Entries organized under Intuition

Your Magical Intuition

October 24, 2017


Announcing my newest course:
Your Magical Intuition

There are many ways to know: in our hearts, our guts, in our minds, on an energetic level. There is more than one way to be sure.

I believe in the intuition as a source of wisdom, of magic.

When I was little, I could look at someone and tell exactly where they hurt. When I was in high school, I could tell when the animals in my life were happy, sad, or scared. Now when I make decisions, I breathe each option into my body, to see how it feels.

When students come to me, they are share a belief in the value of self-care and a longing for healing. But they also share a common struggle: knowing what to do next.

I am so excited to announce my newest course: Your Magical Intuition.

Learning to be in sincere, respectful relationship with your intuition is one of the most spectacular gifts you can give yourself. By cultivating this relationship, you tap into all of your innate wisdom, beauty, and power.

You simply need to learn how to hear, hone, and trust that wisdom. That’s what Your Magical Intuition teaches.

Over the course of two weeks, you’ll:

  • Explore each of the 4 layers of your intuition.
  • Experiment with body-based and mindfulness practices to cultivate your intuition on each layer.
  • Build confidence in your intuition, through experimentation and daily-life practice.
  • Create a support system to nurture your intuition and create a regular dialogue with it.
  • Infuse your self-care with your newfound intuition to amplify healing, empathy, and trust in yourself.

Each weekday during the course, you’ll receive:

  • Audio meditations to cultivate the experience of intuition
  • Short essay’s on the day’s theme
  • Workbooks + journaling prompts

Weekends will be reserved for integration practices and 2 Q&A coaching calls with me. (There’s also a VIP option, in case you’re craving some one-on-one support.)

Want to dive in? You can join the course right here.

Over this past summer, I turned deeply inward in caring for the new member of my family. Those days stretched out seemingly forever, and invited me to a new-found friendship with my intuition.

It was as though I’d been on autopilot for so long, trying to “know” everything. Instead, I had to feel my way. The only way was to following that intuitive guide inside me.

What I want you to know is that you are wise beyond measure and that magic is at your fingertips.

I believe that this is part of what justice looks like: to reclaim our sovereignty from those who aim to make us small or diminish our wisdom. This is a return to feminine wisdom (though this course is open to people of all genders), and to anti-authoritarian knowing. I invite you to step into this intuitive power.

The course will be open for registration for one week only: until October 31st, and we begin that evening (on the eve of All Saints’ Day and the beginning of Samhain). For fourteen days, we’ll circle together to unearth and exalt Your Magical Intuition​.

This is the season for examining all of our layers, for pulling back the veil, and exploring the unseen.

 

​​>> Get all the details and join Your Magical Intuition now! <<

Self-Care is Detective Work

October 12, 2017

Self-care isn't always straight forward. Good self-care requires detective work sometimes. Plus get your free intuition worksheet here! >> www.christytending.com

I refer to self-care as a practice a lot.  What I mean by this is that it is not finite. It doesn’t really end. We simply refine it over time. We hone it.

I could also call it a dance or an experiment.

Really, self-care is all of those things.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about self-care as detective work.

Except, rather than trying to solve a case, we are sleuthing around our own healing.

We collect evidence. We interview witnesses. Out of endless data and what may, at times, feel like chaos, we work to make sense of things.

Like detectives, we ignore nothing. There is no piece of information too trivial. Eventually, patterns emerge. Sometimes, we hit dead ends. Other times, we discover an uncomfortable truth.

Self-care is really the act of becoming more and more familiar with ourselves.

Like detectives, we ask the tough questions. We examine every angle. We pursue our quest for justice and healing relentlessly.

Which means that self-care isn’t all sunshine, all the time. It means tracking it into the shadows, into dark alleyways.

The aim is not always to feel good but to come face to face with our being.

This takes courageous detective work. Not to find the easy answers, but to reveal the truth: of what it means to be ourselves, of what it means to be human, of what healing and self-care look like for each of us.

This detective work is specific: it’s never about generalities, but instead the tiny details and idiosynchrasies of our particular case. Self-care is just this: becoming fascinated in examining our lives and selves so that we can move toward lightness and well-being.

