My Interview with Ordinary Mystic + How to Meditate with a Full Belly

fall-leaves

 

This has been a season of fall leaves and interviews for me — a new and growing edge I’m discovering that I really enjoy. The question and answer section of any teaching gig is always my favorite: where awareness tools — Enneagram, meditation, mindbody practices etc — shift from landing in our heads to instead seep into the heart and body. That is how I felt answering these questions — emerging from a recently reanimated friendship from my Harvard Divinity School days. With Mark guiding the conversation my mind could relax and I could just shoot straight from the heart.

Read on dear Birder for more about my awkward transition into entrepreneurial life, some of my heartbreak + great loves.

And if you could use a meditation infusion to aid you in recovering from the American Thanksgiving holiday here is a Vintage Bird favorite including a walking meditation, great for a full belly.

Enjoy!

Courtney
PS The Soulpreneur Mastermind mentioned in this interview is now full however registration will open again for new members in 2017. I am currently accepting two new clients to start in December for my signature coaching program, which you can read about here. xo

Courtney Pinkerton: Bird in Hand Coaching and Soulpreneur Mastermind

October 17, 2016

Mark Longhurst and Courtney Pinkerton

Editor’s Note: I’ve recently connected with one of my old friends from Divinity School: Courtney Pinkerton. It turns out that Courtney’s life, too, has taken a contemplative turn. With a background in non-profit work and training in ministry, Courtney started her own coaching company, called Bird in Hand Coaching. In just a couple of days, she’s launching a three-month project that caught my eye: it’s specifically for women who seek to create a safe community for their soul’s entrepreuneurial/creative yearnings called “Soulpreneur Mastermind.” I caught up with Courtney for her to share about her work, and this program.

Learn more about Courtney’s work at www.courtneypinkerton.com

Ordinary Mystic: Courtney, it’s so good to reconnect with you after a long while! The last time we spoke, I believe you were finishing up two degrees at Harvard-one at the Kennedy School of Government, one at the Divinity School. Now you’ve moved to Texas and started your own life-coaching business called Bird in Hand. What compelled you to become a life coach and meditation teacher?

Courtney Pinkerton: Yes Mark it is so fun to reconnect! I remember us sitting to chat on the steps of Harvard Divinity School in the sun, could it have been orientation week?  Delighted to hear about your launching of Ordinary Mystic and to share more about my own work.

In terms of what compelled me to become a life coach + meditation teacher: that is a long story — kind of a rupture, of sorts, as all good stories are. (You can read the full story on my blog called, appropriately, My Naked Transition Story.) But the short answer is that I was looking for the right container for my work. And a big part of my passion is to be very invitational into the inner life. I have found coaching and meditation to be clean ways that I can offer this support to people. Also when they invest in their own process, I find they take the transformational journey really seriously, which lets us move together through shifts faster. Plus I love that I am location independent and can work with people from anywhere (I coach over the phone.)

Ordinary Mystic: Bird in Hand is a creative name for your business. What’s the meaning behind it?

Photo Nov 12, 6 14 05 PMCourtney Pinkerton: Two parts. One a thrift store, one Parker Palmer. Essentially I had this fun vintage decorative sign which said “Bird in Hand Tavern” — it was floating around my house and I could never find the right space for it. One day I realized that was the name for this new venture! I love the resonance with the phrase “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” and think culturally we are often chasing the next thing when valuing what we hold is actually the more potent medicine. I want Bird in Hand to be an online watering hole for the spirit. I also love Parker Palmer’s idea that the soul is like a wild animal. And if we go stomping through the forest of our own lives, we scare it away.

Ordinary Mystic: You are launching a powerful program for women called Soulpreneur Mastermind. Can you explain your intention behind this three-month project? What do you hope participants will gain from this experience?

Courtney Pinkerton: My intention is for the Soulpreneur Mastermind to be a greenhouse for women’s growing edges. Whether they want to write more or in a new container, to start a new business or side business or another creative or community venture. Or maybe they don’t yet know what they want to create but simply would enjoy the community and whitespace to attend to some soul rumblings. So participants will get a lovely community of fellow women navigating this same territory (including a private Facebook group and live coaching calls) plus my favorite coaching tools for taking large goals and breaking them down into “turtle steps” so they are actionable: The Change Cycle, Finding Your Freedom Schedule, and What is Your Superpower? aka the Enneagram.

Ordinary Mystic: Why is it important to create spaces such as Soulpreneur for women to explore their dreams and vocations?

Courtney Pinkerton: The transition from the nonprofit world to entrepreneurial life was pretty challenging for me but such a potent teacher. I think whatever our soul is inspiring us to create can be trusted to fill in the gaps on what we have learned so far. But it can be so much harder in isolation. Or when we take our tender nudges and share it with people who are wrestling their own gremlins and so might squash our emerging vision. Saying, for example, you will never make money at that or it couldn’t work. This is another area I see soulful women struggle: how to get clear on what they are creating and risk sharing that in a world which can be harsh. I think this group will incubate those dreams so they are more hardy and ready to go wherever they need to be planted.

You can watch a quick video of Courtney’s program and read more here. Plus, she is offering a friend’s bonus for women who want to join together.

Ordinary Mystic: I love that you’re using the Enneagram in this program. I learned the Enneagram through studying with Richard Rohr at the Center for Action and Contemplation’s Living School, and have found it such a useful tool. Can you give readers a taster for how the Enneagram can help catalyze greater self-knowledge and freedom?

Courtney Pinkerton: Aaah, the Enneagram. I couldn’t stop talking about the Enneagram when I went through my own rupture I mean spiritual awakening now five or six years ago. It was such a lifeline (I lead with type 3, the Achiever, if any of your readers are curious.) And I came to realize I didn’t want to stop talking about it. My first teacher actually learned the Enneagram from Richard Rohr and I had the privilege of speaking a couple of times at conferences with him about postmodern Christianity. In the last several years my studies have turned to the Narrative Tradition of the Enneagram. I love helping people connect to their own story of their type as well as the somatic or body dimension of their type structure (our personality lives not just in our head but as full body neural pathways.)

So how will we be using the Enneagram? To help participants in the Mastermind identify the roadblocks and obstacles they trip over again and again as well as their gifts (often these are two sides of the same coin.) Plus growing into soul nudges is usually a stretch. The Enneagram is the most powerful tool I know of for self-awareness, and ultimately we can use this awareness to kind of “hang on” when we are growing and even to care well for ourselves. I think it makes us brave and comforted at the same time. And is a resource people can go back to again and again.

fallcoachinggifts2016

New Opportunities 

Would you enjoy some support heading into the holiday season? Would you like to savor + nourish the good stuff in your life as you also edit out those old obligations which no longer serve you? Would you like to draw a sacred circle around your own priorities — whether you feel the nudge to make a shift in your relationships or employment, to write more, or simply to feel better from the inside out? Plus guidance on how to practice exquisite self care as you grow and stretch? I am so delighted to offer two slots for new or renewing coaching clients starting in December + including my fun Autumn bonus gifts. I regularly invest in coaching support myself and can tell you it is so much easier to make those changes you have been wanting to make with some accountability and encouragement by your side. Read all about my signature coaching program here + reply here with any questions or to get started! xo Courtney

Want to get the latest from 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.

