ve found natural ways to bring joy, peace and inspiration into my day to day life and discovered a fantastic wellspring of creativity within. And for that, I’m truly grateful.
I now have a unique way of teaching meditation that’s both simple and fun, and I’ve developed a philosophy for wellbeing that draws on a broad range of influences from poetry and nature, to psychology, philosophy and cooking.
For quite a few years I spent most of my time with clients offering 1-2-1 private sessions, however today the shape of my work has evolved, as these things often do, and I now spend most of my time writing meditation-related books, courses, features + accessories, helping other organisations and brands to integrate meditation, or wellness into their service provisions or products. I do enjoy this way of sharing, it’s challenging, creative and purposeful.
And next? Well, I have some exciting new creative projects in the pipeline! And I have fancies and intentions for the work I might share here. Yet the deepest truth for me is that life is such a mystery. I am here, surfing on the crest of the wave and I have no idea where life is going next. Do any of us?
Et Voila! A little story about myself and Emma Mills London. Thanks for reading and thanks for being here, surfing with me. What are you up to and how did you come to be interested in wellness, mindfulness and the truth of things? Leave me a comment below I always love hearing what you have to say.
A great place to begin is by signing up for my free fortnightly Wellness Edit where I share my thoughts and ideas on the latest wellness news. And, you can learn more about the work I’ve been doing here