This is why one-size-fits-all self-care doesn’t work.

When we become detectives, we learn quickly:

When I eat this, I feel this way. I like this type of movement, but not that type. I need this many hours of sleep and this kind of free time. My batteries feel recharged when I do a particular set of activities.

These are the people who lift me up. My soul is happy when I am in this special place. And so on.

We ask: “What would feel good right now?” and follow the trail, like any good detective would.

It’s why our intuition is essential to self-care.

A good detective might just go down a laundry list and call it a day.

Great detectives follow their instincts, even when they seem zany. They collect the details that others gloss over. They use all of their senses.

It becomes an intuitive process, rather than something rote or by the book. They use every tool at their disposal, including all ways of knowing into solving the case.

If you’re looking to amplify your self-care, begin here: with your intuition and commit yourself to this kind of detective work.

Free resources to amplify your intuition:

Intuition audio meditation

Intuition worksheet

Stop Second-Guessing Yourself

October 10, 2017

Get your free intuition audio meditation right here!

You can stop second-guessing yourself and (instead) follow your wise intuition. Learn how. Plus get your free intuition audio meditation here! >> www.christytending.com

There are few moments of regret in my life. I aim to move from mistake to learning to forgiveness with ease. The regrets that do remain, however, have one thing in common.

WIthout exception, the moments I wish I could do over are the moments when I acted against my intuition. I shushed my inner voice. I ignored the small “uh-oh” or “yes” in favor of what I felt I “should” do instead.

I’ve let peer pressure get the better of me.

I’ve let looks good on paper override ​feels good in my body​… with results that were less than stellar.

I’ve learned a few key lessons that help to ground me in my own inner wisdom and keep me from second-guessing myself. It’s easy to get stuck in your own head, especially when making a big choice.

Play with some of these practices if you find yourself at a crossroads or to bring yourself back into alignment with your truth.

 

Intuition is a practice.

Start with small decisions. We can build the muscle of our intuition. Begin by making small decisions: what to have for lunch, what song to play for your solo dance-party, the route to take home from work.

Over time, these experiences will give you the confidence to make bigger decisions with clarity.

Try it on.

When deciding between two options, try each one on. Like you’d try on clothes in a fitting room, put on each decision (energetically) and give it a whirl.

Feel and imagine what making each decision would be like. This information may cast light on an otherwise murky choice.

Without judgment, imagine yourself having made one decision or another. What is it like? Which feels more resonant? Wear each decision lightly until you’ve had the chance to make sure it fits.

You’re not always going to get it right.

​No matter what, you will make mistakes. That’s part of being human. There’s a myth about intuition that it’s either right all the time or that it’s entirely BS.

Grant yourself (and your intuitive decision-making) the permission to screw up from time to time. It doesn’t mean that it’s bad, just that you’re human. Which is totally cool.

Perfectionism will stand in the way of intuition, if you let it. The need to be right isn’t serving you, and will actually keep you playing small in order to avoid risk. Sometimes, you need to take a chance, even if it doesn’t work out.

You can’t demand right-ness from your intuition all the time. You can only offer it trust.

Not every decision needs to be an agonizing one.

As I mention above, you won’t always get it right. In certain moments, you just need to make a decision (any decision will do!) so that you can move on.

Don’t over-think it. Not every move need a pro/con list or a spreadsheet.

Again, aim for it to be light. Allow yourself to be in the flow of your life. Offer yourself the mercy of simply moving forward, regardless of whether you’ve analyzed the idea to pieces.

Some decisions take more juice than others. Don’t sweat the ones that don’t need sweating, so that you have more energy and space for the ones that do.

It can be simpler and easier than you think.

You don’t always need to pick the hard way. You can choose the path of least resistance sometimes. There are moments when the choice is crystal clear and you don’t need to bog yourself down with more information.

You can choose to let it be easy. You can choose to let it be simple.

Simple and easy are not always born from apathy or resignation. At times, they are a gift to ourselves: for life to be uncomplicated and liberated.

