Descending – a poem for late autumn

Samhain altar
My Samhain (late October/November) altar

As we move into this darkest phase of the year here in the northern hemisphere, it can sometimes feel challenging.

You might grieve the loss of the sunny days of summer.

You might find that your energy levels are all over the place.

You may resist the darkness and wish to escape.

But the darkness is part of the cycle of life.

So, dear one, I invite you: don’t be afraid of the darkness.

As we move into this darkest phase of the year, I invite you to embrace the opportunity to slow down and look within.

Let what needs to die and fall away do just that.

Release. Exhale.

Embrace the darkness and let it nourish your soul.

I wrote these words at Samhain last year. I hope they help you to embrace the gifts that late autumn and early winter can offer.

Descending

No words, just feeling.
Drawing in, releasing.

Going inwards, a natural calling.
Moving into the dark: the quiet womb of winter.

Looking with.
Reflecting.
This is the time for dreams – no need for action.

Quietening.
Softening.
Slowing.
Just being.

Descending into the cave of my heart.
Laying myself down to rest til the light is returning.


Continue reading Descending – a poem for late autumn

Why I’m angry (and what I’m doing about it)

I often feel incredibly peaceful … yet sometimes I feel unsettlingly angry. 

And I’ve been reflecting on these feelings, the sense of disconnection that so many people feel in so many ways (which I’ve certainly felt myself), and also I’ve been thinking about  why I do what I do as a teacher and writer. Here’s the result of my reflections. I hope this inspires you…

My ‘why’

Stella Tomlinson meditation and yoga: living in rhythm

After much soul-searching I’ve come to realize that my soul’s calling is to guide and inspire sensitive, soulful people like you and me to connect to inner peace by learning to live in rhythm with the flow of life, in alignment with our needs as high sensitives.

Why?

Because I’ve come to believe (and feel in my bones) that the epidemic of stress, anxiety and depression in Western cultures – which I have experienced myself – is due to a profound sense of disconnection.

Disconnection from our bodies; disconnection from the natural rhythms, energies and ebbs and flows of circadian rhythms, the menstrual cycle, the lunar cycle and the cycles and seasons of the year.

Disconnection from the joy of simple, sustainable living in accordance with nature.

Disconnection from our heart and soul – firmly lodging us in our head and our fretful mind, at the mercy of our over-stimulated nervous system.

All this disconnection is a path to burnout and ill health … via stress, anxiety and depression.

Do you feel it too? Read more…

The hidden costs of stress

Are you aware of the hidden costs of stress?

I’ve recently read a fascinating book by Gabor Mate called “When The Body Says No” about this very topic.

Steps to less stress and more peaceIn it he looks at the effect of the mind-body link on illness and health and the role that stress and one’s individual emotional makeup play in an array of common diseases.

Based on scientific evidence he shows how suppressed thoughts and emotions contribute to a range of chronic health conditions such as IBS and inflammatory bowel conditions, fibromyalgia, and arthritis as well as serious illnesses including cancer, Alzheimers and motor neurone disease.

Suppressed emotions and thoughts stress the body, and this chronic stress causes inflammation and suppresses the immune system – both major contributing factors in illness and dis-ease.

The books is quite the wake up call! To wake you up to allowing yourself to feel strong emotions and process them – rather then denying them and pushing them under. Read more…

High sensitivity is a gift not a disorder

Highly Sensitive - sensing the subtle
HSPs: we can sense the subtle

Here are a few phrases which make my heart break a little when I hear them said about the trait of high sensitivity:

“I was diagnosed as highly sensitive a few months ago.”

“Yes, I have the condition too.”

“I try to manage my high sensitivity.”

I feel like crying out “no, NO, NOOOOO!!!!” whenever I hear words like this. And then enveloping the speaker in a big hug.

Why? Because it’s a sign that the person has internalized the idea that being “sensitive” means there’s something wrong with them.

And there’s not.

There really isn’t. Read more…

Choose gratitude

Bring gratitude into your life, for consciously choosing to feel grateful is a powerful practice.

Let your heart fill with gratitude

Now, I know that life can be challenging and that your health might not be what you’d like it to be. Perhaps family or colleagues are causing you grief. Maybe you’re experiencing low self-esteem and find it difficult to be grateful for yourself, or you’re worried about what’s going on in the world and what the future holds.

Practising gratitude isn’t about denying the challenges and difficulties you may be experiencing.

