Happy Friday! I am so excited about sharing what I have for you today: the behind the scenes shots from my recent photo shoot.

Honestly I can’t believe how much fun we had.

Margie was skilled at taking the lead with the shoot while at the same time helping me relax and open up. And my husband was so supportive – I wondered if I would feel self-conscious with him on the scene but he actually just made me laugh. Plus he helped with those little details which I really wanted, like to have all the tropical fruit we could possibly need.

Even my kids got into the fun: Rosetta pretended to be my client and talked to me while we took the shots of me “coaching.” She is across the pool acting out the part.

And Margie captured a shot of Coleman when I was changing outfits and he plopped in my spot. Don’t you want him to coach you? Trust me, he has wisdom to share.

I can’t wait to share more of the actual photos Margie took – we are currently deep in a redesign process to launch a new website for The Flourish Formula at the end of October when the ebook comes out on Amazon. For now here are a few of my favorite behind the scenes moments… including on a floating platform in a lake!

This week one of my coaching clients asked a really potent question:

How do you receive your next level in life?

Regardless of whether for you your next level involves a writing that book, a location change, new work, or a different relationship with yourself…

Here is what I know:

How you create your dream is the DNA of your new life

So for example if I feel well-cared for, relaxed, and intentional during the photo shoot that translates (hopefully) into the way women will feel when they see the images. I want to communicate this sense of space: like an invitation to sit down next to me and exhale. It also sets me up to feel supported, clear and focused while I am working.

Because beyond how other people feel when they see your work/art/creative project/life – how you create your dream will actually deeply impact how you feel as you step into whatever is next for you.

For example I can think back to big goals I had when I was younger, especially around my education. I applied to grad school at the end of Peace Corps and I can tell you there were some late nights and stressed out emails to college professors trying to get all my essays together and the forms filled out correctly and on time.

So when I got accepted to schools and ultimately decided to start at Harvard – did I feel relaxed and confident, showing up eager to learn? Um no. All that proving and straining energy came with me and was my companion under the surface for my four years there.

So If We Aren’t Going to Push and Strain….
How Can We Create What We Want?

The most important thing is to

1) Let the stretch occur. Make space for this new vision for your life. Nurture it. Create a special journal, do a vision board. Allow that this dream could be deliciously possible for you.

And then

2) As the dreams become schemes and you start to plan and take small action steps toward your goal, remember to support yourself in and enjoy the experience. There are not that many moments in life where we are pregnant with the new. Let yourself savor each small component of stepping into your goal and trust that all that you are building inside will become the scaffolding which holds this next phase of your life.

Does it seem like these two steps are not enough? I get it. I have an inner skeptic too. You are right that creating a life you love requires many resources and resiliency. So while allowing the stretch and enjoying the process are not the only things you need to receive your next level, I am 100% confident that they are a necessary foundation. Trust me — that pushing, straining and striving energy is a distraction. It just doesn’t have the juice to get you where you want to go. Not this time. Not anymore.

And now over to you: What dreams are bubbling forth for you? I find September and the Fall in general to be a rich time of composting what is old and getting hits of clarity about what wants to come next.

Let them in, enjoy the process and then when the time is ripe, the harvest.

Love and all the good,


PS Only two spots remain for my upcoming retreat + Book Launch Party in Granada, Nicaragua. You can read all the details here and fill out this quick retreat form to let me know you are interested. I will be in touch personally to answer any questions. I am incredibly excited about this unique gathering and the chance to take you out on the town. If you are ready for an adventure and would like to return home refreshed and with your own custom plan or Flourish Formula, let’s chat! 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 and is the author of the forthcoming book The Flourish Formula and creator of the 8-step FLOURISH Coaching program. Courtney loves hosting retreats for women in nature and beauty-drenched locales.  Her next retreat is in Granada, Nicaragua from 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!