I’m Stella Tomlinson (pronouns: she/her) and I’m a Priestess of Brighid, author, poet, teacher, and experienced meditation guide sharing soul care for empaths and sensitives.
Through my teaching and all of my creations I am dedicated to helping women* to reclaim the power of their intuitive wisdom and their soul’s voice so they can follow their calling and share their gifts with the world.
So I support women who experience the world and their emotions intensely to help them feel safe, calm and confident so they can follow their calling and share their gifts with the world by being “Held by Her” – the loving, healing and empowering presence of Mother Earth within and all around us.
[Read my article on The Highly Sensitive Empath if you’d like to know what I mean by this term.]
I have created Held by Her from 20+ years experience in personal and spiritual development through meditation, mindfulness, energy healing, yoga and Goddess and Earth-based spirituality. I’ve been teaching and writing in these fields since 2011.
I believe that each of us is a divine, creative soul who has a distinctive voice and unique gifts to bring healing, inspiration and joy to this world and that the purpose of our life is to uncover and express them.
And it’s since I felt the Goddess call me – the Earth Mother, the Great Mother, The Mother Divine – that I’ve discovered the inner strength, inner safety and self-compassion to face and bring healing to the wounds which were holding me back from expressing my true self, following my calling and sharing my soul’s gifts.
I source these mothering energies from the Great Mother as a spiritual source and from the Inner Mother within my own psyche-soul.
~ My dearest wish is to help you to feel an internal sense of safety, calm and confidence so you can follow your calling and live to your full potential ~
With all my love and blessings of the Great Mother,
* All those who identify as women, and all gender identities are welcome here. I am committed to the life-long journey of anti-racism and unlearning the unconscious biases I hold due to my privileges which include being born white, middle-class, cis-gender and non-disabled.
I see you…
Woman. You’re sensitive, smart and creative.
You know you’ve got something to share but are struggling to make that happen.
Perhaps you feel held back from following your soul’s callings through procrastination, overwhelm and self-doubt (and maybe unhealthy doses of fear and anxiety too).
And 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.
But you 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;
- Adore connecting to the unseen world of soul and spirit and the longings and wisdom of the heart.
You wish you could trust your vision and your voice and experience more ease, flow and confidence in your life; that you could liberate your soul’s voice.
Let me help you with that
My goal is to help you to reconnect to the truth of who you are – to connect to your wise and wild soul – so you can know, trust and express yourself better, and share your voice, message and gifts with the world.
I share the tools that have helped me to mother myself so you too can trust your voice, vision and soul’s whispers and confidently show up in the world, feeling free to be you and live your life in alignment with your values and dreams.
And I share my divinely-inspired journey to inspire you on yours.
I’d love to help you get unstuck so you can free up time, energy, and heart space to focus on the things that matter to you most.
What I wish for you
I’d love for you to:
- Root into your inner knowing to build an unshakeable sense of self-trust.
- Reconnect to your body – the sacred home to your soul – so you can clearly hear your soul’s whispers and take inspired action.
- Reclaim your wisdom, self-worth and confidence so you can express yourself from the truth of who you are.
And I do this through sharing the tools that have helped me, so you can:
- Manage your energy.
- Alchemise your feelings.
- Trust your intuition.
- Unlock the strengths in your sensitivities.
Is this what you’d like in your life?
If so, then welcome.
Thank you for stepping forward.
Your sensitivities, insights and gifts are so needed.
Now it’s time to trust in yourself and share your gifts with the world.
*I’ll be launching new sacred offerings during summer & autumn 2021*
In the mean-time, you might like to register to receive fortnightly Soul Notes from me, where I share my experience and ideas on living a live in alignment with the strengths of your sensitivities + you’ll receive a free ‘Mother Earth is Holding You’ meditation as a welcome. Find out more here.
My journey has included stress, anxiety, depression, irritable bowel syndrome and migraines.
I’ve experienced hyper-vigilance: always expecting to be criticized or shamed and told I’m doing things wrong.
I’ve been a chronic people-pleaser: desperately trying to mould myself to feel accepted by other people.
I’ve experienced low self-esteem because deep-down my child-self had come to believe I wasn’t a good enough or likeable person.
