What Cues You to Slow Down? How Good Are You at Ignoring it?


How do you know it is time to slow down?  Do you?

This is one of the themes which has come up interviewing busy women for my book i.e. “Help! I want to slow down but I don’t know how!” Does this resonate for you?

I thought as one first step we might all do a bit of an experiment this week. You don’t have to change anything about your life, but simply notice the cues your body sends up, like red flares in the night, suggesting that you should adjust your pace.  For me the two strongest signs are my right hand getting cold (a classic stress response for me) and shallow breathing which makes me feel all fuzzy.  If I ignore those and press on at warp speed for days or longer, I often end up hurting one of my toes. Catching it or stubbing it on my way around a corner too fast. This whole pattern I have come to recognize… And I have a couple of choices. I can press on, which I have plenty of experience doing.  Or I can notice when the cue is more subtle and take a 5-15 minute break.

Maybe I’m also naturally hungry. Or just need to feel the sun on my face. (Eating lunch outside is one of my favorite “conscious living hacks.” OK I hate the word hacks but you know what i mean: a quick tip which does multiple good things at once.)

Vitamin D, check! Vitamin N (nature) as I watch those lovely swirling swallows, check! Unitasking i.e. eating my lunch without doing anything else, check!

My other current favorite is Five Two Seven breathing. Inhale for a count of five. Hold for two. Exhale for a count of seven. Long slow exhales are calming to the nervous system. It is a great reset. What body signals tell you that your pace is unsustainable? What helps with the reset? I would love to hear, just reply here and let me know. Who knows you might make it into the book!

Also I want to let you know that I’m going to be taking some weeks off blogging while I care for my book baby. During this time I will be sharing some of my favorite Vintage Bird Posts. I hope you enjoy them! And while I’m not currently taking new clients I will be opening my coaching calendar again once the manuscript is done mid march.

xxo Courtney

(Photo Credit – Eileen West)

P.S.  Did you hear about my referral bonus for the retreat in Mexico?

Step one: Share with your lovelies + invite them to Flourish on my behalf since you know them and you know me and that is the best kind of connection.

Step two: If one of them decides to attend I reach out to you to offer a bonus coaching session and taste of the content from my book/retreat which is my new Flourish Formula. (8 steps which enable you to make your greatest creative/professional contribution and have a thriving personal life.) I love growing relationally so I’d be honored if you would forward this email on to a friend.  (All the details about the retreat are below.)

You are invited to gather with other women in a home with a gorgeous interior courtyard enjoying a consciously curated experience where alone time is balanced with meaningful conversations and lively small group coaching sessions, where you have time to sit by (or in) a heated pool and journal, to listen to yourself and to be deeply heard, practice yoga (or not), enjoy the daily siesta with an actual nap (because we hear ourselves better when well rested) or by exploring the city on a solo adventure or with new or old friends — drinking up its ancient beauty and marketplaces.

Your experience will also include meal offerings of delicious, fresh local food, (breakfast, lunch and a snack, because you need good nourishment) and teaching sessions on incisive tools for self-awareness including the Enneagram and meditation. Evenings are free to explore, to rest, to enjoy local dining, to share, to listen, to read, to write, to get a pedicure or manicure, to buy a fabulous scarf. To drink hot chocolate and crumbly Mexican pastries. To enjoy. Because beyond all of the beauty around you also hear the invitation to step deeper inside your own interior landscape….. I’m so excited to be sharing this new body of work with you for the first time live in this retreat. You will also be among the first to receive a copy of my new book! Space is limited. Reserve Your Spot Today!

Courtney Pinkerton, M.Div & M.PP, is a holistic life coach and the founder of Bird in Hand Coaching. She holds dual masters degrees from Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Kennedy School, is the host of the Summer of Meditation Challenge and publishes a popular blog on soulful living. Courtney teaches regularly on the Enneagram (a personality map), meditation, and mindbody practices to reduce stress as well as supporting other “soulpreneurs,” aka women who want to lead with heart in their work + lives.  She lives in Oak Cliff, Texas with her husband Richard Amory where they try to keep up with their three children and remember to water their garden boxes. You can read more about her coaching options here or Courtney can be reached directly at cp@courtneypinkerton.com.

My Book Freak Out + How You Can Help. Early Bird Retreat Discount Extended!

“Are you sure you should be doing that?” My husband inquires peering into my home studio. “Telling everyone on social media that you don’t know who your book is for…. is that really a good idea?”

This after a grueling 36 hour period in which I wrote and rewrote a draft of my ideal reader — basically a meditation on the one woman my book is a love letter to — and wouldn’t stop talking about this exercise from my book coach. The idea is that you go deep. You make it personal, like Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet. And in the process you integrate your head knowing into your heart. You build trust with your reader. You meet them in the pain they currently are experiencing and you go from there and explain the way forward.

However, what was happening for me was a big freak out. I’d been told “you are already too big — already crafting the movement! We need to laser in and find those 12 women who will tell 12 women so it can grow from there.” Guilty! In addition to being a recovering overachiever  I’m a recovering Change the Worlder. Not that there is anything wrong with wanting to change the world. In fact I think we may need more of it. But like all good things it can also be hijacked by our egos and end up more a weight around our necks then the path to liberation we (supposedly) are leading others toward.

This ironically is what my book is about.

And where you come in. As those of you who connect with me on social media know… I need some help. And that is exactly what I told my husband. “I know what I am doing now.” i.e. “You may have been watching me spin for 36 hours but this is what freedom tastes like. Letting people in. Not pretending to have it all figured out. Offering my piece of the puzzle out to my friends and tribe of beautiful birders (that is you btw) and inviting in the feedback.” It is as true for you as it is for me — though our crazy obsessed-with-looking-good-and keeping-it-together-culture will have you believe otherwise.

So below I’ve repasted my question from Facebook. If you have a free moment and this book topic resonates for you I would so welcome a word, a phrase, a paragraph, some reflections. I have already been moved to chills and tears by some of what has come back to me. Clearly we are not alone in this struggle. So if we could all work together to help me laser in on how to talk about it in natural way to someone new to the conversation, that would be a huge gift.

Also the Early Bird special for Flourish, my retreat in San Miguel is extended.  I heard back from many who just needed some breathing room to fit the pieces together. And I needed some breathing room to followup and share on social media the way I desired before Early Bird expires.  So that price is there for you through February.  At this point the retreat is almost half-filled. So if you want to come I so hope you will go ahead and reserve one of the remaining 7 spots.  Also I want to let you know I’ve been having some techy problems with my email (if that weird formatting overlay is happening for you today I’m so sorry. I’m on to Mailchimp about it). Once I get that sorted I’ll be sharing the fun video from my Zoom Q & A call plus other followup emails about the retreat + details about a referral bonus (for those of you who can’t make it but invite a friend.)

Love + All the Good,

Courtney

PS  Read on for how you can help + reply here with your thoughts! Who knows you might even make it into my book!

