Let It Rain!
It’s below freezing and you’re outside awaiting your Lyft ride. You’re elated as you see the vehicle chugging along in the distance. As the Hyundai inches closer, it looks as beautiful as a luxury car arriving to pick you up in NYC! Warmth is going to feel good – and you’re immensely grateful to the driver who is right on schedule.
A woman seems disappointed as she exits the hair salon. Although she doesn’t look happy, her hair has great sheen and bounce – and you let her know. Her energy instantly shifts as she breaks out into a bright smile and extends a thank you for your kind words.
Make Someone’s Day
When it comes to gratitude, size doesn’t matter. We can be grateful for the little things! What’s more, random acts of kindness and generosity can greatly impact how you feel about your surroundings, as well as how you feel about yourself. A sincere compliment, letting the person behind you in line go first, or sharing your umbrella with a stranger during an expected downpour can lift someone’s spirits, as well as your own.
So, let those compliments rain! I am spending my Thanksgiving holiday in Thailand – surrounded by Thai kindness!
Keep Gratitude Front and Center
What better time of year to express gratitude than Thanksgiving? As 2023 approaches, what are you grateful for in your life? I am feeling so grateful for my amazing PIVOT colleagues who teach me more about myself, more about leadership, and so much about gratitude everyday. 💖
PIVOT can help you embrace a more fulfilling life through such practices as having more realistic expectations of the people in your life with the relational circle boundaries; gaining a better understanding of your triggers; and putting repairs into place in the face of challenges – and much more.
A Look Inside This Issue
In this issue: Coach Larissa shares her PIVOT experiences as both client and coach; get tips for healthy coupleship in our Speaking of Relationships column by Coach Jean M. and find out What’s Happening at PIVOT!
Here’s to entering a Healthy Holiday season.
PIVOT Is a Home Run for Coach Larissa
“We have what sounds like the perfect country band – Shelby, Ashley, and Nate, our three teenagers. Our happiest moments are when we’re all together,” says PIVOT Coach Larissa Weingart, who resides in Marin County, California with her husband Markus and two dogs named Bear and Oski.
As a little girl, Larissa gravitated towards tennis, even though her parents weren’t athletic. “To know me is to know I love sports. I found a tennis racket in our garage and started hitting balls against the wall. It was love at first sight, and no one even knew how the racket got there. Hitting felt good. I also later discovered softball,” adds Larissa, who earned a master’s degree in Sport Psychology.
Take Me Out to the Ballgame
Sports are an important part of Larissa’s life on many levels. She met her husband Markus, who is now also a PIVOT coach, on the softball field when she was 26 years old. The couple wed five years later. “He obviously didn’t strike out,” she chuckles.
In addition to her being a fan of the game, sports also served as a way for Larissa to cope with a complicated upbringing until this coping mechanism stopped working. “It worked until it didn’t work and then I turned to drugs and alcohol to numb myself. The bottom line was that I felt less than and unworthy. Nothing could fill the void inside me. I eventually stopped using coping mechanisms – what we call survival patterns – for a long time in order to get my life on track. And, fortunately, I was able to do so.”
Larissa pursued a career in Sport Psychology to help young athletes reach for the stars. When she discovered the merits of PIVOT from a friend, she was eager to learn more and, subsequently, signed up for the 5-day PIVOT Intensive. “The experience was life-changing with so many tangible takeaways. For one, gaining a deeper understanding of why I was so reactive and sometimes even emotionally irrational to very rational situations was truly a game changer. I also realized that I need to be accountable for my own self-care, including giving myself the love I deserve and caring about my happiness as much as I cared about making other people happy.”
It also became clearer that putting her valuable energy into people who aren’t reciprocal leads to disappointment, discomfort, and frustration. “Friendship isn’t a numbers game. It’s not about how many – but the quality of our relationships. Nurturing relationships with people who are reciprocal is truly enriching. Over-disclosing with everyone in an effort to feel connected isn’t productive. Every friendship I have doesn’t need to go deep. I can have fun with certain people without oversharing. Gaining this insight has served me well and freed up time to do the things I enjoy – like pickleball!”
What’s ahead? Larissa wants to continue supporting female athletes, as well as teaming up with her husband to empower couples through PIVOT’s Couples Intensives.
Says Larissa: “Markus and I have overcome a lot. I showed up with my fifty pounds of emotional baggage – and my husband showed up with his mere two pounds. I have walked the path of pain and my intention is to help others shift from pain to hope to health. No matter how difficult the journey or how rocky the road is, I want to help people realize and embrace the beauty of life.
