In my second podcast, I discuss the concept of what I call “pivoting elegantly”. The compounding levels of change that we’re all dealing with right now make it much more critical to work on our skills of adapting. We need to leverage change, instead of letting it take us out. A key part of this ability to leverage change – or pivot elegantly – is facing our fears head-on. I share a 5-step process that enables us to act in the face of, and despite of, our fear. The magic of this process is that it turns something largely unconscious – the fear response – into a conscious choice.
Enjoy more episodes of The Conscious PIVOT Podcast at AdamMarkel.com or download them on your favorite podcast player.
Looking for more wisdom, resources and support for your own business or personal pivot? Join our incredible PIVOT community on Facebook at pivotFB.com and visit StartMyPIVOT.com to download your free Kickstart Guide!
Listen to the podcast here:
I’m so thrilled to spend some time with you. I am in beautiful California near San Diego North County. For those that have been to our house and have been part of one of our mastermind groups, you’ll find that familiar big, fat ball with the writing ‘love’ all over it. Lots of people have signed the ball in what was supposed to be indelible ink, Sharpie markers of all colors. The sun has bleached all of that love into the ball. You can’t read it anymore, but you can still see the big words ‘love’ that are imprinted on the ball itself. It floats around in the pool and is a constant reminder to me of what is most important to me in my own life, and what I want to be reminded of and refocus my energy toward. As the saying goes, “Everything in the universe is made up of one thing.” It’s all energy. Love is a particular energy that resides in my body, my heart, my soul, and my spirit. It reminds me of all the spiritual truths that I am wanting to embrace and master. That’s the true path that we are all on.
It’s certainly the path that I’m on and it’s definitely a part of the reason that we decided to create this podcast. We know that there is something that is ever present in our world, and that is change. As sure as there is this ever-present change everywhere, we also know that change is accompanied by fear. That is that is something that goes right alongside. Change is a constant, and fear goes right along with change. As long as I’ve been looking into this and studying it and speaking to so many people in business, people I’ve worked with, including friends and family, it never seems to amaze me in my own experience, in my own life and in the lives of so many other people who are very successful and have accomplished a lot of things, how often it is that any simple change to the routine, structure, and almost anything in our financial, business, and even in our personal lives, when there’s a change, there is this natural knee-jerk reaction that we go into that ancient way of being, which is to trigger our fight or flight response. Change brings that up.
It can be a change of a job or in career. It could be a pivot into something new and different in your business life. It could be a change in relationship if somebody leaves you or you decide that you need to leave a relationship. The way that you approached that transition can either be elegant or it can be something that’s rough around the edges. I was in yoga class when our yoga instructor started off by bringing to our awareness how it is that we that we transition from yoga pose to yoga pose. She said, “I want to remind you to be conscious. Be conscious in your transitions.” I thought to myself, “I got a podcast called The Conscious PIVOT for crying out loud.”I was I was so happy to hear it talking about that in relation to yoga. It’s the synergy of the universe when things connect. She’s talking about elegantly transitioning from pose to pose, from physical position to physical position, from one form of the energy that you have, the energy that each of us brought to that yoga class and transitioning from that energy that we brought into the class into the energy that we intended for the class.
We are constantly bringing our energy to everything that we do. We bring our energy to all of our meetings, all of our discussions, all of the things that we think about. She was calling into question what was the energy that we brought into the room with us, and how that energy would be affecting either the people around us or each of us individually. What would that impact be of the energy, and how would we be able to elegantly transition from that energy? It might be I was stuck in traffic. I was late, I was trying to get to my class on time. It could be that I had a good day. It could be that I had a crummy day. It could be I got into an argument with my wife. It could be I got in argument or some disagreement with a business partner. It could be I’ve gotten an email with some bad news or a contract fell out. It could be anything.
