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The Nature of the Pivot

Having had children, I know firsthand how absolutely precious life is. From conception to birth, I’ve manufactured (as my son calls it) 3 human beings. Although none of my pregnancies were an absolute breeze, the moment I laid eyes on each one of my tiny human beings, I found another depth of love I didn’t even know possible. Life itself is incredible. But that’s not to say, by any means, life is always easy. In fact, I’m pretty sure that it is universally agreeable to say that life is unbelievably challenging. But I’ve said it a million times and I will continue to say it – life is absolutely worth living… bumps, bruises, births and all. And you don’t necessarily have to had produced a human for that to apply 😉

*Insert the inevitable “pivots of life”

You’ve probably heard Nathan and I use the word pivot quite a bit lately because it is 100% applicable to our lives on any given day. Life throws us a lot of curveballs, so we’ve had to get a bigger mitt to catch them over the years. Although I certainly haven’t reached big league skill level, I really do try my best to take a pause and filter out any immediate emotional and/or negative thoughts when things don’t go how I planned, but sometimes that’s just a bit easier said then done. I always want to believe the best. I have hope for the future. I have big dreams. But there’s a part of me that, because of how much swimming upstream we do, it’s tough to feel like we are getting ahead of the waves. There is a vulnerability that comes with the belief and faith in things to come because we often can’t predict our future, and that same vulnerability can, every once in a while, make me feel adrift among the changing of the tides.

But Brené Brown (a fantastic speaker) has such a powerful quote about vulnerability that I’d like to share.

“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage”.

The truth is, there will always be curveballs. The changing tide is inevitable. Sometimes we’ve been treading in what feels like an ocean for so long, we don’t recognize our progress to realize we’ve actually reached close enough ashore, we can put our feet down. But even in the changing of course, in the roughest waters, there can be moments of calm if we allow for them and/or make them happen. It’s in the moments of quiet and reflection when we can truly see our strength, see how far we’ve come, and find the courage to keep the faith and hope in our futures alive, despite how many pivots we might have to make.

That’s life… ever-changing, yet always precious.

Go to the comment section and let me know how you handle your pivot. What helps you when things don’t go as planned? What is one piece of advice you would like to share with all of us in the CC community?

And finally… a suggestion: Pop over to the ZenDen. Pick for yourself a song (just one) that gives you that feeling of calm and just sit. Just be. You can focus on something in particular if you want but I recommend that if you do, just pick one thing. No problem solving, just chill and breathe. It’s all about taking the time for yourself. I will do the same. I’m still working on keeping my mind at rest for longer than 30 second spurts but hey, it takes practice.

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Michele Lammers
Michele Lammers
2 months ago

I watched Brene’s special on Netflix over quarantine and it was fantastic! I was never good at handling changes, so I would isolate myself. However, recently I’ve learned the power of family and the impact of using that support system. Talking to my sisters openly (which I have not done before), eases the curveballs. Just hearing the words, “let me know if you need anything, I’m here” is so comforting. Plus you never know what advice you could get. Absolutely having someone (or a virtual friend) to go to for advice or to vent can help ease the stress and anxiety when pivots, unwelcomed or not, arrive.

Clarissa Castillo
Clarissa Castillo
2 months ago

If there’s anything I’ve learned this past month is that life is so tender. Tomorrow isn’t promised. Each day is truly a gift. To never take a day for granted. To look out for friends and loved ones. You never know when someone is going through something. Whether it’s mental health struggles or something else. For me I tend to struggle with change. It can become overwhelming but opening up to close friends has been incredibly helpful especially now during quarantine. Working during this pandemic I’ve had my ups and downs. So simply having someone to talk to helps keep me at ease. Also I know we tend to get worked up when things don’t go are way. Some advice worth sharing that i personally learned along the way is to remember to take a breath. If you are like me who struggles with anxiety. It’s easy to get worked up in an unhealthy way. It’s always important to take a moment to breathe. Then find a solution to tackle the issue at hand. A final piece of advice to share with you lovely friends. If things do get the best of you find that one person you can open up to about how you are feeling. Don’t bottle up those feelings inside you❤️

Elizabeth O.
2 months ago

How do I handle a pivot… it depends on the depth. Is it a ripple in the water or a tidal wave?

I always have a plan. I actually struggle with anxiety based off of control issues. I had a plan to be where I am professionally since I was in fourth grade… back in the 90’s! The road to getting here has been anything but what I had imagined it would be. There were some really difficult tidal waves to get through, and in each one I was fortunate to have an amazing support system of friends and sometimes family to keep me afloat.

That is actually my advice, surround yourself with people that can lift you up when the undertow is working so hard to pull you down. This may be difficult for some depending on circumstances, but don’t stop seeking a community.

I am horrible at taking time to just stop, and breathe. I gravitate towards my close friends to talk through whatever changes arise- big and small; good and bad. When things change course, I can typically handle it in the “now” but it is after the fact that I have my so called breakdowns. This is where I sometimes keep things bottled up, but I’ve learned that this doesn’t work out well in the end. Do what you can to have life preservers in the waves of change.

Sara Buckle
Sara Buckle
2 months ago

We have had so many pivots. From the loss of close family as kids, to the loss of both my parents less than 2 years apart, but also the year we lost our mother, we also lost a beloved Great Aunt 12 days earlier on Christmas Day. 2012 will be a year that I can never forget, because as curve balls go, it was by far the hardest emotionally to deal with. The loss was hard, but what often fails to get mentioned is the aftermath of just sorting out the affairs. Even with wills in place, it took 8 and 9 months respectively to sort them out. A house to sell, banks to fight to get money released from accounts. It felt endless. It really was a time of blood, sweat and tears.
Before then, other than my husband, either one of my parents would be my place to pivot to. They were my anchor if Steven couldn’t be.
Now I was totally adrift, my sister, my husband (who was loved fiercely by my parents and vice versa) and I having to navigate it with all our signposts stripped away.
Without even realising it, I was using ways to cope that I’ve used for many years.