Here is what we know:

I am writing a book for recovering overachievers.

Not just any overachievers — do-gooder women who to change the world but discover unhappily in the process of attempting to do so that if they are not careful their passion to make a difference will eat up their whole lives.

So I know that my book is a guide for how to sync up the inner resources to be able to make your greatest contribution (creatively, in your work etc) And have a beautiful, fulfilling personal life. A whole life. Which btw I think is a really important “feminine” value we could use more of right about now… Not compartmentalizing. But owning all of you (mom, messy human, secret soap-maker, the works!) even in your public or real world “zone of genius.”

So…. here is what I don’t know. How would my ideal reader describe her problem in her own words?

What would she (or you) look to a book to help with?

The best I can come up with so far is she feels squeezed and probably has a vague, guilty sense she should be meditating or doing something “centering” to help all the pieces of her life hang together better.

But I need to be waaaay more specific. (Remember stern talking to from Book Coach?!)

If this resonates with you (and you would even like to read such a book) could you tell me what you would be searching for to help you in your situation?

Or how you would wrap words around what feels out of whack in your life when in “overachiever” mode?

And where you look or have looked in the past for help.

Any comments, ideas, phrases, fragments welcome– the more informal the better. How you would talk to a girlfriend about your struggle.

Just imagine you could sit down right next to me in one of my new favorite places, the botanical gardens in San Miguel de Allende and tell me all about it. Seriously I would love to hear.

And before you write a single word thank you! Thanks for reading. Thanks for encouraging. Thanks for your ideas. We can’t do this kind of work alone. Of this I am certain.

xxxo Courtney

You are invited to gather with other women in a home with a gorgeous interior courtyard enjoying a consciously curated experience where alone time is balanced with meaningful conversations and lively small group coaching sessions, where you have time to sit by (or in) a heated pool and journal, to listen to yourself and to be deeply heard, practice yoga (or not), enjoy the daily siesta with an actual nap (because we hear ourselves better when well rested) or by exploring the city on a solo adventure or with new or old friends — drinking up its ancient beauty and marketplaces.

Your experience will also include meal offerings of delicious, fresh local food, (breakfast, lunch and a snack, because you need good nourishment) and teaching sessions on incisive tools for self-awareness including the Enneagram and dream analysis. Evenings are free to explore, to rest, to enjoy local dining, to share, to listen, to read, to write, to get a pedicure or manicure, to buy a fabulous scarf. To drink hot chocolate and crumbly Mexican pastries. To enjoy.

Because beyond all of the beauty around you also hear the invitation to step deeper inside your own interior landscape….. I’m so excited to be sharing this new body of work with you for the first time live in this retreat. You will also be among the first to receive a copy of my new book! Space is limited. Reserve Your Spot Today! 

Courtney Pinkerton, M.Div & M.PP, is a holistic life coach and the founder of Bird in Hand Coaching. She holds dual masters degrees from Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Kennedy School, is the host of the Summer of Meditation Challenge and publishes a popular blog on soulful living. Courtney teaches regularly on the Enneagram (a personality map), meditation, and mindbody practices to reduce stress as well as supporting other “soulpreneurs,” aka women who want to lead with heart in their work + lives. She lives in Oak Cliff, Texas with her husband Richard Amory where they try to keep up with their three children and remember to water their garden boxes. You can read more about her coaching options here or Courtney can be reached directly at cp@courtneypinkerton.com

Want to get the latest from Courtney?



You are Invited to Flourish A Retreat for Women in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico this May

Have you ever peeked inside some fabulous gate or stone hallway to an interior courtyard and wondered what is going on in there?

Thought – “I wish I could go inside” or “What if I lived there?”

This is your opportunity to come into such a space.

Literally to put yourself in San Miguel de Allende, a town replete with hidden courtyards and lime trees blooming year round and fountains and bougainvillea blossoms raining down from every side.

To gather with other women in such a home enjoying a consciously curated experience where alone time is balanced with meaningful conversations and lively small group coaching sessions, where you have time to sit by (or in) a heated pool and journal, to listen to yourself and to be deeply heard, practice yoga (or not), enjoy the daily siesta with an actual nap (because we hear ourselves better when well rested) or by exploring the city on a solo adventure or with new friends — drinking up its ancient beauty and marketplaces.

Your experience will also include meal offerings of delicious, fresh local food sourced from a nearby organic farm, (breakfast, lunch and a snack, because you need good nourishment) and teaching sessions on incisive tools for self-awareness including the Enneagram, meditation and dream analysis. Evenings are free to explore, to rest, to enjoy San Miguel dining, to share, to listen, to read, to write, to get a pedicure or manicure, to buy a fabulous scarf. To drink hot chocolate and crumbly Mexican pastries. To enjoy.

Because beyond all of the beauty around you also hear the invitation to step deeper inside your own interior landscape.

Like the plain stone facades of homes which belie their luscious interior, as women we also sometimes feel like we are wearing stone: one part protection from other’s judgments (or our perceptions of their critique) another part a slow thickening of the skin which comes with ignoring our own body and soul needs in little and big ways in our service of others.

There is another way…

One which doubles down on your feminine knowing. Where you can be authentic with yourself and others and design your own custom formula for the life you desire from the inside out. And (here is the surprising bit) discover that in so doing you are more of service than ever before.

I want to issue a personal invitation to my upcoming event Flourish — A Retreat for Women May 4-7 in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. 

Click on the video above to learn more.

I am also hosting a Zoom call at 12 Noon CST Tuesday February 7 to answer any questions + talk further. (Call-in details below)

Space is limited for this boutique gathering: our VIP spots have already filled as have two additional retreat spots so we have space for 8 more women. If you are feeling like one of those spots is for you I encourage you to check out all the details below and register. My retreat at Ghost Ranch last year sold out, so I hope you take advantage of your Early Bird status (which saves you $200) and grab your space in this unique gathering today!

Keep reading for all the juicy details and photos (the best part) plus your link to register.

All the good,

Courtney

PS I also offer a friend’s referral bonus of $100 and a convenient payment plan which allows you to secure your spot today and space out payments. xo
I’m so excited to be sharing a new body of work for the first time at this retreat which is all about how to generate our most dynamic contributions via the (counter-intuitive) choice of creating space for stillness, renewal, and soul in everyday life. You will also be the first to receive a copy of my new book (which this content is drawn from)!

In addition to the teaching + coaching sessions, guided meditations, siesta time and other free time to lounge by the pool, yoga and delicious local food a percentage of your registration fee includes a donation to support the work of Via Organica, a local organic farm which teaches sustainable agriculture.  

The ambiance created by the sounds of chirping birds, church bells ringing, and the beautiful bougainvillea-lined street enhance this home which has been newly expanded and remodeled by a master architect.

