Category Archives: Spirituality

Our First Month in Nicaragua – Photos Revealed!

I realized this week that I have been holding something back from you. Out of fear.

It is funny that after five years of mining my inner process and sharing that experience in my coaching and writing I realize that I am now afraid…. of revealing how happy I am.

I have taught and coached so much about the heartbreak that comes from living a life which doesn’t fit and how I used to feel trapped in a relationship with work which required me to prove and push and strive to make any meaningful progress.

And how in an effort to heal my one very broken heart I ended up discovering and creating the process I now guide clients through and which I describe in my new book The Flourish Formula. (Coming this Fall!)

The FLOURISH steps lead us out of that place of rupture to a place where we can thrive. It is a journey of creating a life which fits you so authentically that it supports you rather than having to feel like you are the one holding it together all the time — giving, helping, leading, creating, striving, and reaching.

But what I didn’t expect in this transition to Nicaragua is the impulse to keep my experiences close and to not fully share how beautiful this move has been for our family. While I have been posting some on social media I’ve also been holding back — caught in an internal push/pull. In a way I guess I was afraid of being judged. Or that I would be seen as bragging or worse as false or a cliche.

Do you ever feel this way?

It makes me wonder why is it easier to be honest about the challenges than the joys and celebrations?

And why would I hold the good stuff back?

So I have decided I’m not going to.

Because here is the honest truth — I have never been happier.

Yes it has only been a month and of course we miss our beloved friends and family in the U.S. But Nicaragua felt like a kind of home to me when I lived here fifteen years ago and I have been relieved and delighted to slip back into that feeling once again.

And to drink in the crazy pleasure of living in a town as lovely as Granada, the Paris of Central America. Every house painted a different hue.

And of taking my children to swim on beaches with black volcanic sand and to watch them grow shinier and more confident in Spanish day by day.

And to have my husband now working with me (something I haven’t really shared with you before now. I’ll give him a proper intro and explain more how he will be supporting Bird in Hand Coaching soon). I think were were both surprised and excited about the opportunity for collaboration which opened as we stepped into this new framework for our life in Nicaragua.

And part of the process of getting comfortable sharing fully all that is going well has been to really recognize that part of me that at times has judged other women or avoided celebrating their successes — feeling that life was somehow a zero sum game. Holding to the painful idea that each accomplishment she marked off her list somehow diminished me.

This is a false economy. And I realize I’m being invited to let that habit go — even in the funny little corners of my mind where it has been hanging on (i.e. that one coach I met a long time ago when we were both just starting out who now has a gazillion followers on Instagram and makes 100K a month. I know, I know.)

It means I need to nod at the Divine in her and wish her well. Knowing that even if what she shares rubs me the wrong way that her dream life and business honestly doesn’t have anything to do with mine. Other than to affirm that so very many things are possible.

So what does this mean? Nothing is changing really– I’ll keep writing you my weekly love notes about what is stirring over here and sharing the best content I have about how to Flourish: in your inner life, your meditation practice, your relationships, your work, toda su vida.

Because I think we are all actually made to feel this good. It is just that we are required to clean out the inner clutter and restructure some things on the outside to arrive here more fully. And we don’t all start from the same place — life is totally not fair on that front. Some of us get dished up many more challenges and fewer resources. Yet we are all always invited forward into our own unique expression of a beautiful life. It is our birthright and our soul or our true essence always knows our way here.

Not that there is one specific place so much — flourishing is less a finish line than a felt sense. A homecoming. Settling into a life which rather than being hard and heavy and full of obligations which leave you unsatisfied and weighed down instead surprises and delights and buoyes you up.

This is what I want for all of us! Especially because this way of living actually frees up our energy for the contributions which are uniquely ours to make. Our legacy work.

So I’m committing to sharing my celebrations and to whole-heartedly honoring yours. In fact increasingly I think that celebrating another’s pleasure and success may be one of the fastest ways we draw it into our own lives.

Below I share some of the most luscious pics of our first month in Nicaragua, courtesy of my husband. Who in addition to being a beautiful human, is a beautiful photographer.

And I want to thank you all for your kindness and encouragement as we went through this big change. There is so much yet to figure out (school options, permanent housing) before we really land but so much to celebrate right where we are.

