This week we moved into our new place in West Asheville, North Carolina. If you know West Asheville at all, it is funky. Think Austin before it got slick. There are about 1000 different things happening in my life and in my inner landscape as we make this move – literally it is stepping into a dream I had two years ago which didn’t work out – until it did in the most unexpected way. (Only after I moved to Nicaragua and forgot about it.) So I’ll be sharing more about this dream and our family’s journey back into living in the US in coming posts.

What I’d like to do today is remind you of one of my favorite coaching techniques: The Living Space Tool. I’ll tell you how to do it and then show you, with an example from this morning, how it works.

(This tool is adapted from the Martha Beck Life Coach Training Program.)

Step 1: Identify the part of your current home/living space that you like the least.
Step 2: Ask yourself what about that space really bothers you.
Step 3: Gift yourself just a few moments to imagine how it could be beautifully resolved.
Step 4: Create turtle steps or tiny steps toward that beautiful resolution
Step 5: Do the first one.

**You can do this entire process in ten to fifteen minutes and the energy it frees up in your life is palpable.**

How it works: our home functions as a beautiful metaphor for our inner life.

Right now my new home, like my life, is a vibrant cacophony of old and new: dusty backpacks from our year of Central American travel hanging on the wall next to the new tiger-striped mid-century dining table delivered just this morning. I love it so much I keep petting it while I write to you.

As anyone who has ever moved understands, it is chaotic.

But as I found myself barely awake and pawing around for something comfortable to wear to drive my children to their adventure camp this morning, I hit a wall.

“BASTA!” I said to myself. Enough.

(Step One – identify the part of your current living space that you like the least. In this case, my suitcase.)

When I reflected on what was really bothering me, (Step Two) I realized I had put my own priorities on the back-burner. I spent waaay too long researching fuzzy bean bag options and loft beds for the children but hadn’t even sorted my own clothes properly since we tossed them in the laundry. Living out of a suitcase for long periods of time is not my favorite. A jumbled suitcase was tipping me over the edge.

When I imagined how it could be beautifully resolved (Step Three) I thought of a fetching wardrobe I had spotted online. I even opened my iPad to find it again – yes! I could so imagine my clothes lovingly organized in that space. Just looking at it brought me a hit of happy. I promised myself that my furniture priorities were next on the list when I have time this weekend to do more research (Step Four.)

I also took a few moments as I dressed to sort my clothes on the bed and re-stack them nicely in the suitcase. (Step Five).

There is still a ton of chaos around me but I feel way better, knowing that I’ve remembered to bring my own needs more consciously into the picture.

What about you? How is your home a metaphor for your inner feelings and growing edges? I hope you will try this Living Space tool today and see what emerges!

It may not be children but rather your high standards for yourself at work or home which keep you from attending to your own needs fully. Trust me that energy will come out sideways as resentment if we are not able to lovingly create the space and the support we require inside our own home.

Tip: Start with something super small: one drawer, corner or shelf. And reply here to let me know you did it. I’d love to celebrate with you!

Also I just want to remind us that making this commitment to flourish and to accomplish and enjoy more is a PRACTICE. Not something we do one time and forget about. In fact it is a collection of practices which help us stand tall: one foot planted in the deep truths and our soul priorities and another equally important foot in this regular human life – including our less than perfectly organized homes.

xo Courtney

P.S. Sorry those free coaching calls got filled up lickety split! I’ll be offering more in the second half of August. Stay tuned and I hope you will jump on in when they open up. In the meantime I wanted to share the replay from a new “How to Flourish” class I taught a couple of weeks ago if you haven’t had a chance to catch it. The replay is available for a limited time, so enjoy!

The Flourish Formula is now available in print! 50% of the proceeds go to support Nicaraguan projects like UP Nicaragua, a mentoring program for girls, which are helping to create a more just and beautiful world.

Summer reading, anyone?

Order your copy here. (And thank you to everyone who already has!)

Also I’ve been getting some questions from international readers. First of all let me just thank you for being part of this community. It truly makes me SO happy that we can all connect all over the world to talk about flourishing.

Amazon does have European options. For example here is the link for the UK, and Spain. If Amazon is not available in your country or that printing option doesn’t work well for you, please email us at and we will happily work out a way to get the print book directly in your hands.

xo Courtney


Courtney Pinkerton is a certified holistic life coach and the author of the Amazon bestseller, The Flourish Formula: An Overachiever’s Guide to Slowing Down & Accomplishing More. Courtney is a student and a teacher of the Enneagram who has helped hundreds of conscious women, and a few inspiring men, pursue their most salient goals and discover more pleasure in the everyday. She has dual master’s degrees from Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Kennedy School, is the creator of the flourish coaching methodology and the Flourish Formula for Families. After selling their house and all their belongings and spending a year adventuring in Nicaragua tutored by their neighbors in the art of slowing down and living more, Courtney and her husband Richard Amory and their three children are making their new home in a co-housing community in Asheville, North Carolina.





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