Your Next Step

twofeet

 

We walk with two feet — I was told by a mentor many years ago.

The left foot of contemplation and the right foot of social action.

In times of stress the first thing to go can be the open heart.

We cave in, we shield up. Our breath shallows.

Today all I can share is an invitation.

We need women and men with deeply watered souls able to discern and engage in inspired action.

And in our culture which doesn’t appreciate slow and which loves forward movement it can feel like there isn’t time to meditate.

Isn’t space to drink from this inner well.

Do.

So when you feel the impulse to download another podcast

Or to turn to social media

Or nervous chatter with your partner or friend to process the big movements of energy swirling through our body politic.

At least some of the time, make that choice to unhook from the external plane.

And to drop in.

To receive.

You might even check in with your posture right now. Are your shoulders drooping? Can you slide them down your back and feel some elongation in your spine?

And if meditating seems impossible due to the high intensity of your thoughts or emotions–

Practice exquisite self care. Attend to your creature body and discharge some of that energy:

Indulge in the yoga class or home practice

Rub geranium essential oil on your chest (it is a mood booster and nourishing for the heart)

Tap.

Create dates with yourself (at least a few moments each day) to sit in the rocking chair and feel some strong feelings.

And other dates for action: donating to the groups which inspire you, putting community volunteerism or demonstrations in your calendar, making concrete those next few steps which are yours to do.

We breathe in and we breathe out. And we do it again.

Creating space for ourselves and for deep democracy along the way.

Love,

Courtney
PS I’m re-sharing my Vintage Bird post on the Heart of Democracy below if you missed it on election day. There is so much pain and division in our country currently. I took comfort in rereading the third practice on non-dual seeing and wanted to share it again with you.
xo Courtney

Vintage Bird: The Heart of Democracy               *Originally published Nov 6 2012

Parker and CourtneyCourtney + Parker Palmer, Author of Healing the Heart of Democracy

I’m a political junkie. While I try to limit my kiddos TV consumption, I’ll happily plop them all in front of Dora so I can catch a bit of election commentary on NPR. I tune into the debates and savor the post game pundits. I’ve re watched every episode of West Wing online (that counts as politics, right?). I tear up at convention speeches; I vote early.

An when I was younger, I got into pretty heated conversations with people over my political views. (Ok it can still happen.)

This passion somewhat exists in tension with my desire to be a conscious, calm and peace-loving person.

In fact, in my twenties I felt like I had two different personalities: Courtney #1 loved volunteering on political campaigns, interning in DC, drinking beer and trading electoral factoids. Courtney #2 read Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk, and learned to meditate. Of course these aren’t mutually exclusive interests, but at the time I lived like they were.

But increasingly– I’ve found some guides who connect the dots. One of my favorite authors, Parker Palmer, has a lovely book called Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics worthy of the Human Spirit. He writes thoughtfully about how to create space in relationships that can hold the tension of political differences in a life-giving way. (Starting with holding well the tensions in our own hearts. )

I am also learning to temper some of the heat of my political passion with an appreciation of the political process itself. Not focusing so much on how people vote but that they vote. Maybe i’m an idealist, but i believe in the wisdom of the body politic. Sure i have my preferences, but I also find satisfaction in the collective experience of political expression.

OK I know its flawed– that there is a lot of money in politics and problems with voter laws and important reforms yet be made. But still, our democracy has good bones. We have much on which to stand to create the society we want for ourselves and our children. And in order to access it we must call upon what Abraham Lincoln in his first inaugural address describes as, “the better angels of our nature.”

Here I share some thoughts for a consciously -observed election day:

1) Vote. The experience itself is a satisfying act and ritual– try to breathe and be aware as you do it. And be kind to the people working the polls. i worked the polls once and it was a really fascinating and long day. Many of the volunteers are retirees who return year after year– not because they are getting big financial payoffs, but often out of civic passion.

2. Support your peoples (or candidate or party). This is the antidote to the nihilism that permeates postmodern life (an attitude that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value.) It feels good to be willing to participate in a story bigger than oneself, and to contribute money or time to things we believe in. It means that it matters, and that we believe leadership impacts our daily lives.

3. Practice non-dual seeing. This is the trickiest bit, but it is essential for cultivating mature, peaceful people and societies. Non-dual seeing is the oldest spiritual practice there is. In the Christian tradition it is called contemplation. From the Buddhist perspective it is mindfulness. We all share a tendency to receive the present moment and immediately categorize different dimensions of it good or bad. This opens the door for judging and criticizing everything and offering ourselves a relentless inner monologue about it all. In so doing we can miss the texture and subtleties of life. Non-dual seeing is the practice of noticing the present moment and allowing reality to be what it is, always and everywhere a combination of good and bad. So, no name calling. And when the going gets tough, when you just cant imagine why someone believes what they do, turn to curiosity–  wondering what kind of life story led a person to those views. Make it up if you have to. Use it as an opportunity to cultivate your own empathy. (Here is a guided loving kindness meditation if you need some support.)

And together we can all draw from the wisdom from the past– like this quote from 1774:

“I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them, 1. To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy: 2. To speak no evil of the person they voted against: And, 3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side.”  John Wesley

We all have the power to preserve the art of civil conversation and to create safe space for deep democracy.

I’m Courtney Pinkerton. And I approved this message.

New Opportunities 

Would you enjoy some support heading into the holiday season? Would you like to savor + nourish the good stuff in your life as you also edit out those old obligations which no longer serve you? Would you like to draw a sacred circle around your own priorities — whether you feel the nudge to make a shift in your relationships or employment, to write more, or simply to feel better from the inside out? Plus guidance on how to practice exquisite self care as you grow and stretch? I am so delighted to offer two slots for new or renewing coaching clients this month including my fun Autumn bonus gifts. I regularly invest in coaching support myself and can tell you it is so much easier to make those changes you have been wanting to make with some accountability and encouragement by your side. Read all about my signature coaching program here + reach out to me at cp@courtneypinkerton.com with questions or to get started! xo Courtney

fallcoachinggifts2016

 



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.

Dear Democracy, I love you. Tips for Enjoying a Conscious Election Day

pollingstation

I wrote a love note to our democracy on social media this week and wanted to share it here with all of you. (Want to connect with me on Facebook or Instagram? Let’s do it!) I’m also sharing a vintage Bird in Hand favorite on how to navigate election day with breath + ease. Thought we might need that one in hand for today.

