Where Tenderness Lives book cover by Heather Plett

Where Tenderness Lives

On Healing, Liberation, and Holding Space for Oneself

Heather Plett

A journey of self-exploration, forgiveness, and individual and collective healing.

Where Tenderness Lives is a loving exploration of what it means to unravel what we’ve learned from our families, societies, religions, and cultures in order to heal and create a purposeful and joyful life. In this illuminating book, acclaimed author Heather Plett reveals:

– How trauma—from the earliest patterns of our upbringing to devastating events—can shape our lives and our personalities
– How treating ourselves with radical tenderness can be the balm of healing for our wounded selves, and how this healing can invite others into their own healing
– How learning to hold space for ourselves—our hopes, our aspirations, and our desires—is one of the most worthwhile pursuits of a life well-lived

Each chapter in this heartfelt and honest book contains a revelation about how to move from shades of fear and doubt to freedom and joy. Through stories that range from what it meant to grow up Mennonite to surviving a horrific assault; from leaving a marriage that no longer worked to the poignant moment her grown daughters leave home, Plett provides a vocabulary of understanding how we grew into the people we are and how to move on from what no longer serves us.

By reflecting on her own life with vulnerability and self-compassion, Plett provides a springboard for your own self-exploration, as well as a path to individual and collective healing.


Where Tenderness Lives is an honest-to-the-bones chronicling of a womans metamorphosis in a patriarchal culture, turning the pain and shame of trauma into joyful, embodied freedom. This is the kind of inspiration that lifts all women.

To tell our stories is brave and beautiful, especially those wed prefer to forget. Heather Plett does this with vulnerability and grace. Through experiences are distinctly hers, she tenderly and brilliantly invites us into our own, offering profound healing and hope along the way.

Some people write their stories to heal themselves. Others write their stories to heal others. Heather Plett does both. Poignant and powerful, Heather delivers a cant-put-down book of struggle and suffering, but also resilience and joy. She shows that holding space for yourself is the first and most important step on the road to your healing and freedom.


Story has never been more important for our communal healing, and Heather Plett is one of the greatest impact-to-action storytellers of our time. Her writing has helped me grieve and grow while expanding my understanding of how to be a better leader, partner, and friend.

Through Heather Pletts incredibly rich and deeply personal life stories, which she shares so articulately, there were multiple opportunities for me to learn and apply her insights to my own life. Her reflections made me consider some big questions about how I want to be in the world—and how I want the world to be. My heart has been touched and I am inspired for my own growth journey.

This powerful, piercing assemblage of turning-point stories from Heather Plett—as daughter, wife, mother, survivor, teacher, and abolitionist—casts a wide lens beyond her personal experiences to the oppressive systems that shape societal harm. Heather invites the reader to do their own liberatory work, and in doing so, is handing us a key to liberate our own unhealed stories.


Heather Plett is an international speaker, facilitator, and author of the acclaimed book The Art of Holding Space. She is also the co-founder of the Centre for Holding Space and has trained people from all over the world in her Holding Space Practitioner Program. Her writing has appeared in publications such as Harvard Business Review and the Globe and Mail and has been referenced in curriculum for nurses, hospice care workers, yoga teachers, and military chaplains. Learn more at heatherplett.com.

ISBN 978-1-77458-363-0
$24.95 CAD $19.95 USD
Published January 23, 2024
5.5 × 8.5 240 Pages
paperback, ebook, audiobook