Waiting for Christmas
The end of the year is a time for reflection – as well as an opportunity to look towards the New Year with an open mind and a healthy outlook. In addition to the holidays, December is my birthday month, so it’s an extra special time for me.
As a child, I waited each year for the month of December to come. I literally waited for Christmas. That eagerly anticipated time when the people in my life who hurt me would magically change and shower me with love, kindness, caring – and an appreciation for who I am. They would celebrate my birthday with my favorite dinner and most special cake, as well as gift me with presents that satisfied my desire to be fulfilled.
Waiting for Christmas is what I now call that energy that took me out of being present. I would often stay in relationships waiting in fantasy for things to get better. And, my expectations were often completely unrealistic.
Every year on my birthday, my Mom cooked my favorite meal. Each year, I wanted steamed clams. As a child, the fuss over finding and, at times, digging the clams made me feel special. Truth is, I later had unrealistic expectations and a form of entitlement that I placed on others to create this magical happy time for me.
As I began to dig deep into my own healing journey later in life, I finally realized that I didn’t have to endure what would be intolerable behavior to most people. I no longer had to tolerate the intolerable and Wait for Christmas. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, you can understand the concept of waiting and tolerating. I learned how to set and maintain boundaries (a.k.a. Circle Boundaries). I made a point to review where I was in all aspects of my life (a.k.a. Whole Perspective). I became acquainted with all parts of myself (a.k.a. Survival Patterns – Developmental Parts). And I came to realize that I was responsible for the decisions I was making in my adult life (a.k.a. Healthy Adult).
This shift didn’t happen overnight – it is a continuous process! It is a worthy journey that has brought myself and many others much healing, happiness, and health. I invite you to embrace and continue on your own exhilarating journey.
All This & More
In this issue, PIVOT Coach Cindy shares how and why she started her PIVOT coaching business. We are excited and honored to have her be a part of our company and host a Glass House retreat for individuals navigating loss! If you have not picked up her best-selling book When Grief is Good, DO IT! You will walk away with a deep, rich, understanding of the grief process.
Also included is PIVOT Client Mikayla, who shares her experiences with how joining a PIVOT Tribe helped her heal and overcome dark periods in her life. So grateful to Brittney Kelley and Tribe Kelley for their brilliant idea and generous contributions to provide opportunity for individuals to join a supportive tribe and PIVOT ❤️.
Also, be sure to take our PIVOT Poll. We’re eager to find out what you’re looking most forward to in 2022. Thank you for your continued support and collaboration that keeps our PIVOT brand shining bright!
Personally, I love the phrase Happy Holidays and Happy New Year. However, I know that holidays can trigger loneliness and isolation for some. So, in true direct LJ fashion, I will sign off with this phrase,
May you be safe this holiday season and your reality, whatever that might be, be met with compassion and self-care.
Spotlight: PIVOT Coach Cindy Finch
“I suggested to one of my clients that she sign up for the Healthy Adult Retreat at PIVOT’s Glass House. She did. Her response: ‘The experience was amazing. I get it. I finally get it.’ I was super happy for her, and I proceeded to send 17 more people who all had the same takeaway,” said PIVOT Coach and Facilitator Cindy Finch, LCSW, who has three children and is the author of When Grief is Good.
Cindy said her clients came away from the retreat with a deeper understanding of the relationship they have with themselves, as well as came to grips with how and why they were sabotaging their own lives by undermining their stated goals and living contrary to their values.
“These brave individuals”, she continues, “did a deep dive into the reasons why they were breaking down emotionally and, subsequently, became so dysregulated that at times they could barely function. The process empowered my clients with tools to realize changes in real-time. The resulting emotional and behavioral stability is transformational.”
See for Yourself
Getting a snapshot of the whole perspective and parts of self, explains Cindy, is essential for lasting success. “Once those parts of self are illuminated and revealed, people can accept who they are and take themselves into their own care. Many of these individuals had previously been rejected, denied, diminished, refused, and shamed by others – and by themselves. Many came from family systems where they weren’t seen for who they were within the family. Seeing and understanding who they are in the presence of a loving, welcoming, and accepting environment is a game-changer.”
In It to Win It
As life would have it, Cindy encountered a challenging set of circumstances that involved the untimely deaths of several important people in her life. Her husband encouraged her to seek help at the Healthy Adult Retreat because he saw his beloved wife unhappy, struggling – and stuck.
In the Now
Cindy found the experience to be “remarkable,” and she came away with a much better understanding of herself. “As someone who works in the field of helping people,” she says, “I need to give myself permission to set and maintain boundaries – and to say no when necessary. That’s a hard one for many helpers because there’s always just one more person we can help on any given day. What I learned is that it’s my responsibility to help myself first, so I can be the highest quality helper to others.”
She believes in the power of doing inner work. “When one person in a family becomes healthier, it has the potential to change the trajectory of the entire family. When someone settles down their own trauma and drama, it often has a ripple effect on other family members.”