Yours,

Courtney

Dear Democracy. I love you. I know these last few months have been challenging, but maybe they sparked conversations we needed to have? I am so grateful to live here and be part of this system, raw and imperfect but drawing on what Abraham Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature.” I believe in you. And my kids need you grow stronger through passionate discourse and thoughtful reflections and the voting of everyday people using their hearts and minds to make their best choice. I toast to you on this day when I took my kids to the early voting poll location and showed them how it’s done. (Ok I might have been a teeny bit more excited about this process than they were.. but they got a sticker.) And an introduction to something beautiful. A lifelong relationship. So take a deep breath. You can do this. And Thank you.
#democracyisprecious #thegoodstuff

Vintage Bird: The Heart of Democracy

*Originally published Nov 6 2012

Parker and Courtney

Courtney + Parker Palmer, Author of Healing the Heart of Democracy

I’m a political junkie. While I try to limit my kiddos TV consumption, I’ll happily plop them all in front of Dora so I can catch a bit of election commentary on NPR. I tune into the debates and savor the post game pundits. I’ve re watched every episode of West Wing online (that counts as politics, right?). I tear up at convention speeches; I vote early.

An when I was younger, I got into pretty heated conversations with people over my political views. (Ok it can still happen.)

This passion somewhat exists in tension with my desire to be a conscious, calm and peace-loving person.

In fact, in my twenties I felt like I had two different personalities: Courtney #1 loved volunteering on political campaigns, interning in DC, drinking beer and trading electoral factoids. Courtney #2 read Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk, and learned to meditate. Of course these aren’t mutually exclusive interests, but at the time I lived like they were.

But increasingly– I’ve found some guides who connect the dots. One of my favorite authors, Parker Palmer, has a lovely book called Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics worthy of the Human Spirit. He writes thoughtfully about how to create space in relationships that can hold the tension of political differences in a life-giving way. (Starting with holding well the tensions in our own hearts. )

I am also learning to temper some of the heat of my political passion with an appreciation of the political process itself. Not focusing so much on how people vote but that they vote. Maybe i’m an idealist, but i believe in the wisdom of the body politic. Sure i have my preferences, but I also find satisfaction in the collective experience of political expression.

OK I know its flawed– that there is a lot of money in politics and problems with voter laws and important reforms yet be made. But still, our democracy has good bones. We have much on which to stand to create the society we want for ourselves and our children. And in order to access it we must call upon what Abraham Lincoln in his first inaugural address describes as, “the better angels of our nature.”

Here I share some thoughts for a consciously -observed election day:

1) Vote. The experience itself is a satisfying act and ritual– try to breathe and be aware as you do it. And be kind to the people working the polls. i worked the polls once and it was a really fascinating and long day. Many of the volunteers are retirees who return year after year– not because they are getting big financial payoffs, but often out of civic passion.

2. Support your peoples (or candidate or party). This is the antidote to the nihilism that permeates postmodern life (an attitude that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value.) It feels good to be willing to participate in a story bigger than oneself, and to contribute money or time to things we believe in. It means that it matters, and that we believe leadership impacts our daily lives.

3. Practice non-dual seeing. This is the trickiest bit, but it is essential for cultivating mature, peaceful people and societies. Non-dual seeing is the oldest spiritual practice there is. In the Christian tradition it is called contemplation. From the Buddhist perspective it is mindfulness. We all share a tendency to receive the present moment and immediately categorize different dimensions of it good or bad. This opens the door for judging and criticizing everything and offering ourselves a relentless inner monologue about it all. In so doing we can miss the texture and subtleties of life. Non-dual seeing is the practice of noticing the present moment and allowing reality to be what it is, always and everywhere a combination of good and bad. So, no name calling. And when the going gets tough, when you just cant imagine why someone believes what they do, turn to curiosity–  wondering what kind of life story led a person to those views. Make it up if you have to. Use it as an opportunity to cultivate your own empathy. (Here is a guided loving kindness meditation if you need some support.)

And together we can all draw from the wisdom from the past– like this quote from 1774:

“I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them, 1. To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy: 2. To speak no evil of the person they voted against: And, 3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side.”  John Wesley

We all have the power to preserve the art of civil conversation and to create safe space for deep democracy.

I’m Courtney Pinkerton. And I approved this message.

New Opportunities 

Would you enjoy some support heading into the holiday season? Would you like to savor + nourish the good stuff in your life as you also edit out those old obligations which no longer serve you? Would you like to draw a sacred circle around your own priorities — whether you feel the nudge to write more, to make a shift in your relationships or employment, or simply to feel better from the inside out? Plus guidance on how to practice exquisite self care as you grow and stretch? I am so delighted to offer two one on one slots for new or renewing coaching clients this month including my fun Autumn bonus gifts. I regularly invest in coaching support myself and can tell you it feels so much better to make those changes you have been wanting to make with some accountability and encouragement by your side. Read all about my signature coaching program here and reach out to cp@courtneypinkerton.com with any questions or to schedule your complementary first coaching session! xo Courtney

fallcoachinggifts2016

 

Slow Living + My Journey Over the River

leaves_in_hand

Some day I’ll tell you about this health/diet shift I’m making. It requires me to eat less sugar + carbs to reset my gut health. This is the present I’m giving myself for my big birthday coming up next month (that and a trip to an artsy mountain town in Mexico with my man).

But for today I’ll just share that like any lifestyle shift, it doesn’t always go as planned. And there are moments of doubt, moments of talking myself down the wrong path even though I know it’s not a good idea i.e. “Surely I can eat these veggie chips…” (You know the kind which are basically potato chips but colored with beets and the like to make you feel better about eating them?)

Well it turns out that choice did not sit well with my body. And I ended up with some serious detox symptoms yesterday and spent many hours with a killer headache in bed.

By the end of the evening my husband asked how I was doing and I said I felt like I was crossing back over the river Styx.

(Thank you for indulging me. I’m reanimating my love of Greek mythology via reading the Percy Jackson series with my kids.)

But as I re-entered the land of the living last night I carried a fresh lesson in my pocket: the beauty of going slow.

Now if this invitation to slow down just pisses you off because you have so much to do: hear me out.

This might be just the post for you.

I am not a natural slow eater or a slow liver. In fact I’m a recovering overachiever who in my 20s and early 30s moved pretty fast accumulating awards and grad degrees and international travel and falling in love and starting my family kind of all at the same time. (Did I ever tell you about leading an international group of volunteers up a mountain in Honduras to help resource a health clinic serving poor farmers when I was 5 months pregnant with our son? I look back at me riding that freaking donkey and I can’t even imagine what I was thinking…)

I had a lot to prove. I was still drinking the Kool-Aid of my Ennea type structure which suggests that I have to earn my keep. To sing for my supper. To generate or produce to have value. (You may recognize these pressures even if you have a different personality type as we live in a very achievement-oriented culture.)

In fact something I observe in my coaching practice of busy women is how common it is, encouraged even, to move through life doing, giving, producing, care-taking. On autopilot. A little bit numb.

The go slow button broken.

How do you know this is happening for you?

Here is a major clue—your senses can’t keep up with your breakneck speed.

When was the last time you really saw deeply the colors or patterns of a fall leaf?

Heard the laughter of your children, voice of your partner or a dear friend?

Tasted a sensual meal?

It sounds crazy to ask these questions — of course you have seen, heard, tasted.

But I think you know what I mean.

There is seeing and then there is seeing: those moments where life seems to be in Technicolor.

Sometimes this occurs in the wake of tragedy, illness or heart-cracking beauty.

This is the lesson I’m reminded of as I gently come back into my regular life today:

The senses-heightened or technicolor quality of life is actually right here all around me. And all around you.

