I’m Stella Tomlinson. I’m a teacher, creatrix, writer and Priestess.
My mission is to guide women who are anxious and exhausted to feel calm and well-rested so they can answer their call to live a soul-led life.
I will help you to reclaim the wisdom of your body and soul through restful meditation.
To lie down … so you can wake up.
I’ll help you to heal exhaustion and unlock the gateway to your inner wise woman, so you can feel safe enough to trust yourself and be courageous in any situation.
Combining restful yoga nidra with nature spirituality meditations and seasonal and cyclic ritual, I’ll guide you to a profound sense of belonging to the magic, wonder and possibility of life … and guide you home to your soul.
And in doing so you’ll find clarity of mind, grounded inner peace, self-acceptance, a confident mindset, spiritual nourishment, and you’ll feel in flow with life.
A brief overview of me
I take a grounded spiritual approach to emotional healing and self-empowerment based on what I have studied, learned and practised on my own journey over these last 20 years.
Since 2015 I’ve been studying, living and sharing sacred seasonal and cyclic living through Goddess spirituality – initiating as Priestess of Brighid (Goddess of healing, inspiration and transformation) in January 2020, through the Glastonbury Goddess Temple, and in March 2020 I commenced the study of Druidry through registration at the Bardic Grade with the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids.
I’m also a nature-lover; a moon-gazer; a tree-hugger; a cloud-watcher; and a highly sensitive person.
~ Let me help you answer your call to live a soul-led life ~
I see you…
Beloved soul. I see you.
I see your divine radiance … the light within your heart with its infinite capacity for healing, guidance and compassion.
Peace lies within you. Radiance shines from every cell. You are divine!
But I know that sometimes you feel sad and frustrated at not feeling quite good enough, and sometimes you feel overwhelmed and misunderstood and can’t see the way forward… I see this, because I’ve experienced this myself.
- You feel your emotions deeply and can often feel overwhelmed by the intensity of your own thoughts and emotions;
- You pick up on other people’s energies and moods and you tend to be very aware of the subtleties in your environment – which can sometimes feel like a gift and other times like a curse;
- You feel the pain in the world of greed, cruelty, intolerance, rampant consumerism and environmental destruction;
- You feel frustrated and misunderstood, like you’re the only person you know who feels all these complex feelings so intensely.
You yearn to feel calm, peaceful & relaxed and at ease in your own skin, instead all too often you feel anxious/depressed.
How do I know? Because I know that, like me, you’re a highly sensitive woman… and this is how we can feel!
Let me help you, radiant woman. For I know that deep within you, you know what you need to shine with peaceful confidence. You just need to remember…
So, please know, dear one, that you are not alone. I am here for you.
The sensitive, radiant souls who are already in my online and Hampshire UK-based communities are here for you too.
Like us, you probably also love spending quiet-time thinking, dreaming, and reflecting (when you can get it!); find comfort in being in nature and feeling that beautiful sense of how all of life is connected; and love connecting to the unseen world of soul and spirit and the longings and wisdom of the heart.
And now you’re ready to reclaim the peaceful joy that is your birthright. You’re ready to make space in your life for healing rest and reflection. You’re ready to act on the wise whispers of your soul.
Yes? Then let us welcome you home. It’s time to come home to your soul.
I believe the way our prevailing culture keeps us busy, distracted and numb causes profound stress and anxiety.
We’re suffering from a disconnection from our soul, our essential spirit, and the sacred and subtle cycles of life.
Do you feel it too? Do you seek a deeper connection to life? To your inner spirit, to the moon and nature, and a profound unshakeable sense of peace, meaning and clarity?
We’ve disconnected from our bodies: our need for movement and rest and we’ve disconnected from the messages our bodies are constantly giving us through emotions and intuitive feeling, and instead we’ve got stuck in our fretful minds and the voice of our inner critic and worrying about what other people think.
We’ve disconnected from the natural rhythms, energies and ebbs and flows of the menstrual cycle, the lunar cycle and the cycles and seasons of the year.
We’ve disconnected from meaningful spiritual practices which are grounded in place and time and the web of life.
We’ve disconnected from the joy of simple, sustainable living in accordance with nature and become programmed to believe that doing and busy-ness and achieving and winning and growing and consuming more, more, more of everything is the way to happiness.
It’s the path to burnout and ill health … via stress, anxiety and depression.
So I believe that in our stressed, pressured, busy culture we need space and time to be; to reconnect to our bodies; to reconnect to our breath; to reintegrate body, mind and soul; and to quieten the din of external stimuli and our anxious, analysing noisy mind so we can hear the inner intuitive voice of wisdom guiding us to reconnect to our own needs; the natural rhythms and cycles of the day, month and year; and to live radiant, joyful lives based on meaningful connection.
