Category Archives: meditation

Mexico Photo Reveal + More


Sometimes things are too hot to share right away, do you know what I mean? Not just hot as in steamy but hot as in alive, penetrating, unfiltered. In our social media compare and despair lifestyle we sometimes don’t even get a chance to absorb a new experience before we feel compelled to pivot and share it.

There are moments where that is super fun (my son just joined Instagram yesterday, watch out!) and other times where it can rob us the full immersion in the now.

While I couldn’t stop sharing vignettes of my Mexican adventures on Instagram and Facebook the day before the retreat I found that tapered off as I entered into the teaching zone. It reminds me of the feeling I had when I used to attend births as a doula: it turns out time is quite bendy and flexible and it is possible to drop into another experience of time when you feel something precious unfolding. The phone just naturally falls out of your hand.

But once home and having caught my breath, what a pleasure to share some of these photos of the vibe and the gorgeous participants with you.

Yes we had surprise salsa dancing lessons.

And sprinkling of rose petals in the fountain (a custom in San Miguel de Allende.) We did it to mark our intentions for the gathering.
And delicious meals and conversations.

And treats.

And some of the most brave, lovely and inspiring women I could imagine.

Here is one account of the experience from Katie:

“As I am soaking in what I learned in your book and program and tweaking my daily life and imagining my Flourish calendar and seeing myself in my Enneagram type and the neglected side of it and having epiphanies….it’s all because YOU WROTE THIS BOOK!

This program is awesome, life-giving, life-changing. And the strange part of that is, in a weird way, it doesn’t seem new or novel or beginner in anyway – it feels ancient. I almost could have bypassed telling you how fantastic and inspiring and exploding this book and program is because in a sense it seems like it’s been here in the world and it’s a resource that one can build on AS A BASE for a really fulfilling life and THAT is what is so amazing – the flow and the guidance and the language and the care – it is solid like a big sequoia tree. It’s just so integrated and complete that it’s hard to believe you just did this! I don’t know if my words are saying how truly impressed I am by the love and care in which you share your gifts with all of us, and how talented you are at what you do.”

Like Katie I was also surprised by how much the content affected me. Again and again I am reminded that with this kind of work I can never dial it in. I have to live what I teach, and each time at a new level. I am inspired by the shifts in client’s lives and feel myself invited into fuller expression. And these tools in the FLOURISH Formula are so incisive they leave you no where to hide, even from yourself.

While that can sound kind of scary it actually frees up enormous amounts of energy to focus on the things which are most dear and life-giving for you. Sometimes the shifts are subtle but important and other times big changes come out of this process: the decision to change careers or relocate or have another baby. (All real examples I have witnessed with clients.)

I have some big lifestyle changes brewing with my family which I can’t wait to share more about. So stay tuned for those details in the coming weeks. The process of writing the book and teaching this content stirred things up for me in ways I honestly wasn’t expecting. But here we go — you can never go backwards, only forward into your next change cycle.

So if these photos are making you think you would like someone to take care of you for a change, and to enjoy a consciously-curated experience which supports you in gaining clarity and growing resiliency: I am opening up another beta group for my 8 Step FLOURISH coaching program. And this one includes the bonus of an adventure chic retreat in Nicaragua in October! I’d love to hear what is stirring in your life and share all the details. Schedule your Complimentary Discovery Session today!

All the good,

Courtney

PS Holy cow thank you for the feedback for my author photo. I was so touched by the thoughtful responses and encouragement. Wow what a boost before I share this book baby with the world! The results are still coming in but it looks like the popular vote is between the red pillow and the white couch (both pictured below), with many others voting for the kumquat tree and the blue wall. What to do? I plan to digest this feedback and my next step is to work with a book cover designer who may have insights as well. But no matter what I’ll be using all these photos on my website and in social media so thank you again for your feedback, it was so fun! And to Eileen West for her incredible photography skillz, both for my author photos and for the lovely pictures of the retreat featured above. xxo Courtney

 

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 creator of the 8 step FLOURISH Formula Coaching program 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 busy women who want to unlock their greatest gifts and thrive in their personal 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. Interested to learn more? You can schedule your complimentary discovery session here.

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You Make it Look So Easy: The Compare & Despair Economy

Hello from Mexico! I am en route to San Miguel de Allende for my FLOURISH retreat for women. If we aren’t already I hope you will connect on Instagram and Facebook to catch the behind the scenes beauty. (I’ve even got a photo shoot planned. I need a proper head shot for my book cover plus San Miguel begs to be photographed!)

Today’s blog post is about a tender subject for many women: the economy of comparing and despairing. I wrote this post after a recent vacation in the Carolinas and it has been “in the vault” waiting for a special day to reveal. Today is that day! As always I’d love to hear what it stirs for you. Leave a comment below about your own habit of saying “You make it look so easy” or your (surprisingly freeing) list of things that do not come easy! Read on for details on my yoga crashes and more. xxo Courtney

 

Recently I hiked down a trail in one of the largest temperate forests in rural North Carolina. At the peak of this trail we were awarded a view so expansive my 9 year old son remarked: “I don’t know why everyone talks about nature being destroyed. From here it totally overwhelms the towns which are tiny!” It was true, the lush green treetops carpeted the landscape, blissfully dwarfing the human-made structures. (Maybe there is hope for our sweet planet, yet?) My eyes and soul felt like they could relax.

On the way down I passed a retirement-age couple. While this trail was marked as “moderate” they wore serious hiking shoes and walking sticks and seemed to be wrestling with the path. As I came up behind the husband of the duo struggled through a particularly craggy section of rock, calling it an “ankle buster.” He suggested that they let me go on and I passed and continued down the trail. The woman called after me, part frustration and part admiration: “You make it look so easy!”

I paused. Wishing I had a better response I smiled tightly, thinking of my husband who worked for years as a caterer and learned the perfect response when people complimented his food: “I’m glad you like it.”

I was wanting a similar phrase: a way to acknowledge the compliment but turn it around and say, “Hey — look at what you are doing. I hope I’m out in retirement moving my body and taking on challenges. Enjoy yourself!”

This phrase “You make it look so easy” rattled around in my head for the next few days. And as I reflected on it I unearthed the trap of this complement: how often we look at people and evaluate them (and ourselves) only on those things which seem to be coming easily.

Maybe I am nimble on my feet on a hiking trail. But I definitely haven’t always been. My mother had to sign me up for dance lessons as a child because she said I was like a “little elephant” stomping around the house.

And I distinctly remember the moment in Peace Corps training when one of my fellow volunteers inspired me to really loosen my stance and showed me how to jog down steep trails, a practice I had never before tried. Two years on a volcano gave me ample time to learn and whenever I’m on a hill I feel this old muscle memory kick into place.

Even so I’m far from an elite hiker, as evidenced by the fact that I was moving quickly to catch up with my nine year old son and husband who were soundly beating me down the mountain. That is the slippery thing about comparing. There are always people who are better, which leaves us chasing something we can never catch. Even if you are killing it from someone else’s perspective, likely you still find yourself coming up short.

I’m curious how many things do we really need to excell in to have a full and meaningful life?

For me, writing is one thing which comes easy. Gardening another. Also deep conversations about new growth and the way life is surprising us with its magic and grace. And the joy of breaking a complicated idea into little lovely pieces, like on ramps to the beauty and elegance of the whole structure. So that is like four things? Sure there are a more but honestly when I start to think about all the goodness just the ones I’ve listed here bring into my days, it is starting to feel like a full life.