I notice it in the feel of my daughter’s hand as I walk her to school this morning.

The pink pattern of the clouds in the sky as the day warms.

The adorableness of all three of my children dressed for western day at school in blue jeans and boots with fringe. (Well, that was just the ladies. Coleman would not wear fringe anywhere.)

The pleasure of opening my eyes after my morning meditation and rubbing our kitty Beatrix for a few minutes before I start the day.

Of drinking my first cup of tea.

Of writing this love note to you.

Man the world looks different when you remember how good it feels to not have a headache.

So my intention today is to continue to move slowly.

Will you join me?

Moving slowly may require the setting of an elegant boundary.

And remembering to include yourself and your innermost priorities as central in the life you are creating.

Maybe even using your body compass to remove a task from your to-do list.

Or a reset – like pausing to drink in a meditation detox during your lunch break.

But this slow life is yours for the taking. Or better stated: yours for the drinking in.

Now over to you. How could you move more slowly today to awaken your senses? Join the conversation over in my Bird in Hand Facebook group + let me know how it goes! xo Courtney

New Opportunities 

I have two slots for new coaching clients opening in November + would love to help you design a life which fits you from the inside out! I coach only a small number of one on one clients at a time – so I can really help you nurture those new habits. I’m also offering some Autumnlicious coaching gifts. Reply here with questions, to set up a complementary coaching session or to get started!
xo Courtney

fallcoachinggifts2016

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.

 

The World from Upside Down

Hammock Chair

Today I am in the mood to celebrate, so I tried something new. And when my beloved yoga teacher told us it was time for headstands I said I’d like to try it in the middle of the room.

What does this mean? No wall behind you. Just the feel of sliding your feet up in the wide open air and hovering. Now once I got up there I felt pretty good for about 2.5 seconds. Then I thought she left me. And fear did its fish flop in my stomach.

“I’m kind of freaking out!” I told her.

“I’m still here,” she clarified. “My arm is just a few inches behind your feet. You have to feel into the experience of holding yourself up. Or you won’t be able to balance.”

And that is when I remembered why I was doing it. Because today I am happy and feel the big whoosh that comes after launching something new.

It was that playful energy which got me into this upside down position. And now I had to trust it.

Which required a new level of receiving both the encouragement of my teacher and the support of the ground under my head.

But I found my sweet spot and it was amazing.

I could actually feel the fish in my belly converting. Not to something hard and solid. Thankfully we are never granted that security we crave.

But to a dynamic pulsing, a sense of being on intimate terms with life.

Holding myself within a greater awareness that was holding me.

Now that I am right side up again I am left with the afterglow.

And I am curious… where might this story connect with your story?

Maybe it is in the reminder to celebrate. Something my wise friends continue to teach me. (Left to my bad habits I just blow on to the next.) But I’m coming to appreciate the value of savoring.

Or maybe you are engaged in your own process of metabolizing fear.

Or perhaps something in you pings with the recognition that you need a yoga teacher or guide in your life. To hold sacred space for your potential. To believe in your capacities when you are stretching tall and your lizard brain is threatening to knock the whole thing over.

Truthfully this is why I coach. Not because I have it all figured out. (In fact every time I get a little prideful on that score I seem to endure a hefty wallop in the ass from the universe saying — “Sorry. That is not how this works, dear one. You don’t get to sit on the sidelines, separate or feeling smug.”)

No I coach because it is beautiful. Beautiful to see people stand on their heads and say yes to receive this next iteration of their life and their creative work.

And there is no other word than joy to describe how I felt yesterday holding space for this incredible group of women who are part of the Soulpreneur Mastermind. These women are intuitive and authentic and from so many fields: poets, engineers, yoga teachers, marketing gurus, leadership, life and wellness coaches, realtors, pastors and spiritual teachers, educators, publishers, scientists and many writers. Some are consciously closing chapters of their life which no longer match who they are, others simply creating white space to listen, and others taking brave steps to live into the new.

We have space for two more women before this Mastermind closes for several months to allow us to build some intimacy and trust in the group. So if this sounds like your flock I would love for you to reply here with any questions or join today (details + registration options here)

Love and all the good,

Courtney
PS What is up with the hammock chair? It is one of my favorite spots, a gift from my husband our first year together in Nicaragua, and it is where I went yesterday after this great coaching call to simply breathe in the fall sun and let it soak in. To celebrate. See, I’m learning!

Photo Nov 12, 6 14 05 PM

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, 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.

How to Break Your Own “Dig-Deep” Button + What to Do Instead

look-you-in-eye
I have a confession to make. My “dig deep button” is broken– you know that button you push to make yourself soldier on even after your body is tired and your brain slow?
I didn’t know I had a broken button until I finally started to read Brené Brown’s The Gift of Imperfection after about 27 people asked me if I knew of her writing. Whatever beautiful air stream her work has created in our culture around telling the truth about our vulnerability, I clearly am riding it (even if I didn’t know it.)
So nothing fancy today. Only two heartfelt invitations.
The first is to break your own dig-deep button. As Brené explains: “The dig-deep button is a secret level of pushing through when we’re exhausted and overwhelmed, and when there’s too much to do and too little time for self-care.”
So what to do instead? Well first of all create some imaginative space. Close you eyes and entertain this question: 
What kind of life might I create if I gave myself respite from having to push so hard in the life I am in? 
Here is a hint.
Your answer is a feeling. And it always tastes like freedom.
So very much more to say about that but for today (we are taking it light, remember?) I just have to add that yes, clearly there are times we need to tap into our resiliency. So breaking the dig-deep button doesn’t mean we don’t know how to do that. It just means we use it judiciously. With a lot of self care. And only in the service of the things our heart and soul really, really want.
Here is a nice case study from my life:
My Soulpreneur Mastermind is about to start. In fact the reason I have few words is because I had to rerecord the audio lesson this morning after doing the whole dang thing with my phone on mute. (ARGH! This was literally excruciating. I had put so much love into that recording and was so frustrated with myself.)
So where is the freedom? The freedom is how I (or you) respond to that kind of challenge. I can get super down on myself or I can know that bumps are part of creating anything new. (If I sound sanguine there was a moment of gasping, sinking in my stomach, and ultimately laying my forehead on the ground.)
But I found my way back to the “hero of my life story” rather than the “victim” seat. This is where I remember I am the learner here. I am the one who can glean the lessons to carry forward.
In this case the lesson felt so loud and clear: I have reached the limit of doing it all myself. I have been at this spot for a while in my biz and while I have a CPA to do my books, it is time to grow my team. So I have been talking to a lovely virtual assistant about working together. This of course requires a new level of trust. But I don’t think I could have asked for a stronger message showcasing the value of inviting help. (VAs, among their many other talents, can do super nice things like double check for you that your audio is working before you invest in an hour-long training recording.) 
And so I just want to say after recording the lesson about the Change Cycle, our first tool, now twice that I am deeply committed to the transformational content in the Soulpreneur Mastermind. And I hope you will let yourself entertain a moment to see if it is for you. 
I fear that many of us, especially intuitive women, can find our own creative contributions caught in a bottle neck in our lives. Making changes is risky. Your ego freaks out and tells you to retreat. But of course you can’t go back if you are being invited into a new level of work and life. The old life doesn’t fit.
So I’ve gathered together my favorite resources to create a greenhouse for women who need space to nurture their unfolding dream — be it a new business, the hope to write more or another creative or soul rumbling that they are not even sure how to wrap words around yet.
Space is limited and I am so thrilled by the collection of women who have joined it so far. But there is still room for you if you are feeling the nudge!
So watch the video + read all the details below. And if this feels right for you — you are whole-heartedly invited to join today.
And in fact just for fun I’ve opened up three new bonus coaching spots for people who want to join together. You can check out my “friends” bonus below right under the secure registration options. 
I would love your help connecting to more soulpreneurs-in-the-making so please share this information with a friend or on social media. And place a comment below with with any questions about the Mastermind or if you want to let me know how you broke your own “dig-deep” button and what you do instead.
xxo
Courtney

