Before Emma was an impassioned Breathwork practitioner, successful business owner, mama-of-three and step-mama to one, she was travelling the world as a high-flying model. The local Byron Bay mum and co-founder of The Reconnected always knew spirituality was deep in her being.
After a journey of self-discovery, Emma was finally able to step into her own, becoming the empowered, intuitive individual she now embodies.
Here, India Hendrikse speaks to Emma about life hurdles, key learnings, and experience as a mother, connected being and mind-body guide.
Looking back on your childhood, what particular experiences stand out to you that feel foundational to your life now?
I was really close with my grandmother as she was really attentive. So she was definitely foundational in a sense, she loved cooking and making things with me and I felt a real kinship with her.
When I was three, I did my first ballet class and that turned into years of ballet. I ended up being a full-time ballerina, homeschooled, danced six days a week, all day. I’d do schooling in the afternoon for two hours.
Does ballet still resonate with you now?
It’s so beautiful but after quitting ballet because I got an injury, so much happened, and I learned through all of my healing processing work that at three, dance was my love language. And that’s something that was a really spiritual experience for me, and it made me feel really good. But because I became really good at it, it became controlled, pressurised, really mechanical.
There’s a lot of psychological abuse that happens in ballet. So I realised when I came out of it that I just loved dancing. That was my spiritual language, but it was pushed into control. So I kind of fell out of love with it because it felt like it took over my life. I didn’t get to have a proper childhood where I could have time off. I was just always doing ballet, always going to competitions, didn’t have much of a social life, exhausted all the time because I was pushed. So it took away the essence of it for me.
How old were you when you were ‘discovered’ as a model, and moved to London?
I was just about to turn 17. And it gave me the reins because I very quickly went from living in a small town in Australia, to making a lot of money and having a lot of freedom.
And I also had access to lots of big parties, celebrities and model agency parties, drugs and alcohol. So I had a lot of freedom, and then I just spun out of control because I was trying to reclaim all of the times that I had been controlled through ballet. Because I was really so young to be making big money and travelling around the world alone, I had no awareness of what I was actually experiencing.
How do you describe that phase of life, ending the modeling chapter and coming into the next one?
Well, I actually was at this point suffering such extreme anxiety and having panic attacks, medicated on antidepressants, and antidepressants. And I was in the modeling chair and this hairdresser said to me, “oh, babe, you need to read this book because you need to realise what’s happening in your life.” It was called ‘Many Lives, Many Masters’ [by Brian Weiss], and I put the title of the book in my phone and didn’t think about it.
And then six months later, I was changing my phone SIM card, and when I changed it, I was looking at the stuff and the book was there and I was still a mess. I think I’d broken up with my boyfriend and I was hardly working and stuff. So I ended up buying the book and I read it and everything just started clicking. I opened myself back up spiritually to the concept that I was in control of my life. But up until that point, I was really letting life control me.
Do you feel that sense of spirituality was with you as a child and then you lost it?
Yes, I was always into faeries and guardian angels, spiritual content. I persuaded my parents to baptise me in the church because I wanted to be a part of it. They weren’t at all religious, but I just loved the iconography and I loved the worship and the whole process that they go through.
I’ve always had a strong sense of connection to something. I’m really impressed with my journey of absolute wild times from probably about sixteen upwards. I always had a sense of grace and safety. For some reason, even in my wild times, I had an understanding that there was something else there, but I was trying to get to it. That’s what I realised through breathwork, I was trying to find spirituality through wild times, because it made me feel something.
Was having children something you had envisioned?
It kind of was but I hadn’t really thought about it in too much detail. I just knew straight away when I found out that I wanted to have a home birth. And so I broke the news to everyone, like “oh, I’m pregnant and I’m having a home birth.” I knew family and friends would be worried about my alternative choices.
You have three of your own children. How has your relationship been with each of them as they’ve come into the world? Has it been quite different with each child that you’ve birthed?
Totally different. With Atlas, with the first one, there’s so many really slow moments and you’re able to fully soak them up. I just used to literally lay around all day with him, on the couch, in the bed. I would go for a walk that was just the two of us. And it was slow and kind of simple. But then the more that you add, you don’t get those moments with each of those children.