What comes easily for you?

What have you worked hard to cultivate to a point where it looks easy now?

And of course there are other areas of life where we don’t naturally excel. This is where we get support. Or rest in the web of our connections and let someone else catch that. For example, I have a coaching client who is an engineer in a national lab. She is literally a rocket scientist and her research makes her come alive. How easy is it for me to say, “Oh honey, I’m so glad you have that covered because it is so not my area of expertise!” Similarly accounting comes to mind (despite my dad’s hopes).

This can be a fun exercise of freedom: listing all the things you aren’t good at.

What don’t you make look easy?

Lets see: in addition to engineering and accounting for me that list includes handstands (I crashed into the wall at a recent yoga class), planning logistical details, and smalltalk of pretty much all kinds.

Thank the sweet heavens we don’t have to be good at everything. I’d love to hear what comes easy to you and what doesn’t in a comment below.
XO

Courtney
PS Do you feel a new iteration of your life beckoning and rather than looking the other way you want to say yes to these deep, soulful nudges? If you would you like my support as you move through this process I will be opening up my FLOURISH formula program for another beta coaching group in May. (This is your opportunity to get a sneak peak on the material as I put finishing touches on the book before it will be published later this year.) If you would like to learn more I have a limited number of Discovery Sessions available when I get back from Mexico and I would love to talk with you. You can view my calendar and grab your Discovery Session today. Xxo

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 busy women who want to unlock their greatest gifts and flourish in their personal 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 about options for working with Courtney here and reach her directly at cp@courtneypinkerton.com.

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My Steamy Dream + How to Decode Yours

The sun is rising and the flor de belize tree outside my studio window shimmers in that effervescent green of early spring. Birdcalls I can’t recognize filter in through my open window. (One day I’ll really be a birder and learn how to identify them all – for now I just mooch off my husband, the ecology/biology major, and his birdcall know-how.)

I’m fresh from bed and the house remains in that gorgeous liminal space: full yet quiet. The kitty is awake though (she always wakes when I do) and this means that my kindergartener soon will be as well as Beatrix meows for her playmate outside her bedroom door.

This has been a dreamy week for me – I’m not sure if it is the full moon or Holy Week and Easter approaching or the feeling of being a mom of twins: the book baby manuscript born and awaiting the first round of edits and now my attention fully engaged on my Mexico retreat only three weeks away. But my dream life has been full.

I’ve been saying this is my first international retreat but I’ve realized that is not true. While it is my first to host as part of my coaching practice, in grad school I led a group up a mountain in Honduras to a rural health clinic to bring medical supplies to a displaced coffee farming community. I was pregnant with my son and my husband and I co-led this trip through a nonprofit I was interning with at the time. It was the height of my overachiever I can do it all mindset. I don’t think I’ve ever prayed as hard as I prayed coming down. It had rained incessantly while we were at the health clinic and now we were making our way down a mud slick mountain. I was very worried for myself and my baby as we perched on a donkey (you know I don’t make this up) and the safety of our whole group.

So maybe that is why I feel so peaceful this go round. By comparison our luscious Mexican retreat house is much tamer. But even with my excitement leading the way I have noticed a tendency to fall into an old rut and approach the various tasks from a head space: more seeing how many items on my to do list I can take care of between coaching calls rather than slowing down and operating from a place of trust and intuition, which makes action more powerful.

Until my dream reminded me to drop into my heart.

I won’t go into all the details… dreams can be, as you know a little unwieldy. But I had such a powerful dream this week which included a scene where I was creating a party. And the party was somewhere tropical with lush greenery draped all around it. (I think my dreamscape was inspired by the above picture from Mexico I discovered early in the retreat planning process.) And inside the party it was so completely full of love. Not little love but the Big Love. There was not one square inch that wasn’t already infused with it, like steam rising from a heated pool.

When I woke up I felt so wholly reminded of what is mine to do, and what is not mine to do in the preparations for this event. It totally shifted my energy and helped me stay in connection with the truth that even little things, like making shuttle arrangements or ordering inspiration quote temporary tattoos for our opening night of meditation and wine at sunset, can be an act of love.

I’ve long been a big dreamer. I used to have vivid nightmares as well which would scare me so much my creative parents had to decorate my bedroom windows with pictures of smiling faces and notes of encouragement so I would sleep through the night. (Something which apparently didn’t happen until I was seven. Sorry mom).

Then as I got older I turned off my dreams. I moved away from them. I said no thank you.

But a couple of years ago as part of my Martha Beck Life Coach training I got reacquainted with my dreams. Led by a beautiful nature-based coach named Michael Trotta who said to me in one class: “Courtney it sounds like you are creating a new relationship with your dreams. Opening the door to trust them again.”

Dreams are definitely a more feminine form of power. They bypass that rational, neocortex which likes to grab and exert control. And they come from a deeper, intuitive self. As I’ve shared before I have an inner Harvard (who believes in feet on the ground thinking) and an inner Fairy (who likes synchronicity and now, dreams) dueling it out inside my brain pretty much at all times.

So if you resist the idea of tapping into your dreams or if it feels like interpreting them requires you to go too slow, believe me I get it.

But as my friend and fellow coach Katie Wise (who is my wing woman and hospitality goddess for this upcoming retreat) reminds me: there is no substitute for really spending some time with dreams.

Here is how to do it:

Set an intention to dream. (I know I know, just try it. The truth is you are already dreaming, even if you never remember a single one. If we don’t dream, we die.)

Have a notebook or paper and pen right by your bed.

Capture whatever you have when you awake: it could be a full story line or just impressions. Details matter.

Then take the top three or so images from the dream: it could be people in the dream, places, objects anything.

And imagine you can become that image. Let yourself climb inside and speak as it. So in my dream I had an image of a kind of courtly me, the party I created, and the action of bowing – just like at the end of yoga class. So I became each of those images one by one. Then describe yourself with three adjectives. And ask “what is my purpose, why am I showing up in the dream?” and lastly “what is my helpful message for the dreamer?”

Again, speak as that image. Your mind is going to want to take over, but play around with this and just let whatever words or impressions come up, even if they don’t make sense.

Capture everything in your dream notebook.

Then at the end go back and read especially the messages, and ask how they might apply to your real life. Be ready and open for surprise connections and insights to emerge.

This year I’ve taken an integrity cleanse.* No more hiding, no more pretending. So I guess you can say I’m letting out my inner mystic –you knew she was in here anyway — more and more.

I think we need these intuitive and feminine sources of insight for our lives. Not only to help us feel better and more balanced in our crazy world which prioritizes speed, domination and extraction, but also because it is from this deeply watered place that we have more to share.

And your voice matters, dear Birder. In all the ways, big and little that you share it, you have the power to grow the love in ripples around you.

So if you are feeling stirred to tap into dreams. I hope you do. And let me know what emerges as a comment below.

Love and all the good,

Courtney

*Integrity cleanse and dream analysis tool inspired by the Martha Beck Life Coach Training program.
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 working with Courtney here or you can reach her directly at cp@courtneypinkerton.com.

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Vintage Bird: How to Be Sensitive + Happy

I’ve been letting my little book baby out of of the nest this week (to members of my Flourish coaching program beta group + participants in my upcoming retreat in Mexico). How tender it can feel to share something new. But we don’t write books all for ourselves, do we? This experience reminded me of one of my favorite posts, on how to be sensitive and happy. Read on below!
xxo
Courtney
PS My beta coaching program on the eight step FLOURISH process is just getting started! We had our first recorded session yesterday so it is totally a great time to hop in and move with us through the program. If you are interested reach out to cp@courtneypinkerton.com and I’ll share the details.

