New self-care tips you may not have tried

June 26, 2017

Maternity leave has left me with a lot of time to think about self-care: what it means, what it looks like, and how it shifts over time. I am lucky, because I’m going into motherhood with a strong self-care foundation that I can draw on, even as my identity shifts dramatically, and as I’m going through a deep healing process. These self-care tips may offer you some of the insight I wish I’d had when I entered this process.

This is what I’ve been musing during long periods of rest and slow walks in the sun with my babe.

Behold: some new self-care tips (and lessons) you may not have tried before.

Brand-new self-care tips you may not have tried already. Fun self-care ideas to make your practice meaningful and healing. Plus explore the free self-care resource library! -- www.christytending.com

If self-love or self-care aren’t possible, try self-respect.

A few weeks ago, I wrote to my email list:

“In moments of overwhelm, we’re being clobbered with the message that we need to do it all – including offer ourselves aspirational self-care in every moment. The message goes something like: “We need to be doing it all, and anything less than that is not enough.”

This (surprise!) doesn’t actually reduce our overwhelm. In fact, it can make the self-care that we’re “supposed” to be giving ourselves feel far away.

This narrative was tough to shake when my self-care practice shifted to accommodate a new baby.

If I really cared, wouldn’t I be doing all the things?

As it turned out, no.

In this new season of my life, I’m discovering something else. This new companion is there when self-care can’t be. It is there in moments of not feeling like enough.

These days, I am practicing self-respect.

On a daily basis, I offer myself deep respect: for what I do, for what I have done, for what I give. Even on days when it feels like I didn’t do anything, I try to respect myself for what I did manage.

In your moments of overwhelm, I would like to invite you into a space of deep reverence for yourself. It’s decidedly less sexy than a manicure, and way less fun than a massage. It is tough, but important work.

It is also not easy to acknowledge our amazingness in a society that tells us we aren’t enough. But this act of sincere, reverent witnessing is powerful.

Self-respect honors all that you do, even when it doesn’t feel like enough. It is a permission slip to take up space. It is a reminder of our sincere efforts to make the world around us a little more kind – even when we don’t see results right away.

Today, I want to invite you to take just a moment to honor yourself and your efforts. It is not easy to show up in this world as a person who cares. I appreciate you for being willing to do that.”

Break it into the smallest pieces

Self-care doesn’t need to be time-consuming. It can be simple and brief, just so long as it’s intentional. Even just a few deep breaths might support you through your day. Taking baby steps is the key to awesome self-care.

In fact, I recommend against diving into a time-consuming complicated self-care practice when you’re first starting out. Go slow. Break it down into bite-sized pieces.

This will keep you out of a state of overwhelm, which will only discourage you from further self-care. And you’ll experience real success. Let this success build on itself slowly.

The fact is, self-care is a life-long practice. You can’t do it all in one day. So, proceed with gentleness and don’t add more to your plate than you can hand.

Three tips for making it a little more manageable:

  • Don’t try to do it all – and definitely don’t try to do it all at once

  • Claim the smallest “wins.”

  • Do those small things with great love and sincere attention.

     


Looking for more effective, doable self-care tips? Explore the Free Self-Care Resource Garden, and receive my weekly e-letter, full of resources, inspiration, and exclusive self-care tips and lessons from me.

Browse the free self-care resource garden for workbooks, journals, planners, practice guides and more >> www.christytending.com

Joy – and self-care – are acts of insurrection.

Embracing our joy can be an act of outright defiance and resistance.

Those who would seek to oppress others want to create suffering. Yes, suffering is a natural part of life. But we do not need to succumb, necessarily. We can dance and sing and be unapologetically ourselves. In the face of a government that would seek to make those selves “less than” – to hold ourselves up in our beauty and our joy is a wildly optimistic, rebellious act.

“Joy doesn’t betray but sustains activism. And when you face a politics that aspires to make you fearful, alienated and isolated, joy is a fine initial act of insurrection.” – Rebecca Solnit

In Sacred Focus, I talk a lot about creating more of what you want, and less of what you don’t. Little by little, taking baby steps in the direction of what feels sacred to us. Joy does this on a subliminal level. It lights the way for us to create a new world.

Joy imagines the world in which we want to live.

Instead of only focusing on what we don’t want (which is important, too, but not the point of this post), we can take a more proactive approach. We can start building the world we want to live in by following where joy points us. It is a pre-figurative tool to create new models and a new world in which all people and beings are honored for who they are.

Intention orients us – and reorients us – toward our true north.

To make self-care meaningful, it needs to have intention behind it. Otherwise, we’re just going through the motions, adding more to our plates and following others’ “shoulds.” All of these defeat the purpose of self-care. Plus, when we’re in that place of “shoulds” or detachment, our self-care lacks resonance.

When we bring intention to our self-care – when we claim how we want to show up, even if only for a brief time – we create care that nourishes us. It heals us and brings us back to our true selves. Making self-care just another crappy thing on your to-do list? That takes you farther from yourself.