soulpreneur-invitation

soulpreneur-now-open

Soulpreneur Mastermind is Open for Registration!

Whether you want to write more or in a new container, whether you are wanting to start a new biz or a new project in your existing biz, or a new creative or community venture. Even if you aren’t exactly sure what you are wanting to create yet but you feel the soul rumblings…or if you are already creating your dream but could use some community around it. Join today! Space is limited.
Q: What is a Mastermind? How does it work?
A: A Mastermind is a group coaching program + space for mutual encouragement. My Soulpreneur Mastermind includes an audio lesson + written guide for each month’s theme, plus a live group coaching phone call (which is also recorded for listening to later) + a private Facebook group. Once you join the group via the secure payment option below you can expect a welcome email from me shortly with all your access details. The Mastermind is a three month minimum commitment starting with a live group coaching call on Thursday October 20th (audio lesson + other goodies go out the week ahead of time)  — enough time to really help you make progress toward your goals. I have priced it as affordably as possible to encourage more women to invest in themselves and their own soulful nudges. Reach out to me atcp@courtneypinkerton.com with any questions — loads of details and questions answered below as well as the links for the secure payment options. xo Courtney
Soulprenuer Mastermind Details
Program includes:
Audio lesson + written guide will be shared ahead of each month’s call.
Monthly 75 minute group coaching phone session (which will also be recorded if you miss the live conversation.)
Dates for the live coaching calls 1-2:15PM CST:
Thursday October 13: Where Are You in The Change Cycle?
Thursday November 10: Craft Your Freedom Schedule
Thursday December 15: What are Your Super Power(s)?
You will also receive priority + 10% discount on future Soulpreneur day retreats –including time in nature and delicious gluten free lunch.
And here is some more info on the resources we will explore each month (also described in the video):
October: The Change Cycle. This powerful tool from Martha Beck, a Harvard-trained Sociologist turned Oprah’s life coach, will help you understand which phase of the human metamorphosis process you are in (There are four phases.) This is really important to understand because we nurture ourselves and our dreams differently depending on which phase of the Change Cycle we are in. Sometimes you need to seriously up the self care, other times you need to hold tight to the mantra: “this is harder than I thought and that’s OK!” and continue with consistent action.
And what if you are in different parts of the Change Cycleindifferent aspects of your life? Trust me things get so much easier with this useful tool as you put your experience in a much larger frame and know how to support yourself. This month we will also do a mini-guided meditation which shows you how to identity and dissolve limiting beliefs.
November. Your Daily, Weekly, Monthly Freedom Calendar plus a conversation about how to create your life-giving morning routine. Crafting your freedom calendar is actually probably the most powerful tool I have encountered in building my own biz — especially helpful for those intuitive, creative types who don’t want to be hemmed in. But imagine how good it will feel to wake up each day knowing what to do and when to nurture the various parts of your dream. 
December: What is Your Superpower? Clarity is powerful, in life and in our work. One of the things Soulpreneurs are less clear on than they could be is their strengths (often they are humble, service-oriented people). But here is the key: your strength and your weakness are two sides of the same coin. So getting clear on your strengths also helps you identify your struggles. Not so you can harangue yourself and unleash the inner critic, o contraire! But so you know what stumbling blocks to watch out for and how to support yourself through your weak areas.
In this month’s session we are going to use the Enneagram (my fav personality map) and two other personality lenses to help you laserin on the value you offer others. This is also sometimes called your original medicine. It has been with you since you were a child. It is something you also need. We offer it to ourselves first and then naturally it flows out to others. The clearer you are on this the more your work feels like play.
Space in this program is limited so each Soulpreneur phone group coaching session will also include ample time for Q & A (you can even send those questions in ahead of time if you have to miss the call or don’t like to ask them in front of others) and a chance to laserin on what you are struggling with to help you find relief. Our monthly calls will also help you identify concrete “turtle steps” which take that big goal and break it down into things you can accomplish. The Facebook group will provide a forum for you to followup with your steps and a safe place to get feedback and encouragement.
Q: What if I don’t actually have a specific dream?
A: That is totally OK! Sometimes the next step for nurturing our soul nudges is simply to create whitespace within our minds and hearts. This group will do exactly that along with resources you can draw from down the road when you need them!
Q: How much time will it take?
A: 2 1/2 hours a month including the audio lesson, written action guide, and coaching call. (You can do these at any time convenient for you. Even the group coaching call will be recorded if you have to miss it.) I have intentionally kept the structured part of the program light so you have time to tackle the turtle steps related to your goal and to share in the Facebook group.
Q: What if I need more support?
A: This group coaching program is offered as a free bonus for all my one on one coaching clients. You can read more about this and all my Fall Coaching Gifts here.
Ready to Join? I’d love to have you!
You can join today via the monthly option or the 3 month bundle (including a 5% discount.) Either way a percentage of your joining fee will also go to support women starting life-changing businessesin the developing world. Choose your payment option below:
You can also expect a free bonus gift including access to a private course page with guided meditations, written + audio lessons on the 8 pillars of Happiness at Work: Balance, Concentration, Compassion, Resilience, Communication, Integrity, Meaning + Open Awareness. ($97 Value)
friends
I’ve also introduced a Friend’s Bonus Coaching Session for women who want to join with a friend or colleague. I have three complementary 60 minute coaching sessions available. Just reach out after you both join the Mastermind to let me know, “Hey! We are friends!” and I will schedule the session with all three of us. How much fun does that sound like? Social accountability can be transformational. I’d love to answer any questions and offer targeted coaching support to you both in this additional coaching session. 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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It Took Me a Long Time to Feel Ready to Do This…

it-is-the-rare-bird-who-brings-anything-but-the-simplest-dream-into-reality-on-the-first-pass

Talking about dreams can tip pretty easily into woo woo land. And if you are like me you may have an “inner Harvard” who believes in hard work, feet-on-the-ground thinking and an “inner fairy” who loves pixie dust and synchronicity. Often they are dueling it out.

But when we are talking about things as effervescent and important as soul nudges, we are always at the edge of what we can wrap words around.