Located just three blocks from the Jardin (the main plaza) in downtown San Miguel de Allende (SMA) Casa Suspiro del Pueblito is a gem. This beautiful home is laid out across two courtyards, in true San Miguel Colonial style. The first vibrant courtyard is centered around an old stone fountain and boasts brightly flowered vines. The second, larger courtyard, is serene with towering stone walls, a beautiful heated pool, relaxing waterfall, and fragrant flowers throughout. All of this is overlooked from the spacious indoor/outdoor room with large fireplace — the perfect place to relax and enjoy.

With sparkling blue skies, rooftop terraces, and authentic Mexican hospitality San Miguel is a UNESCO World-Heritage site. An art and cultural gem, during your exploration of its cobblestone streets you can enjoy colonial architecture, contemporary art galleries, and traditional craft markets. During your free time (or better yet stay an extra day!) visit a nearby hotsprings, a botanical garden or enjoy a massage or other treatment at a local spa. (We have recommendations, inquire for details!)

Photo credit Eileen West. www.westofwhimsy.com


Our retreat starts at 5:00PM on Thursday May 4 with an informal gathering, meditation and opportunity to meet the other participants over bites and drinks. We conclude Sunday May 7 with a special morning session and meditation ending at 10AM so you can travel or better yet stay for another day of explorations.

The retreat includes breakfast, lunch and snacks as well as my new book and a folder full of juicy resources + other treats.

Airfare is not included. The best airport to fly into usually is Leon’s Del Bajio International Airport (BJX). There is a shuttle service BajioGo from there to San Miguel (a 90 minute drive.) You can make reservations online for the shuttle for around $40.

For accommodations during the retreat you have two options:

Your Early Bird rate covers your full retreat experience with breakfast and lunch together, group coaching + teaching sessions on the Enneagram, Dream Analysis and more, lounging or swimming at the house during the day, a copy of my book, written materials and other treats plus the option of purchasing two additional coaching sessions.

This choice gives you flexibility in your accommodations. You select and book your room from one of three boutique hotels/bed and breakfasts within a matter of blocks from the home with high recommendations and a range of pricing options:

Hotel Options (These all come recommended by San Miguel natives)

Casa Carly (Most Affordable Option. Eight “Casitas” of varying sizes on property. About a ten minute walk from the retreat house.)

Casa Calderoni (Cute, Mid-Range Option. Next door to the retreat house.)

Casa Clandestino (Boutique Hotel with a more contemporary style + luxury and a range of suites available. About a twelve minute walk to the retreat house.)

Or you can always book via AirBnB, there are many fun options in the city available.

The VIP Offer includes staying in the retreat house with your own private bedroom and bath. It also includes two additional coaching sessions (one before, one after the retreat via phone) plus the option of staying an extra night on Wednesday May 3rd. This is a great option for someone wanting more relaxation time or to to create their own writing retreat. (Katie, a gifted life-coach and my assistant for this gathering and I will be in the house with you the night before but we won’t bother you other than to inquire if you need more coffee, tea or chocolate!) It is also a great value as it includes a four night stay in a luxury home plus two coaching sessions ($425 value.) Also a fun option for friends who want to stay in the house together. I only have two VIP spaces so please register as soon as possible if this is the option for you! Price is $1997. The VIP Slots are filled for this year.

Space is limited to 12 women and 4 of those spots have already filled.  My last retreat at Ghost Ranch sold out, so I encourage you to secure your spot today by clicking the “I’m in!” button below. The Early Bird Offer expires on Friday February 10 2017.

Here is what some participants at previous retreats or live teaching events have had to say:

“ALL I COULD WANT IS MORE.”

I’ve been to many trainings and I can say I have never felt so loved and cared for… All of the time and intention you put into the retreat were noticed and appreciated. All I could want is MORE.

Aimee, Marketing Coach + Speaker, www.authenticarticulations.com

“COURTNEY BRINGS EXPERTISE WHILE BEING APPROACHABLE.”

You have such a beautiful teaching presence. I find it absolutely amazing at how you manage to bring full expertise and skill, all the while being approachable and invitational and empowering. You are a true teacher. Also, I loved hearing you speaking Spanish!

Skyler McGee, Visual Artist

“ONE OF THE BEST GIFTS I HAVE EVER GIVEN MYSELF.”

Karen Cameron, Quilter + Non-Profit Leader

“TOP FIVE OF BEST PROGRAMS WE HAVE EVER DONE.”

I’m at a loss for just the right words to tell you how exactly right your message was. I have heard so many positive comments and knew we got it “right”. To me, this was in the top 5 of the best programs we have ever done. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Jerri, Generations Director at Methodist Health System

*A percentage of your registration fee goes to support a non profit local organic farm in San Miguel promoting sustainable growing practices.

Have More Questions? This Section is For You!

Join me for a Zoom call — which you can join via phone or video — on Tuesday February 7th at 1PM Eastern / 12PM Central / 11AM Mountain /10AM Pacific.

You can join from your computer, Iphone or tablet if you would like to see my face and share yours via video. Or you can just call in via the telephone, whichever you prefer! Link and number provided below:

Join from your computer here

Or iPhone one-tap (US Toll)

Or Telephone:
Dial: +1 408 638 0968 (US Toll) or +1 646 558 8656 (US Toll)
Meeting ID: 381 121 106
International numbers available here:

Read on for some common questions answered:

Q: Where do I fly to?

A. The best airport to fly into is Leon’s Del Bajio International Airport (BJX). There are numerous direct flights to Leon from major cities in the U.S. including Dallas, Houston and Los Angeles and the airport is serviced by American Airlines, Volaris, Aeromexico, Interjet and more. If you are able to stay a little longer, like Wednesday to Monday (and if you can, you totally should!) the price is often discounted.

We will be in Mexico for Cinco de Mayo! Totally fun! But also a good reminder to go ahead and book your flight once you register since it is a holiday weekend.

Q: How do I get from the airport to the retreat house or my hotel?

A. There is a shuttle service BajioGo from the airport to San Miguel (a 90 minute drive.) You can make reservations online for the shuttle for around $40. You do not have to speak Spanish. They hold up a sign for you and the airport is quite small. They will then take you directly to either our retreat house or your boutique hotel. (The retreat begins at 5pm Thursday May 4 with bites and drinks + our opening session.) When you reserve the shuttle you put in your destination address and they deliver you to your door!

Depending what day/time you arrive there will likely be other women attending the retreat on your shuttle as well as other interesting folks. San Miguel attracts a fun and diverse crowd in my experience. I’ve met other coaches, artists and more on the shuttle.

Q: Are VIP Slots still available?

A. The VIP slots are filled.

Q: Do I book my hotel myself?

A. Yes. Your Early Bird rate covers your full retreat experience with breakfast and lunch together, group coaching + teaching sessions on the Enneagram, Dream Analysis and more, lounging or swimming at the house during the day, a copy of my book, written materials and other treats plus one bonus coaching session via phone either before or after our gathering.

