Summer of Meditation Challenge Week 8: Finale!

Week 8

Click on the above photo to watch today’s video about the power of celebration. (Hint: if you naturally are drawn more to self-criticism than celebration, this one is for you!)

I am not a natural celebrator. I can forget if I am not careful to pause and drink in the milestones. (Correction: I notice other people’s milestones, just not my own. Click on the photo above for today’s video to hear more…)

But what we pay attention to grows.

It is the intentionality and care that creates a little ring around that moment and marks it as special. We celebrate with all our senses. In addition to the classic examples of a special meal, dessert, or glass of vino, even a lit candle or fresh bouquet can feel like a celebration.

Don’t be afraid to be generous with yourself.

Try this week’s guided meditation


Celebrate_Week 8 (The link to the audio file if you prefer to download it.)

I have heard hospice nurses talk about how sweet & celebration-worthy everything gets at the end. Sunrise, sunset and the hours in between. So I hope you will notice one simple way you showed up for yourself this summer, had a new experience, learned something, were touched by nature or another poignant moment. Pause and drink it in. Even better plan a special moment for yourself, snap a picture and/or share your experience as a comment below or over on my Bird in Hand Coaching Facebook group.

And know that I celebrate you. Whether this is your first video or you have been with me from the beginning. Whether you engaged every practice this summer or just tried one that one time. (Or might yet try today’s guided meditation …)

I celebrate your curiosity, your feedback about meditation, your sharing the posts with others. And more than anything I celebrate that hunger you bring to life, to be faithful to your gifts, to contribute with a capital C, and also to know how to reset and care well for yourself when stress builds.

For we gain nothing if we lose our quality of life at the hands of our ambition.  Even if our ambition is about Serving big.

So it is my deep hope that you tuck one or more of these practices is your pocket. (You can see the whole review of the summer below.) That they might become part of your self-kindness repertoire. Not because you should but because they help you find your way home. And because that is the place from which you best share what you have with the world.

A bow from me to you,

Courtney

PS And with that I am off for two weeks of unplugged time. I try to take a digital detox every year in August, maybe you want to join me? But know come September I will be back with weekly mindbody posts and ready for new clients for my transformational coaching package. xo

“Thanks, Courtney, for your helpful meditations. I look forward to your Summer Meditation Challenge all year. You’re the only person so far that has been able to teach and inspire me to meditate. Thank you!” Margie

Thank you to Margie and others who shared their experiences this summer. The interwebs can feel lonely, I treasure your feedback and perspective. Please do take a quick moment to leave a comment below about how you enjoy celebrating and also about what you learned this summer in the Challenge. Who knows what you share may be exactly what another needs to here! xo Courtney

Summer of Meditation Challenge 2016

Come on in. Feel the fresh and verdant air. Let’s detox your brain and nervous system so new ideas and iterations of you can bloom!

Join 500+ people from around the country who have participated in this free, 8 week online program to start or deepen a regular meditation practice. Even though this year’s Challenge has come to a close, enter your email to receive special meditation offers.

Xo Courtney


SoulpreneurMastermind
Photo Nov 12, 6 14 05 PMCourtney Pinkerton, M.Div & M.PP, is a holistic life and leadership 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. Courtney can be reached at cp@courtneypinkerton.com.

Summer of Meditation Week 7: Find Your Core-Desired Emotions

Watch today's video to learn more! xo Courtney
Watch today’s video to learn more! xo Courtney

Do you ever feel like you spend your day pinging between anxiety, sadness, or anger without a moment to catch your breath?

Identifying your core-desired emotions is a powerful antidote. Today’s guided meditation (audio below) shows you how.

What are core-desired emotions?

They are those feelings you long to feel, each and every day.

For here is the important thing to know – something heralded as true by life coaches, neuro-scientists, and elite sports trainers alike –– often we chase external goals without knowing that what we really desire is how we anticipate feeling when we get there

Once identified, our core desired emotions work both like a compass and a filter. Try out different words: spacious, present, happy, grounded, rooted, playful, at ease. These are some of my favorites to get you started… Write that word on a sticky note. Begin to develop a relationship to it. When navigating choices try to pause + listen. Which option leads to more of how you want to feel?

