The international council of fabulous parenting has ceased to offer their mama martyr medal. Maybe it is time for a fresh approach? Earlier this week I woke at 5AM and was confused by the luminous quality of our patio. It’s not the full moon — I mused. Why is everything so glowing and bright? That’s when I got the ding on my phone announcing both schools had snow days. Oh right…. that’s SNOW! My children were of course thrilled. They threw on every layer they own (after a year in the tropics our winter weather gear is pretty minimal) and ran out the door. Cheeks flame red and hearts pounding they came in and out all morning playing with new friends in our co-housing community, making hot chocolate and grabbing bites of bagels. I saw the snow and took a different approach. Knowing that I wouldn’t have to take Rosetta to school I grabbed my lemon water and sank back in bed with a good book. I took a quick look at my calendar and confirmed that my first coaching call wasn’t until later in the morning and I let myself enjoy the unexpected family time as well as savoring my own morning routine at a slower pace. This feeling of adaptability and resiliency is one of the qualities I most treasure in family life. It certainly has not always felt this way. In fact a hum of guilt used to lurk behind every decision, especially choices about balancing work and mama life. In a similar snow day in the past I would have had a hard time relaxing and enjoying myself. I might have tried to play with my kids but inside felt distracted and frustrated by the disruption in my schedule. (And then guilty about how I felt!) Alternatively when I was working I would sometimes feel guilty that I had opted out of volunteering for the kindergarten holiday cookie swap or field trip …. especially when I saw other moms posting adorable photos with captions like “I wouldn’t miss this moment for the world.” Guilt felt heavy and sticky and around every corner. It took some major changes in my life (like learning the Enneagram and decoding those inner voices which keep the internal pressure on HIGH) to find my way into a daily life with more ease, play and fun. Something that I wanted for my children and secretly, for myself. This topic is something I share more about in my upcoming Flourish Formula for Families online coaching program + ecourse. In fact I am offering a whole masterclass on decoding guilt and helping you identify the difference between “productive” guilt (which is something you can do something about) and “unproductive guilt” (which is actually a cover for other deeper emotions.) Once you know the difference so many elegant and fresh options open for you in your family relationships. And it becomes so much easier to feel peace in your choices. When you feel peaceful — your kids feel it. This is one of the many ways that you doing your inner work or what I call “flourish work” naturally infuses your family life with goodness. So many of these tools (like the Enneagram, strategies for emotional literacy and mindbody tools for handling stress) most of us were not taught in simple, bite-size pieces as we grew. But we can learn them now. And share them with our children. Equipping them with the best we have got. And discovering that WE get to feel better too, along the way. The early bird discount for the Flourish Formula for Families program expires today. I heard feedback about problems with the coupon link (which is now fixed) so I’m extending the early bird price and $50 discount through the weekend. It expires Sunday Dec 2 at midnight. Click here to read more and register. If this class isn’t for you I’d love your help connecting to other families. Please forward it on to a friend or family member you think would enjoy it. It also makes a lovely holiday gift. Warmly, Courtney PS I recorded a really fun {gentle} kickstarter call for my early birders with 3 tips for handling holiday stress in your family. Click here for all the details and join today to take advantage of the early bird rate + special class. 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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