I remember being in high school when the Pee Wee Herman dance became the craze. The Pee Wee Herman song called out the moves and we had so much fun being silly together and connecting across lunch tables (that was major) and social walls (unheard of).
Scrolling through our social media timelines, many of us watch and experience joy rising watching and participating in some of the dance challenges through videos of us just being us and having fun with the latest dance crazes. There’s one dance craze that’s popping up all over the world that I would love to go viral; it’s called the purpose pivot.
Everyone is doing a version of the pivot in order to survive the sudden changes that everyone is experiencing. The pivot is a central point, pin or shaft on which a mechanism turns. We are the mechanisms that are turning, some of us with resistance, some of us as a means of last resort and others with a manor of ease that defies logic.
The pivots we’re making are happening in response to the shared event or stimulus, COVID19 and becoming a part of team Flatten The Curve. And yet the pivots we’re making may seem dizzying because they seem to weigh more on the side of reacting to a stimulus outside of ourselves. And the stimulus keeps bringing their cousins who are the fallouts that reflect the nuances of our countries, local communities, families and personal lives.
For some pivoting is awkward and we are prone to either falling or being stuck. Sometimes this happens when our central point is in concrete, which can not turn. As the pressures of this time mound, they serve as catalysts that chip away at our concrete blocks until we pivot at first slightly, then more and more freely as the concrete blocks fall away in chunks.
What Is The Purpose Pivot?
The purpose pivot happens when our awareness kicks in and we realize we have one pivotable foot that represents availability based on our authentic expression and another pivotable foot that represents being present to what is. Staying rooted in who we are, we lift our heel to be flexible to shift slightly to move the parts of us that connected to our essence and shift direction by the push of the other foot moving in the keeping with what is happening — now.
Pivoting without the flexible adaptability in how we express who we are feels like we are out of control and subject to whatever is happening. As we look at the world or even within our households, we see us wobble through learning how to purpose pivot. How do we move from a stuck or wobbly purpose pivot to a smoother purpose pivot?
Requirements To Purpose Pivot
Generally, letting go may be hard for many of us and yet letting go of intentionally crafted plan may be particularly difficult. Letting go during a time when there are big consequences for the pivots we are making can be triggering It can feel like if we let go of these intentional plans, we may go back into the survival lifestyles that we worked so hard to evolve through. We are letting go of the plan or the package but not the contents. The contents live within us and are still available for different plans or packaging.
Change Your Mindset
We will never go back to what we evolved through because we are not the same person we were when we experienced it. We create that reality through our belief system. As we experience becoming, we are all somewhere between our lowest level of possibility and our highest level of actuality. Our levels of possibility shift through our evolution. Even if our plans or evolved expressions are paused or labeled TBD, the essence of us that lives in the plans are alive and well and available to be diverted to plans that make sense based on the worldwide shifts we are experiencing. We won’t go back; we leverage what we went through to go through.
Release Surviving As The Enemy
In recent history, we have heard a lot of messaging about either surviving or thriving, or perhaps existing or thriving. I was guided to shift my thinking and practices to reflect more yes/and strategies. As an example, I shifted the driving outcome of my practice from ending survival as a lifestyle to live our thriving lives of purpose to transforming survival as a lifestyle into thriving lives of purpose. Were it not for our survival tactics, we would not be here to transform our lives, being and doing to reflect our version of thriving. Now that we are all in a part of the survival collective, making pivots to ensure we are here to build an evolved reality from the experience, let’s do all we can to live to recreate from the essence of who we are.
In the words of Iyanla Vanzant, let’s call a thing a thing. Some purpose pivots may be stuck because we don’t want to turn to face where we’ve come from. And yet, it is through that view that we may see the tools we need for this time.
We are created with both fight or flight triggers as well as inner purpose triggers. They know they are purpose partners, required for us to be souls having human experiences. We get to evolve to see them in this light.
Life is not this cruel punisher that supports us in reconnecting with our inner treasure and what makes us come alive only to snatch it from us. We are being equipped to experience our purpose and essence flourishing in different ways. Through life events, when we purpose pivot, we release our essence from the boxes we put it in through perceived limitations. When we shift, we see opportunities to serve in ways that our backs were facing and were completely out of view or perhaps were to the side of our normal direction and we caught glimpses through our peripheral vision from time-to-time. Once we recognize the extraordinary within us, life becomes an adventure to apply it to novel times and situations.
Purpose Is Reiterative & Not Stagnant
Purpose evolves over time. The way it is expressed at different times of our life changes. When we initiate change and have the luxury of time to lean into it, it may be easier to accept. When change is thrust upon us and we purpose pivot, it may feel like it is happening to us and not for and through us.