This attentiveness is especially important because positive emotions can be subtle when compared to the steady drumbeat of the negative emotions which undergird our Enneagram personality type… be that sadness, fear, or anger.

If this sounds simplistic, great! Give it a shot anyway.  Simple does not equal easy. And this is one of the most important meditation tools to practice especially if you are navigating growth or change.

Identifying your core-desired emotions can be life-changing and fuel for other shifts, big and small, as you grow the activities, work, and relationships which make you feel really good and begin over time to edit out that which doesn’t. For what we pay attention to grows.

When I first started doing this exploration with core-desired emotions I was bummed to realize I actually didn’t even know what happiness felt like for me. Sure I knew about those big life-changing highs– but developing a relationship with everyday happiness, that was a bit of a mystery to me. Honestly I was just too busy. Busy pursuing credentials. Busy making sure other people were happy. Busy working. Busy trying to look good and to make it all look easy. I experienced happiness, sure, but it kind of took me by surprise + felt like a gift. I didn’t know how to grow it in my life.

Try today’s guided meditation to identify and grow your relationship to your own core-desired emotions.

Meditation #7: Find Your Core-Desired Emotions

A little backstory…

Several years ago in a period after leaving a salaried job and with three little kids I only knew that 1) I wanted to feel more joyful + present in everyday life 2) I wanted to write 3) I had no idea what this all meant. So I said no to any job opportunity that didn’t make me feel joyful. It took a while to really trust the joy -I was so used to pushing myself hard- but eventually I came to.

Sometimes as you might imagine I learned to trust it by ignoring my desire for joy and saying yes to things I should have said no to… Which only led to less joy until I reoriented. Eventually that feedback loop became very convincing + I started listening more on the front end.

I also came to realize that nothing external like a job or other’s opinions could make me feel joyful if I didn’t know how to “catch” simple moments of pleasure as they came down the pike each day. I still had to do some inner work, start a biz, get trained as a coach, and all kinds of other lessons as part of that time of transition. But joy led me, step by step. Still does. Getting clear about your core-desired emotions is one of the best ways I know to lead your life from the inside out.

I would love to hear the word/s you settle on as your core-desired emotion! If you try this week’s guided meditation leave me a comment over on the blog or reply here. Also feel free to share comments + questions about your meditation journey with me via Facebook. Who knows, what you share may just be what another needs to hear to truly lean into their practice.

*For more on core-desired emotions check out Danielle Laporte’s The Desire Map.

Summer of Meditation Challenge 2016

Come on in. Feel the fresh and verdant air. Let’s detox your brain and nervous system so new ideas and iterations of you can bloom!

Join 500+ people from around the country who have participated in this free, 8 week online program to start or deepen a regular meditation practice. Enter your email into the box below to receive a weekly email with my favorite guided meditation practices + videos with tips for how to integrate them into real life.

Xo Courtney


SoulpreneurMastermind
Photo Nov 12, 6 14 05 PMCourtney Pinkerton, M.Div & M.PP, is a holistic life and leadership 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. Courtney can be reached at cp@courtneypinkerton.com.

Summer of Meditation Challenge Week 6: Use Breath as Your Ally

Week6

As summer goes on I’m feeling an overpowering urge to hibernate with my little people, to enjoy Topo Chico (our favorite Mexican sparkling mineral water) with paper umbrellas, and catch up on Downton Abby episodes. Nothing noble happening over here, other than rest and unstructured time. It is the season for, as my son Coleman puts it, chillaxin.’

However sometimes something messes with your relaxation time: perhaps a thought, concern or feeling of tension in the body are intruding into your long summer days and disturbing your inner equilibrium.

Today’s practice is your ally for such moments.