Our days are rich with contrast. Abraham Hicks call it the contrast and the differentiation of things that show up in the universe around us, the things we love and the things we don’t love, and the things that trigger different energies within us. All that stuff that’s activated as we’re going through our days, we are bringing to each interaction with other people and each new thing that we are doing. What was meaningful to me was what was my energy as I started that yoga class? What was my mindset? What was my physical presence like, and did I have tension in my body? Was I tense from the day? Was I relaxed from the day, and how would I transition from whatever that state of being was into a different state? How would I transition elegantly from physical pose to physical pose during the period of this yoga session? It was a beautiful and conscious way to begin that class. Even as the yoga was getting harder and it was hotter, and the poses were more difficult, rather than thinking about anything in particular from the past or even in the present, all I was focused on was elegantly transitioning.
If my thoughts veered away or I started to think about work or I started think about something else that was outside of my being present in that moment, I transition my thoughts back by taking some deep breath. As I was moving from physical pose to physical pose, I started to criticize myself because I wasn’t doing it great or I or I thought I was doing it well and I was proud of myself. Whatever that that mind activity was, I would bring myself back to simply transitioning. Transitioning smoothly, gracefully, and elegantly from one thing to the next. That is such a profound learning for life. How do we live elegantly? What is the science of elegant living? What is the art and science of successful living? I thought, “That’s one of the things that I want to talk about in the podcast, that concept of peaceful, elegant, and successful living.” What does that mean for you? What does it mean to you to live an elegant life? Take five minutes to yourself to journal and set down on paper or write in your computer or your iPhone what would it feel like to live a more elegant, easeful, peaceful, and graceful life.
For example, I’m looking at the fire place, which is not lit, but I’m going to light it. It’s not cold but I’m going to light the fire place because I love the smell of wood burning. It will warm up the room and it will give you this ambiance and I know that Randi, my beautiful wife, is going to come home soon. To have the fireplace on as we eat will be beautiful. There’s this ‘love’ ball that is floating around in the water and I could see the hot tub. I’m already thinking ahead to tonight after spending time with Randi and the kids and having dinner and maybe enjoy a glass of wine. A long leisurely dinner where we get to be grateful in so many ways for each other and for the day. We could share and talk a lot and laugh a lot. We might argue a little bit. Something interesting always happen at the dinner table. I grew up in a house like that, so you could almost expect the unexpected. Whatever it is, it will be beautiful. The whole process will be graceful because that’s the intention for it.
I wrote some e-mails and had some amazing phone calls with some incredible people talking about collaboration in our business, ways in which we can serve, and wanting to connect at a deeper level with some people that we want to do business with. The transition from getting up in the morning to the morning ritual and other rituals. I get up and have a particular ritual and it involves meditation, prayer, some intention setting, and then a series of things so it’s a holistic morning ritual. It’s mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical. Making a green drink. Walking the dogs, then walking for creative thought, making time to think. That’s how I began the day. I start it with that process and transitioned it in a smooth way, not flawlessly. I’d say that there were some patches where the transition from thing to thing could have been smoother, but I felt peace in my body, my mind, my soul, and my spirit for the better part of the entire day, and that’s the day I choose to create. That’s the day I would like to create.
What is a day like that you wish to create? What does a day that meets that criteria, that brings you joy, peace, excitement, makes you passionate, that cracks your heart open, that challenges you mentally and physically? What does that day look like for you? How is it that you can live that day consistently? Meaning that it’s not one out of twenty days feels that way, that there’s an elegance to your day. That every single day is consistently what you want it to be. It could be that you love challenge, and you want to be challenged. You want to be challenged in your job or your business. You want to be challenged in some other way.
If challenge is your idea of elegance, grace, and ease because that’s what’s stirs your soul, then that’s what you want to have happen. You don’t want to save those physical challenges or the other challenges just for certain times when all of the stars are aligned or for the ducks to line up. Stop waiting for the ducks to line up, and simply focus on doing something with the ducks that you’ve got. Don’t wait for them to line up. Pick the ones you’ve got and utilize them for all they’re worth.