How to Be Sensitive + Happy

Like many of my coaching clients I am sensitive. I have been told this so often, especially throughout my childhood, that I have developed a sort of love/hate relationship with the very word.

Someone uses the S word to describe me and I feel a deep energy rise up inside: one part exasperation (tell me something I don’t know!) and alongside it a longing for a different temperament (being thick-skinned strikes me as an easier way to go through life.)

Often, there is a not so subtle subtext to calling someone sensitive.

It can mean “suck it up, your emotionality is making me uncomfortable!”

Or “why can’t you handle things easier. Perhaps more like I do?”

Or even “please stop reminding me of the inherent suffering and deep beauty of life. I’m working very hard to keep from opening that door of recognition within myself right now!”

Yet the truth is—we need our sensitives.

But before I go any further singing the praises of sensitive people I must first insert a big caveat. Sensitives can get attached to their deep feelings and woundedness. This can lead to going through life simply waiting for the next sting to reinforce your story of yourself. And this, clearly, is not much fun.

So like any of our soul gifts, it matters how sensitivity is held.

But in a culture which values strength over almost any other attribute it is important to remember that sensitives are one necessary element in a healthy community.  Likewise, each one of us, regardless of our particular temperament, needs to integrate our sensitive parts into the wholeness of who we are. For it is out of this space of alignment that we live our most inspired life and in fact have our biggest impact.

Now it doesn’t always feel like leading with your tender bits is the way to go. In fact, I’ve spend years, (years I tell you!) pushing down my sensitive side. I’ve driven myself hard — working feverishly behind the scenes to make my accomplishments look easy. (My family and good friends could always tell you the truth of it.)

This is the unexpected pattern I see also in my client’s lives. Being sensitive hasn’t kept them from doing things. Big things. Things like running their own media or music companies, publishing popular books, managing international development projects, heading large non-profits, creating gutsy art, or radically reorienting their lives to be present with their kids. (Or all of the above!)

So you might not see their sensitivity on the outside. But while they are busy getting stuff done they feel the inner dissonance.

In fact, under tending to one’s sensitive side has serious repercussions. It takes a toll on mental health and physical wellbeing and can lead to high levels of anxiety and low levels of happiness.

But it takes a big dose of courage and daring to heed the desire of a sensitive heart for expression and to discern options for integrating it into work and family life.

Often rest is the first step.

And it can help enormously to find a skilled practitioner to help tune into this deeper register.

At different points in my journey I have benefited greatly from the support of an acupuncturist, Chinese herbalist, yoga teacher, naturopath, therapist, chiropractor, Reiki master, Enneagram teachers and several skilled coaches. I feel such deep gratitude for each one of these healers, there when I needed them (several are still in my life!) and always leaving me more restored and resilient than before.

This journey to honor rather than step over sensitivity is a central motivator behind my holistic life coaching.

Holistic coaching recognizes that a person’s heart, mind, body & spirit are in intimate interconnection and that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Holism is a frequently used theory also in ecology and language. Think about the way a forest ecosystem is more nuanced than what can be captured in a list of its tree species or other elements. And the way a poem has more power than you might suspect if someone merely gave you a list of the included vocabulary.

How it is all knit together (forest, poem, you) and the interplay between all the complex elements is where the magic is.

What that means practically is that I support people in going through their body and its wisdom to re-design their life – using tools such as acupressure (tapping), stress reduction, and the biggie—meditation to reset neural pathways and open up new possibilities. All in a gentle, step by step fashion.

We do lots of other things together too of course, including talking, identifying personality patterns and deep desires, laughing, and sometimes crying (tears can be a holy part of letting out the old to make space for the new.)

And in this process people are able to honor, integrate, and ultimately employ their sensitive side as a partner and guide in life. What does this look like? The answer will be as unique as you.

For me holding energetic space for clients, hosting space at a retreat center, and writing as well as simple acts, like snipping a tiny bouquet of herbs for the tea tray give expression to my sensitive side. What a different feeling it is to treat this attribute like it has gifts to bring rather than driving over it toward my next goal.

Seriously, our world needs the sensitive people: owning their sensitive skillz and employing them to heal themselves and others, whatever their profession.

Because here is the secret. Your tender heart + underbelly is also where your deep joy is housed. Integrating that part of you is the most efficient way to go from this moment to your sweetest life—the one full of meaning and opportunities to serve out of your gifts, including, your sensitive nervous system.

Warmly,

Courtney

Over to you– do you identify as a sensitive?

How do you take care of and nurture your sensitive side as strength and not weakness?

I’d love to hear your experience… leave a quick comment below!

I’m sharing some favorite Vintage Bird posts this spring while I catch my breath from book writing. 
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 working with Courtney here or you can reach her directly at cp@courtneypinkerton.com.

Want to get the latest from Courtney? Sign up below for weekly updates on soulful living!


You are Invited to Flourish A Retreat for Women in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico this May

Have you ever peeked inside some fabulous gate or stone hallway to an interior courtyard and wondered what is going on in there?

Thought – “I wish I could go inside” or “What if I lived there?”

This is your opportunity to come into such a space.

Literally to put yourself in San Miguel de Allende, a town replete with hidden courtyards and lime trees blooming year round and fountains and bougainvillea blossoms raining down from every side.

To gather with other women in such a home 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 friends — drinking up its ancient beauty and marketplaces.

Your experience will also include meal offerings of delicious, fresh local food sourced from a nearby organic farm, (breakfast, lunch and a snack, because you need good nourishment) and teaching sessions on incisive tools for self-awareness including the Enneagram, meditation and dream analysis. Evenings are free to explore, to rest, to enjoy San Miguel 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.

Like the plain stone facades of homes which belie their luscious interior, as women we also sometimes feel like we are wearing stone: one part protection from other’s judgments (or our perceptions of their critique) another part a slow thickening of the skin which comes with ignoring our own body and soul needs in little and big ways in our service of others.

There is another way…

One which doubles down on your feminine knowing. Where you can be authentic with yourself and others and design your own custom formula for the life you desire from the inside out. And (here is the surprising bit) discover that in so doing you are more of service than ever before.

I want to issue a personal invitation to my upcoming event Flourish — A Retreat for Women May 4-7 in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. 

Click on the video above to learn more.

I am also hosting a Zoom call at 12 Noon CST Tuesday February 7 to answer any questions + talk further. (Call-in details below)

Space is limited for this boutique gathering: our VIP spots have already filled as have two additional retreat spots so we have space for 8 more women. If you are feeling like one of those spots is for you I encourage you to check out all the details below and register. My retreat at Ghost Ranch last year sold out, so I hope you take advantage of your Early Bird status (which saves you $200) and grab your space in this unique gathering today!

Keep reading for all the juicy details and photos (the best part) plus your link to register.

All the good,

Courtney

PS I also offer a friend’s referral bonus of $100 and a convenient payment plan which allows you to secure your spot today and space out payments. xo
I’m so excited to be sharing a new body of work for the first time at this retreat which is all about how to generate our most dynamic contributions via the (counter-intuitive) choice of creating space for stillness, renewal, and soul in everyday life. You will also be the first to receive a copy of my new book (which this content is drawn from)!

In addition to the teaching + coaching sessions, guided meditations, siesta time and other free time to lounge by the pool, yoga and delicious local food a percentage of your registration fee includes a donation to support the work of Via Organica, a local organic farm which teaches sustainable agriculture.  

