Courtney at Casa del Sol

Looking at the mountains out my window, Casa del Sol, Ghost Ranch. Photo by Katie Wise.

I feel like I slayed a dragon.

Well three small inner demons which together created a full scale dragon as I prepared to lead the MindBodySpirit Leadership Retreat for Women last week in New Mexico.

The first demon: What if no one comes?

Then, as registrations came in + kept coming (we filled Casa del Sol to the brim!) demon number two popped up:

What if the participants aren’t as into all this material as I am? AKA What if they don’t like the retreat or worse…. me?

And lastly, what if I have a body breakdown? What if it is all going swimmingly but I get sick or otherwise can’t teach?

On the other side of the stretch I can report that the space which all those questions occupied in my psyche leading up to the event has now been filled with gratitude.

Gratitude for the kick*ss women who came spanning 4 corners of the country and 4 decades. Here they are learning tapping (or acupressure.) One of my favorite MindBody techniques.


Gratitude to Georgia O’Keeffe for making soulful art which invites pilgrims of beauty to this place.

Gratitude for the mountains and sky which welcomed us there and made us supple for the explorations and relationships at hand.

Casa Front Door

Gratitude to my body for converting kale salad and delicious views into the health and presence of mind I needed to teach. Not only did I not get sick I felt full of energy. I have heard this described as “primary food” — that joie de vivre which nourishes us when we are engaged in activities we love.


And gratitude to Katie, my hospitality goddess and back-agenda creatrix who kept us all cozy and knowing we had returned from hikes, and who took such good care of me she literally got me a scoop of nut butter and a spoon when I got so excited setting up for our evening session one night I forgot to eat.

Irreplaceable Katie Wise

Much more to say but I haven’t fully landed to wrap all the words around which could be wrapped.

But I am happy to report that I took two whole days off to rest upon my return. Those who know me well can affirm this is serious progress! And I enjoyed a favorite meal — sushi and kombucha — with Richie and the kids to celebrate our reunion. (Well, sushi is not my children’s favorite food. They got a gluten free frozen pizza.) But for all of us it felt good to pause rather than just plowing back into regular life.

Casa Arch

This MindBodySpirit gathering was a serious reaffirmation of the power in coming together at beautiful, nature-rich destinations for transformational work. So you can look for more from me on that front including the possibility of a MindBodySpirit Master Class (including the Enneagram) next year at Ghost Ranch. Also the idea of hosting a retreat at the Nicaraguan tree house re-emerged as well… because this wasn’t enough of a stretch now I need to think about international live events:) But seriously, let me know if you want to be on the short list for either gathering and I’ll keep you updated!

PS If you could use a hit of that New Mexico spaciousness into your real life and schedule, consider my Spring Clean Coaching Special. I have one more spot for April and 3 more opening up in May. Reach out to me at with any questions + let’s get started!

Spring Clean

You can read all about my current Spring Clean Coaching Package and fun bonuses here. xo Courtney


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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