What does the day look like? How do you create that magic for yourself? The yoga class that I took sparked my curiosity about that, and I’ve been thinking about that ever since. The idea of what does it mean to live with this type of transition, the smoothness, this ability to pivot consciously and with this sense of well-being, sense of ease, sense of grace, sense of abundance, and prosperity, so that it smooths out the road so you can go that much faster to your destination and where it is you want to get to. Where I want to get to is a day that is full of love, peace, prosperity, giving, and receiving. I can’t wait for that. I’m like an impatient child when it comes to that because we have this defined length of time in this physical body. I believe we’re eternal beings and I believe we will be in eternity somewhere no matter what’s happened to us when we transition.
When we transition out of this physical body into the next phase, my own belief system is that we will be in eternity somewhere, so I’m not too worried about it. I’m impatient on some level. Not to see that and not to get the next transition, but to explore everything that’s possible in my life now. How do you how do you pivot? How do you pivot consciously? How do you elegantly transition in your life? Transition and change are the ever-present things that are with us, and most people meet change often with fear. Being able to be aware of that and be able to transcend fear is key.
There are five things that you can do to transition and face fear with new clarity. Fear gets in the way of our clarity. For us to be able to change our lives for the better, to be able to transition and move toward the things that we want. Maybe in your life right now, you’re not thrilled with your job. Maybe you’re not thrilled with the business you are in. Maybe you’re having some challenges in your relationship. Maybe you’re not thrilled with your body. You’re anxious, uneasy, tense, having trouble sleeping, or any of those things that are symptoms that there’s something else going on inside. When I trace those things back to their root, often I find that what’s going on is that there is a change underneath the surface.
There’s a change to something that’s being called forth like a new life that’s ready to be born that’s going to shoot out of the ground to grow. Before that growth spurt happens, there’s often this pain that precedes it. I have changes going on in me, in my business, in my physical being, and in my life. All those changes before, there is often this discomfort. There’s this pain, and that pain is the fear that we inherently have of things changing, of things being different, of the unknown, and of the uncertain. There’s nothing that drives fear greater than this idea of something new, the change that’s unknown and uncertain.
How is it that we consciously can deal with fear that’s causing that pain? On the other side of that pain is freedom. On the other side of that pain is liberty. Liberation, beauty, God, spirit, the universe, it all exists in the unknown, which is magical. To some extent, the price of freedom, liberation, and those other incredibly divine things that we want, yearn for, and seek as human beings, the price for those things is pain itself. It’s the paint that precedes the birth of a child. You can’t have one without the other. The birth of the greatest parts of ourselves, of the greater self that is within us is preceded by pain. Why that transition is often not smooth, elegant, and graceful is because we don’t know how to face fear.
This is a five-step process for handling and facing fear. I’m not saying that this is a five-step process to get rid of fear because you never ever get rid of fear. Fear will be with us until our last breath. It’s just a question of how do you deal with fear? How do you deal with the enemy? Because we can deal with it by allowing it to overtake us. It creates the sweat, the heat, the anxiety, the disease, the stiffness in our joints, and it’s what slows us down. It’s ultimately what kills us. It’s what stops us from being ultimately. To deal with it at its root and deal with it in an elegant way is my intention by sharing this process and the understanding that you’ll never get rid of fear. If you learn how to face it, then it disappears. It goes away in that moment temporarily, and it allows you to move forward. It clears a path so that you can have vision and you can see more clearly.
When we are able to face our fears, we can more elegantly transmute that pain and that suffering into something beautiful. We can birth the thing that is that is most in our hearts that we want. It’s the idea that you want to do something different with your life. You want to change the work that you’re doing, the career that you’re in, the job that you’ve got, the business that you want to start but you haven’t, or the business that you want to be in but you’re not in, the relationship that know you deserve, the body and health that you that you believe is in your best interest to pursue, to chase down those dreams is going to require that you face your fears. That you are able to be okay with pain. In that process of facing your fear and dealing with the pain that precedes the growth, in that process, you’re able to have that clarity and that vision, which will be a game changer for you.
