Northwestern Press

Saturday, December 15, 2018
PRESS PHOTO COURTESY MARIA WOYTEK“The Power Of A Pivot” was written by Lehigh Valley authors Kim Howie and Nancy Werteen. PRESS PHOTO COURTESY MARIA WOYTEK“The Power Of A Pivot” was written by Lehigh Valley authors Kim Howie and Nancy Werteen.

‘The Power Of A Pivot’ offers tools, tips for happiness

Wednesday, March 28, 2018 by aaron berger Special to The Press in Local News

Imagine choosing to add more joy to one’s life each day.

That is the vision of Nancy Werteen, a resident of the Parkland School District, and Kim Howie of Center Valley, authors of the book, “The Power of a Pivot.”

In their book, Werteen and Howie offer tools and tips for a better understanding of the path to true happiness.

Werteen and Howie are also co-founders of The Wisdom Coalition, an organization that helps women connect and commit to their passions and shared wisdom.

Readers of The Wisdom Coalition’s monthly newsletter suggested the two share their knowledge through a book.

The book, which took nine months to write, draws on decades of experience.

Werteen, an award- winning broadcast journalist, is an anchor and reporter at WFMZ-TV 69, Allentown.

She also teaches at the college level and is a freelance writer.

Howie is an author, certified health coach, and designer of the Pure Energy Program which focuses on building awareness around the physical and emotional effects of food, as well as the mind and body connection.

She is continuing her studies in the field of positive psychology.

The book’s title comes from the joy Werteen and Howie found on the tennis court.

“If you don’t move quickly during a game, you won’t connect with the ball to win the point,” Werteen said.

“You have to stop hard and change directions to hit the shot you want.

“So we say, if you are not trying to find joy in every single aspect of your life, then you need to stop, change directions, and do something else. That is the ‘Pivot’.”

“The book is presented in a style that portrays a conversation between friends,” Howie said.

There are 24 chapters, each with a particular topic such as love, crisis and fear.

Each chapter begins with a quote from a woman who has been on The Wisdom Coalition podcast or television show. Next, Werteen chimes in with a personal story or observation about the topic.

Howie then shares some tools, tips and techniques.

At the end of each chapter, there are self-reflective questions.

“We share with our readers how to take a step back and listen” Howie said. “Find out what is going on inside yourself. Try to determine who you are and what it is that matters to you. Are you truly living in accordance to your values?”

“The book does not have to be read from beginning to end,” Werteen said. “If there is a certain topic that speaks to readers, they can go directly to it.”

The authors are thrilled by the positive feedback they have received from readers.

“We think this feedback is a testament to people needing to know it is OK to take that pause and give themselves permission to reflect a little bit,” the authors explained.

“Once you bring joy into your life, you cannot stop.” Werteen said.

“It is powerful stuff that takes work. Before my joy journey, I found myself always flying at the speed of light. I realized it was OK for me to step back.”

Howie said that while attending a health conference seven years ago, she listened to a speaker discuss the effects joy can have on a person’s health.

“‘What brings you joy?’ the speaker asked.

“I never really thought about that before. The question became my barometer as I moved forward.”

One of their favorite passages from the book is in the introduction:

“Our philosophy at the Wisdom Coalition is that ‘WE’ control our thoughts and actions and can shape the outlook and the day that WE want despite whatever is going on around us, and whoever is getting under our skin.”

“This passage summarizes in a nutshell what we believe to be true,” Howie said.

Early on, Werteen and Howie recognized the value of women sharing their wisdom with each other.

“We all have wisdom to share,” Howie said.

“With so much competition among women, Nancy and I wanted to create a collaborative community that helped women lift each other.”

Werteen explained that Howie is a very positive person.

“We talked about how women could put more positivity into everything they do, and thought it would be a great idea to create a place where women could come together and choose to have more joy in their lives,” Werteen said.

Through the Wisdom Coalition, Werteen and Howie enjoy engaging with their audience in multiple ways.

In May 2016, they started The Wisdom Coalition podcast, which is recorded at WFMZ studios and can be subscribed to through iTunes or Sound Cloud.

Each podcast hosts a different guest and covers a specific subject providing a variety of inspirational messages.

They also reach audiences through The Wisdom Coalition TV program on WFMZ and their newsletters available through thewisdomcoalition.com.

Howie and Werteen spread their message to businesses and organizations by conducting workshops.

In addition, they host two major events per year for women including the Renewal Retreat on April 22 at Bell Gate Farm, Coopersburg, and Camp Connect, which takes place in August or September.

At these events, women explore and discuss a certain topic and make personal connections with each other.

The message of The Wisdom Coalition is not limited to just one audience.

“Our message is universal,” Werteen said.

“Recently we did a ‘Mindset Management’ workshop for 150 PPL employees in Allentown; half of them were men.”

Through speaking engagements and events, Werteen and Howie strive to leave attendees with lasting lessons.

“We provide positive thinking techniques during our workshops which can help improve one’s health and relationships,” Werteen said.

Howie noted negative thinking gets worse in the form of a downward spiral.

“But, people can just as easily spiral upward by smiling, which flexes the muscles that create oxytocin (the happy hormone),” she explained.

“We need to learn how to reframe our thoughts and perspective in life.

“Positive psychology focuses on people knowing their strengths and how to use them. Everyone feels fear and regret.

“Yet too often we bottle those feelings up inside which only makes them grow stronger.

“Shedding light on these feelings and talking about them can help people recognize they are not alone.”

Werteen said outside circumstances cannot be depended upon for happiness.

“Before reading our book, people can start trying to create a positive mindset,” Werteen said.

“Be aware that the way you think directly affects how you feel and look for opportunities that create excitement.”

Howie and Werteen may be contacted at thewisdomcoalition@gmail.com.

Their website, thewisdomcoalition.com, lists event information.

“Part of our vision is for people to come to the Well of Wisdom when they need to empty or fill their cup,” Werteen said.

“The Power of a Pivot” is available at Khineder Creations, Emmaus; Kospia Farms, Alburtis; and Roey’s Paintbox, Allentown.

The book may also be ordered through thewisdomcoalition.com and Amazon.com.