Also, each of them show you different parts of yourself. Or your partner, you know, they reflect parts of them, too. No child is the same.
You seemingly allow your children to be pretty free-range and maybe not fit into the social norms of how we think children ‘should’ behave. Can you shed some light on this parenting style?
I think the irony of it is that when they are allowed to fully be themselves when it comes to being at home and being expressive, I don’t have judgement around aggressive play, even though obviously it has to be held in a safe container. But when they’re at home and they’re totally crazy and like that, I often think, “oh my god, taking them out is scary.” But they’re actually so well-behaved when they’re in groups or out. People are always commenting on how well-behaved and awesome my kids are. But I think it’s just because they’re able to fully express themselves at home in the safety of their house, so they don’t have that lingering need to really lose the plot when they’re out.
Does that come with challenges for you, with your own patience, for example?
It’s totally a barometer of my own self-care. If I’m living to my truth, if I’m living in a ritualistic way, if I’m living with integrity to my physical self, having regular baths, and actually meditating, and doing the right things, it’s way less. And I’m able to hold space for so much of their authentic wildness. But if I’m burnt out, if I’m not eating properly, not taking care of myself, then I’m triggered and I can’t handle the noise, and am begging for bedtime and stuff like that.
Do you feel that your surroundings help with your own mental clarity as well?
Yes, 100 percent, because although I actually like cities and used to love living in the city, I look at my mental state and my life at that period of time, and then I look at the surroundings. I was in Surry Hills in Sydney, it was a very concrete jungle, not a lot of nature, lots of sirens, every weekend was party weekend noise. And now, if I can see all green out of my windows, I feel at peace.
What other tools do you use to stay in touch with yourself?
So many. I’m often asking Oracle decks and tarot cards, I love creating little altars around the garden in the house. I kind of treat my house as an altar also. I love doing facial routines and things like that. Kundalini yoga is a passion of mine, meditation, the breath. I’m actually a massive walking fan. Bushwalking is my thing.
Your work exists in the space of mind-body therapy. How did you come into this line of work?
Through my own process of being extremely anxious, suffering panic attacks and being told that it was simply something that was always going to be that way and there was nothing I could do about it. I had never been given the option of something else and one thing led to another. I got off anxiety medication and I started doing other things and I realised that it was actually bullshit what they had told me. I’m so grateful because I haven’t had pharmaceutical medication for six years now, and so I realised through different things that you can actually access healing.
So I did theta healing and I really enjoyed that. I use theta all day, every day as a family. It’s a metaphysical kind of science, like Reiki. I did plant medicine and accessed lifetimes and lifetimes of healing in that time and so moved into Breathwork after I had Sol and just really found an affinity with it. The training is extremely difficult and you do a lot of self-development and personal work. And I just found that I was able to hold a really deep space for people because I have experienced a lot in my life. So I find it easier to hold space for people’s darkness. It’s just spirit in action, it’s just witnessing spirit do its job. I’m not doing anything, I’m just holding the space for it to be witnessed.
I’ve moved away from almost anything to do with head talk because I’ve realised that the answers are in the breath.
The mind is tricky and it tells a lot of bullshit stories. We’re so up in our heads and so obsessed with the stories and all of this ‘they did this and they did that’ and all this going backwards type mentality. And I realised when you just let go of that, which is difficult to do, that’s where the actual truth is. Your breath is with you from the moment you come here until the moment you leave, it is your twin flame.
Visit Emma’s instagram NewEarth.Mama for 1:1 Bookings & witness her lifestyle.
Emma is Co FoundER of The Reconnected. where over 800+ families are thriving in our community !!
With RECONNECTED PARENTING you will:
- Create space to cultivate deep and complete self-compassion and love, so that you can fill your own cup and let it overflow to your family.
- Re-discover the joy in everyday and meet your children more fully in the present moment.
- Space to connect to your intuition and centre.
- Opportunities to recognise and rewire what no longer serves you as a parent.
- Space to process your childhood experiences so you can break dysfunctional generational patterns.
- Increase your ability to navigate big feelings for your children and yourself!
- Connect with like minded community also looking to parent in new paradigm ways that respect and recognise the inherent spiritual nature of human beings!