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. No comments.

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. No comments.

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!

Post: What is Collective Care?

Organized under Collective Care. none

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!

Post: What is Collective Care?

Organized under Collective Care. none

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!

Post: What is Collective Care?

Organized under Collective Care. none

Cultivating Intention to live a more sacred life

April 17, 2017

You can choose your inner state in any moment. Learn to cultivate clear intention to live a more sacred life. Plus, download your free self-care workbook inside! >> www.christytending.com

I believe that setting clear intention is one of the most powerful practices we can use to begin creating a life that feels more sacred. We can begin today. It doesn’t cost a thing. It doesn’t take any special training.

At the beginning of every workshop, I ask students to set their intention for the time we’re going to share. Intention is the tool I use instead of resolutions. I even think they’re more effective than goals at times.

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

Why intentions over goals? Because goals often rely on exterior circumstances.

Intention allows us to experience what we want to, on an interior level, regardless of what’s going on outside of us. They allow us to be present with ourselves, in integrity, without needing a particular outcome. So, regardless, we can remain our whole, grounded selves.

(Magnifique, non?)

So when it comes to creating a more sacred life, I don’t begin by reaching for the sage or the crystals.

I begin crafting more of what’s sacred from the inside out.

This is my best recipe for success.

First of all, what do I mean by “intention”?

Well, it’s not a goal. It’s not an outcome or a wish I’m hoping will come true.

Instead, it’s the tone that I’m setting for a particular phase of time. It’s the quality I want to embody. My intention is how I’m choosing to show up in a specific scenario, regardless of what happens. It’s how I ground myself and stay close to my heart.

Intention is the heart of integrity.

It keeps us rooted in our values and our truth. It doesn’t change. That intention is the spark for skillful response and action, no matter what. And blessedly, when we remember our intention, we can stay out of reactivity.

It lives independently of any contingency. It is ours to choose in any moment, at any time. If you want to live a life that feels more aligned, integrous, and sacred, begin with clear intention. It gives you a touchstone that you can return to, again and again, aiming yourself in the direction of what feels sacred to you.

So how do we create these intentions that lead to a more sacred life? For me, it is a process – an ongoing journey and practice.

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

 

And, in my experience, this practice
has three main phases:

 

Setting your intention.

Close your eyes.

Take a deep breath.

Choose a single word or short phrase for how you want to show up in your body and in your life for the next hour. Maybe, after some practice, you stretch this out. Choose an intention for your day or week. Some people find value in choosing a word for the year.

The real action here is in the deciding. Your word or phrase doesn’t have to be perfect. Let it sum up the overall experience, but don’t worry about getting it just-so. We naturally refine our sacred vocabulary over time.

 

Matching and align yourself with your intention.

Throughout the time you’ve chosen, bring your mind back to your intention.

  • How is it going?
  • Are you aligned with that intention?
  • What could you say/do that would match the tone of the intention?
  • How could you bring more of its spirit into your words, choices, and actions?

No need to aim for perfection. Allow the intention to be a guiding light. Allow it to illuminate areas of unconsciousness or places where your life is out of alignment with what you find to be most sacred. This kind of feedback is meant to serve you and the sacredness you’re cultivating.

(No guilt or shame if you’re not 100% aligned out of the gate. You’re human.)

 

Refining your tone.

Once you’ve had some experience setting your intention and then matching that tone, begin to refine it. Maybe some words serve you better than others. Maybe some times of day feel more aligned for setting your intention.

Allow it to be an experiment. Invest in letting it be a process. Again, it’s not about the outcome, but continually bringing mindfulness and clear-hearted integrity to your daily life. Over time, you’ll develop an intention-setting practice that works for you.

It will point you in the direction that you want to go, until you get closer and closer to that which is most sacred to you.

 

Related Posts:

 

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

Organized under Everyday Sacred, Real Self-Care, Sacred Focus. none

Pip Bennett: Collective Care Interview Series

April 12, 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 Pip Bennett!

Pip Bennett on making change at home, being present, and combining forces. Read the Collective Care interview! >> www.christytending.com

Pip, 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 have always felt that my purpose in life is to help others. For the last ten or so years, I have worked with young people, both internationally and locally here in New Zealand, to grow their capacity and voice. During my time working across the social and environmental justice sectors, I’ve seen the effects of the way we work, both on myself and on others. We strive to do good for others so much that we leave ourselves behind in the dust. So I also provide support to women changing the world to help them have an impact without burning out.

What challenges your heart in that journey?

There are so many challenges! Life is full of them – when you pass one, there’s always another one coming around the corner. Some of the biggest things that stress me come from within myself – my perception and worries about things. The more I learn about myself, my body and my mind, the more I am able to accept the challenges and focus on working through them rather than obsessing over them in my head.

What inspires you to keep going?

I know that there is work to be done. I can’t save the entire world but I can make little things better. I see that when I’m present for people, to accept them as they are and listen to their stories. It helps that what I work on are my obsessions – I’m always looking to learn more and grow myself too.

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

What nourishes and replenishes you?