So whether you call it a dream, a hope, an inkling: chances are you have one stirring in your life right now. 

I mention in the video last week one of the most common ways we shut down these impulses: by evaluating them as too small to be important. A second equally important hurdle I have encountered in my own life and with coaching clients is the idea that you need to land your dream or your goal perfectly on the first pass. 

This misperception comes from a society where we value the expert and sideline the beginner.

But in such a context how are we ever to learn?

to course correct?

to reinvent?

to expand?

I feel so strongly about this idea that I did something I haven’t done before. 

I made myself a quote card.

Now I have been blogging weekly for about 7 years so I have lots of words I could have been pulling out and sharing.  And like all life-coaches everywhere, I love a good inspirational quote. I read every one on my Yogi tea bags. Some I even prop in my windowsill as little truth nuggets to ponder. But to deem my own writing worthy of the inspirational quote graphic? This feels risky.

But it occurs to me that this is exactly what I’m inviting you to do:

To risk in order to create.

To put your vision out there.

And to offer it in a palm open way.

To unhook from the outcome.

Trusting that our conversation is not complete without your contribution.

Could you use some support? I’m so happy to share that registration is now open for my Soulpreneur Mastermind group coaching program, a space for feet on the ground and fairies to come together! I hope you will watch the video and read all the details below and consider investing in your own dream. As women we can sometimes put ourself on the bottom of the stack of obligations. I think for our world to right itself we need to hothouse our own creations.

Join me + share this invitation with a friend!

xo Courtney

PS I have a special offer for friends or colleagues who join together! I’ve opened up additional bonus private coaching sessions — so after you both register (via one of the secure payment options below) email me your name and the name of your friend and we will schedule you together for a complementary 60 coaching session with me. This format (of working through the material with a buddy) offers social accountability and is a great motivator for integrating the lessons into real life. Plus it is fun!

soulpreneur-invitation

Soulpreneur Mastermind is Open for Registration!

Do you want to write more or in a new container?

to start a new biz or a new project in your existing biz?

or a new creative or community venture?

Or maybe you are already creating your dream but could use some community for yourself?

Or perhaps you aren’t exactly sure what you are wanting to create yet but you feel the soul rumblings…

You are invited to be part of this unique online learning community of women!I have priced it as affordably as possible to encourage more women to invest in themselves and their own soulful nudges. Join today! (Program starts on October 13, first live call on October 20th.)

Space is limited.

Q: What is a Mastermind?  How does it work?

A: A Mastermind is a group coaching program + space for mutual encouragement. My Soulpreneur Mastermind includes an audio lesson + written guide for each month’s theme, plus a live group coaching phone call (which is also recorded for listening to later) + a private Facebook group. Once you join the group via one of the secure payment options below you can expect a welcome email from me shortly with all your access details. The Mastermind is a three month minimum commitment starting October 13thth — enough time to help you make real progress toward your goals.

Soulprenuer Mastermind Details

Program includes:

Audio lesson + written guide shared ahead of each month’s call.

Monthly 75 minute group coaching phone session (which will also be recorded if you miss the live conversation.)

Dates for the live coaching calls 1-2:15PM CST:

Thursday October 20: Where Are You in The Change Cycle?

Thursday November 10: Craft Your Freedom Schedule

Thursday December 15: What are Your Super Power(s)?

You will also receive priority + 10% discount on future Soulpreneur retreats – including time in nature and delicious, healthy food.

And here is some more info on the resources we will explore each month (also described in the video):

October: The Change Cycle. This powerful tool from Martha Beck, a Harvard-trained Sociologist turned Oprah’s life coach, will help you understand which phase of the human metamorphosis process you are in. (There are four phases.) This is really important to understand because we nurture ourselves and our dreams differently depending on which phase of the Change Cycle we are in. Sometimes you need to seriously up the self care, other times you need to hold tight to the mantra: “this is harder than I thought and that’s OK!” and continue with consistent action.

And what if you are in different parts of the Change Cycle in different aspects of your life? Trust me things get so much easier with this useful tool as you put your experience in a much larger frame and know how to support yourself. This month we will also do a mini-guided meditation which shows you how to identity and dissolve limiting beliefs.

November. Your Daily, Weekly, Monthly Freedom Calendar plus a conversation about how to create your life-giving morning routine. Crafting your freedom calendar is actually probably the most powerful tool I have encountered in building my own biz — especially helpful for those intuitive, creative types who don’t want to be hemmed in. But imagine how good it will feel to wake up each day knowing what to do and when to nurture the various parts of your dream. 

December: What is Your Superpower? Clarity is powerful, in life and in our work. One of the things Soulpreneurs are less clear on is their strengths (often they are humble, service-oriented people). But here is the key: your strength and your weakness are two sides of the same coin. So getting clear on your strengths also helps you identify your struggles. Not so you can harangue yourself and unleash the inner critic, au contraire! But so you know what stumbling blocks to watch out for and how to support yourself through your weak areas.

In this month’s session we are going to use the Enneagram (my fav personality map) and two other personality lenses to help you laser in on the value you offer others. This is also sometimes called your original medicine. It has been with you since you were a child. It is something you also need. We offer it to ourselves first and then naturally it flows out to others. The clearer you are on this the more your work feels like play.

Space in this program is limited so each Soulpreneur phone group coaching session will also include ample time for Q & A (you can even send those questions in ahead of time if you have to miss the call or don’t like to ask them in front of others) and a chance to find relief from recurrent struggles. Our monthly calls will also help you identify concrete “turtle steps” which take that big goal and break it down into things you can accomplish. The Facebook group will provide a forum for you to followup with your steps and a safe place to get feedback and encouragement.

Q: What if I don’t actually have a specific dream?

A: That is totally OK! Sometimes the next step for nurturing our soul nudges is simply to create whitespace within our minds and hearts. This group will do exactly that along with providing you with high quality resources you can draw from as needed!

Q: How much time will it take?

A: 2 1/2 hours a month including the audio lesson, written action guide, and coaching call. (You can do these at any time convenient for you. Even the group coaching call will be recorded if you have to miss it.) I have intentionally kept the structured part of the program light so you have time to tackle the turtle steps related to your goal and to share in the Facebook group.

Q: What if I need more support?

A: This group coaching program is offered as a free bonus for all my one on one coaching clients. You can read more about this and all my Fall Coaching Gifts here. This is a powerful combo for those ready to seriously fast track their growth.

Ready to Join? I’d love to have you!

You can join today via the monthly option or the 3 month bundle (including a 5% discount.) Either way a percentage of your joining fee will also go to support women starting life-changing businesses in the developing world. Choose your payment option below:

register-today

register-today-1

You can also expect a free bonus gift including access to a private course page with guided meditations, written + audio lessons on the 8 pillars of Happiness at Work: Balance, Concentration, Compassion, Resilience, Communication, Integrity, Meaning + Open Awareness. ($97 Value).

soulpreneur-now-open

Registration Now Open for the Soulpreneur Mastermind

soulpreneur-invitation

For the last two week’s I’ve been having my arse kicked by a book coach with her lovely lilting British accent — challenging me to better understand my readers, craft my bio, and title. {Current working title is Flourish: How to Design Your Life from the Inside Out. Check out my new author’s bio at the end of today’s post.}

This dream of writing a book is going from the fluttery edges of my life i.e. “I’d like to write a book some day… ” to “this year” to “this is really happening!”