This option gives you flexibility in your accommodation choice. Also I don’t normally offer one coaching session at a time (clients usually invest in six or ten session bundles) so this is a great way to get a taste of coaching and to reinforce and integrate the lessons from the retreat once you are back at home. Early Bird price is $997 (a discount of $200 from the regular registration rate.) There is also a payment plan of four monthly payments of $250.

Hotel Options (These all come recommended by San Miguel natives)

Casa Carly (Most Affordable Option. Eight “Casitas” of varying sizes on property. About a ten minute walk from the retreat house.)

Casa Calderoni (Cute, Mid-Range Option. Next door to the retreat house.)

Casa Clandestino (Boutique Hotel with a more contemporary style and a range of suites available. About a twelve minute walk to the retreat house.)

Or you can always book via AirBnB, there are many fun options in the city available.

Q. What is the plan for the food?

A. The plan for the food is delicious, local and organic from Via Organica, a local cafe connected to a local nonprofit organic farm that supports sustainable agriculture. (A percentage of your registration fee also goes in a donation to support their work.) I’m very into good food and attending to folks with diet preferences, so there will be gluten free, vegetarian and other options. Just let me know what you need! (I’ll send a brief survey after registration to get more details.)

Q. I am coming by myself. Will there be groups of people getting together for dinner and other outings? 

A. Absolutely! Most participants come by themselves and many make lasting friendships. There is a friend duo coming this year who met last year at Ghost Ranch and have stayed in touch throughout the year and decided to register together for this year’s event. It is a great space to meet other women. Katie (who is on my team for this event and also a life coach) is what I call a “hospitality goddess.” So she is extra good at making sure everyone knows about outing options and has a buddy or group to join if they are looking for companionship. You can also feel totally comfortable enjoying some alone time. Often women go back to their room and nap, especially on the first day it is just what their body needs!

Q: Can I bring a friend?

A. Yes! In fact I have a friend referral bonus so if you do bring a friend let me know and I’ll send you $100 as a thank you for introducing her to our retreat.

Q: Does this offer expire?

A. Yes the insider offer has been extended and expires Friday February 3 when I open registration to my full list. This offer went out only to my “insiders” those who have been to a live event before, coaching clients, those who joined one of my eCourses or classes and others who reached out to me about this event. I am offering it to you so that you have the first opportunity to join (my last retreat at Ghost Ranch did sell out) and with some extras including the bonus coaching session for the Early Bird offer, which I won’t be offering after tonight.

Q. Can you swim in the pool?

A. Absolutely! I hope you do. It is heated.

Q. What kind of things should I bring?

A. Bring a journal and a good pen, a camera, a dream journal if you have one dedicated to that purpose (or want to pick one up.) If you are an artist you may want to bring art supplies as well. The light in San Miguel is magic! I’ll be providing you with a folder with lots of juicy materials and the copy of my book either in electronic or print form so you will have lots to reflect on. But I always think it is best to integrate written material into your real life (not the “training folder” on your shelf that you never pick up again.) So if you have a journal or notebook you keep your life notes or inspiration in I’d certainly encourage you to bring that.

Also bring those TLC items which make you feel really well-cared for when you travel. For me this is a mini diffuser and some favorite essential oils, my Neti pot (too much information?!) and some favorite tea. I’ll be providing you with great coffee and tea and meals and snacks but if you have any specific other things, a favorite scarf which makes you feel cozy, you get the idea, definitely bring those.

I’ll be sending out more details about what to pack and wear to participants as well. San Miguel is in the mountains so layers are good.

Q. I am an artist and I want to bring paints. Should I pack those or can I pick them up in San Miguel?

A. San Miguel is an art town! I would definitely encourage you to bring whatever supplies you would enjoy. I would check with your particular airlines around any restrictions on paints or anything flammable. There is an art supply store in San Miguel as well if you need to pick anything up.

El Pato
http://www.directoriosanmiguel.com/ad/13/artist-materials-and-tools/el-pato

Q. I’m totally into it but not sure I am not sure I have the time or can afford it…

A. First of all I totally trust your sense of right timing and if this is the right investment for you. That said, here are a couple of strategies for making it more affordable:

Opt for the Early Bird payment plan. This lets you space out the payments over four months at $250/month.
One of the 3 hotel options is cute and more affordable. It includes little “casitas” on the property which start at $85/night. http://www.casacarlysanmiguel.com and Lastly bring a friend! I’m offering a friend referral bonus of $100 so that would bring your price down to $897 for the event and meals.(Which again you could space out.) You would still have dinners on your own but a whole range of options there, including some which are super cheap and yummy. Plus you can share a room!

Also I want to mention that it is definitely a mindset shift sometimes to invest in ourselves to this degree. My coaching journey began with someone paying for me to go on a retreat or I’m sure I wouldn’t have even gotten started.

Since then I have invested in many coaches at many price points. It is always a totally personal decision but I find that with this kind of inner reflection it is so wonderful when we as women are able to invest in an experience like San Miguel because we show up really fully for ourselves inside of it. So then the learning and “ahas” are all the more powerful.

Q. I am interested in visiting the hot springs. Where can I get more information about that:

yes and yes and yes!! Definitely recommend it.

La Gruta Open Wed -Sun 7AM -5PM.

Watch this fun video.

and Escondido Place Closed Tuesdays. 8AM-5:30PM

So there you go! All you wanted to know and more.
Please email cp@courtneypinkerton.com with any additional questions. My intention is to for you feel totally resourced and informed and fully invited to join us in Mexico! Ready to Go? Secure your spot and register here.

xxo Courtney

Photo Credits from Eileen West of westofwhimsy.com, www.homeaway.com, and Richard Amory.

Courtney Pinkerton, M.Div & M.PP, is a holistic life coach and the founder of Bird in Hand Coaching. She holds dual masters degrees from Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Kennedy School, is the host of the Summer of Meditation Challenge and publishes a popular blog on soulful living. Courtney teaches regularly on the Enneagram (a personality map), meditation, and mindbody practices to reduce stress as well as supporting other “soulpreneurs,” aka women who want to lead with heart in their work + lives. She lives in Oak Cliff, Texas with her husband Richard Amory where they try to keep up with their three children and remember to water their garden boxes. You can read more about her coaching options here or Courtney can be reached directly at cp@courtneypinkerton.com.
Want to get the latest from Courtney?



My Favorite Question + Photo Reveal for Retreat in Mexico

My favorite question when meeting someone new has long been “What have you been loving lately?”* I think it gets around two big roadblocks: our over-emphasis on work i.e. “What do you do?” and the superficial exchange i.e. “How are you?” which tends to elicit a “fine” regardless of the deeper reality.

But lately I’m flirting with a new question – “What have you been creating lately?” Because after a week in which I hosted my Soulpreneur Virtual Retreat (with women birthing new writing, business dreams and more) and spent most of the rest of the time crafting the invitation to my upcoming retreat in Mexico I feel like I am on very intimate terms with the creative process. It is all I want to talk about.

