Happy Friday! I have something special for you today — I open up about a motivation for our move which I haven’t shared about before and I also have an exclusive invitation for you. My October retreat in Granada Nicaragua is already filling up. In fact I only have four spots available. Also there are unique features of this retreat: a book launch party on Saturday Night — Trust me, I am making some really fun plans for us — plus the retreat is half price. Learn more in this quick video xxo Courtney
We are engaged in a bit of an experiment at the moment: five of us in a two bedroom, one bathroom house. Not quite a tiny house, but at under 1000 square feet about as tiny as we can imagine going. The kids, amazingly, are totally down with the new space. Do you know why? The whole little backyard is taken up by one feature they couldn’t turn down: a pool.
Something I haven’t shared much about yet and part of the vision for this relocation to Nicaragua is our desire to live with a lighter carbon footprint. We wanted to live in a place where it was just easier and more fun to walk and opt out of cars and air dry our clothes and all the other tweaks we could imagine making.
There has been lots of learning this week as we figure out how to live together in this new proximity. Much of it good, some of it — the inevitable chafing and irritation — a challenge. But one we have the heart to take on.
As part of getting settled we finally fully unpacked our suitcases and I got out one of the few decorative pieces which made the cut when we sold all of our stuff: a simple textile from my trip to San Miguel de Allende back in November. Hanging it above our new kitchen table brings me _such_ satisfaction. And coupled with my people, all now closer than ever, a sense of home.
It also reminds me of the desire I felt so strongly when in Mexico: a wanting to not just visit but to live in that kind of town with its cobblestone streets and slower pace. At that point Nicaragua was not seriously on our radar screen, at least not for this year or anytime concrete.
The most I could imagine was that maybe we could go to San Miguel for a month this summer. But even that felt like a serious stretch — how could Rich get the time off — etc etc.
Now we have made the transition: my husband resigning his nonprofit job after many years of service and deciding to work with and support me in my coaching biz, selling our house and belongings, moving, exploring Nicaragua and ultimately settling in what we think may be our new hometown, Granada. (The kids even start in an international school — with full on Spanish immersion, next week!)
And this process of getting settled in our new home has invited me to reflect on the desires which bubbled for a long time and led us here. A couple of years ago I even made a collage about them with my children during a long lazy vacation in West Texas. The collage is, what we call in life-coach land, a “vision board.”
How these work, like many tools of the soul or subconscious, I really don’t know. It just would seem that sometimes the language of desire is more material and visual than verbal.
So it helps to loosen things up and to play with color, texture and image without a firm sense of what you are creating. Things you didn’t even know you wanted come forward… the whispers of the life which beckons.
After I filled my vision board with all kinds of images — green and growing things, wise grandmothers and more — a few phrases likewise clipped from magazine ads and articles jumped out at me:
“Anything is Possible”
and “Follow in Your Children’s Footsteps”
And more recently “Greenhouse Living.”
I never knew exactly what these phrases meant but I glued them over the images. They seemed a mantra of sorts. Something I would hold in my mind as I periodically looked at the vision board propped in my office and marinated in the images.
And yesterday I looked up from my yoga mat, saw the textile blowing in the wind and remembered how I felt and who I was and what my life looked like when I bought it and I thought to myself: hot damn, anything can happen!
You can go from Dallas suburban 2500 square foot home (and everything in it!) to Granada miniature in just a few short months.
This process reminds me how flexible and bendable our lives really are. Not that we always want to make such dramatic shifts, but it feels good to know that we can.
And what a reminder of what the spiritual masters have taught through the ages when it comes to attachments: it is good to stay nimble.
So we are able to stretch and move as needed to heed the call of what we hold most dear.
As for following in my kids footsteps and green house living — those mantras feel closer than ever as well. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to be with my children in this new way. I feel like a layer of stress dust has been washed off us all — the grind of commuting in the minivan up and down Hampton Road to school for example. (Trust me I was not a zen mama getting those kids out the door to school or picking them up every day.)
And the bougainvillea, hibiscus and citrus trees in my backyard thrive in the daily rains of this wet or “green” season in Nicaragua. I love that the doors are always open. We don’t even have a proper back door, just an iron gate and a screen. The greenhouse outside is really living with us.
And so I wonder my sweetums, what might you say yes to if anything was possible? I certainly don’t think we are all called to go adventuring in the tropics. There are a thousand hues of desire.
So this week I just wanted to share my mantras with you to try on, especially the first one, and let me know what comes forward in image, dream, or reality.
PS If anything is possible, what about you coming to join me for a Nica rendezvous? If you are interested just fill out this simple application form and I’ll be in touch to set up a call to answer any questions and discern if this retreat is a good fit for you.
I’ll be sharing more details next week once I have the full description on my website, but given that there are not many spaces I wanted to give you the special invitation to apply now. If something in you is stirring at the thought of being part of this eco-chic adventure enjoying fresh food and conversation and creating your own custom FLOURISH Formula I hope you will fill out the application and I’ll be in touch to talk more!
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 and is the creator of the 8 step FLOURISH Coaching program. Courtney loves hosting retreats for women in nature and beauty-drenched locales, her next one will be held in Granada, Nicaragua October 20-23rd. In live events and through her coaching Courtney helps busy women unlock their greatest gifts and thrive in their personal lives. This summer she moved to Nicaragua with her husband Richard Amory and their three children where together they are exploring volcanic islands, colonial cities, and area beaches to find their perfect spot to land. Interested to learn more about her FLOURISH coaching program or upcoming retreat? You can schedule your complimentary discovery session here.
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