This is how I try to live my life and it’s brought me so much more contentment and fulfillment now I embrace who I am: an eternal, radiant soul born into this highly sensitive, cyclic female body.
And I’d love for you to feel this same sense of coming home. Of reconnection to something that was there all along: the guidance of your sensitive, loving heart and soul, and the guidance of the natural rhythms and cycles of the moon and the seasons which will show you how to live your life in a state of flow (instead of resistance and stress and low energy).
I’d love for you to embrace your sensitivity, connect to flow and live life radiantly!
My journey to this place came from a place of stress and anxiety – and from being highly sensitive (and not realizing I was).
I’ve been deeply stressed and anxious, and experienced the sweaty palms, dodgy digestion, chronic tension and lack of sleep which can come with it. I’ve lacked confidence and not loved myself nor trusted my intuition – not even hearing it, blocking it out through the noise of my busy mind and lack of self-trust.
But I’ve come through. Movement, rest and meditation as well as charting my menstrual cycle and connecting to the elements and energies of nature was and is my lifeline to move from stress to peace, from tension to relaxation, from confusion to clarity and from self-judgement to self-love and acceptance.
Let me tell you how it started.
Sensitive and misunderstood
A sensitive child, I loved my own company. I loved to read or to stare at the clouds. I loved to create music. But as I grew up I never quite felt I fitted into the norms of society. I was called shy – but knew deep inside that this wasn’t true: I just liked to watch and listen to those around me and take it all in and contribute when I felt I had something meaningful to say (to this day I’m pretty crap at small talk, hey, life’s too short!).
I realize now this discomfort in my own skin was about being highly sensitive in a culture which doesn’t seem to value emotions, intuition, soulfulness, quirkiness. School didn’t understand me. I had no idea how to take my place in the world. I didn’t know what career I should have. I was academically gifted but then got rejected from all unis I applied for – I didn’t shine in interviews because I had internalised the label “shy” and felt I couldn’t show myself because I didn’t know who I was.
Lost and confused
I went to University (twice – BA Hons in English and an MSc Econ in Information and Library Studies) and wound up a librarian – a noble profession if that’s your calling, but it didn’t let me be me: to sing my song, to shine my light and unique gifts in this world.
I didn’t know how to take my place in a world which valued loud, extrovert team players; where being successful meant climbing the ladder, stomping over other people and accruing material goods as a badge of success. I was creative, quiet, reflective and artistic.
So, through my 20s and into my early 30s I spent a lot of time feeling I was wasting my life. I wound up working in web content and internal communications – communicating with people from behind a web page or computer screen.
But I wanted to give, to help. I wanted to do something creative. I wanted to feel free and in charge of my life and my destiny. I didn’t like myself in this state. I was negative, stressed, snippy, cynical. Always looking on the negative side.
I experienced varying degrees of depression, anxiety and stress, which led to IBS, all under-pinned by feeling ill-at-ease in my body and a sense of low confidence.
Beginnings of transformation
Looking back now, I can see that discovering yoga was the beginning of my transformation. I first discovered it in 2000 aged 25, not long after I’d moved to a new city (Cardiff) where I knew no-one, for my first professional job in a large organisation.
I was tense, anxious, self-conscious and seriously stiff and inflexible and totally disconnected from my body.
But slowly and surely, I felt years of suppression being released from my body – it came through as a lot of anger and tears! I realized how much I disliked myself. For no apparent reason I had such strong feelings of not being good enough.
Yoga helped me peel back the layers of physical tension, through the holding of my breath, to the self-sabotaging critical thoughts… It was like therapy using my body and breath to reveal my soul.
Yoga helps me through
I attended weekly class, then from around 2005 I started to go on weekend and week-long retreats, I practised daily, and my interest in yoga began to deepen.
I discovered yoga as a way of life: a path to navigate the demands, stresses and busyness of my life.
It helped me stretch and relax my body, to find self-acceptance and peace of mind and offered a philosophy to guide me through life.
And in 2009 I discovered Dru Yoga – and came home.
At first it felt “easy” and like I wasn’t doing much. But quickly I felt and fell in love with the subtlety of Dru Yoga. The heart-opening, soul-nourishing, empowerment of reintegrating body, mind, emotions and soul.
The more physically demanding styles of yoga I’d experienced before often hit my “not good enough” button. But with Dru I felt good. I felt seen. I felt at home. It was accessible. It was full of heart and soul. It fed my soul. It let me hear the whisperings of my inner guide.
Dru Yoga became my life-line and my passion. I decided I wanted to help others to come home to themselves to find the ease of body and mind I had found in yoga.
So in April 2010 I began to train to become a Dru Yoga teacher (qualifying in 2012) and in 2011 I founded Living Yoga with Stella to teach yoga and meditation to ease anxiety and stress and to share my love of writing through my blog.
