Tag Archives: HSP

Living in Cycles

Seaonal picturesThis year I’ve been living differently.

I’ve been recognising and honouring the cyclic nature of life, and of life as a woman.

I’ve been attentive to the seasons as they change.

I’ve been marking the old Celtic Festivals of the Summer & Winter Solstices, the spring and autumn Equinoxes, Imbolc, Beltane, Lammas and Samhain.

I’ve been watching the cycles of the moon phases.

And I’ve been honouring the cyclic nature of being a woman: the monthly cycle.

And alongside this I’ve been watching and noticing the ebb and flow of my high sensitivity and how it interacts with these cycles.

Not forgetting that cycle which is within us each and every moment: the constant cycle of the inhale – exhale – inhale – exhale… Read more…

Yes, I AM highly sensitive. Are you too?

Highly Sensitive Meditation teacher Stella in a cornfieldI’m a highly sensitive person.

I love peace and quiet. I love to sit and think and feel and day dream.

I’m easily over-whelmed my noise and bright lights and being around a lot of people I don’t know so I tend to avoid large gatherings or come across as quiet and reserved when I’m in them.

I also have a very busy mind which notices all that’s going on around me and is aware of the permutations of a course of action even before I take the first step! And I have a vivid imagination.

I need my time alone each day – and if I don’t get it I wind up anxious, drained and utterly exhausted.

So, what’s wrong with me? …Absolutely nothing!

I am sensitive.

This craving for quiet is an innate characteristic. It’s about how my nervous system works.

About 15-20% of the population have a nervous system which is more sensitive to their surroundings and stimuli.

I’m what’s termed a highly sensitive person. Read more…

Mindfulness in action: a personal story

Meditation and mindfulness in action
Mindfully looking inside

So, last week was a bit of wobbly, weird week for me.

It started off great. I graduated from my two-year Dru Meditation Teacher training. I felt refreshed after a week off. I was looking forward to getting back to my yoga teaching – with that exciting “new term” feel. I’ve got new classes and workplace yoga and mindfulness initiatives coming up.

But then I found myself not sleeping very well. My mind wouldn’t shut up. A Facebook post irritated me and I let it get under my skin.

I felt the “not good enough” button well and truly pressed. Read more…

Four steps to let go of guilt and let yourself relax

guiltyFinally. You have 30 minutes with nothing scheduled.  Some precious me-time alone. Time where you can just do what YOU like. Ah lovely…

But then, you remember the bins need putting out. Ah, you forgot to answer that email. Hmm, you haven’t spoken to such-and-such for a while may you should give them a ring.

And you start to feel guilty for not getting on with stuff which “needs” doing.

Guilt strikes

Feeling guilty. It usually comes with an unhelpful dose of “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts”. That nagging feeling you should be doing something else instead. The knot in the stomach. The tension in the head and shoulders. The chattering thoughts.

The guilt comes with an extra whack when we’re doing something just for ourselves. Some aspect of self care that we know we desperately need but we somehow find difficult to allow ourselves to have. Quite time away from the kids and family.  Time to go for a walk and get some fresh air at lunchtime to get out of the office and  away from the ever-refilling email inbox. Saying a gentle but firm “no” to looking after the grandkids at short notice when you had some me-time planned.

And we either cave into the guilt and prioritise others’ needs or the guilt consumes us and we don’t enjoy what we’re doing.

Sound familiar? Read more…

Do YOU have time to stand and stare?

Flowers, trees and sky - some of my favourite things
Some of my favourite things – pics I recently took at Mottisfont

Do you remember when you were little and you’d spend, what felt like hours, lying on the grass and staring at the sky?

Watching the clouds form and change and pass? Watching, with fascination, the colours behind your closed eye lids as the sun shone on your face?

Ah, those innocent pleasures of childhood.  And the time to enjoy them without question or guilt.

How often do you allow yourself time just to stand and stare now? Read more…

Can you help me with my research into overwhelm?

