Entries organized under Collective Care

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

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

Grace Quantock: Collective Care Interview Series

April 5, 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 Grace Quantock!

Grace Quantock on increasing compassion, balancing needs & rhythms, and blazing a new trail. Read the Collective Care interview! >> www.christytending.com

Grace, 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 love changing the world through increasing compassion – in myself and in others. I help people who want to heal by creating bespoke ethical gifts at my non-profit Healing Boxes CIC at http://healing-boxes.com and offering writing, teaching and psycho-spiritual depth coaching on living well with pain, illnesses at http://gracequantock.com.

What challenges your heart in that journey?

Balancing my needs and rhythms with the requirements and deadlines of the world. It’s a constant dance I am feeling my way into.

What inspires you to keep going?

Seeing the difference my work makes in the world and knowing that I have the massively privileged opportunity to be able to do this work in the world and I want to use this opportunity to it’s fullest.

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

What nourishes and replenishes you?

I am deeply nourished and replenished by time with my dogs and horse, time in the garden, time at the canvas, intuitively painting and time at my celtic harp, playing and learning. I am nourished on the mat, on my plate with vegan, ethical eating and in my relationships, for which I am so blessed.

How do you experience care within community?

How do others support you in your journey and practice?

My beloveds; my husband, my dogs and horse, the land, my family and friends, as well as my community in The Wellness Trailblazers’ Cafe are all wonderful support on this journey.

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

You are a revolution, an instigation, a coup d’etat de la couer waiting to spring. You are needed, wanted, longed for. No matter what they said there are people who love you. You, dear heart, are worth fighting for. Believe me when I say the world is waiting for you and all you have to offer. It could be a novel, an invention or the love you give when you are baking. Our dreams can be grand(ios) or humbly filled with love. That doesn’t matter. You and the calling in your heart matters.

You are an angel, an answered prayer, a rainbow hope, a miracle worker, a kind heart, a untapped resource, a potential inspiration explosion, a waiting-hiding clear blue fountain. You are the potential of the ages hidden inside you.

You are the result of a million years of evolution.

You are the cumulation, the success, the thriving survival of all your ancestors.

You are the instigation and hope for future generations.

You are here on this beautiful planet for a tiny fraction, a mayfly, firework, glittering second. You have too little time, and too much talent to waste.

You are an un-renewable resource, if you burn-out, get stuck, drown in overwhelm and quit, the world will never experience what you can give in the way you can give it. And honestly, we can’t risk loosing that. To survive, the world needs all of us, now. So please, take care of yourself so that you can do your soul-work. Go gently and know that I am grateful for you.

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

I want to live in a world where you are loved, accepted & supported & when illness, disability, trauma or grief throws your life off track you can blaze a new trail to the true you.

About Grace:

Grace Quantock is an award-winning international wellness expert, coach, author and motivational speaker. She is the founder of Healing Boxes CIC and Grace Quantock Trailblazing Wellness (Un)Ltd.

How to connect:

Related:

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

Post: What is Collective Care?

Guest post from Grace: Strength in the Tenderest Places

Jennifer Sterling: Collective Care Interview Series

March 29, 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 Jennifer Sterling!

Jennifer Sterling on honoring bodies' wisdom and small steps that add up to big goals. Read the Collective Care interview! -- www.christytending.com

Jennifer, 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 a Holistic Nutritionist and Chef who teaches women to treat themselves well physically, mentally and emotionally.

What challenges your heart in that journey?

The messages that women hear constantly about their bodies that makes them feel as though they need to diet and make themselves smaller in order to be happy.

What inspires you to keep going?

The joy I feel when women are able to stop dieting and honor their bodies’ wisdom.

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

What nourishes and replenishes you?

I am nourished by good food, movement (mostly dance), daily mediation and a great music.

How do you experience care within community?

How do others support you in your journey and practice?

My friends take impeccable care of themselves which reminds me to treat myself well. We support each other in life and business by making the time to connect and creating the space for conversation and discussion about everything from politics to restaurant openings.

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

Do it! Even if the actions you take to reach your goal are small, all of those small steps will add up to be something big.

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

The more compassionate world and future I imagine is one where everyone is free – free to be who they are authentically and walk down the street without fear. It is a space where people are treated with kindness, love and compassion no matter the color of their skin, sexual preference, gender or abilities.

