Happy Friday!

The most surprising things can happen as women start to slow down: they start to get MORE of what they desire without working as hard.

This week there has been a theme running through conversations with clients: START BEFORE YOU ARE READY.

As women gift themselves more white space and daily pleasure they start to get super clear on what they want.

And sometimes that is all it takes for things on the outside to shift.

For example, even though they aren’t actively looking for it, the perfect new housing option opens ups and they decide to take the plunge.

Or the professional opportunity they have been playing with in their mind starts to get traction. A potential biz partner shows up, they get positive feedback regarding their ideas and all of a sudden something that used to be inside them (a fun idea) is actually moving forward into real life.

Or they call in to a coaching session with me and report, almost with surprise, “Things are actually going really well! My stress is down, my body feels better, and I’m not nearly as dissatisfied as I used to be with my work.”

Now you would think that each of these women would be doing cartwheels but the truth is that it can be SCARY to let yourself feel good and enjoy and do more of what is truly resonant for you.

Why? Because our ego or our Enneagram personality type likes to pretend that it calls all the shots. “But wait, wait…” it can say. “We haven’t yet done the complete cost/benefit analysis. Or tons of research. We aren’t fully prepared. We weren’t even ‘trying,’ so what gives?”

When we make shifts inside from this deep place of our essential self and start to see fruit growing easily in the “real world” — it freaks us out a little!

One of my clients shared that it feels like being at the top of a rollercoaster ride. She said she has been excited about this ride and waited in line for what felt like forever. And has been slowly click click clicking up the track. But now that it is finally here and she is at the top there is this pause of suspended animation. A kind of holding of breath and nervous anticipation.

This is, of course, totally normal. And natural.

One of the things that has surprised me most on my journey both personally and in my training as a coach and Enneagram teacher is to learn that good things can actually generate stress in the body, simply because they are outside of the “pleasure range” we think we are allotted.

This is sometimes called an upper limit problem.

And once we are aware of it we can not let it stop our forward momentum.

I want to be really clear. I’m not saying that just because you feel momentum, everything will unfold perfectly.

Far from it. When things are on the move in our lives, especially in unexpected and positive ways, this is a time to attend very carefully to our own responses and choices so that we don’t sabotage the growth or recreate old patterns.

With the client who is moving into a new home, we talked about taking micro-packing breaks to pace herself so she didn’t get sick or otherwise shut down by the additional stress. I also invited her to consciously evaluate what wants to come into her new space and to set aside piles to gift or donate so her new home only houses her FAVORITE things.

With the client with the new professional venture, we talked about being aware of boundaries and moving slowly and consciously into any potential partnership so things get off on the right track.

With the client who was surprised at how well things were going, we talked about CELEBRATING even if there is a part of her that is waiting for the other shoe to drop. She made the commitment to savor all that is going well with a delicious meal and a night out with her husband.

I hope you are as inspired as I am by these examples of real women choosing to overcome fear or resistance to start before they were ready AND moving slowly and consciously into new experiences.

Now over to you – have you ever had an unexpected opportunity which you had to jump at before you thought you were ready? How did it turn out? What did you learn?

I’d love to hear! Leave me a comment below.

Warm best,


PS I’m going through my own version of starting before I’m ready as I prepare to Launch the Flourish Formula podcast with the release of my print book next month. Stay tuned! To get warmed up for podcast mode I’m also sprinkling in some FB Live book readings. Take a coffee or tea break and join me next Friday, May 11, at 10AM CDT over on my Bird in Hand Coaching FB Page. I’ll do a Q and A after I read! xo

Are we connected yet on Facebook or Instagram? I share fun behind the scenes videos about the book journey like this one plus tastes from our Nicaraguan adventures! xo Courtney

Courtney Pinkerton, M.Div & M.PP, is a holistic life coach and the founder of Bird in Hand Coaching. She holds dual master's degrees from Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Kennedy School and is the author of The Flourish Formula: An Overachiever's Guide to Slowing Down and Accomplishing More and creator of the 8-Step Flourish Coaching Program. Courtney helps busy women unlock their greatest gifts and thrive in their personal lives. In the summer of 2017 she followed a long time dream and moved to Nicaragua with her husband Richard Amory (they met in Nicaragua in the Peace Corps) and their three children where together they are exploring volcanic islands, colonial cities and beaches. They have made their home in Granada where they are being tutored by their neighbors in the art of slowing down and living more. Interested to learn more? Each month Courtney offers a handful of complimentary Flourish Assessment Calls for new or potential clients. You can schedule one here.

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