 

Related:

Simple Self-Care Recipe Formula (mix ‘n match guide + free download)

October 9, 2017

For me, food is a huge part of self-care. Part creativity, part nourishment, part intuition. Over the years, I’ve experimented with a lot of ways of eating. What I’ve discovered is that my intuition is often my best guide for how my body wants to eat. This is the formula I’ve developed for meals supports that intuitive spark and feeds me and my family well.

For me, food is a huge part of self-care. Part creativity, part nourishment, part intuition. Over the years, I've experimented with a lot of ways of eating. What I've discovered is that my intuition is often my best guide for how my body wants to eat. Read my self-care recipe guide and download the free recipe pdf! >> www.christytending.com

Below, I’ve written out my guide for the go-to meal in the Tending household. We make up these nourishing bowls with what we have lying around. Less food is wasted, and we always have dinner ready to go. The bowls can be customized to any cuisine or palate, and can even be cobbled together from past leftovers!.

I make the grain in a rice cooker and often chop vegetables ahead of time and store them in the fridge.

HOW IT WORKS:

Simply mix and match from the categories on the next page to suit your mood. I’ve give you categories of food you may want to include in your meal. Pick one or more from each category to create delicious, simple, and nourishing meals.

This approach makes healthy dinners totally feasible. The choices here are just a start — get creative and do what is right for your body’s needs. This is a jumping off point.

May your meals be feasible, nourishing, and inspired.

Mix and Match Recipe Guide:

PROTEIN:

choose from:

  • baked tofu or tempeh
  • garbanzo or black beans
  • lentils (either dal or cooked French lentils)
  • sprouted almonds
  • hardboiled, poached or scrambled egg

GRAIN:

choose from:

  • brown rice
  • quinoa
  • steel-cut oats (savory oatmeal is delicious!)
  • amaranth
  • farro
  • roasted sweet potatoes, butternut squash, or delicata squash (not grain, but carbohydrates)

GREENS:

choose from:

  • sautéed kale, collard greens or swiss chard
  • steamed broccoli or asparagus
  • sugar snap peas
  • arugula or spinach
  • nori strips

FAT:

choose from:

  • avocado
  • ghee
  • plain yogurt
  • sesame or coconut oil

FLAVORFUL EXTRAS:

choose any of the following for added texture and flavor:

  • carrots (cut into matchsticks)
  • chopped red pepper
  • sliced green apple
  • sauerkraut or kimchee
  • cherry tomatoes
  • sriracha or other hot sauce
  • tahini
  • sunflower or hemp seeds

Finally:

I always finish my bowls with a sprinkling of pink Himalayan salt and a huge splash of miso dressing, made from equal parts lemon (or grapefruit) juice, olive oil, and yellow (or white) miso; mix by shaking in a small lidded jar or whisking vigorously.

Combine all of these into your favorite bowl, and enjoy with glee.

*Before we get started, I’d like to note that I’m not a nutritionist. This works for me. I hope it’ll work for you. This is not, however, to be taken for medical advice.

Becoming Your Own Expert

October 6, 2017

Get your free intuition worksheet right here!

You do not need to rely on outside experts. You are already the expert in yourself. Use that expertise to cultivate empowered, intuitive self-care. Plus get your free intuition worksheet here! >> www.christytending.com

Scene:

I’m standing at the front of a class full of students, teaching yoga: something I did several times a week between 2008 and 2013. I’ve given the students a choice of three variations on a single pose.

One of my regular students, a woman I’ll call S., raises her hand to ask a question. “Which variation should I do?” she asks.

I reply: “I don’t know.”

For some teachers, this is a danger zone. Not knowing. Not being able to give a student an answer. Having to admit that we’re in the dark. For me, this not-knowing in front of my class feels what I’d describe as, “pleasant neutral.”

When I tell her I don’t know, S. knows what I mean. She smiles, nods and returns to her practice, choosing one of the poses. And this is success for me, as a teacher.

I don’t have all the answers.

I hope you know that. But more than that, I hope you know why.

It’s not that I am keeping these answers a secret. Instead, I choose to believe–and ground my teaching from this understanding–that I am not the expert in you.

I can offer several choices. I can ask insightful questions. Or point out patterns that I observe. I will sit with you while you discover the answers or the solution for yourself. These types of support I freely offer.

