It’s been pouring rain here in North Carolina for several days. POURING…no sun. I spent these wet gray days shining some light on pivots and pivoting and I saw so much.
I went looking for an image to bring a visual element to this blog thinking I would use a photo of a ballerina on point. Then my Pandora station of music from the 40’s and 50’s played Gene Kelly’s “Singing in the Rain.” PERFECT! He gleefully and elegantly pivots on the lamppost in the pouring rain. Then I realized the whole movie is about pivoting! Hollywood needs to pivot when talkies overtake the silent movies. Read this post and then watch Singing in the Rain…then read my thoughts on pivoting a second time!
This is a long post and probably too short as well. I had never thought about pivots and pivoting before. I discovered so much and found new understanding. Fix yourself a cup of tea, get your journal out and actively contemplate the pivots of your life. You will learn much about your life.
Let’s pivot! I’ve heard or read that call to action many times since Covid-19 covered and changed our world. What is it to pivot when circumstances demand it? How can we imagine pivoting intimately…in our own very unique reality?
Let’s begin with the definitions:
A pivot is a shaft or pin on which something turns.
The action of pivoting is the turning in place to achieve a new advantage or perspective. Basketball players are masters at this…the action in basketball of stepping with one foot while keeping the other foot at its point of contact with the floor.
What are the pivots on which your soul turns? How do you find new possibilities and new ground?
When circumstances alter dramatically, more often than not we are likely to react by freezing or by spinning out of control. Or we grudgingly follow a prescription or a set of impersonal rules of behavior. Or we could consciously pivot on a stabilizing pivot in our souls leading to new truth in our thinking, new harmony in our feeling, and new direction in our will.
One of the strange gifts of Covid-19 is the challenge to build a personal imagination of your pivot and develop the art of pivoting.
As you think about your pivot and how you need to pivot, you can also look at the why. Pivoting is needed when there is an uncontrollable change that requires a conscious change in you. Covid-19 caused many changes for many people. What areas of your life has Covid=19 altered? Your social life? Your work life? Your economic life? Your emotional life? Your sense of meaning? Your sense of security? Your tech life? Please give yourself a moment to distinguish the areas you feel would transform positively if you could learn to creatively, comfortably and courageously pivot.
Other changes requiring conscious pivoting are just changes for you…getting married, getting divorced, coming out around your sexual identity, the death of a loved one, the birth of a child, the empty nest, a new job, a new career, a job loss, an illness, a major healing, a new hobby. It’s really startling to think about all the changes. You can see how an understanding of conscious pivoting is so helpful.
I also love the image of pivoting as life unfolding. All the circles and spirals. Round and round we go…as long as we know our pivot point we will encompass all our potential gracefully and if we slip or stumble, it will be easy to get up, rebalance and reclaim our upright dynamic movement.
The first step in becoming a great “pivoter” is to name and connect with your pivots, the pins on which you will turn.
What is Your Pivot?
What is the core, the vertical pole, that supports you in your horizontal movement. How do you keep your sense of self constant, while you explore the endless opportunities and face the surprising difficulties and disturbances, the endings and new beginnings of life?
Although the Self, well-imagined, is the the truest pivot, there are many other possible pivots to reach for in our complex lives. I’ve listed a few in this post. I’d love to know if you have others to share.
Goals: Creating and Sustaining or Destroying and Grieving. Covid-19 has led to a lot of pivots based on sustaining! I just attended an annual event that is usually live in-person, hotel ballroom, 1000 folks, lots of hugs and huddles. The leader knew sustaining the event was his pivot pin. Totally upright and determined, he and his team pivoted to a Zoom event and managed to bring 2200 people together from all over the world. Other businesses and services have needed to keep a solid footing in destroying and grieving. Pivoting to the end, when conscious and graceful, can morally uplift and strengthen your future.
Personal disturbances whether positive or difficult are much richer when you understand the pivot in your soul. (Yes, the glorious joys of life often require us to pivot!)