I remind myself of one good thing that day. Even if it’s hearing my husband laugh, or one of the cats. Just enjoying stepping out into the freh air. Having a good positive moment doesn’t have to be a big thing.
I meditate. It isn’t a practice that requires huge chunks of time. As my first teacher of meditation said, we all have to sit and take a crap sometime. Use that time as your own if that’s all you can gain. Relaxing your neck and shoulders of tension, just becoming aware of your body in that moment can do wonders.
Reminding myself it is only a blip, even if it feels relentless.
Pivoting is just another way of looking for new direction. And that’s okay.

Dorin Cohen
Dorin Cohen
2 months ago

To say life throws at me curveballs it’s an understatement. I had so many of them through the years and still do .
many storms have been in my life ,lots of them I couldn’t face at the moment ,so I would just give up most of the time on myself and my trust in life and in others.
but ,in the past two years I’ve learned that even if life can be rough in time to time ,there will always be something in one point that can make it all better. for me when things don’t go as I planned it’s hard sometimes to get myself back on track ,then again I now find my peace in the simple things – my favorite one is to take a long walk down the park , just me and my music ,there is something so liberating in those walks ,it helps me to think about the good things I did in my life and how far I’ve made it ,even if not all time everything is honey and milk ,that’s the beauty in it , in life.
we are humans after all and vulnerability is part of who we are .
regarding your ZenDen ,I’ve already have a favorite one ” song of the caged bird” every Thursday evening I take a long walk ,so this one is the first thing I play when I start my walk ,it’s calming and exciting in the same time ,I can feel my heart beat with happiness when I walk (thank you for sharing it).

and for what its worth heres my advice (it’s q bit long ,sorry) when life gets hard ,remember that the average of the human life is about 70-80 YO ,if you multiple it by 365 days (assuming our baby years don’t count) you will get 20 thousands mornings to start all over .
20 thousands nights full of unique colors , 20 thousands cups of coffee full with steam of hope that will lightly burn your eyes and remind you that you can still feel ,can still be exciting. 20 thousands sunrises that you will able to find a place in the world.

thank you for this beautiful article!
all my love to you my darling one

Tracy Pelster
Tracy Pelster
2 months ago

Someone said to me once and it always stuck with me…some people are like ducks. You see them gliding across the water so peaceful but what you forget to remember are their feet. Underneath they are paddling like crazy to get where they need to be, but make it look effortless.

We all have had good/bad, planned/unplanned things happen throughout our lives and it at times can feel like things are spinning out of control and depending on where we were at that time, emotionally, mentally and even physically in our lives may have determined how we handled it.

Speaking for myself, there are times I felt like I nailed it and was proud of myself and totally failed and other times I felt like I failed and totally nailed it. Regardless I’ve tried to take both experiences and have tried learn and grow from them for the next challenge(pivot) in life.

Needless to say as I’ve gotten older and as life comes at me, I’ve learned when to step away for a moment when I’m not sure which direction to turn. I turn on music, hop in the Jeep, let the wind blow thru my hairs or go for a hike or something outdoors to a place away from others. Once I get to that spot, I turn the music off and take in everything around me, sounds, smells, flowers, trees, water etc. I take a few deep breaths and try to clear out everything for that moment no matter how difficult it may be. There may be tears involved at times to help my heart, mind and soul release and open up so I can recenter myself and try to get reconnected to me. (I’ve found if you can’t connect to you it’s hard to be there for others. I believe you need you just as much as they may need you.) After I’ve found myself for that moment, I remember all the good things I have and what I’m grateful for in my life. I remind myself to appreciate everything including the smallest things around me.

Have you ever stopped and looked at a tiny wildflower or a leaf or a stream and have you seen all the delicate details involved to make it live or work? I know it sounds cheesey but all those details that define those things are beyond amazing just like us. So imagine how much greater and more defined that is in our lives, if these things weather some of the craziest obstacles, so can we. (That may have seemed like a bit of a “squirrel” moment but I thought it was one badass metaphor.)

With all this I try to understand what is going on or happening in my life. More times than not I’ve come up with the same answer. It’s an answer that has explained itself maybe not in that moment, or right away but possibly even years down the road, that more often than not, everything happens for a reason. (Now I am not saying this falls under every life changing pivotal moment by any means, because there are things that happen that we may never fully understand. I struggle with those as well.)
However, I have been truly amazed how everything in my life good or bad has lead me to who I am and where I am today, whether I understand it or not at that time. Yes, we can choose or change what paths we take but we also choose how to react to each challenge. We just do our best at that moment.

Sometimes, along with being positive and hopeful, it’s trusting the timing of God or the Universe or whatever you may follow. We have to trust the process and our journey. It may not be on the timeline we want or see for ourselves. We will get where we need to be when the time is right and yes, we will hit some washboard gravel roads along the way. (I’m originally from Nebraska so if you don’t know what those are where you live, then roads with potholes can be substituted…ha ha)

I try to remind myself to stop and enjoy what’s in front of me right now, no matter how simple or complex. Let’s face it the pace of life is way too fast nowdays and in our lives and if we don’t slow it down and notice what’s right in front of us, time will be gone before we realize we needed to live.

