Slow Living + My Journey Over the River

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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

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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.