Who I am

I have spent more than two decades, exploring who I am and what I am here to do.

Getting lost, facing challenge and heartache, muddling my way through life’s difficulties, and looking for ways to live more wholeheartedly and be here now.

I did lots of reading, connected with many wise and loving teachers, found recovery in a 12-step program, did plenty of therapy, tons of personal and spiritual development trainings and, perhaps most importantly, I worked on developing an awareness of my relationship with life as it moves in and around me, and a deep compassion for the struggles of being alive in this time and place.

I discovered that I am deeply worthy of love and belonging.

In this moment and just as I am.

There is nothing wrong with me and I am not a project to be solved.

And that everything is alive! 

After lots of deep soul searching, and a fair amount of hard work and practice, I also found out that I am gifted in connecting to the essence in others and seeing the love that shines in each heart.

With compassion, gentleness and presence, I am honoured to be invited to accompany people as they connect to grief and love, their unique gifts and what the world whispers to them that they are here to do.

And I really love people, getting to know them, connecting to the life inside and supporting them to cultivate courage, authenticity and compassion.

I am fascinated by the power of words and language to connect us to ourselves, and each other. Every day, I get to help people uncover and listen to the stories they tell themselves about who they are, the world they live in and their relationship to life.

And I am becoming truely grateful to be bought to an understanding that grief and praise are joined at the hip and both are deeply necessary skills for human beings to live well and in connection with themselves, one another and all of life.

Mystery. Wisdom. Love.

Presence. Purpose. Depth

So thank you for being here right now, reading these words. It is certainly a strange thing to connect to other human beings in this virtual way and yet I am grateful that through this means we might find ourselves journeying together for a while. I am continually blown away by the joy and transformations I experience in my work and full of awe and thankfulness for my teachers, clients, and all of the life I have lived, both the things I sought after and the parts unwanted, that have bought me to this.

What you get

I am an ICF Professional Certified Coach and a CNVC Nonviolent Communication Certified Trainer with a background in Person Centred and Psychotherapeutic Counselling and Mindfulness.

I am also an international trainer offering Collaborative, Connected and Compassionate Communication workshops and a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator.

Throughout my professional and personal life I have helped thousands of people fulfil their longing for authentic, connected relationships with themselves, other people and life itself.

Core principles

First and foremost, I do my own work. I attempt to listen to what might be needed from me in this world and to dedicate myself to living in a way that makes visible my great gratitude for life.

I receive your choosing to sit with me, either face to face, at a gathering or workshop, or over the internet, as a huge honour. It is not an easy thing to live in a culture that values what you achieve more than your ability to weave beauty into your days. I sit with you knowing that who you are is deeply needed by those around you and all of life.

I trust in your wholeness and ability to listen for wisdom and truth in the world around you. At the same time, I also believe that we are not meant to struggle alone and all human beings need to have people and places to lean into when stuckness and pain call for attention and care.

See below to learn more about my story, Nonviolent Communication, Grief workThe Daring Way™ and Resources that have inspired my journey.

How I got here....