The ambiance created by the sounds of chirping birds, church bells ringing, and the beautiful bougainvillea-lined street enhance this home which has been newly expanded and remodeled by a master architect.

Located just three blocks from the Jardin (the main plaza) in downtown San Miguel de Allende (SMA) Casa Suspiro del Pueblito is a gem. This beautiful home is laid out across two courtyards, in true San Miguel Colonial style. The first vibrant courtyard is centered around an old stone fountain and boasts brightly flowered vines. The second, larger courtyard, is serene with towering stone walls, a beautiful heated pool, relaxing waterfall, and fragrant flowers throughout. All of this is overlooked from the spacious indoor/outdoor room with large fireplace — the perfect place to relax and enjoy.

With sparkling blue skies, rooftop terraces, and authentic Mexican hospitality San Miguel is a UNESCO World-Heritage site. An art and cultural gem, during your exploration of its cobblestone streets you can enjoy colonial architecture, contemporary art galleries, and traditional craft markets. During your free time (or better yet stay an extra day!) visit a nearby hotsprings, a botanical garden or enjoy a massage or other treatment at a local spa. (We have recommendations, inquire for details!)

Photo credit Eileen West. www.westofwhimsy.com


Our retreat starts at 5:00PM on Thursday May 4 with an informal gathering, meditation and opportunity to meet the other participants over bites and drinks. We conclude Sunday May 7 with a special morning session and meditation ending at 10AM so you can travel or better yet stay for another day of explorations.

The retreat includes breakfast, lunch and snacks as well as my new book and a folder full of juicy resources + other treats.

Airfare is not included. The best airport to fly into usually is Leon’s Del Bajio International Airport (BJX). There is a shuttle service BajioGo from there to San Miguel (a 90 minute drive.) You can make reservations online for the shuttle for around $40.

For accommodations during the retreat you have two options:

Your Early Bird rate covers your full retreat experience with breakfast and lunch together, group coaching + teaching sessions on the Enneagram, Dream Analysis and more, lounging or swimming at the house during the day, a copy of my book, written materials and other treats plus the option of purchasing two additional coaching sessions.

This choice gives you flexibility in your accommodations. You select and book your room from one of three boutique hotels/bed and breakfasts within a matter of blocks from the home with high recommendations and a range of pricing options:

Hotel Options (These all come recommended by San Miguel natives)

Casa Carly (Most Affordable Option. Eight “Casitas” of varying sizes on property. About a ten minute walk from the retreat house.)

Casa Calderoni (Cute, Mid-Range Option. Next door to the retreat house.)

Casa Clandestino (Boutique Hotel with a more contemporary style + luxury and a range of suites available. About a twelve minute walk to the retreat house.)

Or you can always book via AirBnB, there are many fun options in the city available.

The VIP Offer includes staying in the retreat house with your own private bedroom and bath. It also includes two additional coaching sessions (one before, one after the retreat via phone) plus the option of staying an extra night on Wednesday May 3rd. This is a great option for someone wanting more relaxation time or to to create their own writing retreat. (Katie, a gifted life-coach and my assistant for this gathering and I will be in the house with you the night before but we won’t bother you other than to inquire if you need more coffee, tea or chocolate!) It is also a great value as it includes a four night stay in a luxury home plus two coaching sessions ($425 value.) Also a fun option for friends who want to stay in the house together. I only have two VIP spaces so please register as soon as possible if this is the option for you! Price is $1997. The VIP Slots are filled for this year.

Space is limited to 12 women and 4 of those spots have already filled.  My last retreat at Ghost Ranch sold out, so I encourage you to secure your spot today by clicking the “I’m in!” button below. The Early Bird Offer expires on Friday February 10 2017.

Here is what some participants at previous retreats or live teaching events have had to say:

“ALL I COULD WANT IS MORE.”

I’ve been to many trainings and I can say I have never felt so loved and cared for… All of the time and intention you put into the retreat were noticed and appreciated. All I could want is MORE.

Aimee, Marketing Coach + Speaker, www.authenticarticulations.com

“COURTNEY BRINGS EXPERTISE WHILE BEING APPROACHABLE.”

You have such a beautiful teaching presence. I find it absolutely amazing at how you manage to bring full expertise and skill, all the while being approachable and invitational and empowering. You are a true teacher. Also, I loved hearing you speaking Spanish!

Skyler McGee, Visual Artist

“ONE OF THE BEST GIFTS I HAVE EVER GIVEN MYSELF.”

Karen Cameron, Quilter + Non-Profit Leader

“TOP FIVE OF BEST PROGRAMS WE HAVE EVER DONE.”

I’m at a loss for just the right words to tell you how exactly right your message was. I have heard so many positive comments and knew we got it “right”. To me, this was in the top 5 of the best programs we have ever done. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Jerri, Generations Director at Methodist Health System

*A percentage of your registration fee goes to support a non profit local organic farm in San Miguel promoting sustainable growing practices.

Have More Questions? This Section is For You!

Join me for a Zoom call — which you can join via phone or video — on Tuesday February 7th at 1PM Eastern / 12PM Central / 11AM Mountain /10AM Pacific.

You can join from your computer, Iphone or tablet if you would like to see my face and share yours via video. Or you can just call in via the telephone, whichever you prefer! Link and number provided below:

Join from your computer here

Or iPhone one-tap (US Toll)

Or Telephone:
Dial: +1 408 638 0968 (US Toll) or +1 646 558 8656 (US Toll)
Meeting ID: 381 121 106
International numbers available here:

Read on for some common questions answered:

Q: Where do I fly to?

A. The best airport to fly into is Leon’s Del Bajio International Airport (BJX). There are numerous direct flights to Leon from major cities in the U.S. including Dallas, Houston and Los Angeles and the airport is serviced by American Airlines, Volaris, Aeromexico, Interjet and more. If you are able to stay a little longer, like Wednesday to Monday (and if you can, you totally should!) the price is often discounted.

We will be in Mexico for Cinco de Mayo! Totally fun! But also a good reminder to go ahead and book your flight once you register since it is a holiday weekend.

Q: How do I get from the airport to the retreat house or my hotel?

A. There is a shuttle service BajioGo from the airport to San Miguel (a 90 minute drive.) You can make reservations online for the shuttle for around $40. You do not have to speak Spanish. They hold up a sign for you and the airport is quite small. They will then take you directly to either our retreat house or your boutique hotel. (The retreat begins at 5pm Thursday May 4 with bites and drinks + our opening session.) When you reserve the shuttle you put in your destination address and they deliver you to your door!

Depending what day/time you arrive there will likely be other women attending the retreat on your shuttle as well as other interesting folks. San Miguel attracts a fun and diverse crowd in my experience. I’ve met other coaches, artists and more on the shuttle.

Q: Are VIP Slots still available?

A. The VIP slots are filled.

Q: Do I book my hotel myself?

A. Yes. Your Early Bird rate covers your full retreat experience with breakfast and lunch together, group coaching + teaching sessions on the Enneagram, Dream Analysis and more, lounging or swimming at the house during the day, a copy of my book, written materials and other treats plus one bonus coaching session via phone either before or after our gathering.

This option gives you flexibility in your accommodation choice. Also I don’t normally offer one coaching session at a time (clients usually invest in six or ten session bundles) so this is a great way to get a taste of coaching and to reinforce and integrate the lessons from the retreat once you are back at home. Early Bird price is $997 (a discount of $200 from the regular registration rate.) There is also a payment plan of four monthly payments of $250.

