Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mid-Week Manifesto

Maybe it's the new moon. Maybe it's Autumn (Winter is coming). The Year of the Horse perhaps? Maybe it's all of that, or none of that, but there seems to be plenty of shifts in motion at the moment. And with change, comes a little bit of fear. 

And right now, I'm honestly sitting in quite a lot of fear! It is damn uncomfortable too!

There are shifts occurring in my life, with redundancies, finances and relationships, and hearing manifestos and quotes to simply 'be happy' quite honestly make me cranky. Being around people who don't understand depression makes me frustrated. Being around people throwing tantrums, who complain, and who are being pushy, makes me sad.

It makes me want to hibernate and get away from it all. So this manifesto, of BRAVENESS and light, makes me feel much more inspired. I'd love to be happy - but right now, brave is where it's at.

Today, my beloved, I make no apologies for being fear-full. This manifesto gently recognises that all of us may struggle, all of us may have crappy days - and most importantly, this is ok! Huh?! Yes my friends, it's ok.

I had a student recently share that she didn't like me to talk about crappy days, because she liked to "do yoga to get away from all that". To that, I lovingly share that these are the exact moments that yoga can help us through!

We can learn to face our fears front on, instead of running and hiding from them and "getting away from all that". Life is beautiful and precious, but we all know - god it's hard sometimes! As my wise teacher Pema Chodron shares: 

“We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don't really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It's just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.

The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.”  

So today my friends, your hOMework is to be brave, to face your fear, your sadness, your hardships FRONT ON. To cry if you must, to scream if you need to, but then... to show up. Simply show up. Again and again and again. I will be there waiting for you :)

With love and light, 
stella xo 

Thursday, April 03, 2014

MAN - a video

Wow. Take a couple of minutes and check this out friends. Kinda speechless at how well it sums up what we're doing to our beloved planet, and why we should take notice and create change. x

Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday Manifesto

In this world of fanciful dreams and one up-manship, of selfies and achievement, it's easy to lose sight of the simple things in life that can be the most profound.

I've been studying and researching the idea of COMPASSION quite a lot lately, and it's such a beautiful idea to me. Compassion is being curious about the moment, about life (as opposed to judging). It's about looking at common humanity (I promise, whatever you're feeling, you're not alone. Someone else is feeling or has felt exactly like you do! Validity). And finally, it's about adding kindness into the equation. 

It's great to have goals, to achieve, to grow. But more and more I'm realising that so many of us are forgetting the beauty in this moment, the miracle that our life is right now, and the brilliance of this breath. We run so fast and far away from any sign of discomfort or sadness. We drink over it, we smoke, we buy toys so we don't have to feel low or sad or less than. And we get a rush - a momentary, fleeting joy or high, that for a quick minute confirms our idea of moving away from the moment, of numbing it out. 

I understand - I mean, who the hell wants to feel bad and sad? It sucks!

But when we continually run away from it, we miss the common humanity - we miss the knowledge that EVERYONE feels good and bad and sad and joyous and full, on an ever-rotating cycle. That is the human experience. And when we run run run, we are full of fear. And when we are full of fear, we build up the idea of pain or hurt or sadness to an even bigger monster than it really ever was. 

But if we flipped the script, if we showed up, and played at the edges of discomfort, we'd really begin to understand that things always shift and move and change. Impermanence is the only permanent! If we be kind to ourselves when we suffer, if we show up, things will surely shift - just as the sun sets and the moon rises.

Fear versus compassion. Running versus showing up. Kindness + simplicity versus complication + contraction.

I know which side I'd rather be on, so here's to remembering!
Love from me to you xx

Monday, March 24, 2014

Monday Manifesto


My psychologist would love this quote :) And honestly, I love this quote. Heck, I want all my yogi students to love (and to live) this quote, as it's so true!

Life is life - it's up and down and throws you round and just when you think it's all a bit much, it blesses you with ease and grace. That's life - and it's like that for everyone. Everyone has good and not so good days, it's the joy of being human :)

But do you ever find that you're waiting? And living in a constant state of limbo - ie I'll be happy when... I'll be happy if... 

Within hours of visiting my wonderful psych this week, I came across this quote and literally laughed out loud. As someone who struggles at times with depression and anxiety, with an overactive mind, I'm often full of "what if's" and they, at times, become quite debilitating and overwhelming.

I've been doing a lot of mindfulness meditation and exercises lately to continue to bring myself back to the present - because when I'm living in the "what if's" all I get is a big serving of anxiety and pain, and frankly, and sucks.

So here's to compassion, to feeling like every other human, and here's to living in the moment. Right now.

Love to you xx

Monday, March 17, 2014

Monday Manifesto

I adore Keri Smith. She is a beautiful creative who've I've often drawn inspiration from at many times over the years. And right now, as I've got a few balls in the air and a full plate of things to keep me busy with, I'm feeling that this idea of rest is more important than ever.

Did you know that child's pose in yoga actually means 'strength' pose? Yes! Our little cuddled pose on the ground is where we restore, where we fill up, where we get our energy and strength back, so we can go out and be fierce. (Bala means strength, and balasana = child's pose)

No matter how many times I share this in class, many students will still refuse to come and rest in this gorgeous pose, unless I invite the whole class down. Interestingly, in the progressive (advanced) classes I teach, students are popping down into it left right and centre! There's a lesson in there ;)

So today, your hOMework is to rest, and to be ok with that. To realise that resting for a minute, means filling up your cup, and coming from a place of fullness is empowering, strong and vibrant.

After all, enough with the burnout as a badge of honour! Right?!

Biggest love, and long, juicy naps :)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Monday Manifesto


In the interests of transparency, let me share with you what has been going on in my world recently. 

It's nothing huge, but it's my life, so for me, it's more than huge - it's everything. Know what I mean? My heart has been thrown around a bit, up and down; my head has been full of work and study and obsession; my feelings of stability and grounding have gone haywire (new work coming in = great, but my stable job not being so stable = boo), and it's making me a little cranky and sad and stressed, to be quite honest.

That slippery deep hole of depression has been hanging around lately, I've found myself unable to catch my breath on more than one occasion. I have been reading a lot lately about self-compassion, and have been teaching from that place of struggle being ok - being normal, being something we all go through. But man, it gets tiring. 

Sometimes, I just want a break, for life to be smooth, for me to meet a beautiful person who values me and excites me, and I want to not stress about money and work and to have things work out for once.

But then I take a breath, and know that struggle is what connects me to the beauties around me. It makes me feel compassion for myself, and for my friends, and students, and workmates, and the guy walking down the street. Because we all feel tired sometimes. And then we have a flash of 'ok-ness', and that is the slippery dip and merry-go-round of life, isn't it? That we appreciate the beautiful moments BECAUSE we know what the rubbish ones feel like.

Oh Brene Brown, what a beautiful woman you are.

With love, dear friends, xo
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