Love and all the good,

Courtney

PS. Would you like more info on the 8 step FLOURISH process and early access to my new book? You can schedule a complementary Discovery Session here to learn all about my new signature coaching program and upcoming retreat in Nicaragua. I really enjoy these no obligation calls which give you a taste of coaching and how I work with women. (Many report feeling lighter after them.) So whether you have worked with me before and are interested in a refresher or you are new to the world of coaching, I hope you will grab one today — I’d love the chance to help you discern and take concrete steps toward your custom FLOURISH Formula. xo

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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Lessons Learned from Liquidating My Household


The wisdom teachers are right when they say not to worry about things ahead of time. When we first decided to move to Nicaragua we debated whether or not to get a storage unit. But given the open-ended nature of our plans, it just seemed odd to be paying several hundred dollars a month for a tiny room of dusty stuff in Dallas.

Even so the idea of liquidating everything tripped my stress circuits. My husband Rich and I had the conversation about it shortly before I left for my retreat in Mexico and honestly I couldn’t absorb the idea or imagine the process of selling everything then.

But when I got back and we had the conversation with the kids — and they surprised and delighted us with their enthusiasm and the ease with which they took the news — somehow the stuff got a lot easier to let go of.

It reminds me of a lesson I learned from Ms. Maggie, Coleman’s first preschool teacher in Boston. As I completed grad school and we anticipated our move to Dallas with Coleman who was not yet two, she told us to prepare him for the transition by gently reminding him that “we are home” whenever the three of us were together: at the grocery store, at the park, in the car.

Home is felt sense. People more than a place.

And sometimes to say yes to the next phase of your life you have to blow up the box or dissolve the box you are in.

Now selling everything and starting fresh is not always the best solution. In fact I’ve done it a few times before when I was younger and more mobile, only to have regrets about things I had to repurchase.

But this one feels different. Maybe the third time is the charm? It feels very clean. Like Elvis has left the building. The home juju just isn’t in these material possessions any more. And to hold any one object up and weigh it against a Nicaraguan sunset. Or more time in the hammock. Or more just saying yes to my kids, or hiking and exploring new areas of natural beauty. It is as if each item is rooting for me to let it go and yearns to be in the “for sale” pile.

At the estate sale this weekend people kept asking if I was doing OK. Or almost apologizing for walking around our house. We kept telling them, no one has died. You are doing us a favor!

And I was surprised how emotionally light the process was after I found a home for a few special (almost sacred) things: my mandarin, kumquat, and fig potted trees, my garden Buddha and dove, vintage turquoise glider, and fountain. Plus the kid’s art and our framed art collected through the years and photos from our Peace Corps era and wedding. A few old letters and the like. All of which my sister will integrate into her new outdoor living space or store for us in the attic.

The rest – is ready to move on. With the exception of the vintage desk on which I write these words. Selling this beauty smarts a little. When I got it I thought it was the desk I would have for my whole life. But I am trying to just be with the feelings and listen for a solution. It is too ginormous for my sisters to babysit for us. If you have any ideas let me know! I’m flirting with the idea of donating it along with some other furniture at the end. Somehow that might make it easier.

Now we are in a gloriously awkward in-between phase. Here is a tip: make sure you have the suitcases before you disgorge your kids clothes and sell their dressers. There are clothes everywhere.

Plus of course I stayed up too late prepping for the estate sale and with all the dust swirling and countless hands and people I interacted with I came down with a summer cold.

What I am learning makes this all easier is to create little oases of calm. We are keeping a few important pieces of furniture until the end — sold to friends or others willing to wait to pick them up until the day before we move. My bed is one. (Helpful as I’ve been living in it with a box of tissues and diffuser nearby.) Our kitchen table another. Our favorite couch a third.

In the wake of the sale with so much emptied out I can really see the bones of the house again and am reminded of when we first moved in. I feel such gratitude for this house we bought when I was pregnant with my third and had a  two and four year old. It literally has been the space in which I raised up my young, kept them safe, and equipped them for the wider world.

I’m sure I am way too close to this process to distill anything down to easy “tips” or life-coachy expertise. But I can say that it has been such an affirmation of the way the outer and inner life mirror each other. And in both spheres in certain moments what tastes the sweetest is not something you can hold in your hands, but simply the space for the new.

Love and all the good,

Courtney

PS I do want to thank each of you for your kind and encouraging words last week — it meant so much to me. I’ll keep you posted, each and every step. Also my second beta test for the FLOURISH 8 step Coaching program is off and super fun! If you would like to learn more about this powerful coaching program (with group and one on one coaching, excerpts of my forthcoming book plus the bonus of participating in my upcoming Nica retreat in October) grab a complimentary discovery session here and I’ll share all the details!

xo 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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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.