Hotel Options (These all come recommended by San Miguel natives)

Casa Carly (Most Affordable Option. Eight “Casitas” of varying sizes on property. About a ten minute walk from the retreat house.)

Casa Calderoni (Cute, Mid-Range Option. Next door to the retreat house.)

Casa Clandestino (Boutique Hotel with a more contemporary style and a range of suites available. About a twelve minute walk to the retreat house.)

Or you can always book via AirBnB, there are many fun options in the city available.

Q. What is the plan for the food?

A. The plan for the food is delicious, local and organic from Via Organica, a local cafe connected to a local nonprofit organic farm that supports sustainable agriculture. (A percentage of your registration fee also goes in a donation to support their work.) I’m very into good food and attending to folks with diet preferences, so there will be gluten free, vegetarian and other options. Just let me know what you need! (I’ll send a brief survey after registration to get more details.)

Q. I am coming by myself. Will there be groups of people getting together for dinner and other outings? 

A. Absolutely! Most participants come by themselves and many make lasting friendships. There is a friend duo coming this year who met last year at Ghost Ranch and have stayed in touch throughout the year and decided to register together for this year’s event. It is a great space to meet other women. Katie (who is on my team for this event and also a life coach) is what I call a “hospitality goddess.” So she is extra good at making sure everyone knows about outing options and has a buddy or group to join if they are looking for companionship. You can also feel totally comfortable enjoying some alone time. Often women go back to their room and nap, especially on the first day it is just what their body needs!

Q: Can I bring a friend?

A. Yes! In fact I have a friend referral bonus so if you do bring a friend let me know and I’ll send you $100 as a thank you for introducing her to our retreat.

Q: Does this offer expire?

A. Yes the insider offer has been extended and expires Friday February 3 when I open registration to my full list. This offer went out only to my “insiders” those who have been to a live event before, coaching clients, those who joined one of my eCourses or classes and others who reached out to me about this event. I am offering it to you so that you have the first opportunity to join (my last retreat at Ghost Ranch did sell out) and with some extras including the bonus coaching session for the Early Bird offer, which I won’t be offering after tonight.

Q. Can you swim in the pool?

A. Absolutely! I hope you do. It is heated.

Q. What kind of things should I bring?

A. Bring a journal and a good pen, a camera, a dream journal if you have one dedicated to that purpose (or want to pick one up.) If you are an artist you may want to bring art supplies as well. The light in San Miguel is magic! I’ll be providing you with a folder with lots of juicy materials and the copy of my book either in electronic or print form so you will have lots to reflect on. But I always think it is best to integrate written material into your real life (not the “training folder” on your shelf that you never pick up again.) So if you have a journal or notebook you keep your life notes or inspiration in I’d certainly encourage you to bring that.

Also bring those TLC items which make you feel really well-cared for when you travel. For me this is a mini diffuser and some favorite essential oils, my Neti pot (too much information?!) and some favorite tea. I’ll be providing you with great coffee and tea and meals and snacks but if you have any specific other things, a favorite scarf which makes you feel cozy, you get the idea, definitely bring those.

I’ll be sending out more details about what to pack and wear to participants as well. San Miguel is in the mountains so layers are good.

Q. I am an artist and I want to bring paints. Should I pack those or can I pick them up in San Miguel?

A. San Miguel is an art town! I would definitely encourage you to bring whatever supplies you would enjoy. I would check with your particular airlines around any restrictions on paints or anything flammable. There is an art supply store in San Miguel as well if you need to pick anything up.

El Pato
http://www.directoriosanmiguel.com/ad/13/artist-materials-and-tools/el-pato

Q. I’m totally into it but not sure I am not sure I have the time or can afford it…

A. First of all I totally trust your sense of right timing and if this is the right investment for you. That said, here are a couple of strategies for making it more affordable:

Opt for the Early Bird payment plan. This lets you space out the payments over four months at $250/month.
One of the 3 hotel options is cute and more affordable. It includes little “casitas” on the property which start at $85/night. http://www.casacarlysanmiguel.com and Lastly bring a friend! I’m offering a friend referral bonus of $100 so that would bring your price down to $897 for the event and meals.(Which again you could space out.) You would still have dinners on your own but a whole range of options there, including some which are super cheap and yummy. Plus you can share a room!

Also I want to mention that it is definitely a mindset shift sometimes to invest in ourselves to this degree. My coaching journey began with someone paying for me to go on a retreat or I’m sure I wouldn’t have even gotten started.

Since then I have invested in many coaches at many price points. It is always a totally personal decision but I find that with this kind of inner reflection it is so wonderful when we as women are able to invest in an experience like San Miguel because we show up really fully for ourselves inside of it. So then the learning and “ahas” are all the more powerful.

Q. I am interested in visiting the hot springs. Where can I get more information about that:

yes and yes and yes!! Definitely recommend it.

La Gruta Open Wed -Sun 7AM -5PM.

Watch this fun video.

and Escondido Place Closed Tuesdays. 8AM-5:30PM

So there you go! All you wanted to know and more.
Please email cp@courtneypinkerton.com with any additional questions. My intention is to for you feel totally resourced and informed and fully invited to join us in Mexico! Ready to Go? Secure your spot and register here.

xxo Courtney

Photo Credits from Eileen West of westofwhimsy.com, www.homeaway.com, and Richard Amory.

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.
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Want to Run Away to Mexico with Me? (Real Question… Quiz Inside)

Are you feeling behind already? Let’s not — OK?

Let’s do less, live more in 2017.

I’m in a process of learning how to set priorities like I’ve never done before. Rather than run around with that wack-a-mole energy I’m making the choice, day by day and moment by moment to concentrate my energy around my deepest desires.

Which for the next three months is writing my first book under the guidance of a book coach.

I’ve been so inspired by the community of fellow authors. People who have written books while homeless. (I’m not kidding). While they had cancer. I mean come on.

These authors faced extreme circumstances but I don’t mean to minimize the struggles we all have to integrate care of self, care of beloveds, care of finances, care of home, and care of work priorities.

My writing program starts next week and my kids just went back to school yesterday. (Well technically it was Tuesday but Rosetta didn’t get my memo titled “Please G*d Go Back to School” and instead woke us all up in the dawn hours throwing up.)

So in this day of blissful silence as I prepare for the next season of my life I am attuned to a fierce wind blowing. I only have bandwidth for the most true things within me. Not the partial truths or the “have-to’s.”

This is where you come in.

As I’ve hinted I have been doing some research with my lovely virtual assistant on retreat locations for the May. This gathering will be similar to my Ghost Ranch offering last year but this time I’m going out on my own.

While Austin in all ways makes much more sense (people can drive there and it is fun and fabulous) my heart was hijacked by my recent trip to San Miguel de Allende, a UNESCO World heritage site and cultural gem in the highlands of central Mexico. And my soul is whispering go for it.

It is where I want to take you for transformational work.

It meets my requirements for being nature-drenched. (Enjoy a trip to the botanical gardens with an experiential herb labyrinth garden. Swoon. Or come a day early or late to immerse yourself in the hotsprings.)

But actually what it does most of all is match my desire for taking you somewhere beauty-drenched.

I wish I could share the pics of the place I’m considering renting but I’m awaiting a digital copy from the owner. But take my word for it: heated pool, courtyard, churchbells and bird calls. It delights the senses.