I try to make regular time to do things that feel good, such as reading, listening to podcasts, spend time with loved ones. When things are really tough – when I am swamped with work and responsibilities – I have to force myself to make time to look after myself, as it is always put at bottom of the priority list. Making time to spend time alone is important for me, to unwind and get back to myself after spending my time caring for and about others.

How do you experience care within community?

How do others support you in your journey and practice?

Collaboration is a huge aspect of my work. I love connecting with others who are passionate about the same things as me and working together on a project. Working in community means that by combining your forces, you can share not only your resources, but also your energy and challenges.

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

I hear so many stories from people who want to go overseas to help, like all of the bad things in the world are “over there”. It’s easy to rock up to a foreign country and believe you are helping, simply because you don’t understand the complexities of the context. There is SO much you can do at home. And that counts. You don’t have to do good things far away for them to count as making a difference.

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

I’m hoping for a world where people take action where they can – that they care and are mindful about the way they live their lives. This includes companies. I know that money speaks and we vote with our dollars, but I do wish that more companies would purposefully pursue sustainable options without having to first be pressured by consumers.

About Pip:

Pip is a youth development worker, writer and professional supervisor. She supports women changing the world to have an impact without burning out at Hermosas Chispas.

How to connect:

Hermosas Chispas

Related:

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

Post: What is Collective Care?

Organized under Collective Care. none

Pregnancy Self-Care Essentials Resource Guide

April 7, 2017

Sacred Circle: pregnancy self-care essentials – books, nourishment, recipes, and more. Plus, sign up to receive the free self-care planner inside! >> www.christytending.com

 

In the spirit of my Sacred Circle round-ups, and in honor of my maternity leave, I’ve assembled all of my favorite self-care resources and practices from my pregnancy. This list is meant to be representative of what worked for me, only. As ever, please check with your practitioner before using any of these, especially if you’re pregnant. (And congratulations!)

~ Christy

 

Helpful Books:

Mindful Birthing

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth

Childbirth Without Fear

My sweetie read The Birth Partner and got a lot out of it.

I also, in general, read a lot on meditation and metta during my pregnancy, especially books by Sylvia Boorstein.

Also, Big Magic. Not a pregnancy book, but beyond good and super-inspiring.

 

Food and Nourishment:

New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Multivitamin

I drank copious amounts of the prenatal tea blends from Traditional Medicinals and Homestead Apothecary

Cookbooks: Love Soup | Smitten Kitchen

General food practices:

One of the most common questions I’ve received while pregnant was about food cravings. I really haven’t craved many strange foods (unless you count the copious Tums I inhaled for my heartburn in the second trimester).

Foods I’ve been eating a lot, though, include: pineapple, Greek yogurt, sweet potatoes, vegetable soups, anything leafy and dark green, ginger kombucha, white beans

More than ever, making big batches of healthy recipes and eating them over the course of several days. Adding cooked greens or salad and maybe a little cold tofu where necessary. But not having to cook from scratch every single day has been a blessing.

 

Pampering:

These face masks from alba botanical

Honest Company’s belly balm

This lip balm is my all-time favorite.

Burt’s Bees Mama Bee leg creamCook’s Organics foot cream.

Pre-natal massage at Glow Oakland

For warmth (because I never really got the overheating thing that some pregnant mamas do): Microwave buckwheat heat pillows   |   Hot water bottles for my feet at night.   |   This super-lux wrap for chilly mornings.

 

Practices:

Physical and mindfulness practice:

In my sixth month, I went on an 8-day, 7-night silent meditation retreat, where I immersed myself in the practice of metta. I cannot recommend taking time away by yourself during pregnancy more. I absolutely loved my experience. Metta has supported me in myriad ways during my pregnancy, and is one of my most vital self-care practices.

Simple, mindful breathing practices like this one.

Pre-natal yoga, walking whenever possible, and being in nature.

Life practice:

Many, many date nights.

Staying off message boards.

Not reading too many books or making it overly cerebral.

Taking a handful of classes, but mostly trusting my own instincts and my practitioners.

 

For Travel While Pregnant:

Compression socks from Sockwell

This eyemask

My trusty Kleen Kanteen to stay hydrated

Justin’s individual almond butter packs = Life. Saver.

Bringing my own tea, so that I have caffeine-free options on the plane.

Getting foot or hand massages, once I reach my destination. Also, I got a cute haircut when we were traveling in Tokyo that came with an awesome scalp massage and really boosted my mood.

 

For the Baby:

Quite honestly, we haven’t bought a bunch of baby things. We’ve been fortunate recipients of a lot of hand-me-downs. There are a handful of things I’m loving, though:

Kim Krans’ books are divine.

I love anything from the company Milkbarn. Everything they make is so cute.

These wooden toys.

I’m also loving my glider – kind of like a rocking chair, but with more gentle movement. I bought mine new, but I’m sure you can find a used one on the cheap.

 

* None of this is meant to diagnose, treat, or (in any way, shape or form) recommend something that may not be right for you. Please check with your provider before attempting any of this. This list of resources is reflective only of my experience and what worked for me.

Organized under Sacred Circle, Summertime Series. none