About Jennifer:

Jennifer Sterling M.S is a Holistic Nutritionist and Chef. As a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, Hawthorn University and the International Culinary Center, Jennifer uses her extensive knowledge of food, nutrition, and psychology to help her clients nourish themselves at the table, and away from it.

How to connect:

Related:

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

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Emily Van Engel: Collective Care Interview Series

March 22, 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 Emily van Engel!

Emily Van Engel on art that examines our relationship with our planet, having a plan, and creating a body of work. Read the Collective Care interview! >> www.christytending.com

Emily is a dear, dear friend – and exceptional artist who examines our relationship with our planet is gorgeous and fascinating ways through her art. Her pieces aren’t just depictions, but conversation starters. Her work is layered (literally and figuratively) in ways that honor the complexity of our world – how it is and how it could be.

I’m so excited to share her wisdom with you today!

Emily, 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.)

Thanks for inviting me to participate, Christy!

I make art that looks at our relationship with our environment. I see myself as a change-maker because I want everyone on our planet to live in a clean and safe environment, and the art is about getting to that place. The work is unpaid, although I occasionally sell some art.

What challenges your heart in that journey?

Something that weighs on my heart is the knowledge that conducting business as usual in many countries on our planet is on track to change our climate globally, changing how we’ve experienced weather thus far, potentially changing the livability (both physically and politically) of much of the planet for many of us.

I know that there’s action I can take; for me it’s initiating conversations about this topic either in person or through my art. But that presents another challenge because I sometimes feel like I’m not doing enough because the problem is still there.

However, I know that I can’t just pull all-nighters and make art 24/7. Taking care of myself is integral to that process of facing the challenge.

What inspires you to keep going?

Seeing other artists’ bodies of work inspires me. I once googled Picasso and scrolled through pages and pages of artwork, and felt my own drive to create such a prolific body of work. It helped me get into an inspired mindset of creating.

I’m also inspired to see other artists, activists and writers address climate change. There are so many angles to approach the topic and it reminds me that my voice is part of a larger picture.

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

What nourishes and replenishes you?

I recognize that I have several goals; make the art, earn income, take care of my health, just to name a few. And that usually the action that I take to satisfy one goal doesn’t overlap with another… or at least in the present moment, making art while going for a hike is not a paid activity (but I won’t rule it out entirely).

There have been times when I felt like I was falling short in one area while I was in the in the middle of actively pursuing another goal; I was constantly feeling pulled and torn. While pondering your question this week, I happened to tune in to one of my favorite podcasts, Call Your Girlfriend, where the two hosts, Ann Friedman and Aminatou So, addressed this topic of work/life balance in a witty and insightful way.

Ann Friedman said; “‘Having it all’ is a lie from the pit of hell sold to women so we’ll feel bad about ourselves all the time and work harder for capitalism.” (Call Your Girlfriend, Episode 71) I agree with their take on recognizing that there’s more to do than there’s possibly time for, and the solution lies in being okay with the choices that you make. For me, having a plan to be in my studio, go for a walk, or pursue paid work later that day or later that week, and building in the time and space to follow up with it, helps me stay in the present moment and focus on the activity at hand.

Also, taking breaks and having veg-out time replenishes me. Being proactive about these breaks somehow multiplies the effect for me, perhaps because I can look forward to them. I have an hour-plus train commute to my grad school program where I usually plan on doing school-related reading and work, but one day I decided to throw a magazine instead of my school materials into my bag, and I felt light and giddy with the prospect of reading for pleasure. (I also have been known to just stare out the window with the bag unopened, or listen to podcasts).

How do you experience care within community?

How do others support you in your journey and practice?

I receive so much support from my partner and my family to do the art, that I feel that I couldn’t really prioritize it the way that I do without them. (I’m talking encouragement and financial support.) I also have a few friends that double as exercise partners, so twice a week I have regularly scheduled hikes, which is fun and social, and making the plan with someone else helps me be accountable to follow through.

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

There are many ways to show up for and take action on something that you care about, so first I want to stress that there’s not just one way. Some possibilities include learning more about a topic by reading and research, attending a community event, or volunteering time and/or money to groups doing good work.

I’ve been thinking lately about the phrase “take care of yourself so you can take care of others,” so on that note I will say that whatever you do, show up full (well-rested, present, or whatever that means to you individually) so you can be in a place where you can be yourself and truly give.