But ultimately…

You are the expert in yourself.

This expertise still takes work. It takes trial and error. It takes experimentation. You (as much as I) need to be willing to make mistakes and to be wrong sometimes.

But ultimately, you are the expert in yourself.

Only you know what it truly is to live in your body, to have your mind, to experience your emotions, and to be your spirit.

I can be a guide. I am happy to point the way or to share bits of wisdom that I’ve gathered along the way. What I teach is a combination of my training, what’s worked for me in the past, and what I’ve seen work for others.

Only you can truly know what you need in a moment.

Because only you are your particular expression of the universe in this time and place. Only you carry your memories and experiences and culture. Only you have your particular hopes and dreams and sorrows and challenges.

Each one of us is unique.

This means that our work is not to get it right, but to become scholars of ourselves.

It can be a lifelong process, but it is a gift to do that work: to become expert in who we are and what we need. To have visceral understanding of what feels good and rightful.

 

Related:

You are wise.

Free intuition worksheet

My new course, Your Magical Intuition, opens for registration on October 24th. Make sure you’re on the list to get all the details!

You are Wise and Trustworthy

October 4, 2017

Download your free intuition worksheet to begin mapping your inner knowing!

You are wise. Learn to listen to and believe your intelligent intuition. Plus get your free intuition worksheet here! >> www.christytending.com

 

“How do you know?”

I get this question a lot. From clients, from students, from my own family. They want to know how I know my intuition is steering me in the right direction. Really, they want to know how I have as much faith in the unseen magic of my inner knowing as I do in my direct experience. 

How do you know what you know in your heart to be true?

How do you know what your body needs? Or even: how do you know that the thing you want to do next is the best course of action?

How do you know that you’re not just following some illusory woo-woo feeling and calling it intuition?

How do you know that what you feel is really, actually real?

What I really want to tell you is that there have been times when I have felt self-doubt approximately one thousand times a day.

It is vulnerable.

There have been days when I have felt uneasy in my body, my thoughts running away with me. Those are days when it has all felt like trial and error, with no easy answers.

I can’t say that I never feel self-doubt anymore. I do. Of course. I’m human.

But now, those moments of self-doubt are my most potent invitation to practice.

How deeply can I love and accept myself there?

In that space of not-knowing, I get quiet. I breathe into it, willingly feeling my body. The quiet is intimate; and what it reveals is our personal magic: our intuition, a knowing beyond direct experience.

In that quiet, I can see my mind and my emotional body and my energy and my body–all of my parts–laid out before me. Or gathered around a table: a banquet with the dearest of friends.

And these friends have something important to tell me. They whisper it in a small, but serious voice. “This. Trust this.”

Perhaps someone told you when you were small that this small, wise inner voice couldn’t be trusted.

Aside from being a total jerk, that person was wrong.

Each of us has a well of deep inner knowing that we can choose to access at any moment. We simply need to get quiet and to listen. And then, the most magical part of all: we need to trust ourselves.

Our intuition is a real, magical being. We need to learn to let it thrive by listening closely and then trusting the answers that come.

Yes, we will make mistakes. Yes, we will falter or second-guess ourselves sometimes. But that’s okay. It is all a process, as ever.

Really, what I really want you to know is you are worthy of your own trust.

You are wise and powerful. You are an expert in your own experience. And I invite you to believe in yourself, even when it feels terribly vulnerable.

 

Related:

Free Downloads:

Download your free intuition worksheet right here.

Download your free intuition audio meditation right here.

What does your intuition say? The 4 Layers of Intuition

October 2, 2017

Get your free intuitive audio meditation right here!

What does your intuition say? Stop second-guessing yourself and tap into your inner wisdom with the four layers of knowing. Plus get your free audio meditation here! >> www.christytending.com

You know that you are wise beyond measure. You know that you are an expert in your own self.

But how do we truly cultivate our intuition? How do we amplify its voice so that it can be heard? How can we learn to truly trust ourselves and what we know to be true?

The first step is learning to listen.

We do this by examining each layer of our intuition. We peel back each layer, turning it over until we can translate what we experience into what we know and understand.