  • 1986 – 15yrs old I leave home. Not such a great move but I thankfully I get taken in by a friend’s mum and kept safe.
  • 1987 – Get kicked out of school and move out on my own. That rebellious streak has not yet been harnessed for good but I discover a resourcefulness that has stood me in good stead ever since.
  • 1989 – Pregnant. An act of defiance and attempt to take control of my life! Lose all my stuff and find myself homeless. Read Louise Hay – You Can Heal Your Life…find some hope and the thought occurs that I have some choice about how things go!.
  • 1989 – Decide to try and get my shit together before becoming a mother! Start my own business as a vegetarian chef. Train in Person Centered Counselling and as a Massage Therapist.
  • 1990 – Become a mum! Start my second business. Open and close a shop. Get my heartbroken. Get given a Mantra by a beloved therapist and teacher – ‘I am love and I am loveable.’ This has saved my life on more than one occasion!
  • 1994 – Get married and have another baby.
  • 1996 – Get divorced! Create chaos and mayhem wherever I go.
  • 1997 – Take my children to India for 6 months to live at Solitude Farm and explore community living. Meet Om Amma and visit the Sri Ramana Ashram for the first time. Sense some islands of peace in the chaos and drama of my life. Read J. Krishnamurti On Fear and I Am That by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. Experience brief liberation. I start to get curious!
  • 2001 – Get my first proper grown up job – i.e. someone else calling the shots and paying wages! Working on a project for young people excluded from school, I find myself becoming passionate about social change, compassion and I get frustrated with the system.
  • 2002 –More wilderness years…..try to meditate, go raw, practice The Power of Now, move house umpteen times and generally mess things up! Loose everything again.
  • 2005 – Start an organization for Social Change through the arts, Portsmouth Arts & Community Education (PACE). Train as a Life Coach and as a Careers Guidance Advisor. Discover a sense of purpose but often find myself overcome with unmanageability!
  • 2006 – Join a 12-step program and find recovery, peace and freedom. Deep sigh of relief from all who love me, including myself. Hard work, but eventually the fog clears and I start to treat myself with loving kindness at last.
  • 2008 –PACE gets noticed and we are invited to merge with a bigger charity. We merge. Things get exciting, big projects, big impact. Things start to change and slowly I get disillusioned……again.
  • 2010 – I discover Nonviolent Communication and my life changes completely and utterly for the better! I leave my job… my beloved, crafted from scratch, built with blood and sweat career…..I decide to train as a Mindfulness Facilitator, then to retrain in Psychotherapeutic Counselling. Move to Switzerland. Start again and set up Emma Collins Coaching. Oh and I married my beloved heart and soul mate! 
  • 2011 – Dive deeper into my passion and curiosity for empathy, connection, self-compassion and authentic expression. Study Nonviolent Communication with Marshall Rosenberg and dozens of other wise and loving teachers. Get introduced to, and then devour, the teaching and research of Brené Brown!
  • 2012 – Embark on my long journey to becoming a certified NVC trainer and continue to take lots of courses and trainings in NVC. Share my love for Compassionate Communication whenever I get the chance. I know deep in my bones that I am meant to do this work, to discover and dissolve all the barriers to love that I encounter.
  • 2013 – Teach, coach, and then discover a coaching training program which is aligned with NVC – Coaching for Transformation. I am sold and decide to redo my coaching training! Basically I love to learn. I am a life long learner and just can’t help myself when it looks juicy!
  • 2014 Join the International Nonviolent Communication Trainer Team in India. Get my International Coaching Federation Certification, get taken on as Faculty with Leadership That Works to deliver the Coaching for Transformation program and travel to Texas to train in The Daring Way™!
  • 2015 – The year that changed everything. My husband was diagnosed with cancer early in 2014 and in November 2014 we were told he would not recover. Everything about my life changed, my work changed and I didn’t take up my role at LTW. I began to say no to travel, and the things I had previously been focused on achieving lost their shine. My husband was dying and we suddenly found ourselves in deeply human but unknown territory. We discovered the teachings and wisdom of Stephen Jenkinson and we learned things we didn’t want to learn. We learned how to be brokenhearted and enjoy sunsets at the same time. We learned how to enjoy dancing while recognising that we were probably dancing together for the last time. We learned to look at the ending of something precious without blinking and thus we were sometimes able to make deep bows of gratitude for the gift of love and life, celebrating our enormous good fortune at having found one another. On September 1st, 2015 Richard died. He was buried in England at a Natural Burial Site in Hampshire and we who love him miss him with an ache that defies description.
  • 2016 – One year on from his death and I am still learning about grief….how it stands shoulder to shoulder with gratitude and how to dance between sorrow and wonder. I finally completed my Nonviolent Communication Certification and finally joined my beloved NVC trainer community as a certified trainer. Two dear friends, and fellow students of both Marshall Rosenberg and Stephen Jenkinson, invited me to hold a gathering for grief with them in Wales and Returnings was born. I returned to live in the UK and continue to put one foot in front of the other, figuring out how to live wholeheartedly while missing my beloved.
  • 2017 – I begin a year long program with Dr Martin Shaw and the School of Myth. My love affair with deep time mystery and myth begins in earnest and I apprentice myself to stories of wild women, forest men and bear kings. I become a small woodland guardian and under the right kind of starry night, and with a good fire blazing, I read poetry to the moon and tell stories to the trees.