By aiming ourselves toward our highest intention, day after day or moment after moment, we keep ourselves aligned with what is meaningful, resonant, and true for us. When we’re in that spot, self-care is something we will be drawn back to, again and again.

Intention isn’t a goal. It’s about the tone and energy you want to embody. It’s how you show up and inhabit yourself and your life. Start there.


Looking for more effective, doable self-care tips? Explore the Free Self-Care Resource Garden, and receive my weekly e-letter, full of resources, inspiration, and exclusive self-care tips and lessons from me.

Browse the free self-care resource garden for workbooks, journals, planners, practice guides and more >> www.christytending.com

Your intuition is magic.

You are incredibly wise. To a great extent, you already know what to do. Don’t be afraid to check in with yourself and your intention on a regular basis.

This self-knowledge is not only self-care in and of itself, but it may pave the way for your self-care to be truly your own. The times when I’ve felt regret have been when I didn’t follow my gut/heart/intuition – rarely to never do I feel that way when I listen to my inner voice.

Learning to trust and believe in the magic of your intuition is a beautiful way to experience self-care. It is, ultimately, compassion for and faith in yourself.

Try this:

Close your eyes right now, take some deep breaths and ask yourself this question: “What would feel good right now?” Listen to the answer, then try to offer yourself some of that.

The answer you receive may surprise you. You may learn something new about what your body, mind, and spirit are craving. But this inner voice is to believed and trusted. This is what it means to be an expert in yourself.

Which leads me to…

Figure out what is essential for you.

A shower every day is essential… For me.
For you, it might be something else. But whatever it is, find your non-negotiable self-care practice and make it happen.
It might sound obvious, but self-care should be incredibly personal. It should be customized to suit your needs. Self-care doesn’t need to impress anyone else. But it should fill your well. Which means that it’s different for everyone.
Part of what I teach in Sacred Focus is figuring out what’s essential, necessary, and sacred for you – so that you can do more of it. When you know what nourishes you, heals you, and brings you joy, you can act accordingly. But first, you need to know yourself well enough to say what that is.
It may not be what everyone else is doing, but I guarantee that it will make your self-care so much more effective.

Looking for more effective, doable self-care tips? Explore the Free Self-Care Resource Garden, and receive my weekly e-letter, full of resources, inspiration, and exclusive self-care tips and lessons from me.
Browse the free self-care resource garden for workbooks, journals, planners, practice guides and more >> www.christytending.com

Organized under Intuition, Real Self-Care, Self-Care. No comments.

Even more amazing self-care books

June 19, 2017

One of my all-time most popular posts is my reading list of essential self-care books. You can find that post here. But since I devour books, I have a bunch more to add. Thus, even more amazing self-care books! This is what I’ve been loving lately – and I hope these inspire you too.

 

Even more amazing self-care books (part two in a series). Plus download the free self-care planner! >> www.christytending.com

 

 

 

Full Moon Feast by Jessica Prentice

Gorgeous, sumptuous, flavorful and classic recipes for every phase of the moon, the year, and your life. I loved the fat-making moon chapter, as well as the egg moon. This book is so lovely and has so many incredibly useful and nourishing recipes to form the backbone of your nutrition and well-being.

Smitten Kitchen Every Day by Deb Perelman

The second cookbook from my very favorite food blog. At the moment this blog goes live, this book is only available for pre-order. But trust me, if it’s half as amazing as her first cookbook, Deb has a real treat in store for us. Run, don’t walk.

Body of Work by Pamela Slim

I loved this book. As someone who is navigating multiple passions in a single life, I really appreciated this book’s approach to viewing one’s very life as a body of work. I also got a lot out of examining the through-lines of my work and purpose.

What are the things that tie it all together? What has each phase of my life had in common with the others? How can I incorporate all of my life’s experience to create something that is uniquely of me?

If you’re looking to make an impact, this book offers deep insight into how you can make a big impact in your own unique way.

The Woman’s Comfort Book by Jennifer Louden

A total classic, and one that I hadn’t read from cover to cover until last year. Loads of incredibly actionable and doable self-care practices, as well as good advice on how to incorporate self-care into your life. This was one of the books that jumpstarted the conversation about self-care for women, and it continues to shine a bright light.

The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk M.D.

One of the very best books on trauma out there, and a bedrock of many trauma-informed programs these days. A good primer for understanding how trauma lives in us, not just on the emotional or mental level, but on the physical level as well.

 

Poetry:

In my first post on self-care books, I listed a number of poets I love. Those folks are modern classics, as far as I’m concerned. But poetry in the last couple of years has become even more interesting than ever, as far as I’m concerned. A number of new poets, many young women of color, have exploded in popularity, thanks, in part, to Instagram of all places.