There are, in part, based on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, a concept from Buddhist meditation, adapted and re-ordered as they apply to our intuition. In the Sattipathana, these foundations of mindfulness are: contemplation of the body, contemplation of feeling, contemplation of consciousness, and contemplation of mental objects.

In my experience, the four layers of intuition are:

  1. The body + breath

  2. The mind

  3. The heart + emotion

  4. The spirit + energy

The body + breath

The body holds deep wisdom. It’s where we store our memories and experiences. It’s where we remember love and trauma, both. Through the body, we can access great wisdom and insight about ourselves that we might otherwise have missed.

On a neurological level, our body is supporting us in every moment with quick-fire opinions about, well, everything. It protects us by giving us what we call a “gut reaction”. It is how we decide whether something is safe.

The body offers us flight, fight, freeze, and appease – before we even know that we need one of those responses. When beginning to investigate your intuition, begin in the body and the breath. Ask them what they know to be true. Greet them as wise friends.

The mind

Much like the body, we remember more than we think we do. We store factoids and memories away only to surprise ourselves, years later, with an amazing recall of song lyrics, names, and state capitals (for example).

The brain is so powerful. Our minds can know the answer before the question is finished. It can sense what the next words out of someone’s mouth will be. The brain can (through our vision or hearing) pick up on the tiniest details and immediately suss out imperceptible changes.

Why? Because we observe much more than we think we do. We pick up on these tiny details and translate them into knowing, all in the fraction of a second.

And the mind? It helps us filter the bullshit, all day long. While we might long for things to be a different way, our minds can give us the real scoop.

The heart + emotion

There is a complicated narrative when it comes to the heart.

Our emotions are often painted as unreliable, volatile, and changeable.

Or we’re told to “follow our hearts” with no other reliable map or guide suggested.

While our hearts make mistakes (and we shouldn’t only follow our emotions when trying to find our truth or make a decision), our emotions–our hearts–can provide a lot of valuable intelligence.

Take, for instance, trying to decide whether to take a new job, where to go on vacation, or how to proceed in a relationship. If you discard or discount the heart’s knowing, you could end up someplace you don’t want to be. (Maybe literally!) Instead, check in and notice the emotion that comes up when you pretend to decide one way or another.

If you feel disappointment when you think about moving into that apartment or staying in that relationship, then even if it looks good on paper, it may be time to make a different decision. Likewise, it may seem improbable, but if it lights you up or gives you that good-nervous feeling, it may be something to chase.

The spirit + energy

Finally, your spirit and energy.

Have you ever walked into a room and known that something was amiss? Seen a stranger and not been able to figure out why you feel uncomfortable? Felt sad for no reason?

We use the phrases “good/bad vibes” or “good/bad juju” to describe the experience.

Or maybe you’re a nerd like me and call it a “disturbance in the force.”

There is no outward reason we should feel any shift, but we do. It can happen in an instant, and it is unmistakable when it does.

This is your spirit or energy. Maybe you call it lifeforce or qi. But it is as real as your physical body, and it too, has messages for you. It can instantly sense when things are out of alignment or when there is something that does not belong to you or for you.

This may be the most difficult of the layers to experience because it can feel emphemeral. But it is as real and wise as any of the other layers.

There is no perfect wisdom.

Your intuition will make mistakes. But they are your mistakes to explore, and ultimately, your wisdom to cultivate and explore. Sometimes, it’s better to rely on your own knowing than someone else’s “perfect” prescription.

 

Want to dive deeper into your intuition?

Grab your free audio mediation right here!

The Power of Journaling – plus 10 prompts to get you started

July 10, 2017

Journaling is an incredibly powerful tool for self-care and self-knowledge. I haven’t always kept a journal. And often my “journaling” takes other forms than something that begins, “Dear Diary.” But it is an essential part of my self-care, my creative process, even my business. It’s how I begin every year and every new project. Journaling is part of how I connect with myself and my intuition.

Journaling is Powerful. Plus plus 10 journaling prompts to help you tap into your intuition and get you started! Find all 10 here! >> www.christytending.com

Journaling helps me tap into what’s going on right here, right now.