As women I think we need to honor drinking in beauty as a spiritual practice– a way to invite all of ourselves into our metamorphasis process, not just the more heady or pushy aspects of our personality.

(Have you noticed that barking at yourself around those New Year’s resolutions isn’t effective?)

The select group of women who join will be guided through group coaching sessions centered around themes in my upcoming book. Things like how to live with more ease and less struggle. And how to let go of external expectations to design a life which fits you from the inside out. (And ironically, frees you to contribute your most potent content in your professional and creative life.) Plus my favorite tools and processes for gaining clarity and breaking large goals into turtle steps. They will also be among the first to receive a copy of my book.

So — and this is an open and honest question. Are you into it?

Tentative Dates are Thurs May 4 -Sun May 7.

I know there are many more questions to answer, details on pricing, what is included (here is a hint, I’ll be bringing my husband who has years of catering experience and is an amazing chef to provide us with delicious, healthy fare), accommodation options and more.

But for now its just my heart talking to yours — I’ve put together a brief quiz for you and can’t wait to hear your preferences!

Warmly,

Courtney

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.

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When You Can Expect My Book in Your Hot Little Hands

Here I am all scarecited and about to hop on the Zoom call for a two and a half hour group interview with a book coach last Wednesday and I am so delighted to share that I made it into her mentoring program! This means I will be dedicating myself to my book project in the next few months with a manuscript done by date of March 17. More details on publishing/purchasing options this spring. Ohmygoodness Ohmygoodness Ohmygoodness.

I opened up the welcome email today from my coach with the link to our shared work space for my book and saw all these glorious deadlines — super detailed to dos some of which I don’t even understand yet like “submit reader magnet” and “submit draft request for advance praise for review” and my favorite “make sure you have arranged your travel plans to the Author castle” for a celebration with other authors this spring.

I had to pause and just let the shiver of pleasure move through my whole body. Taking eleven seconds to breathe in the good. Thisisreallyreal. Thisisreallyreal. Thisisreallyreal.

Do you have any dreams like that? Dreams so pressing and gorgeous that you almost dare not let yourself own them?

Maybe you don’t think you are ready.

Maybe you don’t want to let yourself have a dream again because of all the times you set goals and didn’t follow through.

Or you tried. Again and again, without the results you hoped for.

Maybe you dim so that others can feel comfortable around you.

Yet here is the truth:

This thing you want to create. Your book. Your new biz. Your shining lovely life which feels good to inhabit.

You don’t have to create it all by yourself.

The biggest thing I felt opening that email was supported. This has been a hard lesson for me. I love to hold tight to the illusion I can control it all, do it all, will and bend my life to my liking.

But the more I let go of that and reach for the help I need — the more life blooms in front of me.

#Wearen’tmeanttodoitallalone.

Lots of love,

Courtney
PS I’ll be opening my coaching calendar for new clients after I complete the manuscript and would love to support you in your 2017 goals! You can read all about my signature coaching program  + reach out with any questions. I am currently taking new clients for April.  xo Courtney

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.

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Your Next Step

twofeet

 

We walk with two feet — I was told by a mentor many years ago.

The left foot of contemplation and the right foot of social action.

In times of stress the first thing to go can be the open heart.

We cave in, we shield up. Our breath shallows.

Today all I can share is an invitation.

We need women and men with deeply watered souls able to discern and engage in inspired action.

And in our culture which doesn’t appreciate slow and which loves forward movement it can feel like there isn’t time to meditate.

Isn’t space to drink from this inner well.

Do.

So when you feel the impulse to download another podcast

Or to turn to social media

Or nervous chatter with your partner or friend to process the big movements of energy swirling through our body politic.

At least some of the time, make that choice to unhook from the external plane.

And to drop in.

To receive.

You might even check in with your posture right now. Are your shoulders drooping? Can you slide them down your back and feel some elongation in your spine?

And if meditating seems impossible due to the high intensity of your thoughts or emotions–

Practice exquisite self care. Attend to your creature body and discharge some of that energy:

Indulge in the yoga class or home practice

Rub geranium essential oil on your chest (it is a mood booster and nourishing for the heart)

Tap.

Create dates with yourself (at least a few moments each day) to sit in the rocking chair and feel some strong feelings.

And other dates for action: donating to the groups which inspire you, putting community volunteerism or demonstrations in your calendar, making concrete those next few steps which are yours to do.

We breathe in and we breathe out. And we do it again.

Creating space for ourselves and for deep democracy along the way.

Love,

Courtney
PS I’m re-sharing my Vintage Bird post on the Heart of Democracy below if you missed it on election day. There is so much pain and division in our country currently. I took comfort in rereading the third practice on non-dual seeing and wanted to share it again with you.
xo Courtney

Vintage Bird: The Heart of Democracy               *Originally published Nov 6 2012

Parker and CourtneyCourtney + Parker Palmer, Author of Healing the Heart of Democracy

I’m a political junkie. While I try to limit my kiddos TV consumption, I’ll happily plop them all in front of Dora so I can catch a bit of election commentary on NPR. I tune into the debates and savor the post game pundits. I’ve re watched every episode of West Wing online (that counts as politics, right?). I tear up at convention speeches; I vote early.

An when I was younger, I got into pretty heated conversations with people over my political views. (Ok it can still happen.)

This passion somewhat exists in tension with my desire to be a conscious, calm and peace-loving person.

In fact, in my twenties I felt like I had two different personalities: Courtney #1 loved volunteering on political campaigns, interning in DC, drinking beer and trading electoral factoids. Courtney #2 read Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk, and learned to meditate. Of course these aren’t mutually exclusive interests, but at the time I lived like they were.

But increasingly– I’ve found some guides who connect the dots. One of my favorite authors, Parker Palmer, has a lovely book called Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics worthy of the Human Spirit. He writes thoughtfully about how to create space in relationships that can hold the tension of political differences in a life-giving way. (Starting with holding well the tensions in our own hearts. )

I am also learning to temper some of the heat of my political passion with an appreciation of the political process itself. Not focusing so much on how people vote but that they vote. Maybe i’m an idealist, but i believe in the wisdom of the body politic. Sure i have my preferences, but I also find satisfaction in the collective experience of political expression.

OK I know its flawed– that there is a lot of money in politics and problems with voter laws and important reforms yet be made. But still, our democracy has good bones. We have much on which to stand to create the society we want for ourselves and our children. And in order to access it we must call upon what Abraham Lincoln in his first inaugural address describes as, “the better angels of our nature.”

Here I share some thoughts for a consciously -observed election day:

1) Vote. The experience itself is a satisfying act and ritual– try to breathe and be aware as you do it. And be kind to the people working the polls. i worked the polls once and it was a really fascinating and long day. Many of the volunteers are retirees who return year after year– not because they are getting big financial payoffs, but often out of civic passion.

2. Support your peoples (or candidate or party). This is the antidote to the nihilism that permeates postmodern life (an attitude that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value.) It feels good to be willing to participate in a story bigger than oneself, and to contribute money or time to things we believe in. It means that it matters, and that we believe leadership impacts our daily lives.

3. Practice non-dual seeing. This is the trickiest bit, but it is essential for cultivating mature, peaceful people and societies. Non-dual seeing is the oldest spiritual practice there is. In the Christian tradition it is called contemplation. From the Buddhist perspective it is mindfulness. We all share a tendency to receive the present moment and immediately categorize different dimensions of it good or bad. This opens the door for judging and criticizing everything and offering ourselves a relentless inner monologue about it all. In so doing we can miss the texture and subtleties of life. Non-dual seeing is the practice of noticing the present moment and allowing reality to be what it is, always and everywhere a combination of good and bad. So, no name calling. And when the going gets tough, when you just cant imagine why someone believes what they do, turn to curiosity–  wondering what kind of life story led a person to those views. Make it up if you have to. Use it as an opportunity to cultivate your own empathy. (Here is a guided loving kindness meditation if you need some support.)