Not the whole arc of it, which as you know can take months or years. But the acute, most intense phase. Where you are literally bringing something through the veil from the world of ideas, dreams, intentions to the material plane aka “the real world” where other people can interact with it. (This doorway from San Miguel reminds me of such a liminal zone.)

One thing which confused me for years about the creative process is its relationship with our own stress response.

With coaching clients and in my own life I work with the body compass. Essentially the language of the body is expansion when pointed in a direction which aligns for you or contraction when you are making a decision which doesn’t jive with your essential self.

We all have many layers. Your essential self is that deepest, most truthful part of you whereas your social self is the part which wants to play by the rules and be seen as successful or fitting in. Maybe the easiest explanation of the difference is to simply remember a time when your head was talking you into something because you “should” do it and your gut was protesting fiercely.

But decoding the body compass is not always that simple. Because we don’t usually have a lot of practice listening to it. In fact we are taught in school and many families to override the body nudges and to hold in or push down the somatic or emotional feelings that get in the way of moving ahead.

But, and this I think is the really interesting part, there is another way our body compass read gets muddy.

When we are actually stretching into a really juicy, brave, interesting decision and in so doing trip our own stress response.

So on the deepest level your body/soul voice may be saying hell yes! And your poor amygdala which is always on the lookout for threats interprets all that extra energy coursing through your body and the natural dose of fear of the unknown as if it were a tiger about to pounce. Hello fight or flight response!

As my favorite Ennea teacher reminds me, the body “boots us out of presence” on both ends of the continuum: when something really threatening is happening and when something completely amazing is happening that is more than we let ourselves imagine for our lives aka when we are scarecited!

So….the next time you are ready to sit down and write something brave or invest some significant cash securing a fabulous home in Mexico based on your heart/gut sense that women do in fact want to travel internationally to retreat with you, or otherwise create in a way which stretches your comfort –- remember this conversation. And see if you can attend to the extra support you might need to move the energy of your fight/flight/freeze response through your tissues.

How to Move Your Stress Energy While Creating? 

This whole process of pulling together details for the international retreat has gone slower than my social self would have liked. Communicating with the international host and getting the contract signed, working with my VA to confirm availability and details about the boutique hotels near the retreat venue (for those not staying in the house), making a video to invite you into the retreat.

But it was being born in its own time. And as I shared this week on social media I required frequent breaks to bring this retreat vision through to the other side. I even started running again (normally I’m a walker) just out of the sheer need to discharge some of my excitement! Talking with friends and getting coaching was also vital. As was making out with my husband. And acupuncture and Chinese herbs. Eating warm lunches.

All of these help move the extra energy of creation through my tissues and send the message to my body and nervous system that “Hey, we got this!”

I’m working on so many fun details regarding my retreat including a payment plan for those of you who would like to space out your investment in monthly chunks. Here are some photos to whet the appetite:



See?!! I literally fall asleep sometimes just feeling like I’m already in this house with those of you who likewise know that it is just what you need: to stretch yourself, to reawaken your senses, to nourish yourself on the deepest level.

Maybe that sounds weird but I think that is part of the process of conscious creation. Becoming the person who wrote the book, who hosted the international retreat or who created a life that she loved. And taking small actions today from that place, while taking care of your nervous system along the way.

So friends, next week. Next week.

Warmly, Courtney
PS I do have a special offer for those who can handle my “rough cut” and who expressed an interest in this retreat either via social media or attending a previous one. If this is you but you didn’t yet fill out my survey or otherwise indicate your interest contact me at cp@courtneypinkerton.com and I’ll send you the pre-offer pronto. xo
*Credit to my friend the gifted writer and teacher Sarah Moore for this great question. Photo Credit my fabulous VA and gifted photographer Eileen West.

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Could You Use a Do-Over? New Year Virtual Retreat Details + Big News

Let’s meet in the greenhouse to squeeze some fruit, shall we? This is my vision for the upcoming Soulpreneur virtual retreat this Thursday Jan 26th. A time to check in on what has been growing in your life. Take a bite. See what is ready to be planted in your work, creativity, home and rest. If you feel like the New Year got away from you… this is for you!

I am opening the Soulpreneur Mastermind for 2017 to new members for one week only, so if you are interested I hope you will register today! I have also created a new option where you can get one on one support alongside our regular monthly group call (which in January includes the virtual retreat.)

I also want to let you know that I have some big news coming next week about my Spring Retreat. It is happening in San Miguel de Allende at the most gorgeous house you could imagine. Heated pool, interior courtyard, fabulosity.

It has been a boisterous week as I figured out if all the pieces were going to come together. Oh yes and starting my 9 week “idea to done” book program. I’ve had to use my own soulpreneur skillz (and wise coach friends) to stay connected and hopeful. But now I literally can’t wait to tell you _all_ about it. For now get your passport ready and put the dates May 4-7 on your calendar. And thank you to everyone who completed my online quiz + responded on Facebook with your preferences, that was a huge gift to me in discerning next steps.

xxo Courtney “Feel the Stretch and Do it Anyway” Pinkerton

Who needs a Soulpreneur Mastermind?

If you are a creative woman who wants to feel more intentional about your busy schedule

You want to write more

To invest in a new biz or side biz

Or to deepen inside existing work + roles so that they better match your unique gifts and contributions

You can gain a community of fellow dreamers and doers, my favorite resources for breaking big goals into “turtle steps,” plus encouragement for taking that dream from “out there” to “right here and totally possible.”

Read on for all the details of this month’s theme + reply back to me with any questions.

Next week for the virtual retreat we meet at 9am. Zoom call if you want to see my face and share yours or just call in, whichever you prefer.

Then I’ll lead us in a guided meditation together.

We will spend a few minutes warming up our brains and covering any questions about resources I have shared with the Mastermind.

Then I’ll review the highlights from my audio lesson on how to design your own custom retreat. Then it is intention time. I used to be annoyed by setting intensions. But now I think I better understand, it is a humble posture. A way of claiming how you want to offer yourself to a certain time or practice even as you remain open.

So we will each name how will use the morning. It is a great time to couple some intensional self-care +meditation with mapping out your upcoming 6 months or year and identifying the core themes. (I’ll be sharing my super simple yet strangely effective sticky note practice.)

Then we will set about our unique work and reconvene at 1pm CST to share what we accomplished.

If you can’t spend the whole time retreating that is fine too! You can just join the call 1-2:15PM or join us in the morning too but not dedicate your whole day to the retreat. Totally up to you to custom create what you need. I will be present in the accompanying Facebook group if any questions pop up. And of course the whole thing will be recorded so you could easily use it as a guide for a retreat on a weekend or other day.