Inspirations: The most inspiring quotes…one of my most powerful pivots is Steiner’s brilliant truth, “Wisdom is crystalized suffering.” With this as my pivot, I can move through all kinds of suffering and as I move, the suffering crystalizes and wisdom embraces me and life takes on new meaning and new freedom. What are the quotes that hold you upright while you pivot in surprising directions?
Questions: What, How, Why, Who, Where, When???? What’s missing? What’s possible? Questions keep me fluid. No matter how stuck I get, I ask questions. When I need to pivot, it is often the question, the right question that grounds me and gives me the stability to pivot into a new approach or new understanding..
Polarities: A strong Yin supports pivoting into a creative Yang movement. The balance in one allows for creative movement in the other. As a spiritual mentor I fix my pivot in the spirit to create healthy material choices and initiatives and, (don’t be surprised), I ground myself in material and practical realities to establish the most meaningful flow of spiritual inspiration. There are so many polarities that enliven the pivot and the pivoting.
Now let’s look at the experience of pivoting – of turning around a point!
The Art of Pivoting – A Brief Understanding.
I am thinking of a spinning top. I was and am always fascinating and excited by a spinning top or a spinning coin. It is the fast spinning movement and the mysterious stillness of the center/the pivot holding the movement that really grabs my heart. I remain a little kid who loves to spin a top or a coin.
For some of us pivoting is a natural and comfortable way of being. For others pivoting is not natural. It increases anxiety and uncertainty. These differences are why I feel we all need to spend some precious inner reflection on our pivots and the art of pivoting … so we can understand and support each other when pivoting is required.
The pivot holds us true, gives us the turning point around which we can pivot: make a step or a slide or a leap in a new direction, a change in the angle, a shift in the approach, a creative curving toward a new horizon, a different path, a surprising new goal. What pivoting have you undertaken recently? Was it conscious and dramatic to rescue or resurrect, or a whim or impulse to seek a new pleasure, a new understanding, a new thrill.
Social laws and agreements in times of community/global crisis are collective pivots that ask us to conform and obey. Wearing masks is a social pivot. Not everyone is willing to go along with this pivot and they will argue, protest, and rebel in face of a demand to pivot. Writing this brings up questions regarding the balance between social harmony and personal choice. Which do you hold on to as a social pivot (pin) and which do you pivot (move) toward consciously?
For many souls in our times, there is lots of spiritual pivoting. The central pivot is “I am a spiritual being seeking a spiritual home and a spiritual practice.” Then the pivoting begins. We seek a spiritual teacher. We explore different rituals. We look to the East for a Bodhi Tree or roam around the Western paths looking for sanctuaries and saints. We read Rumi or Julian of Norwich or Course in Miracles. We explore ancient beliefs and great myths. We follow Jung or Steiner. Spiritual pivoting! Why not? For others, spiritual pivoting is an incomprehensible sin. Their souls find comfort in one true path and connect spiritually only with those who are on the same path.
Well-being pivoting is everywhere. Yoga, keto, reiki, jogging, juicing, breath work, supplements, CBD. Getting sober is a profound pivot and the art of this pivot for many is the choreography of 12-steps!
12-steps as the choreography of conscious pivoting. That’s inspiration. If you are initiating a pivot…take some time and imagine the choreography, the steps for successful and fulfilling pivoting.
I am not an expert on recognizing a pivot or on the art of pivoting. It is only in the last week that I have paid attention to either. Yet, with just a little attention I have learned a lot and wish I had had a course in pivoting when I was in high school…life would have been a series of elegant curves rather than disrupting curve balls and spin outs.
As we continue to move through the Covid curves and life in general, I hope these thoughts keep you moving without spinning out. Pivoting is all about holding on and moving on and doing both with awareness. Make your pivots and your pivoting harmonious and beautiful.
Imagine Self and all the courses in the Imagine Self Academy connect you to your pivot and teach you the art of pivoting.
Email me your thoughts and questions on soul pivots and conscious pivoting.