Mindy Compagna
Mindy Compagna
2 months ago

Thank you Chyler for this, it speaks to my heart and is an encouragement. Being a mom also, I can definitely understand “The Pivot”.
I’m a single mom (The decision made at the time was the best for my son and I), and it’s so easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless by unexpected curveballs when life doesn’t go as planned. I don’t have a big support system, or really much of one at all. I have my parents – and although we are close and I appreciate them, we disagree (as respectfully as we can) more then we agree on a lot of things. So to say my journey has been a hard and lonely one would be an understatement. It’s the toughest when the unplanned and hard times hit and I’m alone to face them, but it’s also shown me how strong I really am, who I am, and how powerful love truly is.
I know the feeling of being a protective Mama Bear at all costs, and the heartbreak when your little one is hurting and all you want to do is take it on yourself, to shelter them, keep them safe, and take the pain away… but you can’t. I know the feeling of helplessness and brokenness from seeing the pain and fear in their eyes and there’s nothing you can do. Those days of being so fractured you just don’t know if you can get back up and keep going. But, I also know the determination, strength, courage, and love your heart feels in knowing your child is your own, there’s nothing you won’t do for them, and knowing there is still an unimaginable, beautiful, and amazing future ahead. Seeing joy in my son’s eyes, hearing his laughter, sharing in his positive attitude, and hearing ” I love you Mama” is one of the best, inspiring, and uplifting things in life. My son and I are always making it a point to be intentional about seeing and being thankful for our blessings, big or small. The birds singing, the sun shinning, a rainbow glowing, a graceful deer, the magnificent clouds, beautiful sunrises and sunsets, our cats playing, and time spent with family….all of it, nothing is insignificant. Everything happens for a reason, there’s always a lesson to be learned, and a blessing to be grateful for. My son is only 6 and has taught me some of life’s most significant lessons. No matter how hard the day gets, and how many times we get knocked down, we have each other. We can get back up together, fight together, fight for each other, become stronger and better, and together we can conquer whatever life brings us. We are growing together and learning that there is always light, always beauty to be found, always hope, always love, and the best is yet to come 🙂

Stephenie Glisson
Stephenie Glisson
2 months ago

I’ve never been very good at dealing with curveballs, though it seems that life has loved to throw them at me. It got to the point where I was preparing to pivot at all times, and I didn’t recognize or enjoy the good. My life became all about avoiding the unavoidable and the unforeseeable.
One day in therapy, I was talking about the positive things that had been happening lately, but my therapist noted that I wasn’t letting myself feel happy about them. She said right now you’re in a “sweet spot, you’ve worked hard, so feel it, enjoy it.”
I know that curveballs will be thrown my way, I’ve experienced that. So, when they are, I deal with the inevitable stress and anxiety by working out, praying, and meditating more, listening to music, and talking about it when I’m ready.
Mainly though, I try to stop expecting curveballs, and instead, I recognize the sweet spots in life, and just take it all in.

Kiera Kresfelder
Kiera Kresfelder
2 months ago

Whenever I need to deal with a “pivot” or new change in my life, I used to push people away and stick to myself for days and just shut down.

But now, and I would never think that I would say this but I talk to my partner about my pivots and she is so wonderful and helps me heal no matter what they are and it’s so important to let the ones that you love in. It won’t just help you but it will help you build a better and healthier relationship.

I’m still young and I’m not very good when it comes to taking advice but all I can say is this:

There are people in your life that love and care about you, and you aren’t a burden to them. If you ask for help, they will be by your side. Embrace the love, don’t push it away

Savannah Liberty
Savannah Liberty
2 months ago

this is so powerful?! something i like to do when life is feeling for lack of better words, hopeless, is remember the things i have done that i didn’t think i could do. it allows me to remember how powerful i can be, and always brings me to better outlooks.

Sophie .
Sophie .
2 months ago

There’s many times in my life where things didn’t go as planned but there’s one that changed me and put me through a lot of pain but in the end I came out stronger.  First let me say that I don’t respond well to change, I prefer the simple routine, things that I’m used to but growing up there’s lots of changes going on from loved ones dying to something simple like your favorite tv show coming to an end. Either way, it can pivot your life.  I sent an article a few months ago about how I overcame my anxiety and depression and that was a big unexpected change for me.  Back in 2014, my grandmother got very sick and had to go to the hospital, honestly my first thought was “she’s a tough woman, she’ll pull through it like always” and she did but only for a short time.  I remember visiting her in the nursing home. She looked a lot better and we were laughing and being silly. She kept saying how much she wanted the food that she saw on the tv.  I was happy she was feeling better and couldn’t wait to have more fun times with her. 

I then hugged her and said “goodbye”  I had no idea it would be my last. 

Next day, it was a gorgeous sunny day! My sister and I stayed home playing and laughing while our parents were at the hospital.  We realized they were taking a long time to come home and we feared that something bad happened to our grandmother.  I just ignored my negative thoughts and continued my day having fun and playing games. 

Later that night our parents finally came home and told us that our grandmother passed away. I immediately started crying and I ran upstairs to my bedroom and cried into my pillow all night. I loved my grandmother so much, I always had so much fun with her.  I felt like my heart shattered into a million pieces and I had to work really hard to put it back together.   Next day was even harder, I isolated myself in my room. I was in denial, hoping in was all a bad dream.  I cried all day not knowing what to do, I felt hopeless.  One moment I was the happiest kid and then I turned into an emotional wreck.   Took me about 3 years to fully heal but after that one day something clicked in my brain and I wanted to put a smile on people’s faces and make them laugh.  I felt the need to help people and bring positivity to the world around me.  Ever since then I’ve been so happy and proud of myself.   I love the beautiful world we all live in!   So, even though I didn’t get to have more fun with my grandmother, I always felt like through all that she was watching over me helping me heal, she came to me in my dreams every single night until she knew I was okay. She stood by me through the sadness.   She still makes appearances in my dreams sometimes to check on me, it’s really nice.  Those are the only dreams that felt truly real to me.   Best advice I can give is always cherish every moment with your loved ones because you never know when it will be your last time with them.

Jacqueline Ballard
Jacqueline Ballard
2 months ago

Some where in my journey I picked up on Pivot. Pivot became word, my jam? I have a teeshirt that says Pivot. I literately was on a team that we called team Pivot.
I learned at a young age life was going to be about pivoting.
When I come to a pivot moment it never fails I think of Ross on Friends yelling at his friends as they move the couch up the stairs… PIVOT… PIVOT.. It’s what I hear in my head when life makes me pivot.. While pivoting is not always easy having that image some makes me smile a little, and if you can smile in the midst of a pivot sometimes it becomes easier.

9 years and 2 day ago, my life changed directions drastically.. The one time that even the image of the couch not pivoting didn’t make me smile. The moment where I almost threw in the towel. The 4th of Aug traditionally has always been a very hard day for me as I reflect on the day that changed my world.. The hurt, the confusion the fear…It’s the day I truly learned what it meant to pivot, to swim up stream and to stand firm in myself and who I am….What a Pivot.
This year I wasn’t saddened by that day.. I was able to finally look back and say.. Wow… Look how far I’ve come and if I hadn’t been forced pivot I wouldn’t be at this point, or have gained what I have gained.. and for the first time I was in awe….

