Photo Oct 15, 10 17 13 AM

“There isn’t a road map for where I’m headed” a coaching client recently observed. And he is right. There isn’t.

After years of looking for that perfect mentor (or more recently the perfect online training program) I have come to recognize that there are times in life when we chart a new course.

And sometimes the quickest and easiest way to forge your path is to stop looking for someone else to tell you where to go. Instead follow your Inner Teacher into unfamiliar territory.

Now let’s be honest. This can be lonely.

Martha Beck calls this the “empty elevator syndrome” —  when you begin to shift into a deeper level of alignment or personal integrity with your essential self (not your social self who plays by society’s rules) and in the process end up drifting away from your old circle.

For a while you ride alone.

Now that I’m a few steps down my path I have come to observe how the elevator fills and empties again and again. My trick is to be with the tribe which nourishes me when they are there… and when I feel that impulse to step in a new direction to honor any fear or misgivings but also to trust the loneliness. For that is where the Good Stuff (in my humble experience) shows up.

Where are you in this process?

Perhaps you are in an empty elevator?

Or perhaps your elevator is full of all the wrong people.

Let them get off.

But don’t exit on the same floor if it doesn’t feel like your ultimate destination.

Or perhaps your elevator is full of the right people but you need to practice savoring authentic relationships without holding them too dear.

For even when we are at a peaceful equilibrium in our lives, everything is always changing. And our courage comes from knowing we have the inner resources to meet the shifts.

The Body Compass is such a powerful companion in this work. For here is another truth nugget it took me a long time to learn: our deepest wisdom comes in and through the body. 

If you need help decoding your body wisdom reach out to schedule a complementary Discovery Session to talk more.

Warm best,

Photo Oct 01, 12 56 17 PMCourtney 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

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