Watch today's video to learn more! xo Courtney

Watch today’s video to learn more! xo Courtney

Do you ever feel like you spend your day pinging between anxiety, sadness, or anger without a moment to catch your breath?

Identifying your core-desired emotions is a powerful antidote. Today’s guided meditation (audio below) shows you how.

What are core-desired emotions?

They are those feelings you long to feel, each and every day.

For here is the important thing to know – something heralded as true by life coaches, neuro-scientists, and elite sports trainers alike –– often we chase external goals without knowing that what we really desire is how we anticipate feeling when we get there

Once identified, our core desired emotions work both like a compass and a filter. Try out different words: spacious, present, happy, grounded, rooted, playful, at ease. These are some of my favorites to get you started… Write that word on a sticky note. Begin to develop a relationship to it. When navigating choices try to pause + listen. Which option leads to more of how you want to feel?

This attentiveness is especially important because positive emotions can be subtle when compared to the steady drumbeat of the negative emotions which undergird our Enneagram personality type… be that sadness, fear, or anger.

If this sounds simplistic, great! Give it a shot anyway.  Simple does not equal easy. And this is one of the most important meditation tools to practice especially if you are navigating growth or change.

Identifying your core-desired emotions can be life-changing and fuel for other shifts, big and small, as you grow the activities, work, and relationships which make you feel really good and begin over time to edit out that which doesn’t. For what we pay attention to grows.

When I first started doing this exploration with core-desired emotions I was bummed to realize I actually didn’t even know what happiness felt like for me. Sure I knew about those big life-changing highs– but developing a relationship with everyday happiness, that was a bit of a mystery to me. Honestly I was just too busy. Busy pursuing credentials. Busy making sure other people were happy. Busy working. Busy trying to look good and to make it all look easy. I experienced happiness, sure, but it kind of took me by surprise + felt like a gift. I didn’t know how to grow it in my life.

Try today’s guided meditation to identify and grow your relationship to your own core-desired emotions.

Meditation #7: Find Your Core-Desired Emotions

A little backstory…

Several years ago in a period after leaving a salaried job and with three little kids I only knew that 1) I wanted to feel more joyful + present in everyday life 2) I wanted to write 3) I had no idea what this all meant. So I said no to any job opportunity that didn’t make me feel joyful. It took a while to really trust the joy -I was so used to pushing myself hard- but eventually I came to.

Sometimes as you might imagine I learned to trust it by ignoring my desire for joy and saying yes to things I should have said no to… Which only led to less joy until I reoriented. Eventually that feedback loop became very convincing + I started listening more on the front end.

I also came to realize that nothing external like a job or other’s opinions could make me feel joyful if I didn’t know how to “catch” simple moments of pleasure as they came down the pike each day. I still had to do some inner work, start a biz, get trained as a coach, and all kinds of other lessons as part of that time of transition. But joy led me, step by step. Still does. Getting clear about your core-desired emotions is one of the best ways I know to lead your life from the inside out.

I would love to hear the word/s you settle on as your core-desired emotion! If you try this week’s guided meditation leave me a comment over on the blog or reply here. Also feel free to share comments + questions about your meditation journey with me via Facebook. Who knows, what you share may just be what another needs to hear to truly lean into their practice.

*For more on core-desired emotions check out Danielle Laporte’s The Desire Map.

Summer of Meditation Challenge 2016

Come on in. Feel the fresh and verdant air. Let’s detox your brain and nervous system so new ideas and iterations of you can bloom!

Join 500+ people from around the country who have participated in this free, 8 week online program to start or deepen a regular meditation practice. Enter your email into the box below to receive a weekly email with my favorite guided meditation practices + videos with tips for how to integrate them into real life.

Xo Courtney

Photo Nov 12, 6 14 05 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 popular blog on soulful living. Courtney teaches regularly on the Enneagram, meditation, and MindBody practices as well as supporting other “soulpreneurs,” aka women who want to lead with heart in their work + lives. 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