I’ve been deeply stressed and anxious and experienced the sweaty palms, disrupted digestion, chronic tension and disrupted sleep which can come with it.
I’ve experienced depressive episodes where I’ve just wanted to close my eyes and fade away.
By young adulthood, I’d shut down my sensitivities and become a well-trained daughter of the patriarchy, blindly following the cultural paradigm that I must do well at school and university and get a good and stable job (all of which I did).
I wound up by my mid-30s with a deep distrust of my body and mind.
I experienced fluctuations in mood, a malfunctioning digestive system, anxiety and a nervous system stuck in the stress response on guard against the threat of attack.
I felt completely without vision or purpose in my life, looking outside myself for validation, but dreading I’d never measure up.
I was living in a state of semi-dissociation: I zoned out because all these sensations were overwhelming.
The result? My soul was in pain and crying out for change.
And I am so fortunate that change came my way.
Looking back I can see that there are three clear moments that awakened me and opened my eyes to looking at myself and life in a different way.
Aged 31 I experienced a spiritual awakening
On a yoga retreat in the English countryside I had a silent conversation with a tree.
I felt my whole perspective on the natural world fundamentally shift as I realized all the leaves on the tree I was looking at were looking back at me (it was a Birch tree – the tree of the Bards…).
In that moment I realized that all things are alive with their own essence of the Oneness and that Mother Nature is the source of all of life and creativity and is around me and within me, always, holding me in Her love.
Then, in 2015, aged 40 I had a soul awakening
From her on my life did begin to change quite profoundly (though I should also give honourable mention to the 15 years of yoga, meditation and mindfulness practice I’d undertaken by that point.)
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.
On top of this, empaths feel the mental and emotional states of other people, places and objects as well as experiencing their own mental and emotional states way more intensely.
Sound like you? Then you’re probably a highly sensitive person and an empath too.
Oh, this is SO me! Reading the book (and the many more books and articles about HSPs and empaths I’ve read since), 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 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 of 2016. 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!).
And aged 42, I heard Goddess calling to me…
…to become Her Priestess of Brighid and to spread Her light of healing, inspiration and transformation into the world by bringing back to consciousness the feminine face of the divine through writing and poetry
But through my 20s and 30s I’d experienced the common symptoms of this age of anxiety: feeling anxious, empty and numb with a niggling feeling there was something really important to me that I was neglecting.
It was my innate wisdom as a highly sensitive woman and empath: cyclic and intuitive, creative by nature, and intrinsically connected to the healing rhythms of nature.
There were parts of myself I was rejecting: my sensitive nature, the call to create, the wisdom of my body, the intuitive whispers of my soul … and a deep need for rest.
I don’t do that anymore I’ve reclaimed who I am and what I need.
Coming home to myself
So, since 2015 I have been living differently.
I’ve been honouring my empathic and sensitive nature and the cyclic nature of my female body and of life – being held by Her: the Divine Feminine presence of the Great Mother of us all.
And what has all of this brought me?
It’s brought me home.
It’s brought me home to a felt-sense of belonging to Mother Earth and the cycles of the Moon, months and seasons.
It’s brought me home to my inner landscape and helped me to live with a vastly greater sense of self-awareness, and with more peace, trust and self-acceptance.
It’s helped me to reclaim my inner power and wisdom – to know what I need and want and to give myself full permission to honour and meet these needs and desires.
It’s brought me in touch with my power as a woman: cyclic, wise and intuitive.
It’s brought me home to expressing my truth, wisdom and vision.
And of all of this is what fuels my mission.
Simply put, it’s because I’ve been on a journey back home to belonging to myself and reclaiming an inner sense of safety and trust in my intuition, voice and vision these past 20 years or so that it’s my wish to be a guide to help you do the same.
Your journey will surely look different to mine, but I feel that for women there are some common threads which, if we miss, we will never quite feel complete and trusting of ourselves. Our self-worth feels blocked and our voices silenced.
So now, through my Be Held by Her offerings I am supporting women who experience the world and their emotions intensely to help them feel safe, calm and confident so they can follow their calling and share their gifts with the world.
And through my writing I guide women who are awakening to the call to connect to the wisdom of their intuitive and cyclic bodies, the whispers of their soul, Goddess and the sacred seasons of nature and life so you can learn to listen to and trust your intuition and live the soul-led life you’re here to live.