When Cindy’s husband came to pick her up after her five days at the Retreat, he was pleasantly surprised. Cindy shares his response: “Gosh, you look just like you did the day I married you.”
And, soon after, her husband attended the men’s retreat and now they speak the same relational language! Says Cindy: “Talk about a gift!”
Our Clients Say It Best:
PIVOT is the Missing Piece to Mikayla’s Puzzle
PIVOT is the Missing Piece to Mikayla’s Puzzle
“I’ve always felt like something was missing inside me. Even though I had done a lot of inner work, I felt like a puzzle with a couple of missing pieces. PIVOT was these missing pieces. It was a life-changer for me.”
Ready to Soar
With the help of PIVOT Coach Deb, Mikayla recently ended a two-year relationship that wasn’t necessarily terrible, however, it wasn’t working and didn’t allow her to thrive.
“I’m so young and I want to do a billion things. I want to travel, hang out with my friends – and live life. I didn’t want to be with a partner who was holding me back and not encouraging me to be the best version of myself – my healthy adult. It was sad that my partner didn’t want to grow alongside me – and breakups are tough. But I knew what I needed to do,” says Mikayla, who is 24 and attended PIVOT Tribe, a six-week program for small groups of like-minded individuals that focuses on the PIVOT curriculum.
The Whole Story
She finds the Whole Perspective – who you are emotionally, intellectually, physically, spiritually, and financially – to be an immense source of comfort and empowerment. “I use the Whole Perspective a minimum of once a week and, sometimes, every single day. It’s so helpful to check in with myself to see where I stand in each of the categories. Having a structured system makes all the difference in the world.” Mikayla has also found the Relational Circle Boundaries to be a great help in navigating her interactions with the people in her life – and the entire PIVOT process has given her tools to make positive changes in the moment.
Says Mikayla: “I can’t thank the PIVOT process enough. Even with my long history of trauma, PIVOT has allowed me to truly accept and love who I am.”
Speaking of Relationships:
Ask Lori Jean
During my childhood, the holidays were always very difficult. My husband is all about the holidays. He is frustrated because I am unable to share in his festive holiday spirit. What to do? I feel bad. Sharon M.
Thank you for your question. This issue is more common than you may realize. Couples often have different activities of interest. When it comes to an entire season, it can get complicated. Being able to understand one another, show compassion for each other, and compromise to find solutions can help your situation.
So, how do we get there? Let’s start with understanding. I’m curious. Does your husband understand your WHY? You mention in your question that holidays were difficult when you were a child. What actually happened that makes this wound get activated? Sit down with him and ask him to listen to your WHY. He may not be fully aware of the pain you carry. I have had clients get triggered even by holiday music – and you can’t go anywhere during the holiday season without hearing holiday music!
Next, I encourage you to get curious with him. What is his WHY? Why does he love the season so much? What makes this a magical time for him? Listen to his responses with curiosity and compassion. Be quiet as you listen and then mirror back to him what you hear him saying (active listening).
Then, invite him to work with you on compromising. Over time, this process may be able to help you have a corrective experience, as well as share emotional intimacy with your husband. You can compromise by having certain rooms decorated and others not. You can surprise him by driving around to see the Christmas lights one night and – on another night – see a movie or anything else not holiday-related! If you both love sweets, he can make Christmas cookies if he wants them – and you can make standard Toll House chocolate chip cookies. In other words: Hand on heart. If you want to stay connected as a couple, you need to gift each other with giving more of what your partner wants, while taking care of your own needs for the sake of the relationship. The hope is that you can establish some of your own new traditions together, which can potentially help you shift from merely tolerating to truly embracing the season as a couple.
We’re here to help. Have a question for LJ or one of our coaches? Please submit to [email protected]
Our retreats and personalized PIVOTS for 2022 are waiting for YOU! Why not you? Gifting yourself or someone you love with personal growth is life-giving and life-changing!
Hope and Healing – Navigating Loss Retreat
Big congrats to Cindy and Darin Finch for their launch of our Retreat focused on grief and loss. Cindy’s best seller book, When Grief is Good, is the foundation of this 5-day retreat designed for anyone looking for a safe, nurturing environment to be seen, heard, and understood. Feeling the grief and loss when our realities leave us in the wake of pain is key to the healing process. We are here for you.
PIVOT for Two
Pivot for two people is a high-impact solution for a relationship that is looking for clarity and connection. Whether you are married, business partners, siblings, or a parent and adult child, this comprehensive option will take your relationship to the next level. If you need to get “unstuck,” recover after a betrayal, improve your communication or improve how you work together, Pivot “Duo” work is for you. Whether at your office, at your home, or at the Glass House, we can help you both make changes together. Why wait? High impact solutions are available!
“PIVOT has given me the gift of being present with my family – and to be able to celebrate the important milestones in our lives. My favorite part of Christmas is spending time at my ex-husband’s house on Christmas morning with his wife and all our kids! Divorce doesn’t have to divide a family system when we show up as healthy adults.
That’s the best present of all!”- Coach Rosemary O’Connor