Want to get the latest from Courtney? Sign up below for tips on soulful living + updates I only share with my list!

Help Me Select My Author Photo?

Something is happening to me lately. As you know, part of me desires to live in a cave and have only five garments of clothing and grow and eat my own greens and write away my life in blissful monastic solitude. And yet… that is not the life I have chosen.

I am a woman. And a mom. And an entrepreneur. And I have come to recognize that much of what we deem as “spiritual” or the “soulful” path is about the process that men need to go through to wake up. (Don’t get my feminist hackles raised about our “male as normative” culture and how we assume a man’s process is everyone’s process…)

So this whole idea of retreating from the world and wearing monotone robes — it is helpful to tenderize the ego for many men who have been encouraged/pressured to take their place at the top and make their mark from a young age. It lets the soul catch up.

But what I have observed in my own life and with the women I work with is that often we need a different path. Rather than taking ourselves down several notches we need in fact to inhale and take up our rightful space in the world. And taking up our space involvings first and foremost re-inhabiting our bodies. Which happen to be women’s bodies — bodies with breasts and bodies which have the capacity to birth life and are often a little softer around the edges. And this soulful process invites us to tend to our bodies as an act of exquisite self-care, not to cultivate the sparkle from the outside in or so we look good for others… but to share and shine from the inside out.

So I’ve been playing with these themes in my own life as I thought through what I desired for the author photo for my forthcoming book. I wanted something feminine and even a touch playful. My photographer asked me how I wanted people to feel when they saw this picture. And my answer is “invited.”

So many women I work with feel like they are pushing, striving, straining every day to support their life and the people in it. What if it could be the other way around?

What if we were invited to peel those fingers of control off our life and instead to receive so fully we couldn’t help spilling over into the lives around us?

Explaining and exploring how to do that is the heart of the eight step FLOURISH process in the book and my new signature coaching program.

So here you go — I’ve narrowed it down to four pics: #1 Kumquat tree, #2 Red Pillow, #3 Blue Wall, and #4 White Couch. I would so love to hear which one you could imagine on the back of a book and which one makes you feel most invited. I hope you will share your thoughts in a comment below. I’ll read every one!

xxo

Courtney

PS I am opening up another beta group for my 8 Step FLOURISH coaching program (Guess what?! this one includes the bonus of an adventure chic retreat in Central America in October of 2017!) If you are interested to learn more schedule your Complimentary Discovery Session here.

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. Would you like to learn more about coaching options? Schedule a complementary discovery session with Courtney here.

Want to get the latest from Courtney? Sign up below for tips on soulful living + updates I only share with my list!

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.

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

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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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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My Favorite Question + Photo Reveal for Retreat in Mexico

My favorite question when meeting someone new has long been “What have you been loving lately?”* I think it gets around two big roadblocks: our over-emphasis on work i.e. “What do you do?” and the superficial exchange i.e. “How are you?” which tends to elicit a “fine” regardless of the deeper reality.

But lately I’m flirting with a new question – “What have you been creating lately?” Because after a week in which I hosted my Soulpreneur Virtual Retreat (with women birthing new writing, business dreams and more) and spent most of the rest of the time crafting the invitation to my upcoming retreat in Mexico I feel like I am on very intimate terms with the creative process. It is all I want to talk about.

Not the whole arc of it, which as you know can take months or years. But the acute, most intense phase. Where you are literally bringing something through the veil from the world of ideas, dreams, intentions to the material plane aka “the real world” where other people can interact with it. (This doorway from San Miguel reminds me of such a liminal zone.)

One thing which confused me for years about the creative process is its relationship with our own stress response.

With coaching clients and in my own life I work with the body compass. Essentially the language of the body is expansion when pointed in a direction which aligns for you or contraction when you are making a decision which doesn’t jive with your essential self.

We all have many layers. Your essential self is that deepest, most truthful part of you whereas your social self is the part which wants to play by the rules and be seen as successful or fitting in. Maybe the easiest explanation of the difference is to simply remember a time when your head was talking you into something because you “should” do it and your gut was protesting fiercely.

But decoding the body compass is not always that simple. Because we don’t usually have a lot of practice listening to it. In fact we are taught in school and many families to override the body nudges and to hold in or push down the somatic or emotional feelings that get in the way of moving ahead.

But, and this I think is the really interesting part, there is another way our body compass read gets muddy.

When we are actually stretching into a really juicy, brave, interesting decision and in so doing trip our own stress response.