And to this day this is why I love Dru Yoga & Meditation. It connects me to my heart and intuition – my sixth sense. It helps me to connect to joy; to stillness; to silliness; to laughter; to love; to all living things; to my sensitive soul; to source (which I experience as a vast, benevolent, life-giving light).
But over recent years I’ve felt my own practices and approaches changing.
I’ve felt called to connect in a different way.
To connect to the inner guidance of my menstrual cycle; to follow the waxing and waning rhythms of the lunar month and the seasons of the year. To honour the divine feminine principles of flow and cycles. To explore freedom of movement because the structures of yoga which were codified by men often don’t feel nurturing for this highly sensitive female body (though the unique Dru Yoga sequences are beautifully flowing and nurturing).
Discovering high sensitivity and menstrual cycle awareness
In 2015 I read two books which changed my life.
The first was The Highly Sensitive Person by Dr Elaine N. Aron.
The second was Code Red by Lisa Lister.
So, let’s start with the trait of high sensitivity. Sensory Processing Sensitivity is a trait shared by 15-20% of the entire population (and all higher mammals).
This means having a nervous system which is more sensitive to your surroundings and stimuli. In practice this means a tendency to be very aware of the subtleties in your environment, picking up on other people’s moods, needing quiet-time on very busy days, being sensitive to caffeine, being overwhelmed by loud noises, bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics, startling easily, having a rich inner life. Sound like you? Then you’re probably a highly sensitive person (HSP) too.
Oh, this is SO me! Reading the book, I felt this explained so much of my life – the feeling of not fitting in, of needing to withdraw and have quiet-time. Because, let’s be frank, we don’t live in a world which values quiet, thoughtful, kind sensitivity do we?
And I have an intuitive feeling that those of us who often feel anxious, tired, and over-whelmed are probably HSP and shouldn’t judge ourselves for feeling this way. If this is you too, realize it’s simply that your nervous system becomes overwhelmed more quickly than others’.
And this is why I practise and share techniques to slow down, reconnect to your body and breath; to ground your energy and connect to inner peace and heart guidance through meditation. Because this safe, loving, calming space is what HSPs need to thrive and come to accept their sensitivity for the gift it is.
And at the end of 2015 I read Code Red by Lisa Lister and discovered the power of my menstrual cycle. As she puts it: “know your flow, unlock your monthly super powers and create a bloody amazing life. Period.” Great advice indeed!
This offered another profound moment of awakening: why didn’t I already know this? Why wasn’t I taught about the natural and powerful ebbs and flows of the menstrual cycle? Why had I been disconnected from this ancient blood wisdom which flows through all women?
I got angry.
And I’ve been charting my menstrual cycle since the beginning on 2016 – every day I know which part of my cycle I’m at and make a note of the feelings and emotions I’m experiencing.
I know my cycle. I know my own ebbs and flows. It’s empowering. (I know that around day 25 I’ll likely feel like everything’s going to shit and I can’t be bothered anymore – and I know that this will pass and I don’t take any important decisions based on this feeling!).
Reclaiming my connection
So, since 2015 I’ve been living differently. I’ve been recognising and honouring the cyclic nature of life, and of life as a woman – and a highly sensitive one at that.
I’ve been attentive to the seasons as they change. I’ve been marking the Celtic Wheel of the Year: the summer and winter solstices, the spring and autumn equinoxes, Imbolc, Beltane, Lammas and Samhain. I’ve been following 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. And I’ve been called to rest, deeply, through the practice of Yoga Nidra Meditation.
And in the last few years I’ve felt my soul calling me more deeply to honour the feminine principles of flow and rhythm … calling me to the Goddess. To the Goddess Brighid to be precise – and I am now Her Priestess.
And what has all of this brought me?
It’s brought me home.
It’s brought me in touch with Mother Earth and the cycle of the moon, months and seasons.
It’s brought me in touch with my needs and has connected me to my inner landscape.
It’s brought me home to my sensitive nature and to love how I can tune into the subtle energies of the shift in light and energy in nature and the shifts of my energy and focus as they change throughout each month and season.
It’s a reclaiming. A tuning in. A recalibration.
A reclaiming of my inner power and wisdom – to deeply know what I need to allow myself and give myself to nurture and honour my needs.
It’s brought me in touch with my power as a woman: cyclic, wise and intuitive.
It’s reminded me (what I intuitively saw as a sensitive teenager but almost forgot) that this planet is not a resource to be used up and wrung dry. All living beings and systems are intimately connected – even if most of humanity seems to be ignoring that inconvenient truth.
We are part of nature. Its rhythms and flows are our rhythms and flows – and reconnecting to them offers us the medicine we need to heal from the depression, anxiety and stress which so many of us (particularly sensitives) feel.
