Entries organized under Sacred Circle

Even more amazing self-care books

June 19, 2017

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


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




Full Moon Feast by Jessica Prentice

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

Smitten Kitchen Every Day by Deb Perelman

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

Body of Work by Pamela Slim

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

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

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

The Woman’s Comfort Book by Jennifer Louden

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

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

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



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

Here’s what I’m reading right now:

milk and honey by Rupi Kaur

Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth by Warsan Shire

bone by Yrsa Daley-Ward

salt. by nayyirah waheed


Self-Care Books For New Moms:

The First 40 Days by by Heng Ou and Amely Greeven

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

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

Natural Health After Birth by Aviva Romm

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


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


The Harry Potter series


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


Mary Oliver

anything by Jack Kornfield

anything by Sylvia Boorstein

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

The Barefoot Contessa cookbooks



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

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.



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.



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.

Sacred Circle (March): self-care resources for spring

March 2, 2017

Welcome to March and this month’s Sacred Circle.

In these posts, I share the most potent (and favorite) self-care practices and resources from my practice and around the web.

Do you have a favorite self-care resource? Zip me a tweet! (and use the hashtag #SacredCircle to tell me about it.)

Sacred Circle: a free self-care resource guide with books, podcasts, movies, recipes, and gifts! Plus, sign up for the free self-care course inside! >> www.christytending.com

New from Me:

This month I’m hosting a free mini-course + free workshop!


Collective Care Series:


What I’m reading:

My favorite words to see in an email

This gorgeousness on Instagram

Re-reading this brilliant article on burnout and writing

Compassion training to avoid burnout in physicians


What I’m listening to:

Jump Start Your Joy: Journaling Your Way Through Life with guest Deb Cooperman

Best advice podcast ever: Dear Sugar Radio

The Hamilton Mixtape | Fun Home: the musical Soundtrack


What I’m watching:

One of my favorite movies of all time.


What I’m doing in my practice:

Drinking loads of ginger kombucha

Treating myself to Justin’s peanut butter cups

Using these buckwheat warming cushions

Compression socks for my upcoming long-haul flight


Gift Ideas:

These would look so pretty in my office!

This sweet turquoise necklace

I love these bags (I have the backpack and use it for everything)


Don’t forget to grab your seat for the free course!

Sacred Circle (February): self-care resources + a free printable resource guide

February 3, 2017

Welcome to the Sacred Circle.

Inside, I share some of the most potent self-care practices and resources from my practice and around the web. And now, I’ve assembled each of these round-ups into a downloadable pdf resource guide. Get yours below!

Do you have a favorite self-care resource? Zip me a tweet! (and use the hashtag #SacredCircle to tell me about it.)

Sacred Circle- a free self-care resource guide with books, podcasts, movies, recipes, and gifts! Get your free pdf inside! -- www.christytending.com


New from Me:

(a selection of what I’ve been up to this month!)

Collective Care Series:


The February workshops schedule is now live! (including new Signature Workshops that go even deeper!)

I’m experimenting with a new model for workshops, based on dana (generosity; which I wrote about in a blog above). I hope you’ll join me.

Grab this month’s free resource guide as a
sweet pdf – and get access to the free self-care resource garden:

What I’m reading:

Happiness is an inside job and Pay Attention for Goodness Sake, both by Sylvia Boorstein

Late in the Day by Ursula K. LeGuin (poetry 2010-2014)

Good Bones – a poem by Maggie Smith. One of my favorites.

All of my failures can be traced to my silence. by Danielle LaPorte

How to Spend Money on Yourself + Your Happiness on Yes and Yes

The Pram in the Hall by Austin Kleon – useful as I move into a new phase of life with a little on on the way.

Teen Vogue’s political coverage (really.)

What I’m listening to:

These amazing podcasts: Terrible, thanks for asking and Call Your Girlfriend

The Lumineers’ new album | George Harrison | arias sung by Maria Callas

This playlist (compiled by Four Tet) of songs from countries affected by the recent Muslim ban.


What I’m watching:

The Harry Potter series – as an antidote to the world around us, perhaps?

This video of Valarie Kaur: “What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb – but the darkness of the womb?”


What I’m doing in my practice:

Moisturizing and using a humidifier – I’m loving this leg cream and we have this humidifier.

6-ingredient Green soup | white bean pot pie  – a vegetarian variation on a Smitten Kitchen recipe | I want to make this double dark chocolate gluten-free zucchini bread

The Dreaming Way tarot


Gift ideas:

This print


Empathy cards

colorful, miniature meditating monks

Grab this month’s free resource guide as a
sweet pdf – and get access to the free self-care resource garden:

Sacred Circle: healing resources for the new year

January 6, 2017

Welcome to the Sacred Circle.