Which got me thinking the whole world found themselves having to Pivot in 2020 in some way or another. The confusion, the anger, the fear, the hope, the joy, the loss and the gain are in the midst of this world wide pivot.. When we look back in six weeks, a year, 9 years…What will see with this pivot? My hope.. is more love and acceptance world wide, greater knowledge and stronger communities and so much more knowledge.

Pivoting can be hard..it just can be… and with this community here on Create Change.. You don’t have to pivot alone.. ever<3 Life is beautiful and worth it when it pivots.

Angelo Lagdameo
2 months ago

Thank you for sharing your heart with us Stay strong and slay!

Elizabeth O.
2 months ago

I love the ‘Friends’ reference! When originally reading what Chyler wrote, I heard Ross yelling PIVOT in my head…
It is inspiring to me to see the resilience you have to finally be at a little more peace with the day/event you mention. Big change and in a recent case for me, loss can be difficult. It has taken me nearly a year and a half to adjust and get back to being okay with where my life is now. I can totally connect with what you say about if not having made the pivot you wouldn’t be where you are now. I have grown so much more than I thought possible at this point in my life because of how things played out in my pivot.
Great post, thank you for sharing!

Louise
Louise
2 months ago

Thank you Chyler. After a frustrating morning on Wednesday, I got a lovely message from someone I know from my Slimming World meetings. We can’t meet in person right now, so our meetings are via Zoom. He is a member of the support team, and genuinely one of the nicest people I have ever met, gentle and funny and supportive to us all. And he said (via Facebook!), “you are AMAZING, always remember that.” And my day just changed. I have seen him, during the meetings going up and down the queue, just cheering up everyone he sees. He celebrates when we lose weight, and consoles when we haven’t, dispensing hugs and support. It is only since chatting via Facebook since the pandemic that I found out he has mental health issues and anxieties; I have only seen him ‘appearing’ upbeat. So I must remember to remind him that he, too, is AMAZING, and even now is spreading so much love and kindness. He transformed my day, so I must make an effort to try to do the same where I can. I hope all your curve balls are manageable, and that you don’t punish yourself if you drop the odd one. Perfection is overrated.

Brandy Hester
2 months ago

This is so timely!! I recently moved from a small town in East, Tennessee to the city of my dreams- the incomparable New Orleans. I had the entire move planned perfectly. Then Corona happened.

My job fell through, and I found myself unemployed for 3 months, in a city that was completely closed down, that I knew only 2 people in. Needless to say, I was stressed. Not only financially for the future, but also mentally and emotionally. I left behind a career, along with everyone and everything I knew, to go on this big, beautiful adventure- and then quite literally nothing went as planned! It felt, as you said, like after all I had done, I was still just treading water.

I found ways to occupy my time, and keep my mental health in check. At first. Then that proverbial color wheel in my brain began to spin so fast it went white. This time was no different. For the first time in my life though, I didn’t try to resist it. I just allowed myself to sit with those feelings. It was so cathartic to just *be* with them, and not resist them. I found that once I did that, I was okay. I had this peace of knowing that everything was working out as it was meant to. I couldn’t change it, but I could change how I was reacting to it.

In this, I had the realization that all of our feelings are valid, and deserve to be processed equally. I can’t say that it takes the stress away, but it certainly makes it manageable. In that pause, I also realized that while things haven’t at all gone to plan, I’m here! I did it! I made that happen! I took the leap, and I’m proud of that. Growth is the gift. Here’s to pivoting, friends! May we all make it the destination of our dreams! ✨

Vi Mandira
Vi Mandira
2 months ago

Handling changes and things not coming as I planned make me completely freak out. My anxiety goes higher and higher and makes me believe everything is lost. I’m trying to change that and start to try to see the good on these changes (something that i started to practice after reading Debbie’s article by the way).
I would say that everytime I handle with this kind of situation, I try to not think about it for some minutes, just to help me calm down, so i turn on to some music, that i have my especific songs for these situations, or go watch a show, a youtube video, edit, watch a musical, anything that makes me put my energy on something i love. After doing that, i try to go back to it and try to see the situation and convince myself that if it didn’t happen the way i planned, it’s for some reason, and if it is meant to happen, it will.
It’s incredibly hard for me to do this, but I’m trying to do it often, so I will get used to it at some point. Life is unpredictable, but as long we are with the right people, we can handle anything.

Malu Aguiar
Malu Aguiar
2 months ago
Reply to  Vi Mandira

That’s so beautiful, Vitoria! I’m so proud of you and proud of your maturity in those hard times. I know that is not easy to do that, but for just knowing that is important to let our energy in what makes us happy and feel loved (in some kinda way), it’s a really important thing! Continue to do that and you will always feel better in those moments. <3

Vi Mandira
Vi Mandira
2 months ago
Reply to  Malu Aguiar

Awww!!! This is the sweetest thing, thank you so so much!! Yeah, sometimes it’s really to stop and think about the situation and avoid bad thoughts, but i really think it’s a matter of time and a bit of practice. Thank you for your words, I hope it helps you too <3

Sadie
Sadie
2 months ago

I struggle with a lot, but this year is my last year of high school, but I’m struggling through algebra to the point where I get panic attacks. I can’t do it whatsoever. Every week I meet with my teacher through zoom to answer some math questions, but if he asks something I didn’t prepare for, I freeze up and totally blank out. It’s just awkward silence and I I’m totally embarrassed. Yesterday while talking to him. He asked me a simple question “Can you factor this?” That would most likely be described as a kindergarten question for everyone who actually knows math. I felt so humiliated. It was a simple question but because I blank out and also overthink everything, I can’t see the obvious. I try to do math, but I overthink so much to the point where I get everything wrong because I can’t see the simple obvious way of doing it. I cried before bed having a massive panic attack and this isn’t the first time this happened. Now I’m not blaming the teacher, he’s a nice man. Nothing with this class goes as planned, but I’m still alive, despite this class being literal hell for someone with mental health problems.

