I have a mantra I use when things get nutters:

“life before business.”

It means that when I get home from jury duty and I’m full of civic happiness but exhausted by awkward social interactions — I am an introvert after all — I lay down rather than park myself in front of the computer screen.

It means when I am just one week into a juicy new blog series but have a husband going on day four sick in bed — that I let myself push the pause button on deep writing and instead share a favorite vintage post.

It has taken me a long time to recognize that this kind of self-care, while it goes so against my ego habits, is a form of leadership.

Because people can tell when what you dish up in your writing, teaching or speaking and how you treat yourself don’t line up.

And because it challenges the myth that work must be hard and painful and instead opens the door to a new possibility: that your whole self, even your tender and “nonproductive” side, can be of service. Because if you tell the truth about your struggles and limits, it opens the space for someone else to do the same.

And then we can all collectively take a step back from our love affair with productivity and remember to savor who we are and what life is when we aren’t seduced by the illusion that we control it.

So, my beloved Birder, I will have to wait to share about my falling in the mud moment and myth #2 in the Shine series. (If you missed last week’s post and don’t know what I’m talking about you can check it out here.)

But in the mean time you can find that favorite Vintage Valentine’s Day Bird post and more fun stuff over on my Bird in Hand Facebook page.

Love and all the good,


PS It turns out there is a shuttle from Santa Fe to Ghost Ranch. So if driving or car rental was keeping your lovely self from enjoying my MindBodySpirit retreat for women, no more! You can read about the shuttle, the menu, and more questions answered below.

PPS I have two more retreat spots with the bonus gift (a favorite book). Is one of them yours? 


MindBodySpirit (1)

If you could use some fresh MindBody tools to handle stress, soulful conversations with other changemakers, and heart-thumping views of nature I hope you will join me April 7-10 at Ghost Ranch, in New Mexico. I have also tucked in a few answers to common questions below. xo Courtney

Ghost Ranch Q & A

How do I get there? Albuquerque and Santa Fe are the closest airports. You can take a shuttle from the Santa Fe Sage Inn or rent a car to drive to the ranch. (Bring a friend and share the car rental!) You can also read more detailed directions regarding the shuttle ($40 roundtrip) over on the Ghost Ranch website.

What is the menu?  Meals are served cafeteria style, with choice of indoor or outdoor dining. Menus include vegetarian entrees. A salad bar is featured at lunch and dinner each day. Ghost Ranch has a Farm to Table program using their own seasonal farm produce whenever possible. We also have our own kitchen at Casa del Sol if you need to bring your own food for any reason. Gluten free options are available for breakfast. (Email me for details.)

Can I come on Friday? Yes. We do have one group gatheringThursday night on the Change Cycle, but if you know you need to miss that one I can send you the handout and answer any questions ahead of time. Our Friday morning session (after meditation) starts at 10AM.

Will I have time to rest? Yes! Don’t let fatigue or the fact that you “don’t have time” stop you from participating as it may mean that you need the respite even more. Every afternoon is completely free to explore heart-thumping hikes (and views) or just to nap, journal, and chat with others.


For those of you in the Dallas area, I’m teaching a special series at Sync Yoga on connecting to your head, heart and body centers– leading up to an Enneagram workshop on March 3th. If you are looking to learn to meditate or deepen your practice join me Monday nights at 6:45PM in Sync Yoga’s gorgeous new studios in the Sylvan 30 complex. If you come to 4 of the meditation classes offered by Sync this month (we are keeping track by adding a heart sticker for each class to your Valentine strung up in the studio) you can bring a friend for free to the Enneagram workshop. Details here. I would love to see you there! Xo Courtney

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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 children and remember to water their garden boxes. Courtney can be reached at

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