Here’s what I’m reading right now:

milk and honey by Rupi Kaur

Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth by Warsan Shire

bone by Yrsa Daley-Ward

salt. by nayyirah waheed

 

Self-Care Books For New Moms:

The First 40 Days by by Heng Ou and Amely Greeven

My absolute favorite book on the postpartum period. The recipes are amazing (though I vegetarianized a number of them, in order to make them applicable for me). But the real heart of this book is it’s message: go slow in this tender, incredibly precious time in your and your baby’s life.

Let this be a time of turning inward. This is not just about birthing your baby, but yourself as a mother. Let this time be sweet and healing, as much as possible. Stay close to home and nurture yourself and your new little one.

Natural Health After Birth by Aviva Romm

More comprehensive than above, this book is full of super-practical advice on every dimension of the postpartum experience. I found this book particularly helpful on the subject of physical changes right after birth, as well as the section on postpartum mood. The chapter on the first year is also a necessary piece left out of most books on postpartum experience. The book does a lovely job of approaching every dimension of care and healing during this time: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, existential.

 

Organized under Sacred Circle, Summertime Series. No comments.

How to create nourishing evening self-care rituals

June 5, 2017

Confession: I’m a worrier. I’m prone to anxiety and overthinking things. Like, a lot. So sleep hasn’t always been the easiest thing for me.  But I’ve developed some useful evening rituals that help me get more (and better) sleep.

Want to get better, more restful sleep. Start practicing these nourishing evening self-care rituals. I'll show you how. Plus, download your free self-care planner inside! >> www.christytending.com

Before we dive into my evening rituals, there are four principles I follow when it comes to getting deep rest and restorative sleep. I learned these during my restorative yoga teacher training, and apply them in my everyday life. These four qualities soothe our nervous systems so that we can begin powering down (and staying out of “high alert” status).

 

Still

Slow yourself down.

Practice gentler movement or even do a little seated meditation to begin winding down.

Practice rituals that are slow and steady.

Single-task, rather than multi-tasking.

Quiet

Turn down any music and make sure that sounds are soothing and soft.

Let conversations be hushed or quieter.

Turn off any phone notifications.

 

Dark

Turn down the lights.

Turn off any devices with glowing screens, or at least set them aside.

Draw the shades.

Light candles or otherwise embrace softer light.

While sleeping, get blackout curtains, if necessary, to create a dark environment.

Warm

Make sure that you’re nice and toasty.

Have a cup of tea.

Use a hot water bottle by your feet.

 

On an average night, here are some of my evening rituals:

  • By 8:30pm, I’m usually starting to wind down my day: tidying the house, feeding the cats and any other evening chores. The overhead lights are off and the shades are drawn at this point.
  • Turn off my screens, usually by 9pm. Phone goes on airplane mode and is tucked away. I close my computer for the evening.
  • I do a little bit of gentle yoga, often in bed or standing to the side of the bed.
  • I drink a cup of tea and get a hot water bottle settled by my feet (9 months out of the year).
  • While I’m drinking my tea, I usually read. Favorite bedtime reading is poetry, books on meditation or dharma, or New Yorker articles my sweetie has saved for me. I stay away from anything stressful at this point.
  • Right before sleep, I usually give myself a hand or foot massage with a little cream or body oil.
  • At a certain point, we say our goodnights and turn out the light. Once I’m settled in with the lights out, I usually do a little breathing practice to ease myself into sleep.

 

My evening rituals are incredibly important to my self-care

How I end my day is just as important to me as how I begin it.

By creating ritual and supporting my nervous system to transition out of the day (and my thinking mind) and into a restful state, I get better quality sleep and feel more vibrant as a result.

It’s not always perfect, but this kind of attentive ritual is the aim. Above, you’ll notice that there’s something for each of my senses, and that I’m bringing the principles of still, quiet, dark and warm in whenever possible.

Rest isn’t lazy. It’s an incredibly powerful time for self-healing.

While we rest, our bodies are repairing themselves on a cellular level. Our immune, lymph, digestive, and respiratory systems all enjoy a boost. Our minds are able to integrate all of the input we offer during the day.

In a literal sense, we are healing ourselves as we sleep.

Supporting our nervous systems to get the best rest possible is key to supporting ourselves with self-care.

Evening rituals are for pulling inward and soothing anything that ruffled me during the day.

 

Related:

Morning Rituals to Spark Self-Care

Self-Care for Highly-Sensitive People

18 Simple Meditation Tips

Organized under Real Self-Care, Sleep. none

On generosity (aka: *all* the free self-care resources)

May 23, 2017

I wrote a while back about what dana (generosity in the Pali language) means to me.

For me, it’s an essential ingredient to the work that I do. It’s an intrinsic part of how I do business, conduct my relationships, and offer service in the world. Without the spirit of generosity, our burnout is assured.

When we move from a place of giving wholeheartedly, we can offer ourselves in a way that is well-boundaried, yet completely enthusiastic.