So on the deepest level your body/soul voice may be saying hell yes! And your poor amygdala which is always on the lookout for threats interprets all that extra energy coursing through your body and the natural dose of fear of the unknown as if it were a tiger about to pounce. Hello fight or flight response!

As my favorite Ennea teacher reminds me, the body “boots us out of presence” on both ends of the continuum: when something really threatening is happening and when something completely amazing is happening that is more than we let ourselves imagine for our lives aka when we are scarecited!

So….the next time you are ready to sit down and write something brave or invest some significant cash securing a fabulous home in Mexico based on your heart/gut sense that women do in fact want to travel internationally to retreat with you, or otherwise create in a way which stretches your comfort –- remember this conversation. And see if you can attend to the extra support you might need to move the energy of your fight/flight/freeze response through your tissues.

How to Move Your Stress Energy While Creating? 

This whole process of pulling together details for the international retreat has gone slower than my social self would have liked. Communicating with the international host and getting the contract signed, working with my VA to confirm availability and details about the boutique hotels near the retreat venue (for those not staying in the house), making a video to invite you into the retreat.

But it was being born in its own time. And as I shared this week on social media I required frequent breaks to bring this retreat vision through to the other side. I even started running again (normally I’m a walker) just out of the sheer need to discharge some of my excitement! Talking with friends and getting coaching was also vital. As was making out with my husband. And acupuncture and Chinese herbs. Eating warm lunches.

All of these help move the extra energy of creation through my tissues and send the message to my body and nervous system that “Hey, we got this!”

I’m working on so many fun details regarding my retreat including a payment plan for those of you who would like to space out your investment in monthly chunks. Here are some photos to whet the appetite:



See?!! I literally fall asleep sometimes just feeling like I’m already in this house with those of you who likewise know that it is just what you need: to stretch yourself, to reawaken your senses, to nourish yourself on the deepest level.

Maybe that sounds weird but I think that is part of the process of conscious creation. Becoming the person who wrote the book, who hosted the international retreat or who created a life that she loved. And taking small actions today from that place, while taking care of your nervous system along the way.

So friends, next week. Next week.

Warmly, Courtney
PS I do have a special offer for those who can handle my “rough cut” and who expressed an interest in this retreat either via social media or attending a previous one. If this is you but you didn’t yet fill out my survey or otherwise indicate your interest contact me at cp@courtneypinkerton.com and I’ll send you the pre-offer pronto. xo
*Credit to my friend the gifted writer and teacher Sarah Moore for this great question. Photo Credit my fabulous VA and gifted photographer Eileen West.

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Could You Use a Do-Over? New Year Virtual Retreat Details + Big News

Let’s meet in the greenhouse to squeeze some fruit, shall we? This is my vision for the upcoming Soulpreneur virtual retreat this Thursday Jan 26th. A time to check in on what has been growing in your life. Take a bite. See what is ready to be planted in your work, creativity, home and rest. If you feel like the New Year got away from you… this is for you!

I am opening the Soulpreneur Mastermind for 2017 to new members for one week only, so if you are interested I hope you will register today! I have also created a new option where you can get one on one support alongside our regular monthly group call (which in January includes the virtual retreat.)

I also want to let you know that I have some big news coming next week about my Spring Retreat. It is happening in San Miguel de Allende at the most gorgeous house you could imagine. Heated pool, interior courtyard, fabulosity.

It has been a boisterous week as I figured out if all the pieces were going to come together. Oh yes and starting my 9 week “idea to done” book program. I’ve had to use my own soulpreneur skillz (and wise coach friends) to stay connected and hopeful. But now I literally can’t wait to tell you _all_ about it. For now get your passport ready and put the dates May 4-7 on your calendar. And thank you to everyone who completed my online quiz + responded on Facebook with your preferences, that was a huge gift to me in discerning next steps.

xxo Courtney “Feel the Stretch and Do it Anyway” Pinkerton

Who needs a Soulpreneur Mastermind?

If you are a creative woman who wants to feel more intentional about your busy schedule

You want to write more

To invest in a new biz or side biz

Or to deepen inside existing work + roles so that they better match your unique gifts and contributions

You can gain a community of fellow dreamers and doers, my favorite resources for breaking big goals into “turtle steps,” plus encouragement for taking that dream from “out there” to “right here and totally possible.”

Read on for all the details of this month’s theme + reply back to me with any questions.

Next week for the virtual retreat we meet at 9am. Zoom call if you want to see my face and share yours or just call in, whichever you prefer.

Then I’ll lead us in a guided meditation together.

