Keep Your Friends Close + Your Inspiration Even Closer

Blooming Teapot

I break a lot of rules with my blog. I don’t stick to one subject (as you may have noticed!) Meditation, enneagram, conscious parenting, leadership, and green living all take a turn.  Yet I hope each post offers you a sip of something beautiful and worthy of your attention.  I am grateful for the space in your busy inbox and don’t take it lightly.

One Birder shared with me this week: “I love your pictures and reading your blog. It is a humanizing part of my day.”

Humanizing—what a great word! That is what inspiration does, whether it comes to us via a blog post, art, or nature: it reminds us of the higher capacities of our human nature. It reorients us toward our inherent creativity, wisdom, and kindness. 

What inspiration could you keep close this week?  This bouquet and handful of glassy red seeds from a tree grace my desk– giving me way more than the effort it took to gather them there.  

For inspiration always comes in at an angle. It nourishes the soul by sneaking in under, around, and through our often defended hearts.

So here is some more rule breaking. Poetry is notoriously personal. Poems are not recommended for public speaking because they tend to land in so many different places and ways in the audience. Poetry is slippery.

Yet, poems are some of the most humanizing forms of language. They hint, flirt, nudge, and provoke us. They open space for truth to slip in.

I’ve been on a poetry jag this year: Rumi, Mark Nepo, Wendell Barry, Mary Oliver and more. 

Here is one for you. Maybe you have heard it before. Maybe you are lucky enough for it to be new. Either way… I hope it slides into your day like a warm sip of tea with honey.

Wild Geese
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
from Dream Work by Mary Oliver
published by Atlantic Monthly Press
© Mary Oliver


cropped-UpLevel-Filming.jpgCourtney Pinkerton is the founder of Bird in Hand Coaching, the host of the Summer of Meditation Challenge, and publisher of a weekly enewsletter on real-world mindfulness practices. She lives in Oak Cliff, Texas with her husband Richard Amory where they try to keep up with their three young children and remember to water their garden boxes. Courtney can be reached through her site or you can schedule a complementary clarity session to talk more.

“I don’t trust a lot of people with my heart. Courtney has a very clean, and centered presence. She creates a space where you can be yourself with no judgement, and this is transformational. Courtney reminds me that change is not a linear process. And that I don’t have to be frustrated with myself for what I haven’t been able to work out, on my own. As part of this coaching relationship I have reconnected to the root of myself and to nature and the creative process. I still can get stressed out, but now I feel lighter, freer, and hopeful. My spirit is soaring again, I’m working to live my life again,  and I haven’t felt this way in a long time.” Katrina, Non-Profit Leader, Dallas Texas.

How do we work together?

Currently I offer one-on-one coaching via phone or in person for local clients. I specialize in helping clients achieve work-life alignment, move through difficult periods of transition and craft integrated, soulful lives.

Coaching is a partnership which takes time and commitment. For that reason, while I offer one-off sessions for previous/current clients, I do not recommend it for prospective clients. As a general rule of thumb, I find that clients experience substantial shifts in ten sessions and undergo palpable transformation in twenty. I customize 10-20 session intensives to meet your specific needs:

Bird in Hand Coaching Intensive

  • 10 private, personalized 60-minute sessions via phone
  • custom fieldwork exercises (as desired) in between sessions
  • regular email support
  • personalized meditations and visualizations
  • recordings of our sessions and meditations (as desired)
  • practical reading and resources
  • investment in yourself: $1975. Clients can also choose to make three monthly payments of $675 (for weekly sessions) or five monthly payments of $425 (for sessions twice a month).

Bird in Hand Coaching 2.0

  • For graduates of the ten session intensive
  • 6-10 private, personalized 60-minute sessions via phone
  • Building on tools + awareness from the intensive we hone in on specific goals you identify — often in the realm of career or relationship shifts — and help you take concrete steps to navigate the transitions with presence.
  • custom fieldwork practices (as desired) in between sessions
  • recordings of our sessions
  • practical tools and resources
  • personalized meditations and visualizations
  • regular email support
  • investment in yourself:  $1185-1975. Clients can also choose to make monthly payments of $675 (for weekly sessions) or monthly payments of $425 (for sessions twice a month).

Interested to learn more? Schedule a complementary clarity session here.

“Coaching with Courtney is like a class you take on yourself with a good instructor. It is a class about you. You find out things you like, and thing you don’t like. You are going to do the work! But it has been wonderful to talk to someone smart, caring, & thoughtful to work through things I get stuck in. It is not always so easy from the inside to see how you are stuck. As a result of our coaching sessions I feel more in control. And when stressful things happen I remember to breathe. I have also been happier. This has been really nice. And more grounded. Meditation has been an unexpected and awesome bonus.” Liena, Publisher, Brooklyn NY.

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3 thoughts on “Keep Your Friends Close + Your Inspiration Even Closer”

  1. Dear Courtney,

    What a lovely blog post! I can feel the truth of inspiration coming in at a slant, slipping around and over us like filtered sunshine, spilling into our cracks and over our carefully constructed walls.

    I am a great fan of poetry too. Rumi and Mary Oliver seem to slip and wiggle past even the most defended hearts, I’ve found. Most certainly mine 😉

    I would love to offer a cup of tea in return for the beautiful reminder of Wild Geese. Here’s a poem that I just fell in love with…

    “Please Come Home” by Cynthia Bourgeault in The Wisdom Way of Knowing: Reclaiming an Ancient Tradition to Awaken the Heart

    Please Come Home

    Please come home. Please come home.
    Find the place where your feet know where to walk
    And follow your own trail home.

    Please come home. Please come home into your own body,
    Your own vessel, your own earth.
    Please come home into each and every cell,
    And fully into the space that surrounds you.

    Please come home. Please come home to trusting yourself,
    And your instincts and your ways and your knowings,
    And even the particular quirks of your personality,

    Please come home. Please come home and once you are
    firmly there,
    Please stay awhile and come to a deep rest within.
    Please treasure your home. Please love and embrace your home.
    Please get a deep, deep sense of what it’s like to be truly home.

    Please come home. Please come home.
    And when you’re really, really ready,
    And there’s a detectable urge on the out breath, then please
    come out.
    Please come home and please come forward.
    Please express who you are to us, and please trust us
    To see you and hear you and touch you
    And recognize you as best we can.

    Please come home. Please come home and let us know
    All the nooks and crannies that are calling to be seen.
    Please come home, and let us know the More
    That is there that wants to come out.

    Please come home. Please come home
    For you belong here now. You belong among us.
    Please inhabit your place fully so we can learn from you,
    From your voice and your ways and your presence.

    Please come home. Please come home.
    And when you feel yourself home, please welcome us too,
    For we too forget that we belong and are welcome,
    And that we are called to express fully who we are.

    Please come home. Please come home.
    You and you and you and me.

    Please come home. Please come home.
    Thank you, Earth, for welcoming us.
    May we wake up and remember who we truly are.

    Please come home.
    Please come home.
    Please come home.

    1. Jennifer. ooooooh, i love this! Thank you so much for sharing this _beautiful_ poem. Especially
      “Please come home. Please come home and let us know
      All the nooks and crannies that are calling to be seen.
      Please come home, and let us know the More
      That is there that wants to come out” Resonated for me at this time and place. Thank you for reading and sharing your wisdom to the tribe! xo Courtney

      1. PS. Forgive my delay in approving this comment! I’m cleaning out the spam folder to start the new year and discovering that lots of good comments got snagged some how in there. Poetry in Spam?! This is not how the world should be. We righted the situation. thanks for your patience. xo Courtney

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