Journaling, for me, is first and foremost a mindfulness tool. It helps me connect with the present moment and be in the now, unapologetically. It helps me to know what’s going on with me in this moment here.

Even at my most frazzled or anxiety-filled, I’m able to connect with my inner state, once I start to put pen to paper. Instead of projecting into the past or future, I am able to see the present clearly. Journaling slows me down so that this can happen. Otherwise, sometimes I can wind up simply racing to the next moment without that check-in.

Journaling clears the cobwebs.

If I’m feeling stuck, unsure of what to say or what to do next, or if I’m unable to focus, journaling clears the cobwebs. Once I start that check-in I mentioned above, the brain fog seems to dissipate. It clears out the mental and emotional cobwebs. It leaves me feeling fresh and awake.

Much like taking some deep breaths, journaling gets the blood flowing and once I’ve begun, the rest seems to flow easily.

Journaling dissolves the overwhelm.

Journaling helps me to focus on one thing at a time. When I’m in that space, I can only do that one thing. It helps me to single-task and bring myself fully into the process.

Once I’m there, things feel solvable. In fact, I can chew over the same problem for days – and when I start to journal about it? The solution presents itself easily. If I’m overwhelmed with too many projects, tasks or thoughts, journaling helps to sort them out.

I actually use to-do lists as a form of journaling. Instead of trying to remember everything in my head, and stressing myself out, journaling gives me a place to put everything that’s on my mind. That way I don’t have to carry those thoughts around with me. They’re right there in my journal.

Journaling helps me to remember – my own wisdom, my most heartfelt beliefs, and what is most important.

Journaling is ultimately a way for me to engage with my highest self and my truest inner voice. It’s a way for me to be in touch with my intuition – and to remember the big picture. I’m able to clear the cobwebs and overwhelm of minutiae and to find myself again. Journaling isn’t about self-indulgence.

It’s an act of self-knowledge and self-care. Tending to the parts of myself that I might otherwise ignore or forget. Journaling is an act of remembrance again and again. No matter how long I’ve forgotten, journaling helps me to remember my inner wisdom.

Journaling is part of how I engage with self-care, beginning with a good check-in.

In order to bring my whole self more fully into my self-care, it helps to know where I stand. If I’m out of sorts, if I’m high energy, if I’m longing to create. Journaling helps to give me that information and insight on myself.

My journal is also a neutral and safe place to put my thoughts: to vent, to question, to dream. No pressure, no expectations. There’s no need to “fix” anything. It doesn’t get wrapped up in a neat bow. It’s just my way of knowing what the weather looks like in my own atmosphere.

10 self-care journal prompts to tap into your intuition. Get more free self-care resources right here! >> www.christytending.comWant to get started with journaling? Here are 10 prompts to get you started:

What do I know to be true in this moment?

Start with “I” statements and felt experiences.

What is happening in my body, right now?

Notice the sensations, experiences, memories, or patterns that are arising.

What will tomorrow look like?

In a perfect world, how would it go? Write it all in the affirmative and in the past tense – as though it has already happened.

What do I want more of in my life?

And what am I ready to let go of?

Who and what am I grateful for – and *why*?

What do I most want to say to someone?

Write that person a letter. It could be about them, or it could just be your way of connecting and sharing your heart with them. No need to send it, naturally.

What’s my high and low?

Your best moment and your toughest moment from today, this week, this year. Get in touch with and really feel both of those moments. Honor yourself in both your good and difficult times.

What questions am I facing right now?

Write out any decisions you have to make, anything you’re unsure of, and any questions you’re grappling with at the moment. You don’t need to answer them, just get them all out on paper and acknowledge the uncertainty with tenderness.

What does my intuition say?

About those big questions – or about any area of your life, really. What does that little voice inside say about it?

New self-care tips you may not have tried

June 26, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As it turned out, no.

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

These days, I am practicing self-respect.

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

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

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

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

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

Break it into the smallest pieces

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

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

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

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

Three tips for making it a little more manageable:

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

  • Claim the smallest “wins.”

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

     


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joy imagines the world in which we want to live.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Your intuition is magic.

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

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

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

Try this:

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

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

Which leads me to…

Figure out what is essential for you.

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

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