The Power of The Pivot: Resetting and Controlling What We Can Control

Jul 08, 2020

Photograph by Laura Cutress

Life, like COVID, can be a bumpy ride; a recent walk helped me uncover a way to negotiate it all differently


I’m not going to lie, beautiful community…COVID and its subsequent fallout has taken me on a ride that’s made me dizzy. Do this. Don’t do that. Go here. Don’t go there. You’re allowed to do this. You can’t do that. This phase. That phase…

Pivot. Pivot…and pivot again (and get ready for the next one).

We’ve all had to make big adjustments in our lives. At moments it’s been fear-inducing, others irritating and perplexing…most of all, exhausting both emotionally and physically.

That puts us into fight or flight without even realizing it. Our bodies immediately respond to our emotions and how things are feeling around us. Oftentimes, like packing for a big trip, a move or a storm — we scurry about trying to react, to be prepared, to feel safe. But no amount of busyness could prepare us for this storm.

So, maybe like me, you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole and found yourself exhausted and depleted from it all. I got so caught up within it that I practically left myself out of the equation — no self-care, no morning rituals, no exercise, no nature, no time spent with God. Just busy, busy, busy and more busy. Hold the restaurant together at all costs!

I know what works for me. I also know what doesn’t, no matter what’s going down.

I’m sure you are the same. This situation has put me in reaction mode and drained me of my power. But whose fault is that? Uh huh…you know where this is leading. Read on if you’re ready to make a shift.

Look, we could go on and on about COVID stories. We could debate what’s real, what isn’t. We could judge each other and walk about policing one another…or not. Or we could ask ourselves how is that really making us feel. As a dear friend says, Are you contributing to the pollution or the solution?

What’s your solution? What can you do when you feel powerless, afraid or beaten down?

You can remember who you are — who you want to be and that gorgeous loving soul within you that has much to share.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve abandoned my highest self through this, just pushed her off to the side as I scurried about. She’s been whispering in my ear trying to get my attention, trying to remind me to pivot, trying to get me to rise above my kneejerk reactions, trying to get me to see the gifts within my circumstances...trying to stand still.

Faith isn’t about seeing the end game, having all the answers and the hindsight wrapped up in a bow. Faith is trusting yourself through the bumpy ride — knowing you will be OK. It’s also about recognizing how you are responding to life.

On an early morning walk with my bestie — the place where we actively meditate, breathe in restorative Catskill Mountain air and provide each other with ‘therapy’ — we made a pinky swear. We agreed we needed to pivot from the complaining, commiserating, resisting and trying to solve the problems of the world — to handing it over to God and softening our hearts. 

Now while that sounds like a Pollyanna approach to life…it’s actually anything but. When someone makes you angry…you want to respond. Action / reaction. But that is typically not from your highest self. Faith takes guts but it’s also where your true wisdom emerges. 

Faith says, I want to help not hurt. I want to serve not judge. I want to love not be right. I want to show up.

I urge you to go inward and recognize where resistance is showing up for you. Are you complaining, criticizing, abandoning your self-care practices, and stepping over that other version of yourself?

We can get through this no doubt, but we need to ask ourselves how…how do we want to do that? What’s the ride going to look like?

What can we do?

We can be kind.

We can open our hearts.

We can eat well.

We can commune with nature.

We can pray.

We can be still and listen.

We can appreciate beauty, our differences, each other.

You know that relief of walking away from something that isn’t working — a job, a relationship, a project? Well, imagine that here. If we were to each do our part in participating in the great pivot — focusing on nurturing ourselves — can you imagine what our experience of the world and each other would be? Besides, God has some big shoulders and can handle the rest.

Focus on the things you can control right now. It will help ground you and keep you in balance.

We will have ‘good’ days and ‘bad’ — try to anchor yourself in knowing that you are strong, all is well and that you can ask for guidance and strength to get through whatever you are facing.

Let’s take care of ourselves and each other, dear ones. We can do this. We can hold hands and hearts together. Doesn’t that sound so much more expansive? Let’s pivot together. Let’s each do our work. Let’s trust that we can use this, not be used by it. Let’s come out of these trying times united and healthy — in all ways.

And before I sign off, I’ll ask you to look for signs, messages and miracles. Did you know that a worldwide prayer happens at 11:11 each day? Do you see this number a lot? I do.

When you do — take a moment to envision our planet and ask for healing. Then envision all that live on the planet: people, animals, insects and ask for health, safety and healing. Hold them all in your heart for that beautiful moment.

In that moment I see our planet suspended in the universe and the darkness around it clearing. And then, I ask for it to be lifted and for the healing of our hearts. I love this image. What’s yours?

This is something we can do. When we feel frightened or unstable in this chaos, we can pivot in faith and collectively hold each other.

Lea Haas, Owner, The Garden Café Woodstock

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