Years ago I had a dream — one of those ones which stays with you long after you wake up. In the dream with such tenderness I was told:

“You can do this the hard way or the easy way.”

It is hard to explain but I woke up so comforted by this dream. I felt the truth of that statement in my life.

And more and more I choose easy.

Perhaps like me you have a personality which pushes you onward: challenging you to strive, to go for it, to make your mark.

The rub comes in believing that it has to be hard work to get there. That you have to screw your buns to your office chair, grit your teeth, and MAKE IT HAPPEN.

And that is fine, that is our choice. Sometimes it feels good to really sink your teeth into a meaty project and get shizzle done.

But lots of times we make things harder than they need to be because of an internal standard we hold ourselves to and an unwillingness to let that standard slip and our humanity to shine through.

But what I am learning is that this is an equation: the more brittle and forcing I am the more I am met with that attitude in return. The opposite also turns out to be true. Showing my humanity, weakness, and foibles actually seems to open me to experience the humanity, kindness, and flexibility of others.

So I had this idea for what I would share this with you and on my website this week: a gorgeously complete retreat page with luscious photos similar to the one I had for the Mexico gathering. 

Well, ahem. That is not quite where I’m at. I found my energy really drawn to my children this week as they started their international school and totally immersed in Spanish. And so now it is Thursday afternoon and I am without all the pics I need and tomorrow (when this email goes out) I have a very important date at Managua International airport to pick up our cat.

(How hard is it to relocate you cat to a developing country in Latin America? Well, I will tell you. First picture how hard you think this would be: imagine finding a good foster situation, the confusing regulations on both sides of the border, the paperwork etc. Got a good sense of it in your mind?

OK now I want you to square it. That’s right multiply how hard you think it will by by that same amount again and you will just about arrive at where I am in this process. When we finally got the clearance last week– (which it turns out wasn’t the real clearance but at that time I thought it was — I was literally so relieved I had to lay down on our cool tile floor. I just couldn’t stay upright and exhale to the degree I needed.)

I digress. So I have Beatrix to meet and one of my favorite humans on earth turns nine tomorrow and needs to celebrate with flourless brownies (if we can find all the ingredients) and well — life.

And while my personality type would tell me to push though because I said I would have it done instead I’m opting for the other road — the easy one.

So what I have for you today is not the full on description but a fun video shot in Granada’s Parque Central. 

And more than anything I want you to know how excited I am about this retreat. How incredibly meaningful it is that I can connect so many loves of my life at one time: this nature-rich and colorful country where I lived and worked in the Peace Corps plus my book launch party (squeee!) plus the cobblestone streets of this 500 year old colonial town where we were married and now make our home.

And how it completely lights me up to imagine you here and being a part of it.

So if you think this invitation might be for you, it is 100% for you.

And while I don’t have it all slick on my website yet the funny thing is that the retreat is already filling up. At this point the suites are sold out and only three spots remain in the retreat house –a grand colonial casa turned boutique hotel.

(See what I mean about the magic of sometimes doing the easy thing?)

So if you want more support in shifting from pushing your life to feeling like your life holds you — the way that the salty ocean buoys you up when you float on your back and feel the waves — this is the place for you to be and the 8 step FLOURISH process is the coaching program for you (which you receive with your participation in the retreat so you can get started right away.) And trust me the women who are gathering are lovely, light-filled, truth seekers every one. Full of beauty and authenticity and kindness. Your group of women to gather with.

Are you interested? Here are your next steps:

1) Watch the Above Video

2) Read the travel + logistical details below.

3) Fill out this quick Retreat Interest Form and I’ll be in touch to answer any questions.

Now over to you.

This week how could you choose easy? Come on August is a great month for it! xo

Here are some logistical details about the upcoming retreat in Nicaragua and the special book launch party on Saturday night!

Flourish Retreat – Granada, Nicaragua

Friday October 20 – Monday October 23, 2017

Retreat Begins: 3:00 pm Friday October 20 in Granada

Retreat Concludes: 10:30 am Monday October 23 in Granada

Retreat Includes:

· Delicious local breakfast, lunch and snacks

· Special Flourish Formula celebratory book launch dinner on Saturday night

· Live group coaching and teaching sessions

· Gifts and surprises

· Transportation to and from the airport

Arrival Airport: Augusto C. Sandino International Airport – Managua Airport (MGA)

Depending on where you’re coming from in the US and your flight options, it may work best for you to arrive in Managua a day early, on October 19. If so, we recommend Hotel Las Mercedes, a Best Western which is directly in front of the airport. They have a shuttle which will pick you up with a sign that says “Las Mercedes” and drive you across the street. You can make your hotel reservation ahead of time via phone or over the Internet and the receptionists speak English. This can be a wonderful way to ease into the country – enjoy your time by one of their pools, dine at their restaurant or even book a massage. Then we will arrange your transportation to Granada on the 20th (See below.)

Ground Transportation: We will arrange your transportation from Managua Airport (or Hotel Las Mercedes) directly to Casa La Merced in Granada. Once you pass through customs, you will be greeted by a driver holding a card with your name or a group name, like “Flourish Retreat – Granada.” The driver will have your name on a list. Depending on when you arrive, you may be traveling with other participants. We will try to group you as much as possible, based on your flights.

We will also arrange your transportation back to the airport on Monday October 23.*

*Nicaragua is a beautiful destination. If you would like to extend your trip by coming early or staying after the retreat I encourage it and am happy to make recommendations regarding nearby sites like the Island of Ometepe in Lake Nicaragua, lovely beaches to enjoy, artisanal towns to visit and more.


The retreat will take place at Casa La Merced, across the street from the church Iglesia La Merced, on Calle Real Xalteva in Granada. Check-in time is 2:00 pm. Check out is 11:00 am.

Your room options (on a first come, first served basis) are:

Suite: $100/night (sorry this is filled!)

Junior Suite: $90/night (sorry this is filled!)

Room: $70/night

All of the above have hot water and air conditioning. Some have two queen beds, some have one.


The local currency is the Córdoba. A bank or ATM will change dollars at a little under 30 “cords” to $1. In most cases you can use US dollars, but will receive your change in Córdobas, which will be useful for small purchases. Many restaurants and other services also accept US debit/credit cards as well. ATMs work fine with standard VISA/MC type cards, though you may want to bring two different types if you have them. Good idea to bring cash as well just in case.

Curious to learn more? Fill out a quick retreat interest form and I’ll get in touch to answer questions and share more details!

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 and is the creator of the 8 step FLOURISH Coaching program. Courtney loves hosting retreats for women in nature and beauty-drenched locales, her next one will be held in Granada, Nicaragua October 20-23rd. In live events and through her coaching Courtney helps busy women unlock their greatest gifts and thrive in their personal lives. This summer she moved to Nicaragua with her husband Richard Amory and their three children where together they are exploring volcanic islands, colonial cities, and area beaches to find their perfect spot to land. Interested to learn more about her FLOURISH coaching program or upcoming retreat? You can schedule your complimentary discovery session here

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Coming this Fall!