Also wanted to mention what I’ll be covering in the audio call to help you prep for retreat:

3 tips for clearing space in your mind and consciousness for your custom retreat

What not to do in a retreat

My favorite resources to draw from to guide your time in the retreat

What to have on hand

Suggestions on when and how to retreat even in a busy schedule.

So if this sounds fun to you I’d love to have you! You can register here!
The audio lesson and written guide is now available in your private members page — instructions following once you join.

Reply here with any questions and hope to “see” you soon!

Warmly,

Courtney

I’ve included the details about our Jan, Feb, and March Soulpreneur topics below.

Here is what you can expect in 2017:

Our first call will be a super fun optional half day virtual retreat.

We will still have our regular audio lesson and written guide for January released ahead of our call on how to design your own custom soulpreneur retreat. We will then have our regular live group call (and chance for coaching around the content and goals) on the 26th from 1-2:15PM. For those who are interested in the virtual retreat, we will a bonus rendezvous on Zoom so we can see each others faces — or you can simply call in if you don’t like Zoom — at 9am that morning to set intentions for the day and do some opening activities. Then we will break and each work on our own goals and reconvene with the group call at 1pm.

Sound fun?

Also I’ve opened up a combo package where Mastermind members can get a one on one coaching session with me each month. So you will see that option including the coaching plus other payment options for the Mastermind available on the registration link.

Then my sense is we need a chance to exhale. So February will be our self love/integration month with no new content but a bonus live Q and A call so you will have our regular group coaching session plus another call. This will free up lots of time for your questions to be answered about any of the content we have covered so far and also your own Soulpreneur goals. *New members will also have access to a library of previous lessons in this month on the Change Cycle, Creating Your Freedom Calendar, and Discovering Your Super Powers. So lot’s of content to enjoy! Dates for Feb calls are Thursday Feb 2 and Thursday Feb 16 1-2:15PM). All calls will be recorded.

Lastly March we will be talking about celebration. If you think this is lame, fluffy stuff — o contraire! It is a super important tool for Soulpreneurs and change agents of any stripe. So we will be talking about how (and why) to celebrate the wins in your life and honoring your accomplishments in this group — big or small! March Mastermind live call is Thursday 23rd 1-2:15PM.

I only have 2 spots remaining for Mastermind members who would like the option for one on one coaching support. (In the private call we will be focusing on you and your specific goals– so that you can get super clear on next steps and have the support and accountability to follow through.) So if you know you are ready to invest in your own momentum with some targeted one on one support I hope you will reserve your spot today. Here is your registration link.
Here is a reminder of what we have covered so far and where we are headed with this Soulpreneur Mastermind:

Thursday October 20 Where are You in the Change Cycle?

Thursday November 10 Craft Your Freedom Schedule

Thursday December 15 What are Your Super-Powers?

Thursday January 26 Soulpreneur Virtual Biz Retreat (Mapping Your Year)

Thursday February 2 & 16 Integration Month: This is your chance to catch your breath, show yourself some love, and ask any questions which have come up so far as well as get coached on your unique challenges in the bonus Q & A call.

Thursday March 23 Celebration!
Courtney Pinkerton, M.Div & M.PP, is a holistic life coach and the founder of Bird in Hand Coaching. She holds dual masters degrees from Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Kennedy School, is the host of the Summer of Meditation Challenge and publishes a popular blog on soulful living. Courtney teaches regularly on the Enneagram (a personality map), meditation, and mindbody practices to reduce stress as well as supporting other “soulpreneurs,” aka women who want to lead with heart in their work + lives. She lives in Oak Cliff, Texas with her husband Richard Amory where they try to keep up with their three children and remember to water their garden boxes. You can read more about her coaching options here or Courtney can be reached directly at cp@courtneypinkerton.com.
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Want to Run Away to Mexico with Me? (Real Question… Quiz Inside)

Are you feeling behind already? Let’s not — OK?

Let’s do less, live more in 2017.

I’m in a process of learning how to set priorities like I’ve never done before. Rather than run around with that wack-a-mole energy I’m making the choice, day by day and moment by moment to concentrate my energy around my deepest desires.

Which for the next three months is writing my first book under the guidance of a book coach.

I’ve been so inspired by the community of fellow authors. People who have written books while homeless. (I’m not kidding). While they had cancer. I mean come on.

These authors faced extreme circumstances but I don’t mean to minimize the struggles we all have to integrate care of self, care of beloveds, care of finances, care of home, and care of work priorities.

My writing program starts next week and my kids just went back to school yesterday. (Well technically it was Tuesday but Rosetta didn’t get my memo titled “Please G*d Go Back to School” and instead woke us all up in the dawn hours throwing up.)

So in this day of blissful silence as I prepare for the next season of my life I am attuned to a fierce wind blowing. I only have bandwidth for the most true things within me. Not the partial truths or the “have-to’s.”

This is where you come in.

As I’ve hinted I have been doing some research with my lovely virtual assistant on retreat locations for the May. This gathering will be similar to my Ghost Ranch offering last year but this time I’m going out on my own.

While Austin in all ways makes much more sense (people can drive there and it is fun and fabulous) my heart was hijacked by my recent trip to San Miguel de Allende, a UNESCO World heritage site and cultural gem in the highlands of central Mexico. And my soul is whispering go for it.

It is where I want to take you for transformational work.

It meets my requirements for being nature-drenched. (Enjoy a trip to the botanical gardens with an experiential herb labyrinth garden. Swoon. Or come a day early or late to immerse yourself in the hotsprings.)

But actually what it does most of all is match my desire for taking you somewhere beauty-drenched.

I wish I could share the pics of the place I’m considering renting but I’m awaiting a digital copy from the owner. But take my word for it: heated pool, courtyard, churchbells and bird calls. It delights the senses.

As women I think we need to honor drinking in beauty as a spiritual practice– a way to invite all of ourselves into our metamorphasis process, not just the more heady or pushy aspects of our personality.

(Have you noticed that barking at yourself around those New Year’s resolutions isn’t effective?)

The select group of women who join will be guided through group coaching sessions centered around themes in my upcoming book. Things like how to live with more ease and less struggle. And how to let go of external expectations to design a life which fits you from the inside out. (And ironically, frees you to contribute your most potent content in your professional and creative life.) Plus my favorite tools and processes for gaining clarity and breaking large goals into turtle steps. They will also be among the first to receive a copy of my book.

So — and this is an open and honest question. Are you into it?

Tentative Dates are Thurs May 4 -Sun May 7.

I know there are many more questions to answer, details on pricing, what is included (here is a hint, I’ll be bringing my husband who has years of catering experience and is an amazing chef to provide us with delicious, healthy fare), accommodation options and more.

But for now its just my heart talking to yours — I’ve put together a brief quiz for you and can’t wait to hear your preferences!