See What’s In Your Hands
Challenging times reveal what’s inside of us in the simplest of terms. We see what we have differently when our vision expands. How many of us are doing at home projects that normally we would require a list to complete? As we prioritize getting through this together, we look at our resources differently and bring creativity to getting it done with what we have. Many of us may grow to see our core brilliance differently as more of its spark is unearthed as we experience it and relate to it differently due to the shift in resources that usually accompany it.
Purpose Pivot Tips
1. Create space and check-in. Without the space to listen and reflect before responding, it’s hard to hear and experience the pull on our inner resources that reflect our current assignments.
2. Listen to the messages that land in your heart. Sparks ignite new possibilities and nudges inform the shifts in behaviors that follow the trail of the spark. Sparks and nudges are great purpose pivot dance instructors. They teach us how to move our hands and feet and what to let go of that makes us light on our toes.
3. Know that you are doing a dance between presence and availability. Find your balance. Are you pivoting on presence while leaning into what’s available or are you pivoting what’s available and being turned by what’s happening Look at the inventory of your major life events that inform your keys to success. You may see the experiences differently and see how those experiences flavor your moves. You may have a unique perspective that is especially useful during this time. You know how people finesse dances once they catch on.
4. Call out the moves. Just like the Pee Wee Herman dance, everyone can join in because the moves are called out. If you see yourself wobbling and trying to get your balance, call out the moves. If you see someone else stuck, having difficulty moving, help them by calling out the moves. “Pivot from what’s happening, turn and face what’s available from the core of who I am connected to what’s happening.” Or, “Pivot from the core of who I am (advanced move right now), turn to see what’s happening through different lenses.” And, “Put your arms into and bring the flavor of your soul signature into it.” And, “Criss Cross, who do you see to the left of that is on the same type of purpose pivot?” And, “Criss Cross, who do you see on the right who is purpose pivoting like you?”
5. Watch others doing the purpose pivot and learn from their moves. There are so many examples when you know what you’re looking for! I’ve seen many people and organizations rock the purpose pivot and even add their own style and flavor to the move:
· Purpose pivoting from I can’t do the things I want to I can express qualities by being who I am
· Purpose pivoting from social media influencer to positivity connector
· Purpose pivoting a funded research project to be a part of a collaborative COVID19 solution
· Purpose pivoting a brewery to pay what you can hand sanitizer dispensary
· Purpose pivoting from a manager to organizing schedules and resources for families with multiple kids shuttering at home
· Purpose pivoting from thriving food truck restaurants to feeding only health care workers on the front lines and offering frozen options to others for the first time
· Purpose pivoting from event hosts to resource staging warehouse providers
· Purpose pivoting a luxury brand retailer to a hand sanitizer dispensary
· Purpose pivoting from designer seamstress to bulk mask maker and distributor
· Purpose pivoting from coaching to teaching, motivating, and intercessor
· Purpose pivoting from motivational coach to isolation SME
· Purpose pivoting from band/orchestra member to neighborhood groups playing in solidarity
· Purpose pivoting from a teacher who loves technology to educational technology SME and coach
· Purpose pivoting from being a counselor to establishing wellness groups and virtual meet-ups for teens
· Purpose pivoting from commissioned artists to teaching the public how to create art through everyday things in the house and in nature
· Purpose pivoting from a museum to a shuttering at home art resource and virtual tour guide
· Purpose pivoting from professional photography to visual motivator sharing exquisite photos and indigenous stories of resilience
· Purpose pivoting from local landscaping to doing yard projects for neighborhood seniors
· Purpose pivoting from being a teen bag person to a grocery concierge for the elderly
· Purpose pivoting from focusing on personal needs to seeing the opportunity to help those who have limited mobility or access to resources
· Purpose pivoting to turn those Christmas lights to communicate belief in better days coming
· Purpose pivoting a naval ship into a floating hospital
At a time when our individual and collective capacity is full due to the series of pivots that we’re making while facing the adjustments to make them work, remember the purpose pivot as an available choice. It creates pockets of space as we add the essence of who we are to our responses, which will support and nourish us during this time. Being and acting from our purpose refreshes others while refreshing us and feeds the energetic of hope that nourishes us all. Add #purposepivot when you see them and make this dance go viral.
Will We Purpose Pivot After Our Survival Phase Ends?
Yes, the Purpose Pivot will become a part of our tool kit as Purpose Peeps. We will Purpose Pivot based on the new reality we will create. We will also Purpose Pivot leaning on what’s available from our expression resources that make sense. We may add nuance to the dance based on our unique perspective based on our inventory of life events. In short, we will continue to dance.