I have something really fun to share with you today including some unique highlights of my Nica Retreat –a local coffee and chocolate tasting, a boat tour of the lush isletas in Lake Colcibolca, plus a launch party to celebrate the publication of the Flourish Formula.

But first, a bit on my recent freak out. Perhaps like me this week (or last week) you have been having a hard time integrating the news.

Maybe you want to hide so as to not feed the negativity with your attention.

Maybe you feel full up with your regular life and like you just don’t have a pocket in which you can put the global pain of Charlottesville, Barcelona and now Hurricane Harvey. I really get it.

Last week a friend and long-time reader shared a question with me in response to my email about sunset views which prompted a mini shame spiral. You know how these go.

I cornered myself in my mind and said “Here you are talking about sunsets and fluffy, inconsequential things while your beloved democracy is staring down the demon of white supremacy….get in touch!” The end of this self meanness diatribe is so understood between me and my inner bully that I don’t even have to hear the words to feel them in my body:

“You are less than. A loser.
And your writing misses the mark.”

Just a few days have passed from the inner struggle and today I am actually feeling pretty good. Because after the knock-down I did a couple of things which enabled me to quickly get back up:

1) Came out with an unscheduled missive last week unpacking the connections between the soft comforts of life: pleasure, desire, kindness and the world of justice and beauty we want to create. This helped to bring me back into alignment and to give me permission to continue to love and write and teach about the things I love, knowing they (like all the things that you love) are always a part of a bigger conversion: it turns out sunsets are our fuel. If you missed it you can read the whole thing here

2) This week I also dove back into my personal flourish formula, which more than a self-care plan is really a whole way of life. I’ve needed lots of early bedtimes and acupuncture visits and walks with my husband, plus tapping on old Enneagram anxieties and a whole lot more. Sometimes I wish I could graduate from needing to do all these practices since I wrote the book explaining how. But anytime I think I have arrived — I can always rely on some unexpected challenge to remind me that flourishing is a felt sense more than a finish line. 

And do you know what is the hallmark of flourishing?

What the women who complete the 8 steps create in their own lives?

There are many different kinds of fruit of this process: clarity, body shifts (including losing weight and or making peace with your body), better sleep, and deeper satisfaction in your work while enjoying fully your personal life.

But beyond all of these the biggest takeaway is resiliency.

That’s right, getting back up, squaring your shoulders, taking a breath which wakes you up to all your senses and feeling the reservoir you have created within: one sourced with joy, openness, and laughter.

Because we never know what will greet us in life. Nor can we always anticipate the way that our inner gremlins and old habits will trip us up again.

But what we can control is how resourced we are going to be when the hard news (or the insanely beautiful opportunity) comes our way.

Because when we are not sprinting through life depleted we can actually respond rather than react.

And make our choice — for where to dedicate our money, passion, voice for change — from a place of knowing what is ours to do rather than guessing and playing whackamole.

For example one thing which I love is to link my retreats and coaching programs to beautiful nonprofits whose work I can highlight and financially support.

So I want to share with you today that a percentage of the proceeds for the Nicaragua retreat will go to

Education Plus Nicaragua.

My husband has been volunteering afternoons with this organization that works in one of the poorest barrios on the edge of Granada. I will share more about their pioneering educational work in the coming weeks (there are many children in their programs who are 8,9,even 10 years old and haven’t learned to read in the traditional Nica school system.) Which of course sets them up for a life of continued poverty — a cycle Education Plus Nicaragua is helping to break, one child at a time.

To me this sort of connection is super exciting and illustrative of my whole point about how pleasure and beauty can be our fuel. The old way of changing the world required eating yourself on the inside to make a difference. That way is not going to get us where we need to go.

Instead we need to approach change-making from a fresh perspective: like you investing in your own freedom and flourishing also unlocking the gift of reading for one of the poorest children on our side of the globe. Not two separate acts: an integrated healing and knitting together.

So if something in you has been curious about this retreat and wondering could I maybe sneak away for a few days to seriously reset then I am so happy to let you know that I finally have the full description ready including lots of beautiful pics and more details than I have shared before. Find those here

This is a super special group of women who are gathering: kind, sincere, eager for inner shifts and ready to receive their next level in life. I only have a handful of private rooms in our lovely retreat house remaining. So if you could use a dose of easy support and fun I hope you will fill out this quick retreat interest form and I’ll be in touch personally to answer any questions to help you figure out if this is a good fit for you.

Now over to you — what helps you reset when you get knocked down (especially when you get knocked down by your own inner bully?) Whatever it is I hope you do lots more of it. Because our world needs you upright and sharing the beauty you alone have to give.

Love and all the good, 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 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

Want to get the latest from Courtney?  Sign up here and receive a sneak-peek into her brand new book The Flourish Formula . . .
Coming this Fall!