On generosity (aka: *all* the free self-care resources). Explore the Free Resource Garden, a treasure trove of workbooks, audio practices, video workshops, and other goodies to empower you and help you feel more embodied in your self-care. >> www.christytending.com

 

That’s where the magic happens – and part of how we avoid burnout.

Today, I want to take a little time to walk you through my Free Resource Garden, a totally-free collection of self-care resources designed to empower, inspire and nourish you.

 

Browse the free self-care resource garden for workbooks, journals, planners, practice guides and more >> www.christytending.com

 

In case you haven’t strolled through the garden recently, here’s what’s there,
to help you bloom:

Planners and checklists

The Retreat Planner & Checklist shows you, step-by-step, how to create your own self-care retreat.

The Real Self-Care Planner has been downloaded 2,000+ times and used by people all over the world. Inside, create a practice from scratch, no matter how busy you are.

Workbooks

My workbooks, Crafting Your Life, Care for Every Moment, and Setting Intention, are all designed to help you make your self-care truly custom.

Listen

Enjoy mp3s to feel more embodied and empowered through breath and meditation.

There’s also a Spotify playlist, with some of my favorite music – my go-to playlist for unwinding at the end of the day or while I’m making dinner.

Read

The Liberatory Self-Care Manifesto was my first articulation of what I think self-care should be: custom, intuitive, feasible. There’s also a meditation toolkit, walking you through how to get started with a practice that feels engaged and compassionate.

*New*: video workshops, on demand

Since I’m taking a break from teaching my live workshops this summer, I’ve put some of my favorites inside the garden for you to enjoy on-demand.

You’ll now find videos for Introduction to Awesome Self-Care and Meditation for Self-Care, each about an hour long, inside the garden.

Other inspiring goodies

There are community practices, desktop wallpapers, and resource guides – plus more coming soon! These resources include the actual, real-life things that I’m reading, watching, listening to, loving, and feeling inspired by in my own practice.

The Free Resource Garden beckons you.

This is how I incorporate generosity into my work: by giving away as much as possible for free. By delivering value and a clear sense of what it’s like to work with me – before you pay a dime.

This is part what justice looks like in my work. These resources are available to all.

Of course, this work is also how I support my family. But I always begin with this:

How can I give as generously as possible? What does wholehearted giving look like?

I move into the world from the answers that come. And I’ll say: it feels pretty good.

Browse the free self-care resource garden for workbooks, journals, planners, practice guides and more >> www.christytending.com

Organized under Activism, Collective Care, Featured, Self-Care. none

Ariane Hunter: Collective Care Interview Series

May 17, 2017

Collective Care is a written interview series with people who are changing the world. Most often, these folks are working at the intersection of creative, healing, and/or activist work.

I’m in love with the idea of amplifying the work (and self-care practices) of people who are building a more compassionate world. In this series, I get to chat with people who inspire me like whoa.

Today we get to meet Ariane Hunter!

Ariane Hunter on refilling her creative cup and never leaving each other behind.. Read the Collective Care interview! >> www.christytending.com

Ariane, take it away…

How are you changing the world?

(What is your change-making, healing, and/or creative work? This might be paid, unpaid or a combination.)

Wow, I’m not used to being on the receiving end of these beautiful, yet hugely thought provoking questions – haha! Well, lets see, here goes. I believe that I am changing the world by reminding women of their power, their brilliance, their ideas, their voices, of their leadership to effect positive change in the world and be the steward of their own lives. I want to see a world where women are no longer shrinking, silencing their voices, or hiding behind their greatness.

I believe my assignment in this world is to empower women through their professional lives. It is an area that for so long women have been trailing behind in due to paradigms we have been living under and through our own tendency to play small when it comes to fully embodying our own leadership. I think we need this kind of leadership in todays world, especially now when there is so much at stake. So if I can have just one conversation that is meaningful and changes the way she sees herself and the world, that is a victory in my book towards creating change.

What challenges your heart in that journey?

Sometimes the work feels really big. When you’re so committed to a big idea that you spend everyday trying to move the needle, it can make you susceptible to frustration or doubt that it’s actually working or making a difference. 

What inspires you to keep going?

Seeing women make amazing breakthroughs in their lives and work. It is really inspiring to me and reminds me of why I got into this work in the first place. It pushes me to keep raising my own bar and daring to dream big. Also, the women in my family and within my circle inspire me. I gain so much wisdom and knowledge from them that it fuels my own journey.

How do you support yourself or tend to yourself and your heart in that process?

What nourishes and replenishes you?

This year I started, taking “me-day’s” once a week to refill my creative cup. It’s my time to read a book, do a vigorous workout, wander aimlessly taking in the sights and sounds of my neighborhood, or treat myself to a massage. The point is, it’s my day to slow down, unplug and give myself permission to create and be inspired.

How do you experience care within community?

How do others support you in your journey and practice?