There were many times where things didn’t go as planned. I’ve had times where I got my hopes to high about things that were going to happen, but it never happened and I get depressed for weeks.

My message to the community would be:

No matter what happens, remember you will get through it. Life throws you down a deep swamp of darkness filled with all you’re biggest struggles, you have to fight to swim your way back up to shore to the sunshine. Don’t let anxiety, depression or whatever you’re going through get you down. Show it who’s boss and kick it back into that dark swamp where it belongs! We all have our ups and downs, but it’s our ability to be strong that keeps us going. You can’t let darkness take over the light.

Sadie
Sadie
2 months ago

I’ve read all of these responses and wow you all are so inspiring! Thanks for the great advice and stories

Bianca
2 months ago

thank you for this. sometimes life feels so overwhelming when things don’t go as hoped or planned and it’s hard to find the silver lining or the window that inevitably opens when a door closes, keeping hope and adapting to what life gives us. it’s perfectly imperfect jsut likes us humans. whenever i feel like it’s too much i try to center myself by going for a walk, meditate, do joga, or writing down or just in my head visualize the things that did work out, that are possible, step by step regaining balance.

Madlyn
Madlyn
2 months ago

I loved this article! Life seems to be throwing a lot of curveballs lately. I feel like life throws me a lot of curve balls that I have to pivot around too. These major life curveballs I tend to pivot around with ease. Like having a 50 year old parent fall ill and having to care for them full time at the age of 23. I pivoted well. Every year since then there have been major curveballs and I tended to handle those well too. But the small things? The little change ups in my day-to-day those really throw me for a loop and make it hard to pivot around. Any small change up or anything small going wrong causes my anger to swell and I feel like it’s the end of the world not to mention that’s it sends my OCD compulsions on high. I have a few ways I can handle this anger from life pivots- I like to journal. I have a private journal and one to send to a therapist. I’ve tried meditation but it just doesn’t work me all the time but I do try. But what’s been helping me the most lately is baking. When I’m so angry at a situation that I can’t see straight I set a 30 minute timer to be angry and then I pick a new recipe to try once my time is up. Baking is all math and science and precise measurements so having to think and focus fully on the task at hand really helps steer me away from the anger and from feeling like the world is ending.
I find it funny that I let the small change ups get to me in life and not so much the curveballs because that’s exactly the same as my batting game when I played softball. Curveballs I could hit and always land a double. Change ups? 3 strikes and I’m out. I always fell for them, I always got caught. I get caught in life’s change ups too but I’m slowly working on adjusting my swing.

Sophie .
Sophie .
2 months ago

These stories you guys tell are incredible, I’m loving it!

Julia Fuchshuber
Julia Fuchshuber
2 months ago

I am a dancer and till now I’ve only known the word “pivot” as a dancing step. But yes – it makes so much sense! Last year I’ve had many pivots, most of them in the negative direction. I finished my education quite a while ago and wanted to get started with work and life, but nothing quite worked out and I got more and more depressed. What helped me a lot was talking to the people closest to me. In the beginning it was difficult for me to show myself vulnerable and to admit that not everything had worked out as I planned. But in the end I realized, that everyone has fears and insecurities and nobody is perfect. I walked into the new year with more confidence, and then obviously corona happened. I’m not where I want to be yet, but I’m mentally at a better place than last year, also thanks to Create Change. I’m ready to take the path, life has provided for me.

Caroline Derksen
Caroline Derksen
2 months ago

I feel like this entire year has been one big pivot for me. I graduated from college this year and my mom and I had plans to go to China to visit my birthplace for the first time since I was adopted. Obviously that didn’t happen and any other plan we wanted to make didn’t happen either. I wasn’t able to have the graduation I wanted. All of this pales in comparison to what others have had to suffer through this year but I have slowly come to learn not to compare my griefs to others because that doesn’t work and it doesn’t help me mentally. If anyone has helped me through my pivots this year it would definitely be my mom and friends.

Heather Elms
Heather Elms
2 months ago

Sorry if I’m a little long-winded here.

I’m still learning how to handle my pivots. Some are so much simpler than others. I’m also still learning how to allow myself to be vulnerable.

As much as I love my late mother, she was one of the most emotionally reserved people I’ve ever known. I don’t fault her for it. I’ve come to accept that whatever happened to her to make her that way will always remain a mystery. I’ve realized over the last few years that she unintentionally influenced me to act in kind. To put up walls and that vulnerability was a weakness. Again, I don’t fault her as she kept a lot of things about herself private to the point she likely may not have even realized something was wrong.

I’ve allowed myself to open up a little more since seeking help, but it’s an ongoing challenge. I haven’t really any friends I regularly communicate with and I don’t confide much in my immediate family. Not to say I don’t love them, but they aren’t always the emotional support I need. To put it simply I mostly cope alone.

Which to say isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Solitude sometimes gives me a lot of time to reflect on myself. I’ve learned many things (like the origin of my aforementioned struggle with vulnerability). Some things good, some others not so much, but all a learning experience. Where I choose to move forward with my realizations is entirely up to me and that is something I take some comfort in. I am the captain of my own ship! No one has power over me anymore!

Handling life’s pivots. For me, avoiding becoming overwhelmed is KEY. Taking a break from a tough situation and allowing myself to breathe is SOOO important. Once I’m in a better frame of mind, I can return to the situation. Tackling a hard situation whilst overwhelmed was one of the worst things I could do. I found the more frustration I had, the more likely I was to project negativity or say something I’d regret as anger can lead to rational thought going out the window. Stop. Breathe. Take yourself out of the situation if need be. Be mindful. Implement some self-care.

Taking comfort in music is always a big go-to for me. Music IS medicine for the soul. Making playlists for specific situations I face help significantly. They’re also enjoyable to create.

Reading something is also something that can be helpful. Poetry is something I wasn’t always into, but over the last few years, it’s been a godsend! r.h.Sin and Samantha King Holmes are my absolute favorites and I highly recommend them.

