Last month I went on a retreat with one of my best friends in West Texas. It was amazing. We talked and we also didn’t talk. She brought me treats from the farmer’s market, including tomatoes that reminded me of my granny’s garden and the best melon I’ve had in years.

She also sat and listened as I shared thoughts, fears and tears related to some unexpected medical challenges our family is facing this year.

And I had the amazing privilege of reading the first chapter of her new book and hearing about her creative process.

We went out at night to the dock and looked at the moon.

We drank vino verde.

And talked about our kids growing up and life’s other capital M mysteries.

In other words. Heaven.

My husband who has years of experience in the catering realm and often intimidates other people in the kitchen — says that being a good cook is actually much simpler than most people think. In fact it is really about two things: Knowing what you want to eat…. And knowing how to make it. That’s it! A super easy definition of success. No fancy kitchen gadgets required.

I think designing your own deeply restorative retreat is the same thing.

It is about first tuning into what your soul is hungry for. And then knowing how to design and gift yourself that experience.

I made a free and lovely how-to guide to help you. Maybe it is a throw-back to my years in Boston when everyone seemed to head to shore come August, but I think it is a beautiful time of year to sneak away and gift yourself a big exhale.

Click here for the guide. I even tell you how to create a retreat in your very own home!

Love and all the good, Courtney

Courtney Pinkerton is a certified life coach and the author of the Amazon bestseller, The Flourish Formula: An Overachiever's Guide to Slowing Down & Accomplishing More.

Courtney is an inner life coach and Enneagram mentor. She helps conscious women (and a few amazing men!) to pursue their most salient creative, professional and quality-of-life dreams and to discover more pleasure in their everyday.

She has dual master’s degrees from Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Kennedy School, is a certified Wayfinder life coach and has been studying the Enneagram with master teachers for over a decade. After selling their house and all their belongings and spending a year in Nicaragua tutored by their neighbors in the art of slowing down and living more, Courtney and her husband and their three children now make their home in a co-housing community in Asheville, North Carolina.