We end where we began. With those two vital + surprising words, Oui + merci. Plus one more: celebrate! Really when you think about it celebrating is a combination of saying “yes” to life and “I’m grateful.”
Try today’s practice — to name and cherish one moment from the summer– and see how it makes you feel.
If you are at all suspicious here, good! 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. I think this may be a common problem…)
But what we pay attention to grows. So see if you can 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 celebrate!
And know that I celebrate you. Whether this is your first blog post 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 audio…)
I celebrate your curiosity, your feedback with me about the Challenge, 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,
PS And with that I am off for two weeks of vacation with my family (and some nature-based coaching). I’m also going to walk my talk the month of August and engage some deep rest. If I get inspired I may share one of my “almost wordless” posts with favorite pics. Or I may just hibernate. But know come fall I will be back with weekly mind/body posts and ready for new clients for my ten-session transformational coaching series. xo
If You Would Like a Little Bit More…
I promised distilled this Summer. However, these are some of my deeper reflections if you are into that. Xo
QuickStart Mindfulness Question
What are your favorite ways to celebrate? I discovered I was a little rusty in the arts of celebrating myself. I enjoyed crafting celebrations for others, like children or friends, but undertended to my own special moments. No more! Now I am super grateful if someone plans something special for me or gives me a gift. And beyond the big moments like birthdays or graduations, sometimes it takes speaking up and sharing with others that you have something worth celebrating. And to do this you have to first name it for yourself! In addition to the classic examples of a special meal, dessert, or glass of vino, even a lit candle or a fresh bouquet can feel like a celebration– we celebrate with all our senses.
It is the intentionality and care that creates a little ring around that moment and marks it as special. Not to get morbid, but 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 find one thing to celebrate this summer! If you do celebrate snap a pic and share with me or leave a comment below. I would _love_ to celebrate with you!!
Celebrating is so important to the life of the group, especially if you are building a team who is working together for a shared goal. Community organizers know this to be true. The “celebration” is as vital as meeting any mountaintop goal. In fact the celebration becomes the platform + the fuel for the next phase of the movement. I’m gearing up to reconnect to my favorite organizing curriculum created by Harvard Kennedy School prof Marshall Ganz at a training in Boston next month– all about creating grass-roots, heart-led change. I’m super excited + sure this will infuse my posts down the road.
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Courtney 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 weekly e-newsletter on real-world mindfulness practices. Courtney teaches regularly on the Enneagram, meditation, and conscious approaches to leadership and parenting. 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 at email@example.com or you can schedule a complementary conversation to talk more.