This is actually the most popular practice I’ve shared with coaching clients and meditation students. It is adapted from the teaching of Marion Gilbert, a Body Wisdom expert and one of my favorite teachers from the Enneagram in the Narrative Tradition Community.

Even when you are in a lot of physical or emotional pain, there is already a part of you which is experiencing a sense of wellbeing. This inner resource is like an oasis, and if you can train your attention to rest there it has powerful repercussions. Watch the above video for all the details and try the accompanying guided meditation practice (it only takes 10 minutes) today!

Here is the Breath as Your Ally Meditation which walks you through this practice.

As always let me know how it goes! Leave a comment below or connect with me on Facebook. xo Courtney

Summer of Meditation Challenge 2016

Come on in. Feel the fresh and verdant air. Let’s detox your brain and nervous system so new ideas and iterations of you can bloom!

Join 500+ people from around the country who have participated in this free, 8 week online program to start or deepen a regular meditation practice. Enter your email into the box below to receive a weekly email with my favorite guided meditation practices + videos with tips for how to integrate them into real life.

Xo Courtney


SoulpreneurMastermind
Photo Nov 12, 6 14 05 PMCourtney Pinkerton, M.Div & M.PP, is a holistic life and leadership 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. Courtney can be reached at cp@courtneypinkerton.com.

How to Speak the Language of Your Body: Summer of Meditation Week 5

Tapping. Week 5 of the Challenge

Watch this week’s video above to learn my two favorite tips for speaking the language of your body (and to hear about my own recent crash landing back from vacation.) These are some of the most powerful techniques I’ll be sharing all summer. Try them out and leave a comment below to tell me how they go for you!

Warmly, Courtney

Getting Started with Tapping or Acupressure

This week instead of a guided meditation audio I’ve recorded a brief how-to video to share the 9 acupressure points and help you get started using this technique to manage your own stress, physical and emotional symptoms. If you are brand new to tapping you may also want to check out the second video where I show in detail how to find the acupressure points. You can also find my Written Guide here.

Try tapping at the beginning of a regular meditation practice or reach for it when your stress is high. This video includes a demo of tapping on a headache, but it is most powerful when you can specifically name your problem. Try it out– tap through the acupressure points giving voice to your concern as if you were talking or complaining to a friend. Then tap in some more positive approaches when you feel better.

And if you want to learn more about how I use essential oils for stress relief + to boost immunity you read more here and contact me with questions or to set up a conversation.

Also feel free to share experiences or questions with me as a comment to this post or via Facebook or Instagram. Who knows, what you share may just be what another needs to hear to truly lean into their practice.

Summer of Meditation Challenge 2016

Come on in. Feel the fresh and verdant air. Let’s detox your brain and nervous system so new ideas and iterations of you can bloom!

Join 500+ people from around the country who have participated in this free, 8 week online program to start or deepen a regular meditation practice. Enter your email into the box below to receive a weekly email with my favorite guided meditation practices + videos with tips for how to integrate them into real life.

Xo Courtney


SoulpreneurMastermind
Photo Nov 12, 6 14 05 PMCourtney Pinkerton, M.Div & M.PP, is a holistic life and leadership 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. Courtney can be reached at cp@courtneypinkerton.com.

Summer of Meditation Challenge: Let’s Take a Break + Jump to the Deep End

Sparkler_Ancient

But wait we just got started… Why take a breather? Because in my experience, dear one, the 4th of July weekend is not a great day to roll out new content. (At least for those of you in the U.S.) For my international readers let’s just consider this a mini break to celebrate summer.

If you missed our first two practices you can catch up with those videos here and here. And stay tuned for one of my favorite practices next week: “No Cheesy Self Love, Only Kindness.”