And this is what I wish for you too.
What I wish for you
I’d love for you:
- To understand and embrace your sensitivity so you can thrive in this often insensitive world.
- To feel your body, mind and soul are connected and to help you feel at home there.
- To bring rest into your lifestyle so you can rebalance your nervous system, release tension from your body and feel at ease and relaxed in body and mind.
- To come home to the natural world and honour the cycles and seasons and their energies and gifts of connection as a grounded, embodied spiritual practice.
Above all, I want to empower you to reconnect to the inner intuitive guidance available to you through the sacred temple of your body; the wise whispers of your heart and soul; and the sacred energies of the seasons and cycles of life as a grounded spiritual practice.
Is this what you’d like in your life?
Here’s how I can help
*As of March 2020 I am redeveloping my services to offer my Soul Rest Method online*
‘Peace Lies Within’ book
Read my first book ‘Peace Lies Within: 108 ways to tame your mind and connect to inner peace‘ available in print and as an ebook. In this book you’ll learn ways to tame that busy, fretful mind so you can feel less stressed and more resilient, centered and calm.
Stress Relief for Sensitives Tool Kit & Ebook
Pathways to peace when your feelings & the world overwhelm you. A tool kit of videos and audio recordings of techniques to find relief from stress, tailored to your needs of a highly sensitive person. Stress Relief for Sensitives Tool Kit.
Soul Wisdom’ blog
I’ve been blogging since 2011 so there is lots of wisdom to inspire and help you here. Visit the blog.
My certifications & courses
- Dru Yoga Teacher Training: 200 hour teacher training course (Dip DYT) with the International School of Dru Yoga, April 2010-April 2012.
- Postgraduate Back Care Foundation Course with the International School of Dru Yoga (March – May 2013).
- Dru Meditation Teacher Training with International School of Dru Yoga. (November 2014 – July 2016.)
- Restorative Yoga Teacher Training (30-hour immersion, September 2016) with Adelene Cheong, Senior Assistant to Judith Hanson Lasater. Certified Restorative Yoga Teacher.
- Hormone Harmony (Red School Online) 2017.
- Menstrual Cycle Literacy (Red School Online) 2017-18.
- Jikiden Reiki Zenki (Shoden) Attuned – July 2017, certified by the Jikiden Reiki Institute.
- Energy Emotional Freedom Technique Foundation (Guild of Energists), November 2017.
- Energy Emotional Freedom Technique Master Practitioner (Guild of Energists), April – June 2018.
- Priestess of Brighde/Brigantia Training (with Priestess Marion Brigantia / Goddess Temple Glastonbury) January 2018 – January 2020, including the Elemental Goddess Healing modality.
- Registration at Bardic Grade with the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (March 2020 – ongoing)
My work is inspired and influenced by…
In addition to the training and wonderful teachers referenced above, I am deeply grateful to the following who inspire me in my own work and life:
- Sharon Blackie – writer, psychologist and mythologist; author of two of my favourite books: If Women Rose Rooted and The Enchanted Life.
- Rebecca Campbell – author, creator, artist and mystic, author of Light is the New Black and Rise Sister Rise.
- Uma Dinsmore-Tuli – author of Yoni Shakti, creator of Womb Yoga and co-founder of the Yoga Nidra Network.
- Richard Miller and the practice of iRest Yoga Nidra.
- Andrew Harvey – author and sacred activist.
A bit more about me…
I live with my husband in Eastleigh, near Southampton, UK. We relocated here in late 2011 although I’ve lived in various places over the years: originally from the West Midlands, uni in London, postgrad in Aberystwyth, eight years working in Cardiff, then three in Staffordshire and now here I am in Hampshire.
I’ve been teaching, practising, studying and writing about yoga, relaxation, meditation and mindfulness since 2011 and practising cycle connection and awareness since 2015 – devoting myself full-time to this work since June 2016 (before that I worked in digital and internal communications in three universities over the years: one where I was a lost soul, one where I was a deeply stressed and unhappy soul and one where I was happy enough but felt my vocation calling stronger each day).
I’m a committed veggie and partial to gin, red wine and chocolate, following the Buddha’s advice in this area: “everything in moderation, even moderation” …
When I’m not teaching or writing you’ll usually find my head in a book or wandering around appreciating the beauty of the land, sea and sky.
I’m also a lazy gardener; an enthusiastic photographer; an incorrigible tree-hugger; a dreamy cloud-gazer; and an occasional painter (of sunsets and seascapes and goddess figures).
And I have a phenomenal crystal jewellery collection!
And don’t forget to check out my Soul Wisdom blog
Let’s keep in touch
Phew, that was a long-read wasn’t it?!
Thanks for checking me out! Now let’s stay in touch.
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