Warmly,

Courtney

Photo Nov 12, 6 14 05 PMCourtney Pinkerton, M.Div & M.PP, is a holistic life coach and the founder of Bird in Hand Coaching. She holds dual masters degrees from Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Kennedy School, is the host of the Summer of Meditation Challenge and publishes a popular blog on soulful living. Courtney teaches regularly on the Enneagram, meditation, and MindBody practices as well as supporting other “soulpreneurs,” aka women who want to lead with heart in their work + lives. She lives in Oak Cliff, Texas with her husband Richard Amory where they try to keep up with their three children and remember to water their garden boxes. You can read more about her coaching options here or Courtney can be reached directly at cp@courtneypinkerton.com.

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Be Seen in 2017

That moment when you are dripping at your desk capturing a thought you just had in the shower and your six your old with her freshly brushed teeth all ready for bed sits down next to you and says mommy, is that your book?

Aaah. Yes. Yes it is.

Here’s to 2017. May it be full of moments ripe with tenderness and being seen for exactly who you are.

Love and all the good,

Courtney

Photo Nov 12, 6 14 05 PMCourtney Pinkerton, M.Div & M.PP, is a holistic life coach and the founder of Bird in Hand Coaching. She holds dual masters degrees from Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Kennedy School, is the host of the Summer of Meditation Challenge and publishes a popular blog on soulful living. Courtney teaches regularly on the Enneagram, meditation, and MindBody practices as well as supporting other “soulpreneurs,” aka women who want to lead with heart in their work + lives. She lives in Oak Cliff, Texas with her husband Richard Amory where they try to keep up with their three children and remember to water their garden boxes. You can read more about her coaching options here or Courtney can be reached directly at cp@courtneypinkerton.com.

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How I Get Ready for the New Year (3 Questions You Want to Answer)

Let’s clear your inner ‘to-do’ list, shall we?

I’ve been watching all the tips and tricks from coaches, lifestyle gurus, and mindfulness guides as the year ends. I’ve even done some and enjoyed them. You too?

But it got me curious — what am I hungry for? What do I need to clear out this season so I can open to the next?

Sometimes we look outside for the perfect formula, when there is a gentle interior invitation beckoning.

Here is what bubbled forth for me this week as I had some extra time to wrap up the year.

I hope it inspires you craft your own custom process. Or try this one on and take what you like.

Wishing you a very Merry Everything. And a gorgeous New Year with lots of space for the new!

Courtney
PS I’ll be traveling to warm water with my beloveds over the holidays but will open my coaching calendar again in January. Space is limited. If you know you would like some TLC in nurturing those 2017 goals + dreams (remember #Wearen’tmeanttodothisallalone?) send me a quick email at cp@courtneypinkerton.com so we can preserve your spot. xo

How I Get Ready for the New Year

Step Number One:

Whiteboard Your Thoughts. Set the timer on your phone. Give yourself 20 minutes and a blank page in a journal or on your computer. Let it rip! Gather all those things you are carrying around internally — they really tax your bandwidth. It could be little things or big things in your work or life. Include also your volunteer action items. Gifts which need to be purchased. Appointments which need to be made. ALL OF IT. Get it in one space. If you have one or more current “to-do” lists going (I realized I had two by accident!) capture those items in this list as well.

This is the most important step. So often we carry around an internal set of to do lists, things we are just keeping track of in our mind or psyche. This is a huge drain. We need to trust ourselves to capture it and have a system that works for us.

(If you want to really go for the gold here you can also clean up saved or ignored emails so you feel confident you have captured it all. This alone has taken me a few days – I got kind of behind with non urgent correspondence after Thanksgiving. It happens! Let yourself begin the new year fresh.)

Step Number Two:

Tell the Truth

Check in with each item on your list and make sure you still want to do it. Do you really or is it just a “should” you have hanging around? This drains energy. Make a clean yes or no decision for now.

I’ll give you an example. About a year ago I went into a fierce reading frenzy around organizing our family finances + long term planning. I read a bunch of books and one of them suggested that instead of a will it is better to create a living trust.

It sounded like a good idea but as you can imagine there are many steps to implement it.

Later I talked with a family member who specializes in estate planning and he said it isn’t really necessary in Texas. (OK obviously I’m not giving you legal/financial advice here. You already knew that, right?)

This living trust item lingered on my list. Should I or shouldn’t I?

I ultimately decided that while there were a few other action items I needed to do to tidy up our will (which I have in motion to finish up in the next few days) I didn’t need to pursue this whole other legal structure right now.

So it is off the list. Not there at the bottom making eyes at me while I don’t do it.

So that is a pretty boring example. But our list (indeed life itself) is full of such mundane things. Remember, evaluate each item. It has to earn its way into your gorgeous plan for 2017.

Also notice your body compass as you engage your list.

Perhaps one of your “to-dos” isn’t just a thing you are lukewarm about but haven’t gotten to yet. Perhaps, likely even, you feel a bit icky about it and really don’t ever feel like doing it.

If you feel a subtle “ick” about any item on your list (i.e. have a negative body compass read) pause right away.

This is your opportunity for an integrity cleanse. (Thanks to Martha Beck for this great phrase).

If something is out of alignment for you. Recalibrate.

For example as a recovering overachiever and people-pleaser I can get out ahead of myself sometimes, particularly in relationships. Over-giving, taking on more than I actually want to do. Avoiding conflict.

But the body doesn’t lie.

Often we talk ourselves into things as requirements which really are not. Also life is constantly changing. And what can keep us from upleveling into the beautiful life we want today are the commitments we made previously which no longer fit us.

So if something doesn’t feel like a clean yes then don’t put that puppy on your 2017 list.

Instead ask these questions:

Do you really want to do it? Could you simply not? If so — bag it! Say “Sorry I have another commitment.” You do! Your commitment to your spacious life full only of the things which satisfy you and through which you feel most alive, generative and of service.

Could you get some help so you aren’t doing it all yourself?Identify specifically the support you need. Line it up. Schedule it in your calendar.

Could you make the process of doing it better somehow?With cozy pants, a dedicated chunk of time, and a favorite pot of tea for example?

Only then, if you have moved the dial on this “to-do” to the positive realm by including support for yourself do you put it on for 2017. Otherwise, seriously, just let it go. You aren’t going to do it anyway.

Now what about those things that no one wants to do but which make you feel so yummy afterwards? Space them out one a month.

Right now you could probably list three or more things you want to declutter. What if you made a declutter/cleanse program part of every month? For example in January I’m creating a virtual wallet and cleaning up my passwords. In February I’m tackling my desk drawer which has gotten overrun with sticky notes. And in March I’m cleaning the front closet.

Make yourself dates to check in. And put them in the calendar to make it real.

You can keep going — identifying a whole slew of things you need to tidy up, one per month for 2017. Imagine how your home and life might hum?

Lastly Step Three:

Make an Elegant List. Or as I like to call it: My Next Beautiful Steps.

How to structure your next beautiful steps?