Warmly, Courtney

PS I love this pic with the beauty of an old hand and the light from the sparkler. I have been thinking a fair amount about death and aging lately. (Not to jump from the shallow to the deep end of the pool in a postscript.) A mom in my neighborhood as well as a yoga student at the studio where I teach both died recently, well before their time. It rattled me. It rattles me still and provides that reminder to, as my friend a visual artist likes to say, “show up and make marks.” Let us all commit, right now, not to die with our song still in us. Sing, bird, Sing. Sparkle Birder Sparkle. Not in that outside-in way. But by bringing what is in you out into the world.  Could you use some help in that department? Stay tuned for my Soulpreneur Mastermind, a group coaching program to help women who are birthing a new biz or project with the support they need to break big goals into turtle steps and the community to make them real. Details + applications opening next week. xo

Summer of Meditation Challenge 2016

Come on in. Feel the fresh and verdant air. Let’s detox your brain and nervous system so new ideas and iterations of you can bloom!

Join 500+ people from around the country who have participated in this free, 8 week online program to start or deepen a regular meditation practice. Enter your email into the box below to receive a weekly email with my favorite guided meditation practices + videos with tips for how to integrate them into real life. The Challenge starts Friday June 17th.

Xo Courtney


Photo Nov 12, 6 14 05 PMCourtney Pinkerton, M.Div & M.PP, is a holistic life and leadership 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. Courtney can be reached at cp@courtneypinkerton.com.

Summer of Meditation Challenge 2016: Week 4. The 9 Vital Messages

Today’s reflection balances out all the self love conversation from last week.

Yes we need to show ourselves some kindness. But we also need to hold our definition of ourselves lightly; to give our identity a chance to grow and shift.

Today I link the Enneagram, a powerful personality map, with our Challenge to create a new meditation. It is a variation on the loving kindness practice but incorporates 9 vital Enneagram messages.

Depending on your personality type you especially need to hear one.

EnneaMeditationWeek4

Sometimes we have to say goodbye to beloved treasures to make space for the new. (You can read all about my purging of books last summer and see the “before” picture of my home office here. ) And sometimes we need also to say goodbye to ways which we may nursing a particular version of our identity. As we grow we can create more space for our essence to emerge.

I hope you will try today’s meditation practice. And if you want to learn more about the Enneagram — here are a wealth of resources. You can also read more about my Enneagram-based coaching and schedule your own complementary laser coaching session here.

Now Over to You

I hope over the past few weeks you have had a chance to experiment with different options for your meditation practice: morning, lunch, early evening or the “happy hour” meditation. It is good to be creative and try various options to begin to discern a time that works for you. I also want to share that it does help meditating to become a habit to identify one place where you practice. I can’t explain it but it is almost like wrapping yourself in a cozy blanket to sit down in the spot where you consistently meditate. For me it is in my home office on a yoga mat with cushions or couch. When I travel I of course get flexible.

Where feels best for you to meditate?

Could you try to stick with one spot this week + see how that feels?

Plus I’d love to hear your experience with this practice. Leave it as a comment below and share it on social media with #summerofmeditationchallenge

Warmly,

Courtney

PS I’m really excited about my Soulpreneur Mastermind group coaching program and would love to talk to you if you are starting or growing your dream biz or project. Details + Application Here.

SoulpreneurMastermind

Summer of Meditation Challenge 2016

Come on in. Feel the fresh and verdant air. Let’s detox your brain and nervous system so new ideas and iterations of you can bloom!

Join 500+ people from around the country who have participated in this free, 8 week online program to start or deepen a regular meditation practice. Enter your email into the box below to receive a weekly email with my favorite guided meditation practices + videos with tips for how to integrate them into real life. The Challenge starts Friday June 17th but you can hop it any time. Remember the best meditation is the one you do!

Xo Courtney


Photo Nov 12, 6 14 05 PMCourtney Pinkerton, M.Div & M.PP, is a holistic life and leadership 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. Courtney can be reached at cp@courtneypinkerton.com.

No Cheesy Self-Love. Only Kindness. Week 3 of the Summer of Meditation Challenge

Self-love talk always freaks me out. It sounds cheesy, like a Saturday Night Live skit on affirmations.

I still am not really comfortable with the idea that I need to love myself. I mean, I understand it intellectually but can’t easily find a doorway into that love as a lived practice.