Speaking of Relationships
Hi! I am curious, how can the PIVOT Process help couples? I have a friend who suggested I get a PIVOT coach and my marriage needs help. -Janice M.
Wow, what a great question! PIVOT can help couples in so many different ways. PIVOT coaches can support and guide couples to heal and release past pain; define and build trust from a place of reality; create space within the relationship for true curiosity and understanding; and so much more! One simple support that PIVOT can offer is providing a couple with some shared language and understanding. When a couple has some understanding and language, they can stop negative cycles that are damaging their relationship.
What I really value about the PIVOT model is that each person in the coupleship is matched with a coach who is there to both support and guide them in their journey of deeper relational connection. Having an advocate in one’s process can really be a catalyst for faster growth and change. So, the couple’s work is with all four of the individuals. Two clients and two coaches.
Be Seen and Heard
When a client knows they have someone who truly sees and hears them, they can both speak their truest voice, as well as take responsibility and be accountable when they need to be. My job as a PIVOT coach is to understand my clients, be able to create a safe place for my clients to be completely seen and heard, and then to hold a mirror up to clients when they need support to witness how “habitual dos” might be causing disconnection. I can then offer support to make choices to respond from their “Healthy Adult” and choose their “healthy do.” My job is also to teach my clients how to use the PIVOT tools to support relational connection when they are not “in session.”
Having two willing people engage in PIVOT is transformational and amazing. Relational change doesn’t have to require two people to shift and change unhealthy patterns. I have worked with many clients who have asked me, “How can I get my partner to do PIVOT?” My answer is this: “We cannot change others, we can only change ourselves and how we respond.” This responding part is huge! If we do our work and shift our behaviors to be responses instead of reactions, we create and allow space for changes to occur. Once we understand ourselves better and have the tools we need to support our own growth, we can more readily step into a place of curiosity and a more present ability to respond from a place of reality. So much of our relational journey to deeper connection starts with the connection we have with ourselves and being able to love and support our internal parts with love and compassion. Self-love is where we can all start. So yes, PIVOT can and does support couples’ work together and it also supports couples with just one partner doing the PIVOT work.
Here’s a little bit about my own personal journey to a deeper connection with my husband. Before I began working as a PIVOT coach, I worked through the PIVOT process as an individual (both with weekly sessions, as well as participation in a family of origin intensive). I was able to understand why I do what I do within relationships, find ways to repair and restore my past trauma, and for the first time, heal the wounds that were getting in the way of making solid and safe connections that I so deeply quested for. I became so empowered in a way I had never been before because I had been so busy taking care of everyone else. Afterwards, I was finally able to do that a bit for myself. What a shift! Before I began my work at PIVOT, I was looking outward all the time and wanting my husband to change and “do his work!” When I was able to get under what I was doing with my PIVOT coach, I was able to stop blaming and being a victim and am now able to ask for what I want and need, as well as own my mistakes when I make them.
Stepping Into Our “Healthy Adult”
As my husband watched this change in me, he began to get a little more curious about how PIVOT might be able to support him and nourish our relationship. He is now meeting with his own coach and just the other night after we had a conflict (yes, we still have them), we were able to address and share what was happening for each of us at a deeper level. We were able to both be seen – and see each other! And, we were both able to step into our “Healthy Adult” part and take responsibility where needed. And here’s that piece of shared vocabulary: My husband said to me, “I noticed what a great job you did of quickly stepping into your “Healthy Adult,” and I am so grateful for that because it really helped diffuse the conflict.”
I do this work (personally) because it feels good for me to operate from my highest self, as well as being validated. Being truly understood by him feels so good and connective.
I hope this helps you begin to understand how we empower and help couples!
-Coach Jean M.
Let’s Do Lunch
If you want to learn more about what we do and how we do it, join us for one of our monthly luncheons at The Glass House, our expansive healing retreat headquartered in Petaluma. Our next luncheon is scheduled in January, so give Admissions a call to sign up and learn more. We look forward to introducing you to some of the PIVOT team, as well as getting to know you!
What a Gift!
Present the ideal present with Healthy Holiday gift-giving! Give a truly life-transforming gift to someone you love this holiday season with a PIVOT gift card. Call Kayla in admissions to explore the options!
Holidays can bring up longing to have a more connected and loving family. The cards and the ads that show what looks like perfectly happy family systems can trigger many people. If you are wanting to get past resentments and challenges, consider contacting us to see what a private family intensive might be like. We offer private PIVOT family intensives that can facilitate deeper connections, conversations that matter, and create a more solid foundation to build upon.