And along the way it is losing some of its etherial quality and becoming more of a stretch. Not in a bad way but more like yoga class. It might not feel amazing while i’m doing it, though parts actually do, but I definitely feel good after.

This is how dreams become real. I take objection to the idea in much of the self-help literature that you “align yourself with your deeper truth” and shazam, all will come together with no bumps.

It is true that when you are pointed in the right direction you can expect lots of good things: energy in your body, serendipity, and more.

But it is the rare bird who brings anything more than the simplest dream into reality on the first pass.

Which is where the beauty of the elegant design comes in.

Structure can be your friend. And support.

So let me be the British book coach for your dream!

Watch today’s video to learn more about how I can help. And read all the details below about my Soulpreneur Mastermind group coaching program which opens today.

Whether you want to write more or in a new container, whether you are wanting to start a new biz or a new project in your existing biz, or a new creative or community venture. Even if you aren’t exactly sure what you are wanting to create yet but you feel the soul rumblings…or if you are already creating your dream but could use some community around it.

I hope you will join today! Space is limited.

Q: What is a Mastermind? How does it work?

A: A Mastermind is a group coaching program + space for mutual encouragement. My Soulpreneur Mastermind includes an audio lesson + written guide for each month’s theme, plus a live group coaching phone call (which is also recorded for listening to later) + a private Facebook group. Once you join the group via the secure payment option below you can expect a welcome email from me shortly with all your access details. The Mastermind is a three month minimum commitment starting October 20th — enough time to really help you make progress toward your goals.

Q: How much does it cost?

I have priced it as affordably as possible ($97/month or a discounted 3 month bundle of $275) to encourage more women to invest in themselves and their own soulful nudges. Reach out to me at cp@courtneypinkerton.com with any questions — loads of details and questions answered below. Plus the secure payment options.

xo Courtney

Soulprenuer Mastermind Details

Program includes:

Audio lesson + written guide will be shared ahead of each month’s call.

Monthly 75 minute group coaching phone session (which will also be recorded if you miss the live conversation.)

Dates for the live coaching calls 1-2:15PM CST:

Thursday October 20: Where Are You in The Change Cycle?

Thursday November 10: Craft Your Freedom Schedule

Thursday December 15: What are Your Super Power(s)?

You will also receive priority + 10% discount on future Soulpreneur day retreats –including time in nature and delicious gluten free lunch.

And here is some more info on the resources we will explore each month (also described in the video):

October: The Change Cycle. This powerful tool from Martha Beck, a Harvard-trained Sociologist turned Oprah’s life coach, will help you understand which phase of the human metamorphosis process you are in (There are four phases.) This is really important to understand because we nurture ourselves and our dreams differently depending on which phase of the Change Cycle we are in. Sometimes you need to seriously up the self care, other times you need to hold tight to the mantra: “this is harder than I thought and that’s OK!” and continue with consistent action.

And what if you are in different parts of the Change Cycle indifferent aspects of your life? Trust me things get so much easier with this useful tool as you put your experience in a much larger frame and know how to support yourself. This month we will also do a mini-guided meditation which shows you how to identity and dissolve limiting beliefs.

November. Your Daily, Weekly, Monthly Freedom Calendar plus a conversation about how to create your life-giving morning routine. Crafting your freedom calendar is actually probably the most powerful tool I have encountered in building my own biz — especially helpful for those intuitive, creative types who don’t want to be hemmed in. But imagine how good it will feel to wake up each day knowing what to do and when to nurture the various parts of your dream. 

December: What is Your Superpower? Clarity is powerful, in life and in our work. One of the things Soulpreneurs are less clear on than they could be is their strengths (often they are humble, service-oriented people). But here is the key: your strength and your weakness are two sides of the same coin. So getting clear on your strengths also helps you identify your struggles. Not so you can harangue yourself and unleash the inner critic, au contraire! But so you know what stumbling blocks to watch out for and how to support yourself through your weak areas.

In this month’s session we are going to use the Enneagram (my fav personality map) and two other personality lenses to help you laser in on the value you offer others. This is also sometimes called your original medicine. It has been with you since you were a child. It is something you also need. We offer it to ourselves first and then naturally it flows out to others. The clearer you are on this the more your work feels like play.

Space in this program is limited so each Soulpreneur phone group coaching session will also include ample time for Q & A (you can even send those questions in ahead of time if you have to miss the call or don’t like to ask them in front of others) and a chance to laser in on what you are struggling with to help you find relief. Our monthly calls will also help you identify concrete “turtle steps” which take that big goal and break it down into things you can accomplish. The Facebook group will provide a forum for you to followup with your steps and a safe place to get feedback and encouragement.

Q: What if I don’t actually have a specific dream?

A: That is totally OK! Sometimes the next step for nurturing our soul nudges is simply to create whitespace within our minds and hearts. This group will do exactly that along with resources you can draw from down the road when you need them!

Q: How much time will it take?

A: 2 1/2 hours a month including the audio lesson, written action guide, and coaching call. (You can do these at any time convenient for you. Even the group coaching call will be recorded if you have to miss it.) I have intentionally kept the structured part of the program light so you have time to tackle the turtle steps related to your goal and to share in the Facebook group.

Q: What if I need more support?

A: This group coaching program is offered as a free bonus for all my one on one coaching clients. You can read more about this and all my Fall Coaching Gifts here.

Ready to Join? I’d love to have you!

You can join today via the monthly option or the 3 month bundle (including a 5% discount.) Either way a percentage of your joining fee will also go to support women starting life-changing businesses in the developing world. Choose your payment option below:

register-today

register-today-1

You can also expect a free bonus gift including access to a private course page with guided meditations, written + audio lessons on the 8 pillars of Happiness at Work: Balance, Concentration, Compassion, Resilience, Communication, Integrity, Meaning + Open Awareness. ($97 Value)

And as promised…My new book proposal bio is below! xo Courtney

Photo Nov 12, 6 14 05 PM

Courtney Pinkerton is a certified 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’, women who want to lead with heart in their work and lives.
Her personal story is compelling: after spending a year abroad at the London School of Economics and winning a competitive federal Truman scholarship for change-agents, she undertook four years of direct service with and learning from marginalized women. In this time she supported homeless mothers at an award-winning domestic violence recovery program and women in creating community banks in one of the poorest regions of Nicaragua.
After graduating from a dual Masters program at Harvard, Courtney assumed the lead pastor role at an emerging church — a congregation serving artists, social entrepreneurs and activists. During her tenure she designed and lead weekly innovative worship services, fielded interviews by media on the congregation’s high social media engagement and spoke at conferences on postmodern Christianity.
But following the birth of her third child and in the midst of some leadership challenges in the church, she reached a decision point: should she continue down this path and sacrifice her own happiness, or could she trust that there was another way to contribute?
She resigned her role and engaged in a period of exploration and reflection, discovering several tools that were lifelines during her process: the Enneagram (a human personality map), a good coach (who later mentored her transition into the field), meditation and more. She has spent the last five years crafting the handbook for freedom which can come only by unhooking from other’s expectations on your life and creating an elegant inner scaffolding.
In all her roles from formal degree programs at Harvard to conversations on a volcano in Nicaragua she has been engaging with the same question: how does our inner life contribute to our work in the world? Courtney now helps other women to bring more of their authentic selves out into their work and creative contributions and to enjoy themselves along the way.