I have the best group of girlfriends around and we often get together to have deep, soul nourishing conversations where we can talk about anything from our latest project, challenges we’re facing, or even spirituality at work in our lives. No matter the topic we create a connected space to just be. I don’t know about them but I come away feeling recharged and so expansive.

What’s your best piece of advice you have for people who want to make a difference?

Know that whatever you decide to do in your life and in your work has the power and potential to make a difference. You can make a difference in how we talk to each other, by how we listen, how we do business, how we build and create things. In everything we do, we are a model or a teacher for those around us so as cliché as it sounds, we must be the change we seek in the world. It starts with you.

Paint us a picture of the more compassionate world and future you imagine.

I imagine a world where no matter how far we come and the successes we have along the way, we are always reaching back to help those who are coming up behind us. As we work to change the world, we are paving the way for those generations to come so it is part of our duty as leaders to never leave each other behind. We must find ways to support and help the next woman attain her dreams so she can also make a difference and so on and so forth.

About Ariane:

Ariane Hunter is the career whisperer for career conscious women. She charted her own unconventional career path and helps others to successfully design their own using a blend of modern advice and unconventional wisdom.

How to connect:

You can connect with her via Project She Went For Her Dreams, share her musings on Instagram or follow her on Twitter.

Related:

You can find all of the Collective Care interviews right here!

Post: What is Collective Care?

Organized under Collective Care. none

How to practice: walking meditation

May 8, 2017

Learn to meditate. In this post, learn how to practice walking meditation. Plus grab your free meditation toolkit! >> www.christytending.com

The benefits of walking meditation:

A gentle, grounding way of bringing awareness and attention to our bodies, walking meditation creates a sense of ease, connection, and calm. It is an excellent practice for building embodied awareness.

Walking meditation is also an excellent alternative to or practice to alternate with seated meditation. (Often on residential retreats, periods of walking alternate with periods of seated meditation.) It allows us to build greater and greater awareness and mindfulness, with our bodies as the vehicle.

Selecting a practice space:

Choose a quiet space, indoors or outside, that has enough space for you to walk about ten to thirty paces, back and forth. Remove any obstacles or distractions and silence any devices. You may want to dim the lights or draw the shades, if you are indoors, so as not to catch any harsh glare.

How to Walk:

Stand at one end of your practice area. Relax your body, especially your shoulders and arms, hands resting at your sides or in prayer position in front of your heart.

Rest your eyes’ gaze a few paces in front of you on the floor or ground. Ground your feet with the earth, feeling the sensation of the soles of your feet on the earth. Center yourself by taking a few deep breaths before beginning.

Begin by walking slowly – not at a snail’s pace or a pace so quick that it’s distracting – deliberately and easefully. This is more of a stroll than a dirge. At the end of your path, pause and re-center yourself. Take a deep breath or two, carefully turn around, and pause again.

Then begin walking back from whence you came. Practice walking, back and forth, for ten to twenty minutes, to begin.

Elements of each step:

Maintain awareness of your body in space, the sensation of each foot lifting itself from the earth, and each step meeting the earth again. Bring mindfulness to each step, feeling each sensation in your body.

The pace is an individual choice. Select a pace that keeps you in the moment: not so fast that you’re rushing through sensation; not so slow that you become distracted.

Your mind and attention:

As with other forms of meditation, your awareness will invariably wander. When you notice this, acknowledge it, and gently return the attention to the sensations of the body and of each step. You might pause for a moment, take a breath, and then resume walking. Or you may continue at your established pace, simply drawing the awareness back into the here and now as you move.

In other areas of life:

Practice in a formal setting or at home first. Then slowly begin to extend your practice into other areas of your life: while hiking, shopping, down the stairs at home, or when walking to or from your car. This helps us to extend and enjoy embodied presence in more and more areas of our lives.

 

Related:

The Lovingkindness Toolkit: because meditation can feel kind, compassionate and revolutionary. Download the free mini-toolkit to begin your practice today! >> www.christytending.com

Organized under Lovingkindness, Moments of Wonder. none

Sacred Circle (May): hibernation self-care

May 5, 2017

Sacred Circle: self-care essentials for hibernation (or an awesome staycation). Plus, sign up to receive access to the free self-care resource garden! >> www.christytending.com

When this post goes live, I will be in the full swing of my maternity leave. This is a time for me to be nesting. For me to go inward and truly hibernate for a while. This isn’t usual for me. I’m usually much more active and “productive.

But self-care means walking a balance. Sometimes, it’s doing what we need to do for our well-being, even when it isn’t fun. (I mean, it’s not all bubble baths and bon-bons, y’know?)

Other times, we just need a little pampering? A day (*cough* month) of lounging out in our PJ’s, binge-watching our favorite shows, and eating the most comforting of comfort foods… Sounds pretty good, right?

