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 share it with 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 mid July. xo Courtney

Can’t stop your mind when you try to meditate? Watch this week’s video for 3 tips to help you find relief from painful thoughts in your practice + in your life.

Repeat after me: the goal of meditation is not to stop the mind from thinking.

Make this your goal and you are sure to fail. (And be mean to yourself along the way.)

It is the nature of the mind to think. We think upwards of 12,000 thoughts a day (that’s 1,000 or more an hour!)

Meditation helps us strengthen our attention muscle so we don’t chase the thoughts like a puppy but instead can stay with ourselves in the present. Which is where we have a choice.

Interestingly, in meditation, thoughts can actually be one of the ways the body is releasing stress.*

A thought in meditation is simply inviting you to into your practice. This is the very moment where you are rewiring your brain to be more resilient by choosing to notice the thought and return consciously to the present moment. There are many tools which bring us back, the breath is one of them.

Try this week’s guided audio meditation to detangle your thinking.

Building our attention muscle in meditation we are more capable of noticing the painful thoughts as they emerge in daily life and creating a little distance from them. Which is how we grow our sense of freedom + agency in the face of life circumstance. Thoughts often position us as a victim.

Come home to the present and you remind yourself that you have capacities to respond creatively to life.

You are on your own hero’s journey.

What are some of your recurrent painful thoughts?

What are some of the painful thoughts you encounter regularly in your social context? Often people share their painful thoughts with each other without realizing. Rather than drinking in another’s anxiety… could you return to your breath and meet your friend or coworker with compassion even as you choose not to internalize their pain? This is a fresh form of thought leadership.

And Now Choose Your Commitment!

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 thought dissolving meditation for 10 minutes every day?

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

Share Your Commitment What you share may be just the inspiration another needs to hear. Share it with a friend or on social media. (And don’t forget to use #summerofmeditationchallenge so I can find + read all about your experience.)

Warmly, Courtney

*For more on this theme check out Sarah McClean’s book Soul-Centered.

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 20-23!) 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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