We are just edging into spring here in Asheville and I’m so enjoying the sun. We don’t get it every day, which, of course, makes it all the more precious.

During the last couple of months I have been nurturing some new work: a free challenge and a new coaching program focusing deep on the garden of self-awareness. My biz coach calls it Flourish 2.0 because it is a fresh iteration of my whole coaching methodology.

What is changing?

When I wrote my book, I focused the chapters on the challenges of living life at a painful, rapid pace and offered tools that help high-achieving people slow down to accomplish more.

I am a human-to-resource matchmaker and I love sharing tools that we can use to disrupt the trance of habitual living and to open to more presence. So that won’t change.  

But what was previously a linear process comprised of eight steps that correspond to the word FLOURISH has now revealed itself to be circular and three dimensional.

In fact, it is a garden. 

A garden with sections that correspond to the seven critical parts of life that require dedicated attention and cultivation.

And at the center of this garden is a fountain that flows into and nourishes all these other parts of life. That is what we are going to talk about in this challenge and new program. And I would love your help to design it!

A lot of attention has been paid to the struggles of the year, and there have been many: pandemic, isolation, strain on relationships, grief and self-honesty regarding systems of racial oppression in the U.S. and around the world, and continued economic practices that take more from our earth than give to her. 

And yet, 2020 and the pandemic have been MASTERFUL at one really important thing: surfacing the old habits and patterns of self-talk that are draining. 

Because, hello, we need all the energy we can get. 

And in this time of increased stress, we can more easily see where we get in our own way. 

I used to call these inner voices “gremlins.” And perhaps you can relate to hosting erratic inner voices that turn on a dime. Voices that go from quiet or neutral to harshly judgmental or caustic, in the same way gremlins go from cuddly to eating your face. So, in that regard the name works.

However, I’m increasingly thinking of these inner voices as invasive weeds which hog all the nutrients and disrupt the natural equilibrium of our inner eco-system. (You know I love a botanical metaphor!) 

Many times these painful thoughts, like imposter syndrome or perfectionism, aren’t even ours. They are internalized voices from the overstory of culture.

And they are PERSISTENT.

When you encounter one of these voices, like your inner critic or doubter, they don’t give up easily.

Mostly we respond with one of three strategies:

1. We ignore them.

2. We yell at them.

3. Or we try to argue logically.

As you know none of these strategies works.

What to do instead? Well, that is going to be the topic of this new challenge. But I could use your help. Please complete this survey to help me better understand where these voices show up in your life.

And, for fun, there will be a raffle for everyone who completes the survey. The winner will have a choice of a signed copy of my book or another very fun prize I’ll tell you more about next week. (Giving your email is optional but I need it if you would like to be entered for the prize!)

The new challenge starts in early May and I’ll be pulling the raffle winner soon so I hope you will take a few minutes to complete it. (It has 6 questions.)

xo Courtney

📸 Photo credit to my husband Rich and daughter Rosetta for the above pic. We had a day of play last week in the gardens at the Biltmore Estate.

P.S. You will see in the survey that this program is directed to women however I just have to give a shout out to the amazing, conscious men who are part of this community and coaching clients. You are welcome to complete the survey too. Maybe one day we will have enough of a posse to create a group for men! 


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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.