New Video + A Story I’ve Never Before Shared

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In today’s video I share one of the moments I remember the most about my time at Harvard. This video is number one in a two part series… so if you want to hear more about the elegant scaffolding for your dreams I mention at the end there, stay tuned for part two next week. (Click on the photo above to watch today’s video).

Also when we talk about dreams or desires for a new project or goal that are bubbling up in our lives, one of the things to notice is that our egos can jump in there and hijack the process.

Shutting it down for its size and scope:

“Moving to another country with your family? That is too ambitious, it will never work.”

Or

“Creating quilts?! That idea is so small it would never amount to much in anyone else’s life.”

And questioning your skills:

“Starting your own coaching business?!  You need to do it perfectly, or not even start.”

“Developing a blog — you don’t have the writing capacity or the consistency to pull that off.”

When it comes to the voice of our personality, we really can’t win. But dreams don’t come from the voice of our ego (which just wants to keep us safe and maintain an illusion of control.)

Dreams come from our soul. And they invite us into a life which fits us better than the one we are currently living. This process of perennial unfolding is part of what it means to be human, if we say yes to it.

But dreams they need space to breathe and mature.

So this is my invitation: is there something you are noodling with or listening for? This could be the idea for a new side business, or a community project like a garden in your neighborhood. It could be even vaguer than that, just a hunch or a knowing that you have creative contributions yet expressed.

Would you be willing to draw a sacred circle around this dream this week? Maybe you hold it in your heart and mind during a meditation. Maybe you take yourself on a nature walk and just let the ideas flow. Maybe you risk telling a dear friend about it and asking them simply to listen while you get your ideas out of your head and into your shared airspace.

I would love to hear what you do to honor the dream in your life. Leave a comment over on the below. It may be just what another needs to hear! And you sharing it may also catalyze you further in your process.

Warmly, Courtney

PS I have one spot left for a new coaching client to start this month. Check out all the fun Fall gifts here and schedule a quick chat with me if you would like a taste of coaching or are ready to get started.  The Soulpreneur Mastermind is one of the bonus gifts for one on one coaching clients, so you get automatic inclusion in this new group coaching program when it starts next month. 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.

Balm for the Over-Harried + New Fall Coaching Gifts

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When our animal body feels threatened it can hijack us out of the moment (our stress response) but I’ve also found the opposite to be true. When our creature-self knows it can trust us to take good care of it, it rises to the occasion: providing you with good health for the big presentation, clarity of boundaries for that difficult conversation, energy for meeting your beloveds and your work.

We are made of many parts, at minimum mind, body, and that ineffable spirit/soul. We are most present when we have access in real time to all three.

And small acts of kindness which seem insignificant can be a balm on our over-harried lives and reintroduce ourselves into our circle of care.

For me this looks like pausing to put ointment on a burn on my finger rather than ignoring the persistent discomfort. Prioritizing supplements which nourish my health. Enjoying a cup of herbal tea (my current favorite, lavender. Did you know you can drink it!?)

In this spirit I am so happy to present my fall coaching gifts. Fall is a grounded season and I was wanting something concrete and body-centric. If I could have sent you a bushel of fresh-picked organic apples, I would have done it. (Don’t think I didn’t look into that.)

But instead I lovingly crafted a wellness bundle for you including Red Moon Cider (a nourishing apple-cider vinegar tonic), a favorite sustainably harvested tea, dream-decoding and more. You can find all the details below.
xo Courtney

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Self-Care Bundle of Three Healing Potions from Red Mood Herbs

I fell in love with Red Moon Herbs doing research for our recent trip to the Carolinas. They create potent herbal products in small batches using quality, fresh, and almost all local plant material. I’ve selected some favorites as gifts this fall for new or renewing coaching clients: Red Moon Cider (a fiery tonic with 100% locally grown produce and herbs in organic raw apple cider vinegar and mountain honey), Loco for Local Herbal Tea (organic herbal tea from all North Carolina grown organic herbs, including: Red clover, Tulsi, Peppermint, Lemonbalm and more) plus an all-purpose balm called Green Wonder Salve useful for cuts, bruises, chapped lips, dry skin, insect bites, burns or other moments you need some TLC and a bandaid.

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Bonus Dream Analysis Coaching Session with Katie Wise. 45 minutes

Fall always strikes me as a moody time of year. A time for the inward turn, sloughing off old habits and watching them fall lazily to the earth like the leaves swirling around us. And when I think moody, interior spaces I think dreams! Katie is an absolute gem of a human and coach and a gifted dream analysis guide. She will not only help you capture and decode the helpful messages in your dream in this session (if you come with a fresh one you would like to discuss) but will also share with you her written dream interpretation worksheet which walks you step by step through how to start a dream journal so you can glean those nuggets from your deeper self as an ongoing practice.

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Participation in My Up-Coming Soulpreneur MasterMind

During the course of our one on one sessions together you may find yourself starting a new creative project, side biz or even entertaining a whole new employment option. So I am including participation in my upcoming Soulpreneur Mastermind as one of the bonus gifts for fall coachingclients. You can enjoy the audio lessons, hop on the live calls (one a month) for some group coaching, or enjoy the recording of the calls and guided meditations down the road at a time convenient for you.

Ready to Get Started?

My fall coaching calendar is now open for new or returning clients.

How it Works

We connect for two powerful 60 minute sessions a month
(minimum 3 months.) You get recordings of our calls + custom guided meditations, email support, targeted reading + gifts.

Plus all the Fall Coaching Gifts outlined above: the herbal potions, dream analysis session, and participation in my Soulpreneur Mastermind group coaching program.

Investment: $425/month.
Discounts also available for clients who purchase a 6 or 10 session bundle.

Curious to Learn More? You can read all the details about my signature Bird in Hand Coaching program here and what other clients have shared about their experiences here.

And better yet schedule your free 30-minute laser session to get a taste of coaching and ask any questions!

You can also send me an email directly at cp@courtneypinkerton.com.

I have two spaces open this month for new or returning clients and would love to share these gifts with you!

All the good,

Courtney
PS. Maybe you have been following my blog for a while. If something in you is ready to feel better, to make the shift you know it is time to make, I hope you will reach out. September is the new January and it is a wonderful time for fresh starts. Let’s launch you into yours (with all these fun fallbonuses) together! Send me a quick email at cp@courtneypinkerton.com or Schedule Your Complementary Laser Coaching Session Today

Photo Nov 12, 6 14 05 PMCourtney Pinkerton, M.Div & M.PP, is a certified 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.

Coaching for Soulful Women