Give Yourself Permission to Pivot®

Give Yourself Permission to Pivot®

woman at a crossroads carrying a yellow bag with her hands in her coat pockets

Image by GreenCardShow from Pixabay

Give Yourself Permission to Pivot®

When you find yourself a little lost in your life, the most important first step is giving yourself permission to pivot. I want to share with you this concept that has been the cornerstone of my own personal and professional journey over the past three decades. I gave it a title. I call it Permission to Pivot®. So, strap in, as we embark on a ride filled with twists, turns, and the liberating feeling of embracing change.

Let me rewind a bit and take you back to where it all began for me.

Thirty years ago, fresh-faced and eager, I embarked on what I thought would be a linear journey through life. Armed with a specific set of skills and a clear trajectory in mind, I set out to conquer the world. Little did I know, life had other plans in store for me. I found out I was pregnant with my first child at age 27 just as my career in higher education was really taking off. While that little bundle of joy absolutely ignited a whole new set of passions and motivations for my life, it was not the journey I had imagined would unfold! Giving myself permission to pivot was a critical first step in order to release my grip on the vision I had previously held for the life I thought I was going to have.

Throughout the years since, I’ve encountered numerous forks in the road—moments where I had to make crucial decisions that would shape the course of my life. Whether it was reevaluating my career path, contemplating a change in location, or reassessing certain relationships, one thing became abundantly clear: I needed to give myself full permission to remain fluid, flexible, and open to change.

At the heart of  this philosophy and practice I have dubbed Permission to Pivot® lies the willingness to embrace uncertainty and adaptability. It’s about recognizing that life is not a straight line but rather a series of interconnected moments where we have the power to pivot and chart a new course.

What does your inner compass tell you about where you are?

One of the most significant lessons I’ve learned along the way is the importance of being in tune with my inner compass. It’s easy to get swept up in the expectations of society or the opinions of others, but true fulfillment comes from aligning our actions with our authentic selves.

For me, this meant being honest about what truly brought me joy and fulfillment, even if it meant veering off the beaten path. It meant having the courage to walk away from situations or relationships that no longer served my growth, despite the discomfort it may have caused.

But here’s the thing about embracing change—it’s not always easy. In fact, it can be downright terrifying at times. Stepping into the unknown requires a leap of faith, a willingness to trust that the possibilities yet unseen can be far greater than we can imagine. Allowing for change requires permission to pivot.

With each pivot comes growth, resilience, and a deeper understanding of who we are and what we’re capable of achieving. Every detour, setback, or unexpected twist in the road serves as an opportunity for learning and self-discovery.

Every detour, setback, or unexpected twist in the road serves as an opportunity for learning and self-discovery.

Uncertainty might just be a door to greater possibilities

As I reflect on my journey thus far, I feel palpable gratitude for every moment of uncertainty, every decision that pushed me out of my comfort zone, and every pivot that led me closer to my true purpose. Through it all, I’ve come to realize that the only constant in life is indeed change itself, and our ability to embrace it is what ultimately sets us free.

The more I accept, the more fully I release my grip on my attachment to what it is I want or what it is I THINK is best, the more smoothly the path seems to roll out in front of me.

I’ve come to realize that the only constant in life is indeed change itself, and our ability to embrace it is what ultimately sets us free.

So, if you are standing at a crossroads, grappling with the decision to pivot or stay the course, I urge you to grant yourself Permission to Pivot®. Trust in your intuition, have faith in your journey, and know that the path ahead may be uncertain, but it’s yours to explore.

Don’t want to go it alone? No worries. Help is available!

If you need a little help along the way, maybe you and I could work together! I am a Certified Wayfinder Coach with over 20 years experience as a licensed professional counselor, and over 30 years of teaching mindfulness-based practices like meditation, yoga, tai chi, and chi kung. Let’s meet for 15 minutes over Zoom or phone and discuss the possibilities!

Here’s to embracing the fluidity of life, one pivot at a time.

The Power of Soft: 10 Ways to Improve Relationships & Life

The Power of Soft: 10 Ways to Improve Relationships & Life

power of softWhen I trained with Drs. John and Julie Gottman of The Gottman Institute years ago, I was introduced to 30 years of research they had conducted observing over 3000 couples in determining the predictors of divorce. One of the behaviors they recognized as very problematic in marriages is when one partner (or both) use what the Gottmans call harsh-start-up which is when a partner begins a conversation with a harshly negative or critical comment. The anecdote, of course, is approaching the same conversation with a soft-start-up which is consciously softening tone and choosing words which are respectful and absent of criticism or negativity.

And the practice of mindfulness is infused throughout this set of skills you can adopt.

This same idea is true for the way we lead our lives. If we are able to employ a softer approach to everything we see, do and say, our relationships will thrive in a very positive way and we will likely feel a greater sense of peace in our daily lives.

The Power of Soft: 10 ways to improve relationships & life by using

  1. Check in with yourself before you speak. Notice if there is any “charge” of anger and take a deep, full breath. Come into awareness and intention to speak softly.
  2. Express feelings, thoughts, ideas, and requests with a soft tone of voice.
  3. If you want to receive something, first give freely and then softly and clearly make a kind request of others. If you are ignored or get a “no” don’t take it as personal rejection rather understand that person is simply not available at this time.
  4. When you hear others brag and boast, know that likely they have some fear and insecurity within. Soften your heart to them rather than rush to judge.
  5. Listen more than talk. Hold space for others and just really listen. As you listen simply hold the space with full attention rather than rushing to respond.
  6. When you feel the sensation of anger, soften the edges and peek underneath the anger noticing there are probably thousands of moments of confusion, fear, pain and doubt under there. Breathe into the sensation of anger feeling it as simply energy in your body. Breathe through it and with it. Watch how it will begin to dissipate simply by being observed with breath and softness.
  7. If someone is harsh with you, attacks you verbally or lashes out, take a moment to sit back and breathe and remember they also have pain, confusion, fear and doubt under the emotion from which they are speaking. Soften your heart toward them knowing this. Then, with a soft, clear voice make a request, “I must ask that you please not speak to me so harshly. I am sorry for what you are feeling and I will help if I can.”
  8. Be like water. Take the shape of whatever container you find yourself. Flow around obstacles. Be softly persistent. Be capable of changing shape and form as needed to adapt to the environment. Be fluid in all things for here is your greatest strength.
  9. Practice softening the muscles around your eyes and jaw regularly. Also, practice softening your belly throughout the day. Drop your shoulders down and away from your ears and notice when your hands are gripping the steering wheel or the pen or the phone. Soften.
  10. Take pause. Learn to wait and not react and jump to respond to what others do and say or to whatever impulsive thought may tempt you. Cultivate an ability to shift into neutral and observe long pauses before taking action.

A steady, dedicated practice of observing the power of soft will improve your relationships and your life. The word power is often confused for hard-hitting, fast-moving, action-oriented behavior. On the contrary, soft-touching, slow-moving, being-oriented behavior with fluidity, flexibility and patience allows for longer lasting joy and peace in life.

Want to learn more about how to use the Power of Soft in your life and relationships? I’d love to support you! Contact me for how we might work together through Wayfinder Coaching or Consultation