Journal or make lists! If faced with an overwhelming amount of pivots, I find making a to-do list of them can help me to tackle them without dropping from stress and shutting down completely. Not to mention that checking off those tackled tasks is it’s own reward.

I know everyone may handle things differently and reading some of the things posted here have given me some food for thought. These are just a few things that work tremendously for me and maybe they might be helpful for you in handling your own pivots.

You got this, friends!

Gwen Todd
Gwen Todd
2 months ago

For me, it depends on how big a pivot it is, but in general I give myself permission to take a few minutes to react (freak out, curse, rant, cry, what have you) and then I take a deep breath, figure out how this particular pivot affects me, break it down into manageable bits if need be, and then adjust course and carry on, preferably blasting music to suit my motivational mood! 😀

Erika Hockova
Erika Hockova
2 months ago

Hello friends, I am triying to figure out what means this word Pivot and I didn´t. I was looking to dictionary and didn´t get the concept at all o:) It is interesting how can one word disconnect from communication and understanding.

Elizabeth O.
2 months ago
Reply to  Erika Hockova

In the sense for this conversation the way I understand it is to change course. Have a plan? Then the plan has an interruption and things change. How do you handle change when it interferes with what you had planned…

Erika Hockova
Erika Hockova
2 months ago
Reply to  Elizabeth O.

Thank you 🙂

Lynn
Lynn
2 months ago

I am an (over)thinker and (over)planner. I try to plan for all contingencies, or at least as many as I can think of. That way when a curveball is thrown my way, I have an idea how/where to pivot. Unfortunately, life sometimes throws a 95 mph fastball at your head. In that case, try to duck out of the way, or at least pivot such to get hit somewhere that hurts less than getting hit in the head. Then get up, brush off the dirt and step back into the batter’s box. It isn’t always easy and not without some pain and bruises (physical, psychological, and/or emotional).

But as the saying goes, “that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. I don’t think of that as quite literally, but more as in what can I take away from what happened. What was that fastball trying to teach me. Can I gain something to be better prepared in the future. Sometimes though I would like to tell whatever force controls the universe that I am strong enough, I don’t need anymore lessons. But again, try my best to dust off and get back in the batter’s box, even if it takes weeks, months, or in some cases years. It isn’t always easy, and helps to have a good support system, fans in your part of the stands.

Jenny Sobiella
Jenny Sobiella
2 months ago

I think I just read a “Friends” reference which made me laugh because it’s the same for me when reading the word pivot.
And I’m glad it’s something that so aggressively forces itself into my perception because it has helped me quite a few times feeling less tense when I’m overthinking and/or spiraling.

Finding ways pivoting around the obstacles that life throws at us is – in my opinion – one of the big quests we have to master.
I know that some people are more controlling than others, but I think that all of us find some sort of comfort and safety in knowing what is happening and what will be.

I have always complained about the fact that I don’t want to “just get buy” or “just make it” – that felt so very far away from what I want in life.
Yet here I am knowing and saying that dancing around rocks in your way is not “just making it”, no it’s far more than that.
It’s a talent and a strength/resource we all have!
If you have the ability – which I know you do – to change plans, adapt to new and unforeseen situations and still do the thing no matter how hard, you are a frigging Rockstar!

I’ve been trying to learn this ever since I’ve started therapy and it let me tell you that sh*t was hard! I’m still nowhere close to the finish line, but every time I feel like I’m out of breathe and can’t finish this marathon, I stop. I stop and I take a few deep breathes, look around me and keep breathing mindfully until my head is processing at a speed I can understand again.
Sometimes I go outside, or look out my window to watch passerby’s and birds, sometimes I journal and sometimes I text a friend or take a shower.
It’s the little things that you learn to appreciate more as the years go by.
It’s the little things, the peace-of-mind state, that become most important.

It can be minor things like forgetting your wallet while getting groceries, or big traumatic events nobody saw coming, either way the fact that you’re still here, reading this comment is proof enough that you’re smashing it.

Mellissa Price
Mellissa Price
2 months ago

I’m known as the anxious overthinker, and I no longer see it as a completely negative thing.

My friends always go on about how grateful they are that I have somehow planned for everything in any situation. Someone’s sad? I’ve got the chocolate (seriously, I always have chocolate in my bag..) and tissues. Someone is sick? I’ve got the hair ties, the Gravol, the Tylenol… you name it.

I’ve been dealing with the pivots and the curveballs for a while now… I like to tell myself that I have become a professional at this thing that we call life. But to be honest, I’m far from professional and that is more than okay. With my anxiety, a lack of routine or structure throws me through a loop. So, as one would assume, this pandemic has been extremely harsh on my mental health. The worst its been in years. Sometimes my glove goes missing, but I have some pretty amazing people in my life that will lend me theirs in order to get me back in the game.

Something that a very dear friend of mine had said to me in the beginning of the pandemic has stuck with me ever since. And it was… “You’re not weak, Mellissa. Inside you’re fortified. No one can hurt that.” It resonated with me so much that I have decided to make an art print of it, and share it with the rest of the world when they need a little pick me up.

When the pivot comes, I often handle it by taking a minute to breathe. Sometimes I will do some art. (I’ve been VERY into embroidery lately). I also have a note on my phone of all of the positive things that my loved ones have said to me, and I read it when I am feeling particularly low. My friends help me to cope. And their patience astounds me, I’m grateful to have found them.

Sending everyone love and light. And PLEASE remember you are worthy.

Erin Ianna
Erin Ianna
2 months ago

I used to always find a way to move around a pivot – like it didn’t exist and in complete denial – until one day the pivots were one big giant pivot and impossible to go around. We had a stand off like the old Western movies – guns drawn at dawn. It beat me. I didn’t show it enough respect and it beat me. I was forced to learn a lesson I was not ready to learn. As you say ‘life throws you curve balls’ and my mitt just simply wasn’t big enough.

This monumental pivot left me as a ghost of my past self. If I could have dragged myself to look in the mirror, I would not have recognised who was looking back at me.

It resulted in me ending my marriage to keep myself and my kids safe. I do not and will not regret that decision – ever.