Please don’t send me invitations to ecourses to cultivate self-love or Oprah + Depak’s latest meditations on the subject. Really I get it. It is a good thing. I am just searching for a way to offer myself love that feels authentic and not forced.

But one thing I can understand is the need to stand with myself, even when I’m struggling.

Perhaps you too have noticed that those inner critic voices get louder when you are growing or changing?

So when you find yourself marching in lock step with your inner critic this is your clue to slow down… and offer yourself some kindness.

I love the Metta or lovingkindness meditation practice.

It has an awkward sound to it because we don’t have an exact translation for this sentiment of Metta into English. “Love” doesn’t quite cut it– it is too multivalent.

So lovingkindness it is sort of a made up word and an effort to capture a positive sensation we experience in the body.

Historically the meditation starts with offering a set of blessings to yourself and extending them to others: first a friend or benefactor, a “neutral person” like your UPS delivery man, and ultimately (if you are feeling brave) to someone who irritates you or has hurt you in the past. Lastly we extend the blessings to the whole world.

Increasingly some meditation teachers flip it, and invite you first to call to mind someone you love and offer the blessings to them. Then once your heart is warmed up, you can offer the kindness to yourself. Apparently this is because some of us have such a hard time generating that feeling of loving kindness for ourselves.

This inability to authentically offer ourselves kindness is a serious problem.  A major roadblock to being happy and present.

Because if we only stand with ourselves internally when we think we “did a good job” or “got it right” then our love is quite fickle. And we spend a lot of time trying to earn that external approval because we can’t depend on ourselves to offer it.

Here is your week three practice, recorded one evening al fresco out under the stars.

Loving_KindnessOutsideWeek3

We live on a street realtors describe as “a country lane in the city” which is near a creek and quite wooded.  Lots of bugs and an occasional car driving by find their way into this recording. You can use all those noises as an extra invitation to stay with the mantras– but if you find it too noisy feel free to try an earlier version here. 

And Now Choose Your Commitment!

Take a moment right now, a few breaths, close your eyes and feel into your body. What is the right commitment for you?

Could you do this loving kindness meditation for 10 minutes every day?

Or maybe 3 times a week? Or just once right now?

Share your commitment in a reply to the post. Share it with a friend or on social media (Don’t forget to tag me + use #summerofmeditationchallenge).

Remember there is no behind in the Summer of Meditation Challenge! Just begin today and set your intension for this week.

xo

Courtney

PS Applications are now open for my Soulpreneur Mastermind, a monthly group coaching program for women. Read more here.

SoulpreneurMastermind

Summer of Meditation Challenge 2016

Come on in. Feel the fresh and verdant air. Let’s detox your brain and nervous system so new ideas and iterations of you can bloom!

Join 500+ people from around the country who have participated in this free, 8 week online program to start or deepen a regular meditation practice. Enter your email into the box below to receive a weekly email with my favorite guided meditation practices + videos with tips for how to integrate them into real life. The Challenge starts Friday June 17th.

Xo Courtney


Photo Nov 12, 6 14 05 PMCourtney Pinkerton, M.Div & M.PP, is a holistic life and leadership 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. Courtney can be reached at cp@courtneypinkerton.com.

Summer of Meditation Challenge Week 2: Pernicious Thoughts + My Lunch with a Horse

Repeat after me: the goal of meditation is not to stop the mind from thinking.

Make this your goal and you are sure to fail. (And be mean to yourself along the way.)

It is the nature of the mind to think. We think upwards of 12,000 thoughts a day (that’s 1,000 or more an hour!).

Meditation helps us strengthen our attention muscle so we don’t chase the thoughts like a puppy but instead can stay with ourselves in the present. Which is where we have a choice.

Interestingly, in meditation, thoughts can actually be one of the ways the body is releasing stress.*

A thought in meditation is simply inviting you to into your practice. This is the very moment where you are rewiring your brain to be more resilient by choosing to notice the thought and return consciously to the present moment. There are many tools which bring us back, the breath is one of them.

