Courtney Morton lives in Austin and loves being the mom of 2 great kids and the wife of an awesome guy. She is a social worker in private practice, specializing in eating disorders treatment.

Interview with Courtney:

1. Do you have a daily practice or routine to help you focus, stay centered, and live meaningfully throughout the day?

I have a few daily practices, some inspired by my dad. I love to wake up and have my first cup of coffee on my screened-in porch, reading a little more of my Sunday New York Times each day – it takes me all week to get through it. As my kids wake up one by one, we hug or snuggle and catch up on their dreams from the night. I also try to work out daily, reading while exercising or listening to an audio book. Whenever I leave the house, I kiss my kids and husband goodbye and tell them I love them.

2. How long have you utilized a daily practice?

It has been honed during the pandemic! For several years it was hard due to having to be at school/work very early, but for several years I have done this in some variation.

3. Do you have an ideal time and place for your routine?

At my house and outside (anywhere)

4. What are the elements of your routine (e.g., prayer, silence, being still, Bible or other reading, meditation, reflection)?

Lots of reading – I have always been a reader, and reading everyday (even though life is really busy) is critically important to me. I read a blend of news, fiction, and non-fiction, with several books going at a time.

5. During each day, do you have “mini” versions of a practice or reminder techniques when the day goes wrong or you get distracted to help you re-focus?

Yes. In my work as a therapist, I spend time before each session with a client deep breathing and centering around my intention to be helpful to them and present for our time together. I am grateful for all I learn from my clients.

6. Do you periodically “audit” your daily routine for its effectiveness and make changes to it?

Yes! My husband is a great source of support and counsel, as is my own therapist who I have seen for many years. My parents and brother also serve in this role. All in their own ways are a great barometer for how I am doing. Decent sleep is also another indicator for whether or not I am staying in balance.

7. In addition to a daily routine, do you have more extended seasonal routines or personal retreats (such as during Advent, Lent, the New Year)? 

Yes – every year for my birthday, I make a list based on my age of things I want to do that year. This year I followed my brother’s good idea and separated those goals into different domains – work, personal, and family. It’s not always 100% but a good guide that I revisit regularly. 

Walt’s Comments

Courtney is my beautiful daughter and wonderful friend.  She is one of the smartest, most inclusive and well-read, and social justice oriented persons I know.  She has taught me so much about being informed, tolerant, and open to fresh inter-faith ideas, which result in calm and meaningful change.  Courtney’s dynamic and consistent routine elements are a beautiful combination of family, learning, good health, calm, and helping others.

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