So, with my two ‘manufatured’ humans in toe. I picked myself up off the ground and set to work on looking at what I had and why I wanted to keep it.
I had supportive family and friends who knew who I was and what was happening.
I had my two beautiful children as my absolute reason for everything.
In my kids I have my ‘why’, my no doubt about it conclusive reason to sort my sh!t out and start to move through my pivots instead of around them. To recognise them, have conversations with them, sit with them in silence, feel them and then say goodbye on better terms then in the past.

Resilience is a beautiful thing. I love seeing resilient people practice their craft – yes, I believe resilience is a craft. People would gush about how resilient I was but I firmly believed that I was not, that I was just weak and cowardly.

However, a few years ago I met a lady named Jules Allen – a psychologist giving a motivational speech. She thought that labelling people as resilient ir not was load of cr@p, as we are all born resilient but what we lack is acceptance. Resilience is useless without acceptence and until we accept a situation, person, place or fear… we will not be able to access our resilience appropriately.

Mind blown.

This hit me like a truck. It was one of my biggest lightbulb moments that I can remember. Whether I percieved myself to be or not be resilient didn’t matter. What I didn’t have was acceptance.
Acceptance of loved ones I had lost, my diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome and the failed dreams because of it and my abusive marriage. And, my whole life… I didn’t accept myself.

So, with this new insight of myself, I set out on a journey of acceptance. I realised that in order to move through (instead of around) my pivots, I had to accept it for what it was. I could no longer afford to move around them, run from them or ignore them… I had to work with them. I had to do this because I had my ‘why’ waiting for me at home. They were counting on me to be the best version of myself and to pave the way for them to become the best version of them self. If I was going to teach them how to do that, then I had to first teach myself how to do that, I had to model that for them.

So, the cliff notes answer to your questions:

How you handle your pivot?
I introduce myself to it, spend time with it and move through it – in all the colours that that brings – I accept it. Then I say goodbye.

What helps you when things don’t go as planned?
I remember my ‘why’ – my kids. Even if my ‘why’ is the reason things aren’t going to plan. They are my everything and therefore they are above everything – excusses don’t matter when their world is spinning out of control.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with all of us in the CC community?
Find your ‘why’ and your own unique way to accept your pivot.

Take care

Erika Hockova
Erika Hockova
2 months ago
Reply to  Chyler Leigh

Hi Chyler. You are doing great job. I am happy for you and people who you adress ☺.

Erika Hockova
Erika Hockova
2 months ago

Hi everybody. I finally got through article and answers on it. It was very interesting to read it. Thanks for that. My advice is NEVER give up your goal, plan or dream doesn´t matter what happen, what is somebody else saying or thinking about it. It is your goal and your way. I am doing like this and I can tell you it is working well. I am not telling you it is a simple way – sometimes I cry, sometimes I scream, sometimes I am in anger but mostly and generally I am happy because that is what happines is – it is active endeavor. It is the act of reaching toward and progressing toward the goal. And when I am on the end of my way I am proud of myself . Then I set up new goal and make it better . When I have goal in the group and we achieve it together it is also awesome 🙂 Then we celebrate with ice -cream :))

Isabelle Rakhma
Isabelle Rakhma
1 month ago

How to deel with a pivot ? That is a great question… I guess everybody has their little techniques, ways to react to challenges.

A few months agor, my answer would have been simple, anger. I would just be angry at everyone and everything until I am tired and then learn to live again. Not a good solution, I would give you that but it worked so I kept using it a long time ago.

But through a period of my life where a at to face many changes in a little time, I was just tired to be alway angry and I tried to find an other way to go around. I started to reach out to friends, to see what they did and maybe learn from them. A sentence that my best friend told me just blew me away, he said “I always look up to you because you are so much stronger then me, you are my model”. And weirdly, the fact that knowing he was counting on me made me thing, I wasn’t an exemple to follow at the time.

When a new situation comes to me, I try (it is not easy) to just step back and analyse what is happening, try to find a way to use this new challenge to my advantage. If I find a way, I try to learn from this new experience (I try, I don’t always succeed) or when I can’t, I try to remain calm and just learn to accept it, without screaming against it.

My anger was so strong but know, well it always here, like a part of me, but it doesn’t rule over me any more. Like Bouddha once said “Anger is not about to hurting other, it is about hurting yourself”.

And i will end by thanking everyone that commented before me, all your advices are really great and so true. Thank you to all of you.

Autumn Edwards
Autumn Edwards
1 month ago

I have to be honest, I don’t really have an answer for the first part of the questions. Before the past year.. my pivots were never upfronted. I ignored them, hid them, overruled them with a whole bunch of hogwash, and I even legitimately ran from it. But until this past few months, and especially the past few weeks, I have truly began trying to find ways to confront AND heal/transform the negative highlights into wonderful milestones. So if I may, I would like to go straight into the NOW.

1)What helps me when things don’t go as planned?
First, I try to break it down to make sure I am not overreacting, because that’s what I would do in the past which made me avoid the entire situation, and made it become an entirely bigger mess. The more I break it down, the easier it is for me to think of ways I could possibly react, and take something even greater from the downfall. Than I proceed with the down right fact that even though I hate not being in control.. I could make it a good thing with a hidden message for me to look into. But some physical things I do that helps is 1)go to my front porch, sit on my swing, and listen to first, sad music so I can allow myself to feel it for a few moments, but than to my regular music to just be in(which by the way.. thank you and Nathan SO much for giving me this community, the music, and then the whole gang for everything that makes it all possible. This week or last week made an entire two years since I found you guys and have had a place to grow to be able to type tonight about me). But the whole purpose of going outside is me making sure its after 10:00pm when its no one, but me and its like a peaceful solitude in a way. 2)I reach out to my person(internet friend for three years),and my twin(new internet friend that’s becoming kinda close) and just ask for their advice or for their reassurance on who I am, who I am to them, everythings going to be okay, and that I am not alone. (everybody needs a little bit of that every once and awhile). 3)drawing is something I very rarely do when I am in a pivot, but when I do draw..it hits kinda different. 4)this one is going to sound very dumb and make no sense, but when I am in a pivot..I go watch Netflix. It sounds silly, but sometimes I just need something unrealistic to calm me down for a time being. My go to are normally Supergirl, Arrow, or I go to YouTube and watch some videos of EoE and Chyler, because they are the only two people that are not physically in my life who makes me feel there is purity in this world. I know all that sounds weird, and I apologize.