Try this week’s guided audio meditation to detangle your thinking.

UntangleThoughts_week 2

Building our attention muscle in meditation we are more capable of noticing the painful thoughts as they emerge in daily life and creating a little distance from them. Which is how we grow our sense of freedom + agency in the face of life circumstance. Thoughts often position us as a victim.

Come home to the present and you remind yourself that you have capacities to respond creatively to life.

You are on your own hero’s journey.

What are some of your recurrent painful thoughts?

What are some of the painful thoughts you encounter regularly in your social context? Often people share their painful thoughts with each other without realizing. Rather than drinking in another’s anxiety… could you return to your breath and meet your friend or coworker with compassion even as you choose not to internalize their pain? This is a fresh form of thought leadership.

And Now Choose Your Commitment!

Take a moment right now, a few breaths, close your eyes and feel into your body. What is the right commitment for you?

Could you do this thought dissolving meditation for 10 minutes every day?

Or maybe 3 times a week? Or just once right now?

Share Your Commitment Leave a comment below. What you share may be just the inspiration another needs to hear. Share it with a friend or on social media. (Connect with me on Facebook. And don’t forget to use #summerofmeditationchallenge so I can find + read all about your experience.)

Until next week… where we will have fun with lovingkindness. xo Courtney

PS Read on for details about my recent Soulpreneur retreat and an upcoming group coaching option for Soulpreneurs.

*For more on this theme check out Sarah McClean’s book Soul-Centered.

Soulpreneur

We had such a beautiful gathering of heart-led entrepreneurs out at Shooting Star Ranch this week. Hearing all of the women’s stories about their businesses or dreams of businesses I felt like I used to feel back when I was a doula — each birth a brush with the holy. So too these dreams struck me as sacred and powerful. Women heeding that voice of wisdom which calls them to step out on their own, to create a container through which they can contribute their unique gifts to the world. If you are interested in this conversation please stay tuned about a new Soulpreneur MasterMind (a group coaching package) I’ll be starting next month. So much more to share about that. Details coming.

After the event was over I was cleaning up and sat down to enjoy a late lunch. This beauty ambled up to me and we shared a moment. Each of us chewing and held by the hush of the green forest around us. It was one of those moments where I felt deeply witnessed and grateful to life for its magic.

magic

LaCasita

Summer of Meditation Challenge 2016

Come on in. Feel the fresh and verdant air. Let’s detox your brain and nervous system so new ideas and iterations of you can bloom!

Join 500+ people from around the country who have participated in this free, 8 week online program to start or deepen a regular meditation practice. Enter your email into the box below to receive a weekly email with my favorite guided meditation practices + videos with tips for how to integrate them into real life. The Challenge starts Friday June 17th.

Xo Courtney


Photo Nov 12, 6 14 05 PMCourtney Pinkerton, M.Div & M.PP, is a holistic life and leadership 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. Courtney can be reached at cp@courtneypinkerton.com.

SUMMER OF MEDITATION CHALLENGE 2016 WEEK ONE (Now with videos!)

SummerofMedWeek1

 

To avoid the most common frustration I hear in my meditation class and elsewhere– let’s skip the sit all together today, shall we? No need to force your mind to be empty. Instead, walk.

And try out this delightful, simple, easy practice from Thích Nhất Hạnh, master of mindfulness and all things good:

Oui + Merci.

Listen here.

Oui + Merci_Walking Meditation

On the inhale you say “oui…oui….oui” and the exhale “merci….merci…..merci.”

We say yes to life. And thank you.

But wait doesn’t it have to be harder than this? Um, no.

Actually it turns out that being kind to yourself and treating this meditation project as play is so much more likely to open the space for you to grow into a new routine this summer. So if you need a metric, something to keep an eye on, rather than noticing how many thoughts you have (which are actually evidence of stress leaving your body…more on that next week) — could you instead observe how kind you are to yourself?

How kind are you when you miss a day of meditation? Or aren’t able to do your practice when you planned? Or find yourself distracted and in need of redirection to the mantra and the footstep?