I’ve rounded up my favorite foods and recipes, my most-binged TV shows, and the other goodies I use to support my self-care. Whether it’s a sick day, a snow day, a staycation or just a mental health day where you want to unplug from the world, here are my very favorites:

 

Comfort food:

Some of my favorite comfort food recipes that I make when I’m in the mood for cozy nourishment. I tend to like warm (and warming), soft foods for nourishment. I tend to keep a decent blend of sweet and savory – and always add a heaping portion of cooked greens or green salad to the side of my plate.

Sweet potatoes (baked whole, split in half, and served with ghee, and a sprinkle of cinnamon and cardamom.

Quiche recipe from Smitten Kitchen

Apple tart recipe from the Barefoot Contessa

The best mint-chocolate ice cream

Nettle tea  – I drink at least one cup a day. It’s so good for you!

I also love: steel-cut oatmeal, Greek yogurt, ginger kombucha, my own homemade minestrone soup, and Thai green curry.

 

TV shows/movies:

When it comes to selecting binge-worthy TV, I try not to worry about the politics of the show too much. I personally try not to watch violent shows in the evenings, right before bed. Here are some of the shows I’ve been loving/binging in the last year (or have rewatched multiple times):

The West Wing

Veronica Mars

Gilmore Girls

Stranger Things

Sherlock

The Harry Potter series

 


Browse the free self-care resource garden for workbooks, journals, planners, practice guides and more >> www.christytending.com


Books:

Mary Oliver

anything by Jack Kornfield

anything by Sylvia Boorstein

Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life by Dr. Claudia Welch

The Barefoot Contessa cookbooks

 

Goodies:

Boiled wool slippers

Justin’s peanut butter cups

These portable speakers (for listening to my playlists and podcasts anywhere)

This Spotify playlist

 

 

Browse the free self-care resource garden for workbooks, journals, planners, practice guides and more >> www.christytending.com

Organized under Sacred Circle. none

Meg Kissack: Collective Care Interview Series

May 3, 2017

Collective Care is a written interview series with people who are changing the world. Most often, these folks are working at the intersection of creative, healing, and/or activist work.

I’m in love with the idea of amplifying the work (and self-care practices) of people who are building a more compassionate world. In this series, I get to chat with people who inspire me like whoa.

Today we get to meet Meg Kissack!

Meg Kissack on being multi-passionate, granting permission, and bringing our stories to the surface. Read the Collective Care interview! >> www.christytending.com

Meg, take it away…

How are you changing the world?

(What is your change-making, healing, and/or creative work? This might be paid, unpaid or a combination.)

I’m changing the world by creating a movement of multi-passionate, creative and unconventional women who are doing the work that sets themselves and the world on fire. I’m doing this through my blog, That Hummingbird Life, and The Couragemakers Podcast, which were inspired by my belief that everything changes when you believe you matter.

My website and The Couragemakers Podcast are about inspiring, encouraging and rebel-rousing, doers, makers and world shakers – people like you and me – to put their uniqueness into the world and also keep their own light lit at the same time. For the podcast, I interview a different Couragemaker every week. Diving into their journey, the shit and the glitter along the way and how they’re working to make the world a brighter place.

My definition of changing the world has changed so much. I come from a feminist activist background – working to end violence against women. A nd ended up severely burnt out and disillusioned. That forced me to stop and get curious about who I am, what I have to give and how I can make a difference in the world, as me.

Now, instead of carrying the world on my shoulders and feeling like it is up to me alone to fix the world, I focus on what joy I can bring to the world and how I can use my strengths and passions to make the world a brighter place.

What challenges your heart in that journey?

I think of all the wonderful things, the stories and the creations, the experiences that are missing from the world because someone didn’t believe their story was important. I think of the fact that most of us think we should turn to the experts and don’t even think of turning to ourselves first.

And I think of all the people who have so much to give the world but feel powerless, feel unworthy or feel that becoming visible is terrifying.

That’s what challenges me and also keep the fire burning.

What inspires you to keep going?

On a big picture level, there are three main things:

1)  The immense power we all have to make the world a more interesting, brighter and compassionate place

2) The innate feeling that this is the work I’m made to do

3)  The belief that we can all work together to make this world do better. Horrific atrocities and tragedies happen every day, and it’s easy to forget that more people are kind than cruel, that we do have the power to change things and the world could be a good place if we had more courage, conviction and hope.

On a daily basis, I keep myself inspired by actively doing things to make me feel alive, appreciating the small things and celebrating the shit out of my small wins. I think all of us would give up if a) we didn’t celebrate all of our wins, no matter how small and b) we didn’t appreciate ourselves and the people around us.  My surroundings play a huge part in keeping me inspired. I surround myself with colours, quirky illustrations, lovely quotes and things that make me smile.

I also give myself permission. Permission to do what I can, to be imperfect and to make a mess. Permission to go against the grain and not to worry about dreamshitters. And a huge permission slip to do my best, whatever my best looks like on that day.

How do you support yourself or tend to yourself and your heart in that process?