It’s about choosing to feel grateful for the good you DO have in your life.

It’s easy to get stuck in what we think we lack, or to become overwhelmed by the injustices in this world. In that headspace, you’re likely to feel heavy and low in energy and defeated.

I don’t believe you were born to live life in this way. You were born into a human body with a mind and senses and consciousness to embrace life.

Embracing gratitude and thankfulness for what you do have in your life lifts the spirit and raises your vibration. Read more…

The power of stillness

Stillness and sunlight and trees: find inner peace with meditation, EastleighCan you remember the last time you felt totally still? Totally present? Connected to the person or scene in front of you and not analysing, judging or worrying about it but just being open to whatever you were experiencing with a grounded sense of stillness?

We can sometimes experience this deep sense of stillness when captivated by a beautifully radiant sunset; or a scene unfolding before us in nature; or when we’re enjoying time with friends and loved ones.

But, let’s be honest, these moments tend to be few and far between because as soon as we stop and connect to something which transcends our every day lives then what happens? The mind kicks in and starts its usual running commentary and – bang – we’re kicked out of the stillness of that moment and we’re back into analysing, comparing, judging, wishing and resisting. Read more…

It’s OK to feel

Yoga and meditation teacher Stella Tomlinson, Dru yoga in Southampton and EastleighIt’s OK to feel angry.

It’s OK to feel fearful or confused or full of doubt.

It’s OK to feel irritated and frustrated.

It’s OK to feel joyful or deeply content.

It’s OK to feel happy or cheerful.

It’s OK to feel baffled or bewildered or bemused.

It’s OK to feel the depths of despair and the dizzy heights of bliss.

It’s all OK.

It’s OK to FEEL.

Experiencing emotions is part of being human. Read more…

Open to joy

Sun Shining with joy - Yoga in Southampton and EastleighHarness the power of your mind to feel more positive, present and peaceful with this affirmation to breathe in joy:

“I am filled with abundant life and energy”

Close your eyes and imagine golden sunlight, vitality and Prana (life force) flowing over you and through the crown of your head into every cell of your body.

Feel the warmth … See each organ, muscle, bone & sinew, and each cell within you glowing with life and energy and a sense of joy.

If you’re not feeling too well, imagine this energy bringing healing to your body and mind.

Repeat out loud, or silently: I am filled with abundant life and energy.

Breathe deeply – breathe in life and energy, breathe out toxins and tension.

Choose to feel alive and vibrant and joyful!

…Because it is a choice. Read more…

3 mindful steps to relieve anxiety & stress

A mindful life: channel peace with yoga, mindfulness and meditationBusy mind. Tired body. Feeling unfocused and sometimes overwhelmed. Sound familiar? Approach life in a mindful way to be here now and feel more at peace.

Our busy lifestyles and overstimulating environment mean that we’re always on the go and there’s always something to do – there’s precious little time just to slow down and be.

There’s a saying often used in yoga: Where your attention goes your energy flows.

If your attention is flitting around all over the place between past, present & future; getting lost in the past; fretting about the future; or judging and wanting to change what’s going on now,  then your energy is going to feel diffuse and scattered – no wonder you’re tired and feeling confused!

But you don’t have to feel lost and out of control. There is something you can always do to help yourself. To reconnect back to yourself. To self-soothe. To come back from the brink.

I know because I’ve experienced all of these myself. The tension, overwhelm, exhaustion and whizzing mind.

They still sometimes creep up on me, but now I know what to do to stop them in their tracks and recover my equilibrium.

I take these 3 simple but powerful steps. Give them a try and see how they work for you. Read more…

4 steps to less stress and more peace

Steps to less stress and more peaceDo you ever feel at the mercy of the stress-filled myriad of thoughts rushing through your mind?

There’s so much stuff rambling around your brain it tires you out! You can’t seem to find an off-switch – but desperately wish you could…

You’d love to feel more peaceful, more positive and more present in your life, so you can enjoy simple pleasures and time with family and friends without that constant feeling of fretting and foreboding which all too easily overshadows your daily life.

Yes? Well, all these things I’ve mentioned above have been my experience too – you’re not alone! The vast majority of my yoga & meditation students come to me because they want to quieten their busy minds.

And if, like me, you’re highly sensitive, then you feel it all more intensely and your inner landscape can often feel unsafe and overwhelming. Read more…