Before we get to the vintage pic of me from the Peace Corps just a quick note to say hello from deep in my creativity cave. I’m half way through my first book! Six chapters submitted — each of them medicine for busy women who want to slow down while upping their impact and capacity to make a difference. Yay. Yay. YAY. I’m so excited to share and teach more about these keys which have changed my life and way of working.

Also I want to let you know I am going to be opening some special slots later in March for a new online coaching program for women where I will be rolling out this fresh content on how to slow down in a way that sticks and simultaneously share your most valuable gifts with the world. Space for this offering will be limited. It is a beta test recommended by my book coach and your feedback and experiences (with your permission of course) might even make it in the book!

Also I want to update you on the Early Bird price for theFlourish Retreat — a savings of $200. It will expire Friday March 17th. I’ve kept it active for a few extra weeks to give us all some breathing room — I feel like the mom of twins with this book project and international retreat all taking shape at the same time! If you have any questions or would like help determining if this retreat is a good fit for you, let’s hop on the phone to talk more. Here is the link to schedule your complementary conversation.

Love and all the good!


There are moments when life is really intense: when you are integrating a lot of new lessons all at the same time. The above pic with a Peace Corps friend from my first few months in Nicaragua would definitely qualify as such a time in my life. I look back at that picture now and see a woman so tender around the edges. So much to learn!

Often these intense seasons come as part of a transition—when something has come to an end: a relationship, job, educational program or when something new has started: maybe you just had a baby, launched your own biz, or got a hit of clarity about your creative future and decided to jump into a new project.

The wheels come off the bus, so to speak, and you just have to walk up the mountain.

Maybe you feel ill-prepared for the hike you are on.

Or find that your load is too heavy to carry all by yourself.

Working with a new coaching client this week I was searching for a way to describe the benefits of the Enneagram. As any teacher who loves a personal growth tool will tell you… we risk spending too much time describing the tool rather than explaining how it serves people where they are really living. Where they (and we) need insight into those tight places. Like, today.

So here is my attempt to connect the dots.

When you are in the middle of climbing a mountain and feel the strain of the task at hand -– it helps to pause and rest, to take off the backpack, get some bandaids out for your blisters, a long drink of water, and eat a granola bar. And most importantly, take the time to put the pack back on in a way that it doesn’t rub you raw on the assent.

That is a metaphor for what I would describe as the first phase of Enneagram exploration: identifying and recognizing your personality pattern, discovering how to “hold” your personality type in a new way and some immediate, practical resources. This helps you shake off some of those old habits of reacting to life out of fear, shame or anger and almost immediately begins to make the journey less painful.

So if you are climbing a mountain right now… consider how you can resource yourself.

In addition to observing your Enneagram type you might also want to focus on going to bed early, eating lunch outside or in a quiet place, sipping your tea in the morning listening to the birds or attending your favorite yoga class. I know these practices can seem so minor, but exquisite self-care, when you are in the middle of big hike, can make such a huge difference.

Then there are other times in life when you have time and space (or make time and space) to really take off the pack, open it up, spread out all the contents, and identify what you want to keep carrying, what is serving you, and what you need to let go of or replace.

You discern what is truly life-giving to carry and what is extra weight.

This is a process. I have discovered in guiding dozens of women through their transformational journey that six weeks is the minimum amount of time needed to really gracefully open all that up and ultimately put the pack back together in a lighter way.

It takes patience and encouragement plus fresh tools and the perspectives of others outside of your own head to edit all that down.

But seriously, who doesn’t want to be traveling lighter?

My particular mojo in this area is to help people fastrack the process — and to move as efficiently as possible through the “in-between phase.” Because it can feel kind of vulnerable to have your pack opened up and all the contents spread around. Especially if you are already a self-aware woman who has some change to make in the world but are simply going through a growth spurt.

The Enneagram was a lifeline for me as I transitioned five years ago from a salaried job with a lot of stress to starting my own business so that I could have the quality of life I knew I wanted — especially as a mother to three young kids.

My gratitude for the way the Enneagram lead me through that time of transition and left me lighter and cleaner is really the heartbeat of my motivation now as a holistic coach, writer and teacher. It is absolutely the encouragement I hope to offer to you.

Are you climbing up a mountain right now? What makes the pack lighter?

I’d love to hear more about your experiences. Reply here or schedule your conversation to talk more about the Flourish Retreat (where we will be doing a deep Enneagram dive) to see if it could be a fit for you. xo Courtney

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 my 8 Steps to Creating Your Flourish Formula (fresh content from my book!) 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

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