We will spend a few minutes warming up our brains and covering any questions about resources I have shared with the Mastermind.

Then I’ll review the highlights from my audio lesson on how to design your own custom retreat. Then it is intention time. I used to be annoyed by setting intensions. But now I think I better understand, it is a humble posture. A way of claiming how you want to offer yourself to a certain time or practice even as you remain open.

So we will each name how will use the morning. It is a great time to couple some intensional self-care +meditation with mapping out your upcoming 6 months or year and identifying the core themes. (I’ll be sharing my super simple yet strangely effective sticky note practice.)

Then we will set about our unique work and reconvene at 1pm CST to share what we accomplished.

If you can’t spend the whole time retreating that is fine too! You can just join the call 1-2:15PM or join us in the morning too but not dedicate your whole day to the retreat. Totally up to you to custom create what you need. I will be present in the accompanying Facebook group if any questions pop up. And of course the whole thing will be recorded so you could easily use it as a guide for a retreat on a weekend or other day.

Also wanted to mention what I’ll be covering in the audio call to help you prep for retreat:

3 tips for clearing space in your mind and consciousness for your custom retreat

What not to do in a retreat

My favorite resources to draw from to guide your time in the retreat

What to have on hand

Suggestions on when and how to retreat even in a busy schedule.

So if this sounds fun to you I’d love to have you! You can register here!
The audio lesson and written guide is now available in your private members page — instructions following once you join.

Reply here with any questions and hope to “see” you soon!

Warmly,

Courtney

I’ve included the details about our Jan, Feb, and March Soulpreneur topics below.

Here is what you can expect in 2017:

Our first call will be a super fun optional half day virtual retreat.

We will still have our regular audio lesson and written guide for January released ahead of our call on how to design your own custom soulpreneur retreat. We will then have our regular live group call (and chance for coaching around the content and goals) on the 26th from 1-2:15PM. For those who are interested in the virtual retreat, we will a bonus rendezvous on Zoom so we can see each others faces — or you can simply call in if you don’t like Zoom — at 9am that morning to set intentions for the day and do some opening activities. Then we will break and each work on our own goals and reconvene with the group call at 1pm.

Sound fun?

Also I’ve opened up a combo package where Mastermind members can get a one on one coaching session with me each month. So you will see that option including the coaching plus other payment options for the Mastermind available on the registration link.

Then my sense is we need a chance to exhale. So February will be our self love/integration month with no new content but a bonus live Q and A call so you will have our regular group coaching session plus another call. This will free up lots of time for your questions to be answered about any of the content we have covered so far and also your own Soulpreneur goals. *New members will also have access to a library of previous lessons in this month on the Change Cycle, Creating Your Freedom Calendar, and Discovering Your Super Powers. So lot’s of content to enjoy! Dates for Feb calls are Thursday Feb 2 and Thursday Feb 16 1-2:15PM). All calls will be recorded.

Lastly March we will be talking about celebration. If you think this is lame, fluffy stuff — o contraire! It is a super important tool for Soulpreneurs and change agents of any stripe. So we will be talking about how (and why) to celebrate the wins in your life and honoring your accomplishments in this group — big or small! March Mastermind live call is Thursday 23rd 1-2:15PM.

I only have 2 spots remaining for Mastermind members who would like the option for one on one coaching support. (In the private call we will be focusing on you and your specific goals– so that you can get super clear on next steps and have the support and accountability to follow through.) So if you know you are ready to invest in your own momentum with some targeted one on one support I hope you will reserve your spot today. Here is your registration link.
Here is a reminder of what we have covered so far and where we are headed with this Soulpreneur Mastermind:

Thursday October 20 Where are You in the Change Cycle?

Thursday November 10 Craft Your Freedom Schedule

Thursday December 15 What are Your Super-Powers?

Thursday January 26 Soulpreneur Virtual Biz Retreat (Mapping Your Year)

Thursday February 2 & 16 Integration Month: This is your chance to catch your breath, show yourself some love, and ask any questions which have come up so far as well as get coached on your unique challenges in the bonus Q & A call.

Thursday March 23 Celebration!
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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Be Seen in 2017

That moment when you are dripping at your desk capturing a thought you just had in the shower and your six your old with her freshly brushed teeth all ready for bed sits down next to you and says mommy, is that your book?

Aaah. Yes. Yes it is.

Here’s to 2017. May it be full of moments ripe with tenderness and being seen for exactly who you are.

Love and all the good,

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.

Want to get the latest from Courtney?