Each week, I share some of the most potent self-care practices and resources from my practice and around the web. These are the self-care tips and resources that I believe in, that I use in my own life. I hope they inspire you, wake you up, and fill you with a sense of well-being.

Do you have a favorite self-care resource? Zip me a tweet! (and use the hashtag #SacredCircle to tell me about it.)

Sacred Circle: healing resources for the new year, plus get a free meditation toolkit inside! >> www.christytending.com

New from Me:

All-new, super-fab goodies for the new year! Including…

A revamped and ultra-awesome-ized Lovingkindness Mini-Toolkit, which is totally free.

All-new live workshops – save your seat and join me over here!

New interviews inside the Collective Care interview series

Plus some new blogs, like this one, this one, and this one!

And I’m hanging out on Instagram a whole lot more these days. Follow along!

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

What I’m reading/listening to/watching/loving

This article | This song | This workshop

Using this deck, which I received from my sister for Christmas. Totally gorgeous.

This notebook, which I picked up on a recent road trip, and these pens, plus this candle are all making their home in my studio these days.

This workbook is genius and illuminating. Completing it at the turn of the year has become a ritual and always leads to brilliant insight and big shifts for me.

Emily McDowell’s sassy pins – for everyday bravery

On holding out as a spiritual act.

Guiding Words:

The Gift

Be still, my soul, and steadfast.
Earth and heaven both are still watching
though time is draining from the clock
and your walk, that was confident and quick,
has become slow.

So, be slow if you must, but let
the heart still play its true part.
Love still as once you loved, deeply
and without patience. Let God and the world
know you are grateful.
That the gift has been given.

~ Mary Oliver

Sacred Circle: resources for silence, resilience and hope

December 10, 2016

Each week, I round up some of my favorite self-care resources from around the web. Ideas for healing, joy, justice, and well-being. These are the self-care tips and resources that I believe in, that I use in my own life. I hope they serve you.

Have something you’d like for me to include? Zip me a tweet!

Sacred Circle: resources for silence, resilience, and hope. Plus a free self-care mini-course. Get all the resources here! >> www.christytending.com


Self-Care Resources From Me:

Less (but Better) – my key to dissolving overwhelm

Starting to plan your 2017? This workbook might help.

Want inspiration from brilliant beings? Check out the Collective Care Interview Archive!

What I’m Reading:

Experience: I didn’t speak for 17 years

“Having listened to thousands of people, I realised we had a narrow view of what the environment is. It’s more than saving trees; it’s about how we treat each other, and that includes gender and economic equality and civil rights.”

We were made for these times, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes (I may have shared this before, but I love it so much and it bears a re-read.)

“There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it. I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate.

The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here.”

I’m excited to work my way through this list: 10 books by Indigenous authors you should read.


My Self-Care Practice:

Cat snuggles and hot water bottles.

Collecting items to send out to Standing Rock – putting myself into action so often feels like self-care. It wards against helplessness and isolation. As does a good potluck!

This breathing practice, every single day.

And preparing for the year ahead, not with resolutions, but with sacred commitments so I know where I most want to put my energy in the coming year.

Also: this warmed my heart so much!


What I’m listening to:

This Spotify playlist

The podcast and radio show, Kamau Right Now! (I adore W. Kamau Bell, and he’s local to me!)


“Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.” – Eleanor Roosevelt >> www.christytending.com

Sacred Circle: antidotes to pain for sensitive souls

December 3, 2016

Each week, I round up some of my favorite self-care resources from around the web. Ideas for healing, joy, justice, and well-being. These are the self-care tips and resources that I believe in, that I use in my own life. I hope they serve you.

Have something you’d like for me to include? Zip me a tweet!

Sacred Circle: antidotes to pain for sensitive souls. Plus get free self-care resources inside! >> www.christytending.com


Recently from me:

The Collective Care interview series is here!

Collective Care is a written interview series with people who are changing the world. These are folks who work in either creative, healing, or activist work – and probably some combination. Most of all, these are people who are dedicated to a more compassionate world. It’s about building community, summoning courage, and recognizing our interdependence.

I hope you love it.

You are not disposable: self-care in the midst of oppression

Self-Care for Highly Sensitive People

Podcast Interview with Just Stay Curious: on self-care, being highly sensitive, and setting boundaries

What I’m reading:

Super-inspiring >> The town that legalized civil disobedience when fracking arrived

Passion for work as an antidote to pain – from Mary Oliver

Self-Care in the real world – from Susannah Conway

With the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu: Forgiveness is a sign of real strength

from Autostraddle: What we mean when we say “femme” – as someone who self-identifies as femme, I enjoyed this one.

