What Cues You to Slow Down? How Good Are You at Ignoring it?


How do you know it is time to slow down?  Do you?

This is one of the themes which has come up interviewing busy women for my book i.e. “Help! I want to slow down but I don’t know how!” Does this resonate for you?

I thought as one first step we might all do a bit of an experiment this week. You don’t have to change anything about your life, but simply notice the cues your body sends up, like red flares in the night, suggesting that you should adjust your pace.  For me the two strongest signs are my right hand getting cold (a classic stress response for me) and shallow breathing which makes me feel all fuzzy.  If I ignore those and press on at warp speed for days or longer, I often end up hurting one of my toes. Catching it or stubbing it on my way around a corner too fast. This whole pattern I have come to recognize… And I have a couple of choices. I can press on, which I have plenty of experience doing.  Or I can notice when the cue is more subtle and take a 5-15 minute break.

Maybe I’m also naturally hungry. Or just need to feel the sun on my face. (Eating lunch outside is one of my favorite “conscious living hacks.” OK I hate the word hacks but you know what i mean: a quick tip which does multiple good things at once.)

Vitamin D, check! Vitamin N (nature) as I watch those lovely swirling swallows, check! Unitasking i.e. eating my lunch without doing anything else, check!

My other current favorite is Five Two Seven breathing. Inhale for a count of five. Hold for two. Exhale for a count of seven. Long slow exhales are calming to the nervous system. It is a great reset. What body signals tell you that your pace is unsustainable? What helps with the reset? I would love to hear, just reply here and let me know. Who knows you might make it into the book!

Also I want to let you know that I’m going to be taking some weeks off blogging while I care for my book baby. During this time I will be sharing some of my favorite Vintage Bird Posts. I hope you enjoy them! And while I’m not currently taking new clients I will be opening my coaching calendar again once the manuscript is done mid march.

xxo Courtney

(Photo Credit – Eileen West)

P.S.  Did you hear about my referral bonus for the retreat in Mexico?

Step one: Share with your lovelies + invite them to Flourish on my behalf since you know them and you know me and that is the best kind of connection.

Step two: If one of them decides to attend I reach out to you to offer a bonus coaching session and taste of the content from my book/retreat which is my new Flourish Formula. (8 steps which enable you to make your greatest creative/professional contribution and have a thriving personal life.) I love growing relationally so I’d be honored if you would forward this email on to a friend.  (All the details about the retreat are below.)

You are invited to gather with other women in a home with a gorgeous interior courtyard enjoying a consciously curated experience where alone time is balanced with meaningful conversations and lively small group coaching sessions, where you have time to sit by (or in) a heated pool and journal, to listen to yourself and to be deeply heard, practice yoga (or not), enjoy the daily siesta with an actual nap (because we hear ourselves better when well rested) or by exploring the city on a solo adventure or with new or old friends — drinking up its ancient beauty and marketplaces.

Your experience will also include meal offerings of delicious, fresh local food, (breakfast, lunch and a snack, because you need good nourishment) and teaching sessions on incisive tools for self-awareness including the Enneagram and meditation. Evenings are free to explore, to rest, to enjoy local dining, to share, to listen, to read, to write, to get a pedicure or manicure, to buy a fabulous scarf. To drink hot chocolate and crumbly Mexican pastries. To enjoy. Because beyond all of the beauty around you also hear the invitation to step deeper inside your own interior landscape….. I’m so excited to be sharing this new body of work with you for the first time live in this retreat. You will also be among the first to receive a copy of my new book! Space is limited. Reserve Your Spot Today!

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 (a personality map), meditation, and mindbody practices to reduce stress 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.