P.S. I have an ulterior motive, if you can call it that!
For my deepest motivation is to play my part in restoring divine feminine consciousness in order to bring balance to the toxic, shadow masculine of patriarchy that has prevailed for too long.
The Feminine is innately inclusive.
She is the source and sustainer of the eternal cycles of life and death.
She is within all beings and existences AND She is the matrix which holds us all.
Certifications & trainings
- Membership at Bardic Grade of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (March 2020 – ongoing)
- Priestess of Brighde/Brigantia Training (with Priestess Marion Brigantia / Goddess Temple Glastonbury) January 2018 – January 2020, including the Elemental Goddess Healing modality.
- Energy Emotional Freedom Technique Master Practitioner (Guild of Energists), April – June 2018.
- Energy Emotional Freedom Technique Foundation (Guild of Energists), November 2017.
- Jikiden Reiki Zenki (Shoden) Attuned – July 2017, certified by the Jikiden Reiki Institute.
- Menstrual Cycle Literacy (Red School Online) 2017-18.
- Hormone Harmony (Red School Online) 2017.
- Restorative Yoga Teacher Training (30-hour immersion, September 2016) with Adelene Cheong, Senior Assistant to Judith Hanson Lasater. Certified Restorative Yoga Teacher.
- Dru Meditation Teacher Training with International School of Dru Yoga. (November 2014 – July 2016.)
- Dru Yoga Teacher Training: 200 hour teacher training course (Dip DYT) with the International School of Dru Yoga, April 2010-April 2012.
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. I’ve studied her year-long This Mythic Life and Courting the World Soul courses.
- Uma Dinsmore-Tuli – author of Yoni Shakti, creator of Womb Yoga and co-founder of the Yoga Nidra Network.
- Lucy H. Pearce – author, publisher, artist and teacher, and founder of Womancraft Publishing. I particularly love these books by Lucy: Burning Woman and Creatrix
- Rebecca Campbell – author, creator, artist and mystic, author of Light is the New Black, Rise Sister Rise and Letters to a Starseed, and creator of two oracle decks: Work Your Light Oracle and The Starseed Oracle. I’m a founding member of her Rise Sister Rise Membership.
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 before we moved to Hampshire.
I’ve been teaching, practising, studying and writing about yoga, relaxation, meditation and mindfulness since 2011 – and taught yoga between 2011 and 2020.
And 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, after a two-year training 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 (OBOD).
I’ve devoted myself full-time to my writing and teaching since June 2016, before that I worked in digital and internal communications in three different universities over the years. I’m an ex-yoga teacher, having taught weekly classes between 2011 and 2020.
When I’m not writing or creating you’ll either find me with my head in a book, in my Brighid Temple (aka our tiny third bedroom!), or wandering around appreciating the beauty of the land, sea and sky.
I’m a nature-lover, a moon-gazer, a tree-hugger, a cloud-watcher, an avid reader, and a highly sensitive person.
A few random things
- I’m an Aquarius with Gemini rising and moon in Scorpio (a LOT of air in there with some intense emotional energy!)
- I’m an INFP – imaginative idealist
- I was born under a waning moon
- I’m entering the Queen phase of my life (perimenopause)
- I’m a committed veggie and partial to gin, red wine and chocolate
- And I have a phenomenal crystal jewellery collection.
Books which have most influenced my journey:
- The Highly Sensitive Person – Elaine Aron
- Code Red – Lisa Lister
- Sacred Earth Celebrations – Glennie Kindred
- Burning Woman – Lucy H Pearce
- If Women Rose Rooted – Sharon Blackie
And don’t forget to check out my 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.
Sign up for Soul Notes emails from me + free ‘Mother Earth is Holding You’ meditation
Twice a month I send out Soul Notes.
It’s not a newsletter. They’re love notes written from my soul to yours about what’s going on in my life and soul, realizations I’ve had and mystical musings.
I’ll tell you a story of how it is to live a soul-led creative life, honouring Mother Earth, your body and life’s sacred cycles, as a highly sensitive woman and empath in this world.
I’ll also share updates on my books and offerings and discount codes.