Might you be even kinder to yourself next time?

Kindness is the secret sauce for any kind of inner growth.

And Now Choose Your Commitment!

Meditation reconnects you to your sense of choice and freedom in each moment: freedom to enjoy your life, freedom to be with what is here, freedom to begin again.

Engage your sense of choice as you design your practice this week.

Take a moment right now, a few breaths, close your eyes and feel into your body. What is the right commitment for you?

Could you do this walking meditation for 10 minutes every day?

Or maybe 3 times a week? Or just once right now?

Could you begin to play around with different times of day to see what works best for you?

If you already have a regular sitting practice, perhaps you want to add this in as an evening practice or before you sit?

Share your commitment in a reply to the post. What you share may be just the inspiration another needs to hear. Share it with a friend and on social media (Don’t forget to tag me + use #summerofmeditationchallenge).

Social accountability helps to make it real.

While the gold standard for rewiring your brain with meditation is 30 minutes a day for 8 weeks, the benefits come much sooner and even with smaller doses.

And the best meditation is the one you do. Oui? Oui.

And merci.

Courtney

Summer of Meditation Challenge 2016

Come on in. Feel the fresh and verdant air. Let’s detox your brain and nervous system so new ideas and iterations of you can bloom!

Join 500+ people from around the country who have participated in this free, 8 week online program to start or deepen a regular meditation practice. Enter your email into the box below to receive a weekly email with my favorite guided meditation practices + videos with tips for how to integrate them into real life. The Challenge starts Friday June 17th.

Xo Courtney


Photo Nov 12, 6 14 05 PMCourtney Pinkerton, M.Div & M.PP, is a holistic life and leadership 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 + 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. Courtney can be reached at cp@courtneypinkerton.com.

What Connects You to Your SuperPower? (+ My Secret Mantra)

Spiral Labyrinth Bouquet

When my hem is wet and water tricking down my parka and it is round trip # five in the rain to the minivan hauling nature bits for the spiral labyrinth which is our preschool graduation (now moved indoors) I have a little mantra I say to myself:

“I was in the Peace Corps.”

It is my own way of saying “Hey, Corina, you got this!” (Corina is my nickname and what I call myself. A throwback to my time in Nicaragua where “Courtney” comes out “Corny” in the mouths of Spanish-speakers and who wants to be called “Corny” for 27 months? So I rechristened myself…)

And in challenging moments some wiser part of me comes up saying, “Sweety, you forget what you can do. Sure maybe time is tight and you feel a little squeezed on the last day of school and so ready to graduate from preschool yourself after 7 years and 3 little ones. But take a breath. And remember. You hauled your own water. You lived on a volcano. And you loved it. When it wasn’t breaking your heart.

This is no different. This is life. The too-muchness of it all. And you got it. Or rather, it has you.”

My self talk isn’t always so kind. But I am grateful when this better angel of my nature shows up and reminds me to hold my own agenda with a light touch. Otherwise the day will be a blur and I won’t have had that moment to let the shift happen, to really feel into the saying goodbye to one era and hello to another. And that is not the way I want to live, at least not anymore.

So it has me wondering, dear one:

What mantra do you offer yourself to tap into your resiliency? 

How do you remind yourself of what you are capable of?

Maybe your story of discovering resources you didn’t know you had happened closer to home.

Maybe it was in the service of another: a loved one or friend.

Maybe it is happening right now today, as you contemplate a shift in your life or dare to name a transition you desire.

We all need inner touchstones which help us stretch back out to our rightful size.

I would love to hear your resiliency story or mantra in a comment below.

What you share may be just the inspiration another needs to hear!

Love + All the Good,

Courtney

PS Read on for details about the Summer of Meditation Challenge (a free 8 week training program) plus 3 live events I have coming in June. My Soulpreneur Day Retreat is more than half full so grab a spot today if you are interested! Click on each photo for full details + to register. xo Courtney

Summer of Meditation Challenge 2016

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