What nourishes and replenishes you?

Regular dance breaks, walking through a park and soaking in the endless enthusiasm and joy dogs have, laughing with Mr. Meg about silly things. Being creative, singing in the shower, discovering a new writer, listening to performance poets (like Shayne Koyczan) that make my hair stand up on the back of my neck. Getting lost in a good book, duvet days, making colourful patterns in Photoshop, drinking copious amounts of hot chocolate, getting lost on Pinterest, and planning future travel adventures.

How do you experience care within community?

How do others support you in your journey and practice?

I consciously surround myself with people who ‘get it’ and share similar values. Through The Couragemakers Podcast, I’m constantly surrounded by women who are putting wonderful things in the world and acting on huge leaps of courage.

I’m honest about my struggles and I think when we all start to share our struggles from a place of honesty and compassion, we can heal each other and move forward stronger. I’m really grateful to have a community of people I can be honest with, who remind me of who I am, and believe in me on my behalf on the days when I can’t do it myself.

It’s taken me a long time to find like-minded people who share similar values, but I can honestly say that my life has changed with them in my life. I feel less alone, I feel braver and I feel able to be myself, unapologetically.

I’ve found since I’ve started treating myself better, other people have too.  I am really open with my family about my dreams, and their support means the world to me. They trust my gut and intuition and they help guide me back to that in times of struggle.

What’s your best piece of advice you have for people who want to make a difference?

Choose yourself first. That might sound counter-intuitive or selfish, but I’ve learned the hard way, that when you do things purely for other people and don’t yourself a second look, things can end up being more harm than good.

You can end up burnt out with nothing left to give and end up resentful and disillusioned. How you change the world has to set you on fire as well, so find the things that set you ablaze, the unique strengths and abilities you have and find a way to make the world a better place using them.

Try and do the things only you can do. And do it unapologetically, because you are nothing to apologise for. The world needs you, and the world needs your story. And remember, you have everything you need inside you already to make the world a brighter place.

Paint us a picture of the more compassionate world and future you imagine.

For me, the picture so far has huge blobs of courage and creativity, paint flicks of self kindness and huge wonky lines made out of honesty and understanding.

Instead of being hidden, all the stories we try to hide are brought to the surface. The world looks like somewhere you’d want to be instead of hide from. This picture is being added to, a brush stroke at a time, a day at a time.

About Meg:

Meg Kissack is the Founder of That Hummingbird Life and The Couragemakers Podcast. Through her work, she aims to encourage, inspire and rebel-rouse fellow Couragemakers to believe they matter and to do the work only they can do.

How to connect:

Meg’s Twitter

Related:

You can find all of the Collective Care interviews right here!

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Hillary Rain: Collective Care Interview Series

April 26, 2017

Collective Care is a written interview series with people who are changing the world. Most often, these folks are working at the intersection of creative, healing, and/or activist work.

I’m in love with the idea of amplifying the work (and self-care practices) of people who are building a more compassionate world. In this series, I get to chat with people who inspire me like whoa.

Today we get to meet Hillary Rain!

Hillary Rain on filling your own well, profound beauty, and loving our neighbors as ourselves. Read the Collective Care interview! >> www.christytending.com

Hillary, take it away!

How are you changing the world?

(What is your change-making, healing, and/or creative work? This might be paid, unpaid or a combination.)

My writing, mentorship and creative programs focus on self-transformation and helping creative, spiritual women realize that changing the world begins within. When we start with ourselves, our true work and the healing of the world becomes the natural overflow of our hearts.

What challenges your heart in that journey?

Not allowing myself to become overwhelmed by all the pain in the world. I love being part of a global family, but one challenge with instant world-wide connection is that we are not emotionally or physically equipped to handle a constant, 24/7 influx of tragedy, injustice, abuse, and heartache.

What inspires you to keep going?

Knowing that I can make a difference using my gifts, and that my work is meaningful, even when it feels “too small” in the face of global crises.

How do you support yourself or tend to yourself and your heart in that process?

What nourishes and replenishes you?

I have a profound love for beauty, and feed myself nourishment through exquisite poetry, moving photography, and luscious daily rituals like wrapping myself in a soft, cozy blanket and burning incense while listening to Tibetan singing bowls. This sounds very simple, but it helps keep me connected to my soul.

How do you experience care within community?

How do others support you in your journey and practice?

I am blessed to have a deeply fulfilling and loving marriage. My husband supports me in ways I can’t even believe are real, but they are. And I have a small, very intimate circle of kindreds who I feel completely safe with, and who I know love me, no matter what. This makes all the difference in the world.

What’s your best piece of advice you have for people who want to make a difference?

Fill your own well first. It’s not sustainable to give and work from a state of physical or emotional depletion. When you are able to give from your overflow, you can show up with even more wisdom, clarity, depth, and strength which makes a true, meaningful impact on those you are meant to serve.