2)Advice I would give for those in this community?
ALWAYS. FIND. A. WAY. first and foremost! Life is very tough, but you are even tougher. Find something that helps YOU wanna get better, and make a way through the no man’s land. Crawl if you have to, but never give up or give in. It IS okay to sit admit there is a problem and to sit for a minute, BUT get right back up, and fight for the better days that are just ahead. Don’t ever be afraid to reach out to anyone. I will first hand tell you how much easier said than done it is, but also how worth it it is! I helps you become an even stronger person, and helps your relationships grow for the next pivots. You guys are truly never alone. You have all of us, and you always have your pets. 🙂

I am also so sorry I have not been so active this past few weeks. You guys truly have no idea on how much I miss all of this. I started my first job last month, and than college classes this week, BUT I am not going anywhere and will gladly be late instead of being anywhere else. <3 I am going to try my hardest to be more active and involved!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Ronnie
Ronnie
1 month ago

I’ll share something more recent. About a week ago I had a conversation with two of my best friends whom I’ve known since we were 14. In these conversations they’ve stated that I see the glass half empty (in my view I’m seeing the glass half full). According to them I’m lazy and not willing to put in the work when it comes to life when that couldn’t be further from the truth. It felt as if they were or are starting to give up on me. Clearly these are words that really hurt. After so long it felt like they were like they were giving up on me and it still feels like that. They said they just don’t understand and in all honesty they really don’t.

I have kept my best friends in the dark for all these years which is completely my fault but it was necessary. However it’s through these conversations that have upped the time table or rather opened a door to things I never thought I’d tell them.

I suffer several mental illnesses. They know I do, they know I’ve been in therapy, they know I’m on medication but they never knew the extent of it.

Our conversations pushed me towards telling them the truth about me. I ended up writing them both individual letters. I wasn’t going to send them out, they were just going to be one of those things I wrote and then throw them away however I ended up mailing them anyways (and then felt guilty about it after) but deep down they needed to know.

It was my mom who was proud of me for doing that. She said it showed some real growth and progress whereas before I really wouldn’t have done any of that. I wouldn’t have written the letters to begin with and continued to leave them in the dark.

I guess there is a little pride in doing such an act so I can be a little proud in myself but not by much, at least not yet.

*****

In terms of what I can offer the CC community, my advice is this:

Listen to those around you. They might tell you things you don’t want to hear. They might tell you things that hurt but they often do and say these things because they see things from a different point of view and they just don’t understand and that they really do care. There are those who can be or are good people and they wouldn’t be in your life if you didn’t want them to be.

You don’t have to explain to them why the way the way you are or why you do the things you do but you can when you’re ready and on your own terms. No one is saying you absolutely have to tell them the truth about your personal story but if and when you’re ready, it can be okay. And once you do you’ll come to find that maybe, just maybe, it won’t be as bad as you imagined it to be and as difficult as it was, it could be that the weight you have been carrying around has finally been lifted. Whether it’s a positive outcome or a negative one that’s up to them, the important thing is you shared your story with those you love, those you care about, and that’s the part that should matter.

*****
As of this post (8/30) I have yet to hear from my friends. I sent the letter on the 24th so they should’ve gotten it by now.

But like I said, and I’m trying to take my own advice here, it’s up to them how they handle your truth and if they need time to sit with it then they will. There’s no time limit on a response. There is only patience and the added truth that you were honest with them.

Ronnie
Ronnie
1 month ago

Another quick note I’ll leave to go along with my previous post is this:

I’m a huge fan of the show Castle. One of my favorite character’s, Kate Beckett, said these words:

“Even on the worst days, there’s a possibility for joy.”

It’s a quote I carry with me and even have tattooed on my forearm so I can look to as a reminder everyday.

It relates to my previous post in the sense that no matter what you’re going through, no matter if your friends put you down, there is joy in what is and what’s to come. In my case, and I’ve come to see it a few days later since I sent my letters, is the joy I have in sharing my story with them because now it takes the weight off and I’m completely honest with them, the final aspects of my past no longer hidden from them and that’s a good thing (at least I’m trying to see it that way.)

Elizabeth O.
1 month ago
Reply to  Ronnie

Ronnie,
It is inspiring with what you shared here. I am one willing to talk openly about myself about most, …most, anything. I like to say I’m an open book… wear my heart on my sleeve… all that sort of thing. But deep down I hold onto some stuff and don’t share out, if there is something upsetting me or I am struggling with, it is at least with my best friend that she can tell I’m holding onto something.

Now, your bit about not sharing your whole truth to your best friends… I am stuck in this exact spot. I mentioned on my creator submission that my circle is very small in who has heard me tell about events in my 20’s… my two best friends are not a part of that circle yet and I am scared out of my mind. I know how if they are truly best friends and love me, then it shouldn’t matter… and deep down I am pretty confident the conversation will be fine, but I can’t get over the fear or figure out a good time or way to just break into the conversation. It doesn’t help matters much that my own self discovery came to light just as COVID was becoming a bigger issue in the states.

My point, thank you for sharing this. This platform and community has been, I believe, the outlet and connection I have needed to get through this stuff. Have faith in your friends, who knows how they might reach out… or how long it will take them to process what you shared.

Alex
Alex
1 month ago

From a parenting POV, this hits hard! Neither my wife or I manufactured (love that btw) our kids but we did our family. It’s a choice to continue each day. Our pivots include a lot of fighting for necessities for our kids and we often don’t take the time we need to recover. We’re learning to but, as you said, it takes a lot of practice. Our dogs tend to be the ones who help most with that (as I type, I have our puppy sat on my chest) and getting out of the house. Even if it’s just for 20 minutes. It makes a difference.

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