Repeat after me: it is all just data.

This is one of my new favorite mantras. Something I learn from my husband who is a data coach among his other talents, helping nonprofit leaders make informed choices.

Richie tutors me in the art of detachment. This is a lesson he offers not because he is trying to teach it to anyone, but it is simply one of his natural abilities for navigating life. (We all have different inherent skills, a lot depending on our Ennea type.)

In his work and also personal interactions my husband can sit back and see the whole picture.

In contrast, I have a teeny habit of taking things highly personally.

This is the flip side of being sensitive: the cosmic backwash of being so open to other people and the pains of the world.

Yet, here is the truth.

It is really not all about me. (or you)

And the more I remember to take a deep breath, to drop into my heart space, and share my work as an offering (knowing it is not for everyone) the more freedom I discover.

This is especially vital breathing room when I am stretching toward a juicy goal (like hosting live events in nature-rich locations).

Observing feedback from a more detached place is helpful in entrepreneurial life but truthfully it is a good practice for creative and clever people of all stripes.

Just remember: The feedback doesn’t quantify your value.

And far from making you more armored or shut off from your intuition, taking this spacious view actually allows you to integrate and learn from the constructive comments. And to let the rest go.

Tara Mohr calls this unhooking from praise and criticism.

In stretch times and everyday I try to remember that there is a natural cadence between action and surrender, between doing the work that is mine to do and releasing the rest.

This is the resiliency rhythm and it is so vital for approaching our big goals.

Stepping back from that habit of taking feedback so personally is one tool which frees you up to live in this way.

So this week I hope you will repeat your new mantra, it is all just data, whenever you encounter a challenge. And keep me posted on how it goes!

Now over to you:

How do you handle feedback? What helps you take what is useful and still keep your juicy goal in focus?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in a comment over on the blog.

Warmly, Courtney

PS The Summer of Meditation Challenge is Coming (a free 8 week online training program.) Look for more details next week. xo

Spring Clean

Photo Oct 01, 12 56 17 PM

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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This Spring I’m writing on the 4 key myths I had to burn through before I was ready to really own my own juiciest goals. If you have a juicy goal I hope this series might help you clear out any inner obstacles so the goal can go from “out there” to “right here + totally possible.” xo Courtney

Myth #1: To Be Spiritually Awake Requires You to Stay Small

Myth #2: When You Are in the Flow Nothing Will Ever Go Wrong

Myth #3: Reaching Big Goals Requires You to Work Your *ss Off

Myth #4: It is All Highly Personal