Hello Friends! September's PIVOT
Have you ever noticed how a single thing can trigger more than one reaction, and even opposing feelings depending on when we experience it? I just took Harley for his evening walk and heard the honking of the Canadian geese, preparing their journey South. It sounded so incredibly forlorn. For those of us in the north, the good-bye call of the geese signals the turn of season 🍃and can leave us with a sense of sadness, as we witness summer's leaving. And yet that very same (loud) honking is so incredibly uplifting when they first arrive, sparking joy and a deep sense of relief! Same sound, different experiences...
As I was walking Harley, I got to thinking about other things that have opposing effects. Church bells can signal a wedding or a funeral. A plane's hum can take us away from home or bring us back. A song can help us fall in love or reopen a wounded heart... (can you think of others?...)
We'll often hear that perspective - how we see the world - is a choice we make. There may be truth in that yet so much of our perspective depends on context, on the environment we're currently experiencing. I think that we can put a lot of pressure on ourselves to "look at the bright side" as if choice and will were the only factors playing into the way we translate the world as it comes to us. We're invited to "embrace change" as if everyone were in a perfectly stable place to begin with. And right now, a word that's being thrown around these days with Covid 19 and all is "PIVOT"... "Artists need to pivot!" Just hearing that sentence makes my head spin and makes me feel a little dizzy...
And yet, PIVOT is THE word that we'll be exploring this month! It's a funny word. Annoying after you've heard it twenty times on social media, but useful when you study it more closely! I invite you to join me to discover another way of looking at the word PIVOT in the weeks ahead. 💃
noun1. the central point, pin, or shaft on which a mechanism turns or oscillates.
2. a person or thing that plays a central part in an activity or organization.
Similar: center, focal point, focus, central point, hub, heart
verb1. turn on or as if on a pivot. ex. "he swung around, pivoting on his heel"
Similar: rotate, turn, revolve, spin, swivel, twirl, whirl, oscillate
As you can see, "pivot" is both a noun and a verb. Right now, we're hearing it used as a verb, encouraging people to shift their focus to other activities to replace live shows & other lost income. Yet the tone people adopt lead to this image of spinning, swivelling, whirling or oscillating... none a reassuring image!
Instead, I'd like to invite you to consider PIVOT as a noun rather than a verb. Be the pivot! What this means is thinking about what grounds you, what anchors you. What are the "unchangeables" in your life and work that strengthen your position? How can you, through your music, be a person who plays a central part in this tired, frightened society? What are the values that keep you together?
Take a minute to think about this - maybe writing or drawing out your thoughts as you as a pivot, as that pin your project and career turn on. List all of the things that are part of who you are, that create your distinct way of viewing the world and enriching it. Once you've reaffirmed those things, it'll be much easier to then look at the different ways you can express your essence and give form to your intention.
If live music isn't an option, you can shift your view a little, to see what you might see over its shoulder. Hybrid shows? Recorded capsules? VIP Zoom sessions after a livestream? Is this a good time to find those people who care about what you care about and invite them to support you as patrons? You are solid and anchored. So none of these options should steer you off course. Let yourself "feel them out"... if you're put off, keep revolving until you find something that feels inviting. And if you're finding it hard to look out, then take this time to look within. I picked up an interesting tip this month: when you start to feel as if there's just too much to bear as you look forward, then ask yourself what you can do in this immediate moment to make yourself feel better.
It may seem counterintuitive to speak about the present, but pivoting is about what is keeping you strong. And as we saw earlier, perspective is very much influenced by our immediate environment. So for now, let's BE a pivot first before we become the verb!