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

I laughed out loud when I first read this question because this is literally the reason why I’m in grad school now. I yearn to paint what it looks like to live in a world where we have ceased the behaviors that are causing climate change.

But since I don’t know exactly what that looks like, I am slowing down and giving myself time and space to explore it. But in all seriousness, even though I can’t paint this picture, I have a hunch that at the underbelly of a more compassionate world is an economy that is based on generosity.

About …:

Emily Van Engel’s paintings and glass work look at our relationship with the environment. She exhibits her work in the California Bay Area and is a candidate for an MFA in Pictorial Art at San Jose University.

How to connect:

emilyvanengel.com
etsy.com/shop/EmilyVanEngel
redbubble.com/people/emilyvanengel/portfolio?asc=u

Related:

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

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Alexandra Franzen: Collective Care Interview Series

February 15, 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 Alexandra Franzen!

Alexandra Franzen on the beauty of discipline and her motto- -Today is not over.- Read the Collective Care interview! >> www.christytending.com

Alexandra, 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’ve been a professional writer for about 10 years. I write about lots of topics – creativity, motivation, personal growth, relationships, and love, for starters. I write novels, personal stories, and essays – plus lots of articles, speeches, and educational materials that various clients/companies hire me to do.

As a writer, one of the messages that echoes continually through my work is: “TODAY IS NOT OVER YET.” It’s a message that I want to share, and share, and share, in a thousand different ways, with as many people as possible. It’s a message that I often need to hear, and re-hear, myself.

No matter what time it is, and no matter how badly your day has gone so far, it is NEVER too late to do something kind, creative, and beautiful for yourself, or for someone else. It’s never too late to turn things around. It’s never too late to create a positive ripple effect in the world. It’s never too late to write one “thank you” note, or drink a glass of water, or exercise for 5 minutes, or call your mom for a long-overdue chat. Things can change right now… if you say so.

I try to model the “TINOY” message through my writing, but also through my daily actions. It’s a mantra that I say to myself, almost every single day!

What challenges your heart in that journey?

Feeling overscheduled and overwhelmed. If I feel like I’m drowning in too many projects, I start to wither inside.

What inspires you to keep going?

That feeling I get when an email pops into my inbox and someone says, “You don’t know me, but I love your writing, and that one thing you said really made my day better…” I love those moments. Knowing that I’m “helping” someone, even just one person, feels so incredible. That’s my fuel to keep going.

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

What nourishes and replenishes you?

I’m a simple gal! I love the basics: sleep, sex, water, good food, a long sweaty run or weight lifting session, or a walk through the woods. If I’ve got the basics handled, I typically feel pretty terrific.

How do you experience care within community?

How do others support you in your journey and practice?

I invest in services that make my life awesomer. For example, I hire a housekeeper to “deep clean” my bathroom and kitchen every other month or so. I pay (happily) for yoga and fitness classes at beautiful studios. I hired a professional accountant this year (finally!) and that has cleared a lot of stress out of my life. Everyone needs a “village,” you know?

Also, I’m blessed with a small, tight-knit group of friends who support me 100% and genuinely want me to succeed with all of my goals, and vice versa. I have about 5 peeps that I can email any day, any time, and I know that whatever I say, they’re going to respond with, “We believe in you and we love you.” I’m so grateful for those relationships. I couldn’t make it without ’em.

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

Be focused and disciplined. If your goal is to write one “thank you” note per week, schedule the time and really do it. If your goal is to launch an after-school mentoring program for kids, schedule the time and really do it.

The word “discipline” sometimes gets a bad reputation, but I think it’s a beautiful word. It’s like devotion. It’s like meditation. Apply yourself seriously and wholeheartedly to whatever task you’ve chosen. Focus and do it. You’ll feel so proud of yourself for keeping the promises that you’ve made to yourself and to the world.

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

I want to live in a world where… emails are short, love letters are long, and people stare into each others’ eyes instead of just smartphones screens. Heaven, right?

About Alexandra:

Alexandra Franzen is a writer based in Portland, Oregon. She lives with her partner Brandon and a very pretty fish named RuPaul.

How to connect:

AlexandraFranzen.com

Related:

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

Post: What is Collective Care?