“Are you sure you should be doing that?” My husband inquires peering into my home studio. “Telling everyone on social media that you don’t know who your book is for…. is that really a good idea?”
This after a grueling 36 hour period in which I wrote and rewrote a draft of my ideal reader — basically a meditation on the one woman my book is a love letter to — and wouldn’t stop talking about this exercise from my book coach. The idea is that you go deep. You make it personal, like Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet. And in the process you integrate your head knowing into your heart. You build trust with your reader. You meet them in the pain they currently are experiencing and you go from there and explain the way forward.
However, what was happening for me was a big freak out. I’d been told “you are already too big — already crafting the movement! We need to laser in and find those 12 women who will tell 12 women so it can grow from there.” Guilty! In addition to being a recovering overachiever I’m a recovering Change the Worlder. Not that there is anything wrong with wanting to change the world. In fact I think we may need more of it. But like all good things it can also be hijacked by our egos and end up more a weight around our necks then the path to liberation we (supposedly) are leading others toward.
This ironically is what my book is about.
And where you come in. As those of you who connect with me on social media know… I need some help. And that is exactly what I told my husband. “I know what I am doing now.” i.e. “You may have been watching me spin for 36 hours but this is what freedom tastes like. Letting people in. Not pretending to have it all figured out. Offering my piece of the puzzle out to my friends and tribe of beautiful birders (that is you btw) and inviting in the feedback.” It is as true for you as it is for me — though our crazy obsessed-with-looking-good-and keeping-it-together-culture will have you believe otherwise.
So below I’ve repasted my question from Facebook. If you have a free moment and this book topic resonates for you I would so welcome a word, a phrase, a paragraph, some reflections. I have already been moved to chills and tears by some of what has come back to me. Clearly we are not alone in this struggle. So if we could all work together to help me laser in on how to talk about it in natural way to someone new to the conversation, that would be a huge gift.
Also the Early Bird special for Flourish, my retreat in San Miguel is extended. I heard back from many who just needed some breathing room to fit the pieces together. And I needed some breathing room to followup and share on social media the way I desired before Early Bird expires. So that price is there for you through February. At this point the retreat is almost half-filled. So if you want to come I so hope you will go ahead and reserve one of the remaining 7 spots. Also I want to let you know I’ve been having some techy problems with my email (if that weird formatting overlay is happening for you today I’m so sorry. I’m on to Mailchimp about it). Once I get that sorted I’ll be sharing the fun video from my Zoom Q & A call plus other followup emails about the retreat + details about a referral bonus (for those of you who can’t make it but invite a friend.)
Love + All the Good,
PS Read on for how you can help + reply here with your thoughts! Who knows you might even make it into my book!
Here is what we know:
I am writing a book for recovering overachievers.
Not just any overachievers — do-gooder women who to change the world but discover unhappily in the process of attempting to do so that if they are not careful their passion to make a difference will eat up their whole lives.
So I know that my book is a guide for how to sync up the inner resources to be able to make your greatest contribution (creatively, in your work etc) And have a beautiful, fulfilling personal life. A whole life. Which btw I think is a really important “feminine” value we could use more of right about now… Not compartmentalizing. But owning all of you (mom, messy human, secret soap-maker, the works!) even in your public or real world “zone of genius.”
So…. here is what I don’t know. How would my ideal reader describe her problem in her own words?
What would she (or you) look to a book to help with?
The best I can come up with so far is she feels squeezed and probably has a vague, guilty sense she should be meditating or doing something “centering” to help all the pieces of her life hang together better.
But I need to be waaaay more specific. (Remember stern talking to from Book Coach?!)
If this resonates with you (and you would even like to read such a book) could you tell me what you would be searching for to help you in your situation?
Or how you would wrap words around what feels out of whack in your life when in “overachiever” mode?
And where you look or have looked in the past for help.
Any comments, ideas, phrases, fragments welcome– the more informal the better. How you would talk to a girlfriend about your struggle.
Just imagine you could sit down right next to me in one of my new favorite places, the botanical gardens in San Miguel de Allende and tell me all about it. Seriously I would love to hear.
And before you write a single word thank you! Thanks for reading. Thanks for encouraging. Thanks for your ideas. We can’t do this kind of work alone. Of this I am certain.
You are invited to gather with other women in a home with a gorgeous interior courtyard enjoying a consciously curated experience where alone time is balanced with meaningful conversations and lively small group coaching sessions, where you have time to sit by (or in) a heated pool and journal, to listen to yourself and to be deeply heard, practice yoga (or not), enjoy the daily siesta with an actual nap (because we hear ourselves better when well rested) or by exploring the city on a solo adventure or with new or old friends — drinking up its ancient beauty and marketplaces.
Your experience will also include meal offerings of delicious, fresh local food, (breakfast, lunch and a snack, because you need good nourishment) and teaching sessions on incisive tools for self-awareness including the Enneagram and dream analysis. Evenings are free to explore, to rest, to enjoy local dining, to share, to listen, to read, to write, to get a pedicure or manicure, to buy a fabulous scarf. To drink hot chocolate and crumbly Mexican pastries. To enjoy.
Because beyond all of the beauty around you also hear the invitation to step deeper inside your own interior landscape….. I’m so excited to be sharing this new body of work with you for the first time live in this retreat. You will also be among the first to receive a copy of my new book! Space is limited. Reserve Your Spot Today!
Courtney Pinkerton, M.Div & M.PP, is a holistic life 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 (a personality map), meditation, and mindbody practices to reduce stress 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. You can read more about her coaching options here or Courtney can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
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