I’m doing some research into OVERWHELM – can you help me?

Is this you?

  • You can find it difficult to relax and unwind.
  • Sometimes you feel tired and wiped out sometimes anxious and wired.
  • Your mind is busy, busy.
  • You’re sensitive to what’s happening around you such as loud noises, bright lights, strong smells, busy places; you notice the subtleties in your environment; and you pick up on other people’s moods and emotions.
  • You also enjoy a rich and complex inner life.
  • You identify with sometimes or often feeling overwhelmed.

If this is you, then I’d love you to take part in my survey.
(It’s open until Friday 8 April 2016).

It’ll be so helpful for me in my work as a yoga teacher and will help me to develop my services to serve wonderful people like you in the best way possible.

Click here to take the survey

The survey consists of 6 main questions, takes 5-10 minutes to complete and is totally anonymous.

As a big thank you from me, on completion of the survey, you’ll receive my Earth Focus Meditation to help you feel still, safe and supported.

Thank you,
Stella xx

Yoga Antidotes to Anxiety

Tree hugging in Bath
Trees calm me down!

Anxiety. Those worried thoughts; the general feeling of unease; the feeling that your nerves are on edge. Apprehension. Agitation.

Do you feel it? I know I am prone to it.

Now, I have a hunch that those of us who tend to experience anxiety are highly sensitive.

Anxiety is our nervous system’s response to the excess of external stimuli in our environment: our fight / flight / freeze response keeps getting revved by the information overload of our busy lives and pushy culture and we wind up feeling anxious.

So the good news is, there’s nothing wrong with you. I am PASSIONATE about this. If you experience anxiety you don’t need to be medicated. You don’t have to beat yourself up. You don’t have to tell yourself – or listen to others telling you – there’s something wrong with you.

Explore the fact that you might simply be sensitive. Read more…

12 things I’ve learned in 2015

Stella at Christmas (Dru Yoga Teacher in Southampton)
Feeling reflective at Yuletide

So 2015 is almost at an end. A good time for reflection.

2015 is the year I turned 40, discovered the trait of high sensitivity, meditated daily and learned to ground.

An eventful year. Here’s what I’ve learned.  I hope these lessons inform, amuse and inspire you.

1. There’s nothing to fear in turning 40 (or 50 or 60 or 70…)
On February 2nd this year I turned 40. And (somewhat surprisingly I admit) I suddenly felt freer, unleashed, happy in my skin. I love being 40. I love being me. Read more…

Overcome Christmas Overwhelm

Christmas time - keep calm with relaxing yoga in Southampton and Eastleigh
Keep calm and carry on with Christmas

It’s Christmas!!! Yay? Or …Nay?

Ah, Christmas, lovely Christmas. Full of joy, full of sparkle, full of giving.

Full of panicked shoppers, full of to-do lists a mile long, full of demands on your time, full of making polite conversation at parties and socials with colleagues and semi-acquaintances and relatives you haven’t seen all year… Read more…

Which stress type are you?

Argh! Stress and anxiety ... yoga can help
How do you react to stress?

Fight, flight or freeze? Which one is your go-to reaction to stress and anxiety?

In our pressurised lives and busy, over-stimulating culture each and every day our body and mind is constantly bombarded with physical, emotional and mental stimuli – information, time demands, unexpected events…

Whether it’s constant deadlines, an over-flowing email inbox, an over-bearing boss, the daily commute, hearing your child is ill at nursery,  looking after ageing parents, hearing/reading about injustice and violence in the news.

And add to this the more nebulous psycho-social pressures  and fears which gnaw away about the state of the economy, your finances, your job, losing your home, fear of missing out, comparing your life with others’ …

… all of these provoke a stress response from your body.

And if you’re particularly sensitive to your surroundings and what’s going on around you and find it difficult to relax and unwind then your body’s stress response will more quickly tip you into feeling overwhelmed … and keep you there. Read more…