“It’s based on the energy you put into the world, the connection you make with people and the care you have for them. It’s allowing a particular kind of tenderness to be part of your identity.”

(Well, listening to) this beautiful interview with my friend, Grace, on one of my favorite podcasts: Create Your Magical Life Podcast with Alana Sheeran

Freaking beautiful stuff: 8 Steps Toward Building Indispensability (Instead of Disposability) Culture

Resources if you want to help the Standing Rock Sioux and #NoDAPL:

Seven Lakota values

If you’re thinking about going to Standing Rock


Alert! Now through the end of 2016, 10% of all sales from my shop go toward supporting the water protectors at Standing Rock. Browse the shop here!

“A revolution that is based on the people exercising their creativity in the midst of devastation is one of the great historical contributions of humankind.” – Grace Lee Boggs >> www.christytending.com

Sacred Circle: art, love, and sweet sleep

November 25, 2016

Each week, I round up some of my favorite self-care resources from around the web. Ideas for healing, joy, justice, and well-being. These are the self-care tips and resources that I believe in, that I use in my own life. I hope they serve you.

Have something you’d like for me to include? Zip me a tweet!



From me:


The self-care resource garden (new goodies added every single month!)

You are not disposable: on self-care in the midst of oppression

Holiday Self-Care Reimagined

Self-Care for Highly Sensitive People


The solstice gathering day-long retreat is now open for registration – and is available exclusively for Sacred Focus students. Grab your seat for this beautiful retreat event right over here! Together in community, we’ll vision the year ahead, dive deep into self-care practices, and enjoy sacred ritual. Plus, there will be loads of time for Q&A with me!



Things I’m loving. Things that spark my spirit.

LOVE this: Giving Thanks is a Political Act

Unfortunately relevant – but very useful: How to help if someone is being harassed

In conversation with Junot Díaz: on the force field of privilege and the power of art.

A sleep expert shares her nighttime routine. (I need to be asleep much easier than this, but it’s interesting insight into how you might structure an evening.)

“Try talking to yourself like you would your best friend.” – the power of self-compassion over self-esteem.

From the remarkable Sharon Salzberg, one of my very favorite meditation teachers: The Real Power of Generosity.

A *super* interesting question if you feel like you have too many interests.

A poem from Lucille Clifton: the earth is a living thing

“Lighten up on yourself. No one is perfect. Gently accept your humanness.” ― Deborah Day >> www.christytending.com

Sacred Circle: solstice ritual, friendship & community

November 18, 2016

Each week, I round up some of my favorite self-care resources from around the web. Ideas for healing, joy, justice, and well-being. These are the self-care tips and resources that I believe in, that I use in my own life. I hope they serve you.

Have something you’d like for me to include? Zip me a tweet!

Sacred Circle: solstice ritual, friendship, and community – get free self-care resources, including a free self-care video series here! >> www.christytending.com

Special Event:


Grab your seat for my signature course, Sacred Focus, and join me for a special day-long virtual retreat on December 21st. (It’s free if you’re a past Sacred Focus student!)

I’ve crafted this super-special day-long virtual retreat that will circle on December 21st – only for Sacred Focus students!

In this retreat, we’ll deepen into a self-care practice that will nourish us through the darkest days of the year. And send us into the new year with light in our hearts.

Part planning and goal-setting, part spiritual pursuit, all nourishment.

Join the Sacred Focus course now to gather with us in soulful camaraderie in December.

Sign up now!


What I’m Reading:

Rules for Female Friendships from Roxanne Gay

‘The Hidden Life of Trees’ asks us to rethink our relationship to the world’s forests – forests are disappearing

The difference between doing and creating – I love this perspective and how it helps us create greater intentionality. (Somewhat similar to the difference between goals & intention)

A Buddhist perspective on depression and meditation that answers the question: How does a meditator deal with episodes of major depression?


In my life:

This article distills why I need my spiritual and activist practices not just to coexist, but to support one another. “An argument for spiritually engaged activism”

I am blessed to work with a group of people who never make me feel like I’m doing anything alone. Indeed, I am blessed to be a part of a movement, like the one Bill McKibben describes here:

“Over time, it became clear to me that there’s a problem with the question ‘What can I do.’ The problem is the word ‘I.’ By ourselves, there’s not much we can do… The right question is ‘What can we do to make a difference?’ Because if individual action can’t alter the momentum of global warming, movements may still do the trick. Movements are how people organize themselves to gain power—enough power, in this case, to perhaps overcome the financial might of the fossil fuel industry…” ~Bill McKibben

“While we do our good works let us not forget that the real solution lies in a world in which charity will have become unnecessary.” ― Chinua Achebe