From the 10,000 bees who built a hive in our house. Thank you.

To the 10,000 bees who built a hive in our house: Thank you.

This month a swarm of bees alighted on our house. Seeing this swarm on the move in the dusk air was one of the more holy moments of my life so far.

We at first thought the queen had moved on and that we were left with the stragglers. We were wrong. They moved in and made baby bees. Their numbers grew to the 10,000 range.

We only ever saw a handful at a time so we didn’t realize what was happening under our eave until I called the cowboy beekeeper. Yes that is his name. He came + rehomed the hive. And left us the spoils.

Above Perl tastes the honeycomb.

It is luminous + golden. Home-fresh honey is the best I have ever known.

So why do we need the breath in our meditation toolbox? Because everything is always changing! And connecting to this constant in our lives (the inhale + the exhale) gives us a foundation from which to respond creatively to life’s twists + turns.

Disconnected from the breath our dualistic mind likes to put things in categories. Mystical encounter with bees…. that’s good! Handing over several Benjamins to rehome them? Not so much! (And you know the cowboy beekeeper only takes cash.)

But the breath remains constant and invites us to trust that there is a more spacious view on reality than our little minds can hold.

Really, what is it worth for my kids to get this awe-inspiring encounter with nature? And for me, garden-lover that I am, to get to do one small act of kindness for the pollinators in my neighborhood?

Whenever events are changing in ways which leave you dizzy or confused about your next best step — breath is your ally.

[Here is a big tip– it matters not the number of times you get distracted. If it happens a million times in a ten minute sit, that is your practice. It does matter how kind you are to yourself as you redirect your attention. ]

But don’t take my word for it, try it out. See how it makes you feel.

Breath-Centered Meditation

And if you would like your own close-encounter with nature, read on about my new Ghost Ranch offering in New Mexico.  xo Courtney

If You Would Like a Little Bit More…

I promised distilled this Summer. However, these are some of my deeper reflections if you are into that. Xo

QuickStart Mindfulness Question 

Do you find yourself sleepy when meditating? If so bring your attention to the tip of your nose + notice the temperature of your inhale and exhale. Instead of sluggish does your mind race? If so drop your awareness down to your abdomen and notice the rise and fall of your belly.

Authentic Leadership

We converted my Ghost Ranch offering next month from a leadership workshop to nature-based coaching. The class had changed shape a few times and our marketing efforts hadn’t caught up with it so we decided to let go of the group format and instead invite people to come for some R + R and one on one coaching.

The new format includes:

  • Rest & Recreation Package (guided hike, wellness offerings, art studio, Waterfront (canoes & kayaks on Lake Abiquiu)
  • a 60-minute massage OR 90-minute horseback ride
  • 90 minutes of individualized coaching to address your most pressing work/leadership stress or personal challenge + a custom plan for self-care and strategies for resetting when the pressure builds.

If this package sounds good to you (remember you can also bring the family) join me at Ghost Ranch August 3-7. Space is limited– we have about 6 spots left. 

You can read details + register here.  

Also feel free to share comments + questions about your meditation journey with me via Facebook or Instagram. Who knows, what you share may just be what another needs to hear to truly lean into their practice.

Courtney + Tea Time

Courtney Pinkerton, M.Div & M.PP, is a holistic life and leadership 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 weekly e-newsletter on real-world mindfulness practices. Courtney teaches regularly on the Enneagram, meditation, and conscious approaches to leadership and parenting. She lives in Oak Cliff, Texas with her husband Richard Amory where they try to keep up with their three young children and remember to water their garden boxes. Courtney can be reached at or you can schedule a complementary conversation to talk more.

Join the Summer of Meditation Challenge Here! 

Email Address 

Fresh. Light. Easy. Like Summer!

Fresh. Light. Easy. Like Summer!

Meditation is a relationship. It is a relationship with the deepest part of yourself: that conduit for wisdom, peace, + presence. But sometimes there is a gap between knowing what to do and living into it.

For that reason I’m so excited to offer this year’s Summer of Meditation Challenge which has been redesigned to offer even more real world tips for how to get started meditating  + free guided audios.

Fresh. Light. Easy. Like Summer!

Here is the Recap:

Life is full of suffering. Why create more by the way you treat yourself in your meditation practice?

Week One: Oui + Merci. Surprising Practice Number One

Week Two: Thought-Dissolving

Week Three: LovingKindness

Week Four: The 9 Vital Messages

Week Five: Speak the Language of Your Body