I like to structure the to-do tasks by location asking where do I need to be to get them done:

Computer
Phone
Errands
Family/Volunteer (I pull these out from my work/biz tasks)

These are my four basic categories. Again tweak this to fit you!

So lets review. At its core there are really three steps:

Whiteboard (i.e. capture it all, the to dos inside your brain and on every other surface)

Remember each item has to earn its way into 2017. (AKA check in with your body compass and aim for a clean yes or a clean no for yourself + remember to line up additional support as needed.)

Create an elegant design for your 2017 Beautiful Next Steps— bundling by location.

One last tip -– don’t fall into a rabbit hole. It can be tempting to start to actually knock out the things on your list. If it will take less than 2 minutes, go for it. But otherwise keep focused on the meta process so you complete it.

Gift yourself a clean slate (free from the weight of an interior to-do list) and enjoy your set of gorgeous next steps for 2017!

Wondering about the Love Wins photo above? I got inspired to make this when I went to make a donation on behalf of the Soulpreneur Mastermind members from this Fall and discovered that finca.org was matching our donation 4 to 1! Finca is a non profit that offers micro loans to women entrepreneurs in the developing world. I love reading their success stories. Poverty doesn’t win. Making yourself small so you don’t make other people uncomfortable doesn’t win. Hate doesn’t win. Love wins! If you need a hit of inspiration (or want to make a year end donation) I hope you will check them out. xo 

Photo Nov 12, 6 14 05 PMCourtney Pinkerton, M.Div & M.PP, is a holistic life coach and the founder of Bird in Hand Coaching. She holds dual masters degrees from Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Kennedy School, is the host of the Summer of Meditation Challenge and publishes a popular blog on soulful living. Courtney teaches regularly on the Enneagram, meditation, and MindBody practices as well as supporting other “soulpreneurs,” aka women who want to lead with heart in their work + lives. She lives in Oak Cliff, Texas with her husband Richard Amory where they try to keep up with their three children and remember to water their garden boxes. You can read more about her coaching options here or Courtney can be reached directly at cp@courtneypinkerton.com.

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When You Can Expect My Book in Your Hot Little Hands

Here I am all scarecited and about to hop on the Zoom call for a two and a half hour group interview with a book coach last Wednesday and I am so delighted to share that I made it into her mentoring program! This means I will be dedicating myself to my book project in the next few months with a manuscript done by date of March 17. More details on publishing/purchasing options this spring. Ohmygoodness Ohmygoodness Ohmygoodness.

I opened up the welcome email today from my coach with the link to our shared work space for my book and saw all these glorious deadlines — super detailed to dos some of which I don’t even understand yet like “submit reader magnet” and “submit draft request for advance praise for review” and my favorite “make sure you have arranged your travel plans to the Author castle” for a celebration with other authors this spring.

I had to pause and just let the shiver of pleasure move through my whole body. Taking eleven seconds to breathe in the good. Thisisreallyreal. Thisisreallyreal. Thisisreallyreal.

Do you have any dreams like that? Dreams so pressing and gorgeous that you almost dare not let yourself own them?

Maybe you don’t think you are ready.

Maybe you don’t want to let yourself have a dream again because of all the times you set goals and didn’t follow through.

Or you tried. Again and again, without the results you hoped for.

Maybe you dim so that others can feel comfortable around you.

Yet here is the truth:

This thing you want to create. Your book. Your new biz. Your shining lovely life which feels good to inhabit.

You don’t have to create it all by yourself.

The biggest thing I felt opening that email was supported. This has been a hard lesson for me. I love to hold tight to the illusion I can control it all, do it all, will and bend my life to my liking.

But the more I let go of that and reach for the help I need — the more life blooms in front of me.

#Wearen’tmeanttodoitallalone.

Lots of love,

Courtney
PS I’ll be opening my coaching calendar for new clients after I complete the manuscript and would love to support you in your 2017 goals! You can read all about my signature coaching program  + reach out with any questions. I am currently taking new clients for April.  xo Courtney

Photo Nov 12, 6 14 05 PMCourtney Pinkerton, M.Div & M.PP, is a holistic life coach and the founder of Bird in Hand Coaching. She holds dual masters degrees from Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Kennedy School, is the host of the Summer of Meditation Challenge and publishes a popular blog on soulful living. Courtney teaches regularly on the Enneagram, meditation, and MindBody practices as well as supporting other “soulpreneurs,” aka women who want to lead with heart in their work + lives. She lives in Oak Cliff, Texas with her husband Richard Amory where they try to keep up with their three children and remember to water their garden boxes. You can read more about her coaching options here or Courtney can be reached directly at cp@courtneypinkerton.com.

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On Phenology and Other Words I Barely Understand but Like to Use

purplebasil

Last night I went outside and said goodbye to my basil. In an impromptu ritual in the crisp air and dropping temperature I found myself almost caressing it. Telling it the winter is coming. Sprinkling some of the ripe seeds hoping they will lie dormant and grow me more fabulous purple basil next year.
 
I have this tendency toward the slightly morbid. And overly dramatic. (Ask my mom.)
 
I also always identify with what is hurt or dying. Watching nature documentaries completely overloads my adrenals.
 
But the truth is we can focus on the loss of life or on the change.

From the perspective of the soil this is feast time.

All those nutrients that trees have drawn up must now shower down.

And then there is rest.
 
Embedded in the shift of seasons is an invitation to observe deeply.

This is a time of taking stock and stripping away nonessentials.

So avert your gaze from the insanity of the marketplace for a while to watch the quiet unfolding of the season.
 
This practice has a name. Phenology.

It reminds me of a lesson I learned years ago when right out of college I worked as a case-manager for homeless women and children at an amazing nonprofit.
 
I was gearing up to leave for the Peace Corps and a colleague said she had been tempted to do that but then realized she wanted instead to stay in Bloomington, Indiana and invest deeply in the wisdom of the vibrant community of activists where we worked. I always remembered that conversation. I guess because we were each so peaceful, so secure in our next step toward learning what we were called to learn.
 
Go around the world or sink deeply into your spot. (Or do a little bit of both!) Observe. You can awaken to the same lessons.
 
Love to you this day.
 
Courtney
PS If you want to read some of my favorite travel blogs including my recent trip to Mexico you will find those here and here

Photo Nov 12, 6 14 05 PMCourtney Pinkerton, M.Div & M.PP, is a holistic life coach and the founder of Bird in Hand Coaching. She holds dual masters degrees from Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Kennedy School, is the host of the Summer of Meditation Challenge and publishes a popular blog on soulful living. Courtney teaches regularly on the Enneagram, meditation, and MindBody practices as well as supporting other “soulpreneurs,” aka women who want to lead with heart in their work + lives. She lives in Oak Cliff, Texas with her husband Richard Amory where they try to keep up with their three children and remember to water their garden boxes. You can read more about her coaching options here or Courtney can be reached directly at cp@courtneypinkerton.com.

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Coaching for Soulful Women