When I was a teenager I used to really resent those Cosmo quizzes which would tell you your innate style. The questions always felt so formulaic and I struggled to answer them accurately. This weekend would I rather A) head out into nature in cutoffs, hair tousled and no makeup or B) get dressed up and go out with the ladies?
Um – both please!?
As a girl I had a love of fancy and sparkly things. Then as I hit my Women’s Studies phase at 18 I cut off all my hair and dyed it red.
The night of my wedding in Nicaragua I had to send friends out to get more razors so I could finish shaving my legs and don my handmade wedding dress. After two years in the Peace Corps living on a volcano I had gone pretty natural.
The point of all of this oversharing? Those boxes –- nature girl, fancy girl — they don’t give me the space to live my right life, which includes both.
Only now as I land in my forties I feel the integration of these pieces. My love of a stylish pair of boots and a good haircut can coexist with my appreciation of the outdoors. Red nail polish can go with an afternoon gardening. I don’t have to choose.
The spiritual masters call this frame of mind “non-dual seeing.” It is about learning to see behind and around that very human impulse to put things in either/or boxes. It is not so much blowing the boxes up as dissolving them into a greater force field. Or realizing they were never really there.
I’ve been alert to this dissolving of dualism over the past few weeks as I have been in my creativity cave writing a book. (Only two chapters remain, can you believe it?!!) Next week I go to a special retreat with fellow authors hosted by my book coach where together we will celebrate our completed manuscripts and learn next steps!
Writing this book I’ve felt an integration within myself which I haven’t before experienced, at least not to this degree. I’ve always struggled with feeling a certain heat and ambition internally, a desire to make a mark, to make the world better in some concrete and demonstrable way. Yet the rub comes from the fact that my nervous system is pretty sensitive. I have the opposite of what you would call thick skin. Plus I’m a serious introvert. An INFP on the Myers Briggs Scale. A dreamer.
So how to create the impact I crave? Clearly networking events are out of the question as they make me want to throw up. It turns out that writing a book is a wonderful way for me to live into my own desire for impact and to be of service and do it from the comfort of my very own home! I don’t have to pretend to be any different than I am. I can be both ambitious and introverted. Leader and gentle. Doer and dreamer.
I wonder… what boxes do you have yourself in? Is there a way to dissolve them so you can be your more spacious self?
Also I want to let you know that my developmental editor suggested that I do a beta test of my book ideas before publishing later this year. Which is an idea I love!
So I am going to be offering a coaching program in April to share this whole new body of work! It will include both virtual and in person components as well as group and one on one coaching. Plus the opportunity to be an early reader for excerpts of my new book! I’m soooo excited to share my eight step formula for how to unlock your greatest professional and creative contributions and flourish in your personal life. It is going to be a very limited offering so I’m giving a shout out today to tell you about it. It is only for women who want to learn the formula for how to slow down and up your impact (you don’t have to choose!) If you are interested email firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll give you the inside scoop!
Love and all the good,
The Early Bird price for my Flourish Retreat expires next Friday March 17th at midnight and we only have four spaces remaining. My retreats tend to sell out so if you have been flirting with the idea I’d encourage you to go ahead and take advantage of this $200 savings and reserve your spot today. It is shaping up to be a magical group of women and I would so love for you to be a part of it. Plus I’ll be teaching this 8 step Flourish content live for the first time! Let’s run away to Mexico together!
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 email@example.com.