The Art of Pivoting

by | Mar 13, 2015 | Conscious Living | 0 comments

© sergign - Fotolia

© sergign – Fotolia

The Art of Pivoting is very useful if you wish to transform your mood from a low energy field to higher one in seconds.  You actually already know how to pivot, and you even do it subconsciously, but developing the habit of doing it consciously for your own benefit requires an expressed intention and a temporarily concentrated effort.

Interestingly, most of us are pretty adept at helping other people to pivot. For example, we naturally cajole our fussy toddlers into pivoting by offering them a pattern interruption– such as giving them a cookie or handing them the car keys to shift their attention away from whatever is making them fussy.  Or, we see a colleague looking sad at work and invite him (or her) to go to lunch with us with the intention of subtly nudging him away from his focus on sadness and toward something more pleasant.

When we pivot, we opt to look at our immediate life experience through a different window.  If you were pivoting inside a building as an example, you might look out of one window, where perhaps you are witnessing a dog fight or a littered vacant lot, and then move to a different window, where the view is of a peaceful garden.  Each view provides a different experience, even though both windows are in the same building.   Mentally, pivoting is shifting your thoughts from a negative mental window to a more positive one, even though both windows are in the same mind.

Let’s say that you find yourself mentally stuck somewhere in an unhappy or angry or fearful thought pattern.  You may even be caught in a mental loop where every possible solution also offers a reason why it won’t work and you keep covering the same ground time after time with no relief in sight.

But if you are able to consciously shift your thoughts by just a few degrees for just a few seconds to something positive that is totally unrelated to your challenge, your unhappiness and your frustration will be interrupted.  It happens accidentally, sometimes by something as simple as a telephone call, but if you want to perfect the art of pivoting on purpose, you will need to create a few safe or pleasant mental landing places at which to aim your pivot and subsequently shift the flow of your thoughts.

Begin by mentally banking some pleasant experiences to think about that will elevate your mood immediately.  What are some of the things you enjoy doing, that you really like to think about?

Do you enjoy walking in the woods, riding a bicycle, baking brownies, attending classes, reading romance novels, traveling, swimming, horseback riding, playing poker, working in your garden or craft room or wood shop?  Set up some mental scenes, based on real life experiences, of times when you have thoroughly enjoyed yourself. Play them through your mind a few times to make sure you can reach for them easily whenever you need them and then simply hit the replay button.

Then start noticing the next few times when you are feeling mad, sad, tired, frustrated, annoyed, rejected or any other kind of bad.  The minute you awaken to where your negative thoughts are taking you – pivot.  Gently move your thoughts from the subject that is making you unhappy to one of the experiences you have banked, which you like a great deal better.  And of course, the more you practice pivoting, the better you will become at achieving it.

And here’s the bonus.  It’s fun.  Catching yourself in the act of basking in negative, self destructive thoughts, where you often feel trapped and victimized; and instead consciously switching to a happier stream of thought is absolutely addicting.  You’ll start banking happy thoughts without even realizing it: playing with your children or grandchildren, eating an ice cream cone, creating a date night, participating in a lively conversation, immersing yourself in a compelling novel or an exciting movie.  The deeper your supply of instant pivots, the better your pivoting skills will become.

Pivoting might be called the quintessential Conscious Shift. It is a simple process that is free and available to anyone, anytime, anywhere – and it can be accomplished many times in a single day for the express purpose of creating a more a joyful daily life.

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Lauren McLaughlin
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