And together we can all draw from the wisdom from the past– like this quote from 1774:

“I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them, 1. To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy: 2. To speak no evil of the person they voted against: And, 3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side.”  John Wesley

We all have the power to preserve the art of civil conversation and to create safe space for deep democracy.

I’m Courtney Pinkerton. And I approved this message.

New Opportunities 

Would you enjoy some support heading into the holiday season? Would you like to savor + nourish the good stuff in your life as you also edit out those old obligations which no longer serve you? Would you like to draw a sacred circle around your own priorities — whether you feel the nudge to make a shift in your relationships or employment, to write more, or simply to feel better from the inside out? Plus guidance on how to practice exquisite self care as you grow and stretch? I am so delighted to offer two slots for new or renewing coaching clients this month including my fun Autumn bonus gifts. I regularly invest in coaching support myself and can tell you it is so much easier to make those changes you have been wanting to make with some accountability and encouragement by your side. Read all about my signature coaching program here + reach out to me at cp@courtneypinkerton.com with questions or to get started! xo Courtney

fallcoachinggifts2016

 



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.

How to Break Your Own “Dig-Deep” Button + What to Do Instead

look-you-in-eye

I have a confession to make. My “dig deep button” is broken– you know that button you push to make yourself soldier on even after your body is tired and your brain slow?

I didn’t know I had a broken button until I finally started to read Brené Brown’s The Gift of Imperfection after about 27 people asked me if I knew of her writing. Whatever beautiful air stream her work has created in our culture around telling the truth about our vulnerability, I clearly am riding it (even if I didn’t know it.)

So nothing fancy today. Only two heartfelt invitations.

The first is to break your own dig-deep button. As Brené explains: “The dig-deep button is a secret level of pushing through when we’re exhausted and overwhelmed, and when there’s too much to do and too little time for self-care.”

So what to do instead? Well first of all create some imaginative space. Close you eyes and entertain this question: 

What kind of life might I create if I gave myself respite from having to push so hard in the life I am in? 

Here is a hint.

Your answer is a feeling. And it always tastes like freedom.

So very much more to say about that but for today (we are taking it light, remember?) I just have to add that yes, clearly there are times we need to tap into our resiliency. So breaking the dig-deep button doesn’t mean we don’t know how to do that. It just means we use it judiciously. With a lot of self care. And only in the service of the things our heart and soul really, really want.

Here is a nice case study from my life:

My Soulpreneur Mastermind is about to start. In fact the reason I have few words is because I had to rerecord the audio lesson this morning after doing the whole dang thing with my phone on mute. (ARGH! This was literally excruciating. I had put so much love into that recording and was so frustrated with myself.)

So where is the freedom? The freedom is how I (or you) respond to that kind of challenge. I can get super down on myself or I can know that bumps are part of creating anything new. (If I sound sanguine there was a moment of gasping, sinking in my stomach, and ultimately laying my forehead on the ground.)

But I found my way back to the “hero of my life story” rather than the “victim” seat. This is where I remember I am the learner here. I am the one who can glean the lessons to carry forward.

In this case the lesson felt so loud and clear: I have reached the limit of doing it all myself. I have been at this spot for a while in my biz and while I have a CPA to do my books, it is time to grow my team. So I have been talking to a lovely virtual assistant about working together. This of course requires a new level of trust. But I don’t think I could have asked for a stronger message showcasing the value of inviting help. (VAs, among their many other talents, can do super nice things like double check for you that your audio is working before you invest in an hour-long training recording.) 

And so I just want to say after recording the lesson about the Change Cycle, our first tool, now twice that I am deeply committed to the transformational content in the Soulpreneur Mastermind. And I hope you will let yourself entertain a moment to see if it is for you. 

I fear that many of us, especially intuitive women, can find our own creative contributions caught in a bottle neck in our lives. Making changes is risky. Your ego freaks out and tells you to retreat. But of course you can’t go back if you are being invited into a new level of work and life. The old life doesn’t fit.

So I’ve gathered together my favorite resources to create a greenhouse for women who need space to nurture their unfolding dream — be it a new business, the hope to write more or another creative or soul rumbling that they are not even sure how to wrap words around yet.

Space is limited and I am so thrilled by the collection of women who have joined it so far. But there is still room for you if you are feeling the nudge!

So watch the video + read all the details below. And if this feels right for you — you are whole-heartedly invited to join today.

And in fact just for fun I’ve opened up three new bonus coaching spots for people who want to join together. You can check out my “friends” bonus below right under the secure registration options. 

I would love your help connecting to more soulpreneurs-in-the-making so please share this information with a friend or on social media. And place a comment below with with any questions about the Mastermind or if you want to let me know how you broke your own “dig-deep” button and what you do instead.

xxo

Courtney

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Soulpreneur Mastermind is Open for Registration!

