I went through a big professional rupture about six years ago. At the time, I felt like I was standing in a huge gap between my life as it was and how I longed for it to be.
Having earned two Harvard master’s degrees, I imagined myself shooting like a firework into the sky, raining down amazing ideas and enjoying a life full of delightful colleagues and meaningful contributions. Instead, my work flame had flickered brightly and died.
When I look back at a photo from this season of my life, I barely recognize myself. The strain of three children under five and a demanding nonprofit leadership job left me depleted.
Stress, like a layer of dust, had seriously diminished my sparkle.
This whole experience made me wonder who I was and what value I offered. My only strategy at the time was to come to a screeching halt. This was, honestly, pretty brutal. I felt a kind of psychic whiplash as all the forward momentum I had cultivated as a young woman deposited me in a very unsatisfying present.
While I had beautiful spiritual teachers who were lifelines through this process – one who introduced me to the Enneagram, an ancient personality map, and another who was an experienced life coach full of real world wisdom– they did not seem to speak the same language. One was gifted at the deep dive, the other the day-to-day steps forward.
I longed to know how to integrate their suggestions – how to take the shimmering spiritual truths and actually live them. I wanted to feel freer and more present. I absolutely wanted to stop feeling like I was missing my children’s lives because of the pace of my work and internal pressures to contribute. I was tired of consuming myself on the inside to accomplish on the outside.
And though I didn’t know it at the time, what I most wanted was for someone to hand me a magic elixir – a formula that would free me to both discover and release my unique gifts to the world and to flourish in my personal life.
My new book and eight-step Flourish coaching program are my effort to pay it forward and to create the formula I longed for during this time of transition. The Flourish Formula shows you how to slow down and create more space in which to live your life. Not because slowing down itself is the goal. I suppose it’s possible to sprint through life and be truly happy. But in my experience, if we only have one speed – pressing us ever onward or even accelerating – it becomes impossible to notice the subtle course corrections we need to make along the way.
Full speed ahead sets us up for some unpleasant outcomes: a body breakdown – because all that stress wreaks havoc on your tissues – and/or a serious episode of work-related depression: when you arrive breathless at the top of your particular mountain only to wonder, “What the hell comes next?”
I want to help you avoid this type of physical and psychological pain, but there’s a deeper reason I want to share the Flourish Formula with you. I don’t believe that you would have found your way to this website if you did not have something precious and potent to share with your community and our world. Something unique and sorely needed. And now is a time for well-resourced revolutionaries.
We need women who are able to step – in all our wholeness – into leadership roles of every type, from our families on up. And when we are stuck in patterns of sprinting until we collapse, we never actually build the capacity inside ourselves to unlock and share those unique gifts.
Which Brings Me to You
If you’ve read this far, thank you. I hope this is just the beginning of our relationship.
I share lots of free content every week to my email list. I’m committed to bringing you the very best of what I’m living and learning as well as potent tools and techniques for living your most spacious life. These include guided meditations and other powerful (and quick) strategies for resetting when stress builds. I also try to walk my talk. While I coach over the internet and phone (as well as hosting live retreats), I aim to enjoy as much unplugged time as possible.
I have recently relocated to Nicaragua, where I met my husband as a Peace Corps volunteer. We wanted to gift our children an opportunity to immerse themselves in Spanish and to gain a global perspective. Plus we wanted to simplify our life and home so that we could lighten our eco footprint and spend our time in ways that are more meaningful for us. In addition to volunteering to help children in a poor barrio of Granada learn to read, my husband is now working with me, which is an exciting change for our family.
In this new life stage I find that my children and Nicaraguan neighbors are my guides in the art of slowing down and savoring more. I love sharing beautiful pics on Instagram and Facebook but am not super active on social media, so if you want more from me, the email list is how we can best stay in touch. Most of the time, you’ll only hear from me on Fridays; more if something is time-sensitive or important.
When you sign up you will receive a free excerpt of my book The Flourish Formula, which reveals the eight steps to the Flourish process. It will walk you through the fundamentals of how you can slow down and (ironically) accomplish more, all while enjoying your whole life – professional and personal – to the fullest.
Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. I’m honored that you are here and can’t wait to continue the conversation.
If you would like to learn more about my professional credentials and official bio, read on below.
Media & Press
Courtney Pinkerton, M.Div & M.PP is a certified holistic life coach and the founder of Bird in Hand Coaching. She has helped hundreds of women wake up from the fog of busyness and to-do lists to discover their own custom Flourish Formula so that they can contribute their most dynamic professional and creative gifts and thrive in their personal lives. She holds dual master’s degrees from Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Kennedy School, is the creator of the Eight-Step Flourish Coaching Program and author of The Flourish Formula: An Overachiever’s Guide to Slowing Down & Accomplishing More. Courtney holds coaching certificates from Martha Beck International and the Spencer Institute. She hosts regular retreats for women in beautiful settings like San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and Granada, Nicaragua.
Courtney’s ten plus years as a guide, coach, and advocate have equipped (and excited) her to teach and write with authority on a range of popular women’s issues, including:
Busyness & Overwhelm
- How to Break Free from the “Busyness Fog” and Create a More Spacious Schedule (and Life)
- How to Slow Down & Accomplish More
- Subversive Self-Care: How to Create an Oasis of Calm in a Busy Day
- Time Management & The Myth of Balance
- How to Navigate Life Transitions with Less Struggle & More Ease
- Nine Secret Motivations That Keep Us Sprinting Through Life (Using The Enneagram)
- How to Prevent Body Breakdowns Related to Stress
- Work Envy & How to Break Free From the Habit of “Comparing & Despairing”
- The Secret to Slowing Down in a Way That Sticks
Spirit & Fulfillment
- How to Find a Meditation Practice That Fits You at Your Current Life Stage
- The Final Three Stumbling Blocks to Starting a Meditation Practice & How to Move Through Them
- Why Self-Kindness is the Foundation for Lasting Change
- How to Make Peace with the Inner Critic
- Why the world needs Women Who Opt Out of The Gold Star Economy
- Masters of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School and Masters of Public Policy (with a focus on leadership and social entrepreneurship) from the Harvard Kennedy School.
- Author of The Flourish Formula: An Overachiever’s Guide to Slowing Down and Accomplishing More
- Certified Life Coach trained by Dr. Martha Beck, Oprah’s personal coach and Certified Holistic Life Coach from the Spencer Institute
- Trained with The Enneagram in the Narrative Tradition Community, with a special interest in how our personality type is expressed somatically, or in our bodies.
- Host of The Summer of Meditation Challenge
Courtney is available to write articles for your blog and website as well as for phone or video interviews and teaching engagements. She loves to custom design content to match the needs of each particular group. Please contact email@example.com for more information.