Paint us a picture of the more compassionate world and future you imagine.

The more compassionate world and future I imagine is one where we love our neighbors as ourselves, receiving the rich gifts of diversity and wisdom that is held in all of us. It’s so simple and so beautiful. And it starts right here. This means offering kindness and respect even (and especially) around our differences, and cultivating humility & grace. I like to say, “Be the grace you want to see in the world,” and I pray that this is true of me.

About Hillary:

Hillary Rain is a writer, artist and spiritual mentor for women who long to create meaningful, empowered lives. Through rich and revolutionary online programs, nourishing retreats and holistic life coaching, she guides women into sustainability and soul so they can make a difference in the world doing what they love.

How to connect:

Related:

You can find all of the Collective Care interviews right here!

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Asali: Collective Care Interview Series

April 19, 2017

Collective Care is a written interview series with people who are changing the world. Most often, these folks are working at the intersection of creative, healing, and/or activist work.

I’m in love with the idea of amplifying the work (and self-care practices) of people who are building a more compassionate world. In this series, I get to chat with people who inspire me like whoa.

Today we get to meet Asali!

Asali on tarot, acknowledging our humanity and a world with more love. Read the Collective Care interview! -- www.christytending.com

Asali, take it away…

How are you changing the world?

(What is your change-making, healing, and/or creative work? This might be paid, unpaid or a combination.)

I am a queer Black femme community healer and earthworker. I work with the tarot, herbs, and crystals to work accessible care for both myself and others who live within marginalized identities. My healing practice is rooted in using self-care as a means to disrupt systems of oppression by contributing in some way to my community’s beautiful expansion and growth. When those of us at the margins not only survive but thrive, we shake up institutions that rely on our subjugation to profit.

What challenges your heart in that journey?

The daily task of living as a queer Black femme, with all the baggage that trauma (both mine and inter-generational), mental illness, and daily oppression weighs on me. I may be a healer, but I too still move within the many confines of this world and must also make a way – add to that an empathetic spirit that takes on others pain without question.

What inspires you to keep going?

I am thankful for everyday I am able to practice as a healer – the work keeps my heart lifted. As the world grows ever more tumultuous and cold, I’ve seen folks gather together and weave magic out of the worst of times. That keeps me going and moves me to contribute my own small part to that effort.

Moved by the light of ancestor warrior Audre Lorde, who said: “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” I affirm that when we take the time to seek for ourselves means of nourishment and elevation, when we take the time to prioritize caring for our mind, body, and spirit, we practice a radical act of resistance.

How do you support yourself or tend to yourself and your heart in that process?

What nourishes and replenishes you?

Tarot was the first window into my own magic that allowed me to completely trust my instincts. Seeking the cards is one of those means by which we harness the wisdom and insight of the spirits that guide us, as well as honor our own intuition.

It was a relatively accessible way for me to trust that I had some power to work in my own life when I was at a particularly low point. I have healed (and always healing) and tarot continues to be what I turn to for affirmation, reassurance, or a different perspective. I join it with plant and moon magic to make self-care a daily practice that is non-negotiable.

How do you experience care within community?

How do others support you in your journey and practice?

Ancestors, elders, and community keep me nourished and replenished. I pay special homage to the femmes who have moved in and out of my community (for good or ill) and the lessons we teach other about love and survival and the right to receive as much care as we give.

Elders who not only share their wisdom but practice it, modeling what it means to move with light no matter what darkness tries to grab at us- elders who also know what it means to survive a fight. My ancestors, both by blood and community lineage, who continue to disrupt our narrow notions of time and space.

Sitting with their spirits always keeps me going, knowing they love me and want me to be loved. All of these folks and spirits who have taught me the gift of the earth, and opened me up to pay attention to the magic of the moon, the elements, and plant magic that I can always return to when at a loss.

What’s your best piece of advice you have for people who want to make a difference?

First, ensure you have the space and energy for it. I was saved by lessons that taught me to give from the overflow of my magic. Acknowledging our humanity, our hurts, our traumas isn’t weakness but is the path to seeing our own spirits for what they are and accessing our own power to heal – and be healed.

After you learn to take care of yourself and receive it, work within your community to start with. The world might be vast and challenging, but there are always folks to sustain and help within your reach.

Paint us a picture of the more compassionate world and future you imagine.

Hmmm, a beautiful question. How about a world where hashtags do not have to remind us that lives matter? A world where trans women of color don’t live in fear of death but have every right to life in all its expanse. A world where people place honey on their tongues before speaking in order to ensure only sweetness spills out with their words.

A world with more love, yeah?

About Asali:

Asali is a Black queer femme community healer and earthworker writing, practicing, and creating at Asali Earthwork. With tarot, ritual, and earthwork she manifests magic for the everyday and the unusual, seeking healing for herself and her clients in order to clarify practical paths to what is sought.

Related:

You can find all of the Collective Care interviews right here!

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