Whether you want to write more or in a new container, whether you are wanting to start a new biz or a new project in your existing biz, or a new creative or community venture. Even if you aren’t exactly sure what you are wanting to create yet but you feel the soul rumblings…or if you are already creating your dream but could use some community around it. Join today! Space is limited.
Q: What is a Mastermind? How does it work?
A: A Mastermind is a group coaching program + space for mutual encouragement. My Soulpreneur Mastermind includes an audio lesson + written guide for each month’s theme, plus a live group coaching phone call (which is also recorded for listening to later) + a private Facebook group. Once you join the group via the secure payment option below you can expect a welcome email from me shortly with all your access details. The Mastermind is a three month minimum commitment starting with a live group coaching call on Thursday October 20th (audio lesson + other goodies go out the week ahead of time)  — enough time to really help you make progress toward your goals. I have priced it as affordably as possible to encourage more women to invest in themselves and their own soulful nudges. Reach out to me atcp@courtneypinkerton.com with any questions — loads of details and questions answered below as well as the links for the secure payment options. xo Courtney
Soulprenuer Mastermind Details
Program includes:
Audio lesson + written guide will be shared ahead of each month’s call.
Monthly 75 minute group coaching phone session (which will also be recorded if you miss the live conversation.)
Dates for the live coaching calls 1-2:15PM CST:
Thursday October 13: Where Are You in The Change Cycle?
Thursday November 10: Craft Your Freedom Schedule
Thursday December 15: What are Your Super Power(s)?
You will also receive priority + 10% discount on future Soulpreneur day retreats –including time in nature and delicious gluten free lunch.
And here is some more info on the resources we will explore each month (also described in the video):
October: The Change Cycle. This powerful tool from Martha Beck, a Harvard-trained Sociologist turned Oprah’s life coach, will help you understand which phase of the human metamorphosis process you are in (There are four phases.) This is really important to understand because we nurture ourselves and our dreams differently depending on which phase of the Change Cycle we are in. Sometimes you need to seriously up the self care, other times you need to hold tight to the mantra: “this is harder than I thought and that’s OK!” and continue with consistent action.
And what if you are in different parts of the Change Cycleindifferent aspects of your life? Trust me things get so much easier with this useful tool as you put your experience in a much larger frame and know how to support yourself. This month we will also do a mini-guided meditation which shows you how to identity and dissolve limiting beliefs.
November. Your Daily, Weekly, Monthly Freedom Calendar plus a conversation about how to create your life-giving morning routine. Crafting your freedom calendar is actually probably the most powerful tool I have encountered in building my own biz — especially helpful for those intuitive, creative types who don’t want to be hemmed in. But imagine how good it will feel to wake up each day knowing what to do and when to nurture the various parts of your dream. 
December: What is Your Superpower? Clarity is powerful, in life and in our work. One of the things Soulpreneurs are less clear on than they could be is their strengths (often they are humble, service-oriented people). But here is the key: your strength and your weakness are two sides of the same coin. So getting clear on your strengths also helps you identify your struggles. Not so you can harangue yourself and unleash the inner critic, o contraire! But so you know what stumbling blocks to watch out for and how to support yourself through your weak areas.
In this month’s session we are going to use the Enneagram (my fav personality map) and two other personality lenses to help you laserin on the value you offer others. This is also sometimes called your original medicine. It has been with you since you were a child. It is something you also need. We offer it to ourselves first and then naturally it flows out to others. The clearer you are on this the more your work feels like play.
Space in this program is limited so each Soulpreneur phone group coaching session will also include ample time for Q & A (you can even send those questions in ahead of time if you have to miss the call or don’t like to ask them in front of others) and a chance to laserin on what you are struggling with to help you find relief. Our monthly calls will also help you identify concrete “turtle steps” which take that big goal and break it down into things you can accomplish. The Facebook group will provide a forum for you to followup with your steps and a safe place to get feedback and encouragement.
Q: What if I don’t actually have a specific dream?
A: That is totally OK! Sometimes the next step for nurturing our soul nudges is simply to create whitespace within our minds and hearts. This group will do exactly that along with resources you can draw from down the road when you need them!
Q: How much time will it take?
A: 2 1/2 hours a month including the audio lesson, written action guide, and coaching call. (You can do these at any time convenient for you. Even the group coaching call will be recorded if you have to miss it.) I have intentionally kept the structured part of the program light so you have time to tackle the turtle steps related to your goal and to share in the Facebook group.
Q: What if I need more support?
A: This group coaching program is offered as a free bonus for all my one on one coaching clients. You can read more about this and all my Fall Coaching Gifts here.
Ready to Join? I’d love to have you!
You can join today via the monthly option or the 3 month bundle (including a 5% discount.) Either way a percentage of your joining fee will also go to support women starting life-changing businessesin the developing world. Choose your payment option below:
You can also expect a free bonus gift including access to a private course page with guided meditations, written + audio lessons on the 8 pillars of Happiness at Work: Balance, Concentration, Compassion, Resilience, Communication, Integrity, Meaning + Open Awareness. ($97 Value)
friends
I’ve also introduced a Friend’s Bonus Coaching Session for women who want to join with a friend or colleague. I have three complementary 60 minute coaching sessions available. Just reach out after you both join the Mastermind to let me know, “Hey! We are friends!” and I will schedule the session with all three of us. How much fun does that sound like? Social accountability can be transformational. I’d love to answer any questions and offer targeted coaching support to you both in this additional coaching session. xo Courtney

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.

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Balm for the Over-Harried + New Fall Coaching Gifts

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When our animal body feels threatened it can hijack us out of the moment (our stress response) but I’ve also found the opposite to be true. When our creature-self knows it can trust us to take good care of it, it rises to the occasion: providing you with good health for the big presentation, clarity of boundaries for that difficult conversation, energy for meeting your beloveds and your work.

We are made of many parts, at minimum mind, body, and that ineffable spirit/soul. We are most present when we have access in real time to all three.

And small acts of kindness which seem insignificant can be a balm on our over-harried lives and reintroduce ourselves into our circle of care.

For me this looks like pausing to put ointment on a burn on my finger rather than ignoring the persistent discomfort. Prioritizing supplements which nourish my health. Enjoying a cup of herbal tea (my current favorite, lavender. Did you know you can drink it!?)

In this spirit I am so happy to present my fall coaching gifts. Fall is a grounded season and I was wanting something concrete and body-centric. If I could have sent you a bushel of fresh-picked organic apples, I would have done it. (Don’t think I didn’t look into that.)

But instead I lovingly crafted a wellness bundle for you including Red Moon Cider (a nourishing apple-cider vinegar tonic), a favorite sustainably harvested tea, dream-decoding and more. You can find all the details below.
xo Courtney

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Self-Care Bundle of Three Healing Potions from Red Mood Herbs

I fell in love with Red Moon Herbs doing research for our recent trip to the Carolinas. They create potent herbal products in small batches using quality, fresh, and almost all local plant material. I’ve selected some favorites as gifts this fall for new or renewing coaching clients: Red Moon Cider (a fiery tonic with 100% locally grown produce and herbs in organic raw apple cider vinegar and mountain honey), Loco for Local Herbal Tea (organic herbal tea from all North Carolina grown organic herbs, including: Red clover, Tulsi, Peppermint, Lemonbalm and more) plus an all-purpose balm called Green Wonder Salve useful for cuts, bruises, chapped lips, dry skin, insect bites, burns or other moments you need some TLC and a bandaid.

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Bonus Dream Analysis Coaching Session with Katie Wise. 45 minutes

Fall always strikes me as a moody time of year. A time for the inward turn, sloughing off old habits and watching them fall lazily to the earth like the leaves swirling around us. And when I think moody, interior spaces I think dreams! Katie is an absolute gem of a human and coach and a gifted dream analysis guide. She will not only help you capture and decode the helpful messages in your dream in this session (if you come with a fresh one you would like to discuss) but will also share with you her written dream interpretation worksheet which walks you step by step through how to start a dream journal so you can glean those nuggets from your deeper self as an ongoing practice.

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Participation in My Up-Coming Soulpreneur MasterMind

During the course of our one on one sessions together you may find yourself starting a new creative project, side biz or even entertaining a whole new employment option. So I am including participation in my upcoming Soulpreneur Mastermind as one of the bonus gifts for fall coachingclients. You can enjoy the audio lessons, hop on the live calls (one a month) for some group coaching, or enjoy the recording of the calls and guided meditations down the road at a time convenient for you.

Ready to Get Started?

My fall coaching calendar is now open for new or returning clients.

How it Works

We connect for two powerful 60 minute sessions a month
(minimum 3 months.) You get recordings of our calls + custom guided meditations, email support, targeted reading + gifts.

Plus all the Fall Coaching Gifts outlined above: the herbal potions, dream analysis session, and participation in my Soulpreneur Mastermind group coaching program.

Investment: $425/month.
Discounts also available for clients who purchase a 6 or 10 session bundle.

Curious to Learn More? You can read all the details about my signature Bird in Hand Coaching program here and what other clients have shared about their experiences here.

And better yet schedule your free 30-minute laser session to get a taste of coaching and ask any questions!

You can also send me an email directly at cp@courtneypinkerton.com.

I have two spaces open this month for new or returning clients and would love to share these gifts with you!

All the good,

Courtney
PS. Maybe you have been following my blog for a while. If something in you is ready to feel better, to make the shift you know it is time to make, I hope you will reach out. September is the new January and it is a wonderful time for fresh starts. Let’s launch you into yours (with all these fun fallbonuses) together! Send me a quick email at cp@courtneypinkerton.com or Schedule Your Complementary Laser Coaching Session Today

Photo Nov 12, 6 14 05 PMCourtney Pinkerton, M.Div & M.PP, is a certified 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.