It has consistently been the one thing that I have been able to use again and again to simply move forward in my life. This is what I’ve had the blessing to train and to teach people and. Share with folks to more than hundreds of thousand people around the globe. In so many different places, I’ve been able to share these techniques for moving forward. I don’t mean moving forward without making mistakes, without having setbacks, moving forward without fear, I mean being able to move forward in spite of fear.
Number one. When you feel fear, breathe deeply. Breathe in and out. Receive a breath, and then let it go. Give it back. We breathe the oxygen that the trees provide to us. Without those trees, we would have no oxygen to breathe, and without our carbon dioxide, the trees would not exist. It’s such a synergistic and symbiotic give and take relationship. It’s such a beautiful example of nature and what it is that we all must learn, that giving and receiving are two sides of the same coin. They’re equally important, so take a breath.
Step two, get present with the fear. Don’t ignore it. Be curious about it. In curiosity, we get to be objective. From that objective viewpoint, you can watch yourself. You can observe your mind. As Michael Singer in his book The Untethered Soul explained that you can be this independent observer of your mind as it is contemplating what scares it, contemplating the worst case scenario that the mind often conjures up. Look at it and observe it independently, and in that independence, you will be free of the mind. Breathing, watching, curious as to where that fear resides in your body, get present with it.
Number three, become quiet. When that fear comes up, the best thing to do is not to start texting or phoning or emailing or doing something about it, but rather to simply be present and quiet with it. Breathing quietly, observing and curious. Number four, ask yourself. “Am I experiencing some excitement or fear?”Differentiate whether you’re excited about something that’s new and something that’s on the horizon or are you in fear? It’s the difference between the feelings you have when you’re on a rollercoaster. That’s more the feeling of excitement. You’re about to get exhilarated. You know there’s going to come a time when the ride is over. You know that you’re not in any physical danger. That’s excitement. You’ve got to ask yourself, “Am I feeling fear? Am I in physical danger of death and annihilation in this moment or is something inside of me stirred up and excited?”
Number five, ask yourself this question. Will I let this feeling stop me? In regard to something that you might want to do or something that’s happening in your life that you need to do and that would be important for you to do, whether it’s to seek counseling for problems you’re having in your marriage or signing divorce papers, going on a job interview or speaking publicly or starting your business by making a phone call to the company that will form your corporation, or the accountant that will help you set up the books for your corporation. Whatever it is that’s got you in fear, ask yourself, “Am I willing to let this actually stop me from doing what it is that I truly want to do or that I feel that I is in my best interest to do?”
The five steps again, take a deep breath. Get present with the fear. Become quiet. Ask yourself, “Am I experiencing excitement or is it truly fear?” Ask yourself, “Will I let this feeling stop me?” This five-step process is not a way to get rid of fear, it’s a way to face it. Like many things in life, fear is like a bully. It’s like a bluffer. As soon as you face up to it, it has a way of disappearing. It’s not going to go away forever; it’s a temporary thing, but when you have this way to deal with it, you don’t have to be afraid of the fear itself. It’s just another thing in the universe, no different than a chair or a shoe or the water or the sky or your body or anything else that you do not have to be afraid of.
The exploration that we are that we’re undertaking here is one of curiosity about the world and about ourselves, so that we have a greater understanding of ourselves and we don’t have to fear ourselves. A greater awareness of ourselves and our selves in relation to the world means that we can be more present and tuned in, so that we can feel our life force and our life energy within us so that our lives genuinely feel meaningful. We don’t know how long it is. It could be very short or very long, but relatively speaking, it’s always going to feel short. I don’t care if you get to live up to 150 years old. The 150 years old, they’re going to say, “How in the world did it go by so fast?”
We want to enjoy the ride. We want to enjoy the passage of time, and doing that means living elegantly, living gracefully, and living easefully especially through our challenges. The changes can be graceful and can feel good. We can be conscious throughout the process, feeling it richly throughout the whole experience so that it’s not something that we regret. It’s not something that that causes us inner pain, but it’s something that we look at with love that we can enjoy for what it’s worth, which is the experience to experience. For this experience, I am grateful for the learning and the spending this time with all of you. I am immensely grateful.
I will bid you all farewell. Ciao for now.