While my family and I move to Nicaragua I’ve pulled together a Summer of Meditation Refresher for you. Whether you have done it before or this is your first time — the Summer of Meditation Challenge is a wonderful detox for your nervous system. Last year in addition to the eight guided meditation audios I added videos to explain each practice. I hope you enjoy this free resource and forward this post on to a friend who could use a reset!

Sign up here if you would like a refresher email with links to all eight weeks of the Challenge. And look for me back in your inbox with Nica updates and photos to share soon. xo Courtney

PS I’ve opened up space for Discovery Sessions for once I’m back in the saddle in mid July. So if you are curious about my October retreat or the special new 8 week FLOURISH coaching program I’ve designed (which includes excerpts from my new book) go ahead and grab your spot today! xo Courtney

To avoid the most common frustration I hear in my meditation class and elsewhere– let’s skip the sit all together today, shall we? No need to force your mind to be empty. Instead, walk.

And try out this delightful, simple, easy practice from Thích Nhất Hạnh, master of mindfulness and all things good:

Oui + Merci.

Listen here for the Oui + Merci_Walking Meditation.

On the inhale you say “oui…oui….oui” and the exhale “merci….merci…..merci.”

We say yes to life. And thank you.

But wait doesn’t it have to be harder than this? Um, no.

Actually it turns out that being kind to yourself and treating this meditation project as play is so much more likely to open the space for you to grow into a new routine this summer. So if you need a metric, something to keep an eye on, rather than noticing how many thoughts you have (which are actually evidence of stress leaving your body…more on that next week) — could you instead observe how kind you are to yourself?

How kind are you when you miss a day of meditation? Or aren’t able to do your practice when you planned? Or find yourself distracted and in need of redirection to the mantra and the footstep?

Might you be even kinder to yourself next time?

Kindness is the secret sauce for any kind of inner growth.

And Now Choose Your Commitment!

Meditation reconnects you to your sense of choice and freedom in each moment: freedom to enjoy your life, freedom to be with what is here, freedom to begin again.

Engage your sense of choice as you design your practice this week.

Take a moment right now, a few breaths, close your eyes and feel into your body. What is the right commitment for you?

Could you do this walking meditation for 10 minutes every day?

Or maybe 3 times a week? Or just once right now?

Could you begin to play around with different times of day to see what works best for you?

If you already have a regular sitting practice, perhaps you want to add this in as an evening practice or before you sit?

Share your commitment with a friend and or social media (Don’t forget to tag me + use #summerofmeditationchallenge).

Social accountability helps to make it real.

While the gold standard for rewiring your brain with meditation is 30 minutes a day for 8 weeks, the benefits come much sooner and even with smaller doses.

And the best meditation is the one you do. Oui? Oui.

And merci.


At its core this is what my 8 step FLOURISH coaching program + book is all about: designing a life which supports you, rather than feeling like you have to push, strive, and hold it all together at home, work and everywhere else. If you are interested to learn more (this online program includes one on one coaching sessions with me and a special retreat in Nicaragua October 19-23!) schedule your complementary discovery session today. I’ve now opened up slots in July… be one of my first coaching calls in Nicaragua! I’d love to share how it is going and hear what is stirring for you. A Discovery Session is simply a conversation between the two of us. We start (as I always like to) with an exploration of where “the rub” or challenge is for you currently, which could be big or small. After I help you gain some clarity vis-a-vis a current day struggle I also share those coaching and retreat details and answer any questions you have. Together we determine if working together is a good fit. They are fun and open to anyone interested in exploring the retreat and/or coaching support. Grab one today! xo Courtney

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 creator of the 8 step FLOURISH Formula Coaching program 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 busy women who want to unlock their greatest gifts and thrive in their personal lives. Courtney is relocating to Nicaragua with her husband Richard Amory (which is where they met and wed as Peace Corps volunteers) and her three children. Interested to learn more about working with Courtney?  You can schedule your complimentary discovery session here.

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